It was three in the morning, Kliko Fest, Haarlem, Patronaat, The Netherlands. We’ve been walking through the backstage at least twenty times, and climbed up and down a shitload of stairs. The health app on our phone later told us we’d walked eight kilometers that night. Finally, we see someone waving to us from a balcony – a tired (and kinda sweaty) Luis from The Soft Moon was waiting for us to hang out after he just played and amazingly intense show. It was kind of strange to take a rest there on the couch, in a venue that was still bursting with energy from all the bands that played and would still go on for four more hours. That’s when we talked about contrast.

We noticed that there is a lot of contrast in everything you do and in your work, is that on purpose? You are called the Soft Moon but use loads of strobe lights, almost all of your artwork is black and white, and song titles like Die Life and Breathe the Fire don’t seem very logic together.

Of course I am aware of that, I live in a contrasting world for sure. Especially with my personality. When I’m not making music I’m a different person. I don’t really express my feelings in normal life and I kind of hide who I am, but when I make music I am completely showing everything. I’m like two different persons.

Is that something that you do really consciously?

It’s just a natural thing, I’m not even trying to have to different sides of myself. I am a Gemini so I guess that’s the twin thing that’s always there. I don’t really give a lot of thought about daily life as I just want it to happen naturally. The only time I really think about how things should be done is when I’m making music. 

I’m really conscious about how different I am on stage and that has been from the beginning. When I started playing, I realized how much it empowered me and I loved that. In my normal life I am pretty insecure and self-conscious and that totally disappears when I get on stage. I really need that one hour on stage to get myself back together as a person sometimes. It really works for me.

Do you feel like you’ve created that stage personality out of a need to empower yourself more?

Definitely. As a child I didn’t really have a chance to express myself. We didn’t talk about our emotions that much in my family and the only way to get it out is to have an outlet. It became a necessity. When I was younger, my mom didn’t support me in becoming a musician so now I have this urge to prove everyone wrong. It drove me even more in wanting to be this strong, creative, able personality that I feel like when I am on stage now.

Every time I make new music I think ‘I am going to fulfill myself now’, but it’s never enough. I always feel like I have more to say in the end. You kind of get addicted to expressing yourself because it is the only way that you learned how to do that. It feels really free to be able to do it – at least in that way – in the end. I think I’m gonna be like that for the rest of my life. It is never enough.

Did expressing yourself through music also made you better in expressing feelings in ‘real life’? Can you talk about things with your mom now?

I have never really talked about it in a serious conversation, but I think she knows how I feel, she’s a mom. Moms know. She’s come to some of my shows when I played in Los Angeles and I can tell that she can see that I am still full of turmoil and sometimes I am worried that she might feel like she messed up as a mother, seeing me scream on stage that way. But I know that she is also really proud of me. It’s crazy but I think making the sort of music that I make, made my mom feel guilty that she fucked up. Because I am such a contrast in real life and only really show my emotions on stage it’s sometimes really hard for the people that you love to be confronted with that. It’s hard to listen to it if you know that it’s sort of about you, right? But it’s honest and that is really important for me as well.

So your songs are a solution in speaking to your loved ones in a way which might be easier for you than just talking to them.

They definitely are. I never talk to my mom, but now she comes to my shows and listens to my songs and that is in some way another version of having deeper conversation with her. Because I know she really listens to it and looks at what I mean.

Would you say that you can see a process of healing and growing in your music? Are you working towards a solution in those feelings as well or is it just about expressing the moment?

I have yet to sit down with my mom to have a real talk about it. I grew up without a father and she had to raise me on her own, which was of course really hard and that always results in some struggle. It’s funny how this conversation has turned into talking about my mom, but especially in the beginning my music was in some way about her, as it was about solving things from my childhood and she played the biggest role in that. I don’t know if she thinks I am still hurting or getting better at things, but personally I think I am for sure. I am working towards fixing it.