Jimmy and Bobby from Calabrese was so kind to answer some of my questions about this horrorpunkgroup here in august 2005. I hope that you will take a little time to read this interesting interview!
Please a little bit of history?
-Jimmy: In 2001, my brothers and I formed a Horror rock band using our
influences as a guidepost (Misfits, Man Or Astroman?, Type-O-Negative etc.) We practiced for one year, then in 2002, we introduced ourselves to the world and discovered an underground horror rock/punk scene. We decided we wanted to be the best at this Horror Rock "genre" so we concentrated on writing great songs and treating fans like friends. In 2003 we released a six song CD, "Midnight Spookshow," and 2005 we released a full length album entitled "13 Halloweens".
With a DYI ethic and a professional attitude, we are trying to become a growing name in the horror rock movement!
Please tell me a little about every member, age, family, interests,work
and something bad about every one?
-Bobby: I'm Bobby Calabrese, my age is nonexistent and I'm into bats, blood, demonology, ghost hunting and murder. And I like to bite my fingernails.
Among other, random people's necks. A really bad habit I gotta ditch!
Jimmy: I'm a timeless being, an old soul in the universe. I enjoy comic books, horror movies, collecting everything monster and horror related. I have a bad habit of picking up hitch hikers and burying them in the desert. I can't stop, the rush is so addicting!
Of course you´re being compared to Misfits, comment)?
-Bobby: Well, we're not gonna be one of those bands that denies their musical influences in hopes to not look like a copycat band, but we love the original Misfits and we'll love them until the day we die. Everything we envision to be the "perfect" band, what with the Fiend Club, crowd interaction and punk rock and roll, broken down into a powerhouse of evil...would be The Misfits! One of our biggest influences, of course.
Which other groups are you being compared to?
-Bobby: The Ramones, The Damned...a lot of older, death rock kinda stuff. Great compliments, by the way, considering both of those bands have been around for decades and have sold thousands upon thousands of shirts. On an egotistical level, it's especially great for us, assuming we follow in the footsteps of such greats, when you name your band your last name!
Jimmy: I've heard Danzig, White Zombie, AFI and a bit of Tiger Army. I don't know how accurate these comparisons are, but we don't mind being in the same company as these bands!
Many people would say that you play horrorpunk, what about that
expression? How would you describe your music yourself?
-Bobby: We like to envision our sound to be the perfect soundtrack to all of your evil, ghastly adventures in the night. A sonic blend of the strange and macabre! We want you to throw on "13 Halloweens" during virginal sacrifices and blood pacts with the Devil! So "horror rock," "death rock" and "horror punk" are all acceptable answers when describing our musical madness.
How many records have you done, I have only 13 halloweens, which other
records have you done and how can I get it?
-Bobby: The only other musical endeavor we've released was the "Midnight
Spookshow" EP, which is long out of print. If you don't have it or now want
it, you're shit out of luck!
Which type of people comes to your concerts?
-Bobby: Our shows are like the "underworld" of rock and roll. We have high attendance rates with vampires.
Jimmy: The people that come to our shows relate to the music. We are not trendy so we get kids who are really into this sort of scene. We get all age groups and all genders. We accept everyone and everyone is invited no matter what you look like!
Is there any good bands in your home country?
-Jimmy: Bands we like that you should check out are The Death Riders, The Dietrichs, Nim Vind, Shadow Reichenstien, Michale Graves, Mister Monster, Blitzkid, Dirty Dead, The Everdead, Nuke And The Living Dead. There's alot more good bands in the genre right now but those are the ones that come to mind at the moment.
What is typical swedish? What do you know about Sweden?
-Jimmy: When I think of Sweden I think of chocolate and black metal!
Have you heard any swedish bands?
-Jimmy: No one comes to mind. What about ABBA? Were they Swedes?
Which reviews have you got on the new CD?
-Jimmy: The reviews for "13 Halloweens" are starting to come in and they all seem pretty positive. We were happy to get a good review the Canadian Horror Magazine "Rue Morgue" since we respect that magazine. Some of the best reviews come from "normal people," who simply have a website and just review the CD for fun.
Do you care about reviews?
-Bobby: They don't effect us on too big of a scale, since we know for a fact that there is an elite group of death-rockers out there whom we make our music for! So we don't stress over it too much. We do it all for those who believe!
Jimmy: I think of a review as advertising, and as long a review accurately describes the music, I don't care if the reviewers likes or dislikes the music! Most people judge music for themselves, they don't listen to what the "jaded critics" think.
Which is the most peculiar review you ever have got?
-Jimmy: I am getting tired of people referring to us as the "Evil Hansons" or the "Evil Osmonds." It was amusing the first few times we read it but now it's getting old. Oh well, it's the price you pay when your in a band with your family!
Your name Calabrese, where does it comes from?
-Bobby: It's an ancient curse used in Italy during the 1800's. It means "death becomes you" and when said three times really fast, the ghost of the recently deceased will lay a cold hand over your eyes!
Is it important to have a name which sticks out? Which is the best
-Bobby: Of course. You want something that people will remember and that will clue people in on what you sound like. With us, we justified using our last name by the fact alone that it's Italian, and everyone knows that the best horror comes from Italy! Fulci, Romero, Argento and Calabrese! See? It fits with the greats!
How is a good concert with you? Is it violent?
-Bobby: A good concert generally consists of blood, guts, hoarse voices, sweat and general rock and roll madness. But really, the best are when everyone has a good time and leaves death rock-ified...as well as covered in fake blood!
God bless the people who bring in bottles of fake blood...
When you do songs, is it important to have a lyrics which is about
something important or is it OK to sing about love(I know that love is
important but you know what I mean?)?
-Bobby: I think a band could be great as long as they sing about whatever they're singing about in an original fashion. Love songs can be boring, but as long as you add that extra ingredient to make it your own, you're set.
Politics and music, does it go hand in hand?
-Jimmy: We think of our music as entertainment and not a political soap box.
Which is the best political band?
-Jimmy: I have no clue about political bands!
Bobby: Bob Dylan!
Which label have been releasing your albums? Is it your own label?
-Jimmy: We turned down several offers and created Spookshow Records. We want to have as much control over our career for as long as possible. If we decide to sign with a larger label we will become part of a Corporation and just a "cog in the machine," for better or worse.
Please rank your five favourite records, five favourite concerts and five most important things in life?
-Bobby: Misfits' "Walk Among Us," Type-O-Negative's "October Rust," Man Or Astromans? "Destroy All Astromen," Danzig's second album "Lucifuge" and every Ramones record EVER. Five most important things in my life would be human blood, zombie movies, Elvira, death rock and roll and monster masks!
Five favourite records (as of today)
1. Misfits - Walk Among Us
2. Rob Zombie - Hellbilly Deluxe
3. Danzig - Lucifuge
4. Tiger Army - Power Of Moonlight
5. Black Sabbath - We Sold Our Souls For Rock N Roll
Five favourite concerts (as of today)
2. White Zombie
3. Type O Negative
Five most important things in life?
2. The Band
5. The Occult
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-Bobby: The first noteworthy record I've bought (we won't go any farther back than that!) was probably something by Metallica. For a while I never had to bother to buy records, I would always just borrow/steal them from Jimmy, thus ensuing the cycle of Calabrese musical influences. I can't remember what the most expensive piece of music I've bought, and since I'm not really a collector and spending more than fourteen dollars for a CD is a downright sham, I can't really answer, but the last record I bought was probably that last Alkaline Trio CD to come out.
Jimmy: First was Anthrax - "State of Euphoria," I bought the tape from another kid in grade school. It was my first taste of non pop radio music. I have no clue what the most expensive CD was (it was probably something I bought at Tower Records) The last CD I bought was Nim Vind - "Fashion of Fear," though.
Most embarrassing record in your collection?
-Jimmy: I love all the music I own. I'm not embarrassed by any of it!
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle or
-Bobby: Attitude, in any way, shape or fashion.
It have been a lot of terroristattacks around the world lately, are you
scared and what shall we do about it?
-Jimmy: I am not scared of terrorists. We really are living in some crazy times. Who would have thought people would be blowing themselves up and killing innocent people!
Have you done any songs about this stuff?
Who does the paintings on your CD?
-Bobby: For our first EP, we had Big Tony O'Farrell of Rubberwolf? use his artistic talents for us (www.rockfiend.net/rubberwolf) and more recently,
Andrew Barr from Canada let us exploit his killer artwork for "13 Halloweens," as well as many different t-shirt designs! (www.somethingagogo.com)
What about the bands future?
-Bobby: Two words -- world domination! We're coming for you!
-Jimmy: Support the Horror Rock/Horror Punk scene. The internet has made it so easy to connect and be a part of this lifestyle of death rock. You don't have to be afraid to get involved. Start a band, start a zine or website, book a show. Anyone can join the Horror Rock Movement!
Something to add?
Bobby: Directly after reading this interview, you will die in seven days!
Jimmy: Unless you visit www.CalabreseRock.com, which will stop the curse!