If you’re a huge fan of science fiction movies and like doom metal as well, then this band from Lawrence, Kansas in the United States is definitely one to watch out for. They combine the sluggishness of doom metal with science fiction themes, as the unusual band name already indicates. And as an extra bonus, you get two female singers for the price of one! After three singles and one EP, THEY WATCH US FROM THE MOON are now launching their first full-length album “Cosmic Chronicles, Act I: The Ascension” on May 12th through New Heavy Sounds. We had an intergalactic talk with the two singers, who go by the mysterious names of Luna Nemeses and Nova 1001001. Are you ready for a trip to the dark side of the moon? Buckle up and prepare for lift-off!
INTERVIEW BY: HENK VAN NIEUWENHOVEN
Greetings from planet Earth, ladies. Can you tell us a little more about the story of the band?
LUNA: Well, I’d say that I came in halfway through the story of the band, which has been through several incarnations. I joined at the innocent beginning of 2020 after they contacted me via mutual friends. They contacted Chelsy too, both of us recommended by the same friends, but she felt too busy and pregnant to audition at that time. When the pandemic hit, it did derail our timeline but it definitely afforded space to really dig in creatively. At first I asked Chelsy to help with rewriting and writing melodies, then slowly eased her into being in the band with us, lol. We have had a few other line-up changes in that time, Ben coming on later really got our creative juices flowing even more. He, Chelsy and I work so well together that it just leveled everything up. There have definitely been some frustrating delays along the way, but we’re really excited for where it’s going.
The band’s name is very intriguing. Who are THEY and why do they WATCH US FROM THE MOON? Do they come in peace?
NOVA: THEY are an ancient alien race that has been on the moon unbeknownst to humankind. The storyline goes that the band triggered ancient alien technology hidden in a pyramid whilst giving a performance there and got beamed up to the moon, where they were then enslaved by the aliens to be their performers. You’ll have to read the comics to see where it goes from there, but that’s enough to show THEY most certainly don’t come in peace
What is the actual line-up of the band?
LUNA: My name is Lauren Mayhew, vocals. Nova is Chelsy Larson, powerhouse harmony and counter melody vixen. Shane Thirteen on rhythm guitar. Ben White is on lead guitar/vocals. Adrian Proctor is on the drums. Zack Kauffman is the bassist on the album. Rain Charger is the new bassist in the line-up and has been contributing cool vocal stuff and a new fun vibe to our live show. Perfect fit for what we do!
The binary code 1001001 behind your name stands for “I”?
NOVA: Officially in the comic lore it is a serial number designation to confirm identity for security within the Palace of the Moon. But the number is a nod to the song 10001110101 by Clutch. This specific sequence standing for “I” is accidental, but kind of cool for sentience. Thanks for noticing!
Your debut album “Cosmic Chronicles, Act I: The Ascension” will be out on May 12th via New Heavy Sounds. One of the tracks on the album is titled “Mother Of All Bastards”. Is this the same song as “Mother Of All Bongs”, your very first single from 2019, and “M.O.A.B.” from the 2020 EP “Moon Doom”?
LUNA: It is the same song base. I wasn’t around for that version, that was a completely different line-up almost. Shane, Adrian and Zack were on that first one, the rest of us came along later. It’s been significantly reworked so it doesn’t sound all that similar at this point, especially since the vocals are pushed so far back in the original version and that incarnation was about twice as long as ours. We got in there, made cuts, changed the melodies to suit ourselves better and now I think it’s one of our strongest songs. It’s certainly the darkest one on the album, it has a lot of powerful imagery. It’s the story of the band returning to Earth, only to find it’s been ripped apart in our absence.
Who created the cover art for “Cosmic Chronicles, Act I: The Ascension”?
NOVA: Rick Lara, who is also working on our next comic book!
We are currently working up a handful of new tunes for the next album that I feel pretty excited about.“
– NOVA 1001001 –
Are all the tracks on the album sci-fi related? Who writes the music and lyrics?
LUNA: All the songs are within the storyline of the band’s mythos. Hopefully when the comic comes out a lot of that gets tied together more for the audience. As far as writing goes, everyone participates. Shane‘s riffs and lyrics were the original basis for most of the songs on the upcoming album. Ben came up with riffs and basic melodies for “Fields” not long after joining. Lyrics are contributed by both those guys which are then tweaked or rewritten by Chelsy and myself. Ben, Chelsy and I do the vocal arrangements and often together. Everyone comes up with their own instrumental contributions to whatever idea is put out there. There’s push and pull, we try things several ways and go with what we think works the best. It really is collaborative art which we love, and we definitely feel like our best stuff is ahead of us.
The title of the album, especially the “Chronicles” and “Act I” parts, suggests that there will be a series of like-minded albums. Have you written a sequel already?
NOVA: That is the intention, yes. We are currently working up a handful of new tunes for the next album that I feel pretty excited about.
When people go to a THEY WATCH US FROM THE MOON concert, what do they get to see and hear?
LUNA: Hopefully us, singing in tune and playing our music well! Lol. The stage show is actually really fun (we hear) because it’s colorful and everyone is in costume. We’re well rehearsed so the set is tight and the sound is really big. It’s really, really fun to have the ability to produce 3 part harmony during the live show and pretty unique in this genre, so people have really been responding to that. It’s definitely flashy in a really fun way.Is there a slight chance that the band will ever travel to the Old Continent aka Europe? Do you need some landing coordinates?
NOVA: If the album makes a big enough splash in Europe, we love the idea of taking the act overseas. I think what we’re doing would very much appeal to the market over there and early data from the release of the single shows we’re getting some attention there, which is exciting. NHS has been working hard with us to make it happen, so we hope to see you all next year.
Last question for both: will there be an official music video out for one of the tracks on “Cosmic Chronicles, Act I: The Ascension” and if you were asked for which song, what would your choice be?
LUNA: “On The Fields Of The Moon” is getting a video and that is definitely the song I think was the best choice. There’s plenty of potential for the other songs as well but I think it was the right choice for the first one.
NOVA: We’ve actually just completed a music video for “On The Fields Of The Moon” to go with the release, complete with an alien abduction storyline. Very happy with the results!