That time we…. Profiled the country’s burgeoning punk-rock-noise scene (Part 3)

We continue our series of interviews with some of the bands making up Belgium’s punk rock scene as featured in our Third Rate Edition (2013).

Moaning Cities’ sound is a mash of psych-rock and sitar-driven bluesy grit. It’s a sound that smacks of late ’60s psychedelica and Doors comparisons are common, but you could also lump them in with the spate of recent enough American rock psyche/noise scenesters like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Black Angels. The tight-knit Brussels-based fivesome have been winning hearts and minds since they formed in 2011, but not quite enough to allow them to give up their day jobs. Their first single ‘See you fall’ was released in January 2012, shortly followed by an eponymous limited series self-made EP, mixed and mastered in Brussels. The single Jah Ming Dee and video came out in March.

On playing together

Bertrand: We recently got kicked out of the church crypt where we were rehearsing at place Brugman. The priest found out that there was more than one band rehearsing there while they weren’t supposed to, so the priest said ‘Guys, you can not come here anymore.’ There were two or three bands using it, including the guy from BRNS.

On day jobs

Valérian: Bertrand and Greg are graphic designers. Tim has many jobs. Juliette is still studying and I’ve got a few jobs as well.

Juliette: I screwed up my end of term project because of the band. But I don’t mind. I can finish my studies next year. The time was right for the band, so it’s okay really. Everybody has side jobs but no other musical projects though we play with other musicians regularly to jam and open our musical sensibilities. My brother Valérian gives English lessons and he also works as a freelance for an e-ticket company as a marketing developer for Wallonia. Bertrand and Grégory are graphic designers for an advertising company and a communication company. Thimothée gives guitar lessons to young musicians and sells furniture in a design shop and I worked in bars and am finishing my masters in Urbanism


On musical style

Valérian: When we play in bars, you’ll see the old family guy who’s remembering the kind of music he listened to when he was younger.

Bertrand: Yeah, we connect with the guy of forty or fifty as well as with the younger people. Those who were from the flower power era can really relate to us.

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Juliette: We’re a bit boring maybe for teenagers.

Bertrand: Not hipster enough.

Valérian: I don’t know if we have a typical audience. It changes. Our generation grew up with the same bands from the nineties and that’s the case for all of us.

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