KALTBLUT is introducing: Gianni Paci (Butthole Surfers, Tiger Beat). With his twin sister, Mariela Napolitano, behind the lens, these photos evoke a sort of eerie mystery perhaps only possible via such sibling telepathy.
The grain of film, the strangeness of location and the jarring sartorial choices collide to become something more unique and memorable than the sum of parts. Shot immediately before and just after Gianni took the stage to perform in East Setauket, NY, the pronounced air of thrill and danger could be a side-effect of the ghosts of rock and roll past that he channeled that evening.
The four-track EP, “I Tried To Right My Wrongs, But I Made A Left,” was recently reviewed at Honey Punch, while Music Of The Future, The Fountain Review, and Starry Constellation Magazine conducted interviews with the artist.
Long before he was legal, Gianni Paci was sharing the stage with rock stars like Ace Frehley of Kiss, Steven Adler of Guns N Roses and the late Mike Starr of Alice In Chains. He’s been in the studio with the likes of Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie, Gwen Stefani), Jon Anderson (Yes, King Crimson) and Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai). Gianni even toured with the infamous Butthole Surfers, earning a dedicated spot on their live album, “Live At The Forum London,” as the band sings “Happy Birthday” to him in front of that sold-out crowd.
Having performed at music festivals like Austin City Limits in Texas, Zappanale in Germany and Musikfest in Pennsylvania, Gianni learned the ropes while in the ring, honing his craft in front of audiences far and wide. He’s even had the privilege of performing at CBGB’s, the sorely missed punk rock landmark on Joey Ramone Place. Songwriting was a talent that sprouted even earlier, as Gianni wrote his first original piece of music at the tender age of eight. “It just seemed to pour out of me so naturally,” he recalls, reflecting on his propensity towards poetically simple songs that are as alluring in their charm as they are surprising in their depth.
Gianni released two full-length albums of original material under his old pseudonym, The Pine Hollows. This work landed Gianni on the cover of Performer Magazine and helped him to establish a considerable presence in the NYC music scene. An online feature at Tiger Beat labeled him “The Cutest Boy You’re Not Crushing On Yet,” claiming, “[Gianni] will be bursting onto the mainstream music scene soon,” while Darryl Norrell of Aquarian Weekly wrote, “Gianni’s been likened to Buddy Holly and it’s appropriate, not in the timbre of his voice but in the mannerisms and the writing, airy and innocently heart-on-sleeve.”
His first solo release, “Walking Through A Movie Scene” [EP], ups the ante, as each analog-tracked song is accompanied by a visual vignette. The cover photo was shot by up-and-coming photographer Ryan Jay, and is an homage to an early David LaChapelle work. Blackbook Magazine premiered the video for second single, “Too Good To Be True,” writing, “we’re kind of obsessed.” Released just nine months later, “Smoked The Wrong Stuff” [EP], furthers the narrative, with Paci’s winding guitar work taking center stage. Impose Magazine premiered “Somewhere Other Than Here,” calling the song “a tightly crafted, personal confession…a valuable testament to [his] songwriting excellence…”