Hi everyone. I got the chance to sit down with Marco, who plays bass in the Italian alternative rock band Westmoor. Learn more about the story behind this band and its recent news in the interview below!
Hello Marco. Thank you so much for your time! Could you please introduce yourself, as well as your band ‘Westmoor’ to our readers? “Hey Val, thank you so much for choosing Westmoor for this interview. It’s an honour to have a little chat with you. Westmoor is a fairly new band, which we founded at the very beginning of 2017. Officially, we are active since March 2017, when our first EP “Braindrops” was released. We’ve been playing around Italy and the UK trying to spread our music both in clubs and in the streets busking. I am the bass player and one of the two lead singers. Our genre is a mix of pop rock / alternative rock and pop punk… in other words, we don’t like to be labeled easy [laughs]. We’ll let the people judge the rest.”
We’ve known each other since you were in your previous band Trash’N’Clean, a band that I already loved a lot. With the creation of your new band “Westmoor”, a lot of things have changed, including your lineup. Can you tell us more about it? How was the integration of the new members? “Oh well, the step from Trash’N’Clean was drastic. Westmoor wanted to be more up-to-date, conscious, reflective, detailed and refined than our previous project… but we still needed a drummer. One day, we found Dez practicing drums in the rehearsal room next to ours. He was performing a blast beat at 300 BPM, and it was love at first sight; very easy to integrate him in the new identity of the band. He was immediately one of us: simple, smiley, energetic, kind… just Westmoor.”
You also went from an independent band (Trash’N’Clean) to a signed band (Westmoor), with the label This is Core. Then follows a multitude of beautiful things (tours, an EP, two music videos, great photoshoots…). In concrete terms, what did this change bring you? From an external point of view, I find that you have gone from a good independent band to a very professional and even more promising one. “Ok, first things first, I am happy to hear that you felt such a change. I don’t mean to underestimate the importance of having a co-operation with a label, however I ensure you that nothing of what you saw from the outside could have been possible without clear ideas, an identity and tons of hard work.
What I’m trying to say is that, although the collaboration with This Is Core surely helped us getting in touch with some sick video-makers, photographers, bookers, etc., it was still always up to us to provide ideas, content, to decide the timing and pretty much everything of what we’ve done in the past few months. I’m not seeking for acclaim here, at all. I couldn’t care less, I am actually just making a statement, hoping it might help some starting bands: no one is ever going to tell you what you need to do, what’s good or right… not at a starting level anyways. So refine your artistic project, on all aspects. Not just the music. It is up to no one but you to do so.”
Can we talk about how crazy it was for you to open for Green day and Rancid at the IDays 2017? Your fans had to vote for your band to allow you to share the stage with these huge bands and I’m really happy to see that you have the support from worldwide fans! “I can still feel the trembling of my voice as I went to the microphone to sing my lines that day. Holy sh**. It was pretty insane to be honest. Our guitarist Mark received a message from a friend with the link to this contest saying “Participate, win the contest and open for bands like: Blink 182, Green Day, Rancid, Linkin Park, blah blah”. You know, the kind of thing that you just tend to try for the sake of it, but knowing you’ll NEVER get there.
Well… we were wrong. We ended up making it. And it was a ridiculous experience. We’ll never forget that day. That 14m wide stage, people looking at you as if you were actually worth being there for, new fans asking for pictures (I was never asked for a picture ever before, I swear). Maybe one day it’ll happen again… maybe.” (I will definitely ask you for a picture the day we’ll finally meet each other in person 😛 – Val)
According to you, your UK tour was “the best experience we ever did as a band and as individuals”. What distinguishes this tour from all the other concerts you’ve done? Do you guys plan on getting back to the UK for another tour soon? “I could speak about this forever so I’ll try to be concise. I think there are two main aspects to why we thought our first UK tour was so special to us.
First, we lived in a motorhome on our first real tour experience together for two weeks. No rules, no limits, nothing could stop us. We felt invincible. There was simply this really strong and positive vibe between the five of us. We felt very close and very much on the same wavelength for the whole duration of the tour, and as you can imagine this gave a whole new power and character to our live shows, both from the audience’s perspective and from ours on stage.
Secondly, the UK has so much to offer in the music scene. It truly is the place where people come to fill up a place in the middle of fu**ing nowhere just because there’s drinks and some weird Italian live band playing. People are nice and talkative and they support you if they like what you have to offer. In Cheltenham (I’ll never forget it), we started a live show without any people in the room… but then we saw the venue getting PACKED as we were performing the first song. People actually came in because they cared. They actually came to check out the live music. I am much more used to see the opposite, unfortunately. I think this is purely cultural, and the UK is a fantastic place for playing live music in general. You can only imagine how positively this affected our tour experience overall.”
Within less than a year, you released your debut EP “Braindrops”, as well as two music videos for singles ‘Nothing’s What It Seems’ and ‘The Storm’. You just released a new music video, out on November 8th. Can you tell us more about this new song? What about the shooting experience? Any funny story to tell us? “So, you probably don’t know that we perform acoustic sets quite often here in Italy. They are easier for smaller venues and allow us to bring our music to the streets and busk as well. And we love it! We have so much fun playing acoustic. “A New Dawn” was one of the best acoustic rearrangements in our opinion, so we decided to do something cool with it and make a video of it.
The song is a conscious mature reflection on love and how we felt like one cannot create a positive connection with the partner unless he/she is happy with himself/herself in the first place, before relying completely on the partner. Did you ever experience something like that, and ended up in a problematic heartbreaking situation? The video was recorded and shot in the same day and it was a lot of fun to work on. Funny stories? Well… it was very hard for me to sing well that day because our sound engineer smokes like a living chimney. He smoked for the entire time during the recordings and the room started getting sort of foggy [laughs]. I swear it was so hard to sing right… let’s just say we had to perform the song quite a few times before we got it right enough!”
Last but not least. You’re an Italian band, but let’s be honest, there’s a TON of punk rock and alternative rock bands in your country. What do you think sets you part from all the other Italian bands? Good luck for the future guys and thank you so much for your time! “That’s a very good observation Val. I think Italy is coming out with loads of quality bands and the rock genre (in the widest sense) seems to pick up more and more popularity as the years pass on. I don’t think we want to be set apart from this reality! There’s a very nice community of co-operating bands, each one with its own identity and reason to exist. As long as we are not all the same… it’s cool to feel like we’re not alone.
How do we know we’re not all the same? Well… we keep thinking with our own heads and have our identity always clear in mind. As long as we make new fans, play bigger venues, and keep growing… that’s a sign telling us we’re doing things right. It was such a pleasure to talk again, Val. Thank you for your sincere wishes and hope to see you very soon!”
Thank you so much for your time Marco ! x