By Kevin Alan Lamb
All different types claw, scrape or stumble their way into the music industry for their own reasons I guess, but ultimately because they possess a great love for music and desire to share that magic with others. Looking back, I think I imagined that the visceral moment where man meets music in a collision of raw energy and sound would be the greatest pleasure in this line of work, but have come to discover that greater than the music, is my relationship with he, she, and they who create it. With each interview comes the satisfaction of at least in some part, weaving my story into the content and body of another’s; we become a beacon for one another’s shine and goodwill, for which I will always be humbled and grateful.
For the third time I had the chance to catch up with the Brooklyn trio, Moon Hooch, fresh off their European tour propelled by their latest album Red Sky, intent on leaving their ego behind, exercising their body and mind, and returning home with memories made more grand in design than just a good time. Here’s my conversation with Mike Wilbur.
You were just on tour internationally, running around, give me the good, the bad, the ugly, the surprises, the weird, just roll with it!
Yeah, so touring Europe this year has been insane. We’ve been in Europe more than America. This last tour we did we went to Russia, Serbia, Norway, all around Germany and all around England, The Whales, The Whales [laughing], Scotland, wait we didn’t go to Scotland, Ireland, see… I don’t even know where we went. We went all around the place, it was really really cool, people responded so well to the music and the crowd was raging and Russia was like the biggest audience we had. We played to like, the first night over 1,500 people, the second night over 2,000 people which was like totally crazy, did not expect that kind of crowds, in a place we’ve never been before, especially Russia. I didn’t even think people knew our songs in Russia, and it was just awesome man, people were so receptive and the energy feedback was super positive. We played in Liverpool, and all these crazy mosh pitters came out and the whole place was moshing, the whole time, and just like sweaty and crazy and shirtless and like powerful. You know we played down in Plymouth, played London, that was the last city we did, and London was just amazing. It’s kind of become our home away from home, like our second New York almost. The audience there was just amazing, and you know… trying to stay healthy, practicing a lot, I bought an oboe. I’m learning how to play the oboe, which is my first Double-reed instrument. There’s two reeds vibrating simultaneously and yeah man, trying to work out every day and meditate and drink good beer and smoke nice weed and be kind to people and be active in trying to change injustices in this world and fucking speak out against them and I don’t know man, just trying to live life well, you know?
I do man, I do
If you were going to return to one or two of those places, which one do you think would be first on your list?
[Sigh] That’s a tough question. I definitely want to go back to Russia. Ahh I don’t know let me take that back. Serbia was really cool too. The vibe in Eastern Europe is just so old and falling apart but in the best, most beautiful way and the people there are serious mother fuckers and there just like in it. They’re ready to experience something; so, that was a really deep vibe, and dude I don’t know! I hate questions like this. I can’t answer that. I hope we go back to all of it. Every night was basically the band trying to play the best we could and detach our egos and get out of the way of the music, as much as we could, every night. That’s what this tour was for me. It wasn’t so much a sightseeing like “Ooh I’m in Russia now, ooh I’m in Ireland,” it was more like our adventures, practice and get to work and make the best music we can and put on a good show. So, I don’t know man, I hope we’re back at all of them.
Would you say it’s been your most powerful tour so far given everything you just communicated?
Oh, yea! Without a doubt. No question about it. We have an American tour coming up and I think that’s going to be even better because we had this month-long warm up, that’s what it feels like to me. The American tour, this is our home, this is where we are from, this is where we are trying to throw down! And give our best possible show. I mean we’re trying to give our best possible show everywhere, but you know we’re from here and this where our roots lay; so, I feel like that Europe run was definitely a warm up and we’re ready to rage.
So, when are you coming to Detroit?
[Laughing] Ohh dude… We’re coming the 13th of October to Grand Rapids Michigan. Basically Detroit, right?
Well, two hours away but Grand Rapids is awesome and I’m happy to make that drive.
Yeah, that’s the closest we’re going to be for now, unfortunately.
You’re all good, for now, I’ll bring you here.
Catch Mike Wilbur and Moon Hooch at The Stache in Grand Rapids on October 13, and check out their latest album, Red Sky.
Just in case you were listening for one, This is a Good Sound.