In The Middle with The Big Moon
The Gryphon Music caught up with drummer of The Big Moon, Fern Ford, ahead of the release of their debut album Love in the 4thDimension and their spot at Live at Leeds next month.
The recording process for their debut has had its challenges. Ford describes their tight schedule of twelve days to record the remainder of the album, after the singles they had already completed with Catherine Marks, who produced the majority of the record. “It seems like it was rushed but we made sure we had a couple days of pre-production to really make sure the songs were ready to go in and record. It was really chilled actually. We had time to nail the recording then have a little bit of time to experiment which was nice”. Nevertheless, Ford champions tropical-themed memorabilia to create create a fun vibe in the studio: “We were wearing leis as we were doing takes with inflatable palm trees and monkeys and flamingos… I’m not really sure why but our engineer just brought them in.”
Ford names ‘Zeds’ one of the songs they’re most excited to release along with their album. It’s amongst the slower-paced tracks; it has “still kind of got taste to it but it’s a lot more chilled”. In terms of their older material, ‘Eureka Moment’, a song which made its debut on Soundcloud a couple of years ago, finds itself on the record as a bonus track. Looking back at the track fondly, Ford describes it as an “old and baby version” of The Big Moon. They have come into themselves and figured out their band’s sound more over time, but still want to give a nod to the first music people ever heard of them.
The Big Moon have incredibly quirky and creative music videos, all thanks to friend of the band, director Louis Bhose. Western-themed ‘Sucker’ stands out with a feminist edge, where the damsel in distress takes control, taking a twist with a love story that is revealed to be about two women. However, Ford denies the intention behind this subversion of traditional narratives, saying it was as intentional as the band to be all-female. “It’s not something we’ve ever really thought about,” she muses, “like when we started the band it was never like ‘we need a girl to play guitar’. It just so happened that the friend of a friend was a girl and she played guitar. We always think about the message because we want to send the right message but it wasn’t calculated… it was just funny and normal to us.”
Following the release of their album on 7th April, The Big Moon have a busy summer planned, but Ford wants to take it one step at a time. “I’m a bit-by-bit kind of person, I’ve got to do one thing then I start thinking about the other. For me, we’ve just got to get the record out then do the tour around it, and then once we’ve done that I can be like, “Ah! Summer, festivals”. However, one festival that’s standing out for is Wales-based Green Man Festival, an event that Ford has been eager to attend for a long time.
Of course, Live at Leeds is a big date for the band with their slot on the DIY stage at Brudenell Social Club. Ford is no stranger to Leeds, and especially expresses her love for the city, as well as The Brunswick for a rock‘n’roll morning with breakfast and a paper. “There’s a bar there, I really enjoy it because we went there once at night and there were really good beers and ales there and they had an art installation upstairs as well which was really fun.” She’s hoping for an early arrival to check out the bands also set to play the festival on 29th April, including The Magic Gang (“We love them all so much. Sophie still lives with some of them down in Brighton and they’re just lovely boys”), SXSW friends Let’s Eat Grandma (“they’re really funny girls, really clever”), Mosa Wild, and their support on tour, Francobollo. She’s perhaps not feeling too optimistic about catching them all, but she’s willing to give it a try.
Catch The Big Moon at Live At Leeds festival on 29th April at The Brudenell. Get your tickets here
The Big Moon are also playing Green Man 2017. Get your tickets here
(Image: Chuff Media)