An Interview with Sandro Amabili of Forty Winks. - Interview

The Bologna, Italy band Forty Winks just released the new album, “Bow Wow.” Known for its loose guitar riffs and crafty organ, not to mention the album’s unique cover, “Bow Wow” combines punk and rock and everything in between. I recently reviewed the album and found that it matches up with great bands like The Hives and Queens of the Stone Age. Sandro Amabili stopped by to chat about the album, Forty Winks’ sound and said album cover.

Q - Real quick, where did the name Forty Winks come from?

A - Back in 1998 when we started, we had a bunch of stupid names to choose from, Forty Winks was the least bad. Imagine the others!

Q - Forty Winks is based in Bologna, Italy. How does the music industry in Italy compare to that of the United States?

A - Well, if you sing in English and play rock n roll it’s hard to get big in Italy, I’d say almost impossible. You guys probably have heard names like Laura Pausini, Eros Ramazzotti, Pavarotti... well, that is what most of the Italians like and buy, and that’s the music we’re known for abroad.

Q - For those who are unfamiliar with Forty Winks, describe the band’s sound.

A – We’ve always changed from album to album, I’d say now we’re playing rock with a lot of Brit influences, and with the same old punk attitude that we can’t get rid of.

Q - The new album is called “Bow Wow.” What was the writing and recording process like? Were there any obstacles to overcome, etc?

A - It took years to make it, but also because no one was really running after us, y’know? We took it easy and recorded everything during the band rehearsal sessions, then headed into the studio only when we were satisfied with the sound of all the songs.

Q - The cover of “Bow Wow” is kind of interesting. It features the backside of, I’m assuming, a woman. How did this concept come about and why did you decide to go with it?

A - Ha! The funny thing is that the woman is a man (our drummer)! We wanted him to dress like a dog! He didn’t like the idea at first, but we convinced him that having the cover of an album equals getting a lot of p***y! Of course, that hasn’t happened yet.

Q - “Bow Wow” is the first album since 2005’s “Forty Winks.” How has the band matured/evolved since its last album?

A - We spend a lot of time on tour, then we took a little break and when we started rehearsing again we put all the pieces back together into the album. It’s definitely the most mature album we’ve done.

Q - Will there be a tour with the new album?

A – We’re already touring over here in Italy, but as the record has now been released in the U.S., it’d be really cool to come over there again for some happy tour time.


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at

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