The first time I saw Moon > Sun was at a gig at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. The previous band had a decent crowd, which, as it goes, mostly left before Moon > Sun got on stage. It’s a shame and if I hadn’t done the same before, I’d call it shitty behaviour, but I can’t blame people for only wanting to see their mates play and go home before something boring happens. Moon > Sun set up, started playing their first song and immediately after the booming sound of the first synth line faded, people started coming back. I didn’t know much about the band and only heard little bits before, but anybody in that room could tell that this was a completely original blend of self-aware, glitchy synth-pop, indulgent in Top40 revelries to the point of perversion; and raw, punk attitudes, aestheticized by samples and hip-hop beats. For over a month now, I’ve felt like this is the best band in Brighton at the moment.
Could you introduce the band? Who’s in it? What do they do? Where did they come from? When did the band start?
Sofia: So it’s me, Isaac and Nick in M>S. Isaac does many things, including drumming, singing and occasionally dropping in a sample of a foghorn on his MIDI controller. Nick is our bassist, and I play keys, flute and try to sing. We started the band a while ago but have only had this set up for a couple of months. We all originally hail from the moon.
Were you involved in any bands before? What kinds?
Sofia: This is my first band. I was doing some solo acoustic-y stuff beforehand but after discovering synthesizers properly, it was the beginning of the end for that.
Isaac: I’ve played in a couple more punky bands in the past (Hey, Joni & Cøllege), this is my first attempt at playing electronic stuff live and I wanted to incorporate elements from both styles.
What was your biggest gig to date?
Sofia: There was an insane gig that we did with this band called Meltybrains? They are this experimental electronic band from Ireland, but their whole live set is so ridiculous, at one point they came off the stage and formed a conga line with members of the audience and took us outside the venue, then back, so that was pretty sick. We also supported Bonobo’s live singer Szjerdene which was pretty cool too.
Why did you decide to make a mixtape rather than an EP or something? What makes a mixtape different?
Sofia: There’s a good story of how the mixtape came about, actually. It was just before a show and we realised that we didn’t have any merch at all to sell, this is when we decided to make some mystery CD’s with a bunch of unfinished sketches we had made on Ableton. We put them together randomly and drew in some automation for the transitions and that’s when the mixtape was born. We listened back through it and realised it was actually kind of alright, and after a bit of editing, decided we should release it so people could get a taste of our sound over a lot of different songs. I know doing a mixtape is a bit weird for a band, but I feel like we are a bit weird so it works, haha.
The mixtape seems to be a collection of songs and intricate, shorter beats – how did you decide what to include?
Sofia: It was literally like a pick ‘n’ mix of unfinished beats and songs we had lying around on our computers. We dug very deep into our files, some of the sketches are like 2 or 3 years old, some had been made a week before. We were just like, if it sounds good stick it in, haha.
I saw you at Sticky Mike’s and even though most people didn’t seem to know you, you got quite a reaction and during your DJ set at The Globe people were shouting names of songs they wanted to hear – are you the next big thing?
Sofia: Obviously! No I’m only joking, haha…. I’m just glad people are reacting so well to it, there’s a big grunge scene in Brighton at the moment so I think we were a bit nervous when we started playing shows, but the reaction we have gotten from people has been so great!
Your music is very different from Brighton’s average garage-psych-grunge-rock scene – are you aware of that scene and just don’t want to be part of it, or will you also one day discover Ty Segall and become boring?
Isaac: Yeah, I guess we’re aware of that scene, it’s really blowing up around Brighton. I don’t think we’re actively avoiding it, lots of people talk about our live show sounding a bit psychedelic, I just don’t like focusing on a single style, it’s fun to leave it open
I know you’ve been recording with Marley Hoare, who I mainly know as a hip-hop aficionado, which is a very different background than most recording engineers have – how does that work?
Sofia: Yah, we have been, Marley is a good friend of ours and a great guy, although he mainly produces hip hop, he’s very versatile and definitely into weird beats and sounds too.
My favourite song is LIL ECHO, can you tell me more about it?https://littlelrecords.bandcamp.com/track/lil-echo
Isaac: The main synth noise/sample from lil echo was actually taken from a project I made a couple of years ago. The version on the mixtape would probably now be considered an alternative version, as it’s structured differently to how we play it live. We’ve plans, however, to stick the final version on a new record. (hint)
I LUV U seems to be a fan favourite, how was that one conceived?https://littlelrecords.bandcamp.com/track/i-luv-u
Sofia: I’m actually so annoyed everyone loves it so much because I feel like I missed out. Isaac was making it and I was doing something else on my laptop, he asked me, at the time, if I wanted to do a girl verse, just for a laugh, and I was like “No, lol.” Now everyone thinks he’s more funny than me, I could have had all that glory too!
How are you affiliated with Little L Records?
Isaac: we met Callum from Little L a year or two ago, when we first started playing music together. I was looking for cool labels that were into more experimental stuff and stumbled across them. I think, at the time, he had over 80 releases under his belt, of such a wide variety of music. I sent him a message with a link to our first EP and he’s been our best bud since, helping with releases, etc. It’s nice to have the support!
Can you share any information about future plans, releases, shows?
Sofia: We have a couple of releases in the works, something a bit more visual and something more for ears. I’m currently writing this from America and Isaac’s joining me shortly, so we aren’t doing any shows until July/August. We are gonna try and hook up a DJ set whilst we are out here though, so if you’re free just hop on a plane for 9 hours and come on down! If you can’t make it, then we will be back in the UK soon, ready to wonky your pop!
the mixtape can be purchased (or downloaded for free) here: https://littlelrecords.bandcamp.com/album/mixtape-1