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One Truth

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Until recently I had never heard of the band One Truth from Italy. That changed when I heard this Italian hardcore band was going to play the annual Brainwave Festival in Holland. I was at the festival and here you can read the interview I did with the band.

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Interview With: Marco Chiapella (vocals) & Pierluigi (guitar; he left the band just after the Brainwave Festival).

Date: Saturday January 29th 2000

Where: At the annual Brainwave Festival, Bodegraven, The Netherlands

Other Bandmembers: Giorgio (drums), Alessio (bass), Andrea (guitar)

Band's Geographical Home: Milan, Italy

Discography: What We Do Through The Foggy Dew (7 inch EP)

Band's Official Website: One Truth

Interview By: mpo

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Can you tell me how One Truth once began?

Marco: One Truth began in March or February 1997 and it was an idea of us and two friends that are not in the band anymore. It was more, at first, an old school/straighedge band or something like that. We started playing live in this situation with four people in the band in the Italian straightedge/hardcore scene. Then we didn't release anything. Because there were a lot of line-up changes. And then we introduced some new members. So, that's it. We just met one day and said: "Hey, we want to do a band. Let's do an oldschool band." We were really new in the hardcore scene. Just one guy was into the scene, knowing people. So we just joined the staff and learned how to be in it.

When I first heard that an Italian hardcore band was going to play the Brainwave Festival I was quite surprised. I'm not really familiar with Christian hardcore in Italy. Or not even Christian hard music in Italy. So, how is the scene there?

Marco: You mean the Christian scene in general? There are a lot of Christian people playing in bands. Different kinds of music from gospel to other things. But there is no real scene. I mean, Italy is a really Christian country. It's the tradition. We have the Vatican. We are maybe the first country to be Christian. We have (the apostle) Peter and some things like that. It's normal to be Christian so there is not a culture of spreading Christ through music. The church is there but they don't feel the need to spread Christ in the underground scene. So, there is gospel. There's active Celtic and Gaelic music. But I wouldn't like talking about a scene. It's just choirs. The first time there was a Christian festival in Italy was two months ago. There were a lot of American artists plus Italian artists. It was all pop music or popular music. The Christian aggro-scene itself is even worse then that. There aren't bands. There are a lot of members who are Christians in straightedge bands, vegan-straightedge bands. But they are not supporting the stuff. It's not a point for the bands.

As you are a Christian band, where do you stand? There is a lot of Roman-Catholicism in Italy. Maybe some Protestantism. How do you see your Christian faith?

Marco: Italy is a Catholic country. So, I think everyone rises up in his own environment and tradition. We were born in a Catholic country. So, we are Christians in a Catholic way. I don't even know how it is to be a Christian in a Protestant way. I know the main differences. I go to a Church on Monday and I do this stuff but I don't know what Protestants do. You know what I mean? I feel the band is spreading my experience of the relation with God. It's something I didn't learn in the church. When I was a kid I was sent to the church because young people play in the church. But I haven't learned anything there. I was in the church, I was going to the church on Monday, I was playing with the other guys in the church. But it didn't give me anything at all. The others (in the band) have different experiences. He (pointing to Alessio) is really involved in the church of his town. He was in a Christian school so he learned Christianity in the school. I have walked a different path. So, we all have different experiences. But we don't know much about a Protestant environment, you know. So, I just want to say I'm a Christian. I don't think it's very different, being Catholic or Protestant. For my experiences I think there must be a God. Someone yo can relate to, to learn to be a good Christian. Because by myself I'm just a jerk. I would do anything wrong and I still do things wrong when I want to do things by myself. For my experiences I have learned to have faith in people that teach me and help to learn me to be Christian. I think that's the main idea of everyone (in the band).

You said you grew up in a Catholic environment. But at the same time you see kind of an development in your own life. Are there two directions? On one hand you have tradition, on the other hand you have personal faith. So, how is that worked out in your own life?

Marco: Well, I believe this: I don't think there are two directions. For example I think we all here are into one thing, like hardcore or writting poetry. For God you must pursue your own stuff and you do it by yourself. In Italy I'm a bit critical about the tradition of the church just because I think there are a lot of barrieres and differences between the young people and the churches. It doesn't happen always. I mean, he (pointing to Giorgio) is involved in his church. The church is something very basical for his town. Lots of people go there. There are jazzconcerts, gospelconcerts and there are a lot of people. I didn't have these experiences in my town. I'm really into the hardcore scene and I see that no one preaches Christ in the squads or in the underground movement. There are maybe Christian shops but the hardest thing they have is maybe gospel and this (music we make) is too alternative for them. So, it's a different thing here than in the United States. I don't think my personal experience is really different from the church tradition. I mean, the church to me is to pursue friendship and your relationship with other Christians. Because we just have the Catholic church there. And by yourself you must do your stuff but not going there by your own. You're just loosing to me. I mean, Christianity to me is about a community. As a band, I wouldn't do anything by myself. Maybe I do the contacts but we are playing together and we have five people here.

What do you think of the pope?

Marco: Wow, it's a hard question... if you mean the Pope as a person, I think he's a great man and he really had a big part in the revolutionary events of the last twenty years. I mean, his strength and dedication to the Lord is great. I read some of the books he wrote and I do believe he is a great man. Then, I'm not the one who can talk about teological stuff. I think he's doin' some great things trying to unite all the Christians under the same sign and recognition of the mistery entered in history. Then, if you mean the Pope as an institution, I don't believe it's simply a man. I do think it's a group of people and mind
working, and it can be a long disscussion as I think the church has got a lot of steps to do and a lot of things to change in its politics. I mean, I don't like a lot of the traditions and consuetudes which haven't changed or evolved in these past years... I kind of think they should pursue a stronger politic of austerity and shouldn't mix there actions with some multinationals which are responsable of most of the pains the church fights against with the missions and other
ministries. I hope it makes sense to you. In the end I'd like to say that the church is done by men who fall and make mistakes, but I don't think the Pope and other masters of the church are there with the intent of making mistakes... They have the desire and purpose of serving our God. Then, unluckly the reality isn't always as good as the intents....

Okay. Something about the music now. You call yourselves a Milano Hardcore band. Do you see any differences between this and hardcore from other countries or even other places in Italy? How do you define Milano hardcore?

Marco: You know, Italy is a lot about Soccer and stadiums and supporters. There are a lot of teams and most of the people of Milan support the Milan team. The people from Rome support the Rome team. It's more like: "We're from Milan". The main reason was that in Milan the scene was very bad in the past three years. Now it's going up again. We're a band from Milan and we wanted to say "we're a band from Milan. There's still hardcore here". Five or six years ago it was great. Some bands from Milan were known in the United States. In the jazz the bands from Milan were really known in the United States. So, it was a great scene. Then they split up. Some things really changed. There was no one involved, but now it's going up again. So we said: "We are from Milan." The hardcore style....Like in the United States you have the Boston Style , the San Diego style. In Italy there are a few bands so there's no differences. Maybe there's more metalcore in Rome and in Milan they are faster.

The band once started in the straightedge scene you said. That's not where your heart is now. One of your songs I saw on the website is This Is Not Straightedge. How did you come up with that song?

Marco:  As I said at first, we were just like a straightedge band. I was Christian but I didn't have the feeling of telling it through the band. So we were a straightedge band but I don't think we've ever been a typical straightedge band like "wow, I'm a straighedger, straighedge is great, straightedge is my life". We always had the feeling of straightedge like a personal choice. You choose not to take certain substances, and sexual stuff in the determinate meaning. But This Is Not Straightedge is a song....You know, we were in the scene and a lot of things were disgusting that we said, "this is not straightedge. If this is straightedge, I'm not straightedge." To me this is not straightedge, like vegan stuff, tough guys, people dancing and beating people up who drink. I don't think this is straightedge. It's a positive choice. It you're straightedge it's for you. Then there are a lot of people thinking that being straightedge is something really social and (they're) giving you points. You are a big person if you are straightedge. I don't think that. If you are straightedge and just do it by yourself and don't help people and you're not involved in social stuff, then it's useless. The band can't be named straightedge now because some members are not straightedge. They don't get drunk or smoke but they don't feel like saying "I'm straightedge". That's for me the same. If you're a Christian you don' loose yourself in smoking and drugs, alcohol. I think there are better things to do.

Pierluigi: When you start listening to this kind of music you think: "It's great. It's a good show. It's taking a stand and they are very important to me. So, I feel very close to these people". But the concept of unity is just very easy and it's so easy to stay together because of these laws. Because they are just laws. So you take your stand, you've made your choice but you've got to go on. You've go to follow your path. You keep saying "I'm straightedge, I don't drink, I'm straightedge, I don't take drugs". Everybody takes drugs and sex so bad. That's for a child, I mean. The scene was so superficial. It was so divided between different styles. Milan against Rome, vegan against non-vegan persons.  That was just stupid to me...That's why the song is called This Is Not Straightedge. I am straightedge but that's for me. It's not a thing I wanna stress everyday. It's just a choice I've made that I don't care if people know or not about my choice.

Marco: The other song called No Self Pride is about this either. It's about there's fake perfectionism. Youth-crew stuff. "We're a crew, we are united friends, brothers." But then if you go deep inside, it's nothing. It's friends like people hanging out together. It's not a big friendship to me. And the problem is that a lot of people just need to be in a crew to not pursue a real friendship. So, the No Self Pride song is about that.

Then, how do you define friendship in your own opinion?

Marco: How do you define friendship....Wow, that's a big question! It don't know....Friendship is a relationship that helps you growing up. I really think this is the right definition. If a friendship doesn't help you... When it's just hanging out or going together to the stadium it can be fun or cool. You need something else. For me it's really difficult to have a good friendship. For example, we are a band, we are friends. But we don't pursue our friendships very much. Everybody has their stuff to do. I have some personal things and I talk with him and I don't have time to talk with someone else the I......I have great friends. The meaning of all this is that you're all together for someone else. I mean, there is a song called Mirror Cause and it says there are people from far away in the world and they meet each other and it comes to friendship. Then you don't meet so often but you're still friends because there's a familiarity. There is a meaning and this meaning is Jesus Christ. Because this is a community. You don't have to know everything about me. You just need to know what I feel and what I need. If you know what I mean, you can help me. Friendship is hard but needed stuff. Everything in this world that's important and makes me happy is to share and have friendship with people.

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