Watch Moon Hooch Discuss Overcoming Their Differences + Perform at TEDxAtlanta
Moon Hooch — a Brooklyn-based trio featuring saxophonists Mike Wilbur and Wenzi McGowan and a drummer James Muschler — released their sophomore effort, This Is Cave Music, last year. Before then, the band was busking their dance-driven mix of rock and jazz at subway stations across New York City, where they were discovered by former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty.
More recently, Moon Hooch opened and closed this year’s TEDxAtlanta conference. During their opening remarks, co-leader Wenzi McGowan discussed the band’s beginnings at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.
“This band, Moon Hooch, taught us a lot about ourselves,” McGowan said. “Mike and I used to have a very dysfunctional relationship, and it’s a miracle that the band survived all of our arguments and conflict.”
“Back in music school, we both auditioned for the same ensemble, and I dropped the class because I did not want to play with him,” he continued. “We had very different approaches to music and life and I was completely unable to look past our differences.”
However, the trio were eventually able to overcome those differences and start Moon Hooch — with the help of their studies.
“We would have really, really unpleasant emotional confrontations,” Wilbur added. “To prevent the band from breaking up, we both began studying psychology. We spent hours and hours talking about our childhoods and began to discover how old defense mechanisms and ego-based behavior patterns were causing dissonance between us.”
Watch Moon Hooch’s Ted Talk and performances in the video above as well as below.
This Is Cave Music follows Moon Hooch’s 2013 self-titled debut. They’ll play the Bowery Ballroom in New York on June 13.