Moose Blood, elevated by the release of debut album ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time’ in the autumn of 2014, had an amazing 2015. “It’s been ridiculous. We’ve done things this year we never thought possible,” starts guitarist Mark Osborne backstage at London’s Roundhouse. Tonight Moose Blood will play one of their final shows of the year supporting Lower Than Atlantis. It’s a glorious set that hints they’ll be playing venues of this magnitude sooner rather than later. Much sooner.
“This year has gone by so fast, it’s a bit of a shame,” he continues. “We’ve been so busy. We’ve had very minimal time at home, which we struggle with but that’s how we want it to be. We want to be that busy and it’s been awesome.” From their “so much better than expected” first headline tour at the start of 2015, to the impossible dream of a summer on Warped Tour via the disbelief of Reading & Leeds Festivals (“Even now we don’t know how to sum it up. It blew our minds being allowed to even play it, let alone how it all went down and the reception we got.”) and finally to tonight, as support to one of their favourite bands, Moose Blood are feeling very #blessed.
The break for Christmas and New Years will be the longest the band have had all year but it’s unlikely to spill into much of 2016. “We just got back from making a new album and I’ve got a real sense of achievement and accomplishment. It’s almost like, job done for the year and we couldn’t be happier with how it’s all gone.”
Moose Blood - ‘I Hope You’re Missing Me’ (DIY Session)
“We went in real hard on [album two]. We’re all really proud of it and we can’t wait to show people”
That accomplishment is shared between confidence in the new record and the fact the tour is over, the band survived. “From when we all left our jobs in September and October 2014 to continue to do what we’ve been doing for over a year and survive is a real sense of achievement. We’re still going,” smiles Mark. “It’s really tough but it’s awesome,” he continues before Eddy Brewerton concludes, “We’re still here.”
Album two is completely recorded and, by the time you’re reading this, should be mixed and mastered. The band hasn’t set a release date but they “can’t wait to get something new out.”
“We went in real hard on this one. We’re all really proud of it and we can’t wait to show people,” explains Eddy. The record is, as-of yet, untitled because the band “don’t want to feel really proud of something musically and then mess it up by calling it something shit.” They’re taking their time with names.
“We look at it as a progression for us”
“We’re not trying to repeat the first record,” starts Mark. “ Lyrically we just write about what we know. Everything that goes on in our lives is what influences us the most, our families, our relationships. It’s very much driven by what’s gone on over the past year or so.”
Moose Blood haven’t reinvented their wheel but album two is “better written” than that debut. “We look at it as a progression for us,” explains Eddy. “There are bits and bobs where it sounds different but it’s not the whole record. We don’t sound like a completely different band.”
“Hopefully it still sounds like a Moose Blood record. That’s what we do and that’s what we know. That’s how we write music. We’ve just progressed,” adds Mark. “We had loads of ideas that we stopped because we couldn’t take them any further or just sacked them off, not because it was something we would put on the last record but because we just constantly pushed ourselves to do better,” he continues. “We can do better than that. We can write better than that. We thought we threw ourselves completely into the last record but this was something else.”
Album two might see a developed Moose Blood but they went back to work with Beau Burchell. Beau not only produced their debut but has worked with everyone from Carl Barat to Underoath and The Bronx as well as playing guitar, providing vocals and producing for the recently active again Saosin.
Despite the band spending the majority of the year away from home, they decamped to Los Angeles to work with Beau. “We would have done anything to make sure the record was done by him,” claims Eddy.
“This has to be better”
“He pushed us. He knew what we could do and what we were capable of. Having worked with him on the first record, this was going to be better. This has to be better. He totally pushed us to do that,” offers Mark. “We submitted demos to him before going out there so he had an idea of where were we going and what we were doing and he just kept pushing us the whole time he was in the studio.” The resulting album sounds very different to those first submitted demos as Beau encouraged the band to take the tracks further. “He didn’t let us settle until it was absolutely everything we could fit into that song”
Inspired by a year on the road, Moose Blood went into the studio a much tighter band than the one that recorded ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time’. “[Touring] just made us play better together,” explains Mark. We know all of our strengths, our weaknesses and as a unit, we’re just tighter through playing and touring so much. I guess that just happens. The more you practice, the better you get at it and that’s helped with the writing.”
Moose Blood’s debut album is a great record and it paved the way for the band to do great things. With album two, expect better things. “We’re really happy with it,” teases Mark. “It’s come out as being the best thing we’ve ever done.”
Moose Blood’s second album is due for release later this year.
(Photos: Nicole Busch / Sarah Louise Bennett)