Major Moment Open up About "One Small Step," Their Love for Linkin Park & Mental Health Awareness: "It’s a Long Road Ahead of Us, and We’re Excited to Walk It"
Music connects us. No matter your background, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity, music is one thing that will always connect all types of people, and Boston-based alt-rock band, Major Moment understands that more than most. Not only has the band itself united people from four different continents, but their latest EP, One Small Step serves as a homage to Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, an artist who, both in life and death, has managed to bring countless people together.
With One Small Step out now, Major Moment hope to continue the dialogue about mental health awareness and reaching out to listeners with their own music. With an upcoming performance at All Night Thing 3, a tribute to musicians who have lost their lives to depression or addiction, and plans to hit the road in the future, Major Moment are planning on spreading their message of hope to anyone who will listen. Get to know more about the band below and pick up One Small Step out now!
Interview by Dom Vigil
The Prelude Press: Can you tell us a little bit about Major Moment for anyone who might be hearing you for the first time?
Andrey Borzykin [vocals, guitar]: Major Moment is a unique band, in the way that it has united people from four different continents, completely different backgrounds, not because of any specific reason, except for one: we all love the music we make. It’s a band that overcomes obstacles and it may not be taking the easiest road, we’re not trying to please everyone or to fit any particular trend, movement, genre. We just do the music we love. You know, rock music is not popular nowadays, which is a shame, but that state of things played a role in why we started making it, it was like “we haven’t heard a good rock record in years, may as well make it ourselves”.
As a relatively young band, what goals did you have when you guys first started playing together and writing your first few songs? How do you feel you’ve grown since then?
It’s funny, but my long-term goals haven’t changed at all since day 1. We’ve changed A LOT. When I joined the band that later became Major Moment, about 18 months ago, it was a drastically different band with different members, a different set of skills, different potential, different ideas, etc. Finding the right people to work with was a journey, and it only made us stronger and better. Keeping in mind we’ve been playing with the current line up for only 6 months, and have released only 2 songs, every next live show is getting better, every day we get more and more positive feedback from people, make new friends, every day we try something new and learn something. It’s a long road ahead of us, and we’re excited to walk it.
This month, you're releasing your EP, One Small Step. What are you most excited for fans to hear on this release?
Living in a generation of short attention spans, single song releases and playlists, we are sincerely excited for people (even if just a few) to sit down and enjoy our record front to back, as it was meant to be heard. It’s 20-minutes long, so I think if you liked what you’ve heard from us in the past, you will like spending 20 minutes of your time going on a journey we’ve built for you. We don’t pretend it to be “The Dark Side of the Moon - 2”, but there was definitely some thought put into the order of the songs, transitions between them, etc.
It’s a life that’s 20-minutes long, 20-minutes short, so to speak. It starts with the birth of some outer world energy, you can call that music, idea, inspiration, soul, spirit; then travels to the Earth, materializes in a mortal body, takes time to realize its purpose, cires about the time lost, makes some mistakes along the way, also has some good fun moments along the way, tries to figure out what this life is all about, you know, and then the darkness comes and carries it away to where it was born… You may think it’s a bunch of ridiculous bullshit I just came up with as a desperate marketing plan, and I know I probably sound like a hipster that goes to yoga classes three times a week. I’m fine with that. I’m here to tell my story the way I see it, and then let everyone else decide what they think of it.
I’ll add and insult to an injury by saying we’re also excited about the very physical CDs we’ve made. There’s a big part of our story that’s told there, it’s a six-panel digipak with a 28-page booklet, and we’ve spent over a half a year designing it. It’s a visual part of the record, so it really matters to us. We also have beautiful cinematic lyric videos for each track. I would consider them more like a concept music videos, they definitely help to tell stories behind our songs. We’re also building a special album release interactive experience on our website. Check it out, you won’t regret, and it’s all free!
One Small Step touches on a lot of personal and vulnerable topics such as mental health, relationships and loss. Were there any stories that you knew you wanted to tell on this release?
All of them. All tracks on this record were inspired by our personal experiences, so they all mean a lot to us. We chose to put out an EP with our best songs to date, so there are no fillers.
You recently released “Before It’s Too Late” from the EP as well. Can you tell us about this song? What inspired it?
Sure. It was the first demo I started on my own, after taking a long break from music. Prior to that, I would normally take other guys’ raw ideas and would start building on them. But this is the song that actually started this very EP.
I woke up very early morning, or rather late night, in October of 2017. I was not sleeping well at all during that period, stressed out because I still couldn’t comprehend that Chester has passed away, I just left the business I was running, and it was the first time in 12 years that I was jobless for longer than a week. My anxiety was through the roof, quite frankly, I was scared and feeling insecure. I knew whatever the money I had saved won’t last long at all. Finding a job or starting another business was an option, but at that time it would totally ruin all my efforts I’ve put in this band, taking all my time away. I felt like I was constantly running late for something important. So I sat down at 3AM in my bedroom studio and thought about the state of the world we live in for some time, why do we always chase money, what do other people dream of, what dreams do I have, how to build my way towards my goals in life, what has any value in this world. And it just occurred to me that my worries and goals really mean nothing, in the greater scheme of things, the end is very predictable, and our time on this planet is relatively short. So I thought to myself “Fuck it, you know, I may as well do it NOW, start here and now, and worst case scenario, I could say I tried my best instead of running away and coming up with excuses. Better do it before it’s too late…”
So I picked up my acoustic guitar (my electric guitars were being serviced), plugged it in my Eleven Rack interface, fired up Logic X, and started playing some chords. The sound that was coming out was weird, cause it had an acoustic texture, but also some with some metallic quality to it, I guess it was because of added effects, so the rhythm reminded me of the ticking clock. I went online and found a sample of the clock ticking, added it to the intro, and I guess by then it was already obvious what this song was going to be about...
The EP is really special because it also serves as a dedication to Chester Bennington and you even recently covered Linkin Park’s “Leave Out All The Rest.” What kind of impact did Chester and Linkin Park’s music have on you, either personally or as a band? Why was it important for you to include him in this release?
Oh, it had a huge impact. Me and Sasha, we basically owe everything we are now to Chester and Linkin Park. Starting from when we both lived in Russia, 17 years ago, listening to them as teenagers, picking up their song lyrics and translating them. It was early 2000s, so I didn’t even have internet at my house at the time. So picking up a bootleg CD (at the time it was next to impossible to find any official CDs in Russia, mind you to afford one), and a dictionary, and just learning English by translating Linkin Park’s songs. As ridiculous as it sounds, this is how we’ve learnt it above the required school level. Then trying to sing it / rap it as close to the original as possible would teach us some pronunciation. So it’s obvious that their music served their role in shaping up my music preferences, and even subconsciously, some parts of our music are inspired by them. My dreams of becoming musician were also hugely inspired by listening to bands like Linkin Park, I picked up a guitar and asked my dad to teach me how to play some of their songs on his acoustic guitar. When the girl I liked dared me to sing something, I sang “Numb”, it was the first song I ever sang to a girl, I guess you can say it was also a major moment in my life. When they released their first DVD documentary, it had a bunch of funny stuff they recorded on tour, a lot of words they don’t teach you in the books, you know. Some friends of mine who also liked LP, didn’t know English that well, so I extracted English subtitles from the DVD and was translating it to Russian for them to watch later. I moved to the States inspired by the music they’ve made. I quit the senior year of a law school in Russia and just moved. It sounds like the craziest things one can do, as I’m talking about it, but at the time it was the easiest decision I’ve ever made…
Me and Sasha met only because we were both active participants of an online Russian LP-community. I already lived in Boston for 8 years, and she was travelling with an online friend of mine who was an admin of that LP fan club in Russia. I didn’t know her till then, we lived in two different cities in Russia, and then she was still living in Moscow as I was establishing my life here, and now we live together, are engaged, and she sings in my rock band… You know what I mean? That’s what kind of an influence those guys have had on our lives. We watched hundreds of hours of interviews and their live performances, read hundreds of articles about them, so at that point you start thinking of that person not only as of an important part of your life, but as a virtual family member almost. So when that person dies… you know, part of us died with him on that Thursday morning.
To pay a tribute to Chester by making our own version of “Leave Out All The Rest” was an honor and a necessity, we just had to do it, you know. Same goes for dedicating our record to his memory.
How do you hope to continue Chester’s narrative and story with this album? What do you hope listeners take away from it?
Our EP has a hashtag “#MakeChesterProud” as a tagline, it’s written in the booklet of our physical CD as well. We hope more people will start reading, watching, discovering what kind of a person Chester was. Not only he was a great musician and a phenomenal vocalist, he was also a very kind, humble, smart, loving and caring person, he wore his heart on the sleeve.
So, firstly, we hope to make him proud and continue his story by doing something he very much loved - making loud and honest rock music. We wanted to take this terrible tragedy and come up with something positive out of it. Making any sort of an art form is something I personally consider a good deed.
Secondly, remembering him as the nicest guy he was, we want to better ourselves and tell other people: “Hey, there’s no need to be dicks to each other, we’re all in this together, better not spend our only lives writing hate speeches online”.
Last, but not least, Chester was suffering from mental health issues, such as depression, it’s important to keep spreading awareness of such issues, so other people, especially artists, that are more vulnerable, educate themselves and get the help they need. We can start by going to https://www.changedirection.org/320-changes-direction/ - the fund organized by Talinda Bennington, Chester’s wife, who is a fighter and a hero, and who helped thousands of people that were affected by Chester’s death, by personally sending them messages on social media, so they don’t feel like they’re going through this alone.
With One Small Step out soon, do you have any other big plans coming up? Any shows or tour dates soon?
We’re hoping to get on a small tour shortly after the release, but have to spread out our music first, create our audiences, there has to be some demand for us to do it. We were also invited to be a part of a show called “All Night Thing 3”, which is a tribute to some of the most amazing singers of our time that lost their lives to addiction or depression, including Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Over 150 local musicians will come together to help raise money and awareness to fight these terrible diseases. 100% of the proceeds will go to NAMI-NH and Child and Family Services of New Hampshire. The first two shows were absolutely amazing, it’s 6 hours of music and it’s all for a good reason, so it’s an honor for us to be performing there. You can find out more about it here:
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?