Artist Q&A

Q&A: The Hot Moonbeams

The Cascade speaks with The Hot Moonbeams, a local band whose members attend UFV, about their upcoming full-length album, the music and music films they love, and more.



By Amy Van Veen (The Cascade) – Email

Date Posted: August 29, 2011
Print Edition: August 25, 2011

Officially banding together in 2009, The Hot Moonbeams came about after David Kandal filled in as bass player with Nick Ubels, Tim Ubels and Dan Edwards’ previous band. Before long, that one sub became several and The Hot Moonbeams began filling local venues with their own unmistakable sound. All four members currently attend UFV.

Who’s the “dad” of the band?
Tim: Undeniably, it would have to be Nick. Not only does he act as the band’s manager and get us the bulk of our shows, but he efficiently and logically deals with any issue that might arise.
Nick: They’re probably going to say it’s me.

If you were stuck in an archetypal film like The Breakfast Club, who would be who?
Tim: Being in a band is about the chance to never have to agonize about being something someone anticipates you to be. You just have to be true to yourself and ultimately who you are. I’m sure we’ve all played each of those personas at one point or another.
Nick: I kind of feel like we’re all a combination of the nerd and the weirdo. Except David. He’s the rebel, relatively speaking.

What would be your defining style/genre?
Tim: Our style lies somewhere between garage rock, power pop, and a little hint of country.
Nick: I’d say we fit somewhere between power pop, garage rock and college rock although it’s a little hard to pin down. The four of us listen to a fairly wide variety of music and we all write our own songs. You might hear the occasional country, rockabilly, surf, soul or punk influence crop up.

What are your current projects?
Tim: We just started work on our first full-length album in the summer with a hope that it could be released early 2012. Now that school’s starting back up, free time is a little harder to come by, however we hope that potential release date doesn’t get moved around too much.

What’s your favourite record store?
Nick: In Vancouver, I bounce around between Zulu, Neptoon and Dandelion. Zulu’s the biggest, Neptoon is the best for local music, and Dandelion has an incredibly well-focused selection of punk, new wave, soul and pop classics you can’t find anywhere else. But my absolute favourite is Easy Street Records in Seattle. They have two locations that are big enough to have almost anything you’re looking for, yet warm and interesting enough to maintain an independent spirit.

Who have you been listening to lately?
Tim: Everything released by a 1980’s independent record label called Flying Nun Records from New Zealand. In my mind, this music scene rivals that of the 1960’s British Invasion and 1970’s New York/CBGB’s. Favorites include The Bats, The Verlaines, The Clean, The Chills, Look Purple Go Blue, and Doublehappys.
Nick: Jonathan Richman, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Dead Ghosts, Turf War, The Sadies and Kurt Vile. Plus the usual mix of Flying Nun bands, the Beach Boys, Big Star and The Replacements.

What’s the best venue you’ve played at? Why?
Nick: The Biltmore. They have Steam Whistle on special plus fans to keep things cool on stage.

What, in your opinion, would be your ideal venue?
Tim: Anywhere with a loading area and decent sound.

Who would you most like to collaborate with? (Both locally/realistically and internationally/ideally.)
Tim: Not sure if we would ever collaborate musically with anyone, but finding a local band to tour with would be a real thrill. As for international hopes, bands like Sloan or Teenage Fanclub would be unreal.
Nick: I’d love to work with Trevor Risk and Hayz Fisher at some point. Or else James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem.

What’s the best music movie? (Note: I did not say ‘musical’ but rather best film centered around music.)
Tim: It’s a toss up between The Devil and Daniel Johnson, Control, and This Is Spinal Tap.
Nick: The Last Waltz, A Hard Day’s Night, and High Fidelity are all up there. The soundtrack to Adventureland or Darjeeling Limited – actually, almost any Wes Anderson movie – is pretty fantastic.

What’s your favourite post-practice meal?
Nick: Arby’s. Or maybe a pizza or something. You’d have to ask Tim though. He’s usually the most eager to eat something after practice.
Tim: Pie.

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