Liverpool Noise: You guys are from Canada. How did you get to be here in Liverpool making this great music of yours?
April Moon: Jason’s mother is originally from Stockport and went to teachers college in Liverpool before emigrating to Canada. He visited as a child, again as a fresh-faced 18 year old and brought me to visit while we were in the UK gigging with another band. We just fell in love with the history and vibe of the city and so when the opportunity arose to move, we jumped at it… that was 3 or 4 years ago now!
LN: How did you two get together?
AM: We both come from the same hometown in Saskatchewan but met through the theatre. At one point Jason wanted to put together a big musical collective which evolved into a 10-piece, touring jam band. That shrank down to a four-piece comprised of our spouses and ourselves. When the band and the marriages both imploded Fleetwood Mac-style, we wanted a fresh start together so moved to the UK and started performing under our surnames – April + Moon.
LN: What are your musical influences?
AM: They are so varied but definitely older music – Jason’s first love was the Beatles although he’ll often cite the Sex Pistols as his favourite band along with Canadian bands like the Northern Pikes and the Tragically Hip. We both adore Fleetwood Mac, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Band. I (Jaime) grew up with favourite artists such as No Doubt and the Dixie Chicks but now find my influences sway between Americana artists such as Sierra Farrell and Nick Shoulders to alt-rockers like the Breeders and Patti Smith.
LN: Describe to us the process of how you compose your songs?
AM: This seems to be different every time! I like to keep notes on lyric ideas and ideas/quotes from books to draw from and then will often have idea in my head with quite a bit of musical form before I pick up my guitar to put it together. At this point, I bring songs to Jason and we work on arrangements together – he’s so strong musically that he’ll step in to add a bridge and say “this works, this doesn’t, this C should be an Am” etc. Jason’s best songs seem to either come in dreams where he’ll wake up in the middle of the night to record an idea or he’ll just sit down and write an entire song in 20 minutes, like the most recent one, “At Least We Are Not Lonely”. Then we sit down and work on arrangements together again. I come up with interesting and crazy ideas and then it’s his job to make them happen.
LN: Give us the “outsiders” perspective…..How do you find it living here, and what do you make of the local music scene?
AM: I think I remember what the music scene was like back in 2019, ha ha. It seems like there are so many talented musicians living in a relatively small area which is very exciting and inspiring. Jason says that jamming with local musicians like Adrian Gautrey or Paul Kappa is like going to music university for an hour! When we meet other musicians at open mic nights or gigs, they tend to be very friendly and supportive of each other which makes it feel like a community.
LN: Physical product or streaming?
AM: Personally, we love to have a physical product to hold in our hands and say, “Yes, we made this!” It feels more real somehow and to be honest, a majority of our music sales still come from physical products even though people joke about only being able to play CD’s in their cars these days. Streaming is awesome in it’s own way though as we’re able to reach audiences that might not hear us otherwise and connect with people in different ways. Jason says streaming is fantastic if you hate earning money!
LN: Who are your favourite music producers…..and why?
AM: Jaime told me to answer this one. I’m guessing that it’s because I’m probably her favourite music producer and she doesn’t want to say it to keep my ego in check. My favourites are George Martin of course because I believe his guidance really fuelled the way the Beatles started thinking of the recording studio as another musical instrument at their disposal. I also like Rick Rubin because he can add a layer of coolness to any music genre, from the Chilli Peppers to Johnny Cash. I absolutely adore David Bowie as a producer as well. To sit and listen to Lou Reed’s Transformer album is to hear exactly the role a producer should play. Leave the arrangement alone when simple is best, but on tracks where you feel inspired to insert yourself, do it with wild abandon!
LN: Your new release is quite the Ying to the Yang of your last release “Call Of The Wild”. Was it your intention to highlight a more tender side to your songwriting?”
AM: Not a conscious intention as I think our songs tend to reflect what we’re going through in life and they seem to kind of steer themselves. Jason says that “At Least We Are Not Lonely” was inspired by a gloomy depressing day that he had in March. The extended lockdown, being unable to work or go out and prolonged separation from our family have been a challenge for us over the last year where sometimes we feel the dark side of things. Of course other times we feel like superheroes, stronger together and ready to take over the world!
LN: Finally, what’s the 2021 Grand Plan for the April Moon Band?
AM: Our Grand Plan for APRIL MOON in 2021 is to get back to gigging! Playing live is how we started out and we enjoy it so much. The energy in a room that gets created between artists and audience when you’re really in tune with each other just doesn’t happen in a livestream no matter how good your tunes are. Who knows what else? We’ve been doing a lot of writing lately so I imagine we’ll be back in our little studio soon …. In fact, perhaps this afternoon!