How does one sum up this unstoppable feminine force? The Cleopatras are a band of resolute, passionate, tenacious and … ironic women in a rock world that takes itself way too seriously.
Started in 1998, any purist would probably consider them a nightmare … punk, garage rock, surf, pop punk, indie, new wave? … all just meaningless labels as far The Cleopatras are concerned. These women play rock’n’roll, full stop.
Over the last two decades Camilla, Alice, Marla and Vanessa have toured extensively throughout Italy and Europe, and have also made their way to Japan, where they played to frenzied crowds. They have also rocked many a festival … such as, Festival Beat, Rebellion (UK), Fuzzville (Spain), and This is Ska (Germany). They have had the privilege of opening for bands such as: The Pretty Things, The Pandoras, Fuzztones, Morlocks, Lords of Altamont, and The Real McKenzies to name a few.
The Cleopatras are a rock’n’roll band whose sound is influenced by punk, garage rock, pop punk, glam, surf, indie and new wave, from Ramones to The Cramps, Devo, Blondie, New York Dolls, Buzzcocks, etc … with an attitude owing inspiration to various female bands and artists including Joan Jett, Bikini Kill, The Bangles, The Go-Go’s, The Trashwomen, as well as 60s girl groups.
Their fourth album “Bikini Grill“ is a potpourri that confirms and renews the band’s style: a mix of punk 77, garage rock and pop punk, supported by a less retro sound, more decisive and compact than in the past. To keep everything together, a strong feminine identity, and rock’n’roll and ironic spirit, where the creative and expressive power of femininity is embodied by some anthems related to gender issues and by the covers featured in the album, all three by female artists.
The album was preceded by the single Kiss Kiss Kiss, a cover of Yoko Ono released on March 8, 2022, whose video, having as its object love, equality between the sexes, the rediscovery of art made by women, and peace, was shared on social media by Ono herself.
The previous EP “Onigiri Head” was released in 2019 in a limited edition on 7″ colored vinyl, and includes 4 tracks, two originals –Onigiri Head, a tribute to the famous Japanese snack inspired by the recent tour in Japan and also witnessed by the videclip of the song, and the crampsian Bad Cat– and two covers –Amourex Solitaire (Lio) and Rock’n’roll Robot (Alberto Camerini), two hits from the 80s that attest to the change in sound following a major line-up change.
Their third album “CleoPower!” was released in 2017 on Ammonia Records. More mature than their previous work in terms of sound and content, this album ranges from classic garage punk to surf, with a hint of 90s alternative rock. The ironic and light-hearted spirit of the previous records now makes way for more provocative lyrics focusing on lampooning and destroying the stereotypes and clichéd victimisation of women.
The video clip for the track Forty was released on the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women, made with the contribution of and featuring, female fans and friends. It invites women to subvert gender stereotypes and take back control of their own lives.
For Italy’s political elections in 2018, the Cleopatras made a video for the trackVote for me.
In 2014 their second full-length work “La Maledizione del Faraone” was released on CD by the Italian lable Ammonia Records and on cassette by the California label Wiener Records, with the singles Apple Pie and Pazzo serving as the band’s official videos.
Taking a step back to the Cleopatras early recordings, we find two 7”s: “The Cleopatras” (2000) and “Let’s run with …” (2001), after which they went on a hiatus only to return in 2008 with a new line-up.
The EP “Dame tu amor” and the album “Things get better” (Area Pirata Records, 2010) date back to that time.
Other fun facts: in 2015 they performed live at Milan Fashion Week, rocking out all onlookers as the renown stylist Antonio Marras debuted his collection.
They also make an appearance in “Le ragazze del rock”, Jessica Dainese’s book dedicated to the female rock scene in Italy.