Given the current state of events, it’s understandable why someone would long to live in a different decade- especially a seemingly more vivid decade.
That’s why twin brothers Jordan and Talor Steinburg, aka Moon City Masters (MCM), have committed to embracing the sounds and aesthetics of the 1970s. This means groovy guitar riffs, orange-tinted Instagram photos, and feathered hairstyles to match.
And although Jordan and Talor themselves hail from New York City, the band’s website claims they were sent from Moon City to “bring harmonious, soulful rock and roll to the people of Earth”. Us earthlings are in luck, because the intergalactic band has once again blessed us with more of their cosmic rock and roll.
The group has had a handful of releases over the past few years, including their Kickstarter-funded EP, The Adventures of the Moon City Masters in 2019, and a handful of singles throughout 2020. MCM debuted with “The Price You Pay”, an obvious nod to Led Zeppelin — from its bluesy guitar riffs to the raspy, gritty vocals reminiscent of Robert Plant. Don’t be fooled by its nostalgic arrangement, however, because its lyrics still remain relevant to today. The chorus reflects the urge to play music and quit the 9/5 office job: “Just wanna hit the road / Play music every day / ‘til then I carry the load / it’s just the price you pay”. Although the single was released in 2019, the song’s message is especially poignant during the pandemic, an era void of any live music.
MCM released their latest single “Takin’ It Back” on January 15th, a song more inspired by 70s arena rock anthems. The track is highlighted by a funky guitar solo featured during the bridge, making its groovy energy enough to make you want to put on your bell-bottoms and lace up your roller skates. Hell, maybe even commit to that perm if you’re feeling brave enough.
We chatted with the brothers to discuss decades past, what it’s like being a family band, and what fans can expect from them this coming year.
So your sound and visuals have a distinct 70s inspiration. What bands or artists from that decade in particular influence your chosen aesthetic most?
There are so many bands we love with great aesthetics! YES, Rainbow, Grand Funk etc… But we also like those 70s music shows like Top of The Pops and Old Grey Whistle. That whole era of music in general just had such a great use of color that we really vibe with.
Aside from rock in that era, what other genres or kinds of artists inspire you creatively?
We love funk, soul, and all that great Motown music. Earth, Wind, and Fire, P-Funk, Bee Gees, Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, Stevie Wonder, etc… Too many to name!
How do you guys create the visuals for your brand? Any specific photographers or artists you enjoy working with?
All the credit for our visuals goes to the amazing Maris Jones. She is for us like how Roger Dean was for Yes! Plus she’s engaged to Talor, so it’s all in the family.
You guys are twins, so obviously you share a deep connection, but how does that translate into making music together? What might be some of the pros and cons of working with a twin sibling?
It’s hard to describe it because it’s all we’ve ever known. We’ve hardly spent any time apart from each other. We’ve been making music together on an almost daily basis for over half our lives. I’d say the pros to that are we can read each other very well and naturally play in a way that compliments each other. The only con I can’t think of is we fight like brothers haha.
Your colorful new single, “Takin’ it Back”, dropped January 15th. What was the influence and inspiration behind the track?
Honestly, we were just jamming on it, and Talor said kind of jokingly lets call it “Takin’ It Back”. That led to lyrics that are a little bit of a rant about the challenges of being an independent artist then, and mix that with a little positivity about how you can’t let that stop you from going for your dream.
Where did you record it, and what was the recording process like?
Our producer Justin Craig has a little studio he works out of in Manhattan that’s the size of a bedroom. Justin played drums and keys on the track and in total it probably took 4-5 hours to record the song.
Can fans expect to see it on an upcoming EP or LP?
The plan right now is to put out a new single every two months, but we definitely want to record a full album sometime in the near future.
How does the New York City music scene inspire your style and sound?
The great thing about NYC is that you can walk into a venue almost any night and the artist playing will be amazing. Living in a city with so many talented musicians can only inspire you to be better.
What might fans expect from The Moon City Masters as we blindly forge into the New Year?
A bunch of new tunes and hopefully a return to playing live!