Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are pleased to bring you an interview with the fast-rising epic symphonic metal band, Moonlight Haze.
Moonlight Haze’s second album ‘Lunaris’ was released earlier this year and you can read our review of it here.
1. Hi gang! Thanks for taking the time to speaking with us. How have you been holding up throughout 2020?
CHIARA: Hello! Well, it’s been a crazy year for us like for everyone else, of course, both on the professional and personal point of view. We had been very busy getting ready for the release of Lunaris by the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020 and then this mess happened and turned all the plans upside down. Of course we were supposed to play some shows to present the new album last summer, but that wasn’t possible. We did our best (and we still are) and brought the new songs live for two gigs in September (in Germany and Italy) with all the required restrictions. It was kind of surreal to play a power metal gig with a sitting audience, but we gathered many positive vibes that are keeping us strong and positive (despite it all) for the future. The audience made us understand that they’re craving for more live music, so we’re currently working hard trying to organize some other live shows, ever everything is so uncertain. Fingers crossed and we’ll see what we can do.
2. Has staying positive been something you have struggled with this year?
ALESSANDRO: Absolutely yes, why should I deny it? In the hardest lockdown days, it was really difficult to imagine where this whole thing was going, and to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Now the situation doesn’t actually look much better, but in the meantime I learned to take it day by day, keeping myself busy, working, playing music and trying to do feel useful as a whole. Being surrounded by the right people helps a lot too.
GIULIO: Staying positive and focusing on something creative is helpful but not enough. We have worked on the promotion of “Lunaris”, just waiting for the right moment to be able to return on stage. We had to cancel some shows due to the pandemic outbreak, of course, but we tried to spend this new “spare” time doing useful things for Moonlight Haze, always staying positive to the bone.
3. What advice could you give to those people who may been facing a very uncertain Winter?
ALESSANDRO: I am extremely worried about freelance workers in general, and entertainment workers in particular; if this situation doesn’t change (and I mean not only the pandemic, but also the behaviour of most governments towards particular categories) the next season is going to be tough.
I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I can tell you what worked for me: try to ask yourself if your so-called comfort zone is really comfortable, or if you are doing some things just because of the routine, or because you got used to bear with them. A global crisis could push you to take choices that maybe you wouldn’t have considered in a more “quiet” situation.
4. You released Lunaris, your second album earlier this year. Now that the dust has settled on it, are you happy with what you produced there?
CHIARA: Very happy and very proud! As I mentioned above, “Lunaris” was released in quite a surreal time (right in the middle of June): Italy was just ending an almost three months long lockdown, so we did not know what to expect. We were lucky (I mean…very lucky, since no one could predict what would have happened next) that we finished the recordings of the album and the shooting of photos and videos right before the craziness started, so we had much to work on while at home in terms of planning. So it was amazing to see that our efforts were not in vain: the feedback has been very good, so far. Of course we would have preferred to play the planned summer gigs and to be live in a “normal” world, but album-wise we’re happy.
I really think that this sophomore work really shows how much we have grown as a team and that it is more clear to us what directions we want to take with our music. We had much fun recording the first album, and the recording sessions of the second were ever better and we’re watching the synergy and empathy in between us growing strong day after day. We’re glad that we have the chance to play the music that we like.
GIULIO: I don’t usually listen to an album for a long time after I release it. This time, however, I admit that I’m keeping on listening to “Lunaris” with pleasure, day after day. I think this is the first time this is happening so far! This is because we have an extra year spent together as a band and we are more aware of the way we work and write music.
5. It came quite quick after your debut in 2019. Was it part of an intense writing period and has that continued?
CHIARA: Right after the release of our first album “De Rerum Natura” Giulio and I were feeling very inspired, so we started writing the new songs like a couple of months later. We worked hard on every single detail of the album of course and tried to improve in what we thought we had to.
What is going on in terms of songwriting now? Well, of course we always have and share new ideas: we also had the chance to spend an entire week up in the mountains just the five of us a couple of months ago and of course we jammed a little bit in between intense rehearsals and cooking/eating/drinking sessions (ahah), but still nothing specifically planned for the third album. We will see where our stream of inspiration will lead us in the future.
6. Do you feel as though there is a glass ceiling on ‘symphonic metal’? It’s not easy to rise to the top and those that are there have been for some time!
ALESSANDRO: Well, nowadays a lot of music genres have that “glass ceiling” you’re talking about, so yeah it’s true and also fair. We knew it from the start, so I guess none of us consider it as a limit or whatever, better as encouragement while focusing on something that is new and different, because it’s evolving from (and also thanks to) those who are already “there”.
7. Do you feel as though Moonlight Haze is set up well for the modern pressures of being in a band? The social media aspect and need to constantly be pumping out content?
MARCO: Being in a band today is completely different than 10 years ago, not to mention what it was like 20 years ago or so. Since the band started we realized we had the great advantage to be able to produce content all by ourselves keeping the quality at a good level. So we are in a good shape!
We are realizing that being a band and being IN a band is not all about the music we play, but it’s also about who we are as persons and today people is really interested in “who’s behind” the things they love.
So yes, we’re fine, but we can still improve and we are trying to push as hard as we can to provide new content!
8. What plans, if any, do you have over the next 12 months or so?
CHIARA: Talking about actual plans in 2020 sounds a bit daring, doesn’t it? Anyhow, we feel that we are ready – and, honestly, cannot wait- to bring our music in live shows again asap, when that will be possible again. Meanwhile, we are working to keep in touch with our supporters and to bring them on a journey through the Moonlight Haze dimension by the means we can use in the current situation.
GIULIO: We are always at work, writing new stuff, planning how to make our shows more unique and special, and so on. I hope, therefore, that 2021 will bring some good news also for live gigs, for us and for all the bands that had to stop this year.