For an album that was released just under two years ago, Chris and Moira's Ninety Nights and a Monday has certainly served its purpose, and not just because it spawned a string of well-received singles (and in several cases, accompanying videos too), but also because it proved to be a firm and effective platform. Not only did it successfully propel the band to new heights in the space of its 10 tracks but, more importantly, it also landed them new opportunities to take their music to new audiences beyond the local scene.
The band has just released what may (or may not) be the final single off the Ninety Nights and a Monday album. Originally a poem Moira wrote down in a card to her parents, Big Bleached Stain's lyrics are direct and heartfelt; a small note of appreciation acknowledging the unconditional love and support that parents give their children, not only in their formative years but always and forever. With their energy levels still boosted from the exciting prospects that the band has experienced and achieved these past couple of years, Chris and Moira spoke to Michael Bugeja about their recent past, present and future.
You've had a very productive couple of years. What would you say were the main highlights for the band since the release of the album?
Instinctively, the first things that come to mind are making an album that was so positively received and pulling off a successful European Tour (Tour170) where we got to play some super-fun live performances promoting the album abroad. An equally important highlight however, was having intelligent minds on board who managed to come up with ways to sustain this project in an impeccable manner. The logistics of a rock show demand certain necessities and financing and having people around you who believe in you made this possible for us.
The album has yielded a good number of singles, Big Bleached Stain being the latest of them. Will this be the final one off the album, heralding the start of the next album/project?
Well, it might be the last single, but then again, it might not. It all depends on the circumstances really, and there are a couple other tracks we would like to release but time will tell. We can however confirm that we've already started working on the next album.
All in all, which of this album's singles do you feel most capture where the band is at right now and where it may be headed next?
Vampires and Beautiful World are the songs that best represent who we are. However, having said that, one must also keep in mind that the rest of the tracks in the album are a good mix of our own personal style too.
Having had several opportunities to perform abroad, are you exploring the possibilities to infiltrate more foreign markets with the album?
Yes we are, but it's really all subject to sustaining it financially. The online presence is today's way of being part of the global market, but what we're doing is to enhance our reach by promoting our music in markets abroad by going there to perform the songs live.
More than any of the other songs on the album, Big Bleached Stain seems to have a stronger personal connotation...
Well, the lyrics were initially a poem Moira wrote on a birthday card for both of her parents as they celebrate their birthdays in the same week. Big Bleached Stain is the term used to describe the love they have given us, in the sense that it's impossible to remove a bleached stain just as one can never forget the love, time, sacrifice, etc that parents put into their children's upbringing. That will always stay in our hearts, embossed like a big bleached stain. The song brings back a lot of childhood memories, all the way back to a time when we were just kids, running in the fields... it was really a magical time that I wouldn't change for anything. The chorus goes "rain on me, it's real, it can never fade away", "rain is real like love"; so it's basically another way to say a big thank you to our parents.
And what of the song's arrangement?
In a way, the new single is a follow-up to Transient, a song we had recorded several years ago. It has the same kind of electronic-meets-country style, but unlike Transient, Big Bleached Stain took on a natural Motown soul feel, especially towards the ending.
What's planned for the band in 2016, or is it too early to say?
We are currently working on some music projects and networking. We will finish writing the next album by the end of this year and will hopefully start recording it in 2017. The plan is to work with a foreign orchestra, to try and create a new sound by merging our pop-rock style with a more orchestrated one. Should things work well, the band will be performing this music in a show with the orchestra in Malta, Rome and Bordeaux.
Chris and Moira is Moira (vocals, guitar), Chris, (vocals, guitar), Billy B (bass) and Mattia (drums).
Read more about Big Bleached Stain here.
An edited version of this article was first published on The Sunday Times of Malta's ESCAPE magazine (03 April 2016)