It was a full moon on Wednesday, May 10 at Blue Shell when the loud yet lovely, live tunes of The Big Moon struck every corner of my body as I danced the night away to some of my favorite songs. Not only did the band impress friends that I brought who had never listened to them before, but the band created a fun energy that circulated throughout the entire crowd. I was singing most lyrics with other girls in the front row, danced with Juliette when she jumped into the crowd to scream lyrics to “Bonfire“, and got my heart melted when Juliette pointed to me and said, “This one’s for you,” for their last song, „Sucker“ (I previously explained to them during the interview how much that song meant to me when I found it in 2014). The night never had a dull moment, and the band definitely left a positive mark on Cologne.
I had the pleasure of interviewing (even though it felt more like hanging out) Juliette (lead vocals and guitar), Soph (guitar and vocals) and Fern (drums). To me, I love interviewing bands and artists to try and find something new and exciting about them. When I talked to The Big Moon, I felt like I was hanging out with friends I’ve been meaning to catch up with. There was lots of laughing, joking around and chit chatting about side-tracked topics (i.e. Game of Thrones books, the nickname of Marika Hackman’s mom, and my personal relationship with their music). If there would have to be an “ideal” band to interview, it would definitely be the lovely gals of The Big Moon— not only because of our fun conversations, but also because of their live and passionate performance that followed up our interview.
As a person looking from outside of the band, it seems as if the four band mates of The Big Moon have been friends for years. After beginning the interview by asking how long they’ve known each other, I found out that they only met 2.5 years ago at a pub called, The Famous Cock, where Juliette describes it as the place where “the big bang” of The Big Moon happened.
She was drinking coffee and I drank whiskey.
She was reading Game of Thrones, and I said, ‚Oh yeah, I’ve seen that.'“
-Juliette, lead vocals & guitar
Sav: Who/how did you come up with the band name?
Fern: It was a hard process.
Juliette: We spent a couple of weeks going insane. Saying literally every word that came into our minds, or anything that we saw.
Fern: Jules was specifically annoying about it. She would just have her phone and just typed everything she saw. She liked literally anything.
She would ask, “Are you in the kitchen?” And I would be like, “Yes.”
“Are you in the bathroom?”
“Are you in bed?”
“Are you in the shop?”
“Because noodles is a terrible band name.”
Soph: Then we landed on, The Moon. But there were lots of other bands with the moon in it- so to make it easier we just added big. So then it got bigger!
Juliette: Also, moon in England means bum, or when you show your bum.
Fern: So that’s another good meaning.
Juliette: Yeah, double meaning!
Sav: I’ve read in other interviews, Juliette, that you had lots of the songs written already before you met the rest of the band. Was it just the lyrics and other guitar parts you had prepared already? Or did you have melodies and sounds already that you thought could go with thesong—or did you create that bit more as a group together?
Juliette: It was a mixture. I think most of them were quite fully formed, but they always change a bit when we play them together. But some of them, like Sucker, was just chords and singing.
Fern: Was it?
Juliette: Oh, and there was like the “Dee da do de dee da deee doooo.” But it’s not like it is the main bit of the song or anything.
Soph: That is the main bit! Once someone asked me if I made that up, and I was like, “No.” And was like, “Oh, it’s really good.” And I was like, “Yeah, Jules is really good.” But also he was kind of like, “Did you make THAT bit up though!?” And I was like, “no…”
Juliette: Aww, you should have just lied! Just take it!
Sav: I always like asking bands about authenticity and honesty—because especially in your sound, I think it shines. I was wondering what it means to all of you, and all the art you create?
Juliette: Oh, I don’t really know to be honest. Authenticity isn’t really a definable thing because you can never really tell if someone is telling the truth or not.
Soph: We are not trying to replicate anything. We just write the songs that come off the top of our head, then we play the things that we come up with.
Juliette: We don’t really try to emulate another sound, or another band, or another song. That would just be pointless.
Soph: It’s not necessarily a bad thing to do. But, I think we just do what comes naturally to us.
Sav: I read an article that the Guardian wrote about your album, and they described it as “Nostalgia for the noughties & Britpop guitar hits.” Do you think this is true? Do you take your inspiration from these times, or do you go further back in time for inspiration?
Juliette: I think inspiration comes from everywhere really—but I guess that sort of era fits because I like a lot of music from that time. I love Pixies, Nirvana, Blur, Pulp, and those kinds of bands. It totally makes sense that it would’ve filtered into the music. But as soon as we put songs on live, people are like, “It sounds like Elastica!” And I was like, “Oh my god, Elastica! I remember them!” Then I listened to them again, and I was like this is cool! But I wasn’t listening to them at all when I was writing these songs.
Soph: It’s kind of nice having this because sometimes you find out new bands. People say a band sounds like you and then you’re like, “Oh yeah, I like that!”
Juliette: People keep saying Sleeper as well. It’s just another 90s band with a female voice. They are also really good.
Sav: So you’re the type of band that I always see on social media that are always playing shows, you all have side projects (i.e. Marika Hackman and Soph’s other band, Our Girl), and all in the studio all at the same time. How do you manage this? How many shows did you do last year?
[all three laugh]
Fern: Well, we said it as a joke.
Soph: That would have been like three shows a day.
Juliette: I thought that I picked a number that was completely hilarious. And everyone believed it!
Sav: Yeah, I believed it haha.
Juliette: Even one of our managers was talking to another band saying, “You know The Big Moon did 752 shows last year!” It’s really funny but it’s fake news mate.
Sav: But you guys did tour a lot?
[all]: Yeah, we did actually.
Juliette: Yeah, we did as many as we could. We are super busy—it’s quite unusual that we have time off.
Soph: When we went to SXSW, we played with Marika as well so that was definitely a lot of shows.
Sav: Woah, so you were doing double the shows there?
Juliette: Yup. So it was two to three shows a day.
Sav: So the numbers definitely racked up there.
Juliette: Yeah, it was a lot.
Sav: Did you all like America?
Juliette: Yeah, we had a great time.
Soph: Austin, Texas was my fave. I mean SXSW was my fave. We toured America last year, which was great. We got again with Marika in July/August.
Fern: We only deal with couples as well.
Soph: Touring with couples? Oh yeah—the last couple we did was with The Japanese House (Amber), and her girlfriend is Marika. So we are floating around with the girlfriends.
Fern: I think we will have to tour with Marika’s mother next?
Sav: Do you have any favorite albums or artists this year?
Fern: I’m really into Andy Shauf. He’s really good.
Juliette: There is also this album by Rostam, from Vampire Weekend, and Hamilton Leithauser called “I Had a Dream That You Were Mine.” The entire album is so good. Their voices are just like, “Ahhhhh, ooooh” I love it.
They go on to explain all the sentimental 80s and 90s nostalgic songs they’ve been singing in the van together, Fern’s recent karaoke experience singing „Dancing Queen“ by Abba, and Juliette’s classic go-to karaoke song being Angels by Robbie Williams.
Even though it was a short, simple interview, I had the best time chatting to a band I’ve been following since 2014. The exciting thing I learned about The Big Moon is their fun, easy-going and passionate characters for the band. It seemed like they really enjoyed talking about the band with me, and all the silly quirks that come with it. They also played a high-energy show even though two of the girls were sick with the flu. The Big Moon are a band I am happy to see around the indie scene, and I am super excited to see what the future has in store for them! You can also check out my other article I wrote about their recent album, Love in the 4th Dimension.