Tonight at NX35: The Out-of-Towners Come Into Play.
There's Monotonix (Tel Aviv, Israel), Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (Chicago), Beep Beep (Omaha), Sybris (Chicago), Black Gold (Brooklyn), Sugar & Gold (San Francisco) and The Botticellis (San Francisco) to name a few--but one of the bands that I'm most excited about hail from a little closer to home: Austin's Moth Fight.
Having caught the band at Swiss House last fall, I was immediately excited when Moth Fight was added to the NX35 roster of acts. This year, the Austin Chronicle name the band one of nine acts set to break-out after this year's SXSW. But, so far the band has only released a 7-inch for its song "Hopscotch" and contributed a track to an Asthmatic Kitty compilation benefitting Habitat for Humanity. The band hopes to have a full-length released by this summer.
Sounding a bit like Arcade Fire, with a ton of extra instruments and circuit-bent toys thrown in for good measure, the bands live set is not to be missed. I caught up with frontman Kevin Attics by phone:
So, obviously, you have SXSW and NX35 and other shows coming up. Then there's the Austin Chronicle article that called you one of nine bands poised to break-out after this year's SXSW...
Yeah, yeah, that was pretty cool.
What's it like to be under that kind of, or, I guess I should ask, do you feel under any kind of pressure?
We try, well, we're trying not to think about it too much. It's weird. We were talking about this in another recent interview as well--about how we all sort of get together and it's this close, closed club of people and we're working on our stuff and then whenever other people talk about it or show us any sort of reaction whatsoever, we're getting used to it, but it's always kind of weird...
The other thing that every single article mentions about y'all is the instruments. Could you talk about some of the more unusual stuff that y'all do play, like the circuit bent stuff?
Yeah. We have some circuit-bent drum machines, circuit-bent keyboards, little samplers and tape machines and whatever we can get our hands on. Like little toys that we've modified, stuff we find at Goodwill. It's really whatever we can find.
The little toys bring me to something else that I wanted to ask you about: I've seen three articles that referred to the band's sound as "avant-garde children's music". Is that something, a label, that the band put out there? Are y'all comfortable with it?
[Laughs.] That may be something that we said at one point. Our music has a lot of the same wide-eyed approach, you know, as like when I think of something like Sesame Street or whatever.
What about those kinds of influences on your songs, and other kinds of influences other than music? I know that the song "Hopscotch" was influenced by the book...
Yeah. Julio Cortazar. Hopscotch is a very important book for us.
Do you find that as a band y'all draw a lot of influence from other forms of media?
That's actually our biggest influence. I think that we take more influence from like film and literature than we do from music--well, let's say equal parts, at least. But like you said, the Cortazar book was read at a time in my life when a lot of the stuff in the book was matching up with my life really well. And the song is a result of that. And as far as film goes we are a fan of a lot of really, really weird stuff in film, and we try to kinda capture the same sort of feeling as those films. And the literature we read spans everything from black-listed children's literature to stranger scarier stuff. Anything that's a good historical mystery or that seems to have been written in its own language like Hopscotch seems to have been or like The People of Paper.
What are some of the films or film genres that the band has drawn influence from? Some films, recently, that we've really been influenced by are Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, we're pretty big fans of The Cremaster stuff... We're more fans of visuals in film, sometimes, than we are in narrative or plot, so stuff like Bill Morrison's Decasia really speaks to us.
Check Moth Fight out at Dan's Silverleaf tonight at 8:30 p.m.