“Our timing was terrible,” he says. “We're just waiting for our lease to expire.”
While the brakes were put on the Midnight Club, which couldn’t play shows because of the pandemic, Springer started making songs for sound libraries that supply tracks for movies and television shows. It was the first time that Springer, who plays guitar in the Midnight Club, found himself behind the microphone singing his own songs.
“I sold some, and it was going fine,” he says. “But then I wrote some songs, and I was like, ‘I really don’t want to give these ones away.'”
Springer's latest project, Moon Walker, started off as a way to spend endless time stuck inside, but also to open up another income stream for himself and drummer Sean McCarthy. Because Springer signs away any rights to his music when he sells it to sound libraries, he also needed a way to keep putting out the music he liked the most and wanted to continue to play.
The two-piece makes fuzzed-out ’70s-inspired, politically charged rock music with a sound akin to the White Stripes. Lyrically, the songs are confrontational and sarcastic.
“I think this is what I was always getting towards, at least in my music-making journey,” he says. “I was always meant to sound like this and look like this. … It happened very naturally in the context of the most unnatural thing ever.”
The group's already been, mistakenly, called a conservative White Stripes on at least one occasion. While the members aren't conservatives, the songs do have roots in the Jack White universe. (Springer says he traffics in sarcasm in his lyrics, and the lyrics have been misinterpreted by some.)
“I was like, I’m going to write some Jack White rip-off songs [for the sound library],” he says. “And then at some point, it started getting like, well, this isn’t a Jack White rip-off song anymore. This is a new thing, and I can’t imagine Nickelodeon wanting a song about taxing the churches.”
The band draws a lot from ’70s rock gods like Led Zeppelin, David Bowie and especially T-Rex and Marc Bolan, whose mystical lyricism he loves. (He adds that seeing Bolan’s hair style was also refreshing, because it afforded Springer the justification he needed to eschew haircuts and let his curly locks grow wild.)
“T-Rex is criminally underappreciated in America, especially in Colorado” Springer says. “When I discovered them, I was like, ‘Why has no one ever talked about this band?’ And then moving here, they are like a secondarily unappreciated band, but I had never met another T-Rex fan in Colorado. When I discovered them, my whole world blew up.”
Springer says he listened to Top 40 as a kid and didn’t find his way into ’70s rock until he started playing guitar when he was ten and his parents pulled out their record collections. He’s taken in a lot — classic rock, hard core, alternative, etc... What he liked about all those brands of rock was hearing the guitar front and center.
“I didn’t know the difference in eras,” he says. “I didn’t know, at that point, that Guns N’ Roses weren’t active at the same time as the Beatles. I just loved if I could hear that the guitar was the dominant instrument.”
Moon Walker has recorded a full-length album, Truth to Power, and written and directed a series of delightfully surreal music videos to accompany the songs, featuring, among other things, fictional prescription drugs and a wall of old televisions.
Springer’s Los Angeles lease is up in December. He’s not sure what he will do, but he admits he misses Denver, so he's probably on his way back.
“The rooms are hard to get in here,” he says of Los Angeles. “I don’t love being here, and it’s starting to feel a bit like ‘Hotel California’ with no weather changes or anything like that.”
Truth to Power dropped September 24 on all streaming platforms. For more information, visit Moon Walker online.