Interview: Venus and the Moon
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:23:28
Venus and the Moon will transport you somewhere different with their music. That’s the most wonderful thing about it too. Every time you press “play,” you’ll be ushered off to another realm altogether. We’re not kidding. These are the kinds of songs you want to just close your eyes and listen too. They artfully coagulate genres into one infectious and intergalactic trip that instantly transfixes. They’re easily one of the most exciting, entrancing, and enigmatic acts to emerge in recent memory.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Rain Phoenix and Frally Hynes of Venus and the Moon talk their songs and so much more.
How do you tend to approach songs?
Rain Phoenix: They're all different. I feel like they all differ, but there's no plan.
Frally Hynes: It doesn't start with a plan. That's the main thing. We get together and, suddenly, we might have a cool melody idea or a line. Then, it comes out of that.
Rain Phoenix: We follow it. We get together and say, "Let's write!" We get some tea and grab a guitar.
Frally Hynes: We talk in silly accents.
Rain Phoenix: It keeps unfolding into something that feels like a song. If we feel like we're pushing too hard, we walk away. It's less about outcome and more about unfolding. That's how we write. We think, "Let's see if this unfolds". We don't get too uptight about whether it's a song or not until we know it is. I feel that process is what organically leads to that formation of the song. It finds its way and we go, "Oh my gosh, there's the song. It's done!"
Frally Hynes: We don't have to worry, "Does that idea suck?" It doesn't matter.
What's the story behind "Hungry Ghost"?
Frally Hynes: The initial idea was about being obsessively into a person, a thing, a cigarette, or whatever that kind of energy is. I hesitate to say "addiction". I feel like it gets misquoted like we're talking about addiction in a way we're really not. I mean it in terms of how the mind can use anything as an addiction. It started with a person. You know that this particular person's not good for you, but you just get obsessed. That idea came out of that.
I didn't feel addiction. I felt like the listener can pull anything he or she wants from it.
Frally Hynes: I like the irony of the moment when you decide you're going to stop doing something. It's the irony of, "Okay, I'm not thinking about that anymore", but you are [Laughs]. That's another way it evolved.
Rain Phoenix: I also think it has an element of female empowerment. Even though it's ironic in the chorus, you do make a decision not to think about this anymore. It comes through gently and beautifully. It's not a pissed-off and angry song. It's more like accepting this happens sometimes and you'll get over it at some point.
Frally Hynes: That's a process too. Sometimes, you know you're going to stop doing something. You think, "In a week or so, I'm going to be done with this". You get to that point, and today is the day. You're not going to have that pattern anymore. I'm always interested in those transitional moments.
Rain Phoenix: It's all about transformation. We're all about habits and things we do, but we also transform them at any point of awareness when we're ready. To me, it's inspiring. We can change our habits. Sometimes, it feels like they're immovable, and they're very solid when you get to that point where you're like, "I'm going to change this". There's something very empowering about that.
Frally Hynes: Exactly! There's also the hungry ghost realm. It's what the Tibetans call the Bardo. It's a place where there's so much insatiability from the sense that you're just stuck. It's like, "How much more can I drink, eat, or have sex?" There's that part of the human condition where you can get stuck in that Bardo or that underworld. That was an element in the words too.
Rain Phoenix: Never satisfied...always searching.
Where did "Albatross" come from?
Rain Phoenix: It came about in a very organic way like they all do, but it just sort of fell out. We just opened up to the universe and the song fell into our laps.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs? There are a lot of images that come about.
Frally Hynes: It's not conscious to do that, but I think we both like to be slightly poetic. That may be an element of it. I haven't heard anyone say that. I'd love to know what you saw.
"Hungry Ghost" conjures up an image of longing. Personally, it's more like someone missing a significant other so badly because it didn't work out...
Frally Hynes: You're so on the money [Laughs]. You've got your own videos!
Rain Phoenix: I like his videos.
Frally Hynes: It would be so cool if there were some way to virtually project what people were seeing when they listen to music. Hopefully, that's possible one day!
Have you heard Venus and the Moon?
The band recently released a new video for "Hungry Ghost." See it below.
Pick up the single at iTunes!