Eurovision Song Contest Winners Måneskin Speak of ‘Offensive’ Drug Charges
Any artist who wins the Eurovision Song Contest is sure to make a splash – but Italian glam-rock band Måneskin, who won the 65th edition of the competition at the end of last week, made an even bigger impression than ‘they had only anticipated when, at a press conference immediately after their victory, frontman Damiano David bowed his head towards the table the band was sitting at, sparking immediate speculation that he had snorted cocaine as the group spoke with reporters.
The group immediately denied the allegations – which, as anyone watching the video can attest, were exaggerated – and David tested negative for drugs after returning to Italy, but needless to say it made an impression. . (Some have speculated that the rumor was started by fans of acts who did not win the competition.)
It was a strange climax for the band – David, bassist Victoria De Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi and drummer Ethan Torchio – who have known each other since college and formed the band in 2015. Their unusual name is pronounced “MY. -eh-skin, ”Is Danish for“ moonlight ”and pays homage to De Angelis’ Danish ancestry. The group rose to fame in Italy in 2017 after auditioning for “X-Factor Italia” (for which they came second) with “Chosen”, which would become their first single. Bolstered by more hit singles, they quickly became popular on the continent and embarked on a 70-date tour in 2019.
After winning the Italian Sanremo Song Festival in March and the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, Måneskin achieved another feat this week: their song “Zitti e Buoni” – winner of both events – made its debut. Top 10 of the Spotify Global Chart. And the track (the title translates to “Shut Up and Behave”) is billed as having just become the most played Italian song in a day.
Måneskin spoke to Variety Tuesday on all of the above.
Let’s eliminate the cocaine incident. Damiano: how did you feel?
David: I was certainly very offended by the incident, as it was a personal attack. If someone had said my performance sucked, I would have accepted it. But anyway, I obviously didn’t care about it, even for a second – I know the truth and we have also provided proof that it was wrong. Now I just hope people stop talking about it and we have a chance to celebrate because they tried to ruin our party. Stuff like that happens, although it shouldn’t. But we came out with our heads held high.
What do you think of the fact that “Zitti e Buoni” becomes the most widely broadcast Italian song in a day?
David: Hopefully we’ve helped raise the general opinion about Italian music a bit. Other than that, we are happy because we did something historic and no one can take it away from us. It’s incredible!
It’s even more remarkable because it’s a rock song sung in Italian – far from stereotypes about Italian music.
Thomas Raggi: What’s amazing, as you said, is that it opens a lot of doors. It’s like when we went to Sanremo. We have always believed in rock music and also singing in Italian. And now we got a lot of appreciation for it: when we saw the votes come from the [Eurovision] TV audience, we were blown away!
Victoria De Angelis: What’s really great is that we came out as real. [Our music] is something that we really believe in and are just ourselves, rather than conforming to the types of music that are more fashionable today.
You’ve also done a lot of songs in English – how do you decide which language a song should be performed in?
De Angelis: At first almost all the songs we wrote were in English because writing our type of music in Italian was more difficult. But I like to write in both languages; they are both very important. The fact that many doors are now opening for us internationally gives us more opportunity to release more songs in English which in Italy are more difficult to sell. Although we never really gave a shit about it.
How important was “X-Factor” to you?
De Angelis: It was really important because it allowed us to reach a larger audience for the first time – it was a radical change in our lives. What is really beautiful is that we experienced it very spontaneously and with total lightness, because no one told us what we could. [or could not] do. Everything came entirely from us. We still didn’t know anything about the dynamics of the music world. It was total freedom and we could be ourselves. It was a fantastic start.
You’ll be touring Italy later this year, and you said you’d like to play at the Glastonbury Festival in England in September – what else is on the horizon?
De Angelis: We’re trying to figure out our next moves. A lot of doors are opening that we never even thought we were considering before. Of course, we want to play for the new audiences that we have won over in many countries. We try to juggle concerts abroad and writing. But yes, we would love to play Glastonbury!