New Walrus contributor Ewan Atkinson plays therapist to The Big Moon front-women, Juliette, while they were in Brighton killing it at The Great Escape.
“This all feels a bit like therapy but a lot less private as it will be going on the Internet.” Juliette Jackson confesses. Through the maze of tunnels that is the backstage area of the Brighton Dome and Corn Exchange, past the numerous Grime crews and frantic tour managers, The Big Moon sit in their tiny dressing room looking cool as cucumbers. The all-female indie four-piece from London are storming onto the scene in some fashion. The hype behind the band is rapidly growing and there is good reason for that. They are yet to release an album but recent single ‘Cupid’ is huge. It’s had plenty of airplay on various radio stations, a vinyl release and is one of the best songs you’ll hear this year.
“Before I was doing this I was a waitress” Juliette explains, “its what I’d been doing forever so even the bad days are so much better then serving people burgers and chips.” The band life is something she is clearly relishing. You can hear it in the music and feel it when they play live. The Big Moon simply love making music. As well as their music being incredible as a live act there are few acts without an album and years of experience, which can top them. They’re the sort of support act that out shines whoever the headline act is. They are going to go far.
You recently released the single Cupid and have signed to Fiction records, so what is next on the cards for The Big Moon?
Well we are now contractedly obliged to record an album. We promised! I think we’re going to start recording in July/August. We have been touring so much, for a year and a half quite solidly. We haven’t had the time to sit back and record some of the songs we are playing every night. I’m very keen to record them while their still new, like a snapshot of the band as we are at the moment. I want to take that picture and then write more songs!
So there’s enough material for the album?
Oh yeah! We have loads of songs; we are just fighting over which ones to put on the album. I also don’t want to release an album that’s just full of singles we’ve already released. It’s always disappointing when bands do that.
What’s been the best moment on tour?
I definitely had a bit of a moment at the 100 club in London on the last night of our headline tour. It was a hometown show and the 100 club is such a legendary venue, the walls in there are plastered with photos of The Sex Pistols, Gun Club and Lee Scratch Perry. To be headlining a sold out show there was just incredible and everyone was really going for it. It was pretty special.
Have their been any worst moments?
It sounds lame but not really. Obviously we all have grumpy days, we are very good at giving each other space. Like if I feel bad I’m just like “guys! I’m really grumpy okay? So don’t talk to me okay?!” and then everything is cool.
Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
A shot of tequila is always good.
How do you keep up your performances on stage as good as on records?
Staying healthy is important. I used to cane it a lot more on tour but now I try to take a lot better care of myself. If you sound shaky, broken or feel hung-over your voice really shows it. We did a show in Nottingham after I had spent all night travelling on a Megabus, the all night one from Rotterdam as well! When it came to the show I just couldn’t sing at all, my voice was so fucked.
How much do you think music reflects what’s going on in the world?
Some of it does, some of it’s political! I don’t make too much of a connection with politics but that doesn’t mean there isn’t politically minded bands around at the moment. It’s just I that I don’t always know what their songs are about. There’s so much going on and everything feels a little bit fucked. It feels like a time when a band might pop up and make a big scene in a political way. I have written songs with a political mind but it’s never too explicit. I don’t write anything that’s like “David Cameron you’re a dick!” It’s not the best chorus ever. I’m trying to get better at it. It’s a strong feeling that is hard to articulate. I am always impressed with musicians who can put politics into music.
When you’re songwriting do you have to get in a certain mindset and lock yourself away or do you just randomly start writing in the pub?
I do jot down little notes when I am in the pub but for the actual piecing together of songs I always hide myself away in my bedroom for a week. I don’t really sleep as you’re forever getting out of bed at four am to record new ideas because by the morning they’ll be gone. I turn into a crazy person to be honest. It’s quite a religious thing for me and can be quite a nasty experience. I can completely forget how to communicate. It can be really emotionally draining; if it’s close to your heart you don’t want to get it wrong.
Who do you feel has inspired your music?
Lyrically, I don’t think it would be possible to copy anyone but I was really inspired by Ezra Furman. Going on tour with him was a lesson in great lyrics! I love Pixies; they’re my favourite band of all time plus like David Bowie and The Kinks. I’m a bit late to the party but I’ve really got into the Beatles recently. I skipped past all the ‘la de da de umpa lumpa’ ones but they have some really great melodic tracks. I do like new music too; I really like the Magic Gang, they’re real pop power! Plus Nick Cave is a genius. Oh and Abattoir Blues who I saw yesterday were incredible, it was throbbing and intense. Very cool.