Arthur Moon uses avant-garde electro-pop music to create an otherworldly ambience and danceable tracks—all while rebelling against formal musical structures. Rare Candy got the chance to ask Lora-Faye Åshuvud of the band some of our burning questions before their July 10th performance at Palehound’s album release show on Wednesday July 10th. Read more to learn about Arthur Moon’s age-defying secrets, thoughts on rejecting the confines of “normalcy,” and more.
Artist’s pronouns: they/them for Arthur Moon
Rare Candy: To start, I noticed that your Facebook “about” page says that your birthday is January 1, 1871. You look great for 148! How do you do it?
Arthur Moon: Tiny fermented fish.
RC: I think it’s really interesting that you are such a talented composer and musician, yet can’t read music. How do you feel that helps or inhibits your writing?
AM: Sometimes it takes me a whole day to figure something out that anyone with formal training in music would just get instantly. It can definitely be frustrating because it's often a much longer process than it needs to be, but the cool thing is that since I'm sort of reinventing the wheel, I have to experiment my way into a solution, and end up coming up with something much more unusual than I might have come up with if I understood the "rules." For example, I'll be searching for the five chord to build a "turnaround" in a progression, but in the process of making mistakes looking around for that chord, I'll realize that I can actually play something totally different and unpredictable to achieve a similar but more interesting effect.
RC: Do you see gate-keeping in music from people who were “formally trained”?
AM: Yes and no. I think in terms of money and institutional support from arts organizations, yes. But at the same time, in most of the worlds I move through (i.e. more accessibility-oriented music), I think there's a longstanding punk-informed ethos that creative work doesn't need to (and perhaps, radically, shouldn't) exist within rigid systems.
RC: Regarding your newest release “Homonormo,” you’ve explained that it came from questioning what is gained when one fails to adhere to the goals of “success” and “normalcy.” What power do you find in rejecting restraints of normalcy?
AM: I guess it's kind of an ethical stance of resistance, to say that the battle is not for me as a gay person to fit myself into normative definitions of "success," but rather for me to insist on my life as proof that those necessarily exclusive and oppressive definitions aren't the only way of being.
RC: Reflecting back on Pride month, how do you feel about major corporations having a hand in Pride—through apparel, commercials, storefronts, etc.? How does this affect your definitions of “normal” and what is not?
AM: It's not a question of whether or not some pinkwashy bank talks about "Gay" as "normal" during the month of June, but rather it's about whether or not capitalism is necessarily violent towards those who it necessarily marginalizes.
RC: Can you explain the concept behind the artwork for “Homonormo”?
AM: It's a photo of me, as a kid, looking very uncomfortable in a dress, made into a collage by the brilliant artist Hannah Perry. The door does not represent a closet :)
RC: Do you have any music, movies, books, or anything else that you’ve been really liking lately and would like to give a shoutout for?
AM: My friend Raia Was just put out a single called "I Can't Reason" and it's stunning.
Be sure to grab tickets for Arthur Moon’s upcoming shows, including a performance during Palehound’s album release on July 10th, 2019 at Elsewhere in Brooklyn.