Hearing the words of the song Gethsemane from the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar, a shy seventh grader’s love and talent for music was unleashed.
In the audience, Nick Teti, currently a senior communications major at Temple, watched with rapture as the anguished figure of Jesus of Nazareth awaited his death.
“Jesus Christ Superstar changed my perception of musicals,” said Nick Teti, who is a member of Superimposed, an alternative rock band, and a choreographer for Philadelphia musician Arlene Santalina.
Prior to his rock opera exposure, Teti had only experimented with the violin, even though his music director had encouraged him to join the school choir.
Still, Teti’s musical transformation did not occur until he reached his sophomore year in high school when he joined a competitive hockey team. Ironically, it was the camaraderie of athletics that introduced him to the beginning of his musical career. It was on his hockey team that Teti met Mark Germanovich, Kevin Salcedo and Dave McManus – now band mates of Superimposed.
The band was first exposed to a public audience at a high school cast party after a closing performance of Les Miserables, which is one of Teti’s favorite musicals. Superimposed hit a solid performance and stirred the interest of listeners that night.
As the cast party “kicked off the band,” Superimposed continued along a pattern of performances at cast parties, family gatherings, block parties, and local shows during Teti’s senior year.
With no one in the group classically trained in music, Teti said that “my mind is usually ahead of my hands or vice versa.” Teti’s band makes up for what it lacks in musical training with creativity and natural talent.
“We build off of things sounding cool,” Teti said. “We are guided by the mindset that if it sounds good, we flow with it, no matter who comes up with it.”
It was enough to grab the attention of Jay and I Entertainment. During Teti’s sophomore year at Temple, Jay Joseph took the band under his wing, booking Superimposed performances at local bars and recording a CD for the band.
But after an embarrassing CD release party at Drexel Hill, where the sound was distorted, Superimposed had a falling out with its manager. Under the new management of Resonance Recording, Teti and his band made a new CD with the difference between the two recordings comparable to that of “night and day.”
The summer before Teti’s junior year, during the transition period between management, Superimposed held at least one show a week. Shows included a regular appearance on Sunday nights at Casey’s, a local bar in Upper Darby. At Casey’s, the band “started to develop a following,” and it continued with the band’s performance at Temple’s very own Battle of the Bands.
With a newly boosted confidence, last summer Superimposed enjoyed their first huge show at the Grape Street Pub. Featured on a Wednesday night, Superimposed was asked to come back a better night as the request “topped off the summer and gave us positive things to look forward to.”
“I can’t speak for them, but the reason I perform is that it works as a type of therapy for me,” Teti said. “The world is so crazy nowadays . . . if I can take an audience’s mind off of something for ten minutes, which is ultimately what I want to do.”
But there is more to Nick Teti than just being a lead guitarist and back-up vocalist for his band. Teti is also a talented dancer.
Teti’s big debut occurred at the end of his senior year of high school at the final dance mixer where Teti hit the stage dancing to N’Sync’s “It’s Gonna Be Me.”
“People loved it,” Teti said.
Surprised by the huge reaction, Teti followed his talent to attend various dance seminars including a hip-hop seminar entitled “Touch of Class” upon which he met Philadelphia artist Arlene Santalina. On the hunt for gifted male dancers, Teti received Santalina’s business card.
To no surprise but his own, Santalina took a chance on Teti’s inexperience as a professional dancer and “kept him along for the ride.” Volunteering to choreograph, Teti has now made a name for himself in Philadelphia- at least to those who know him. “If there is one word to describe Nick it would be random,” states Antionette Elias with a smile, a close friend and admirer of Teti’s amusing antics.
Expect to hear big things of Nick Teti in the future. Interesting and tremendous fun, a night listening to Nick Teti and Superimposed can be nothing but a good time.