Billy Moon is a band that currently operates outside/inside/kind-of general-area of Hamilton. Stop listening to bad music, and listen to ShittyRocknRoll.
Musicmuso met up with Billy in Robert de Niro's sushi restaurant 'NOBU' in New York (105 Hudson Street Tel +1.212.219.0500), we ordered some Uni Donburi and a few Bigeye & Bluefin Negi Toro Donburi and shot the shit (as you do in sushi restaurants), here's how we got on....
Please introduce yourself and your music in one sentence....
My name is Billy Moon and this is what I do best.
Where did you record your EP ‘young adult’ and what made you choose that studio?
We did it at Threshold Studios in downtown Hamilton. I had heard a bunch of local records that had been done there and the guy who runs the studio, Michael Keire, came recommended by a couple of friends of mine. Mike's a great guys and it was a great fit for us, and everything went super smooth.
Who designed the artwork for your EP ‘Young Adult’?
I did. I try to take any excuse to do artwork and go all out. It's kind of meant to be a peek into some kind of greater universe.
Video Girls is an impressive tune, what is the story behind this, what brought you the inspiration?
Watching porn and then watching the “Tunnelvision” video by Justin Timberlake. It kinda felt like I was watching the same thing. I wanted to write a song about the relationship that the viewer has with pornography, sometimes it's good, other times it's shallow and empty. At its worst it's just degrading and degenerative. There's a lot of power relationships going on when someone's watching porn and I wanted to explore that in the song.
You started ‘Billy Moon’ in your first year at University, what were you studying?
Just graduated (waiting' on that diploma, though). I studied Communications and Theatre and Film. I got to write papers on Odd Future and the Sex Pistols. University can be a fantastic place to waste time and money.
How has social media aided your music?
People can find me on Facebook. People can find me on Twitter. That's about it. Bandcamp's been great though, that's been nice. Social Media's great and all, but it's really not the be all and end all that many people think it is. Trust me, I'm 50% a Communications major. If social media didn't exist we'd be doing the same things with different tools. If you don't have a good product and you don't call anybody, then social media can't save you. If anything, social media has been a great way for me to badger as many people as possible about my band.
What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
I can't think of anything specifically, but university helped me live out a few cliches. I guess it was when I just started to realize that you can't go on hating yourself and drudging on aimlessly because it doesn't make life worth living. Believe in yourself, work hard at what you love, and don't waste time on shitty people. I don't even know who told me that.
I think my dad once told me: “Some people are fuckin' stupid.” That was great advice.
What does music mean to you?
A lot. It's an expensive hobby, but it's worth every penny.
We love your ‘bad kids’ track, very garage rock, what is the inspiration behind this tune?
Living in student neighbourhoods, going to shitty parties, dealing with stupid people, and trying to have some fun in between all of it. I've seen people do moronic things because of some need for youthful rebellion, 'Neknominations' are a great example of this. Youthful rebellion is great but when you keep beating your fists against brick walls you end up with two bloody stumps where your hands used to be. It's really hard to play guitar with two bloody stumps as hands.
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released?
Music is pretty subjective. Weezer's Pinkerton is amazing. Right now I'm listening to COUSINS new record (The Halls of Wickwire) and it's great. Hold Steady's “Boys and Girls in America” is a great record in terms of storytelling. The Stooge's “Fun House” is dirty and noisy. I don't know, man. Lotta great records out there...
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
Chuck Berry's “My Ding-a-Ling” made tons of money. Wish I recorded that one.
First gig you ever went to?
I think I saw Sharon, Lois and Brahm but it was so loud I cried and had to be escorted out, or carried out. I was a toddler, toddlin' around...
First “rock show” was probably a ska show at the Elora Legion hall. This was when Reel Big Fish might have been considered one of the coolest bands in the world in our circle. The headliner that night were called the Philoskaphers and everyone went apeshit when they covered Planet Smashers. There were a couple metal bands there too. It was pretty much my introduction to my high school music scene, which I think has since imploded. Kids at my high school aren't really in bands anymore. It was a lot of fun for a 13 year old.
How would you describe a Billy Moon live show?
Fun. I say almost whatever I want because I have a mike in front of my face. My drummer is an awesome dude. We like to yell back and forth, plus it's loud. Noisy, but I like to make sure everyone laughs and has a good time.
How would you describe latest EP ‘young adult’ to previous EP ‘bicycle’?
Young Adult was done in a studio with a live drummer, Bicycle was all done off a laptop in a bedroom, so sonicly there's a big difference. These songs I had actually written to be performed live while Bicycle's songs were me just layering things on top of the other. When you record something yourself, you have all this free time, there's no deadline. You can make the song sound like calypso if you're bored. Then it gets released whenever you feel like it.
In the studio, there was definitely a goal involved, the record was going to have a specific sound, it was going to be done a certain way. Not to say the process felt difficult or robotic, it was just done within a tighter time frame so it became a question of going in and firing the songs out. I couldn't be happier with the final product, really.
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as party guests?
That girl I crushed on in first grade, Bill Hader, and Carrie Brownstein. You can come to the party too.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
My buddies are currently in this band called Marriage in Toronto and they're gonna be recording a really groovy record soon (hippiescum.bandcamp.com). Our buddies White Crowley's are also great, we might be playing some shows with Dead Broke soon too.
Who would you like to know has your music on their iPod, MP3 or cassette walkman?
Vish Khanna, hopefully, I think that guy's super cool. If Mac Demarco had it that would be amazing. El-P, Heems, and Despot are rappers that I think would be cool with the reocrd (hopefully). I wish Chuck Klosterman would think it was cool, but the guy probably likes KISS too much to dig my band.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Max from Rushmore would be cool. Thought provoking while at the same time a little bratty.
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
What are your plans for the remainder of 2014?
Be on the lookout for more shows and merch. We really want to start touring. Updates soon to come.
There was an issue with the food, it all came in one go and it wasn't even cooked, to put salt in the wound, it was stone cold.....Billy was asked to remain calm and was provided with a tray of peanuts and some chips as he was starving. Whilst we were waiting to see how these were going to be prepared, we asked him some quick fire questions....
Coffee or Tea? Four Loko.
Coke or Pepsi? The one that killed all those union leaders in Columbia... Which one was that?
Drum machine or the real deal? A robot with bananas for hands with a Hello Kitty backpack.
Mac or PC? Grilled Salmon
Taco or Burger? Pussy.
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)? Whichever one has more genital warts.
CD or Vinyl? Vinyl makes a great frisbee.
Car or Motorbike? A housecat that's the size of a horse that communicates with me telepathically. We are best friends.
Acoustic or electric? In a street fight, the electric will take out an assailant much better than an acoustic which will likely break.
Shower or Bath? I like doin' it standin' up.
Hulk Hogan or Stone Cole or CM Punk? They all refused to answer my fan letters. CM Punk's girlfriend was sexy though. What's her name?
Tattoos or Piercings? Sacrificial burns.
Robert de Niro or Al Pacino? Bobby Deniro! They call him Bobby apparently. He's probably the kindest of men. Doesn't he own a sushi restaurant? He's also been in less Adam Sandler movies, that's cool.
God or Google? Trick question. There is no Google.