By Jhoni Jackson
Italian trio Sultan Bathery is ripping through the states on their first American tour, and Atlanta marks the final stop in that three-week bout. That means this brand-new band—they released their first EP, Fireworx, on Slovenly Recordings only two months ago—will likely have their set finely tuned for a furious blowout. Expect to hear a garage bedrock accented by layers of whirling psych and punk brut—but from the perspective of musicians who hold the work of world-renowned Italian composer and conductor Ennio Morricone in the highest regard.
Because the Vicenza-born guys are still working on their English, the guys weren’t too keen on a phone interview. Here’s what they had to say via email mostly verbatim because, even though they may not think so, their in-transition English is really endearing.
What are your real names? That information is a little difficult to find online…
We are Federico at bass, Giovanni at voice and guitar and Matteo at drums. Anyway, everybody call us Fred, Boy and Teo. In the US we just say the nicknames not to waste [time] to let people understand the correct pronunciation of our Italian names.
For the two of you who stayed in the city of Sultan Bathery in India and formed the band as a result: What was so captivating about the experience there? Did you already have the idea to start a band in mind?
It was the weirdest experience ever, a city with nothing to do, with the dirtiest and most boring bar. We stayed there just two days for having a safari in the nearby jungle. We ate strange food meet curious Muslims and [hung] out at night, never seeing any girl[s] around. It’s really the worst place we ever been but we loved it—so ugly we liked it. We just passed the days drinking in our hotel making fake wars with toy guns, totally stoned and eating the most spicy masala ever. We were already thinking about starting a new band and when we finally made it, it was just the first name to [come] out. We love it and actually we are thinking to come back there together, and our definitive dream is to play there and rock Sultan Bathery! [We’ve] already written to the Indian government and Sultan Bathery tourism office for it…yeah, no chance for a response but we like wasting time in stupid ways! If I owned heaven and Sultan Bathery I’d rent heaven and live in Sultan Bathery!
I hear some Western — as in Spaghetti Western — influences in some of the songs, especially “River Raw.” Is that right or am I way off?
Well, we are crazy for Morricone and all the Spaghetti Westerns. [That] is like the best thing you could say about our music, we never [thought] about it but yeah, maybe [it’s] possible! You know we like westerns movie and definitely Morricone is the best songwriter ever, we are proud to be Italian as him! For Fred, [Morricone] is like a religion and at the last Morricone concert he cried like a p**sy so yeah. thank you for saying this!!
What is Vicenza like? Are all three of you from there?
We are from the same town and we know each other from a really long time. we are best friends in the normal life. Vicenza is nice, small, livable, with a nice center, nice people, sometimes boring, sometimes funny, and for the music is not so bad. We organize a lot of parties, shows and anything possible to have fun. We like living in Vicenza and we have the best friends ever there—even if we [are] trying a Visa just to remain in the states..ahaha. Come to Vicenza, you’ll love it!
Were you in bands before this? If so, what were they and what did they sound like?
We all were in a lot of bands before. Boy and Fred had the first band together at 12, an oi! punk band called Urban Trash. Boy played also with a garage band, Vomit Tongues, ‘til last year.
Fred was more into hxc and played with Think Twice, Simple Truth and sang in Inner Reason, all kinda hxc/xxx stuff. Fred had also a psych folk band called Bindu Tsunami and the Magickal Pizzas Experience. Teo come from ‘77 and punk music scene, he played with a lot great garage and punk bands like Supersexyboy 1986, Mudlarks and he also has his new one-man band project with a brand new 7″ out now called Madnuts!
Stream the EP here: SULTAN BATHERY “Fireworx” EP by Sultan Bathery
Check out Sultan Bathery at 529 tomorrow, August 18, at 529. A. Grimes and Get High Boys open the show.
Tickets are $5 at the door!