Indie rock bands that are worth listening to are somewhat few and far between at the moment. The Big Moon have ideas however, with the refreshing all-female four-piece set to drop their debut album, Love in the 4th Dimension, this Friday – a record that has already spawned a number of ear-worming singles that have climbed the BBC playlists. The London quartet have spent the last year slogging their way across the tireless UK gig circuits, supporting the likes of The Vaccines and The Maccabees, as well as accruing their own fan base, with sold out show’s at London’s infamous 100 Club and Scala also receiving rapturous acclaim from critics in the process. Here’s what happened when I caught up with the girls after their 100 Club show to discus the future, inspirations and what it’s like being one of few female acts in a male-dominated environment.
How was the experience of writing your debut album?
Juliette: We had a mountain of songs to wade through, its hard to pick your top faves cos we love all of them. We had to throw them in a bucket of water and just record the ones that float. Cos that means they are the good eggs, right? Or are they the bad eggs? Well whatever, it’s an omelette concept album.
How does it compare playing your own shows such as at the 100 club to supporting big established bands such as The Vaccines and The Maccabees?
Fern: They don’t really compare, they’re completely different to me. I find our own shows a little scarier because you’re not sure if anyone will show up and when they do, it’s really exciting. Where with support slots, the pressure is off, at least for me anyway. If you get to win people over, amazing, if not, that’s ok too.
Soph: Yeah I feel the same I think. And I always feel more confident with bigger crowds!
What was it like playing these bigger venues on support tours, do you have any interesting tour stories?
Fern: It was insane, we were lucky to play in some beautiful theatres, so it was a real treat to play some of those stages. Tour stories?! What happens on tour mate…
When you get up on stage as a band you all have great charisma and a natural chemistry, does this come from being such good friends outside the band?
Juliette: Yes, I really feel like I’ve found three bezzies in this band. I love you all so much guys.
The lyrics are a big part of The Big Moon’s sound. How do you go approach writing your music and what inspires you?
Juliette: I find inspiration in anything… Whatever makes you feel things, whether it makes you laugh, cry, sneeze or wretch or fall over, and I always write about real life things. I love to throw in something utterly ridiculous every now and then, something that just conjures up some bizarre image that somehow connects to the rest of the song but I could never explain why.
It’s an omelette concept album
What sort of artists and bands inspired you to start making music in the first place?
Juliette: Pixies are probably my favourite band ever, and they really made me want to write songs and play guitar. I also love The White Stripes and compulsive gamblers and then things like Love and Roy Orbison and Talking Heads and Orange Juice and LCD Soundsystem and Marvin Gaye, altogether they sound a bit random, but I just think they all write very GOOD SONGS which is the most important thing.
In a recent radio show on BBC Radio 1 Ellie Rowsell (of Wolf Alice) spoke to Annie Mac about the lack of all girl guitar bands, how does it feel being one of those acts and do you feel like this has had an effect on your growing success?
Fern: There are fewer of us, but I think we’re getting to a turning point. We’ve played shows with loads of great female musicians and there are some great all female bands out there right now, especially Girl Ray. Caught them playing with Whitney a few months back, they’re a great band.
Celia: The idea that what we’re doing would be considered pioneering is a little crazy given all the musicians that have gone before us and created space for a band like ours. But what we do try and do is exactly what we want to do and what we feel is right. And people always bring up the fact that we’re all women, because it’s true that at the moment there are less women in this industry, BUT if you keep pointing something out as exceptional you reinforce the idea that it’s an exception rather than allowing it to be seen, as Fern says, as part of a larger overall shift. Or you could just think of it as a good song by a cool band. That would be nice too!
As a band beginning to breakthrough into the big time what advice would you have to any acts starting out in the music industry today?
Juliette: Don’t give up! Just keep on trying.
Soph: Totally! There will often be setbacks, or things that happen that make you feel disheartened. But if you’re in a band there is something really cool about going through that stuff and being in it together. It’s just finding those people to surround yourself with, people that support you, and get what you’re doing, and that you can have fun with!