Interview with health-conscious rock band Moon Shot

Photo by Iiro Kuosmanen

Consisting of band members  Jussi, Ville, Henkka and Mikko Moon Shot have been creating rock fusions inspired by rock ‘n roll band’s that they have idolized since their childhood. Some band members have played in bands like Disco Ensemble and Children of Bodom through the years. Their latest single ‘Agony Walk’ features on their upcoming debut album Confession, and has also been accompanied by a visually striking music video that explores the painful situations one can find themselves in in this walk of life. Anthemic but dealing with the important topic of well being, we look forward to absorbing this forthcoming album.

Band member Jussi Ylikoski spoke with us and enlightened us about the band’s workflow.

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

I remember listening to my sister’s Hanoi Rocks cassette tapes. I think I was ten years old. A bit later I got  AC/DC’s Razor’s Edge cassette for Christmas. I was twelve. That was a big bomb for me musically. I also got my first guitar around that same time. I wrote and recorded my first ever song at the age of sixteen. I did it with a four-track cassette recorder, which I had borrowed from my uncle. The instruments I recorded were guitar, bass and 80’s Yamaha drum machine. The song was a shameless rip off of a Pantera song ‘Domination’.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

It usually starts with just one piece of melody, riff or chord progression. Sometimes even with an interesting drum beat. I start to build around that. I play in guitars, bass, plug-in drums, pianos and other extras and let the creative process take its natural course as I work. I usually try to have a basic song-like structure built-in with the idea or ideas, which usually means a short instrumental song with two parts. I also mix and produce the parts as I go. After the first rough version of a song is done, I send it to the guys. Then our vocalist Ville starts to write some vocal top-lines and lyrics on top of this demo and once he’s done, he sends the vocals to me. After this, I produce the vocals and the song some more and write some new parts to the song to make the structure complete. Then after this, usually the whole band meets up at my studio and we collectively produce this song and its parts. The final songwriting stage happens when we take this song to the rehearsal room and play it through lot’s of times and add some finishing touches to it.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Short piece musical gems I sometimes pick up from TV documentaries, cartoons, movies or Netflix series. Also good coffee, a run, a gym workout, an uplifting conversation with a bandmate.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

Well, this idea is more towards the next generation of musicians and artists, but I’d suggest for example the Finnish government look into making musical hobbies more accessible for kids. Meaning, making the threshold for kids to start playing a musical instrument as a hobby as low as possible. This could for example mean making a lot more free classes and instrument workshops available for kids and teens. And all these could be more visible and “marketed” in schools and after-school programs etc.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

I think I need both to stay sane. But still, nothing beats a great live show.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

Many years ago my previous band Disco Ensemble played a support show for this big Finnish rock band called Apulanta. The show was in a small town called Nivala in northern Finland. During the whole Disco Ensemble set there was a girl in the front row who kept yelling in between every song: “Pleeeeease stop playing now!!!”

What’s on your current playlist?

M83, Death Cab for Cutie, Satyricon, Deftones, These New Puritans, Sleaford Mods, Clint Mansell, Nothing but Thieves.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

Moon Shot’s debut album Confession will be out on October 22nd. We will be touring quite a lot in 2022 as well. Check the tour dates from www.moonshotofficial.com.

Famous last words?

Memento mori.

Follow Moon Shot:

Facebook / Instagram / Spotify

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