Four-piece indie rock group Moxie just released their second album Flow of Color earlier this month. We had the chance to chat with them about their inspirations, how the album came together, and what they’ve been up to these past few months.
How did you meet and end up starting the band?
Daniel: Me and Rei were in a band before this and our guitar player Leander and I were also in a band before Moxie. Me, David, and Rei were in another band so we knew each other through that. We all wanted to be in a band together so we just made it happen.
What artists did you listen to growing up?
David: Growing up, my dad was a huge Bob Dylan fan, and my mom loved Elton John and the Beatles.
Rei: Yeah, growing up for me—my dad loved Lionel Richie and 80s pop, and my mom was a big fan of The Police, so I listened to a lot of them.
Daniel: My dad was a big fan of Fugazi and also The Beatles and The Strokes. My mom likes disco music a lot so it was an interesting mix of both of those.
What is your songwriting process like?
Rei: It’s pretty collaborative, we’ll come together either with a riff or a full structure of a song and send it a voice memo or just bring it up during practice and slowly from there we’ll build off and add our own parts. During quarantine it’s been interesting because we’ve been able to share and record things just from home and then record on top of them and layer to make songs—so that’s been interesting. But yeah, pretty collaborative and everyone writes their own stuff.
How is it different being from Vermont as opposed to being in a big city like New York?
David: The first thing is venues, starting from the most basic, we don’t have the huge venues you’d see anywhere else—not to mention if we could even get there or not. There’s also not an established musical path or career built for youth musicians in this state, which might be different in another city. I think there would be some remnants of those who have worked through their music career.
Who are some of your biggest influences when it comes to your overall sound?
Rei: In another interview we did earlier, our guitarist who isn’t here, Leander put it like we all come from different backgrounds and genres of music but definitely the common denominators for us are bands like The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, and people like that that we grew up with. For me personally, I like a lot of indie pop like Maggie Rogers, I love. I also love Lake Street Dive and Amy Winehouse so it’s a good range. Those bands and artists with rich vocals I really take a lot of influence from.
Daniel: For me, the drummer of the Arctic Monkeys is one of my favorites for sure. A local drummer named Zach James who used to be the drummer for this band the Snaz is also a pretty big influence for a lot of us just because they were the big youth band at the time. But his drumming style is definitely something I look up to a lot. I wish I could have it I guess.
David: For the bass, I’d say a lot of melodic players. Paul McCartney, Thundercat and then some that really fill in the groove like James Jamerson.
Tell us a bit about your new album Flow Of Color.
Rei: Flow of Color is the album we just released on June 1st. It’s eleven songs, all written over the span of a good amount of time—almost two years now. The earliest song we wrote on it was in February 2018. Lyrically it’s similar to the Fall LP, I write a lot from my own experience. A lot of it is specific to things coming up in relationships or what it’s like at this age, sort of a loss of innocence and nostalgia—that type of thing.
Daniel: Musically, since the first album I think we wrote all the songs within a year and a half maybe. This one, since we had a lot more time to be around each other and to play music with each other. We just gelled more as musicians and just as friends so we were really comfortable doing whatever around each other—especially musically—so that paved the way for some cool sounding songs we wouldn’t have been able to write without being so tight-knit as a band.
Rei: Another thing that’s been exciting about this album is that we got to dive a lot more into the production side of things more and mixing. We had one of our friends Gabe Bradshaw mix the album and we worked side by side with him on the production aspects and going deeper into that.
What’s your favorite track off the album?
Daniel: I think I’m tied with two. “Summer Fever” is definitely my favorite sounding song, I think the mix of it came together really well and captured the energy it has when we play it live. I really like “Breathe Again” too because it’s a really fun song—I just like that song a lot.
Rei: For me, I think “Hard to Be” is my favorite song off the album, not only musically do I love it and how all the parts come together, but also that’s the song I think we worked on the longest. I sent the first voice memo for it in December 2017 and then we didn’t actually write it until this past January in full. It was a long time in the works and because we had that amount of time to work on it and flesh out our ideas, it was able to result in a well thought through final product.
David: I think my favorite comes from an attachment I have to playing it live and I think it’s “Breathe Again” because it’s a really interesting and energetic song. One that surprised me was “White Blossoms” because I think the production brought out another, more vulnerable side of the music that I don’t think I fully dove into before.
If Moxie was a cover band, what band would you cover and what would you call the band?
Rei: I think to echo what Daniel was saying earlier, for me, it would be the Snaz. And it’s so funny to say that because they’re just kids. They’re unfortunately no longer together but they’re just kids like four or five years older than us, but definitely when I was just starting to play guitar and starting to write songs I would watch their videos on repeat and learn all the guitar parts and the lyrics and stuff. I just think they’d be really fun to cover.
Daniel: What would you name the band?
Rei: I don’t know! It’s hard to come up with something better than The Snaz. Just The Snaz 2.0 I guess.
Who would you love to tour with in the future?
Daniel: I think Alvvays. I’ve just never seen them live but I’ve always really wanted to. So if we got to tour with them I’d get to do that all the time and I’d be really happy.
Rei: I think for me it would be Rubblebucket because I’ve seen them live and their live performance is amazing and I’d love to see them every night, it’d be a lot of fun.
David: I’d say a band called Woo Park—a big ensemble because it’s complex and tight and they’re like halfway to being a jam band but I think it’d be fun to see them every night.
What do you do when you’re not working on music? What have you been up to during quarantine?
Rei: I was finishing up school and stuff, we had online schooling for a while going on. Trying to get out as much as possible so a lot of hikes and swimming around in the area. I also just started working at a local cafe to get a summer job and some extra money so that’s been nice. But yeah, trying to stay busy and see people socially distanced.
Daniel: I’ve been able to get out and skateboard a little bit which I’m happy about. That’s pretty much it.
David: It’s been nice to have the time and encouragement to be outside more often. I think if this were a regular year I wouldn’t have gone on all the hikes and bike rides and all the ways to appreciate nature that I don’t usually do in pre-covid life.
What artists or albums have you been listening to lately?
Rei: I’ve been listening to a lot of indie pop like Omar Apollo and Frank Ocean. Lake Street Dive is always on repeat for me, so them as well.
David: A bit of Revolver. Some Highway 61 Revisited. Some Blood on the Tracks.
Daniel: A new artist that I started liking a lot is this guy Thom Fekete. An artist that I always listen to is Unknown Mortal Orchestra, I really like them.
Anything else you want fans to know?
Rei: CDs are coming soon! We hope you guys enjoy the album and hopefully we’ll be able to make it out to the west coast and see listeners in person soon!
Listen to Flow of Color here: