earMusic issues: To explain what EelST (short form for ‘Elio e le Storie Tese’) is, we have to try to imagine what the word “viral”, so often used nowadays, could have meant in 1980, when the band started its activity.
In the first part of the eighties, not only social media, “likes” and “shares” were not part of the picture but the popular music scene, in Italy as everywhere else, was facing a big turning point.
Punk had established that nothing was sacred anymore.
A rock band had two possible choices: embracing the glorification of success at any cost (not only looking good, but looking good as the 80s demanded) or being “alternative” which implied having a very serious and at time pretentious attitude.
Did humor belong to music? Frank Zappa asked himself with an album title. Not too much, if you were a rock band.
To make it more complicated, EelST could not fit anywhere: it was clear from the beginning that they could play their instruments and they enjoyed it. It was obvious they liked rock music, even if they were never missing the chance to make fun of it through a sharp humor so hard to decode. Their look wasn’t certainly the one of a poster band, despite being certainly unique and intriguing, each of them looking so different. They were also not rushing themselves to sign a record deal, rejecting all the offers they had been receiving for eight years, simply because they did not seem right enough.
These were the years where “the record deal” was all any band wanted. This was the only way, in 1980 to exist in the “real” world of your idols.
Between the “obvious” bands and the “pretentious bands” EelST became a unique example of viral phenomenon. Thousands and thousands of cassettes started to be copied and shared by fans. Their shows were attended by audiences that could have filled arenas, singing the lyrics mocking the very music they seem to love deeply. Among their fans, the coolest comedians, actors, fellow musicians soon joined the “EelST” cult and it did not matter if the mainstream media were not there, the audience could grab the meaning of the band, and that was all that seemed right.
A band that is as sharp and at times cynical as the Sex Pistols, who can play like Genesis… using nonsense jokes to express their view on music, success and eventually life itself.
The first album, “Elio Samaga Hukapan Kariyana Turu” (obviously… a title in Cypriotic) was launched in 1989. It sold 200.000 and soon became gold. This achievement was even more significant since EelST were not supported by any official media.
Slowly the media’s isolation transformed into a race to show admiration for a project that did not undergo traditional market rules, but had instead established a new creative language.
In the following decades, EelST have continued to release albums when they felt it was right, always reaching gold status, they were the first to sell a CD of their shows a few minutes after the concerts had ended, way before it became a worldwide standard, they hosted TV shows and remained a reference for any rock band in Italy.
Their enormous creative and musical talent resulted in ten high charting studio albums, six live albums as well as several compilations, singles and collaborations for successful movies, TV and national radio shows.
One would obviously ask himself why this band has never reached international success.
While there could possibly be more than one unique reason, the use of the Italian language and success itself. Certainly the lyrics conceived as a tool to make a rather intellectual and complex music concept easy to be enjoyed by all sort of audiences has limited the band’s urge and trust to try to have an international life. The success in their home country, as it happen for many bands coming from all over the world, has been making them constantly busy with their music, theatre, radio and TV shows, leaving no big room for even trying an international career.
And what a band has the world missed until now.
This two hours collection of their best moment will be a revelation for everybody who wants music to surprise and escape the obvious. EelST play with music as a child would, if left alone for a day in a toy-shop.
Or maybe one could imagine how a punk band made by the members of Monty Python would sound if accidentally they could also play with the skill of King Crimson…
Would you really need to understand the lyrics to enjoy it?
EelST, we are almost sure about it, will certainly have a different version about it all and the reason that allowed them only now, 40 years after the beginning of their career, to tour Europe and to release a record internationally…
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for taking your time. Our name is “Elio e le Storie Tese” an extremely unprivileged Italian music ensemble. Ours is a story of pain, deprivation, and rejection from singing contests. We now rely on your generous nature. Helped by our friends at earMUSIC, we have released a double album featuring the best from our lovely Italian music scene.
We are glad that we have been given this opportunity as Europe holds a long tradition with regards to tolerance, acceptance and musical tastes, and, as an example, our friends from “ll Volo” are now billionaires! So please, buy this record of ours. It will be a great opportunity for singing, dancing and being happy for the sake of brotherhood, which brings together most of the people, in the name of love.
Hurray Italy, hurray Europe including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway and another few places, which we can’t think of at the moment.
PLEASE, THANK YOU, WE BEG YOU.”
In March 2017 and for the very first time EelST will present their one-of-a-kind live shows outside of Italy – with tour stops in Hungary, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, France, Spain and Switzerland. In the course of these truly amazing events, earMUSIC is delighted to announce the release of the Double-CD Best of collection “Yes We Can’t” with 26 carefully curated songs by EelST on March 3rd 2017. This album includes a collaboration with 5-times Grammy winner James Taylor and Frank Zappa guitarist Ike Willis.
02) Ritmo Sbilenco
03) Cartoni Animati Giapponesi
04) Parco Sempione
07) Come Gli Area
08) Bomba Intelligente (feat. Francesco di Giacomo)
09) Lo Stato A, Lo Stato B
10) First Me Second Me (feat. James Taylor)
11) Mio Cuggino
12) John Holmes (una vita per ilcinema)
14) La Chanson
01) Plafone (feat. Antonella Ruggiero)
04) La Canzone Mononota
05) Cani E Padroni Di Cani
06) L´eterna Lotta Tra Il Bene E Il Male
07) Heavy Samba
08) Ocio Ocio
09) Il Rock And Roll
10) Caro 2000
11) Christmas With The Yours
12) La Vendetta Del Fantasma Formaggino
13) La Terra Dei Cachi
14) Tell Me You Love Me (feat. Ike Willis)
EelST tour dates 2017:
02.03.2017 Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Budapest (HU)
03.03.2017 Kesselhaus, Berlin (GER)
04.03.2017 Essigfabrik, Cologne (GER)
05.03.2017 Frankfurter Hof, Mainz (GER)
08.03.2017 Rockhal, Luxembourg (LUX)
09.03.2017 Melkweg, Amsterdam (NL)
10.03.2017 La Madeleine, Brussels (BEL)
11.03.2017 O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London (UK)
12.03.2017 La Bellevilloise, Paris (FR)
14.03.2017 Sala But, Madrid (ESP)
15.03.2017 Razz Matazz 2, Barcelona (ESP)
17.03.2017 Volkshaus, Zurich (CH)
21.05.2017 Mediolanum Forum, Milan (IT)
More information at http://www.elioelestorietese.it