Moose Blood: Earning It
English emo outfit Moose Blood have been killing it in the scene recently, summoning significant hype for the unveiling of their sophomore record Blush. Having said that, they’ve been slowly but surely cultivating a following down under ever since their 2014 debut I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time, which saw local show-goers the country over suddenly pop up in MB t-shirts to tell you about their new favourite band. In advance of the British boys heading out on an Australian tour this week with our very own Luca Brasi, we caught up with drummer Glenn Harvey.
Have you guys been nervous about this release?
Yeah, quite anxious about it, but definitely excited for it. We’re excited to get the record out, and see people hopefully enjoy the stuff live as well, because we haven’t played much of it live. So we’re excited for that.
Clearly your fans are also excited; your first headline show in Australia has sold out. How does that feel?
Yeah, I just heard about that! Absolutely crazy. A bit hard to comprehend, to be honest, because it’s so far away that we don’t know how people have heard of us, but I guess that’s the glory of the internet. But yeah, it feels great that we’ve managed to do that. Even on the Luca Brasi tour that we’re doing, a bunch of those shows sold out as well. So it’s good that we’re not going to be playing to completely empty rooms when we get over there.
Definitely! The offers to get tickets to those Luca Brasi shows range from “I will kill a man for tickets” to “I will clean your car while continuously singing Aeroplane”.
That’s a good one!
So you obviously have a huge following here, which has been expanding since your debut release. Do you feel like you’ve earned your success? I know that it’s still coming as a shock, but you have worked pretty hard for it.
We’ve been touring pretty relentlessly. I think in terms of Australia, we haven’t earned any success, because we haven’t been there yet. You have to work in a tour before you can sort of…I don’t know. It’s just sort of how you see a pay off to this. In the UK, we played tiny little pubs and worked our way up to proper venues like the Academy’s and stuff. So yeah, we’re really excited to finally get out there and play that, the headline show is gonna be awesome. And then Unify next year as well, it’s gonna be great.
Why did you guys decide to come back so soon? It really is a short gap between your August tour and your return in January.
We’re basically trying to make ourselves as busy as possible and always be on tour (laughs). But yeah, it should be a lot of fun. I mean, the lineup for Unify is crazy, and when we got the offer for it it just seemed like a no brainer to go and do it.
Your fans are keen too. Speaking of the lineup, a lot of the artists on it are Australian, and I always talk to Australian bands about how they view music communities overseas. Do you guys have a particular perception or awareness of what the alternative music scene in Australia is like from the outside?
I definitely think we do. I don’t know how much thought goes into it almost, but there’s a lot of Australian bands that, when they finally make it to the UK, you definitely put a bit more effort into going to see them. You don’t know how often they’re gonna be back or anything like that. But yeah, I’m really excited to just sort of, be at that festival, kind of seeing the bands I might not be able to see for a while.
“If it didn’t come naturally, I don’t think we’d be able to do it.”
And hug a koala?
It does seem like quite a band tourist-y thing to do! If we get the chance to we’ll be doing that, and sort of geeking out I think (laughs).
Moving on to the new record, this is a cliche question, but did you feel a heavy pressure to deliver it off the success of the first one?
When we were working on it you almost have to get into a state of mind whee you’re not going to psyche yourself out over it, because you’re thinking about how to follow up, or how to do something better than the record before. It’s almost like you build a platform yourself. You know, when we put out our first record, really no one had heard of us. And all of a sudden you sort of build a following, and it’s like you have to do better or improve on that last record, until you’re not thinking about that, and you just sort of think about the songs you’re writing. Then it comes together quite quickly.
Do you feel like you’ve done something distinctly different on this LP? Like are there changes specifically that you want people to acknowledge when they receive it?
I think there’s definitely similarities but I think there’s some differences as well. I think we went sort of in the direction of bigger choruses and stuff – we thought more about the song structures because when we started the band we were quite good at writing songs without choruses and there would be one little hook and that was sort of it. So we’ve been paying a lot more attention to writing bigger choruses and even just in the bridges of some songs, it’s a bit of a step forward in terms of our actual songwriting. And obviously that comes across because people have been really nice about the singles and stuff so far, so it’s been really good.
Your fans are really engaged, which is so important. Do you try and make your music accessible for the people that are going to listen to it?
If it didn’t come naturally, I don’t think we’d be able to do it. I think if we had to think like, “What’s gonna work here for like a singalong part” or whatever, I think we’d struggle and overthink it and ruin the song completely. I’m quite glad that Eddy [Brewerton, singer] is really good at writing a good melody and the lyrics are always just about personal stuff, whatever comes to him in the moment. It ends up being quite relatable to people, that’s a thing we’re told a lot, that people can relate to our songs. And it’s really nice.
A lot of reviews ignore drumming in a sense, so as my final question, I was wondering if there’s something about your drumming style that you want listeners to pick up? For example, do you feel like you’ve had a skill level-up?
I’d like to think that there is, but I don’t know. There are definitely a lot of specific parts, in terms of drums and guitar as well, I think it’s one of those records that, if you listen to it a few times, the more you listen the more you hear in it. I really like records like that. The parts on our record are like that as well, they just stand out after a little while. There’s definitely some more intricate drum parts on this album and there’s some guitar riffs which I really like as well, and they’re sort of very in the mix but they come out after a few listens. I think there are a lot of layers on this record and I’m really excited for people to hear it.
Luca Brasi / Moose Blood / The Hard Aches
Wednesday August 17th – The Basement, Canberra
Thursday August 18th – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Friday August 19th – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Saturday August 20th – The Zoo, Brisbane
Thursday August 25th – Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth
Friday August 26th – Fat Controller, Adelaide
Saturday August 27th – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Sunday August 28th – The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Monday August 29th – Wrangler Studios, Victoria*
*Luca Brasi and The Hard Aches not appearing.