Between discussing the ’new normal’ just being ‘normal’, festival hygiene and setting alarms for when the washing’s finished, For You The Moon’s frontman Isaac brought me up to speed on the band and their latest single, ‘Talk’.
RECORD WEEKLY’S INTERVIEW WITH FOR YOU THE MOON
How are you doing in these crazy times? How have you stayed occupied?
I’m good really — as well as can be expected. When the world’s not ending, I work in a restaurant in town in the week, but at the moment, I’m working in a Covid test centre, testing kids that are in colleges and schools. Otherwise, I’m spending the rest of the time writing — I’ve got a nice little studio set up here. But not really much else you can do, is there!? It’s weird when I’m out of the house!
Exactly, keeping busy is essential. If we’d been in this for three months, it would’ve been the ‘new normal’ for a bit. But life, as it is, is just ‘normal’. We’ll all have to readjust to the busy lifestyles we had before, along with what we’ve carved out for ourselves since.
Yeah, I hadn’t thought about it in that way at all, but it is just normal now!
Tell us all about how you formed For You The Moon and where the name came from.
So, it was kind of like a slapping-together of two failed projects. Me and Mike [our drummer] were in a band a few years ago and then Tim, who plays bass but was a production student at the time, was recording the band we were in — as we all went to a music university, everybody did various bits of different things. Then we ended up disbanding, making some music with Tim and then Jordan joined, as he used to be in another band with Tim. Even though Tim played hard-to-get for a bit, he eventually realised it was what he wanted to do, and now it’s a little four-way marriage!
It seemed to take quite a long time to get going. Sometimes, when you’re just doing one thing, you put way more pressure on it to get it underway. When you’re just starting out in music, you’re thinking, “oh my gosh, this is what we need to be doing”, but once you have that battle, you begin to have fun with it.
The name was Tim’s suggestion actually. It originated from a song by pop-punk band Basement and, because of the nature of our tracks being about other people in my life, it just worked. That might be a pretentious way of saying it haha, but that’s about as exciting as it gets. But it’s really hard to say on stage! If you’re like, “we’re For You The Moon”, people go, “View The Moon?”
(Say it out loud — you’ll hear it…)
I just mumble, so it’s really hard for me to say haha. I love how it looks written down, but I’ve got to master the actual talking bit.
You’re signed to Slam Dunk Records — how did that come about?
We released a single called ‘Slip Away’ about 18 months ago, off our own back, which we recorded with our best friend Darius. It’s the song that ‘made’ the band. You always have those songs that are stepping stones and people have asked us to re-release it since, but Slam Dunk basically got in touch after that. They asked us what else we’d recorded and, luckily, we’d just dropped ‘Lost Without It’, so we sent them that. And they were like, “oh shit, this is cool”, despite it being a while before they then ‘made a move’ to sign us…
(I’m detecting a running theme with both members and labels playing hard-to-get…)
But I guess that was just the pandemic, though. We were back and forth, while we were just doing our own thing in lockdown. Those guys just know what they’re doing though, so we really wanted to work with them! And then they came back and here we are.
But it’s interesting — Slam Dunk is such a big brand and it’s going to be amazing with them, but it’s weird because there’s nothing live going on, which makes it strange for a rock band to be starting out now. Weird dynamic — you know, ‘here’s a rock song, but you can’t go and see it live’!
It’s been awful for bands, hasn’t it?
Yeah, it’s more annoying than anything. I mean, it’s frustrating for everybody and there are definitely people way worse off out there, but it’s a nightmare! You just don’t know when it’s all going to be over with.
For sure, it’s a cruel waiting game. So, with gigs in mind, where do you enjoy playing the most?
We played at Belgrave in December 2019 and that was the best show we’ve done — there was a really big crowd, which was unreal. We’ve also played Oporto, Santiago’s for a classic sweaty one… But the O2 Academy would be amazing, and Beckett’s Student Union, too. I saw LANY there and they’ve been a big influence on stuff I’m writing.
(I then confess to not having listened to LANY myself, then Isaac states he’s into “really cheesy” music. So that’s us even…)
We’ve always wanted to play a headliner at Oporto actually. It’s such a sick, sweaty venue to play! We usually support other artists there and it’s pretty packed in that small venue, but our own headline shows would be incredible. We’re still yet to play one. I mean, after releasing singles, I’m hoping people might know the words! That’s something we haven’t had before.
Which bands have been the most influential on your sound?
The Band CAMINO are a big one for us. They are literally my favourite band in the world! My ‘Spotify Wrapped’ was just five of their songs.
A lot of what I write is really chilled as well, which you wouldn’t know at the moment because it’s wall-to-wall guitars, but I write a lot of piano ballads, so I’m looking forward to getting that stuff into the band sound. And that’s what The Band CAMINO do so well — they’re an outfit with a lot of diversity, which is key.
It’s like Matt Healy says, “consumers don’t consume”, and you don’t consume one genre anymore, do you? So why would a band just be one genre? But yeah, I might say that and then we might produce nothing but rock songs, for the next 40 songs. We’ll see! I’m just buzzing to get it all out!
I send a lot of things round to mates of mine who are musicians and they say what’s good and what isn’t, and that we should release things. But there’s always got to be a strategy.
Tell us something that your fans don’t necessarily know about you guys.
What are your usual answers!?
Lockdown hobbies have come up… Any banana bread?
Any time I cook something new, I feel like Gordon Ramsay, so I just stick to the same four things really. But yeah, in terms of what fans don’t know, people might be quite surprised at what my Spotify looks like. I guess you’d call it ‘girly pop music’… There’s an artist called Renforshort and there’s Maisie Peters. You know, stuff that rock band members would generally be like, “WTF?” about. There’s Justin Timberlake in there, too.
All hail JT.
Anything that’s stupidly predictable and has a bit of groove, I like it. I know that can make you view things in a different light though, like you go in with ‘confirmation bias’ or have a different mindset. But nobody looks at Harry Styles these days and thinks he’s much of a sellout anymore.
In fact, Harry Styles being a G is something fans didn’t know I thought before! I’m obsessed with the Styles.
Your incredible new single, ‘Talk’, has just dropped. Walk us through how it came to be.
We actually recorded this in 2019 — it’s been sitting on my hard drive since! But anyway, it was acoustic at first. I had this melody in the chorus originally and the old lyrics were terrible, but I had some other words saved down with chords. So I showed it to Tim and he put a guitar riff [the current one] over it and I thought it was the worst thing I’d ever heard haha. Then I re-listened a few months later and thought it was sick! So we built it out from there.
I then cleaned the song up — it was a bit of a mess — and now it’s really to the point. ‘Lost Without You’ was almost a bit gobbledegook in comparison, while ‘Talk’ is more straight-to-the-point, so it was a way for us to bridge the gap. If I’d written such blunt lyrics straight away, without the chords, I might not have done so back in the day. But I would now. It’s very to the point and it hits.
I couldn’t agree more! It’s very relatable.
The lyrics focus on the going back and forth in these processes with people, and it relates to an internal dialogue.
What’s on the horizon for the band? How is summer shaping up?
Summer? WHO KNOWS?! We’re looking at getting some shows and festivals, but it depends on the backlog of 2020 acts still in there. We’re hoping to get some support tours — the end goal is touring, and we want to get on that as a band. You can rehearse until your hands go numb, but that’s not touring, so I’m looking forward to playing shows.
We’re due to have a show on 26th June. If BoJo says no, he says no, but as it stands, it’s on! And it’ll be at The Key Club, which will be so good, so fingers crossed.
I’ll probably regret saying this, but I want to play thousands of shows and get to know how to work the two people in the room that have actually turned up. I want to get them on board with us. That’s when you become a really good band.
It’s difficult to know how the summer’s going to pan out, but the next single we have lined up is proper summery, so it would fit quite well. We haven’t had chance to play it live yet either.
Yeah, it’s exciting. As much as we’re sceptical about this ‘roadmap’ out of the pandemic, we also have to hope it’ll go to plan! I’m not sure about booking things for the day of 21st June just yet, but still.
I mean, I’ve done it, haha! I thought, “it’s gonna be sick, yeah!”, but it’s funny. All this Covid test centre PPE right now, then out and about in three months — really? Come on, but we’ll see. Let’s keep our heads up and all that.
So, there you have it — the story so far about For You The Moon. As Isaac shared, they’ve got a show lined up at The Key Club, Leeds, on Saturday 26th June. All being well, get yourself in the crowd!