Manchester band China Moon talk us through first dates in a practice room, their plans for 2020 and who else they’re into right now. Catch them headline The Castle in Manchester on January 17th.
How did you guys meet?
Ellie: I met Matt on Bumble and we had our first date in a practice room. Things just clicked very quickly and we met John shortly after. I feel we have quite a special bond as a band and we’re appreciative of each others influences.
Fans of what other artists would be fans of you?
Matt: Muse, Elbow, The Maccabees
Where did the name come from?
Ellie: The name came from an article I read last year when China were growing silkworms on the moon. It was around the same time the band were formed and I associated the two as exciting discoveries that hadn’t yet been explored.
I’ve always seen the moon as being elegant and delicate like porcelain, which almost has an element of mystery. I feel our music has similar characteristics to it.
Highlight of 2019?
Matt: Recording the EP. Had an absolute blast at Greenmount Studios.
Ellie: My highlight as a band would have to be meeting Matt and John. It was exciting to meet two people with differing music tastes but appreciative of each others influences.
John: It’s been such a different experience in the band to explore, I think the highlight for me is exploring what happens when them three different influences come together and create something that hopefully someone out there will connect with!
As a band, what are you looking forward to in 2020?
Matt: Recording our second EP!
John: We’ve been playing and polishing the songs we recorded for our upcoming debut EP all year, and I can’t wait for everyone to finally hear the music we’ve worked so hard on in full.
Ellie: There’s a song we’ve started playing live called You, You, You which I adore. I’m really looking forward to recording that one in particular. I already have a few ideas for the music video.
What’s the most important thing you learnt being in a band?
Matt: Not to be so self aware. If you let yourself go and truly enjoy being comfortable with yourself it rubs off on others around you.
Ellie: To feel at ease with the people you’re creating with, and working hard.
John: Being in a band has been a vastly different experience to working as a solo artist, when you’re working on your own music, you are in charge and it’s your baby, but with a band there’s many voices, which is a beautiful thing, so I think letting go and not holding on too tightly, leaving room of ideas!
What’s your earliest music memory?
John: I come from a very musical household, my dad was in bands and my mum was a singer so music was a big discussion and part of growing up. I remember putting on performances for my parents and dragging my friends into a backup dancing routines, I’m extremely happy there is no video evidence of this.
Matt: Probably playing my Dad’s old Guild guitar or listening to 90’s Brit Rock/Pop on the CD player.
Ellie: I performed the Welsh national anthem on the violin when I was 7, I was so nervous.
Outside of other artists, what is your biggest influence when song writing?
John: Making something from scratch is my favourite part of music, I love performing, but that feeling when words, melodies, ideas all come together to form a song is indescribable. I cannot write a song in a forced environment, it just doesn’t come out, for me it just happens, the melody will hit me or the words will play in my head and that’s how it starts. With the band I love listening to some of the rifts Matt produces on the guitar when in the rehearsal room. I know the song works when I don’t have to do anything but sing, the words pour out, the melody forms, and there’s a magic silence when all the aspects of a song come together for the first time and you all look around and think, wow, we just made this!
Matt: Songwriting has always been emotional catharsis for me. I write when I’m happy, sad, angry, or whatever else. For me my emotional state is a bigger factor in songwriting than listening to other artists.
Ellie: Writing with other people. When writing I take a lot of influence from others and what we can make together. I think it’s great to write on your own but I don’t see the enjoyment in that. I think it’s better to create together as not everyone sees music in the same way. I believe a massive part of success is being able to work with other people and listening to the world around you, otherwise you’re only telling one part of a story.
But saying that I’m influenced by travelling and emotion.
Who are your favourite smaller bands right now?
Matt: Dream Mclean, billy woods, Death and The Penguin, Splurgeboys, Black Peaks.
Ellie: Melt Yourself Down (modern jazzy kinda stuff) Moses Sumney and a band called Chapter and Verse. They are a great live band.
John: Not a band, but I’m loving Novo Amor’s music at the moment, it’s beautiful and can’t wait to see him break out to bigger things in 2020. Also been obsessed with Mahalia’s new album!
When can we expect new music?
Ellie: We’re releasing our EP in February.