Thursday, March 24, 2011

Interview With Moving Mountains

"We're a band that would play hardcore, or punk festivals, and end up performing 3 songs. We wanted to do something a little bit different this time around, but I don't feel we really lost any influence, or style. We've only expanded on it."

In anticipation of Moving Mountains' new album, guitarist and singer Gregory Dunn took some time out of his schedule answer some questions for Muzik Dizcovery regarding the difference in how the writing process Waves was in comparison to Pneuma, where Moving Mountains stand next to their peers, and the thoughts that went into making Waves a more structured release.

You mentioned in previous interviews that your inspiration to write shorter songs partially came from wanting to pack more songs in your set lists. Given that your fanbase was essentially built on your longer and more post-rock influenced work, how did the motivation for shorter songs overcome the fear of scaring off your fan base?

As much as we were worried at first, you really just have to do what you want to do. We knew we didn't want to make the same record twice, and we knew we had grown so much over the years, so it only felt right to make the record we did. I don't think it's all that different, to be honest. If anyone has seen us touring on Pneuma or Foreword, then they'll be familiar with our style on Waves. This new record is just a more accurate representation of us live. It still has its "post-rock" moments, and it still has all the elements our older material did--it's just more concise.

You definitely got the feel as though instrumental music was a huge influence for the sound of Pneuma. Given that the new songs are shorter in length, is that influence still present in any shape or form?

Definitely. But at the same time, songwriters like Judah Nagler & David Bazan also had an equal amount of influence on how we write music. We just wanted to write songs, that had an instrumental, post-rock vibe to it. We eventually reached a point where we felt we couldn't really expand on just writing long, post-rock songs. We needed structure, and vocal melody, and we also wanted our songs to connect with people live. We're a band that would play hardcore, or punk festivals, and end up performing 3 songs. We wanted to do something a little bit different this time around, but I don't feel we really lost any influence, or style. We've only expanded on it.

One of the most unique things about your guys' demeanor is your ability to take a lot of influence from contemporaries. With the Triple Crown signing and the approaching new record, do you guys feel as though the influence from your peers sets you apart in a significant way?

I think our band somewhat has to carry its own weight. It's a pro, and it's a con. In many ways, our band doesn't fit with a lot of active bands. It makes it difficult to find a niche, or really connect with certain fan bases, but at the same time, it allows us to stand out a little bit. And in some perspectives, makes the things I mentioned before a bit easier (like connecting with different fan bases / niches). It's sort of hard to explain where your band sits, or how we're viewed, but I like to think we're just a band that listens to lots of different music, and are trying to make an impact in some way or another.

You've stated before that you feel disconnected from the lyrics in Pneuma at this point. What have some of the differences in lyrical influences and the writing style of Waves when in comparison to Pneuma?

Like any songwriter, it's always weird to revisit old songs--like it is to revisit old photos, or such. I wrote and recorded Pneuma was I was 16, so it's certainly sometimes confusing to try to connect to those songs nowadays. But it's sort of interesting, because that record, Foreword, and Waves all share similar sentiments, and topics. Lyrically aside, Waves is the first full length record we've made as a four-piece band. It's the first record we'll be touring front to back, and the first real attempt at being a legitimate band.

How did the writing process of Waves and having a full band write with differ most when compared to the two man team on Pneuma?

It was similar in ways, but obviously different in the level of influence on the final product. I still recorded the album, and spent several months adding parts to the record--similar to that of Pneuma & Foreword--but having two more guys on board to write more bass and guitar parts, and help in the overall product was helpful. Waves was also mixed by Matt Goldman in Atlanta, Georgia, which was exciting for us.

I know it's a far too soon to even think of new material, but with you guys finding a home within Triple Crown Records, will listeners have another long wait for more material after Waves?

Haha, hopefully not. I'm already feeling ready to begin writing a new record. So we'll see.

How has the reception been in the crowds that you've played new songs to?

Great. Recently at SXSW, a lot of kids were singing to the new songs. Definitely exciting, and rewarding. Hoping that continues.

Thanks to Greg for giving Muzik Dizcovery his time. Waves is to be released on May 10th through Triple Crown Records, and can be pre-ordered here.

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