Half Moon Run’s Connor Molander on harmonies, very long tours and being regulars at Woodford

The harmonies of Half Moon Run have this enrapturing thing. Harmonies from all the members are taking themselves through all kinds of sounds and melodies, so much so that it brings an almost choral feel to their sound. The Canadian band are coming here for a run of dates that include the Woodford Folk Festival and some dates down the east coast of Australia. Connor from the band chatted to us while on the move over in Canada.

Half Moon Run has been on quite a long tour. You’ve toured non-stop for two years. What’s it like to tour for so long?

It’s been longer than that, really. We’ve been on tour since 2012 steadily.

Four years seems huge as a tour.

Well, it’s the life of the musician. You need to keep on moving and making music constantly so it’s what we do. I think we’ve kind of figured out how to do it now. We’ve finished a tour of Canada, and I must say it’s one of the most enjoyable tours we’ve been on, on very different levels. The touring is more sustainable than what it used to be. I think I could do it for a few more years’ even

What makes a tour more sustainable or fun for you?

The tour that we just did was on a bus. Right off the bat, it was a more comfortable experience than we used to be. We were in a small van. After being on a tour for so long, we thought that being comfortable was good for us. Our shows were great; the audience reactions were good. We have a great crew, and I can’t complain at all.

Do you vary it up each night on the tour? How do you work around with your set list?

I guess before every show, we sit down in the dressing room and discuss it based on where we are. If it’s a bowl-type set or a small room, we try to pack a lot of energy into it. We also just have to consider how much time we have or whether we have a headline festival set. We discuss this and try to vary it up.

You are down here for the Woodford Folk Festival as the first few dates. Have you played or know much about the festival?

Yeah, each tour to Australia we played the festival, and every time we anchor our tour and our shows around it. We love it so much.

Why do you love it so much?

It’s a bit of the vibe of it. I can’t put my finger on it. It’s just got a good vibe. We have to miss Christmas to get there, right? So, we get out on December 24th my time and we arrive on the 26th at Brisbane. Going in that direction, I get into summer and it’s nice with that season there.

At this point, as it is a few days away, I get a bit of anxiety about it because we would miss getting our family time and it’s a long trip, but as soon as we get there – it happens every time – I feel better straight away. I just feel a whole bunch of love about it all.

Sun Leads Me On has this a slight difference of trajectory where there is a little more focus on the acoustic work. Why did you take this on?

It’s funny because everyone says something different. I don’t think we strayed away from harmony in this harmony that much. It’s all over the second record too in my opinion. When I analyse the difference between the two records – and I try not to really – because from an internal perspective, when you release the record. The analytical process is finished. I don’t like to dwell on it on my own time.

I just hear what I like to listen. It’s just us and the people I know in the band reflect on it at different times of our life. The specific instrumental differences and all that – there’s a million differences and a million similarities that we can get from it. It’s hard for me to say – it’s more for journalists like you to pick apart.

How do you get an idea for a particular harmony?

It’s always been instinctive. Since our first jam, that was the first thing that we tried to do. Devon would start singing and we would all try to join in. There’s something fundamental about it as well. The notion of using your voices together to make a common sound is probably one of the earliest forms of making music right there.

It dates back probably as early as beating two rocks together. I think it’s an essential thing. when you hear a good harmony, you just like the sound of it. From a musician’s perspective, there is a fundamental part of being a human, putting these voices together.

You also are contributing parts of your proceeds of your tickets of your tour to the Australian Literary & Numeracy Foundation. Can you tell me more about that and why you wanted to do that?

Well, we partnered up with an organisation up here called Plus One, where we get $1 from each ticket goes to a charity. You choose it and it’s an easy thing to say yes too. No-one notices one extra dollar, so we feel it’s important to contribute to a local charity that way.

Ticketing service providers charge extra for show tickets and many people do put up with that and it’s not for a good cause. So maybe just having to deal with one dollar to donate to a good cause is a no-brainer, right?

In terms of choosing which charity to go with – that was something I went outside the band for because I’ve spent the most of my adult life so far focusing on making music. In terms of current political events and all that, I figure that there are a whole lot of people outside the band that know much more than I do, so I sought some help from one particular family member. She gave me the idea to donate to the foundation, and we went from there. It’s a wonderful thing to do and we’d love to see more bands take it up on their tours.

Half Moon Run Australian Tour

December 28th – 29th 2016 | Woodford Folk Festival, Qld
January 11th 2017 | The Triffid, Brisbane, Qld
January 12th 2017 | Corner Hotel, Melbourne
January 14th 2017 | Metro Theatre, Sydney