Photography and article by: Syd Innovaria of Forgotten Aesthetics Photography
In mid-August, I went to a show at The Sinking Ship 2 in Indianapolis. It was one of the most phenomenal live band performances I have ever seen. I had met one of the band’s previously, Gypsy Moonshine. They were a three piece at the time we met, though recently they have just added a couple more people to their lineup. I was blown away the first performance of their’s, and this was just as wonderful only with two more wonderful groups, Moxxie and Brother O Brother. Moxxie is a three piece, as well as Brother O Brother. I would say personally that Gypsy Moonshine sounds exactly like the name makes you feel: beautiful, mysterious, intense and deep. The drums are full, with a definite tribal tone. The vocals are strong, with so much passion and meaning in every lyric. The band has a beautiful dynamic together on stage as well. Frontwoman Katie Josway plays guitar and sings, then Jonathan plays bass, and Aaron McDonald plays drums.
Shortly after the show I asked for a private interview.
SYD: Katie, you are the “front man” so to speak, and leader of this group. When did you form the band Gypsy Moonshine?
KATIE: I had the name “Gypsy Moonshine” for a little while before I met Nick Faulhaber, our former lead guitar player, in November 2013. We brought on a drummer and a bass player pretty quick and got into the studio within a few months to record our self-titled debut album. We released that in 2014.
SYD: When did you meet the other two members? How did you know they would be good for your vision?
KATIE: The lineup in this band has changed quite a bit since I started it. Aaron has been a member the longest, then Jonathan. Jaymi Anderson is a very new addition and we are even working with a new lead guitar player and hoping to get him up to speed very soon. I just have to jam with people, and it becomes obvious when someone can instinctively flow with what I’m putting out. That’s how I know they could play with us. Then it’s a matter of whether or not we get along as friends. It’s so important for me to have a close personal relationship with my band mates. It’s a lot of time to be stuck with someone you don’t have fun with.
SYD: What kind of “message” or concept do you guys want to portray to the world with Gypsy Moonshine?
KATIE: I’ve never really thought of a “message” to portray with our band. I just want to write good music and I enjoy dressing up in strange outfits when I play live.
SYD: What is your favorite song to play on stage? Do you think the crowd feels the same, or do they have a different favorite?
KATIE: This is one of those impossible questions. My favorite song is whatever I’m in the mood for the most. It’s as simple as that. It changes based on our moods.
SYD: How many songs do you think you guys have written so far?
KATIE: I have personally written hundreds of songs. As a band we have probably practiced around 50, some of them more than others. But with the new members, we are trying to narrow the focus for them to about 20.
SYD: Tells us about your favorite gig you ever performed, and then where your dream venue would be to play at.
KATIE: I have loved playing The Vogue, The Hifi, Radio Radio and The Egyptian Room. Those stages are just so fun because I’ve seen so many of my favorite artists play there. It’s cool to be on the same stage as them. Plus the sound is just amazing. I don’t’ have a specific dream venue, but my absolute dream musically would be to tour Europe. I’ve never gotten over there to travel and always hoped my music would one day take me on that adventure.
SYD: How do you feel about the gig you played this evening?
KATIE: I always enjoy a gig where I get to share the bill with good friends and fellow musicians that I respect a lot. Moxxie and Brother O Brother are two of my favorite bands based in our Indy scene. I respect both of them creatively. So it’s always a joy to share the stage with good people who play music you genuinely like.
SYD: Do you have any shows lined up for the future?
GM: Katie (me) is playing a solo fundraiser show at the Girls Rock Headquarters Sept. 17Th.
Sept 18th we play The Monkey’s Tail 6-9pm with Von Strantz and a St. Louis band called CaveOfswordS.
Oct. 8th WOIA showcase in Indianapolis
And then we are trying to take it easy for a while and focus on writing and how to release our latest album.
Shortly after this interview, I went to the WOIA showcase at Grove Haus on October 8th. The band had a performance during the event and it was positively magical. Check out my article covering the WOIA showcase coming soon.
I would say everyone needs to go look these cats up on Facebook immediately! Listen to their music. Buy their albums and their merchandise! They have beautiful stage presence, too, so going to a live show is definitely worth it.
Til next time!