Lorenzo Antonucci (INTERVIEW)
Updated: Jul 9, 2021
Lorenzo Antonucci has helmed guitar for Sworn Enemy, played alongside Andy Biersack in PARADISE CITY and is now releasing bloodsoaked horror comic NIGHT OF THE CADILACS. We speak with the man who has his finger in so many pies, some would call him Sweeny Todd.
Welcome to Lorenzo Antonucci who most readers will know from Faustian rock series, PARADISE CITY and can be seen soon with Hollywood A-List but we’ll talk more about that later.
Firstly, you’re bringing us a horror comic, NIGHT OF THE CADILACS, blending the back streets of LA and dive bars with the look and feel of THE LOST BOYS. Tell us more…
Well, they dress like us, but they're obviously supernatural, and they're very, very street, and very authentic to what it is in a street gang. So just imagine if the warriors from the movie, if they were actually vampires that were coming to pretty much sacrifice and extract blood from human virgins to bring to the other world so they can purify their race. That pretty much sums it up.
It sounds right up our street, these are the inspiration of the '80s that gave us all the classics, and it sounds like we're going right back to that. Coming from the musical background, being the guitarist of Sworn Enemy, and being in TV and film, what's made you progress into the world of comics?
Well, it's funny because my partner, Shawnee, who actually created the comic book with Terrence, they conceptualized the ideas. I met him in my journey of music. I met him in like 2000, when we was on tour together, and I was teching for the band called Hatebreed, and he was playing in a band famous at the time. I was teching, he was playing for a band who was on tour with Slipknot and Sepultura. And we played a couple of shows with Metallica. I forget. It was a long time ago, 21 years ago.
So we was always friends, and we stayed in contact throughout the years. And then when he started conceptualizing this and getting into the... I guess writing the mythology, even just trying to create these characters, he came to me because of the authenticity of being tattooed and from the streets. And coming from where we come from, very similar, he's from the West Coast, I'm from the East Coast, so it was kind of like a great hybrid too. We're all filmmaking, all into the film... We all had the aspirations to become filmmakers and so we all creatively got meshed into making something happen together.
So, most people will know you from PARADISE CITY. So for those who don’t know, it's a very Faustian tale, somebody literally giving up their soul for all rights and purpose. How did your role within that series come about?
Well, the creators actually came up with the whole Faustian aspect of it. I guess the supernatural element for rock and roll has always been like a myth, always like some kind of legend. And pretty much we just want to... My involvement is that I was in a band, toured for 10 years. The creator of the show was actually my agent for my band for a year or so, or two years in the early 2000s. So again, we're both up and coming filmmakers, so it was like, who better to partner up with than someone that really knows the authenticity of being on tour, going through all the problems with the actual... the managers, the agents, the indie label, the major labels, the band members intertwining, the families intertwining, the entire... the drama between the band members and all the money and the egos. We know it all because we've lived it.
So for him to create it, and then I come on as an executive producer and help write and star as Paulie was pretty much... I guess it was just very natural for it to come about because of just... They say you write from what you know. That success of the show is because of just who we are from the scene, I guess, from the modern day metal, rock, whatever you want to call the genre that we... I mean, I guess we're touching into metal and rock on it. So, yeah, I mean, my involvement's been from the beginning.
I mean, yeah, the chemistry between you and the rest of the cast really does show on that. Are there any stories behind the scenes that are more akin to the rock and roll lifestyle, as opposed to what's shown on the TV?
That are kind of like supernatural and stuff like that?
I mean, there's a lot in The Dirt book, that Nikki Sixx wrote, that they didn't put in frigging the movie THE DIRT. There's a lot of those hidden gems.
I mean, we've heard some crazy stuff; one of the Rolling Stone guys sniffing ashes, whatever they got. I don't know who it was, but we've heard these crazy stories of crazy characters, so we sprinkled some stuff in there to kind of fall in with the rumors or the alleged things that happened in the past that some of the legendary rockers have done, like allegedly Ozzy ate the head off of a bat. And I don't know how, maybe drunk. You know, we all do... When I was drunk, I did the stupidest shit in my life, so I won't put it past anybody to do something stupid when they're drinking. But I think that that was... There's a lot of those, a lot of those crazy things that we've heard throughout the past. And they always said... I don't know if it was Iron Maiden. It was a lot of the UK bands, man. You probably know more than me. It's all your English bands.
Unfortunately, it was a bit before my time.
We did mention you working with Hollywood royalty, and you've got a trilogy of films coming out with Bruce Willis, as well as John Travolta and Stephen Dorff, who people will know from BLADE. So, what can you tease us about what's coming?
Well, REACTOR is, I would say, like a modern day Die Hard. It's pretty much self-explanatory. It's called Reactor. So that's me. That's Matthew Marsden, Patrick Muldoon and Bruce Willis and Christopher Cleveland and myself, that's Reactor. That should be coming out in December. I've heard rumours about that. Or I would say first quarter of '21 or '22. And the next one was WHITE ELEPHANT. That one is another exciting one. That's John Malkovich as well, Michael Rooker and Bruce Willis and Olga Kurylenko, which is a great cast. And I got an awesome role, awesome scenes with Michael Rooker, which I'm really excited about.
And then the Travolta one is not to get confused with PARADISE CITY, the TV show, but this one's called PARADISE CITY, the movie. I'm also an executive producer on. And I play an awesome character named Scorpion. It's John Travolta, Bruce Willis and Stephen Dorff, which is pretty awesome. Our take on MIAMI VICE we shot that in Hawaii. That's sick.
That's cool. I'm looking forward to seeing the shirts on that one.
Yeah. Yeah. And a couple of pilots I shot with Tom Sizemore. There's a lot. An indie movie called THE WAY that's coming out. I watched them cut first cut and I was really, really impressed with a small indie movie of that size that we did during COVID, and that one's going to be awesome.
And then THE FREE FALL, which is Shawnee, who is my partner on NIGHT OF THE CADILACS. Shawnee is one of the producers. And Shaun Redick is one of the executive producers from GET OUT. And this is called THE FREE FALL, it's with Andrea Londo and Shawn Ashmore and myself. And this is like a reverse Exorcism movie, so this is going to be sick. This is different. This is a different take on exorcisms. But hopefully that will be coming out first quarter of '22. If it magically came out '21, beautiful, but it looks like it's going to be '22. Check out for THE FREE FALL.
I suppose it's very difficult at the moment with COVID and the regulations. Obviously, if you're filming outside the States it's going to be a very different kind of ethic. How has it been over the last 12 months for you?
There's ups and downs with everything in life, right? And in this crazy, crazy... So with us, it's been tricky…
I’m vaccinated, so I was challenged mentally just to kind of have to go through these obstacles. But then when I was shooting in Georgia, when I was in New York, I mean, every state is different on how COVID is. Some places are a little more strict than others, but it's all hard because you got to get tested every day.
Yeah, I can imagine. I mean, it's not the kind of job where you can work from home, is it? So it's just a logistical nightmare. But it sounds like you've certainly had your hands full over the last 12 to 18 months anyway, so at least that's some good sign.
And yeah, we absolutely look forward to seeing THE FREE FALL, THE WAY, and obviously the other films that you've got coming out later this year, and PARADISE CITY, not to be confused with the TV show. But hopefully we'll get a second season of PARADICE CITY (the series) as well, to follow. Any news on that?
Yeah, it's doing really well in the UK, I guess. I've been hearing really good things. Our numbers that we've been tracking are really doing well, because a lot of the band members are... Andy Black is pretty big over there. The Black Veil Brides band is really big there, so it's been helping grow the audience for us. We're seeing numbers that it's really well received in the UK.
Yeah, it's doing really well over here. We've got a huge audience for it, so certainly we hope that we get a follow on series from where we left off last time. So on that note, Lorenzo, thank you very much for your time this afternoon. And I wish you all the best with the releases coming forward, and all the best for the future.
Thank you so much for having me, and awesome background (referring to an art piece for THE SHINING).
NIGHT OF THE CADILACS is released this September
PARADISE CITY is available now on Amazon Prime