Off to the Moon lands in CoMo

Illinois-based band to play The Bridge August 30

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What happens when you put a PhD, professional chef, dog expert and former television reporter together? You get a band — specifically, Off to the Moon.

Before coming together in 2014, the band has gone through some changes.

Prior to performing with Off to the Moon, vocalist Alex Smith, and drummer Jay Verner, were in another band for 15 years. After the band parted ways, Verner formed Off to the Moon in 2011.

In 2014, the group parted ways with two members and needed replacements. Verner recruited former bandmate Smith, who in turn recruited another musician to add to their lineup.

The band is based in Bloomington-Normal Illinois, and plays what Smith calls “psychedelic space rock.” With influences like The Beatles and Pink Floyd, Off to the Moon’s sound is original and different.

“I don’t mean to sound cliché, but whenever we ask people what our sound is, they say that we don’t really sound like anyone else,” Smith says. “I like to write songs that play to the band’s strengths.”

According to their website, “We channel a purer era of garage band freak-outs and low-fi fuzz…You’ll hear complexity in the simplicity, a structure hidden in the noise that propels our sound into the frontier of the now.”

Smith, who moonlights as an expert on Basenjis, says, “We write really concise Beatle-esqe songs with lots of illusions and lots of word play. Those two things mixed together isn’t anywhere else in the music system.”

For years, Smith was into writing shorter, more punk rock songs. The message was clear and to the point, but he soon decided to try something new.

Explaining the sudden change in writing style, Smith says, “you can have a goal, but sometimes, the failure is better than getting to where you want to be.”

Now, he’s writing longer songs with more drawn out messages, helping play to the band’s strengths.

Off to the Moon is high energy paired with an experimental edge, helping give them their own sound.

The group will be playing at The Bridge on Aug. 30. Doors open at 8 p.m. Integrow and Downside UP will also be performing, and Smith says Off to the Moon is excited.

“We always love playing in Columbia,” Smith says.

Concert-goers should expect a good time set to the sound of Off to the Moon’s cool, unique music.

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