Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dragon*Con Week 2012: 13 Questions With Bobby Calabrese

I have already related what a big fan I am of Calabrese, the self-proclaimed World’s Greatest Horror Rock Band (a title I wholly endorse). When I decided to embark on the massive task of tracking down various guests, coordinators, and wrestlers for my 2012 Dragon*Con coverage, the very first message I sent out was to Calabrese’s Facebook page. Not even the idea of covering DCW wrestlers occurred to me before wanting to interview Calabrese.
            I first became aware of these monsters of monster rock at Dragon*Con 2007. This is an interesting year, because it was the first year I became aware of a lot of things at Dragon*Con. It was the year I reconnected with the folks now collectively known as the DCW Hooligans, the year I decided I had to have some sort of costume for the next year, and also the year I decided that I would be getting a room for all future Dragon*Cons. A big part of that room decision was Calabrese.
I met the guys at their table in the Hyatt, where I spoke at length with Jimmy (I think). Whichever one it was, he was about the nicest guy in a band I had ever met. I honestly don’t remember the conversation, but he told me to be sure and come out to the show on Sunday night. I hadn’t even planned on being at Dragon*Con on Sunday. I had to go to the Rock N’ Roll Monster Bash during the day to see my buddies in Gargantua play, then get back home to my extremely pregnant wife. Plus, Calabrese didn’t play until midnight and at the time I thought there was not going to be anything to do between when Gargantua finished at the Starlite Drive-In and when Calabrese started playing at Dragon*Con (yes, I do understand now how stupid that was).
So I went home, but the nice guy at the table and the spooky images on their shirts and albums stuck with me.
Later, in October, I was putting together my annual Halloween playlist. I wanted some new music because you can only listen to the Misfits and the Halloween theme so many times (just kidding – you can listen to those things infinitely, plus I have a shit-ton more than just those). I decided to check out those Calabrese cats from Dragon*Con. I downloaded the song “Midnight Spookshow” and it was immediately one of my favorite songs ever (still is).
Now, I have kind of a problem with downloading music. I like to have a physical product. I want the disc, the booklet, the packaging. So based solely off of that one song, I ordered every CD Calabrese had available from their website; along with a t-shirt and a couple of stickers.
What? “Midnight Spookshow” is really fucking good.
The two CDs and one EP – 13 Halloweens, The Travelling Vampire Show, and Midnight Spookshow became not only part of my Halloween playlist, but also regulars in my year-round listening. Each one is excellent and I highly recommend them. I was quickly a die-hard fan.
I preordered their next two albums, They Call Us Death and Dayglo Necros. Also outstanding.
Then I found out that Calabrese had applied to play at Dragon*Con again, five years after their last appearance. I’ve already told that story.
So I sent my message to the band’s page and got a reply from Bobby Calabrese. I explained my deal and he agreed to do the Q&A.
And now, here we are, just a couple of days away from Calabrese’s return performance in Atlanta at midnight (of course) on Saturday in the Hyatt Centennial Ballroom – the same place where DCW happens, making it the greatest and best ballroom in the world.

1) Where were you born and what is one way that place has effected you as a person?
A) Somewhere around Chicago, IL. From what I can remember, it was on the outskirts in a corn field. I lived in the dirt and under various shrubbery until I was old enough to walk, where I was soon found and deported into an Arizona wasteland. Nothing out of the ordinary really affected me, though.

 
2) What was your favorite toy when you were a kid?
A) My mind is on overload – this is way too hard of a question. I can go on for day about all of my favorite toys, but since I’ve got way more important things at hand (Netflix!) I’ll go with the Dungeon and Dragon’s “Fortress of Fangs.” It’s an entire snake head. That doubles as a dungeon. Look that shit up and weep. Weep for your shitty childhood because you didn’t have the Fortress of Fangs.

 
3) What is one album everybody should own?
A) I hate to be “that guy,” but Danzig’s first record. It really does showcase the power of an incredible voice and clean, solid riffs. It’s like an evil ACDC…and with a singer that doesn’t sound like Elmo! 

 
4) Is your current occupation a career?
A) Yes.

 
5) If so, how and when did you realize that? If not, what are you working towards?
A) Wait, so I don’t have to answer if I said “no?” Oh, then no! Not at all. Next question, please.

 
6) Who is your favorite wrestler and why?
A) I always liked Hacksaw Jim Duggan, but I think I truly only liked his 2x4. Actually, I really dug on Bret “Hitman” Hart. Why? Because who else would dare wear such an aggressive amount of pink in pro wrestling? And do you remember those gnarly shades? And the fuckin’ “sharpshooter” end move?! You’re damn right he’s my favorite wrestler.

 
7) What are the best shoes you’ve ever owned?
A) I don’t wear shoes, boy. I WEAR BOOTS.

 
8) How did you become involved with the World's Greatest Horror Rock Band?
A) It’s a family affair. Jimmy recruited me, we recruited our sister, she wussed out so we recruited Davey. There was a whole lot of anger, jealousy and betrayal – and that was just the first week!

 
9) Which actor do you feel like you could sit and watch for hours no matter what they were doing and why?
A) Will Ferell. Everything he does, as stupid as it is, always makes me laugh. The sumbitch just LOOKS funny.

 
10) What inspires you to do what you do?
A) Money, drugs and women. Unfortunately, we currently do not own or achieve any of these three aforementioned vices, so it’s still just for the love music. BORING.

 
11) What is something you cannot wait to see or have more of?
A) Comic books. It’s always the same damn guy doing the same damn thing…but alas, I love them.

 
12) Is there a movie that should never be remade and if so which one?
A) Yes. The one with the guy in the house. Where he's there and then that thing happens and...well, I don't wanna spoil the movie for you!

 
13) Closer – can you sell me cold on your current project? Take as long as you want.
A) Buy our new album, man. C’mon. Please. Don’t make me beg, I really don’t wanna beg…alright, fine, fine. Please? I’m really hungry and I need a shower. I’ll do whatever you want, man, I swear. Anything you need. Like, it’s just…oh, God. Oh, God. What am I doing? WHAT AM I DOING TO MYSELF OHHH GOD. PLEASE DON’T TELL ANYBODY WHAT HAPPENED HERE. 



The quality on that video isn't great, but it's from Dragon*Con, so I thought it was pretty cool.
Major thanks to Bobby for doing this Q&A. I’m hoping to maybe sit down with Davey and Jimmy at Con – we’ll see.
Check out Calabrese’s website at CalabreseRock.com. Go and buy all of their music and at least one t-shirt. Or just go to Dragon*Con and buy directly from the source. You can also find the guys on Facebook and YouTube.

-Phantom

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