Montreal’s The Moonlight Club released their debut release, an EP, Words in Gold in October 2015. I had the chance to chat with Francois Royer Mireault (FRM) and Frank Rousso (FR) and John Pankert (JP), continue reading to find out more about the band below and connect with them on their social media pages!
First off, can you introduce yourself to Canadian Beats readers?
FRM: We’re a Montreal based alternative 3-piece rock band. We like to combine 60’s jangle pop, 80’s punk and a bit of Americana. We’re 100% independent and we aim to inspire people to pursue their creative projects, that’s why use the band as a way of collaborating with our friends: artists, photographers, DJs, writers, etc.
Who are your influences?
FRM: One interesting thing about influences is that we rarely discuss them and we would not agree on a top 5. We all have very different record collections and we all try to add a different flavor to the mix. It’s safe to say I aim for jangly pop and Americana, John grooves on classic rock and modern indie while Frank brings a bit of punk and some obscure indie. We are 3 musicians with very different musical background but we see it as a huge advantage over our process to create music.
How did you meet?
FRM: Originally, we all grew up in a small town between Montreal and Quebec known as Trois-Rivières. We met years ago through snowboarding, skateboarding and goofing around. We reunited in Montreal after we all moved here for work and new adventures.
What inspired your band name, The Moonlight Club?
FRM: This is a tricky one. I had a mysterious note in my cellphone labeled “The Moonlight Club”. I remembered it as kitsch bar I saw in New Orleans. We liked the imagery of it and the double entendre with the fact that we are moonlighters – we all have day jobs. Six months laters, I realised the reference came from a book: The Moonlight Club was in fact a London club that hosted bands like Joy Divison and The Specials in the 80’s. We kept it anyways.
How was the recording experience for Words in Gold?
FRM: Pretty much like a punch in the face. We had no idea what we were doing. I got in touch with David Smith after seeing his name on the back of an Elephant Stone record. We bootstrapped a dozen of demos in our rehearsal studio and then recorded 5 songs at Breakglass Studios in about 4 days. We recorded on tape (analog) playing live in the same room. I spent about one day adding guitars and the three of us jumped in for back vocals (hat’s off to Cedric, our friend and drummer at the time of recording). It was quite raw and organic because we had no time and no experience. We loved it!
Whom, or what, were the inspirations for the tracks on Words in Gold?
FRM: Most of the tracks I’ve written came from a period between 2010-2013 where I had just moved to Montreal and was trying to figure out how to live like an adult – escaping city’s life, finding a way to make a living, friendships, dreams, goodbyes and a bit of love. Listening to The Kinks, The Byrds, The Stone Roses, The Smiths and Neil Young helped me figured out how to arrange the songs.
JP: Writing You are was a bit more introspective. Looking back at a lot of experiences and regrets and trying to make sense of it all.
Do you have any favourite songs off the recording that are your favourites to perform? Why?
Words In Gold, because it’s the first song we played as a band and has clearly defined our sound.
You are. The dynamic range also gives chills every time and indeed, John’s voice is sexy.
Never Nothing Wrong, acoustically – it’s an anti-hero and quite different from the rest.
We have two new songs that are also extremely fun to play live: Black Two Sugars, A Little Too easy. You’ll have to come see us play or wait for an album to hear them 🙂
For those who have yet to see play, how would you describe your live shows?
FRM: Quite loud. A bit messy. We like it to be a party. We like our shows to be reunions where people meet, exchange, dance a bit and leave inspired to create their own thing. That’s what the band is all about. We also like to complete the program by inviting artists or DJ friends.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2016?
FRM: Play around Montreal/Quebec and finalize demos for an album coming out in 2017. We also want to push new art projects with our friend Olivier Charland, who designed our EP’s cover.
At Canadian Beats, we like to include a section of questions to help fans get to know more about you.
Who are your favourite Canadian artists?
FRM: The Band, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen. More recently, Half Moon Run and Elephant Stone.
JP: Plants and animals, The Barr Brothers, Dallas Green, Eric Lapointe.
FR: The Dears, Malajube, Les B.B. and of course Jean Leloup.
What is one thing you cannot leave your home without?
FRM: Something to write things down: either my phone or a pen and paper.
FR: A solid Spotify drum playlist.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
FRM: Probably because I have a huge sunburn right now – Anchorage, Alaska.
FR: I got really excited when I think being surrounded by nature in New-Zealand.
JP: Sri Lanka and Berlin. Going to the beach on an elephant!
Who was the first concert you attended as a fan? What about your last concert as a fan?
FRM: Wyclef Jean / Father John Misty
FR: Sam Roberts / Cage The Elephant
JP: Big Wig / Crystal Fighters
What is your favourite summer activity?
FRM: We’re from Montreal so on top of playing music, we like to eat, drink and go out during the few weeks of Summer we have. We just come back from a road trip in Maine that was all about surfing, eating lobster and singing French songs from old Quebec’s bands.
JP: Biking. It’s really nice to be able to experience the city with that much more freedom.
FR: Summer in Montreal is where the magic happens. Just add a BBQ, some baseball gloves, your greatest friends and you’ve got, in my opinion, the perfect summer activity.
Finally, is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?
FRM: Thanks for reading! Playing music is just a way of opening ourselves to other interesting people. If you want to collaborate, invite us to play and share something with us, say hit at moonlightclubmtl (at) gmail.com, we’re friendly 😉
Hi Everyone! My name is Remington Fioraso. I am a graduate of the University of the Fraser Valley’s Bachelor of Arts program in Sociology, Anthropology, and Media and Communication Studies. Within my program, I focused on social media, learning about contemporary and classical sociological theory (Including Marx, Foucault, Bourdieu, and Durkheim), and communicating effectively in various modes and for different audiences (including oral communication, business communication, academic writing, entertainment media, and presentations utilizing visual media). Within my program, the question arose for many courses, “What is the relevance in the real world?” Stepping (temporarily) away from being in university, I gained an interest in Latin American development, social movements, and business. Sooner than later, I will be applying for post-grad programs to dive further into LA development and social movements to gain a theory-background in addition to a personal perspective onto the topics. In my free time, I love to travel, consume media, eat, listen to music, and write. Listening to music and writing led to my interest in working with Canadian Beats! I have been a part of the team since April 2014. A few of my personal highlights of interviews include ones with some of my favourite artists – Sumo Cyco, Madeline Merlo, and High Valley. Be sure to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!