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Super Bob: The sound and the fury

Wiry, half naked, tattooed and sporting a Medusa's web of electric dreadlocks, Super Bob's Matt Santoro leaps and bounds across the stage, dripping with attitude and sweat, spitting words rapid-fire like a man possessed.

Santoro is out front of a trio of similarly freaky, hard-rocking musicians. Super Bob is explosive, magnetic, occasionally profane and fiercely aggressive.

Originally from the Virginia/D.C. area, the band relocated two years ago to Charleston. The guys have built up a solid fan base locally from frequent appearances at the Rock House on Tybee Island, and on Nov. 24 they'll perform downtown at Screamin' Mimi's.

Equal parts rock and rap, Super Bob is like a southern amalgam of Linkin Park, Korn and early Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"We have a lot of friends in Savannah," Santoro tells me. "We met a lot of people playing at the Rock House. At the time Ryan Koch first brought us down to Tybee, it was the furthest we'd ever been traveling.

"We travel a lot now. We're on the road probably 25 days a month now, and Tybee is one of those places we just keep coming back to. Savannah's relatively new to us; we've only been in downtown Savannah probably three times."

In conversation, Santoro is 180 degrees from the dervish on the Super Bob stage. He's soft-spoken and pensive.

Is the guy we see up there a character you play? How much of him is really you?

Santoro: Obviously, if I was like that offstage, I would be a little bit much to deal with.

You'd probably be dead.

Santoro: Yeah, I'd probably be dead; somebody would've beat the crap out of me! It would be a bit much to handle all the time. Onstage is definitely a part of you, and it's definitely a part of you that you can't express in everyday life. Because you'd be a psychopath.

It's just a time you can get up there and say whatever you want, do whatever you want, you know? It's real. The guy talking between the songs is definitely who I want to be. That's what I want to talk about. It's me.


Along with Santoro, Super Bob includes guitarist Adam Smith (the two founded the band seven years ago), bassist Drew Recny and drummer Chris Faircloth.

They started shredding as soon as they fell into the melting pot.

"We all grew up on different things," Santoro explains. "I grew up on rap music. I never really listened to any rock until grunge music came around. My entire childhood was rap.

"Our bassist grew up playing music, listening to classical music, playing jazz guitar, doing everything music-wise. Our guitarist grew up on hair metal - Guns N Roses, all that kind of stuff - and our drummer is a metal kinda guy."

Check out the band's videos, especially the electrifying "Superfly," and their latest, "Freak," which was lensed in Savannah, notably at the House of Mata Hari and Club 309 West.

How important is the visual component to what you do?

Santoro: It's very important. The music videos are the best representation you can get of the music to people. Because not only do they get to hear your song, but they get to see what you look like. And they get to see what you want them to see in a music video. We don't look like Halloween costumes for no reason. We look this way so that when you see the band, and you see us, you forever remember us tied to the sound that you heard.

It's very important for us as a band to have the look of a rock ‘n' roll band. You could go to Hot Topic and buy an entire band outfit, and look like you're in a band. But we like a more permanent look. We like the tattoos that bands used to have. It's kind of a dedication thing for us. If that makes any sense.