IV Dante

IV Dante are a young band on the rise consisting of lead singer Dante Peluso along with bassist Clynton Royle and drummer Isaac Prete. Described by triple j’s Dave Ruby Howe as “Glossy but energetic rock”, IV Dante have released their new single Napping in Nightclubs a song that has a modern yet 80s old school vibe. With an EP due to be released in the spring there’s plenty to look forward to from this band. Dante Peluso took some time out to chat to the Hi-Fi Way.

You’re new single Napping in Nightclubs is out. Can you tell us what the song is about?
Napping in Nightclubs came about when I was talking to this girl about the topic of nightclubs and clubbing and she said every time she goes out to a nightclub, she ends up napping in them. I thought it was a really strange thing to say and do. For some reason that line napping in nightclubs kinda stuck in my head for the next few days and I wrote a song about it. I expanded the idea from there. The song was essentially born from that line.

It has a very 80s kind of feel but with a modern sound. Are you bit of an old soul? Did you listen to a lot of old school music growing up?
I guess so. I’m a big fan of the 80s. That’s the main influence on my music. All the sounds from the 80s are really iconic and it’s kind of in as well these days. The 80s nostalgia I think has come back. I definitely like to listen to stuff throughout the 80s and earlier music just to get a different side of music.

How would you describe your music?
It’s always a difficult question because I feel you put it in a box too much if you describe it. Its definitely got pop elements in it with like the chorus and the cord structure. I don’t really know what to call it but the instrumental parts in it are fun to play around with especially live. It’s a hard thing to describe what genre or how I would describe my music. Its just the sound in my head and I just write stuff that’s happened to me.

Who were your influences and how did they play a part of the sound for IV Dante?
Its probably a combination of things throughout my teenage years. Essentially everything I listen to is somewhat present in the music that I write. I definitely like 80s bands like Tears For Fears, Prince and ToTo. Then there’s even more modern bands as well like Catfish and the Bottlemen and 1975. There’re so many different bands I listen to and I don’t try to box myself into one specific genre. Its what ever sound is going on in my life essentially. That’s what I write music to.

So, do you mainly write the songs and the music or is it a collective thing with the band?
I’d say that mainly 70-80% of the songs are usually done when I bring them to the band. So usually I have a verse, chorus and the basic structure and its general sound of what I want the song to sound like and then I’d bring it to the band in rehearsal and we’ll just touch up a few parts and maybe refine some bass lines or drum grooves and just the structure a bit. Then we’ll just chat a bit about whether it needs a solo or what we’ll do in the bridge.

So, for the most part the songs are already fully formed and then the guys just help with finishing touches. Every song is different like Napping in Nightclubs the original chorus was actually a different melody but it sounded too similar to something else so I asked Clinton the bass player if he wanted to come up with something. So we just looped the chorus and the melody what it is now was something he was humming along to so yeah it varies depending on the songs.

How long has the band been together? How did the three of you get together to form IV Dante?
So the three of us have been together for almost a year playing live. Isaac has been with the band since 2018 but Clinton and I went to Primary School together so we’ve known each other for a long time. I remember the first day of Prep we were six years old that’s how Clinton and I met but we fell out of contact throughout high school as we went to different schools.

I saw a video of him on Facebook playing guitar and singing and I got in touch with him. I asked him if he wanted to jam and do some music together. That’s how we re-kindled our friendship. Then Isaac was introduced to us via a mutual friend who worked at a music store. It was a real fluke meeting Isaac especially someone so young and dedicated and really talented on the drums.  It was really lucky to all meet and put this line up together.

How did you come up with the name?
Originally it was going to be just my name Dante. It was kind of hard to differentiate and find my music online as there’s a lot of other people called Dante. There’s a couple of established artists in Spain with that name so it was very tricky to find our music when people asked about it. I had the idea in my head for a while I wanted to add something to the name Dante so I played around with a few ideas but it was my sister that came up with 4 Dante and I thought that sounds cool. I said “what about we put the 4 in Roman numerals so its IV Dante” and I drafted it up on photoshop and l liked the look and that’s essentially where the name came from!

How important is playing live gigs for a band?
It’s a tough question. I think depending on how tight the band is together can depend on the importance. I think playing live is definitely our favourite aspect especially for me. Getting the songs out there and performing them live for the people. I think you do pick which gigs you play and to make sure that they are worthwhile. When we first started out and early on last year when we hadn’t played very many shows it was important to kind of play as many as we could. You know to jump on every opportunity just to tighten up our sound and stagecraft. I feel like we’re at a really good stage at the moment where we can afford to slightly pick which gigs, we do. I think playing live is an important aspect for any band.

There are bands that play live and then there’s bands that concentrate on their social media presence. Do you think you need a mix of live and a social media presence?
Yeah, I think you need a mix of it. Its something I think that is the most difficult aspect of being in a band these days is finding the right balance and just knowing where to spend your time and money. I think its all good to be tight live and be the most amazing band live but then if you have no presence on social media and no music released it’s a waste in a sense because no one will be able to find you online and you’re not going to be able to attract people to your gigs that way. But then again if you’re only all online and you have this massive online following but not playing tight in your live gigs it can affect you moving forward in the music industry so its definitely a tricky thing to find a balance. I think the live aspect is a lot easier and comes a lot more naturally for us. So, a lot of the social media is trial and error.

Do you have some live shows coming up?
At the moment we have a few Melbourne gigs. We have a gig on August 22 at Bombay Rock in Brunswick then August 23 at Bar 303. But yeah, we’re planning more.

Have you ever thought about doing the Festival circuit?
Yeah if the opportunity arises, we’ll definitely jump on that. Hopefully next year is the year for us to jump on some smaller festivals and start playing a bit more around the country. That would be really nice!

What’s in store for the future for IV Dante?
This year we have an EP coming out at the end of the year that we are going to release. We have one more single in the next couple of months off that EP. And hopefully playing a bunch of shows at the end of the year and towards early next year. So that’s what we’re doing and constantly writing and recording new music. Expect live shows and new music!

Interview by Anastasia Lambis