Dick Pettersson a.k.a. Francis Moon has been a busy man over the past months, although it has been quite a while since Francis Moon’s last album had been released. We wanted to know what’s up and so we gave him a call. Dick just happened to return from a short trip to Milan and was ready to answer some questions for us, about playing live in a new setting and the new songs that are in the making right now…
Q: Hello my friend, how are you doing?
D: Hi mate! I´m all good thanks! Only thing is that I am getting a bit tired of the lack of sun at the moment with clouds and bad weather. Time for spring, don´t you think?
Q: Absolutely! Where are you living at the moment?
D: I am living in Amsterdam at the moment which has been my base now for around 1,5 years time. I like it a lot and hope to stay a longer period here, but you never know what happens in life!
Q: You have played some shows at Popronde this year, how did they go?
D: Popronde was a great experience to be honest. I had been out of the whole “playing live” for a couple of years (with some minor acoustic exceptions) mostly due to lack of motivation and other things that got in between in my life. I think Popronde was a great chance to get back on the horse again and just get going with playing live and meeting the fans. Every gig was in a completely different setting with different types of audience and that is what makes Popronde so special. You got the chance to play in a restaurant, bar, café, basement and you kind of have to go with what you have right there and then. Brilliant!
Q: This was the first time that Francis Moon played in a four-men-strong formation, right? How did that play out?
D: Yes that is true! I used to play in bands since like forever so I really got used to the whole band thing. After I had been out for that for a couple of years I fell in love once again with the idea of having a live band put together to bring the songs out for everyone. This time in a more proper way than just by myself. Luckily I managed to find super talented and lovely guys to bring with on this journey. There was not really a gig that stood out for me and I more or less enjoyed them all for what they were. Each setting was different and had its own charm!
Francis Moon in Groningen, 2017. Denise Amber Photography
Q: Did you get a different view on things by playing your songs in a setting like this? On the album itself, you’ve recorded all the instrumental parts yourself…
D: Sitting by yourself in your own studio means that you basically have all the time in the world to create something and to finish it. There were certain tracks on the “Onwards” album that- when looking back maybe even had a bit too much additional instruments or touches.
When I took the songs to the practice studio I noticed that the songs were not going to sound identical to the album version. So I went more for the rough edge of the songs for the “live version” instead of the polished ones. Looking back, it was probably the only thing I could do with the time I had on my hands. But it was great!
Q: How do your select your musicians for live gigs?
D: Playing in previous bands I always found chemistry between the different musicians to be the most important factor together with talent and which music they usually prefer.
It´s really hard to follow a certain pattern for those things, since you more or less just feel it if everything clicks when you are practicing.
Q: Will you be doing this with every album and the consecutive gigs? The producing relatively alone and then performing in a setting that you feel best suits the current work? Any specific structure to your projects?
D: Hm, impossible to say at the moment to be fair. I kind of take it day by day and go with my own inner gut and feeling of what feels right for each project. I am just now working on new songs in the studio with a first single release March 3, 2018. What happens after that is actually not cut into the stone yet, so if my other songs turn into an EP or album is yet to be seen.
Q: Does the response of the audience during live shows influence the direction you are moving into, is this something that you take into consideration?
D: Playing live is a great way to find out which songs actually triggers the audience the most and gets them moving, cheering, dancing or whatever it might be, so sure!
However, I tend to not really care for the new songs if people would actually like them. I do this for myself and I know which direction I´d like to take. I truly believe that if you are very confident and passionate yourself with what you are creating and doing, then the rest will follow and find its own place. There are way too many artists and bands that are only focusing on what others will think. I´d say, fuck that and go your own way!
Q: So would you say it’s important to please the listener?
D: When it comes to playing live I would say YES. Since people are actually there to hear the music, experience something extra because the artists/bands there as entertainers to be fair. But when it comes to creating new songs, then personally no. But if you would like to be played at Top #50 then I would say yes. Stop having fun and just focus on getting it right haha. Of course you can have both, but I think it will come naturally if you just go with what you really would like to create yourself. It all starts from the inside!
Q: What inspired your new works that are currently in the making?
D: The new album is yet to take full shape, but the songs that have been created so far are more personal and more upfront than the previous ones. I kind of let down my own guard of what people will think of the lyrics/song and just basically said “fuck it, this is what I will do” which has been a great relief for myself. There will always be people loving what you are doing and those who do not agree, but that’s fine. Would be boring if we all loved the same music, right?
Q: Good to hear so, I agree on that and can’t wait to find out what these new songs will sound like, really.
D: I still have my dreamy soundscapes, but I think the use of instruments is a bit less than on the album “Onwards”. I just want to create the same dreamy vibe, just a bit more approachable. Hard to truly define it, so I guess everyone has to listen to the new single “Baby, I Know It” that is coming out March 3, 2018 on all the normal streaming platforms!
Q: Awesome! Congratulations on that!!!
What are some of the cool acts that you saw the last months?
D: I went to a great gig here in Amsterdam to see Novo Amor which was really great. And before that I managed to see Poliça, which I thought had some killer songs and great visuals that gave me some inspiration. Besides those I haven´t really been to any gigs lately. Shame on me! Haha
Q: Nice ones, for sure! A message from Francis Moon to the people?
D: Live in the now and value each moment dearly, since you will never know its true value until it becomes a memory.
Q: Thank you for your time Dick, good luck on finishing the album during the upcoming time and see you soon!