Reviews

Of the Sun and the Moon – Interview


Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)

John Lorena: guitars, bass, keys, programming, songwriter, producer;

Lory De Lorean: vocals, backing vocals

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

John: … brave and courageous, definitely … I like to direct the band towards little explored places in terms of sounds, songwriting and lyrics … well, you know … by now it’s absolutely difficult to invent something new .. . the only way to get noticed is to come out with a track, or an album, that sounds different from what you normally listen to on the media … above all, I want the instruments to be really played in my songs, giving little or no space to pre-packaged electronic devices … this will leave space, perhaps, for some small errors … we’re human, damn … will mean that the passion you approach the music with, will cancel any mistake …. so, looking at the trend of the music market  … it takes courage …

Lory: … I’d also call us ‘experimental hybrids’ … I mean that we’re like sponges that absorb music, words, subjects, influences, sounds, vibes, grooves and atmospheres, from every source … with a free mind, we, then, try to elaborate everything, John musically, I vocally, letting the ideas flow and following the moods … we always know where to start but, until the end, we’ll never understand where we’ll arrive … and we’ll not be satisfied if the result is not ‘unique’ …

 

PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background?

John: … we’re Italian, but Italy ‘is not a country for rockers’! Since I was a child, as happens in most cases, I listened to music, that of my parents, soundtracks and classical mainly … as a teenager I started to become more independent, listening to radio and starting, in high school, to buy records, the first ever was by the Bee Gees … lol … at some point, I don’t remember how, I discovered ‘Dynasty’ by Kiss  … and from there began a ride that has not yet had an end … Iron Maiden, Saxon, AC/DC, Scorpions, Dio, passing through Metallica and Megadeth, and now Kamelot, Rammstein, Arch Enemy and some symphonic metal bands like Epica, Nightwish etc … but I don’t want to forget Queen, Pink Floyd, Eagles, ZZ Top … no one pushed me to play an instrument … it was the assiduous listening to the masterpieces of all these bands, and many others, and the growing love for metal, rock, blues, to make me, first of all, love the guitar and try, initially, to emulate my idols and then, later, desire to create my own music … I studied music theory on books, self-taught, as I learned, thanks to a lot of practice and exercises, to play guitar, bass and keys … I had a couple of bands, Fight Heads and Magic Touch, before Of the Sun and the Moon … but it’s only with this last project, and thanks to Lory, that I started to be satisfied with the results …

Lory: … as far as I’m concerned, as a child, I’ve always listened to radio stations and therefore all kinds of music … I started singing as a hobby, performing covers of my favorite female artists and voices … Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner … in my growth, as a singer, I’ve also participated in numerous ‘music competitions’ here in Italy, this before entering permanently Of the Sun and the Moon. I loved, and still love, discomusic, 80’s dance, r’n’b, as well as bands like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Depeche Mode, and male singers like Freddy Mercury, George Michael, Michael Bolton … I also admire vocalists, like the Italian Loredana Berté, like Anastacia, there’re too many … but when I met John, a whole new world opened up to me … I discovered absolutely amazing rock voices, some gritty and raw, others clean … Ann Wilson (Heart), Pat Benatar, Lita Ford, Doro Pesch, Amy Lee (Evanescence), Simone Simons (Epica), Tarja Turunen (Nightwish) … but be careful! I don’t imitate, I just take a little inspiration from all these great performers … also because they’re inimitable. I’m always myself when I sing a song … both cover or original track. My main commitment is, of course, with John, but in parallel, like Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, I also carry on a small ‘solo project’ that has already given rise to two original tunes and where I experiment with different musical genres such as funky and dance …

 

PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

John: … inspiration comes when you least expect it … in any place, time or due to any event … for example, ‘The Daughter of the Desert’ was born out of my immense admiration for ancient Egypt, traditions, characters, history, but also due to listening to the soundtracks of historical and adventure movies such as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘The Mummy’ etc … from here come all that aura of mystery and the Middle Eastern atmospheres. ‘Everlasting War’, written seven years ago … I’m not saying that it’s autobiographical but it’s a song in which many, if not all, could recognize themselves, since it describes ‘life as an eternal battlefield’, with all the daily difficulties, the advices of wise men and with the awareness that only if you react firmly and create your own rules, you’ll be able to face all adversities victoriously. Therefore, actuality inserted in an epic context. A book, reminiscences of classic studies, horror/sci-fi/thriller movies, TV series, current events, dreams and nightmares, moods and memories of the past … everything can be the subject of careful analysis and become lyrics … I usually write as little stories that deal with the topics chosen for the tunes, then Lory will think of transforming them into ‘stanzas and verses’ and into the actual lyrics of the tracks … I can anticipate that in the next songs there’ll be several references to philosophy … musically, we try to create powerful and energetic metal and rock soundtracks for our stories …

 

PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

John: … well … as a band we prefer to live day by day … we like to promote our tunes and activities in the best possible way … we’ve never deluded ourselves to live only with and of the music by Of the Sun and the Moon … we’ve no particular goal to reach other than to continue producing our tracks, complete an album, make video clips and make our name and project known worldwide, thanks to websites like yours, thanks to radio stations, music platforms and social media …

Lory: … what comes to us every day, makes us happy … we’re taking away a lot of satisfactions … the notifications, the messages that warn us, almost daily, that ‘Everlasting War’ is broadcast on radio stations all over the world, fill us with joy, and it’s the reward we wanted, above all, for the work we put into the making of this track … and it’s definitely a step forward compared to the previous single, ‘The Daughter of the Desert’ we had only proposed on some platforms, due to the length and the lack of marketability of an exclusively instrumental tune. ‘Everlasting War’ is different … it’s the song that marks our return after seven years, there’s the collaboration with the US singer/songwriter Frankie McCabe, strongly desired for her talent, to be broadcast on so many radio stations in different corners of the world, the presence on websites/blogs with our profile, our tracks/videos, our news … well … all this stuff together, it’s absolutely a big step forward … and we move step by step … with humility and passion … everything’s coming, will be welcome …

 

PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

John: … every time we finish a tune and I listen to it, for the first time, completed … after months of tweaking and changing … well, I feel absolutely proud of the result, of what we’ve done … if we talk about more material things, I must say that I’m very satisfied and proud of the attention and of what’s happening around us and our project thanks to ‘Everlasting War’. Requests for interviews, radio stations broadcasting, almost daily, the track in countries where rock is at the top of popular preferences, I mean UK, Germany, US, Australia, important and renowned blogs or websites, like yours, that give us a space to promote ourselves … I didn’t expect it in such a short time …

Lory: … already with ‘The Daughter of the Desert’, our debut, there was to be proud … if it’s true that a twelve-minute instrumental song, absolutely experimental and non-commercial … has had a fair response from lots of music insiders and not only … the comments are still present on our official Reverbnation page … considering, also, that the opening part of the tune was used as the ‘opening theme’ of a rock radio show in Australia … just today an interesting thing happened … a couple of days ago, a radio station had written to us saying that ‘Everlasting War’ was too long to be broadcast within its programming, and that, if we wanted it on air we’d have to eliminate at least two minutes … ok, no problem, we kindly replied that it was impossible to cut parts, the song was born like this and so it had to stay, because each segment was indispensable and it was not so obvious to cut and mend as nothing had happened … and, in any case, that in the future we’d have sent the brand new single, if within the ‘time limit’ … today they replied saying that the track was so appreciated by the staff that they decided to ‘change the rules’ and broadcast it anyway even if it lasts 6 minutes … so proud … as I sing in the chorus of ‘Everlasting War’ ‘… now I make my rules’ … lol … just kidding …

 

PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

John: … a very difficult task, definitely … for various reasons … certainly there’re a lot of artists/bands coming out every day, musically gifted and talented … it’s also a time when both, majors and the medium-low labels, don’t know what direction they are taking, the main radio stations plan shows and playlists following trends of the moment … and also ask a lot of money to give airplay … I’m not talking about ‘donations’ but … I mean … you pay and I put you on rotation … moreover for a limited period … now I’ve seen that even pseudo sites promise promotions exclusively for a fee … the same old platforms for greater visibility, they ask for payments … so … I believe that an honest unsigned indie band doesn’t have that much money to spend … maybe the same amount has already spent on rehearsal rooms, recording etc … if you don’t have a producer, you can’t follow this shortcut … I’m talking about this because we faced these situations as a band … so, we decided to follow another idea … to do everything ourselves, even if the apprenticeship will be harder and more demanding … we invested to create a small ‘home studio’ and we start from here, every time … from rehearsals to recording, editing, mastering, up to the complete tune and then, we take care of the promotion ourselves by contacting, personally, people who really love indie artists/bands … blogs, websites, radio stations, platforms, willing, like you, to give the space due to rising and emerging music of excellent workmanship … it’s a real mission, I know, on your part and on our part …

 

PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

John: … well … currently, as we’re a duo, we’re mainly working in our ‘Butterfly Home Recording Studio’, here in Italy. Lory and I, occasionally, plan and organize ‘music live shows’ in clubs or city squares, during which, together with other artists/bands/musicians, we perform acoustic/unplugged versions of our songs … clearly, if we decide to face live shows or tours as a band, we’ll have to select a series of musicians …

 

PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

Lory: … well … famous artists started this trend years ago … then, we all adapted a bit … I’m in favor … it’s definitely a help for everyone … for those who release an album but, especially, for those who record one song at a time … streaming/downloading from platforms makes it easier for the listener to enjoy, from the pc or mobile, and gives greater visibility to the artist who, otherwise, how could make his music known? … a more direct relationship is established between artist and listener … for now, we offer our tracks for free on all platforms … both for streaming and for download … honestly I wonder how and how much an unsigned and indie artist, or band, can earn by selling one or more songs, or the entire album, at the prices we know well … since still has to make himself known, reach the general public and acquire a good number of fans … if he has them … hats off! … on the other hand, I also wonder how you can make money with Facebook or YouTube, Tik Tok or Instagram, and these social media … it’s a mystery to me … lol … it may be that with the new singles we’ll also try to put’em up for sale to see what happens (for ex. on Bandcamp too) … we’ll try to sell’em at discounted prices … lol … about Spotify or similar sites … well, actually we haven’t landed on yet … I read conflicting opinions … those fully in favor, those against … I realize that it’s becoming more and more popular … on Twitter most musicians ask for exchanges … I mean, I put you in my playlist, you put me in yours … I also know that many views and streams are reached. However, I believe that for an artist who wants to propose/add music (not only listen to), it’s not so easy to get into it, if not through a third part that distributes your music (for a fee) … so, there’re situations more favorable and others less. I think that with the brand new songs we’ll also become part of this … and then we’ll be able to tell you our opinions better … are we not inveterate experimenters? … lol …

 

PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

John: … absolutely difficult question … my top3 … in third place, ‘Don’t talk to Strangers’ (R.J. Dio) for the alternation of arpeggios and riffs, and for the vocal melodies, so enveloping, engaging and exciting … in second place, ‘God of Thunder’ (Kiss) … it’s an impressive tune for those times … still so current, the sounds, the guitars … with a brisk pace, the atmospheres, the vibes, the grooves … Gene’s voice … in my opinion, the first ‘epic metal’ track, definitely … first place, ‘Master of Puppets’ by Metallica … a song so powerful, devastating, without pause … and what about the solos? … melodies and technique … incredible, amazing … a thrilling masterpiece … also as meaning …

Lory: … I’d have wanted to write ‘The Show must go on’ by Queen … sometimes I sing it during shows and I must say that, every time, it’s always a strong emotion … sentimentally poignant … as well as extremely difficult …

 

PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

John: … I can’t help but think about the various music talent shows that have been offering us for years … stop the world guys!!! … I can’t stand to see parents willing to sell their souls for these TV appearances of their children … which then, in most cases, are resolved in soap bubbles … for me it’s not a ‘stairway to heaven’, but a ‘highway to hell’ … I can’t believe people willing to do anything, even to make a fool of themselves, just to appear on TV and have that moment of notoriety, for 100 likes more or 100 more views … where’s the healthy combativeness of facing the public in low-level clubs with the dream of becoming big and famous and treading the stages of the most important locations? … the blood, the sweat, the fatigue of the past? … so it’s, on the one hand, too easy, on the other, a simple illusion … and I want to add that certain music genres are absolutely discriminated inside this ‘crystal ball’ where true contact with the public is almost entirely missing … I always get upset when I think about this …

 

PD: So what are you working on at the moment?

Lory: … apart from the promotion, John’s thinking about it … I’ve a vocal collaboration to carry out with a US musician/producer/guitarist … something concerning only me … which will be a new single and another chapter of my ‘solo project’. As Of the Sun and the Moon, we’re working on the next brand two songs … ‘Sad, the Rain’ and ‘Oblivion’ … the intention is to be able to get’em out by the end of this year, this time with a video for both of them … actually there’re already other tracks that should make up the album … for ex. ‘Black Canary’ and ‘Burn the Witch’, for now only sketchy ideas … but we’ll think about these, later … next year … the album will be titled ‘Under the Influence of the Sun and the Moon’ and will consist of seven original tunes, the instrumental one, plus two covers … it’s exciting when we think about the album … the dream of a lifetime …

 

PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

Lory: … all the news about us, updated in real time, can be found on the various social media that you, very punctually, have reported within your amazing ‘Rock News and Views’ website … then Facebook, Reverbnation, YouTube, Soundcloud, Twitter, Tunebubble, Instagram … pls, like, follow, subscribe, fan, in short, ‘become part of the Invencible Armada of Rocked and Rolled Hearts’, and you’ll be very welcome into our world … then, there’re, in addition to the one posted here on ‘Rock News and Views’, two other brand new profiles to draw from for all the contents/news about Of the Sun and the Moon band … the first on ‘La Grosse Radio’, and the second on ‘KracRadio – Radio & Magazine de Montréal’ … pls, check’em up!. In all these platforms, websites, blogs, social media, our audio/video contents are completely free for streaming and download … as for the merchandise, we’re now working on the t-shirts … when they’re ready, we’ll show up …

John & Lory: … a huge hug and thx so much to Pete, for the attention, availability and space granted to us … pls, stay tuned and Fierce!!

PD: The pleasure is all mine, so glad I can help.

Of the Sun and the Moon links:
Band/Artist location – Mortara PV (Italy)
Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud –  Tunebubble –
Reverbnation – 
Twitter – Instagram –
Check our page for Of the Sun and the Moon


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