Bringing Bandlab to Billboard: The Moon City Masters

Billboard and Bandlab partnered to spotlight talented emerging artists looking for a big break in the industry. First up in this two-part series is The Moon City Masters. They are a neo-classic rock band with a sound deeply inspired by soul and funk music from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. After multiple stints playing in different bands, twin brothers Talor and Jordan realized they worked well together and began working under the moniker, The Moon City Masters. The band released their debut EP, The Adventures of the Moon City Masters in late 2019 and since then, they’ve been hard at work mastering songwriting and release strategies. 

Tell us about the inception of The Moon City Masters. 

Talor: We’re twin brothers and we saw our first concert at age 12. Our parents took us to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers and we instantly knew that we wanted to be musicians. Shortly after, they bought us our first guitars, and then Jordan realized he wanted to play the bass. We’ve been in a few different bands over the years and after our last one broke up, we decided to create The Moon City Masters. 

How has working together under The Moon City Masters been? 

Jordan: We fight about stupid brotherly things, but when it comes to the actual music, the voice recorder never lies. We always agree on what sounds better objectively. 

Talor: It’s been creatively amazing and the best experience we’ve had making original music. We have a drummer we play with live and another producer for another non-biased opinion in the room, but we work so well together. If you’re going to be in a band, there needs to be a united vision. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect, but the vision has to be the same. I think we are really good at helping each other shine. 


“Where You Wanna Run To” was a favorite of ours while getting to know your catalog. Tell us about the inception of that track. 

Jordan: I just started dating my partner at the time and we are both big Star Trek nerds. I came up with this melody while I was in the shower and decided to write a song about a sci-fi love adventure only limited by the rhyme scheme. 

Talor: They started dating during the COVID-19 lockdown and she was across the country, so I definitely felt those lyrics about them reuniting after the lockdown. I heard that melody instantly when I heard Taylor’s guitar riff. 

How has your music been received before and after the pandemic? 

Talor: We released our debut EP, The Adventures of the Moon City Masters, just about two months before lockdown. During the pandemic, we focused a lot on our songwriting and overall release strategy, and we have definitely seen a ton of growth since then. We’re up for better opportunities now and have more fans at our shows. We packed out our first show back at The Mercury Lounge in our hometown NYC and even opened up for the one and only Sheila E at Summer Fest in Wisconsin. 

How did you all start working with GRAMMY-nominated producer Justin Craig? How has he helped shape your sound? 

Talor: Justin Craig is my brother-in-law by way of my partner. He’s such a brilliant producer with a background in Americana, rock, indie, and so much more. He has contributed so much to our work and we love collaborating with him. We’re big fans of Justin Craig. 

Jordan: We didn’t want to work with somebody that had a strictly hard rock background. Justin’s eclectic background infuses elements from other genres into our sound and we love that about him. 

As a rock band deeply inspired by soul and funk music, tell us who you listened to growing up and who you listen to now. 

Talor: I’ve been listening to a ton of Chaka Khan and Prince recently. Obviously, we’re classic rock guys, but being from New York, we studied with some incredible jazz musicians over the years. We also really love soul and funk music.

Jordan: Of course the classic rock bands like The Who, Led Zeppelin, etc, but I’m big into Earth Wind & Fire, Marvin Gaye, and all the old Motown stuff. Somebody recently reviewed our music and compared it to The Jackson 5, which is something we never heard and it made me happy because they are a huge inspiration to us. 

How did you find this opportunity with Billboard and Bandlab? 

Talor: We submit to a ton of opportunities on Reverb Nation and Bandlab, but when I got this I was so shocked. Sometimes when you submit to big opportunities, you don’t ever think you’re going to hear back, so we were extremely excited. 

Jordan: We both send so many emails and were so stoked to hear that we would be interviewing with Billboard! 

What’s next for The Moon City Masters? 

We have a compilation album featuring everything we worked on during lockdown releasing November 4th and a European tour starting at the end of the month. 

Quincy Green