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Over The Moon

Adam Kennedy caught up with Fern Ford, drummer with English indie rock outfit The Big Moon, to speak about the band’s new album Here Is Everything, along with their experiences during the pandemic as well as the group’s plans moving forward.

How has the year been treating you so far?

It's felt quite busy, which is unusual compared to the last two years or so. We started last year by finishing the record. We largely produced this record. And so, it was different having that hat on. We spent the first couple of months finishing it up - and then as soon as you finish, you have to get into the visual side of it. Then we were straight into that and getting the artwork together. So, it's been great.

When we first put Wide Eyes out, we were so busy and you forget about the actual putting it out into the world aspect. And then it was only the day before I was like, oh my god, people are going to start hearing this. It just becomes quite personal. It becomes this thing that you've been working on for a year at that point. It was quite funny to be able to put it out there - which is the point. So, we’ve been busy really.

The pandemic was a strange time for us all. Especially for musicians without life on the road. How did that period feel for you?

We all have our own versions of it, as you'd expect. Everything was so unknown that we decided to just exist as people. We didn't put any pressure on the band. I was sort of like, maybe this is it and maybe I don't think about that. So, some of us got jobs like delivery driving and just things to earn money to feel a bit useful. Jules started writing because she thought - I may as well - which is a good job really because she wrote the songs for us. But yeah, we just decided to get through it.

It wasn't until the December that we were back together as a band. We rented an Airbnb in the middle of nowhere. We took our instruments and worked on some of those songs. We were there for two weeks. Obviously, like most people, we had been in our houses, and then we suddenly realized we could hug. We were together. The first time we saw each other, we were at a distance, and we’re like, wait, no - we can hug. I think I wasn't expecting that to happen. I guess I was quite cynical - as most people may have been. Just like, oh well - that was nice, and maybe it's not going to happen again - but it did. And so, I feel very lucky now to get to still do it.

They always say that the second album is the hardest for a band. But now you are onto the third chapter of your album recordings. Does it feel like things get easier, or do you still put pressure on yourself to better your last album?

Strangely, we were not influenced by any external factors at all. Having that time, as well as the last six years, we got quite good at knowing what we want, and how we wanted to go about getting that. We did make the record, but then we realized the record wasn't finished. I guess the difference between album three and album one is that we felt confident to be like - let's take the hard drive and go through the sessions.

During the first lockdown, I don't know if you're familiar with it, but there is this software that you find in most studios called Pro Tools. It always seemed like this scary program - I was used to Logic. Then I was just like, maybe I should learn it because I’ve got nothing else to do, and so I did. So, taking the sessions just didn't feel scary. I know what we recorded, and maybe we should record more or change some things. So yeah, that's the difference with album three is that we had quite a clear vision. If we didn't know what we wanted and what we didn't want, you can start from there.

I think my favourite track on the album is Sucker Punch. I just wondered if you had a favourite song, and if so, which track and why?

They are so different. I think one of my favourites is Satellites. I remember when Jules was deep in pregnancy and was freaking out. And Jules - you wouldn't believe it given her lyrics, but she's not good at communicating her feelings all the time, and this is how she does it. So, she sent us the demo, and I could not stop listening to it. It was looping for about two hours, and I thought it was amazing. I was so glad that she wrote it. The line ‘I could never hate you’ was looping around. It just really hit me. When one of your best friends is revealing their deepest insecurities, it felt like a privilege to be able to get to hear that. That's one of my favourites, I think for that reason.

You've played some great festivals this summer, including Finsbury Park with George Ezra, Isle of Wight, Truck Fest, Kendall Calling and Y Not. How has the festival season been for you?

Yeah, good. It's just a nice reminder that this is our job still. I don't know if you remember the feeling when you were a kid, and you realize you are going to a birthday party, and you remember when you're at school - I’ve got a birthday party tonight, and you are excited. It’s like that a lot of the time. So, I feel pretty lucky about that. It's just really good fun. Everyone is there and maybe a little bit merry. But everyone's just there to have a really nice time. It's nice to play even if they have no idea who you are. It’s just nice to play to people who want to listen to some music.

Having had a prolonged period off stage due to covid - did it feel like returning to the stage was like meeting up with a long-lost friend?

Sort of - it took a couple of shows. The first show we did, I just felt so anxious, and I felt like I was going to explode. It felt too much - that was before the show. I think by the end of the first song, there was a big outro and I remember hitting my cymbals, and I just felt my shoulders drop. I think I just yelled, and it felt like an exorcism or something. I felt like I get to do this. How lucky that I get to smash a thing and yell, and it feels like a release. I just felt so anxious. It felt weird seeing so many people together from the stage. I still hadn't been to any gigs. So, it was quite fresh. But as soon as the end of the first song, I felt okay. Even Jules - she said her knees were shaking the whole time. It just felt really weird and surreal. We were really anxious and nervous, but by the end of it we felt quite giggly, and it felt like a nice release.

What are the plans for the Big Moon for the rest of the year and beyond?

We will probably put out some music. We're going to play as many shows as we can really. Then at Christmas, we’ll get to see the family again. I think we will probably keep putting out music and keep playing shows, which sounds like an obvious thing, but it wasn't obvious during these last few years. So, it's just nice to do that. It's nice to be busy. But I'm sure we'll announce bits and bobs as we go. The plan is to play the album to as many people as we can.

Here Is Everything, the new album from The Big Moon is out now.

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Article By Adam Kennedy

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