The incipit makes you smile. Dan Brooks arrived in Rome as a Martian and confirms, according to him, all American stereotypes: yes, they really exist scooters that “fly everywhere” and the movement went crazy. And yes, “breakfast is coffee and cigarettes.” Maybe he meant electronic ones, which are actually very popular, but either way, says the intrepid reporter, “Despite these orthopedic and nutritional risks, everyone looks better than us.”. Dan hasn’t emptied his stereotype basket yet: “They really say that, an expressive mixture of vowels, gestures and sounds that we define as “Italian”.. To be reprimanded in this language by a motorist who wants to park in a crosswalk is to realize that some popular ideas are actually true. Besides, it’s hot here.”
The American reporter from the New York Times Magazine is a little captivating when he approaches Rome as if he were approaching Vietnam, but let’s move on and here we are at the center of the article. THAT Moneskin. Who really became a sensation and who is preparing for the American tour and beyond, whose first stop is in Madison Square Garden. In addition to New York, they will be held in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, as well as Toronto and Vancouver. Then, between October and November, they will descend into South America, passing through Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro. And again Australia, Japan with a return to Europe, to Dublin and Manchester. On Wednesday, September 13, they won the prize. Best Rock by MTV and Taylor SwiftThe news says he blew Damiano a kiss. The New York Times Magazine goes so far as to claim that they “the only rock stars of their generationand almost certainly greatest Italian rock band of all time” There would be a discussion even if we wanted to discard the stereotypes of Italians towards Americans (confirmed). Other higher caliber rock bands that come to mind are: PFM and non-working timeI’ll name two.
Brooks explains that Moneskin plays “It’s like Motley Crue was cryogenically frozenthen revived in 2010 with Rob Thomas to the voice.” This could already start a discussion about how much Maneskins can be considered reissue imitating 70s rock bandswith a touch of (naked) tabloid imagery. “Rolling Stone” wrote that Moneskin “they only manage to confirm how hard rock ‘n’ roll has to work these days to get noticed” Viral review Pitchfork (we’ll talk about this below) attacked them and called their latest album “Rush!”, “absolutely terrible on every imaginable level”
Brooks argues that the thumbs up or thumbs down criticism has passed and that we just need to take note. nine billion streams which, according to Sony Music, the group has accumulated on Spotify and YouTube. The journalist is still trying to analyze the phenomenon. Starting with “Gasoline”, a song written to protest the invasion of Ukraine (“the effect it had on Putin is unknown”): the atmosphere of rebellion, he says, is an ingredient traditionally recognized in rock bands.. Not that they really have to rebel, but in any case, “they should not seem too artificial so as to create in listeners the feeling of challenging the consensus that accompanies it.”
But because they like Moneskin? Brooks asks the drummer Ethan Torchiobackstage and he responds like an Italian when talking about food: “If you eat fish, meat and peanuts every day for years, and then one day you discover potatoes, you will think, “Wow, potatoes! I love potatoes. Potatoes are fantastic” But the potatoes were there all the time; you didn’t eat them.”
Potato would be a stone. In practice, the most recent generation discovered rock retrospectively, just as we discovered jazz. He heard Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Franz Ferdinand, Oasis not at the right time, but at Spotify, together. They’ve been there for a long time, like potatoes, but only tried them now, with Moneskin, and they were fascinated by these strange naked tubers.
The journalist gives a useful overview of rock’s recent history: “It probably started out as black music, but during the so-called British Invasion mid-1960s (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Who), making it the dominant form of pop music for the next two decades. Era progressive (Journey, Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner) eventually gave way punk (Ramones, Patti Smith, Minor Threat), and then glam metal: Twisted Sister, Guns N’ Roses and many other long-haired bands were wiped out by success Nirvana and Pearl Jam in 1991. The ultimate triumph of punk, which returns to emotional content in its stated hostility towards the music industry itself. After 1991 mistrust of pop music became a sign of seriousness among rock critics and fans alike.”
And this is where rock’s hegemony begins to wane. Gone are the days (1979) when the great Neil Young He sang: “Rock and roll will never die” But instead hip-hop and indie came, and the public forgot rock. The last rock song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 was “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback in 2001. The last gasp of rock came in the 2000s Strokes and come on The killers.
And here we are Moneskin. The history of which can be summarized as follows. They start street life, take part in X – Factor (finished second behind Lorenzo Licitra). Then they win San Remo and the Eurovision song. Now they are coming to the United States. But, Brooks notes, there is a difference in perception between American and Italian fans. Singer Damiano is accused of I snort cocaine, at Eurovision. He denies it and takes a drug test to prove it. The Moneskins, the journalist claims, are still outraged by this case. Rock legends of the past and even current ones in the States, the journalist explains, would live off this ambiguity.
Not only that: “Many elements of Moneskin’s presentation, such as crossdressing and random kissing between men, are genuinely upsetting to older Italians, even if they seem familiar or even hackneyed to audiences in the United States.” It must be said that America seems to us much more puritanical and fanatical than many of our older people, but we avoid the war of stereotypes. In practice, Brooks argues, Moneskin is forced to exaggerate to impress an American audience more accustomed to excess..
But the most interesting discussion concerns perception of your music. As a Pitchfork critic said, Jeremy Larson, criticized them, disputing their “banal song structures, lyrics that seem to come from Google Translate, and obsessive use of multi-band compression.” According to Brooks, there is resistance among rock fans based on the idea that he is not alone. musical system, and the structure of relations between the group and society. Part of the charm was precisely in the collision, in the alternative vision of the world, which was also picked up then Nirvana. The Moneskins are essentially kissing each other, they appear to be snorting cocaine but deny it, they show their breasts but with a star on it. They exaggerate, they want to surprise a little, but mostly they are good guys who rock: “They play rock music, but act according to the commercial logic of pop music”
And the proof is the car that drives around the group. Among the manufacturers there are Max MartinSwedish hitmaker known for his work with i Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears: “They have a large number of senior and experienced professionals working with them. It’s four 22-24 year old friends in a group, but this group is inside a huge machine.” In short, they don’t meet the characteristics rock lovers need: resistance to external influences, disdain for marketing, authenticity and product craftsmanship.
Brooks also has something to say musical influences. We have lunch with Victoria De AngeliYes, he discovers that they have “an encyclopedic knowledge of some eras of rock history” and are unaware of others. Victoria “loves Motley Crue and album after album is masterfully mastered by Los Angeles hair metal band Skid Row. But none of them had ever heard of Fugazi.a post-hardcore band whose hatred of major record labels, refusal to sell merchandise, and desire to keep ticket prices as low as possible made standard for a generation of American rock snobs. The timeline of Maneskin’s influence seems to end around 1990 and leaves them in the dark about the indie/punk/DIY period.”
At this point, however, Brooks asks himself the right question: Do these arguments really matter? Snobs — “Larson and I” (and the writer, ed.) are in the minority, as is usually the case with snobs. And then “snobbery became obsolete.” Digital distribution has ended the relationship between niche music and fans’ efforts to find it. “The longevity of rock ‘n’ roll consolidated an audience that age from 40 to 80 years”, which makes opposition to society less credible. Streaming has cut into profits, and now the only way to become a great rock band is sing in stadiums, not clubs. And so, to sum it up, “pFor the first time in its history, rock became simply a way of writing songs, rather than a way of life.”