Platinum Moon features the talent of singer Ava Anduze, drummer Ethan Grossman, bassist Calvin Strothenke, pianist and guitarist Joseph Klettner and guitarist and violinist Anton Klettner. They’ve won Connecticut’s Got Talent, they’ve performed at the Mazzstock festival and they’ve released two albums of original music.
They’re one of four bands competing this Saturday at Pound Ridge’s Battle of the Bands during Proud Day. The winner earns a spot in this fall’s Harvest Fest musical lineup. We sat down with Ava, Ethan and Joseph of Platinum Moon to discuss rock, songwriting and “21 Jump Street”.
Katonah Connect: How would you categorize your genre of music?
Ava Anduze: Modern rock influenced by classic rock, with a little bit of alternative and blues influences.
KC: Who or what has inspired your music?
Joseph Klettner: I was most inspired to take up music from my mom because she played the piano. With piano I was more classically trained, but my dad was the one who introduced me to rock music and got me started with that.
Ethan Grosman: David Grohl and Taylor Hawkins. I’m also a very big blues guy, and I’ve been very into the harder side of rock lately.
AA: I grew up listening to a heavy combination of music. My parents started me on three different albums from Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and Dido. I memorized those albums at age three and I grew this intense variety in my head.
KC: If you could cover one artist or song that would surprise your fans, who would that be?
JK: Bishop Briggs.
AA: Our fans do expect a lot of rock out of us – Greta Van Fleet, Dorothy, Halestorm. Bishop Briggs has a very powerful voice, but she’s also very pop influenced.
KC: How would you describe the band dynamics?
AA: We act like siblings who mess around with each other and make fun of each other, but we love each other. Or we’re like a stupid comedy movie.
KC: Which movie?
AA: Like a “21 Jump Street” kind of thing.
KC: Who writes the songs?
AA: I’m a songwriting major in school, so I’m constantly throwing songs at them. Anton and Joey also write together, so Anton will always throw songs at the band and then Ethan throws in ideas here and there.
EG: It’s a collaborative effort; I get to write all the drum parts.
KC: What is your process for writing songs?
EG: Chaos – it’s probably the most chaotic thing you’ve ever seen.
AA: How anything organized ever comes out of it, I will never know.
KC: What is your most memorable performance?
AA: When we won Connecticut’s Got Talent, I would say that was a very memorable one. Also when we opened for the band 10 Years. That was a huge stepping stone for us because we were like, “Oh my gosh, this is a cool band, we could become them one day!”
KC: What do you see for the future of Platinum Moon?
EG: My hopes and dreams are that we take off and do well and hit the top of the charts and all that. Ideally, for myself, I want to be a session musician and be on the road as much as possible, playing as much as humanly possible.
AA: For the band, I’d want to get as big as we can get in terms of stages. The band is top priority, but for me, I would also love to continue singing and songwriting for other artists.
JK: Playing at more festivals would be cool. My favorite part of all this is sharing our music with other people, and at festivals there’s a lot of people who don’t always follow us around to every gig, so we get a lot of new people to join our fan base.
KC: What are you feeling connected to?
AA: Our band. I love these guys more than anything. When I have days when I’m feeling crappy, I’ll walk into rehearsal and we’ll say something stupid and it just brightens the rest of my day. They’re like my brothers
EG: I’m really into the new Three Days Grace album, “Explosions”.
JK: Lately, when I’m home alone, I’ll just go to the piano and play anything that comes to mind. I never used to do that, but I’ve been doing it a lot recently and it’s been really therapeutic.