Italianz are the Melbourne duo of Ben Taylor and Rob Curulli. Taylor has done time in Chrome Dome and Young Romantix, Curulli in Pselodu and the Casuist. Both have done time in venues watching serious but shitty bands get shittier on stage. Italianz is a reaction to this. An umbrella for the music that the pair has produced over the last six years catching up on weekends to record for various projects that include 'Bordel Militaire', Cluster type Kraut jams and material not suited for their more ambient almost neo folk outfit Our Lady Juliana.
After a couple of cassettes, the pair are set to release a new 120-minute tape Forthright Delicatessen that sees further exploration of fun, noise and weirdness.
We caught up Ben to talk cassettes and how he hates certain parts of Far North Queensland.
Noisey: You’re originally from Ingham. Isn’t half the town Italian?
Ben Taylor: Yeah, I’m from Ingham, North Queensland and yes it's pretty Italian. I grew up celebrating Carnevale way more than Australia Day or the Queens Birthday. I remember running up and down the main street dressed in little red tights as Punchinello.
Is Ingham ready for Italianz?
Haha, I was up there two weeks ago for the Australian Italian Festival http://www.australianitalianfestival.com.au/ and well, I don't think so! But we'd go regardless, I'd love to do a school lunchtime gig. My school song used to be the theme to Sons and Daughters television series I'd love to cover that.
So Ingham inspired the band name?
I'd really like to say it's where we got our name from and maybe it is in very broad sense due to my 'cultural' upbringing but no, Rob mentioned it offhandedly one day and we killed ourselves laughing and that was it.
Rob and I are pretty out of control types and need to be free from limitations. So many bands are trying desperately to be something they're not. When I first met Rob, he was playing in the wanky breakcore scene and they'd want him to play breakcore so he'd instead do an ambient set rather then the same old shit the other three bands on the bill were doing.
You have a track “The Suspicious People of Townsville”. Are they?
I wrote that song last week and yes they are very suspicious. I spent a few years there in my early teens and I fucking hate that city. I was there again recently and it’s a horrible place. Bob Katter was on the plane and when we landed that homophobic fuckhead put on his akubra and stood shaking everyone on the last two thirds of the plane’s hand. I wanted to spit in my hand but just kind of licked it cause I chickened out but he never even acknowledged me when it came to me!!
The people in Townsville stare and are scared of everyone and in turn are pretty scary themselves. I always thought when I lived there that it was just because I was like this young, scruffy homeless street kid idiot. But they are still exactly the same 20 years later. Fuck them. Cunts. Not all of em, but most eh?
What is the best thing about Forthright Delicatessen?
It's 120-minutes of material that rolls together nicely and is never meant to be rewound or fast-forwarded. We're from the cassette generation. We never looked at track listings but just did two long album dubs onto 90 minute Teacs. Chuck them on and press play. That’s the beauty of cassettes.