Focussed on writing but young band Moxai wants to be out gigging as soon as possible

North Devon Gazette

North Devon music news with Andy McAuley:

Here’s another band on the up and up that I had the pleasure of meeting and getting the inside scoop of their new single 'Feeling' that needs to be checked out...

Hi Moxai, I hope you are all well. If you would like to introduce yourselves and what you play in the bandÂ

LG: Hi, I’m Lily Graver and I play drums.Â

LHP: Hello, I'm Lily Hanlon-Penny and I play bass.Â

C: Hello, I’m Cerys Hemmings and I sing and write the songs. Â

N: Hi, I’m Noah Houghton and I play guitar in the band but I play bass as my day job. Â

Where and how did you all get together?Â

LG: I went into A-level music before I started the course where I met Cerys and Lily - and Ben! Cerys messaged me afterwards and we got talking. I tagged Cerys in a TikTok of a function band playing at a wedding, Lily saw this tag and we decided to start a band.Â

LHP: The TikTok video was of the function band playing ‘Life Is A Highway’ and we found this hilarious and thought it would be great to start a band after seeing how fun it was.Â

C: Yeah we struggled for so long to find a guitarist but luckily we found Noah who was very much at hand because he and I are together! Â

What’s you musical or non-musical inspirations?Â

LHP: I feel as though one of my biggest inspirations is Nothing but Thieves, me and Cerys have been lucky enough to see them live.Â

LG: The punk genre greatly inspires me, especially the Riot Grrrl subgenre. I take inspiration from bands such as The Wood Burning Savages, Touts and Cherym. My music teachers and tutors have encouraged and inspired me to lean into music. I only started playing drums three years ago!Â

C: I did my first solo in the choir at three years old and it took off from there really. I dabbled in musical theatre and opera for a decade then now have gotten into heavy alternative indie music which has helped me get away from my musical theatre tone - but I will be forever grateful for my experience performing and how I was classically trained. I like to take my tone’s inspiration from soul singers like Ella Fitzgerald. Â

N: I’ve been playing bass for nine years, Red Hot Chili Peppers were a huge thing for me starting out on bass so it’s only natural that I’m inspired by them now that I’m playing guitar. There’s something about John Frusciante’s playing that speaks to me. A lot of my inspiration comes from jazz, funk and soul, I just wish I could play guitar properly!Â

You’ve just released your first single 'Fleeing', how was that and where did you record it?Â

C: ’Fleeing’ is a very special song to us. We thought it would create a community for those who have struggled with creepy individuals following them or those who have felt uncomfortable around people.Â

LG: As we’re a relatively new band, we decided to do it all ourselves. The guitar, bass and vocals were recorded in Noah’s bedroom. He sent me the project which I added drums to and mixed and mastered it. Distrokid helped me distribute ‘Fleeing' to Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud and YouTube. Luckily, the timings worked out and we were able to release it on February 3. We are going to release an EP this year, which will be a full studio recording.

What are your passions or hobbies outside of music?Â

LG: I am a lifelong supporter of Derby County Football Club - no doubt you’ll see me wearing a football top behind the drums! Otherwise my interests are strongly rooted in music, whether it's playing drums, bass or guitar, performing live, recording session work, production, journalism or composing!Â

LHP: I do lots of different styles of art and will be helping towards possible album covers, merchandise and anything art based for the bandÂ

C: I’m an avid crystal collector, I have over 200 different kinds of crystals in all colours, shapes and sizes and love all things spiritual. Â

I’ve seen you’ve got a few live shows under your belt, how has that gone and what has been the funniest or weirdest moment for the band?Â

LG: At our first gig, I rocked too hard and sliced my finger open. I had such an adrenaline rush I didn’t even notice until afterwards. Things have gone quite smoothly. I just hit things and hope for the best.Â

LHP: I think the most I do is just shout at the others saying that I don't know what I'm doing!Â

C: Yeah I remember bursting out laughing because Lily said she didn’t know what she was doing and Stuart from The Palladium captured a picture of that moment on our Instagram.Â

What are your thoughts on the music industry as a young band?Â

LG: The competition for bands doing it themselves has increased due to the rise of TikTok and other social media platforms; we are using the DIY punk approach to our advantage. Our ages range from 16 to 19 so we know what appeals to people our age and are releasing engaging content on our Instagram, TikTok and Facebook @MoxaiBand

LHP: I feel as though since Covid there has been an increase in younger bands and we have to find ways to stand out from the othersÂ

When and where are you playing next?Â

LHP: We haven't got any gigs booked just yet but we hope to be out gigging ASAP!Â

LG: We’re focusing on writing new material now for our EP. Remember the name - it's pronounced mok·see

Keep rocking, rockers!Â

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