By Julijana Capone
CALGARY — Self-proclaimed purveyors of “intergalactic space freak rock,” Winnipeg power trio Moon Tan are a rock band not from this time, perhaps not even from this universe.
The group, consisting of Adrian Dyer (lead vocals/bass), Brady Mitchell (guitar), and Nick Knock (drums), perform in makeup with moon motifs and stage outfits that channel a plethora of heavy ‘70s-rock ‘n’ rollers—a pinch of Alice Cooper theatrics, and some Led Zeppelin hippie-rock style. Then add in the multi-octave howl of Rush’s Geddy Lee with a little red-hot funk.
“We all come from different musical backgrounds,” says Dyer on the road from Montreal. “When we came together to write songs, we almost mixed them like a melting pot of influences.”
On their third release and latest 7-inch The Faceless Knight, the band flexes their technical prowess and anti-genre fusion of prog-rock, heavy metal and funk atop Dyer’s high-pitched wails.
“It’s been a pretty wild ride, because I wasn’t always a vocalist,” says Dyer. “We were looking for a singer for a really long time, and I just decided to teach myself.”
How did he do that? Through the Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy, an online tutorial. “I just kind of took that and ran with it and my range just exploded,” he says. “I think it’s four octaves now. It takes a lot of breath support, especially when you’re rocking out pretty hard. It’s quite the workout.”
When it comes to their tunes, their live shows—and their bellbottoms—it’s clear the guys go all in. “Our bellbottoms were custom-made by a tailor and we design our own costumes,” says Dyer. “It all sprouted off from the desire to deliver a top-notch performance…we want to give people their money’s worth.”
Their aesthetic desires have even, at times, come with some risks. They’ve since stopped wearing their signature moon goggles as they became too much of a hazard on stage. “Because of a design flaw, they would fog up pretty bad,” says Dyer. “We decided for functionality purposes, we’d discontinue that for the moment.”
The trio have been touring steadily across Canada over the last few years, and are currently making their way westward in support of their new 7-inch. They’ll wrap that string of tour dates with an official album release party in Winnipeg in November.
“We’re seeing more people coming out to shows, and the response has been just awesome, mind-blowing,” says Dyer of the band’s growing Canadian fan base. “It kind of threw me off a bit in Ottawa, I was looking at a guy in the audience and he was singing everything word for word.”
Interestingly, the group initially had cover band aspirations, but figured originals were the way to go. Still, the band doesn’t shy away from throwing a few Rush covers into their live set. “We’ll also thrown in a Zeppelin cover here and there, or we recently started doing ‘Cult of Personality’ by Living Colour,” he says.
“I’m pretty amazed by our fans,” Dyer adds. “After every show, we always have people coming up to us saying, ‘Wow! You’re pretty awesome. You got something really good going here.’ It’s that stuff that really keeps us going.”
Moon Tan perform at The Loft on October 22 (Victoria), Studio Vostok on October 24 (Vancouver), Distortion on October 26 (Calgary), The Vat Pub on October 28 (Red Deer), and The Park Theatre on November 23 (Winnipeg). For more information and to purchase Moon Tan’s new 7-inch, head to moontan.net.AB, Alberta, BC, British Columbia, Distortion, Manitoba, MB, Park Theatre, Studio Vostok, The Loft, The Vat Pub