Chain D.L.K.: First of all, I’d like to ask what kind of musical studies, if any,brought you to Zombi.
Steve Moore / Zombi: I studied music in college, mostly classical and jazz. I played jazzgigs just about every weekend. That’s actually how Tony and I firststarted working together, doing free improv with me playing saxophone.
Chain D.L.K.: Zombi at first would seem like some sort of tribute band to Goblin’s”Zombi” or to Fabio Frizzi’s “Zombi 2” soundtracks. Can you tellsomething more about your original intentions?
Steve Moore / Zombi: We basically set out to make music we’d enjoy listening too. In thebeginning we were both listening to a lot of Goblin, so naturally thematerial we were writing reflected that. But the intent was never tore-create Goblin’s sound – or anyone’s sound really. We’ve alwaysdrawn influence from many artists.
Chain D.L.K.: What is your way of working with Zombi? Do you usually improvise or doyou rather write your parts on a sequencer first?
Steve Moore / Zombi: We used to write a lot by improvising, recording our rehearsals, thenpiecing together the parts we really liked. Now with the two of usliving in different cities we do most of our writing individually.
Chain D.L.K.: You play instrumental music so you have to let the music and titlescreate the right mood to get the kind of emotions you wish to convey.What’s your way of dealing with this process?
Steve Moore / Zombi: I try to be as vague as possible. Ideally I’d rather not have anyinfluence on the listener outside of the music – that way the listeneris free to experience the music with no preconceptions. If my soloalbum had a picture of a young woman with a black-gloved hand coveringher mouth and a knife held to her throat you will naturally associatehorror-related imagery with the sounds. But I wonder what you’d thinkof this album if the cover photo were some thick-mustachioed Greek guystanding amidst the columns of the Acropolis with his hair flowing andhis shirt wide open…
Chain D.L.K.: The titles of your album seem to be linked: “The henge” recalls placeslike Stonehenge or ancient cults, “Cepheid” cosmic scenarios,”Infinite Resignation” and “Dead Dide” might make one think ofsituations related to those places/cults. What kind of imagery are youtrying to shape?
Steve Moore / Zombi: I want the listener to only feel vague, cloudy sensations. Like whenyou wake up from a dream with a strange feeling of dread, but youcan’t remember why. I want to create music that breaks yourconcentration and urges your mind to wander – ancient monoliths andastrology are merely suggested starting points.
Chain D.L.K.: Your first solo album has a lot of the same kind of atmospheres thatZombi offer, but there’s a different approach to sound because if onyour duo project I feel a sort of will to keep the sound true to anoriginal idea, on “The henge” there are arrangements which use semidub drums, dilated and distorted guitars (almost doom), ambientsolutions, etc. Can you tell something more about its sound and aboutthe reason you wanted to make it this way?
Steve Moore / Zombi: With this album I wanted to explore ideas that I can’t explore withZombi. Of course there will be similarities, but Zombi has a veryunique and well-documented sound, and I wanted to experiment myself byworking outside the boundaries of that sound.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you feel less creative freedom when you compose a movie scorerather than an album? Are you usually instructed to create a certainkind of sound/atmosphere?
Steve Moore / Zombi: I’ve been lucky in this respect. The directors I’ve worked with havebeen very open to just about anything I would suggest. I figure if adirector asks me to write for his film it’s because he probably hasalready heard my music and wants something similar. If you’re lookingfor standard Hollywood-style crap there are plenty of starving musiccomposition majors who can help you with that.
Chain D.L.K.: What about when you compose movie scores with Zombi?
Steve Moore / Zombi: I find it more difficult to compose for film with Zombi, mostlybecause Tony and I have to agree on everything before we can evenclear it with the director. I work very fast when I’m on my own.Usually when I write music I hear a finished product in my head, all Ihave to do is commit it to tape. Or to a hard drive, whatever.
Chain D.L.K.: You’ve been deeply inspired by late 70’s/early 80’s music. What do youappreciate the most of that period and how do you re-process thosesounds into your music?
Steve Moore / Zombi: I get the impression, through listening to progressive electronic androck music of that era, that artists then were more focused oncreating “art,” whereas today it seems that creating something thatcan be marketed is often the main goal. I think a lot of bands todayhave the wrong idea. Seriously, if you’re looking to make money go toschool and become an investment banker.
Chain D.L.K.: Lovelock is your italic disco outfit. What made you feel the urge tocome up with such a diverse project and what are your goals with that?
Steve Moore / Zombi: I just enjoy writing and recording all different types of music. Igrew up with my parents blasting the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack,and those smooth Bee Gee’s jams really made an impression on me.Writing music for Lovelock is therapeutic, in a weird way.
Chain D.L.K.: What are your favorite Italian directors/movies and why?
Steve Moore / Zombi: Lucio Fulci, I guess, because that guy didn’t give a fuck. Plot? Whoneeds it. Dubbing sounds awkward and halted? Who cares! We gotviolence, naked women, and a shark attacking a zombie (or is it viceversa?)
Chain D.L.K.: Are you keen on Italian horror movies only or do you also likethriller movies such us the ones of Dario Argento (“The Bird with theCrystal Plumage”, “The Cat o’ Nine Tails”, “Deep Red”), Umberto Lenzi(“Seven Blood-Stained Orchids”, “The Death Dealer”), Luigi Cozzi (“Thekiller must kill again”), Sergio Martino (“All the Colors of theDark”, “Torso”, “Case of the Scorpion’s Tail”, “The Strange Vice ofMrs. Wardh”, “Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key”) orpolice movies such as Umberto Lenzi’s “Violent Naples” and “AlmostHuman” or Sergio Martino’s “Silent Action” and “Violentprofessionals”, just to name a few?
Steve Moore / Zombi: I like Argento’s thrillers, but I haven’t seen any of those otherfilms you mentioned…
Chain D.L.K.: What’s next with your different projects?
Steve Moore / Zombi: Zombi has a single coming out on Throne of Blood Records (new labelfrom members of The Rapture), and Lovelock will have a track on thenext Eskimo Records CD. I’m working on having some older solomaterial released, and I have a few soundtracks lined up. Also, Ijust recorded a synthesizer intro for a track on the new Lair of theMinotaur (Southern Lord Records) album, and I’m writing some materialwith Daniel O’Sullivan from Guapo that will most likely include lotsof guest appearances. Also about to record the new Zombi record,which will be out sometime late next year.
[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Marc Urselli]