This article, written by Embers guitarist Steven DeCaprio, originally appeared on Invisible Oranges a heavy metal blog.
I met Mila in 1999 at La Scintilla, a squat in Modena, Italy. I was on tour with my previous band Lesser of Two. Mila runs a number of labels including Agipunk, Break the Chains, and Iconoclast. Recently Iconoclast agreed to release Embers’ upcoming album, Shadows.
La Scintilla was a huge fortress with a bar, library/store, a computer workstation, two rooms with free foosball, a large concert space, a guest room designed for over a dozen people, multiple kitchens, storage, an entire floor of apartments, dining room, common space, laundry room, meeting room, and space left to expand.
During Lesser of Two’s tour in ’99 as well as subsequent tours by Embers, we played at many squats such as La Scintilla.
Before touring Europe for the first time, I always thought of squats as merely abandoned properties which people just occupied for shelter. As a teenager, some friends of mine and I had occupied a vacant warehouse. We brought furniture into an empty office in the warehouse and hung out there. I remember when Ash, the other guitarist on Lesser of Two’s first E.P., was kicked out of his parents’ house and began living in the warehouse.
Once his parents kicked him out he was living in the warehouse without electricity, and one of the only places we could plug in was a local park that was known as a pick-up spot for guys cruising for sex. Eventually Ash left town and Lesser of Two became a three piece with my wife, Kelly, who currently plays bass with me in Embers.