This week we’re introducing female fronted rock trio atWood formed in 2017 and hailing from Milan, they’re one that not many of you guys are too likely to have come across. Following the release of their first video “Black Mirror” in 2019 they’re here to talk to RMW about writing in English, the Italian scene and more.
So, what’s it like writing songs in a second language? Do you think it makes the process much more difficult? Or maybe helps with avoiding tropes?
We’re lucky because our singer is a translator, which has definitely helped the writing process. Writing in a language other than your mothertongue is difficult, no doubt about that – English looks like an easy language, but it’s not. At the moment it’s is the only language allowing music to be international and to touch as many people as possible, so we went for it. When you know your lyrics will be accessible to many people from different countries, you suddenly realize how important it is to pay extreme attention to the content of your songs. It’s pleasantly challenging, since a different language provides a different perspective.
What’s the scene like in Italy?
Currently, the scene’s not very lively. There are a lot of great bands, but it’s quite hard to find venues to play in, especially for up and coming bands. We’re optimistic, though.
How did you guys get together as a group?
Our journey began officially in September 2017, when Alice joined the band. Daniele and Alessio, guitar and bass respectively, had been friends since high school. We started by playing reimagined covers, in sort of a “punk goes pop” vibe, but then decided that we wanted to write our own stuff. Hence, our EP “at odds”.
Where did the name atWood come from, my assumption is the author?
Well, we must admit that we didn’t actively “look for” our name. One day the guitar player came up with “atWood”. It could surely have many fancy meanings, but what if we said “The OC”? We loved it as soon as he suggested it, since it’s fresh for a band our genre, so we chose it (our singer loves Margaret Atwood, but she was not our main inspiration, as far as the name goes.)
What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened whilst on tour/at a show?
After one of our live shows, this guy came to us asking if our name had anything to do with actual woods and trees, as he thought it meant something like “going into the woods”. We burst out laughing because we had never thought of that particular interpretation.
What’s next for the band? Any upcoming tours/releases?
We’re working on our second EP and on releasing a cover shortly. We’re also looking to play as many live shows as possible to promote our music. Our main goal is to arrange some shows in Europe over next year.
Out of the current touring artists in Italy are there anyone you guys would recommend or really like to play with?
Halflives for sure. They’re a great inspiration for us, because they worked hard to get where they are.
For someone who’s never heard atWood before, which of your tracks would sum up the band best?
We all have our favorite song, but we agree on Black Mirror, because we believe it to be the feather in our cap: it’s soft, but it’s also heavy, deep but also strong and energetic.
What’s the writing process like for you guys? Collaborative, one or two guys do most of the work?
We do not write from scratch. Usually we work mainly on Daniele’s ideas. We analyze them, team up to develop them and try to build consistent music, which takes quite a long time to perfect (we practice 7-10 hours/week). Lyrics are the last item we work on, because we believethey must be assessed carefully.
Who has the most embarrassing “guilty pleasure” song?
Dan: Cold water by Justin Bieber
Alice: Single ladies by Beyoncé
Alessio: Tri Poloski. (winner)
Personally, I’m not sure I could’ve assigned a most embaressing there, but either way, great talking with you guys and best of luck.