Terza Madre are a collective of Sydney musicians, taking their cues from Giallo cinema soundtracks, the lavish orchestral arrangements of Ennio Morricone and the nostalgic star power of Italian pop icons Mina Mazzini, Massimo Ranieri, and Milva.

Led by the rapturous Sonia Zadro on vocals, the group come down to The Street this May for SEGUE 2016 to perform their dark, dramatic renditions of 1970’s Italian pop hits and inspired originals in this contemporary Australian take on Italian Torch song.


1. When did Terza Madre form and when was your first performance?

I believe it was 2013. I got asked to put on a show by the booker of a local pub, so I got a band of mates together for what was supposed to be a one off show. So our first show was approx 3 weeks after we formed.

2. Terza Madre could be called a Sydney “supergroup” – what are some other bands you share members with?

Our violinist plays with The Morrissons, as well as a host of other acts. Our guitarist Jack Elias has his own solo career (go check him out, he’s awesome. Look him up on the Google). Our keyboard player is ex Regular John, and also plays with Aleesha Dibbs, and in Pete Kelly’s band Spiderling. Our drummer has been in a million bands including Talons, Devotional, Songs, and The Singing Skies. Loni and I also have an all female acapella act called Women’s Auxilliary Choir.

3. You guys sit in a pretty unique space musically but are there any music scenes in particular that have taken you in or who might you feel are musical peers.

We’re a little genre defying, so we get to play with whoever takes a shine to us.  We end up on bills with shoegaze bands like The Laurels and Lowtide, dream pop acts like Melodie Nelson, and indie rock bands like The Holy Soul, and Immigrant Union. So I suppose the general “indie” music scene is where we call home. Oddly enough.

4. What inspired you to put together a group that pays homage to the world of Italian music from the 60s?

My mum’s Italian, and she played quite a bit of 70’s Italian stuff around the house, and I’d always taken that music for granted. One day I was over though, and she was watching a doco on Italian music of the 60’s, and it hit me how cool it would be to go to a crowded pub and see some chick belting out these intense, melodramatic, unapologetically romantic songs in a foreign language. It’s kinda punk. It’s not like most people I knew were even aware of this stuff, and I thought it’d be cool to share these songs, because they’re amazing and clever and dark, and to also try bring a bit of the romance and melodrama of the time and place to current audiences.  It was a bit risky I suppose, especially the not singing in English, but even though what we’re doing is anachronistic, we’ve never made it novelty. And people f-king dig it!

5. What are five of your favourite Italian pop records.

I’m going to list a combo of albums/songs if you don’t mind – I don’t really have 5  fave albums:
Adriano Celentano – Non Mi Dir
Goblin – Profondo Rosso (more Prog Rock than pop, but still.)
Riccardo Del Turco – Lujlio
Mina – Se Telefonando

Massimo Ranieri – Se bruciasse la cita

6. What is the best Morricone soundtrack and why?

That’d be 1972 horror filmChi L’Ha Vista Morire’ (Who Saw Her Die?) The title track could almost be described as cheery, except that the choir boys performing it, are belting out the words ‘WHO SAW HER DIE?’ at the top of their little lungs. A little more experimental than his better known sound tracks, it’s an awesome mix of chimes, synths, electric guitar, and occasional choir boy, the perfect accompaniment to the black leather gloved, Giallo stylings of the film. Go listen to it!

For further information and booking, CLICK HERE