LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
Moonlow: Moonlow was completely unplanned. It is a one-person project for which I use the name Dust. It came into being when I became ill (probably with COVID) in March 2020 and started spontaneously composing electronic-based noise / ambient music with spoken-word black metal influenced vocals.
LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
Moonlow: In the case of Moonlow the pandemic actually influenced the inception of the band, as I explained above. I don’t yet know if Moonlow will ever perform live, but the band was created as a studio project and gave me something to focus on during the pandemic.
LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
Moonlow: Indeed. The extra time afforded to me as a result of lockdown meant that I had the time to pursue my creative drive and channel my energies into producing the Moonlow record.
LOMM: What does your genre means to you, why did you choose this genre?
Moonlow: I use the phrase “apocalyptic noise poetry” to describe Moonlow’s music. I don’t think it quite sounds like anything else, and I think that phrase sums up the genre / style succinctly. The sound came together very quickly; I experimented with synth sounds and matched the noisy soundscapes that occurred naturally to lyrics I had written. The vocal style is very different from my usual “singing” voice but, again, it came absolutely naturally. I didn’t put much conscious thought into the process; instead I followed my instincts and went with that felt right.
LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
Moonlow: I wrote lyrics to nine songs over nine days (plus a final song at the end). I would sit at my computer in my home studio and spend a few minutes experimenting with synthesizer whilst referring to the words. I would then work on some basic chord patterns and ideas, before hitting “record” and seeing what came out. Sometimes I would stop and begin again, but often I would keep the first semi-improvised take. I tried to keep away from obviously rhythmic material, favouring a soundscape approach. I would then add other synth sounds as appropriate (eschewing “drum” sounds) before improvising the delivery of my vocal performances. I kept many of the original demo vocals recorded using a built-in aptop microphone, as the feel and scratchy sound worked.
LOMM: Are you happy with your product? I mean, what aspects of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve
Moonlow: I am very happy with the debut Moonlow album – Who Are You? – which was released in October 2020 on Trepanation Recordings. It’s music that you can get lost in and go on a journey with, and those qualities are ones I appreciate in albums. It’s not an “easy” listen, but I think it’s cathartic and emotionally cleansing.
LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
Moonlow: There have been a number of reviews – most of them very good. People who hear the music seem to generally like it a lot. Now we just need to push to sell some more CD and cassette copies.
LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
Moonlow: I have not toured or performed live with Moonlow. I could be open to the idea in future, but I don’t know exactly what form this would take. We’ll see.
LOMM: What do you see for your future? How is it looking?
Moonlow: At the moment the focus is on continuing to promote Who Are You? Perhaps a time might come when I feel compelled to create another Moonlow record but there are no immediate plans for now other than to help as many people as possible hear the album!
LOMM: Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process? Who is writing the lyrics?
Moonlow: I wrote all of the lyrics myself. I channeled the feelings I was experiencing at the time – illness, isolation, fear – into a kind of reflection on the nature of self, delving into ideas such as God, nature, death, hope and redemption.
LOMM: Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?
Moonlow: I love playing live with my other projects and bands. For Moonlow, the joy of creating Who Are You? was all about using the studio as an instrument and using technology to produce sound.
LOMM: Who is composing the songs?
Moonlow: I composed, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered the whole album entirely myself.
LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?
Moonlow: My vocal style as Dust is undoubtedly influenced by David Tibet (Curent 93). I also took inspiration from artists such as Laurie Anderson, Darkthrone and Brian Eno.
LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
Moonlow: I created Moonlow on a whim because I had the drive to express myself in this way. It is not “commercial” music in any way. I don’t think there is necessarily a defined pre-existing audience for this music. I would much rather create something that I am satisfied with, regardless of what audiences think, than change what I do in order to be more popular.
LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Moonlow: Moonlow is a very new project, but I am very proud to have created the album and I’m very pleased to be working with Trepanation Recordings.
LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
Moonlow: Please follow Moonlow on social media: @moonlowband on Insta / FB/ Twitter. Thanks for allowing me to answer the questions!