The Big Moon: "I’m still having dreams where I’m going on stage, but like, without any clothes on!"
Lockdown has by no means been anybody’s cup of tea, but if there’s anyone doing lockdown right it’s the girls from The Big Moon. With the release of their second album, Walking Like We Do, in January this year, 2020 is not the year the band had planned, by any stretch of the imagination.
However, they have been eager to take this all in their stride, releasing their Track by Track podcast, detailing all the ins and outs of their latest album, working on new tracks, as well as releasing one of the most creative socially isolated music videos of the Covid era. I caught up with front woman Jules Jackson, to chat the writing process, excitement for future tours and the importance of not taking yourself too seriously.
As a songwriter and a band as a unit, creating music during a time where you can’t actually be in contact with each other has been a learning curve, Jackson included, “in the beginning I spent most of lockdown just hanging out and panicking. I think as a band we got used to the situation. We just started working differently out of necessity. I’ll write a song and record a demo of it and then I send it to the band and instead of us doing it together we are doing it at home and saying what do you think of this and this - basically having to work in a different way but I’m enjoying the different way at the moment.”
“We’re now tentatively looking into how we can record stuff. We still can’t get in a room together… so yeah, but we are getting through it.”
Embracing this different way of collaboration has no doubt given the band more than enough material to go off once we can finally have some sort of normality again, and they are keen to keep their fans involved every step of the way, the podcast they have been producing over lockdown just one element of this; “We wanted to do the track by track podcast for a really long time, like before Covid existed and had planned to record it in March anyway, we just wanted to have a chance to like show fans the different layers of sounds and all the detail that goes into the songs. And then lockdown happened and it became this thing that we could do every Friday afternoon, and it gave us an excuse to hang out as a band over Zoom, and it became a bit of a lifeline.”
It’s all in the name - this new podcast details the process of creating each and every song on the new album, from being dreamt up to the final production, and has a candidness that only adds to the refreshing image of the band.
When it comes to influence, Jules admits that she was less into curating the perfect background playlist when it came to Walking Like We Do; “I think you’re always just sort of influenced by the music you’re listening to at the time, and with the first album I was listening to a lot more old music, almost entirely! Like David Bowie and Iggy Pop, sort of more garage-rocky stuff from the past. With this album, I got really lazy, and basically started listening to the radio.”
“So I ended up listening to a lot more contemporary music, and just wanted to make something with that kind of consistency and find the right sound rather than just lots of sounds. I like not choosing what’s being played! There’s a sort of relief in it and love it or hate it, it all becomes part of a bigger picture.”
Vision is something that this band has in absolute abundance, with the video for ‘Why’ being a lockdown creation of the finest calibre, something that is truly original involving mostly green paint as far as I can tell… potentially a morph suit?
The clear creativity that exists in everything they produce, both musically and in their videos, is paired by the air that they do not take themselves too seriously, constantly ending up in features that have a boundless sense of charm.
“Videos are the only other thing - apart from music- that as a band you can make and put out. But like one time we tried to make a serious video - it was for Your Light which was the first single from this album - and we had a whole plan. We started filming and we were all on bikes and we were basically just having a good time! Just smiling a lot and goofing around, and at like 5pm Celia turned round to me and was like “Oh god I just remembered that this is supposed to be our serious video!” We actually can’t do it (seriousness) and that’s fine!”
In regular circumstances, the world would be awash with festival after festival this time of year, and after ending 2019 with some killer support slots, The Big Moon were eager to be getting on the road in headline position. Alas, Covid has had its way, but Jackson is as keen to be on stage as we are to see them play.
“Awh man, I’m so desperate for it! I’m not even feeling excited anymore because it all feels so uncertain still. When its finally happening, then I’ll get excited again. But yeah… I’m still having dreams where I’m going on stage, but like, without any clothes on, so I think thats a good sign! I really miss going to festivals!”
“I saw a friend a couple of weeks ago and we went camping and she said ‘so where were you supposed to be this weekend?’ and I worked it out and I was meant to be in Australia! I’ve never been that far ever! I’ve never been anywhere like that before, it was like whoa that’s weird! But also, there’s far bigger problems in the world than me being like, wah wah I can’t go to Australia. Normality is much more desirable.’