Like A Bird In A Cage

Tell us about yourself and your music

My name is Bowen Moreau, and I’ve been playing instruments and writing songs since I was 11 years old. I was born in West Jordan Utah, living in Salt Lake City for 7 years before moving to Portland Oregon, and eventually arriving in Grand Junction Colorado. I’m almost entirely self-taught, with the exception of performing with The School Of Rock in Portland Oregon when I was 16 and 17. I spent most of my time collecting CDs, listening to different genres, and planning for the day I would create something that is uniquely mine. I can play most instruments, but the acoustic guitar has a special place in my heart since I began with my mothers. Hers was a very special guitar to me, it was the one she played while singing “Castle On A Cloud” for me when I was very young. I was in a few metal bands when I was 15, playing rhythm guitar and singing. I remember telling them I wanted to make multiple albums of multiple genres and getting sarcastic laughter as a response. However, my love for multiple genres led me to create a sound that is uniquely my own. I’ve recorded well over 200 songs, beginning when I was 22, and plan to continue writing for as long as I live.

Talk to us more about your latest release

Turn Back Time is the first album I’ve recorded professionally and is my representation of longing for a better life. Like a bird trapped in a cage, knowing your potential, drive, passion, and desires, but feeling unable to move forward with them. Topics like regret, callousness, and loneliness are addressed often because these were the root of my troubles growing up. I knew ever since I was 11 years old that I needed to release those thoughts, but was horrified I would make music I wasn’t proud of. I took that fear and used it to refine my genre, taking inspiration from Country, Rock, Alternative, Blues, and Metal to create something uniquely mine. I wrote over 200 songs within a period of 4 years, and would only keep the songs that made me react on an emotional level. Turn Back Time is the first result, and my way of showing the world how I felt as a teenager, because to this day I still find it hard to talk about.

What inspired you to write this release?

My family and I moved around a lot in my youth. I’ve only had a handful of friends I kept close due to this and had a difficult time opening up to anyone. Coming from a divided family, even relationships with my relatives weren’t solid, and often very abusive. I barely remember anything about my childhood, and what I do remember was traumatic. Most of my long term memories I can only recall after I picked up my mother’s acoustic guitar at 11 years old. I fell in love with the stories that I could tell with simple vibrations, often locked myself in my room for hours at a time, and played until my fingers bled. Since I didn’t understand my family conflicts and hid away from feelings as much as possible, my guitar became my best friend. Certain arrangements of chords were enough to make me cry, so I dove into music and songwriting, gathering as many ideas of how to convey emotion as I could. Every genre, every instrument, all in an attempt to medicate alone. If I can make people feel with my music, then I have succeeded. Turn Back Time is an attempt to both reach out to others who might be lost in the same way I’ve been.

Describe the writing and recording process

We didn’t have a lot of money when I was young, but I had a microphone and an old PC that I would do scratch tracks on. I used it mainly for practice, allowing me to hear how I could manipulate harmonies and chords, and how other instruments could provide new emotion to simple melodies. Once I turned 22, I bought a new computer and recording software and began pushing my limits. For 4 years, I would write and record a finished song every week. I would wake up on days I had off, and sit in my room for up to 12 hours hooked on an idea, and I loved it. This was when I began understanding how vast, yet doable songwriting could be. Some songs I would just mess around with my guitar until I had a complete thought to refine, and others I would get inspiration randomly, having to stop what I’m doing and sing into my phone. Some songs don’t end up finishing until I dig through those old recordings, and realize I thought of the perfect melody years beforehand. To this day I haven’t cared to make my demos sound good, but instead to lay the outline for what I know it can become. Having a local professional studio makes the process so much fun because this is the first time I’ve worked with another musician professionally.

Any plans to release a video?

Any plans to hit the road?

I currently haven’t found a group of musicians to tour/play locally with. Sadly. I’m very motivated to find people with a passion for music, who I can create with.

As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?

A genre that is mine. I don’t hold any expectations on my music other than the ability to make someone feel. I write everything, so my music is essentially the sounds of my thoughts and the grip of my emotions. I only keep the songs that either make me cry, scream or (in rare cases) smile. Music saved my life growing up, so as long as people are given the chance to empathize, I have succeeded as a musician.

Who have you been listening to lately?

I’ve been diving a lot into Folk, Bluegrass, and Soul. Some of the bluegrass bands have a certain raw sound that I would eventually love to master. Single consistent bass beats can really get my blood pumping, especially with some well-written banjo. Soul, however, is a must for future albums I create. The way their piano and vocal harmonies hit gives me chills. If I can find inspiration from some of those bands it would bring me closer to the genre I desire.

Who are your biggest influences?

Mumford and Sons are probably my biggest influence. Zac Brown Band, Rise Against, Metallica, My Chemical Romance, Eric Church, Bring Me The Horizon, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and HIM would be all close ties. I love them all equally, even though they all are very different genres. The different elements they all bring to the table are all inspirations I draw from.

Tell us about your passions

I want to help people, I don’t care how. I spend time volunteering at our local soup kitchen cooking and distributing food, but I want to eventually have my music help a lot more people. As a kid, I wanted to save up money and invest in research to eventually help kids with depression and anxiety, and still hold onto that dream. Another passion is to collect as many instruments as possible, having all the unique sounds at my disposal.

What else is happening next in your world?

I’m focusing on my next album release. All of the songs are already written, and I will start professional recording in late September 2020. This album is going to be a bit different than the last, exploring the feelings related to anger, indecision, and the anxiety of choice. This album will be more hard rock and sounds like making a deal with the devil.

Thanks for an awesome interview, Bowen Moreau

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