He writes, records and produces his own material and has signed a major record deal. Glaswegian songwriter RICO is about to step out of his bedroom and into the spotlight.
Wo'c's: Peter Ross
IT'S 1997 AND TRICKY IS ON STAGE AT Barrowland. The polished mix of slo- mo beats and eerie samples which make his Maxinqzmye album such a mellow listen are absent tonight. Trip hop‘.’ This is rip-your-heart-out hop — a ferocious barrage of pulverising breaks. shredded riffs and. at the centre of the storm. a small. stoned man is shouting. A lot. The crowd. for the most part. stand around looking bewildered and wondering if they can get their money back. But. huddled
round the stage front. a hardcore of
believers gape in awe as Tricky speaks in tongues and lays waste to his own back catalogue. One man is particularly slack-jawed. His name is Rico and he has two questions: how does he do this and when is it my turn‘.’
‘I don’t like bands who just replicate their recordings — it‘s good to fuck with it. The live situation. with all that volume and three other bodies working it with you. is an opportunity to take songs somewhere else.‘ Two years later and Rico Capuano is no longer just the wide-eyed fan boy. The 27-year-old Glaswegian has a deal with Chrysalis. has recorded an album which embodies a decade of dreaming and theorising. and is poised to release his debut single.
14 THE LIST 75~29 AI.’ '999
The Rico sound emerges from a set of inﬂuences which include Tom Waits. The Cure. DJ Shadow. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Chuck D. The single. ‘Attack Me’ — with its wheezing guitars. paranoid vocals and explosive chorus — recalls Nine Inch Nails and. of course. Tricky.
‘That record comes from being ignored. especially when I was maybe about seventeen to twenty.‘ says Rico. ‘1 was coming out into the world. feeling like I had loads to offer. but I got nothing except doors slamming and kicks in the teeth. This song is me going "Fucking listen!" ‘
Sitting in a Glasgow pub. Rico cuts a distinctive figure. Inevitably dressed in black. with glossy black locks and Italian features. he resembles the bastard offspring of Michael Hutchence and Andy Garcia. But not quite as annoyingly handsome as that would suggest. He talks easily. but with an intensity and pointedness in keeping with his stated need to retain control of every aspect of his career. He smokes like he means it.
Rico signed to Chrysalis last year. but has been involved in music since he was fourteen. He drummed
'The single "Attack Me" comes from feeling like Ihaveloads
to offer, but getting nothing except kicks in the teeth. This is me going "Fucking listen!" ' Rico
for a string of bands who never got anywhere. but his main interest always lay in production. Initially messing about with a Portastudio in his bedroom. he eventually set up a sixteen track studio in a rented garage in Paisley and set about producing demos for local bands. He also wrote. recorded and produced the songs
which form the basis for the forthcoming album. .S'am-Imzrv
All that solitary time has allowed Rico to develop a comprehensive musical manifesto. Commitment is the key word. As well as overseeing the musical side of things. he is heavily involved in the visuals. storyboarding a bizarre fifteen-minute film which he plans to show before gigs. Live performance is important.
‘I really don‘t get the indie vibe of people standing up on stage looking like they couldn't give a toss about the music. about the people watching them or anything.‘ he sneers. ‘I‘m like. show me something. give me a bit of you.‘
Now it's Rico's turn.
’Attack Me' is released on Chrysalis on Mon 19 Apr. Sanctuary Medicines follows in June.