Moving Castles
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Moving Castles

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Moving Castles: Featured"

It never surprises me. Every single time the words Austin and Texas are associated with a PEV feature, the music that comes with them... just kicks ass. Never fails. And it shouldn't be surprising I suppose - the music capital between NYC and Los Angeles has been attracting some of the best talent in the nation for a long, long time. And luckily for the SXSW city, Moving Castles continues the tradition of original, attention grabbing music.

Songwriter John Eric is inspiring by something the PEV boys can relate to: "The strange culture us twenty-somethings surround ourselves by and the many characters that we come across within that culture." And the bands brand new record, "Twin Daggers" is a testament to this inspiration, a 5-track collection that's "undeniably catchy, deep and energetic." Eric continues, "Our music is influenced by art rock bands like Big Star, The Cure, The Police, ect. as well as modern day punk/pop-punk", something that's undeniably present on "Twin Daggers". As a dude who was blasting punk through middle school, I can tell you you'll appreciate the loyalty to punk roots in this music, and welcome all the additional heat the album brings. Check out "Twin Daggers" to get an idea of what to expect before Moving Castles drops its first full-length effort. And read on - there's a lot more to get into in these XXQ's.

XXQs: Moving Castles (PEV): How would you describe your sound?

Our music is influenced by art rock bands like Big Star, The Cure, The Police, etc. as well as modern day punk/pop-punk. We also have very personal lyrics.

PEV: Calling Austin, Texas home, what kind of music where the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

As a kid I only listened to the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Neil Young, CSNY and other oldies, classic rock bands, and jazz music. I didn’t get into modern music until I heard Nirvana in middle school. First concert was the Backstreet Boys. I was disappointed that they were playing to backing tracks.

PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene when you first started out as a band? What was your first show like together as a band?

When we began we lived in East Texas, home of a lot of self-proclaimed Christian bands. We were well received but sometimes struggled because the kinetic nature of our music and the content of our lyrics are at times taboo for those audiences. Our first show was great. Our songs were twice as fast as any other band there. We got the crowd moving.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Moving Castles show?

No frills or gimmicks. Not much technical wizardry. Lots of energy and emotion. Honesty.You will be able to tell exactly how we feel about being on stage at any particular moment. Usually being on stage is euphoric and you will be able to see that in us.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

Usually I’m trying to make sure I remember lyrics.

PEV: What do you think of mainstream music today – as in what’s being played on the radio?

Much like non-mainstream music: some of it is good, most of it is not so good. I do listen to the radio a lot more since moving to Austin.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music?

The strange culture us twenty-somethings surround ourselves by and the many characters that I come across within that culture.

PEV: Tell us about your latest release, “Twin Daggers”. What can fans expect from this album?

Five undeniably catchy, deep, energetic songs that you can tell I spent a lot of time crafting.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

I spend almost all of my free time on music but when I’m not doing that I like to get some video gaming in, explore some great beers and wine, cook and do anything else involving food. I am also a kind of a health nerd so I enjoy things like working out, vitamins, shopping for good, non-processed food, things like that. I also like to read comics, novels, and boring non-fiction and technical books.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

Jim Ward from the bands At the Drive-In, Sparta, and Sleepercar. He is just an honest, perfect songwriter. He is like one of those great songwriters that will probably be forever slightly under the radar, like Randy Newman, JJ Cale, songwriters that never quite get huge in a mainstream sense but still do compelling work that reaches a lot of people. I would rather work with someone like him than some of my other favorite artists such as Brian Wilson, Ryan Adams, and Springsteen because he doesn’t have some crazy mythos that would permeate whatever it is we were working on. Just a true working musician that I have a huge amount of respect for.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

A pop band out of Tyler, Texas called Young Ones. I co-wrote some of their music and I am going to be producing their first EP. Great musicians, good, honest music. Fans of hip underground indie music will hate them.

PEV: So, what is next for Moving Castles?

I currently am in the process of demoing about 15 songs for a full-length album. That album is our next mountain to climb. - Pen's Eye View

"Album Review: Moving Castles – Twin Daggers EP"

Moving Castles‘ frontman John Eric wanted their DIY debut to sound like “a band playing in a room together with a lot of energy,” and does it ever. The pop punk force of Twin Daggers is unwavering, as infectious lyrics with instrumental kicks make for one memorable EP. Already having gained a solid fan base in their hometown of Austin, Moving Castles are poised for national appeal with five tracks thick with high energy and excitement.
Recorded on their own without help from an outside producer, the moments of imperfection were left intact, fitting perfectly with the spirit of Twin Daggers. A strong kick start comes in the way of opener “Black Dress”. Animated rings of guitar begin as energetic drums are slowly uncovered, keeping a rapid pace and upbeat nature that’s a welcome addition given the subject of the single, one-night stands. “Sick Girls” carries an early We Are Scientists vibe with clips of buzzed-out guitar and vigorous percussion while Eric sings of a love that’s “a torture to everyone you touch.”

It only makes sense that Andy Warhol receives a namesake with “Warhol”, as Moving Castles succeed at adding artful elements to their pop punk. The incorporation of lyrics ripe with imagery and personal anecdotes make Moving Castles more than just a feel-good outfit. “Warhol” takes stabs at their cultural surroundings, with a careful breakdown of guitar and harmonies. Closer “Hush My Bones” scales down from the rigorous punk that starts the recording in favor of drawn-out vocals and aggressive guitar riffs.

Twin Daggers is a very listenable EP charged with an unexpected attitude and personality. It gets in your head, but it’s such an enjoyable 40-minute ride that it’s unlikely you’ll mind.

Essential Tracks: “Sick Girls”, “Warhol”, and “Hush My Bones” - Consequence of Sound

"Moving Castles - Twin Daggers"

I’ve started paying closer attention to the so-called Twittersphere recently. I’m not usually connected to it, but we were recently between social media gurus here at ovrld and I was manning the Twitter feed for a while. People give it a lot of shit for being a forum for people to express the mundanity of their daily lives, but there is a lot of cool, helpful information on there. For example, I saw two different people (at least one of them was Quiet Company) tweet about this new Austin band who was dropping an EP last week, and I decided to check it out. From the opening drum rolls, I was totally hooked. I’ve probably played Moving Castles’ debut EP at least a dozen times by now – at first on their bandcamp site and then finally on my iTunes.

Twin Daggers is a five-song EP jam-packed with pop-rock goodness. This is bouncy, accessible rock music filled with hooks that can easily latch onto your brain without letting go. The above “Heroin” is the clearest example of this, wherein singer John Eric laments to a friend, “Every time I see you, you try to sell me heroin.” While I might suggest Eric reconsider some of his personal associations, the song is easily the best heroin-related track since the Dandy Warhols’ 1997 classic, “Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth”. The song concludes in a round of overlapping “yeah”s and “heroin”s, and leaves me feeling a bit of nostalgia for Nineties rock. Over the course of the album, Moving Castles recall bits of No Doubt, Save Ferris, Goldfinger, Harvey Danger, basically any fun, upbeat 90s acts, as filtered through the indie rock of the last decade. Eric also cites Saves the Day and Motion City Soundtrack as influences, and those might be the bands I hear in their sound that I hadn’t quite been able to put my finger on (give a shout-out to MCS’s “Everything is Alright” – totally underrated track). Also check out “Warhol” as another album highlight, but honestly, the whole thing is full of promise.

Eric is a member of Knifight, another Austin band we’ve shown a lot of love to recently, and has continued making hot music with Moving Castles. I can’t wait to catch them live, but in the meantime, head to their bandcamp to get ahold of Twin Daggers. - Ovrld

"Smarter-than-most quipsters take on holier-than-thou hipsters with sweaty, sunny art-pop"

Who doesn’t love a scrappy, DIY band who busts their ass to make a record all by themselves? If you answered “Surely not I,” then you’re in for a snarky, sweet treat with Twin Daggers EP by Austin-based Moving Castles. While it undoubtedly look took plenty of energy to write, record, produce and release, somehow Moving Castles still managed to infuse it with powerful adrenaline, thoughtful craftsmanship and art-pop stylings.

“Black Dress” is a wakeup call, so it’s no coincidence that the opening track alarms your attention with blaring guitar and a barrage of drums. “Who gives a damn about your Barcelonian binges?” singer John Eric Hetherington rhetorics, as harmonies come in on the last syllable and a lively bass line bounces in. He goes on to describe a mattress-jumper’s penchant for hopping from one Mr. Wrong to the next, over power chords and pulsating percussion that mimic the speed with which her black dress keeps falling to the floor. The chorus provides plenty of harmonies and vocal hooks, and the guitar solo has a nice rockabilly feel to it. Then the xylophone-backed bridge puts it all out in the open, lamenting the singer’s failed attempts to woo her into his “undeserving arms” until he finally writes her off with a one-more-time revival of the chorus.

“Sick Girls” opens with a fuzzy, surfer bass hook, followed by a bluesy, meandering guitar line. John Eric yells his way in, calling out another lady who’s done him wrong. He rushes through the verses as he diagnoses her with “a mental disease,” but slows it down for a catchy chorus with backing vocals that almost sound like horns. A steady stream of power chords gives way to a lead guitar riff that echoes the chorus melody, and it all builds together for a quick ending. Quite a bouncy tune for such a downer topic. I only wish they would have brought back that opening bass hook at some point.

A bouncy bass line and echoing guitar strokes set the appropriately artsy vibe of “Warhol.” John Eric throws away the ends of lines like he couldn’t care less, channeling the apathetic moods of the “modern lazy lovers caught in their artifacts.” Moving Castles add in plenty of high hats, catchy “wha-oohs” and layered light guitars to build up pressure in classic pop fashion. A dreamy bridge sounds like the weight has finally lifted, until a final chorus lays it back on like a heavy cloud. This jam’s dynamic ranges and compelling composition make it a standout track on the Twin Daggers EP.

Although “Heroin” describes a loser who’s constantly hawking the hard drug, the tune itself is a winner. Muted guitar strokes build the tension early on, but surf rock arpeggios and well-placed hand claps lighten up the mood, as does the catchy chorus: “Every time I see you you try to sell me heroin.” (Be careful though, kids, or you’ll catch yourself singing that line out loud and catch a few confused looks from others.) The tune slows down to just a soft synth and voice, fooling you into thinking it’s over. But, oh no — it rocks on to crescendo in grand style, complete with horns, crashing cymbals and some very-well-layered vocals. Addictive, indeed.

“Hush My Bones” begins with a scorching, distant guitar line and sporadic, staccato drums. The two sync up quickly, then the song shifts gears to a power-pop verse with earnest lyrics, “ba ba, ba ba” backing vocals and downbeat hits. The chorus picks things up, and then that scorching guitar riffs flares back up. After the second verse, a violinish, staccato synth pipes in and remains throughout the second verse, adding some dynamic aural interest. It all drops away as John Eric proclaims “I’m the Salinger to your Vonnegut,” reinforcing Moving Castles’ cultured character. The final guitar riff sets things ablaze and the layered vocals and pounding drums expend every last bit of energy the band has left.

The Twin Daggers EP by Moving Castles works hard to shake the apathetic moods of its toxic, tragically hip cast of characters. And for the most part, it works well. They craftily compose some smart, catchy tunes, and they make very good use of dynamic songwriting and composition. Twin Daggers clearly shows these guys can put together a cohesive, thematic album (all on their own, mind you), so I can’t wait to hear a full LP out of them.

Sounds Like:
Smarter-than-most quipsters take on holier-than-thou hipsters with sweaty, sunny art-pop

Key Tracks:
Black Dress, Warhol, Heroin

Best Lyric:
“We’re gonna bring Andy Warhol back / ‘Cause he deserves a drink” - - Last Week's Album

"Check Out: Moving Castles – “Heroin” (CoS Premiere)"

Musicians have all sorts of reasons for getting in the studio and up on stage, be it cash, fame, women, or what-have-you. A band from Austin, TX named Moving Castles pound out their pop-laced tunes for a bit of catharsis, both artistically and personally. Self-described as “a case study in neurosis,” this DIY quintet has recently broken from their “inward facing and distant” introversion to self-produce and release their smart and earnest debut EP, Twin Daggers. Just ahead, you can download “Heroin”, a cut from the EP.

On “Heroin”, there’s a blend of Beach Boys-inspired pop vibes with the essence of pop-punk and art-pop bands frontman/songwriter John Eric grew up on. Channeling his own social awkwardness, Eric wears his quirkiness right on his sleeves with lines like “Your professional life does nothing for your nervousness / when you see a specimen at the bars that you wanna kiss” and the chorus refrain of “And every time I see you / you try to sell me heroin.” Honest with a touch of biting, the song is available for your downloading pleasure below.

Moving Castles – “Heroin”

Moving Castles’ Twin Daggers debut, which Eric says “shows what we can do on our own with absolutely no budget,” can be streamed at the band’s website and is available from most major digital retailers. Their Austin fan-base must be pretty fervent, as they’ve convinced the band to press CDs, which are currently available for pre-order here and are slatted to ship on or about November 21st.

- Consequence of Sound

"Moving Castles – Twin Daggers EP"

Moving Castles – Twin Daggers EP (CD) / 2011 Self / 5 Tracks /

Moving Castles begin their Twin Daggers EP in the most energetic way, allowing listeners to hear a substantial set of different influences and styles. There are hints of indie rock, punk, and ska that unite into something eminently singable, all while containing some serious instrumentation. The arrangements during Black Dress show this; the guitar, drums, and bass all struggle for dominance. With this struggle comes a nuanced and striated sound, something that marks a considerably change of pace from many up and coming bands.

Sick Girls is the second track on the EP, containing the same sort of high energy that marked the introductory effort. By creating such a cohesive sound with these beginning salvos, Moving Castles are able to come forth and create a unique sound by the time that the third track begins. Warhol is this hump track, and it allows the bass ample time to cut loose. This bass line, coupled with spacy guitar lines, imbues this track with a mid-eighties pop / ska feel (think The Key-era Cure or The Police). Simultaneously, the drum work here unites with the more meaty guitar lines to make the track bounce over to a more angular sort of approach. Heroin represents the penultimate track on the Twin Daggers EP, and it slows things down considerably.

While Moving Castles still possess the catchy sound that they have cultivated up to this point, there is a funkier, jam-ish groove that is cultivated during the track. For me, trying new things on an album with limited space (like an EP) is a dangerous gambit; Moving Castles stick to their guns and succeed without qualification here. The EP ends with Hush My Bones, a track that unites these two distinct styles into a bold statement about who Moving Castles are and what they wanted to do with this EP. Give this EP a few spins and see exactly how I became hooked – Black Dress and Hush My Bones are my favorites.

Top Tracks: Black Dress, Hush My Bones

Rating: 8.6/10 - (e-magazine)

"Moving Castles - EP One"

These days, it’s hard to classify “indie” anymore. Used to be that indie was defined as anything away from the mainstream, but there’s enough “indie” bands out there trying to sound exactly like counterparts hitting it big on Top 40, or worse, covering pop songs climbing the charts and gaining exposure for songs written by hitmakers.
The true spirit of indie is doing your own thing as a band or an artist, and Moving Castles really tackles the heart of independent music on EP One. Although their debut is only three tracks long and barely scratches the 12 minute mark collectively, there’s enough heart here to fill a full-length album three times over.
“Is This The Life” is a sunny jam, with Beach Boys-style melodies and bright, spirited instrumentation that could have come from a cross between Vampire Weekend’s self-titled debut, and surprisingly enough, Less Than Jake’s In With the Out Crowd. The song oozes with positive energy and is one heck of an opener.
“Wives (You’re With Me Always)” starts with some intriguing electronic effects and harmonic vocals, slowly enough to convince the listener it will be a softer ballad. However, the energy starts to leak in and builds into an anthematic track. The vocals soar over pristine guitar riffs, and hits a smooth falsetto not many artists are capable of reaching.
The last track, “Theater, Girl” has a very beachlike vibe to it, with jangly guitars and pacy group vocals. Think Beach Boys with a little more edge, and you have a song tailor-made for your next beach party jam. The influences from this song range from early surf-rock to indie pop sensibility.
Moving Castles makes their mission statement clear when they say “We are not trying to revolutionize anything. We just want to make music that makes us happy and we hope that you will find it intriguing and enjoyable.”
And on EP One, that’s exactly what they do. - The Unsigned Find

"Moving Castles ask "Is This The Life?""

Even a “snobby, indie dork” (*my wife’s words, not mine) like myself can get into some catchy indie-pop now and again. Hell, since The Long Blondes split, I have really felt the void in the “fun, danceable rock” category. Tyler, Texas-based Moving Castles borrow liberally from the Beach Boys and while maintaining a sound that’s refreshingly their own and distinct. Right now, the band are releasing songs for free as they record them throughout the first half of 2010 and right now, the first Moving Castles EP is available for free at their official website at
The band will be announcing new singles as they finish them, so keep a lookout at their site above and come grab some mp3s “after the jump”
- Radio Exile

"Moving Castles Theater, Girl"

There is a little band out of Tyler, Texas called Moving Castles with less than 5K profile views on their Myspace page and a song that refuses to exit my head! That song is “Theater, Girl,” and it got dropped in my mailbox several days ago. Most of the time I’m willing to give a new song a listen if a direct link is provided, and most of the time I make my decision as to whether I dig it or not in the first thirty listening seconds (I know, gracious by industry standards). - The Hype Machine


"Twin Daggers" EP - released November 1, 2011 - self-produced

Demo EP - released January 2010 - self-produced



In 2011 Moving Castles split their energy between getting settled in to their new home of Austin, Texas and releasing their acclaimed debut EP "Twin Daggers" digitally and on CD format. Written, produced, engineered and promoted entirely by the band without outside help, Twin Daggers received the affection of many blogs and online publications for it's highly kinetic and biting indie-rock songs, most notably the Americana-tinged "Heroin", which constantly received accolades for it's quirkiness and honesty given the brutal subject matter.

Prior to relocating and releasing the Twin Daggers EP, Moving Castles enjoyed relative success as a live act in their native east Texas, being asked to open for bands such as Alien Ant Farm, Quiet Company, Ivoryline, The Rocket Boys, The Toadies, Runner Runner and others based on the strength of their first 3-song demo released online in 2010.

Though having a somewhat fluid lineup upon relocating to Austin, Moving Castles has always been focused on writing epic, catchy songs about their lives and making energetic and honest indie rock music. In 2012 the band is writing and recording their debut album and preparing it's current lineup for regional live shows the second half of 2012.