HungryHeart is an Italian band who just released an album called One Ticket To Paradise. Musically they bring back the sound of the late 80's / early 90's. Time to learn a bit more about the Italians. Guitarist Mario Percudani and singer Josh Zighetti were so nice to answer my questions.
For many HungryHeart is a newcomer, at least outside Italy. You started back in the late 90's, but your debut came out in 2008. Tell us how everything started and why it took so long til your debut was released!
Mario Percudani: Hi Claudia! First of all, many thanks for giving us the opportunity to talk about us and our music here at Ice Vajal.
Well, HungryHeart were born in the late '90 as a hard cover band, playing in many rock clubs in the North of Italy. Only some years after we started to write our songs and we also had the chance to play as opening act for some international bands.
We started to record our first self-titled album in 2001, but during that period everyone of us was involved in many other musical projects and solo-careers, so it took a long time to finish the recordings.
Anyway the album had to be released in 2005 with Frontiers distribution, but unfortunately our label broke down and so we wasted more time again... Finally in 2008 the album has been released for Tanzan Music.
Why the name HungryHeart? And why did you choose to write the name without a space?
Josh Zighetti: Many people think that we took this name from the famous Bruce Springsteen's song, but we simply chose this name because it sounds so 'Hard Rock'... Especially without space.
Anyway, we consider ourselves as 'hungry' for our music and for all the good feeling that always bring us to write our songs. So we really are Hungry Hearts.
Now you have One Ticket To Paradise out. How satisfied are you with the reactions you got for your new album?
Josh Zighetti: We are very satisfied about the reactions and the feedbacks we're receiving from the melodic hard rock lovers from all over the world. Moreover the album is getting very good reviews and also many radios are playing our songs. By the way, we've just finished an unplugged promotional tour in Germany where me and Mario played some songs from One Ticket To Paradise and from his solo album New Day. We had the chance to meet very nice people on the road and everyone enjoyed so much our music. This has been a great satisfaction for us.
You produced the album yourself, but for the mastering got Michael Voss. Why did you choose him?
Mario Percudani: Our friend Alessandro Del Vecchio recommended Michael for the mastering. Ale and Michael often work together and so we decided to co-operate with him and we are very happy about the final result.
Actually some songs remind me of Casanova... What was Michael's first reaction to One Ticket To Paradise? And do you consider to work with him in future?
Mario Percudani: We didn't meet Michael personally, but we know that he liked very much One Ticket To Paradise! As to the future, yes... We'll probably work with him again.
It seems that many labels don't risk anything, signing what's the latest trend... Was it difficult to find a label?
Mario Percudani: I think it's more difficult to find a good distribution, rather than a good label. I mean that there are many labels around, but only few of them work seriously to promote and distribute the releases in the best way... and this the most important thing to reach good results.
As to HungryHeart, our label Tanzan Music has started a relationship with the German company Bob Media, which is distributed in Europe by Sony Music.
Somehow it seems that you're a little too late, coz your songs sound like the stuff MTV had on heavy rotation in the late 80's / early 90's... So you don't follow a trend, what makes this sound special to you?
Josh Zighetti: We grew up listening all those bands who played on heavy rotation on MTV at the end of '80 and the beginning of '90 and HungryHeart are, with no doubts, hardly influenced by the hard rock music of that period. So, we don't follow any trends and we don't have the claim to propose a 'new and innovative' style. We think that the good music never dies and we are very proud to play this music, even if someone could considered it 'old'.
Anyway, everyone of us listen and play also other kinds of music.
And which bands / artists inspired you to start HungryHeart? What stuff are you listening to these days?
Josh Zighetti: As I told you before, we have a wide musical background; from blues to country, from pop to rock.
So, we have been influenced by many and many artists and it's impossible to list them all.
Concerning the hard rock field, some of the bands that has inspired the most are: Giant, Toto, Journey, Danger Danger, Bad English, Whitesnake and, obviously all the great rock giants from the '70.
The cover of One Ticket To Paradise shows a traffic sign for a bended road ahead... What's the idea behind it?
Josh Zighetti: First of all, the paradise means our music and the will to go on everyday, always believing. The traffic sign shows the way to reach our paradise. And the black and shocking pink are our official colours…. As you can see, there's a very simple idea behind the cover!
Are you constantly writing new songs? Or is HungryHeart the type of band who sets themselves a dead line? Some bands work best under pressure...
Mario Percudani: We always write songs, we never stop... for example we can tell you that we already have many songs for the next album.
A few concerts are already announce for the rest of 2010. There was talk about an European tour, any news about that?
Mario Percudani: Our agency is now working to plan our European tour together with the American band XYZ.
At the moment some gigs are confirmed in Greece, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and UK, but many other gigs will be confirmed as soon as possible. You can check our MySpace page (www.myspace.com/hungryheartofficial) for future updating. We really hope to play some gigs in Germany too!
At Angela I heard some Giant sound elements... Is there any musician you would like to work with in future? To have a guest appearance of?
Josh Zighetti: Well, we would like to have Dann Huff as guest in our next release... but I think it's almost impossible!
Anyway, there are many artists that we love and respect and we'll probably have the chance to have some of them as guest musicians in the future, but now it's to early to announce it... we'll let you know.
Beside playing live, what else is on your schedule for 2010?
Josh Zighetti: Our main aim is to spread our word as much as we can and to make known our music to all the melodic hard rock lovers in the whole world!
Thank you, Claudia, for this very nice interview. Hope to see you soon, guys! Rock on!
I really hope that they get the chance to play some more show this year - and a package with XYZ sounds really good. Keep an eye on their MySpace to make sure you won't miss them!