There’s nothing more intense than witnessing the pure energy of Calabrese performing live. And if you ever have an opportunity to attend one of their shows, I highly recommend that you do.
As a band that clings to no genre, their sound can be described as existing someplace between old-school rock-and-roll and the dark realms of horror punk. Brilliantly so. Let’s just say that if Dr. Frankenstein resurrected Elvis and decided to start a band with him, while somehow recruiting Dracula as their producer … well, you get the point. These brothers who call themselves Calabrese f*cking rock (but you already knew that).
And what follows is my recent interview with Bobby Calabrese.
1. Calabrese’s Instagram (@calabrese666) treats its followers to a lot of energetic videos, fun, and humor. How important is this sort of connection with fans?
Bobby: I’d say it’s really important. There’s a lot of radio silence in between albums, so monkeying around online definitely keeps us connected with the fans. It’s just fun to do whatever you want, whenever you want to do it. I think our fans dig that. To be honest, our fans are the heart of Calabrese, without them, we wouldn’t be worth shit. But what do I know? Davey is the mastermind behind a lot of the online stuff, I’m just tagging along for the ride.
2. I read that while growing up, your family dealt with a pretty scary haunting issue in your home. Did this help inspire some of the songs you’ve written, and what is your stance on things paranormal today (afraid, fearless, or approach with caution)?
Bobby: Unfortunately, Jimmy was the one who was lucky enough to experience any kind of ghostly fun. I don’t have any stories, but I’m sure it involved a lot of flickering candles and Ouija Boards and whispers in the dark. But we’ll save that for another time. I will say, though, that we were raised Catholic in a small town next to a cornfield, which was creepy enough in itself. And thankfully, our older brother was kind enough to lead me and Davey down the path of evil devil-music, which is how we’re here today. Creepy and dark music has always been our go-to as three dudes starting a band. Paranormal and weird stuff has always been so fun and alluring. It’s just so us, it’s just so “Calabrese.”
3. Tell us about one of the strangest experiences you guys have had while on tour.
Bobby: Nothing too strange, just the classic stuff like getting lost in a truck stop Denny’s (long story) brawling with a bunch of weird Canadians in Quebec (or was it Montreal?) or sideswiping cars with our trailer in New York. I dunno, I guess those aren’t “strange” as much as they were “really fun.”
4. As a creative group of people, I’m sure it’s difficult to unwind and find time to un-rockstar yourselves. When you’re able to take some time off, what do you enjoy doing?
Bobby: Movies, tiki bars, listening to records. We have a Big Surf water park in town, which is cool. Sometimes you gotta suck it up and look like a douche to have a good time.
5. I’ve personally enjoyed every album you’ve released. I mean, where do I start? The Traveling Vampire Show (2007), Born With a Scorpion’s Touch (2013), and Lust for Sacrilege (2015) … they’re all effing good!
Tell us what’s next for Calabrese.
Bobby: Another killer record for the books. I wanna say it will be released sometime this year, but more likely 2019. We’re looking to evolve musically, but keep the same vibe as our earlier stuff. But then again, we write what we write. “It is what it is,” as they say. I’m sure our fans will dig it.
–Interview by Veronica Campbell ( follow on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/verocampbell )
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A special thanks to Davey, Jimmy, and Bobby Calabrese for taking the time to work with me.
(Interview published July 2018 (c)Dark Wave Publications.)