Girl Power is alive and more than ever, we present this month an all female band hailing from Italy.
Hello ladies, thank you for taking time to answer our questions. First of all, could you introduce the band, who are the members and where do you come from?
Hi! Thank you for this opportunity. We are Checkmate! and we are five girls from Pavia, which is a small town in the north of Italy.
Since when have you been playing together in the band? And how did you meet each other? Did you know each other before?
We’ve been playing together since October 2014, but the band was started by our lead guitarist Simona in 2011 with some of her friends, including our other guitarist Marina. Due to some different musical tastes, the first vocalist of the band decided to leave. Looking for a new singer, Simona heard Carolina singing in a musical contest and she loved her voice. Few months later we needed a new bassist as well, and so Carolina introduced Linda to the others. Last but not least Serena joined us as the drummer.
Why did you choose the name Checkmate! ?
That’s a tricky question! The truth is that we wanted something that sounded like an exclamation and we took inspiration from Simona’s wonderful car that has a checked roof.
You are an All-Female band, was it hard to find the members to make the band complete? I can imagine there aren’t too many female drummers, guitarists and bassists around.
The most difficult member to find was Serena: there are not many female drummers around here.
Would it have been an option for you to hire a man if you couldn’t find a female player, or was it clear from the very beginning that you will be a band with only ladies in it, or no band at all?
It was clear from the beginning that only girls were allowed to play in the official line up 😉 as we said Serena was difficult to find, and so for some time we asked a male friend to help us at the drums. Back then, we were starting to write our new songs and we just couldn’t take a break.
You write your own songs but also play some covers at your gigs. Which cover songs are you doing? I guess the bands you cover are also the bands that inspire you for your own songs, is that right?
We play covers of 80’s bands like Whitesnakes, Bon Jovi and Patty Smith and contemporary rock like P!nk, The Pretty Reckless, Foo Fighters, Paramore and so on, but we wouldn’t say that these bands insipire us, because we play their songs, but we make them personal. Every one of us listens to different music and we take inspiration from them and bring our contribution.
You released a record in 2013, called “The King is dead…Long live the Queen!” including seven songs, do you plan to release a new album soon?
Yes of course, we actually have been working on the new album “UnevenU” for some time and now it’s almost ready to be recorded.
What kind of themes are your songs about? Do you write the songs all together or is only one responsible for the songs?
Our songs are about our lives and our passions. Simona is the one who usually brings the main ideas for the music, but we work together to get to the final arrangement. As for the lyrics, it depends: whoever has the best inspiration writes it down and shares it with the others.
Carolina, I read that you study sound engineering at SAE, does that mean you produce the next album yourself?
Yes I’m about to finish my SAE study and so I would definitely like to engineer (record and mix) and produce the new album. For now, I will be the one in charge for the preproduction and then we will see.
How would you describe the music you play to someone who has never heard your music before?
We love to define our music as melodic hard rock. It means that we have an aggressive sound that’s blurred and “softened” by our various vocal harmonizations.
You have a couple of gigs coming up soon, is there one you are especially looking forward to, and if so why?
There’s not one particular gig we’re looking forward to, but in general we’re very happy to go back on the stage since we had a stop from live concerts while we were composing new material.
What goals do you have? What do you want to reach with your music?
Our nearest goal is to find a record label to go on with our project. Looking farther we would love to live for the music, but in the meantime we have to study and work to finance ourselves and the band.
Where can people buy your album?
Why do you ask that? It’s available in all the CDs stores, isn’t it?! All kidding aside, it is sold only during our gigs, but if anyone desires a copy they can write us an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to send it.
And last but not least: Your song “Still Burning” is chosen to be the main song of a movie soundtrack, what kind of movie would it be?
Obviously an action movie with a strong female main character!
Thank you very much, ladies, for your time, I wish you all the best.
Thank you back, we hope you’ll enjoy our music !
More information can be found here:
photos: Band, Graceless Photo