Let Me In are a promising pop punk back from Italy. On the heels of 2011’s Penthar Music release The Bag, Scene Point Blank reached out to talk to singer/guitarist Nicola about their influences, the difference between singing in Italian and English, and what went into making the record, which can be downloaded here.
Scene Point Blank: List the band members and instruments each of you play.
Nicola: [I am] the main singer and the lame guitarist. Teo is the drummer. Ste is the good guitarist and the lame second voice. Temma plays bass and, luckily, he does not sing.
Scene Point Blank: I have been listening to your new album The Bag and it is a great mix of power pop and punk. What bands do you list as your influences, what music drove you as a youth?
Nicola: Wow, thank you for your kind words. Punk music and punk attitude have always been fundamental to us. Punk is where we come from. We love original punk, mainly The Ramones and The Clash. The melodic Epitaph punk of the 90s (No Use For A Name, NOFX, Rancid, Lagwagon, and so on), pop punk (Yellowcard, The Ataris, Wonder Years, etc.) and also the emotional side of it (The Get Up Kids, early Taking Back Sunday, Further Seems Forever just to name a few). We also listen to a lot of other stuff too. Nicola likes Goth rock and Belle & Sebastian; Temma enjoys Kraftwerk and 80s Italian hardcore bands such as Negazione and Declino; and Ste loves Prodigy, Chemical Brothers and electro stuff. Teo likes Linkin Park because he has a bad taste in music.
Scene Point Blank: Any touring plans for the US yet to support the album, or is this a “wait and see” type of thing?
Nicola: It would be a dream for us to come and play in the US, but the reality is that we're having problems in booking gigs even here in Italy. We toured Italy, Austria, France and Slovenia before, organizing everything by ourselves. It was a mess, but also one of the best experiences in our lives. If you know someone who can help us touring the US, well, tell him to write us. He will be more than welcome!
Scene Point Blank: You drop a few familiar names in some of your songs, such as Cobain in “Swallowtail Butterfly” and Morrisey and Robert Smith in “The Greatest Song Ever.” Any fears that Robert will be a bit pissed at you (although I do agree with your assessment)?
Nicola: [Laughs.] Nicola likes The Cure a lot, so naming him in a song is something like a warm tribute. Furthermore, (unluckily) he'll never know about it. And, even if he knows, he cannot deny he’s old and fat.
Scene Point Blank: In the title track “The Bag” you seem to be talking to someone who works for an airline, was there a lost chance at love during a trip that prompted this song, or is this song a continuation of the airport theme in “Just Beyond Reach”?
Nicola: Yeah, the song refers to an imaginary lost chance at love in an airport. It's not taken from a personal fact, it's pure fiction. Nicola writes short novels all the time, so it's natural for him putting imaginary stories in the lyrics. We did not notice the continuation of the airport theme between the two songs you name. Thank you for pointing it out.
Scene Point Blank: I must admit when I first saw you were an Italian pop punk band I was curious. Then I listened to the song “Amare Serate Amare” (the last one on the album) the lyrics were in Italian and I was a little uncertain if I could get through the entire album. The good news was, while I didn’t understand it lyrically, it was a full-blown rocker. Why did you choose to record that one in your native language?
Nicola: For a short period of time we had a little Italian record label. They wanted us to sing in Italian, so we gave it a shot. The result is "Amare Serate Amare". We like it, but we also realized that we're made for singing in English. That's what we like the most. You can listen to the English version of "Amare Serate Amare." The song is called "Swallowtail Butterfly" and it's the track number 7 of our album.
Scene Point Blank: I am a bit curious on how you arrived at the band name, something that always interests me. Is there a funny story behind it or was it something that came about organically?
Nicola: Well, we took our name from REM's album Monster. The track number 10 is called "Let Me In." It's a touchy, distorted ballad. Michael Stipe dedicated it to the memory of Kurt Cobain. He also played it with Cobain's guitar. It sounded like a good name for a band. It was 2004, way before the vampire movie.
Scene Point Blank: I notice as well that you have a pretty good presence in the social media outlets with a tumblr blog and a Facebook bandpage. What role do you think outlets such as those will play in the future of the music and music distribution?
Nicola: Those channels are fundamental because, as everybody knows, the music industry is very different from what it used to be. But every band has a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, and Twitter and Tumblr and so on. They have it even if they don’t have songs and that’s quite funny. So, in our humble opinion, the first thing to do is the same as always: trying to make some good, honest music.
Scene Point Blank: I love the album art. Did someone in the band do it or was it by an artist you know?
Nicola: Ste, our guitarist, took care of it. Strangely, it turned out just fine. We're all surprised.
Scene Point Blank: There are references in some of your songs to The Bomb. Is it a prediction or are you just having fun?
Nicola: Well, that's a double reference. In “Just Beyond Reach,” we quote Kubrick and his movie Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. We also quote the song "Ask" by The Smiths. In this song Morrissey sings "If it's not love/ Then it's the Bomb/ That will bring us together." It fits great in the mood of the song. We love (hidden) references.