Mr. Moonshine
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Mr. Moonshine

Long Beach, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Long Beach, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Art Rock




"Long Beach’s Mr. Moonshine celebrates debut album with local shows"

They formed while performing in a rock opera and wrote their first song after a night out drinking absinthe.

Now, after recording throughout several local studios, Long Beach alt-rock band Mr. Moonshine is releasing its self-titled debut album March 3 with a concert at Fingerprints.

That show will be preceded by a performance at Fern’s, also in Long Beach, on Friday by the four-piece band made up of brothers Anthony (bass, guitar) and Andrew Pedroza (synthesizer), who also switch off on lead vocals; Daysmel Muniz on guitar; and Ternell Cooksey on drums.

The album is a collection of moody tunes driven by the band’s self-described “theatrical” nature.

“It’s a dark and driving record. It doesn’t really let up on the gas pedal too often,” said Long Beach music producer Brian Frederick, who produced the album. “The songs are not really fast, but they have a lot of mass to them.”

The band formed in 2012 when the brothers and Muniz were performing in a rock opera, “LOLPERA,” with a libretto by Andrew Pedroza, for two weeks at the New York Fringe Festival. (Prior to the New York run, the show premiered at the Garage Theatre in Long Beach and was presented at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.) The trio went out for a night and ended up at an absinthe bar.

The night inspired their first song, called “Comfort Me with Absinthe,” which has a sultry feel mixed with jazz melodies. The band refers to the song as its sonic flagship.

“It was interesting. It was the first time a lot of us had tried absinthe and I just remember feeling very euphoric,” Anthony Pedroza said.

After returning from New York, the band quickly began playing in the area at events like O.C. Pride, Long Beach Pride, the Queen Mary’s Halloween-themed Dark Harbor and Long Beach Zombie Walk.

“When you see them live there is a very strong performance that comes through,” Frederick said. “When you see them, you will remember them.”

Besides “Comfort Me with Absinthe,” another standout song on the album is “Bleed for Me,” which exemplifies the band’s darker side since it takes lines from the vampire series “True Blood.”

The band also was influenced by dark fairy tales in songs like “Wolves on Parade,” an ambient tune that Andrew Pedroza described as a having a film noir type of feeling.

“It’s kind of a back and forth between ‘Do I want you or do I not,’ ” he said. “One theme that is in our album ‘Mr. Moonshine’ is desire, and ‘Wolves on Parade’ definitely expresses that feeling of desire and knowing it’s not OK to execute it sometimes.”

Since the band’s first song was inspired by a potent drink, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume the name Mr. Moonshine is in honor of another strong drink, which would be fitting for a dark theatrical band.

But that’s not the case. In fact, the name has a much more innocent origin.

It was inspired by Anthony Pedroza’s son, who was 2 years old at the time and kept repeating a nursery rhyme that mentioned something about a Mr. Moon Shadow, he recalled.

“We changed the shadow to shine and that’s how we got our name,” he said. - Richard Guzman Long Beach PT

"Los Angeles band Mr. Moonshine prepares to release debut album March 3"

Los Angeles based alternative rock band Mr. Moonshine are about to announce themselves to music fans with the release of their self-titled debut record next week.

The twelve-track album includes the single "Comfort Me With Absinthe," about which guitarist Daysmel Muniz told AXS, "After a euphoric night at an absinthe bar, we wrote our first song, 'Comfort Me With Absinthe,' based on that night.

"This is quite your Frankenstein kind of album," added vocalist, guitarist and bassist Anthony Pedroza. "The recording process was frantic, scary, and very much a sink or swim mindset. The album has a lot of insanity and hope within its molecules, and if you listen closely you can hear us crying in some of the tracks."

The band, whose other songs include "Bleed for Me" and "Wolves on Parade," consists of Anthony, his brother Andrew on vocals and synth, Daysmel and drummer Ternell Cooksey. They formed in 2012 while the former three were performing in Andrew's rock opera "LOLPERA" in New York City, and recorded their album at various studios in Long Beach, finishing it in early December.

Previously, you may have seen Mr. Moonshine bringing their dark and theatrical sound to unique events across Southern California, including Long Beach's annual Zombie Walk, Queen Mary's Dark Harbor, and both OC Pride and Long Beach Pride. Andrew told us that their live performances "aren’t afraid to get a little spooky, weird and sexy all at once."

In a similar vein, the band describes their upcoming freshman effort as "an album that dances with the ebb and flow, or yin and yang, of light and darkness."

"It’s a dark and driving record. It doesn’t really let up on the gas pedal too often," album producer Brian Frederick told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. "The songs are not really fast, but they have a lot of mass to them."

To accompany the release of the record, Mr. Moonshine have unveiled a new logo on their Facebook page, and booked several upcoming tour dates. Their schedule includes a record release show at Fingerprints Music in Long Beach on March 3 (which is free to the public), a performance at the House of Blues in Anaheim on March 6, and visiting the Silverlake Lounge in Los Angeles on March 23. - Brittany Frederick AXS

"Mr. Moonshine Provides A Playground for Loveable Freaks in Debut"

On their debut album, slated to drop March 3, the four piece alternative rock band, Mr. Moonshine, has cast a wide net proving that they have a handle on anything from hard rock anthems to the Vaudevillian obscure. Over the course of 12 tracks, they show they have the ability to paint in many styles. Think circa ‘80’s Red Hot Chili Peppers meet Metallica, and then go to a rodeo to down some ‘shrooms. Well, here it is; gooey, glowing swirls of melody and noise, lyrics and sounds worth waiting for.

Mr. Moonshine hails from Long Beach, California. If you visit the City of Long Beach tourist information or visitor sites online, you’ll find they describe their town as “one giant playground located right in the heart of Southern California,” citing Disneyland—(a mere 25.3 miles away) and Universal Studios (32.9 miles or 1.5 hours) as examples of the playful atmosphere. For those who are familiar with Long Beach, it is better known for its busy ports, and large oil industry with wells located both underground and offshore. It suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the entire United States with water quality to match. Palm trees and refineries dot the skyline; needles and dead seagulls awash on the sand. It is a backdrop of industry struggling for survival and relevance in the age of technology. If music can evoke a mood of an environment from which it springs, (ie: Nirvana/Seattle, Country/Nashville), then it is appropriately fitting that the oddly dark and theatrical sound of Mr. Moonshine would spring from a backdrop, such as Long Beach.
The album kicks off with My Left Hand; a tune of very fine, clean and detailed sound; that is haunting and lands somewhere between Holy Diver and Enter Sandman. It has a distinctly metal sound, without the metal; punctuated with crunching riffs and great lyrics.

‘You checked the locks twice/You’re not watching closely/Do you trust what you see/Is this what it appears to be?’

The distilled spirit, Absinthe, has a well-documented history of possessing psychoactive properties, due to the chemical compound thujone. Throughout time, many artistic sorts were known as famous Absinthe Drinkers; Mark Twain, Aleister Crowley, Oscar Wilde, Vincent Van Gogh and Marilyn Manson; now joined by Mr. Moonshine. A sonic standout track on the album is Comfort Me With Absinthe. This theatrical creation of mood music, housed in slickness and melancholy, came about ‘after a euphoric night at the Absinthe Bar (William Barnacle Tavern in the Lower East Side of New York City),’says guitarist Daysmel Muniz. It was the first song they wrote, and you can practically see animated, dancing ghouls—ala Tim Burton-- in your mind’s eye, when the first note drops.

‘One drop of green and I’m dreaming/Please take a seat next to me on the ceiling/ The green faerie plays/While I daze at the Chessboard.’

Scary People is mesmerizing in its build; from light to dark; nuances of roiling energy, shimmering drums against a widescreen Goth sense of humor, ultimately a mind bending ride.

‘Orion’s got a new friend sitting in the front seat/On the way to school where the kids are happy/Dressed in black/Now the kids not sure anymore/The scary people are scared/Because they can’t see.'

The closing track, Bend or Break, is a highlight; music that would sit snugly on any radio playlist alongside Thom Yorke, The Verve or Kings of Leon. Even here, in what could easily be their most radio friendly pop tune, they never lose their unique sense of dramatic flair, with horns exquisitely melting in the groundwork and hook heavy lyrics that are as catchy as hell.

‘So we drove into the night/Until the stars were the only light/That we could see/You have to bend or break/You have to bend or break/We all know that you won’t.’

Every detail of the project is carefully orchestrated with intent, including the cover art. The disc itself portrays the sun—or is it the moon—drinking from a bottle of Absinthe, while the digipack has a minimalistic stylized surreal Gothic scene, etched hands, wolves in trees. One thing that often goes amiss in modern day packaging are liner notes; however, Mr. Moonshine does not disappoint here either.

Ultimately, Mr. Moonshine is a playground of the extremes, instrumentally and lyrically; Yin/Yan, Light/Dark. Odd, intriguing tools of the trade, that makes for an unstoppable musical creation, which leaves you longing for a little more. This quirky quartet did much more than get a little lucky on their debut, they created a monster with a heartbeat. - Heather Jacks The Noise Beneath the Apple


Now here is a bit of a different sounding album. There is quite a bit going on throughout the album in forms of different genres and especially sounds. The album is a cross around alternative, folk and all the way down to a bit of pop as well. The Vocals standout as one of the many different sounding arrangements throughout the album. They seem to add a gleam of despair to a couple of songs. They almost put and undertone with the lyrics comparing to the happier sounding guitars.

After my first listen through the album “Scary People” was one of the first songs on the album that stood out from the others. The vocals take a couple of different approaches throughout its duration. The gloomy side of the vocals start the song off but they do change to a happier setting as the song progresses. The sounds of the Bass guitar and drums signal out toe tapper of a beat as the electric guitar is layered on as adding a noise effect to the song. The acoustic guitar that is being played reminded me instantly of the Tragically Hip setting up a few songs of theirs. The ambient sound that the layered on noise adds to the song actually works within the song throughout and I tended to just focus in on the sounds periodically throughout the song.

If you want to listen to a different lyrical song then you have to check out “Cover Me With Absinthe”. The song definitely has a few Gypsy qualities to it.

“Zelda” adds in the pop flavour and element into the song. The opening guitar solo instantly brings out the pop flavour in the song. The vocals also surprised me a bit as well as I listened to the song for the first time. I was expecting the same low key vocals but in this song they are turned around and have a more cheerful sound. I could see this song making a college/university radio push, as the song does makes strides into a Indie Rock sound.

As “Post Armegeddon” begins to play, I would have swore that I was about to hear a slower and tamed down cover of Gary Glitters Rock and roll part 2. - KM Reviewa

"Mr. Moonshine make theatrical debut with self-titled release"

Long Beach, Calif.-based newcomers Mr. Moonshine have made quite a first impression on their self-titled debut. It’s an overtly theatrical collection of alternative rock tunes, which comes as little surprise when you consider the band came together when three of its four members (brothers Anthony and Andrew Pedroza and Daysmel Muniz) were in the Big Apple performing the rock opera “Lolpera.”

Mr. Moonshine CDWith the Pedroza brothers handling vocal duties throughout, Mr. Moonshine have plenty of potential. Set highlight “Comfort Me With Absinthe” is terrific — and the first song the band wrote together — and the guys also score with keepers “My Left Hand,” “Message in Green Glass,” “Zelda,” “Wolves on Parade” and “Bend or Break.”

They’ve built a solid reputation touring throughout Southern California, even landing a residency at the House of Blues Anaheim each month. Hopefully they’ll bring their road show to the Pittsburgh region in the very near future. (Jeffrey Sisk) - Jeffrey Sisk

"Mr. Moonshine Self Titled"

Mr. Moonshine is a band from Long Beach, California that boasts at least two different personalities, both of which share time on the self-titled album, ‘Mr. Moonshine.’ Two parts Pedroza, one part Muniz, one part Cooksey, this four-piece alternative rock band makes an intoxicating concoction of sounds that are sure to leave you buzzing about them. Anthony sings, plays bass and guitar, while his brother Andrew sings and plays synth. Daysmel’s guitar work and Ternell’s drumming add flavor to this high-proof production.

Now, some people say that I drink too much. I tell them that it all depends how much is left in the bottle. Having said that, this band credits the inspiration behind the first song they wrote together to an evening spent “dancing with the green fairy” at an absinthe bar. Whatever forces are at work here, the end result is an album that plays well front to back without leaving you with a nagging hangover. As previously mentioned, it does, however, leave you wondering who Mr. Moonshine really is.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other; this album contains songs that are downright excellent, “My Left Hand” for example, track one. This song has multiple complimentary melodies mixing back and forth from left to right, a stiff drum beat, and a subtle, distorted bass line that set the mood for the brothers to sing through. “Scary People,” track two, is also good. Then it’s as if some other personality emerges for the next five songs. They are not bad; it’s just a noticeable departure of tone and style. Then, as if it never happened, the album finishes very strong with “Post Armageddon,” “Wolves on Parade,” “Bleed for Me,” and “Luminaire.” This is my obvious list of favorites on the disc.

While the band has created something very good here, I’d like to hear them refine their direction a bit. If they could further distill out some of the impurities, what would remain in the pot could still be so potent. Nonetheless, this is very good for their first batch. I raise my glass and toast to a job well done. Salud! Mr. Moonshine. - Dan Chipowski Innocent Words


Mr. Moonshine -Self Titled LP
1. My Left Hand
2. Scary People
3. Messages
4. Comfort Me With Absinthe
5. Cookie Dog
6. Message in Green Glass
7. Zelda
8. Post Armageddon
9. Wolves on Parade
10. Bleed For Me
11. Luminaire
12. Bend Or Break



Mr. Moonshine is a 4-piece alternative rock band from Long Beach, California with a fearlessness to explore the bizarre. Brothers Anthony Pedroza (vocals, bass, guitar) and Andrew Pedroza (vocals, synth), Daysmel Muniz (guitar), and Ternell Cooksey (drums) embrace the often-uncharted territories of music, which lends itself to the band’s alluringly dark sound and theatrical mentality.  

Mr. Moonshine formed in the summer of 2012 while Anthony, Andrew and Daysmel were in New York City performing the rock opera, LOLPERA, which Andrew wrote. LOLPERA ran for two weeks at the Lower East Side’s Theatre 80, which is also home to former Prohibition speakeasy and now absinthe specialist, William Barnacle Tavern. “After a euphoric night at the absinthe bar, we wrote our first song, ‘Comfort Me With Absinthe,’ based on that night,” says Daysmel.

“Comfort Me With Absinthe” is nestled among 11 other moody tracks on Mr. Moonshine's self-titled debut album, released March 3, 2015. Aside from it being their first song, “Comfort Me With Absinthe” is truly Mr. Moonshine’s sonic flagship -- a clean, mysterious, beautiful sound that hints at the band’s inherently theatrical nature.
The combination of brothers Andrew and Anthony’s contrasting yet complimentary vocals act as the bait that strongly yet carefully pull the listener through a conceptual soundscape of textural and emotional instrumentation.

“This is quite your Frankenstein kind of album,” says Anthony. Mr. Moonshine was recorded throughout Long Beach, California at LBCC Studio B, The Compound, and 3PT Studios. Additional tracking was done at the band’s studio in Santa Ana, CA and Anthony’s home in Corona, CA. The album was produced by Mr. Moonshine, Eric Ross, Brian Frederick, and Antoine Arvizu, and mastered by Brian Frederick.

The band’s fearlessness carries through to their general attitude of openness and honesty. “The recording process was frantic, scary, and very much a sink or swim mindset,” says Andrew. “The album has a lot of insanity and hope within its molecules, and if you listen closely you can hear us crying in some of the tracks,” he says with a wink. Ultimately though, as the last track “Bend Or Break” suggests, the listener is presented with an album that dances with the ebb and flow, or yin and yang, of light and darkness.

Mr. Moonshine is quickly becoming a Southern California favorite, having played countless festivals and events such as the OC Pride, Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, Long Beach’s Zombie Walk, and Long Beach Pride, where they covered the entire soundtrack of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, costumed in drag. Mr. Moonshine kicks off 2015 with a residency at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA and shows throughout Long Beach and Los Angeles’ Silverlake neighborhood. Fans can expect highly energetic performances that, as Andrew says, “aren’t afraid to get a little spooky, weird and sexy all at once.”

Band Members