Interview: Adelaide’s DONNARUMMA due to make a splash with Billy Billy EP

Next week, Adelaide trio DONNARUMMA will release their debut EP Billy Billy after what seems like ages, if you’re a local music fan having seen Louis DonnarummaAnthony Costanzo and Max Tulysewski perform around the place frequently over the past year. An amalgamation of different influences and previous performance experience comes to the fold with the DONNARUMMA project and has been poured into the making of Billy Billy, a process Louis shares more about with us below…

June 30th is approaching nearer and nearer. How does it feel to know that Billy Billy is getting closer to its release date?

To be honest it feels like a weight off of our shoulders. We recorded the EP about a year ago and have been sitting on it for a while. We are really excited to share it with everyone.

Can you take us through the recording and creative process behind this one; where did you make the EP and what lessons has it left you that you’d potentially take into the studio with you for a full length album?

The EP was recorded at Mixmasters Studios with engineer Tom Barnes (Shaolin Afronauts, Wanderers) working his magic behind the desk. We decided that in order to capture the live energy of Donnarumma, we would record live as the trio with no click track. We would always say “Expression over intonation”; we didn’t mind if things were slightly wonky in regards to tuning, it was just about capturing the raw emotion behind the songs. I was really trying to tap into the meaning behind what I was singing and draw upon that emotion. Two big things that we learned are burgers are great recording food and the shaker is the musical glue in the studio.

It feels like this EP has been a little while in the making – when did this project start and has the final result matched your initial idea or vision for the record?

It’s been about a year in the making, we decided to really take our time to get everything polished and nice. The record came out how I envisioned, the idea came out of using ‘outdated’ instruments that you don’t really get to hear nowadays and bring them back. We have everything from Double Bass to Trombone.

“Love Your Man” is the single most people would know from Billy Billy at this point – the film clip is dope. Tell us about the concept behind it and how it was working with Lewis [Brideson]?

Our bass player Anthony Costanzo and I collectively came up with the concept and storyboard for the clip. The story’s about this toxic relationship where the girl goes insane, kidnaps his partner and tries to kill him but reveals he’s been cheating on her and gets what he deserves. Sounds ridiculous I know, but we tried to be as over the top as we could be. It’s like those moments when you’re so angry you picture the most outrageous stories in your head. We find it amusing and love the irony, there’s this man singing how he doesn’t feel loved but does nothing but betray her.

Lewis is such a talented Videographer and an all round champ. We gave him the details of the storyline and he knew exactly what we wanted as well as what the clip needed.

Coming out of Adelaide, can you tell us what it is about the local music scene there that is making you excited as an artist producing new music?

Adelaide is great, there are so many talented musicians that make it a really diverse scene. Everyone is super friendly, the community seems to be more like a family. We all try to help each other out and are always happy to have a hang and a chat over a beer. Adelaide is also pretty cool to live in because we are trying to be different from Melbourne and Sydney with things like Umbrella Festival and The Porch Sessions.

You guys are hitting the road next month for a bit of an east coast tour – have you had many opportunities to perform this material live yet, or will these be the first shows the EP will have to properly have a run?

Well we were way too excited about the tunes to not play them so we have basically been playing most of the EP since we recorded it. We also have a few more that’ll pop up on the next record.

How would you describe the live dynamic between you all at the moment- what do you enjoy the most about performing with one another?

We have an energetic stage presence full of antics, Anthony our bassist lifts his double bass over his head, our drummer Max jumps around when he plays and I guess I just look pretty, kinda, not really.

Billy Billy is out on June 30th. Catch DONNARUMMA on the road through July and keep up to date with the band here.


July 1st | Grace Emily Hotel, ADELAIDE
July 7th | Whole Lotta Love, MELBOURNE
July 13th | Rad Bar, WOLLONGONG
July 14th | The Townie, SYDNEY | Free Show


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