Måneskin- Italian Glam Rockers Rock Hard and Ooze Sex

Love them or hate them, they absolutely cannot be ignored. Not since David Bowie graced us with Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars has a band descended with such a WOW factor. This insanely popular Italian rock band skyrocketed to international stardom after winning the 2021 Eurovision competition, deservedly so. They are the most exciting band to come out in ages and if you are not aware of them, you will be soon. Lead singer Damiano David, guitarist Thomas Raggi, bassist Victoria de Angelis and drummer Ethan Torchio formed the band in 2016 in Rome. As Måneskin accepted their Eurovision trophy, Damiano David yelled out, “We just want to say to the whole of Europe, to the whole world, that rock and roll never dies!” They seem to have invigorated rock and roll single-handedly. All four band members have the look, the moves, and the grooves. They look like young and beautiful models. They sound like modern euro-rock with a retro-glam 70’s flair. They rock as hard as Guns N’ Roses with a Red Hot Chili Peppers/INXS funkiness, which makes for a winning combination. Damiano’s voice is distinctive and he’s a natural frontman with tremendous sex appeal that would make Freddie Mercury proud. Their androgynous gender-bending outfits are meant to be a statement that it’s all good, be who you want to be, and dress whatever way makes you happy. They happen to wear it well. As for their sexuality, speaking to Vanity Fair Italy, Damiano describes himself as straight but curious. He is engaged to Italian model Giorgia Soleri. In a 2021 interview with Corriere della Sera magazine, Victoria described herself as bisexual, Ethan as sexually free, and Thomas as straight. To say Måneskin are charismatic is the understatement of the year. They explode onstage in a way that has not been seen as of late. It is incredible that such a young band can already be so advanced with such confidence and talent. They started performing at 15 years old and are now only in their early 20’s. Damiano just turned 23 on January 8th, the same birthday as both David Bowie and Elvis Presley. The other band members are only 21.

Their winning song, sung in Italian, on the 2021 Eurovision was “Zitti E Buoni.” The English translation is “Shut Up and Behave,” more literally “keep quiet and be good.” The song is about standing out by going against society’s expectations and rules. Damiano explained in his Eurovision English interview, “We are ready to play our music and we don’t care what people are going to say, we are just going to be like we are: authentic and we also try and send a message, saying to everybody to be themselves.” Their songwriting is very catchy, with widespread appeal. Even though they are Italian, Victoria de Angelis is half Danish and suggested they name the band Måneskin, which is Danish for moonlight. They all met in high school, except for Ethan Torchio, who had answered an open call for a drummer. Damiano is a mesmerizing lead singer and this hot-looking band rocks in high gear with tremendous high voltage energy. Their on-stage glam outfits are tastefully outrageous, with a nod to 70’s glam with a modern update. They formed a relationship with the Italian fashion house, Etro, who dressed them for photoshoots, album covers, and later, Eurovision performances. Etro said, “What I love is how they mix clothes for women and men. There is something very revolutionary about them, the way they don’t have any fear and they have fun with clothes.” Fans are obsessively flying everywhere to see them and finding them addictive. One hit after another. Italian or English songs…it doesn’t matter. One fan said, “Congratulations, guys! You managed to rejuvenate me by twenty years, you are better than a facelift.” They have already opened for the Rolling Stones. Who are these guys? What planet did they come from? They just popped up out of thin air, in a poof of rock stardust, like a moonage daydream, oh yeah. Before winning the Eurovision contest, they entered and won their first music competition, Pulse, in 2016. They were runner-up on 2017’s X Factor Italia and watching them practice and perform on that show is very impressive. They competed in Italy’s national SanRemo Festival for Italian Song and surprised everyone by winning, as the rock genre is not usually a winner. That win had propelled them to the Eurovision contest representing Italy. They won Best Rock Band at the 2021 MTV European Music Awards beating out Cold Play, The Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, The Killers, and Imagine Dragons. Imagine that. They made history as the first Italian band to have two simultaneous top ten singles on the UK charts. They had their American television debut on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon. They were on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” did shows at The Bowery Ballroom in New York City, and played The Roxy in Los Angeles. They rang in 2022 performing on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.”

Their fan base is enormous, picking up new fans at a record pace, and elevating Italian rock to new levels. Their provocative and mesmerizing live performances and videos are what are helping drive this mania. Even the songs that are sung in Italian are so captivating and many dedicated fans are saying they want to learn Italian. What band causes that? Their song “Coraline” sung in Italian is beautiful and doesn’t even need to be sung in English to tell it’s a great song. When I first heard the song “Gloria” in Italian by Umberto Tozzi in 1979, I knew it was a great song. In fact, the Italian version will always be my favorite. It was later done in English by Laura Branigan in 1982 and became a number two hit in the US. Måneskin sing some songs in English, like “I Wanna Be Your Slave,” and their killer cover of “Beggin,” which Frankie Valle and The Four Seasons had a hit with in 1967. Måneskin’s version of “Beggin,” besides topping international charts, has been played on Spotify more than 750 million times. It is a fabulous remake that they have made their own. The videos for “I Wanna Be Your Slave” and “Mammamia” are edgy and controversial. They even have punk icon Iggy Pop’s approval when he joins them on a new version of “I Wanna Be Your Slave.” It is hard to call them sexist though because they are equally for all sexes. They ooze pure sex. They have an anti-drug stance and are offended if anyone suggests they use drugs. They are unique in so many areas, creating music that is edgy, refreshing and energetic.

Their 2018 debut album, Il Ballo Della Vita, in English means “the dance of life.” It contains twelve autobiographical tracks centering around their muse “Marlena,” who is the protagonist in their song “Come Home,” and also in the song “Moriro da re” (I’ll Die As A King). Damiano explains that Marlena is Måneskin, the personification of freedom, creativity and life. Their second album, Teatro D’Ira Vol 1, released in 2021, captures their raw live energy and shows their growth as songwriters. The title translates to “Theater of Wrath.” The wrath is a rage against oppressive stereotypes, but one that generates a positive change. It was recorded like an analogue 70’s bootleg to capture the live dimension. It contains the singles “Vent’Anni,” the Eurovision winning “Zitti e Buoni” and the super sexy “I Wanna Be Your Slave.” There are eight songs and it only runs 29 minutes long. Their Chosen EP was released in 2017 and contains two originals, “Chosen” and “Recovery,” along with five covers; “Beggin’”, Caparezzo’s “Vengo dalla luna” (I am from the moon), The Killers’ “Somebody Told Me,” The Black Eyes Peas’ “Let’s Get It Started,” and Ed Sheeran’s “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.”
Manuel Agnelli, judge and coach on the X Factor Italia (a musician himself in the rock band Afterhours) said, “These kids are personality monsters…you can teach someone to sing, play and be onstage but personality is something you can’t teach.” It remains to be seen whether they can keep up their obsessive popularity when the glitter fades and time wreaks havoc. A large part of their appeal is their fashion-forward flair combined with beauty and youth. Right now, their songs are hitting it out of the park, but can they keep these hits coming? Only time will tell if they can pass the test of time like their idols, The Rolling Stones. For now, there is no doubt that they are sizzling red hot. Their fans are beggin’ for more Måneskin and let’s face it, sex sells. They are a rock force to be reckoned with and show great promise for the future. I’m betting on their long-term success because they are so driven, write catchy songs and are such electric/sexy performers. They have it all. How high can Måneskin go? The sky’s the limit and they’re already halfway there.

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