Moonraker; Peter Gabriel, Strawberries and an Amber Alert

Amidst the identical lawns and forced neighborly conversations, I sat with my eyes wide. Santa Clarita is the definition of suburbia and it scares me. So finding myself among the men of Moonraker caused a sigh of relief. A punk band born and bred in this picture of perfection, minus the imported teal haired fellow, transformed my night from quiet and wholesome to one full of inappropriate jokes, foul language and man sized teddy bears and oh yeah, their latest EP Amber Alert.

As Moonraker stepped off stage at the strangest “venue” I’d ever come across, Moonraker’s Matt shared his feeling towards the sports complex, “Basically it’s a giant concrete room with glass walls and it doesn’t sound good. But people have to adapt. We can’t be prim donnas about it.” Agreeing on the lacking venue, and at opposite ends when it came to the moon landing, we sat in a white walled room for a pow wow.

Before the present you need past so the guys let me into theirs. After years of playing in numerous bands they found one another.  Delorean craving Dave and Matt started it and were rounded out by the NOFX looking Nick Sucks who travels to be with the guys from Oxnard where most of the world’s strawberries come from, he assured. Then they have Party Bear. Yes, Party Bear because he “likes to party and girls have a bear as a child and need one when they grow up.”

With their brash personalities and style you’d think music was their way to rebel against the fine lines of suburban living, not the case. Matt assured it was never like that and all their parents were supportive of the path they’d decided to travel. Matt also added that the whole suburban kids rebelling is a “trend” and kids just think it’s the “cool thing to do.” Party Bear added that the kids who really rebel are the ones who move away.

Not moving anytime soon, but hitting the road as much as they can is what Moonraker hopes to do with the rest of their 2011. The game plan on the table is to head to The Fest as fans and play shows along the way to save on plane tickets. It’s a great way to get national exposure. Why didn’t my friends and I think of this to get to shows on the East Coast? Oh yeah, we lack musical talent…

Any who, Moonraker does have the talent to get them through their live show. So many bands can name drop who inspired them to get into music. Plus, it’s one thing to sit in a room and write a song, it’s a whole other ball game when it comes to playing live. All the guys differ when it came to who they admire when it comes to being a live musician.

Nick was quick with The Cramps, Matt had a pair, Tom Gabel of Against Me and The Flatliners and Dave was all about Derek Grant of Alkaline Trio. But it was surprisingly Party Bear who had the most insightful thing to say on the matter of playing live, “It’s about the passion you put forth as oppose to the music.” Party Bear also insisted when Matt’s onstage he thinks he’s Tom Gabel as well as Peter Gabriel, Matt begged to differ.

An offer of a blank check to tour was matched with the boys minds wandering to one of the most beloved movies of the 90’s and as the stars shined on in the outskirts of suburbia the interview marched to an end. So when Moonraker aren’t watching 30 Rock you can find them playing a show here and there. So check out all their Facebook to see when you can check them out next. And make sure to go up to them because they’re practically giving away their EP Amber Alert for free, really it’s free…who doesn’t like free music? Or you can stop by their merch table and the wonderful Tori will give you one.

So ends the interview but before you go on your way, Moonraker shared a mixtape of the songs that made them want to play music and added one that best represented Moonraker
Dave: “Radio” Rancid
Matt: “London Calling” The Clash
Nick: “Fuck Armagedon” Bad Religion
Party Bear: “Be Quiet and Drive” The Deftones
Moonraker: “Mother Teresa Chokeslams the World“ The Flatliners

Originally posted on May 18, 2011

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