Interview by DART DISPATCH, in Texas (Usa) about Enrico Capuano and his band

Interview-DART DISPATCH, in Texas (Usa):
Enrico Capuano and the Tammurriatarock

They've been compared to bands like Gogol Bordello and Manu Chao, and their style is referred to as Italian world-music, gypsy-folk-rock, and even "rock-folk-swing". Enrico Capuano is the band's founder and is known in some circles as the "Bob Dylan of Italian folk-rock." Enrico Capuano and singer Dunia Molina of Tammurriatarock spoke with us from Rome on the eve of their tour about the band's foundation, international touring, and their latest multi-lingual album. 

"Our style is Rock Italiano," says Enrico. "Italian rock is very different from American rock. We try to keep the Italian roots and mix the traditional music with rock sounds and reggae. The base of our music is Tarantello. It's fromSouth Italy - like American country music. It's like when you try to mix rock music with country music. [the comparison with] Gogol Bordello is true. They mix Balkan music with modern music. It's underground music. We have the same kind of feeling of rock & roll. We mix these kind of sounds with progressive music and old school music of the 70's." The band's tongue-twister name comes from a form of traditional Tarantella music native to Naples. Enrico began experimenting with this high-energy style fused with rock music. "When he started mixing traditional music with modern music in the 80's everyone looked at him like he was crazy. Kind of like Bob Dylan when he went electric. But now in Italy it is a very popular thing." The band centers around the song-writing and leadership of Enrico. Over the past two decades they have reached the current six-person lineup by finding musicians who are not just technically exceptional, but also have a shared "heart and groove." In addition to Enrico on guitar/vocals and Dunia singing, the band is rounded out by Daniele Iacono on drums (who played on Coolio's last album), , bass player Roberto Lo Monaco, and Andrea Iannicola on lead guitar.and Stefano Ribeca flute One of the most important things about their music is their audience. "Tammurriatarock basically is a social band. We play for the workers and this kind of people," says Dunia. "The first thing is to be humble. We play on a TV show for a couple of million people (one day) and then the next day play in front of just a few people." Touring internationally is part of the adventure for Tammurriatarock. They have played across Western and Central Europe, the Middle East, CubaCanada, and the United States. The most difficult place to get a performance visa? The US. It's something bands around the world have come to understand. For a band coming to the US, the work visa application process often takes 3-5 months and requires extensive documentation along with a local sponsor. Going the other way, most US bands can play in Italy without any special visa. Comparing concerts at home versus performing across the pond, Dunia reflects, "In Italy a lot of people know us, so it's a lot easier. When you are making something something new it is always a good adventure. Our objective in these tours is to see if our music works in the US. It's a different kind of mentality. We were surprised. People's reactions were incredible." After a big show celebrating the 30th anniversary of Tammuriatarock near the Coliseum in Rome, they have embarked on their 2nd US tour this month. Playing dates at Italian-American festivals and revisiting venues in the Northeast and Northwest, they have made dramatic in-roads with audiences across the USand Canada. The first date for the 2012 tour was in New Jersey. They are retracing many of the venues they played in 2011-12-13, including a big show inHarlem and the Italian American festival. You can catch them across North America through mid-October, then they will be back in Italy for several big shows. "In Europe it's easier to organize and find the best, most comfortable situation for touring. It's a new adventure in the US. But we've always had a beautiful situation in the US. The blend of traditional music with rock & roll also causes a language conundrum. A lot of bands are encouraged to sing in English, but T-rock up to now sings in Italian primarily. For Italian rock bands it is normal to sing in English, but in traditional or world music it is expected that they sing in Italian. So the next project from the band will feature songs in English, Spanish, and Italian. Most of their albums are available on iTunes or the Blond Records website. Tour dates and other information is available on Enrico's Facebook page or Blond Records website. They are working on a new band website, so stay tuned. Italian bands they recommend for US fans include prog rock bands PFM (Premiata Forneria Marconi) and Area, from the 70's. They also like rapper Caparezza, who they compare to Rage Against the Machine, as well as Turin rock band Subsonica. 

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