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Sal Canzonieri

The Story of "A Fistful of Rock & Roll"

Interview with executive producer Sal Canzonieri.

How did the idea of "A Fistful of Rock & Roll" get started?

Well, every time I got interviewed by some of the newsstand music
magazines, they would always ask me what other bands are doing High Energy
Rock N Roll, and I would always rattle off a long list, which would then
astonish the writer and they always would say that I should do a
compilation. So, finally I did. I meant it to be just one volume with 40
songs, but there were so many great bands from all over the world that I
didn't want to leave out. So, I got the idea to do it as a big series, have
the history of rock included in it, have great cover art, and so on, and do
it like a modern day Pebbles series.

What is High Energy Rock & Roll?

Well, it is heavy and fast Rock & Roll mixed with Punk's energy, fury, and passion.  It makes a riff heavy rock with a fast pace and lots of hooks and melody in the song arrangements, without having to go into Pop crap at all. It draws from all different eras of Rock & Roll and combining them all stylistically to creat something that sounds fresh and new, with a lot of energy and excitement.

Why stick with Rock & Roll music?

Rock & Roll is always exciting and always recharges people. There is nothing depressing about Rock & Roll music, unlike the phony Nu-Metal bands that were around a few years back.

Rock & Roll is what charms the savage beast!  People want to go out and have a great time to be inspired by the music and the band that is on stage.  People need Rock & Roll to help them forget about their troubles and to help them find a new way out of them. 

It makes people happy and full of vigor and makes girls horny! It's great bar music to drink to, as well! 

Everytime THEY think THEY finally have you in control with their fake player-piano music ("electronica"!), Real Rock and Roll shows up and wakes up the dead - from the 1950s to the 90s (Elvis, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Rolling Stones, Who, Iggy Pop & Stooges, MC5, Velvet Underground, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Kiss, AC/DC, Motorhead, Minor Threat, Black Flag, etc.) the ugly beast of Rock and Roll rips the roof off and scares the hell out of THEM to revitalize the corpse of rock and roll and make music exciting again!

What's lacking from mainstream music that these bands
can provide?      

Excitement, high energy, commitment to the audience, a little
danger, a sense of being part of the scene, and a good relationship with the

How have sales been for the series thus far?
Well, they have been very good, in the thousands, each volume seems
to do better and then the older ones seem to pick up as people look for the
ones that came out before they one they got.
Do you think that if the compilation series receives enough attention
that it will revive rock?
Judging from the mail and all the reviews, it already has revived Rock!
A lot of people took notice that rock is alive and kicking with or without
them. So, it is making a lot of new fans for these bands. Most of the bands
have told me that since they have been on the comps, they were suddenly
getting better shows, more interviews, lots of mail, more press, etc., all
due to being on the comp. So, that is very satisfying for me to know that
the comps are really helping these bands. TO me, none of the bands are
unknowns, being a fan of the genre. But to many people it is the first time
they are hearing these bands. I hope it can go past the 13 volumes and be an
on-going series that highlights the best of the bunch for that year.

How has the response been from the bands themselves when you've asked them to be part of them?

Very good! From the first day I announced I want to do the series, the
miraculous thing was the ALL of the best known bands on the comp sent me
their songs within 2 weeks of my announcement! So, I was able to spread
them out over all the volumes and that gave me the room and the power to get
not only middle level bands on there but also brand new unknown bands that
were fantastic but just needed a chance to be heard.

Do you have plans to go past Volume 13?

I would like to do one or two a year after volume 13. But,  since I have many labels interested in doing something similar, maybe I can do different series with other labels. Right now, Devil Doll records: www.devildollrecords.com is
doing a series with me called "Rock N Roll A-Go-Go" which are CD EPs of 4
bands on each volume, each getting about 3 songs. They are all Fistful
bands. We give some of the Fistful bands that need a little push a chance to
get more of their material out there. I write the liner notes and help to
get the bands together.

Got any messages for those afraid to rock?
Wake up to real heartfelt music! This is rock n roll created by people that
are happy to be alive and are full of energy and excitement! This ain't no
fake stuff that the record labels have developed to steal your money, this
is music that reflects real life not fakeness. You can move your body and
really connect to rock n roll music in a way that no other music can ever to
so. Rock N Roll is an ecstatic experience that makes you feel really happy
and alive and full of energy when you hear it. You feel all charged up after
a rock n roll show. No depressing shit here! Join the New Rock Revolution
that is happening all over the world!

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© 2003 A Fistful of Rock & Roll/ BGT ENT. All rights reserved. Copying prohibited.