Some weeks ago I had the pleasure to review Moonbows stunning debut album The End Of Time. You can read the review here. Now Matt Bischoff of the “Moonbros” agreed on answering some questions in an interview, which is a debut of my own - being the first interview I ever did. So please bear with me for my silly questioning and concentrate on the interesting answers Matt came up with.
Hi Matt, thanks for taking time to answer my silly questions.
1. From your band bio I understand, that you and David McElfresh started as a song-writing project, before the other two Ryan McAllister and Steve Earle joined later to form what we now know as Moonbow. Normally songs aren’t written to rot in some locker or computer, but to be played, So what were your initial intentions for the songs, if not to be played by the own band? Was it just for the joy of writing, or were they meant to be performed by someone else?
David and I started writing songs together originally to see what would happen. We were always going to at least record material and perform the songs ourselves. Soon after we started getting together, we got the band going with Steve and Ryan. We are all great friends in this band... we are Moonbros!
2. Were all the songs complete and ready by the time the others joined, or were they involved in the writing process?
Most of the songs were pretty much arranged and ready to go as far as the riffs and structure. But everyone in the band brings a lot of ideas to the table and our next record is for sure going to be a whole band effort. We already have a bunch of new songs in the works for the next record and everyone has brought ideas to the table. None of us have egos and we are all open to hear each others ideas. Some stuff works, other stuff does not, but that is the beauty of writing.
3. The songs of the album show great diversity in mood, rhythm, tempo.(My favorite is Octavia btw.) I suspect that the songs were really selected in the sense of ‘selected from a fair bit of songs’. Am I right?
I love Octavia too! One of my favorites to sing. We had other songs that were written but we wanted to put out the best debut record and decided on the 7 tunes for the record. I feel that it is a good length and makes you want to hear more. Some bands record so many songs on a record and typically there are songs that are filler material. We are really happy with The End of Time!
4. Also the order of the songs is quite intriguing, and nearly like a composition of its own, offering a nice flow and tension build ups.
The title song as opener with the folk style intro was a nice moment of surprise and tribute to the roots of rock music. I liked that very much and actually I was hoping for more injections of this kind. Just in case I’d go on hoping for them on future releases, would my hopes get destroyed?
The order of the songs I feel has a great flow to it as a record. Regarding the fiddle intro to the record... David plays guitar and fiddle among other things and it was his idea to start the record out with some old time stuff. We are just beginning. We are going to be recording an acoustic EP this winter that will have some fiddle and other surprises. We are fans of all types of music and with the players in this band, we are able to pull off some things that some bands cant do.
5. How did it come about that John Garcia appears as guest on the album? Who had the idea (a great idea btw.)?
I have been friends with John since around 1997. He is an awesome human being and one of the greatest Rock singers in my opinion. When we were working on our record, I asked John if he would be into singing on our record. I gave him full creative control of the vocals. He was super stoked and in between a Unida tour and mixing the Vista Chino record, he went in and laid down his vocals for the song. We are super happy how the track turned out.
6. Could this become a special feature of future Moonbow releases…, to have different guest musicians for the fans to guess who’s next?
You never know. There are some people I would love to collaborate with on future Moonbow recordings. I would love to sing on a track with Mark Lanegan for example. He is another singer that I admire and would love to collab with. We shall see!
7. What are the band’s future plans? play shows? maybe a tour? the next album?
Our plans are to continue to write and record music together no matter what. We hope to do some touring in Europe in 2014 and we will have an acoustic EP out in the Spring and will probably hit the studio late 2014 to work on our next record.
8. Is there one particular song, band or musician that kissed you, ‘Sleeping Beauty Matt’, awake and kindled your love for music, or were you just born that way?
I have always been a huge fan of music since I was a kid. I have photos of me at 9 years old with Judas Priest and Iron Maiden iron on shirts. My brother listened to metal and thats what got my passion started. It has never stopped. Music has been and always will be a huge part of who I am.
Thanks again for doing this interview!
If there’s something you want to add, something you feel the readers should know, please do so.
Moonbow has just begun. Thanks to everyone who supports our band. We appreciate it.
One last thing from me… about your beard, of course…, it is ridiculously attractive, I love it!
Thanks! It is always great to hear of women who love facial hair!
Interview by Ulla Roschat