It’s a cold and gloomy night in the western suburbs of Melbourne as I sit in the gear-cluttered backstage of Wrangler Studios with Moose Blood. The four lads reflect on and chronicle their current adventures down under and on tour with Luca Brasi as we share a spot of tea I brought along for us all to share.
“It’s been awesome!” drummer Glenn Harvey sums up nicely, drinking his tea. “Everything’s really nice and the people are really nice. The shows have been great and everyone’s been really receptive to us.”
The band was down here last month in support of homegrown heroes, Luca Brasi, touring our fine continent. The shows thus far have been “super chill” according to bassist Kyle Todd. He also points out a noticeable difference between the shows down under compared to the UK. “People want to dance here as oppose to just climbing all over the top of each like in the UK!”
Harvey already has the Brisbane show at The Zoo pegged as the best night. “It was the craziest night of the tour for me. It literally was a zoo when it finished!” He continues to reflect on the amazing relationships that have blossomed from this tour. “This whole tour, there has not been a single person out of the whole crew that doesn’t get along with everyone. They’ve gone such a long way to help us. It’s been such a great tour!”
One of those key relationships is of course with Luca Brasi, of whom the band has connected with on a deep level in a way that only touring bands can. Guitarist Mark Osborne dives into it passionately.
“The Luca Brasi boys couldn’t have made us feel more welcome,” he begins. “They couldn’t have looked after us any better. We got along with them so well. They’ve really made this tour for us. So when we look back on this tour I don’t think it’ll be one specific thing [that stands out] but it would just be the fact that we got to spend our first time in Australia with them. We never thought that we’d get here or that a band would want to bring us out. It’s just been amazing,” Osborne gushes.
For singer Eddie Brewerton though, his biggest disappointment comes in the form of never seeing a Kangaroo. Well, a live one that is… “I wanna see a kangaroo that isn’t dead on the side of the road,” the vocalist tells me glumly. The band also sadly missed out on the typical, age-old tradition of bands getting photos with our Koalas. We did, however, rejoice in the fact they had fallen in love with Tim Tams which makes up for the lack of Australian wildlife sightings.
But the Luca Brasi tour and Tim Tams aren’t the sole reasons that they’ve made their way down to us. See, the U.K. lads also found themselves headlining a sold out show right here at Wrangler Studios. For such a young and upcoming band, this is no small feat and one that the band themselves are still coming to terms with.
“We’re really proud of what we’re doing but I don’t think…” begins Brewerton.
“But you just don’t process this type of thing,” Osborne finishes. “We were saying to each other in the car that its nuts that we can come and do a little headline show and people actually come out. It’s really weird. It’s one of those things that you can’t comprehend that easily.”
“Even just turning up today and there being a queue outside is nuts,” Harvey adds.
It’s an answer band’s often give when the topic of self-aware success. From the inside looking out you are just doing your job with playing and touring. Throwing you heart and soul into the music you create then doing it on a stage for months on end becomes your focus – not your Facebook likes or YouTube views, as Osborne explains.
“It’s really difficult when you’re in the band because you don’t really get caught up in that. You’re just really happy that you get to do all this.” Even so, the band are starting to see their success clearer as it manifests in the form of more faces at shows and big red sold out banners on tour posters. “Like we were saying, the fact we can come to the other side of the world and have even a handful of people care is maybe making it apparent that it’s spreading. Not necessarily that we’re getting massive,” Osborne emphasises with his hands, almost spilling his tea, “but that the locations of where your music is being enjoyed are branching out. It’s no longer just at home.”
That growth is bound to continue as the band are now right into the touring phase for their second record, ‘Blush’, of which is a beautiful and enigmatically captivating record. (Quick! Go read my review here!)
In my search through recent interviews the lads have done, I couldn’t help but notice there was a lack of discussion around the band’s brand new aesthetic: pastel pink. It features heavily as the key colour of the artwork and serves as an overlay on all pf their promos. You’d have to be a fool to not see the linkage between the colour and the title. But with bands like fellow UK brethren The 1975 and even hardcore-heroes Vanna adopting this bright and vibrant pink colour into their imagery, there still remains a question of where it all began in the first place. As it turns out, it was Harvey’s brainchild that was both the title and the imagery.
“I actually came up with “blush” [for the title] when we were racking our brains for a short, one-word title. I suggested it sometime last year on our Man Overboard tour and I’m really glad we stuck with that ‘cause it’s something I wanted to be really big and be proud of,” the drummer explains about the title. But what of the aesthetic itself? “We started working on ideas over warped Tour and the pink idea just sort of came about because we had the name “blush” in mind at that time. So I just started messing around with photos and end up taking one of the beaches near my house. I made it all pink and blueish and we actually stuck with that for the album cover. We started doing all of our photos that way as well cause it’s nice to have something that you can recognise as us just by looking at it. It stands out”
“The idea of having an aesthetic that’s almost subliminal is a cool idea as well,” Osborne chips in. “If you can associate a sound and the feeling of listening to the record over a colour then it’s really cool. And if you’re flicking through records, that can make it quite distinguishable as well.”
It’s about now that the opening band kick things off and start to make a mighty ruckus next door, limiting the interview a far more direct question-answer type and not a flowing conversation. Though one thing the band were eager to talk of without interruption was their strong relationship with producer Beau Burchell. At the mention of his name, the band can’t help but all break into a smile. Osborne sums up why Burchell resonates with them so well and why it all “just really clicks”.
“[Beau] just understands where we’re coming from and he really pushes us. He tries to get the best out of us all the time. It helps being in an environment like that with a guy you love,” Osborne drops the last word with full intent and honesty. “He gives great constructive feedback on everything from our demos to what we actually end up recording. There’s this nice click between us that we love!”
Wrapping up the short time I had the band, I ask them what ‘Blush’ has come to mean to the band as they sit on an old couch on the other side of the world, at their own sold out show, which is most definitely in part to the quality and success of the new record.
“It’s a combination of four best mates working as hard as the can and making something they can be proud of,” Brewerton begins off. “I think for everyone, this record is going to mean so much to all us for a long time.”
Harvey is still revelling in the response of what ‘Blush’ has done, saying: “This whole album is so much more than what we could ever get. I’m just so happy to be here. Like the fact that it went top ten is just nuts. None of us expected that.” For Osborne, it’s “The most personal representation of myself that I could put into music. This is something that we’re massively proud of.”
However, it is Todd who pulls out the most stirring encapsulation of what this album represents to him.
“In this moment, ‘Blush’ to me means just about everything. It’s gotten us to the furthest point in the world that we can pretty much get to from home. We’ve done it through something creative with friends, and along the road, we have met so many friends who have the same ideologies as us. It’s like paving our future. ‘Blush’ is everything at this point,” the bass player says honestly. “I know that sounds cliché but it really does mean all that. I’m so proud of this record and everyone who’s supported us and come and shown us all love!”
I leave the band with their tea and time to prepare for their set and make my way into the venue. I watch through the solid support bands – Set The Score & Fear of Flying Objects – before it comes time for the Moosey Boys to take the stage. The four best friends kick their set off with the immeasurably catchy ‘Bukowski’. I can’t help but find myself smiling from ear to ear and everyone screams the words back at the band. This is something of a common occurrence for the night, with everyone in the room screaming out lyrics till their lungs become bloody and frail.
It’s when the band launch into ‘Pups’ that I’m fully reminded why I love this band. The way the emotion of the song bleeds through in every drum hit, every beautiful guitar note and every word is overwhelming. The ecstasy this song creates inside of me is unfounded in many other things. As Brewerton’s voice surges and cracks on the closing words of the song as he gazes out into the group of people swarming towards him with smiles on their faces, I can only imagine that he and his bandmates feel the same sense of joy that I feel on the receiving end of their art.
Moose Blood will be touring back here in January, including a position at Unify festival and I’ll tell you what, you’re a goddamn idiot if you don’t go.
Header photo: Digital Beard Photography.