Sunday, March 28, 2010
A Sunday Conversation With Moth Circus
Big, brash, loud, and heavy. That's Moth Circus. But most important in Ripple world, they do all that without ever losing their groove. Manic, groovy metal, that's just the way I like it and that's just the way these Norweigian madmen bring it. Naturally, we cleared off some space on the red leather Ripple interview couch, popped open some cold ones and couldn't wait for the circus ringmaster, Alien Ken, to stop by and enlighten us in the way of the Moth.
When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.
What have been your musical epiphany moments?
The first "rock" band I listened to was Roxette (Swedish pop band from the 80`s). I thought that was the most heavy music I have ever heard. And then i got into this great Norwegian band called Ingenting. (Not to be confused with the Swedish band [ingenting]). They inspired me to pick up my guitar so I owe them a lot. Great band. I`ve been listening to them for 15 years straight, and I`m still not tired of it! And then of course i discovered Nirvana.... Then there was no turning back! hehe . The latest artist that made my jaw drop was the first time I heard Buckethead. That guy is a genius and i love him. The guitar work he did in Guns n Roses Chinese Democracy is awesome... I love that record.
Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?
The music always comes first. Usually it starts with a riff and then I just build on it from there. I tend to bring a complete song to practice and then me and Johnny work together on the lyrics and vocal melody. We both carry around a lot of notebooks with various ideas and then exchange ideas and deep deep poetry.. hehe.
Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?
I really love David Lynch`s movies and i get a lot of inspiration from them. But my main motivation is the burning desire to make a change, to educate and inspire. I do not hold all the answers but I have something that needs to be said! Other inspiration sources for me are Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, EBE, Tanya Hansen and the menstruation in my morning coffee.
Genre's are so misleading and such a way to pigeonhole bands. Without resorting to labels, how would you describe your music?
We play Alien/Coffin rock like no other bands do. hehe.. We try not to get stuck in genres. If we think its sounds good then its okey. Way to many bands find a recipe and (ab)use it way to much... All their songs sound the same... I HATE that....
What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?
My musical intention is to inspire to make a change. I hope the audience gets a good feeling when they come to our shows or listen to our record. Open your mind........But don't let your brain fall out.
In songwriting, how do you bring the song together? What do you look for in terms of complexity? Simplicity? Time changes?
How do I bring the song together? Work, work, work and lots of dr pepper to keep me focused. I never think about complexity or simplicity or anything like that when I make a song. Its all about the feeling and what I think fit the song. I love the simplicity of Nirvana, but I also love the complex things Buckethead does...
The business of music is a brutal place. Changes in technology have made it easier than ever for bands to get their music out, but harder than ever to make a living? What are your plans to move the band forward? How do you stay motivated in this brutal business?
Spend a lot of time on the internet trying to make new connections. Myspace and Facebook are great places to spread your music and gain new fans. I find it really important that Moth Circus is a band that finds new paths, not necessarily follow in other people`s footsteps. I just try to do my best all the time and I`m really thankful for every new fan we get.
Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?
Hehe... Call our drummer Glenn for lots of cool stories.
What makes a great song?
It has to have a hook. Something to hold on to.
Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?
The first song I wrote for Moth Circus was "Death Living". I remember playing the lead riff for the others and Glenn burst out "We cant play that shit, it sounds like Iron Maiden!!!!". Hehe... He changed his mind. The lyrics are about abuse, and the track will be remastered for our upcoming record.
What piece of your music are particularly proud of?
I wrote an instrumental song for my grandfather for his birthday last year. I could see that it made an impact on him and that means a lot to me. He is one of the few persons whom have never judged me and always stood by my side no matter what. Moth Circus-wise I`m proud of all the songs but right my favorite is "Little Lo" from the upcoming record.
Who today, writes great songs? Why?
Dave Grohl writes good songs. He has the focus on the good melody and I like that. I also have to mention Axl Rose and the Chinese Democracy record. I think its one of the best rock albums to come out in the last decade.
Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?
I still enjoy the CD
We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. When we come to your town, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?
You know, there aren't many record stores left around here. Almost everybody is downloading illegally and I think that's a shame. But there is an old school record store that's still going strong. It`s called Record World and has lots of weird and obscure things that you don't find anywhere else. If you have seen the movie "High fidelity" you`ll get the idea
Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?
Thanks a lot for your support. Don't forget to visit www.mothcircus.com. Stay clear of drugs and keep watching the skies... The truth is out there.....