Leonardo from Italian rock band Wyatt Earp talks about the hard times faced by and the future of classic Rock music

Leonardo from Italian rock band Wyatt Earp talks about the hard times faced by and the future of classic Rock music

As years go by, Rock music faces hard times. This seems to be especially true for one of the oldest kinds of this genre, classic rock from ‘60/’70. That’s why we decided to have a chat with Leonardo from “Wyatt Earp”, a ‘70s Hard Rock/Prog band from Italy which raised many acclamations worldwide since its first eponym record “Wyatt Earp” from September 2018.

Let’s begin: Hi Leo!

Leonardo – Hi everyone, thanks for the nice words about us, much appreciated!

Interviewer – So, how did rock music evolve during the years and why do we frequently hear that “Rock is dead”?

Leonardo – Well, actually rock music is not dead, it is still there alive and kickin’. I’d probably say that Labels’ Industry has changed. The world is in constant evolution as we all know, and the economic growth process shows us perfectly how things changed in the last 40 years. Our perception is that music was experienced, once, as something more pure and untied to money and incomes. There’s actually a nice Frank Zappa interview from the 70s where he talks about how producers in those days used to take experimental music from young and unknown artists and tried to place it on the market at any cost. This is a crucial point in our topic: as we said before, music in general was approached as something pure, a real form of artistic expression. So basically you didn’t care much about whether something would sell or not, which is now the starting point in the mind of a producer. The real main thought was “This is damn cool, how can I share this with the world, as it deserves to be listened by anyone?”

Interviewer – Clear, but why, then, do you think that labels’ industry has switched to a more commercial and “sterile” kind, in your opinion?

Leonardo – Well, the answer is multiple here. Of course the two principal aspects are society and money, even if technological progress has helped a lot. Once you paid a lot of money to buy a record and play it on your very expensive audio system. There wasn’t any smartphones, cheap PCs or every kind of stuff that now allows us to just open Spotify and play a song. With the arrival of audio streaming, everyone now can listen to whatever he wants at any time at no cost (which is good in a certain way). This also made people lazy: underground live concerts are often empty, people don’t buy CDs because streaming is free and easy, but that leads to one thing: bands from the new era cannot gain any money from their efforts. You know, we’re not talking about getting rich and having an 18 feet yacht at the Virgin Islands. But the problem is that it’s damn hard to recover even from the expenses you

have: write an album, record it, make promotion, tour, print merchandise… Also I think that during the years music has been struck by a sort of “Planned obsolescence”, new music comes out almost every day, and what goes the most usually gets forgotten early.

Interviewer – So what keeps you going on in this situation?

Leonardo – Well, I think there’s a moment in the life of every musician of this kind where you face the fact that world has taken a direction, and basically you can try to fight it, follow it or let yourself be carried by choosing the smartest things you can do to survive. You do it for the music you know, passion etc. And in a certain way it’s funnier ‘cause the struggle is way harder than the one you could find in other musical markets. Also, you wanna carry a message in your music. And then what else could you try to do if not leaving a mark in this world, during the only life you’ve been given? Hahaha!

Interviewer – Ok ok, I got it. Now, I’ve got a “dangerous” question for you: what do you guys think of bands like “Greta Van Fleet”? They had a huge success during the last two years and that looks kinda odd if the worldwide situation is the same as we talked about before. How do you think they made it?

Leonardo – Well, of course, this is a dangerous question, haha! None of us in the band is, actually, a Greta Van Fleet fan, just to let you know. There’s a lot of trash-talking around them and we all know the point of it, their very strong influence from Led Zeppelin. And that’s the answer we’re looking for I guess, they made it ‘cause they’re excellent musicians, of course. That’s just 40% of the whole picture, a strong part of the work has been done by excellent management and promotion behind, but that’s not only about being good and having good management. You know, there’s this sort of nostalgic feeling for 70s music, and that’s good for us too, but the way I see it here is like people likes Greta Van Fleet ‘cause they clearly remind Led Zeppelin in an almost perfect way. I mean, if tomorrow we would see a young guitarist being the perfect Hendrix copy (And I can guarantee you he’s out there) wouldn’t you be happy to listen to a sort of “B-Side” unreleased track of Hendrix? Have you ever wondered why so many “Remakes” came out in the last years in many artistic fields? Movies, music, video-games, books… we’re more into making something that’s not 100% ours, trying to write 70s music in an original and personal way it’s almost like a paradox, but that’s not a reason to play re-arranged covers, hahaha!

Interviewer – I got what you mean! So, to end, what would you suggest to new rock (but not only) bands out there about how to promote their music?

Leonardo – Aim for web streaming. Spotify is the biggest streaming platform, so you’ve got to invest money on it. Search for playlists that could fit your genre, contact the curators and get added to it. Often they will ask for money, but that’s a good way to spend them. Spend money on social media like Facebook and Instagram, put your record on Bandcamp (Big shoutout to them, great website), and try to give people, in any way, something that can entertain ‘em. Don’t count on CDs anymore. Print them, but if it’s your first record 300 copies are totally enough. Spend more money on web promotion, ‘cause that’s where we’re headed. Also, a personal advice, if you’re looking for a booking/promotion agency, BE CAREFUL. Take your time, ‘cause most of the time they will just take your money and try to sell you slots for live concerts that may look cool but are not. No one wants to pay 800 euros to play at 18.00 before Dream Theater in front of 40 people, and that’s what happened to our guitar player. Choose wisely, we’ve been lucky in finding Marco Vitolo from MFM agency (Musicians For Musicians). He’s a great guy and he’s a musician too, with his own underground band, so he lives and has lived every single situation we all lived.

Interviewer – Ok, promotional time! Where can our readers find you, and see how did you realize what you said in the interview?

Leonardo – You can find us on:





Bandcamp – Wyatt Earp

And contact us at our email address: [email protected] 

Also, we have a new release coming out in May 2020, we’ve started recording it on these days, so keep an eye on that!

Interviewer – We surely will! Thanks Leonardo, wish you guys all the best!

Leonardo – Thank you!

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