Black Moth Super Rainbow made a big splash earlier this year with the release of their latest album, Cobra Juicy. The record garnered great reviews and the was group’s first effort since 2009’s Eating Us.
The band just wrapped up their headlining tour this past weekend in Washington, DC., but before they went out on the road, I was able to chat with band leader Tobacco, aka Tom Fec, to reveal the stress behind the Kickstarter campaign for the album, the influences behind his most lyrical album yet, and the future of Black Moth Super Rainbow.
What were your influences while you were writing Cobra Juicy?
Um, not a whole lot. I was definitely trying to keep stuff more classical, like Bob Serger almost. I was trying to perfect what I was doing with something a little more normal, in terms of the songwriting.
What kind of added pressure came up once you saw how successful the Kickstarter campaign was?
Well, in the fact that I don’t have a label and we had to do 2,000 orders plus with the website, we had a ton of orders up there too; it was really, really stressful just trying to get everything ready before the tour. We left on the 26th of October and we wanted to make sure everyone got their shit in time. It was really intense. We were literally like floor to ceiling in three or four rooms.
Was it just you?
It was basically just me. I had a couple of friends come over for the last week and a half of it to try and get through it. Yeah, it was the most work I’ve ever had in my life, like easily. I’ll never do a Kickstarter again because it’s just too much.
Well, you basically just answered my next question. So, it was just too much for you?
Yeah, my Kickstarter days are over.
Do you think it was worth it?
I mean in a sense it was worth it. It was a good indication where I stand with the people who like what I do on some level. But I feel like I only need to do that once.
In terms of the actual record itself, the album seems more lyrical compared to your previous efforts. Is there any particular reason for that?
I just wanted to treat it differently. I wanted to approach it in a way that I was more uncomfortable, and one of the things that has always made me the most uncomfortable are lyrics. So I spent a lot of time fine tuning what I was singing to make sure it meant something this time around.
Do you think you’ll be the same after this album?
I think this album was the one that I always kind of needed to do. Pretty much from the time I started the whole Black Moth project, this was the record that I needed to achieve, and now that I’ve done itI feel free. I feel like I can take it some weird, alienating, directions which is where I’d like to go. I just had to prove to myself that I could make an album like this, and now it will be more fun to do the opposite.
Speaking of the sound, I know you have always mentioned music as being viewed as a world to it’s own. What do you think Black Moth Super Rainbow’s world is like?
It’s not something I want to define, because I think what’s important to anything is having your own interpretation of what something is. I think the minute you define what something is, for someone else, it kind of takes away what they thought about it. It takes away whatever their personal connection was. I never like to define anything.
How have the songs from the new album been translated live?
Some of them are really complex with the layers, but I think we’ve done a pretty good job so far of compromising what we could do with only five people. There really hasn’t been an issue. There’s only one song on the record that we haven’t been able to do at all because of how dense it is.
Do you bring any of those old analog synths on the road with you?
Honestly, I only have one. I think a lot of people think I have an arsenal of synths, but I just have the one that I use for everything. It doesn’t come out on the road with me.
I’ve heard you love making prank phone calls. Do you ever make any while you’re out on the road?
Yeah, some of my favorite ones are from last Fall that are almost a year old now, from some cities while we were out on the road. It’s more fun to make them out on the road because you’re ever that much further from getting caught.
What plans do you have for yourself and Black Moth Super Rainbow once this tour is over?
The next thing for me is to finish this new project with with this guy from Arizona. We have a new band and we’re just about finished the record we’re working on. That’ll be out before the next Black Moth tour in April. Then we’ll do another Black Moth tour in May.
Does this new band share a similar sound to Black Moth or Tobacco?
It’s like a Tobacco record in a way, but it has the other guy on vocals instead of me. I’m really, really happy with it. It’s really nice…