A few weeks back we agreed to do an interview w/ Indonesian zine, Ruang Kecil. The zine has currently no home on the web, and exists only as a print publication. We've gotten permission from its main editor to post it below.
Next show will be the last show in the city for a while, and one we've been looking forwards to.
1. Greeting from Bandung, how was going there?
Cal: Hi, we’re doing great and we’re really excited to be in your zine. Thanks for featuring us.
Carlos: Things are really great. Our new record is being mastered right now and we are eager to leave on tour with our friends and incredibly talented band, The Exquisites (also on Asian Man Records). We have a lot of really great shows coming up with the likes of Merchandise, Whirr, Shinobu, Synthetic ID, Milk Music, Gag and Broken Water. Plus a really flattering request to play San Francisco's Noise Pop festival.
2. First of all who is Wild Moth? and the story behind?
Carlos: It all started with the \/\/\/\ symbol. Austin approached me with the idea of starting a punk band based off the symbol and the name Wild Moth. We worked together on developing an aesthetic to base the sound off of, which Austin had been working on for a while by then. We asked Cal to join as drummer because we wanted the band to render late 80s postpunk/darkpop sensibilities but have a hardcore and punk foundation. Cal had been in hardcore bands throughout his teens and had a drumming style that fit the project's intentions. Regardless of how much intent there was at first, the band really didn't take shape until we started writing songs together. Almost effortlessly songs took form and the overall sound took its own route after that. We wrote our Demo EP, on Suitor’s Club/TGIC, in a few weeks and this kinda laid down the result of our joint creative efforts. Mourning Glow, on Asian Man Records, was more of an attempt to dive towards an evolution of the sound in the first EP. This brand new record we’ve been working on, we'd like to think will stand as the maturity and maybe epitome of what our original intentions were. Personally, Austin and I met through punk a few years ago when our previous bands played shows together in San Francisco and went on a short tour with each other. Cal and Austin were friends through our buddy Elliot Babin and it was just a matter of time before Cal and I met. We’re all inseparable now.
3. How you describe of your music?
Cal: It’s hard for any band to put their music in a box stylistically but we’ve been labeled as post-punk, post-hardcore, dark-pop, melodic punk, etc. But it’s funny because those are all styles of music that I think we enjoy. I usually just tell people its punk music.
Carlos: This is a question I often used to ask myself and decided the music should just speak for itself. When people ask I also just say we are a punk band. In retrospect, and now that we have been a band for over a year, it's hard to even want to put any labels on the project. It constrains our ability to ever diverge from any given category.
4. List to five band / musician which is very influences your music?
Cal: I think it changes frequently but some of the staple influences for me are Sonic Youth, Jawbreaker, Jets to Brazil, My Bloody Valentine, and Slowdive. I also listen to a lot of hardcore records and I think that shows somewhat in our music.
Carlos: Sonic Youth is the biggest influence as far as I'm concerned but also Guy Picciotto and Ian Mackaye's projects (Rites of Spring/Fugazi). Each aspect of the band has been influenced by so many different things... From Joy Division and old Section 25 to Crass and Rudimentari Peni. From Mission of Burma and Jawbreaker to Slowdive and My bloody Valentine. I'm also a firm believer of finding influence from other schools of art like literature, and printmaking for example. Not only that, but being influenced by peers and other bands within our community and general punk scene.
5. Talk about lyric, who the man is behind the lyric?
Carlos: Austin and myself wrote most of the lyrics for both the Demo and the singles EP but Cal always participates in the editing portion of the process. He also became more involved with the new record and wrote lyrics for one full song and different parts here and there. Like every other aspect of the band, lyrics are a joint effort. We experiment with different ways to write them; sometimes Austin and I will speak before we sit and jot stuff down, sometimes one of us writes a few sentences first and the other one uses that as inspiration for lyrics, sometimes we don't talk about it at all, write stuff separately, and then put them together when we write the vocal parts. It's fun to play around since it makes it less of a sterile process.
6. what is the lyric most talking about?
Carlos: I don't want to speak in behalf of Cal or Austin. For me, I try to approach the content of the lyrics as exposition. Throughout this project I have been influenced lyrically by the writings of critical theorists like Guy Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Walter Benjamin, Jean Baudrillard, Judith Butler and other post structuralist authors. The lyrics explore recurring themes like the concept of the void, the veil and the wreck of progress. Deeply rooted in feelings of emptiness, dissatisfaction, gloom and disdain for the current state. Instead of approaching the lyrics from the point of view of a spectator or a critic, I try to revert it back to the individual. An inner struggle to understand events and human experience as a whole. Although, every now and then this inner dialogue tends to include personal opinions and beliefs.
7. be in the band for you all which one is prefer doing an album on the studio or doing tour to the place that you never know before?
Cal: It’s hard to choose because they are both such gratifying experiences. The studio allows you to really hone in on your sound and detail every aspect of your songs. However, I personally am much more into the idea of touring and playing live shows, especially if it’s in a place we’ve never been to before (which is a lot of places for us). Growing up and going to punk/hardcore shows has had a huge influence on the person I’ve become and I’ve always been intrigued by the energy between both the band and attendees. I don’t really want to call them an audience because I think that word makes it sound like a passive role of just going to shows, standing around, and watching. Instead, people at shows frequently play an active part in creating the atmosphere and energy. I think there’s something really special between all the people crammed into a house/living room/garage/venue. It’s hard to explain but if you have ever been to a punk show you most likely understand what I am talking about.
Carlos: I think for me it's 50/50. I love the creative process as it is a firm belief of mine that this is the only realm in which humans are actually free. And I love going into the studio to collaborate with our wonderful and ridiculously talented engineer Jack Shirley. Plus, writing songs with Cal and Austin is a pleasure, and a total honor because I'm constantly surprised by how talented both of them are. But as a punk band, we exist in the world of performance art, creating energy and transferring that to people at shows. Touring gives us the opportunity to share our art with the world, but also coexist in this abstract realm of reality with people we have never met before, or old friends in other cities.
8. 21+ show or All Ages show? explain why?
Cal: Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge proponent of all ages shows. We live in an area where there has been an assault on affordable all ages shows and it’s really hurting our scene. More and more all ages venues get shut down each month and it’s really sad to see. Although it’s nearly impossible to be a band in San Francisco and play strictly all ages shows there really is absolutely no reason to play a 21+ show. Shows with an age limit usually pertain to venues with bars and creates a culture that emphasizes alcohol consumption rather than the music itself. If I go see a band or go play a show, my intention is focusing on the music rather than just trying to get wasted. 21+ shows also just manifest ageism in a way that is really damaging to the youth in our society. I’ve talked to countless kids that say they wish they were 21 so they could get into a show or buy a drink. These kids typically feel like it’s their fault for not being of age when the blame and accountability should really be placed on venues and bands. The 21+ scene makes the kids in our scene feel like their age is a detriment and also influences them into thinking that alcohol and shows go hand in hand, which does not necessarily have to be true. On top of that, it’s just not logical to me to ban a person from getting into a show based on their age.
9. Next planning for the band?
Cal: We will be touring the American West Coast in April with our friends in The Exquisites who are also on the same label as us, Asian Man Records. They have a new record coming out that we are all really excited about. Our tour dates include shows with Shook Ones, Naomi Punk, Shinobu, Dad Punchers, Merry Christmas, and Joyce Manor which are all awesome bands that you should check out if you haven’t already. Also, we just finished recording our debut full-length LP. That will most likely be released by the summer time with some extensive touring following it’s release.