Måneskin seduces the US with style, sass and blistering rock 'n' roll: 'It's a bit of a dream'

NEW YORK – Perched atop blue velvet stools, the members of Måneskin emanate modern glam rock with their mix of ruffled shirts, latex knee-high boots and impeccable cheekbones.

The quartet – singer Damiano David, drummer Ethan Torchio, bassist Victoria De Angelis and guitarist Thomas Raggi – are a few hours from scrunching onto a petite stage at House of X on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, but pleasantly endure the professional obligations attached to their burgeoning fame.

“Coming from Italy, we feel like we’re going into (the kind of success) that was not possible in our country,” David says.

“It’s a bit of a dream to break through in America,” De Angelis adds with a humble smile.

The intimate show, part of SiriusXM’s Small Stage Series, is an appreciated downsizing for Måneskin, whose past year has included opening for the Rolling Stones at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, playing for hundreds of thousands of music revelers at Coachella and multiple Lollapaloozas worldwide and triumphantly returning home for a sold-out concert for 70,000 at Rome’s famed Circus Maximus.

On Friday, the band followed up their adrenalized U.S. breakthrough "Supermodel" with emotional ballad "The Loneliest." 

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Damiano David (left) and Thomas Raggi of Måneskin perform for SiriusXM's Small Stage Series at House of X on July 28, 2022, in New York.

For the uninitiated, the band's name is pronounced "moh-nay-skin.” Yes, Måneskin is a Danish word meaning “moonlight” and, yes, the quartet – all in their early 20s – hails from Italy. De Angelis, however, is half-Danish, and they liked the sound of the word when choosing a name for the group, which originated in 2016 and spent its formative years busking around Rome.

During the New York concert, about 3,000 zealous Måneskin enthusiasts sweat and shout along as David captivates them. Blistering rockers both in Italian (“Mammamia,” “Zitti e Buoni,” the latter of which earned their Eurovision victory in 2021) and English (the band’s muscular cover of The Four Seasons’ “Beggin’,” the growlingly seductive “I Wanna Be Your Slave”) cascade from the stage.

At the end of “Touch Me,” a galloping showcase for the rhythm section of Torchio and De Angelis, Måneskin dovetails into The Who’s “My Generation.” At its close, David yells, “This is my generation!”

Indeed, Måneskin is not only slapping a modern veneer on a sagging rock genre, but spearheading a revival for aficionados of well-crafted melodies with bite. All of them credit American artists for sparking their interest in music: Jimi Hendrix and John Frusciante for Raggi; Kim Gordon and Tina Weymouth for De Angelis; Buddy Rich and Dave Grohl for Torchio.

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Damiano David of Måneskin performs at Coachella music festival on April 24, 2022, in Indio, California.

David cites Steven Tyler as an icon worth emulating, but also praises Elvis Presley. The band contributed a swoony rendition of “If I Can Dream” to the recent “Elvis” movie soundtrack.

“Basically, he created how to be cool on stage,” says David, who has learned well from the masters.

The Måneskin momentum – sparked in the U.S. by their who-is-that performance of “Beggin’ ”on the American Music Awards last year and a prime slot on “Saturday Night Live” in January – continued into overdrive throughout the summer.

In August, the band grabbed headlines when De Angelis experienced a wardrobe malfunction: Her one-shouldered shirt slid off during their performance of “Supermodel” at MTV’s Video Music Awards, where they won best alternative video for “I Wanna Be Your Slave.” (Following the edited version that aired live, a tastefully blurred video of the performance was posted on MTV's official YouTube channel)

“It was definitely an ‘Oh, well,’ moment. Nothing new for me,” says De Angelis, checking in from a studio in Rome with the rest of Måneskin. “I didn’t think this big drama would come out of it.”

The guys laugh off the incident, with David joking that, “We’re so used to seeing her (breasts), we didn’t even know it was happening.”

“It’s, like, normal,” Torchio chimes in with a grin.

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Maneskin (from left): Ethan Torchio, Victoria De Angelis, Damiano David and Thomas Raggi

Indeed, the foursome banter and tease like siblings, often talking over each other as they share stories, particularly about filming the video for “The Loneliest,” a rain-soaked affair featuring a dramatically distraught David.

“It was so hard,” De Angelis says. “It was two days in the countryside in Milan and it was cold. ...  The rain, it was like five times as much as you see on camera, like a real thunderstorm. We were completely wet and there were fans blowing all this wind.”

But despite the unpleasantries associated with crafting a memorable visual accompaniment, the band is hyped about putting out another fresh song while they continue to work on their next full-length album.

“The Loneliest,” which David says was inspired by an episode of “Peaky Blinders,” is a massive power ballad that new fans of the band might consider a stylistic shift. But those familiar with Måneskin’s first two Italian/English releases – “Il Ballo Della Vita” and “Teatro d’ira: Vol. 1” – will find it recognizable territory.

“The ballad is actually a huge part of our DNA,” David says. “It’s something we like to do but haven’t had a chance to in the past year. But we felt it was the right time to show this other side of us.”

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Måneskin – from left, Ethan Torchio, Victoria De Angelis, Thomas Raggi and Damiano David – are preparing for a sold-out U.S. tour starting Oct. 31, 2022.

The song comes a few weeks before Måneskin launches its first full-fledged North American tour. Dubbed the Loud Kids world tour, the run – already sold out or moved to bigger venues in most cities – will crisscross the country through December before the band returns to Europe in February for a four-month jaunt.

They acknowledge that the past year has whizzed by without much ability to savor the numerous highlights.

“It’s very hard when you have too much to do every day to realize the moment and the experience,” Raggi says.

But “we’re learning in the process to set boundaries between working hard and having more free time to relax,” De Angelis adds.

While most of Måneskin is curious to experience the U.S. beyond the major cities they’ve previously played, De Angelis is dreading a staple of road life.

“I hate the bus!” she says, as Raggi playfully contradicts her with “I love the bus!”

When it’s pointed out that busing across the country is the best way to see it, De Angelis laughs.

“Lies!” she says. “All lies!”

Her bandmates nod and continue to needle her, a lighthearted moment in a year packed with expectations. 

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