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Interview with Rock N Roll Sal Canzonieri
By Peter Schmidtz, St@tic
(more articles from this author)
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Member of Electric Frankenstein and the mastermind behind A Fistful Of Rock N Roll Vol 1-7, Sal Canzonieri was good enough to sit down and talk about bands, rock, and a documentary.

[Peter Schmidtz] What was the first record you ever bought?

Sal Canzonieri I was seven years old and I won a copy of Big Brother and the Holding Company Ball & Chain album. Otherwise, it was Alice Cooper School's Out.

[Peter Schmidtz] Who can you say are your biggest influences?

Sal Canzonieri Alice Cooper, Mott the Hoople, Dead Boys, Misfits, Black Flag, Aerosmith, Kiss, AC/DC, Ramones, Motorhead, Gentle Giant, Roxy Music, David Bowie, and Wire.

[Peter Schmidtz] How did you get started doing the compilations?

Sal Canzonieri I had many people in the press asking me who the better new bands are in the New Rock (High Energy Rock N Roll) scene and also a lot of bands asking for help in getting noticed, so I get the idea of doing a series of comps like the Pebbles and Nuggest comps that documented the best of now.

[Peter Schmidtz] How many have you done so far? How do you find the bands?

Sal Canzonieri I have done 13 volumes, of which 7 are out so far. I found the bands from touring with EF,'s site, and from other people's recommendations. Then, I got crates full of cds from bands that had heard about the project.

[Peter Schmidtz] What are your thoughts on music scene today? Any comments on where you think music is progressing and where you think these bands fit in (if at all)?

Sal Canzonieri I think the people are totally fed up with the control of what they are "allowed to hear" on the radio and in the music stores from the major labels and they are rebelling from it by either giving up on buying Cds at all anymore or going back to real rock n roll. The rock n roll oriented shows are always packed and people are very happy to be there. But, the clubs really suck nowadays and are mostly just ripping bands off. I think things will return to the way they were 20 years ago when shows were done in rented halls instead of bars. I think the bands on my Fistful comps are a symbol for the fact that people want to be entertained with fun and exciting music and shows. I think the major labels will continue to do worse and worse each year and we will see them fragmenting and getting smaller and smaller.

[Peter Schmidtz] I noticed on the website that there is going to be a documentary associated with the comps. Can you give us a little background on how that got started and what we might see?

Sal Canzonieri Yes, it is called Born In Flames, a Fistful of Rock N Roll, it is directed by Patti Rhodes ( She makes documentary films and she has contacted me about wanting to feature Electric Frankenstein and the Fistful bands in a film she was doing about the survival of rock n roll into the 21st century despite all odds and predictions to the contrary. She filmed shows for the past 3 years and is editing the film this summer, for theatrical release in 2002. She shows that the rock n roll shows are indeed packed and people are excited there to see some real exciting shows.

[Peter Schmidtz] Any favorite bands now that we should look out for and might see on future compilations?

Sal Canzonieri I think the best new bands in the world right now are: Nutrajet (Florida), Cherry Valence (North Carolina), Hotbox (SF), Mooney Suzuki (NYC), Lambs (Finland), and Half Man (Sweden). They are all on the various volumes of the Fistful comps.

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