Latest release: In the Allure (Independent)Website: www.facebook.com/moanamusic/
Formed as a creative outlet by wildcat artist and performer Moana Mayatrix, Moana’s cross-media, genre-defying music has been captivating audiences in and around Perth since 2013. As the first full-length album In the Allure surfaces, we got Moana on the phone tell us about reflecting on her music, the creative process and having the same name as a Disney film.
When people talk about your music, they use a lot of different adjectives, but how do you describe it? If someone forced you to describe what it is you do, what would you say?
It always changes, because I tend to like what I hear from other people, rather than describing my own stuff. But at the moment, the best one I’ve heard is ‘heavy experimental witchy psychedelic rock’! It’s a bit of a mouthful, though!
I get the witchy part, and the psychedelic part…
It sort of encapsulates it, in a way. If I was going to be simple, I’d say art rock. It’s probably a bit more to the point. It depends on how into me the person is to hear me waffle lots of words!
How long have you been working on this album now?
Definitely the last two years, at least, but it’s been four years since we released our second EP, and during that time songs have been incubating during that time and we’ve had different band members play with us, and stuff. Even some of the songs… like Blood Moon is one that I’ve had incubating for a long time, so they’re all a bit mixed around. But definitely, the last two years has been knuckling down in the studio, and demoing, and all of that.
Are you able to concentrate on your art full time, or are there other things that you need to concentrate on as well?
To spend so much time on the album? Well, it’s been pretty full on. The album has been my full energetic focus. It’s like I have a second head attached to me which has been the In the Allure album head, and now it’s retracting and I’m returning to myself. So it’s been a pretty interesting and strange process.
Now that the album is out and you’ve had a chance to it let it percolate a bit, what are your thoughts on it?
Ummm… Well, I love the music. I mean… you go through the process of recording it all and then mixing and mastering, and I think by that point, for us, we’re all just a bit sick of the songs. But then you get a break between the mixing and making videos and there’s the schedule of how you release singles from an album. Eventually… now, to really listen to them, it’s really awesome to listen back and reflect on the lyrical content for me personally and to really be able see it from an outsider perspective, like, Oh wow, I never really noticed how much that song was about that particular point. I kind of zoom out, at the moment, and really see it from the outside and really observe different things that I couldn’t (see) when I was right in the middle of it.
When you look at that, are you amazed at the things that came out of you? Does it crystalised the moment from back then, so you see it in a different way now?
Yeah. For sure. It’s always surprising. I feel like when I look at my lyrics, it’s funny… I kind of feel like it’s a different person. Sometimes I can reflect and think, Wow, how wise that person is. I feel quite disconnected from Moana the poet as opposed to Moana the person, or Moana the writer, who has all this knowledge and insight and wisdom. So that’s kind of funny to reflect on myself. It’s amazing, but it’s strange to look back at your work. I know I don’t like to do it too much!
Let’s talk about some of the clips you’ve done. How much input do you have into those? Is it all your ideas, or is there a crew that works with you?
A lot of them is me, for sure. But it’s different with each clip, like with the first single Scarab… when I write, it’s very visual and there’s often different characters or symbols or visions that come to me, so when I’m working with a director, I can communicate what these visions are and then it’s collaborating with them into what they interpret that vision as, with their own set of artistic ideas and it becomes a beautiful collaboration by the end of it.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are coming to Sydney soon to play with Venom (Inc.)! That’s going to be an amazing gig.
Yeah, that’s right! We’re super excited by that show. I’ve never actually been to Frankie’s but I hear a lot about how it’s got quite a reputation for being a cool place to play and hang out, and to be on that line-up and celebrating the seventh birthday is just frickin’ awesome! I don’t know Venom super well, so I’ll have to look into them a little more. I’ll have to do some research! They sound intriguing.
They are very different from what you do, let’s face it! Now, it must be pretty frustrating for people trying to find you on Facebook and search engines, right? It’s not the first thing that comes up on Google, is it?
(laughing) I know! I know! It’s pretty funny! Obviously, that’s my name and we’ve had that as the band name for a while, so it’s been funny to see the change when the movie came out.
You never got a cease-and-desist letter from the Disney Corporation?
(laughing) No! Not yet!
Because you could say, “This is actually my name!” Maybe you could send them one!
I could say, “That was my name before your movie, man! “