Today’s Feature – March 22-23: The Moog

March 23, 2008 at 5:37 pm (Today's Feature)

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The Moog: Tonyo (vocals, keyboard), Gergo (drums), Adi (guitar), Csabi (bass) and Miguel (guitar), have been setting standards left and right in their young rock careers. Hailing from Budapest, these guys are the first Hungarian band to be signed to an American label – especially noteworthy when so little opportunity is available on their hometown music scene. But somehow, the stars aligned, and the shared love for “garage-pop music and good hair” brought these guys together and landed them in the states. And thank goodness for it!

Their sound is revitalizing and dust-free, a mix of influences familiar to them and stranger to us. While their work is more stimulating because of the break from traditional rock-pop music, it doesn’t mean the American scene isn’t making an impression on these guys. They expected things to be different from home – for example, it was a bit of a surprise to see fans beyond the age of 30 appearing at their gigs, “At home, you stop going to shows when you are 30… but there were some old Texas cowboys banging their heads to our music.”

The first release, “Sold for Tomorrow,” is heavier and darker than some of their older works… not to mention “it has balls now.” The music is built out of that rhythm and melody we want to hear for those random (private) dance parties when you feel too damn good to stand still. The album is influence by party bands across space and time, from The Beach Boys to the Ramones to the Strokes. You’ll notice this at a live show, strung together in an intense session that includes lead singer Tonyo getting into the crowd and screaming in your ear. And who doesn’t want that? The Moog will be touring all over, so keep an eye out. Read the XXQ’s to learn more.

XXQs: The Moog – Tonyo – Lead Singer

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Hey Tonyo, where did I catch you right now?

Tonyo: In Seattle. In a studio, recording our second album here.

PEV: How’s the recording going?

Tonyo: It’s great. We’re recording the guitars now and it’s f–king awesome.

PEV: I was listening to some of the first album, Sold For Tomorrow, and how is the new album different?

Tonyo: I think it’s heavier, darker… but it has balls now.

PEV: I got to ask you, what is the meaning behind the name Moog?

Tonyo: Well, at first the synthesizer, and we got our name after that… but there is a more interesting story than that. We were hanging out a club in Barcelona, called Moog. We had such a great time there that we had to name our band after it. So, the music wasn’t that good, like cheesy 80’s but we were so wasted and so drunk that, that’s why we chose that name.

PEV: Do you get asked that a lot?

Tonyo: Yeah (laughs). Basically we have our name after the synthesizer but we named it after the club which named it after the synthesizer… So that’s the story.

PEV: Hailing from Budapest, tell us about the music scene there.

Tonyo: Well, we have some real great bands. They can’t reach international crowds yet but they are on their way. I think in a few years, the scene is going to be insane and worldwide.

PEV: You talk about how it is hard for most Hungarians to get exposure but you have the honor of being the first Hungarian band to be signed to an American label. That’s a pretty big accomplishment. Was it exciting when you first found out?

Tonyo: Yes (laughs). It’s amazing too since we found the label off MySpace.com. It makes the whole thing, very twenty-first century. I don’t think this has happened to any let alone Hungarian, but Eastern European band. We are unique.

PEV: How have your friends and family reacted to all your success?

Tonyo: They are happy. But they don’t really get what all this means. My parents are an older generation… they support me in everything I do.

PEV: Is there something from home that you miss, that you can’t find here?

Tonyo: Um, yeah, old buildings (laughs). Trash on the streets (laughs)… Depressed faces (laughs). Everyone here is so happy. It was a bit shocking at first but we got used to it.

PEV: When did you first come to the US and what were your original thoughts?

Tonyo: I think it was in 2006 or 2007, when we mixed the first album. It’s great, just a bit strange. Everyone is very open and happy and I wasn’t really used to that but I am getting used to it and I like it (laughs).

PEV: What has been your favorite part about the US music scene so far?

Tonyo: Well, I like the New York scene, where The Strokes came from. I like that scene because it is always interesting and interesting bands that come from that scene.

PEV: In all your tours and performing, which US city has been your favorite to perform in?

Tonyo: New York was great; good to see it, f–king crowded. I like Los Angeles. I like Austin, like the South By Southwest concerts. It was great to play there. Our first show was in the afternoon, and it was not the official show yet but a lot of people came to see us. It was funny because people in their thirties still go out to shows. At home, you stop going to shows when you are thirty. I still liked that show because it was so strange and unique for me. There were some old Texas cowboys bang their heads to our music.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Moog performance?

Tonyo: Well, it’s intense. I go into the crowd and shout into their ears. Don’t miss it!

PEV: What’s something we’d be surprised to hear about the members of the band?

Tonyo: Something surprising about us? Well, I don’t know. I can’t really describe it but it is real different. Maybe because we were raised in another country and other continent. It can be heard in our music. It’s really strange and interesting to see us – in a good way though… I hope (laughs). So, I think what is special about our music is that it’s a mixture of pop, happiness, darker and it can be interesting.

PEV: When you aren’t touring or performing, what can we find you doing in your spare time?

Tonyo: Um, sleeping (laughs). We don’t really have spare time. We just travel, play and eat. We are not able to go out and do sightseeing.

PEV: When you sit down to write music, is there a certain environment you surround yourselves in?

Tonyo: Usually, I write the songs. I write the songs on the piano, which might seem weird to people that like our music. Then we transfer it to chords and tracks to guitars. I usually do it at home too. To compose them in the final way, we do it in the rehearsal room.

PEV: Out of all the artists you’ve seen, is there a certain artist today that you would like to collaborate with?

Tonyo: Yeah, there are some. I would like to play with Neils Children, an English band. I like the Strokes a lot too.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band we should all be listening to?

Tonyo: I like Photo Atlas, I don’t think they are still up and coming though. I don’t know, I’d have to think about it.

PEV: Any pre-show rituals?

Tonyo: We drink a lot (laughs).

PEV: What’s your favorite drink?

Tonyo: I like wine. And any kind of shot. I also drink beer, too.

PEV: Where do you think the band will be ten years from now?

Tonyo: Um… Rehab (laughs). I don’t know. I think we’ll have some great success in a few years but ten years… I don’t know. I don’t want to think that far. I can’t really tell it now and predict any kind of future. Ten years, it’s a long time.

PEV: What’s next for The Moog?

Tonyo: Well we finish this album. It will be huge and great. We will do some shows in Hungry and a European tour. And then we maybe go to Japan. Our first album will be released in Japan with a major, that is for sure. So, we’ll go to Japan soon.

PEV: I appreciate you taking the time out with us.

Tonyo: I appreciate you calling, thanks so much.

For more information on The Moog, check out www.MySpace.com/MoogBand

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1 Comment

  1. marina.s said,

    COOL!!!!
    I LOVE TONYO!!!!

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