Emma - Vocals, Guitar
Richard - Guitar
Phill - Drums
Moonkat make us want to bounce like a busload of tiggers on crack (and as any Lou Reed fan will tell you: you need a busload of tiggers to get by). You may have heard Moonkat's corking 45, Tonight I Am Discontentment, on cuddly Steve Lupacks Evening Sesh. Hopefully Moonkat will be around a lot longer than poor old Mr Lurpack who is soon to be shuffled sideways to Radio Old. Still, at least hell get to spend the next few years working with his favourite artists: Travis & Coldplay.
Moonkat, on the other hand, will probably never have to play what songs theyre told to, interview tedious Nu-Metal stars about their latest concept LPs or share a taxi cab with Jo Whiney on a regular basis. No, no, no. Moonkat, we honestly believe, will simply continue to make spikey topped punky pop for now people until it becomes a tedious chore then they will split up.
Guy Debored recently donned spacesuit & helmet, bought a family go town sized bag of kitty treats & a copy of the TV Times circa 1986 & cyber chased down Moonkat to hassle them into completing one of our tediously tiresome Q&A type style thangs:
trakMARX - Tell us a bit about the TV series that gave you yr. name?
Emma: Well, it was an eighties kids' TV programme with a green puppet cat named Moon Cat. He wore a silver space suit and had yellow eyes and talked a bit like Marge Simpson - that's about it, really.
trakMARX - What other TV series do you like & why?
Emma: 'Spaced' - because its genius and I love Simon Pegg. 'Black Books' for more or less the same reasons. I can relate to both probably 'Black Books' more so because I work in a shop and hate the general public with a passion.
Unfortunately, I work for a big corporation that is keen on customer services, so I can't swear at the customers or herd them out of the shop with a broom.
Phill: I have no idea what's on TV these days...
Richard: I don't even own a telly - I like to feel that I'm doing something instead of watching something. It's a weird Protestant work ethic thing (or maybe you just saw too many episodes of Why Dont You Turn Of Your Television Set And Do Something Interesting Instead History Ed).
trakMARX - Tell us why Moonkat get up in the morning?
Emma: I'm not really sure. Force of habit?
Phill: There comes a point when you can't sleep any more.
Richard: My girlfriend rather unreasonably wakes me up by getting dressed and going to work.
trakMARX - Apart from Kenickie, who do you love?
Emma: First of all, I would like to make it clear that while I do love Kenickie, I would not consider them to be any kind of influence on what we are doing now. I love lots of people; Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Sleater Kinney, Cinematic Orchestra, Velvet Underground, PJ Harvey, Bjork - lots of stuff - too much to write down here.
Richard: Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Sleater-Kinney, Joy Division...almost anyone who does something complicated with nasty guitar noises.
Phill: My mother, my friends, and the community at large.
Richard: That was Phill, winning the Oscar for best drumming in a literary adaptation.
trakMARX - What's good about being on a small label?
Emma: Erm, we can pretty much do what we like. There's no fear that we'll get our throats cut if we don't sell x amount of records. They're lovely people but having never been on a big label I can't really compare very well...
Richard: You get to do the artwork too. Seriously, though, the main advantage is that people who run small labels are usually using their own money, and they have day jobs to pay the rent, so they don't have to compromise. People running big labels are spending other people's money, so they're always looking over their shoulder to see whether their pay-check is coming.
trakMARX - What's bad about being on a small label?
Richard: They let you do the artwork. More importantly, nobody ever gets to hear your stuff, because it doesn't get much radio play, doesn't get into the shops, there's no money to pay for a big tour, etc. And even if they do hear your stuff, it isn't necessarily in the technicolour glory you always wanted because you can't afford the 3 months of fiddling about in rehearsal and recording studios.
trakMARX - Any plans to go from one to the other?
Emma: Hopefully, I would like to at some point, or at least to a larger independent like Domino. I would like more people to be able to hear what we do.
Richard: You've got to be careful, though. If you sign up to a big label before you can stand on your own two feet as a band then you give them complete power over you, really.
trakMARX - Seeing as Steve Lurpack was one of the few to play yr. 1st 45, will you mourn the passing of The Evening Session?
Emma: Yes, most certainly. He pretty much brought me up in terms of my record collection. If it wasn't for him and his show, I wouldn't own half the records I do and would be missing out on a lot of fantastic music.
Richard: Absolutely - as I don't have a telly, I listen to the radio in the evenings - Lamacq and then Peel. If what they replace Lamacq with is rubbish then I'm actually going to have to get a life and go out in the evenings.
trakMARX - Hadn't their playlists begun to feature too many Papa Roaches & too few Moonkats?
Emma: Yeah, I've pretty much stopped listening to it in the last couple of years, but you have to bear in mind that that's not necessarily what he wants to play, there are play-lists that he has no choice but to adhere to (not if he wants to get paid every week, that is. Reality Ed.). It's depressing, because I find the whole Nu-metal genre hideously overrated - but the fact that he did play us is great, and it means a lot to us.
trakMARX - What are the ingredients for a perfect Moonkats gig?
Emma: A bit of alcohol, some caffeine and sugar and good moods all round [preferably no travel sickness so no long journeys].
Phill: It's me sitting at the back and gurning, just like all our gigs, surely?
trakMARX - If Moonkat all lived in one big happy communal house what would the ingredients be for the perfect band meal & who would cook it?
Emma: Cheese, cheese and more cheese - and probably some other stuff. I think Cassie would cook it kos she's better than me and I've not had the pleasure of tasting Richard and Phill's cooking.
Phill: Actually, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I'm going to cook it, so the ingredients are whatever I choose. Although there has to be a cake for Cassie to cook or she'll get stroppy.
Richard: I'll do the washing up, but I don't like cooking. I don't have enough taste buds left to make cooking worthwhile - they've been burnt off by years of chili abuse.
trakMARX - Jamie Oliver has been killed in a tragic fox hunting accident - which celebrity would you chose to replace him fronting the perfect youth orientated cooking programme?
Richard: Tragic? For whom is that tragic? The fox?
Emma: I have no idea. I don't like cooking and I never watch cookery programmes, but for the sake of argument, I reckon Steve Lamacq. Should give him something to do.
Phill: Brian Sewell. Because I'd watch that. Dammit.
trakMARX - You've seen that TV show where the 2 posh chicks slag off everyone's clothes, right? Well here's Moonkats chance to slag off the music of 5 contemporary bands - don't forget, just saying "they're shit" will not suffice - you have to say why.
Emma: Ooh, I'm going to get into trouble here.....heh heh heh....
1/ The Strokes; because they're dull, overrated and they just rip of the Velvet Underground - and they're arrogant.
2/ Toploader; because they make me physically ill.
3/ Oasis; because they've been going far too long and they were never that good to start with - another band that blatantly rip off those before them.
4/ Stereophonics; because they should be shot for releasing the same song 30 times.
5/ Aswad; because they're just done a disgusting album covering the like of Toploader and The Lighthouse Family in a repulsively bad reggae style.
Phill: I don't hate anyone!
Richard: I do, but not necessarily for musical reasons. I hate people who make a particular sort of music because they think it's "cool", rather than because it has any direct emotional effect on them. So, yeah, I hate anyone for whom music is a fashion accessory. The Strokes being quite a good example... And Alec Empire...
Emma: Noooo! He's good!
Richard: I knew that would happen. Having said that, I can't cope with music whose sole function is to show how talented the musicians are: Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen et al. And there's quite a lot of art-rock/post-rock I find very self-indulgent - musical masturbation is all well and good in the privacy of your own bedroom, but not in front of a paying audience.
trakMARX - If there was a fire at HMV's National Distribution Depot that threatened to wipe out all genres of music, like, forever - which genres would you save & which would you burn baby burn?
Phill: I'd save skiffle, because I don't know what it is...
Richard: I have to say I'm not a great fan of reggae - it's too relaxed for my liking, and I don't enjoy being relaxed.
Emma: Personally, I would find it quite amusing, seeing as I work for HMV - but I would save all genres apart from Nu-metal & reggae because there is some good stuff in every other genre.
Richard: Hmm, there are some good reggae bass-lines.
trakMARX - After a Moonkats gig - who helps load the van the most & who hangs about pretending to be talking to a retail outlet about taking 50 copies of the Moonkats 45 on sale or return?
Emma: I mostly hang about pretending to talk to people [although most of the time I actually am]. I do sometimes load gear up but it doesn't happen very often because I am as weak as a day old lamb.
Richard: I load the van, and Emma is trapped by members of the support band who are trying to chat her up.
trakMARX - With the forthcoming invasion of Iraq, the British Army needs as many young recruits as it can muster. Considering the roll of front line troops in modern warfare, what talents do Moonkat feel they could bring to the party?
Emma: There's no way I'm going anywhere near that mess - although I am quite handy with a swift kick to the shins.
Richard: I'm virtually a pacifist, so not exactly front-line material.
trakMARX - Seeing as most punk rock bands are fiercely anti-war, what ailments or excuses could Moonkat offer to avoid National Service?
Phill: I'm really good at having trench foot.
Emma: Weak as a day old lamb and Im going blind from excessive eyeliner usage.
Richard: The pacifism thing...
trakMARX - What plans do Moonkat have for a bit of World domination of their own?
Emma: Erm, not really any plans as such. Just keep on going until we have conquered everything that is possible for us to conquer.
Phill: We shall start with the rodents and work up.
Richard: Work *up*? How dare you insult the rodent population like that? What's so wrong with being small, furry and having a high metabolic rate?
trakMARX - What do Moonkat like to do before settling down at the end of another hard day?
Phill: Have an easier day.
Emma: Watch some TV, read a book - torment my Boyfriend, drink - this is really boring isn't it? But it's what I do kos I'm too tired to do anything exciting, or even to make up anything exciting. Sorry.
Richard: I could happily write songs all day, or hang around in recording studios stroking my chin and going "hmmm, maybe a different reverb...".
Moonkat have two totally excellent 45s currently available we suggest you buy both so the rest of us get a chance to buy The Moonkats LP:
"Tonight I Am Discontentment" - 7" single on Jitter (JTR2SP)
"Home Is Where The Hearth Is" - 7" EP on Purr (PURR002)
Both are available from the usual suspects - see links for Mooncats stuff.
Marquee Smith trakMARX.com Sept 2002