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Moone - Moone Newsletter Interview

20 Sep 2018 // An interview by ApolloSteamTrain

Brendan from muzic.net.nz spoke to Moone about her music, writing process and what the future holds. Here's what she had to say:

Tell us about Moone and your musical journey so far. When and why did you start playing? Is your family musical?

I studied at the school of creative arts in Sydney majoring in contemporary vocals and owned and operated a recording studio for several years in Australia. My Grandfather played the piano for the silent movies, he was also a concert pianist, my Aunt was an Opera Singer and my Rice family had a travelling Production / Performance Company.

How did the name come together?

My name in English is Moon I added the “e” at the end because most internet platforms would not allow me to use Moon which kinda blows but now I dig the “e” it makes Moone feel more feminine to me.

What is your format for performing live?

It usually depends on the gig and the audience. I usually find out ahead of time approximate numbers, type of venue. I really like connecting with my audience and getting to know who’s there is really important to me. I’m usually checking everyone out before the gig.

When/Why did you start singing / performing?

My first performance was when I was about 5 years old. My sister and I were travelling by bus from Wellington to Te Puke. I sung to the travellers while my sister held her hat out for lollies.

Which musicians do you admire? Why?

Johnny Cash, Prince, Bob Marley, Janice Joplin, James Brown, Nina Simone….. I could go on and on… I love them all it’s so hard to stick to just a few… I’m very eclectic but they all have the same traits – great performers, unique singers, charismatic, interesting, dramatic, amazing songwriters, stylish, cool and hard working.

Which musicians have you learned from?

Right now, Joel Shadbolt from L.A.B is teaching me guitar. I told him I’m not a guitarist's arsehole which made him laugh. I’m totally dysfunctional in my playing I use the guitar to write songs and I like to think my vocal over shadows my guitar playing. Thank God Joel's patient.

Other teachers?

Janice Light was one of my vocal teachers she gets a mention because she is hard to forget. She toughened me up and really taught me what it meant to be a singer. She started the Sydney Operatic Society, tough as old boots and totally worth the pain and suffering that helped me grow into a singer’s singer. Let’s just say I made sure I practiced!

What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighbourhood or town?

Singing show tunes to my Grandmother when she was in hospital – I just remember the smile and the twinkle in her eye. It was the best feeling ever to sing to her and give her a bit of happiness. My kids have their very own special songs that I’ve always sung to them they know what they are. When they were babies their song was called ‘go to sleep’ to the point and very repetitive. Haha that was when they were torturing me with sleep deprivation.

Do you get nervous before a performance? How to you prepare to be on stage?

I’m a cheap date so anything past a glass of red wine would be beyond preparation. I get really excited and feel more comfortable on stage then in a crowd. Elbows freak me out they’re so pointy.

What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?

I usually know what to say to someone at the time, but it depends on the person and what I think they need to enable them to perform their best. I have worked with artists before and it is a delicate process.

How often and for how long do you practice?

I sing every day (even in my head) and try not to avoid my lonely guitar….

Can you describe your song writing process?

Unconventional, sometimes I write a song in five minutes, sometimes I come back to it, sometimes I’m in the car and have to pull over so I don’t crash trying to get it out (so inconvenient). I write interesting charts so sometimes my song can be cryptic and there are times I’ll sing a lead break to a muso. Lucky for me I work with cool, magical musicians who know how to play what I sing. 

How do you balance your music with other obligations - partner, children, job?

I have a fabulous partner who supports everything I do unconditionally. I couldn’t do this without his love and support. He is my rock! I try to separate my music time and my family time sometimes it’s tricky. My partner and kids keep me well and truly grounded.

Tell me about your next / upcoming shows?

I’m singing at Karyl Gunn-Thomas’ book launch in Te Puke at The Vector Group Charitable Trust. Her book is called “My Story” which is about being abused. An incredible story of suffering and finding a way to survive. One of my songs is about a woman who is telling her story retrospectively to her abuser. Powerful stuff!

I am playing my debut show which amazingly sold out a month prior. Local singer/songwriter Jack Kearney is opening with all original songs, he's a fantastic performer and true professional. I am releasing my debut single DLB Drunken Little Bitch on the night and it is also being distributed worldwide at the same time. I have a fantastic band (Phill Reha - guitar, Josh Reha - bass, Silas Tawhara - drums) we will be playing 12 original songs. At the end of October I am excited to be supporting the Focus on Woman’s Expo where I have a spot singing in the arena.

What are your achievements so far?

I stopped singing for ten years so getting back into the music industry has been a huge achievement. With the support of Phill Reha he enabled me to make the move, he understood my music and the vision. I wouldn’t have done this without his loyalty and undying passion for music, he’s been a huge part of the process. In his very generous, easy-going way he coaxed me back onto the stage. 

What are the challenges for you in being an Independent NZ artist?

I see every small step I make a move towards my goals. I know I need to be patient and sometimes that can be challenging. Doing everything has been an incredible learning curve it has made me more appreciative of what it takes to do the sometimes-thankless jobs behind the scenes.

What are you own goals / dreams for your musical career?

My goal is to create music I'm really proud of and love. My dream is for everyone to hear my music, feel it, relate and to take them to that place that only music can take you...

What has been the highlight of your musical journey so far?

The process of making music! I’ve really enjoyed the journey and the people I have had the privilege to work with along the way. 


About Moone

Singer, performer, songwriter Moone, Marama Rice, was born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand.

Currently, residing in the country of the Bay of Plenty she draws musical influences from James Brown, Johnny Cash, Janice Joplin, Bob Marley and Prince, as well as her family's kiwifruit orchard on the back of the Kaituna River where she lives.

Review by Johnny B Squid

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