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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

40 Fingers are better than 10 digits says, this Italian band

By Ed Condran The Spokesman-Review

Brian Wilson once noted that even though he was the main songwriter and focal point of the Beach Boys, the enigmatic genius preferred being part of a band as opposed to working solo.

40 Fingers understands. In 2016 each member of the guitar-driven quartet was showcasing solo in Italian clubs. However, the four guitarists decided to become a band even though they focused on different genres.

“We thought it would be a better idea to put our energy together as a group as opposed to performing solo,” guitarist Matteo Brenci said while calling from Philadelphia. “It was a great move since there is so much more when there are four acoustic guitars playing at once compared to just one guitarist playing.”

40 Fingers, which is based in Trieste, Italy, formed in 2017 and released an eponymous album in 2018, which is filled with original tunes. However, 40 Fingers fan base grew courtesy of its inventive instrumental covers of such classics as Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing.”

There is considerable range when it comes to the versions of songs delivered by 40 Fingers. The quartet’s “Star Wars” medley is particularly surprising and adventurous.

“We just try to have fun with the songs,” Brenci said. “I love playing ‘Sultans of Swing.’ (Dire Straits’) Mark Knopfler is a great guitarist.”

Brenci, 32, who grew up on the Beatles and Oasis, is a pop music fan. However, his bandmates embrace other genres. Enrico Maria Milanesi, 38, is a jazz player, Andrea Vittori, 52, is into rock and blues and Emanuele Graffiti, 31, is classically trained.

“We believe that our different musical backgrounds and interests are a positive,” Brenci said. “It makes it interesting.”

The guitar army makes for a powerful sound.

“We’re like a string quartet with our four guitars,” Brenci said. “There’s no one like us. We have fun with it. We experiment and come up with a different sound.”

Some original tunes will mix with the plethora of covers 40 Fingers will perform Thursday at the Fox. It’s not just the band’s first time in Spokane but many of the cities on the group’s tour are new to 40 Fingers.

“That’s part of what is good about this tour,” Brenci said. “We’re seeing America, which is such a different place than Italy. I’ve been on the West coast of America on holiday but to see America while on tour is just incredible.”

The group hopes to record its first album in six years and would like to experiment with more covers.

“We’re going to express ourselves by writing new songs and we’ll see where we go with versions of other people’s songs,” Brenci said. “We’ll figure out what’s next when we finish off this tour, which we’re all enjoying so much.”