Calibro 35 is a cinematic funk band from Milan, Italy. It all started in summer 2007 when producer Tommaso Colliva (Muse, Franz Ferdinand, Phoenix, Arto Lindsay) invited Massimo Martellotta (Stewart Copeland, Eugenio Finardi, Mauro Pagani) on guitars and lapsteels, Enrico Gabrielli (PJ Harvey, John Parish, Mike Patton) on keyboards and brass, Fabio Rondanini (Afterhours, Roberto Angelini, Collettivo Angelo Mai) on drums and Luca Nano Cavina (Zeus, Transgender) on bass to be part of what was supposed to be a one-off studio project revisiting obscure Italian 60’s B-Movie Soundtracks.
What happened during those four days can be heard on Calibro 35’s first self titled album, released worldwide by Cinedelic records in 2008. The album mainly features music by Ennio Morricone, Armando Trovajoli, Franco Micalizzi and Luis Bacalov but also contains first two original songs. Single “Tutta Donna” featuring American singer Georgeanne Kalweit on vocals topped number 1 on the Italian independent music radio chart.
Enthusiastic reviews on Italian and international press (four to five stars on pretty much all reviews) led the band to start touring Italy and continental Europe and live shows were even more successful than the album itself with the band winning “Best Tour” at Italian Independent Awards PIMI/MEI 2009. In 2009 Calibro 35 made it for the first time to the US too, playing HitWeek Festival in Los Angeles and Nublu and Zebulon clubs in New York City. The band also appeared on Jason Bentley’s Morning Becomes Eclectic show on KCRW. The band will be back to the US the following year to play CMJ festival in NYC.
“Ritornano Quelli di… Calibro 35”, second album, was released in 2010 by Nublu Records (in the US) and by Ghost Records (in Europe). The album includes mostly original music written as soundtrack for American documentary “Eurocrime” but also features Calibro 35’s version of Ritz Ortolani’s “Il Consigliori”, as sampled by Jay Z on “Picasso Baby”. Another song from the LP – “Calling All Units to Broccolino” – was also used as ending title theme for Hollywood blockbuster movie RED starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirrell and John Malkovich. The album charted number 7 on yearly CMJ World Music Chart (topping number 5 for five weeks in a row) and had extremely good airplay on college radio stations including KCRW, KXLU, WRAS.
Meanwhile the band got commissioned its first soundtrack for a feature film: Italo/Spanish pulp movie “Said”, directed by Joseph Lefevre. Music was recorded and mixed at Morricone‘s studio in Rome, Forum Music Village. Roughly at the same time another song – “Appuntamento al Contessa” – was included in the the soundtrack of critically acclaimed gangster movie “Vallanzasca: Gli Angeli Del Male” with the band starring as a “70’s club band” in the movie too. On January 2011 “Rare”, a compilation of music composed for independent movies, b-sides, alternate takes was released while the band kept touring Italian and European clubs.
In October the band was asked to produce an original show for renowned Teatro Dal Verme in Milan. “Indagine sul Cinema Del Brivido” (Investigation on thrilling cinema) dealt with music composed for Italian horror movies from the ‘70s such as “Cannibal Holocaust”, “Deep Red”, “Zombie” and “Dawn of the Dead” amongst the others. The band was joined on stage by an orchestral ensemble including strings, horns and percussions and as many as six special guests. XL magazines described the show as “One of the best concert of 2011”.
“Any Resemblance to Real Persons or Actual Facts is Purely Coincidental”, third full length album by the band, was recorded in Brooklyn following band participation to SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. Album was released in early 2012 by Nublu in the US and by Tannen Records/Rough Trade in Europe. Title track has been sampled by Dr Dre on his 2015 “Compton Soundtrack”. In 2013 the band flew to Brazil for the first time to play Nublu Jazz Festival, sharing the stage with jazz funk giants The Headhunters, Robert Glasper and Roy Ayers. They also opened for English rock band Muse at Olympic stadium in Turin.
Forth album “Traditori di Tutti” was released on Record Kicks on October 2013 with the band embarking on a very intense European tour, playing all major european cities and selling out clubs in London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Milan. In summer 2014 Italian national public broadcaster RAI commissioned all jingles and library music for Radio 1 channel to the band.