Moons of Vega
Music never hits quite the same way as it does during adolescence. During that period of intense growth, we appreciate deeply the discovery of exciting new sounds.
For Moons of Vega, adolescence didn’t just bring new music to their ears. Hardcore punk, alternative rock and grunge were bringing teens together in a way that popular music never had before. With distorted guitars, heavy drums, and deeply personal, heartfelt lyrics, the youth of America were given a license to their own voice.
“I was just hooked on making sound,” said drummer Don Piletic. “When you find out that playing music is something that you can do that’s in your soul, and is not necessarily academic, you know, for me, that sparked my interest quite a bit.
For Piletic, learning the drums wouldn’t come until after high school. He honed his chops on his favorite jazz records, then went on to play in the Bay Area rockabilly scene. The internet, as well as a relocation to Minden, brought him into the vicinity of Moons of Vega, who were in the process of finding a new drummer.
“We crafted a very specific Craigslist advert,” said guitarist Chris Maciejewski. “We said what all our influences were and said, ’If you don’t like the same bands, just don’t bother.’” He found this to be a tried and true method of locating like-minded people.
“That’s how we all met,” Maciejewski said. “Bryce and I, we actually met at an audition for another band. We didn’t quite like the other band, but we saw something in common. So we started writing together.”
Non-musical art forms and performance mediums can be just as telling as a person’s music taste. Maciejewski and guitarist Bruce Ruff both draw inspiration from photography and visual art. They see the common ground in both forms’ abilities to capture the feeling of a particular moment. With photography, a specific time and place is immortalized in a visual representation. For music, a performance can capture the emotion of a period of time and the energy of the specific place where the songs are being performed, differing from photography only in its ephemerality.
For bassist and vocalist Bryce Becker, stand-up comedy lends a unique perspective. He sees a correlation between the ways that musicians and comedians can ride the waves of energy within a room, when to push and when to pull. For both types of performers, reading a room is key.
However, he notes that there is one critical difference in the mediums, one that makes it more difficult for musicians to effectively debrief their performance.
“You know, I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years, played a lot of shows. Never been booed offstage, never been booed,” said Becker. “What you will get is indifference. And that’s almost worse, because then you’re dismissed. If you hate me, you’re listening. With music, either they’re into it, or they don’t care.”
Thankfully, Moons of Vega approach each show with a passion for live performance, aiming to impact audiences with their high-energy sound.
“It’s about people getting together,” said Maciejewski. “It’s about giving people a feeling. If you can do that in some way, you can be successful. It doesn’t get better than that.”
Becker added, “We’ll play at a gas station if you ask us.”