Moon Destroys (ex-Torche, ex-Royal Thunder) Go Huge With New Single Featuring Mastodon’s Troy Sanders
The two members of Moon Destroys certainly have an epic pedigree behind them. Multi-instrumentalist Juan Montoya is the former guitarist of Miami prog-sludge act Torche, while Evan DiPrima used to drum for Atlanta retro-rockers Royal Thunder. Now, with their new project, they’re treading an unbeaten path, performing a satisfying mixture of improvisational stoner metal and looming psych-rock — though their musical background certainly didn’t stop them from enlisting the help of some epic guest vocalists.
Case in point, the band’s new single Blue Giant from their new EP Maiden Voyage, featuring vocals from Mastodon’s Troy Sanders. The track is a steady marcher, full of ethereal echos and beautiful use of empty space. Troy’s singing adds a far-out vibe, but wouldn’t be as strong as they are without the help of Evan and Juan’s tried and true musical talent.
Before listening to our exclusive premiere of Blue Giant, we spoke to the duo about what makes Moon Destroys the galactic force that it is.
How did Moon Destroys come together?
Juan Montoya: Evan and I met up when we worked at an instrument store. I heard him messing around on the drum set, and I thought, ‘Let’s hang out.’ I was playing with Monstro at the time, but I wanted to do something locally to keep my chops up. Early on, we weren’t writing songs so much as performing musical exercises. We were trying to do it without any planned music, and it got to a point that it was pretty good. Originally, we called it Stallone.
Evan DiPrima: Stallone was an instrumental band. We released a few singles for it in 2010, and then we brought some of our buddies in and did some live shows. Then I left to do Royal Thunder for six or seven years.
JM: I was doing tours with Danzig and Kyuss Lives!. We did some shows with Torche, which is how we met Brian.
ED: I met Brian when Royal Thunder did some shows with Torche. Basically we got a bunch of homeboys to put on this EP.
What was the writing and recording process like for the EP?
JM: It was intense. We were playing 10 hours a day — we set it up so that we had 36 hours to make it happen.
ED: Thirty-six hours straight! Living in different spots of the country can be tough.
JM: But it was sounding so good that it was worth it — burning your fingers out, burning your back out. And then we went straight into the studio, and spent the night there so we could wake up and just start recording again. We crammed 10 songs into that time. It was one of the moments where it just happens — you don’t plan them out, but it was really enjoyable.
ED: Juan and I have always had this thing — it’s not hard to get us in a room jamming together, making shit happen.
Was there anything you specifically wanted or didn’t want to incorporate on this EP?
ED: We didn’t really have a direction in mind. That’s why when you listen to the EP, every song is really different — we just cranked out what we could.
JM: We didn’t decide on vocalists until after we started recording. I think the sound itself is still from those early days, of just coming up with weird, noisy stuff — a prog influence, and definitely metal.
Did you give Troy any instructions for his vocals or lyrics?
JM: Pretty much do whatever you want. Troy’s brother Kyle used to be in [Monstro] with me. We worked in the same music store, so they would always invite me to family parties and Thanksgiving because I couldn’t go all the way back home to Miami. We’re family. So with Troy, I felt comfortable to ask him. We did Killer Be Killed together. So I hit him up one day and asked him to do this song. I gave him the title, and gave him the idea of giants in space, some kind of sci-fi thing. He gave it a twist of giant whales, returning home, swimming through the galaxy.
Listen to our exclusive premiere of Blue Giant below.
Moon Destroys’s Maiden Voyage comes March 27 on Brutal Panda Records, and is available for pre-order.
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