We have recently been in correspondence with the rather brilliant Luxardo Hanes, the man behind the band Tredici Bacci and formerly the Simon in Guerilla Toss and Survivors Breakfast. We only really wanted him to tell us about one of the tracks on his new EP, but, as appears to be his way, he really went to town and this is the result…
Ciao Luxardo, come stai?
Ciao boys! I stai very good, my friends! Very good indeed.
You are the self-confessed ‘leader and commander’ of the band Tredici Bacci – who do you control? Are there thirteen of them?
Well – really theres more like 16 of us, and the personnel tends to shift from gig to gig, because there’s no way in freezing hell that we’d be able to get the same exact group for every gig. For instance, we have 2 accordionists right now – but we only need one of ’em, so which ever one ends up playing a gig depends on which ones less busy. And of course – when I call myself “leader and commander” – I’m really just lampooning the idea of what it means to be a bandleader. Sure, I’m afforded the distinct honor of being able to write music for a rock n’ roll chamber orchestra and have it played very well on a regular basis, but I also have to organize everything, and sometimes that means yelling and screaming a bit. It’s kind of like herding a group of extremely talented cats – if you know what I mean.
For more information on what it is like being in Tredici Bacci, please watch the short documentary below.
You appear to be based in Boston, home of the Pixies, but seem to have been influenced very differently by the place. Can we hear Massachussetts in your music?
Ah – very interesting question. The answer – of course – is yes and no. First, the “no”: as is probably clear, this is “genre” music – “italian film-score pop”, to be precise. Where does this music fit into to the grand scheme of this dull, pitiful excuse for a city? Absolutely nowhere! Now the “yes” – in a way, TB is a reaction to the things I don’t like about Boston. Take this very moment, for instance – it’s below zero outside, my entire neighborhood is shut down due to snow chaos – I haven’t eaten a leafy green in like a month and a half. Luckily for me, I have a wonderful fantasy world I can recede into – a world where the cars are shinier, the women are more promiscuous, and everything is technicolor. Powder blue and harpsichords! Mystery and intrigue! Suffice to say that you can hear everything that boston ISN’T in Tredici Bacci, which accounts for something!
All that having been said, however – it should be known that Boston has a miraculously seedy underbelly – a wonderful, free form, wildly accepting underground music community. My connections to that community – which stretches to all of new England – are entirely to thank for any success Tredici Bacci has had up to this point, so to that end, the two shall be forever intertwined – like lovers, if you will.
In the video below, you can see some of Boston’s finest underground sleazicians developing their art.
We first came across you via the Active Listener sampler, which generally showcases psychedelic bands, but how would you describe your sound?
Wellllllll….. I like to say “italian soundtrack-style pop”…. But what does that really mean, after all? Hard to say. Maybe it’d be best to say this: the sound of Tredici Bacci is the sound of someone who loves a very specific niche genre, and is perpetually trying to distill the very things that are most arresting about it – while attempting to maintain somewhat of a sense of humor about the whole thing.
Kicker has been mostly listening to your new EP Vai! Vai! Vai! whilst watching football with the TV sound switched off. Do you approve?
Duh! Except maybe the slow bits don’t match up very well?
The EP is subtitled Musica dal filmato originale – a lost film described on your bandcamp page as “a brilliant Italian sex romp, fraught with adventure and hilarity” – is this a good description of your music?
Well shoot – I’d sure like to think so – of course, keep in mind that that is the description of the movie that no one will ever get to see. The music is supposed to give the listener an excuse to conjure up all manner of fantastic visions in his head of what this film might be like – so the music is like a hint of all those things. Do I think about this stuff way to much? probably.
The first music we heard of yours was the fabulous Thirteen Kisses EP, which has recently been released on vinyl. Is this the true sound of Italian softcore pornography or are we imagining that?
No you’re not imagining that in the slightest. That is what it is. But also french hardcore pornography and swedish “sensationsfilms” from the 1970s. You guys ever get into those? They’re amazing.
On the new EP, you cover the Ennio Morricone track Metti Una Sera A Cena – how great an influence is he on your work?
First of all I should say that that cover is a huge secret, as we don’t actually have access to the digital rights for it. However, I’d also like that to be the first example of how completely over-the-top obsessed I am with his work – so much so that I am 100% willing to break the law in order to pay homage to him in a way that feels right. Example #2 – In order to get around in Boston I have to take the subway. And I often listen to Morricone on the ride and will cry openly if certain songs come on (Metti Una Sera A Cena being one of them). Morricone’s music touches me in a place that I’m not sure any other could, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We are all huge fans of the soundtracks to both The Good, The Bad & The Ugly and Once Upon A Time In The West and what we’d really like to know is which of the characters in these films is most like you and why?
In my fantasy: Lee Van Cleef, because he’s the ultimate badass. In reality: Probably Tucco, due to a similarly compromised value system. Also – watch this scene and tell me he’s not the bomb:
As for once upon a time in t’west, it’s gotta be Cheyenne all the way. Much like him I can be very intimidating on first meeting, but once we get to know each other I get more cuddly and sweet. Also I love to shave.
We are going to play the track Sesso In Futuro on our podcast. Can you tell us a little about how the track came about and what it says about sex in the future apart from the fact that it’ll be over in two and half minutes?
Well I’d say you beat me to the punch on that one!
Allow me to set the scene – I was in California – my parents house for Christmas, and they left town for 10 days to go to Peru and do an ayahuasca ceremony (look it up if you don’t know what it is – very northern California hippy shit). So, naturally, left to my own devices I spent the time writing and watching bad TV, and after a few days I started to think “What if I never have sex again?” “Is there sex in the future?” I often wonder this during phases of bachelorhood. You’ll notice that the piece (stop me if this becomes too pretentious) contains references to 3 different styles of music – the “twist”, early disco, and what I call “sexy English spies on a train” (which starts around :57) three distinctly “sexy” genres, all wrapped up and delivered in the form of a question. Phew!
Kicker reckons he has found himself listening to more and more instrumental music as he gets older. Is this where he will find the newest cutting edge acts or is it all about nostalgia?
Very hard to say. These days, you’re probably going to find a lot of people who are doing spins on different kinds of film music from the past. Regular people don’t seem to like instrumentals that much – maybe it feels like something’s missing.
Which bands should we be listening to that we probably aren’t?
Anything by JG Thirlwell (Foetus, Steroid Maximus, Manorexia, too many to name), The Rotary Connection -um um um um. If you’re interested in some real Boston stuff, try Neptune or Exusamwa. OH MAN! Fat Worm Of Error. Are the Cardiacs popular over there? I love them so much.
You are in a caff (un caffè) ordering breakfast. You can have your choice of tea or coffee and some toast, but what 4 other items would you order?
1. Eggs Benedict 100%! 2. A mango 3. Some Camel unfiltered cigarettes and 4. Some kind of apertif.
If you could go back in time and put yourself in any band, which band would you choose and why?
I have a couple answers for this question – First I would go to the mid-sixties and be a session musician and work with Burt Bacharach – in order to learn his secrets for super badass pop orchestration. Then I’d go back a little further and join Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys – because that seems like the most fun thing ever. Then I’d wait it out until Frank Zappa came around and join the Mothers of Invention, because…. well, that’s probably obvious – he’s amazing.
Which 3 songs would be on the soundtrack to your life?
What a tough question!
OK I got it – 1. Nikki by Burt Bacharach, 2. Se Telefonando by Ennio Morricone as sung by Mina, and 3. Soixante Neuf Anee Erotique by Serge Gainsbourg. Boom!
Are we likely to ever see you play in England?
I will tell you that I’m literally doing EVERYTHING in my power to make that happen. It would be a complete and absolute dream come true. Expect us there within the next 2 years – mark my words.
Have you got any questions you would like to ask the wizards?
1. Know anybody I could ask about playing in England?
2. Tell me something about why this kind of music (italo-filmscore pop, that is) speaks to you!
Readers, please let us know if you can help Lux and the gang come and do their thing over here. In the meantime, check out their bandcamp page and buy their merch. And in answer to your second question, Lux, how could anyone not fall in love to this: