Our life is full of starts and restarts. In music it is the same: many give up, few start again. Moan Barrow is a singer-songwriter, composer who has just started to return to the rock stage. We talked about music, past, present and insider truths. If you are brave enough to read on, you’ll even have some fun!
And while you are at it, listen to “Will You Recognize Me” by Moan Barrow, it sounds really good!
Music Authentic: Welcome to Music Authentic! As usual, our first, traditional is: How did you sleep last night?
Moan Barrow: Well probably like most nights, restless thinking about life, family, song lyrics, and work…and then bass riffs.
Music Authentic: And when did you last cook and what?
Moan Barrow: Well, I’m not much of a cook so being the clever man that I am (sometimes) I married one. My wife Lisa cooks 99% of the time and my last dinner was homemade deep-dish pizza. Yummy.
Music Authentic: How does a day of yours look like now that the world seems to get back step by step to its former shape?
Moan Barrow: Well, I feel blessed that my family was not impacted too much by the pandemic and saddened for the catastrophic losses our collective human family suffered. It was terrible and like everyone else who made it through it just very, very blessed. Back to work, back to life, back to creating music.
Music Authentic: You are a busy person: running a music service company and now getting back to the forefront of the stages. How do you juggle through the days and weeks?
Moan Barrow: I love to stay busy, I guess I’m that “A” typical personality that tries to cram everything into a single 24 hour day, but my wife is a big help. She keeps me grounded and inspired.
Music Authentic: You’ve come out with a new single “Ghost” which is about to get a fresh music video and just before you had “Been here before”. So tell me what’s the story behind them?
Moan Barrow: I think that as we age (I’m 52) we start to get closer to mortality and think more about those times than when were younger. We have experienced more and did things repeatedly. Déjà vu becomes more common and so the song Been Here Before just ties that all up, and Ghost is really a story about an elderly co-worker friend I used to know that passed away quietly one night after work. He did not show up for work the next day and we found him in his favourite chair the next morning.
Music Authentic: I’m really looking forward to your upcoming music video for “Ghost” – with whom did you team up for it?
Moan Barrow: I’m excited about it as well. Ash Hamilton from the United States will Produce the next Video along with Brett Blakely both friends of mine in the industry. Brett is an Actor, and I am scoring the upcoming documentary that Ash is directing and producing. The documentary will be called “Holes in the Sky” and will be out in the Fall of 2021.
Music Authentic: You’ve been around in the ‘80s then you stopped. What made you leave everything behind and what was the power to come back in a different way?
(here are a few Moan Barrow photos from past and present – and a note: letter, words and thoughts are still coming, just after the images…)
Moan Barrow: Well, music was my life for many years touring all over the Midwest of the United States playing 3-4 gigs each week. I had the pleasure of working with many talented artists like vocalist and guitarist Todd Mcdowell and Terry Davis probably the best guitarist I’ve still ever seen. But I left touring in 1990 when my son Nick was born. I just wanted to be a father and focus on that. It wasn’t until about 3 years ago that my wife Lisa purchased me an Izotope Spire as a gift for Christmas and really encouraged me to start writing some of my old songs. I really tried to modernize my sound with something that fit today’s market, but alas, I just kept getting pulled back to that 80’s and 90’s Grunge Rock sound. I just seem to stay in that lane now. I write for myself not necessarily the current industry.
Music Authentic: Let me ask you about your songwriting process. Do you enlist any help from others or you just idle by the piano waiting for the magic?
Moan Barrow: I literally sit by my piano and tinker with chord progressions and vocals. I’m not the best singer, but I’m a decent musician and I simply love creating songs. I always have worked by myself, but I love to help other musicians as well.
Music Authentic: What about writer’s block? How do you overcome?
Moan Barrow: Well, Lisa will tell you that I’m impatient… That’s very true. I’m working on that, and I think if I walk away from a song when it starts to get jumbled and then come back to it the next day that really helps. I’m never without ideas. Good ones and bad ones.
Music Authentic: These days there are vast amount of services anyone can add their music into yet for many it feels they are less heard in this “information Armageddon”. Also, we all have to face with the music: the music of AIs and music selected by algorithms, CEOs stating no more need for concept albums rather even unfinished but regularly uploaded fresh materials. It’s kinda disillusioning, especially if one does it in the long term. What are your thoughts and experiences?
Moan Barrow: This is a great question. As a music producer myself, it’s a fine line. I definitely use DAW’s and VST’s but in my studio you will find a variety of real actual instruments. Cow bells, tambourines, Pianos, guitars and they all get used in some fashion. I have a massive microphone collection and love to try and make my music sound more vintage. I’m a better piano player than I am a bass player so quite honestly if I can’t play the base line or guitar solo on the actual instrument, I play it on my midi controller. Many times it records better that way anyway and saves a ton of time. I’m a one-man band and so when I record every single part it’s massively time consuming. Sometimes you just must weigh it all out and see what works best.
Music Authentic: And now let’s hear about your upcoming gig in the upcoming Mars colony! What would it take for you to play there?
Moan Barrow: Not much, I’d probably do it for a bag of Cheetos and some front row seats for my mother, brother and wife to come watch the show.
Music Authentic: The world seems to ache for superheroes and easy ways to solve everything. What superpower would you like to have if you could for a day?
Moan Barrow: Well, I guess the thing to say would be I’d like to fly or be invisible, right? But for me, I wish I had the Power to sing like Steve Walsh of Kansas or Chris Cornell or if I was a woman Ann Wilson of Heart. I think music is a super power and it changes people daily.
Music Authentic: Duke Ellington, Johann Sebastian Bach, Frank Zappa are sitting at the Pearly Gates Café. With whom of them would you have your first meet and greet?
Moan Barrow: Pssh, Bach of course. 10 years of forced piano lessons will do that to a guy.
Music Authentic: Let’s get back to Earth. What can we see from you this year? Live concerts or maybe an album?
Moan Barrow: I’d like to compile an album, but it won’t likely happen this year. I really want to split my time about 70 / 30 with the 70% being scoring for films. I will put out a few more songs, but you will not see them in the next couple months for sure. Too much on my plate now.
Music Authentic: Is there anyone you would like to share the stage with?
Moan Barrow: Yea, I guess if I could be the keyboard player for the Steve Perry era Journey at the height of Steve’s voice and just take Jonathan Cains place for a weekend, that would be pretty, pretty sweet.
Music Authentic: What is the most important advice you can give to someone who starts out now?
Moan Barrow: Unless you are blessed with Adele’s voice… plan on working hard scratch that very hard. If you are in the industry to become famous, you will likely feel very empty at the end of each day. However, if you want to make music, go do it. Don’t worry if no one else likes it, do what you like and if someone else enjoys it, cool. I have a full-time job on top of my music career, it’s almost impossible not to if you have a family to support.
Music Authentic: As we go today, what is your encouraging message to your readers, fans and sympathizers?
Moan Barrow: 1. Life is short…Rock occasionally 2. Add my songs to your playlists.
Music Authentic: Thank you for taking the time and we are really looking forward to your new music video, too!
Say Hello and listen to Moan Barrow on his:
And here is “Been Here Before” as a special gift for you!