[Q&A] Moontower Finds Purpose Among Chaos with ‘What Day Is It?’

Photo Credit: Stassie (@stassie.v)

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // September 8, 2020

Having known them for two years now, Moontower is quite possibly the most hardworking band on our radar. With an undeniable love for performing onstage, Moontower isn’t just a musical act; they’re an experience. Along with a 15-minute performance video, Moontower is proud to present their boundary-pushing new EP, What Day Is It?

On What Day Is It?, Moontower explained,

“The songs on this EP are about putting yourself back together after heartbreaking self-reflection, retying the string between who you are now and who you want to be. Everyone has had to do that this year–find purpose among the chaos, find our place in the fight for a better and fairer society. In this confusion, there is space for self-awareness and growth. This EP is for everyone who feels like we do–trying to find the beauty in not knowing what day it is…”

To celebrate the release of their new music, we recently chatted with Moontower about live shows, virtual tours, and of course, What Day Is It?

HH: You three seem to work so well together… Can you walk us through what it’s like to be in the studio with Moontower?

M: We are very lucky that the three of us all have different and complementary things we want to bring to the table with Moontower. Devan is a jack of all trades when it comes to acoustic instruments — whether it’s guitar, keys, drums, or even flute, Dev is a king of huge and beautiful harmony. Jacob is more of the lyricist and songwriter of the crew – if you ever cried or felt in touch with the subject matter of a Moontower song, he is the guy to thank. And Tom is the more electronic and synth guy, the person who pushes the sound into the industrial or dance-y territory. 

HH: What was your creative process like for What Day Is It?

M: What Day Is It? was really born the day our tour was postponed — we have and always will be a live group first so, whereas we had huge and very different plans at the top of the year, we found beauty in being able to find out how we can still be a live band in a world where there is no live music. So, at the very center of the entire project is a 15 minute performance video, also titled “What Day Is It?,” that we released on YouTube a few months before the EP. It has giant LED screens and is filmed in this massive warehouse with production far grander than anything we could bring on the road at this point in our career. As much as we love the WDII? EP, we really encourage you to check out the performance video to get the full picture— hopefully it can help cure your COVID, lack-of-live-music blues like it did ours. 

HH: What’s your favorite track on What Day Is It?

M: Every single one is very special to us but, across the board, “Hit The Lights” is the one we are the most excited about. It really feels like it hits in all the directions we want from ourselves at this point. 

HH: How does What Day Is It? compare to Season 1: The Ballad of William Hollywood?

M: Like we were saying above, the centerpiece of the What Day Is It? EP is a visual that brings the project into a very three dimensional space. In that way, Season 1, with its full, sitcom style visual accompaniment is pretty similar to WDII?. The big difference is that Season 1, being an absurdist, spaghetti-Western about a crime fighting cowboy, relies on a conduit named William Hollywood to tell its story whereas What Day Is It? is really ourselves with nothing standing in the way. As much as we love Season 1, this project feels more vulnerable and authentic to exactly where we are as people right now and we love it for that. 

HH: What was it like hosting your What Day Is It? virtual tour?!

M: It was almost like we didn’t have a second to feel sorry for ourselves that our tour got canceled (although we definitely found some time to feel the low moments). We jumped right into two huge projects, the What Day Is It? Performance Video and the Virtual Tour. Hosting the tour kept us sane, and for that we have our fans to thank. The fact that we have a community that wants to see these things from us helps us find so much purpose. We were able to bring a lot of joy to our days this summer and hopefully we did the same for the people that came. It really taught us that if you work hard there’s always something to look forward to. 

HH: We recall your in-person shows being an absolute blast. How were you able to recreate this energy through the Internet? 

M: Thank you! I think our shows are a blast because we are happiest when we’re playing live music. One of our favorite shows we ever played was to a crowd of seven people in Albuquerque and we had the time of our lives. For us, it just starts at a core of loving to be on stage, no matter the place or size. We are so fortunate to have seen the shows grow so much in a short time; there’s nothing like singing your songs with thousands of people… there’s nothing like creating an intimate connection in a crowded room. For this tour though it was about bringing our fans together from around the world to experience something together, and although we couldn’t “see” everyone, they could see each other and they could see us doing what we love most. It wasn’t about recreating a venue show (that’s a sacred space and we’ll all be together in a venue again), it was about finding creative ways to have unique and connected experiences in a time when it’s easy to feel isolated.

HH: If you could collaborate with anyone in the music industry, who would you pick?

M: Right now, it’s been really lovely to honestly say we just want to collaborate with each other. That isn’t to say we haven’t been writing with some absolutely amazing people in the past few months and aspire to eventually make music with some of our heroes— Brian Eno, Rick Rubin, SebastiAn, and Phoebe Bridgers to just name a few. 

HH: What are your three hidden hits?

M: Joe Avio’s new single “Waste” is going to be HUGE before I even finish typing this sentence. Also “Polished” from Skofee and “Shrug” from OSTON are both exceptionally kickass! 

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