MISTY MORNING: Genuine Music

Misty Morning

Italian heavy rock quartet, Misty Morning this year celebrate 20 years of existence, and during this period the band from Rome released two EP’s and a full length album in 2014 titled “GA.GA.R.IN.” We spoke with MaxBax, rejetto and Luke about the band’s beginnings, influences, live performances, and more. Read on!

Tell us about the band’s beginning. How did you go about forming the band?

MaxBax: Well, it all began in the mid 90s when the long friendship between Luke and me started. But the idea of forming a solid band could be realized about a decade later. We found our first drummer in Frankie Insulina, our great friend who joined the band despite he had never played drums before…and he ended up recording three records with the band! It was 2007: we had rehearsed together for few months, and we started working on what would have become our first release “Martian Pope” in 2008. This is the beginning of our story.

Which bands influence your work at the most?

rejetto: Needless to say we are very influenced by Black Sabbath and Cathedral.

The latter have always been indicated as an important source for us, both by the press and by ourselves, and when in 2010 we were excited to be evolving into something more personal, it was astonishing to see in the same period Cathedral publishing new material that reflected in some aspects our new inclination. We laughed thinking how this could have been seen from the outside.

I also think you can hear some Mastodon here and there.

Luke: I think that after our first EP release Type O Negative could be added as an important influence for us as you can notice in our “Saint Shroom” album.

As for “GA.GA.R.IN.” , I wouldn’t name bands but styles and genres instead.

GA.GA.R.IN.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your debut album “GA.GA.R.IN.

Luke: “GA.GA.R.IN.” is a mix of long term and short term creative processes, ‘cause it’s partly made by songs we composed many years ago and other songs we did more recently. The core of our debut album was composed by me and the creative process was as follows: I brought the complete songs to our rehearsal room and Misty Morning deconstructed and rearranged them. It may seem quite a strange way to write songs but I blindly trust their tastes and musical sensibilities and I always love the final product: so let it go! As I said, you can find songs composed many years ago in this album and actually there’s a song we played at our early concerts but we hadn’t had the chance to record it. So behind our album there’s a long process to gather all the progresses we’ve made during these years and put them on the record. Watching these songs changing during the years is quite fascinating and obviously it’s a process that only the four of us and our acquaintances may see but “GA.GA.R.IN.” describes quite well what Misty Morning is now.

Beside the central songs of the album, we added a group of more recent songs that each component of the band composed and recorded by himself. We would have liked to show every aspect of the band’s sensibilities and these new songs fitted quite well with the continuum. We could guarantee all the range of emotions and feelings to the listener. Even the mix of styles worked on this way. We wanted the music to follow the different moods of the lyrics and we’re very satisfied with the result.

It’s obvious that Misty Morning enjoy to play live. And you had a big headstart both with England and Ireland live performances after your self-produced your first EP “Martian Pope.” Tell us more about the “Meet The Misties” tour.

MaxBax: I can’t remember on what occasion we decided to put on the “Meet the Misties” experience. The basic idea was to have a party and share the stage with bands we liked. We also decided to include our video projection during those gigs, and so we changed the title from “Meet the Misties” to “Misty Morning Screen Experience in Cinemascope”! I really had a lot of fun in that tour, it would be nice to do it again in the future.

Luke: I remember quite well that the idea came after we had received the proposal to organize a series of concerts in Rome. Set the venue, choose the band and…meet the Misties! Great parties indeed! We had an incredible night during the “MtM: A Fuzz Jazz Experience” where we played together with a double bass jazz player improvising a lot and creating something special. I hope to repeat these experiences again in the future!

Are you satisfied with the response you received from the crowds?

rejetto: Not really. Of course it would be nice to get a lot of attention to your work, but for a start we would love to just get enough to keep up. Our country, Italy, has a very bad attitude, the percentage of people caring to listen to something new is not even very low. It is easy to relate it to the cultural decay that’s widely acknowledged. I remember when I attended the show of Horse the band, in Rome. I love them, they don’t often come in our country, and the show was predictably great. I expected a lot of people at the show, but we were not even 10. Man, I felt ashamed for the situation. I remember the keyboardist saying “you are the worst audience ever!” And before that, something very similar happened when I had the chance to see Legendary Pink Dots. Less than 10 people for a band with a huge personality, decades of history, tens of albums. In the end I approached Mr. Edward and apologized. Sounds strange? I don’t feel free to just stand apart. I fear all of this. I fear I can lose what I love.

Every few weeks I attend shows of bands I didn’t know, picking them after a quick listening on the web, ignoring those who sounds like copycats. The more personal, the better. General situation is basically the opposite, the more you sound like someone else, the more you get attention. Non-live music deserves similar curiosity of course.

Misty Morning

Do you have any concerts planned for Europe in the near future?

rejetto: I only know of Malta, but in the not-so-near feature, one year from now.

MaxBax: Not at the moment. We’re working on new stuff, and it would be great to plan a promotional tour somewhere in Europe (or anywhere else in the world) next year. For now the only organized event is a festival in Malta in 2016, as rejetto spoiled.

Luke: We’re ready to leave to any countries in the world! Bands and venues, get in touch :)

Are you guys working on any new material at the moment?

Luke: We’ve got a release planned for the end of the year. We’ve got a new drummer and with him we’re exploring new borders of music such as extreme metal blast beats with growling parts but also very intimate ballads with clean singing. So we’re continuing to widen our limits and having lots of fun! I can’t say too much about the new album but it’s about a very famous Japanese theme and it’s a sort of commission by an Italian website about it that has chosen Misty Morning as the most suitable band to deal with that theme.

How would you describe your music? What would you tell to our readers to persuade them to check out Misty Morning’s music?

rejetto: For a start, our music is genuine, we’d hate to sound like a cover band.

We also want every song to be peculiar, not just a variation exercise.

Luke maniacally takes care of lyrics, you will find a variegated cultural background in words. And finally, we actually listen to a wide variety of music, from ancient traditional to atonal electronic shit, from 70s prog to avant-garde. Even if we are focused on rock, I believe you will find other cultures infiltrating it, breaking hinges, adding colours.

What are the topics that you explore in your lyrics?

Luke: The main topics of Misty Morning spanning from philosophy to religion, from ethic to sociology. The big questions of Mankind. I don’t write about everyday life ’cause I think that when you find your answers in your world every solutions come with them. I believe in the didactic pedagogical power of music and I also like to write stories. So in every songs there is an inner and deeper message under the surface of a tale. As for “GA.GA.R.IN.” I’ve chosen to talk about communication, the relation between Mankind, technology and the surrounding Universe in the guise of sci-fi stories, but also horror or historical ones, that listeners could follow and enjoy without having to discover the meaning. On the other hand, the active listener may dig deep into the myriad of symbols I scatter throughout the songs to find out the real messages. It’s up to them: discover the meaning or hear a good tale. I’ve always loved bands with great lyrics, I think lyrics are as important as the music and I have the same care for both.

But I also think that there must be always a bit of irony in music as master Zappa taught us all. So you could find a bit of nonsense or silliness in some lyrics, just for fun! And you have the whole picture. Anyway, finding hidden messages has never been simple.

I’m very happy that Misty Morning has become a band whose lyrics worth a reading and an accurate listening.

Misty Morning

You define Misty Morning’s music as heavy rock, with many different elements. How do you manage to mix different styles and make it different?

MaxBax: Like all the bands that move their first steps, we took inspiration from the bands we liked listening to. We’ve always have heavy rock music interest in common and it’s never affected our individual musical preferences.

We started to play a strict doom metal, because we felt close to that kind of music at that time.

But considering that we’ve never liked following our own footsteps, there was a spontaneous exploration of new sound approaches in our following records.
Now, the hard part is not to make a sort of copycats pastiche taking some ideas from a band, some from another but getting the inspiration everyone of us has from his personal listening and making it more personal without sounding like a clone band, or a tribute or whatever it is.

Teamwork is making possible all of this. Any member of the band proposes his ideas from his own different musical background and the sum of these ideas lead Misties’ compositional work to new directions, avoiding us floating in a self-congratulation or a “pay-tribute-to-our-favourite-bands” limbo.

Luke: I think that our formula has two main elements: Knowing each other and being open minded. I give you an example: I know quite well rejetto tastes, sometimes I don’t like what he likes but I know he’s an expert of that kind of music. He does the same with me. So during the rehearsals, while arranging songs I ask him “Any suggestions from your “world”?” And he adds parts or layers to the whole, knowing exactly our tastes. It’s a sort of auto-filters we put towards each other.

Add also that we’re very open minded to new directions and you’ve got the recipe.

Maybe we’re not so unique but we’re absolutely Misty Morning 100%. It’s quite natural for us but someone told us that this is a very proggy attitude and we’re very pleased.

Where do you see Misty Morning in the future?

Luke: Not an easy question. At this point of the interview you may have noticed that we don’t like limitations and after playing with jazz players, getting through doom, metal and psych we’ve explored folk, electronic, and been described proggish with “GA.GA.R.IN.” where I’ve also sung in Italian and Japanese, so who knows what comes next!

I’d like to reconnect with Japan, my second home, for sure. I’ve spent many years there performing classic Japanese theatre and merging Misty Morning with Japanese theatre is an idea that entertains me a lot recently.

But it’s just an idea and let’s see how things will go on in the near future. Finger crossed!

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