Quinte West locals Moon Sugar describe themselves as a Party/Dance band. I sat down with the group in their practice studio, a quaint house located in Carrying Place to talk about their experiences with genres, Rockfest, and the region they call home.
M: Tell me a little bit about how you guys ended up in this current group/genre?
MS: A few of us went to high school together. Sean has a recording studio here, so when the other fellas came to record in their high school bands that’s how we met. Then we played in a country band together and that’s when we joined forces. We stopped the country band last year and decided this year we wanted to start more of a dance/rock pop band instead.
M: What do you think the difference is between the country and pop crowd, do you think you can pull more with one genre over the other?
MS: Everyone loves dancing so even in the country band people loved to get up and groove and this one is a lot of fun too. We get a good reaction, people are very receptive to the dance stuff. It’s all people, for both bands anyway, that just want to have a good time, and that’s what we try to pull and put out too.
M: You guys are playing the Friday slot opening for The Trews at Rockfest, do you have any previous experiences with Rockfest? Do you think this time around you’ll get any VIP treatment?
MS: Some of us have seen Boston here a few years ago. We’ve been to the Empire and seen a lot of cool shows over the years there. We love The Trews, We all are big Trews fans. We’re probably gonna try to swing a foot rub, but we’ll probably just be getting one from one of the guys…we’ll see what happens.
M: Do you think that the Bay of Quinte bands have a regionally specific sound?
MS: I think it has a huge variety, it’s all over the place. It’s so saturated with musicians of all different styles, the County especially. You can go anywhere down there and see a flamenco guitar player or a rock band, right down the street from each other. There are also high caliber, crazy musicians everywhere which is really cool. We’re constantly blown away by the amount of talent in the area and it’s not just from the elders but the young people emerging too.
M: On that note, when you were younger did you have any difficulty finding places to play, or resources available to you in the area?
MS: Some of us were really fortunate. We had a grandfather in the band that got us all the stuff we needed to get going, like instruments and a P.A system, and he let us play at his place. In terms of venue over the last ten years, there has been a lot of great venues. Some have come and gone but there’s always been a lot of great bands and decent gigs in Trenton. We went right from high school to gigging and it was a seamless transition. It was really nice for us because everyone was pretty open and receptive to new music and I think that’s the general mindset of the area.
M: Favourite venues to play?
MS: Hayloft. It’s a real treat. All venues are great and we’re happy to play there, but there’s something magic about The Hayloft. It sounds amazing, it looks amazing and it’s sold out every night. It’s just a madhouse.
M: What’s next for you guys after Rockfest?
MS: We’ve got an album coming out the very next week. We’ve been taking this time to really rehearse and get them down for Rockfest. This has essentially been pre production for us to get them tight for the record as soon as we’re done. This next batch of tunes is a real evolution for us, they’re super dancey and super fun and that’s where we want to be.
Moon Sugar is Jordan Thomas, Logan Dillon, Ben Vandergaast and Sean Doyle. You can hear songs off their new album this Friday July 21st at 7:00pm opening for The Trews at Empire Theatre’s Rockfest.
For more band info visit their site at www.moonsugar.ca