Aquarian Weekly - Defying Gravity

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It isn’t often that you read an article that starts with Craiglist, but doesn’t end badly — until now! That’s exactly how the story began for New Jersey indie-rockers, Above The Moon. Two years after responding to each other’s ads to form a band, and enlisting a few friends to round them out, and Above The Moon have just released their third EP, Patterns You Create. Now, the group discuss their beginnings, finding their sound, and what’s to come.

Where are you all from? 
As a band, we’re based out of Madison, NJ, but we’re from all over the state. Kate and Chris are originally from Kearny, Shawn grew up in Maplewood, and John is from Paramus.

How long have you been a band and how did you get started?
We started playing together in the fall of 2015. We originated as a lucky Craigslist find when Kate and Shawn answered each other’s ads. Shawn and John were friends from work, so he was quickly brought in, and when we needed a bassist in 2017, Kate reached out to Chris. They played together in their first band back in high school, and have been friends ever since, so it’s all come together pretty easily.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
We are, without a doubt, rooted in a ‘90s-type unpretentious style; we naturally combine that with indie/pop vocal hooks to create our sound. We all grew up in the ‘90s, so bands like Weezer, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam and even The Cranberries have a huge influence on our writing. There’s also a bit of a singer-songwriter vibe to some of our tracks as well. We’re a mix of all of our favorite things.

What was your latest release of music and can you talk about that a bit?
Patterns You Create is our third EP, and we just released it on April 27. We headed down to The Headroom in Philly to record with Joe Reinhart of Hop Along and Kyle Pulley of Thin Lips. We were very excited to work with them as we’d hoped to in the past, but the schedules didn’t line up.

The songs on this EP feel and sound much more developed. Listening back, it feels like on our first two EP’s we were trying to find our sound, there are glimmers of it on EP No. 2, but these tracks feel the most like “us.”

What is your writing and recording process like?
Usually a song starts with a riff or chord progression from Kate or Shawn, they work on it for a bit and create a loose structure, then bring it to practice where everyone gets to put their own touch on it. No matter how much of a song is started by a single person, once we bring it to practice it becomes “our” song — most times it transforms completely from where it began, which is always really cool.

Recording with Joe and Kyle was great. All five tracks were recorded over two weekends in January and February. We did drums and bass the first trip down, and all guitars and vocals the second. They were intense 10-hour days, but we were all present to make suggestions and coffee as needed. Joe spent a lot of time choosing just the right mix of instruments and microphones to help us achieve a sound that is very close to our live set, which we are very excited about.

What are current projects you are working on?
We already have two new songs in the live-set rotation! While we don’t have anything specific on the docket yet, we’re always writing and trying new things. We’ve talked a lot about maybe releasing one or two songs this year rather than waiting to have enough material for a new release, so we’re working towards that right now.

Is there any significance behind your band name? 
Funny enough, none of us can really remember how we got our name. When we finished recording our first EP back in 2015, we still hadn’t come up with a name despite a few weeks of trading ideas. We’d already begun working on new material, specifically a song called “Moon”, which is on our second EP (The Distance is the Same). We tossed around a few versions of that, and somehow we became Above the Moon. Ha!

What is your favorite memory as a band?
Last summer, we had the awesome opportunity to play Maplewoodstock! It was an incredible experience. Not only was it the biggest crowd any of us have played in front of (a couple thousand people), but with Maplewood being Shawn’s hometown, it was just straight up cool to play where he grew up. It’s something none of us will forget.

What are your goals for the future as a band?
One general goal we have is to see how long we can do this and how far we can get while staying a DIY operation. We’re not necessarily looking to hit the road and become famous; we’ve got families and jobs that we love, but this is a serious passion we all put a lot of time and heart into, and it’s been fun to see what we’ve been able to accomplish.

The main goal is to just keep going. We’ve also talked about the possibility of releasing an LP down the line, so that could be something we work toward in the future.

What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
For the rest of 2018 we’d like to focus on playing out in cities and at venues we aren’t as familiar with. We got a taste of the Philly scene last year, and it is so much fun and really inviting — very different from what we’ve experienced at home, so we for sure want to make more trips down that way. We’d also like to break into the Brooklyn scene and see what it’s like.

Where can readers find your music?
All of our releases are available on all digital platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Bandcamp, etc.). You can pick up physical CDs at any of our live shows, and for updates on new music, shows and more readers can check out our official website (abovethemoonmusic.com), our Facebook page (facebook.com/abovethemoonband) or our Instagram (instagram.com/abovethemoonmusic).