While embarking upon their first North American tour with MUNA, LA-based trio Lo Moon made a much-welcomed stop in Canada, performing at The Drake Hotel in Toronto, Ontario on February 20th to a sold-out crowd (see photos). The intimate venue allowed us to get up close and personal with the band, who looked more than comfortable on stage together. They played a number of songs including their debut single ‘Loveless‘, delivering each chord change with a passionate intensity and build-up of emotion that was felt in the heart.
Having just played SXSW and about to go on tour with the English rock band Temples, a lot seems to be on the go for the young group. I had the privilege of talking to Matt Lowell, the lead singer of the band before the show. We discuss everything… and I mean everything, from Albert Camus to Kansas City police officers. Read more below.
Alex: First off, with all of the success so far, how are you guys feeling as a band?
Matt: You know, for us, it’s just exciting. I started writing ‘Loveless’ 5 years ago and we’ve been working on the record and developing as a band for a long time so it feels really good to just have it out there and when people are actually responding to it, it’s beautiful. It’s something that’s really close to us and we’re really proud of it and it’s fucking awesome that people are responding to it and getting excited about the band through that song.
Alex: Regarding ‘Loveless’, is there any particular story or motive behind the song or meaning you’d like to share with us?
Matt: Yeah, the song is a bit about a feeling and emotion. It’s an arch of a relationship and the ups and downs and the moving from the dark to the light and that’s really apparent in the verse to the chorus and then in the bridge. It’s the insular moment where you’re asking yourself questions and you’re talking to yourself and you’re trying to find a way through whatever it is at the moment. It’s really about that connection and the moving of dark to light and the emotional space that covers which is more based on how the track feels and the way it becomes more minimal in the verses. Overall it’s about trying to find an emotional feeling and that’s the beauty of I think all songs. But I think ‘Loveless’ is one where I feel like people are connecting to it in a way because it has an emotion to it that’s very true and something we can all feel. And it doesn’t need to be in the lyrics, it can be in the music and I think that was kind of the point for a song like ‘Loveless.’
Watch the brand new video for ‘Loveless’ that came out March 22nd!
Alex: You guys are a trio. It’s you, Crisanta Baker and Samuel Stewart who is actually also the son of Dave Stewart which I thought was interesting. You guys are from different parts of the world, what brought you guys together?
Matt: I moved to LA like four years ago in a pipe dream, chasing the music dream in a Tom Petty kind of way. I was in New York and was writing songs every day and that’s when I started ‘Loveless’. I came to LA in the hopes that I would find some musicians to start playing together to create a vibe with. Eventually, it ended up becoming Lo Moon. I met Crisanta through a friend, pretty much right when I moved there. I just played her some music and she really connected with it. We had been hearing about Sam through different circles, so we got together, jammed and he loved the music. Then we started making music together and it just developed itself, you know. It was a very, very organic thing and I think that’s part of when people hear the record they’ll really hear that cause it’s definitely in there.
Alex: Was there anything seminal for you guys growing up or that had a large impact on you?
Matt: Yeah, I mean… I love reading. I think that has a big impact on my lyrics. From Camus to Didion to the classic Hemingway and Steinbeck. I really got into that really young and that continues to be an inspiration, building characters and different ways to try and use words and lyrics and create emotion in that way. But musically I grew up listening to a lot of classic songwriters. Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen are probably my favorite. Billy Joel, Bob Dylan. And then I started getting into bands like Prefab Sprout and The Blue Nile and left-of-center bands that come out of England and out of the UK. Basically, that found its way into its own little space, its own little area of what I did and what I liked about those bands and what I liked about that kind of music, you know. I think it all kind of added up to something. It’s not one specific thing, I’d say. I think influence-wise it’s kind of all over the map.
Alex: Getting back to the tour. It’s a pretty big debut tour for you guys. What has the response been from people? How is the tour going so far?
Matt: It feels really good. It’s really exciting. We’re having a blast playing these songs and getting out there playing music that people don’t know. So when you’re playing a full set, you can’t play ‘Loveless’ for 30 minutes… I find it really interesting to see. There are a lot of people that know ‘Loveless’, there are some people that don’t know us at all and I think that it’s really fun trying to win them over. It’s an introduction to the band. If you come to the show, that’s literally it. That’s the only way you can really hear the rest of our music which I find really interesting.
Alex: Has anything really funny happened on tour or something you couldn’t believe happened?
Matt: We were racing to get to Guitar Center before they closed because I had ordered something in Kansas City. We had the worst drive from Denver to Kansas City. It was so dismal through Kansas. I basically ordered some guitar cases that I needed. We were racing to get to Guitar Center and we called them and said you need to stay open for five for minutes please, please, please. And they did, they said they would. And then we got pulled over and somehow we got out of it. We were driving 90 or 85 in a 60 something. We got out of it. It worked. And we got the cases. (Laughs)
Alex: Positive, happy ending there. (Laughs)
Matt: It was an unbelievable moment.
Alex: If you had to sum it up, what would Lo Moon mean to you as a creative project?
Matt: Honestly, I just think it’s just about creating a feeling and an emotion and trying to just tap into something and I think musically. I really want this to live on an island and for people to discover it in a way that they go, “Oh there’s this band doing this thing that is not really trendy.” It’s not really paying attention to what’s going on right this second. It’s just doing its thing and will continue to hopefully do its thing. You know, that means that it’s going to take a little bit more time for people to discover it but I want to be that band that can be in their own lane and make their own choices artistically and hopefully inspire others to do the same cause that’s what I think music needs. That’s what it’s about for us. It’s really about the music and creating an emotion and having that connection with all kinds of different people for all different kind of reasons. That’s what I’m hoping the record does.
Alex: I’m sure there are a lot of people who are wondering, when can we expect to hear new music?
Matt: I don’t know. I think probably in the next 6 months I’d say. It’s 100% going to be a record without a doubt. Most of it I’d say, 98% of it is done already.
Alex: This is something Indie Underground asks all of the people we interview. What would you sing at karaoke if you had to choose one song?
Matt: Born to Run.