Moondog Matinee is a Reno-based band known for creating boisterous, rootsy rock. (Watch their joyous performance of “Wild Way” here and listen to “Ghost Dime” here.) Moondog Matinee were 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 musical friends, the secret of their onstage energy, and the cultural context of Reno, Nevada.
“Ghost Dime” has a jazzy swing to it, and there are some great jazz keyboard moments. Do any of you have jazz training?
We don’t, but fortunately we have some incredibly talented friends in Reno that provided those extra jazzy keys for us. Really elevated the song to a new level.
What influence, positive or negative, has Reno had on the development of your sound?
Reno has definitely had both positives and negatives on the development of our sound. Certainly, living in a smaller city like Reno, we aren’t exposed to the same art and culture scene as a city like San Francisco or New York. At the same time, there’s no defining sound, or no mold that we need to try and fit into here. Every artist is able to do their own thing here, and Reno really does have its own pretty cool, unique little scene. Not to mention some of the best musicians and venues around.
How do you get yourselves psyched up for those energised stage performances?
As long as the crowd is into it, It’s pretty easy to get psyched up. Much like a sports team feeding off their home fans, we pick up a lot of our energy from the crowd. If they’re psyched up, we’re psyched up!
What conditions do you require in your life in order to go on being creative?
The most difficult thing for any artist is having to spend all day at work, in some cases all night at work, and then go try and be creative. we’re no different, but It’s one of the things we try to work through. Sometimes creativity for us can be sparked just by having a BBQ together or sharing some ideas at our favorite watering holes. Being around other creative people and bands really helps, and oftentimes just listening to our favorite records and getting ideas from them is a very therapeutic activity. we’re all inspired by so many different artists and so many different forms of art that it would be difficult to pin just a few as main sources of influence.
If you had an artistic mission statement, what would it be?
Live American music.
Tell us about your current projects.
we’re working on some collaborations with local filmmakers on a couple videos and already beginning the writing process all over again.
What’s next for you?
Heading out on tour shortly and hopefully expanding our touring routes this summer and fall, making more music, and doing whatever we can to expand our audience!
Do you have anything else to add-
Please donate all your unwanted rain, snow, and other precipitation to the Reno/Tahoe area. We could use it!
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.