If you’ve seen our latest Fall lookbook video for Inspiration Never Sleeps, you’ll know that it’s pretty friggin’ awesome. But we can’t take all the credit for its awesomeness, indie rock outfit Max and the Moon lent their musical expertise in order for us to have one of the most raddest soundtracks ever. About a month ago, we caught them live in action during their residency at The Constellation Room, and that was more than enough to put them right at the top of our soundtrack candidates. We caught up with Matt Couchois (lead singer/piano) and John Velasquez (lead singer/guitarist) to learn more about the guys behind the band.
TS: Let’s start out with a few fun facts about yourselves…
MC: Dillon and I (Matt) are brothers and grew up playing club soccer.
John played baseball for 9 years. When he was little he wanted to be a fire fighter, then a UPS man, then a trash man. Haha. Good thing he stumbled upon music.
Zachariah played football in high school and rocked the mullet as a child.
Bars of Coffee Shops?
MC: I would have to say coffee shops that turn into bars at night. I ran into a bunch when I was in Europe and theres a few in LA that I like a lot.
JV: Coffee shops. Beer is fun but coffee keeps you focused.
Herbivore or carnivore?
Can we say omnivore?? We are kind of a hybrid. We all eat pretty
healthy. Dillon is actually the only herbivore/vegetarian in the band.
Vinyl or Digital?
Definitely depends on our mood. Vinyl on a lazy day and digital for on the go.
Dilllon (drummer) and Zach (bass/vox) are vinyl fanatics.
TS: If Max and the Moon were a film genre, what would it be?
MC: Love this question because Zachariah and I are pretty huge film fanatics! Everything we put out it tends to change. Right now we’re in this 80’s nostalgia period. Think if John Hughes (Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club) or ’80s Ridley Scott (Legend) would be down to make our movie right now.
TS: What inspired your band name? Were there any honorable mentions?
MC: It actually came from a time I was watching the Conan O’Brien show when he was still on NBC. He had a drummer named Max Weinberg and he use to banter with him. One time he said something to the affect of “Max, I’m gonna shoot you to the moon!” and that was it. Haha.
TS: How’d you guys meet and come to form Max and the Moon?
MC: We’ve all been friends since we were younger so forming a band was pretty easy. John and I have known each other since we were 12. We used to skateboard together and when we started playing music it just made sense to be in a band together. John also knew Zachariah and Dillon, we’ve all been friends since we were younger so forming a band together was pretty easy.
TS: What are the dynamics of the band? Who’s the mom? Who takes the longest to get ready?
MC: The roles kind of change depending on what’s going on with the band. John and I tend to take the parental role in a lot of situations simply because we handle a lot of the business and networking for the band. Nevertheless, I think I may have to own up to taking the longest to get ready. But sometimes Dillon takes the cake because he’ll change five times before a show to get an outfit right. haha.
TS: For those who haven’t seen you before, what can they expect from your sets?
MC: We have 3 singers in the band, so you can expect a lot of harmony. We pride ourselves on being a very energetic/fun band. We work really hard to bring a lot of energy to each song and to the live experience. We also try to add something new to each song so the live experience is different then listening to a recording of us.
TS: It’s the apocalypse. You’ve got 30 seconds to grab 3 items. What are they?
MC: Realistically I would probably grab water food and medicine but that list is no fun.
1. Converse Chuck Taylors
3. Acoustic guitar
JV: I’d grab a ton of Cliff Bars cause I get moody if I don’t eat. A gun if I owned one so maybe a knife and my guitar, and headphones so I can use Matt’s iPod. Can I have four items?
TS: Best advice you’ve ever received?
MC: Don’t break up.
TS: What are your favorite spots in Los Angeles to…
Eat: food trucks (wherever they may be)
Drink: Rainbow Room
Chill: Griffith Observatory, Venice
TS: What is your favorite part of the creative process? Writing? Recording? Performing?
MC: They’re all so different from each other. Writing is great because it’s very intimate. It usually starts from an idea late at night on the guitar or piano. Recording is a collaborative thing but has it’s exciting and experimental side that’s very fun. Playing live is probably the most physically exciting part. Playing songs in front of an audience is both frightening and exhilarating. It touches on having an out of body at times and can sometimes only be appreciated after its happened.
TS: How would you define your personal style?
MC: I love to mix things up. I like to personalize my clothes by cutting them up or adding things. Cutting big shirts into tanks or sewing sleeves so they stay rolled up. I love leather jackets and leather or denim vests. Anything I can do to make stuff stand out. I don’t like to look the same every day.
JV: I take a lot of cues from Matt and Dillon. Not much of a style guy but I’m getting into it. I recently fell in love with Converse so I’d say that’s kind of becoming my thing.
TS: What’s one thing people don’t know about you guys and would be surprised about?
MC: Everything you see and hear of us has been done ourselves. We are very particular with the content we put out and we like to have creative freedoms. We’ve been lucky to have our hands in everything from the clothes/styling in our photo shoots to the album artwork. We also have an amazing team behind us that back our vision and sound, so that helps a ton.
TS: Any other artists/acts you’ve been listening to a lot lately?
MC: Yes! I love The 1975’s new record. They’re an amazing british rock band out of Manchester, England. Also been listening to Haim and Everything Everything as well.
JV: Same as Matt. Just add Tame Impala, Sir Sly, Lorde, and Alt-J to that list.
TS: What are you guys up to right now? What projects are brewing?
MC: At the moment we have a 7” double-sided single that we are putting out on vinyl this October. We also have a residency at The Bootleg Bar every Monday night of October to support the release (FREE, 21+). And… we are actually answering these questions from a studio in LA which means we may or may not have an EP coming out early next year. Keep your ears peeled!!
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