Analogue Music | Moon Walker

Moon Walker

By Matt Conner

Harry Springer has hit a growth spurt.

From the middle of his first headlining tour, Springer, the man behind Moon Walker, told us that playing night after night after night for the first time is bringing all kinds of life and growth. Songs are changing. Chemistry is growing. Confidence is rising.

If you're new to Moon Walker, there's a surprisingly lengthy catalog to catch up on considering that his debut seven-song EP was released just in 2021. A full-length followed in 2022 and then yet another earlier this year. Apocalypticism is the new LP, a brilliant rock record that packs a lyrical punch at the powers-that-be in a world that should be better than it is.

We recently sat down with Springer to talk about the new tour dates, how he's growing as an artist, and what future collaborations might resemble.

Analogue: This is the first headlining tour for you, is that right?

Harry Springer: Pretty much. I did a shorter tour over the summer, but I don’t really consider that a tour. It was pretty fragmented.

Analogue: How are you feeling about these dates? Things going well?

Harry: So this is a real kind of tour. I just played 10 shows in two weeks, so it’s night after night having to take care of myself. You find yourself in that grind, for lack of a better word. It’s been great. We’ve had a lot of fun and I’ve loved playing every night.

I always wanted to go on tour because it’s a bummer to prepare for a show and get so excited for it and then when it’s over, it’s over. Now it’s great because I can do it even better tomorrow.

"I won’t put any parameters on when I have to release things, but if I do go too long without writing, I start to feel not right."

Analogue: I want to discuss the music, but this is so much of the job, too. Can you tell there’s a growth curve for you as you’re playing nightly?

Harry: I only really became competent in record-making during COVID because I couldn’t play live. So this was always the initial draw for me to want to do music. But even since I’ve played shows since the pandemic has ended, I’m not still in the groove of it. So I was never used to performing this much as a singer. I was never used to playing Moon Walker’s music live. So I’d feel closer to something, but then I’d also realize I wouldn’t know when my next time to play would be.

On this tour, after maybe three or four shows, it was like, ‘Here we go. This is what I’m talking about.’ Even as we had a bit of time off, we’re able to come right back and pick up where we left off. At some point, we’ve even dropped the set list. We’re very comfortable playing with each other and making a show happen—thinking on our feet and stuff.

Having the ability to play regularly and being on tour and knowing where we’re playing next has made us all a far better band.

Analogue: I know you had a seven-song release in 2021, a full-length in 2022, and then Apocalyptism is another full-length this year. Are you a prolific writer or is this a build-up of material from the pandemic?

Harry: Good question. I guess it’s the former. I didn’t have a backlog or anything after the pandemic. I was releasing the music as I was going. This is just the rate that I write. I’m sure I’ll experiment with other approaches in the future, but until now, I’ve always written with an album in mind. Once I have one or two songs that I like, that I can see fitting together, my prerogative becomes, ‘Okay, what’s missing? How can I fill this out to become a complete body of work?’ Then I release it when it’s done.

But being on this tour and becoming good friends with my band has made me want to approach my next record differently. I want to do it less by myself. I want to make it with those guys, however we’ll do that. I love not just playing the guitar player and vocalist, so I don’t want to just do that in the studio. I like building soundscapes. But I do for sure want to involve them. They’re far better at their respective instruments than I am.

I won’t put any parameters on when I have to release things, but if I do go too long without writing, I start to feel not right.

Analogue: That impulse to make things more collaborative next time, does that also feel vulnerable to think of doing that?

Harry: Yeah, sure. I’ve been thinking that, but also I wasn’t sure about bringing it up to them because I didn’t want to get hopes up and then say, ‘Oh, never mind. I want to do it by myself.’ Then on this tour, just jamming things in soundcheck, certain ideas come into the fold.

Playing on tour, we’ve gotten these songs completely under our belt and the next step of the evolution feels like crafting something not necessarily for a live set but something for the three of us to play together, if that makes sense.

Analogue: How much are the songs changing in the live setting?

Harry: We were just laughing about this. Every song, including most of the old ones, are taking on new forms. Just as an example, we end the set with “Devil”, which is a song from my first album, and we do an incredibly open solo section. The recent versions have been 11 minutes. It’s crazy. We’ll listen to videos and scroll to the end and be like, ‘That’s crazy that it’s 11 minutes long.’

It gets pretty far out and we’re quoting other songs on it. But we’re just trying to keep things interesting every night and do things to differentiate it. We want to do things that make you want to keep playing that music. Every night we’ll say we want to keep things tight or to play with more energy or something. Of course, once you start playing, it’s feeling it out more. But we do try to give ourselves that task, too, whether we stick to it or not.

But that’s also what’s contributed to the feeling that we need some new songs for us to play together.

Analogue: Is that also an area of growth for you to be a band leader? That sounds fun to do what you’re saying and yet also it sounds like something to move into.

Harry: For the record, that’s something I’m definitely anticipating. [Laughs] If I’m going to hire someone to do anything, it’s because I like them and want them to do their job. That’s been a conversation we’ve had with my manager who’s been on the road with us, letting people do their jobs. If I wanted to push someone to just achieve my vision, I would want to do it myself. If I hire someone, I want them to have a vested interest in this thing.

As far as live shows go, I really lucked out. They’re such good musicians. I’ve played with some who are incapable of playing anything but their own thing. I’ve also met people who are incapable of doing their own thing—all they can do is learn the parts and play them. Neither of those is how I work. I like to feed off of the band. I also don’t learn my parts. There’s the lyrics and the progression and everything else depends on the night or who I’m playing with or how we’re feeling.

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