Songs from the Moon – Playing April 6 with 3773

Songs from the Moon – Playing April 6 with 3773

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Ferndale 115 News, March 15, 2012)

Who are the guys in Songs from the Moon, and why are they doing a record release and show at the Ferndale Public Library?  The second question is easy.  The Library always has great local bands as part of their First Stop Fridays series.  April 6 will be no exception as 3773 and Songs from the Moon will be there.

But getting to know Songs from the Moon, that’s a little more complicated.  Their music defies definition, ranging from John Lennon remakes to loud , hart-thumping punk, to a roller coaster of melodies and beats in between.  There’s happy lovey-dovey songs like “Morning Sun”, obligatory angsty stuff like “Lucky to Be Alone (Again).” and songs with a social consciousness like their new release Brave Iranians.  Most of it sounds fun though, and you can tell these guys love what they’re doing.  There’s a lot of heart and soul in the lyrics, the quirky music, and the silly videos made with friends.

Ferndalian Jonathan Berz is one of four members of Songs from the Moon.  We asked him to tell us about the guys:

“Ed Sertage plays bass, sings sometimes, and produced our first single “Xmas Eve” and the upcoming 7″ (Protest Strategies) at Woodshed Studios in Oak Park, which he owns. Ed and I have been playing in bands since 2001. He previously played lead guitar for Bedford Drive, currently plays guitar with Matt Dmits, and does a lot of session work. He is from Southgate.

“Ryan Looney plays drums, percussion, sings, and is a high school English teacher. He also played in Bedford Drive, and with Ed and I in a band called The Cast, The Camera. He currently plays drums with Katie Grace and Matt Dmits and lives in Wyandotte.

“Shaun Wisniewski plays guitar and sings. He has a lovely wife and a bunch of great friends who have been helping out with things like gang vocals and making videos. They are from Hazel Park. Shaun lives in Ferndale and is a manager at a grocery store. I was introduced to him by our friend Danny Kanka, who plays drums in Doop and the Inside Outlaws, The Walking Beat and Computer Perfection. They shared a house (and also were playing together in Old Empire) when Danny and I formed SFTM. We used to practice as a two-piece in Shaun’s back bedroom when he wasn’t home and he eventually got involved. Shaun, his wife Julie and I recently started a record label called Simple Living Ferndale, and are about to put out our 4th release. We hope to branch out into other areas, like DIY book publishing, and releasing other people’s music.  He is also a solo artist, and performs under the name Matilda.  He has a ton of records up at

“I sing and play piano and synthesizer live, and do a lot of guitar stuff on recordings. I have been a musician for eighteen years and have played in lots of bands. I sang and played guitar with Ed in Chasing Traces of You and with Ed and Ryan in The Cast, The Camera; I played guitar in Blueprint 76 for a while, which was fronted by Royce Nunley from the Suicide Machines; and I played a bunch of instruments and sang harmonies in Blasé Splee. Those guys and my then-roommate taught me how to play piano, and I started writing songs for SFTM while BS was still together. I am also a freelance writer, and am working on a MA in English at Wayne State University. I grew up in South Lyon and live in Ferndale.”

Berz writes many of the songs that Songs from the Moon plays.  He says he’s inspired by  everyday events, and will write just about any time and any place.  “I’ll be walking down the street jangling my keys and hum something that is very appropriate for the moment, and if it sticks around long enough and speaks to me in some other way I might do something with it,” he said.

“I keep a journal and write a lot, and I sing a lot when I drive. Also, I’m a huge fan of many types of music, and am always going through different phases. I listen to music every day and change things up a lot, and get a lot of ideas from whatever I’m into at that time. For the months we worked on our punk EP I was listening to the Who and the Ramones pretty exclusively. I wrote most of my solo songs (a separate body of songs that SFTM hasn’t touched yet) when I was listening to a lot of Harry Nilsson and Neil Young.

“When I wrote our upcoming 7″ Protest Strategies I was really into westerns. My favorite bands are Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Radiohead, but I have thousands of records and love punk, 60s music, instrumental music, ambient stuff, folk, and Motown, so all that goes into it as well. The lyrics are very personal, and I try to throw in bit of a political statement when I can. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of KISS and things seem to be getting a little heavier. We try new things constantly. It’s very exciting.”

Playing at the Ferndale Public Library is also exciting for Berz and Songs from the Moon. “I think it’s a great way to connect with the local community, and also to cross-promote music and literature. I’ve been to a few of their “First Stop Friday” shows, and they’ve all been a lot of fun. They’re all ages, have pop and snacks and are over by 9pm. I also think it’s great that they have a local music section there full of local bands’ CDs that you can check out. I love that Ferndale celebrates and promotes local artists by providing lots of opportunities to be seen and heard.”

One of the song’s they’ll probably play is Get to Know Mine.

“That is the title track from our punk EP,” Berz said. “I wrote it very quickly as a personal letter to someone I met at school. It came to me in about ten minutes at 4 in the morning when I was up late writing a paper. I had been writing a lot of slow, mellow stuff on piano for a while, and I wanted to make a really short, guitar oriented, high-energy EP. A bunch of creative and talented friends helped make the video, and we hope to make more stuff together in the future.”
Songs from the Moon and 3773 will play a set each on Fri. Apr. 6. Songs from the Moon will also be releasing a 7” at the show entitled Protest Strategies in two formats: CD and 7” with CD at The Ferndale Public Library (222 E. 9 Mile) beginning with doors open at 6:30 pm.

Find out more about The Ferndale Public Library at

Find out more about Songs from the Moon at


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