Take a look at this picture. A very close look. Enrico Tauraso (guitar, voice) and Alain Lapaglia (drums, samples) are The Turin Horse. They are here to make a hell of racket and are not going to have it another way. That’s the impression you get, anyway, when listening to their first brand new untitled EP. Only three songs, including a cover of Unsane’s Blame me. Short, but intense by all means. And certainly enough to feed the desire to send them a bunch of questions and get to know more about that Turin Horse. Plus the fact that they’re close neighbours to ours, being based in Torino. Plus their rehearsals take place in the same basement as favourite turbo garage-punkers of ours, Sloks. Plus… Plus… Oh well, let’s get on with it.
If I’m correct, The Turin Horse rises from the ashes of Dead Elephant. What’s the relation between the two bands? What were the main idea behind starting The Turin Horse?
Enrico : Dead Elephant are still in my heart. I think about them with a bit of nostalgia, exactly like when you are looking at an old photography of a moment that you loved. This feeling isn’t related to the music (I’m happy with what I’m doing now) but to the human experience I lived playing in my past band. I’m conscious that this phase is gone now.
Except the fact I played guitar and sang in DE and now I do the same in The Turin Horse, there’s no relation between the two bands for me. I was just 1/3 of the DE. I try to play in TTH with a complete new attitude without thinking too much about what I did in my old musical projects. When I met Alain I was crushed by my past for various personal reasons. I think I was at a dead point and I needed fresh air in my mind. Alain has much influenced my way of play and think music. Sincerely I never accepted that DE were finished until he showed me that together we could get involved creating a new musical identity with its own sense.
Another aspect where I changed my role is that I built the main part of the gear I use in Turin Horse and I never did this kind of thing for DE.
For me the idea behind the Turin Horse was « Let the past go and drive the music over it. Let wounds/insecurities bleed again and try to play the music that is able to make you feel that fuckin shiver down your spine ». In other words I simply tried to express myself making a step forward. As a musician and as a human being. I don’t know if I’m succeeding but I’m trying to do my best.
Does your band’s name come from hungarian director Bela Tarr’s film? Are you interested in experimental art, music or otherwise?
I have much respect for Bela Tarr’s works. In an era where tv series, social media and youtube give a new aesthetics of images, Bela Tarr’s works are there to draw attention to the original powerful visionary meaning of cinema. We were fascinated about the backstory of the movie plot: the whipping of a horse in Turin which is rumoured to have caused the mental breakdown of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.
Nietzsche saw in the violence of the coachman the desire of the human beings to dominate the world and crying rushed to stop him.
Turin is also the city where we live since we began this band and we liked the idea of having a territorial reference in our name connected to a such controversial event…
Regarding my tastes sincerely I’m not interested in a specific genre of film, art or music. Good things and bullshit are everywhere (not in a specific genre) so I try to keep my heart open and I go deeper if I receive good vibrations.
You’ve just released your EP, how do you feel about releasing music on vinyl in a more and more numerical era?
It isn’t too strange release a vinyl in this era. In a digital world it’s normal that people have a sort of fetishism for the oldest physical music medium.
A guy in the ’50 bought vinyls and a guy in the present does the same. We need rituals to give sense to our actions. It’s a cool thing, don’t you believe?
Your cover of Unsane’s Blame me is on the « Flattered, Shattered and Covered » Unsane Tribute comp. Can you tell us the story of how you ended taking part in this project?
I’m a big fan of Unsane from the 90s. Manuel Veniani asked us to take part in this project because he believes in what we could do for this operation. I’m grateful to him for taking part of the project: for me it was a good opportunity to show my gratitude to the Unsane for what they gave me. I’m proud to take part in that compilation. It’s an operation coming from the below made just for passion. This is why it’s great.
Enrico, I believe you use an EGC guitar or at least an alluminium neck guitar, don’t you? Can you tell us a little bit about that instrument?
I use a Travis Bean. I bought it in 2003 when fortunately guitars with aluminium neck weren’t as fashionable as now and didn’t cost so much. They were considerated guitars of the hippy freaks era. I was fascinated by this kind of guitars because I love Jesus Lizard and PIL guitar tones. Whem a friend of mine went to Chicago to play with his blues band, I asked him if he could find one for me. This friend came back in Italy with a Travis Bean 1000S and since that time I never thought about selling it because it became a part of my guitar sound. I only substitute the neck pickup with a new custom one because I need to use in a creative way the lack of the bass player in the Turin Horse.
I love this guitar because I can mount on it very thick guitar strings without problems with the neck stability. Sustain for days and a very transparent sound. It’s the only instrument I have since I bought it.
Do you read about music? Books, magazines, webzines? Any that you follow in particular?
I was an avid reader when I was younger, when I didn’t have internet. I devoured magazines and books for years. In the last few times I took a little distance from the words about music. Frank Zappa said » Talking about music is like dancing about architecture », I think it’s true. Especially in these days where there are a lot of experts in every kind of matter and I read a lot of opinions about every kind of things. Personally I take more care than in the past about what I read and « who » I’m reading. From my point of view as a music reader, it’s important to have an explanation about why an album/band has a value. In a sea of reviews that glorify records without giving a grounded merit, the risk is to no longer understand what has a real value and what doesn’t. This creates a lot of confusion. I don’t follow any specific magazine or website.
What’s worth listening to in Italy right now in your opinion?
I recently listen « Ere » from the band Stormo and I like it. Other italian bands that I love are Demikhov, Nudist, Hate&Merda, Carmona Retusa, Ruggine and Io Monade Stanca. They are all great bands, especially live.
And Finally, if you had to make a selection of three albums that are absolutely essential to you, what would they be?
This is a very difficult question…I think they can vary from a moment to another. 3 is a very small number!
In this moment I can say: Wipers – Over the Edge, Dickie Landry – Sixteen Saxophones, Pentagle – Basket of Light.
See you Enrico !
>>>>>>>>>> THE TURIN HORSE