Electronic Indie Rock band New Diplomat manages a sound that is both fresh and familiar. Hailing from all over the world (US, Italy and Uruguay) and uniting in San Francisco, CA. The debut “Buy Yourself Some Freedom” has already landed them sold out shows, festival appearances such as Noise Pop 2012, SXSW 2012 and BFD 2012 as well as a single produced by Dan the Automator (Gorillaz, Kasabian), reunited and reformed in 2015. Dawn is just breaking for this Bay Area four-piece. Check out their single “Stay Up”, embedded below, from their new EP “Replaced”, which drops Friday.
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Sean Ritchie: Born in Italy, when did you move to the United States? Where are you currently based? Describe a little bit about your upcoming EP “Replaced” and the excitement surrounding the upcoming release.
Paolo Von Giordano: I grew up in Italy. I came here about 17 or 18 years ago. I’m 38 now. We’re currently based around San Francisco — Horacio is actually from San Francisco. We all really enjoy it out here you can’t beat the weather. It’s a much different atmosphere from where I grew up, just America in general. As for the EP, we’re really excited for it. It’s a lot different that our music in the past. Some of our friends even joked, “Why don’t you change the name of the band”. We’re all really excited for this one. We really thought it through, different from our other music in the past that just kind of happened in the moment. We’re really encouraged about the sound. The preparation that went into it, really paid off in our eyes.
© Michele Ursino
SR: So now to tie it into travel, what’s your approach to your touring or schedule of shows? How do you like to tackle and plan those trips?
PVG: I think we’re really conservative about it, we do short legs, short tours and then come back. Because, I know of too many bands, good friends of mine, dozens of bands, they get into the van and go everywhere. They come here and then go to Alaska and as soon as they come back they break up, because eventually you can get sick of each other. We tried to be selective about the gigs so each show really means something. The farthest we went was to Austin where we played [South by Southwest] in 2012 and that was insane. First of all, Texas is far, and with a big van full of equipment it takes forever just to get there you know. But, that was fun, we have good stories and saw some interesting people along the way. Again, as of now, you know, we’re not a massive band yet. We’re all in to do it, but at the same time we’re thinking about where we’re going. We also try to play with bands that we like in that area. Just trying to do things properly without going too crazy.
SR: Right, working smarter not harder.
PVG: Yeah there we go.
SR: Perfect! So, when you are searching for a vacation and have some down time, are you more of a beach guy or are you looking to be in the center of a city somewhere?
PVG: Oh that’s a good one. This is an interesting question because, personally I like to think I’m a beach guy. For some reason I think it’s the status of it, and the hot chicks in bikinis. Before I go I think, “Oh yeah, that’s me.” Then I go and the sun kind of bothers me after a little bit, so I just kind of have to get away from it. To be honest, I don’t end up doing it as much man, so maybe at the end of the day I’ll go out to a city. Like right now, I think I want to go on my next vacation to a Scandinavian country, like Copenhagen or Stockholm. I kind of want to see more of northern Europe. I’ve lived in Germany as a youngster for a bit, but I’ve already seen too much of that area.
© Roman Boed
SR: Amazing, so growing up in Italy, and now based in the USA, what’s kind of the main difference between the way of life between the two countries?
PVG: Wow, that’s a good question. Pretty obvious, but first off the United States is so massive that there are differences between the countries already. Like California is very different from Texas or Nebraska, or whatever. In general, I would say Americans are more career oriented, which is good. Maybe sometimes too-money oriented, which could be a culture thing or consequence of certain pressure from media and society in general. Italians are really good at enjoying things.
Then you always read in the media you know Europe is going through a crisis, the economy sucks or whatever. Then you go there and they all look better than you. They’re all wearing fancy clothes. They’re all on a break. So, yeah, at the end of the day maybe we’re good at taking a break, but maybe we should be better at building some things. The political system could be better. But, in general, Americans whole look and feel give them more pressure over career and money instead of family time. Italians take it easy and we play better soccer, but you know.
© Luigi Torreggiani
SR: One of my friends actually grew up in Rome his whole life and came over here. Having played soccer growing up we’ve had many debates. Obviously you guys have us beat, but we’re coming for you! Back on track though, what are three destinations that you haven’t been to that you still want to hit?
PVG: Okay, as far as band and personal together I would say Asia sounds awesome. For example, China is becoming a massive market requesting western bands. There’s a lot of money there for music and arts. Same with India. So, merging the two things I would say those two countries would be incredibly interesting, because it’s, I’m guessing, totally different from here or from Europe, as far as you know cultures. It would be really cool to be shocked by all of that. On a personal level, I want to go to some of those Scandinavian countries I mentioned before. If I were to go on a vacation for myself or with friends, I would go up there Sweden or Norway, all of that.
© Markus Trienke
SR: Nice! So, every country has a festival that they’re known for whether it be Oktorberfest in Munich or Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Is there one that really stands out in your eyes that you would want to see?
PVG: Yeah, I went [to Munich], but it wasn’t the right season. The carnival in Brazil is one I especially like, in Rio de Janeiro, it got out of control. You just see images of it and it looks like something else. With the right amount of danger in it, it’s right up my ally there. So, that’s one thing I would love for sure.
SR: Amazing. You mentioned danger you mean in the adrenaline sense?
PVG: Yeah, like Carnival with all those people, women dancing and stuff, there are some areas that are not entirely safe. It can kind of be when you drive, you know roll up your windows at times. We were there in Rio, and there are areas where the local police are at the red lights [telling you to] just roll through it you know, don’t stop completely and keep going. I like slightly edgy, but you know it keeps your adrenaline going. Like oh my, this is cool, like in a movie or something.
© Diego Torres Silvestre
SR: That makes me ask, with the Olympics in full-swing, what is your outlook on the games?
PVG: I’m not an expert, but Brazil just hosted the World Cup in 2014. I’m not sure why they decided to assign the Olympics in Brazil two years after that. There was a lot of stuff that happened. For example, they spent a lot of money on this one stadium in the middle of the jungle, literally. And, within a 100 miles of this area, they don’t even have a team in the first three divisions of the country. That means there is no professional team that plays within the area, and they build this massive stadium, like 45,000 seats, that’s now not being used. There’s definitely a lot of weird stuff. I heard that some money went missing, all that. Now, they have the Zika virus. The housing for some of the athletes is incomplete. So, I don’t know if overall that was a great decision. But, for the people and the economy, I hope it becomes a major success.
SR: Lastly, to wrap this up, with your EP about to drop, do you have any plans to go on tour? Any shows coming up?
PVG: Yeah, yeah definitely! First of all, we’ll do a release party in the city at one of the bigger venues, either Great America Music Hall or something like that. That’s for the area locals. We’re also organizing two separate legs of touring, one will be from [San Francisco] to Los Angeles and San Diego. Then we’ll start moving east hitting Tuscon, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, that’s a really good music town. After that it’s Austin and San Antonio. We’ll then come back, chill a minute, and go hit the northwest, like Portland and Seattle. That takes care of the most immediate touring.
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