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High on Stress : Moonlight Girls

Moonlight Girls cover.jpg
High on Stress
Moonlight Girls

Chock full of straightforward rock and country-licious hooks, the new album from Minneapolis-based High on Stress, Moonlight Girls, is a myriad of influences and messages worth checking out. Favorite track is the short, catchy “Cash Machine.”

Formed from members of Accident Clearinghouse, Mr. Whirly, and contributors from the Turf Club Sunday Night Acoustic jam, the group’s appearing at Lee’s Liquor Lounge, this Friday night with and X-Ray Hip.

We sat down with the band to talk about the evolution of the group, what type of animal they would be (mammal only) and the story behind opening track, “You Have Conversations With Jesus.” Read on…

What’s the story behind the group?

Nick left his old band in May of 2003 after 7 years and put up flyers looking for bass, drums, keyboards, guitar and vocals. Mark tore off the phone number and called a couple of weeks later thinking it was funny that the poor bastard was looking for every piece to the puzzle. They hit it off right away on the phone and hooked up at City Sound at a friend’s practice studio and bashed through a new song that Nick had written called, oddly enough, “My Former Life on the Cutting Room Floor.”

Jon Tranberry (bass, who had recorded all three of Nick’s former band’s records, heard that Nick left the group and randomly checked in from time to time to make sure he hadn’t jumped out of his studio apartment window (even though the apartment was on the first floor, Jon was still concerned). Nick informed Jon that he found a drummer and Jon offered up his services on bass guitar.

After Jon had lunch with his brother and his brother’s friend Ben Baker, they got to talking about the band and Jon realized that Nick and Ben had a lot of musical tastes in common when Ben proclaimed to dig Hayden (the Canadian songwriter, not the classical composer). The rest, as they say, is not that interesting.

How would you categorize your sound?

All four kinds of music … Rock/Roll/Country/Western!

Who are your influences?

The Beatles, Elliot Smith, Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo, Tommy Keene, Merle
Haggard, Jellyfish and Gene Simmons fist pumps.

What’s your motto?

“Close Enough For Volunteer Rock”

What animal would you be (mammal only)?

Manimal … much more realistic than CSI!

What’s your favorite track on the album? Why?

“You Have Conversations With Jesus” because it has an intriguing title that makes you want to hear the song. A website in the Netherlands published a
review of our record and when we tried to use a free online language translator, this song came out titled “You Stock Intercourse With Jesus” …
which is also an intriguing title, but I’m not so sure I want to hear that song.

What’s the best one to perform live? Why?

Nick likes “My Former Life on the Cutting Room Floor” because it’s a bit more upbeat and conducive to putting his foot on the monitor in rock like fashion.

What’s “You Have Conversations With Jesus,” the first track, about?

Nick says: “…Jesus” is about an ex-girlfriend who was deeply into the Bible and it caused a lot of problems in our relationship since I do not attend church and I think it ultimately had a lot to do with the ending of the relationship. I wish her a happy life but she rolled over me.
A lot of the album Is about heartbreak and loss but I think we do it with the right amount of bitterness.

What’s your song writing process like?

The songs tend to start out with an idea from Nick or Ben “Country” Baker. We tend to work out some ideas on acoustics and bring them to the full band. After the full band gets a hold of them they no longer suck.

Other news/gigs?

We’re playing with Jackson Browne and Pat MacDonald (timbuk3) june 10th in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin. Other shows currently lined up are May 19th at Lee’s Liquor Lounge, and June 1st at the 400 Bar. We were also in the top
seller list in March on Miles of Music.

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