Moe Green's Eye
Moe Green’s Eye is an indie-rock band based out of the New York/New Jersey area. The group is comprised of Anthony Galati (Lead Vocals), Steve Siegel (Guitars, backing vocals, and chief songwriter), Jeff Mackey (Bass), and Bob Gallagher (drums). The quartet are a group of friends that came from separate successful bands to join for the opportunity to create music together. Moe Green’s Eye are heavily influenced by classic rock and early 80’s New Wave.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
As someone who has always loved how songs are constructed and the influences that have been brought to a song to create a feel matched with great stories, there was always an interest in song-writing. You listen to a great song and are just amazed at how someone could just create that and where did it come from. When I first picked up a guitar my goal wasn't to be a great technical guitar player as I would never reach the talents of my guitar heroes or even top local players and so I focused on songwriting and the process of songwriting the same way guitar players approach practicing and learning scales. I learned guitar from a songwriter's perspective and it shapes how you play. What you learn is how hard it is to write a 3-4 minute song that has a great catchy melody with lyrics that work and that people will walk around and sing. My drive was to write perfect 3-4 minute stories with catchy hooks, that to me was the hardest thing to do. Music is a deeply personal and communal thing at the same time and so the goal is to share something with people that they in turn would like enough to want to share.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
There are several crazy things that have happened in my music career, some funny, some very cool and some probably not for print. There are two that come to mind. One is a Spinal Tap moment and one is just plain cool. We were playing one night in a venue that had risers on the side of the stage and the bass player and I decided to take running leaps onto the risers only to find out that they weren't anchored to the stage and started to roll away. Normally not an issue, but we weren't using wireless devices for that show and the rest wasn't pretty. Needless to say that was our Stonehenge moment. The other event was very rock and roll. It was an outdoor concert that we did at Rockaway Beach several years ago, to a crowd over 1200 people and then the police came to shut it down. We were tapping power from sources that could be shut down and so we were left standing there with a great crowd and no power. The police left, but not the crowd and so one of the band members knew how to tap power from street lights (don't recommend doing this for a lot of reasons) and had us up and running again at least for a little while, until the police showed up again and shut it down for good, thankfully the police that came back were very cool and fans of the music so it ended well.
What has been the high point of your music path?
I think the high point for any artist is their first time they ever hear their song on the radio and not internet radio, but a major market station. That happened in a previous band and I remember standing on the hood of my car in the middle of the street with the radio blasting and saying to passers by this is my band and thinking to myself, I could really do this and that has been a driving force ever since.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I don't have a set process for initial ideas, those just come, whether they are ideas for stories or melodies and I use my iPhone to capture those moments of inspiration until I can get to a guitar. Sometimes I may be playing a guitar and stumble on something cool and record that so that I don't forget it. I find if an idea sticks with me when I'm away from it, it should probably be developed and that's when I sit down and really work at it. I remember hearing interviews with Glenn Frey when he lived with Jackson Browne and how he learned that great songs are a product of hard work and they are both right. It's rare when something good or great happens right away at least for me it is. I have to work on it over and over again, both lyrics and music to get it to a point that I think the band will like it. The beauty of Moe Green's Eye is that everyone is such a great musician and have very deep and varied influences, that they take the song idea into a direction that makes a good idea great. As a songwriter I'm truly blessed that I work with guys that I trust implicitly both musically and personally and if something doesn't work, they know it and can add to it.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I think the biggest challenge has always been to get your music out there to generate a critical mass of listeners. It's funny, back in our earlier bands that became successful, there weren't the social media tools to get your music out there, it took constant performing and physically selling or handing out your music. Now its easy to get your music out there and its so easy that everyone can do it, so you can more easily distribute your music, but its harder to get heard through all the noise of some very talented artists. The challenge is to manage your resources and balance the costs of recording and promotion to provide the ideal balance. I don't know if there is anything that I would ask the music industry to change, but I do know one thing that I would love to change and it may not be something that you think. If you look at our video "Stay" its pays homage to all of the great rock venues that have gone away and it started to happen when the drinking age was changed from 18 to 21, you could almost time the demise of a great music scene. As a teenager, music is so all consuming in your life that you could go see a band on a Tuesday night and the club would be packed, so if you were good, you could build a following. At 21 years old in those few short years, you have the beginnings or real responsibilities and the ability to hang out in a club watching bands is diminished. All of the members of Moe Green's Eye are from that era and truly wish that it would come again. The only chance you get to have that is play small towns where the live music club is the big draw, but it killed the live music scene in many big cities. Our musical influences are drawn from the great era of the classic rock clubs. We didn't hear stories about it, we lived it and so those influences run very deep.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
All of us in Moe Green's Eye would say the same thing, The Beatles. To be in that classroom of musical genius and see how they create and develop ideas, how can you not be inspired by that.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Rehearsals are very structured and organized. We treat rehearsal as a valuable commodity and do a lot of prep work before hand and we rehearse on a regular schedule. We all walk in knowing what we are going to do. We always rehearse the set that we are currently playing so we can do it seamlessly, right down to equipment changes. As experienced musicians we all know that being able to effortlessly perform the set allows us to enjoy it more when we perform and that is always seen by the audience. We also slot time for new songs, usually the second half of rehearsal. Everyone has new song ideas in their hands way before rehearsal, so they can prepare. We always have a break between finishing the set and working on new material so that we can evaluate anything that needs to be fixed and to get on the same page before we start new material. One of the great advantages of being in an experienced band is that you don't waste your most valuable commodity, time.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
The song Stay on our new EP was real lyrical challenge. Musically the song came together right away, but the lyrics took a long time, probably because the song is very personal. The challenge was, how do you take an idea the concept of watching many of your friends and loved ones lose that magical spark that drew you to them, while you still have yours? When you're younger people come in and out of your life and you think you just drift apart, but what happens as you get older is that the people stay, but the spark dies. So the challenge is how do you capture that lyrically in a 3 minute song and really make it resonate to the listener.
What's coming up in the future?
We are working on new material for our next release, this one will be a studio release, so that we can go deeper into our musical influences. We are also putting together our live performance schedule for late 2017 and early 2018 and are looking to perform in new areas in which we are starting to get some radio airplay.
Where can fans can access your music?