If My Dinosaur Life sounds familiar then no, you’re not going mad, these Italian rockers were so inspired by the Motion City Soundtrack album that they borrowed its title as their band name.
The five-piece from Cremona, a town in northern Italy famed for its violin making, began as a project back in 2010 largely inspired by the music of Blink-182. Formed of childhood friends Angelo (drums) and Miki (bass), brothers Pete (guitar and vocals) and Chicco (guitar), they’ve recently added new lead vocalist Luca.
As Angelo tells us: “We all loved the same bands and we grew up listening to the same music, so it was only natural for us to get together and form a band. After Daniele left the band and other unfortunate events, like the flood of our practice space, we weren’t really satisfied with what we were doing with music. Luckily for us, that’s when Luca came in. He was the singer of a local rock band and we were blown away by his talent. We immediately found out he was a very cool dude too and shared some musical influences, so we asked him to join our band. We released two EPs and a few singles since then.”
My Dinosaur Life’s music draws heavily on punk rock / pop-punk giants like Blink, Green Day and No Use for a Name, who Angelo says helped them learn to write songs, as well as emo bands like The Get Up Kids and Jimmy Eat World. Now they all listen to different genres, from hardcore to indie rock, pop and even country music.
Angelo explains: “I would say that our sound has a bit of a retro vibe to it. Maybe it’s because many of our favourite bands were big back in the nineties, I don’t know. Each and every one of us brings something to the table during the writing process, and I think you can feel that when listening to our songs.”
“We don’t really try to emulate somebody else’s music, we just let the world influence our sound. We write about how we deal with what happens in our lives, the problems we all face and how they affect the way we live. The songs on our new EP are all about surviving our 20s. You don’t want to let go of your dreams, but you can’t ignore the harsh reality. It’s a constant battle in our minds, and it comes with a whole load of anxiety. Each song tries to cover a different shade of this topic.”
These influences come across on latest EP Young Survivors, which was released digitally just before Christmas, with physical versions launched mid-last month. Angelo told us: “We recorded it in February 2017, it was extremely hard to keep it secret for all those months, so we were so excited to finally put it out for people to hear it. Honestly, the reception has been great so far: people from different parts of the world like the US or Mexico wrote us on social media to tell us how much they’ve been loving it and it still feels surreal to me.”
The EP fuses those pop-punk and rock influences into an engaging mix of singalong, emotional rock tracks. Perfect Northwest is a perfect example of exactly that. Kicking off with lone vocals then a light guitar intro, it jumps into laid-back high-pitched vocals through the verse, and gradually increases in intensity towards a catchy emo-infused chorus. Fourth track Wooden Forts is equally enjoyable, with dominant guitar riffs and a ridiculously huge vocal outro from Luca that you have to check out.
There’s also a rockier edge to the band, that comes across in the more upbeat, heavier One Fast Move Or I’m Gone. The emo choruses are this time countered by faster, more punky verses with driving guitar chords supporting Luca’s engaging vocals. Check it out in the video below:
The EP was launched with a hometown release party before Christmas, where they shared the stage with another great Italian band we covered recently Sittingthesummerout and Soundtrack of a Summer. Ang told us: “Our families and all our friends were there, the room was packed and everyone knew the lyrics to the new songs. It honestly blew our minds, it was a very special night for us.”
On the EP, Ang said: “I’d say that it contains some of the best music we’ve ever created. It’s a very personal record, about surviving our 20’s. This is the time where you’re too young to be giving up your dreams and too old not to face the cold reality of life. It tells a story of a long journey that my friends and I took not just as individuals but also as a band.
“We grew up so much during the writing of this EP, and we’re very proud of what we have created. Musically speaking, it sounds a bit darker than our previous EP Cold Summer. We feel like that this time we were able to channel all our musical influences into our personal blend of rock, emo and pop.”
My Dinosaur Life are the latest in a series of great new bands we’ve spoken to from Italy. As Angelo explains: “There are many great Italian bands here in the underground scene, and to be honest some of them are so underrated. It’s not easy at all to be successful in our country, especially if you play this kind of music. Rock, Punk, Hardcore, Emo are not popular genres here, it’s hard to book shows and it’s even harder to get noticed or create some sort of a fanbase. But we, as bands, try our best to cooperate and help our music scene grow.
“For us, writing and singing in English gives us a chance to spread our music to foreign countries too, and so the Internet becomes a very powerful tool. The fact that these days you can put a song online and instantly reach people from all over the world is just amazing. We hope to get the best of it!”
We’re loving the big emo-rock sound of this exciting Italian band. They hope to be touring plenty through 2018 while recording their first full-length album.