With the directness of the bus line they are named after, Linea 77 rocketed from their birthplace of Venaria (Torino) to become Italy’s premier rock band, conquering not just Italy but all of Europe and indeed, practically the whole world along the way. Beginning in 1993 by covering songs by Rage Against the Machine and CCCP, the band toured constantly, which allowed them to cultivate a dedicated fan base, as well as develop their sound. Based on the strength of their supremely dynamic live show, they appeared in front of 8000 people at the now defunct Beach Bum Festival in Jesolo within a year of their first raucous cry.
In July 1995, Linea 77 recorded their first record : “Ogni Cosa Al Suo Posto (Every Thing In It’s Place).” Self-produced, fiery, and resolute, reviews were uniformly positive and it quickly sold out all 500 copies. 1996 brought a deal with Dracma Records and the release of the band’s second record, “Kung Fu”, a collection of outtakes from “Ogni Cosa Al Suo Posto.” Again, reviews were good, paving the way for the band’s signing with Collapse Records of Milan and the November 1998 release “Too Much Happiness Makes Kids Paranoid,” the band’s first national release, which sold over 2000 units. 70 concerts over the next year expanded their faithful core.
International acclaim began with the inclusion of a Linea 77 song on Canadian compilation INHALE vol.2 – “Liquid Subdual”, which also included tracks by more established artists such as NoMeansNo and Voodoo Glow Skulls.
Underground success brought interest from abroad, most notably from Nottingham, England’s Earache Records, who offered the Piemontese quintet a contract and worldwide distribution. “Too Much Happiness Makes Kids Paranoid” was remastered and rereleased with new artwork in April 2000, with a limited edition vinyl being published in Japan, which, like the earlier Italian releases, quickly became a collector’s item.
A British tour followed, with Nitto, Emo, Dade, Chinaski, and Tozzo playing 23 concerts with Earthtone9 and Kill2This. The concerts, along with the rerelease of “Too Much Happiness….”, garnered positive attention from the British press, while the video of “Meat” was shown daily on the MTV UK programs “Brand:New” and “Superock.”
2001 saw Linea 77 bring their “happy-core” to a new level. “KEt.CH.UP SUi.Ci.DE” was released and its eleven tracks refined their sound, a robust rock-n-roll crossed with a surprising melodicism. Recorded at Backstage Studios in Ripley, UK with Dave Chang (Earthtone9, Orange Goblin, Stampin Ground, etc.), “KEt.CH.UP SUi.Ci.DE” saw the quintet create an incredibly hard sound that was also very listenable, underlined by a streak of irony, as exemplified by their cover of the Bangles “Walk Like an Egyptian,” which got playlisted at Radio One, XFM, and TotalRock Radio. The album made top 10 on NME’s independent charts, while Rocksound Italia placed the band on the cover of their November 2000 issue. The band made two videos for the record, one for the title track, the other for “Moka,” which became an anthem for Italian fans.
The fearsome five spent the next two years touring behind “KEt.CH.UP SUi.Ci.DE”, playing over 250 shows all over the Europe, including some of the biggest festivals both in Italy (Heineken Jammin’ Festival and Tora! Tora!) and abroad, topped off by an appearance at England’s Reading Festival in 2001.
After the hard work following “KEt.CH.UP SUi.Ci.DE”, it was perhaps inevitable that Linea 77′s next album would see them rise several levels up the rock ladder. “Numb”, recorded in Senigallia and produced by Haggis from Senser, realized that promise when it was released in May of 2003. First single “Fantasma” quickly became a new anthem for devoted fans and went into heavy rotation on MTV Italia, placing the band once and for all in the Pantheon of Italian rock. Finally they had overcome the Italian public’s general resistance to all things hard and metal, aided also by the collaboration with compatriots Subsonica on third single “66 (Diabolus in Musica)”. Between the two releases, “Third Moon” became a hit single in English.
The buzz around the band led to a featured slot at MTV Day 2003 in Bologna, where it was generally acknowledged that they blew the other bands off the stage. This was then surpassed when the band were invited to play the prestigious Primo Maggio festival in Rome’s St Peter’s Square on May 1st 2004 in front of an estimated audience of half a million, plus a worldwide TV audience. As the Summer of 2004 turned into Autummn, the band also notched up an appearance at Brand:New Day at the Tora! Tora! Festival in Rome in September 2004 and a nomination for Best Italian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards in October 2004, confirming their position as best-loved indie band in Italy.
“Numb” has been released in three versions:
• the first 5.000 copies had a bonus DVD with behind the scenes footage of the recording sessions.
• the regular version in a single jewel case cd
• a reissue with a bonus audio CD with the show at LIVE @ MTV DAY 2003
2004 was a year of success that is testified by the release of the DVD “Numbed”, containing all the official videoclips and several live sets, including the memorable performances at Reading 2001 and MTV Day 2003.
To close out the year, Linea 77 donated a track to the benefit CD “RISEagaingstAIDS”, which also included songs by A.D., Madaski, Mass Prod, Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti and Meganoidi. The record was released on December 1st, World AIDS Day.
After a summer 2005 tour in which the band will particularly focus on the southern part of Italy, September sees the release of “Available for Propaganda.” Album number four was recorded at Paramount and Ameraycan Studios in Los Angeles, studios famous for hosting Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Cypress Hill, and Tool to name just a very few. This time the band worked with producer Dave Dominguez (Adema, Orgy, Papa Roach, Powerman 5000, Staind), whose bio also notes his work with Axl Rose & Co on the pending “Chinese Democracy.” Mastering was done by Dave Collins, who has overseen the sound for records by Madonna, Alice Cooper, Bruce Springsteen, Black Sabbath, Perry Farrell and Porno For Pyros, Queens Of The Stone Age, Soundgarden, Phil Spector, among others.
In September 2006 the Linea 77 guys are ready to get working on new material: their deal with English label Earache Records just expired and the band, with much enthusiasm, signs with Universal.
The album title is extremely meaningful to the band and perfectly mirrors the creation process of the new songs, and sets the mood for the album: “Horror Vacui”.
The Latin name means “Fear of emptiness”, the emptiness creating the need for objects, for instance technological devices, to fulfill the human and social lackings and meet fake requirements. The album is not a general accusation nor it aims at criticizing anybody, it just represents the realization of what is going on in the world.
The band, back in the game, starts composing again, mixing the hardcore of the old days with a darker sound. The recordings are marked by a high tension, also due to the use of a second guitar, played by Dade. After a pre-production of seven months the band has thirteen tracks ready under its belt.
In September 2007 Linea77 fly to the States. As for Available for Propaganda, the destination is LA, where they will record at the Skip Saylor Studios for two months, with Toby Wright, producer of Korn, Metallica, Fear Factory, Slayer, Soulfly, Primus, Alice in Chains, Ozzy Osbourne and Kiss.
On the producer’s suggestion, the band records more instruments at the same time, recreating the energy that has always made the band stand out on stage. The result is “Horror Vacui”, an aggressive album of a powerful band that has never been so firm and sure of its own capabilities.
“Horror Vacui” features a great guest, Tiziano Ferro, who sings in “Sogni Risplendono”. The relationship between the band and the world-known italian popstar was born after a public statement by Ferro himself who declared he wanted to work with Linea77. The result of such collaboration is surprising: two great minds of the Italian music scene together, the symbols of two divergent music styles that meet for the first time.