a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 50

A rts

50

& Cu l tu re

Honestly Speaking with

Stuck On Planet Earth By Ola Mazzuca Photos by Juliette Jagger

Honesty is the best policy for Stuck On Planet Earth, the Vaughan-based alt-rock band with three EPs since their start in 2007, and one on the way. “To be a good artist, you have to be honest,” says bassist/vocalist Al Capo. “Whether we’re playing live to one person or 500 people, our genuine sincerity transcends everything.” apo describes Stuck On Planet Earth (SOPE) as “creative guys that happen to be Italian, play music and grew up in the same community,” which gave him and guitarist /vocalist Adam Bianchi their start as punk rockers in Expo. After attending St. Michael’s College, an all-boy’s private school, Capo and Bianchi’s musical tastes began to mature upon meeting drummer Andrew Testa at defunct Toronto venue, The Rockit, where he was playing with another band. Although the three attended strict educational institutions, they formed a bond by mutual passion for music and a sense of rebellion. Influenced by contrasting sounds of the Police and Nirvana, SOPE also listened to Italian artists Zero Assoluto and Subsonica for different aural perspectives. In 2007, SOPE hit the road for “The Backpack Tour”; traveling to different schools across Ontario to play an acoustic set outside at the last bell. Capo says the tour helped build a local fan base, despite trouble with authority. “Most of the time we’d get kicked off school property by teachers, principals or the police,” he says. “But we’d get a lot of fans because we’d show up unexpected, play our songs and meet a lot of kids.” The Backpack Tour brought opportunity for SOPE, recording their first self-titled EP shortly after with Plus Minus following in 2009. Their latest EP, Realities, hit 40 national college rock and XM satellite radio airwaves last year with singles “Honestly Speaking” and “Gone”, garnering three tours in a span of six months.

C

Being on the road for long periods of time can be a challenge, but that’s where SOPE are “most proud to be Italian.” Testa is a trained chef and brings a stove with him in the van, while Bianchi values cleanliness when things start to resemble “month old sandwiches” in the vehicles of fellow bands. Cultural values and creativity are not innate for SOPE, but derived from workingclass backgrounds. From attending their sold out Opera House show before an audience of 1000 last December to watching a live acoustic set on CHINTV, family is a main support system. “My grandfather used to share a joke with me and said, ‘when I was young, I used to be a musician - I played le palate! (abruzzese word for ‘spanking’)’” Testa says, using hand gestures to recount a memory with his biggest fan. “When our families saw us perform in front of that amount of people, it proved to them that we work hard.” The band keep a porcelain capicollo sausage and wine carafe present in their practice space as Italian symbols to remind them of where they come from and how this will support them in life and on the road. They remain true to their heritage with plans of recording the track “I Don’t Believe” from their album Realities, in Italian as “Io Non Credo” – possibly in a Tuscan villa, something Capo believes would be “bad ass”. “We’ve never been followers,” he says. “There are a million scenes and a million bands to come out that all sound the same, yet we’ve always held our ground and been consistent that way.” v

175 King St. Tera Coa ON T. 905.873.2223 F. 905.873.6270 www.coa.ca

April 2012 tour dates: April 1 - Jimmy Jazz, Guelph, ON April 2 - The Spill, Peterborough, ON April 3 - The Mansion, Kingston, ON April 4 - Avant-Garde Bar, Ottawa, ON April 5 - Le Pirhana, Montreal, QC

The Perfect Setting for Today, for a Night to Remember, for Family Gatherings, for Romance

Profile for Panoram Italia Magazine

Toronto Vol.2, No. 2  

Italian-Canadian cultural magazine

Toronto Vol.2, No. 2  

Italian-Canadian cultural magazine