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Moonshine Oversight

After listening to and reviewing debut album Vanishing Lines we thought it would be a good idea to interview the French progrockers of Moonshine Oversight about their album, their influences and what they're trying to accomplish with their music. The band responds as a unit and that's also exactly how their music comes across: well-constructed, progressive music with enough other influences to make it interesting for both the uninitiated and the experienced listener.

By: Bart M. | Archive under prog / sympho metal

Because you are a relatively new band and because I found your album really interesting (I was quite impressed) we would like to interview you. First of all, congratulations with this album. How have the reactions been so far?
Hello and really thanks for this interview. it’s very cool that you like our LP because we put all our hearts to compose it and record it! The reactions so far are really good. The public feedback is awesome and most of the press review are rather flattering. It’s a real reward for us, regard to the work that this album requested.

I really enjoyed listening to your music. I thought I heard quite a few influences. A little Dream Theater here, a little Alter Bridge there, even some Maiden. If I'm wrong, please tell me! All in all, despite any influences, I was excited to hear that you have a unique, fresh sound. This may be a standard question, but what have been your main influences?
Each of the four band members has his own influences. Some of us have references in metal, some others in alternative rock and other ones in progressive music. If we were to mention just the main ones, it would be Tool, Pink Floyd, Gojira and Porcupine Tree, but there’s a lot more… Anyway, each of us bring his own colors and this mix get Moonshine Oversight. We really want to create our own music in our own style. That’s why it’s very heartening for us that you said we have a unique and fresh sound!

The lyrics are also pretty varied. I get the idea some of them are based on the imagination and others have to do with personal experiences and feelings. I can even hear some anger shining through here and there. What is the main inspiration that helps you write the lyrics?
Several themes of inspiration influenced our album. First, the fascination for the universe and his celestial bodies that we share all four ('Echoes of Asymmetry'), which raise the question about the status and the task of man in this world ('Beyond the Stars', 'Mayflies'). The second main theme is the artist frustration of not living by its art ('Sparkling Cut', 'Young Man', 'Feel'). Some songs have their own theme, like 'Moonrakers' based on the eponymous legend, or 'Vultures' featuring Bataclan tragedy in the terrorist attacks in Paris, November 2015. We have been really affected by these events, as musician but also as French people.

When I think of moonshine I think of substantial alcohol abuse, crazy parties in the backyard that would last until the sun was up again, and pounding heavy music through the speakers. Why have you chosen the name Moonshine Oversight? Please tell us something about that.
Initially, we have been inspired by the “Moonshine” word for both its rock’n roll side around smuggled alcohol distillation (which you are talking about in your question) and his poetic side in its similarity with “Moonlight” (it can be used in this sense in some case). We found this ambivalence quite interesting and we drew an analogy to our music. We added “Oversight” because we wanted that our name to be unique and suggest the worked aspect of the music we wanted to produce.

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The title of your album is 'Vanishing Lines'; I read on your website that these are lines to guide the sight and give relief. Can you tell me what this means specifically when talking about your music or this album?
We try to compose immersive and evocative music, a sort of invitation to a trip, a scene, a landscape. In photography and painting, vanishing lines are there to guide the sight, to give some relief. In our album, it’s our music which play this role. Each track represents a line, which must guide the listener in the journey.

I really like the cover of your album, it's a gateway to the imagination, meaning that when I look at it I get these images of what must be beyond the horizon or deeper down into those woods. Is there a link between this artwork and the title of your album (Vanishing Lines)? And if so, what is this link?
Indeed, our cover exploits the vanishing lines, linked to the title of our album. At the vanishing point, you’ll find a moon that represent our music. The wood is there to give a mysterious side, as some of our compositions. We wanted the spectator who look our cover to be intrigued and want to know what hidden behind the horizon (the vanishing point, namely our music). He just has to open the digipak and listen to the cd to find out!

I know a couple of people in the Dutch metal/rock scene, and recently I was introduced to the Bradford (England) scene. Even though it's quite an underground scene (unless your part of it, then suddenly it's everywhere) it's very, very much alive. How's the metal/rock scene over there?
In France, metal/rock culture is not taken up by mainstream media. That gives it an underground side. However, the public is present and the demand is strong. As evidenced by festivals like the Download (Paris) or the Hellfest which completeness of tickets are sold just few minutes after box office opening. For alternative music artists, it's harder to make a name for himself because (except big events previously mentioned) the underground scene is poorly organized. Fortunately, passion help to overcome this and to persevere to achieve our ends!

Where does Moonshine Oversight go from here? What's next? Any touring plans or ideas for the next album?
For 2018, we expect to give live shows in major French towns and possibly in neighboring countries if we have the opportunity. Dates are not scheduled for now, we’re working on it. In terms of studio material, our objective is to release new songs within a year and a half. By the recording of a new LP, if the budget allows it, or by a new EP. Anyway, we’re looking forward to writing new songs to surprise our public!

Thanks for your time. If there's anything else you want to say to or share with our readers, please do so.
Thank you for this interview. Hoping to meet you and the Dutch public if we go through the Netherlands!

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