Rave It Up recently had a chat to the lead singer and guitarist of Australian rock band Donnarumma, Louis, about their latest single Love Your Man, their new EP Billy Billy and about their current Australian tour.
Hey Louis. Since this is your first time on Rave It Up, we’d love to get to know you guys a little bit better. Firstly we’d all love to know, how did you all originally get started in the industry?
Hey Rave It Up, thanks for having us. I started out as a solo artist playing folk music, Anthony was a rock muso that turned to jazz once starting uni and Max has worked with many bands in different genres which gave him the opportunity to play heaps of cool festivals.
Were you all friends before the band? How did you meet?
Anthony and I have been good mates for a few years now. I met Max when I was at uni. I really wanted to start a band so I asked the guys and they were keen. The rest is history!
Throughout your career, what have you found the hardest thing about the industry?
Self-doubt is a biggie. It slows us all down and gets us dark. It’s really common with the creative types and for me, it sort of comes and goes from time to time.
Have you had any problems with haters or bullying? (If so, how did you get through it?)
Everyone loves Max. There’s no way you could hate him. I think he reflects really well on the band and is like a hater repellent.
Your new song Love Your Man is now out for everyone to check out and it’s so catchy. Can you tell us more about it? Is it based on a true story at all?
The tune is based on a past relationship I was in. I felt trapped and that I wasn’t being loved. As it turned out my perception was warped by jealousy so the song is a bit of a reflective piece on the events that unfolded.
The track also has hints of jazz influences in it. What made you think about doing that? Have you guys always liked jazz music?
All three of us listen to jazz but Anthony is by far the one who is into it the most. We are all rock musicians at heart but we wanted to try to incorporate some different instruments to change the texture. It’s fun keeping it fresh and trying new ideas.
Your EP Billy Billy will be out on June 30 and it expresses the highest highs and the lowest lows of the human experience. The main message in these songs is one of feeling lost as you’re growing up. Was this a concept that you came up with early on or did you just realize all the songs had a very similar theme?
I got the idea of the title when driving to Victoria to play shows and passing Billy Billy Creek. Later that year I wrote the title track, which is a song about a boy dreading school and his dysfunctional family telling him to grow up. The song got the ball rolling for the rest of the EP and I was able to tap into these emotions I had bottled up for years.
Have the songs been like diary entries for you?
I haven’t really thought of it that way but I think so. The songs are really reflective in their nature and are written in the past tense.
Do you ever find it difficult to come up with song ideas?
Absolutely! Some songs come easy and others really make you work to get them out. I think it has a lot to do with the self doubt thing.
Is it true that you’ve been honing and crafting this EP for a year? How come?
We wanted to feel 100% confident about releasing the tracks, which is good because we ended up re-mixing two of them. Also the studio time was pretty early days in the sense of how long we had been playing together so we needed to be a band.
What is your favourite song off the EP?
We laugh a bit at All Night Long because it’s just straight to the point. It’s quite a personal song for me but I still see the ridiculousness in it.
The EP includes guests Paige Court (MANE), Magic Rutjens (Timberwolf) and Ollie English on backing vocals. We’ve had Paige on Rave It Up as well and she is absolutely lovely. How did you find it working with Paige and the others?
We have known Paige and all the others for a while and they are all lovely. She came into the studio, smashed out her vocal parts in no time and wowed us all with how amazing they turned out from the get go. We are so grateful to have such awesome friends come and help out.
To celebrate Billy Billy, you will be embarking on a national tour in July. For the readers who want to come along, what can they expect from the show?
You’ll expect loud guitars, a drummer that jumps around and a bass that looks like a huge violin. We’ll be playing the songs off the EP as well as some new bangers we’ve been writing recently.
You’re performing in Adelaide, Melbourne, Wollongong and Sydney. Which city are you most excited to visit?
We can’t pick a favourite. We are just super excited to hit the road, although the Adelaide show should be great!
Even though you guys have already achieved so much in your career, what else can we expect from you in the future?
We are planning on recording straight after the tour and we have some sweet support slots in 2017 such as Regurgitator, Teskey Brothers and The Snowdroppers.
What advice would you give to the readers who want to follow their dreams of becoming a singer?
Don’t give up and don’t settle for a shitty “real” job.
And as a closing statement and what is probably the most important question, knowing what you know now, what would you tell your 14-year-old self?
Play more music and less video games!
If the listeners would like to contact you or find out what you are up to, where should they go?
Thank you so much for having a chat to us today guys.
– Interviewed by Lauren Yeates