Interview with Les Moontunes
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
In general, we all love making music very much, that’s what got us into playing in the first place; making sure we have time to spend on music is important to all of us. Plus, it’s a great challenge to continue to push ourselves as a group and as individuals on a daily basis, and see how long we can continue to do so while still having fun doing it. So far, so fun!
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
As a band, we share lots of hobbies which is always great to let loose and spend time together focusing on something other than music from time to time. We will get together and make a good meal, eat it by a bonfire and later go bowling or sing some karaoke which always turns into a night of funny stories. It’s important to sometimes not think about the music and just enjoy each other’s company, and we usually are pretty good at doing that when we feel the need.
How long has your band been around?
Les Moontunes officially had their first show at the end of 2015, however it was a bit of a different lineup than our current one. We also would play shows very rarely, we played like 3 shows in a year at some point haha. We have been playing with our 2-drummer format since 2019 and that’s when we started being a bit more serious with our music, which led to releasing our first album in 2021.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Currently, we have members in Montreal, QC, Moncton, NB, and in Nova Scotia. However, we all met while growing up in Moncton, and developing friendships over our mutual love of music definitely influenced our sound. From a very young age, we would hang out and jam together, go see live shows in town, watch our favorite live performances online on a loop, and drive around listening to CDs. This was not only good for our band’s chemistry, but it especially helped us create a sound that we all enjoy. We are also able to reference ideas and get on board with them really quickly when we can relate it to an artist we’ve listened to together in the past. There’s also quite a big music scene in Moncton (and in the Maritimes), especially our Acadian culture being loaded with talented and diverse artists, so it was really cool to be able to have people to look up to that would play in venues close to us regularly.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
We came up with the name Les Moontunes at the last minute, during the final minutes of our final rehearsal before our first show. We had booked a gig before having a determined set/original songs developed, and we didn’t have a name, which is kind of funny. We picked Les Moontunes from the pool of names we had thrown on a board since we thought it reflected the chiac dialect that we all speak, as well as the space-y sound we bring to the table through our music.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
One of the most fun and heartwarming shows we had recently was at Bains Publics, a cultural cabaret in Rimouski, QC. This was our first time playing outside of the Maritimes, and we were welcomed with such kindness and good vibes, starting with a big plate of homemade spaghetti from Marco (one of the founding members of Bains Publics). We were the only band playing that night so we didn’t expect much of a turnout, but we quickly found out there’s a really good crowd of generous and open-minded folks who live in Rimouski that like to support whatever’s happening at les Bains Publics. A must stop if you’re ever in the area!
Another memorable show would have to be our first ever gig - we played at the now defunct Plan B, which was a staple in the Moncton music scene for a decade or so. It was mostly our friends and family, but they had (for the most part) never heard us play our music. It was cool to finally share what we had been working on for so many nights!
Another great show we recently played was at the Marquee Ballroom in Halifax, NS for the East Coast Music Awards. This entire weekend was really sweet to participate in since we were able to connect with so many great people in the music industry, and on top of that, we got to perform at one of the coolest spaces in the Maritimes.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
There are a lot of memorable venues and crowds that come to mind so it’s tough to pick one. The first one that comes to mind is the Bains Publics stage again, simply because the overall experience of that show was quite honestly out of this world.
One spot that we’d love to play one day is the Theatre Monument Lefebvre, in Memramcook, NB. We actually recorded the brass parts for our first album there, but never played a show or anything like that. It’s a National Historic Site, and the room is just beautiful. It would be sweet to play there eventually!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Let’s put Kamasi Washington, King Crimson, Tigran Hamasyan, Black Sabbath and the Budos Band together for a show with us.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
It’s important to have patience and to make sure to keep having fun. Yes, you’ll have to work hard and it won’t always be a good time, but at the end of the day, you have to make sure you’re enjoying playing music most of the time.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Embrace making mistakes, and make sure to take risks. Learn from your experiences, then move forward to bigger and better places!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Jam en 7 - this is a song that we created together in the early stages of the band, when we were purely jamming for the fun of it. It really takes us back to what started this whole thing to begin with. It’s a relatively minimalist song, especially in the music’s development, and we did tweak it a bit once we got in the studio to record our first album, but the essence of it just brings us back to when we would jam in our parents’ basements until 2am. Fun times!
As far as the songs featured on our upcoming album, we’re incredibly happy with the end result of all the tunes. A special mention would have to go out to the yet to be released track Gallop in the Jungle: during the pre-production sessions, we were challenged by our producer Mike Trask to create a song that would have a much higher tempo than the rest of the ones we had written in the past. We ended up creating this beast of a song that hits really hard and clearly pays homage to our metal influences. It was really cool to fully embrace that while putting our own heavy soul sound into the song, plus it’s a super fun song to play live!
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
We’ve had the chance to try out all of our new songs from our upcoming album, Elephant Wizard (January 19, 2024) over our summer tour. These songs were super fun to play live! However, some of the songs that people want to hear the most so far have been Icey Delight and Colors.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
For the most part, we start off with an idea that usually comes from Miguel, our singer/pianist/main songwriter. Sometimes he brings in a fully completed song, other times just a riff or whatever. Then, we usually play around with it and each add our own flavor and/or make some tweaks to it. We did a lot of brainstorming for our upcoming album, both for the concept and for the music/lyrics, so that was quite fun.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Our lyrics are usually quite vague and tend to be more poetic than straightforward, so whatever messages folks perceive by listening to us, that’s exactly the one we’re trying to get across!
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Sure we do, we are 7 different people working together to create one sound, so there’s bound to be disagreements from time to time. When the inevitable happens, we try our best to keep things moving by either voting on certain topics, or having people in charge of specific roles within the band.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’re releasing a concept album called Elephant Wizard on January 19, 2024, and we are preparing a special something to go along with this that’ll be released at some point! We are looking forward to touring over the next year or so; we’re hoping to play in some cities further out West in Canada, as well as South of the border in the States. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements eventually!
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
We are on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, we have a website as well (lesmoontunes.com) and our music is available on Bandcamp and all common streaming services.