Most musicians in the Moon Invaders are of Belgian descent, but you and your brother grew up in New Orleans in the United States. How did you end up in Belgium of all places?
Matthew Hardison (vocals):
"The thing is we're half American, half Belgian. It's the classic story really. We grew up in New Orleans, our parents got divorced at one stage and our mother decided to come back to Belgium, so we came with her. We've been living here for quite some time now and I've grown to like Belgium. It's actually better living over here than it is in the States, especially nowadays, but we still have family living there."

Were you guys already musically involved before you came to Belgium or did your musical journey start over here?
Matthew Hardison:
"I bought my first guitar and amplifier over there - a 25 $ deal in a pawn shop - but I really started playing music when I arrived here. A number of the guys that are in the band now were at school together in a place lost in the Ardennes. There was nothing to do, so we had a choice: go out and misbehave or play music together. We obviously chose to do the latter. At first we played what we affectionately called drunk rock, it was basically like drunk polka music (laughs), but over the years we kept evolving and eventually wound up playing ska music."

Don't you find being labelled a ska band too limited for what you guys do? 
Matthew Hardison: "Well yeah, what we do is a mix of ska, rocksteady spiced with New Orleans flavours, rhythm & blues and soul."

In the recent past you've been touring with some of the veteran legends of the ska and rocksteady era, people like Rico Rodriguez, Pat Kelly and Doreen Shaffer. How did that start?
Matthew Hardison:
"I think the first time we did this backing band thing was when Botanique offered us what they call a "carte blanche"; basically this meant they gave us a budget to do whatever we wanted with, and since we'd always wanted to work with Alton Ellis, we decided to use the money to invite him. That show caught the attention of the German Grover label and when The Stingers, a band from Texas, had to cancel their European tour with Doreen Shaffer, we stepped in. After that, word of mouth spread and we teamed up with Pat Kelly, Rico Rodriguez and Winston Francis as well. It's a lot of fun."

You just mentioned Grover records there, the German label that signed you guys. How did that happen?
Matthew Hardison:
"Well, honestly, we went after them! (laughs) We'd released our first album by ourselves, but the people of Grover somehow got a hold of a copy and decided to re-release it on their imprint. It's a great endorsement to have an established ska label like Grover behind us and because they also do bookings they're also able to get us a lot of dates in Germany and the Eastern European countries which is great as well of course."

Making a life of your music isn't easy in Belgium, how do you guys manage that?
Matthew Hardison:
"What we try to do is combine as many projects as possible. All the people in the band play in various other bands as well. A couple of us also play in the Caroloregians, which is a funky reggae band."

Recently, you guys performed at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels for two nights in a row to record a live album.
Matthew Hardison:
"Yeah, the album ('The Moon Invaders Live At The AB Club', red.) will be officially released on the 2nd of May 2010 when we're playing at the Ancienne Belgique again together with The Aggrolites."