Home SceneInterviews Interview with Enrico Longhin (The Moor)

Interview with Enrico Longhin (The Moor)

by Vjeran

Hi, I hope to be able to listen to the rest of the material soon because I really liked this single. That prompted me to do an interview with you, although I know very little or almost nothing about you. For starts, I wonder where did you get the idea for the band name? Is it because you are from Venice?

Thank you for this opportunity and for your curiosity, I’m glad you enjoyed the single so far. Well actually yes a sort of, the main intuition was to have something short and simple, so I was listening to one of my favorite songs from Opeth (The Moor) and realized that there’s The Moor of Venice, the Tragedy of Othello, which is our hometown (well we are all based in the countryside and not in gondolas), and then The Moor is intended also as Moorland, in Italian it’s “brughiera”, which is a common landscape on the Prealps here in the northern regions.

Since we don’t know much about you, tell us a bit more about the band. When you were born, what have you recorded so far, have you been in this lineup from the beginning?

Well the band is quite unknown in the industry but the story isn’t that short, I’ll try to summarize it the best way. I (Enrico Longhin) was in a band called Bleed In Vain from 2000 to 2008, we had a decent record deal and recorded a couple of albums (one mixed and recorded at Studio Fredman with producer Fredrik Nordström, that is where we first met in 2005).

That was the CDs and MySpace era, we had previous bands before this coming from the tape trade era and this was our first “big” experience as musicians (there’s also an article in our Blog talking about this band and story).

After the split, in 2010 I decided to form The Moor with my great friend Davide Carraro, and the initial plan was to play a sort of melodic hard rock as a project. After a couple of demo songs and rehearsals, we found that we had “under the skin” was more than a level 6 of gain in the guitar amps (haha).

The group evolved into something maybe Opeth-inspired in the beginning, with some Mastodon and Progressive Rock elements (We are huge prog rock fans), so we flew back to Sweden again to mix our first demo EP at Studio Fredman.

In 2012 we signed a deal with progressive rock-heavy metal label Lion Music and we released our first full-length “Year of the Hunger”, which I think it’s still an undiscovered pearl for who might like progressive metal with different facets and contaminations. There are so many ideas in that album, we were very inspired and wanted to show “hey, we like this and this and this” so we were afraid that it was too much an album for very open-minded listeners, even coming from rock and AOR instead of metal. Luckily the result was generally well-received by the press and fans.

Two years later we break the silence with a new single in collaboration with Björn Speed Strid from Soilwork, called The Castaway.

After a sabbatical where everyone involved in the project managed to do life-related and family stuff, in 2018 another great friend, Andrea Livieri substituted Davide on guitars and worked with me almost every day for one year to arrange and compose our sophomore release “Jupiter’s Immigrants”.

The album is our latest full length and it has been mixed always by Fredrik Nordström at Studio Fredman. This album was baptized as Dark Progressive Metal and for the first time we also took care of more electronic elements on our music, which in the beginning was made by an actual keyboarder, Gilles, but then I realized I was just too pity on tweaking things up and from that time I started to study synths and keyboards to tailor the arrangements my own way.

After this release, I never stopped composing new music and during the pandemic, like 90% of the artists around, I was writing more, so I decided that the next steps would have been releasing more singles to bring more people into “our party”, stay more in touch with new people and listeners and “live” the band in a different way than just releasing 9/12 songs and then stop for two years or even four.

This is the way music is consumed today, we live in the “what’s next” or “swipe” era, so I felt that the best way for an unknown band in this post-pandemic (post.. well, hopefully) year is to stay active and in touch with your public more than ever, even if they are just some hundreds of people.

Where do you get your inspiration for music and what topics do you cover in the lyrics?

I don’t have fixed topics and the way I write lyrics and content has evolved and, hopefully, matured over the years. Recently I’m trying to put down in words very clear concepts that describe a certain situation I’m living in so the listeners can reflect on the words. Some lyrics are like describing inner pains and traumas that maybe I will not tell everyone in other words than singing them, but maybe that’s what’s bring me to the pencil for the next song to come.

There are of course exceptions, for example in our blog (on our website) I talk about the lyrics song called “Odin Vs Jesus”, because it’s the only song that has a sarcastic approach and it’s described well In the article.

What music do you listen to when you’re not creating your own and who are your role models?

I found that I can appreciate every type of music when it resonates good or when it finds me ready at that moment. Sometimes I’m a bit bi-polar and I can pass from a raw black metal track to a pop song so it also depends on the reason I pressed Play or the reason I took “that” vinyl for instance (if I’m working, driving, walking…). Besides this non-answer, my favorite band of all time is Faith No More, then I grow up and have always been a death/black metal guy (and all the late 90s melodeath explosion), but I also love bands and artists like Kansas, Nick Cave (lyric master), Tom Waits and some 80s electro-pop and synth-wave. In the latest years, I’m a big fanboy of everything Ulver/Rygg does, their recent records are epic.

After the single was released, what are your plans? Do you already have concerts scheduled and can you even play around Italy given this covid situation?

We are continually writing new songs and recording, no gig planned for the near future, we had some festivals to do in 2020 like everyone else in the planet but then they were not re-scheduled. Playing live here is very difficult since the clubs are rare and the concert situation is still pretty much restricted, unlike other countries.

Have other songs been recorded and if so can you tell us a bit more about them?

Yes, there are other songs recorded, and like twenty unreleased tracks ideas, but not in their final version, we are working on a surprise for the first days of the year, but it’s still a test so I don’t want to promise anything precisely.

What plans did the pandemic destroy?

Since we are not making a living from music, the pandemic affected our lives more in the family and work-related areas of our lives, so (and I’m saying this with total respect to artists who lose money, gigs, and all the plans fucked up..) writing music during the pandemic was the best thing to do, luckily I ended up my new home studio just before the beginning of the lockdown, so I also studied new things and sounds, musically wise it was a reason to look at the mirror and decide who I am as an artist.

What is the general situation in Italy about concerts and clubs?

Well, there’s no situation (hehe). No ok, there are good clubs around that are often spotted by great bands from all over the world, mainly located here in the North of Italy, but public-wise the response is not as great as other countries like Germany or Northern Europe. There was a good mood before the pandemic and new realities opened, but then everything has been struck, let’s hope for the near future.

How do you see this situation with covid and when do you expect us to start living normally, playing, going to concerts?

From what I see, it seems that in 2022 we will start to go at concerts and playing like before the pandemic, fingers crossed.

Lastly, what would you wish for yourself in 2022?

To realize half of the things I have in mind for the next year, as well as other musical projects I’m currently involved in and still in their embryonic form.

Thanks for your time and I hope you start with the concerts. 

Thank you! This was a very nice one, Cheers and keep it up.

Enrico “Ukka” Longhin

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