Shake the Moon: “We want to write the catchiest songs we can and have fun with it.” Photo by R McQueen Photo.

Smooth rockers Shake the Moon have learned that playing in a quintet of proficient, eager performers can sound like a runaway freight train if they don’t exercise a little restraint. To that end, frontman Johnathon Gehringer often raises a time-tested question during rehearsals.

“We like to ask ourselves, ‘Do I need to be playing right now?’ ” he said with a wry smile.

That question has become the band’s motto of sorts.

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