Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi & Co talk

Five years in the making, ‘Rome’ is an epic achievement born from passion, dedication and a genuine love for Italian composers. From a shared dream to superstar support, Clash tells its story...

It sounds like the plot of a classic spaghetti western: two friends embark on a quest to pay tribute to their heroes, along the way coaxing old guns out of retirement for one last mission, and recruiting a pair of infamous and gifted mavericks to help finish the job. You couldn’t make it up, but this is (almost) exactly how uber-producer Danger Mouse and Italian composer and arranger Daniele Luppi brought to fruition their long-held desire to create an homage to the sounds of their beloved ’60s and ’70s movies.

Though the native Italian Luppi was brought up surrounded by the works of Sergio Leone et al, Danger Mouse - Brian Burton to his friends - discovered the genre while studying film at college. It was the music that grabbed them - the evocative sounds of Ennio Morricone, Bruno Nicolai and Luis Bacalov captured the pair’s imaginations, and as their worlds collided, the plan arose to compliment the canon with their own soundtrack-influenced visceral vision.

Committed to preserving authenticity, the pair travelled to Rome to uncover the original musicians - now retired - who played on their favourite soundtracks, and the vintage instruments they once used. Adding to the Roman legitimacy, the choral contribution of renowned composer Alessandro Alessandroni’s I Cantori Moderni choir filled the music with a heavenly voice.

Sitting on the recordings for over a year, Burton wrestled over the next move - adding lead vocals from a male and female protagonist. Having self-financed the whole project so far, everything was riding on making the right decisions for the music. Enter Jack White, the innovative icon, who picked up the challenge to voice the male, and Norah Jones, who added her svelte tones as the feminine counterpart, combining to make an unorthodox supergroup, and an album bursting with emotive soundscapes.

“When it comes out I think I will feel very rewarded,” says an exasperated Burton, seven years after his first meeting with Luppi. “I’ll believe it when it happens!” Now finally seeing the light of day, ‘Rome’ is the product of a long and personal pilgrimage, the conclusion of a great adventure, and the beginning of a whole new one. Not quite The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, this is the story of The All Goods.

Click on the links below to read an interview with each of 'Rome''s four participants, Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi, Norah Jones and Jack White.


Words by Simon Harper
Photo by Austin Hargrave

‘Rome’ will be released on 16th May. ‘Two Against One’, featuring Jack White, and ‘Black’, featuring Norah Jones, is available as a limited 7” single from 16th April as part of the Record Store Day celebrations.

This feature appears in the current issue of Clash Magazine in shops now. Find out more about the issue HERE.

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