Hey there all, here's my interview with the band Of the sun & the moon!
LORENA: guitars, bass, keyboards, programming; songwriter and producer
backing vocals; songwriter
and hi everyone reading … it’s a honor
and a privilege to be here doing
this interview and answering these
questions … here we go …
How'd you get started in music?
As far as I remember, I’ve always had music in my ears, from an early age, thx
to my parents and my closest relatives. They all were fans of music … various
genres, from classical to soundtracks and orchestras … and, therefore, I
automatically learned to listen to everything and to like it too, especially
When, as a teenager, I started to be,
musically speaking, more independent and to use my personal stereo system, then
I began to look around, to listen, above all, to the radio charts. The first
record I bought, strange to say, was ‘Spirits having Flown’ by the Bee Gees.
One day, I saw on TV a commercial for a US
band, they were wearing make up, they were strong, strange, spectacular ...
behind’em a luminous writing that said ... KISS! Wow, in the next days I heard
a certain ‘I was made for Loving You’ on the radio ... I had to have that
record, ‘Dynasty’ ... I immediately fell in love with everything ‘bout them ...
and from there it all started ... I wanted a guitar, I wanted the sheet music,
and I started strumming something here and there … I had a passion for ‘Beth’ …
in the following years I had my first electric guitar, I improved my skills,
self-taught, and the desire and the need to write something of my own were born
in me, as well as to assemble my first band.
We were in the early 90s and I formed several
bands, FightHeads, Magic Touch, but they never took off due to members having
other priorities or more likely being ‘posers’ than musicians. Over the years
I’ve written and developed a lot of stuff … they’re times when there were not
yet all the possibilities of today, at the technological and self-promotion
levels … it was all much more difficult ...
… let's get to 2010 ... when I’d almost lost
hope, there was a meeting, almost fortuitous, with Lory (De Lorean), and I
instantly understood that, thx to her vocal eclecticism and energy, probably,
working together, we’d have done and created something interesting and
original. She accepted with enthusiasm ... and so it was ... the birth Of the
Sun and the Moon ...
I lived in a small village in the south of Italy. There was little
entertainment, and, as a child, ‘twas a party when, with my brothers and
sisters, we watched music shows on TV. I was feeling myself good only when I
started imitating the singers I was listening to, and I could sing out loud. I
did it to play ... until my parents and some of my sisters spurred to make me
take it more seriously.
I state … like John, I’m self-taught, but I
like to experiment and improve myself day after day. As a teenager, I started
attending pubs, clubs, locations offering ‘open mic’ or karaoke nights to try
my voice on real musical bases and, above all, in front of an audience that was
not made up of friends and relatives. I also decided to participate in musical
events, contests, talent shows, and, at home, I’ve some prizes and awards I’m
absolutely proud of.
At a certain point, however, this began to be
a bit too monotonous and reductive … I felt closed, as in a loop, while I
always thought I’d something more to show, to give and to bring out ... to
myself probably. For some time I’d in mind to write, to play and interpret my
original tracks and not just covers by other artists. The meeting with John,
ten years ago, with rock and heavy metal, and the birth Of the Sun and the Moon
was regenerating, opening new horizons for me … it broke down a certain type of
barriers ... a rebirth, definitely.
Who are your inspirations or influences?
... already talked ‘bout KISS ... Lory's and my luck was that, for lots of
years, we worked for radio stations and as music journalists, so this allowed
us to listen to everything ... music of all genres, from rock to pop, from
country to hip hop and rap, to dance, to electro music, classical music ...
we’ve thus learned to appreciate the particular nuances of each musical genre
... and unconsciously we’ve stored ‘em ... we’ve behaved like sponges absorbing
every interesting element of each song … and now we’re making the music … they
re-emerge, time by time, enabling captivating contaminations.
As far as I'm concerned, however, the main
influences are well rooted in metal and rock ... they go thru’ a long period
... starting from the psychedelia of Pink Floyd, the genius of Queen, the
tenacity of Deep Purple, crossing the NWOBHM, with the elaborate songwriting of
Iron Maiden and the epicness of Saxon and Ronnie James Dio, and landing in the
Bay Area, with the technique and power of Metallica and Megadeth. I don't want
to forget the Queensryche sophistication, as well.
Talking about the 2000s, I’ve been, and still
I’m, attracted by female fronted symphonic metal bands, such as Epica and
Nightwish (with Tarja), and also by absolutely elegant but energetic hard rock
formations such as Kamelot and Evanescence. I also love the boldness and
originality of Rammstein, and closely follow Arch Enemy … in addition to being
technically flawless, they’ve an extraordinary vocalist, Alissa White-Gluz.
I've always been very interested in the
evolution of guitarists such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen,
Marty Friedman, the unfortunate Jason Becker, and the mourned Dimebag Darrell.
But, you know, in the 90s, I was a big fan of bands like Duran Duran, Spandau
Ballet and Depeche Mode, and still today I go crazy for the electronic blues
rock of ZZ Top ... so, I feel very multicolored ‘bout my influences ...
... on the other hand, I grew up listening to exceptionally vocally gifted
female artists like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Christina
Aguilera, and singers with a strong, hard, biting voice like Tina Turner and
Anastacia, or the Italian Loredana Bertè ... ‘bout male vocalists … well,
Freddy Mercury, George Michael, Michael Bolton ...
... later, meeting John, I approached metal
and rock … being influenced by female icons such as Lita Ford, Doro Pesch, Pat
Benatar, Lee Aaron, and today by Simone Simons of Epica, Tarja Turunen (ex Nightwish),
the Italian Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil, Amy Lee of Evanescence, Alissa of
Arch Enemy. They’re all great sources and models to study.
As regards, however, inspiration in
songwriting ... ok … it can come from everyday life, what happens to us, good
or bad, or what happens around us; but it can also be a book, a movie, a
soundtrack, a historical or fictional character ... as long as it’s interesting
and suitable to build a story about ... we’re not barred from anything and
everything can strike our attention, imagination or our intellect.
... a further sign of Lory's eclecticism, on a musical level, is also
demonstrated by the fact that, for a couple of years, she’s not only been
engaged as a vocalist in Of the Sun and the Moon, but is carrying on a ‘solo
project’ that has already given its fruits ... two original singles, one in
Italian, pop dance funky style, ‘Note di Notte’, and another born from the
collaboration with a Peruvian rapper, Bomber MC, ‘Senza Lacrime’, in Italian
and Spanish …
What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
... start this adventure only if you’re sure to have the right passion, the
fire that burns … if you understand that the love for music will allow to face
adversity of all kinds, disappointments, closed doors in your face, sometimes
unfair criticism , envy ... be, above all, yourself, always ... don't let
anyone shape you ... try to be as independent as possible, write your own
songs, rely only on trusted people for music or, possibly, as we try, do
everything yourselves … so you’ll be absolutely free to show your talent and
you’ll have freedom of action on all fronts.
Don’t be disheartened at the first failure
but, rather, analyze the errors and try to improve with commitment and study
(even as self-taught, why not?) ... don’t set yourself barriers but, at the
same time, do not make out of place or long-term projects ... accept
constructive criticism and move away ‘time wasters’ ... give importance to
technique, in playing, in singing, but remember … that's not all ... the
technique alone is cold, it needs ardor, pathos, the ability to excite and get
excited and, sometimes, it needs some mistake as well …
One last thing ... do not expect global
success, but welcome every little satisfaction, as if it were the greatest gift
... an incentive to go on ...
... cuddle each of your supporters, one or a thousand, be always available ...
the music world’s always in turmoil and looking for something new that’s not a
fad or mainstream ... work hard to find your way, be original, create your own
style, unique… and you’ll see that there’ll certainly be someone out there
appreciating your job …
… send your tunes to radios and webradios, to
magazines and webmagazines, to blogs, use social media in the best possible way
… now there’s this utility that didn’t exist long ago ... and it’s definitely
an advantage ... give self-promotion the importance that deserves … it became
… we’ve discovered how the indie and
underground world is fascinating, revolutionary, extremely rewarding ... don’t
Above all, guys, don't give in to easy
illusions… I always get pissed off when I see the various talent shows on TV,
described as the easy way to become famous … but where? ... maybe one in a
million, when it happens ... parents willing to sell their souls and spend a
lot of money on what? ... or people willing to make a fool of themselves for an
appearance on TV ... for five minutes of glory ... never be it ... life’s
difficult … to reach certain goals it takes effort, blood, sweat ... so is
music too. But the satisfaction will be even greater ... and deserved ...
… and finally, never pay to have your song on
radios or magazines ... the media must support, propose, play or promote an
artist, or a track, exclusively for qualities and not for money ... it's not
We, Of the Sun and the Moon, are sincere and
honest … we’re following these methods we’ve recommended and we assure you that
we’re earning satisfactions … beyond all imagination, and this is the real
stimulus that keeps us going ... proud of what we’re doing ...
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or
It’s very difficult to answer this question, ‘cause we risk appearing arrogant
or too self-confident … in truth, we’re absolutely not. This question should be
answered by external reviewers or listeners. One thing’s certain … we consider
it a duty to find original solutions in the making of lyrics and music …
The uniqueness, for example, of our debut,
‘The Daughter of the Desert’, was … we didn't limit ourselves to anything. I
mean ... a 12-minute track came out, experimental and instrumental … and not at
all commercial ... many have called it a real ‘epic metal soundtrack’ suitable
for an adventure movie located in the ancient Egypt, which was what we had in
mind ... when we start writing a song, we know where we begin, but we never
know where we’ll end ... even our name’s linked to the culture, to the mystery
of that fascinating civilization.
With ‘Everlasting War’ we changed direction,
we disconnected ourselves from that type of experimentation, introducing brand
new ideas. First of all, it’s sung, then, there’re two female vocalists, Lory
and the American singer-songwriter Frankie McCabe, two extraordinary, amazing
and different voices, which created, in these six minutes, an important
contrast … even in this case, absolutely desired; furthermore, we’ve a very
elaborate ‘intro’, a much more demanding ‘solo’ and a central break completely
different from the rest of the tune.
With ‘Sad, the Rain’ … this is a real
‘premiere’, ‘cause the song’s still ‘work in progress’ and we haven't talked to
anyone about yet … we’ll try to amaze listeners again with novelties and
updates, on structural, instrumental and emotional levels ... alternating sweet
moments with really strong and vehement ones, while maintaining important
melodies ... Lory’s working hard on vocal part and will give the best of
herself in this single ...
... summing up what John said … the concept emerges that we automatically try
not to copy what we’ve done previously, we always try to innovate and improve
... we don’t fossilize but we try to overcome ourselves …
... about ‘Everlasting War’ ... a review, for
example, pointed out how our lyrics and our music are not so common, not the
same as what someone can normally listen to today ... it means that there’s
actually something different in our music, something that identifies us from
others ... we’ve had over 500 radio airplays all over the world … this will
mean something ...
There’ve been listeners, artists, journalists
and reviewers that compared us to Heart, to Scorpions, to Evanescence ... the
‘intro’ has even been defined as a ‘son of Depeche Mode and Linkin Park’ ...
these comments please us, ‘cause so many such important comparisons make us
understand that, perhaps, there’s a little something of each of them in us, but
we’re gradually incorporating these influences, shaping something innovative
and different ...
… if there’s originality in Of the Sun and the
Moon, I believe it’s mainly about songwriting … ‘Everlasting War’, speaks of
life as a ‘perennial battlefield’, ‘Sad, the Rain’ is about ‘loneliness’ ...
when we’re writing lyrics, usually on a musical base already sketched, we try to
build a story behind the main topic, made up of metaphors, references ... in
short, you’ve to read between the lines, the understanding’s not so immediate
... in ‘Sad, the Rain’ we thought of novelizing the lyrics, making it a kinda
short tale ... ‘a creature, not really human, banned from civilization ‘cause
different from the others, lives isolated and despised, sad and damned, ‘til
the reaction, the hatred and the final revenge’ ... well, it’s a fiction, but
if you know how to analyze it carefully and try to soften the tones a little,
you see … it can happen to each of us as well, if you’re pushed aside in the
real life ... on this aspect of writing lyrics, we’re working a lot ...
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
We’re currently a ‘studio project’. We’ve our own little studio, the Butterfly,
where we rehearse, record, mix and produce our tunes. Our main purpose, now, is
to record a number of original songs and enrich our playlist, so that, if we’ve
to deal with ‘live shows’, we’ll have a lot of stuff to offer and play.
Since we both are frequenting the music
business for many years and have experience in this field, we often organize
music evenings ourselves, in clubs, pubs, squares … and we perform together
with other bands and artists … usually we offer ‘acoustic versions’ of our
original tracks along with some covers.
A few months ago we received a proposal from
some US organizers for a selection, bands and artists would be chosen thru’ for
a series of tours in the USA or Europe. We’d been chosen directly by the staff
and, therefore, we had an advantage. It would have been an excellent
opportunity, but we declined the invitation, at least for this year (tours are
annual) ... as mentioned, now our target’s to record as many songs as possible
… talking ‘bout the album … well, our idea is … to make a first EP featuring
five songs. It’ll be titled ‘Tides’, and will have inside the 2013 instrumental
debut ‘The Daughter of the Desert’, ‘Everlasting War’ ft. Frankie McCabe
(released in April 2021), which marked our comeback after 8 years of recording
silence, the brand new track, we’ve been working on for some time, and which
will hopefully be out soon, ‘Sad, the Rain’, ‘Oblivion’, tune for which a demo
already exists … but it will be revised, corrected and re-recorded as soon as
‘Sad, the Rain’s finished, and, finally, a cover that we’ll rework according to
our power epic metal style. We’ve a list of covers we’d like to play and
record, but we’ll leave the choice to our supporters … they’ll be able to vote
for their own favorite.
After this, we’ll get to work on a second EP,
again composed of five tracks, three original and two covers. The covers will
be chosen following the same methods I mentioned before. About the original
songs … there’re already proofs … but still very rough … they’ll be ‘Burn the
Witch’, ‘Black Canary’ and the ‘title track’ of our first album … titled ‘Under
the Influence Of the Sun and the Moon’.
This album will include the two complete EPs
and, probably, one or two bonus tracks. The road’s still very long, but when we
get to that moment, it’ll be the achievement of a dream ...