RYE: First of all introduce yourself and what band you are in for people who don't already know
Gianluca: Hi, my name is Gianluca and I play in Set Me Free with my friends Dan (vocals), Gabriele (guitar) and Stizzo (drums).
We are from Milan, Italy, and we play an old school Hardcore influenced by bands like Youth of Today, Chain of Strength and Wide Awake.
The band started in 2009, we published under Youth Crew Records our first EP called Only One Flag (with our first singer Francesco), and now after more than one year we're out again with two new releases: a split 7" w/ Motivation (Honest for Truth Records) and Walkin' The Line EP under Open Up Records from Belgium. In these years we shared the stage with local bands, and also some international bands like Gorilla Biscuits, CIV, Supertouch, Truth Inside, Currahee, Risk It and many more.
RYE: How was the recording process on the new EP Walkin' The Line?
Gianluca: We started writing new stuff from the beginning of 2011, while Dan was learning the old songs. In April about 8 tracks were ready, so we went to Cellar Door Station, to record them. The songs were quite easy, and we finished everything in the afternoon, so we wrote and recorded other two songs for a total of 10. Dan took the summer for the lyrics and in September of last year we came back to finish the work. 6 of them are in Walkin' The Line and the other 4 in the Split.
The recording process went well also thanks to our friend Gianluca Amendolara of Cellar Door, he's really full of experience.
RYE: Have you guys been on any tours or played any memorable shows recently?
Gianluca: No tours for the moment, but we hope to play around Europe as soon as possible. We have to find a good moment for everyone of us, specially because our drummer became father last year and he's always busy with work (he's a tattoo artist). One of the most memorable show for me was a "last minute" show in March with Truth Inside from Florida and Currahee from Manchester ... a bunch of crazy guys! And of course the one with Gorilla Biscuits, they are awesome and people were singing and jumping everywhere with them.
RYE: Seeing as we were just talking about shows and how the majority of people who visit my blog are from the US, how is the hardcore scene over in Italy?
Gianluca: That's really hard to explain! Every city is different from each other: Milano is full of bands, from metalcore to crust punk, even if we're not so united among ourselves. In other cities like Trento there are less shows and venues than here, but when I played there with Upward (my other band) there were twice more people than here. By the way, today there are lot of cool bands all around Italy: Traces of You, Strength Approach, Jungle Fever, La Crisi, La Quiete and much more, even if there's not a big Straight Edge scene anymore.
RYE: So, more about your music. What is the general lyrical matter about? Obviously a bit is about straight edge seeing that you guys are a youth crew band.
Well, all the lyrics are written by our singer, so he probably can tell you more about it. We decided to not focus ourselves only on the same stuff, you know, straight edge, drug free etc even if we're all edge. I think his goal was to make an overview of everything around us, from "the scene" matter, to what's under the eyes of everyone.
RYE: How did Set Me Free start up? What made you guys want to do the kind of music you guys play?
Gianluca: I started this band with a couple of friends when my old band broke up. When the project became more serious Stizzo and Gabriele joined me and our old singer. Even if he left the band we decided to continue with Set Me Free cause we were sure that this band had something more to say. I always wanted to play (and always played) old school because it's my favorite kind of music, and I think that Italy need more old school / youth crew bands. Our drummer started playing more than 10 years ago and same our singer... they have Hardcore in their veins!
RYE: Do any of you guys have other projects? I saw you earlier said you were in a band called Upward.
Gianluca: Yes, I play the bass in another Youth Crew band called Upward. We just released our first 5 songs cassette EP titled Pushed Aside and promoted it with a small tour in Germany.
Our guitarist started playing from a couple of months in Point Break, a melodic Hardcore band for fans of Bad Religion and Good Riddance. They recorded some demo songs a few weeks ago!
RYE: Where can people who like the music get ahold of your guys music/side projects?
Gianluca: We have a facebook page and a blog updated by me. We're also on Bandcamp with all our releases.
RYE: Any releases that you're looking forward to this year or have enjoyed this year and would recommend?
Gianluca: I ordered yesterday The Boston Strangler LP, and I'd like to get The Rival Mob - Mob Justice tape ... rad! I also can't wait to listen more stuff from Giant (Oslo), their demo was great.
RYE: What is lying ahead in the future for Set Me Free?
Gianluca: As I told you, I really hope to play around Europe before the end of this year. We're probably going to play with Strife when they'll start their european tour (the show in july was cancelled). We already started writing new stuff cause we really can't stop working, and I think it would be awesome to find a label for the future!
RYE: Any last comments?
Gianluca: Thanks a million for this interview and for the support! Good luck with your blog :)
Download their newest EP Walkin The Line here for free!
Also, this was my first interview ever.