Mood Rings will keep it mellow at the Irenic

by Ryo Miyauchi

Indie-rock band Mood Rings is opening up for New York City group, Cults this Sunday at the Irenic. Mood Rings plays rock music with a sound similar to the mellow guitar bands from the shoegaze scene, while adding their own melodic take to the mesmerizing sound. The band is currently on the road promoting its new album “VPI Harmony.” I spoke with frontman William Fussell as he was headed to Baltimore with the band.

The Aztec: How did you meet Cults?

William Fussell: It ended up from like a word-of-mouth thing from some of our friends. They told them about us, then got in touch with us in LA. We actually met [Cults] the first time the other night. They liked the music and asked us to come out.

TA: Have you been to San Diego before?

WF: This is actually my first time coming to the West Coast. For a couple of us, it’s the first time being on the West Coast, so it’s pretty exciting being able to play music out there. Cults blew up there. They’re from San Diego, so it’s going to be pretty crazy. They’ve got a lot of friends there. I’ve been meaning to stop by there, too. I think everyone is very excited about going to the beach.

TA: For your new album “VPI Harmony,” was there anything new you wanted to try coming from your 2011 EP “Sweater Weather Forever?”

WF: “VPI Harmony” was recorded over a long period of time. Some of the songs were even written around the same time the first EP was written. So there are similar aspect to those, but because of how long it took to write the album, you could see the changes that we were going through. It goes up and down from being melancholy and upbeat because it spanned years of our lives. It encompassed what we were going through with all of the music we were listening to at the time, so it changes ground.

Trying something new is something we are always trying to do. We tend to jump genres a lot. We have a tone we like to keep, but as far as the structure of the songs and how they come together, each time it’s different. That’s something that we always have been trying to do.

TA: I was listening to the album and some of the songs, such as “The Line” were fun to sing. Did you try to focus on more of a pop approach for any songs?

WF: Yeah, definitely. We love pop music and listen to a lot of it. I like all different brands of pop music, like Top 40 stuff to some weirder stuff that can be made and reconsidered pop music as well. It’s all about catching you, that’s the main point of pop music. We are definitely on that for a lot of the new music that we are making.

TA: Have you guys been working on new material?

WF: Yeah, we recorded (“VPI Harmony”) last August and we’ve been writing ever since. We have a bunch of new material and we are probably going to play some of it on the tour to keep things fresh and different to show the new ways we are going. A lot of it is going on the new record.

TA: Do you take any different approaches playing to the songs live versus what we hear on record?

WF: You’re going to hear a big difference live than the recorded version. I don’t think we meant to do that at first, but there’s the idea of putting energy in what we are doing. There’s a good amount of time where some of the songs are faster. It’s more fun to challenge yourself to make and record something a certain way knowing you have to play it differently live. You want to try to be creative and do something totally new every time you play.

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Photo courtesy of Zach Wolfe and Requiem Media

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