The band finally walks on stage an hour late and aren't the least embarrassed by the delay, but tonight you can't tell if this is a film set or an live gig. I guess you could say it's a concert because none of the band actually realize that a film is being made. Cult filmmaker Fabrizio Federico has just been secretly off camera whispered directions to his cast and cameraman on what to do once the camera is rolling and he's on stage plugin in his guitar.
Hell Is In Hello
His character Jett 'Damien' Red is part of a long line of legendary guitarists known to have sold their souls to the devil at the crossroads. Musicians such as Niccolò Paganini, Robert Johnson, Jimmy Page along with David Bowie, Marilyn Manson and Jimi Hendrix have all talked about the old legend of having sold their souls to Satan in order to achieve everlasting greatness. 'I carry around in my guitar case graveyard soil, you just lay the guitar in it all day and suddenly someone else is playing it by night''. After watching Federico on stage you start to believe it, his demeanor changes into a figure of the damned. Sharpening his teeth for young blood, while his fingers fly across the guitar, leaping, playing it with his shoes, behind his back and on the floor, it's hard to see whether or not it's even a performance.
The whole gig is live, there are no playbacks, Fabrizio and the band rehearse during the week, the original devils music that gave birth to rock & roll. ''I love all that flash from the 50's, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley. I hate guitarists who just shoegaze, why not turn into an animal. It's the magic ingredient to music, you have to make the crowd want meat’.
After absorbing these dark legends the role of Jett is so perfectly formed you realize that this was a character Federico was born to play. ''I've lived it, my first close friends were musicians, I actually cant stand most people in the film industry, most are such a bunch of climbers, few and far in between have that punk spirit that musicians have. Most filmmakers dont wanna bleed''. As far as the legend goes he sees that as meaning liberation not slavery. ''I've always though of the idea of selling your soul to mean letting go of all the rules, to follow your own personality just like all these great musicians did, they're all dark stars but give off light.''