One in a series of mini interviews with artists performing at I'll Be Your Mirror USA in New York City this September. Tickets for the event running September 21-23rd at Pier 36, Manhattan are on sale now. Afterhours play Saturday 22nd at the request of Greg Dulli (The Afghan Whigs) - their set is early starting at 1pm so make sure to get there in good time!
Name Of Band: Afterhours
Year Formed: 1985
Bio: Afterhours are THE seminal Italian alternative rock band. After turning down an international deal with Interscope at the outset of their career, they set about building the infrastructure for an alternative rock scene in Italy. Much like their American indie counterparts, they booked themselves into now defunct clubs (Helter Skelter), put out DIY releases through an indie store/label (VoxPop), and even self-funded a showcase jaunt to NYC's bygone New Music Seminar, all the while trying to keep together a lo-fi scene of like-minded musicians, writers and artists in a fast paced high-fashion metropolis. Nowadays they've become a national institution, headlining the large concert halls, sharing festival bills with the likes of Patti Smith and R.E.M., making one-off deals with the major record labels as they please but still striving to support up and coming talents in their homeland.
Afterhours has also won the respect of their peers around the world. Their album I Milanesi Ammazzano il Sabato (2008) was co-produced by PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish and features guest performances by Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers) among others. Other guests are Parish, Stef Kamil Carlens (Deus, Zita Swoon) and Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes). Lead singer Manuel Agnelli and Afterhours' creative collaboration with American cult rocker Greg Dulli began when the Twilight Singers joined Afterhours to co-headline an Italian tour in 2004 - the genesis of a relationship which has seen the two bands contribute repeatedly to each others' work. Dulli went on to produce and co-write several of the songs on Afterhours' 2005 release Ballate per piccole iene ("Ballads for Little Hyenas), an English language version of which was released in 2006 by One Little Indian in the US and UK. Agnelli, in turn co-wrote several songs for the Twilight Singer's Powder Burns.
Afterhours shared the stage with the Twilight Singers for a North American tour in 2006, the most extensive by an Italian rock band and have returned to tour the U.S. every year since then. Spin Magazine has put Afterhours in the list of "The 100 Greatest Bands You've Never Heard Of". Afterhours have released their latest, entirely self-produced album Padania in April 2012.
What are the most recent activities of your band?
A 2010 Shanghai appearance as representatives for Italy during the World Expo at the "Mao Live House", a 2011 U.S. Tour on Route 66, performing slam poetry at the "Green Mill" in Chicago and radical improvisation at the Flaming Lips "Womb Gallery" in Oklahoma City and final show at the Echoplex in L.A. There has been a new album named "Padania" out this year and an Italian summer tour.
How do you feel about being picked to play and how excited are you about playing the event?
Greg is definitely one of the coolest men on the planet. No wait, he's actually the coolest. Can't wait to be part of something so new and exciting and feel part of a family at the same time.
Are there any other currently confirmed bands you are excited about seeing?
Quintron and Miss Pussycat
The Afghan Whigs
What else will be be doing whilst you are in New York for this event?
Visit a few friends of ours in town and see as many acts as we can at the festival.
What's your most memorable NY show (if you've played one)?
Irving Plaza 2006, opening for the Twilight Singers.
If you were curating name three bands you would pick to play your event:
Damo Suzuki (Japan)
What record are you currently listening to more than others?
Mark Lanegan Bands's "Blues Funeral"
If you could pick one of your records for ATP fans to listen to, which would you chose?
Padania (2012) - listen via Soundcloud