Psychedelic punk shoegaze band MoondreamzzZ is currently on tour in SoCal and has released a new music video for its song “Porcelain Skin.” Founding member Jeremiah Meltzer spoke with ETV today about the making of the new video, the band’s influences, and how the members first met each other.
MoondreamzzZ is a band created in San Francisco in the summer of 2014, unleashing a sound that is loud, raunchy, aggressive, and free-spirited. The current band lineup is comprised of Jeremiah Meltzer (guitarist/vocalist), Cary Workmon (bassist/vocalist) and George Atom (drums). Though there has been a steady revolving door of members, Meltzer said this line-up feels the most organic.
Meltzer met Workmon at his older brother’s house in Los Angeles when he visited during breaks from his Bay Area film school.
“My brother and his friends were into more electronic/hip-hop music so Cary and I would get drunk and he’d watch me tend to make a fool of myself, and we would geek out on music together,” Meltzer said. “Cary and I have become really good friends since then and played music a lot together outside of the band. When a space suddenly opened up in the band a couple months ago before some big shows booked in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Cary stepped up in a big way buying a bass even though he’s a great lead guitarist to learn all our songs along with contributing new original songs.”
Atom and Meltzer met through mutual friends, as he has played in other band’s such as Litty Kitter, Stone, and more.
“He’s a down to earth devoted musician and a character as well, you can really tell when he plays live—it’s like watching a real life cartoon when he’s behind the drum kit,” Meltzer said. “Most importantly we enjoy hanging out as friends, and learn a lot from each other as musicians and creative people.”
The band’s name was collectively picked at the last moment while the first EP was being recorded with Dave Newton (The Mighty Lemon Drops) at Rollercoaster Recording Studio. The band wanted a name that effortlessly captured the punk, heavy psych, and shoegaze soundscapes they created as well as paying homage to the collective warehouse compound called The Space in Midcity L.A. where they rehearsed at.
“I am constantly fascinated, inspired and informed by the unconscious — dreaming, déjà vu, etc. – hence the dreamzzz part of the name,” Meltzer said. “A friend suggested the name, we took it.”
The band’s noise rock and post-punk influences come from the member’s favorite bands, which include The Velvet Underground, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Galaxie 500. Current bands they’re also into include the likes of Gun Outfit, Spiritualized, Milk Music, Institute, The Ukiah Drag, Natural Blonde, Extra Spooky, CG Roxanne and the Nightmares, Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Sunflower Bean, and other artists on the Sacred Bones label roster such as The Men, Marching Church, Psychic Ills, Amen Dunes, and many more. The tastes are across the board, but that’s what makes the resulting sound of MoondreamzzZ set itself apart from others.
Meltzer recently starting going to more hardcore and underground punk shows in L.A. to experience what a true live shows should feel like. These types of shows were not widely available to him growing up in the desert so he was relieved to find out that live music was still alive and kicking.
The live component of MoondreamzzZ is what really drives the band. Meltzer said he likes the rawness of performing in front of an audience because it is immediate and uncertain, with happy accidents happening along the way that excite the crowd and make for a far more memorable experience for everyone involved. The band’s wild “dad-rock” sound has made older men at MoondreamzzZ shows let loose and letting go of inhibitions.
“At some of these hipper shows in L.A. you’ll see no one dancing or moving and just staring at their phone Instagramming and snapchatting, that really irks me,” Meltzer said. “It just takes that one wild dad to really open the pit. Music to me is immediate, raw, and transcendent — that’s the music we try to make all while trying new things and having fun. When I play live ‘successfully’ I am both extremely present and in that able to transcend all the bullshit that occupies my head throughout the day. It’s bliss.”
The improvisation that the band relishes on is also present in its recorded material. That same honest brashnesswas the main focus on the 7-track self-titled EP they released last year. In addition to making music, the band is also entering the music video world by releasing a bold music video for its track “Porcelain Skin.” The result is gritty, psychotic, and satisfyingly charming. Tattoo artist Annie Motel and actor Miles Dougal portray convincing characters in the video, demonstrating a hunt for the truth that turns out to be hidden behind masks. The video was collaborative process between the band and directors David Adesman (Meltzer’s first friend in L.A. and old room-mate) and Anthony Sabatino (Meltzer’s school friend from his time at SF State).
“I enlisted both their help because I knew they would make a great partnership which you see in the video,” Meltzer said. “David’s natural aesthetic as a director is what I envisioned for the video—unsettling and intelligent body-gore. David’s main influence is David Cronenberg, so it made sense to me to have him co-direct. Anthony has a great photographic eye for composition and is great at getting productions done and staying on time.”
The majority of editing was done by Adesman, who had help from his friend David Rivera in the color correction department. Feedback by Sabatino and the band helped shape the final video to what it is today. The video had very little to almost no budget and the special effects were planned months in advance by the band’s NorCal friend Eli Levine. These effects range from skin getting peeled off to singing mouths that replaces eyes.
“We are really excited the way the video came out and matches the theme of the song— the destructive qualities of infatuation, the masks we sometimes wear to attract lovers, and the futility/destructiveness of it all,” Meltzer said.
Aside from the newly released video, the band’s future includes a mix of playing more shows, recording new music, and more touring. They are currently on tour in SoCal. Check out the dates below:
5/29 Sunday @ Saturation Fest, Riverside, Calif.
6/2 Thursday @ Que Sera, Long Beach, Calif., w/ Weird, Drugs in the Alley, and Pet Clinic
6/22 Wednesday @ The Continental Room, Fullerton, Calif.
7/17 Wednesday @ The Hi Hat, Highland Park, Calif., w/ Extra Spooky and The Big Gone
After the Highland Park show, MoondreamzzZ will be heading up the Pacific Northwest for the first time with good time friends Extra Spooky to play shows all the way up to Seattle and everywhere in between. To stay up to date will all of MoondreamzzZ happenings, be sure to check them out on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram and Bandcamp.