In Conversation with Moondog Matinee

Moondog Matinee is a Reno-based band that distills the history of whatever is most rousing in rock, country, blues, and soul. (Watch their dance-happy performance of “Wild Way” here and listen to “Ghost Dime” here.) Moondog Matinee was selected as a Red Bull Sound Select artist and voted Best Band in Northern Nevada by the Reno News and Review. This summer they’ll be promoting their second album, Carry Me, Rosie, by touring the west coast. Recently the band took the time to talk to Wanda Waterman about their lifestyle, inspirations, and the meaning of “ghost dime.”

The first question on everyone’s mind is going to be this: are you all clean livin? or not?
Well, our singer does eat only organic food!

What was your most beneficial educational experience?
Tough question to answer as a band. We probably all have different inspirations for doing what we do, and the way we do it. Certainly some of the other amazing artists we’ve performed with, met, and even just witnessed all have a part in our individual and collective developments as artists and as human beings.

What was the most mesmerizing musical experience of your life?
As a band, It’s probably safe to say the most mesmerising musical experience of our band’s life was getting to perform in San Francisco with Ike Stubblefield. The man is a legend in the industry, and just watching him warm up and get ready for the set was an entirely unique and humbling experience.

What’s your favourite instrument to play and why?
We recently picked up a pan flute and it has, collectively, become our all-time favorite instrument to play, even though we’re all incredibly terrible at it!

Has anything funny or strange ever happened to you in the recording studio or on the stage?
During the recording of our upcoming album, Carry Me, Rosie, we did have the police called on us in the middle of the night. We were recording the album in a cabin in the woods of northern California and thought we were a little more isolated in terms of noise than we actually were! Oops!

I’m assuming you got your name from the 1973 album by The Band, and I can hear elements of The Band in your tracks. Are you big fans of The Band?
We did get our name from The Band and we are in fact all huge fans of The Band. When we all go without shaving for awhile, we can pull off a pretty close image of them as well.

Why did you call this EP “Carry Me, Rosie”?
We named this album after the beloved school bus we tour in. Subsequently she broke down on our last tour and we had to leave her in Seattle for a few weeks.

Did you write the lyrics for “Ghost Dime”? If so, can you tell us something about the story narrator character?
We did write the lyrics, and the story is far more rudimentary than it may first appear. Pete had closing duties at our local bar on a nightly basis, and night after night, no matter how much he swept, mopped, dusted, and long after the doors had been locked, there was guaranteed to be a dime lying around on the floor somewhere. Either he had holes in his pocket or there was some very mischievous other-worldly being hanging out after hours …
(to be continued)

Wanda also penned the poems for the artist book They Tell My Tale to Children Now to Help Them to be Good, a collection of meditations on fairy tales, illustrated by artist Susan Malmstrom.

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