Volume 94, Issue 5
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
London gets Moist
Photo by Marina Chavez
DO YOU FEEL LUCKY? Moist's David Usher and friends bring their lucky numbers to London for an appearance at the annual Airshow and Balloon Festival on June 24, 2000 at the London airport.
By Aaron St. John
Jeff Pearce, bassist for Canadian superstar rock band Moist, doesn't like having a schedule.
Discussing the way the band recorded its latest album, last year's Mercedes Five and Dime, Pearce says, "We were much more relaxed this time around. We did a lot of the work in our home studios, so the pressure was off."
It was that kind of laid back atmosphere that made Mercedes Five and Dime, Moist's third release, different than their previous albums. Writing songs and making demos individually before bringing them to rehearsals, allowed the band to experiment with sounds they had not previously contemplated.
The group experimented by incorporating loops and sequencers into their music. "We didn't set out to make any particular kind of record it just kind of worked out that way," Pearce relates. "We used a lot of technology, but we also discovered that we really like using acoustic sounds."
Mercedes Five and Dime is the band's most mature and eclectic album yet. However, the added complexity on record does not hinder their live show. "We're not a bunch of guys twiddling knobs on stage," Pearce retorts. "We don't try to recreate the album live. We just get up there and play really hard and try to give people an energy filled show."
After exploding onto the Canadian music scene in 1994, with the phenomenal success of their major label debut Silver, Moist toured with the likes of Neil Young and Hole, before releasing the equally successful sophomore album Creature, in 1997.
A three year pause followed Creature's release, during which the band members worked on outside projects. The most notable was the release of lead singer David Usher's solo album, Little Songs. But guitarist Mark Makoway also wrote a soon to be published book, while Pearce scored roles in several independent films.
Whether the band feared Usher's solo album might spell the end of Moist, Pearce replies, "We were pretty cool with it. He played us the songs before hand and we decided that they really wouldn't work in the band format. We didn't have any worries at all."
Pearce says the band embraces new technology; they all have home studios and use computers for writing and production. They also endorse the Internet, for its ability to spread ideas, although Pearce is concerned about the MP3/Napster controversy.
"The band doesn't really have an official position, but I think it's something the music industry needs to pay close attention to. The thing is, Napster isn't going to hurt a band like Metallica, but it might hurt a small Canadian band like Moist."
The self-deprecation is earnest. "Being in a band in Canada, no matter how big you get, is a difficult way to make a living. Being big in the [United] States is different. It's the split between music being a hobby and being a career," Pearce claims. "We're happy as we are, but it would be nice to break in the States. If it doesn't happen, that's fine, but I would like to know that I'm going to be able to have some kind of retirement in my future."
Although Mercedes Five And Dime was just released in the US, Moist is already thinking about their next album. "We have a saying in the group: 'We'll release a new record when we have 12 songs we like,' but we're always writing, so something may be in the works," Pearce reveals. "As for the near future, we're touring right now. I'm doing another movie and David is working on a second solo album. We'll just have to see how it all comes together."
Copyright © The Gazette 2000