Italian duo The Turin Horse craft an unrelentingly violent brand of noise rock that forgoes the typical Amphetamine Reptile formula in favor of sludgy insanity. On their debut, self-titled EP, the band weave sludgy grooves with angular chaos and face-melting power electronics into a unique, battering mix. Fans of Sofy Major and KEN mode, take note.
We recently caught up with guitarist/vocalist Enrico Tauraso to discuss the new EP, the noise rock genre, and more.
Could you please introduce yourself and your role in The Turin Horse?
My name is Enrico and I abuse my guitar and my throat for your pleasure in the turin horse.
How did The Turin Horse come to be?
Alain[Lapaglia, drums/noise] and me shared the stage many times with our previous bands (Dead Elephant & Morkobot) so we know each other from more than 12 years. But before the born of turin horse we lived in different places, in the north of Italy. 4 years ago we was speaking about our failed attempts for start again to play in a band. Some time later we decide to go to live together in the province of Turin for make this band real. We find a shitty work, rent a rehearsal room and start to write music.
What was your first exposure to noise rock and what is it about the genre that keeps drawing you back?
My first noise concert I think it was the Uzeda one. I think it was in the end of the 90s. I was struck by the intensity of their music. It was something completely alien for me but fascinating at the same time. Honestly I never thought of founding a band thinking of a musical genre, because for me a music to be valid must free the musicians that play it, so this kind of premeditation it’s not a good sign for me. I think some things come out simply because some records are a part of your baggage as a human being, just like all the other experiences you do. I sincerely hate when the characteristics of a genre become a way for musicians for don’t expose themselves in what they do, the result is grotesque in this way.
I mean when the music instead of being a genuine expression of what you are becomes a way to show like a monkey that you just learned a lesson you heard. To date, I believe that the only positive aspect of the noise rock is that inside there are very heterogeneous bands in the characteristics. Often if you look closer and better you can see how many noise bands haven’t a common ground but they are in the same compartment in stores. This aspect has always seemed to me a symptom of stylistic freedom and honesty that has always made me think to the true subversive spirit of rock & roll. Music to free the soul and not tie it inside a container. Or maybe simply because instinctively I have always been attracted by deviant forms of music.
How do you feel The Turin Horse approaches the noise rock genre differently than others?
Honestly I don’t know. I think it’s not up to me to judge or compare the music of the turin horse in these terms.
How do you feel writing and performing in The Turin Horse has pushed you as a musician compared to your previous projects?
The Turin horses are a duo so I think this fact has greatly influenced the approach we have had so far in the writing process. It is all more primitive and essential than our previous musical experiences and this undoubtedly pushed us to find solutions that otherwise we would not have had the need to look for. Being two people forces you to be more direct. For me it is a completely different approach than in the past.
An example of this new approach is that I built the most part of the gear I use for play guitar in this band.
How has being a part of the Italian music scene influenced The Turin Horse?
If Alain and I were not part of it we would probably never have met. So I would say that having shared a certain cultural and musical background was quite crucial. It also gave us tools for understand what we wanted and what we didn’t want to be as a band.
How did The Turin Horse get its name? Is it taken from the Béla Tarr film of the same name?
Yes. We love cinema and Bela Tarr stuff. It’s so inspiring.
What can you tell us about the creation of your self-titled EP?
Manuel Veniani get in contact with me for ask to take part to the Unsane tribute as Dead Elephant (my previous band). I told him that Dead Elephant splitted up and now I was playing in a new band. I ask to him if we can take part of the operation as Turin Horse. So we record the Unsane song and other two tracks for have in addition some music that we wrote. We decided to release the whole stuff on a one side 12” with the other side used for a Zoetrope drawn by Alberto Cornero. It consists of a number of images from a set of sequenced pictures printed on the side B of the Vinyl. As the vinyl spins the user using the intermittent light of a mobile phone and follow the instructions included in the record can sees the rapid succession of images producing the illusion of motion.
The illustration on the cover come from a book of the 16th century that we found in the Royal Library of Turin that Kuba Sokòlski has elaborated. All the graphics are handmade silkscreened. It’s a very unique release and we are very proud that is real.
What are some of the lyrical themes explored on the record?
Both the songs speak about how do you feel when your life twist of 360° in a rapid sequence of events that are out of your reach.
The record features a cover of Unsane’s “Blame Me”. Why was this particular song chosen and how did you approach covering it?
We are big fan of the Unsane stuff since we were younger and for us being part of their tribute was a good way for pay our debt to them and say thanks for what they gave to us. We like the song and Manuel told us that nobody involved in the tribute was covering that track yet.
I like that “Stooges with streroids” feel of the song. We did it in one day and It was very fun.
What is next for The Turin Horse in the near future?
Make some shows in Italy and record our first album in March.
What can we ask for more?