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"It's easy to remember Italian band Misty Morning. Yes, the frame of their music is built of Doom and Stoner, but they also have Progressive and Psychedelic influences in their sound, they have a bunch of remarkable tunes and sheer killer songs..."

Interview with Misty Morning.
"It's easy to remember Italian band Misty Morning. Yes, the frame of their music is built of Doom and Stoner, but they also have Progressive and Psychedelic influences in their sound, they have a bunch of remarkable tunes and sheer killer songs. If that's not enough then behold! Misty Morning's debut album 'GA.GA.R.IN.' is named after the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, and the title song tells another version of his mission, written with English and Italian lyrics. Catchy and heavy song "Doomzilla" has a version with totally Japanese lyrics as well, and there's also an exclusive song with a Geordano Bruno message and with Italian medieval elements! A cabinet of curiosities indeed! I had no choice but to do this telepathic session with Luca Moretti, Misty Morning mastermind."

The band: MaxBax (bass, backing vox), Frankie Insulina (drums), Luca Moretti (guitar, vox) and rejetto (electronics).

Salute Luca! How are you? Are all systems of Misty Morning working well?

Hi Aleks! Everything's fine here and Misties' systems are working well too. Even if we've just to get the hang of exploring strange new worlds (read: new musical directions), to seek new life and new civilizations (read: new supporters), to boldly go where no one has gone before (I had to finish quoting Star Trek :D).

Man, you know - I've checked Misty Morning's profile in metal-archives.com and it says that band was born in 1995 and your first demo was recorded in 2007! So - attention! - here's the question: what the hell?! What did you do all this time?

We lived our lives ahah, really, that's the question that everyone asks or talks about in reviews, articles etc. so I have to be clear about this. I could say that the '95 thing is a misinterpretation of our first bio or maybe that it was taken too literally. The truth is that in 1995 MaxBax and I started to think like a real band even if we hadn't had a drummer yet. I had this bunch of songs and we started to fix, arrange (MaxBax is a great arranger!) and play them in my room. Then I graduated in Japanese language and culture, I went to Japan acting in the classical theatre for more than 5 years but that's another story. (If you're interested, here's some information about my theatre experience). MaxBax had his experiences too. Misty Morning were alive but only in our free time. Finally in 2007 we found a drummer (Frankie Insulina, a collegue of mine at university) and we started to play those very songs we were working in '95 and in the following years. So that's the trick: I've just written we thought and wrote like a band in our free time but nothing happened (no recordings, no lives) until Frankie joined the band. So Misty Morning was born in '95 literally but the real deal started in 2007. The rest is history.

I've seen Misty Morning's album "GA.GA.R.IN." uploaded at least on two Russian sites, including torrents, and there is also the band's appeal to listeners in comments with request to respect the rights of musicians. Did you really write it?

I'll let REJETTO (Misties' keys and electronics) speak.

Hi Rejetto!

It was my idea (rejetto talking now) to spend a few words to tell people what we think about it, and my fellow guys agreed. We didn't talk about "rights" though, it's not legal, not even moral I'd say. We think most listeners don't/can't know how hard things are for us. We always compromise a lot, our stuff could be so much better, and even the survival of the project is on the edge. We want them to know, of course hoping to move them. So, the message to them was a humble "you like us? please join us, we need help".

Then I hope that your message will be heard! What was most difficult thing in work over this release?

That's me (Luca) again.

It ain't easy to choose the most difficult thing, we had many difficulties during the release, you know, but these are standard for independent bands, mostly related around money. The real problems came after the release. I mean, we haven't played a proper release party yet, just to let you figure out the proportion of the problems. We struggle with promoting the album and finding gigs. We used to be a doom metal band and maybe we still are but we inserted tons of different styles in our music, from classical to electronics. But in this period the audience seems to prefer straighter and straighter bands with a well defined tag and we still have problem to find a place or a scene where Misties could fit. We hope that the wind could change, we're positive.

On the other hand the easiest thing over this release was choosing the people to work with. We've built a great relationship with Elefante Bianco Recording Studio and Ver Eversum Art Studio during these years. They both always know how we'd like the finished product. Elefante Bianco is also our rehearsal place so they know the songs from day one and they are very passionate and open minded so we don't have to be strict to a musical genre only. On the artistic side we love working with Ver Eversum, they can always translate my visions on canvas, even the weirdest ones. So we are very satisfied with their jobs artistically and musically.

Why did you decide to release the album without the help of any label? Has such a method justified itself in the end?

The main reason was that we were ready to release the album but our label wasn't. We've always had this great relationship with Steve and Doomanoid Records but too much time passed after our previous album Saint Shroom, we were looking forward to releasing GA.GA.R.IN. and we did it on our own as mutually agreed with Doomanoid. To be honest we received a couple of offers from some indie labels but with the same amount of money they asked, we could do the whole album with total control of every process. With Doomanoid we were very lucky since we decided everything, but with this new trend of indie labels that ask money to manage every aspect, we don't fit quite well. I'm not negative, there are a lot of bands that want to think only about the songs, they're not interested about sounds or cover art or lyrics and booklet, but it's not our case so we prefer to do by ourself.

You have a song (more or less) inspired by the first Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, you have an Italian version of this song as well and besides that you even have Japanese version of the "Doomzilla" song! How did you come to such variety?

Basically because all the four of us share the same passion for literature, underground and pop culture, from comics to animations, from movies to videogames so maybe you can call us nerds (but don't say it too loud ahahah). I'd say there's no lack of themes or topics for our songs, I've a very long list of stand by subjects I'd like to use in our future songs actually. I always love bands with great lyrics, I think lyrics are as important as the music and I have the same care for both. For what concerns the variety of languages, that's because I'm a linguistic and Frankie Insulina is a Japanese Language scholar too. During the rehearsal we had this good sing along chorus for GA.GA.R.IN. and we thought "Why don't we try to get it in Italian too?". Now the Italian version is the favourite for the Misties Italian fans. Then rejetto came out with "If you sing GA.GA.R.IN. in Italian…Doomzilla deserves the Japanese!" Doomzilla is a song about kaiju eiga, monster movies and B-movies culture in general. I didn't have problems to write it or sing it, you know, so we did it. Also because with our first full length we'd like to show what we can do with that budget line both for supporters and for labels interested to invest in us. It's a pity we couldn't do GA.GA.R.IN. in Russian (I didn't have even the problem for the lyrics 'cause a friend of mine is a Russian linguist) but I'm not so confident with the pronunciation, so maybe next time with some exercise and a little help from you perhaps :-).

There is a song, "Ballo In Fa # Min", on this album: it has a very interesting approach, vocal lines are performed as for some classical composition. How was this song born?

Actually it's a cover of a very famous Italian singer, the Maestro Angelo Branduardi, who uses classical and traditional instruments. This song in particular is a traditional folk song with lyrics taken from an inscription on a Danse Macabre depiction, melody inspired by medieval Italic theme which accompanied exorcism rites and finally adapted to The Seventh Seal theme. Basically I used the same vocal approach as the original, maybe a bit more theatrical as I like to do, 'cause we change the music a lot and we need the vocal to be similar and recognisable. We've played this song since the first concerts but we've never had the chance to record it and add it on an album until GA.GA.R.IN.. If you've never listened to the original, I suggest you to give it a spin, it's great and you can also find out the differences between the original one and ours. We improvised the coda entirely and a lot of supporters love that finale.

As I understand you work as a music teacher, how does it help you in Misty Morning?

I've just started teaching music this year at my hometown music school and I'm still digesting the thing. I teach electric guitar and Ensemble band lab and it has helped me a lot on the technical side (scales, chords etc.) of course, but the most interesting aspect is that I've listened, studied and analysed a lot of music that I've never heard before. Just listening to a different music genre is quite different from analysing and studying its scores, if you know what I mean. So the music school has taught me and Misty Morning that sometimes in music it's better to watch things from a different perspective and that second thoughts are important to get better arrangements or instruments' scores. Genial riffs are possible but arrangements and techniques are something you can and must learn with humility, a quality that every musicians must have in order to be able to always write better songs.

Misty Morning – "GA.GA.R.IN." official video.

I need to ask you about how you came up with album's title, for Yuri Gagarin is the first human who made a journey to outer space.

Since I was a boy, Gagarin's had a great impact on my imagination. I remember my father talking about Laika or Gagarin in his tin can orbiting the Earth. When I had the idea to write a song about cosmos, unity and human will, Gagarin was the first choice. Finally I had the chance to pay tribute to this iconic figure. The first man out in space, the extreme conditions he had to get over and his amazing quotes really moved me: "The main human strength is willpower." or "Orbiting Earth in the spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase this beauty, not destroy it!". Amazing!

So when I started writing the song I didn't want to tell a cold chronicle of his flight or his life but I preferred to take him as a symbol and his accomplishment as a message for my listeners and readers: We can do anything if we want to.

So I imagined this sci-fi story about a mission called GA.GA.R.IN., an acronym for Galactic gateways for reborn intellects, where a team of scientists starts a journey to awake mankind. Apparently a very difficult task but they are blessed by their mission code name.

We decided to name the entire album GA.GA.R.IN. and get this story as a central theme for our work. So the entire artwork (booklet, cd, cover etc.) is related to this song and to Yuri Gagarin. As for the lyrics I didn't want a cold image of Gagarin on the cover. So I made my researches and found out Gagarin code name in his orbit flight was Siberian pine. I built GA.GA.R.IN. mission logo around pinecone, symbol of human enlightenment, and added two antithetical whales, symbols of journey to rebirth. Finally I had an ex-novo alchemical symbol that could convey what Gagarin really stands for mankind: He's the universal symbol for the unlimited power of human will. We should take him as a model in our personal "mission".

I feel thankful to Mother Russia for giving birth to great people and accomplishments. In the future I'd like to write about other Russian personalities such as Rasputin, Pushkin, Tolstoj, Dostoevskij or Tarkovskij among others.

Did the song "GA.GA.R.IN." and the Japanese version of "Doomzilla" help you to find way to reach Russian and Japanese audiences?

Not yet. As I've told you we had some problems to promote the album especially outside Italy but something's moving in that direction. To be honest we didn't expect too much. Doomzilla is just a bonus track and the Japanese audience is so locked behind the wall of agencies that we should do more than that to break through. I have a lot of connections with Japan due to my classical theatre job but classical theatre and modern music are worlds apart. Maybe with the next albums...

For what concerns the Russian audience it should be much easier, something's moving on in that direction (this interview is a proof) but we still have lots of work to do. We hope things will get better and we're very thankful to you for spreading the words.

How do listeners react to such characters like Gagarin and Doomzilla considering songs' context? Do people really dig your grand plan?

Listeners' reaction is always enthusiastic. On this album I liked taking these iconic figures and building weird stories around them. But also in our previous albums people were always curious about our themes. I don't know if they really dig our grand plan but nevermind. We prefer to pique listeners' interest and let them think about and discover the hidden meanings by themselves. At the end of the day, it's what happens with poetry since the dawn of time. I don't mean to appear haughty but lyrics should be like pieces of poetry. The problem is that lots of bands don't give a fuck. I'm very happy that Misty Morning has become a band whose lyrics are worth a reading and an accurate listening.

By the way, what are your plans for the next record?

We're already working on some new songs for the next album, not only plans :). Our mouths have to remain closed but the only things I'm allowed to say are: It'll be a concept EP about a very famous Japanese theme and we're in association with an Italian website that writes about it. With the new drummer we're exploring new borders of music such as extreme metal blast beats with growling parts but also very intimate ballads with clean singing, that is to say: we're continuing to widen our limits and having lots of fun! It's scheduled for around Christmas. I've some ideas for the next full length too, but they're still ideas. I was thinking about a fusion between rock and theatre but it's too early and let see how things will go on.

Misty Morning have an official video for "GA.GA.R.IN." song, does it help you with promotion?

A little bit. Yes, of course we shot for promo but we also wanted to try this new experience and express our messages with a different media. The idea started while ago, I had followed the traditional steps and asked to some videomakers but the costs were out of our reach. What we could get back from the video was too low and I gave up with that idea. Sometime later, while we were watching terrible, dull and inane videos without any sort of plot on youtube my girlfriend suggested me to make a video by ourselves. We looked after every aspect of the process from the script to the final editing. Writing the plot, shooting the scene, editing both English and Italian version were great fun and we're very proud of the results. It was one of the best experiences that I've ever had about Misty Morning so far!

Someone told us that it lacks some after computer effects that "standard" videos have nowadays but we preferred to keep it clean with its real colours of nature and that old style moviemaking nuance. We're not "standard" after all ahahah. Other people who prefer to follow a story and find its meaning paid us many compliments and loved the video. That is the important thing and we're very happy about it. Next one is Doomzilla and we're planning something completely different as we always do. Misty Morning style :)

Luca, what was your favorite book in school?

Touché, I'm a bookworm and it's not a secret. I read a lot, I read everything, I've a literature degree so I've read for school and university but I also love reading for pleasure. The first school reading I could remember is "The Hobbit" by Tolkien. Among the Italian literature books we had to read, that was different, while I remember quite well this first meeting with Tolkien. Then I became a member of the Italian Tolkien Society for many years, but that's another story. Fortunately in Italy we read a lot and literature is still an important subject at school so on the following years I fell in love with Italian classics: Dante's comedy or Leopardi's poetry just as international classics, Brontë's Wuthering Heights or Dostoevskij's Crime and Punishment. That's when I also discovered Poe. Lovecraft and Asimov aren't authors we usually study at school but they're two loves of my side readings that have accompanied me during these years. I know, there are too many books here and you asked for my favorite. I wouldn't do that but if I had to pick one, I'd say "The Hobbit" 'cause I associate it with school the most. Even if I've never watched the movies ahahah: I don't wanna ruin my memories :)

Luca thank you very much with that inspiring story of Misty Morning! I hope to hear soon about band's further achievements! Do you have a few more words of cosmic glory and occult wisdom to enlighten our readers?

Thank you, Aleks, for this interview and for the support! We only have to learn from our enlightened listeners who decide with their own ears and keep supporting the original (in the very sense of the word) bands who try to make something new in this era of tribute bands and clones, fake music for ignorant audience. I've only words of deep gratitute for all the people who have supported us so far and for those who'd like to give us a hand to go on through this journey. Thank you all!

P.S.: Cthulhu Fhtagn (for the occult wisdom) and Live long and prosper (for the cosmic glory)!

Misty Morning – "Doomzilla" (Japanese version.

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the Misty Morning bandpage.

Interviewed on 2015-08-28 by Aleks Evdokimov.
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