In August 2010 belladonna hole themselves up in a tiny rehearsal room to start working on a brand new selection of Rock Noir songs penned by belladonna’s two songwriters, the luscious singer Luana Caraffa and the band producer/guitarist Dani Macchi. It’s the conception of their much-awaited third album: “And There Was Light”.
In November the band flies to Los Angeles to the legendary Stagg Street Studios (the vintage studio of many classic recordings of Patti Smith, CSNY, Tom Waits) to record totally live, with no click tracks, all playing at the same time, just as in those classic Led Zeppelin or Bob Dylan records of a bygone era.
With the invaluable help of engineer Mike Tacci (Metallica’s “Black Album”) and of Grammy-nominated producer Alex Elena (Alice Smith, Lily Allen) the band puts onto tape the incendiary takes that form the rock-hard foundation on which in the following months Dani and Luana built the emotional architecture that makes “And There Was Light” such aunique-sounding yet timeless record.
The album is a true journey, over an hour of high-intensity music that seamlessly gravitates between echoes of Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan-style allegories, White Stripes blazin’ tones, Blue Oyster Cult’s esoterism, Arcade Fire’s romanticism and Jimmy Page’s passion for the blues-tinged and spiritually malevolent guitar riff.
Yet its sound is that unmistakable belladonna-patented Rock Noir – the genre they single-handedly originated and that many bands the world over now swear to – and Luana’s vocals are as sensual and sexual as ever, making the deeply literary lyrics come alive with Truth.
Several prestigious guests enrich “And There Was Light”: the above-mentioned Alex Elena (former drummer with Iron Maiden superstar Bruce Dickinson and Miles Davis keyboardist Adam Holzman) on percussion, Massimiliano Annibaldi (the renowned Italian film soundtracks composer) on the theremin and the viola da gamba, Imani Coppola (the cult NY singer-songwriter recently in the UK top 10 as Little Jackie) on the violin, Francesca Bottaro (of avantgarde pop combo Shootin’ Stars) on the sax and the L.A. art-rock Diva Ruby Friedman with a spoken-word feature.
“We’ve always felt our music had a cinematic quality to it, yet once we finally completed “And There Was Light” and treated ourselves to a full playback of it all we were absolutely amazed ourselves of how deep its power of conjuring upmoving images was” reveals Dani, and Luana adds poignantly: “We’ve always known that writing and making music is akin to Automatic Writing, and we truly feel that we only channeled this album, that it already existed somewhere insome as-yet-undiscovered dimension and it then materialized through ourselves, full of energy, and full of light”
“And There Was Light” will be released worldwide on iTunes on the 16th of May 2011.
belladonna belladonna and there was light
How many artists can claim to have single-handedly originated a musical genre? Italian quintet belladonna are amongst that rare breed of bands whose absolute uniqueness has enraptured and inspired countless fans, followers and imitatorsall over the world.
Rock noir, that belladonna extraordinary brand of emotionally-charged rock’n'roll melodrama utterly seduced hordes of Music lovers tired of being force-fed computer-driven, fake-angst pseudo-rock down their ears.
belladonna’s legendary self-produced debut “Metaphysical Attraction” resounded so deeply in rock fans’ collective consciousness that it not only turned the band overnight into one of the most loved unsigned bands in the world, but it even bestowed upon them the honor of 2 Grammy Awards 2008 ballot nominations, an unprecedented event for a DIY band.
Over 1.000.000 views on MySpace, magazines like Rolling Stone and GQ hailing them as the “next big thing”, shows with Dita Von Teese at Erotica 07 in London, gigs with Scars On Broadway and Siouxsie & the Banshees, performancesat the Dubai International Film Festival – but belladonna remained unfazed.
the noir album
Personally invited by alt-rock producer supreme Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of a Down) to record their sophomore album in her all-analog studio in California, USA, in a few weeks belladonna committed to tape 11 rock noir Luana/Danipennedsongs, loaded with their trademark sheer sensual energy.
“The Noir Album” came out in March 2009, immediately entering the Italian iTunes chart and getting rave reviews all over the world.
belladonna premiered “The Noir Album” live in the USA at L.A.’s legendary Key Club and as official representatives ofItaly at Austin’s SXSW in March 2009.
Back in Italy, the band played with major acts like Nine Inch Nails, Mars Volta, Staind and Korn, on the strenght of the first single off “The Noir Album” – the relentless rock noir tale of love/hate “Till Death Do Us Part” – being chosen as Single Of The Week by Italy’s biggest rock radio, Virgin Radio.
In October they went back to L.A. to play a showcase at the Fonda Theater, and then to the UK – where Iron Maiden superstar Bruce Dickinson championed belladonna by broadcasting “Till Death Do Us Part” on his BBC radio show – with a sold-out headline show at The Garage in London.
2010 saw the band hit the road again, with a European tour in March and a UK club tour in April and in July.
collaboration with michael nyman
In December 2010 belladonna release “Let There Be Light”, a single written in collaboration with legendary English composer Michael Nyman and based on his “The Heart Asks Pleasure First” from the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning movie “The Piano”. Michael Nyman himself plays piano on the track. A truly exceptional event that once again highlights the absolute uniqueness of the path trodden by this very special band.