Interview with noise-pop US band Moonlight Bride
Chattanooga based noise-pop outfit Moonlight Bride has announced plans to release their new EP Twin Lakes on Feb. 28, 2012. This will be their first new material since 2009’s critically heralded full-length debut Myths.
The 4-piece noise-pop US band, consisting of members Justin Giles (Vocals/Guitar/Keys), Matthew Livingston (Drums), Justin Grasham (Guitar), and Dave Maki (Bass), has garnered local accolades and national buzz with its unique style of haunting southern indie rock.
Featuring the pop-gaze anthem “Lemonade”, Twin Lakes finds Moonlight Bride at their best, weaving brooding guitars with driving melodies and poignant vocals that drip with raw emotion. The five song EP, self-produced and mixed by John Goodmanson (Death Cab For Cutie, Los Campesinos!), flows seamlessly in a dream-like procession through peaks and valleys of noise-pop ecstasy, further revealing the band’s remarkable knack for memorable song writing.
Moonlight Bride will tour the U.S. February through March in support of Twin Lakes, which includes performances at the SXSW Music Festival in March.
Lead singer, Justin Giles, answered to our questions:
How did the band meet?
We live in a pretty small town so you’re always running into musicians. Me and Matthew met at a social gathering; Wine Night. We ran into Grasham online, he played and we like what he did! Dave we met in Nashville. He was actually producing some of our demos, and just wound up playing bass full time with the band.
What inspired you to make music together?
Everyone just wanted to be in a band; we all like the way each other played, and we ended up playing together.
What is the origin of “Moonlight Bride”?
A friend of mine was working on this play he made from a short story, and it was called “The Moonlight Bride”, so I took it from that.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
We call ourselves nose-pop sometimes, so I guess that’s what we do.
Who are your major influences?
For this last record, we definitely listened to a lot of guitar bands like My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins and a lot of 90s music.
When you’re not working on music, what does the band like to get up to?
Well we drink a lot!! We hang out a lot, but 90% of the time we play music.
Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers?
We usually play the songs our fans like the best; we try them out on our hometown audience and the ones they gravitate towards are the ones we play most frequently. Whichever ones feel the best to us really.
We don’t really do covers. We’ve done covers before, like for gigs for friends, but when it comes to music it’s all about originality and creativity.
Who writes your songs?
I’m the one who brings in most of the finished songs, so I do most of the writing, but we do collaborate a lot as well.
What do you think sets you apart from other bands in your genre?
I think we’re slightly more dark and haunted than other bands in the nose-pop genre. Like I mentioned Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins; I don’t think they have that dark edge that we have.
Would you say your music has evolved since you first began playing together?
Absolutely! I think we’ve evolved tremendously. In the beginning we went on that darker route, and since then our other EPs have changed. I think this EP is a lot like our first one though; it is really dark, and I feel like we’re reflecting that.
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
Some of them are based on real life experiences. Usually when I’m rehearsing I’ll sing something over and over again; and let the lyrics come out themselves. I just let them be and listen back to the recording and memorise them, and then just sing those. I feel like there’s a lot of natural expression there, there’s no filter which I really like.
Some songs I focus on more than others, and I’ll sit down and just write them out, but I’m really getting into letting the lyrics naturally come to me.
What are the best and worst parts about being in a band?
I’d say the best parts are when the creativity is flowing, and we’re releasing our albums, touring and meeting people; that’s always fun! I guess the worst parts are the opposite really; when we’re not touring and not meeting people, those are the parts that I don’t like; I’m big on moving fast.
What are rehearsals like?
Some days we just go in and play our music but there’s a lot of messing around. We’ve got to keep the fun going as well.
Any advice for people who want to form their own bands?
Definitely think about what you want to do before you do it; I think that’s the best advice you can give.
Listen to Lemonade here