INTERVIEW: The Moontown Project

The Moontown Project is a genre-defiant Leeds & London-based alt-indie-electro duo who are still riding high with their recently released sticky-sweet nu-disco single ‘Moon Honey’.

The Moontown Project, welcome to VENTS!

Thanks for having us guys!

Your single ‘Moon Honey’ just landed, how does it feel?

It’s so good to finally have this song out, and we’ve been so happy with the response so far. Marking the first of a series of releases this year we knew we had to start with a song we loved and, for better or worse, we haven’t been able to get this out of our heads for a good few months now.

We were keen to wait until 2021 to put this out. We wrongly thought that the New Year might mark the start of the easing of restrictions so initially, we thought this song would come out at a time where people would be able to celebrate. Since releasing the song and hearing people’s responses though, we have realised that upbeat, feel-good tunes are sometimes very needed at the moment with lockdown in full force. We’ve all gotta keep moving, times are tough, especially for young people who so often need that social-contact that going out and socialising brings… We hope that we have managed to bring a bit of energy to everyone who’s listened to the song!

What kept inspired and creative during lockdown?

I think all creative people have experienced some sort of difficulty staying creative during lockdown. The times when we both seem to have felt the least inspired were when we got stuck in the same environment  without much change in our environment or the people we were with. Quite often negative emotions inspire us to write, but when we felt like there was no end to the lockdown were some of the hardest times to feel inspired. Often we find that just sitting down at the guitar or the piano and practising helps us stay focussed, learning a new song or figuring out some new chords that we could use always gives us that necessary creative boost. Also just persevering with whatever we’re working at to the point where we have material ready to show to people always helps, feedback and interaction with friends and listeners is so important and reminds us why we do this!

What is the story behind Moon Honey?

Put simply, Moon Honey is about how we all cannot resist putting our hands in the cookie jar, we all have our own Moon Honey leaving temptation around us. —Moon Honey is a description of the enjoyment of that disposition we all have within us to seek excitement. Throughout the writing process we realised that it was not just a physical tempting tempestuous character, as if temptation itself was personified and sat next to me. By the end of writing the song we soon realised the blame could no longer be shifted and that moon honey was simply a construct, created for self justification. We started off making this song in a session with our friend Archie Weir up in Leeds in a session one night and the ideas all pretty much flowed in that first session which is always a good sign. We then brought it down to our engineer Robbie in London and here we are!

What is it about the lyricism of Pixies and King Krule that inspires you?

Our lyrics are inspired by the the matter of fact way that pixies speak about harsh realities within the world, in this way we always aim to never avoid any topic when writing, no matter how personally uncomfortable or emotive we may find visiting that facet of reality. As for king krule it is the way he wraps up imagery with accentuated metaphor, turning what could be perceived as sad emotion into something of beauty. Though our new single contains a cheeky and hopefully message, the lyricism and influence of these two artists will be a constant throughout any material we release.

How does your hometown influence your sound?

When we were growing up in Kingston we played in an indie/blues-rock band called Lily and the Caves. There weren’t too many other people writing or performing around us at the time which was what inspired us to start jamming together and writing tunes. We played a lot of gigs and learnt a lot about our performance style which is where we feel most comfortable, so I would say in terms of the live energy and instrumentation in our tunes as opposed to the use of too many samples

Can you tell us more about the collaborative artist, Archie Weir?

Archie Weir is an old friend and Leeds based producer specialising in future-bass style bumping hip-hop and bass-heavy grooves. It has been lovely to combine our two sounds, with the added flavour of friendship, with Moon Honey the brainchild of this initial collaboration as the first of many we hope! Go check out his other work, we know everyone will love it, we do!

What comes first, the lyrics or the music?

It really depends, I wouldn’t say we have a standard way of writing songs. Quite often we’re inspired lyrically when one of us is doing something where we have time to think, like sitting on a train, or struggling to get to sleep. We rarely both sit down and say “right let’s write the lyrics for this song”. One of us will often come up with a chord progression and bring it to the other who will hum a melody. We’re definitely no strangers to pulling out our phones when the other one is sitting quietly at the piano or on the guitar and scrolling through our often jumbled thoughts or questions that we’ve written in our notes on our phones before we find the one that fits the mood and the pace of the chords we hear.

What’s the best compliment you’ve received about your music so far?

“I Love how you f&#* with such different styles but always has that sun kissed liquid silk quality about it”. We thought the “sun kissed liquid” description really captures the feel of those thick smooth grooves in our tunes and we were happy that this listener thought so! Big up Joeski Rog!

How does Moon Honey differ from your previous releases?

Our first proper release was our debut album with our good friend Bone Slim. Ever since the days of going out with fake IDs in our old hometown, we’ve been playing shows while Slim was doing the same thing. We’ve always listened to rap, and have many friends who are involved in the UK Rap scene but we’re not rappers ourselves, it’s one of the many, but also one of the main genres that inspires us musically and lyrically so it was good to work with Bone and the boys over at Stogey in this way. This tape, “Mask on the Moon”, was our first proper release and the songs we wrote for this allowed us to establish our identity in terms of sound, but also marked a conscious decision to keep collaboration with talented artists that we respect as a fundamental to our music making process. Make sure to check out Bone Slim’s music if you haven’t already, he’s going to do crazy things in 2021 so watch this space!

Is there any new music in the pipeline?

Always! Before we finish one tune we almost always have the next one ready to drop. Right now we’re ready to get a final mix and master done on our next tune which is scheduled to be released at the end of February (you heard it here first!). The next tune is a quieter, more distant reflection of the effect of the hedonistic feelings that inspired Moon Honey presented in the form of a synth and bass heavy number. Think of this one as the come down/hangover after the party that was Moon Honey (don’t worry though, its still gonna get you tapping your feet!). More details to come very soon!

After this we have a song featuring a talented Vocalist from our hometown called Kalila. This is a neo-soul and dub inspired song which is all we’re going to reveal for now but we’ve been excited to drop this for a few months now👀

Listen to ‘Moon Honey’ here:

https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/themoontownproject/moon-honey-feat-archie-weir

You can find The Moontown Project on:

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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