The Actions are a London based alternative rock band influenced by Trip Hop, Dark Wave and Psychedelia. Founded by Silty (Marta Argenio) and Mo Stellato The Actions played hundreds of gigs in Europe including MTV On Stage, the Arezzo Wave Festival, the Heineken Jammin' Festival, opening for R.E.M., GREEN DAY, GARBAGE, DISTILLERS, I AM KLOOT, AFTERHOURS, ALMAMEGRETTA. We caught up with Mo at an eat all you can vegan salad bar in Greville Street one lunchtime, whilst we were waiting to be served, we chatted about broken guitar strings, R.E.M. and Kronenbourg 1664, here's how we got on....
Please introduce the band and your music in one sentence....
Alt Rock fuelled with Trip Hop, Dark Wave and Psychedelia
You’re called ‘The Actions’ how did you come about choosing this name?
We were called Melon Rouge in the beginning, our ex manager convinced us to change band name as our music was too strong to have a sweet-flowery name like that. Among thousand names we chose The Actions, simple and strong at the same time.
Your latest single ‘The Echo’ has been getting air play by DJ Tom Robinson, what is it you love about this track and have you met the man?
We love our track because of its cross-breeding style. James Robins at Fresh On The Net describes the song pretty well: “Fusing elements of electronica, post rock and psychedelia, The Echo is like being stretched out over a musical event horizon, as you’re propelled from one sonic dimension to another…”. We haven’t had the pleasure to meet Tom yet.
Have you had any ‘Spinal Tap’ Moments? If yes, please share!
There have been quite a few over the years. Once I was in the middle of a guitar solo, all the people in the club were looking at me and I broke two strings at the same time. I thought I was fucked, suddenly I remembered an old Iron Maiden’s concert and I started whipping the strings with my instrument cable instead of playing real notes…crowd went mad! So I’d recommend guitarists out there to never use wireless systems. An old-fashioned cable could be a good pal sometimes!
You have opened for the likes of REM, how did this come about and what was the experience like?
It was in Italy at Heineken Jammin’ Festival. There was a main stage slot for emerging bands. We’ve been chosen among 1450 bands. We did an audition and we got the slot. It’s one of the best things I remember in my music career so far. The stage and the sound were amazing. Silty said just a couple of words in the mic and crowd exploded like they’ve been waiting for us even if they didn’t know who damn we were!
Where did you record your ‘Indefensible’ EP and what made you choose that studio?
We produced it at Bohemien Studio. It’s our mobile recording studio. Drums were recorded at Flex Recording Studio (Italy) .We recorded the EP between Italy, Netherlands and UK, than we sent the mixes to Pete Maher in London for mastering. We usually produce our music in our facilities cause we need plenty of time to work on new ideas and pro studios are still very expensive.
You have played at legendary venues such as the Cavern club in Liverpool, how was the experience and up to now what has been your favourite gig to play?
No doubt, it’s been a great experience. We shared that monumental stage with such great bands! Well, we played hundreds of gigs, sometimes in stadiums in front of big audiences and most of the times in smaller clubs. We consider every gig a favourite one as every time the show is different and we get the chance to challenge ourselves again.
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released and why?
Apart from classic records from Pink Floyd, The Doors, The Stones, The Beatles, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Cure…? Well there are a few: Nine Inch Nails’ “The Fragile”, Jeff Buckley’s “Grace”, Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine”, Radiohead’s “Ok Computer”.
Tell me a fascinating fact about your band members?
Silty is the best driver I’ve ever met in my life. Tore holds his booze quite well.
Do you own a record that you wouldn’t like to admit you have?
Not really, love all of them, even the cheesy ones
Who designed the artwork for you Indefensible EP?
The image on the cover is a photo called “Nests” by Adriano Argenio. We think it’s a beautiful pic and it matches perfectly the title of the EP. Nest is a place where you can feel totally indefensible when big mama is out hunting!
Is there something you would like to tell each of the band members that you haven’t told them before?
Nothing left to say, we’ve talked to each other too much
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
Crosstown Traffic, because my head spins incessantly every f*ckin’ time a play that record
First gig you ever went to?
I was a little kid and I went to my hometown battle of the bands. I’ve been totally struck by the sound of distorted guitar and I figured out I wanted to be there on stage playing that magic instrument. I decided to stop my piano lessons and I discovered a brand new world.
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as dinner party guests?
Trent Reznor, Roger Waters, Jeff Buckley.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
Recently we played The Macbeth in Hoxton, London. I really liked the set of a band called Chroma.
Who would you like to know has your music on their iPod, MP3 or cassette walkman?
Well, no one in particular. Just normal people walking down the street.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) Star Trek (1966)
What are your plans for what remains of 2014?
We’re planning to release officially our single “The Echo” with some cool remix and a good video, then release the album that we’re finalizing right now in Amsterdam.
Mo was taking his time deciding on whether to go for a stuffed vine leaf or a selection of olives, whilst he was making his mind up, we threw in a few quick fire questions for him to chew on....
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Coke or Pepsi? Kronenbourg 1664
Live show or Recording Studio? Live show, definitely.
Drum machine or the real deal? Real deal playing like a drum machine
Mac or PC? Mac
Fry up or Sunday roast? Pasta alla Siciliana
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)? Ozzy \m/
CD or Vinyl? Vinyl, just bought a new Numark TT
Car or Motorbike? My car is my real house!
Acoustic or electric? Electric
Shower or Bath? Not enough time for bath at the mo
Tattoos or Piercings? Love both, got none of them
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino? Hard choice! De Niro
God or Google? Someone would say they’re the same thing nowadays!
FORTHCOMING LIVE SHOWS
09/08/2014 - SURYA - 156 Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, N1 9JL, London, UK
20/09/2014 - O2 ISLINGTON ACADEMY 2 - N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield Street, Islington, N1 0PS, London, UK
23/10/2014 – THE GOOD SHIP – 289 Kilburn High Road, NW6 7JR, London, UK
We would like to thank Mo for taking time out of his busy day to answer our questions and we wish them every success with their forthcoming live London shows, if you;re in the area and free for the night, get yourself down there....