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Interview with Galician psychedelic folk rock band Moura: When the ghosts of our ancestors are watching over us…

Of course I already spent some time with Galician psychfolk rockers Moura and their mesmerizing take on swirling 70s rock sung in their mother tongue, but I did feel that the rich and historical background they come from needed some more exploration. What makes Galicia stand out from the rest of the Spanish peninsula? Who were Moura influenced by musically? And what on earth are they singing about? Lead guitarist Hugo Santeiro was kind enough to assist me in answering these questions.

Hi Moura! How have you been the past pandemic years?
Hello there! We’ve been hiding, taking care of ourselves, working slowly on our latest album. Always living the present but thinking about future projects

How have you been keeping up both as people and as musicians?
We survived the best we could, without personal or work losses. Regarding Moura, we released the album just a few weeks after the pandemic hit our lives, so we were fully ready, with all instruments in the van, to go touring but everything stopped and we couldn’t play live anymore, like many other bands. Luckily, the album was a bestseller and managed to sell out the records with hardly playing live. Then, as a result of being confined at home for so long, many ideas came out and we started working on our second album.

Your new album Axexan, espreitan is out now, can you tell me about the difference in approach this time with regard to the previous S/T album?
I think there are mainly two clear differences between the two albums. This time, the songs are a bit shorter which allowed us to have more tracks. I mean, it is obviously an album of long songs inviting you to a non-stop journey. On the other hand, the new album is kind of conceptual, something which reflects on both music and lyrics.

I was told there are strong folk influences in your music, originating from your native Galicia in Spain? Can you explain how we can hear this and why this is important for Moura?
Historically, Galicia always had its on nationality, with its own language and a location which is geographically separated from the rest of Spain, but that’s a long story… but somehow this is implicit in our culture; and this is what we try to show everyone by singing in Galician and using an important number of traditional instrument from our homeland. We tried to mix it all with 70s rock music we grew up with.

What are the lyrics about globally?
The concept of the album revolves around the memories, the traditions, the spirits of those who are no longer here with us… Those memories remain hidden in a corner of our mind and emerge at certain moments of our lives. They “observe and watch over us” (Axexan, espreitan); getting us back to specific moments that seemed forgotten, making blurred the border between the world of the living and the dead ones.

What are some of your most important influences? And are there other “underground” Spanish acts you could recommend?

We all love King Crimson, the Canterbury scene, Kosmische musik, Fairport Convention, The Beatles, Pink Floyd… These are probably the biggest names, but we also listen to present bands such as Psicomagia, Cave, Dungen, Motorpsycho, Elephant9, Beak, Kikagaku Moyo… From Spain some of the artists I usually listen are Peña, Xosé Lois Romero & Aliboria, Za!, Atavismo, Acid Mess, Caldo, Rodrigo Cuevas

What are your personal musical backgrounds? And how did you end up forming a band like Moura?
We used to play in bands such as Lüger, Guerrera, Fogbound, Saharah, AliboriaMoura was formed bit by bit as we all knew each other from previous projects and I guess it was logical that we ended up working together on a new one. The band has gone through different members, rehearsal venues… it’s been a slow evolutionary process until what Moura is now in 2022, but it couldn’t be any other way, keeping in mind that we don’t know how to make 2-minute songs.

What is your long term ambition with Moura? And short term?
In short term we have several festivals in which we really want to play as Sonicblast in Portugal in where we’ll meet with many friends from other bands. In long term, the idea is to keep touring and taking our project to Europe and later on the US.

Is there anything you’d like to add?
Thank you very much for your time; we hope to see you at some point in one of our
concerts.

Moura, 2022

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