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Interview: Calibro 35

Firstly I would like to ask about your class and lane. Even if restricting or classifying your music is both not necessary and difficult; the situation seems as: A music group is formed in Milano by passionate young people. They do their thing just so well that they are very praised. From whom or from which groups are coming the praises mostly?

One of the great thing about calibro is the fact that a lot of different people like what we do. This is really good because we don’t feel we have to satisfy the expectation of just one niche. We are constantly doing our thing in the way we like to do it, staying true to ourself and crossing fingers audience will understand what we are trying to say.

Your music adresses to a lot of different music listener and so you are listened by a great mass in Italy. This means in a way you unite some jazz, funk listener and some indie listener with cinema passionates. As a matter of fact you are possibly followed by any Italian. I want to know to which music scene you are addressing and feel belonging to…

We are all coming from quite different backgrounds and this helps us a lot remaining a cross-genre band. In italy we gained a good reputation on the alternative/indie scene, this gave us the chance to play concerts on a very regular basis, keeping the project active and the ball rolling. This said being such a meltin’ pot of different musics is one of the best aspects for Calibro. We have been invited to play in so many different context: classical and jazz festivals, rock clubs… even stadiums with Muse!

Can we say that you are re discovered in America and that you will spread to world from America looking at the relations you have with Nublu? Can we detect that you are being transformed into international and lessen from being ‘Italian’ !

When the record came out in the US last July and I saw our record listed under “World Music” on some chart, I realized we can be perceived as a “WORLD MUSIC” act… and I never thought about that before. Nublu is helping us a lot and we are really happy to collaborate with Ilhan and Petrit. Travelling and playing worldwide is so interesting and inspiring that we are putting every effort in making it happen.

Is İlhan Erşahin has something to do with your concerts here? How did you meet with him?

We’ve been recommended to Nublu Club in NY by Mauro Refosco (Forro in the Dark, David Byrne, Thom Yorke) and we played there last year. We met Ilhan after the concert and we discovered an incredibly nice and proactive guy. He’s a music enthusiast and you can tell straight away. After a couple of months we had our record finished and released in Italy; we thought Nublu could be interested in releasing and promoting it elsewhere… and they actually were interested. We’re going back to NY next month, really looking forward to seeing Ilhan and the other guys again.

We know that you already composed new music for some new movies. Are you going to be totally done with doing re-makes at some point in the future?

Not at all. We love remakes. It’s so good to play other people’s music and it’s very challenging to play music by maestros like Morricone or Piccioni…. Also playing music that nobody have played on the last 30 years sound more like archeology to me than being a cover band.

I’ve read that you are so attached to the old spirit but also very keen on using anything new. Attachement to past to what extent is important you technically and stylistically?

We try to keep the “old school attitude” in the things we do. This means trying to have the same creative process they used doing the music we love in the 60s and 70s and re-working it for the years 2000. For most movies they were doing a soundtrack every three days so they had to do things fast and be focused on the ideas. They were craftsmen more than artists, they knew how to get things done quickly and professionally. On the other side we live in different times, we had different inputs, we travel a world that is totally different to what it used to be 30 years ago… this obviously influenced us a lot.

Which are the most critical movies to see of the Italian detective films of 60’s-70’s? From where do you advise to begin to beginner level audience? Milano Calibro 9?

Milano Calibro 9 is a must of course, although I’d strongly suggest to see “Milano Odia: La Polizia Non puo’ Sparare” (also known as “Almost Human”), one of the most violent and pulp movie ever.

Ennio Morricone is known all around the world. who are the other less known composers and soundtrack albums that deserves attention?

Too many actually. To name just a few: Gianni Ferrio, Ritz Ortolani and Armando Trovajoli.

You are in Turkey now, has there been any special or interesting observation you made?

We just arrived yesterday. Istanbul is so fascinating and people seems to be so open. We jammed with Sun Ra Arkestra at Nublu Club last night… that was GREAT!

Lastly a question about the actual Italy to a group who emulates to Italy of 70’s. Do you have anything to say about a time when Berlusconi just today had a vote of confidence in the parliament?

The only thing we can say is actually: no comment. Italy is stuck in a political swamp by years now and it’s really difficult to see how to escape from there. Berlusconi is a big part of the problem but not the whole problem in itself. In the last months things are even worse with nobody really taking care of the country while they are all playing their political games.

Interview: Tommaso Colliva/ Calibro 35

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