Interview: Moon Wax | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Photo by Eddy Maynard

Teesside funk-pop outfit Moon Wax have recently dropped their fourth single, Slick Cosmology, a smooth, synthy slice of interstellar, psych-tinged soul complete with nifty guitar work and ear pleasing vocals. To accompany the release, the band worked with BBC Music Introducing on BBC Tees to release a live version of the song which will be played on show.

We catch up with Moon Wax to find out more about them and their latest release…

How are you? How have you been spending your lockdown months?
We’re trying to push on the same as everyone else. It’s been an unforgettably tough time and everyone is up against the odds, but it’s given us time to work on and discover new music, and create tracks that we are incredibly proud of. We’ve also had the opportunity to make new friends in the industry, we’ve been lucky enough to take guidance from James Petralli from ’White Denim’. Zoom chats have become tedious but when you’re chatting about 80’s funk with the front man of your favourite band over coffee, it’s a totally different situation! It’s all about the little wins!

Briefly describe your songwriting process.
It always starts as a voice memo on our phones. Starting with a melody or rhythm that comes to our heads, we then start laying stuff down in the studio. It’s a little odd because the projects that we spend the most time on, we usually end up scrapping, but every now and then one clicks and we’ll have a full track in a matter of hours, and this has been the story for every one of our singles so far! Once the track has taken its shape and we’re seeing the chemistry, we then dive into adding the Jazz/Funk nuances that make a Moon Wax track what it is!

Tell us about Slick Cosmology. What’s it about and where was it recorded?
Slick Cosmology is the beginning of a new phase for us as Moon Wax. Keeping the same respect for production value, we’ve started writing lyrics with deeper and more extensive meanings and pushing ourselves as musicians. We drew a lot of inspiration from 80’s hooks and flavours of disco and soul, and the track definitely called for a short guitar solo near the end, one you might find in an 80’s glam rock tune, really letting that guitar speak. We feel this is our best and most mature work to date. 

The song started off with the hook guitar riff as heard throughout the tune which was then layered with chords and topped off with a four on the floor fatback beat. It was all recorded at our home studio here in Middlesbrough. 

Lyrically, the song is about a night out in London, entangled with heavy feelings for something/one, has ended up spiralling out of control. Cosmology is the science of the origin and development of the universe, and personified we have created a metaphor for starting again and returning to normal life, before the complications of a dependent relationship. The subject is open for interpretation.

Who are some of the artists who inspired the track?
This time around, we’ve definitely taken more influence from the likes of Pond and Tame Impala and that psychedelic pop sound that’s re-emerged, but we’ve also kept them ‘Moon Wax’ vibes, taking influence from Jungle and Jamiroquai’s later releases with the presence of 80’s disco with the synths and slapped delays.

What are your plans for 2021?
As two musicians whose passions are rooted from playing live, we’re hoping to perform as much as possible in 2021, ‘socially distanced’ or otherwise. Lack of real live experiences is affecting us as much as it is the public. We’ve loved being in the studio and having the time to give the music the attention it deserves, but our main goal is to be on tour with our band (long shot we know). We’re also planning to work more with BBC Introducing and a trip to America is hopefully on the cards for 2022, if things start to return to normality. As a thank you to our fans for supporting us so far, we are planning a live stream with the full band, we have some obstacles to overcome and we need to wait for rules to allow, but this will give our audience a chance to see what we are made of!

Big love to everyone out there. Keep pushing and keep it real.

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