To say Moon King claim to “not rehearse very often”, they sure as hell know how to put on a mean live show. Duo Maddy Wilde and Daniel Benjamin were joined by session musicians on stage, and whilst the main pair very clearly lead the performance, there’s no sense of split between the two parties, the music blending for a highly effective result. With a live show to the standard of (albeit not sharing a genre) the likes of Frank Turner, The Xcerts or Brand New, it’s no wonder Daniel described the crowd as, “the most appreciative, quiet audience I’ve ever played to”.
Before the show, we had chance to chat to the frontman of the band, to discuss the record, their live shows and how people see them; Daniel explained to us that they are usually some misconceptions about their style of music – “I usually have to tell people that the songs are bummer songs because people are always like, ‘Moon King are like that really fun band’.” Describing their music as “sad songs that are played with a lot of energy”, he goes on to explain why they so rarely rehearse. “Some of the songs are really hard to sing physically, and I guess it takes a lot out of you when we all play together, so it ends up being pretty high energy no matter what, so we very, very, very rarely rehearse ’cause even to rehearse the songs it feels like we have to put so much energy in. We’ll all be having a drink together and we’ll be like, ‘you wanna go play this song?’ Like, nahhh. ‘Do you wanna get punched in the face now?’ Not really.”
Moon King’s debut album is due for release this April, though it’s been ready for six months, which Daniel finds “frustrating”. “Every album takes that long. I don’t know why it is really, I guess there’s things with like vinyl production that I don’t really know too much about myself, by the time it’s done and actually released we should have gone and written our next album…which I haven’t”.
The pair chose to make the LP relatively short, at only nine songs, thanks to their short attention span. “We’ve been playing a lot of these songs for a while and the album sort of feels like capping off the last two years, so that every song that we’ve been playing is condensed into one thing. I kind of feel like my attention span is so short that we had to make the EPs, so if I were to listen to the band for the first time, I would have definitely, even if I loved it, I would have probably only listen to it for like twenty minutes. I think that you’ve got to make music to yourself to that degree, or at least somebody who thinks like you.”
Hailing from Canada, the biggest difference the band see when they’re over here comes in the crowd. When they’re at home “people will jump up and down and get really rowdy”, so Daniel wasn’t joking when he said the crowd were appreciative. “People over here are really listening and you can tell that they really love music just from talking to people…I think people pay more attention here, especially when we were starting out we were playing. Every show we’d be playing would be at 1 am in somebody’s loft which is super fun ’cause everyone is like fucked up on drugs or really drunk, and you think it’s going really well cause everybody’s jumping around and going really crazy, but then afterwards no one will really remember if there was a band.”
Set opener Apocalypse is due to be the next single off the record (laughing, Daniel confesses, “I’m not sure if I’m allowed to tell people that”), describing is as a track that “defines what’s going to happen with the rest of the show. We thought it was going to be first on our album too, but I don’t know, things get switched around after 6months of working on something. It only has about three lines in it, it sort of sums up about a lot of the rest of the record”. Moon King will be touring America in support of the record, before heading back over to this side of the pond (“I think…”).
“Me and Maddy have been touring together for a long time, it’s like a lifestyle. Neither of us have permanent apartments. I think now that we actually have something coming out, we’ll be able to fully realise that and just tour forever.”