We will, we will shock you

City Times meets Paolo Cipriano from Italian band Supershock, who will play a couple of ‘movie concerts’ in Dubai this week

By Adam Zacharias

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Published: Thu 25 Nov 2010, 8:43 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:02 PM

Far from your ordinary band, Turin duo Supershock match their psychedelic rock sound with classic silent films from cinema’s early years.

Formed in 2002 by Paolo Cipriano (vocals, guitar, flute) and Valentina Mitola (bass, vocals), the group have added Simone Zoja (piano) and Alan Brunetta (drums) to their Dubai line-up.

Supershock play the Majestic Hotel on Friday, as headliners of the ‘Megarocknation’ music festival. They will perform the Metropolis movie concert, providing a live soundtrack to the 1927 sci-fi movie.

They will follow this up with a Nosferatu movie concert at DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates on Sunday. Appearing as part of the Italian Festival Weeks, they will provide a modern score for the 1922 German horror film.

City Times spoke with Paolo.

What gave you the idea to combine cinema with your music?

Metropolis and Nosferatu are from the period of German expressionism. They were originally created with classical music soundtracks, which were very important because they gave the stories emotion. Today the films remain modern, but the soundtracks are old, so we’ve made rock soundtracks to ensure that the audience’s experience in 2010 remains as extraordinary as it was in the 1920s.

Who responsible for the composition?

It’s just me and Valentina composing. We spent a lot of time watching these movies without any soundtracks, and we tried to understand the motivation of the people involved, then translate this into music. We’ve created a connection between the sound and the images, and our lyrics link with the storylines.

What drew you to these two films specifically?

They have very important themes. Nosferatu is the first ever vampire movie – it’s the story of Dracula, but the producers changed the title to save on royalties. The theme is all about difference: a man who is not a man, but a monster. We’re interested in this idea because it’s still modern and universal. Metropolis is the first science fiction movie in cinema, and it’s about the relationship between human beings, machines and the future.

How did you and Valentina meet?

We started when we were young; creating music came very naturally to us. We met in a music club when we were kids.

Can you tell us about the band’s beginnings?

We started the band in Turin in 2002. For the first few years we just played rock concerts, and we were really inspired by two bands: the progressive rock of Pink Floyd and the 90s grunge of Smashing Pumpkins. In 2005 we started to tour Europe and the Middle East with our movie concerts.

Are you looking to create any more soundtracks?

We have created a soundtrack for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, another German expressionist film from 1920, and also the horror film Der Golem from 1915. They show Germany in a very strange period. In the future I don’t know if we’ll do any more movie concerts – four might be enough!

Are you still making non-movie music as well?

Yes; we made a new album called Midnight in the Garden this summer and it’s out now.

How would you describe Supershock’s style of music?

I describe it as music with two faces. One face is psychedelic sound with evocative harmonies and instrumental music. It’s progressive, and we like to improvise on stage as well. The other face is pure, hard rock. It’s stronger.

What response do you usually receive from audience members after a show?

They say it’s the first time they’ve seen such a show, then they ask us when we’re playing next!


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