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New Album: In Spades – Rick McCollum Interview : Interview : Rick McCollum of Moon Maan

How are you?

Other than working two jobs to keep my head above water and working on new music, I’m doing pretty well…I’m tired, but my cat knows when to wake me up to get the day started or else I’ll be met with her sharpened claws if I don’t.

After having been in the same band for over a decade, what was life like after the Afghan Whigs break up and, looking back, how do you feel about the band’s legacy?

Being in a band bubble for thirteen years…it goes by fast without letting you soak too much in until it’s over and then you realize what you missed as a very valuable and endearing thing. I love all those guys and very proud of what we accomplished over the years…it was more than just chemistry, but a bond that pushed our creativity to the best potential. With any band over the years, predictability and familiarity become a factor and that wasn’t gonna happen with us, so it was time for us to move on. It was a snapshot of a great thing to remember…plus change is always good in anybody’s book because that just leads to progression and unchartered territories. So the rock genealogy tree begins…and I’m so excited for what everyone else is doing now with their music.

Why did you wait a few years before forming Moon Maan?

I took a couple years off from playing because I needed some space to be able to focus and come back on my own terms. Eventually, the drive for what you had is missed and you manage to come back and visit it again. Everything has been done in music except for refining it, so we could say it’s all timeless. So it doesn’t really matter when you start and when you finish, just as long as you have done something to remember.

The first single, “Be Good To Me,” is a really vibrant and fun rock song. How would you describe the rest of the self-titled album’s sound?

It’s sad and sweet, exciting and inviting, a bowlful of soul, electric and eclectic, vicious and delicious, appealing yet revealing, concealing but congealing…it’s a labor of love that we managed to capture on tape with a groovy blend of tension and taunt…all in all, it’s just rock n’ roll and I like it…yes I do. It’s a tart worth tasting…

What is it like stepping out into the spotlight, not only as a frontman but also as a songwriter?

It seemed like the most logical progression after being the lead guitarist for the Afghan Whigs. I needed to sing and develop my own style of lyrics and music with new musicians to see what it would bring. I’m learning every day, but the main challenge is being able to sing what I write and feel comfortable doing that in front of others. The play within the music and the other guys in the band helped me to develop that style into a copious and manageable one to eventually make it its own original thing.

In addition to Moon Maan, you’re still playing some solo shows. Is there a difference between the music of Moon Man Rick and the solo Rick?

Yeah, they’re totally different, since it’s four guys who have contributed their sounds to one whole and the solo act which is just an improv that takes you anywhere you want to go on any night because it isn’t mapped out. There are tinges of loose improv within a Moon Maan show, but there is still a tightness to the songs when the time comes. It makes the set seamless, so to speak, but exciting to get lost in whatever is dished out. With the theremin, its allows me to enter voices that would normally be used in classical or jazz music and mix it with the rock quartet that history has so defined it as, so you get the best of both worlds. I wanna be sonically challenged and not bored … there’s too much of that today.

Greg Dulli recently posted on The Twilight Singers’ MySpace that the video for “Be Good To Me” “looks like ‘Everybody Wang Chung Tonite.'” Any response?

Sweet!! Maybe we’ll get more hits then…there’s no such thing as bad press. Thanks bro for the kudos…love ya.

Who are some underrated bands that you think deserve more attention?

I’m not the right person to even consider a list since I haven’t listened to too much lately…I can’t wait to hear new Gutter Twins stuff and the Staggering Statistics new album…there are too many artists out there that are too fantastic to name so I’ll leave that one alone.

What have you been listening to recently?

The last thing I did listen to was Happy Chichester’s new solo record which was fucking amazing…check it out!

If you could have written any song, what song do you wish you had written and why?

A: I guess that would have to be “Let it Be” if it be the choice of Rolls Royce…but ya know, “Car Wash” by Rose Royce is hopping too..both have excellent lyrics, they rhyme with reason and they hit all the seasons…

Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for the time well worth spent in answering these questions so everyone will know a little less of Moon Maan than they need to. Moon Maan may very well one day come to your town in the near future…who knows? The sound we can muster over time could be a good or bad thing, but whatever me, Erik, Mark, and Bryan can bring to the table we’ll be willing and able…so jump in the cradle and don’t wait but go.

Thanks, Rick!


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