I’m thumbing through a collection of old and, quite frankly, terrible LPs in the back corner of an decaying, musty smelling op shop when Nick wanders over. Holding up an old John Williamson record, I jokingly ask whether the king of Australian kitsch might have driven his band, The Silver Moon Uprising, to become musicians.
“We’re not musicians, we just enjoy listening to music so wanted to play some ourselves.”
Unwilling to abandon the John Williamson analogy for the time being, I ask him what kind of instruments the band uses. Any corny harmonica backing, or children’s choirs?
“We use lots of noise and droning rhythms, probably more akin to punk than ‘psych.’ It kinda changes song to song, we just bash.”
We ease past an old lady wearing a faded blue shawl, clawing through a collection of discarded underwear, as the conversation drifts to a discussion of influences. I notice a tie-died t-shirt hanging alone on a broken stand, and point to it wondering out loud what drew the band to psychedelic music.
“We’re into lots of shit that isn’t psychedelic in the strict sense of genre. We’re not that psychedelic ourselves, we all listen to a lot of post punk and noise more than psych I’d say but that was the main focus for a while.”
We pass racks of dusty leather jackets covered in safety pins and tight black leather jeans.
“It was just a logical progression in finding new music that we came across ’psychedelic music’, and a logical progression that we’ve found other stuff since. You just pick up what you dig on and roll with it.”
I point to some old wallpaper samples, remarking how much they look like blotter acid. I ask about the influence of drugs on the music of Silver Moon.
“We do really like drugs. It does influence our music certainly” Nick muses, as he stops to peruse a shelf full of truly tragic bowler hats.
”I’d say the root of psychedelic music lays within drug experiences, or at its original conception, but so does most music really. Everyone’s coked up or stoned or tripping balls, from dance bitches to gangster rappers to George Michael.”
Taking a look around the store’s thrilling display of bad taste, I compliment Nick on his choice of setting. He explains that it reminds him of some of the more obscure venues the Silver Moon have been asked to play.
“Dunno if I’m just more clued in now, but there seem to be more warehouse shows, more shows at peoples houses and stuff. It’s pretty hard to get shit together, especially without managers or anything, and when you’re lazy and not in the least bit proactive. We just get asked to play shows every so often and generally accept, so it all seems easy enough at this point.”
“We’re recording as much as we can at the moment as it’s about time we got our act together,” he tells me as the rummages through a pile of dank smelling Acapulco shirts. “Our current recordings are awful garageband demos done a couple of months ago in my bedroom,” he adds as he moves on up the aisle leaving a pile of brightly covered synthetic material at his feet, with a few choice pieces over his arm, “I don’t particularly advise listening to them.”
And with marketing skills like those who needs fashion sense.
Illustration by Nick Jones