If you haven’t checked out the latest from the self-ascribed World’s Greatest Horror Rock Band, bookmark this page, go buy Calabrese III They Call Us Death, check it out and then come back and read on. I had the opportunity to throw brothers Bobby and Jimmy a few questions and here’s what they had to say …
The new album has a heavier feel than your last two releases. Did you have a vision for what it was going to sound like before you started or did it just come out that way?
Jimmy – We knew we wanted something darker and heavier. In the studio, we just kept tweaking knobs till the music felt “right.” Our biggest fear was making the same CD as the last two.
Bobby – I was listening to a lot of faster, skate punk type stuff at the time, so I guess it was pretty inevitable we’d sound a bit more energetic! Who knows what the next record’s gonna sound like? As long as it doesn’t suck, we’re safe.
I really dig the lyrics on this album. How does the writing work between the three of you?
Jimmy – Since Bobby and I both sing, we each come up with our own lyrics for our verse then we help each other tweak it. On the chorus, we either tag team the lyrics or just make small changes to each other’s ideas ’til we agree.
The subject matter of the songs are pretty dark and not campy like other horror rock/punk bands can be. Where do you get your song ideas?
Jimmy – I think this third CD reflects the rough times the band went through at the time we wrote the songs. It also reflects the current state of world affairs — volcanos, ecological disasters, social unrest. How COULD this CD be anything but dark?!
Jimmy – People are always surprised when they meet us — since we steal their soul.
Bobby – I think people don’t realize how tall Davey and I are, if anything. I’m gonna look like Godzilla when we tour Japan!
Jimmy brings back the Theremin on Deep In The Red which gives the song a cool horror movie vibe. How does one learn to play a Theremin?
Jimmy – One must first join the Secret Order of the Theremins.
Bobby – Secondly, you wing it. Helps if you drink a bit, too.
One of my favorites, Blood Of The Wolf, stands out on the album as a pretty hardcore song. Who wrote that one?
Jimmy – Bobby’s the main song writer on that one. Actually, he’s the main riff master on all songs from They Call Us Death.
Bobby – Hey, I do what I can do! The way I write songs it usually based around a riff, or a neat guitar part. That particular song, we were emulating some Black Flag riffs I really liked and couldn’t stop playing. Just kinda put our spin on it and wham! You got yourself a Calabrese song. Every song is based off another song by another band I like…it’s pretty sick.
Will you ever run out of horror-themed songs to write? When that happens will you start writing love songs?
Jimmy – It’s a sick, sad, horrible world. How could we ever run out of song ideas?
Calabrese takes a very DIY approach to its music including self-producing all three albums. Would you ever consider working with an outside producer and who would it be?
Jimmy – Of course, nothing is ever out of the question. I have no clue who that producer would be, but I wouldn’t mind if Glenn Danzig or Rob Zombie wanted to help craft the sound of the next album.
Bobby – If we could get Danzig to just simply strum a guitar once, put it on the album, hidden deep within a song…we’d be GOLDEN.
Part of that DIY attitude means you are shameless self-promoters and merchandisers. In fact, I’ve never seen so many t-shirt designs outside of a Metallica concert. Where do all the design ideas come from?
Jimmy – We usually toss ideas back and forth with the artists we work with. I like to think the devil has an unseen hand in the process.
Bobby – Sometime we base a lot of shirt designs off of song titles (Zombie I, Death Eternal, Saturday Night of the Living Dead) which, in turn, helps us when selling them. Who individually names their own t-shirts? Calabrese does!
What do you guys do when you’re not in a band?
Jimmy – Shamelessly self promote.
Bobby – It’s like an addiction. Quit your job and start a band!
Jimmy recently broke his wrist. How did that happen?
Jimmy – You know those signs at the aquarium that say do not pet the sharks? Yeah, there ya go.
What are your touring plans for the rest of the year (2010)?
Jimmy – We play it by ear, our schedule is pretty fluid. We are always adding shows, so I suggest getting on our mailing list to stay up to date!
Bobby – Cross your fingers for a possible Japan invasion! ‘Cause I certainly am. HARD.
If you could tour with one band, who would it be?
Bobby – Danzig, ACDC during their hay-day, Black Sabbath, fuckin’ Motorhead, man!
Jimmy – The Misfits during the Danzig era, maybe Black Flag with Henry Rollins….or Lady Gaga.
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