Moon Maan is set to unleash their debut CD on June 5 on Catlick Records. The brainchild of former Afghan Whigs guitarist Rick McCollum, Moon Maan, is a ghostly, groovy, grisly, and bluesy sound that emerged along city streets and in the shadows of skyscrapers, where darkness and loneliness linger and cracks of hope appear like broken glass in the asphalt below.
For frontman McCollum, who contributes vocals, guitars and Theremin to the four-piece band’s Zeppelin- and Whigs-inspired debut, that kind of layering of experiences to create an entire world—and an entire sound–makes sense. “I love things that require a lot of tracks to make one sound,” he says. “I like to think of myself as a Maximalist Purist. I’m inspired by artists like Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus. I like using all these little things, all these voices, all these sounds, to try to make something else.”
Two years after the Whigs broke up, McCollum was alone for the first time in his life, searching for a family, longing to play music again. After playing the Theremin live (with 90 minutes of recorded original music) along to D.W. Griffith’s “Broken Blossoms” at the Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis in 1997, McCollum caught the eye and ear of an audience member, who seven years later asked him to play in the SXSW showcase that following spring of 2004. “When I was offered to do an improv set with the Theremin and guitar, I figured why not get a band together instead to bring down to Austin?” Hence Moon Maan was born …
McCollum put a band of talented Minneapolis-music vets together and began playing around the Twin Cities. Bryan Kinsley (Push On Junior, Snapperhead) joined on guitar and vocals; Erik Mathison (Balloon Guy, Polara, Mark Mallman, Jesse Greene) on drums; and Catherine Clements (Bayern Kurve, Dynamo Hum) on bass.
For McCollum, Moon Maan is the next logical step, the next layer, in his life and aural experience. “This new band has made me blossom a little bit being the main songwriter frontman,” he says. “With the Whigs, it was this safe family I never had. This is kind of the next step in the growing process. Maybe it is trying to find that parent that was proud of me. I don’t know. But I know that music is all I know how to do, and I’ll just have to be strong with that. Go with what you know by the time your feet hit the road.”