By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Stand clear of the closing doors.
Branded “alt-rock’s king of facial expressions,” Brooklyn newcomer Moon Walker’s video for the single “Pins And Needles” has done enough to simultaneously twist faces and shake the scene for all it’s worth.
Despite the rat-infested, hell-esque humidity of the New York City subways in the summer, he pays it no mind; the conditions no factor to his flashy, vibrant, dapper, 70’s-inspired style.
While the shiny gray train cars briefly stop and go countless times a day, it’s the station (and people) that it leaves behind that can tell the greater story at hand; a blink-and-you-missed-it microcosm of modern life itself – friends in your circle who go on to bigger and better places, while you’re still stranded where you were three years ago – physically, mentally, romantically and emotionally.
The idea of being “stuck” in life was what prompted Moon Walker to pen “Pins And Needles,” an appropriate tease of what’s to come from his sophomore album ‘The Attack Of The Mirrors,’ due out Oct. 21, 2022 – his sound and presentation an aesthetic blend of diverse acts like Wild Cherry, The Talking Heads, The Mars Volta, Micky James, The Doors and The White Stripes, as evidenced by singles like “The Price Of Life Itself” and “I’m Afraid I’ll Go To Heaven.”
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Moon Walker – who has garnered viral success on TikTok and praise from Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) – about ‘The Attack Of The Mirrors’ and more.
Music Bugle – How did you decide upon the name Moon Walker?
Moon Walker – Actually, my girlfriend came up with it. She came up with a list of names that were all great. I used a lot of them for lyrics/song names, but Moon Walker resonated with me in a huge way.
Music Bugle – What inspired the sound for your latest work?
Moon Walker – In addition to all of the bands I usually take inspiration from, I discovered Nine Inch Nails while making this one. I also pulled a lot of inspiration from movie scores, particularly Danny Elfman and Trent Reznor’s work.
Music Bugle – What made you want to release “Pins And Needles” as a single?
Moon Walker – That song represents a side of the record, sonically, that has not been displayed in any of my other released music. I knew I needed to put out one song with that sound before the full record, for some context. It would have been jarring if all of the super industrial/electronic music came out with the record, especially since most of the singles are closer to the sound on “Truth to Power.”
Music Bugle – What were some challenges that you faced while putting together your sophomore album ‘The Attack Of The Mirrors’?
Moon Walker – While I was writing this record, I was really taking it song by song. Rarely did I ever have a vision for where a song would fit on the track list or how the whole thing would come together. Once I felt like I was done writing, it was pretty tricky to find a track list that flowed well. I ended up having to cut some songs that I really liked, just because they didn’t feel natural anywhere to the flow of the record.
Music Bugle – Did the video for “Pins And Needles” come out how you hoped it would?
Moon Walker – It came out better! All of my other videos have required extensive planning and organization. This one had minimal planning, no shot list, no storyboard or anything like that. We – me and my girlfriend, who directed the video – leaned heavily into the location and I’m really happy with how it came out.
Music Bugle – Being that you’re new to Brooklyn, how would you describe it to someone who has never been there before?
Moon Walker – I think I would describe it as a much more livable version of Manhattan. I love Manhattan and prior to living in Brooklyn, I had spent much more time there, but, a lot of people feel that Manhattan is too chaotic and overwhelming. Brooklyn isn’t. It feels like home.
Music Bugle – What do you think people “get wrong” about your genre?
Moon Walker – Well, I think “genre” has shifted/expanded so much that it’s entirely useless as a means of classifying music now, but I consider myself rock, just because it’s rather vague. Unfortunately, I do think that when a lot of people hear “rock” nowadays, they think of generic 70’s ripoff music. I understand where that reputation comes from, considering many of “rock’s frontrunners” – at least according to music journalists, but I also think that it is highly unfair to chalk the whole genre up to an exploitation of nostalgia. I would consider Tame Impala, St Vincent, Grandson, Will Wood, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, Nine Inch Nails and MGMT rock and none of these bands are even remotely close to that. They’re just as interesting, forward-thinking and innovative as all the other best creative music minds working today. “Rock” isn’t inherently boring, familiar, uninspired and expected recreations of our parents’ record collections.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Moon Walker – I just got into Djo and Mook, thanks to TikTok. They’re both incredible. My buddy Owen Coleman makes amazing music that I listen to a lot. I’ve been listening to a lot of David Byrne and Brian Eno solo records, as well as Bowie’s 90’s and 2000’s records and Kendrick’s new album has been in rotation since it released.
Music Bugle – How would you compare your upcoming release to your previous material?
Moon Walker – I think of it as an expansion of my last record. Even though the sound has definitely evolved, I don’t think it’s going to surprise anyone. There’s more sides to the sound, there’s more experimentation, there’s more variety, but, if you liked my last record, I’m sure you’ll like this one. It’s a very comprehensive step forward.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Moon Walker – “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring,” from David Bowie.