With the first of this fall’s Bonfire Sessions only three days away, The Moondoggies lead singer and guitarist took some time out of his day to answer a couple questions from JanSport’s resident music guy, Matt.
Q: Alright, give us the origin story: how and when did the band get together?
A:The band as it is started late 2005, however we have a deeper history then that going farther back. The Moondoggies came when I returned from a summer in Alaska. I was very anxious to start playing and was putting together an idea of a record that I’d incorporate my friends on. It picked up steam with Carl (Dahen) learning drums and singing and Caleb (Quick) and I joining up again. Jon Pontrello, who is now a full time member, had been a song writing partner back in that early time.
Q. When did you guys know this was something you wanted to make your life?
A: I think when I heard Nirvana, when I was 7, was when I started day dreaming about living as a musician.
Q: The band definitely seems to be keeping busy: you’ve got some hugely high profile gigs coming up with ACL, Caravan Fest and a whole bunch of tour dates between. Do you guys like to be on the road?
A: YES. Most of the time I do.
Q: What were some of the highlights from this last summer?
A: SlackFest. Writing our third record. Bringing the van back to life.
Q: Does your van have a name?
A: Brian Dennehey
Q: Who in the band has the worst eat cheap tour diet? I played in a band with a guy who’d eat nothing but cold chunky soup out of the can and those little Armour canned sausages you get at gas stations. Nasty…
A: In terms of our band, me maybe. Jeremy (slide guitar) eats the fastest and Jon Pons’ (banjo/guitar/good vibes) family use to call him garbage gut, you can ask him about that.
Q: What’s your favorite tour stop? Other than home of course…
A: Anytime we can meet up with old friends on the road.
Q: Do you have a favorite venue?
A: Tractor (in Ballard, WA) is always a good time.
Q: Have you ever played a bonfire before?
A: Yes….but as soon as the drum circle starts, I’m outta there.
Q: For those out there that haven’t heard you yet, how would you describe your music?
A: Rock and roll.
Q: Did you set out to create a certain sound in the beginning, or did your sound naturally evolve to where it is?
A: I think it’s always changing. The new stuff is different to me. I never set out to DO anything other then make what I like to make and try to push something more out of it.
Q: There’s a clear classic rock & roll influence on your music- The Band comes to mind. Who has had the most direct influence on your sound?
A: 104.5 fm Covington
Q: If you could share the stage with one act from that era, who’d it be?
A: The Mothers of Invention
Q: Is there a bigger message to your music? What do you want people to walk away from a show with?
A: Boogie…The universal message to me has been to try and relate to each other. Put the intangible into form. But we shouldn’t over intellectualize music either.
Dont’ forget to RSVP to be the first to find out how you can get a lift to the Seattle Bonfire Sessions and see the Moondoggies live under the stars!