American rock with lyrics exposing deceit, war, love, loss, and mortality. Moai’s music is dynamic. They play both hard rock (NOT HEAVY METAL) as well as mellow, worldly acoustic tunes. They’ve been described by fans as "heavy”, “groovy”, "intellectual" and “thought provoking”.


Moai is a three piece guitar and percussion rock band which excels in powerful, dynamic music and intelligent lyrics exposing heavy issues such as deceit, war, love, loss, and mortality. Moai has a unique ability to connect with the audience on the "life" we all face daily. Moai is expert at building up tension and then releasing it at just the right moment, keeping their fans on the edge, until the last note is finished resonating at the end of a two hour set.
Moai’s dynamic sound has been described by fans as “heavy-hitting” and “thought provoking”, with songs such as Dreamland and Citric Nails. They prove their flexibility with their sad, perceptive and melodic songs Tiny Coffins, Hammer is the Heart and The Witch is Gone. Moai flexes their muscle in Heal the Wound, The Only One and title song Extinction. With influences ranging from Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, The Doors, Led Zeppelin and The Who, one can easily hear the classic, psychedelic rock sound in Moai music. Moai is definitely a modern sound though, having been compared to Seattle’s alternative and grunge bands; because of the explosive angst in the voice and electric guitar of front man Kelsey McDaniel.
McDaniel is a well trained singer with a large vocal range. He's skilled using his warm baritone voice to back up his poetic lyrics. All the lyrics are poems, written by McDaniel or bassist Lance Davidson, and all songs are credited collectively to Moai. The lyrics are intellectually stimulating, and are most often written separate from the music. Often years will pass before a poem is chosen to accompany a new composure.
McDaniel's guitar style is distinctly Moai and has been described as “unpredictable and powerful”. Playing excellent rhythm and lead guitar, the self-taught guitarist produces tense, unplanned tonal solos that can grow with the power of the song. Every live performance is a new experience; you never know what part of his spirit will channel out of his fingertips.
Lance Davidson is a phenomenal, also self-taught bass player. With a unique style, envied by piers, he uses every inch of the fret board and is fearless when it comes to taking risks with his powerful Moai sound. Davidson's wild style is not only inspiring to listen to, he's also a sight to see when he gets into the groove and lets loose on stage at Moai shows.
Dave Orschell plays percussion and keyboards for Moai. He's no ordinary drummer. Trained at a young age to play drums, he is an excellent percussionist, finding his mark with every hit of the cymbals or snap of his sticks. Orschell delights in trying new styles of rhythm, breaking free from tradition and playing some of the most unique and astounding drum tracks ever heard.
Together, Kelsey, Lance and Dave provide relentless rhythm and texture to the stimulating music they've written.
Moai was formed in 1992 by Kelsey McDaniel and bassist Lance Davidson. As students of San Jose State University, the band decided to name themselves after the giant, mysterious statues on Easter Island. Moai performed their two-dozen song catalog in bay area clubs and festivals until 1995 when Moai lost their drummer. The boys went separate ways; McDaniel joined the Air Force and Davidson the work-force. In 2007, newly inspired McDaniel reunited with Davidson and fellow Air Force officer, drummer Dave Orschell. In 2007 they recorded the album, Extinction at Grammy award winning Blue Cat Recording Studios in San Antonio. They made the record in just four studio sessions with the expert help of Joe Trevino, owner of Blue Cat.



Written By: Kelsey McDaniel

I bet you didn’t know
You had shaped me so much
Like the Earth getting hit
By a cosmic blast
Tidal waves rush in
To eat my face
And the women and children
Of the human race

Smashing life in its path
Nothing here to slow it down
Telling me what to be
What about What I need?

When it’s said and done
And there’s no more time
The dinosaurs vanished
Were they vaporized?
Twenty million years?
We’re just a stitch in time
But it’s everything we know
So don’t we have to try?

Smashing life in its path
Nothing here to slow it down
Telling me what to be
What about What I need?

Well I’m sitting here
As you slip away
Twenty million dollars
Couldn’t help you stay
And the beach will never
Break the waves the same
Even if my tears
Turn into pouring rain

Smashing life in its path
Nothing here to slow it down
Telling me what to be
What about What I need?

Hammer is the Heart

Written By: Kelsey McDaniel

Hammer is the Heart (Tools for Loving)

How can I still be?
Staring at the Ancient
Ancestors are bright and
Tools for loving gently

My time of mourning is over
Or so I’m told
Must I… now move… to another?
Could it be… that I… still love her?

How can I still be
Tools for Loving, gently

How can I still be dwelling?
Man abi bi sotchta hun

Staring at the ancient ceiling?
Asman ko dekhta hun

Ancestors are bright and calling
Mere buzurg mujai blua rahai hain

Tools for loving gently falling
Kyon ki pyar kum ho raha hai


Thirteen track Album "Extinction" featuring "Hammer is the Heart" and "Extinction" both singles which have received airtime on KSJS in San Jose, California and KSYM San Antonio.

Set List

Set list varies, but a typical set is two hours. No covers.
A two hour set list will be similar to the following:
The Only One
To Tell Her
Dego Town
The Ride
White Lies
Heal the Wound
Scales of Justice
Encrypting my Fate
Here She Comes
Green Peace Vigil
The Witch is Gone
Hammer is the Heart
Front Page News
Tiny Coffins
Citric Nails
Family Hearts
Bandaged Care

When playing acoustic sets the folowing songs are played for a one hour set:
Hammer is the Heart
The Witch is Gone
Where is He Now
How Long
Front Page News
Green Peace Vigil
Silent Room
Family Hearts
Bandaged Care