The Moon Kids
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The Moon Kids

Dunfermline, Scotland, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Dunfermline, Scotland, United Kingdom | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Indie

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The Moon Kids
FEATURE
THE MOON KIDS: “IT’S THE BIGGEST PARTY OF THE YEAR”
AUGUST 29, 2014 RAVECHILD

With a debut EP winning them fans in flourishes and a bolshy presence to boot, self proclaimed ‘fairground pop’ act The Moon Kids are certainly aiming for the orbits their name suggests.

Since we caught them a week before their T in the Park slot, the boys have taken to the stage at Scotland’s biggest and most prestigious music festival and “packed out” out the T-Break Tent.

I didn’t get the chance to catch them on their debut performance at T, just a wee 20-minute drive from their native Dunfermline, still when I caught up with a couple of the guys, vocalist and guitarist David Barr and guitarist Magnus Collie, on a sunny Sunday afternoon up in Balado they seem in a buoyant and confident mood a day or so after their set.

“Amazing” exclaims Barr when talking about the experience of playing T, who seems proud to have come full circle on the Balado experience after coming as a young boy, being inspired by music at the festival and now getting to play in the same fields as some of his heroes: “the best thing about it is the first year I came it was 1997, the first year it was at Balado, and the final year it’s here my band gets to play for the first time.

“I remember the first time I came, I was just totally absorbed in the excitement and atmosphere of it all; that was the day I decided I wanted to be in a band and I wanted to be part of this world, so it’s kind of funny the way it’s turned out.”

Indeed, it seems a long running fondness for T runs within the band as Collie, the band’s most recent addition, has also being attending from a very young age: “I’ve been coming since I was 14-years-old, my dad took me and it was the same experience (as Barr), I’ve been coming every year since and now I’ve had the full T in the Park experience.”

T in the Park seems something that’s very close to the band’s heart, as Barr confidentially points out “it was the biggest crowd we’ve played in front of, we pulled a much better turn out than we were anticipating”.

This was maybe a surprise for the band, but from before their set it was clear they were quite capable of packing out the prestigious local band tent, not only have they been riding high on a wave of hype that has earned them a healthy fan base but their PR work at the festival seems to have been done into the ground, much like Hector Bizerk did to much success last year.

It was hard to go anywhere around T-Break without seeing their faces on flyers, whether they’re being handed out by enthusiastic fans or scattered across the floor they’re still visible and hard to miss, anyone who had gone down to T-Break would have caught a glance of the band at some point.



Barr is eager to point out that the fans helping out are as important to the band as the guys up on stage: “when you build a small fan base people are happy to help because they become as much a part of the band as you are.”

It’s encouraging stuff, as is the band’s enthusiasm for the scene they occupy, “we’ve spent a lot of the weekend down at T Break watching other bands at our level, showing our support, I think that’s important, that’s what it’s all about, that’s what music is all about, people being together,” adds Barr who lists Caithness psychedelic indie rockers Neon Waltz as one of his highlights of the weekend.

Collie is keen to add some of his highlights and demonstrates an interest that stretches beyond the indie rock circles you might associate The Moon Kids with, listing acts like Wolf Alice and Scary People as personal highlights.

Barr’s eager to note that although they don’t particularly share a sound with band’s like Scary People that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t love their music: “I think what Scary People do is different, I like what they do, they bring a new aspect; heavy metal has been very stereotyped, but they bring something new to that”.

“They’re making it cool again,” adds Collie.

It’s interesting that as we talk we can hear the Radio One Stage and CHVRCHES playing their third set of the weekend, filling in for London Grammar, causing Collie to recollect bands being dragged out their Tent to fill in slots at T Break, something that’s yet to happen to these guys, but you get the impression they wouldn’t grudge it.

These boys are genuinely excited to be playing a festival that has been such a big part of their young lives, “the special thing about T in the Park is people come to see music, people are into the bands, when you’re from Scotland you get a special response from the crowd cos they seem to support Scottish music,” adds Barr.

When chatting to the guys they’re in universal agreement that the number one highlight of all their years here has to be actually playing it but they’re full of fond memories from the past too.

Barr tells us: “my number one highlight of T in the Park has got to be playing it hasn’t it, but prior to that the very first time I came I remember being on my dad’s shoulders at The Charlatans, it was the second live band I’d ever seen, they’d just release the Tellin’ Stories album, and I remember just being ‘wow music’ and that’s when I feel in love with it.

“They [The Charlatans] were on the Main Stage actually, it’s amazing cos the first year I came Paul Weller and The Charlatans played and they played this year too.”

While Barr recollects falling in love with music for Collie it’s more about seeing those “monumental and historic bands” he’d never thought he’d see, acts like Rage Against the Machine and Blur are mentioned and surely bring back fond memories for so many T attendees of the Balado generation.

Of course T in the Park isn’t quite the same without your fair share of horror stories, today we’re basked in glorious sunshine but there’s always those years when you’re up to your neck in mud, Barr recalls being a kid and kicking mud up the back the white jeans of “a well known person in the industry”, who goes unnamed not for my lack of trying.

Still, he admits “camping is part of the whole experience, I’d do it again, it’s only once a year and you want to get involved in it, if you’re going to experience the whole T in the Park, you’ve got to do the camping”.

“It’s the biggest party of the year,” throws in Collie, and at this point in time we couldn’t agree more.

Still, playing T in the Park for the first time is a mere stepping stone for a band with their eye locked on the horizon, Barr has been quoted as saying before that they “want to write the anthem for our generation” and is more than confident that they are capable of this, stating that we have only just had a taster of The Moon Kids with their self-titled EP.

“The EP is an introduction to The Moon Kids, Magnus (Collie) only joined three weeks before we started giging, so the EP was recorded as a three-piece before we did any live gigs.

“The development’s been massive since then; it’s a great introduction into our sound, our songs but things have progressed a lot so you can expect an advancement on the EP.”

The full album is already recorded and Barr is clearly happy with it, but feels no rush to push it out while they’re still riding the wave of the EP, for now the band are focusing on putting a single out to keep momentum going, ‘Plastic Waterfalls’ in pencilled in for September/November time.

The upcoming airing of a show they did for BBC Alba and no doubt the press they’ll get from their run of festivals will no doubt keep them plenty occupied, and with a pending Scottish tour to go with the single release and a few more sessions in the studio, it’s unlikely the album will be released until the band’s packed schedule has calmed down, which could be well in 2015.

The Moon Kids melodic take on Britpop could well be looked at as a throw back, but their presence is such that it wouldn’t be hard to see them creating some kind of revival and standing along side some of the big names of the genre.

Indeed Barr approaches his songwriting much in the way of Britpop hero Damon Albarn, crafting something to the best he can make it before bringing it to the attention of his band and allowing them to work on it.

“I love songwriters that write perfectly crafted pop songs on the acoustic guitar, guys like David Bowie and Damon Albarn who’ve mastered the art of songwriting but then from that they can take it and do something with it.

“I’m more interested in that than bands that piece together songs in the rehearsal room, if you write a song as a band it goes through filtering process, but if I write a tune I need to impress the band in order for them to want to work on it, if you all write it together sometimes that bias can creep in and you run the risk of putting out stuff that’s mediocre.

If everyone’s chipping in ideas you end up with a Frankenstein of a song, it takes a bit more to appreciate someone else piece of art, it’s not about a collaborative effort, it’s about a song that everybody agrees in a great song.” - Rave Child


With their self-titled debut EP, “Moon Kids”, being released on June 23rd, the summer is looking bright for this adventurous young band as they also have a series of shows scheduled for next month. The Scottish four-piece have created five extremely catchy and upbeat tracks which are undoubtedly pleasant to listen to, leaving ears begging for more. This band are definately one to look out for with their interesting guitar riffs and songs such as “Luna Park” and “Dizzy Days” delivering choruses guaranteed to lift anyone’s mood and be replayed in your head for hours after listening.



The Moon Kids are definitely putting their individual stamp on pop music as we know it with frontman, David Barr saying “We’d like to write an anthem for our generaton, something like Pretty Vacant maybe. I’m not sure if we’ve done that yet, but we do write songs that make your heart beat a little faster”.

The EP will launch tonight (Friday 20th June) in the bands hometown of Dunfermline at PJ Molloys.

Barr and Co have painted themselves a bright future with this incredible debut EP and will play the following dates across Scotland next month :

4th July – King Tut’s, Glasgow
5th July – Buskers, Dundee
11th-13th July – T in the Park, Balado
25th/26th July – Wickerman Festival, East Kirkcarswell - Gutter Magazine


Moon Kids mainman David Barr tells Groundsounds about life with Scotland’s latest buzz band. The Moon Kids – also featuring drummer Rory Buchanan, bass player Taylor Wright and guitarist Magnus Collie – formed late in 2012.

Since then they’ve been building a fanatical following thanks to a cavalcade of memorable songs, chiming guitar melodies and dark undercurrents, check out our exclusive interview below.



For those just discovering The Moon Kids, how did you guys form the group and start making music?

It was the songs that really brought us together. We were all in different bands and when those began to disintegrate, we started hanging out together. At first it was just me and Rory. He played drums in a band that recorded an album with Stone Roses/Radiohead producer John Leckie and then promptly split up. Rory knew I was writing songs and he liked the ideas I had. On my part, it was great to work with a drummer who’d been touring from the moment he’d left school. Then Taylor heard what we were doing and loved it. He was in another band at the time but when they split, since we needed a bass player, he came onboard. We stayed like that for a while, then – about three weeks before our first gig – Magnus joined.

Can you tell us a little bit about the creative and writing process for your track “Rollercoaster People”?

Usually I write the songs on an acoustic guitar and spend a bit of time developing the structure and lyrics. But Rollercoaster People came about in a different way. It was very early days, probably the second time Rory and I got together. We were getting ready to pack up our gear when Rory began playing the distinctive beat that starts the song. I was messing around on guitar over the top and went to a strange chord change and it completely changed the vibe. It sounded really cool and a lot like us. I asked him to speed the beat up and I literally played the whole chord progression to Rollercoaster People over the top. I didn’t have any words so I was just chanting “sha la la”, which is a pretty generic line for a singer to use when you’re improvising. It’s used in a lot of songs and usually sits on top of a pretty uplifting major chord. But in Rollercoaster People, that “sha la la” is sitting on top of these strange minor chords and it sounds so bittersweet, I loved that. It’s a cliché but that song really did just write itself. It came together so quickly. It’s still my favourite song to play live. We always open our set with it because that was the song that we first played together. It was the beginning of The Moon Kids …

What do you guys enjoy most about Scotland? What is one thing visitors should see or do?

I love the passion of Scottish people. A lot of musicians who visit say that Scottish crowds are the best in the world. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that in Scotland we aren’t scared to let loose and live a little. I think anyone coming to Scotland should visit one of our music festivals. T In The Park is held just a few miles away from where we live and it was incredible to be part of that this summer. The crowd were really amazing for us – it was really spine-tingling stuff. Later the same night, Will Smith turned up with Calvin Harris because he’d heard so much about that famous T In The Park crowd reaction and wanted to experience it. Is Will Smith a Moon Kids fan? I don’t know. But he should be.

What has it been like working on your self-titled debut EP?

Working on The Moon Kids EP was an amazing experience. I’ll always have really special memories of forming the band and putting these songs together. The atmosphere while we were doing it was really exciting and it was a real learning experience. We recorded it with Michael Brennan Jnr who has worked a lot with Super Furry Animals, Snow Patrol and Primal Scream. The EP was actually recorded as a three-piece before Magnus joined the group so the sound has evolved since these tracks were recorded. But what you hear on the EP is a real introduction to our world. We describe what we do as “fairground pop” – it’s all about the bright lights, the flashing neon and the dark undercurrent of slight seediness and danger that underpins it all. It’s like looking into a girl’s eyes for the first time. You’re not quite sure what’s going to happen. It could be good, it could be bad. Either way, it’s going to be an adventure.

Can you tell us about working on your track “Luna Park” and bringing it to fruition? What was the inspiration for this song?

Luna Park was a song I wrote in my bedroom before I was even in a band. Instead of writing songs with the thought of playing them in front of people, I had a strange concept in my head about writing a soundtrack to a movie. I had been very inspired by the ‘70s cult movie The Warriors and that got me fascinated with the imagery of Coney Island. That was the starting point. I had a rough idea for a story about a young guy moving away from his surroundings to work on a fairground. I thought it would be great to write an album of songs based on his journey and experiences, songs about all the weird and wonderful characters he’d meet on that journey. So Luna Park stems from that. It’s really a song about moving away from quite grey, mundane surroundings to a place filled with bright lights, adventure and excitement. Luna Park seemed a million miles away from my bedroom on a rainy Sunday afternoon in Scotland. The actual lyrics in the chorus are adapted from a book I was reading called Dreamland by Kevin Baker. When we first took it into the studio, I remember how excited we all were, including our producer Michael. He’s got a great ear for a strong melody and he knew we were onto something. Someone said it reminded him of something Roddy Frame might write. For a young Scottish songwriter to hear that… well, that was something really special.

What was it like on the day of the video shoot for “Luna Park?”

We shot it at a fun-fair in a little seaside town called Burntisland. It’s typical of a Scottish town that used to have a lot of thriving industry and now that’s all gone, there’s something a little melancholy about the place. There was a strange vibe on the day itself. A few things had happened the previous night, which left the atmosphere quite tense. It was raining too so our idea of capturing a summer’s day at a fairground didn’t look like working out. But as we pulled up, the clouds began to lift and it ended up being a really warm, sunny day and we really enjoyed ourselves. The mood of the day actually reflected the song in a lot of ways, going from quite sad and downbeat to bright and hopeful in the blink of an eye.

You guys will be performing at The Wickerman Festival soon, how are you preparing?

We’re really looking forward to The Wickerman Festival. The region of Scotland where it’s held was used as the location for the cult British film The Wicker Man – and at the end of the festival each year they burn a 30ft high effigy, a wicker man, just like the one you see at the climax of the movie. A lot of bands we love, like Echo & The Bunnymen and Dexy’s Midnight Runners, have played there. For The Moon Kids, it’s a real
honour to be playing two of Scotland’s biggest festivals (T In The Park and Wickerman) in the same month. We’ve worked very hard this year and the live set is feeling great right now – we’ve done a few shows recently where the atmosphere has been out of this world – so we’re really looking forward to playing there.

What do you guys enjoy most about performing live? What goes through your mind when you are on stage?

The best thing about playing live is that feeling when your performance captures and captivates the audience. The connection between the band and the crowd is the most important thing about what we do. The songs are built to communicate with people – whether you’re listening to them in your bedroom or hearing them on the radio – but, for me, when we’re on stage, that’s when they really come alive.

What are you guys currently working on, what’s next for The Moon Kids?

We’ve got a couple of things in the works that we can’t quite reveal just yet – watch this space – but there will be a new single out soon.

https://www.facebook.com/themoonkidsfife - Groundsounds


Discography

The Moon Kids EP

Photos

Bio

The Moon Kids are a four-piece. They make electrifying pop that sounds like fireworks and neon lights and fairground thrills.

The Moon Kids began performing live in 2013 and rapidly created a buzz with their energetic shows. Bright lights, chiming six-strings and powerful pop hooks helped them create a carnival atmosphere during their sets at some of the summer's major festivals - including T In The Park and Wickerman - and their songs have been described as "a giddy rewrite of everything Buddy Holly warned you about".

Their first official release - The Moon Kids EP - won radio play and attention from the national press. A feature in LA's revered [Groundsounds](http://groundsounds.com/2014/07/21/rise-interview-scottish-pop-purveyors-moon-kids/) blog landed them a slot on BBC TV while [Ravechild](http://ravechild.co.uk/2014/08/29/moon-kids-interview-biggest-party-year/), er, raved about their "bolshy presence". They've also done live acoustic sessions for AU Review and BBC radio.

Regularly seen in the studio alongside Snow Patrol/Super Furry Animals/Mogwai producer Michael Brennan Jnr, The Moon Kids have played alongside acts such as Embrace, Shed Seven and The View.

Currently finishing work on their first album, The Moon Kids will release their new single in February. With the release of the album next summer and a UK tour planned, 2016 is set to be a big year.

‘Shooting for the stars!’’
**The Sun**

‘Songs that go straight to the heart of melodic British pop music.’
**The Herald**

‘Scotland's next big thing!’’
**Sunday Mail**

‘A cavalcade of pop brilliance.’
**Sound + Motion**

‘The Moon Kids are putting their individual stamp on pop music as we know it.’
**Gutter Magazine**

‘Luna Park will be swimming around your head for the next two weeks.’
**Gigsoup**

‘One of the most exciting new bands around’
**Radio Clyde**

Breakout track
**XFM**


Band Members