Monday, 30 October 2006

So, maybe Moth is an acronym and we didn’t know it. We sincerely regret not asking what it means. (Maybe we should have a contest and ask users to guess. First place wins a six pack and bug repellent.) What we do know is  that when answering questions via email, MOTH frontman Brad Stenz sort of  replies like a super peppy publicist with a flair for caps lock…

However, you can’t really blame a guy for trying to sell his record. And in their favor, the new MOTH record Immune to Gravity is a pretty rockin’ album. The LP ranges from testosterone-packin,’ booming guitar  rock cuts like “Girl on Girl” to gentler (and more genuine) tracks like “Perfect”  where the catchy lyrics step aside and allow true insight to show through. Overall, it’s a solid piece of ear candy that begs for a live show audience.

Aside from that, next time we feel down over here, we’re grabbing a few beers and calling Brad Stenz to CHEER US UP!

Name of MOTH member answering:

Brad Stenz

1.) MOTH formed in the 90s and are working at it again now. What happened in between?

I never stopped working from the day the band came together. We went from self-releasing records to indie to major and back to indie and I don’t regret a single part of that.  This is a VERY exciting time for MOTH.  There has never been more enthusiasm from fans and it’s got nothing to do with a major label. After we left Virgin, I got into a year long legal dispute over a bad publishing deal. After the lawyers were done sucking each other off, MOTH hit the ground running and took up right where we left off. MOTH released our 4th full length “Drop Deaf” independently in 04 and now have our 5th “Immune To Gravity” out on Hey Domingo! Records.

2.) How do you feel the climate has changed in the music industry since your last go?

Since our Virgin debut “Provisions Fiction and Gear,” emo was really starting to take off along with bands like The Strokes and White Stripes. I think for a brief period it felt as though new life was being introduced into the music business but it was very quickly smothered by an onslaught of sound alike’s and people trying to make a fast record [for] a cheap dollar.

Shortly after that (during the release of Drop Deaf), people really started paying attention to how much music was being “stolen” on the Internet.  The Internet can be an extremely powerful tool and a very ugly beast at the same time.  It’s strange that we have reached a time where a musician not only has to be an acute business-minded individual but also has to know things like HTML and Flash.

3.) The album is a pretty high energy album minus the track “Perfect”; what was the songwriting process and how long did it take to write/record the album?

Three of the tracks, “Immune To Gravity”, “Constantly On”, and “How Could You” were songs written for Drop Deaf.  Everyone agreed the songs were much stronger than the actual circulation of the last LP and it wouldn’t hurt to re-record them with a higher sonic quality in mind.  The rest of the tracks came to me in a relatively short period of time.

My song-writing style has always been the same, sitting on the couch with my acoustic. Lyrics are a little different, more often than not, my favorite MOTH lyrics come to me when I’m stinking drunk.  It’s just a matter of writing them down, otherwise they’d be lost forever.

I think the remaining 8 tracks were written within a 4-6 week period. The songs feel more cohesive and connected with each other (for obvious  reasons).

4.) Did you have a particular sound you wanted to go for on the album?

Around the period of writing this record, I was really getting back to MY roots of what I loved about music and the records I started listening to when I was younger: Devo, Television, Boomtown Rats, The Cars etc. They all have such an endearing quality of absolute simplicity. Absolutely terrific rock bands playing great bare-bones rock songs. I couldn’t be happier because I think that is exactly how Immune To Gravity turned out.

5.) You guys played three parties in 24 hours during South by Southwest,  what was that like?

Well, I think the first show MOTH had we were wound a little tight. We left Cincinnati at 2:00 a.m., drove 19 hours straight to Austin, we had about an hour window to get cleaned up and then get to the venue. We played great though and it only got to be more fun as we played two times the following day.

To say we were tired would be a massive understatement.  It was a huge relief when MOTH was actually finished playing and we were able to roam around SXSW, where and when we wanted.  There was a LOT of drinking and I think we saw a lot of great shows too. I think. I don’t remember. Did we go to SXSW?

6.) It seems you guys play a lot of shows in the Midwest or around your home of Ohio, any plans to bring it to the west coast?

We’re coming through again in May I believe. I can’t wait. Not only are there some of the most beautiful/scenic drives but the cities are awesome and the people are some of the coolest MOTH fans we have. WE LOVE TO TOUR AND WE LOVE TO PLAY! It doesn’t matter where we go. We’re eventually going to get there.


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