A conversation with Leatherette: unpretentious italian post-punk

By Susanna Borio

As we entered the Shacklewell Arms in East London, Italian “post-punk” band, Leatherette was preparing for their show by taking up two tables at the far end of the pub and drinking beer.

We sat down and all five of the band members band immediately started scattering. Going out for cigarettes, and bringing more beers to the table. After some time, and some small talk in Italian, they finally all gathered around table.

Shuffling and pushing each other down the booth to fit better, we managed to start. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. They excitedly began to talk over each other between sips of beer.

The following interview has been translated from Italian into english .

The Curve: Let’s start with the meaning behind your name, where does it come from?

Marco Jespersen, bassist: We found it by obsessively listening to a song by The Normal, an English artist, called ‘Warm Leatherette’. We simply liked the track and from listening to it over and over again we decided that Leatherette would be a cool name. After that we decided to find our own meaning. The literal meaning is fake leather, so we decided that for us it meant a general ability to get by with the cheaper things in life.

The next record will be clearly pop, just like Harry Styles!


TC: How long have you played together and what type of music can people expect from you?

Jacopo Finelli, saxophonist: So initially it was the three of them: Michele Battaglioli (lead singer, guitarist), Marco Jespersen and Francesco Bonora (drummer) and then I joined, they found me online on the same site they met called Villaggio Musicale. Me and Andrea Gerardi (guitarist) already knew each other because we used to play in a different band together, so he joined the band. We started playing in 2019 all five together.

Marco: Yeah, 2019 right before the pandemic hit.

TC: the best time to start a band!

Jacopo: With the type of music we play, it depends. At the start it was more indie-rock then we took a more punk or post-punk turn, whatever that means. We also like New Wave music. But now we want to be pop stars.

Andrea: Oh yeah, the next record will be clearly pop, just like Harry Styles! We should be like Oasis! Do we all agree?

Jacopo: We do not!

TC: Do you remember the moment you realised you wanted to make music?

Andrea: Like personally?

TC: Oh yeah, I mean the one with the most interesting story!

Andrea: I always played. I used to play the violin as a kid, I got closer to punk because I got sick of playing classical music. But I’ve always known that I wanted to play music. Then I grew older and found this tribe.

Jacopo: I discovered I liked music for the first time in my life when I listened to music with headphones on. It was Just Dance by Lady Gaga. I listened to it, and I was like ‘Wow, this is so cool’! [*Sarcasm detected]

Andrea: Are you serious?

Jacopo: Yeah it was the first song I listened to with headphones on, the basses and stuff. At one point I wanted to play the bass but it never happened.

TC: We can say Lady Gaga is your biggest inspiration then?

Jacopo: Yeah, I mean, I don’t actually listen to her but it was a song transferred to my phone through Bluetooth in middle school but yeah, sure!

I think that was the first big concert we did in Milan, it was a bit like losing our collective virginity.


TC: What’s the best show you’ve ever played?

Andrea: Probably the Supersonic Club in Paris! Wait from this tour or in general?

TC: Just in general!

Marco: I really liked when we played a festival in Ravenna called Beaches Brew. It’s a beach festival and it has really good vibes. A lot of people and I thought it was really cool.

Andrea: I think MIAMI last year was one of the best, it’s an Italian festival at the seaplane base in Milan. We were the last band playing and we thought everyone would’ve left at that point as there were a lot of big names but as we were going out people stopped and we played in front of this huge crowd. I think that was the first big concert we did. It was a bit like losing our collective virginity.

Collectivly groaning in disapproval.

TC: What inspired you to write your latest album FIESTA?

Marco: Simply the fact that we are generally a productive band, we constantly send each other audios of new tracks, and we do that all the time. At some point we had to put them somewhere so that people could listen to them.

Jacopo: It was also songs that we had been playing for years and they had a thread connecting their sound. There was a coherence of sound and with the period that we wrote them. They stayed hidden for a while because of Covid but when we managed to record them we found a sound that worked.

The concept FIESTA comes from the Hemingway book Fiesta and the imagery of the bullfighting he portrays. We were fascinated by it both on a visual level, ichnographically, and we also interpreted it as a metaphor about doing music. The juxtaposition of the joy and the violence of punk music and seeing people having to be careful to not break any bones which we thought was a good mix.

TC: What do you want the English public to know about you that they might not know?

Jacopo: £2.50 for a coffee is way too much!

A couple of hours after the interview, the show began in a tiny room behind the pub. Eclectic is one word that can be used to describe the way Leatherette play music. It’s to be expected from a ‘post-punk’ band with a saxophonist in the mix, they play passionately and with a good amount of vigour.

The crowd consisted of a questionable number of young girls. Possibly due to the close proximity of the show to their university halls, or maybe because the band look like they just came out of an indie girls’ dream journal.

Either way, they seemed to be loving the show.

By the end of the show, my ears were slightly ringing and my eyes struggled to adjust back to the non-fluorescent lights bouncing off the disco ball in the room. Exactly what you would expect from a show like this.

Afterwards they went right back were I initially found them. In the back of the pub. With a couple of beers and smoking probably way too much.

You can listen to their latest album Fiesta on Spotify and follow their journey on social media.

Featured image credit: @cacaoprod

More pieces like this:

Leatherette-the Italian band that’s breaking the post-punk mould

IMMERSE concert review: pop-punk meets heavy metal

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