Man of Moon came from the stratosphere, or at least the East Coast, sounding unlike so many of their contemporaries, breathing fresh life into the new Scottish music scene.
We caught up with Chris on the verge of a UK tour and a new EP being released.
You guys have been going since 2012, does it seem that long?
No chance! Mikey and I met at college doing sound production. It didn’t take long for us to leave! The class needed a guitarist and drummer to go into the live room to practice, we hit it off quickly, and then started skipping classes!
We didn’t take it seriously until 2013 but after we got picked up by our manager Jamie at a Phantom Band show at the Art School, it’s been full-on.
What’s your favourite thing about playing live?
One of the main enjoyments we used to get out of gigs was testing out new tunes or parts of a jam in front of a crowd. We don’t do that as much now. I really like the intensity of a gig because you don’t have the lights or a crowd in a rehearsal room. And you can play a lot louder, we’re big fans of playing loud!
I guess but it is nice when you have people in the crowd that know the tunes. You feel a bit more pressure in that you have to plan your set and make sure you play certain tunes. Our manager changed that, telling us we have to play certain songs in our set!
What is the songwriting process for Man of Moon?
It can change a wee bit. A lot of the time I’ll get an idea in my head and record it straight into my voice recorder. For Ride The Waves, I came up with the bassline at home and then the next day I was in work and I could hear the beat and the vocals.
I was working in a kitchen and we ran out of onions so I was sent up to Sainsbury’s to buy some. So I was listening to the bass line and this ambulance raced by me and the second verse has a swirling synth and that came from the ambulance. I like the natural sound of the street and even when I was a kid, I’d try to tap into rhythms around me.
After work I went straight home, set up a projector on the wall and was up all night getting the song finished. We were in the rehearsal room the next day and it came really quickly.
With another song on the record, it was a joint process. I went to Mikey’s flat and he has a more electronic set-up and he came up with a techno part. It was almost like I wrote the first half and he wrote the second half.
Anything new or surprising on the EP?
There are two tunes which are on the bass. Ride The Waves and the next single are on the bass. We worked with different producers in different studios for each track, which is quite weird but we think it works, they don’t sound that different.
The second song is a fast one and it’s one of our older songs, Slide Away. There are moments on the record where we are more mature but it’s still loud, heavy and ambient, all the things we like.
Have you any thoughts about expanding your line-up?
We’ve had this chat loads of times. We’ve always said we’ll do the first album as a two-piece and see where it goes from there. I’d happily stick with two but we’re not opposed to it. If we do bring someone in, it’ll be an electronic multi-instrumentalist. There are no plans to change it right now, it’s a great dynamic on stage, just the two of us and it’s easy to arrange rehearsals.
Are you all set for the tour in February and March?
We know what tunes we’re playing, full new EP in full, some old songs and some surprises, including new songs we’re dying for people to hear. For the Glasgow headline act, we’ll hopefully play around an hour.
What does the rest of 2019 hold for Man of Moon?
All the songs for the album are written and we’ve got plans to record it soon. We know where we want to do it and who with. We’re really happy with the people we’ve worked with on in the EP. We went down to London in The Church Studios with Tom from the Horrors. That was amazing recording in such a professional studio.
The EP came about due to funding from PRS and a successful pledge campaign, how important is that for bands these days?
Labels are less willing to take a risk on bands these days and expect you to have everything ready. People aren’t buying music as much so PRS and funding are so important and amazing. I really respect all the fans who put money in, and they were so quick. That really boosted our confidence, we hadn’t played or released in ages, so a massive thank you to those who supported us.
Man of Moon release the Chemicals EP on the 8th of March and play Dundee, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness from February 21 to 1st March, before four English gigs.
They’ll also be supporting Doves at SWG3 in June.