The Neverdogs is a story about talent, passion and technique, beginning in 2000 in Florence when Tommy Paone teamed up with Marco De Gregorio. In light of their upcoming performance at Marco Carola’s Amnesia Music On party in Ibiza, we had a talk about everything from their stylistic roots to the Italian scene in the 90s to the party itself.
Originally from Catanzaro, the two DJs started off playing separately in the early 90s, prior to the Neverdogs formation. The duo immediately demonstrated their personalities and skills, setting new music trends, conquering residencies in some of the most famous Italian clubs such as Tenax in Florence, Cocoricò in Rimini and Docshow in Bologna – a club where the duo regularly return. Over the years it’s been the Neverdogs’ natural talent and sound dynamics that have consecrated them as a point of reference in the underground scene, transforming them into authentic exponents in the music industry.
They are a well-traveled duo, performing at a long list of clubs and festivals around the world; anywhere from London to Columbia to Ibiza to the UAE. They’ve shared the stage with artists such as Marco Carola, Hector, Richie Ahmed, WaFF, Jamie Jones, Marc Antona, Pan-Pot and Mar-T, and even international stars such as Diana Ross, Jamiroquai, Billy Idol and Brian Ferry. Alongside doing this, a heavy discography since 2004 is there to back it up, yet the story as to who the duo is and where they are from remains a mystery.
Fortunately we had a chit chat to uncover some of the duo’s experiences.
“We are always focused on the progression of our sets because satisfying the crowd is our main objective.”
After performing as separate acts in the 90s, you two formed the duo in the early 2000s. What was it that initiated your work together?
Tommy was living in Florence for a couple of years and during the summer, he came back to our hometown, Catanzaro. We met while playing at a beach party and everything started from there. A few days after that party, we decided to join forces and we moved together to Florence. One year later, the Neverdogs project was born.
Why choose a dog as the moniker for your music? Why not a walrus, a beluga, a whale or a howler monkey?
The choice of the name has nothing to do with animals. Our name comes from the English translation of a common expression used locally, in our area. “Manchi’Cani” meaning literally ‘not even the dogs’. The choice of the dog as a logo comes from our love for the animal and what the animal means to us. A dog gives you unconditional love, the same unconditional love that we give to the music.
You’ve performed at hundreds of different venues since the 90s. What were some of the parties and raves like back then? How has it changed?
Well, In Italy in the 90s most of the big DJs playing on the house music scene were Americans and only a few of them were Italians. We started DJing vinyls, so being a DJ was absolutely not an affordable hobby like nowadays. You had to be really motivated if you wanted to be a DJ.
We think technology has changed everything, from the DJ himself to the sound system, the lights and the productions.
You’re originally from Italy – Catanzaro to be precise. What are some of the stylistic roots of the region (be it musically or culturally) that, in your eyes, have carried over to the Balearic and Mediterranean club vibe?
Because of its location, Calabria has always been an epicenter of cultures and travelers. Since ancient Greece, this place has been home to artists and big thinkers like Pythagoras for example, a great philosopher and mathematician who set up his school not far from our hometown. Calabria is a unique place surrounded by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas. The warm weather, the beautiful colours of the sea, the rocky coastline and sandy beaches, its wild and mysterious nature, the strong and genuine flavours of local food and its ancient origins make Calabria a unique place, and we will always carry the energy and inspiration of Calabria with us. Unfortunately, the club scene has never been great, not ever, that’s why we moved at the end of the 90s. Nowadays, fortunately there are a few promoters working on the underground scene. That’s why we are always happy to go back and play in the place where we were born.