Gadget-centric Wheelie aims for colorful show, sound

Wheelie, pictured left to right: Eduardo Santana (drums, electronics and vocals), Michael Moon (vocals and guitar), Jason Arctica (bass and vocals). (Lisa Helfert, courtesy Wheelie)
Michael Moon talks about Wheelie

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 7:52 am

Tim Bracken, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Part concert, part performance art, Michael Moon and Eduardo Santana hope to blend music, costumes and video with their new project, Wheelie.

This is more than just a band releasing music.

Wheelie’s launch begins with their first single, “I Been Lovin'” — available starting today. The song comes across exactly as intended: catchy, fun and slightly weird. Mixed by Jerry Becker of the band, Train, the song revolves around a neo-disco drum beat, fuzz guitar, warped synth sounds, handclaps and even a little slap bass.

For the past two years, Moon (vocals and guitar) and Santana (drums, electronics) have been writing, rehearsing and seeking the perfect combination of fun music mixed with performance art. Along with bassist Jason Arctica, they hope to give fans more than just a concert or a new song to download. They want to provide an all-encompassing party-like atmosphere for each show that they present.

“We were looking for this indie-rock sound, but propelled by world and dance beats,” Moon says. “We were also looking for a really fun show. A really over-the- top Flaming Lips-inspired show.”

This kind of performance doesn’t exactly fit with the typical music venue, so Wheelie is looking to alternative venues like Gallery O on H. The art gallery in Northeast D.C. will allow the band to have control over all aspects of the show, from lighting and sound to food and drinks.

Moon says that the band is “making music for people to help them escape whatever’s going on in their day-to-day.”

Wheelie is “going for something that’s really fun and upbeat and colorful” combined with “a multimedia experience with videos, lights, costumes and just bringing a whole fun package,” he says.

The name Wheelie itself evokes a sense of playfulness.

Moon and Santana come from seemingly opposite musical backgrounds: Moon has been performing in area venues for several years with his roots-rock band, Michael Jantz & the Davenports. Santana has been in screamo bands and also draws influence from electronica and world music.

Wheelie embraces a gadget-centric culture. Moon says that the band is “hopeful about technology” when it comes to “promoting and launching a project like this on a budget.”

Forward-thinking also applies to the way they plan to release music. Wheelie will release only singles this year.

“I don’t think a lot of people are buying albums anymore,” Moon says. He wants to reach people “where they are, in terms of marketing and the consuming, and how people are listening to music.”

Wheelie will release a single each month this summer, followed by a music video for each song. Their first two performances are scheduled for Sept. 1 and Sept. 2 at Gallery O on H.

Listen to the new single:

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