In Conversation With... Greasy Kingdom
Words by Elvis Thirlwell
The first full length album release on Hideous Mink Records comes not, as one might expect, from the festering stew of South London’s DIY scene, but rather, from the Mediterranean climes of Foligno, a modest town located in the central Italian region of Umbria. From a small trio of musicians who once wrote a 34-track album in fake english and played on a festival bill in Placebo - their latest project - Greasy Kingdom - represents their most complete and artfully conceived music to date - a sparkling gem to savour for the year 2023.
Marrying the glittering glam melodies of Marc Bolan with the freaky, sunshine psychedelia of Apples in Stereo and The Lemon Twigs, the debut, 9-song set, while undeniably playful and irreverent, is yet spiked with a discomfiting weirdness that brings a feverish hue to all its luminescent day-glo bedazzlement. Like a refreshing gulpful of ice-cold soda - straight from the fridge, when the sun is hot - let yourself be taken in by Greasy Kingdom, by their syrupy sweetness and puckish oddball charm.
And so, to guide us through the ins and outs of their delightful world - meet Andrea Tocci, Filippo Ciccioli, and Debora Contini.
The Greasy Kingdom is a strange, wonderful, and sometimes frightening place. What should we do to prepare before we dive in? Is there anything we should know before we listen?
Andrea: yeah, it's a weird kingdom! This album is like a quickie to be savoured thoroughly - a quickie that you don't easily forget and the next day you're there, drenched in sweat, knocking on his door.
Debora: I think in the Greasy Kingdom anything is possible. You might find rivers of marshmellows and glittery rainbows, but also your scary demons who are also intrigued by the grease of our notes. It would be nice to take them arm in arm, go for a ride, drink colored drinks together and play tennis with croissants, and then, why not, become best friends.
Filippo: Don’t panic. Always bring a towel with you.
What's your favourite track from the album, and why?
A: My fav track is When Love Comes to the End because it is the most sincere lyric I have ever written and because all this is constantly in fashion in my life
D: My favorite track on the album is Forever Dancer. Why? Because it reminds me that when you feel wrong, different, or like shit beaten up in the street, you can put feathers on your clothes and fly away. And feel good. And then it's really beautiful, come on.
F: My favourite track of the album is “Mr Pony Rainbow”, because I think it develops in a really nice way
The record is the first album release on Hideous Mink Records - explain how you became involved with the label, and what it means to be part of it.
A: I sent the album and video clip of Money for Drugs to Jed [Morgans - Hideous MInk CEO] and he was very impressed at first listen. Then in London we attended a karaoke evening and love blossomed. We are very happy and proud to be part of the Hideous family, all the bands involved are amazing!
There's a subtle mix of glam, psych and pop across the record - what were you listening to when writing and recording the album?
A: this album was inspired by Lemon Twigs, Steve Harley and the Cockney Rebels, William Burroughs, Neutral Milk Hotel and Beatles.
F: Personally, I remember I was listening constantly to the Album ‘Songs for the General Public’, which was released just when we started producing and recording the album. Although not all the influences are coming from there.. the general vibe of the late ’60 albums from the Beatles, David Bowie and Love can be heard all over the record. But I was also influenced by the masterpiece that is “Hawaii” by the High Llamas.
What's next for Greasy Kingdom?
A: militarily occupy the Vatican State and San Marino
F: becoming famous and rich!
And finally, describe your perfect Lazy Sunday?
A: fighting hangover and anxiety with meditation, junk food, games and books.
F: Staying at home, playing something, maybe going out for a walk when the sun goes down.
D: As a musician it's difficult to have a Lazy Sunday, but when it happens, I eat junk food, play on the Playstation (or Switch) all day and play with my dogs.
Listen to Greasy Kingdom's self-titled debut album here.
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