Localized: Roses on the Moon
Blending genres is no new feat in the music industry, and local bands Roses On The Moon and Øutset Bandits both utilize the individuality of their band members, stories and backgrounds to make dynamic and soulful music. Show up at Kilby Court on Thursday, November 16 to see opener CLUB MUNGO at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) and join the crowd of joyful faces celebrating authentic, talented musicians native to Salt Lake City. There’s a $5 entry fee to this month’s SLUG Localized show, which is sponsored by Riso-Geist.
If you go to your favorite local music venue searching for a song to lift your spirits, chances are you’ll find Roses On The Moon, composed of brothers Bobby B Mac and Vehnu Moon, bringing the energy. In Bobby’s words, “bring your dancing shoes, drink some tea—because you’re going to be screaming the whole time—and bring a change of clothes, because by the end of the set you’ll be sweating through [it]. If you’re coming to a Roses On The Moon concert, be prepared to have some fun.” Their goal is for the audience to have as much fun as they do on stage—it’s always a shared experience.
“You can’t just have ‘yes men’ in the studio.”
While the duo serves joy, energy and inspiration through each psychedelic, indie-pop beat, the band was formed through a solemn past. The brothers teamed up to form Roses On The Moon after they both lost a daughter this past year. Growing up together in the Rose Park neighborhood of Salt Lake, Bobby B Mac has been a musician for ten years while Vehnu has been making music for about two. Heartbroken and grieving, the two decided to create something from their suffering, hoping to make music for people who might have gone through similar experiences. This was also how their band name was born: “Roses” because they are from Rose Park, and “Moon” because of the meaning of their last name, honoring the family roots from which this band grew.
Though only a band for less than a year, Roses On The Moon has played at almost every local venue in Salt Lake, participating in multiple festivals, opening for other artists and hosting their own solo shows. Much of this is due to their incredibly supportive management team, whom they were excited to thank during our interview. “We would not be able to do half of this without them,” Vehnu says. Bobby adds, “Our team is all women, so that’s why we’re organized and why things work well.” We laughed, but I could tell they were genuinely thankful.
When Vehnu began making music, he would write and edit a song to perfection before stepping into the studio to record it. For their most recent album, though, the writing process shifted: The brothers head to the studio, put on a beat and write and record on-site. They both find that creativity flows better this way as they can tap into “every emotion [they’re] feeling right then and there,” Vehnu says. Bobby B Mac explains that if he wrote a song and recorded it later, it would be hard to “recapture that vibe [he] was feeling while writing.” This technique leaves little room for editing, and the band credits their engineer Chris Jensen at Red Light Recording for providing honest feedback in real time. His critiques help them know when they should push themselves harder and when it was truly something special. “You can’t just have ‘yes men’ in the studio,” Venhu says.
“Our [management] team is all women, so that’s why we’re organized and why things work well.”
At the end of our conversation, they leave me with a promise: “Stay tuned for 2024.” After stepping into the first stages of growth as a band this year, they feel confident the second year of Roses On The Moon will be an even bigger move forward. If there’s ever a reason to support a new artist, Roses On The Moon has it all—their history, authenticity and local roots are so magnetic that the incredible music feels like a cherry on top. Even though their show schedule is heavily booked this fall, the duo is stoked to bring something fresh, fun and exciting to SLUG’s November Localized, so be sure to come out to the show to check out what they have in store. Follow them on Instagram @rosesonthemxxn for music updates.