Limerick based alternative-rock act Moscow Metro will release their new E.P Spirit of a City next month on April 11th. The band recently spoke theLastMixedTape.com about the process applied to making the record and the writing behind it.
What were the influences that led to making Spirit of a City?
Barry: For me it was moving to the city and the experiences I’ve had there. ‘Spirit of a City’ is about the social aspects and gangs of Limerick, and the kids that fall into that life, its cyclical. While ‘Future Fades’ is more about the dream that was sold to our generation, the idea of going to college and getting a job, only to find there’s nothing there.
Dylan: There’s a lot of different influences that go into this record. We deal with a lot of themes throughout, ones that are personal to each one of us.
How important is it for you as a band to express your experiences within your music?
Barry: It keeps you interested, Spirit of a City is very thematic but it’s drawn from our own personal experiences. We don’t sit down to write songs with a certain concept in mind, we need it to be more real. They say “write what you know” and with that we write a lot about the disconnect of our generation and why it’s happening.
With that in mind, do you think Limerick city influenced the E.P’s sound as well?
Dylan: I think it happened organically, we never try to get our music to sound a certain way. We all have different influences musically that we all listen to at different times and it would be impossible to represent them all.
Barry: I think lyrically the record would have been different if we hadn’t made it in Limerick but I think the music would stay the same.
Has that sound always been part of the band from the beginning or was it something that had to be worked on over time?
Dylan: It almost didn’t happen for us. When we first started out the songs were very heavy and fast. After a while we had to take a step back and see it wasn’t working. We were trying to do something specifically and it wasn’t natural, now we have a more grounded approach.
In terms of that change what song do you think turned the tide for the band?
Dylan: We’ve had ‘Spirit of a City’ a while, but I think ‘Future Fades’ is where it really came together in terms of the music and the lyrics mirroring each other.
Barry: It was good to have ‘Spirit of a City’ as a starting point instead of going back to square one and not knowing what direction we wanted to go in. Once we had that, we tried not to concentrate on emulating it too much and instead just let it happen.
When it came to recording in the studio how do you think that experience expanded upon your sound?
Barry: We demo a lot, when you have something recorded down you can see what it does and does not need. We don’t like to clutter our music with too many layers and try avoid record something for no reason. We learned a hard lesson last year when we recorded some demo that went down that road, we just had to throw them out and start again. If it’s not needed don’t put it down.
Dylan: Also the live aspect is so important. We really wanted to capture what we do on stage. In the studio everything is isolation and sometimes you have to reject the need to fill in the supposed gaps with different elements.
Barry: The studio and the live side of things are very similar. If you’re not working with someone who understands and likes what you do it can be frustrating and clinical. We were lucky enough to have worked with Owen Geaney, who was great. He instantly got it and would push us in the studio as well
Dylan: Definitely and sometimes it was the fact that Owen wouldn’t suggest things like other producers would, who were just going through the motions and trying to fill as much space as possible. Owen knew what we were trying to do and worked with us on that.
Spirit of A City is due for release on April 11th, the band will also play Nenagh Arts Centre on March 29th and the Academy 2, Dublin on April 10th. Watch Moscow Metro’s recent music video for the E.P’s title track below.