Make A Rising started around 2003. My brother and I had been in a band with Brandon Beaver called HiroshimaNagasaki that was sort of inspired by Daniel Johnston’s Fun album, and the catalog of ’67-’75-ish era Beach Boys. It was a fun time, but ultimately felt limited. We’d been seeing and listening to too many exciting things to be satisfied with bedroom psych/pop. We eventually  gave up on that project and rallied to try something that would push us as songwriters and musicians. I think the three of us had reached this line in our lives that we all were excited to cross. So those early rehearsals were crazy and full of possibilities.

We moved into a fucked up house; a hazardous, bombed out shell that stood next to a home for semi-functional, recovering drug addicts and crazies. I remember looking out of my bedroom window and seeing a naked old man, with balls the size of 2 grapefruits, standing in a room filled with newspapers. I never looked out that window again.

We called the house New Planet. We tried to model it after Sun Ra and Captain Beefheart’s cultish dedication to art. We boarded up the windows and rehearsed in the living room.

We met a drummer named John Heron through our friend Andy Gilligan. My memory of meeting John will always be associated with a conversation about Milford Graves and early Tangerine Dream. So John reluctantly joined our band and stayed (reluctantly) until the present.

The rest is a pretty familiar story of the life of underground bands:  a group of comedically dysfunctional art dudes try to make ambitious music, and create magical shows for their friends. We went through a lot of phases, costume changes, tours, and roundtable debates about what direction to take the music in. Writing this is making me pretty sentimental.

If I were to list my favorite moments they would be: 1. Meditating with the band before our show at the Franklin Institute (Andrew’s first show where he fell off the stage and broke his bass clarinet) 2. Backyard fire with Cheer-Accident in upstate NY 3. The giant birth canal we made for Best Fest 4. Playing the worst show of our lives at Black Eyes last show in D.C. 5. Meeting Mike Tamburo at a college show in Erie. He played one of the best sets I’ve ever seen in my life.  6. Hot coolant blowing up in John’s face on our first tour. He had to go to the hospital. It was amazing. And then he played that night with a wet towel on his face. 7. Muffler exploding on our van in the middle of a blizzard in CT. Having to sleep over in a McDonalds and then driving home wrapped in sleeping bags, with the windows down so we wouldn’t asphyxiate.

from L-R: Me(invisible), Justin, John Heron, Brandon, Pettit, and Andrew.


We released 2 albums on High Two and went through some lineup changes. We moved out of New Planet and lived in the Avant Gentlemen’s Lodge for the next 5+ years.

The personnel are as follows:

Jesse Moynihan : vox, violin, guitar

Justin Moynihan : vox, piano, keyboards

John Heron : drums, percussion, taste-critic

Brandon Beaver : vox, guitar

John Pettit : vox, bass, trumpet

Andrew Ciccone : clarinet

Nick Millevoi : guitar (after Brandon left)

Travis Woodson : bass (after John Pettit left)

John Heron, Travis Woodson and Nick Millevoi at the Danger Danger Gallery in W. Philly



I moved to Los Angeles in February of 2010, so basically the band will not be playing shows for a while… but we started this page so that Make A Rising can continue to exist as a recording project. For me, Make A Rising encapsulates everything I want to do with music. It can be whatever we want it to be, and it will live on in various forms for as long as we are psyched on playing and writing.




  • Patricio

    Hi! I wanted to say I love your music. Keep on doing such amazing avant-garde tunes guys! You have a fan in me.

  • Kit

    Hi Jesse!!! i love your band so much! i really hope you guys tour around massachusetts somewhere. Club B10 at Mass MoCA is a really wonderful room and i bet they’d be thrilled to have you!
    does the avant gentlemen’s lodge still exist?

    • Jesse Moynihan

      The Avant Gentlemen’s Lodge has been defunct for many many years. I have such good and also difficult memories from that era of my life! Make A Rising is going to make its return in late March. If we end up touring I don’t know heh. Might just be a local LA thing. But I’m so glad you still like us!