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THE MOLOCHS

The Molochs music is drenched in the sun bathed Los Angeles music scene, recalling the same mid-60’s attitude that we have seen come out of the city before. Their new album is all about pleasure and melody, you can see that from start to finish as lead singer Lucas Fitzsimons voice almost floats its way across every song. The laid back atmosphere the album evokes is their in plain sight; and with its immediacy it’s something genre fans will look towards as the cutting lead guitar allows us to sit back and feel like it’s the mid-60’s all over again.

With their first effort ‘Forgetter Blues’ coming in 2013, The Molochs progress their sound further here on ‘America’s Velvet Glory’ recalling early Velvet Underground and Stooges records. But it may be easy for a band who comes from a city with so much history in music to sit there and be comfortable to revisit sounds of artists that have come before them. Yet The Molochs aren’t just a band who are all about their influences as they bring a refreshing taste with this new album America’s Velvet Glory; and below you can see us chat about everything from Jazz records, LA, and Allen Ginsberg.

Your new album ‘America’s Velvet Glory’ recently came out, can you tell us a bit
more about what people can expect from it?
Mainly just an effort to get some good songs on the album. There are some things we tried differently with the instrumentation that we didn’t do on Forgetter Blues, so I think in that sense America’s Velvet Glory is more rich. There’s a higher variety of instruments going on and just variety in general.

This isn’t your first record as The Molochs, with Forgetter Blues
dropping in 2013; what did you want to do different from the first LP 
to America’s Velvet Glory?

We just wanted to take advantage of using a studio that had more instruments around for us to use and to try and explore the actual sonic aspect of the recording process and not just focusing on getting the song itself recorded and done
.

Did you have a better idea with how to approach making a record
second time around?

Yeah, probably just more knowledge in general about the process and also having been influenced by whatever new stuff I had listened to in those few years.

How did you go about writing the album, where did the inspiration 
for it come from?

Well I didn’t exactly sit down and write it. it’s basically a collection of songs from 2012 to 2015, so it sort of just came together by choosing which songs to record. There were a few, though, that I wrote/finished leading right up to the recording and even during. It’s hard to say where the inspiration comes from… I guess just from being a fan of music and also trying to channel your life into something expressive, it’s more of a survival tactic.

What kind of influences did you have heading into the new album?

Just exploring other pockets of sixties music like Pearls 
Before Swine or Pentangle–more folk–based stuff, but also messing 
around with later influences like Go Betweens or Jacobites. The Clean, 
stuff like that.

Can you tell us a bit about who you’ve been listening to recently?
Mmm.. been kind of all over the place. Heard a couple good jazz records recently.. Booker Ervin and Azar Lawrence.

A lot of bands look to do the retro-revival thing these days, but
 you’re playing straight up Rock’n’Roll, it just sounds honest and 
authentic, was this something you looked at when making the album?

Yeah I mean we explore sounds that pull from old stuff but there
isn’t anything we are trying to revive. If anything just to revive 
people’s spirit in music, get them excited about playing it or seeing 
it live or listening to it. I don’t think we necessarily had that in
mind while recording. I think the playing and the songs are genuine as
is, so it just came out sounding real. Not just like we put this
period piece together.

The guitar sound that opens up No More Cryin’ sounds so bright
and alive, can you tell us a bit more about how you approached the
guitar sound for the album?

We’ve always liked clean, bright jangley guitars. It’s always
been our sound so we didn’t even think about it too much. It just made
sense to have the guitars really cut through.

What can we expect from a typical Molochs gig when you’re out 
there playing?

Derek likes to chew gum and sometimes I fall. We play the shit 
outta the songs though!

You hail from LA, a place that has a huge music scene, what’s it 
like trying to stand out in a place like that?

The less one worries about that the more of a chance they
probably have of standing out. You have to be confident about what
 you’re doing, not because it’s cool, but because you yourself are convinced of it.

You must be see a lot of bands playing from around there, can you 
tell us a bit more about what the music scene is like there right now?

It’s pretty eclectic at the moment. There are a lot of different 
types of sounds/genres that bands around here are trying to do. There 
really isn’t like one dominant scene, so that’s pretty good sometimes.

Most people will recognise “Moloch” from the famous Allen
 Ginsberg poem Howl; can you tell us a little bit about where the name
 came from for you and why you chose it for your band?

I just happened to be reading it at the time that we were
 choosing a band name. I threw the name on a list of other bad band 
names and Vishal the drummer at the time picked it out.

We can’t deny that an Allen Ginsberg reference makes for a pretty 
cool band name; any other beat references that you’re influenced
 by?

Well I’d say the stuff of Ginsberg that I am most influenced by 
would be late ’40s/’50s when Howl came out and all that. I don’t
really lump them into the ’60s world even though they obviously
 influenced that type of culture. I do also love later interpretations 
of the beat style like TV Personalities or sometimes the Go Betweens.
 It’s cool to see the influence show up in later eras of music.

And finally, 2017 is looking like a busy year for you guys, what 
can we expect to see from you over the course of it?

Lots of traveling around the U.S. and UK/Europe, possibly 
elsewhere. Hopefully we will get back into the studio at some point as
well.

The Molochs New EP ‘AVG Sessions’ is out March 3rd on Innovative Leisure

Tom Willets

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