Moana Interview: Rocking out for OXJAM
OXJAM 2 hits Mojos this Saturday, we sit down with one of the headline acts.
Interview by Jackson Lavell-Lee. Photo by Redwood Visions.
Moana are a dark psychedelic punk band with natural and diverse inspirations headed by powerful leather sporting frontwoman Moana Lutton. They recently released a heavy chord karmeric anthem named Scarab, and have a confronting and visually impressive video clip to go the track. They are playing OXJAM 2 at Mojos on Saturday 19 August with all proceeds going to Oxfam charities, so we sat down to get to know the four-piece before they play an intimate and selfless gig.
How did you guys meet and form the band?
Moana: Well I was doing solo stuff and I started playing electric guitar and I thought I needed a band to support me. Lochie (Drums) was a very shy 17-year-old at the time but kept bugging me for a jam. Austin (bass, back up vocals) came a little later after we saw him playing with Fuzz Toads, we thought he had some amazing energy. Mitch (lead guitar) after catching his last band Crystal Moth was the final ingredient after chatting to him about his influences he just fitted in perfectly for us.
What are your major inspirations behind the band.
Moana: When you say inspiration, for me it’s not bands, I get inspired by nature and elemental stuff ancient sounds and stories. Lochie has a very musical family with his Dad who played drums for The Triffids and The Church, introducing him to old classic Australian pub rock. We love Austin's fuzz rock influences and Mitch loves deep, doom-style guitar.
In a few of your songs you can hear a few different styles and genres mashed up, one such is Vader what went into the creative process behind that track?
Moana: It started as a bit of a joke jam because I was rapping a bit and kind of talking over the mic and then we listened back to the recording had a bit of a laugh and then thought, wait this has a cool ensemble of sounds. We kept jamming it and used a bit of a hip hop drum beat and it developed into a more structured song over time.
Sometimes Moana has a full song of lyrics and the boys then put a rhythm and darker lead guitar behind the song but mostly the writing process is based around jamming at their double story studio in Willeton which is littered with guitars, symbols and pedals.
Scarab is one of you latest tunes, what was the motivation behind those heavier vibes?
Moana: I just got a new Scarab Pedal and these were the first real chords I wrote with it then I started researching scarab beetles, how they were the symbol of life’s circle in ancient times, I just thought it was interesting and that inspired the lyrics behind the song.
Who did you work with for the video clip?
Moana: We worked with Luna pictures, she does most of our video clips. We wanted it to be low budget with a pretty low-fi camera. We wanted to give a mash-up of imagery to give a dream like montage of weird images.
How did you guys get involved with OXJAM?
Lochie: Jacob, who started OXJAM is a good friend of mine, he did last year's one at the bowls club and ended up raising the most money in Australia for OXJAM and so this year he wanted my help a little more and so I got involved because we wanted to get a bunch of cool bands together and raise some money for a good cause.
Moana: I guess every time you play a gig it’s a pretty selfish process, with building your audience and it’s nice to play a selfless gig and give back the proceeds to those in need.
What’s next in store for Moana?
We’re working on an album now so we’ve taken a bit of a step back from gigging so much and focusing on writing. We also have a 10-minute story song that’s very experimental which we recorded on our last tour in Melbourne. That will be released separately to that so keep an eye out for that murder-ballad.
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