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INTERVIEW: Major Moment

Hi folks, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey guys! Been good! Thank you for having us!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Before It’s Too Late”?

Of course! We decided to make this song a single as we think it represents us as a band the most, and delivers the general message behind our music. It’s a song that definitely has its share of darkness, but in its core it’s meant to actually inspire ourselves and others to make the best of their lives, to live them to the fullest potential, to realize their dreams.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Yes, Andrey wrote it around his own experience: “I moved to the States from Russia 12 years ago, dreaming of pursuing a music career, but, as it often happens, reality took its toll quite fast, and the necessity to pay bills took over. Then it was a second job to afford some gear, then I started a business to afford a better lifestyle, a second business, a third… years went by, and I didn’t come any closer to fulfilling my dream. All of it only made me miserable and exhausted. Then in early 2017, I finally started making some small steps towards playing music, but the breaking point really happened when Chester Bennington of Linkin Park died to suicide on July 20th. It was so unexpected and sudden, we just attended a Linkin Park show literally two months prior to that, and after my initial shock faded out, it made me realize how fragile our lives really are and that our time on this planet is very limited. I think Chester once said: “If you dream of doing something one day, remember: that day is today”. So that’s what I did. I sat down, picked up my dusty guitar, and wrote this song…”

Any plans to release a music video for the single?

Oh, we definitely would love to! But, unfortunately we couldn’t find a video production studio around Boston capable of making our vision a reality without charging us an outrageous amount of money. We’re not cheap people, but definitely appreciate value. We weren’t born yesterday, and understand that people need to get paid for their hard work. The plan was to create a simple story-driven video without any special effects or CG, shot in a classy manner. But either the story was not interesting enough, was too plain or beat up, or we couldn’t agree on the schedule, or even worse – people just wouldn’t respond to emails. We’re kind of used to people not responding to emails in music industry, but from a business standpoint – it’s unacceptable and plain unprofessional.

Anyway, we still hope to make a video for it one day, but for now, we’re pretty happy with how our cinematic lyric video came out, it definitely delivers the message. We actually have those lyric videos made for all of the songs off our EP, so there will be something to look at.

The single comes off your new EP “one small stEP” – what’s the story behind the title?

Besides it being a smart title to have an “EP” built in, it’s obviously a reference to Neil Armstrong’s moon-landing quote. We have the whole artwork of our physical CD built around the moon-landing theme… See, we come from different backgrounds, and as Andrey says: “I lived in Russia until the age of 21, so for me to even imagine that I would have an opportunity to work with people I worked with, to release a record in America, to play shows here, to have an opportunity to live the life I live and to do what I do… it was like flying to the Moon, you know? Just like a dream, it’s there, you can see it, now go try to actually make it happen. I am forever grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, but rest assured, I worked my ass off for 12 years to become the man I am today”.

We also see the title as “it’s one small step in the music industry, but it’s a giant leap for us as musicians to be pursuing this career”, first steps towards unknown are hard, but if you keep going, you could discover great things. It’s a major moment in history, you know, it’s iconic, it’s bold, it’s risky, it’s brave. It’s something we associate our record with.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was complex and interesting. The first demos were created by Andrey in his bedroom studio, just to serve as raw ideas, then they were taken to a live performance situation, where real drums were added and guitar parts were improved and extended, then they were brought to the Halo Studio for pre-production, and then we tweaked them again during the tracking (actual recording) process.

What was it like to work with Kevin Billingslea and how did that relationship develop?

It was the best experience a musician could wish for! To start with, we were shopping for recording studios and producers for quite a while, and visited a half-dozen studios around New England, but Kevin was recommended to us by a friend, Jay Tagg from the band LANNEN, who just recorded with him, and we loved the sound of that record. We emailed Kevin, while visiting other studios and talking to people, but reading his email responses you could see he was genuinely passionate about working on this record. By the time we stepped into the Halo Studio in Portland, ME, we’ve exchanged 75 emails (while some people had troubles responding to just a couple). Seventy-five! That’s how strong the connection was even before we came to the studio. Speaking of which, the Halo Studio is a state-of-the-art place, it has everything you need to fulfill your needs, while feeling like you’re in the comfort of your home.

How much did he get to influence the album?

Kevin is a brilliant guy! He’s a genius. In our opinion, he did not influence this album at all, but rather shaped it to where WE, in our wildest dreams, wanted it to land. So that ability to hear the demos and see the final result through the roughness is what makes him a great producer. He wasn’t pushy at all, but he guided us towards the right solutions.

How have Amaranthe and Linkin Park influenced your writing?

We had to Google “Amaranthe” to find out who it was. Isn’t it weird that this band has dozens of millions of views, but neither of us four have EVER heard of it? Pardon our lack of erudition here. So no, no Amaranthe influence in our music. But definitely Linkin Park, and we would say it’s all on a subconscious level. We don’t sit and think “How would LP write this song?”, cause we don’t want to be “Linkin Park – 2”, there are plenty of people who tried that, and in all honesty, they all suck. There’s nothing worse than being someone else’s poorly built copy. Our ties with LP are strong because their music inspired our life choices, major ones. We met people because of them, made friends, fell in love, we discovered new music because of them, visited places, had live show experiences, etc. So, their influence is deeper than it may seem. Do we sound like Linkin Park? Definitely not. Are there some elements in our music that may remind you of them? Sure.

How do all of your different backgrounds influences your music?

It’s great to have such a selection! The four of us grew up on four different continents and it sure played a role in our music tastes, preferences, etc. We’ve had different experiences, spoke different languages, listened to the music that was not popular or known outside of our countries, watched local movies, and then we did have something in common that we shared even living on the opposite sides of the world. That point of intersection of our interests is what Major Moment is all about.

How do you get to balance them together?

That’s a good question. We don’t know. We have respect for each other and everyone in this band has a voice, so everyone is encouraged to bring something to the table. We just have a general vision for our music and whether or not certain elements fit appropriately.

What aspect of life and dreams did you get to explore on this record?

Your dreams will never come true if you don’t work your way towards them. If you want something – go make that happen. Now!

Any plans to hit the road?

Would love to! Since we’re a new band, it may take us a couple months to build our initial following and to get our music out there, but we’ll be happy to do it when the time is right and are looking forward to it.

What else is happening next in Major Moment’s world?

A lot! This is just the beginning, that’s why our debut record is called “one small stEP”. More music, more videos, more live shows, making new friends, more hard work, more excitement.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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