EMQ’s with MOTHS
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with San Juan, Puerto Rico based Stoner/Progressive Metal band MOTHS. Huge thanks to bassist Weslie Negrón for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
I’m Weslie Negrón, bass player for Moths. The band started with an idea to make more challenging music for myself. Previous to Moths I was playing in a Death/Thrash Metal band and I’ve never been particularly a fan of any those genres. Though I owe that band most of the experience I have today, I wanted to try something different music-wise and that’s when I got in contact with Jonathan (Lead Guitar) whom got in contact with Omar (Rhythm Guitar) and we started jamming and we came up with ideas fairly quickly actually. After that Damaris (Vocals) and Danny (Drums) joined the band later and we got to record our first EP “MOTHS”, which came out in 2018 and had a great reception from the press, being reviewed by the likes of Bandcamp, Heavy Blog is Heavy!, and more. We also got to do a mini run of shows in the US Mainland in 2019.
How did you come up with your band name?
I’m a huge fan of the band The Ocean Collective and they have a track called “The Metaphysics of the Hangman”, which is a name that I really liked to name a band after. I remember writing the acronym “M.O.T.H.” on a piece of paper to start organizing ideas and that’s when I noticed that the word “MOTH” was formed, and I wondered if any other band had the name. Of course, there like 100 bands that a variety or form of “moth” as part of their name, so I just added the letter “s” and that was that.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re from San Juan, Puerto Rico. We have a solid, active Metal scene over here that has been running since the late 80’s. The best thing about the scene here is that we have everything for everyone. If you want Death Metal, we have a Death Metal band, if you want Black Metal, we have a Black Metal band, and so on. I really invite people to check the Puerto Rican Metal scene starting with bands like Fullminator, Calamity, Ritual Kannabis, Paricia’s Patience, Omnifariam, Avandra, a bit of everything for everyone.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
As I mentioned before, we released our self-titled EP “MOTHS” in November 2018. The EP consists of three original tracks and a cover of King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man”. I believe this EP is a good introduction to the music that we play and where we’re headed to. A mix of Progressive, Stoner, Doom, and even Jazz here and there.
Moths – Lepidoptera (Official Audio)
Who have been your greatest influences?
As a band we don’t really have established influences, everyone in the band listens to a variety of different music which we all bring to the table whenever we sit to write new music. Personally, bands like Opeth, Porcupine Tree, and Black Sabbath are some of my main influences and usually bands that I look after if I’m going through a mental block and want to create something.
What first got you into music?
The first band that got me into Metal/Rock and maybe music in general was Linkin Park. I was 10 years old when I heard them for the first time, and I was completely blown away with Chester’s vocals and the overall aesthetics of the band. After that, and growing in the early 2000’s, I went through the “emo phase” listening to bands like My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, and all that. Later a friend of mine introduced me to all the classics, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Anthrax, etc. and I was hooked, and the rest is history.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I got to say that I’ve always loved the idea of having Steven Wilson working on any album that we make, either as a producer, mixer, anything at all. I think it would be very interesting knowing his perspective about our music. Also, someone like Josh Homme or maybe even Dave Grohl would be very interesting as well. As an Opeth fanboy, having some involvement with Mikael Akerfeldt would be awesome as well. There are so many great, talented people out there that I would love to work with.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I believe that we would somehow be a good fit in a festival like Roadburn festival or even Psycho Las Vegas. Though they have varied a bit more in the past few years, I think that we can blend in with the rest of the bill that these festivals tend to curate. Honestly, Roadburn would be a dream, just being able to travel to the Netherlands and be surrounded with the top bands in the genre would be such an honour for us.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I don’t think we’ve ever received any gifts from fans yet. If you want to give us something, please, don’t make it weird (laughs).
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
I’ve always been thankful of anyone that takes a bit of their time to press play on music that we’ve created. With the infinity of entertainment options that are out there, the fact that they choose to press play on any of our songs it’s something that really means a lot to us, so I would say “Thank you!”
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
I guess that the answer to this question is between Freddie Mercury and Richard Wright. Freddie because I think that listening to his voice live must be an out of this world experience. With Richard Wright it would be to have the original Pink Floyd be reunited once more and maybe witness them playing, I don’t know, The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here back to back? I’m sure that would’ve been a cathartic experience.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I like creating soundscapes and being able to share ideas with other equally or more talented people. It’s always fun to learn the different ways and musical perspective of other musicians, it’s fun. I don’t think I “hate” anything about being a musician, though I would love for the gear to carry itself into and out of the stage on every live show (laughs).
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The streaming royalty rates. The actual major consumption of music is through streaming and not even big-name artists are being compensated well enough to be able to make a living from their own songs. These companies should reconsider what they pay to the artists in order for it to be balanced and equal for everyone. I’m not again streaming at all, actually It is also the main way I consume music, but artists have been feeding the pockets of these companies for a long time and we’re not saying the same fair response back.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Oh man there are so many, but I would say that my all-time favourite album is Ayreon’s “The Human Equation”, a Metal Opera that has people like James LaBrie, Devin Townsend, Mikael Akerfeldt in the same album. If you haven’t checked that album, make sure you do so, you won’t regret it.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I grew up listening to CD’s and MP3’s, so I guess I would lean towards the comfort and practical aspects of these mediums. If we talk quality, it’s between a CD’s or Vinyl. CD’s has been mentioned twice, so I would go with CD’s. But it really doesn’t matter to me as long as the recording sounds good.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
I’ve had so many good gigs that I’m thankful for having the chance to have played with. I had the opportunity to open for Metallica with my old band back in 2016, that was something else. With Moths I would say that our mini tour around the US Mainland was fun and full of energy, we weren’t really sure what was going to be the reaction from the audience, and we were able to get a lot of thumbs up after our sets.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Maybe something related to the Music Business industry. I love networking and getting to know different aspects of the Industry, especially when it has to do with Metal. I also find that working at the post office must be very interesting.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Man, I think it would be fun to be in the same room with Mikael Akerfeldt, Steven Wilson, Jonas Renkse, Devin Townsend, and Troy Sanders. I believe that some laughs and very interesting topics of conversation can be had with these guys.
What’s next for the band?
We have a Split album coming up with our friends from The Stone Eye from Philadelphia, which will be out on August 21st. Both bands will release one original track and we will releasing our arrangement of Black Sabbath’s “Hand of Doom” while The Stone Eye will release their cover of the classic American folk tune “Wayfaring Stranger”.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
You can follow Moths in the following Social Media platforms:
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I have no idea what Jaffa Cakes are, but you should try some Mofongo if you haven’t (laughs).
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?Thank you for the interest and the chance of having us at Ever-Metal. We can’t wait for this whole pandemic thing to end so we can go back and play live with you guys. Make sure you check our EP “MOTHS” out while you wait for the Split and, again, thank you for all of your support
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