Winnipeg progressive funk/rock trio Moon Tan looks like they’re from another planet and sounds like they were plucked from a hidden gem in your dad’s vinyl collection.
The trio parades their tight pants and long, flowing hair that, by mid-show, is stuck by sweat to face paint representing three separate moon phases. Beams of light bounce off their “moon goggles” as they play powerful rock songs from their latest album New Age Renegade.
In the words of vocalist/bassist Adrian Dyer, “your body, mind, soul, and loins will explode with ecstasy.”
The band was conceived by drummer Nicholas Kula in the hopes of creating a cover band. Through word of mouth, Dyer and guitarist Brady Mitchell fell into place.
The three decided that original music would be the way to go, and after fruitless Kijiji ad attempts to find a frontman and vocalist, Dyer assumed the roles himself.
Moon Tan released New Age Renegade earlier this year and the reaction has been positive, landing them gigs at shows and festivals across the province.
“People really dig it. It adds a different dimension to our songs,” said Dyer of the band’s latest release.
“At a live performance, people unconsciously have to decide which sense to be captivated by: visual or auditory. The album gives listeners a chance to catch any tasty licks they may have missed at the show due to overstimulation or inebriation.”
Moon Tan’s live performance is enhanced with an appearance that is especially unique in Winnipeg, as the band has frequently performed alongside folk and indie groups.
“At times the contrast really makes us stand out on a bill, as we always deliver high-energy performances,” said Dyer.
“It also makes the other artists stand out contrast-wise. It’s a win-win situation for everybody. We can’t grow beards, so folk wasn’t an option for us.”
The rock trio is committed to putting on an unforgettable performance, pulling inspiration from the energy and stage presences of bands like Genesis, Alice Cooper, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“We want to create that same emotion in our audience members when they watch or listen to us,” Dyer told the Manitoban.
“We are committed to putting on one of the most stimulating, entertaining live shows people have seen from a local band. We feel that our stage appearance, musical chops, and energy really give the audience the feeling that they’re at a ‘performance.’ Fans recognize that, and they appreciate it. Bottom line, we want to give people their money’s worth.”
With the success of their album, Moon Tan is planning a Western Canadian tour over the course of December, finishing up with a homecoming show at the Windsor Hotel on Saturday, Dec. 12.
“To be a real Canadian band, I think it’s something you have to do at least once,” said Dyer of the tour.
“We keep a large candle under the seat in case anything goes awry with the van. We’ll be releasing a ‘Spirit of the Radio’ [by Canadian prog-rock legends Rush] cover video, and we are hitting the road promoting it. Also, we’re overdue for a string of shows out west, it’s always a great time.”
The band’s plan to hit the road with Moose Jaw-based rock trio Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities arose after bonding over the love of rock and Italian cuisine.
“We have an unspoken kinship that is beyond words, space, and time. They play rock and roll, we do too. [Vocalist/guitarist] John took us under his wing in Moose Jaw and showed us an awesome restaurant with spectacular pasta,” said Dyer.
“We were discussing doing something like this for a while and finally our schedules lined up enough for this gruesome twosome tour to be unleashed upon the west.”
This is just the beginning for Moon Tan, and they don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
“At the moment, we have been working hard on new material that we think fans will really enjoy. We have a few surprises up our sleeve, and we’re really excited to share our newest video, yet to be unveiled,” said Dyer.
“We are dedicated to continually improving our live show, making it more entrancing and engaging than ever, both sonically and visually, and we will never stop doing that. For all of you on the Moon Tan ride: buckle up, it’s gonna get crazy.”
Moon Tan, Johnny 2 Fingers, and the Deformities will be joined by Sapphire Empire for their homecoming show in Winnipeg. Cover is $10 at the door, and music is set to begin at 10:15 p.m.