Moodwel – a name that evokes and teases, a name that Pistoia based cousins Simone and Tommaso Allegri chose simply because of its sound, the founding element upon which their artistic collaboration was first conceived a little over a year ago. Their debut EP Explore is an intricate tumbleweed of hypnotic arpeggios and synthetic beats rolls into minimalist, smooth instrumental horizons. From ambient-tinged vibes (Elizabeth Glory) to walking into a spy movie (Haze), as the tracklist unfolds you are struck with various, almost cinematic impressions. Moodwel are currently working on their first full-length album and will be on stage tonight at Florence’s Tender Club as opening act for French electro-pop duo Zombie Zombie. We enjoyed a quick chat before the show.
Michelle Davis: Starting from your name, tell us a bit about Moodwel…
Tommaso Allegri: We took our first steps as Moodwel about a year and a half ago. We were driven by the desire to discover possible innovative outcomes from the combination of psych-rock and electronica. To tell you the truth, the name doesn’t really mean anything…we just like the way it sounds.
MD: Has being related influenced your music, somehow? Had you already played in other bands before?
Simone Allegri: Surely the fact that we’re cousins dictates a deeper, different kind of attachment between the two of us and what we create. There’s something really intense in making music with someone so close to you! Tommaso has been part of several formations in the past and currently plays guitar in a psych-garage band called Babylon K, while I am involved in the sound production of other projects.
MD: Tell us a bit about your first EP, “Explore” and how you started collaborating with Italian indie label Toys For Kids Records. How’s the new album coming along?
TA: Toys for Kids contacted us in April 2016 after discovering Moodwel among the winners of Regional contest “Toscana100Band” and we clicked immediately. We liked the fact that it is a small record company whose roster of artists is brought together by a very definite kind of sound. Publishing “Explore” was actually their idea, as a way to bring together some of our previous demo recordings with new material. We are currently working on the new album that we would like to release by the end of this Summer. In the meantime we are issuing a series of singles on our social channels, so stay tuned!
MD: You have already played abroad, in Frankfurt, but would you like to further expand your touring horizons in the future? And, from a more local standpoint, how is the Pistoia music scene?
TA: We trust that the future holds many possibilities for us to cross the Italian borders and we are also interested in meeting audiences abroad, since they are more attentive and knowledgeable when it comes to music. Pistoia’s music scene is quite poor, I’m afraid. I wouldn’t even call it a “scene”. What is ironic is that we are considered one of Tuscany’s most musically active and renowned cities because of the international Pistoia Blues Festival. Apart from this annual event, during the rest of the year there are hardly any venues and most of them prefer to hire cover bands… that having been said, there are some interesting musicians, such as singer-songwriter Francesco Biadene, experimental girl duo Darmabams, one-man band and loop whizkid Bigshadow and we suggest keeping an eye on the Brooklyn Historical Society.
MD: Well, since we’re on the subject, what do you think about Tuscany’s music scene? Is the regional situation as bleak as Pistoia’s?
MD: What should we expect tonight at Florence’s Tender Club?
TA: Our live sets are usually more heavy handed than our recording sessions so expect some tight beats!