27 September 2011

Moonraisers the END


Moonraisers was for me more than a band, a project or even a idea of not only making music, but a way of simply doing things differently in a only profit dictated world! And it took me 100% of my time, my energy, my passion, my priority, my thoughts and for sure, by the way I live FOR music and not FROM music, all money. Over all this time!

Im very aware that, for many people the ending of moonraisers, will be something that will missed! And I'm the first! 
That's why i write this to the ones who, not like to understand! But to overstand my décision, to stop making music!
It is also about the whole music business general, but mostly in switzerland, the country who' to supposed to support his culture!

I prefer to stay proud and real for what we have done and achieve with moonraisers, without breaking our self-in-stored rules!
We had quite clearly ideas of how we want to do what, or mostly what we don't want to do! :) To stay in a non-fake line!
And for sure this made many times things not easier!
But thats why i prefer to end the Moonraisers project, before we have to take an direction, that would no longer be in the way we want to do the moonstyle!

Making music with enough musician, to play what we recorded on the songs in the studio! Something that only seams to be reserved to Bands who sold huge amount of cd/vinyl's. Mostly only International Bands had this amount of musicians as moonraisers over a so long a period!
Having a equal sharing from musicians to technicians and crew!

In a way we had a chance to do what we did in switzerland, because we found quickly rehearsal rooms, we could borrow money to buy equipment (even if we had long to pay back!) We could invest to start to produce our own moon style reggae Having Professional surround, the one we also build during the years!
If we was in a less developed country we would have problems to get all this ... but maybe more general cultural support!

But the struggle always followed us!
The moonraisers band need almost 20 years to excuse their self for being so many people on the road! Is much for space, equipment, transport, hotel, food etc etc! But all this problems were only before the concert! After a concert all this was almost never a problem! We had all this time, defend with more or less success, our artistically choices !

In 1992, when we started, there was no swiss music scene! Was no swiss reggae scene! (The 2 only known reggae bands was not interest to having/supporting other reggae bands in switzerland!)

And making music was not an occupation! (is it today?) 
So everything had to be done by our own!
I knew that to impose the Moonstyle Reggae (in a time where white people where not really aloud to make reggae music!) will take it's time, in this whole circumstances !
For sure in the first 6-8 years we could not call us as an professional band!
But with 10-14 non payed musicians we reach to make quit professional shows and productions (Albums)!

Almost everything was homemade! But we shape it as much professional as we could, with (almost) all the time no (or minimum) of budgets!
We invest 2 of 3 part of the concert money, into productions.

Almost everybody who presented moonraisers, on the market, in the media, to the promoters or found raising, struggled to sale moonraisers to their professional relations!
Almost from the beginning in the band was a talk about a bad star, a unlucky or other strange things that makes we had to struggle all the time!

There was a couple of big promoters in switzerland (mostly swiss german part!) who looked us doors from the early days , swiss cultural subventions where never something that moonraisers have gotten! (even if over 12 years, every year we try to get something somewhere!) 
As example one of the hugs culture Money (to not name it! but everybody make is grocery shoppings with a big M;)) ! is one of the only money you can get for music in switzerland! And last 3 following years, the same label got the main support! And wonder the director of the label, is the president of this culture support! And one more wonder, this label have the first reggae artist who made gold in switzerland!!!
Suisa is, the from the swiss confederation payer organization, that is supposed to give composers their money from songs played on radio or performances.
They mess up numbers and numbers and they are payed over 6000.- each month, each and there are hundred's working there!
They have millions every years to spend from money they don't know to who is! And spend it only to traditional swiss music or already subvention classical orchestras!
Before 2010 you only got money (as composer) from the radio who play when the songs was play-listed on a national radio!
Just as information Yves Larock Rise Up was not play listed in swiss national radios!!! (even with 88 week swiss chart!) And by the way Suisa is not able to know what is played in restaurants, night clubs, local radios etc etc) you are only payed after the songs played in the national radios! The count is quick done!

In switzerland is not the musician who can live from music!!!
(only the one's who work in the official music offices etc)
And musicians are considered less than refugees and the one's who got social support!

If you saw moonraisers posters or got a flyers, you can be sure that 80% was done by our own!
There was almost never an article in any press before or after show of moonraisers even not when we blast up the place! (dreadlocks are maybe nothing for standard swiss family to show) 
The only interview i was supposed to give, to the hugest swiss newspaper! I had to refused, because there was not ONE question about music! Only personal stuff (But I'm not a VIP!)

The only support for swiss reggae music in switzerland is the website www.reggae.ch and also the 3 swiss reggae compilations, that broth reggae music to the swiss radio, but this website/compilations we made by our own! Night and night of programming!

Swiss radios did almost not play moonraisers before the Label Swiss in 2004 (exept Couleur3! They supported us with our own composed songs since 2000!) after this the whole swiss music scene got at least a little support! (after law 5% swiss music have to be played!!!)
But to "only" be a accepted band in switzerland you need to be as top as an international bands, that ones are coming with full professional support, to make one or two show a year in switzerland! 
For us, without any support, going out of switzerland, was a too expensive operation! (we payed almost every time something when we played out of switzerland!)
We even tried to reduce the amount of musicians, but then the moonstyle was not 100% represented!

For sure as soon we start to sale a few album's, the whole music marked started to crash and i think 70% of moonraisers downloaded music, was for free from the internet!
This could also work longterm, if at least the promoters would give the chance, to all the people who downloaded for free our music, to come to one of our shows!
But for sure if the radios refuse to play the music, the newspaper are not interest and then the promoters will not take the "Risk"!

It is a circle that should at least after a while (20 years?) start to turn!

As i knew from the beginning that Moonraisers was an utopia project that will only slowly gain credibility!
But i though that, after a while with always progressing, we could at least count on a certain support!
But even after 19 years we struggle to finding shows, media coverage, radio plays (on national radios with our own songs!) etc. ect!
And with this for sure you can't get sales, and with this no chart (swiss chart is under judgement!) and with no chart you never come into a circle where you get finally, the right to enter into circle, where you get coverage and maybe the sale and the money to continue to produce albums!

Going out of switzerland!
I think swiss people don't know what kind of image we have out the border of switzerland!
And over border promoters got supported band for less, than a unsupported self produced band, who have to pay the whole logistic, band and crew!
So the game is over even before you can start to play!
So a homemade extension to switzerland was already "mission impossible"!

Even if your goal is just to life from music, without getting rich or at least not paying for it, is also "mission impossible"!
Then we would need allot of money, to continue our utopia project!
Money that would not come from, made by music! If its other money, then our ideologic would not fit with what we try to spread over our music/message!

Music Biz!
The today music BIZ, do not let much place to music or cultural !
Is more about VIP and fame! And if you are not! then you do not music!
Myself i never felt like a singer ... i felt like a musician! I start to sing in moonraisers because we had no singer who could do the job!
For me the vocal was just another instrument in the orchestration of the band!

And in this sense it was surly not easy to promote moonraisers on one side with 10 musicians you have changes and moonraisers was not my solo project to only put myself in all media!
Also in this sense was not an option to make cheep story video clip's, the one would not fit with what we had to present in front of a camera!
Faking was never an option for moonraisers! We select for sure the live videos we posted, and posted only the good ones!
But what we posted out, happen for real in the moment the videos was captured!

I had start prepared a solo project, but for this my only goal was to prepare territories for moonraisers... but this territories are not in the near region and finally moonraisers (17 people on the road!) would not be requested!

For sure this are mostly technical mind explanations, even if they explain already quite enough, why I'm not able to continue!

But after all, is my heart who make the final decision!
Like i wrote already a while ago on my homepage: Music biz to rough for a sensitive soul like mine!
And this is true! In the music biz everything is based on ... everything else than music!
VIP, People, Money, Car's, glimmer, sex, slackness etc etc!

I just wished to do music ... in the last years i made from 1 a half hour to maybe max 10h music a month!
The rest of the time i worked in the offices on finding solutions!

I was told to do this and that and then and if .... and we tried almost everything if it was still under the "moonraisers rules"
I was told we need love songs ....! Well i admit, that love songs was never something that i was able to write!
With the simply explanation, that i think, this is something to personal!

Also to show up and playing the rockstar, was never something that i was really happy to do! 
(If i was not on stage!)
I think allot of people need to identify the artist with his creation!
And i think if the people like an artists creation they don't need to like the artist!
An artist is like every other human, with the same problem as everybody!
I like to say: we got all the same position on the throne! ;)))
If the people like our creation, then we did a good job!
I think in the show biz we are there, to sale dreams ....! (dream's or nightmare's)
But to write a good song or to make a good show, don't makes us a better humans!

Today all is focused on the artist and not on his creation!
And this is not how i like to give credibility to my creation!

In a way I'm very proud that we arrived, to be, where we are today, without having failed on the way we want to do, what we want to do with moonraisers!
And a next step up could no longer be achieved, with the non-support we have today and in the way we have done it the last 19 years!
Not with the morality we in-store to The Moonraisers Moonstyle Project!

This is a part of my idea to making music!
And this, is no longer possible for me.
Thats why i decide to quit the music scene and concentrate on other priorities!

For sure i know that all who supported moonraisers passively or actively for longer or shorter and/or found a reason to dream, as occupation, as evasion, the one who could identify them self, with our utopia doing!
It is a sad moment! And i have to admit that it is, not less for myself!
It is one of my hardest, but necessary decision, i had to take in my life!

Allot of people don't overstand why i decide right now to stop it all.
Yes Moonraisers had a band like never before with all very good musicians, performant  staff, Technical crew and our long year angel Domi! And and a real good ambient in the band! (the one i hope will find a project to continue to play together!)

We knew how to make music ...! But thats all ...! Today this is not what it counts!

I thank you all from my deepest heart to giving special moments, very special remembering's!

I wanted to tell you a little story about a small natty, who lived behind the nighty light!
Moony: came, told and wished us the best

All i can say is, live from your heart and don't let the mind control your feelings!
Thanks 4 all
Much love


  1. So sorry for you !!!
    Je continue en français car je parle anglais mais ne l'écrit pas bien.

    C'est effectivement révoltant, on s'en doutait de ce “monde musical" mais BRAVO et MERCI pour ta franchise!!! C'est très bien de dire les choses haut et fort, bien que cela ne changera sans doute rien. Par contre peut-être que tu pourrais avoir le soutien de tes admirateur car musicalement, c'est trop génial, vous êtes les pionnier, du reggae Suisse et DU BON !!! et tout fais vous-même, sûre que ça prends un temps fou et que l'énergie ne peut que s'en aller petit à petit au fur et à mesure des déceptions des ce monde qui ne pense qu'au profit, qu'à l'argent et pas aux musiciens.

    Tu as tout à fait raison d'être fière de ce que vous avez fait !!!! c'est beaucoup mieux et plus que certains artistes qui eux sont soutenus par des maisons de disques ou autre.

    Si il y a un quelconque moyen de vous aider à changer les choses afin que vous puissiez enfin VIVRE de votre musique, fais le nous savoir, je suis sûre que tu seras soutenu!

    Parce que OUI ça va manquer, vous êtes des pros et vous donnez tellement de vous-même sur scène, en plus de la musique je veux dire, vous êtes vrais, pas superficiels, simples sans la grosse tête... Vous êtes parfaits et c'est vraiment triste de lire tout ça...encore une fois, bien que ça se sache sans que rien ne change...

    Personnellement je garde espoir de vous entendre encore, je vais commander encore pleins de CD pour être sûre de tous les avoir et pourvoir réécouter souvent. Votre musique m'a accompagnée dans beaucoup de moments dans ma vie, les paroles sont sensées aussi ce qui n'est pas le cas de beaucoup de chanteurs ou groupes à succès comme on dit.

    Je pensais que le succès de Rise Up vous avait rapporter plus que ça... car effectivement on l'a longtemps entendu partout...

    Bonne chance à vous tous, bravo pour votre persévérance, merci pour ce que vous avez apporté et pour avoir dit à voix haute ce que tout le monde dit tout bas !
    Je vous souhaite le meilleur !!!

  2. Wawww...
    Thank you for the purity and depth of your thoughts!

    I only know you from "far away", saw some of your tv interviews and appreciated a lot the vibration i felt as i was hearing and watching you...
    I love some of your tracks and respect your path as a musician/composer/producer as much as a human being who seems to work for high purposes.

    My name is Natascha Sapey, aka NaNa DiviNa aka Tascha DiviNe, 42', swiss french actress, cabaret & visual comedy performer, writer, director & project manager, artistic & intuitive coach working for various fields, from broadcast TV programs to festivals, theater, cabaret, circus, spectacular shows & all kinds of parties/events all around Europe, from corporate gathering to artistic, cultural & social events since more than 15 years.

    In parallel i felt called to be more closely involved in the human wellbeing & conscience's evolution, became a reiki practitioner, learned some chamanic massage techniques and developped my spiritual psychic, coach & healer's skills, which leads me now to be able to help numerous people and/or groups of people in several different ways.

    I'm from Geneva but momentaneously live in USA, since i'm involved in the production of JOCK, a documentary about the pioneer female jockeys of the 60's and 70's who fought for their right to ride as their male collegues.. a project which is for now totally financially supported by its director and producer Jason Neff.. In other words it's a labor of love, like a lot of my previous projects... Check it out if willing to:


    We are now aboard a motor home since one month crossing America to visit and interview the people involved in the story of the movie.

    I'm consequently reading you from there.. and it feels sad in a way but also beautiful in another.
    Congratulations for your courage and honesty!

    I'll be back probably in mid-december in GVA and i'd love to meet you and maybe collaborate on a project that I have in mind for next June.
    This is my contact: nana.divina@gmail.com.

    To soon or later,
    Take big care

    Tascha D.

  3. "Today all is focused on the artist and not on his creation!
    And this is not how i like to give credibility to my creation!"
    Très belle pensée, bravo pour avoir fait ce choix, pas forcément facile et pour garder toujours la liberté en ligne de mire. Échapper au dictat du marketing est un combat de tous les jours..
    Merci pour ces bon moments musicaux passés et tous mes meilleurs souhaits et pensée pour votre nouveau départ. Que vous trouviez ce que vous recherchez profondément.


  4. I find very impressive and respectful to say loud what only people that are in the business know. I was tempted to call it "Music Business" but I believe that the word Business does it just fine; because as you mention it so well, it's often not about Music (unfortunately). What I find dramatic is that things in this business don't seam to improve with the years... in the contrary!

    I respect deeply your decision with a very broken heart that leaves a bitter taste! If you, a true, modest, loyal, motivated and hard working person, have to take this hard and probably only decision after all these years : what is there to hope for the young and talented artists still to come ? What will be art in music in the future years ? Will we all just be marionettes "listening" or should I say "consuming" money-mass-controlled music without noticing ?

    I wish your decision will open the eyes and minds of the people that read your text .... When I mention people, I really want to state this on a very general scale : I don't want to point nor blame financial/professional/media entities; because I wish and hope that "normal" people can (if they really want) make a different and make things change or at least keep what I call the Real Genuine Art/Emotion-Full/Music ALIVE !

    All the best to you ! Thank you once more for working and fighting for all these years for the sake of quantity and genuine music !

    Rachel Strassberger

  5. He man don't stop. I have been to more than 10 of your concerts only between 1995 and 2000.
    The quality of the music has nothing to do with the money you get from it.

    To me, you where with no possible discussion, one of the best reggae band at the time worldwide. The only other interesting "new reggae band" on the market being Groundation.

    I remember being struck several time during and after show by the quality and the deepness of your music, and also by the fantastic nyabinghi-drum-roots-live session often occuring during your shows at that time. I went several time in transe, altough I do not correspond at all to the sterotypical reggae fan with huge dreads.

    I know you may have a bitter feeling about not beeing able to live from your passion. I was happy for you when you sign with Sony Music, even if I wasn't so happy with some changes in your music.

    So come back soon and do some more music. Perhaps without the ambition of living from it, cause it's not possible around without selling yourself.
    I am looking forward to hear new stuff from you.

    Johann Dupuis

  6. You're wrong my friend : you're not stopping making music, you are just taking back your soul, and this will also give you more time to... make music ! And enjoy the ones you love.

    I hope that thousands of young musicians could read your message.

    Best wishes for the future, and thank you for your work.

  7. I am shocked and sad... and I am sure that many people share my feelings. If there would be a page, a forum or so, where people could discuss about this, it would be easyer. Because many many people do not follow twitter, google, WordPress or any of that.

    Johann was right: Moonraisers rank among the best reggae bands in the world and beside Groundation, there is no band who combine roots and modern style reggae music and create their own music style. Thanks for all, but still I hope that this goodbye is not a goodbye forever. Your voice could carry and spread music and message in a way I never heard before. From outside it looks, like you built something over 18 Years, and now, when the tree started to bear fruits, you don't earn them. I think it is not as simple as that, but that is what many people think.
    I hope that you find yourself or whatever you are looking for or missing. I wish you strength, luck, calmness and peace. And I hope I hear you again...sometime.

  8. i discovered your band looking for a regggae bands to make covers...my first tought when a saw this simple and wonderfull video (listen to the people) was...maaannn they make this video in his own house,they live togheter like a family...next i discovered was that you are not togheter i imagine your sadnes its like the music businnes broke in 2 your own family and my own family because music and arts in general have 2 parts the music band in this case and the people who loves what this band make...in my case personally was make me smile and move my head and my feet watching the video of such a great family making music whit his honest and simple attitude...peace and love guys...cheers from ARGENTINA!!!

  9. Unfortunately, i only caught on to moonraisers this year ( rise up getting air time on drs3).
    Fortunately i was able to see you and your crew this weekend in biel - in one of the best live acts i've been to!
    I can't quite follow your reason for quitting (or starting anew...) is, but i do know the swiss music scene will loose some great unique sounds.
    Keep on rocking!

  10. Hello the Moonraisers, nous avons eu le privilège de vous voir et vous entendre hier soir 12 novembre 2011 à l'Hôtel Murten, hélas pour votre concert d'adieu. Je n'y crois pas.... MERCI pour votre musique,vos qualités de musiciens, de chanteur et la performance sur scène. C'est un vrai régal de pouvoir vous entendre,vous êtes des superpros et le concert était génial... PLEASE n'arrêtez pas la scène.... vous êtes trop bons! et mes compliments ne sont pas imbibés d'alcool ou de fumée, les artifices ne font pas patie de mon mode de vie, plutôt bio de chez bio... Quelques soit les projets, je prie pour vous revoir en LIFE, vous méritez les plus grandes scènes et ça devrait se savoir depuis le temps ! Bon vent à toute l'équipe. Jah will provide.

  11. Such a pity ! There will be no better reggae-band in Switzerland as this one ! Moonraisers is music with a message and a lot of wisdom. Truely a loss.. and our radio-stations suddenly play boyo.. over and over. Why the f... must a band die before their music is played regularly at the radio... So sad....

    Never stop.. walk along the line every man will get his turn :-)

  12. what a statement jaba, big time! authentic people are a treasure. authentic music is a blessing. i really hope we will hear of u again - in which any way u express yourself in the future! loving ur vibes dreadman!

  13. Dear Jaba

    We still cannot believe that you had to make this decision!

    I hope so much, i will someday see you back on stage, making music for all uf us!

  14. Keep on going men,and good feeling for all the rivers you need to cross for following you MOON!
    La vie est ainsi faîte et elle nous réserve bien des surprises!
    En france nous avons la chance d'avoir le système de l'intermittence(pour combien de temps encore).

  15. hi Jaba

    i really appreciated you & friends playing FE and other music

    verybig professionals, music made with earth

    compliments for having made lyrics for riseup, i didn't knew it and now i'm very glad you made it =)

    keep follow our page and go on FEers!!!


    seeya !! freedom