Interview by Alex Moore
Italian progressive rockers Goblin has long thrilled listeners with their original albums, such as Roller, as well as their scores to some of horror cinema’s most prolific films, including Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” and George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead.” Now, Goblin has re-grouped, and after nearly 40 years, are set to head stateside for their first ever United States tour, beginning on the first of October. Goblin’s own Maurizio Guarini recently took a few moments to give insight into what fans can expect, maintaining the group’s chemistry after all this time and even a tidbit of interesting “Suspiria” related news.
What made Goblin choose to head stateside now? According to Maurizio, all the pieces seemed to fall into place perfectly. “I was supposed to play a convention in Austin back in May, to play “Suspiria” live, and I tried to get the others [Claudio Simonetti and Massimo Morante] to drop in. At that point, news had spread and we were approached by a U.S. agent, and we said ‘sure’,” Guarini noted. “We didn’t force that, it’s just something that happened.”
On how the group chooses a set list with such a large and varied discography at their disposal: “We are known mostly by scores from the movies … of course, we didn’t have a problem choosing to do all the main themes from the more known movies like, “Suspiria,” “Profondo Rosso,” “Non Ho Sonno” and “Dawn of the Dead.”"
However, fans can expect to hear more than just the classic cuts from the group’s film scores. Specifically, there was a mention of the group’s 1976 record, Roller. “It’s something of a return to the audience, we choose to do most of Roller live, as well.” Overall, he suggested that the group will find a healthy balance in their set, offering something for everyone. “We’ll play something from other albums that are not related to movies, like songs from Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bagarozzo. It’s something of a 50/50 between movies and progressive rock.”
Of course, most in attendance will be eager to hear the fan favorite “Suspiria,” which has remained a Goblin staple throughout the decades.With the group playing the song hundreds of times, one can’t help but wonder if Maurizio and company ever tire of the track. While he recognized the song’s importance to the group, his answer was a simple and poignant, “Absolutely.”
On the subject of “Suspiria,” rumors began spreading several years ago of a potential remake. So how does Guarini feel about the possibility of re-scoring the film? While there seems to be some exciting potential, it may be a bit too early for fans to get excited. “We have not been contacted by anyone,” he stated before taking a moment and continuing. “I actually don’t know. Of course, any work that would be proposed to do, we would be more than happy to work with and try to create something. But to tell you the truth, at least to my knowledge, there is no request.”
While there may not be a formal request — at least, as of yet — it doesn’t seem unfathomable that the group may be approached. In the instance that the group is, in fact, contacted, would they be open to re-recording their beloved score? Guarini chuckled before retorting, “To me, yeah, of course I would be more than happy to work [on "Suspiria"] again. Either to put in some music or even replay in a different way the original, yeah, I would be open. Maybe even the others,” he said, referring to his band mates. “I cannot talk for everybody, but sure, yeah, that would be something nice to do. Even if it sticks to the past, or even to go ahead and do new stuff.”
One of the most exciting aspects of Goblin’s U.S. tour is that the group will sell an exclusive vinyl EP (Death Waltz Records) featuring re-recordings of “Suspiria,” “Profondo Rosso,” “Roller” and “Tenebre.” What made the group choose to re-record the songs instead of creating another compilation? In part, it seems the idea is to quench fan’s insatiable appetite for new Goblin tracks. “We just decided, ‘why don’t we refresh since people keep asking?’ It’s not that we don’t want to produce anything new, but we just decided to do covers of ourselves, of songs after 35 years.”
So how was it getting back in the studio with his old band mates? Little effort was made to shy away from the lineup changes and legal issues that plagued the band for years, but Guarini noted that the chemistry is still there. “We are a litigious known band,” he playfully remarked. “We had several changes of lineups of the years. Of course, yes, musicians, they have to play together, even after a big amount of time. Of course there’s the same vibrations and the same emotions. Chemistry is something that comes back, it is not something that time can cancel.”
What exactly can fans look forward to when checking out Goblin’s first U.S. tour? “Soundtracks, some genuine progressive rock, and especially, I hope, a lot of energy exchange with the audience.” He went on to stress the importance of the exchange between performers and their crowd by noting, “We are aware that there are people who have been waiting for us since 35 years ago, so we are going to bring our history on the stage. The best thing that you can achieve is a lot of energy exchange with the audience. I hope that people expect that, and we are expecting this, too.”
As of now, Goblin have already sold out several tour stops, showing what seems to be a surge in popularity and demand for the band. Does Guarini see the potential for a second run of U.S. shows? While he didn’t offer a concrete answer, there seems to be a glimmer of hope for those missing out of the first leg of the tour. “Let’s say, ‘yes,’ very shortly,” he suggested with a hint of optimism.
Goblin’s tour kicks off next Tuesday, Oct. 1 in Atlanta with a performance at Center Stage Atlanta — The Loft. Tickets are available now.
For more information on Goblin, check out the group’s official website: www.newgoblin.com