Moon Hooch interview

The New York techno-jazz trio that merges elements of indie rock, virtuosic jazz and pulse-pounding electronic dance music returns to Brighton for one of only two UK concerts. We asked Mike Wilbur (tenor sax and vocals) some questions and he gave us some interesting answers.

How healthy is the New York/Brooklyn jazz scene?
I’m not sure how “healthy” anything really is, but I know there’s people playing “jazz” in Brooklyn. I don’t usually go out so I can’t give you any kind of value judgement on the scene.

Who are your musical heroes and is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?
John Coltrane influenced my conception of music and playing more than anyone but there’s a long list of others. At the moment there’s not many collaborations that I’m itching to have, more working on collaborating with myself and of course all the musicians I’m already currently working with.

You’ve made an amazing video for ‘Jiggle’ from the recent ‘Joshua Tree’ EP. Who came up with the concept and why is James naked? Warning! – may be NSFW
We all came up with the idea together while walking through the desert. We like to leave art up to the interpretation of the viewer.

You began by busking on the New York subway – do you still busk when on tour?
No, we don’t busk anymore. Our tour schedules are very rigorous and don’t leave much room for us to do anything outside of driving and playing.

You’re all vegan and even have a cookery blog. Do you take care of your own catering when on tour and are you looking forward to trying out some of Brighton’s many vegan eateries?
When touring in the US James delights us with some incredible meals. We’re definitely looking forward to sinking our teeth into Brighton’s vegan buns.

How did you like playing at Love Supreme festival last year? Did you get to check out any other acts and did you have any free time to visit Brighton?
I felt that the Love was Supreme. I felt there was Love all around. The sky was falling, but it was with tears of joy. Even the great Ether couldn’t help but laugh. We didn’t get to check out any other acts while we were there.

Any surprises in store for your forthcoming Brighton show?
We just bought a live dragon and we plan to release it halfway through the show. His name is Garlkeskt and he hails from the deep. He breathes fire sometimes, but not to worry.

Given recent events, have the terrorist attacks at concerts affected your outlook on performing and have you changed your routine to be more security conscious?
We’re all going to die one way or another. Feeding that thought, any attention creates fear which is what they want. Terrible things are always happening and always have, I’ve just got to keep doing my best and spread the love. Nothing is going to stop me from making music.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I plan to be relaxed.

Moon Hooch play Coalition this Sunday, 11th June 2017

Show details here

New album Live At The Cathedral is released on CD/DVD 30th June 2017 on Hornblow Recordings.

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Steve Clements

Steve has been a SOURCE contributor since Summer 2010 and also writes for Latest 7 magazine. He moved to Brighton in 2006 after working in London at the Royal Albert Hall, Our Price Music and Teletext. Favourite quote - "There's no such thing as a sold out gig".

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