Q+A:5 More minutes with Cujo Moon

It was just over a year ago that indie artist Cujo Moon arrived on our radar with the heartfelt single, ‘Watch You Shine’ taken from the Bridges II EP. At the time, we sat down for an exclusive interview with Trevor as he took us through his creative process and highlighted the importance music had throughout his life. We’re happy to say that the artist has returned once more, this time bringing with him the recently released single, ‘In The Stars’ which is taken from his next upcoming EP, Horizons (slated for release on the 3rd of June). Naturally, we were eager to find out what Cujo Moon has been up to over the past year and dig a little deeper into some of those more philosophical questions he left us with in the last interview. Catch it all below:

Stream / Download: ‘In The Stars’

Welcome back! Tell us about your adventures over the last year?

Hey, it’s good to be back! So, I released an EP called ‘Tides’ last August after the ‘Bridges II’ EP we spoke about earlier that year. That went well and afterwards I immediately started writing/demoing new songs. I ended up spending more time writing than I anticipated so the first single of the Horizons EP didn’t release until March of this year. All in all, life has been a bit hectic but I’m finding ways to spend more time with music when I can. I am actually taking a hiatus from teaching guitar lessons in order to start working on the 5th EP or Album (maybe a full-length this time??). Teaching has been a huge part of my life since I was 15 years old and I’m really excited to take a step back and see if I can go into music full-time.

You’ve been open with discussing depression, anxiety and mental health, and the role music has played in supporting you during these difficult times. Tell us how you feel the music industry could continue to provide support to others in similar positions?

Yes, for sure! I think it’s important to be transparent. That being said, I’ve had a difficult time with social media because the platform itself makes me feel awkward. I’m slowly getting better about being ‘myself’ on social media but I definitely want to make an effort to post more videos talking about mental health and the struggles I’ve had with it over the years.

In regards to the industry, I think there are a lot of good things happening. I saw an ad for an app recently that encourages someone to listen to a certain song in order to help their current mental state. I think depending on how that’s executed, it could be a very powerful thing. Encouraging people to experience the power of music and how it can help them through a tough time is very important. Not everyone is given this knowledge by a family member or friend, so I guess sometimes it has to be suggested. It was always a part of my life so it’s hard to understand how anyone DOESN’T use music as therapy, but I think it’s more common than I might realize.

I also see more and more artists talking openly about mental health and their own struggles. This is probably the most powerful way the music industry can make a change on this front. We need more and more artists and people in general speaking out. To NOT feel alone is probably the most important thing when you are in the thick of it. I often thought I was the only one going through what I was dealing with mentally but once I found a community of similar people, I immediately began to heal.

Your latest single, ‘In The Stars’ is about the jaded feeling of growing older. What steps do you take to counteract this feeling?

Ooh, this is a tough one that I’m currently figuring out for myself. I think when I was younger I really thought I would be different from the people in my life who were older. And to some extent I am, but not in all the ways I thought. I guess life has a way of sweeping the rug out from under your feet, and as it starts happening to you, it becomes easier to understand why people become the way they do when they get ‘older.’

Lifestyle habits, belief systems, career paths, and many other aspects of the human experience become more and more ingrained. We often become shells of our younger selves moving through a world that we were never prepared for. And with this often comes various degrees of regret, resentment, numbness, desperation, bitterness and so on.

I think the best thing we can do is make sure to keep tapping into some habit, activity, mindset, etc that we loved/had when we were young (that’s what my song Young Dreams is about). Even if you didn’t get to where you wanted to be in life, you can usually still take some time to enjoy hobbies or passions that make you more present and increase your sense of wellbeing. Easier said than done, but we have to try. In my personal opinion, this is the very reason I think our approach to schooling is completely flawed… but that’s for another interview.

The single is taken from your upcoming EP, Horizons. Is there a message you’d like your fans to take away from the EP?

Sure! I guess ‘worry less, live more, find/focus on what/who is truly important in your life, and forgive yourself so you can learn from past mistakes.’ I think the EP is a reflection on my younger subconscious expectations for life coming to the surface and being dissolved little by little over the years. Again, it’s that idea of growing older and being a bit let down by life, but then realizing it’s okay and you can still be happy and active in your day to day situation.

When we last spoke, you’d only played one solo show as Cujo Moon due to the pandemic. Have you had any more shows since then?

The Non-Existent Tour is still going strong! Haha but really, I want to start playing out more over the next couple of years but writing and recording are where my heart is at for the moment. I think it will happen when it’s the right time but I’m not going to force it. I’d rather have a stronger catalog to pull from before I divert my attention to the live scene. However, there is nothing more invigorating than playing live! I truly love it once I’m on stage so it’s definitely coming sooner than later.

Tell us about your “Diva Dog” Sadie and how she earned such an entertaining title

Great question with endless answers! She is a pit mix who’s just the most loving high energy dog you’ve ever met but also can be completely vicious and over the top (mostly toward other dogs). She was a stray off of the streets so I don’t know what happened in the first 9 months of her life but she’s always been this way.

As for the diva part, here are some things… If we are about to go on a walk (what she lives for) and it has just rained, she won’t go because she doesn’t like getting her feet wet. If I’m walking her and I turn in a direction she doesn’t want to go, she just plants her feet and won’t move until I go the direction SHE wants to go (this is happening more and more as she gets older). If I’m recording, she snores even if she’s not asleep because she needs more attention. If it’s cold out, she needs a jacket put on her. When I hug anyone, she comes running to jump up because she wants the hug too. She basically just lives the most leisurely modern dog life ever and has gotten very accustomed to being treated like the human she is.

Looking ahead, what do you have planned for the rest of the year?

Well, I’m hoping to start rolling out another EP or album! I may release some acoustic versions of certain songs and also more live videos. I also have some collaborations in the works with some of my friends so we’ll see where that goes. I’m continuing to pitch music to TV/Film for myself and about 17 other artists via my licensing company One Sun. It’s mostly indie artists across various genres, many of which are friends of mine. This is ultimately how I landed the NBC placement earlier this year so I’m hoping to keep that momentum rolling. All in all, just trying to write and record better music and lay a foundation that supports me to keep making music over the next several decades.

One last thought to leave with your listeners?

‘Don’t look up!’ Haha, but for real, that’s such a silly/funny movie if you haven’t seen it. Go watch that and then over the next several days watch the Joe Rogan Podcasts with David Fravor, Bob Lazar, Travis Walton, and Randall Carlson… regardless of what you believe, it’s a really interesting headspace to live in for a few days. That’s all I’ll say about that 🙂

And more importantly, thank you for listening to and supporting my music. It really does mean a lot to me when I hear from people out there connecting with the tunes. So yea… Cheers and much love!

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     Image credit: Rachel Deeb

By Sarah Britton