Formed in 1995 by brothers Alberto Ferrari (vocals and guitar), Luca Ferrari (drums), and Roberta Sammarelli (bass)—Verdena is one of the leading rock outfits on the Italian music scene, earning a reputation as one of the best live bands in the country. Following a sold-out 16-date Italian tour, the band is looking forward to bringing their explosive live show to Shepherd's Bush later this month as they continue to tour in support of their seventh full-length release 'Volevo Magia'—out on 28 April 2023 via Capitol Records Italy / Universal Music.
Guitar Interactive Magazine's Jonathan Graham chat's exclusively with Alberto Ferrari about the upcoming shows, the new album, the band's hard rock soundscapes and much more.
Jonathan Graham: Congratulations on an incredible show last night at Rome's Palalottomatica. The band has a unique way of engaging the whole audience, like we're in a small club, no matter what the venue is. When you play a building of that size, what are some of the challenges in getting the atmosphere "dialled-in" right?
Alberto Ferrari: It can be difficult, but it doesn't make any difference to what we do, although...I couldn't see my pedals with the crazy lights. If it's a big place or a small place—the challenges are the same. We were actually supposed to have two concerts, but then we decided on the bigger place.
JG: In terms of the gear that you were using for the show last night, I know that you've been recently using Maton guitars. Can you talk to us a little bit about when you started using this brand and why it's particularly special to you?
AF: First of all, I liked the shape. It's small and light and good for travel. Plus, it was pretty cheap. I bought it in Australia.
JG: Do you find that it's got songs in it?
AF: Oh yeah!
JG: Do you get sentimental over gear? Any vintage instruments that you play that can be a good outlet for your creativity?
AF: I do like vintage. Older instruments are usually more interesting from the sound point of view. I think the wood resonates more with you. If you buy a new guitar tomorrow and you play it for 20 years, maybe it will sound good. Maybe not, though. I'll buy one and see you in 20.
JG: Let's see.,.
AF: Of course, maybe, maybe not. I don't know if they make them the same way now.
JG: For amplifiers, you've been using a combination of Orange and Hi-Watt heads to significant effect. How did you come to blends of tones?
AF: Well, it was quite cheap.
JG: So there's a couple of things you've mentioned there—and by the way, I wouldn't associate Maton, Orange or Hi-Watt with low cost—but not going overboard with high-end gear seems to be a big part of the motivation for your rig. Is that something that's always been important to you?
AF: I like things that are not so expensive. We were using cheap instruments in school, and it still sounded fine. Plus, I don't want a beautiful car, and then you are always just worrying about crushing it against the wall. In the past, I paid a lot of attention to the kinds of gear I had. Not so much today.
JG: You create such a large sonic wall of sound on your records—you've been doing that for years. What's something you've added to your collection that's helped shape the sound of the new album?
AF: It's just one new thing, really. An Octavia-type pedal called EarthQuaker Devices Bit Commander. It's very noisy.
JG: The new album 'Volevo Magia' is fantastic and, in many ways, an evolution of the band in terms of songwriting and production. Do you ever feel the pressure to deliver to fan expectations when creating new material?
AF: No, we never feel obliged. And in any case, there will always be fans who will complain no matter what we do next. Our goal is to never make the same record. We are free, and we do what we like—and it has worked so far.
JG: Do you remember the first piece of music that you heard that moved you emotionally?
AF: "Smells Like Teen Spirit." We actually heard a parody version of it first, but it was so good my brother and I tracked down the original. Straight home from school, we'd turn on the television and listen again and again, jumping around the room.
JG: Do you find that you're looking at other sources for inspiration these days? Like, for instance, other art like films or paintings?
AF: Yeah, sure. I take inspiration from paintings and also from movies— sometimes, you just move things around, and that can be enough for an idea.
JG: We're coming up quite close to the 25th anniversary of the debut record, which is probably quite hard to believe. Reflecting on the creation of the debut self-titled record and the reaction after it was released. What are some of your memories of that time?
AF: We didn't want to be so successful so fast. I was really angry at the time. Some things didn't happen how we'd have liked.
JG: I know that looking forward is more important to you than reliving past glories. With that in mind, are there already plans for more new material from Verdena?
AF: I'd like us to drop a new album, but we can see what happens.
JG: You will be returning to London for a show at Shepard's Bush in April. How have you enjoyed performing in the UK over the years? How do UK audiences compare for you energy-wise against playing elsewhere in Europe?
AF: The energy you have in the UK is similar to Italy I'd say, but in particular, the fans are very passionate and loud—and for this, I like them.
1. Chaise Longue
2. Paul e Linda
4. Certi Magazine
5. Crystal Ball
7. Sui Ghiacciai
8. Volevo Magia
9. Cielo Super Acceso
10. X Sempre Assente
12. Sino a Notte (D.I.)
13. Nei Rami
2023 UK/EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
Sat 22nd Apr Ljubljana Kino Siska
Mon 24th Apr Munich, Backstage
Tue 25th Apr Berlin, Hole
Wed 26th Apr Cologne, MTC (300)
Thu 27th Apr Bruxelles La Madeleine
Sat 29th Apr London, Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Sun 30th Apr Paris, La Maroquinerie
Mon 1st May Zurich, Papiersaal
For more information on Verdena and ticket links for the upcoming shows, please head to