POZ Interview: Moving Mountains
PropertyOfZack is happy to be posting a new interview with our friend Greg Dunn of Moving Mountains. Greg and I spoke towards the end of December about the band’s work on their new album, a possible release timeline, what working with a producer was like, touring, and much more. Check it all out below!
Moving Mountains just wrapped up The Triple Crown Tour, which was just a little run. That’s your first US tour since the spring. Was it fun to do those dates?
Yeah. That was an idea that we had for quite a long time and it kept getting pushed back with our schedules conflicting. But I’m happy that it finally came together. It’s kind of funny how things come around full circle like that because we’ve played more shows with O’Brother than any band we’ve ever played with and we’ve sort of grown up as a band with Caspian from the way beginning. So it kind of made sense for that lineup, for sure.
It’s got to be awesome that Triple Crown has those like-minded bands as well.
Yeah, it is pretty cool. It’s kind of funny how it all works out.
Before this tour, you guys spent a good amount of time in the studio recording the third album. It was the first time you guys worked with another producer. Did you know you wanted to do that right away?
No. We had been going through quite a bit. We were also going through having a new member on board and kind of figuring out exactly what we should do. We considered doing it ourselves and considered going through a few different producers. But we kind of wanted to throw ourselves into a situation that we knew we were going to be comfortable in. I think having another person, like producer, that has his hands in our music; we knew that was going to be stressful for us. So we went ahead and did that. We were in Atlanta for a little under a month. Then we took what we did there… We were supposed to finish it then and there. We were supposed to record for three and a half weeks and then mix and be done, but I think we learned through that process that it takes us a long time. We’re not the type of band that can just go into the studio and write and leave with something. So we had to take all the files with us to New York, and we’ve been working on it ever since.
So the record is not totally finished yet?
No. We keep setting these deadlines and we keep changing things and adding things. Every day we have a new perspective on what we’re going to do; always changing. I am supposed to go to Poughkeepsie tomorrow to this guy, Mike, who has worked on all of our records in some way or another. I’m actually going to his studio tomorrow; he’s been helping me put together all of this month’s worth of work of writing and recording to finally put it into one cohesive mix thing. It’s weird. Moving Mountains has always sort of been a product of experimenting on your own. It started with Nick and I experimenting. Through the course of our band’s career there’s been more and more people getting involved. It’s also been tough figuring out how to adapt to that. We’re always still struggling. We’re the type of band that needs to be left alone for a little while to come up with music. You know?
Has it been stressful though? You’ve all done everything on your own before this so even if you’re expecting to get something done by date ‘X’ it could be different than expected… working with a different producer; and having to finish it on your own.
Yeah. This was the first time we were all put in that position. You put out a record and then you tour. We did a lot of touring in support of Waves. During that time we also had to figure out a way to write another record. We got home and then we had about a month to write an entire record and then we had a month in the studio. In our experience, writing a record can take anywhere between six months and a year. So it was definitely a pretty intense experience: waking yourself up every day and forcing yourself to be creative… which is something we’re not used to. But I think that because of that forced sort of structure that we were giving, it, in a way, allowed us to make something that is definitely different than the stuff we’ve done in the past. We didn’t have a lot of time to make decisions and I think that the record… The record is definitely different than stuff we’ve done in the past. I’m really happy, ultimately, with how it’s turned out. I guess that’s what’s most important.
Waves was a big shift from the works before it. What are we looking at with this?
I think Waves represented a time where we were very excited to be on the road and to connect with people live and to bring that sort of energetic, alive and aggressive aesthetic. That was sort of our live record. I think this one is a much better representation of… I don’t know. We didn’t really keep in mind playing these songs live. We just said “Let’s make a record” that we would listen to all the time; that we wouldn’t have to worry about playing live. It’s a bit more familiar to our older material. But at the same time it’s different enough that we’ve never really done anything like it.
Depending on meeting deadlines and stuff, when were you aiming for a release?
Well, I know Triple Crown wants to put it out sometime early next year. That was always the deadline or goal that we were aiming for. I think we’re still on track to make that work. I think it will come out sometime in the spring. Its crazy how in two years, your mentality can shift. It really affects your music, obviously.
What mentality is that?
Well, I don’t know. I guess I can say we’ve always been a band to put out different sounding records. It’s not really a huge surprise that we’re doing something different this time around. I think when we write records we very rarely think, “Ok what have we done in the past?” “If we do this, all our old fans are going to be irritated.” We ask “How do we feel? What have we gone through? Let’s just fuckin’ make music that immediately reflects that.” Each record is a totally new clean slate for us. I think that the past two years being on the road, just about all the time, definitely had an influence on the new CD.
Like you mentioned a little, Josh has also become a new member of the band, following Frank leaving. Was that interesting as well? Creatively speaking.
Yeah for sure. Like I said we’re always adapting, we’ve never been comfortable. We’ve never been a band that has a regular practice base. We’ve never been a conventional band by any means. So yeah, it definitely added a lot. Mostly good. Any bad is just stress because we’re constantly adapting new things. Josh is great. The thing that was particularly great about having Josh on board is that he is more hard-working than the rest of us are. He’s better at being in a band than we are. He sort of has kept us all in check the past year or so. Which has been good. We definitely need it.
Are there any plans for touring yet? In the next year?
No plans for touring. Really just putting all of our thought process into getting this record out. But no plans for touring as of yet.
In the last few months, you’ve released some more ambient solo music. And there’s another project as well. Will we be seeing more from those as well?
Yeah. With that solo thing, I really was planning on having something ready by the end of this year. But given that the Moving Mountains stuff has kind of taken over, I’ll probably have to push that to winter of next year (2013). But I am hoping to do a lot more with that in the future, as another outlet in which I can put music out. There’s something to be said about music that you can just write and then immediately put out onto the internet with no politics whatsoever. It’s a really great feeling. Like, “I made that song and I’m just going to put it online now.” That was it. There was no timeframe with a publicist. There’s something to be said for how fulfilling and nice that is.
Yeah, it’s got to be a nice shift.
It is, yeah.
The album should be done sometime soon then? For Moving Mountains.
Yeah we should be done pretty soon. I know we sort of fell off the face of the earth with updating anyone, but we haven’t had the energy to even tell people what’s going on. We don’t even know what’s going on. We’ve just been working so hard on trying to finish it. It just takes forever.
You guys got good tours with Thrice and Coheed, and smaller runs in between. Is there a direction you want to go with regards to touring this record?
Really have no clue. For us, we’re kind of in a weird position because touring is like getting an opportunity to get to play with the bands that inspired us to play. We’ve sort of made a dream team list of all of our favorite bands that we could have dreamt to tour with. Then during that cycle, we had the opportunity to do that. We toured with Thrice and we toured with Thursday. We crossed off the bands that inspired us to become a band. So now we’re in this interesting perspective. We have to tour by ourselves and find a new path that isn’t just supporting those bands that inspired us. We haven’t really figured it out yet.
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