One of the more surprising hotbeds of great up and coming rock bands we’ve discovered in the last few years is Italy. And we’ve found another exciting new Italian rock band for you with Milanese quintet Break Me Down.
The band combine big metal riffs with delicious lead vocals – which are now led by Veronica Driven, who joined the band in February – which come together to form a heavy, atmospheric and engaging sound.
To get a taste for this, they sent us Your Game, the opening track from last year’s debut album The Pond. The track opens up with big ascending guitars then chugging chords and a light lick under the opening vocals, which soon intensify in a pre-chorus of “Why do they want to change me? My strength is in my brain, Do you want to stay away?”
That builds up into a big singalong chorus “DO you feel safe if you lose your way and do things your way? ‘Cause your fake smiles make the world a bad place, I’ve never played this game, You can try to find the best part of me, And now you see the world, Do you see the wonder around you everywhere?”
A second chorus gives way to a spinning guitar lick over driving drums and guitars and drops into a final blast of the chorus. Check it out in the cool lyric video below:
A personal favourite song is the album’s second track If You Are Brave, which opens up with an awesome guitar riff and driving drums. It drops into light opening vocals then the big riff briefly jumps back in between short verses. That feeds into a huge chorus that features cool layered vocals and a bit of call and answer.
A second chorus drops into a huge guitar solo over the opening riff, then there’s a brief pause for breath before a big final chorus to bring it to a close. Check it out below:
And if you like that then there’s plenty more to enjoy with big riffing on tracks like most recent single release The Noose, New Hero, Look @ Me and the intense O.C.D.. While the lively Look @ Me is well worth a listen below:
And if you like the sound of the band then there’s plenty of music to get stuck into, including their recent acoustic sessions on YouTube. These include an acoustic rendition of Look @ Me, which you can check out below:
We had a chat with the band – and we mean, all of the band – to find out more about them. Read on below…
GR: Who are Break Me Down?
Laerte: “After my old band broke up I decided to take a break from music, but a couple of years later I realized I missed the stage. With my old bass player (LoChef) and the drummer we formed a new band, but we still needed to find a new singer so we started auditioning. One night we went for a beer to a local live music pub where a girl named Faith was performing with a her cover band; we immediately liked her and thought she would be perfect for our project, so after the show I talked to her and asked her if she would be interested and she was enthusiastic! Since we wanted a rhythm guitar Morris, her guitarist at the time, also joined the band.
“Only a few months in we sadly parted with our drummer due to musical differences, but we quickly found a replacement, our 5th element Fabio.
We had an amazing and crazy busy year, we played in many clubs, pubs and at two festivals which helped us grow our fanbase, but unfortunately history repeated itself and Faith ended up leaving the band to follow a different path.
“That’s when Irene came into the picture. We met her at a Christmas jam session, played together a little and… it was love at first song! With Irene in the band we were finally able to release our first record The Pond in October 2019; we started promoting it, but due to Irene’s health issues we had to put a stop to live performances.
“We were once again in need of a frontwoman and soon found one in great singer and friend Veronica, who joined BMD at the end of February 2020.
The lineup sees Veronica Driven (Voice), Laerte Ungaro and Morris Steel (Guitars), Giuseppe ‘LoChef’ Greco (Bass Guitar), Fabio Benedan (Drums)
You just released Your Game. “
GR: You sent us Your Game. What should people be expecting from the song?
Morris: “Your Game holds a special place in our hearts, being the first single release. Irene wrote the lyrics drawing inspiration from her personal experience, which she never really talked about but found a way to share with us and the fans through the song.
“We live in a world full of barriers where it’s difficult for us to accept and feel comfortable with our own differences or other people’s, whether it’s skin color, faith, sexuality, disabilities, so we often tend to reject or hate what we don’t understand because it frightens us.
“Your Game wants to be a wake up call, and it invites everyone of us to appreciate and be enriched by a lot of nuances that the world shows us.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
Fabio: “We try to find our path as musicians but it’s not easy. We don’t think to be unique but we do something interesting like combine metal and hard rock music with pop melodies.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
LoChef: “We write about life. Everything that is around us: life stories, feelings, emotions. Some songs of our new record are inspired by movies and youtube videos! OCD, for example, talks about love from the point of view of a guy that has the obsessive compulsive disorder. We think about love in a “classic” way, but we never think that for this guy love is ‘don’t wash his hands after touch her skin.'”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
Fabio: “I guess the most inspiring bands for us in the contemporary music scene have been Alter Bridge, Nothing More, Korn, Tool and Pantera, but let’s not forget we all grew up listening to classic rock, the timeless music of Led Zeppelin, Queen, Van Halen, Iron Maiden and Metallica. In order to find your own style you surely have to be creative and original, but you also ought to know your musical history and learn from the best.”
GR: We’ve featured loads of great new Italian rock/metal bands. What are your thoughts on the current rock/metal scene in the country?
Laerte: “Good question, complicated answer! Rock and metal are not the most popular genres in our country, they never really have been, so it’s not exactly easy for underground bands to promote their music outside the ‘friends and family’ circle.
“Luckily we live in Northern Italy, where there’s a good number of live music pubs and clubs that support the rock/metal scene, but it’s not enough to steer people’s attention toward our community and our music. It’s a shame, because there are some great, passionate musicians out there who deserve a chance to be heard, ourselves included of course!
“On the bright side, anyone with a computer or smartphone now has access to platforms like YouTube, Spotify, Instagram which are really helping us grow and connect with our fans.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
Veronica: “We had a full schedule, but we’re going to have to postpone everything because of this pandemic! When it’ll all be back to normal we will start to book gigs again and record new stuff! Follow us on our social media to stay tuned!”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
Morris: “We are planning a tour for next fall and we’d like it to be international, we’d love to play for foreign audiences and get their feedback, see how music lovers from other countries feel about the genre and how much support it’s given. We did play in Switzerland a few times, but we are ready to venture even further away. You’ll see!”