The Big Moon are a band that really excite BrightonsFinest and they should excite you too. The four piece made up of Jules, Cellia, Fern and Soph (from Our Girl), create enticing energetic rock that will captivate any audience. With only three songs available for us to hear at the moment, which are frankly all brilliant, we have been treated to a duo of fun grungey bangers in ‘Eureka Moment’ and ‘Sucker’ as well as their new single ‘The Road’ which is more of a slow jam and shows another side to their music. BrightonsFinest was pleased to grab a few moments with the girls to find out more about the band.
Where did you grow up?
[SOPH] Jules, Celia and I all grew up in and around London, while Fern is from South Wales.
Do you think where you live has influenced your music?
[CELIA] Growing up in suburbia has to be the best inspiration for appreciating and making rock music.
[FERN] Nah, not at all – TV shows did. I used to love ER and would always look up the songs that were played at certain dramatic moments or lovely scenes. That’s how I found Ray LaMontagne, Amos Lee, and it is the reason I love ‘Open Your Eyes’ by Snow Patrol.
What music were you brought up on?
[SOPH] Lots of Motown, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Blondie, The Doors, Supertramp. ‘American Pie’ by Don Mclean was a big one!
[CELIA] Anything I could get my hands on/escape into/yell along to.
[FERN] Boyzone, Westlife, Abba, Steps.
Can you remember the first album you owned?
[SOPH] Missy Elliot on tape
[JULES] Spice Girls
[CELIA] Aaron Carter
[FERN] I think Spice Girls, the one with a white cover and ‘SPICE’ written across it.
What was the first instrument you played?
[JULES] I grew up with a battered old piano in the house that my dad got for free off a vicar, and taught myself to play it using The Complete Piano Player. It was a big glossy old yellowed book from probably the 80s that had ‘Super Trooper’ by Abba in it, and a Boom Box with a framed photo of Gene Kelly on the front cover. A lot of the songs I learnt, I wouldn’t hear until years and years later. I then realised I had been playing the songs totally wrong, playing the notes completely randomly and making up my own rhythms. Also, at some point, I got a Casio keyboard hand-me-down. It was about 10 years before I realised that ‘Wake Me Up’ by Wham was an actual song and not just my funky keyboard demo – I now love this song!
[CELIA] Mine was the piano too when I was four. I should really be better at it. I got through a number of other instruments before I ended up on the bass. I learnt from The Joy of First Year Piano and My First Piano – some real classic tunes in there.
[FERN] I started playing Drums at fourteen. My favourite instrument other than drums is piano though.
What drives you to write music?
[CELIA] Having worked in retail for a number of years.
How did The Big Moon start?
[CELIA] We all know each other through varying degrees of separation and came together because we all wanted to play in a band again, and this was the band we wanted to be in. I guess it probably feels like fate with every band but it’s nice to feel like there really was something beautiful about the way it all fell into place.
Can you remember your first jam?
[JULES] I cried and Soph had a tuna mayo sandwich. Celia came round and sat on a little stool and got redder and redder while we showed her the songs we had so far. Fern had really long hair and a beard that she has since shaved off.
[CELIA] Jules cried on at least two occasions. I dropped my bass on a small child’s head on the way and thought it might be a sign (she wasn’t hurt, I promise).
Is there a story behind the name?
[SOPH] Jules is a big fan of mooning.
[FERN] It can make gigs very uncomfortable for all involved.
How would you briefly describe your ethos?
[CELIA] It’s cool to hang out with your friends and make really loud noises.
What are your main influences?
[JULES] I love The Pixies, and Motown, and Elvis, and The Ronettes, and Roy Orbison, and Queens Of The Stone Age, and David Bowie, and Iggy Pop, and Nick Cave, and Lee & Nancy, and Kid Congo Powers and ….
[CELIA] Daria Morgendorffer, Joe Lally, Jennifer Kabat, Maggie Nelson and Sam Smith’s ‘Taddy Lager’.
[FERN] Sigur Ros, The National, Bon Iver and my friend’s bands.
What inspires your lyrics?
[JULIETTE] Everything and nothing, and red wine.
Do you prefer writing music or performing live?
[JULES] They are both fucking awesome in completely different ways.
[CELIA] I love being in our rehearsal cube working stuff out and feeling it all come together and then having breaks in the cafe. But playing live is SO much fun.
Tell us a bit about your new single ‘The Road’?
[JULES] It’s really exciting to mix things up a bit. With every song we write, we want to do something completely different for the next one. Music is about experimenting, life is about experimenting. I don’t want to fall into any sort of routine or rest and go stale. Habit and routine are the cancer of time (Samuel Beckett said that).
What would be your perfect line-up of any 3 acts for a concert you are putting on and where would it be?
[SOPH] St. Vincent (solo), Portishead and Deerhunter at The Roundhouse
[FERN] Sigur Ros, Bon Iver and The National at Union Chapel
If you could work with any artist, who would it be and what would they bring to The Big Moon?
[JULES] Max Dovey – he helped us a lot with the video for The Road and is a brilliant artist. He runs a post office at festivals, gets naked in front of computers, and makes bars with robots on the door that only let you in if you are over 95% hipster.
[CELIA] Meeting or working with your idols feels like something that could only be disillusioning. I’m a worrier.
[FERN] The Dessner brothers (Aaron & Bryce, of The National) but I’m pretty sure the girls would hate it. We’d make such cool and weird sounds though.
If you could have made any song ever, which one would it be and why?
[JULES] ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ by Simon And Garfunkel. That song is INSANE!
[CELIA] That’s song reminds me SO much of your writing Jules. I’ve been thinking that a lot lately and meaning to tell you. Maybe ‘Thirteen’ by Big Star? Any Beach Boys song. ‘Baker Street’? ‘Milkshake’? So many.
[FERN] ‘Dancing Queen’ – Abba, TUNE!
If The Big Moon covered one song, which one would it be?
[JULES] ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawumba
[CELIA] ‘Milkshake’ by Kelis
[FERN] ‘Dancing Queen’ by Abba
What music are you listening to at the moment?
[JULES] The Maccabees new album is brillo. I also LOVE the new song by Julia Holter, ‘Feel You’.
[FERN] Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
[CELIA] I basically just listen to The Wedding Present’s George Best album on repeat, and also Brandy. But Bully’s debut is amazing! And Deerhunter. Forever Deerhunter.
Do you get to go to many gigs?
[FERN] I saw Sufjan Stevens at Royal Festival Hall couple of weeks ago. I had goosebumps, there were tears and the best light show I have ever seen.
[CELIA] I love seeing friends play. It’s impossible to not have a good time at a Magic Gang gig, Yak are consistently excellent and if you aren’t wooed by the end of an Oscar set then you must have a heart of stone.
What has been you happiest memory with music?
[JULES] Karaeoke every time. HOW the fuck do you spell that?
What makes you happiest when you are not playing music?
[FERN] Hanging out with my friends and family or building things with wood.
What are your future plans till the end of the year and after?
[FERN] We have our DIY Neu Tour for a couple of weeks through October (The Haunt in Brighton on 13th October), then support slots with Ezra Furman and The Vaccines across the UK.
[CELIA] And CMJ in NEW YORK CITY!!! It’s all incredibly exciting. Imagine how good we’ll be at playing our songs by the end of it?! Tight as a pair of leggings.