INTERVIEW WITH VENUS AND THE MOON
Photo / Jorge Suarez
Interview / Erica Russell
Ask LA-based indie duo Venus and The Moon what sort of music they create and their answer will be “Galactic Country.” And you know, that sounds just about right. Rife with haunting, minimalist harmonies, hazy-twangy Southern melodies, and smokescreen vocals that bewitch the ears, Venus and The Moon’s sound is both earthy and cosmic all at once.
Comprised of Rain Poenix (sister to Joaquin) and Frally Hynes, the duo’s stunning new single and video, “Hungry Ghost,” is a perfect representation of the sort of mesmerizing sound that the band is quickly becoming known for. We chatted with the two women about their new music, touring with Cat Power, addiction, and that mysteriously celestial band name.
Can you tell us a little about touring with Cat Power?
What was it like to have her seal of approval, so to speak?
Watching her perform live was truly an inspiration. The fact that she liked our music, trusted and had faith in us even though we were just starting out, speaks volumes to the kind of woman she is. A true goddess!
What was the inspiration behind the “Hungry Ghost” video?
The video for “Hungry Ghost” seemed to have a mind of it’s own. Director Katie Davison shot the dancer at high speed, thinking she would use parts of it in the piece, but when she added the song in the editing bay – the performance lined up perfectly with the track. We loved it and felt it spoke to the soul of [the song].
***EMBED HUNGRY GHOST VIDEO HERE***
I’ve heard the song is about addiction. Can you talk a little about synthesizing that into the lyrics, and also about what sorts of addiction you may have battled with?
FRALLY: The song is about addiction in the sense that it’s about the parts of us that need constant satiating and how living in that part of yourself leads ultimately to a sort of incurable insatiability. The more you surrender to the senses whether it be to eat or drink or take drugs or fucking without intimacy, the more you fall into this sort of “hungry ghost” realm and then you’re in the trenches. In the case of this song it was more of an addiction to a person rather than some kind of substance. I guess the song is about that transition point when you decide, Ok! That’s it! I’m done with not being present in my life and I want to come back to myself and restore some balance here. Sometimes you can put more attention on something by insisting that you’re not thinking about it… I guess this song also highlights the irony of that. It’s tricky territory.
How did you two meet? How did the band come to be?
RAIN: We met at a mutual friend’s birthday party. People were encouraged to play songs – Rufus, Chris, Frally and I all were all at the party. Frally and I had our first writing session a couple months later… Then we booked two shows at Sundance and needed a name. Venus and The Moon was born.
There’s a very feminine energy and celestial undertone to the name, and also to your music in general. Do these themes play a big role in your project?
RAIN: Absolutely. Writing songs with someone is an intimate process. Frally and I started writing together before we even knew anything about each other. It was almost like the planets put us together and said, “Write together; the feminine is reemerging, accept your directive, write together.” (Please imagine this in William Shatner voice.) Through the process of writing together we discovered we share much of the same aesthetic. Neither Frally nor I had worked closely with other women before VatM, so we made a conscious decision to use our voices as an opportunity to unite and empower the feminine in us all.