Novallo’s latest EP – Novallo II – is something a little bit different and a breath of fresh air. Let’s dive right in and find out some more about them…
For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!
Gino Bambino – Guitars, engineering/production
Sam Gitiban – Vocals
Nick Salvatore – Percussion
Brandon Johnson – Bass
Give us a bit of background to Novallo
We’ve all grown up and lived in Columbus, OH for most of our lives. Novallo began in its raw form about 10 years ago, when Gino and Brandon would just jam. Nick joined shortly thereafter (having already been close friends with Brandon), and around ’07 we found Sam through Myspace classifieds. From the onset, there was a desire to transcend our immediate surroundings. This meant dabbling in world music initially. Anything we do is always a little off kilter in some way – and we’re very okay with that; that’s character, redefining a sound, making something new… sometimes you need a mutation to evolve!
3. What are your influences?
A Perfect Circle
System of a Down
Stone Temple Pilots
Alice in Chains
Faith No More
Rage Against the Machine
Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy VII)
Paul Antonio Ortiz
What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?
Brandon – Jaco Pastorius, Frank Sinatra, & Chimp Spanner
Nick – The Ink Spots, Ella Fitzgerald, & Stone Temple Pilots
Sam – Any Stone Temple Pilots album – in its entirety.
Gino – Kimbra, Marbin and Rage Against the Machine
Give us a bit of background to Novallo II – any particular concepts or ideas you want to discuss?
Novallo II touches on concepts such as flight/levitation, death/suicide, rebellion, awakening, altered states of consciousness, energy, otherworldly entities, and more. There is a strong sense of immediacy, wherever you look, carrying you from beginning to end. There are extremes, e.g. from small to large – from the cracks in the floor, to a theoretically cyclical Universe, and everything in between. Our favourite artistic inspirations have created worlds where you can just sit, or run, or glide, and absorb your surroundings – we aim to achieve something like this.
How do you go about writing your songs?
As our engineer/producer, Gino often conceives/writes and records the music almost simultaneously (or closely in tandem). The rest of us listen, provide feedback, and go about forming the accompanying percussion, bass, and vocal/lyrical parts – usually on our own time. Everything then gets refined & rearranged more and more, as we familiarize ourselves with the song, its sonic tendencies, and its underlying message/concept. In this way, there are cooperative, live moments of creation, coupled with the undeniable power of individual explorations of each song.
How did the recording process go?
Well, it went on, and on, for awhile! Keep in mind, we are completely self-produced, so if things go wrong (and they always do) we have to pick up the pieces, with only our own resources to pull from. There were many setbacks in that time, from failed hard drives/computers, to (much more importantly) lost loved ones – these were devastating events. In that time, as a whole, we still made giant leaps, from recording capability to finding new sounds and a new direction. All of this was done in the same basement we’ve been marinating in since high school – not necessarily a bad thing… we think.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
All of us seem to be partial to “Give Gravity a Choice”, which is a very welcome departure from the rowdy sounds we’ve been churning out for years. It recognizes the need for balance, from soft to heavy, light to dark. For these and many other reasons, it just feels more real, in a way… especially considering the conceptual content.
What does the future hold for Novallo?
In writing music, we want to continue the melding of genres, in a way that is interesting, yet powerful and simple. After years, we feel that we’ve finally hit our stride, and found our style – which, as Bruce Lee described best, strives to achieve “the style of no style”. We just want to continue growing, writing well, and honing our skills for live shows – which should echo the vibe of the music as much as possible, i.e. via a dedicated setting/ambiance.