Coming from different backgrounds and cities, Jacob, Tom and Devan found their ways to form the indie-electronic group, Moontower. The trio opens up about their long term goals, William Holywood, future music and the reasoning to how their name came from one of their favorite movies, can you guess which one? Check out what the guys have to say about music, life and wine.
1. How did you each come together to form Moontower?
We all come from very different backgrounds from different places in the country. Tom is from St. Louis, MO and was a signed DJ/producer in his teens, Devan is a concert flutist from Baltimore, MD who grew up playing almost every instrument as well as getting heavily into audio engineering, and Jacob (also born in St. Louis) grew up in Orange County, CA and has been touring all over the country in bands since age 12.
We came together at the University of Southern California where we all are about to graduate from. Tom and Devan met first in the early days of Freshman year and quickly started collaborating on music for other artists. Jacob, who started school late as he was still on the road, came into the picture later and was introduced to Tom and Devan by a mutual friend. The three of us at first we’re just writing and producing songs for other artists, we had no intention of creating our own project until Tom and Jacob went to see this band called Lemaitre. Lemaitre is known for their unique indie-pop sound and incredible live shows and Jacob and Tom left that show, quickly called Devan, and the three of them immediately began discussing the concept for what would become Moontower
2. Although you are a three-piece band, there is also William Holywood. What is the significance of this protagonist and how did you come up with this idea?
William Holywood is actually of one of our roommates. Somewhere in the beginning stages of us writing and producing our music, more than a year ago, William came into our room and expressed how much the music we were making was connecting with him at that moment. A short while later, William approached us and asked if he could become a part of the project and take over the visual and film aspects that we had talked about. And we were absolutely stoked that he made the offer– he has such a singular view of the world, he’s such an outside of the box person. As time went on, he became as much of a lyrical muse for us as much as our music was a source of inspiration for his visual art. We have a lot planned… William Holywood is a big part of our team and we all can’t wait to show you more.
3. Why do you find it important to create music with a journey for your listeners and fans?
All three of us have always said that we only want to create a project if it is of a concept. It’s the reason why we love all of the records that we do– outside of any sonic brilliance or unbelievable song, music can sometimes have the power to build a world for its listener. In the same way that we fall into an alien universe in Daft Punk’s Discovery through Interstrella 5555 or step into another person’s shoes through Glass Animals’ How To Be a Human Being, we want to create a rabbit hole for our listeners to go down. Every song we make has a world around it and we are unbelievably excited to invite people to step inside.
4. We all have goals that we want to strive and achieve. What are some of your long-term goals as a band?
We want to be the biggest live band in the world one day. Everything we do as a band comes back to our live show, it’s the most important element of this project, and playing music live is right now what we live to do. Subsequently we also want to push the boundaries of what people expect to see at concerts at every stage of our career. We spent time before our first show building our own staging and lighting, and quickly built a fan-base around and reputation on our live shows alone. In the past we have brought Augmented Reality elements into our concerts, we are always creating theatrical sets for our live show, and we’re constantly trying to create new ways to engage the audience and destroy the barrier (both physically and emotionally) between us and the crowd.
5. Your shows are full of energy! Touring and performing live can be tough. What do you do to keep motivated and how do you keep the momentum up?
There is nothing at all like meeting new people and gaining new perspective on the human experience. We love playing live because that’s the best way we know how to share our story. And, playing shows in different locations night after night, we get to learn so much from so many different people before and after our performances. We have such high energy performances because we are so damn excited to meet every single person there.
6. We love the indie-electronic sound you guys have going on. Who would you say are your musical influences?
90’s and early 2000’s French House like Justice, Daft Punk, a lot of the Ed Banger Records stuff. Some older stuff like Talking Heads, Electric Light Orchestra, Devo, The Clash. And we also take a lot of inspiration rhythmically from industrial hip-hop records like Kanye’s Yeezus and a lot of the Run the Jewels catalog.
7. Pursuing dreams isn’t always easy and doesn’t come without sacrifice and hard work. Tell us about some of the big hurdles you’ve had to overcome to get to this point?
There are certain times you just have to come to grips with the fact that you aren’t sleeping, or that you aren’t going out, or that there’s just too much to do to do anything else. But even as crazy as that is, we don’t really view it as a sacrifice. There’s really nothing we want to do more than get every little thing just right so we can share it– we say it all the time, people deserve more from storytelling and live performance. We just want to give it to them as best we can.
What is definitely frustrating is, being a group that came around on DIY shows, when technical things go wrong in a way that is out of your control. Especially when it is stopping us from telling the story or giving the performance we planned to. But, you gotta roll with the punches ya?
8. Both wine and music are a medium to talk to and connect with your audience. What are you trying to say and what do you hope your listeners get from your music?
We are trying to tell stories through our music. Sometimes these are our stories and sometimes they are those of the people we meet. We hope our music is a window into the human experience, and specifically about how experiences in our youth shape us far more than we can ever comprehend until we are looking back on it. I hope people are able to feel an emotional release when listening to Moontower. Whether that release makes you cry, shout, or dance, we just want to make music that almost forces you to feel something
9. Our name, REVOLT, means to Revolt against anything holding you back and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. How did you decide on the name Moontower and what does the name mean to you?
Moontower is actually a kind of obscure movie quote from our favorite movie “Dazed and Confused”. In the movie, Moontower is where everyone goes when all of the parties get shut down. It is just this field where all of the characters from the different stories in the movie intersect. No one owns it, there isn’t a list or a cover. There’s the fights and the joints and the hookups and the water town overlooking the city. As they say in the movie, “party at moontower, full kegs, everyone is gonna be there.” We want the worlds we create to feel the same way.
10. Do you guys have any funny stories involving wine that you wouldn’t mind sharing?
I have a hilarious story involving wine. If only I could remember…But for real, we always have a giant jug of Carlot wine in our home studio. It lasts us months. We are broke college kids so we don’t drink good wine, and Carlot is the bottomless nectar of the gods
11. You recently dropped a single called, “William,” what’s up next for Moontower?
We will be releasing our second single “Leaving You Behind” on July 11th. Later this year we will release our first 7 song project along with an episodic video series telling the complete story of William Holywood. Starting in the Fall we will be touring heavily through 2018 and beyond.
THANK YOU <3