Author Archives: Citizen LA

Hard Summer: 10 Year BDay

A secret pre-festival birthday party was thrown to celebrate the HARD Summer music festival, which is coming up on its ten year anniversary this August 2017.

Kill The Noise, BOT, 12th Planet and others were on hand to wreak sonic havoc during the private event–presented by MIXMAG–where there was no lack of booze (thanks to Deep Eddy Vodka), hugs and sweat. Not to disappoint, DESTRUCTO was also on deck to happily drop his own brand of insanity surrounded by close friends, and die-hard fans lucky enough to attend the invite only occasion.

After ten long years of kick-ass hard-hitting electronic music, Gary Richards’ HARD Summer Fest is still going strong… and with DJ SNAKE, JUSTICE, ZEDS DEAD, RAE SREMMURD, BASSNECTAR and SNOOP DOGG on the bill for this year’s anniversary event at the Glen Helen Amphitheater, 2017 will not disappoint.

A special tribute to Mobb Deep member PRODIGY (who recently passed) is scheduled for August 5, which will feature a specially designed video presentation of memorials from around the world, plus a set from HAVOC of Mobb Deep joined by special guest performers, and a tribute DJ set from A-TRAK. Also to note, SNOOP DOGG will perform his seminal album “Doggystyle” LIVE in its entirety for the first time.

Tickets & camping spots are still available… so what chu waiting for?

Road To EDC Las Vegas: Autograf

Corona Electric Beach launches their “Road to EDC Las Vegas” with Autograf who will be bringing their sexy futuristic electronica to the W Hollywood, where guests can expect to see a completely made-over venue with custom cabanas, pool floaties and plenty of chilled Coronas on deck.

After remixing prominent artists such as Lorde and Pharrell, Autograf released their first song “Dream” and have continued to deliver well-crafted tracks which are deeply rooted in installation art and other equally immersive entertainment.

Metal Maya 2017

A 4-day all-inclusive heavy metal destination festival vacation, Metal Maya summons the dark spirits of Halloween, celebrates Día de los Muertos, and pays tribute to our Metal Gods at the luxurious Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun just south of Cancun in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Metal Maya guests will not only enjoy luxury accommodations, but the all-inclusive package will take care of gourmet meals, and all beverages (including alcohol). Guests will enjoy festive celebrations on both Halloween (October 31) and the traditional Mexican Dia de los Muertos (November 1).

The festival features bands performing on multiple stages in an intimate environment with only 1,000 guests. The initial music lineup includes: Anthrax, Overkill, Superjoint, Death Angel, Otep, and heavy metal all-star band Metal Allegiance, which includes Phil Demmel (Machine Head), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Gary Holt (Slayer/Exodus), Mark Menghi, Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs, Transatlantic, Flying Colors, The Neal Morse Band), Steve “Zetro” Souza (Exodus), Ryan Waste (Municipal Waste), and more special guests.

Metal Maya host Jose Mangin of SiriusXM and Affliction said, “I love how exotic our Metal world is getting, and look forward to partying among the living…and with the spirits of the dead! Under the serpent sun…we shall MOSH!”

Tmrw.Tday Culture Fest

Embark on a weeklong journey into consciousness, conviction and energy work in one of the world’s most coveted travel locations, Jamaica. An intimate blissful destination festival experience, Tmrw.Tday brings together alluring music, delicious food, captivating activities and miles of pure, pristine coastline pulsating with positive island vibes.

Featuring headlining musical acts Protoje & The Indiggnation, Wolf + Lamb, Toddla T and the festival’s official Reggae Ambassador Chris Blackwell, Tmrw.Tday has mastered an eclectic fusion of local and international talent, celebrating Caribbean heritage and global sounds alike.

Daytime activations will offer a series of wellness programs such as yoga, fitness classes, health & medicinal healing workshops and guided meditations led by world-renowned instructors, providing a diverse selection of educational activities to cleanse the body, detoxify the mind, and heal the spirit.

Tmrw.Tday will take foodies on a culinary quest through Jamaica’s famous food scene, where adventurous spirits can feast on tantalizing traditional fare while celebrating the importance of sustainable agriculture and organic eating.

Encompassing music, wellness, gastronomy, and adventure, Tmrw.Tday presents an impressive, fully immersive schedule designed for self-discovery, and encouraging above all things a chance to find inner peace and purpose among the glistening beaches of Negril.

The Philadelphia Jazz Festival

In conjunction with Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture & Creative Economy, the first ever Philadelphia Jazz Festival will be presented as part of Jazz Appreciation Month and is to take place in multiple venues across the city.

In their inaugural year, the Philadelphia Jazz Festival will present a comprehensive mix of artists across a broad musical spectrum including Terri Lyne Carrington, Madison McFerrin, Bob Dorough, Jeff Bradshaw, Jaguar Wright, Orrin Evans, Gerald Veasley, and more.

Festival masterminds, the Bynum Brothers—creators of popular restaurants/jazz venues including SOUTH, Paris Bistro, and RELISH—have created ‘The Philadelphia Jazz Experience’; a new non-profit organization whose mission is to support local, national, and internationally recognized artists.

The festival strives to create an impactful annual event that resonates throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, preserving and promoting the emblematic jazz history of Philadelphia. Additionally, the festival will have a strong charity component targeting the Food Connect Group, Big Brothers & Big Sisters and the North Broad Street Renaissance.

The Festival also offers an important Education & Outreach component with several events throughout the week. Partnered with organizations such as the Kimmel Center, Jazz Lives Philadelphia, and Jazz Journeys, youths and seniors have been invited to attend a “Meeting with the Masters” program, various meet and greets, discussions, luncheons, and more.

Sponsors and supporters for the festival include Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, PECO, Stella Artois, Brown Foreman, Promixo Beverage, Penn Beer, Breakthru Beverage, Southern Wines & Spirits, among others.

The Philadelphia Jazz Festival is to take place from April 23-30. For a full schedule of events visit:

‘Blackest Of The Black’ Festival

The brainchild of Glenn Danzig, this new festival features two stages, sinister attractions, and an immersive sensory overload walkthrough experience based on his music and graphic novels of Glenn Danzig.

In addition to the outstanding musical lineup–which includes Danzig, Ministry, Suicidal Tendencies, Corrosion of Conformity, Atreyu, Vamps, and others–Blackest Of The Black will offer a Verotik/Comic Con area, a roaming freak show filled with contortionists, demons, thrill rides, and a Sugar Skull Contest.

The main attraction, Castle Danzig, is an interactive walkthrough where attendees will find a sacrifice altar, bondage stage, suspension stage, electro stage, blood bath, a padded cell, a giant Ouija board, cage dancers, agony, ecstasy and much more, all within the vicinity of the eerie castle and courtyard.

The festival will be hosted by Full Metal Jackie (from KLOS) and is sponsored by Modelo, Rockstar Energy Drink, Cosmic Fog, Musicians Institute, Blackcraft Whiskey, and SlideBar.

The Blackest Of The Black festival is to take place in Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, CA in Orange County on Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-27. Information on tickets, VIP packages, camping and more can be found here.


Fight your way through the streets of Tokyo as one of the members of the ultimate life form rock band Man With A Mission.

The five-piece half-man half-wolf band, who blend rock, punk, pop and dance, release their new interactive computer game to coincide with their latest single “Dead End In Tokyo”. In the game, players make their way to a show while helping free the others from kidnappers and collecting coins along the way.

Thawed out of icy coffins in 2010, Man With A Mission has torn through Japan with a feral rock ‘n’ roll energy on par with that of Godzilla to become an international phenomenon in their own right. The song “Dead End In Tokyo” is an ode to the people who come to Tokyo with big dreams but end up stuck in a dead end.

Tokyo Tanaka (vocals), Kamikaze Boy (bass), Jean-Ken Johnny (vocals and guitar), DJ Santa Monica (DJ) and Spear Rib (drums) who comprise MAN WITH A MISSION are currently on tour in Japan and are expected to come stateside later this year.

“Dead End In Tokyo” The Game is available worldwide in English and Japanese on desktops and smart phones. Play here:


Since the opening of the Camden Theatre on December 26, 1900, Camden Town has been an integral part of London’s music scene. Throughout the years, numerous venues found within the town have hosted the likes of Led Zepplin, The Who, the Ramones, The Clash, Oasis, The Strokes and many more pivotal artists.

Now in its sixth year, the Camden Rocks Festival once again showcases the raw talent which fuels the industry, keeping the musical legacy of Camden Town alive. With artists such as Feeder, The Coral, Milburn, Royal Republic, Pulled Apart By Horses, Orange Goblin, Black Orchid Empire, Jasmine Rodgers and a slew of others, the 2017 event is poised to kick some major ass.

Among this year’s many highlights, punk rock legends The Damned–the first British band to release a punk single in 1976–will play an exclusive set list. Adding to the insanity, Camden Rocks 2017 will also host a special reformation from original Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook’s “The Professionals”.

Participating venues include, Koko, Electric Ballroom, Underworld, Dingwalls, Proud, Camden Assembly, Black Heart, Monarch, The Forge, The Crowndale, Dublin Castle, Dingwalls Canalside, Bloc Bar, Hawley Arms, Good Mixer, Brew-Dog, Be At One, Devonshire Arms, Belushis, Winnicott, The Fiddlers Elbow, The Lyttelton Arms, The Pack & Carriage, Camden Market Amphitheatre.

Following a sold-out event in 2016, this year will see Camden Rocks Festival up the stakes again, set to host a staggering 250 bands and artists across 25 of Camden Town’s venues on June 3rd 2017. Tickets are available here.

PATHS: Transcendence, By Any Other Name…
PATHS | Transcendence, By Any Other Name...PATHS

In the act of “naming”, we not only acknowledge the subject’s inherent qualities and boundaries, but also imbue it with meaning, thus positioning ourselves in relation to it. Consequently, there is a manifestation of power that is both generated by us and at our disposal, ultimately allowing control—not unlike the belief that to gain control over a spirit, we must know, and utter, its name.

Though a musician may recognize the initial importance of choosing a band name or a moniker, the name is likely to take on greater significance as an artist progresses personally and professionally. It is, however, when a name is spoken aloud that it becomes sound; the very thing by which musicians differentiate themselves, the very thing that gives them power.

It is by wielding this influence, by combining sounds, disciplines and technologies, that musicians further redefine that which defines them. It is in this work, in this expression, in these choices, that an artist explores the facets which make them unique and reinforce the qualities of a name.

Julianne Shawe, who goes by the moniker PATHS, has taken a significant step towards reinventing herself as an artist. PATHS is a willful deviation from Julianne’s comfort zone and a critical departure from her prior musical trajectory. The moniker brings to mind the nature of sound as brave little waves of energy forging their way into the unknown to ultimately find themselves in new and interesting circumstances.

Her first solo release “Neoprene” stems from the pivotal moments in a frustrating relationship when you begin to ask why, while trying to cope with the perplexing options of staying, going, or compromise. Feverish, yet inexplicably soothing, Neoprene is a striking track with sweet melodies and gritty overtones, embodying a vibrational transcendence delivered by frenetic sequencing and a curious musical process.

The accompanying video lends mood and complexities to a rich musical composition that showcases Julianne’s expertise as a musician and technician. Surrounded by LED light arrays, Julianne stands in a dark, abstract, reflective structure; a condition that adds enigmatic subtext to the overall highly charged situation. Oddly enough, the absorbing visuals bring about a feeling of watching some mini physics experiment, reminiscent of the tokamak setup in Oxford which fuses hydrogen to create and release the energy contained in a star—or maybe I’ve simply reached maximum gin saturation.

In a most unassuming sense, Julianne seems to have woven a poignant metaphoric note that is both misleading and accurate depending on your frame of reference…

Citizen LA: Your debut single release is called “Neoprene”; a material used to make wetsuits, and sex toys—

Julianne: OK!!

Citizen LA: So which of those two is your song talking about?

Julianne: Oh George, let’s not go into THAT! [laughs] Interesting that you would mention a wetsuit. I was doing a lot of body-boarding at the time, so I named it Neoprene.

Citizen LA: Ahhhh… so NOT from the toy?

Julianne: Noooooo! Hmm… Maybe I should change that story to make it more interesting!

Citizen LA: Maybe by the end of this interview you’ll tell me all your secrets!

Julianne: [laughs]

Citizen LA: This song brings to mind a beautiful frenetic quality found in Balinese music. Was this a stylistic choice? Or this a glimpse into your intense personality?

Julianne: I write these songs using clean guitars, however, I knew this would be a one-woman-show and didn’t want it to feel too acoustic. Working with producer Rory Fryers took, we chopped up the song and processed it through a synthesizer. In doing so, we shortened the guitar into sharp distinct notes, which are played at a fast pace on a keyboard, making it more driven… but, yeah, there’s definitely some of my intensity in there [giggles].

Citizen LA: And you’ve never heard Balinese music?

Julianne: No I haven’t.

Citizen LA: There’s a specific Balinese instrument that looks like an ornate Glockenspiel played with metal hammers; a high-pitch high-velocity instrument. You’ve slipped into a musical execution style that has been used in transcendental storytelling for millennia. I’m impressed.

Julianne: We’re trying to create our own instruments, often somewhat strange and bizarre. It’s definitely something that will follow through into my other music as well.

Citizen LA: The video for “Neoprene” was shot in East Belfast, at a public bathhouse, built way back in the 1800’s. Any particular reason?

Julianne: The bathhouse itself has wonderful acoustics, and the reflectiveness of the LED lights against the original old tiles of in the pool looked fantastic. I programmed and sequenced all the LED lights that appear in the video, which react to certain parts of the song, those that are very emotive. The location brought to life the essence of the song. The Belfast Bathhouse was a perfect location, and it’s steeped in history.

Citizen LA: Sounds amazing. Yeah… the bathhouses in Los Angles may lack stunning craftsmanship and a rich history, but they make up for it in debauchery. Maybe you can do a tour of bathhouses in LA?

Julianne: That would be different!

Citizen LA: Additionally, the Belfast Bathhouse website states that the shipyard men, who worked on the Titanic, would bathe there on Friday evenings before going to the dance halls. Is this your midnight ritual as well?

Julianne: Though it is near my home, I missed all that by about a century. But I was one of the last people to showcase anything in the original structures, as they are in disrepair and basically condemned.

Citizen LA: Of course it’s completely wrecked! You know how feisty those over-worked shipyard men can get.

Julianne: [laughs]

Citizen LA: We touched on your use of guitars in songwriting. Is this your weapon of choice?

Julianne: Absolutely. Though I’m into electronic sounds now, the guitar is the essence of all my music.

Citizen LA: Did you go to music school?

Julianne: I’m pretty much self-taught, and was brought up playing piano. I really connected with the electric guitar during the brit-pop / grunge era. Back then, CDs would come with the guitar tabs, which meant that I could play along with the songs. I was also in rock bands, so it’s always been about electric guitar and distortion. St. Vincent is a big influence on me. She’s an amazing guitar-wielding rock god!

Citizen LA: Amazing and photogenic! I was lucky enough to shoot her at Coachella.

Julianne: Ooh! I wanna play there!

Citizen LA: You should play there! [pause] You know what?? Coachella lies in a desert valley which has mineral springs and bathhouses… so…

Julianne: There’s a connection!

Citizen LA: I see a warm-water U.S. bath tour in your future.

Julianne: Hmm.

Citizen LA: Switching gears… so why do you think music creates an immediate emotional response?

Julianne: I think music is a mix of escapism and an emotional sensory connection, possibly tapping into a particular frequency, which can be hypnotic to specific individuals. I’m into music that fills me with adrenaline.

Citizen LA: Definitely somewhere between escapism and an altered state of consciousness, which are often one in the same. Like eating an alarmingly spicy pepper to get your endorphins firing while chanting on the edge of an active sacred volcano.

Julianne: That’ll get your adrenaline going!

Citizen LA: What about the need to discover something buried deep within yourself?

Julianne: Since my early teens, I always wanted an instrument that was “free”. So I picked up the guitar and played whatever poured out of me. It could have been noise, but they were my emotions. It was often angry, fast, and a way of getting my feelings out at that time. At that age, you’re seeking something to describe what the hell is going on with you! We’re talking hormonal fourteen or fifteen–

Citizen LA: What you’re telling me is that when women are no longer teenagers, they’re no longer hormonal?

Julianne: Well, let’s just say women learn to… embrace it. Some through their music, which helps get some of that frustration out.

Citizen LA: Should we circle back to the neoprene toys, now? Or keep moving on?

Julianne: I see what you’re doing here.

Citizen LA: Bad boy.

Julianne: [laughs]

Citizen LA: Is yours an inward journey or an outward adventure?

Julianne: I’m in place where I know who I am and what I want to do, and as my music progresses, I see real strength in portraying that. So definitely an outward adventure. A few years ago I was on an inward journey, still playing in bands, often with a lot of frustration, but now I’m comfortable going solo.

Citizen LA: Is there room for anyone else in this solo journey?

Julianne: Umm… well… musically, no.

Citizen LA: Well, well, well. The plot thickens!

Julianne: [laughs] There are amazing moments when playing in a band, but when you’re creatively confident, you tend to lead, and that can obviously cause a lot of problems with people who aren’t on the same page. Bands are relationships, and I’ve had a lot of four person relationships.

Citizen LA: So it’s just you, your bodyboard… and the wave.

Julianne: I think that analogy is perfect for this single, but also with what’s happening within me right now. It’s so true. There’s only one person clinging to that bodyboard—just you and the bodyboard. And there certainly are a lot of waves out there.

Citizen LA: Lots of waves to test your resolve and resilience.

Julianne: Absolutely.

Citizen LA: You go by the moniker of PATHS. Explain.

Julianne: There was some anxiety about coming up with the right band name, but then “PATHS” kinda just came out of nowhere. It’s like trying to name your child, who will be stuck with this name forever. Or like getting a tattoo. It should be easy to say, to remember, and hopefully create many connotations. I’m on an exciting solo journey and I have many paths ahead of me, so the name works.

Citizen LA: You say that the name kinda just came, but it kinda just came because of the act of releasing energy. We must release what’s in our hands, to have the empty hands, to receive what’s next.

Julianne: It makes a lot of sense.

Citizen LA: Concerning the lyrics “one of these days we’ll meet in the middle”, is this commenting on the nature of neoprene?

Julianne: Well… the song is about two frustrated minds which have gotten to the point in a relationship where they’re considering that things are never gonna work. Do you leave? Do you stick with it? Do you meet in the middle?

Citizen LA: So it’s like two people in one wetsuit.

Julianne: There you go! Never gonna work!

Citizen LA: So what is a musician’s role in the music industry in 2017? How do you see yourself fitting in?

Julianne: Going solo can be a struggle, as we have to do most everything ourselves. Now I must be a jack of all trades, because not only do I have to produce music, but I have to make myself into this online “image” that’s socially attractive in order to connect with people.

Citizen LA: Creating a successful social media presence can be an enormous challenge.

Julianne: The fans expect more of artists now. This may be particularly difficult for creative people who are exceedingly inward, like Bob Dylan or Prince and others who like their privacy. You probably wouldn’t see them all over Facebook posting shamelessly about themselves. I’m definitely more of a private person.

Citizen LA: Well… there are plenty of relaxing places throughout the world from which to disconnect and draw inspiration. The world is your bathhouse.

Julianne: This could be my thing!


Neoprene presents us with a song title, which fits within a lyrical context, which fits within a transcendental soundscape, which fits within a circle of photons, which fits within a location steeped in history, which works to create a cohesive whole, which elegantly describes Julianne Shawe’s artistic philosophies.

In the Hindu Namakarana ceremony, a child is given one ordinary name and a second “secret name” derived from astrology. Although we’re pretty certain that Julianne didn’t participate in this ceremony, the name PATHS is certainly fitting—regardless of where in the universe it originated. And if sound is energy, and consequently the driving force behind all existence, then PATHS is a name destined to take Julianne along for a ride.


Lo Moon: Passionate Deluges & Silver-lined Crests
Lo Moon | Passionate Deluges & Silver-lined Crestsfotoboy62 | Citizen LA

Profit-biased formulas, analytics-driven marketing and disingenuous role-based personas lie in direct opposition to an artist whose sense of self rests upon the importance of being genuine.

Complicating matters are the actions of unscrupulous individuals who coax the artist into wearing a “better mask” instead of guiding the artist towards aligning with their true self. As long as the artist continues to identify with any mask (positive or negative), they will find resistance on their path towards self-realization.

Whether it be the adherence to a personal code of ethics, a daily sacrificial offering to an all-powerful golden calf, or spiritual literature read in moments of contemplation, artists rely on their constancy to persevere.

Having a clear understanding of who we are, and what we want, is a challenging lifelong process for any artist. Finding the quintessential band member, however, may often feel like an improbability–especially when searching for talent who are on parallel paths; those willing to take on the often overwhelming uncertainties which come with a demanding project.

Matt Lowell (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Crisanta Baker (guitar, bass, keyboards and backing vocals), and Samuel Stewart (multi-instrumentalist) collectively known as Lo Moon have beaten the odds and are diving head-first into their emotional and creative centers.

Lo Moon’s first release “Loveless” is a graceful musical expression whose ebbs and flows are reminiscent of the all-consuming sense of nakedness accompanying matters of the heart. Chimerical vocals, momentous piano hits, and howling guitars effectively mimic a roiling expressive ocean while penetrating drums accent as bursts of light riding on silver-lined wave crests.

Matt, who leads the project, places great importance on connection, fully comprehending the artistic and spiritual benefits of remaining genuine.

Citizen LA: How did the band Lo Moon come together?

Matt Lowell: I had a few songs back in New York, but it was after moving to LA that the band developed in a really interesting way. When I met my band-mates, Crisanta and Sam, I approached the relationship thinking “do I like you?” and “do I wanna hang out?”

Citizen LA: I guess they did wanna hang out.

Matt Lowell: Yeah! And they’re amazing musicians.

Citizen LA: Was the idea there before the project? Or was is somewhat nebulous?

Matt Lowell: It did start out a bit nebulous, but then found a crack, which widened, and became very artistic. Lo Moon is about everyone’s voice. There is, however, a very specific sound that has more to do with spirit than anything else, and that’s what guides us.

Citizen LA: Sounds like the organic discovery process which we all wish for… well, unless you strive to be a one-dimensional product of some Machiavellian record label.

Matt Lowell: We let the music do the talking. It’s all about the art. Isn’t it?

Citizen LA: Are you familiar with Minimalism?

Matt Lowell: Yeah!

Citizen LA: The idea behind Minimalist Art is to remove the artist from the piece itself, consequently, the interaction between the person and object is what defines the artwork. On the one-side, we can say that this artist is not taking personal responsibility for what he has created. But on the other, in the act of presenting it, an artist is inexorably connected to the piece.

Matt Lowell: Yes there’s mystery in our music, but that’s just the way we’ve approached it, and it works.

Citizen LA: This touches on a “sense of mystery” that I believe has been absent from music for a while, but is now resurfacing. It’s not the enigmatic persona created from hiding behind a mask to which I’m referring. This is more exploratory, wherein a track is intentionally created to unfold itself in the ears of the listener.

Matt Lowell: Exactly.

Citizen LA: That said, as I was looking through your website, somebody posted a photo of the book Turning The Mind Into An Ally by Sakyong Mipham, a highly influential Buddhist. Why is that there?

Matt Lowell: That’s one the most important pieces of literature for me. I wrap my head around that book to better understand my meditation, which keeps me sane.

Citizen LA: Ok. But there was a deliberate action taken to post it.

Matt Lowell: That book has a lot to do with my personality, my life, and how I approach the music spiritually. At that moment I was feeling more grounded and decided to put this book on our route.

Citizen LA: I read something where you made reference to your moral compass. The line was, “how do we move forward if we don’t believe or stand for something.” So, in terms of all this, what does Matt believe?

Matt Lowell: There’s a romantic quality about the music, maybe that says a lot about me, but these things are part of my ethos, my lyrical compass. When I use the word “belief” it’s more of an emotional state, and less of a belief system.

Citizen LA: And this made its way into the first single “Loveless”.

Matt Lowell: In this song the line is “in belief we trace our steps” meaning, in belief we can look back in belief, consequently, if we truly move forward, diving into something fully, we then become a true believer in what we’re doing.

Citizen LA: From your description of Lo Moon, all three of you are in a deep symbiotic relationship. Though your band members are not here to speak for themselves, how receptive do they seem to your philosophies?

Matt Lowell: I think we all have complimentary beliefs when it comes to making music and tapping into specific emotions. There’s definitely an unspoken language between us.

Citizen LA: Strange that we’re having a conversation about if band members connect–then again with so much dysfunction in today’s music industry it seems true emotional connections in a band situation is never a certainty.

Matt Lowell: For me there has to be a depth and a quality in art and music. I’m really hoping that more bands and artists try to connect with that emotional center.

Citizen LA: So did Matt look for music? Or did music find mat?

Matt Lowell: Music found me. I started off playing drums when I was six, then over to guitar, then singing in the glee club, and eventually it took over my life in high school. My Dad and I would often go to the CDs & Tapes Store in Long Island together.

Citizen LA: In this process of finding yourself what didn’t you expect to find? What was one of the surprises?

Matt Lowell: I’m always surprised by how HARD this is!

Citizen LA: [laughs]

Matt Lowell: I have an ambitious personality, and with that come expectations — not because I think I deserve them, but because I want to be better. You may start out thinking “oh, this is just music.” Then you get obsessed, it takes over, and when you’re deep in it you realize this is a WHOLE THING!!

Citizen LA: So do you often wake up at 3am in a cold sweat and call your band-mates, or is that something that you keep to yourself?

Matt Lowell: They know my personality by now. They get it… I hope.

Citizen LA: You’ve referred to the song Loveless as a “living piece of music”, and mentioned it took years to finish. But is a song ever really finished?

Matt Lowell: Is art ever finished? No. You may discover something else about your song years later and wish you would have done something differently. But there is a point where you have to say “this is finished” because it works and has a particular emotional quality.

Citizen LA: I specifically remember a professor telling me to continue to work on a painting even after it was, what I considered, finished. You might screw something up at the beginning, but from there something even better would come out, it always worked that way.

Matt Lowell: And that’s beautiful when it does. I think “Loveless” went through a similar process, there were many phases, a lot of experimentation, so it’s really nice to finally have it out in the world.

Citizen LA: How would you define the relationship between the artist, the work, and the audience, more in terms of transfer of energies?

Matt Lowell: The job is to create something that we feel really strongly about. That doesn’t mean that everyone’s gonna like it, but if we put our energy into making great art, and believe in it, then something great will come out of it. But I definitely think it’s also important to know your audience and why you’re talking to them.

Citizen LA: It’s a three-sided triangle–the artist, the work and the audience–and they are inseparable. I feel that many artists dismiss the importance of balance.

Matt Lowell: Yeah, that’s when you really connect. I think it’s really important that you know where you live in that landscape.

Citizen LA: So, what lies at the core of Lo Moon?

Matt Lowell: There’s a feeling that we often refer to as “oceanic”; one that settles and then hits, and repeats. There’s a beauty that comes and goes in waves. At the core of that is a connection, a message, an emotion. It’s an oceanic feeling.


Remaining steadfast, engaged, and focused–while gracefully brushing aside the unsavory realities of existing as a product in today’s music industry–can be a herculean effort. Though our bodies are highly susceptible to bending and breakage when exposing our true selves, it is none-the-less a worthwhile goal for any artist.

Representing emotion as oceanic is an age old metaphor which brings to light how quickly a tranquil sea can explode into a passionate deluge capable of altering our relationship to the world. Matt, Crisanta, and Samuel have leapt into this ocean, bravely choosing to remain maskless, effectively stirring up arresting aural sensations that embrace the progressive aspects of mystery; a musical voyage elegantly personified by Lo Moon.


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