“Testarossa”, the debut album by Turin, Italy based screamo band MEO covers the fundamental themes of the genre, including life, death and love, but inspirations behind its creation were clearly drawn from the wide spectrum of cultural artifacts, stemming from cult games to falafels. We sat down with the band to dive into it and give you a clearer version of who they are.
MEO’s debut album premiered on April 29th via a number of great independent music labels: Dischi Decenti / Non Ti Seguo Records / Longrail Records / Fresh Outbreak Records / Troppistruzzi / Seaside Suicide (FRA) / Entes Anomicos (ESP) / LongLegsLongArms (JAP) / Desperate Infant Records (Hong Kong) / Missed Out Records (USA)
For fans of: Raein, Loma Prieta, Verme
1. Neon Genesis Evangelion
A boy who gets into a robot and defeats enemies? Not at all. The core of NGE is the attraction and fear that the characters feel in relating to each other: emotional, relational, romantic and sexual insecurities.
The more one get closer to another, the higher are the chances to get hurt.
The development of the characters is incredible and most of them are just an extreme representation of the darkest and difficult parts of ourselves. The more you hate the main character of the series, the more hate you are unavoidably feeling for yourself.
Also, the way psychology is dealt with is more hardcore than a psychotherapy session (we tried both). Episodes 25 and 26 of the original anime series has been the first real analysis of an immersion in the unconscious. Our conclusion (and as already stated by Hegel) is that to have a perception of yourself you need a world of relationships around you that perceive you as an individual, which unavoidably shapes your being.
NGE has inspired us for years, in different ways, according to the individual or collective period we were experiencing. Needless to explain further how much this anime has influenced our music, you just have to take a look at our first (and YET only) t-shirt.
PS: shout-out to our brothers Radura who wrote “Quando Urlai Amore nel Cuore del Mondo”, a great track inspired by this masterpiece.
2. Final Fantasy VII
Here we will not talk about technical and gameplay aspects, FFVII is simply more than a game, it is a dreamlike place of comfort and refreshment.
FF VII has changed our lives, it transcends the concept of videogames, it is an experience and as such it has deeply affected our childhood and many emotional places that we try to recreate with our songs.
It is incredible to think how a 1997 video game can have such a refined soundtrack: entire orchestral compositions capable of characterizing every moment of the game and making it unforgettable (please, feel free to contact us at [email protected] to talk all day about Nobuo Uematsu’s OST).
Many aspects of this video game cannot be explained because they are intangible, but if you have enjoyed even one of our songs, we recommend that you try this experience.
Guts’ willpower against determinism and fate, the super-human who opposes fate fighting brutally against demons, monsters and gods, with the representation of the death itself by his side.
The triptych of revenge, redemption, and rebuilding has been the key to write “Ottava”. Sadly, we’ll never know how its story would end. RIP Miura, doesn’t matter the destination, we enjoyed the ride.
4. Magic: The Gathering
One of us overdosed on this game in childhood, but due to the pandemic the other two members of the band fell into a spiral of dependence so strong about it that dragged the other one into this world back again. Last summer, after spending the day at the beach, we used to play commander drafts and it was great.
5. Kebabs & Falafels
For us there are three essential things to arrange a song in the rehearsal room: cigarettes, self-loathing and kebabs.
In particular, the last one, is a fundamental part of the creative process, and as such, its providing is essential for the purposes of the arrangement. Roughly speaking, a MEO song requires about 9.4 kebabs/falafel.
(please note, this may not be valid for the drummer, who might pass out after the meal)
6. The Simpsons & Futurama
As children we literally grew up watching the Simpsons and Futurama most of our afternoons. Although we have always been more fond of the charm of Japanese manga and anime, these two American series (especially the first seasons) have been able to tell with animations the difficulties and the tragicomic nature of occidental society.
We believe that Futurama in particular has always been underestimated by most people: some episodes are the maximum expression of emo culture (eg “Jurassic Bark” or “The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings”).
Yes, our name is an onomatopoeic voice of the cat’s meow in the italian language. These little tailed spirits have always accompanied our lives and our lyrics are largely written from the perspective of a feline. “Settima” and “Ottava” are two songs linked to the myth of the nine lives of the cat. This saga of songs is made up of single episodes of reincarnation in a feline life: where “Settima” (Seventh) is about an endless search of a lost love, “Ottava” (Eighth) instead deals with the same theme through anger, that will perpetuate itself endlessly with revenge and violence.
8. Dungeons & Dragons
At the end of this list, you can easily identify us as nerds, it suits us and let’s say we earned it a little. We discovered D&D when we were in high school and we played a lot during the first phase of the pandemic, playing remotely via skype to try to stay close despite the distance. During the sessions you enter a real collective psychosis, conveyed by the Dungeon Master, which gives shape to the players’ delusions.
We believe that the projective creativity that this game manages to develop in each of us inevitably spills over into our compositions (Federico usually believes he is a Beholder when he turns on his high gain distortion)