Interview with Rocco Lombardi of Hotlanta

Hotlanta is a band from Ticino that combines rock, blues and soul. The brainchild of musicians Matteo “Tedd” Bertini (vocals) and Rocco “El Tigre” Lombardi (drums), later joined by Matteo “Cleveland” Ballabio (Rhodes/synth), Mattia “Mad” Mantello (guitar) and Francesco “Cec” Rezzonico (bass), Hotlanta plays on December 17th at the Studio Foce.
6 December 2022
by Silvia Onorato
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Hotlanta © Elisa Baudino
© Elisa Baudino

How was the band born?
Matteo “Tedd” Bertini and I knew each other through past collaborations in different projects (Luca Princiotta Band, Chat Roulette, Band of Brothers). At the end of 2019, we decided to work on a joint project in which we could create music mixing all the influences from our musical backgrounds.

The name of your band is inspired by the city of Atlanta. What happens there?
I don’t know what happens there, but it’s a nice name which recalls the rock and blues tradition of the southern States of America, out favourite music genres. Then, “Hot” evokes the intriguing atmosphere of nightlife. The reference to the Allman Brothers Band is entirely coincidental in the name’s choice.

Your band is composed of 5 official members, and several guests.
Initially, Tedd and I involved many musicians and friends in the recording process, including the members of the current group. Later the band was consolidated with Matteo Ballabio (Rhodes/synth), Matteo “Mad” Mantello (guitar) and Francesco “Cec” Rezzonico (bass). We still like to host musicians for individual tracks, such as the wind section.

How do you compose your songs?
Tedd writes the lyrics, while musically we work collectively. For instance, of the first six tracks, three were composed by Ted and three by me, then arranged by all the band members. Everyone can bring ideas, and then we work on them together. The latest single, “Out the nest”, was composed by Matteo Ballabio and we arranged it together.

What does it mean to record live?
It means we all play at the same time and in the same place – the recording studio. It is my favourite mode and involves rehearsing together several times. Due to geographical distance and personal commitments, it has become more difficult to record that way, so nowadays is more common that we record separately – except for the drums, which have to be recorded in studio due to space and microphone requirements – and then we exchange files, assemble and mix the single.

What are your next projects?
To continue producing live. We were born just before the start of the pandemic, so at an unhappy time as far as concerts are concerned. So, now we organise as many dates as possible and promote ourselves live – it is not always easy because we are all involved in different projects. Also, to continue writing music.

Hotlanta plays on 17.12 at 21:30 at the Studio Foce. 
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Translation performed

with Google Translate.

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