Moon Darling is one of those bands that captures you with a single image before you’ve even pressed play. “Pressed” play vs. “clicked” play, for a reason. In the digital age, the Seattle-based foursome’s smoky sound emerges from an era when guitars mattered. When riffs ruled. When guys named Slash wrote “licks.”
Taking it back even further, Moon Darling’s Michael Julian Escobar – don’t let his lack of a one syllable stage name deter you – started on guitar by learning Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.”
How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock n roll?
I started playing music at a pretty young age in school band, playing various horns. The love for rock n roll probably came from my parents when I was a kid, got passed down a pretty hefty vinyl collection, and was an avid oldies station listener.
How did you become a guitarist and vocalist? Are you proficient in any other instruments?
Guitar just spoke to me, but I used to rip it up on drums before Moon Darling was born. I’ve always had the desire to be a front man, so the singing went hand in hand. Wasn’t really aware of my voice til i really started working at it.
Were you forced to go to church as a youth, if so were you an altar boy, sing in the choir or participate in some other ways?
Growing up i went to church every Sunday. I complained a lot, and was most interested in sipping the wine.
What was the local scene like in the beginning, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?
My influences are all old. I only ever aspired to reach success to levels of The Beatles, or Led Zeppelin. I can’t actually say what the local scene was like, I didn’t really get involved until Moon Darling. My energy wasn’t always so focused.
How did the band form and how did the band name come about? How did the band meet and how long did it take to finalize this lineup? How stable is the current lineup?
I started writing a lot of songs, and searched for a band to play them. Michelle and I created what Moon Darling is today, and sought out Matt, and Jack. We’re really very young though ya know, were forever developing as musicians and individuals.
So, how was producing and putting the new record together, different than what you guys have previously done?
Well, it was quite different actually. The bands first EP was recorded by me in our practice space. This was the first time we’ve made a record in-studio as Moon Darling.
What is the writing process like for you? How do you pick, what you want to keep and release and what gets tossed aside?
I think of little tunes in my head on the daily, voice record them, then translate to guitar usually. As far as what I keep really depends on how I feel about it once I first present it to the band. It’s quite different out in the open, I can usually feel it pretty quick.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the EP?
The story is in each song individually. They all came from different places.
How would you best describe the Moon Darling sound?
I’ve never been someone who’s good at describing a sound, i’d rather listen to what someone else says about it.
What can we expect from a live Moon Darling show?
Dancing likely, high volumes. Mind bending visuals and an energy you’ve rarely experienced with live music.
Do you still buy cds or mostly use streaming sites? Which sites do you use?
I’ve recently started using Spotify, pretty late to the game I know it. Quite connected to vinyl still, but really it’s case by case. If you’ve only got tape, it’d be tape.
What was the first music you bought, and what have you bought more than once?
I believe a Blink-182 cassette is what I first bought at a young age. I can’t imagine having bought the same thing twice. I usually don’t lose records.
What kind of references or influences do you take from other mediums? Is there any particular book, or other artists that you are inspired by?
Really the only other medium I can say serves inspiration to me is films. Ive been heavily inspired by old western flicks, and Ennio Morrocone. Quentin Tarantino films as well.
How much time do you spend on social media a day? Which do you hate the most but can’t live without? Which do you like and why?
Too much time. I honestly don’t like social media in general. Its slightly entertaining at times, but I really try to limit it as a tool to use for the band, and stay away as much as possible.
Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?
Theres only one song I need to be played at my funeral, and that’s Let It Be by The Beatles. Have said so since I was a kid, so may as well stick with it. Let It Be is a concept that makes sense. I won’t be taking anything to my grave.
What does rock n roll mean to you? Its been a huge part of my life?
I don’t really know what else to say, it just makes sense to me.
See Moon Darling live in Seattle, WA on 1/25/2018 @ Fred Wildlife Refuge w/ Kingdom of the Holy Sun