The formal definition of “node” is a “point at which pathways intersect, creating a central connecting point.” That definition alone would be enough for the music group NODe (“Not Ordinary, Dead”), but by the band’s outlook and their fans, they are so much more. The Italian group blend a variety of genres and influences to create their grand theme of expression through and with their music.
The group was formed in 2011, and composed of Johnny Lubvic, Karissa, Andrea Vinti, Massimiliano Mauriello, Stefano Marseglia and Roberta Arienzo. The group combines drum-programming, flourescent sequenced lines, catchy guitars and succint vocal harmonies to create their interesting sound.
Having previously released three albums, their latest single, “S.O.D.A,” combines all of the band’s talented elements to produce this 80s inspired single. “S.O.D.A” was directed by Vincenzo M. Cinefra and features the group in an arcade with laser beams and vivid color. Find out what the group had to say about their band’s name meaning to them, how they connect musically and personally, their writing process, and much more.
Although there is a formal definition for NODe, what does it mean personally to each of you and as a band?
Johnny Lubvic: You are right, the formal definition isn’t exhaustive about our attitude to music and life, everyone feels something different, living the NODe experience. Speaking as a band, we try to operate in unconventional ways, even if conventions are absolutely meaningless nowadays. Being unconventional means to do things without following fashions, trends, likeness and trying to have fun and pleasure doing it, everything is so personal, and everytime we express ourselves as we like, without thinking about the market’s consequences.
How did each of you guys connect and when did you realize you all wanted to make music together?
Johnny: JNODe is a modular project I started with two persons core, growing year by year, and we are now six, finding an old friend like the drummer Andrea Vinti (with whom I played for many years in previous projects), enhancing our sound with new instruments and a new voice (Karissa), experimenting within music genres, starting from experimental electronic, meshing up with pop, punk, rock, in a continuous crossover, LP after LP. We are very open-minded to new implementations, and we do not know where the music will bring us, but we are curious to get there.
What is you guys’ writing process like; is it sometimes difficult to agree on who sings and plays what, or is a combined and cohesive effort?
Johnny: All songs are written by me, and each one of us has its own role, we try to operate as a well organized organism, everyone uses all his/her skills and talent to get the best possible from every song. We are now at the fourth LP (first with Karissa) and this seems to works well, but things can change and I’m inclined to try new processes, maybe working creatively as a team. Recently, Stefano Marseglia (bass) and Max Mauriello (guitar) joined us, two talented musicians that boost our live performance, introducing new sound textures.
With your most recent single and music video for “S.O.D.A.,” it’s truly a visionary piece. What was collaboration like on the music video, and working with director, Vincenzo M. Cinefra?
Johnny: Working on the “S.O.D.A.” music video was very exciting and fun, V.M.Cinefra is truly a talented and experienced director, and his Nuclear Studio has a visionary team. It has been a very hard job and often the difficulties were many due to the low budget, but we have always tried to find the best and most creative solutions to every problem. V.M.Cinefra directed all of NODe’s videos, and we hope to continue this collaboration in the future, influencing our music with images and vice versa.
Love that you guys are influenced and blend a variety of musical styles in your music, especially the ’80s. Who are some of your most influential ’80s bands for you guys’ music?
Johnny: Each one of us has its own influences, but we all come from a similar base, and as NODe’s composer, all songs are mostly influenced by my musical background. My first LP ever was License to Ill by Beastie Boys, a band that I love then and love now but, maybe, most of the influences come from David Bowie and The Pixies (more late 80s), referring to the song structure and progressions. The electronic vein has always been present, starting from the first Kraftwerk listenings in the 80s and Aphex Twin in the 90s, leading me to experiment in this direction, passing through the most pop area of my adolescence.
What’s next in 2019?
Johnny: We are promoting Rcade in our country and abroad, playing in many live gigs. This is the fun part for all musicians. After this we are planning to write our fifth LP; we are collecting ideas, feelings and trying to understand the direction that the band will have to take and our music too, trying to focus our targets in our country, Italy, but even more all around the world.
Who was your first concert and do you have a favorite, thus far?
Johnny: I don’t remember what was my first concert, I remember that I was really young, I was 14 maybe…but i can tell you what my favourite one is, without any doubt Pulse by Pink Floyd. I’m glad I had the opportunity to be there (even if I would have preferred Roger Waters to be there too).The second place is for “Earthling Live” by David Bowie; truly an experience for a fan like me!
What was your first album on cassette, CD and/or vinyl? (Karissa, as the youngest member in the band feels the urge to answer at this!)
Karissa: The first album I bought with my own money (I was around and “my money” were those my parents gave me) was Love, Angel, Music, Baby by Gwen Stefani. Since the younger age I’ve been listening to No Doubt thanks to my older siblings but the moment I bought that album I didn’t link that Gwen Stefani was the unnamed singer of No Doubt. I remember I got shocked when I finally realized the thing.
Which five albums and/or artists would you not want to live without?
Karissa: Homogenic – Bjork
Johnny: Hunky Dory – David Bowie
Max Mauriello: The Joshua Tree – U2
Stefano Marseglia: Abbey Road – The Beatles
Andrea Vinti: The Wall – Pink Floyd
Karissa: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauyrn Hill
Johnny: Doolittle – The Pixies
Max: Ten – Pearl Jam
Any music or entertainment pleasures you’d like to share with us?
NODe: Obviously as a great source of entertainment i would invite you to listen all NODe’s LP and watch all the videos!I think it will not be a waste of time after all! (smiles)