Last autumn, a mysterious band came out of nowhere with a beautifully infectious song. You might think you've heard this story before, but ten seconds into Lo Moon's 'Loveless' and you swiftly realize that this is unlike anything you've ever heard before.

Several months later, and the band is still shrouded in mystery. To find out who Lo Moon are and what they're about, Ken Grand-Pierre sat with them ahead of their support slot with London Grammar.

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I've been looking forward to talking to you about your music. I've seen you two times now, in two completely different settings, yet I was equally blown away. We're in Brooklyn Steel now, me and Matt just talked a bit about the room. How did it feel for you two to see it as well?

Sam: It's cold!

Crisanta: But it's also really big, it's a good size in there.

To be honest, I love that you both used those words, because that's how I'd describe your music: cold and big... some of the songs at least. I'd love to jump into the Lo Moon origin story because, to be honest, I don't even know the story about how this all began. There's still a bit of mystery surrounding you. How did all this kick off for you?

Matt: It all started here actually, in New York. I started writing music for this band five years ago. I moved to LA and had a bunch of songs, 'Loveless' being one of them. I met Crisanta really early after moving to LA, which was great because I really wanted to start a band. I knew that right away, so in my mind it was a bit like, "let's find the right players". I met Crisanta through a friend, showed her the music, and she was really into it. It's doubly funny because we then started to hang out, and looking back on it, I never asked her what instrument she played. And then I continued writing for about a year, after moving to LA, and then came up with a batch of songs that I felt could be... something. We ended up meeting Sam through a friend as well, and it was a bit similar in that he liked the songs as well and also wanted to get involved.

Sam: I only liked a few of them.

Matt: That was funny actually because the songs I had when I moved to LA were mostly discarded and then the new songs I had after that initial year were also mostly discarded. So the writing process for Lo Moon just continued, continued and continued. What became great was after we met we would then start hanging out extensively, and in proxy of that we would then go on to write and record; eventually up to 3/4's of a record.

Have the two of you been in many bands prior to meeting with Matt?

Crisanta and Sam respond at the same time "Yep!"

I had a feeling because watching you perform at Governors Ball, there was this level of comfort you had on stage that was quickly apparent to me. When you linked up with Matt, what did you feel was different about him, in contrast to other musicians you've been with, in the past?

Crisanta: Matt had a vision that I had never seen before. Just this... drive towards his vision, which wasn't even fully formed yet but he just had this dedication towards making something. And I had never seen that before in others, at least not in that way. He had an exact vision of what the band would sound like and what the band would be about, it was a matter of building that. The way he was driven, like in the past with other bands I'd be with, it'd be like pulling teeth trying to get them to do anything.

Sam: You can always count on bands not wanting to do any work.

Matt: It can be a bit of a running theme. I think what Crisanta noticed, with me being driven is that I very much treat this as a job that I'm lucky to have and if you do it like that...I mean no job is going to be something you're going to want to do 100% of the time. That'd be impossible, and it's good that it's like that, because when you have your moments where you don't want to do something and then you do it; that's when things become more assured. Some people treat touring like that, but we haven't felt that yet; we still very much enjoy it. But I do get that side of it.

The interesting thing about the band to me is that these two wanted to commit to it at the same level as I did. And when that was clear, it just opens all these doors of communicating. I had never experienced that before, and there were times where it didn't look that good. There were times where it didn't look like anything was going to happen, and times where it didn't look like we'd ever finish this record. But these two stuck through it all and dug in. It's really serendipity, how this band began to find its way.

You know, something I love about your band is that with the current position the band is in, with only having a few songs out there, it means that for most people their first interaction with your band will be strictly music first. I imagine for sure that was intentional, but how does it feel to know that the first thing people are responding to is just your music alone?

Crisanta: It's funny you say that actually because I was going to say earlier how Matt is always hammering on the mantra "music first" - that we only want people to respond to the music first.

Sam: There's also something very special for me when I discover a band completely by accident. If I'm driving for example, and flicking through the radio and then I'm lost in this song I have never heard before. I love that, and with this band, we loved the idea of someone experiencing that with our songs. I feel like that's one of the truest and most genuine ways to discover music, by accident and happenstance.

We talked about how when it comes to your band it's about "music first" and with that, I think it's safe to say that most people's first introduction to your band will be via 'Loveless'. I know you said the way the band operates isn't meant to be a statement, but I think many would find releasing a near 7-minute song to be quite a statement.

Matt: I knew that track was going to be talked about because it's long, but the reason we put it out is because it was the first song finished. Like, looking back at the body of work now, as a whole, I probably would've done the same thing, because it does set a good tone for what the band is about. It sets the landscape of what we wanted to release.

What really amazes me about that song is I've heard that song several times now, both in headphones and live. And what blows my mind is how every time I listen to it I find myself attached to another layer of the song. It's impressive that could be conveyed in a live setting, and it leads me to wonder when the three of you are in a room together, what's that chemistry like?

Sam: It's a lot of experimenting and jamming, but there is the fact that the three of us play a bit of everything, at least modestly. Crisanta is an amazing keyboardist and bass player, while me and Matt can kind of figure it out. There'll be moments where everyone is trying to find a part on the same instrument, and then someone who feels comfortable on a different instrument will try a variation of what we're working on, elsewhere. So it's a lot of trusting each other but also trusting our instincts. It also helped to have two producers there, we really trust their input and their ears. We owe a lot to Chris Walla and his understanding of tape machines.

Matt: Chris had this way of listening to a song and re-arranging it in his head. He'd come to us after a take and tell us to try starting a part at a different time, or a couple seconds early or later. All of a sudden, doing that would shift the melody of a song and experiencing that, making music like that, was such an integral time for us as a band. Because being able to write/record like that, where we're figuring things out as we go along was fitting to where we were at the time.

So communication became the most important thing amongst you?

Matt: Definitely, and with that came a lot of trust. That took some time to figure out, even in the studio. Even when we described someone taking a part of a song and trying it on another instrument, there was a big level of trust just towards that alone. I remember with 'Fairlight', Crisanta spent a couple of days with a keyboard by herself to figure it out. I remember I was pulling my hair out a bit because I wanted her to be playing other stuff but then she came up with this '80s style tone that none of us would have come up with.

Going into the live show, does it surprise you how much of what you guys do in the studio remains intact in a live setting? I brought up seeing you live before, but I do have to say again just how fascinating it is that all that layering and production works as well as it does on stage.

Matt: Some nights feel better than others, obviously, but that's probably because we pay so much attention to our own show while we're on stage. Usually after a set, one of us will say "we should try ____ for the next show". Doing that always helps, honestly. It doesn't feel like we're "there" yet with the live show, but I think that's very much the nature of this band. That we're constantly trying to figure out what it can be, and what it even is at times.

I mean you're lucky in what you've seen with us, we've played some really bad gigs as well.

Something that was really cool to me, about finding your music, was that when you find a song you really like, you really do start thinking about how you'd describe it to people. And with both 'Loveless' and 'This Is It', I remember thinking to myself words like still, cold, and cerebral. Not in a pretentious way, but that it felt like your music would force a listener to only pay attention to it, and nothing else in a room. Those are the emotional states I'd associate with your music. When you're writing music together, how much do you discuss emotion, amongst each other?

Matt: We discuss emotions a lot honestly. It really is the main, important thing. We talked about feelings the whole time we were making the record. There were times we wanted to make a song feel oceanic, or harsh, and just different in melody, but we always found ourselves remembering that everything has to serve a song; especially the emotional aspects of a song. One of the reasons it took so long to finish 'Loveless' was just that, figuring out the emotional feeling of the song and making sure it stayed intact whenever we'd add and subtract from what we had. The bridge was a mess at one point and just felt weird, but we knew it had something that we wanted.

I imagine with the touring you've done, especially at a festival like Governors Ball, you can't help but watch other acts perform and inspect what they're doing right/what they're doing wrong.

Sam: It's funny you mention that, because we did some shows with Air recently, and they also played Governors Ball. But yeah, they're so perfect on stage, everything about them. They're at that level where they can travel with vintage synthesizers and the stuff they used to make their album. And... wow. Like we're far from that stage, we don't even have a crew yet, but seeing them was still inspiring and all it does is reinforces how much we want to recreate our studio sounds in a live setting.

Crisanta: Me and Sam spent a good amount of time asking them about pedals.

What can people expect from Lo Moon next? You definitely have another song coming out soon and of course, there's a plan to do it so you can't talk too much about it. But what do you think will surprise people about this next Lo Moon song?

Matt: Well, if I knew what the next song was going to be, I'd have an answer for you! It's one of those things where we don't figure out until we talk about it 1000 times. I feel like it can go three different ways and that we're pretty close to figuring it out.

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You can visit Lo Moon by heading here.

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