Dirty Pixels is the new solo project of Auckland musician Ethan Moore. Formerly bassist with indie band Charlie Freak, Moore began working on Dirty Pixels music back in late-2014, putting it aside while Charlie Freak recorded and performed.
“I didn’t touch Dirty Pixels for a few years, and when Charlie Freak stopped playing together last November I started recording songs again, and then realised I could potentially do an EP.”
A four-track EP titled ‘Spacesuit’ came out in May, with Moore describing the sound as bedroom stadium pop.
“I thought that sounded pretty funny because a lot of people make bedroom songs and garage music. I’m doing the homemade thing out of necessity, but I want high production to the best of my ability. So that’s why I thought ‘bedroom stadium pop’ was a funny phrase because it’s made in the same way as most lo-fi and bedroom music is, but I was striving for a bigger grand sound.”
He says he was listening to Britpop bands including Orange Juice, Pulp, Blur and Oasis while self-recording at home. The EP really began life as a 30-second demo of what became the title track.
“It was when I wrote and started recording Spacesuit and it started coming along, that was kind of the catalyst. I got my friend Leith Towers, who is the singer in Charlie Freak and a really amazing guitar player, to come in and do the solo. I was like, ‘This is a cool sound that I’ve got, I reckon I could elaborate on this and make a full piece of songs.’ I had other songs, I had some older ones that I kind of morphed to fit the instrumentation and general sound of the EP, and I wrote some of the songs while I was recording it, but Spacesuit was the first and last song I finished.”
Translating the music into a live performance proved difficult at first, given his ambitions.
“I wanted it to be a big band with a big sound, so everyone singing in the band. And I didn’t want to play the guitar, I wanted to be able to do the tambourines and perform a little bit more. But that was quite hard at band practices where I was trying to teach everyone parts that I’d played. We pretty much replicated the EP to the best of our ability, there are a few differences, but I think it’s sounding pretty good.”
Despite being early days for Dirty Pixels, Moore sees it as a long-term project.
“I’d like to record more music. I’d like to keep releasing better singles, EPs and albums as I go. I would also just love to continue to play with other great Auckland bands and try to get into a studio and record live music. As much as I enjoyed doing it on my own, I want the sound to keep getting bigger and better.”