Salve Gianluca, thanks for agreeing to do this interview despite the hot weather. I guess your place is also one big frypan at the moment like the rest of Europe Let’s go so we got more time to sip longdrinks at the beach… So, how did everything started with you and ZetaZeroAlfa, where do your musical roots lie?
Gianluca Iannone: We started playing in the late ’90s at a time of change. Both political and society in general. At that time the world was not polluted by mobile phones and the internet was a thing for only a few people. Back then, you talked about a novel by George Orwell when you mentioned the Big Brother… Our world had no facilities, just the “Cutty Sark”, which is still our pub. The vast majority of projects were born there. It feels like 1997 was a century ago, time really flies through the country very fast. Thanks to ZZA, all the clubs, libraries, meeting places and especially the people that helped to spread the message of our little fierce world with all their enthusiasm.
In comparison to other countries, Italy has a very long tradition when it comes to alternative music or “Musica Alternativa”, I remember hearing stuff like Amici del Vento from the 70’s for example who also had a big influence on italian Neofolk acts such as IANVA, Egida Aurea or Roma Amor (maybe not ideologywise but definitely soundwise). These bands and most of the italian music in general have, a very uplifting vibe, I hope you know what I mean. I like to call this the Dolce Vita Sound. Can you tell us what the typical italian sound is for you, the sound that represents the italian soul?
Good question. I honestly do not think there is a sound Italian par excellence. In our country, each region has instruments and sounds associated with the cultural tradition of the place. Then if we analyze the music policy starting from Amici del Vento to SottoFasciaSemplice we’re jumping from one music style to another but still, if you listen to them, there are common basics.
Let’s say that the italian sound inclinates to be adventurous, romantic and belligerent. Those who are able to catch these attributes and make them fit to their music, will succeed.
ZetaZeroAlfa and football! Two things that go well together, what’s your favorite club Gianluca?
My idea of football does not corespond with reality. A bunch of boys representing the town they come from with maybe one or two foreign top players among their ranks, it is a thing of impossibility to find a team like this today. Furthermore I would also say that money is poisoning football and that there are more and more repressions against the real, fanatic and passionate fans. I personally don’t visit the stadium anymore but it is great to see that the ZZA flags are present in alot of stadiums across Italy and Europe. Our kids are everywhere!
ZetaZeroAlfa is made up of 5 elements and all cheering for AS Roma but when ZZA sings, plays and burns the stereo we play for the people, not for a certain team.
Of course I also stumbled over the Cinghiamattanza, for those who are not familiar with it, it’s the fans moshing, holding their belts by the buckle, then scourging each other with the strap. Who came up with that and started doing it? Was it just the idea of some crazy fans or was this coming from one of your minds?
Cinghiamattanza is the extreme version of Pogo. It was our idea and we thought that it would be hilarious to watch and a shock for the weak. Once youth decided how to dress and what was fashionable, if they should get a mohawk or a Lambretta (an italian motorcycle). Now the celebraties do this. They tell the kids which music they should listen to, what is the latest chic and how to dance.
In ‘69 when the whole moshing thing began, these people were called crazy madmen. It is the same with the Cinghiamattanza guys, they shock the people and we heartly laugh about it.
When I was preparing this interview, I have read that you played in a prison with ZZA once. I think in almost every other country, this is a thing of impossibility, having a band from the “new right” playing infront of prisoners. Why is the italian political landscape more open for things from the third position in your opinion. Could you factorise this current acceptance in the italian society for ideas from the third (new right) position?
Notwithstanding that I don’t like these two definitions, in Italy there is a large majortiy that is still keen with fascism and the leader principle. This is based on real substance that fascism left the ungrateful people. Despite the fact that the modern media propaganda of course is not missing every opportunity to paint the great revolution as absolute evil and bad, they don’t see that Mussolini calendars at the local newspaperstands are selling million times. Besides that, daily newspapers are scooping his excellency on daily basis. This demonstrates that there still is alot of curiosity but the old time, the times they want to see dead and buried, still sends its lightly beams into our digital era.
Concerning ZZA; the concert in Rebibbia was an event organized by some of the inmates as a party for the children born in prison. This show was a very hard one, maybe the hardest live gig we have ever played.
Another thing that I recognized while doing my homework was that CasaPound is somehow similiar to Cordreanu’s Iron Guard. It reminds me of them because you have alot of different social institutions within the CasaPound, you also refer to the warrior ethos. The legionary spirit is very present. Would you also draw that line between the romanian Iron Guard and CasaPound and are there also more things in common that come to your mind when thinking about both?
We may resemble us at some points at the organizational level. At the bottom, CPI is inspired by all those forms of community and revolutionaries who appeared and lived in the last century. Drawing more lines would maybe go abit too far. CPI is just CPI. Unique and inimitable.
The beginning of CasaPound was marked by a house occupation in Rome in late 2003. I am german and in the 1970’s we had similiar cases here in Hamburg coming from the leftextreme scene. Now and back then the goal was to obtain affordable housing space / stop gentrification. In my opinion “the left” and “the right” wont take it very far with their sometimes close-minded politics. CasaPound and other third position parties and organisations or supporters of the fourth political theory (Alexander Dugin etc.) don’t fit into this scheme. Is the 21st century the end of the classic political party as we know it?
CPI started with these occupations but that, of course, is not the only part of our fight. You can’t fight the corporate state by only occupying houses and giving them to italian families. We made a proposal for legislation to crushes the glass ceiling that protects the real estate speculants. The parties have failed in all their pettiness. They are just empty boxes, only used to be filled with money while the normal people have great difficulty to master their everyday life. The parties all fail because of the simple fact that democracy is one big fail, it is imploding and shows its real face, the face of everyday corruption, the face of wrong role models and the face of how they try to frantically export democracy.
Let’s talk about aesthetics. Italy has a illustrated past when it comes to art and politics. F. P. Marinetti’s futurism being the most prominent representative. The identitarean movement for example but also CasaPound use a very modern effigy and avoid the typical skinhead image & other obsolete things to attract a vast majority of young people for their cause. Do you think that a strong symbolism is a thing that the political establishment fears ? And if so, maybe you can also tell the reader what the mediocre parties of today – just in theory – should do in terms of this to be more “successful”
Here in Italy we once had the three F’s: futurism, fascism and fiumanesimo. The latter was invented by D’Annunzio with the occupation of the city of Fiume at the end of World War I in response to the “mutilated victory”. Read these pages of history, the “Carta del Carnaro”, read the stories of those extraordinary men, adventurers, fighters, visionaries and giants bigger than all men of that age and of all ages, it is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. You could say the same about futurism and fascism. We are speaking about these great men, giants, who walked on this planet earth with elegance, martiality and poetry.
You can found a party but without great men, it is just one name among the countless others, it is just a copy without any originality. No new programs, just new men. And that is the difficulty.
You also have a student assosiation related to CPI, the Blocco Studentesco. Can you tell us what the Blocco Studentesco is doing for the students? I could imagine that it’s abit like german student fraternities, giving rooms to their members if they need a place to stay and things like this. But I let you tell what’s behind the Blocco since you’re the expert.
The Blocco Studentesco is an CPI organisation for students at the universities. BS is the leading student movement in Rome and the small provinces, with 11.000 votes in the internal university’s elections. The BS is also standing various academic senators in some cities. They also organize concerts, festivals and sport tournaments, they contribute their part to raise the healthy youth of this nation. It differs, however, from german student fraternities, it is more reminding me of french student unionism.
What are your thoughts about the war in Syria? As we all know, the situation is really heating up during the past weeks and the USA and their allies are locking horns against Syria.
Suddenly Al-Qaeda, the enemies of the western world, become an organization of democratic rebels who fight for democracy, the so called “rebels” are afghans, somalis, chechens, saudis and so on. The syrian armed forces, loyal to Assad defending there people are the evil ones? The only redeeming factor in this tragedy is that Syria hopefully will be another Vietnam for the americans and their allies. Maybe this will stop the transportation of democracy through air-to-ground supply…
I recently read an article written by Ettore Ricci about what youth means to him. He’s quoting you there with the words; „der Marmor, der den Sumpf besiegt (The marble that is defeating the swamp)” in the context of what happens when you’re occupying houses. I want to end the interview with the following; How would you describe your self-imposed task called CasaPound with one sentence?
A: A tyranny!