“La Menade” an Italian – all girls – band formed in Rome, Italy in the year 2000, the band started from the zero point playing in clubs around Rome, and now they have reached the fame, playing their own amazing music, they are an idol that everyone should see, know, and listen to their music! Rock Era made an exclusive interview with “Tatiana” the guitarist and the vocalist of “La Menade”.
How did the band start? And who founded it?
La Menade started in Rome the October 2000 from Tanya’s (Keyboards) and mine (Tatiana – Vocals and Guitars) idea to create our own music project after a few experiences in different bands.
At first, we spent our time searching the right persons, someone to share our passion for music with and after a few shots, we found Lucia (Drums) thanks to a common friend.
At that time, La Menade was a five members’ line-up, including Serena, the first singer, and another bassist, also named Cristina.
Very soon Cristina left the band and Lucia suggested the band to pick her sister, Cristina: from the first time we played together we knew she was perfect, so the new line-up was completed!
The band began playing in many clubs all around Rome, writing original songs, recording a couple of demos and cooperating with Radio Rock (an important rock radio station in Rome) increasing audience and enthusiastic feedbacks about our music.
After three years during which La Menade also engaged two important television broadcasts, “Help” and “i -Tim Tour” and reached the playoff in the musical contest “Rock Targato Italia”, Serena left the band and we decided me (already guitarist and author of many of our songs) to take her place: that was the birth of La Menade as it’s now
How did you choose the name “La Menade” and why?
We chose to name our band “La Menade” just as a declaration of intent: in the ancient Greece, Menadi were priestesses of the most rule-breaking and revolutionary cult in those days. Dioniso, god of wine and inebriation, was celebrated through wild dances and furious rituals where music became the way to ravish and join one’s own innermost and hidden side.
La Menade certainly represents one of the history’s strongest and intense feminine figures, but it’s not enough. Baccanti were a women’s party dropout and hated from the constituted authority and they were also dreaded by society. Our choice to take inspiration from them has also a politic meaning, in a way.
We can say that the purpose of our project is to leave behind the old cliché considering rock world as a place exclusively ruled by men, which reserves to women only walk-on parts. Besides, the social marginalization Baccanti put up with, become a taking office symbol: supporting losers, defeated, weaks and victims, who’s crippled by the “demonic face of authority” but still keep trusting in social redemption.
What genre of music exactly do you play, and why did you choose this genre?
Actually, we never cared about choosing a music genre to follow closely.
We’ve just tried to find the right way to express our feelings, creating a music which is a mixture of our own different and various influences and backgrounds. The result appears to be the play between contrapositions and contrasts: the attention for the melody meets with a powerful rock and texts poetry.
I do really don’t know exactly what kind of genre is, but maybe we can say it’s a modern crossover minded with a marked personality.
What was your aim when you established the band?
The idea was to create a project expressing rage and power, but also femininity and charming in a world (the musical one) ruled by men since the beginning. We’ve always tried to wreck any stereotypes about female bands just because what we really wanted from the beginning was leading people to think La Menade as a band rather than a female band. We do never wanted our femininity to be something more important than our being four musicians!
were you planning to make it an “only girls” band or did it come by accident?
We started looking for musicians without thinking about sex! After a few shots we find ourselves more comfortable with other girls, so that we decided to set up a female band.
Did you have any problems or troubles as you are an “only girls” band?
Mainly at the beginning, we had to face prejudices of people thinking that four girls couldn’t stand performing as men. So many came to our first shows betting we wouldn’t be able to afford playing or writing good music, thinking girls are only interested on trivial matters such as showing off, hairstyles and stuff like that!
That was just because no one really expected us to play so hard and passionately!
I suppose the problem is always judging a book by its cover so that a woman usually needs to engage a struggle to prove her talent and skills.
It sounds quite tiresome and not fair at all!
What was your feeling when you all went on the stage for the very first time?
Well, I remember that gig very well! It was the first time ever we all played together on stage and Cristina was in the band since a few days! She had a short time to practice our set list so we decided that she would join us on stage only for the last four songs. When she came up and we started “For whom the bell tolls” (a Metallica’s song cover version) we all felt perfectly united just like we’ve been played together since a long time!
I guess people felt that way too! The truth of the matter is that everybody soon appreciated and started to love the new band’s member!
What is your dream performance?
I guess the only dream we’re keeping intact from the beginning is to play our music as long as we’ll have this passion alive.
Of course, it would be great for us to perform with any of the bands we love the most, playing in front of an enormous audience in a huge place…but I guess this is a common dream for every rock band!
Describe the relationship among the band members, and how is it going so far?
During these years we’ve learned the way to accept our tempers with all our qualities and faults and I think we’ve developed a kind of brotherhood between us four.
This mean that we love ourselves so much but often we act just like brothers who quarrel and argue about anything!
Our families know each other and often we use to spend our spare time together…we love to say “just as an extended family”!
Do you think you have reached your aim?
Well, I think that people know who we really are. I guess we broke those prejudices I told you before because we’ve always tried to focus our activity on music and performing live, so that everyone could see our skills and decide to appreciate them or not.
The matter is that right now, many people no longer think about us as an ordinary female band and I find this is quite positive!
How do you see the future of “La Menade”?
I can’t see there so far!
What are your plans for the future?
Over the last few months, after the release of our last album, “Male di Luna”, we took a break just to reorganize our ideas about our future. Now we’re finally planning a great gig for our fans and supporters which will take place in October in our city, Rome.
What would you like to say to the audience and to your fans out there?
I would like to say that every band needs love and perseverance to keep on going but most of all it needs fans and people who appreciate.
We’re so proud of our fans and it’s so amazing for us thinking about you all in Cairo!!
We need your love and support and we hope to give you some good new music as soon as possible!