This week’s we’re shining the Meet The Band spotlight on Moonlight Prophecy. The progressive/thrash/neoclassical project is the brainchild of Lawrence Wallace. Their debut EP is Eternal Oblivion.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Moonlight Prophecy.
Lawrence Wallace: It’s basically the renamed project of Lawrences Creation. It was my solo project that I did on my own outside of the band that I was in. I wrote all the music for it, recorded and designed all the art and everything on my own. I was aiming for an instrumental shred project then, but now I’m leaning more toward thrash while still trying to keep it somewhat the same.
I had to change the name due to some stupid Facebook/Reverbnation thing that happened where I couldn’t delete an old mailing list with the wrong email attached to it. I just decided to start over in a way under a new title.
Describe the songwriting and recording process for Eternal Oblivion.
I almost always do it the same every time. I either come up with cool guitar riffs and then lay down drums to a metronome and match them up or lay the drums down first and try to make cool riffs over top of that. I am often done writing a song after I just got done recording the rough draft of it. So I just go back through it again and rerecord guitars to make the thicker.
How would you describe the album’s style/sound?
Dark, heavy and fast. I was aiming for a semi-mystical gothic style with the art while matching it up with dark heavy riffs, thrash, and a good bit of shredding on guitar. I wanted a stronger lead tone, but that’s hard to find so I did the best with what I had. I’m over all satisfied with it, though.
The EP has two instrumentals and one song with vocals. When you record a full-length do you plan on a similar ratio?
Yes, most likely half and half. I have to hire vocalists, or have friends do them, and it can be much harder to do than the instrumentals. Not to mention I am used to writing instrumentals a lot more than vocal songs, but I know that people love vocals. My only issue with them is that I have to work with other people and it takes longer than expected sometimes. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right candidate for certain songs, also. I’m thinking maybe 6-4 or 5-5 ratio.
What are the pros and cons of being a one-man project?
The pros are great. The entire creative process is up to me, I’m in complete control of every instrument, all album art, all revenue that comes in, any feedback goes right to me and I can take full credit for everything.
There aren’t many cons, but I would say two of them that stick out would be the fact that I have to hire vocalists sometimes if I want a vocal track and just hope that they do it well. Also going out and playing live (if I choose to) is limited mostly to open mic nights or parties mainly because its just me with a guitar and a backing track, with no vocals or anything else.
Will Moonlight Prophecy be only a studio project, or do you have plans to put a band together for live shows?
Mainly just a studio project, but I will occasionally play parties for friends, do open mic nights for fun once in a while, and stuff like that. Actual bookings I most likely will not do, unless something changes in the future.
Would you like to sign with a label, or do you prefer the DIY route?
I don’t really want to deal with labels now. I may change my mind some time down the road, but I don’t think very many of them can do anything that I can’t do for myself alone. Maybe one day I’ll consider it, though.
What other projects are you currently involved in?
A south Jersey cover band called Chasing Squirrels is the only other current project. We just cover a lot of rock songs on the radio, and sometimes old Testament and Metallica songs also down in the Atlantic City area.
How did you get started in music?
Me and my brother went to a music store for guitar lessons and I was going to play piano. It turned out that he wasn’t interested in guitar and I got bored with piano so I decided to play guitar instead. To me, all the real bands out there back then seemed like magicians.
I just couldn’t understand how music could be played on the guitar because it seemed so foreign to me at the time. I progressed pretty fast though and played every day so once I started being able to play, I started copying what I heard others do and it was really fun. I joined my first band a few months later. I was about 16 back then.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Kirk Hammett from Metallica mainly, and also Ozzy’s guitarists. Alex Skolnick from Testament was also a big influence.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Nothing specific at this point in time. I’m always checking out new stuff though, just nothing lately has caught my attention yet.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
I’m about to start writing for a full length here soon, I don’t have any ideas for a theme yet, though. I will post demo tracks of new songs on my YouTube channel throughout the time I record the new CD as well for anyone interested. You can find me on Bandcamp and Weebly.
(interview published April 22, 2017)