King Tongue is a music ensemble founded in Milan in 1998.
The band named itself after a character popular in the porn film industry in the 1970s. Originally formed by guitarist Gino Lucente and vocalist Roberto Bagatti as a two-men project, King Tongue subsequently recruited drummer Bruno Cover and guitarist Michele Robecchi to complete their line-up.
Bagatti left before the recording of the first album, 'This is the Sound' (2002). A second album, 'Press Two for Spanish', was recorded in 2007.
In 2000 King Tongue started 'King Me', a curatorial project where visual artists are invited to interact with the band by treating it as an exhibiting space. So far King Tongue have initiated about twenty of these collaborations with artists such as John Armleder, Alex Cecchetti, Christian Jankowski, Aviaja Larsen, Gianni Motti, Yoshua Okón, Adrian Paci, Marco Papa, Reto Pulfer and Wolfgang Vostell.
Over the course of the past decade, King Tongue have toured extensively, playing gigs in France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Bruno Cover drums, percussions
Bruno Cover's music influences can be tracked down to the Punk Metal scene of the 1980s. When he was 18, Bruno formed his first band, a powerful trash trio called NO. About three years later he joined the Beastly Rude, an ensemble that played what can be described as "AntistraightEdgeHardCore". The Beastly Rude became quickly popular in the early 1990s Milanese underground scene, due to their inflammatory style on stage and their policy of performing exclusively in squats. The band eventually disbanded in 1994. After a brief but successful spell with a trash-metal band called Sconvultura Pesanta, Bruno came across Roberto Bagatti, who shared with him some of the demos he had recorded with Gino Lucente and invited him to join King Tongue.
Gino Lucente guitar, vocals
Gino Lucente is the founder of King Tongue. Lucente's guitar style is influenced by musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Frank Zappa. When he moved to Milan from his hometown Pescara at the beginning of the 1990s, Gino started organising jam session with other students at Accademia di Brera. Amongst the many musicians that crossed his path, one in particular stood up: Roberto Bagatti. Gino and Roberto laid down raw power-blues tracks, planting the seed of what will become King Tongue's trademark sound. Gino Lucente is also an appreciated artist that has exhibited internationally. You can check his work here
Michele Robecchi guitar, vocals, harmonica
When he was 17 Michele Robecchi met his musical mentor, Cooper Terry, a Texan guitarist who performed with blues legends Sonny Terry, John Lee Hooker and Carey Bell. Michele's first band, the Belmond Street Gang, was formed in 1991 and toured extensively during the next four years, supporting acts such as Tony Bird, The Tom Russel band, and Dirk Hamilton. Michele also loves to write about contemporary art. A former editor of Flash Art and Contemporary magazine, he is currently based in London where he is an editor at Phaidon Press.