Freshman Featured Interview
The place where we feature Singer-Songwriters, Bands & Instrumentalists who record and/or perform with our instruments.
Molly with her prized Freshman
As Freshman Guitars have developed & evolved as a world renowned musical instrument brand for nearly twenty years, the most uplifting thing for us is the positive impact our instruments have had on musicians all over the world, inspiring them to make great music and from across a wide array of genres. And talking of great music, we chat to another fine musician, Singer-Songwriter Molly Anne from Molly & The Moon, who hail from Gloucestershire. England. Molly has played Freshman guitars for many years.
"I first picked up a guitar when I was 10 years old. I wanted to be just like my idol Billy Joe Armstrong of Greenday and hadn’t discovered my singing voice yet. From that point I spent every moment I could between school lessons tinkling on the battered old guitars in the music block at my school and learning old punk rock covers to play with my friends. My first show was when I was about 11 or 12 and I played a handful of Greenday covers to about 10 people in a field at my local festival - I had a blast "
Q: How long have you been playing with the band and Is it always the same people or does the line up change at all ?
"Molly & The Moon is more of a concept than a set band. There’s probably about 7 of us involved in total but the main core of the group is Andy #1 (double bass, guitar, vocals and just about every other instrument you can imagine) Andy #2 (my dad, on percussion) Beth (clawhammer banjo, double bass, vocals) and myself. We have several other members including a fiddle player (Jules Miller) a drummer (Jason Titley) and a handful more collaborators that dip in and out. That’s the beauty of the moon, it goes through phases. Sometimes we’re a half moon sometimes a full moon, it’s a bit of a joke we share in the band."
Q: How does the songwriting process work and do you collaborate with other musicians?
"If I’m totally honest my songwriting process is rather erratic. I’m trying to improve my consistency and have taken lots of creative writing and songwriting courses to iron out the creases, but I’m the sort of artist that will write something breathtaking in an hour and then have months of garbage. For me it’s about inspiration - alot of my songs are inspired by travel and natural imagery, something that has been stunted by the lockdown."
Q: When did you first start using Freshman guitars ?
I bought my first Freshman when I was 15 and performing in my first serious band (Inkerman Street). It was a beautiful guitar I bought from my local music shop in Dursley, Gloucestershire and had a really sweet tone to it. The guitar I was using before I bought off a hippie at a festival so I was looking for something more serious, with the capacity to plug in and I stumbled on Freshman. I fell in love with the intimacy of the brand and felt my first little guitar really sang along with me. I still have her somewhere, gathering dust probably but I’d never sell her - she means too much. I have a new Freshman now and I’d never buy a different guitar brand. It feels like she was made for me."
Q: Do you also perform solo as well as with the band ?
"I do perform solo too, I’m due to play The Greennote in Camden as soon as life gets back to normal and that will be a solo show. I’m different on my own."
photo credit: Christian Nicel
Q: You currently have a cd out, where did you record it ?
"We record everything in Andy #1’s ‘Doghouse’ studio - a self built production studio in his garage. It’s a pretty cool place to hang out! I love spending recording evenings with Andy and the band in The Doghouse. Sometimes things go really smoothly and we get something down in just a few takes and other times it can be frustrating and we might not get a lot down. But it’s always a laugh and there’s sometimes even tequila."
Q: How are you keeping active as a musician during lockdown - Do you have to think of new ways to get your music out with the lack of gigs?
"My musicianship has definitely retreated over lockdown. I’m still gently and tentatively writing music, but more for myself to fill my heart. I felt a lot of pressure before the lockdown to always be creating FOR somebody or something - producers, the internet, our next album etc - but I feel this lockdown has allowed me the space to fall in love with music again as an act of self-love. I spend evenings in my bedroom discovering new chords, falling in love all over again with my (beautiful) Freshman guitar and scribbling down lyrics that have popped into my head. Most of it doesn’t go anywhere but it keeps me alive."
Q: What are your hopeful plans for 2021 ?
"I’ve recently moved to London and so am currently working with The Moon from afar. When lockdown is lifted I’d like to get out into the open mic scene in London and get a feel for the vibe. I love open mics and tiny, cupboard venues where the audience is right at the end of your nose. It feels so much more intimate, like everybody is really listening and in the moment with you. Other than that I’d love to get back in the studio and get down some of the tracks I’ve written over lockdown. New music on the horizon."
Q: What’s the best thing about being a musician ?
"I love the camaraderie. Back in my hometown, nearly everyone is a musician (and a bloody good one at that), so we have these raucous nights in the village hall where everyone brings an instrument and we all get singing, dancing, eating and sharing stories. That’s the best part, the community. The look in people’s eyes when they hear a lyric or a melody that speaks to their heart. The smiles and laughter and encouragement from the crowd. I could never not play music."
Q: if you could have the chance to record / perform with any other music artist, from any era, who would it be/have been and why ?
"If I could choose anyone to perform with, it would probably be Joni Mitchell or Bob Dylan. Both heroes of mine. I sometimes feel I was born in the wrong era and would give anything to watch a young Joni or Bob playing soulfully in New York in the 70s."
Freshman Guitars wish Molly & The Moon every success for the future