THE INVINCIBLE CZARS ANNOUNCE MONTH-LONG HALLOWEEN TOUR PERFORMING THEIR SCORE FOR NOSFERATU LIVE WITH THE MOVIE.
“…a brilliantly realized wedding of contemporary musical sensibility and technology with early 20th century cinema.”
– Chico News Review
Austin’s most adventurous band, The Invincible Czars, will bring their new tastefully modern score for the 1922 German silent film Nosferatu (1922 F.W. Murnau) to the South, Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West during the month of October. This tour follows a string of sold-out and full houses in the western and gulf coast states.
Nosferatu is one of the most revered films in the history of cinema and certainly the most important horror film of the silent era though it was almost completely lost when the estate of Bram Stoker sued the filmmakers for copyright infringement and most of the prints of the movie were destroyed.
Fans, theaters and media have praised The Invincible Czars for making the near century-old movie “actually scary” for modern day audiences with their cinematic sensibility and precise performances.
But the group was reluctant to create a score for Nosferatu at first. “We didn’t think the world needed another score for this movie so we never seriously considered doing it,” says band leader Josh Robins, who founded the group in 2002 and set them down the path of scoring and accompanying silent films 2006. “But it was hard to deny all the requests we kept getting for it.” So in 2015 they decided to try it. “We checked out a ton of other scores by orchestras, metal bands, DJs and other silent film accompaniment groups and tried to make ours as stand apart.”
Using a mix of acoustic and electric instruments helped but the real stand-out is wind player Leila Henley’s otherworldly vocal performance. (She also makes much of the group’s stage wardrobe.)
The band always borrows music from the classical realm in their scores. For Nosferatu, they chose Bela Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances in a nod to the fictional Count Orlock’s home turf and because the pieces were composed around the same time as the movie was made.
Nosferatu tells the story of Hutter and Ellen, a couple from the village of Wisborg. Hutter travels to Transylvania to sell a piece of property in Wisborg to Count Orlok. Hutter stays in Orlok’s castle only to learn that the Count is a vampire. Orlok purchases a house next to Hutter’s, locks Hutter in the castle and travels to Wisborg. On the way, he manages to possess Hutter’s employer and Ellen and strike the village with an outbreak of the plague. Hutter rushes home to stop him before it’s too late.
The band encourages fans and attendees to dress for the Halloween season at these shows.
10/1 – Houston, TX – Alamo Drafthouse
10/3 – Fairhope, AL – Bone and Barrel
10/4 – Mobile, AL – Crescent Theater
10/5 – Huntsville, AL – Flying Monkey Arts
10/6 – Athens, GA – Cine
10/7 – Cornelius, NC – Warehouse PAC
10/9 – Woodstock, NY – Upstate Films
10/11 – Yonkers, NY – Alamo Drafthouse
10/12 – Buffalo, NY – North Park Theatre
10/13 – Ithaca, NY – Sage Chapel
10/14 – Pelham, NY – Picture House
10/15 – Philadelphia, PA – Spruce Caboose
10/17 – Arlington, VA (DC) – Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
10/20 – Murphysboro, IL – Brews Brothers
10/21 – Paducah, KY – Maiden Alley Cinema
10/22 – St. Louis, MO – Webster University
10/23 – Champaign, IL – Art Theater Co-op
10/24 – Chicago, IL – The Athenaeum
10/26 – Des Moines, IA – Fleur Cinema
10/27 – Kansas City, MO – Alamo Drafthouse
10/28 – Hot Springs, AR – Low Key Arts
10/29 – Tulsa, OK – Circle Cinema
10/30 – Dallas, TX – Texas Theatre
10/31 – Austin, TX – Alamo Drafthouse Lamar
11/6 – Austin, TX – Alamo Drafthouse Lamar
PRESS AND PRAISE:
“As good as any (silent film accompanists) I’ve seen.”
– Jason Silverman, Filmmaker at Center for Contemporary Art Santa Fe, NM
- Chico News Review
- Pensacola InWeekly
- Salt Lake City Weekly
- Mobile Press Register / AL.com
- San Antonio Current
- Texas Public Radio
- Tacoma News-Tribune
- Seattle Times
- KUTX FM
MORE ABOUT THE INVINCIBLE CZARS
The band began in 2002 playing rock shows in nightclubs in Austin but has come to operate more like an arts ensemble than a rock group with its rotating cast of instrumentalists, seasonal material/series and even printed sheet music.
The band was part of a wave of acts that began creating new soundtracks for silent films at the original Alamo Drafthouse in the 00s. Unlike their peers, The Czars kept adding movies to their catalog, creating custom artwork and wardrobe and taking their shows farther and farther from home each year. They aim to give modern day movie goers a musical context through which they can better appreciate the importance and artistry of silent era films while respecting the time in which the movies were made.
The Invincible Czars draw as much influence from film and classical composers like Bernard Hermann, Danny Elfman, and Ennio Morricone as they do from rock bands like Mr. Bungle, Ween, Sonic Youth and The Dead Kennedys. They’ve created several albums worth of original music, scored seven silent films and re-made works by Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker Suite, 1812 Overture), Mussorgsky (A Night on Bald Mountain, Pictures at an Exhibition), Satie and Debussy. They even czar-ified Iron Maiden’s album The Number of the Beast.
They are Austin’s Emperors of Eclecticism