Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned Manchester duo Moodbay to find out more…
Who is in the duo, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the name?
We’re Alfie Cattell and Anna Stephens - we met in the corridor of BIMM music college in Manchester and at first, we thought nothing of each other. As for the name Moodbay, first we came up with Moodscape and realised it wasn’t quite right, but we still wanted the word mood in there because our music is moody. Bay came later. Unfortunately our tutor at BIMM said it reminded him of a soft furnishings company - oh well.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Alfie: I grew up listening to Radiohead, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Blur, Stevie Wonder, Dr Dre, Talking Heads, Stone Roses, The Verve, Zero 7 and Kraftwerk. Now, I listen to everything from chart hits through to classical and the same artists I’ve always loved.
Anna: David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Fleetwood Mac, Lauryn Hill, Kate Bush and Elton John. And now me and Alfie love listening to Chvrches, The Weeknd, Gorillaz, Little Dragon, James Blake, Rosie Lowe (for her beautiful lyrics and melodies), BANKS and anyone with great music.
How would you describe your sound?
Our sound is pop and moody - maybe you could call it moodpop. It’s brooding and slightly dark. We always try to incorporate all types of genres - everything from classical to trap.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
We’ve got our first single ‘Listen Up’ on 7 June. Anna wrote the song at the piano and it’s about saying ‘enough’s enough - you’re not on the same page as me, I’ve given up on trying to make it work’. Alfie was listening to a bit of future bass at the time - it’s not a typical future bass song or anything but it does have some of the side-chaining/vocal chops synonymous with the genre.
What’s your local music scene like?
The Manchester music scene is world-famous and brimming with new music and innovative sounds. We especially love Night and Day Café and Matt & Phreds but everywhere’s good.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
We’re releasing an album at the end of the year and we’re also going to continue writing and producing new songs for a second album. For live, we’re not just going to play gigs for the sake of it - we’re really going to make sure our live set sounds as good as it possibly can and it’s gonna be tough - we may bring in a drummer.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
We played at a pub in Darlington where the sound was so bad that after we finished Anna’s dad was more embarrassed than we were at how we were. There’s nothing more humiliating than being the headliners and sounding worse than the tambourine man on first.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
For us it’s all about the melody and detail - we just want to make good music.