If one thing is the inevitable benefit our era that we are closer – or at least we can feel closer – ourselves to others. As for musicians and artists, man-made and politics-bound boundaries probably never existed. So, during our times of changes and challenges we could have a good and sometimes funny talk with Cameron Thomson from Moonlight Broadcast. We went on unusual and rather in-depth questions, too about world, hopes, everyday life and sharksmovies. It’s a good and lengthy read, so, go on!
And while you are at it, listen to their pretty good song with a surprisingly accurate title nowadays: Breathe Easy
Music Authentic: Welcome to our site! There is this question, kind of traditional to begin with here at the interviews: How did you sleep last night?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): I stayed up too late, then had a heavy sleep filled with dreams. I think I was driving my good friend and his date somewhere, but his date was a bull shark, and he wouldn’t listen to me about why that was a problem. Anyway, I awoke feeling like I needed to go back to bed.
Music Authentic: How is life at Down Under? Are men at the work or rather staying at home? Can people around you hold on, can you still hold on?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): I’m in Victoria, so we’ve been under a pretty hard lockdown for a long time now. Everyone that can work from is, and kids are learning from home. It’s been pretty rough, but I’m aware of how hard this virus has hit other parts of the world, and I try to keep that in mind when the worst thing I have to complain about is being stuck inside. There’s light at the end of the tunnel now. I have faith that people can hold on.
Music Authentic: The world has been changing and most of these changes haven’t been done by us but to us. In addition, your homeland has been seriously affected by the man-made climate alteration, too. Tell me, how these are affected your art and view on life?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): It’s hard not to feel like it’s the end times at the moment. The bushfires we had here were terrible, then we went straight into the pandemic. I see the news of those incredible wildfires in America, as well as that hurricane that just hit. And we’re not far off heading into bushfire season again here. And then here I am, writing songs about myself. I guess sometimes it can feel like the world is burning down all around me, and I’m too busy staring into a mirror to notice. I should probably do something about that.
Music Authentic: Artists are insecure by nature and they are one the most heavily affected by the new – and hopefully just temporary – way of life. What makes you happy and joyful, what little or big things?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): Bad movies make me very happy. I love a terrible shark movie. Nothing too self-aware, it has to not realize how bad it is. If I had to suggest one, a movie so bad it’s almost art, it would be “Boa vs Python”. It’s so beautifully idiotic. I have a very fond memory of watching that with friends and crying with laughter.
Music Authentic: Your first nation people seem to be more resilient in the Outback and basically everywhere. It’s like they have this inner strength rooted in the deep connection with the Earth and their faith. What about you? Where do you usually gain strength during these changing and challenging times?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): I gain strength from the people I’m close to. My family and friends, the people I admire and respect, and who I can lean on when I need to. And sometimes I chug pre-workout supps and scream motivational quotes at my reflection.
Music Authentic: Now, it might seem really like a fantasy but things will become more normal, hopefully soon enough. What about after, how do you see your life later, in a few years from now on?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): You’d think this question would be easy, right? But I’ve got nothing. I don’t have coherent five-year-plan or anything like that. In the immediate future, as far as the band is concerned, my plan is to mend some bridges, and get to work. I want to collaborate as a band, and with other musicians, to make the album that’s been in my head for ever.
Music Authentic: I personally love the origin story of the U2 and their everlasting friendship, brotherhood of more than 40 years now. What is your origin story?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): Originally it just started as your regular, everyday cult. Ashley Galea just got us all together so that he could brainwash us and our intimate partners into bearing his children, and so that he could claim tax-exempt status for a religious organisation. That didn’t work out, and Ashley’s now living in the Maldives under an assumed identity. Seriously though, we don’t have an exciting origin story. Some of us went to high-school together.
Music Authentic: Good art, great musical expressions and performances need extreme amount of self-discipline and seemingly endless extra miles. Yet, in this era there are so many wannabe artists who try to skip this part with money and technology letting them to live a life of fame and success very quickly. Doesn’t it bother you?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): There are? You mean I’ve been pouring my heart out, bloody and raw, again and again, to empty venues and an apathetic public, when I could have just skipped all that with some money and computers? Well, shit.
Music Authentic: You are defining yourself through your songs. Have you ever needed to compromise in order to sell yourself as an artist?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): Ha no. We’ve never managed to sell ourselves as artists in the first place. I’d happily compromise if it meant we’d find an audience. Hell, I’d put on a cowboy hat and chaps and go full country if I thought it’d make us a buck.
Music Authentic: Here is a lighter tone question, which is quite real by now: Would you rather live in the Earth in 20 years or be the part of the first Mars colony?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): Earth in 20 years, no doubt. I’m claustrophobic, so the idea of spending 13 months on a cramped ship, just to live in domes behind air-locks on a hostile planet, is a big no for me.
Music Authentic: Your music envisions a more wholesome world, where people are more open and accepting songs like yours, which are not the typical TOP 40 songs. Have you ever dreamed of being a chart-topper?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): Well, I’m not sure anyone’s ever accused our music of envisioning a more wholesome world, but sure I’ll take that. Anyone releasing music wants it to be successful to some degree. No one wants to create art that no one even notices. But if you’re asking if I’ve ever stood in front of the bathroom mirror, clutching a bottle of shampoo and practicing my Grammy acceptance speech, then yes, yes I have.
(the interview goes on below the photo with interesting answers and ideas, so be brave and scroll down)
Music Authentic: Can you break through the barriers of numbness, self-indulgence and ignorance, character traits of many 21st century men?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): Jeez, I mean, I try. Referring to ignorance, I do try to embrace information, different viewpoints and experiences. But I think the biggest step I needed to take was to accept that I’m kind of an idiot, and so is everyone else. We’re all susceptible to influence, tricks, misinformation. We’re emotional, irrational and destructive. Knowing this about myself enables me to sometimes just pause, and question my own thinking when I need to, and to hear what others are saying. Knowing this about everyone else has allowed me to forgive others sometimes. But numbness and self-indulgence? That’s kinda my bag. I write self-indulgent songs about my feelings, and then I try and distract myself enough to not feel them for a while.
Music Authentic: Lately there has been a debate whether to create singles frequently over a concept album. In which side are you on?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): We dipped our toe in the ‘just releasing singles’ pool recently with our stand-alone single, Amoebas in Glass Houses. And I have to say, I’m not a fan. Of just releasing singles, that is, I’m a fan of the song itself, it freakin’ great. But just having a single, it’s like that’s it, this is all I have, there’s nothing more to what we’re promoting. When I think of when I’ve fallen in love with an act, it’s always when there’s an album to discover. A collection of songs that form a whole, that I can listen to repeatedly and find different things and feel different ways.
Music Authentic: Australia, your home, is also changing, just like every part of the world. The “traditional values” once we were taught to uphold now obsolete. Where do you think this will lead us to?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): I think we’ll be fine in that regard. I don’t think the “traditional values” that were worth anything are getting left behind. We’re just leaving behind some of the values that sucked, the ones that were based on holding others down.
Music Authentic: “Sorrow Pass Me By” or “Amoebas in Glass Houses”?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): If you’re asking which of our songs I prefer, that’s hard to answer. They both mean a lot to me, and are actually very similar songs, thematically at least. I mean, they’re both frank admissions of my poor mental health. Sorrow sounds sadder, while Amoebas has more of a smile and a wink in it. But it’s Sorrow Pass Me By that’s actually hopeful. Amoebas is what I’m whistling while I drift out to sea.
Music Authentic: What things would be the greatest achievements for you through your art?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): I know it’s no big deal in this global age, but when Spotify for Artists shows me the world map and I can see all the different countries where our music has been played, that’s great. I never even thought I could write a song worth a damn, or be in a band, or record in a studio, or shoot a film clip, or be interviewed like this. So it’s all pretty cool. I also really enjoyed convincing the band to get into the surf for the Breathe Easy film clip. That was pretty crazy.
Music Authentic: There has been a social unrest against the establishment at yours, too. Let’s play with the thought: If you were offered would you take the chance and become the Prime Minister? What would you start the change with?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): I would, for sure, it’s not like I’ve got a whole lot more important things going on. Then I’d focus on outlawing lobbyists, and making any interference in government from any business or third-party a criminal act. It’s seriously screwed the whole system. Then I’d desperately try and do something to reign in the power of corporations, try to make them comply with an ethical framework. But I’m pretty sure it’s too late on that front, and the soulless psychopathic entities we have created will enslave us all soon enough.
Music Authentic: Nowadays computers, algorithms are replacing mostly everything. Pop music is written by them. Machine Learning and actual Artificial Intelligence are at our doors. Do you think artists and musicians will be replaced deemed to be obsolete?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): Not real artists, no. I could see some of the manufactured pop stars being replaced, the ones whose songs are written by focus groups and market studies. But generally, people want to connect with people, and consume art about the human experience. I don’t think a machine can ever emulate that well enough.
Music Authentic: Have you ever used your stage as a platform to help out others?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): We haven’t had that much of a stage, to be honest. But I guess we’re here now, so if you’re an Australian, check out Support Act (supportact.org.au), Australia’s only charity delivering crisis relief services to artists, crew and music workers.
Music Authentic: What do you see as the hardest challenges in society these days?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): I think we’re approaching the Great Filter, if we haven’t already past it. It’s becoming apparent that the survival of our species relies on our ability to either not destroy this planet, or to get the hell off of it before we do. So I think that’s the hardest challenge. Stop killing our planet, stop overpopulating it beyond or resources, and find a way to colonise other worlds.
Music Authentic: Just some fun again as we are getting to the end of our talk: what is your favourite pastime activity?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): I collect spores, molds and fungus. And I quote Ghostbusters whenever I get the chance.
Music Authentic: As a goodbye for now, what is your message to encourage others with?
Cameron Thomson (Moonlight Broadcast): Oh god, it’s right behind you! Just keep running, as fast as you can. Don’t look back!