The name Queen Moo (or Queen Mu) is taken from a few different places.
In mythology, Queen Moo is a Mayan figure who’s said to have been the inspiration for the Egyptian goddess Isis.
According to the book “Human Race Get Off Your Knees: The Lion Sleeps No More” by David Icke, Queen Moo was the queen of a giant landmass called Lemuria that sank and is now known as Atlantis.
In reality, the band Queen Moo is a tangible group of musicians producing uncommon music that’s naturally reserved, sometimes disjointed and always emotive.
Queen Moo started as a side project in 2013 with Jason Rule on guitar/vocals, Oscar Godoy on guitar, Kevin O’Donnell doing bass/vocals, and Nick Charlton on drums. Although their lineup changed and the band was put on hold for a few years, their current lineup is actually the original lineup.
The story goes that around that time O’Donnell and Rule were playing in the band Sorority Noise. They ended up deciding to leave that band and more or less pick up where they left off with Queen Moo, but with a little different line up than the original. They wrote their first album with Adam Ackerman (guitarist of Sorority Noise) on drums and recorded the album with Cameron Boucher (also of Sorority Noise) and performed as a trio for a little while.
Ackerman ended up having to part ways with Queen Moo so he could take on Sorority Noise full time, so O’Donnell and Rule went back to Charlton and Godoy to ask if they’d like to rejoin. They said yes, which Rule admitted ultimately ended up being the best thing for the band. They learned the record as a quartet, released it, and, as Rule put it, “have just been rocking out the four piece ever since.”
It’s hard to explain the appeal of a band with this much musical range and inherent talent. Throughout the 33-minutes of their self-titled LP, Queen Moo weave a quilt of soaring highs and crushing lows, tucking other emotions tightly in between, but never silencing them.
“We are all inspired by improvisational/avant garde or progressive music, but we also draw influences from different places,” Rule said. “We try to combine the familiar sound of classic rock or classic pop songs with the improvisational music we all listen to. Our group goal is to sound unique and different from other bands we play with or see around.”
They’ve exceeded their goal on that front. Their songs are sprinkled with tasty guitar solos, refined keys and impressive vocals. “Don’t Think I Do” fittingly exemplifies the expanse of their diversity in just the one song. Transitioning swiftly out of its soft and steady intro, it hops into folky territory. After breaking into an energetic stride, the song suddenly calms down to a slow groove and finally ends with triumphant saxophones and powerful harmonies.
“The song writing process most often begins as a loosely finished song that gets brought to the table by Kevin or myself,” Rule explained. “Then it slowly begins to take a more defined shape as Oscar and Nick bring their parts and ideas to the table. The self-titled album was easy because I wrote the drum and guitar parts, so there wasn’t a ton of leeway on the arrangements. We’ve been working on some new material that is more conducive to a group writing process, which is more fun and fulfilling for everyone involved.”
The band is currently writing and recording a full-length with intent to tour, so be sure to catch them when they come to your town. “We’re working out of our home which is a very freeing process, and we’re really excited to see how it comes out and tour it all next year.”