In this interview spotlight, we chat with At The Moment about what influences their infectious sound, their newest project, music consumption preferences, the digital music world and more.
Full Q&A along with links and a stream of No Straight Line available below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into At The Moment, the band, and your music. What attracted you to these genres and styles?
I’ve always been interested in great melodies, hooks, and music that invokes an emotion. When I was writing our new album “In for a Ride”, I was listening to a bit more country and folk which is something different from my past in power pop, rock, garage, and ska. In some cases, I was listening to artists that have always been there but historically I had not focused on. In some cases, newer artists. So it was fun for me and it was a journey investigating these different styles. For the country aspect I think I was just missing my upbringing in Texas even though I never listened to country when I lived there. It felt like home and it was always there in the background. I really got into Lyle Lovett. I love the stories he paints and his humor. Its funny though, the first single “No Straight Line” was written after seeing Johnny Marr in concert again and wanting to connect back to my electric guitar past. So the album has a few different styles based on me exploring and what I was listening to at the time.
How long have you been creating and sharing your music with the public?
Since my first band, The Skastafarians back in 1993. That was really the first time I wrote a song and we were playing live immediately. I was still learning how to write but we did pretty well, including winning a spot on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
Who or what influences your playing and writing? Also, what motivates you to keep going?
I have some core musical influences that I think set my basic style. I draw from those core influences but embellish with influences at the moment. Recently it’s been more country, folk, and singer songwriters.
I find joy in writing, performing, and playing with other musicians. It’s always been a therapeutic outlet for me. A break from studying, from work, from life. I love the thrill of creating something new.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific with “No Straight Line”? Creatively or otherwise?
I wanted to write a fun rock n’ roll song with cool overlapping electric guitar parts. I wanted more space in the verses, but then when the chorus hits, have it just take off. The vocals are big too because of the space in the verses. The lead vocal is tripled with a lower octave and true double albeit quite a distance from the mic. There’s a subtle but rocking tenor and bari sax part that dances around the rhythm guitar part during the guitar solo, but it adds to the rock n roll feel.
The song is about how different and sometimes scary situations can shake up your life but for the better. Like someone’s throwing you a bit off your routine but in a good way. It’s all exciting but you still struggle a bit to adjust, while continuing to move forward.
What was the last song you listened to?
Actually, Emma our backing vocalist has a band called “I Am The Polish Army” and they have a new album out. I was listening to her song “You Don’t Know”.
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
I like vinyl at home but MP3s when traveling of course. That’s kind of why we are releasing our album on vinyl with a free digital download.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
I actually prefer old school iTunes. I like purchasing albums and supporting artists. Plus I like having a music library which includes all my cds and digital songs and then listening to it all on shuffle. It’s so random but I like it. I do listen on Spotify as well.
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what are one or two of the biggest challenges you face when trying to attract listeners to your music?
Just getting people to listen or watch. There’s so much content that’s not music related that we compete with for people’s attention. You have a 3-5 minute music video that’s competing in people’s feeds with a short video of cute cats or pictures of adorable dogs. Instant gratification. No waiting for the hook, no buildup, no story arc. There’s just a lot of competition and it’s hard to stop and invest time in something you’re not familiar with when there is so much content out there to sift through.
Do you gig, tour or perform? Do you ever live stream? Where can music lovers see you live?
Yes we gig mostly around New York. The record release show for “In for a Ride” is Wednesday June 21st at Berlin, two days before the actual release on Friday June 23rd. We’ll be adding more shows as well. Our website will have all the gig notices or you can follow our Instagram. We’ve live streamed through some of the clubs we’ve played at like The Way Station in Brooklyn which is a fantastic little venue. We also post some live footage to YouTube.
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more of your music?
To connect, I would say our Instagram page. There’s also a lot of content on our website www.atthemomentmusic.com.
Any last thoughts? Shout outs? Words of wisdom?
I really appreciate your time. I’m really proud of this album and can’t wait until Friday June 23rd when it will be released. Keep a look out for the video for “No Straight Line” which will be out mid June. And thank you again.