Working at his studio in Helsinki where he currently resides, mixing leftover piano bits when from the latest record, BeatRoute talks with singer, songwriter and keyboardist Spencer Krug. Performing under the Moonface handle, Krug’s third album entitled Julia in Blue Jeans was released October 29th. An ode to old, the record showcases an intimate relationship between Krug and the piano, an instrument he has played since childhood. Musically, Krug is constantly evolving having found a sort of peace with Moonface. “…Something that will keep growing and hopefully the last moniker I will ever work under. I don’t want to start a new band, at least not right now. Hopefully from now until the end of when I stop doing this it’s either just going to be called Moonface or Spencer Krug.”
With a total of 17 studio albums and more than several EPs released under previous outfits including Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake and Wolf Parade, Krug has come to a few realizations having done the rounds, so to speak. “Being in bands before Moonface, I guess I realized that I didn’t really like the restrictions of having to work within set parameters that being in a typical band involves. It’s all OK, there’s nothing wrong with it, it just got a little frustrating and/or boring for me.”
Trying to pin point a specific sound or quality to describe Moonface is difficult, however Krug’s vocals are very distinct. He’s not concerned with necessarily having a perfectly cohesive identity to his music. “I kind of try to set this precedent that if one album doesn’t sound like the last album that’s OK, it’s not the end of the fuckin’ world. It’s just me doing whatever I’m interested in at the time.”
The newest album from Krug, Julia in Blue Jeans, contains a classic styling, something he says he hasn’t explored in a while. The result is an honest approach that seems to have fallen by the wayside with respect to a lot of music circulating these days. “I hadn’t done that kind of really simple singer-songwriter style in a long time, where it’s just me and an acoustic instrument. Everything is exposed and vulnerable, I kind of rediscovered the piano and my love for the instrument and how pretty it can be.”
Staying busy is not difficult for Krug; he’ s always working on something with no intention of slowing down. “I’ve been writing more songs with this Finnish band Siinai that I did an album with (With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery) I have an unfinished Marimba record that I should probably finish soon. I recorded it a couple years ago then decided I didn’t like it and asked the label not to put it out but I think there’s something good about it, I just want to revisit it. So I definitely have projects on the go.”
The British Columbia native reveals possible plans to revisit nature and “the imagery that’s bouncing around my head.” He also shares why this record was “the tip of the iceberg creatively” and what influenced him into such an intimate offering.
“I just want to hear someone play an instrument really well, I want to hear the notes and I want to hear that it was hard for them to physically do.”
A full tour for Moonface begins next year. However, a handful of dates throughout North America are slated within the next few months. As far as immediate new material from Moonface, it will be a toss up of the several aforementioned projects, “…a distillation of everything done before.”
See Moonface on November 16th at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, SFU Woodwards.
By Chrystal MacLeod