Western Australian four piece Moana are masterfully testing the boundaries where multiple art forms collide. In an attempt to break the arduous release cycles often expected from emerging bands, Moana devised splitting their second EP into three parts, with three separate release dates throughout 2015. The band have just released part two, with the single ‘Elephant bones’. Tomatrax caught up with Moana Lutton from the band to ask a few questions.
How did the band form?
Facepaint, friends of friends and foxy fruits aligned the beast, the cheeky goblin, the gentle giant and the witch.
What made you pick Moana as the band’s name?
It’s my name and it means ocean in Maori (which is my background). It’s a pretty majestic realm to be channelling.
You received a lot of critical acclaim for your debut EP, did that make you feel any pressure in putting together your latest release?
Not at all. If anything it made us more confident and keen to share our new stuff and keep at it. There are definitely those fleeting thoughts of worry whether people who loved the first EP will like the developments we’ve undergone. But in the end those thoughts really don’t matter because it’s our art, it’s us, it’s real and we’re super happy with it.
Where did you get the idea to release your latest EP in three separate parts?
We wanted to do something different that challenged the usual formula of releasing music and it seemed an appropriately bizarre way to release this collection of songs that fit a certain “other worldly” vibe. To me a trilogy sounds more like a book, which I think fits the project. It’s not an EP, it’s not an album, its a story and a musical journey with visual art, video art and live characters. If they were different songs it may not have worked but it felt like a natural thing to do with these particular creations.
How did you pick which songs would appear in which part?
We deliberately chose songs that were contrasting in mood and style, but that were lyrically and symbolically related. Our first part had the agro, spider fanged Golden Orb paired with the dreamy, angelic, poetically spoken Magenta Dust that both hold the imagery of colour in very different ways. Part two the chaotic jungle rock Elephant Bones with the ethereal, art-rocky, dark Cloud Mother that both delve into the elemental realms of the sky vs the earth. All dancing to the movements of the black monsoon culminating in part3.
What was the inspiration behind the video for ‘Elephant bones’?
Well it’s all based on the imagery within the song itself. Which is something like a feral jungle trip with Frida Kahlo and wild spirits that turns a bit dark and spooky but ends as a big chaotic celebration. The makeup and costume team, our director Luna Laure and all the team involved took that beginning concept to the next level to create the bizarre magical funny trippy dream it is.
How will the final part compare with the first two?
Like the first two parts we will release the final two songs ‘Vader’ and ‘Black Monsoon’ with the incredible final artwork of the collection by Kuba Kujawa and a video clip directed by Via Luna Pictures. Part 3 is special because it’s the culmination of the trilogy where the cross collaborative works of music, visual art and video art are assembled as a final whole work.
You will be launching the EP at the end of next month, what can fans expect from this show?
Well it happens to fall on Halloween so it will be aesthetically spookily fitting and a big dress up fest. We’ll be adding a theatrical element to the show with a collection of performers, dancers, story tellers. Not to mention a lineup of stellar local bands, an exhibit of the art and showing of the final video. Plus special Halloween cocktails made by the venue, The Odd Fellow!
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Of course, I think it’s important. But I hate listening to my own music when other people are around! During the initial stages of getting the tracks back from the studio and during mixing I do a lot. When it’s all finished I enjoy listening to it for awhile because I honestly enjoy it and feel a bit warm and fuzzy. Until I over play it and then I start critiquing it all over again!
What other music do you listen to?
Heaps of different stuff. I usually just play vinyls at home, generally looking back at 60s/70s stuff and old blues. Having said that at the moment I’m really into the Arctic Monkeys, Alamaba Shakes and Marilyn Manson.
What do you plan on doing once your trilogy EP is completely out?
Tour! Have a little breather overseas somewhere and look ahead to summer time gigs and festivals, start working on the new stuff.
Check out Moana’s facebook page to find out more!