Do you remember the hit song by White Lies called “Tokyo” with the famous chorus line “every place has a China Town”? Of course, Manchester has its own China Town (a big tourist attraction) but it seems that we discovered Mancunia’s musical Little Italy! After speaking to Federico Cossu, the lead singer of Shiva May Care in March and Pietro Blanca in June, we are proud to introduce you to another Italian born talent that is making a name for himself on the Manchester scene. Ladies and Gents, let us welcome singer/songwriter Dario Distasi to our humble “Manchester, come on in!” project.
Dario was born and raised in Italy and attended Saint Louis College of Music in Rome. He has been fascinated by music since childhood and picked up a guitar at the age of 12. As he admits himself, he instantly fell in love with the sound of the instrument and spent years mastering his craft. In 2015, he decided to move to Manchester as the city always had a special place in his heart. Since the move, Dario recorded his debut EP “Nowhere Avenue”, played at the legendary venues such Night & Day Cafe, Gullivers, Castle Hotel, formed his own band and received an universal acclaim from independent music press. With a CV like this (and recording his EP with an award winning producer in Nashville!), we are more than happy to spread a word about his accomplishments.
We have caught up with Dario to ask him several short questions about music, influences and shows.
Please introduce yourself to the readers. Where are you based and who is in the band?
Dario Distasi: (laughing) Hey there! What’s up? My name is Dario Distasi and I am a solo artist based in Manchester. I could be classified as a singer/songwriter but during live shows, I am backed by a proper rock band. Our live performances combine anthemic guitars with punchy drums. Except for me, my band consists of Chris Taylor (backing vocals, lead guitar), Damon O’Leary (backing vocals, bass) and Steve Redmond (drums). I play the guitar and I sing.
What was the best review of your music you have received so far?
Dario Distasi: An online magazine, A Look Into Music, wrote about our EP: “The result is a sound so tempting, you can’t help but get your body moving to the beat as you listen to the ultimately genuine lyrics travel through your mind uncontrollably”. I like really that!
Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve?
Dario Distasi: Recording my new EP entitled “Letting Go” in Nashville with Drew Middleton (Steven Cade, MuteMath, Merdith Lee) a BMI awarded producer, has been a blast. He instantly realised where my musical influences and background come from and gave my songs a distinctive sound. We have recorded four tracks: “Letting Go”, “Again”, “Stuck In Here” and “Where The Lights Go Down”. The two last songs were released as stand alone singles.
I own and I’m in love with so many albums that have been recorded in Nashville, it is a very special place to me. I’ve also already recorded a few tunes in Manchester, another magical musical city. Next step: recording in Seattle, maybe? (laughing)
What inspires you? What artist or genre had the biggest influence on you?
Dario Distasi: Usually, I’m inspired by life, good books and music.
During interviews, I’m often asked to mention artists that have or had the biggest influence on me as an musician. Chris Cornell, Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters are three of my biggest influences. However, I’m also into singers/songwriters – that kind of stuff always give me the chills. And I cannot forget that guitar music is a big part of what I do. It literally put me on a musical map, where I am today. So I listen to a lot of instrumental music, a lot of great guitar players, a lot of guitar solos. The guitar music is always in the background, whatever I do. All band members are big grunge aficionados as well – even though that’s not exactly our style, I guess you can hear that it has been hugely inspirational for us.
It’s all about the music – and we want to hear about your new single. Is there a story behind the song, where and how was it written.
Dario Distasi: My newest single is called “When The Lights Go Down” and it is a song about many things we fear. The fear itself. The abandonment. Refugees. Civil wars. All those things that really shock us every day. Please watch the video to this song. It represent the track very well and has been directed by the amazing Mat Johns.
Are you touring? Where can we see you playing live?
Dario Distasi: Yes we tour and play gigs in the North West regularly. Recently, we performed at The Abbey in Leigh for Buzzcock’s frontman Pete Shelley Memorial on 15th of June and at the Gullivers in Manchester on 29th of June. We supported Hypnumb from New Zealand!
If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?
Dario Distasi: (laughing) Social media! It’s the best way to get a hold of me! Please use:
Imagine you can record an album with any artist, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?
Dario Distasi: (laughing) I think, Steve, our drummer would be the best person to answer this question! Should we ask him?
Steve Redmond: Alice In Chains! These guys are immense. Their grooves, melodies and harmonies speak to me on every level. Some of my band mates might be shocked by this coz I idolise Chad Smith!
Dario Distasi: I’m not shocked at all! You both have a great groove, however I think he’s not as loud as you are! Hahahaha!
Follow Dario on social media:
Thank you so much Dario! It was a pleasure to speak to you (and to Steve as well). We wish you all the best in your musical endeavours!