Interview - Tenebra

Tenebra are a four piece from Bologna, Italy who play a distinctive blend of stoner rock with heavy doses 70’s proto metal, hard rock and psych blues in their melting pot of sound. Topped off by some soulful blues wailing vocals, these guys have a distinctive dynamic that refreshingly transcends their influences, all of which can be heard in full effect on their upcoming second album ‘Moongazer’.

- Hi and welcome to this interview. Tell us about your next release Moongazer. 
Silvia: We recorded Moongazer by ourselves, with our times, in a small studio in the Apennines near Bologna. There we laid out the raw bass, guitar and drums tracks within 4 days, then, dodging lockdowns and restrictions, we recorded the overdubs and vocals, between Emilio's home studio and our rehearsal room. It was an adventure! This record seems a bit more "song oriented" compared to Gen Nero, our old record, the fragmented nature of its production, from a certain point of view it was helpful because it gave us time to better frame the tracks and also add guests where we deemed it necessary.

In Winds Of Change, there is Frabbo from Chow on the backing vocals, In Space Child, the sax of Giorgio Trombino from Assumption / Bottomless / Becerus, in Dark and Distant Sky, Bruno Germano, who also mixed the record, played slides and a mellotron and in Moon Maiden, there is a splendid guitar solo by Gary Lee Conner of the Screaming Trees. In short, it is a much richer album than Gen Nero, even if it seems to me that our "rough" roots have remained evident.

- How would you describe your sound? 
Emilio: We are a heavy rock band with blues, punk and noise influences, I like to say we play rock.

- What do you write about? 
Silvia: For my lyrics I am inspired by the XVIII XIX century poetry, authors such as William Blake, Helen Hunt Jackson or Christina Rosseti, or extracts from the underground press of the '60/'70 counterculture. However, everything is filtered by my experience and by what I see around me.

- What do you listen to when you are home?
Claudio: A lot of stuff! King Crimson, Carcass, Bad Brains, John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Fear Itself, Leaf Hound, Orang Utan, Stefano Pilia, Jerusalem, Comets On Fire, Love Battery, Screaming Trees. We like a lot of very different bands!

- Your favourite live performance so far?
Mesca: Unfortunately we are not yet such an important band that played a large number of gigs, so for us every concert is a party. Let's say that probably, when we play in Bologna, which is the city we come from, it's always nice because our friends are there.

- Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage
Emilio: When I was overdubbing guitars for the record, one of my amps literally caught fire. It took me a while to turn it off and there was a lot of smoke. Someone who lives in the same building where we have the studio must have gotten scared and called the fire brigade. When they arrived the fire was out and I made him listen to some tracks! They liked it.

- Your favourite albums? 
Silvia: There are too many to list! I'll tell you 5:
Warhorse: S/T 1970
Jamul: S/T 1970
Birth Control: Operation 1971
Frumpy: By The Way 1972
Toad: Tomorrow Blue 1972

- A musician you would like to meet for a beer? 
Emilio: Once, when he was on tour in Italy, I spent an evening with Mike Watt of the Minutemen. He told me a lot of things about the tours the Minutemen did with Black Flag in the early 1980s. He is a great guy and a very important piece of rock history.

- What would you ask for backstage, if you were the most important band on earth?
Claudio: I don't know, honestly those rock legend stories have always bored me a little bit, how much of an asshole do you have to ask to have your brown M&M's taken off? The important thing is that the backstage is comfortable and that there is a few beers!

- What are your plans for the near future?
Mesca: We'd love to play more, then we're already starting to write new stuff for Moongazer's successor.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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