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Shoot Down the Moon Strive For Serenity on 'Forever Sedated'

Jan. 10, 2017
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At a quick glance, it might appear that Milwaukee’s Shoot Down the Moon haven’t lived up to their ambitious name of late. Their last album, Meetings and Greetings, came out in the fall of 2012, which can seem like a long time in the in-the-now music industry climate. But if you talk to the band, it becomes clear that they’ve remained quite active (when not busy with work and other life events) in the past few years prepping songs for their new release, Forever Sedated. They even have enough leftovers that another release is quite possible this year.

A listen to the hour-long, 13-track Forever Sedated makes it evident they weren’t slacking. It’s a diverse album, with many sonic shifts along the way, that’s intended to be listened to from front to back. Bass player Jon Taglienti said that the band and its sound are constantly evolving. The album is reflective of their four-year journey.

“We draw inspiration from whenever or wherever as it flows out,” says Taglienti.

Taglienti, singer/guitarist Jake McDonald and the rest of the band like to mix it up sonically from track to track, in a similar fashion to some of their favorite bands. McDonald says songs usually start out simply but can end up in some interesting places.

“Most of the songs were originally written on acoustic guitar and when you shorten it down it gets very similar,” he says. “But how we add to the songs make them sound very different. We like to try different things…and sometimes it’ll be something heavier or something more laid back.”

The band has written more collectively of late, including on this album.

“It was a new experience and a lot of fun,” Taglienti says. “I think we got out of our element that way and it made for an exciting time.”

If some of the songs sound like the ones on Meetings and Greetings, there’s a good reason: They were written at the same time. The band typically has a lot of material that hasn’t been recorded yet due to money and time. But there’s always a sense of excitement in writing each song.

“Every time we finish a song we’re surprised and happy and that’s what keeps us writing,” McDonald says.

The title track is at the very heart and center of the album, and the phrase thematically is reflective of the songs.

“There’s kind of an aspect of serenity that you can find in a lot of these songs,” Taglienti says. “I think in a lot of those there’s either a level of peace that comes from it or… In other ways it has angst or has more negative vibe that comes from them, but all are a little bit muted by that sedation.”

The band recorded the album with Shane Olivo and Nick Schubert at Bobby Peru’s Recording Studio. They sought out Olivo after having prior success with him.

“We really like working with Shane on Meetings and Greetings,” McDonald says. “We like working in his studio. He pretty much lets us do what we want to do.”

The band didn’t have many studio stories as their studio time was a very efficient few days. Their songwriting style is very DIY in that they record demos at home and bring some of their ideas to the studio to further flesh out.

“We really like doing the DIY thing while we record,” McDonald says. “It’s easier to do at home and we have a lot of home demos that haven’t been released. We come in with all the ideas.”

Taglienti says he likes that Bobby Peru’s Recording Studio was “built to be a studio” and its flexibility in recording possibilities.

“Every room in there you could put a microphone in and it would sound good,” he says.

The band is looking forward to a busy 2017. Even as they enter their 14th year together, there’s no lack of excitement.

Shoot Down the Moon will play an album release show Saturday, Jan. 14 at the Cactus Club with NeoCaveman, Live Tetherball Tonight and SoundSweepers at 9 p.m.

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