Finley: punk-rock enthusiasm and a dash of nostalgia awaken the band

Finley, new album and an event show at the Assago Forum for the band’s comeback: «Punk-rock gave us a dream».
A high school in Legnano, a town in the hinterland of Milan, is the setting for the meeting of four young boys connected by a common passion. Among the school desks they begin to record their first demos, to tune vocals and instruments, to play with the seven notes with the hope of making reality that dream that binds them viscerally.

Finley’s success is bursting and arrives impetuously in the early 2000s. These were the years when MTV was the reference point for a generation, the one that grew up on bread and video clips that played at all hours of the day and night. The thematic channel’s schedule featured the cult program TRL, in which Finley’s songs were constantly in heavy rotation and occupied the top spots on the charts daily, propelled by fans’ text message votes. Thanks to hits such as Diventerai una star and Fumo e cenere they were consecrated as one of the reference bands of Italian punk-rock, covered with platinum records in a historical period when music was still bought physically in CD stores.

Pogo Mixtape Vol. 1

On Friday, May 17, 7 years after their last studio album, Pedro, Ka, Dani and Ivan (in the lineup since 2011) release the ambitious new project Pogo Mixtape Vol.1. 14 tracks in which the Finleys reintroduce those sounds that have drawn their musical identity in a contemporary key while eschewing the nostalgia effect. To metaphorically ‘pogare’ with them in the pieces that make up the tracklist several Italian and international artists: from J-Ax to Naska, from Rose Villain to Fast Animals and Slow Kids. «We involved singers and bands that we love and that have inspired our music for years. Not all of them come from the same musical genre, but they all possess a strong punk attitude», they tell. Next October 16, the group will take the stage at the Assago Forum with the event show Tutto è possibile al Forum. Pedro, born Marco Pedretti, told us more about this new recording era.

«It was a beautiful experiment that turned into a project that we strongly believe in and that we think will allow us to be noticed in a new and different light»

You describe Pogo Mixtape Vol. 1 as a wild mixtape that is created during concerts. With you in this new project are many artists you esteem. How did this idea come about?

This madness was born a couple of years ago. Definitely a spark for the creation of this project was the collaboration we did with Naska. Thanks to his friendship we released the single Porno in 2023. The experiment went so well that we said ‘But why not continue, why not contaminate our vibes with other artists?’ So we tried to gather this wonderful pile of bands that we grew up with, real legends who shaped us not only musically. Artists whose poster we had in our room and artists who probably had our poster in their room (like Naska or Rose Villain). It was 14 magical encounters, because each of them gave us something we learned from. It was really impactful for us this creative process, finding the right mix with the artist we were going to work with. It was a beautiful experiment that turned into a project that we strongly believe in and that we think will allow us to be noticed in a new and different light.

From left to right: jacket TheCube Archive, kilt Errec, belt Corsilab, shoes Dr. Martens, necklaces Brosway, rings Athena; t-shirt and jacket TheCube Archive, trousers G-Star, belts Blindlovers, shoes Golden Goose; total look TheCube Archive, gloves Punk Park, shoes Golden Goose; jacket Blindlovers, t-shirt Brixton, trousers TheCube Archive, belt Corsilab, shoes Dr.Martens

The Finleys about Pogo Mixtape Vol. 1: «And this project sets us on fire, from the very first track we recorded there was an overwhelming domino effect»

The new record comes 7 years after your previous work. What took you so long?

Because in the meantime we had children (laughs, ed.). In 2017 we released Armstrong, then in 2019 a live record. Let’s say the market is also going in a slightly different direction. I like the idea of having come out with such a full-bodied album consisting of 14 tracks, which is unusual today. Actually in these years, which seem like years of silence, there has been a lot of work. For 11 years, we have also been carrying on another profession, which is as radio speakers. There has been so much in these 7 years. Very often it takes time to see each other again, even from the outside, to figure out where you want to go and what moves you, to look for a project that ignites you. And this project ignites us, from the very first track we recorded there was an overwhelming domino effect. The fact that we found all this enthusiasm in other realities and other artists that you respect was a balm, very nice and exciting. For those of us who are used to working in a band, going and adding other heads could have seemed crazy, but instead it was easier.

Pogo Mixtape Vol. 1

The Milanese band after 7 years of silence: «We are 4 guys with a few more springs, but having a lot more fun now on stage»

Those who, like me, grew up with the television constantly turned on to MTV know perfectly well the Finleys of the early 2000s. Who are the Finleys of today?

They are the same with 20 more years of experience on their shoulders, with greater awareness of their merits and limitations. We are 4 guys with a few more springs, but having much more fun now on stage. Before there was the naivety and enthusiasm of 20 years old, but there was also technical lack of experience that one person cannot have. All the apprenticeship we had allowed us to grow and learn so many things and have the tools to master and deal with the stage in the best possible way. When you have awareness of your means, you can enjoy it 100 percent.

«Our challenge was to make our sound contemporary and not a rewind of what it was in the early 2000s»

I listened to your record and immediately recognized that imprinting that characterized your earlier work. Do you think the choice to stay consistent with your style, punk rock, has precluded you from opportunities?

I don’t think so. All these years, in which we still experimented with avenues while maintaining our sound matrix, allowed us to have an identity. When I heard our name side by side with new bands coming into the music world, I thought we had managed to leave something behind. It means that people relate a certain kind of sound back to us, that we have made it a little more mainstream. I always saw that as a very good thing. In this record, our sonic identity came out even more bursting out albeit with the contamination of many other artists. Our challenge was to make our sound contemporary and not a rewind of what it was in the early 2000s.

Pogo Mixtape Vol. 1

Finley and the featuring on the new album: «I am also grateful to the many artists who have brought their voice and unmistakable style and mixed it with ours»

The new album features duets with big names in national and international music. Dreaming big, are there any artists missing from the roll call?

There are many. I tell you Vasco Rossi, I would love a generational meeting. I’d love to have Gianna Nannini’s voice. From the punk-rock scene I could give you an endless list, from Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day to Deryck Whibley of Sum 41. I can say that I’m really happy already with what we were able to bring to this record. Collaborating with Punkreas, who are a legend of Italian punk, was a utopia for us. They are the standard bearers of underground punk in Italy. It was great to see them come on board with this project, it was not at all expected. Like them, I am also grateful to the many artists who have brought their unmistakable voice and style mixing it with ours.

The return of Finley to the Assago Forum stage: «It will allow us to take our songs to a completely different dimension»

On October 16, the event show Tutto è possibile al Forum, your first live show at the Assago Forum. It may still be too early to talk about it, but do you already have something in mind?

Yes, we are already working on it. Since before we actually announced it (laughs, ed.). We don’t sleep practically. We want to get ahead of the curve, already test something as soon as possible. It will be the biggest thing we’ve ever seen, it will allow us to take our songs to a completely different dimension. The emotions that people will experience under the stage will be tenfold. I have seen so many concerts at the Forum as a spectator and it is a magical, enveloping place. For us it is an achievement, a new starting point. It came when we weren’t looking for it, it was even better that way. I’m looking forward to it and at the same time I’m also a little scared.

The messages conveyed by the single Politically Correct: «Music users should also have a little more common sense in their judgments»

In Politically Correct you express a difficulty of today’s artists, who have to juggle between being careful in choosing the words to use in lyrics to seeking virality at all costs on TikTok. Is it more difficult to make music today?

But actually no, there is much more freedom. A lot more expressions have been cleared, and very often objectively the messages that are put into songs are not exactly uplifting. It must be said that at the same time many artists take themselves too seriously. Music consumers should also have a little more common sense in their judgments.

From You will become a star to «Who cares even if I don’t become a star», a phrase from the lyrics of the single Politically Correct. What is your relationship with fame, you who have experienced moments of immense popularity in your career?

I never cared about it, you care even less when you have it. When you’re in it, you almost feel annoyance. We’ve always been interested in having fun and going out and making music. The rest has always been background noise, albeit very loud at some junctures. We have always experienced popularity with serenity. Being a band allows us to maintain a certain balance and support ourselves when the burden becomes more overwhelming.


Finley: «Radio became an outlet and a time to unplug»

«Would you ever do Sanremo again?» Is a question I imagine you are frequently asked. Is the answer contained in FAQ, one of the tracks on the new record?

Absolutely not, no one has it in for Sanremo (laughs, ed.). It was a wonderful experience and should there be a chance again welcome. It is an important showcase to get your message and music heard.

For the past few years, your fans have been listening to you on R101 in I Trafficanti, in a segment that is very popular with listeners (the back home segment). Do you know that you have a fundamental task in people’s lives?

Yes of course, we found this out even more during the Covid period when people needed to turn off their brains. We were bombarded every day with numbers, war bulletins, difficult personal events. Radio became an outlet and a time to unplug. I must say that we have become very good at it, we have been recognized by the affection of our listeners, and there is an increasing number of people following us. Since 2019 we have been on the air every day. It’s a delicate time of the day, and we try to bring lightness and lightheartedness. We are a close-knit team. For me, it’s like being in the classroom in high school.



Photographer: Simone Paccini

Stylist: Mimina Cornacchia, Gabriella Piluso, Maria Alessia Simonte


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