Last summer’s release of Half Moon Run’s debut album ‘Dark Eyes’ had critics compare them to experimental veterans Radiohead. Having hit the road with Canadian indie darlings Metric and an upcoming tour with City and Colour scheduled this May, the harmony heavy four-piece are certainly in good company for success. We caught up with Dylan and Connor ahead of their Rough Trade East in store performance to discuss their creative process, being pigeonholed and experimenting with new genres.
Hi Connor and Dylan. How are you both?
Connor: Hi, yeah we’re pretty good. This is only the beginning of a very long day though.
Yeah I bet. You guys are about to play Rough Trade East. You must be excited. Do you prefer playing smaller, intimate gigs?
Dylan: Yeah sometimes. It’s all pretty situational. It really just depends on the type of gig.
You recently did the Radio 1 Live Lounge. How did that go?
Dylan: It was fantastic. We were really nervous about doing it but it turned out pretty well which we were all really happy about.
So you’ve toured with lots of great bands including Metric and are about to go on tour with City and Colour. Do you like getting an insight into other bands touring routines?
Connor: It’s really interesting to tour with a band and get to know them as people. It kind of unlocks their music a bit too. It’s really interesting to see how people get to where they are, see what they do, and witness their success and their production.
There are a lot of different genre influences throughout the album. Are there any genres you’d like to experiment with on your new material?
Connor: For us in the band, there’s really not that much of a separation mentally between individual genres. Moving forward for the new album, we would really like to work with new styles, new rhythms. You always have a good feeling when you’re on to something you like so that’s what we’re always searching for.
Do you ever find yourselves getting labelled with a genre you’re not really comfortable with?
Connor: No. We never allow that [laughs]
Dylan: People do it. People always try to do it but it doesn’t matter. [Genre] labels are so limiting and you end up losing so much when you put a brand on something
Are you all hands on with the creative process?
Dylan: We are all very involved.
Connor: Every part of it. From the writing, to the artwork, to the all the tour logistics.
Dylan: When it works it’s great but sometimes it can be tough as everybody feels strongly about what they want.
Are there any major creative differences that you’ve had to overcome? How do you deal with it?
Dylan: Yes but only in a very positive way.
Connor: Very democratic I’d say too. Any differences usually get settled one way or another. We trust each other’s opinions as much as we trust our own.
The Guardian ran a piece last week that highlighted some of the problems young fans face when wanting to see their favourite band on tour. How do you get your younger fans involved?
Dylan: We love doing all age shows. We do a lot in Australia. It’s great but sometimes you don’t really think about it when you’re over 18. You usually just book a venue if it has nice production or if it’s just a nice place so sometimes the underage fans do get overlooked.
It’s independent venue week in the UK this week, which aims to celebrate independent venues across the country. What’s are the independent venues like in Montreal? Are there lots to choose from?
Connor: There are so many venues in Montreal. Montreal is our home town so that’s where our biggest fan base is. It gets pretty busy and your venue options start to decrease when you have a bigger fan base. We would love to try playing some big, outdoor shows over there in the summer though.
We do a monthly radio show here at Gigslutz. Would you mind picking three songs for a playlist?
Dylan: Jon Hopkins keeps coming up for me. ‘Open Eye Signal’ is a great track.
Connor: I’ve been listening to a lot of London Grammar recently and I really like ‘Wasting My Young Years’.
Dylan: Another track I really like is by Thus Owls. They’re a Montreal band but the singer is from Sweden and they’ve got a great track called ‘I Weed The Garden’.
That’s great guys. Thanks for your time and good luck with the Rough Trade Show.
Connor: Thanks! Nice to meet you.