Greetings over there. First, thank you very much for the interview; I really appreciate your time to answer the following questions. My website covers mostly black and post metal, but I’m starting to cover Neofolk and general Pagan music not only because I love it, but also because many of the metal listeners are interested on such music. Please, I kindly ask you to introduce yourself to our readers.
Greetings. We are The Moon and the Nightspirit from Hungary, a duo (Agnes & Mihaly) playing ethereal pagan folk, or as we used to define, ethereal sylvan music.
You’ve signed to Prophecy Productions/ Auerbach Tonträger. How did this happen? And are you already working on a new album for this, in my humble opionion, amazing label? If so, is there any period of time that you could tell us in which this album might be released?
We have always adored and respected the work and releases of Prophecy Productions. When we started to write songs for our new album we contacted them asking if they were interested in working with us. They said yes instantly. We signed a long-term contract with them, and they will not only release our new albums, but also re-release our older materials.
We have already finished all the recordings and mastering of our new album “Holdrejtek”, which is due to come out in August 15th.
Connected to the previous question, I am aware that you were working on a new album in 2013 already, but it has been postponed. Besides the fact that you have signed to a new label, what were the main causes of this “delay”? And, comparing to what you’ve had already composed and now, with a major label behind you, are there any changes on your new compositions? I mean, do feel like you can add more elements that you couldn’t before?
Prophecy is a very busy and active label with well-planned agenda and release dates. It was clear from the start that there will be a slight delay in the release of the new album, which actually done good to the album. We had time to revisit the already recorded songs and change things here and there, and we also wrote some newer ones. The whole recording process took more time, so we had the opportunity to try some new things out, and also to enrich the instrumentation and sound. We both think that “Holdrejtek” is our most mature and diverse album ever.
Let’s talk about your music and the band in a general way. I find your music beautiful, inspiring and very emotional. What are the main influences when it comes to creating your art? Both lyrically and musically. Do you feel that you need to be on a special mood or be in a certain place to start writing music or do you compose anywhere you feel like, even if it’s “only” in your head?
Our main source of inspiration is Nature itself. It is the whispering of Mother Earth, the long-forgotten tales of the forests, streams and stones that inspires us mostly. Maybe it sounds weird in this technophile world, but we feel the need of the revival of the eternal connection between Man and Nature a very important thing. Most of our lyrics revolve around this theme.
Concerning your Hungarian roots, musically speaking, you’ve already stated that you were inspired by classical Hungarian music, Bela Bartók, Zoltán Kodály Kodály, when you released Mohalepte. Three years have passed by. Do you feel that you’re still influenced by them? Or are you working on something completely different.
Yes we are still inspired by these great composers. Of course we have a lot more inspirations and influences, but the music of Bartok and Kodaly will always be close to us and continue to inspire us.
The band has also stated that its main inspiration isn’t Hungarian folk music, and we aren’t part of world music. I admit that this is more of a personal question, as I love Hungarian folk music, history, legends and the language. Do you think that will there ever be an album that would be all about Hungary, like homage to the nation? This question might not make sense to most people; you’d only understand when you have such a passion for a country.
Hungarian folk music do inspire us, but we think it’s an important thing to state that we are not playing or using traditional folk songs. There are a bunch of bands nowadays, who simply “grab” an authentic folk song using and mixing it with other styles and creating some kind of strange or monstrous hybrid. We think traditional folk music should be preserved as it is, pure and untouched by the modern world.
We are proud to be Hungarians, and we are greatly inspired by the beautiful and enchanting land of Hungary.
This might be a hard question, but there have been discussions over the subject for many years. What are your feelings and thoughts when people accuse neofolk and pagan groups of being a tool of the right wing and music for racist people? How do you feel over all of this?
First of all I have to state that The Moon and the Nightspirit has nothing to do with politics or racism. Music is an art form, and as such it stands high above politics. It should never be used and be degraded to a tool in the service of any kind of ideological groups. All -true- art is about unfettering the chains of the material world, not to be shackled by new ones.
Music is a very powerful weapon. How do you feel when you see that your band is admired for people from all over the world, like Brazil, the United States, Germany, Chile, Mexico and many others? When you started, did you ever imagine that this would ever become reality?
It is great to see that people from all over the world enjoy and listen to our music. We never imagined this, when we started the band.
Often I ask musicians about the music they listen to and many times they don’t listen to the genre they play. Are you among them? Do you enjoy folk/ neofolk/ pagan music? What other music styles that you enjoy listening to? And could you share with us some of your favorite artists?
There are some bands related to this kind of genre, that we are listening to and whose works we really adore, -Dead Can Dance, Ion or Tenhi, just to name a few. We originally come from and still strongly related to the metal scene, so our favourite bands are from this genre. My Dying Bride, Bathory, Katatonia and the early-era Anathema are among our favourite bands.
How do you feel over the internet role when it comes to music nowadays? Do you feel that the internet has helped you to reach a higher audience? And what about illegal downloads? What’s your stance on them?
Hate it or like it, it is a fact. Internet has a great role when it comes to music nowadays. It has its own advantages and also its drawbacks. Great for smaller bands – to show their music to the world and to reach a potential audience – , and bad for the bigger names – for obvious reasons-. However there will always be a circle of people -myself included- who actually buy albums and support the bands they are listening to.
This is the part where I always ask about your personal life, nothing that will invade your privacy, of course. I’d simply like you to share with us some of your main passions, be it about cinema, literature, travelling, studies, some of your hobbies, if you have any, your favorite activities when not playing music.
Reading is one of our favourite activities when not playing music -from philosophical and classical literature, to horror and fantasy novels-. Another one is being occupied with our beloved dog, and walking and wandering old forests.
And so we reach the end of this interview. One more time, I’d like to thank you very much for this opportunity and would like to wish the best in both your present and future plans. Do you have any last words for our readers?
Thanks for the opportunity. May the Moon-adorned Mother of All guide You on your path!
All images belong to their rightful owners.June 24, 2014