High Moonlight Interview

From São Paulo, Brazil, High Moonlight recently gave us the pleasure to talk about and get to the heart of its unique sound…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

The band High Moonlight was formed in the late 90s among some friends of the school. All we wanted was to play a good old rock in roll as high as possible, that’s what united us in the beginning. The grunge scene was high at the time, bands like Nirvana, Alice and others dominated the rock scene of the time, we did not like that sound and we wanted to play the good old Heavy / Rock of all time.

We heard Dio, Sabbath, AC / DC, Rainbow … so they were the bands that inspired us. At first we were just a trio, guitar, bass and drums. Like all bands, we used to play several covers of bands we used to sing (Uriah Heep, Dio, Rainbow), but the goal was always their own songs.

Have you been or are involved in other bands?

No, I’ve never been involved with other bands. My focus has always been High Moonlight.

What inspired the band name?

I have always enjoyed mystical, magical, supernatural and related things. That was precisely what I wanted to address in my lyrics. And the moon is a very mystical symbol, both for wizards, enchanted beings, wolves and Lycans, so I chose it as the name of my band and added the word “High” to magnify it even more. High Moonlight is a tribute to this historical and mysterious symbol that is the moon and all the mystical beings that exist or existed and are part of our history.

Do the same ideas and intention still drive the band from when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Yes. I still preserve the same principles, the same ideals and the same goals since when I decided to take the music and the band seriously. The initial change was in relation to the members that have been changing over the years.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

At first I made heavy metal with a mix of progressive, the songs were longer. Over time, I have been refining my playing technique and understanding the type of sound I wanted to play. Today my music comes down to an authentic heavy metal and a lot of quality and good taste. All my songs revolve around many original and creative riffs.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

No. My sound is defined and based on heavy rock or simply heavy metal, some call it Hard rock but I do not consider it that way.

You have already mentioned some inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

At first I listened a lot to Rainbow and Ronnie James Dio. This did not impact my sound but it always helped me a lot when composing, because I always wrote or composed my songs wondering what it would be like to have Dio, as a vocalist that is, singing my songs. Blackmore also showed me how to create things out of the ordinary inside Rock n Roll.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

First I create the riffs, then I compose the whole song and then I write the lyrics on top of what I just played. Nothing too complicated or different. This is my creative process.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

I do not hear much heavy metal when I’m in the process of writing. Instead I prefer to listen to Eastern culture or classical music.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our first EP that is available (for now) only on SoundCloud and as a demo, is a compilation of seven compositions that define well the High Moonlight, both sonorous and thematic. It is a Heavy Metal / Rock n Roll of the best quality possible and really innovative. It’s a way of telling people that it’s still possible to make quality music and good taste and that Heavy Metal, Rock n Roll still has a lot of firewood to burn, you can believe!!! I’m sure that after hearing “Arcturians”, “Storm” or “Inovaya” for example, many will say, “Dude, what’s this sound ?! I’ve never heard anything like it” or else: “Rock is still alive, that’s very good!!!”You can be sure!

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind the songs.

The lyrics deal with mystical themes, conspiracies and adventures. The sound is based on creative riffs with great melodies and beautiful guitars solos. Worth checking out, yes!

Do you go into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Yes. I’m already in the studio with the songs developed in their final stage, practically defined.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect of the band?

Simply play and do shows. This is the living side that motivates us to move on. We do not play for money or fame, we just like to play and period.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

I do not intend to please anyone with my music. Touch, compose and record for personal satisfaction. That’s what keeps me going as a musician. I’m happy when people share the same musical tastes that I hear and hear, sing and praise the band.

My space as a band is still searching and it is through communication vehicles like this that things happen little by little. Whenever I can try to spread my work around the world anyway, I just need people to pay attention to what I’m talking about and start listening to my songs so they can know and evaluate the work.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

I think that ended with creativity in general. But unfortunately it was the way that humanity resolved then I followed what? We need to adjust to these new conditions if we want to play our songs, there is no other way, but this for me is only degrading music in general.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

I thank you for the opportunity of this interview and I hope that people who read this can give a check on my work. I’ll leave the link here:

https://www.facebook.com/High-moonlight-1969283040044628/

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-478894939

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9zSetoGXolPDAtl9eM5PWw

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Charlie Lankester and The Mojo Killers: Song In A Minor Key

When released a few weeks back the single The Spinning of the Wheel from Charlie Lankester & The Mojo Killers, not only lit up the passions with its energetic and infectious sounds but fired up expectations and anticipation for the following album, Song In A Minor Key. The song suggested it could be something rather good but the reality is it just might be a modern blues/rock n roll classic.

The career of Australian singer / songwriter / pianist Charlie Lankester to date has been a full and impressive one. From dropping out of medical in the late seventies, he spent four years in The Last Chance Café who in their time supported the likes of Fats Domino, BB King, JJ Cale, AC / DC, Billy Joel and Status Quo. Upon the demise of the band he moved to Europe where as well as training and working as an osteopath he spent twenty years playing keyboards for the likes of Linda Gail Lewis, Osibisa, Otis Grand, The Boogie Band and the John Warwick All Stars. His yearning to fulfil a lifelong ambition to write and record his own solo album grew over time too and eventually he took time out to create his own collection of blues/rock songs which became Song In A Minor Key.

Things took a setback when on the eve of mixing the final track for the album in December of last year; Lankester was diagnosed with incurable liver cancer and told he had just months to live. His response was in his own words, “I was feeling so good about the album that when the doctor told me I had only months to live I just laughed and said ‘No mate, that’s not gonna happen. I’ve got an album to release.”  Since then things have through determination and the exploration of the very best alternative medical advice, seen his tumour having been reduced by fifty per cent thanks to dedicated diets and supplements for cancer as well as several courses of intravenous doses of high intensity vitamin C. Alongside all of that he continued to finish one of the best rock albums of the year in Song In A Minor Key, a release which hits all the right notes outside and within.

Pulling together the talents of guitarists Derek ‘Del’ Mandel  and Mark Hawkins, bassist (stand up and electric) Dave Cuthbert, and drummer Daniel Howard, as well as a brass section of Paul Silver, Gain Broom and Rich Mills to become the Mojo Killers, Lankester found the strongest way to bring great songs into glorious realisation. Immediately the album opens with the striking Greed, the ear, senses, and imagination are hooked. Like a sonic bullfighter, the song steps into the light with drama and confidence through piano, keys, and a crescendo of horns. With a slightly raw edge to the vocals of Lankester to add to the intense air, the track romps with attitude and grandeur whilst the Latin essences seeping through the heart of the song only adds to the depth of the passion.

The smoky blues barroom heat of Drinking My Blues Away follows next to offer a mesmeric and smouldering piece of shadowed melodrama. With a darker growl to the vocals and guitar play which leaves traces on the air like sparklers in the night sky, the song is an emotively soaked stroll to thrill in every aspect.

The album is wonderfully varied, from the sizzling blues driven Brixton Road and the sultry jazz breathing Out There to the electrified southern rock toned In My Time and the soulful title track, the release is a diverse and absorbing wealth of inventive songwriting and play. It is an album where everything is impressive in stature and instinctive passion though there are loftier highlights which grab the glory

The aforementioned single The Spinning Of The Wheel is an irresistible well crafted piece of rock swagger and brass delight which is merciless with its mesmeric charms. The song is a heart stealer but even its majestic might is rivalled and surpassed. The garage siphoned rock n roller The Real, Real Gone is a shadowed equal with its darkened corners and fiery blues veins but the pure excellence of Rio Grande and Closed Door steal top honours. The first is an insatiable rockabilly hearted stomp with a blues piano lighting its corners and a teasing energy igniting primal urges within limbs and senses of its recipient. It is easily the best song on the album though seriously challenged by the final track on the album, Closed Door. Written by drummer Howard, it is a prog noir exploration of inciteful bass and melodic conjuring. Sounding like a mix of Hugh Cornwall, Miles Davis, and King Crimson, or not, the track that distinctive yet unique, it is a stunning and unexpected but wholly agreeable finish to a great album.

We started with saying Song In A Minor Key might be a classic, but there is no might about it, Charlie Lankester & The Mojo Killers have created an album which will be acclaimed for decades.

http://charlielankester.co.uk

RingMaster 31/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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