[This interview with Golpe vocalist Tadzio Pederzolli originally ran on Michael Thorn's excellent Razorblades & Aspirin Substack in December 2013.]
If you’ve not checked out Golpe’s debut release, La Colpa É Solo Tua, please pause reading this interview and do yourself a favor and transport yourself to a caustic barrage of bludgeoning hardcore which updates the classic Italian hardcore sound of bands like Wretched and interjects lyrics geared towards challenging the listener to take action and not just passively sit by and watch the world go onward.
I’ve read you are a chef—which is something I’ve found to be a common path for a lot of punks. What brought you to this career—I know you are vegan, how does that play into it? Is it just a job or a passion?
Yes! Apparently, I'm a chef even if it's weird to me to define myself with that word. I usually say that I cook for a living, I never had the wish or intention of reaching any crazy Michelin star or anything like that, which is something that some people may connect me to realizing I'm a chef.
I found myself cooking since I went vegan in 2004, I was struggling so much finding good vegan options around me, so I just decided to do something nice myself. Booking punk shows helped me a lot also in developing a "career" in the kitchen. I started cooking for people when I was 19 booking my first shows, it was meal prep for the bands I was booking.
Crazy that I wasn't realizing that what I was doing back in the days was becoming my job a few after! And to reply to your last question, I guess it is a passion which became a job. Can't complain about it, feeling blessed to be able to do something I love for living.
I know the band started as just a solo project for you but now that you are touring, of course, you have a full fledged band—how was the transition from solo to full band? Will you continue to play as a project with other people or will you return to it being a solo project?
Golpe started as a two-piece band, to be honest. I started jamming with my dear friend Luca Calafati (who plays in Spirito Di Lupo and Skalp) in 2019. Luca has written some old riffs and also has chosen the name, so he will always be a fundamental part of the project even if he's not involved anymore. After a few months struggling to find members to do a proper lineup, Luca started to focus on SDL and I decided to continue as a solo project.
Since then, I've always written, performed and recorded everything in Golpe, and I think it will be always like this since for the first time in my life I don't feel the "weight" of being in a band, but only the pleasure of writing and performing music, and playing live together with friends which are enjoying it.
The live lineup has many changes all the time...I am lucky to have so many friends willing to play these songs! Depending on the show(s) I'm willing to play I usually find anybody who is available between 7 friends playing guitar, 2 on bass, 3 on drums...I know it's crazy! But it's the only way to be able to play so much, having this kind of freedom of playing can not be dealt with without handling grown-ups lifes, jobs, relationships, other bands, etc.
I know you’ve played in other bands prior—how does the song writing process differ for you? What makes doing a solo project vs a collaborative band more appealing to you?
I've been playing in bands since I was a teenager, and most of the time I was taking care of the writing process, but I was jamming with my bandmates and struggling to find a good balance between my ideas and theirs. I have written "struggling" because sometimes the writing process wasn't the smoothest [laughs], and probably that's one of the main reasons why I challenged myself into doing a solo project: no more stress about this kind of stuff.
I hate fighting and it took me a while before taking this decision. Of course, I miss jamming and playing with somebody else a lot, I would love to make another band actually, I'm actually working on something. It's just two different ways of seeing things, I think.
Golpe is a very personal project and it has everything I am inside of it. Jamming with somebody else is something unique and beautiful in a different way.
The title of your LP, La Colpa È Solo Tua, translates as "the fault is yours only" in Italian. Do you care to talk about the meaning around that? Is it indicative of the theme of the lyrics of the record?
When I've written the title track of the LP I was feeling that in the fucked up world we're living most of the time humans don't take responsibility of their actions. We just complain all the time. So I guess that the future is depending on our decisions, here and now.
The lyrics have the purpose of awaken something in the reader/listener, since complaining is useless. Acting is powerful. And if there is somebody we need to blame, if any kind of problem we are causing isn't solving itself, it's us only. The whole record goes around the concept of "awakening", not in a spiritual way, but in a very pragmatic and physical way.
I’ve always thought of punk as being more than music, more than just the loud music we make—about thinking critically about the world and doing what we can to push back on the ills of the world. That said, a good portion of punk, it feels, is just about raging and partying - how do you balance the two? Can you?
I've always felt punk in the same way, since I was a kid. Once I started this project I couldn't do it without having a political perspective. Once I started writing the lyrics I asked myself what I should do with them. It would have been easier to write about abstract and "cloudy" stuff, but I tried to say at least my perspective on some subject that somebody may be related to.
This happened to me years ago, reading some lyrics, and hopefully it will happen also to somebody else. Raging and partying is super cool, but I don't feel this as a "challenge," I just guess that it is very personal. I am not the kind of person that judges anybody for their choices, punk has a big spectrum and anybody can have their spot in it.
This freedom is what makes punk so beautiful to me, the fact that anybody sharing the same ideas, background and attitude can be an active part of it. But of course I'm kinda "old fashioned" talking about punk, and I couldn't listen to this music without thinking about it in a political way, without acknowledging the power of some words I've read and listened to.
What is the scene like in Italy these days? Sometimes I feel like despite the internet making things more ‘connected’ the punk scene can feel a bit more fractured than it did in the days of writing letters and relying on the post.
Italy has a healthy and pretty nice scene, we don't have so many active bands but some of them are very good! I have the same feeling sometimes, the internet helped a lot in spreading awareness about so many things, but at the same time it made everything "colder."
I guess that the new punk scene made by Gen Z has a totally different approach, and it has much more crossovers than the olders. Time changes and it would be sad and useless remembering only the '80s or the '90s, as sometimes happens around me... Punk is alive and well, it's probably changing like everything else.
What are your favorite/recommended current bands?
Are there still squats/DIY venues in the Milano region right now?
Yes, we have some beautiful squatts in Milano, but of course in the past 10 years the things got way more fucked up. Police evicted pretty much every squat...but some of them still survive. Things got more difficult for sure.
Am I crazy (or just old) for feeling things are more disconnected than the past?
I don't feel you're crazy or old, simply as said before the kind of connection changed in the past years. I felt so lucky and blessed to have met so many friends in the past years thanks to the internet.
I wouldn't be able to play around so much without the love and support of some strangers who then become friends. I still feel a great connection, even if it's different than the era I was communicating through phone calls and text messages.
Does the old guard of Italian punk (Wretched, Indigesti, Negazione, etc or even later bands like DDI, Contropotere, Crunch, etc.) still involve itself in the current scene?
It's always nice to read the list of the good Italian bands that people outside Italy remember! Honestly, I don't think that anyone from the bands you quoted is active in any project at the moment. The only one I hang out with sometimes is Fabietto from Wretched, which still attends punk shows and has a nice distro.
Indigesti (which are one of my favorite bands from the period) got back together some years ago...bad choice! I'm telling you [laughs]. But they (thankfully) broke up again right after. The only active band I can think about is Raw Power which never stopped, but I've never been a big fan of them (sorry not sorry).
What are the future plans for Golpe?
I would love to write a new record but I know it's gonna take me a while since I'm very slow in the writing process. In the meantime, I wish to be able to play as much as possible, in countries I've never been to before. Hopefully it will happen!
The La Colpa È Solo Tua 12" and Assuefazione Quotidiana EP are both available at Sorry State Records.
Read more of Michael's interviews on Razorblades & Aspirin.