Surfin’ The Silver Screen


Although The Supertones are sometimes referred to as the best surf-rock instrumental band in NYC, not far behind are another fine band called The TarantinosNYC. The NYC part is part of the band’s name and, like true New Yorkers they rise to the fore with their 2015 album called Surfin’ The Silver Screen. Specializing in surf, soul, spy and spaghetti western music, the band tackles both the classics and a bunch of fresh originals. Among the covers is a fine version of “You Only Live Twice”, one of the coolest James Bond themes, and other tracks from movies such as Pulp Fiction, Our Man Flint and Austin Powers. Guitarist Paulie Tarantino gets excellent backup from his band mates Joey Tarantino (drums), Brian Tarantino (keys, guitar) and Tricia Tarantino (bass). There’s even a track credited to the late, great founding bassist of The Shadows, Jet Harris, on a cover of “Man From Nowhere”. Speaking to about their music, TarantinosNYC explain, "When we record, we try to put out a cool combination of Surf, Soul, Spy and Spaghetti Western music as it might be together on a Tarantino soundtrack. We have originals in those styles and we also do arrangements of the actual Tarantino soundtrack songs. All versions are instrumental of course". With one killer track after the next, Surfin’ The Silver Screen is time well spent for instrumental surf-rock guitar enthusiasts. presents an interview with

: When did The TarantinosNYC form as a band and how many albums have you recorded? What is the band’s mission as recording artists?

TarantinosNYC: We started in 2005, and put out Super Sounds Of The Cinema in 2009 and Surfin' The Silver Screen in 2015.

When we record, we try to put out a cool combination of Surf, Soul, Spy and Spaghetti Western music as it might be together on a Tarantino soundtrack. We have originals in those styles and we also do arrangements of the actual Tarantino soundtrack songs. All versions are instrumental of course.

mwe3: Who is in The TarantinosNYC and where is the band from originally and where do the members live now?

TarantinosNYC: The original band lasted up until this year. It was Brian Tarantino on keyboards and sometimes guitar, Joey Tarantino on drums, Tricia Tarantino on bass and Paulie Tarantino on main guitars. We now have Tony Tarantino on drums and a few keyboard players we can call on while we train a new guy. We're all from NYC.

mwe3: The 2015 TarantinosNYC CD is called Surfin’ The Silver Screen. What was the band’s goal on this new album and with so many great instrumentals, how did you choose the tracks on the new CD?

TarantinosNYC: We wanted to put down tracks that people request a lot, like "You Only Live Twice" and of course the originals written since the last CD like "Shindig" and "Our Man In Amsterdam". Then there's more of the Tarantino soundtrack material like "Bullwinkle Part II", "Son Of A Preacher Man", and the theme from "Django". Some of it is just other movie themes that have a 1960s or ‘70s feel, like "Soul Bossa Nova" from Austin Powers and Take The Money And Run and "Hell’s Belles" which is from the 1969 biker movie. It's written by Les Baxter who was a really great soundtrack guy from that time. He also wrote the song that Pam Grier sang in "The Big Doll House" in 1971 that's used in Jackie Brown.

mwe3: What guitars are featured on the new TarantinosNYC CD? Are you something of a gear head when it comes to guitar sounds? What keyboards are featured on the Silver Screen CD? There’s some great string keyboard sounds for that vintage effect.

TarantinosNYC: Thanks. We worked really hard on all the sounds, particularly the keyboards and guitar. Most of the keyboard sounds were from a Roland synth with some other parts from Nord and Korg keyboards. An acoustic upright piano was used on parts of "Django".

The guitar is mostly a DeArmond Jetstar with TV Jones pickups and a Bigsby. "Django" has an acoustic 12 string and a Danelectro 12 string on the main melody. There is a baritone guitar with lipstick pickups on "Man From Nowhere" as well as scattered throughout other songs. The bass is a Danelectro Longhorn through an old Ampeg Portoflex.

mwe3: What artists and bands had the biggest impact on your musical background and what bands and artists today catch your ear?

TarantinosNYC: Past Influences: We love Dick Dale, Booker T. and the MGs, Link Wray, Davie Allen, Los Straitjackets, Ennio Morricone, Jack Nitzsche, Laika & The Cosmonauts... etc.

Current bands: One of the first local surf bands we ever heard was the Derangers from Boston. It was through the now defunct web site Garageband, back when we - Paulie and Tricia - had a rock band on that site. Hearing them kind of nudged us more unto doing surf. We already had "Rumble" and some Dick Dale in our sets. This past summer we had the privilege of hearing a Spanish surf band called Los Coronas who are incredible. They combine everything we love about surf and instrumental music: great guitar playing, song writing and arrangements, Spaghetti Western trumpet, humor, showmanship – they have it all.

In New York, we have the privilege of getting all the best surf bands on the East Coast to come to us to play. There's a monthly surf-rock Shindig at Otto's Shrunken Head run by the Ed Sullivan of surf, Unsteady Freddie. Surf bands from Maine to Georgia show up, many are members of the Northeast Surf Music Alliance (NESMA) started by the Connecticut surf band Ninth Wave.

mwe3: What movies and soundtracks and soundtrack composers are among your favorites and why?

TarantinosNYC: We have to start with Ennio Morricone , especially his work with Sergio Leone. The music and the story are so tightly woven together in those movies. There are enough pop-like hooks in the music to grab you, but it's also a lot more complicated than that so you don't get tired of it. We've played "The Good The Bad And The Ugly," "Fistful Of Dollars," "Navajo Joe" and "The Ecstasy of Gold". We also have an Ennio-like original called "Fistful of Reverb" on our first CD.

That tight relationship between music and story is also one of the great things about Quentin Tarantino. And he finally got Ennio to do original music for this new movie. Just got the CD The Hateful Eight in the mail!

Another great soundtrack guy is Luis Bacalov who had a few songs in Django and is also featured in several episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

We also love the Spy movie sound. Surfin' The Silver Screen has the John Barry piece mentioned above plus "Man From Nowhere" by Shadows bassist Jet Harris, a medley of "Our Man Flint" by Jerry Goldsmith and the “Dr. Evil Theme” by George S. Clinton; and "Shake Some Evil" a spy-type song by Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet. By the way, all the cover songs are licensed.

mwe3: Also on
Surfin’ The Silver Screen, I enjoyed your version of "Man From Nowhere", a track written by founding Shadows bassist, the late, great Jet Harris.

TarantinosNYC: It's from the movie Live It Up from 1963, which was an English, lip-synched concert movie in the vein of Hullabaloo and Shindig. The melody is based on "Chopin's Waltz In A minor". While we like The Shadows, and we do "Apache" from time to time, we are bigger fans of Jet Harris' solo work because a lot of his songs featured the Fender Bass IV as a baritone guitar.

mwe3: What plans, including new music, concerts and productions, do TarantinosNYC have for 2016 and will there be another album as good as Surfin’ The Silver Screen coming in 2016?

TarantinosNYC: We probably won't record a studio album for another few years while we write new songs. We plan to record and release a live CD sometime in 2017 after the new lineup is stabilized.

We hope to continue to do Unsteady Freddie's Shindigs, plus the usual outdoor gigs in the summer and some good bar gigs. This year we had a great time doing Lucille’s at BB Kings. We hope there’s more nice surprises like that coming up.


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