London’s all female quartet The Big Moon have been making quite a splash over the past year with a swag of well received singles. CHRIS HAVERCROFT spoke to bass player Celia Archer about the band’s busy schedule and the release of their debut album Love In The 4th Dimension in April.
Since forming in 2014, The Big Moon have gone from learning how to flesh out the songs of Juliette Jackson, to becoming a bona fide outfit with offers of gigs and recording contracts. Their first five singles came at a rate of knots and got airplay worldwide. It is this whirlwind success that finds Archer feeling a bit under the weather following their trip to the USA which included gigs and South By South West.
“I think I may have been pushing it too hard and my body is responding in all sorts of horrible ways,” concedes Archer of the rigours of life on the road. “I have maybe learned my lesson, but I am not sure. SXSW is definitely an endurance test. It is like a marathon for bands and we certainly made it like that by playing 12 shows.
“It was so much fun and some of the best shows that we have ever played so it was all worth it. We thought it was going to be intense and difficult, but it was just so much fun. I am not sure if it was just the sunshine element – because everything is better when it is sunny. Having sunshine in March is a dream for us, seeing as we come from London.”
The members of The Big Moon didn’t know each other before they started playing music together. Juliette Jackson started writing some songs, and the band members all found each other through various degrees of separation. Some of the songs on the album were written before they even knew each other, but all were committed to bringing life to the songs and the world that Jackson was creating.
“I imagine if you grow up with people and play music together then eventually somebody has to take control,” she says. “Are you really going to let your mate from primary school tell you what to do? I can see how that would create tension. The way that our dynamic is as a band isn’t normal but it works really well for us.
“I was the last person to join and it just felt so right to be hanging out with these people. We spend quite an unreasonable amount of time together and we still don’t get sick of each other. Maybe after a tour we have a break from each other but it only ever lasts a couple of days. We are also really proud of what we have made together. We don’t only get on well with each other, but we work well together too.”
For the recording of Love In The 4th Dimension, The Big Moon were aided by producer Catherine Marks (Foals, Wolf Alice). Archer says that the quartet weren’t sure of what a producer would bring to their sound but says that Marks was able to draw a performance out of The Big Moon without the group even knowing it and managed to make it all “delicious” at the end of the day.
“I think that by the time we got around to doing the album we were more sure of what we wanted to do,” she says. “The first things we did together were by trail and error. By the time we made the album, we knew what we wanted to sound like and what each of us is like in the studio. We just knew we were in the studio for twelve days and then we would come out with a record that we wanted.”
“Jules (Jackson) wrote the song Love In The 4th Dimension because she really wanted to write the greatest love song of all time. She wrote a song about being so in love that you feel like you are in another dimension and you are looking down on everybody else. We kept coming back to that song when we were looking at album titles, because an album is like its own little world so it kind of made sense for it to also be the title of the album”