InterviewsSpecial Features

Emily Moore

Emily Moore


Artists Worked With: Fun., Nate Ruess, X Ambassadors, Børns, Ella Vos, KT Tunstall, Charli XCX, Hailee Steinfeld, Kesha, Wrabel

Emily Moore, Instagram: @emilymooreband

FEMMUSIC: How did you become involved in music?

EM: For as long as I can remember I have been interested in music, although it takes different forms throughout my life. My dad is an amazing blues guitarist and singer songwriter so I always remember music being an important part of our house. As a kid, there were always times throughout the day where I was told to “Leave your dad alone, he’s writing.” I’m not sure I thought much of it at the time, but now I finally understand! The time and space alone to create is so important. I started playing piano around 8 years old but once I discovered guitar around 13 years old (and the rollercoaster of emotions that come with being a young teenage girl) I started writing music. Writing and singing have always been a creative outlet for me, a way to get a sea of thoughts out of my head and into the real world. I will admit that now, as a professional touring musician playing other people’s songs, it’s harder to find the time to write. It’s a goal of mine this year to make the time because I believe it is so vital to have a creative outlet in life.   

FEMMUSIC:  Can you describe your songwriting technique? How does that change with a band vs solo? 

EM: I’ve always loved playing in bands. Honestly, my favorite part about playing music is the connection to the other people in the room whether it’s interacting with the people on stage around me or figuring out parts in a rehearsal space. That’s easily the most rewarding part of it for me. However, I’ve always found it easier to write on my own. That probably has a lot to do with feeling self conscious coming up with ideas around other people (another goal of mine for the year!). Turning your thoughts into a song is so personal and I’m still navigating how to do that in a room full of people. I’m so envious of myself as a teenager cranking out 3 songs a day. It felt so easy back then and I can only assume that was because it WAS easy! I never second guessed my ideas, never wondered what someone would think of them and definitely never worried about making money from them. I would sit down on my bedroom floor with a guitar and whatever feeling was weighing on me and just… write a song. These days, the process is slower but hasn’t changed much. I still write music, vocals and words all at the same time. It’s more like learning a song in my head than writing it.

FEMMUSIC: What has been your biggest challenge touring?

EM: The biggest challenge in touring is finding balance. That applies across the board. Finding balance between my home life and road life, playing music and writing music, alone time and social time and balance between being present and planning for the future. I always felt like touring musicians had an advantage in life because we have to learn early on how to get a long with a lot of people in a small 15 passenger van without breaks from each other for months at a time! We get to know more people on an intimate level than a lot of other professions. I’ve discovered the thing that helps me stay sane and healthy on the road is making sure to find that balance. I truly love the people I tour with (I’ve been lucky in that way) and I am always going to want to hang out with them but learning to take time to myself whether it’s going for a walk, going to bed early or reading a book, is crucial for my health.

FEMMUSIC: How much studio work to you do? 

Emily Moore


EM: I haven’t done much studio work. I have always leaned more towards the live aspect of music. I really enjoy the thrill and performance of being on stage in a room full of people all gathered there for the same purpose. There is a type of musician who really thrives in the studio though and they are such amazing players. I appreciate what they do for sure.

FEMMUSIC: What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the music industry? And how did you overcome them? Are those challenges increased or decreased when touring? 

EM: I have been thinking a lot about this lately and it wasn’t until recently that I fully acknowledged the challenges women face in the music industry. I wasn’t consciously aware of the imbalance and I believe that is because I subconsciously learned how to make it work for myself. In the past I was flattered when I was told I was “one of the guys,” and would strive to be more like them. I would be called “lucky” for ending up where I was while my male counterparts would be praised for their hard work and talent. Arriving at venues I was always assumed to be a girlfriend, merch seller, hair and make up or a dancer before I was ever thought to be part of the band. One of my good friends was even asked if she was a masseuse because she couldn’t possibly be a bass player in a band (an amazing one, at that!). All these things may sound harmless but they are extremely insidious and it is hard work to not believe them when they are reaffirmed over and over again. I’m happy that the spell is broken and I have started to notice where the discrepancies are. Instead of being complemented that I am one of the guys, I’m starting to question why is it so much better to be one of the guys? Can’t I be me and also be good enough? Things have definitely shifted and I’m thankful that young girls growing up today will get to see musicians of all types on stage in front them. Women can be singers, bassists, guitarists, drummers, songwriters, producers, pianists, cellists, engineers, composers, French horn players, etc. Go figure! I’ve been extremely grateful to work with many artists in my career that understand this and value me. It can only get better from here.

FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you change about the music industry? 

EM: I’m sure if you ask anyone if they could change something about their industry there would be a number of small things that would make life easier. Obviously, I feel strongly about the growing inclusion of all different types of people into the music industry but for the most part I feel very happy to be doing what I do. It’s a pleasure to play music and I look forward to seeing how it grows and adapts in the coming years.

Emily Moore

Emily Moore

One thought on “Emily Moore

  • Steve

    Emily, I love your musicality! Seeing you perform with Fun was a treat—you add SO much!


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