At the intersection of a particularly enjoyable acid trip and a particularly exceptional episode of Soul Train you’ll find Minneapolis-based band Night Moves. We’ll resist the urge to over analyze, but somehow these fellows have managed to balance past and present just so, to create a sound that is simultaneously nostalgic and modern. After releasing their album Colored Emotions online, free of charge, the big-wigs over at Domino offered them a record deal and a big fancy studio to give their record a face-lift (same old same, just a little tighter). The result is an album we’re unabashedly obsessed with, in any time period. We caught up with these genre-bending masterminds to chat referencing the past, big time record deals and, inevitably, Bob Seger.
People like to throw a lot of genres out there when describing your sound (indie, folk, psychedelic etc. etc. etc.) How would you describe your sound?
We are influenced by a lot of R&B and soul, country, and pop music. Some weird mixture of those genres. I think just mixing those can give it a psychedelic vibe but I don’t think it’s too psychedelic. We like to use the description “the Spinners on acid”
How were you introduced to your ’60s and ’70s influences? Which artists in particular are you drawn to?
We grew up with our parents listening to Neil Young and Bob Dylan and those artists connected with us. Later on we got more into Todd Rundgren and Curtis Mayfield. It was really cool to see Todd Rundgren on Midnight Special, and David Bowie or Elton John on Soul Train and I think we were drawn towards musicians like that who were pop artists that could make good soul/glam songs. Other artists we were drawn to would be Fleetwood Mac, ELO, Rolling Stones, and The Ronettes.
You initially gave Colored Emotions away for free on your Bandcamp site. What ultimately led you to that decision considering you probably spent a lot of time and money recording the album independently?
We were a brand new band that didn’t have any following so we sort of knew we weren’t going to be able to sell a ton of copies. We also didn’t have the funds to print CDs or press vinyl. We were just proud of the way it turned out and were excited to give it away and let people hear it. Our goal has never been to make tons of money.
I read you re-recorded Colored Emotions once you got signed to Domino. What was that experience like?
The record wasn’t re-recorded once we signed with Domino, it was re-mixed, and only slightly. Some overdubs were added and one new track was completely recorded, which was the title track. Most of what was on our version is on the Domino version. It was a little weird getting flown to LA and recording with a bigger producer though. It felt very “big time” and was more professional and serious than what we are used to, so it was weird adjusting to that. Going from making home demos and recording in a tiny studio to some huge production. It was crazy for us but we all feel like we improved the record.
What are the major discrepancies between the original and the Domino version?
I think the mastering is what makes the two versions stand apart from each other. The first version was more washed out and lo-fi. Muddy, murky, and dirty you could say. The Domino version is clean and more distinguishable.
Micky and Mark, you were members of The Flying Dorito Brothers. What was that all about?
It all started because we thought the name was funny and we love the Flying Burrito Brothers (We cover their songs). It seems like country bands are always associated with an older crowd, you don’t see a lot of younger kids playing country oldies in bars. So we sort of thought it would be weird and fun if we did the cover band and played with our friends’ bands. It’s always a party, we stay true to the spirit of Gram Parsons and the shows usually include a lot of debauchery. I think it was cool to bring that genre to a scene that wasn’t aware of that genre of music.
What’s the music scene like in Minneapolis?
Cold and wet. There’s a lot of scenes that are really different but everyone seems to support everyone. So many of the bands we play with here are friends that we hang out with all the time and that creates a really cool atmosphere. There’s also a lot of really good house shows and DIY venues. There’s literally good music to see on any night of the week.
I’ve heard you guys have had a couple mishaps with drinking a little too excessively before shows. What’s the most catastrophic thing that has ever happened onstage?
We use beats when we play and one time I accidentally played the album version of the songs instead of just the drum beats and blew out some speakers. Nothing too catastrophic though, just messing up a lot.
Are you sick of being asked about Bob Seger yet?
Yeah, fuck the name. We already changed it to Cream Sleeve.