Interview with Lorenzo Spano
Mother Mary Mood
Gary Flinn HHM
Mother Mary Mood is a rock band from Italy. Mother Mary Mood is not a band to be taken lightly both in sound and in attitude. This group of five pack a real rock sound that is heavy without alienating the general music fan, while able to slow it down. Mother Mary Mood has the appeal of Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters, hard hitting and just great riffs. They are able to create a dynamic in rock that is not often seen, and is a testament to their songwriting talent. What makes this band a great rock band is the listener can listen to one sound after another without being bored, and without them straying from their identity. With songs you can had bang to, sing along with, and feel through, Mother Mary Mood is a band with talent not too often seen in this era of rock.
HHM: What is the meaning behind the name Mother Mary Mood?
Lorenzo: That name for the new band was just a sneering attempt to reflect the feeling that we try to disclose with most of our songs. Sometimes the lyrics contain an elliptical message to instill a subtle doubt on the absolute certainties in which the people believe.
HHM: I know you and Filippo are brothers, how did you come together with the rest of the band?
Lorenzo: More than 10 years ago Filippo and I started playing covers from grunge bands in small venues around our hometown in central Italy with a different drummer, but at the time the band name was “Black Dog”. That period has been very important for the evolution of the future band because we decided to record a demo including some songs inspired to some dramatic events of the drummer’s life, songs that we partially reused in our first self-title album in 2010.
In that same year we crossed the ocean for a small tour in California and Nevada, performing in Las Vegas at the Wasted Space Club inside the Hard Rock Hotel. That was the time when Mother Mary Mood was officially forming.
HHM: You moved from Italy to Southern California, what was the driving force behind the decision to make that move?
Lorenzo: Some years ago I started some business in California and at the same time my brother Filippo was in the process to obtain the certification as a medical doctor in the US. That’s why we chose to start playing some small tours around California and Nevada and set the new headquarter of Mother Mary Mood in the “Sunny State”.
HHM: Now that you are here in the U.S. do you have any plans for a U.S. tour?
Lorenzo: We are closely working with our publicist for the promotion of the new album “Awakening”. He has some very exciting plans for us about touring around the US in the coming months.
HHM: You have a very interesting sound that, from what I have heard so far, spans several Rock genres. What genre would you say best describes Mother Mary Mood?
Lorenzo: I definitely think our style is not really definite and corresponding to a specific genre; it reminds somewhat to the 90s era of grunge with the intention to interpret those sounds in a new and original way. However I could say that our music can be described as alternative rock.
HHM: I can definitely hear the influences of bands like Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters in your music. Who would you say has had the biggest influence on you as a musician?
Lorenzo: Pearl Jam is absolutely one of our favorite bands. I can tell that Eddie Vedder has influenced the way Filippo sings. At the same time we have been inspired by several bands from the grunge era, like Alice in Chains and Stone Temple Pilots or from rock bands from the 70s. I could mention bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Creedence… but the list would really never end!
HHM: I’ve listened to several of your songs and watched the videos to Legion, Temptation, History of Man, and Swamp Fever today. I liked them all, but Swamp Fever and History of Man really hit home with me. The one thing that is readily apparent is the fact there is no “one sound” to describe Mother Mary Mood. Is this by design or is it just the way things turned out?
Lorenzo: There isn’t really a logical thread. It’s a natural process during music production that brings us to create songs which are not connected to a specific sound. The product of this process brings the creation of a pretty heterogeneous album in which each song could be considered as an expression of that exact mood and a unique composition of sounds. We like the idea of each track to hit the curiosity of the listener.
HHM: I really like the bluesy feel of Swamp Fever? I can definitely see it being a song that can bring you national airplay. Are there any plans in the works or stations currently airing this song?
Lorenzo: We definitely hope Swamp Fever will get air play soon on some radio stations through the work of our publicist. It’s part of our promotion plan. Soon after the release of the album Awakening, Swamp Fever and some other songs from our first album got air play during our interview with our friend Ken Galloway on LP Rock web radio from Canada.
HHM: You recently released a video for Swamp Fever that features footage from the movie South of 8. The videography in this video is very interesting. I kept expected to see bullets or a car come flying through the wall behind you as you were playing. Where did the idea to incorporate the movie footage into this particular song come from?
Lorenzo: We are very close friends with the movie producer Tony Olmos,who is a real fan of Mother Mary Mood. Since before the release of Awakening he was fascinated by Swamp Fever and he had it in his mind to use it as a soundtrack for his coming movie. Then we had the idea to use footage from So8 to blend in the scenes with the band playing. Tony was so enthusiastic that he immediately sent to Francesco Iacobelli, the director for Swamp Fever, all the footage to incorporate in the video clip.
HHM: I understand that Swamp Fever was used on the soundtrack for the movie South of 8. How did that come to be?
Lorenzo: For several years, Tony was looking for a song that would fit the feel of the film. Swamp Fever was selected because it has a gritty blues sound that just goes perfect with the look of South of 8.
HHM: Where was the video to Swamp Fever shot?
Lorenzo: South of 8 was filmed primarily in National City California and downtown San Diego but the band playing was shot in central Italy inside a steel factory. The purpose of director Francesco was to obtain the effect of continuity between the scenes shot for the movie and the indoor footage for the video clip to achieve the illusion that the whole music video belongs to the same urban context.
HHM: What can you tell me about the movie South of 8?
Lorenzo: South of 8 is an independent film about a gang of bank robbers operating in the not too distant future in San Diego. Some of the characters mirror depression era criminals and other underworld gangsters and lawmen. The setting is one of extreme government surveillance and police brutality. These conditions become a breeding ground for several subversive groups and urban guerrillas.
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