Giovanni Orsini is a singer/songwriter, multi instrumentalist, and recording engineer in Pittsburgh, PA where he was born and raised. Since 2012 he has been an active member of the Pittsburgh music scene through various bands and acts, including currently active projects: Fortune Teller, Natural Rat, and his own Giovanni Orsini and The Inebriators.
The Inebriators are an assortment of artists who met through the multimedia DIY collective founded by Orsini, Steel City Death Club. Together they form a vicious backbone for Giovanni’s sweet-sounding vocals and brutal guitar riffs. Founded in 2020, The Inebriators consisted of Orsini, Ryan Hartman, Stu Lewis, and Jake Kelley, with the addition of Kelsie Cannon (tambourine) in 2021 and Brandon Kaltenbaugh (2nd drums) in 2022. In early 2023 Orsini founded Heartwave Connections, an events/management organization for music and arts in Pittsburgh. Orsini and The Inebriators have been fast at work playing shows and working on his next record “Inebriated”, which was released late 2023 on Brooklyn’s King Pizza Records.
How did the band form and what does the band name mean? Previous musical projects? How'd you first get into music?
The Inebriators were originally formed to play with me on our “Live at Steel City Death Club” session in 2020. The name “Inebriators” stems from the concept of the album “Inebriated”, which I was writing in chunks between other projects at the time. We were solidified as a band over the coming years as the tracks were recorded, featuring some other good buds from Pittsburgh and Morgantown.
When I was 12 I was gifted a bass guitar by my father. I started taking lessons on and off, practicing on my own for the next 2 years. I started jamming and playing live by joining The Incandescents in 2012. Being only 14, my mom had to drive me and my friends to performances at bars and venues all over Pittsburgh - She’s a legend for that. Since then It’s been Fortune Teller, Daisy Chain, Johnny Hate’s 45’s, Good Grief, Natural Rat, Tony From Bowling, The Inebriators.
First concert that you ever went to?
When I was 17 me and a bandmate took a Megabus to D.C. to see FUZZ. It was probably one of the most influential moments of my life in regards to playing music, and still might be the best show I’ve ever seen - definitely biased though!
What's your writing process like?
My writing process is very chaotic and really depends on the project. It seems mostly random when I’m writing on my own. Sometimes I get inspired to write whole pieces, and sometimes I record myself noodling around and piece together a bunch of voice memos on my phone. Once I get a general idea for a song, I’ll pick an instrument to record with live, then record other instruments over it until I get a general structure. It can be time consuming, but I feel like I’m jamming with myself. Other ideas I’ll bring to the band to work on collaboratively. Changing it up definitely keeps it spicy.
What other artists or songs inspire your music?
I try to seek different kinds of inspiration for every project. Rock n roll has been a massive influence on me, especially when I was younger. Led Zeppelin, Sabbath, Hendrix and all that stuff. I got really into Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees when I was in high school, that really inspired me to get into more contemporary psych rock. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from Elliott Smith’s writing, and originally learned to play guitar covering his stuff on my acoustic. I’ve gotten into a lot of old school/neo soul within the last couple of years, and I think that has rubbed off on me quite a bit.
What's the live experience like and your philosophy on playing live? Do you think the music live should be identical to the recorded version or should it be it's own thing?
I love playing live! I think the record should be made to best represent the band/individual/concept. Some projects I’ve recorded completely live and others I’ve built in the studio. They’re just two different things. I used to be ride or die on the live philosophy, but as I’ve gotten into recording and production the more I think both have the potential to be very useful tools. I’ve had great results from both and personally like changing it up
Has the band toured? What has the touring experience been, best shows?worst shows?
We’ve been doing some shorter runs on the east coast, covering from NYC to the southern parts of West Virginia. As far as our worst show: I got the idea to record a live record in a house venue a couple years back. I basically disassembled our studio and set it up in the closet of this poor college kid’s basement - they sounded terrible and it kept cutting in and out so we couldn’t use it. My favorite show has been either the Rizzo’s Homecoming show at Our Wicked Lady in Brooklyn, or last year's Valentine’s Day show at 123 Pleasant St in Morgantown, WV. Everyone was dressed up, it sold out, and all our good buddies were on the bill. Some major shenanigans ensued.
What's up next for the band?
We plan to keep hitting the road and start playing some festivals this year! We’re also taking some more time away from work to play and work on new songs, so keep your ear holes peeled!