Back in 2016, Moscow Noir’s debut album Stars landed #1 on iTunes for Electronic album, #2 Billboard Electronic album, and the #24 overall iTunes album. Now they’ve returned with their brand-new single Round and Round. RX Music sat down with lead singer Lesther Gutierrez to discuss the backstory of the band, their process, and their next album due out very soon!
RX Music LIVE: Talk to us about getting Moscow Noir started.
Lesther: I felt like the music scene – it was either like EDM, or Rock. I mean, I know music has evolved over the years, but I wanted to bring back the old sounds of like Depeche Mode. You know, a little more of the darker, experimentally kind of stuff – almost like a cinematic kind of feel to it. I really wanted to start working on sounds that I loved and kept hearing in my head and that was the idea for Moscow Noir. I tried to create something a little bit different. I love Rock, I love Electronic music, and I love the experimentation that comes between both.
RX Music LIVE: You obviously have a defined sound that carries throughout your music, but how do you push those boundaries to find something new while not escaping the sound your fans are accustomed to?
Lesther: I think what really pushes it is finding your own identity. I mean, it’s one of the hardest things to do in music, to have your own voice because you can’t help but be influenced by everything else around you. I think what made me push boundaries is that I can somehow create my own voice amongst it all and that’s been the driving force in pushing forward.
RX Music LIVE: What was the importance of bringing in the band members after Moscow Noir has been formed?
Lesther: The truth is I wanted to work with a band in the beginning but it was really hard to sell the idea that I had, and I think it had to do with a lack of experience. I couldn’t get people to come on board with me and this idea that I had so I ended up having to just create it on my own, learning sound engineering and production. It took me a couple of years to learn how to play some instruments so that I could kind of flush out the idea. Once I came up with the first 1 or 2 songs, I finally had this evidence of what it was that I had in my head and that was what allowed other people to believe in it. Then, the band members started coming in slowly one by one.
RX Music LIVE: How has being a graphic designer helped you with this project if at all?
Lesther: Actually, it helped me a lot. I used to work as an animator and designer for CTV for several years. They almost reflect each other. For example, a song structure, just like an animation, has its own composition. It helps you visualize it. Sometimes when I’m working on stuff, I can tell that the color combinations for this might be in a moodier darker blue and purple, then I start trying to match it with that feeling. So, it helped a lot – it’s helps me visualize sound.
RX Music LIVE: The band name is unique. How did you come up with it?
Lesther: I was looking for something that really described the sound and at that time I really wanted to give that feeling that it was moodier, cooler in temperature and introspective but could be bombastic. One day I was looking through this magazine and found a design article. This article was based on interior design in Moscow, designed specifically for the night. In the day it looked empty and very minimal, but in the night the lights and the shadows would cast and create the beauty of the interior design of the hotel or the house. That article was called Moscow Noir and I was like ‘that’s it!’.
RX Music LIVE: Once you finally got the band together and you guys started writing and recording, at what point did you say ‘I think we have something here’?
Lesther: I think it was once we started seeing people come out to the shows and there was more interest in things that we were doing. I remember playing at Lee’s Palace and I looked out and saw the crowd and saw that there were a lot of people that kind of dig this. It became something very meaningful, more than just a project.
RX Music LIVE: Congrats on the new single “Round & Round”. It’s a little heavier than anything you’ve done previously. Is this a sign of things to come? Was it an experiment?
Lesther: It is a sign of things to come. I wanted our second album to be a little bit more grandiose. I really wanted to bring in the guitars and the instrumentation of a band to really come out and marry well with the electronics. I sort of felt like the first one was an introspective timid way of coming out, and this one I just wanted to be like ‘this is Moscow Noir and we’re so much more confident in what our sound is.’ It’s a little bit bigger and I think it’s all because of the confidence we’ve built throughout the years.
RX Music LIVE: Where did the music on the upcoming album come from? You’ve obviously had experiences in your life but are you drawing from the same personal subjects or are there new things happening for you that really bring these songs to life?
Lesther: I think with any song that resonates; it must come from experience. The album is going to be called Loathe and Love and it’s a duality between the personal things that you’re dealing with and embracing. It comes from experience. Experience is the best teacher and tells the most meaningful story because it resonates the most with people.
RX Music LIVE: Do you have any last words of wisdom?
Lesther: Beauty is always found in the most unexpected things.