Recently, I had the opportunity to email with an up and coming heavy metal group: High Moonlight. Our conversation touched a few subjects, such as their non-musical influences, their opinions on streaming services and which bands are their favorites.
Real quick, before I jump into the interview, this band is worth checking out if you like old school metal. Their music has a solid groove and lots of riffs. You can find them on Facebook and listen to some of their songs on YouTube.
As a side note for my (English speaking) readers, High Moonlight hails from Sao Paulo, Brazil. English isn’t their primary language. I left our conversation just as it appeared in my email, save a few words that were in Portuguese. I translated these to English.
- What are your biggest musical influences?
My biggest musical influences are from old school rock n roll. I drank and I still drink a lot at this source. Guys like Ritchie Blackmore, Dio, Tony Iommi and their respective bands were a great inspiration to me as a musician.
- Do you listen to any band or genre that would surprise your fans if they found out?
Certainly. I hear a lot of oriental music, including mantras (although I have no religion at all). I also listen to a lot of Indian music, I like flute and drum sounds.
- What’s next for the band?
Participation and dissemination of our songs in a new official Heavy Metal collection. In this collection will be participating several other bands of the undergroud [sic] scenario of Brazilian metal. The spread will be on various digital platforms world like: Spotify, Deezer, iTunes, Google Play and others. That will be later this year. We also want to play shows and festivals from other countries besides Brazil. We are looking for contact for this.
- How do you think streaming services like Spotify and Pandora have changed how bands release music? Has it made it easier or more difficult?
Changed a lot. Nowadays people do not listen to music anymore, they consume audio and media files, it’s very different from having a CD or vinyl at home and by playing your stereo. This ends up becoming something very superficial and disposable for the song. And at the end of the day, the big labels are that they really benefit from all of this and not the artist who is responsible for the work. The band of heavy sound still highly values their favorite artists and bands, make sure to have a CD with lyrics, lyrics, photos and information from that album. I do not think that this new course that the music industry has taken is in fact inevitable, but it is necessary to rethink a way for the artist to have more autonomy and recognition of his work and his career and not only the entrepreneurs and great recorders.
- Do you have any non-musical influences that show up in your music?
Yes. I really like comic books. Whenever possible I honor some of my favorite characters in my songs. Thinking of a character like Conan, Spider-Man or Ghost Rider, for example, makes you create crazy and powerful songs … At least with me it works like this … Anyone who hears “Arcturians” or “Dark Knight” will soon realize that I’m talking about ThunderCats and Batman respectively. But there are other characters, but I’ll let the listeners find out! Suddenly some producer or director of cinema hears them and decides to put them like soundtrack of some movie of super heroes! It would be awesome!
- Can you describe your sound?
It is a unique and original sound within the context established by the heavy metal style of composing.
Even if at times some bands can come to the head, in the end they will say: This even looks is with High Moonlight. [I believe] that to make a strong and impressive song the main thing is a riff either cool and exciting or very powerful. There are bands of only one song or success, but this success was enough for the musicians behind such composition to settle down and make a living. And what do these great successes have so special? A song with a striking riff. And I’m not just talking about rock bands in general, there are several artists who are not rock n roll but who have songs that have been branded forever by some kind of riff, Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” is a good example of what I am trying to say, but there are several others. So, my songs are mostly based on riffs, the most original and creative I can create.
- What are you listening to lately? Anything you would recommend?
I’ve heard a pretty cool band I met recently called “Quantum Fantasy”. It’s really cool the sound of the guys. They know how to use and interweave the synthesizer and [the guitar] in the songs in a super creative way! In the matter of heavy metal, I recommend the first album of a band called Star one, of multi-instrumentalist, Arjen Anthony Lucassen. This album is not new, but for me it seems to be timeless, there are several classics there.
- What made you decide to “get into” music and start a band?
I am a Physical Education teacher, I work in a public school here in Brazil … For those who do not know, one of the professionals less valued here in Brazil is precisely the teacher, not imposed what discipline you teach. Everything is complicated, security, salary, support, career plan and so on … Then one day I looked back and forth and said to myself, “Dude, or I’ll get in this time. music / band or my life will boil down to rude student, stress, professional devaluation and risk of infarction still young. ” Well, I have a product (music), a very specific audience (rock fan), I know how to compose …. why not bet everything and keep doing what you always wanted to play in a rock band? Money and success is what matters least, I was born poor, in a country where politicians are keen to steal and keep you without life expectancy … I want more is to have fun my way and to appear the opportunity to really live of my music, even better, and I know that this is only a consequence of the effort I have been making in my project over the years. I believe that one hour will happen. My music is very potent for this, it’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time that things will even happen. The opportunity I’ve been creating for a long time and I’ve always believed it.
- How does your writing process work, do you all collaborate on the lyrics or is that job reserved for just one person?
The letters in general I write them. The other members also present their ideas, but at the end of the day it is up to me to understand if what they have written corresponds to the theme of the band or not.
- If you had to pick just one, which album would be your favorite?
Wow! This is difficult… Maybe I’d be in doubt between Judas Priest’s “Painkiller” and Rainbow’s “Rising” … But since I have to pick one, it might be the “Rising”
- Are there any bands you would desperately love to tour with someday?
Many. Megadeth, Blackmore’s Rainbow, Manowar, Accept, AC / DC, Ozzy, are some of them.
- What are your thoughts about bands releasing more singles, rather than following a traditional route and just releasing albums?
I’m from the days when the bands played with the same will, where a release of one band inspired the release of another band and so on. It was a healthy competition. Does it exist today? No more, it’s over … And what do we have? Each one draws their own conclusions. That’s why from the 70’s until the mid 90’s creativity was still something to contemplate on some new album by various [artist] bands. I can not tell you why someone or some band does not release a full album and only single release, but if you do not have the competence to do that then you are in the wrong profession. It’s just what I think but everyone knows their own limit. For me, you have to have an entire album and a bonus track, if possible! hahahaha