What is your name and role within Black Moth?
David Vachon: Bassist, backline and pedal builder, tour Manager and wine drinker.
Dom McCready: Drummer, Morale Manager and Party Marshal
Where are you currently based?
Dave: The band are spread across the UK but myself and Jim (guitarist) are living in lovely Saltaire, Dom (drums) is in Leeds while Harriet (vocals) and Fed (guitarist) are located down south in London.
I hear that you will be releasing a new album via Candlelight Records on the 23rd Feb 2018, can you please give us an idea of the songwriting direction that you took this album?
Dave: We tend to not have a direction when writing albums, we build up from a riff and go from there. Often it comes together as a concept when Harriet adds the vocal and lyrics. Our main goal on this new album was to create the heaviness that we do live but capture that onto a record.Dom: Our approach to writing songs has always been if its feels good to play then it is good. There are no set rules really, we just jam out riffs and if they feel good we’ll keep working on them. Some songs just write themselves and others take more playing around with. A good sign for a track is if we are excited to play it live.
What or who influenced the sound?
Dave: The sound came from working together in the studio with our engineer and producer Andy Hawkins. It helped that we had more time to be able to fine tune our sound to achieve what we wanted that was also different. Just a big epic wall of sound.Dom: Everyone in the band has totally different influences. I think this is why we are often hard to define as we all bring our own thing to the table. I love black and death metal and I try and bring that heaviness even if its just in the intensity I play with.
Where and when did you record?
Dave: This time round we recorded in The Nave Studios In Bramley, West Yorkshire with Andy. The studio is amazing, it’s an old church with two separate studios. We started test recording in there in October 2016 to work out a plan and test out sounds and then went in for a month of recording in December 2016 till mid January 2017.
Analogue or digital?
Dave: So far analogue all the way. We used a lovely 1963 Selmer T&B Croc skin head and a load of fuzz, distortion and other pedals. Even my bass was put through the Selmer. Unfortunately they are a bit too unreliable on the road to use so I had to build two copies of these heads which work great.
Why are you releasing with Candlelight Records?
Dave: We have been in talks with Dante from Spinefarm and Candlelight for a while as he was keeping an eye on our songwriting progress. Releasing with them is a step forward for us as they can release worldwide and really give us the extra push we need.
Dom: As a fan of extreme metal its an honour to be put out by Candlelight. Bands like Opeth, Ihsahn, Anaal Nakrath, Abigail Williams, Obituary. Their line up is amazing.
You’ll be touring the UK in Feb of 2018 as well, what can we expect from these shows?
Dom: The usual Black Moth live show. If you havent seen us before its loud, raucous and sweaty! Will be lots of new album stuff as well as a selection of “classics”.
How do you prepare for each show?
Dave: A rehearsal before the show is a must just to check the setlist is working.Dom: I personally have to stretch and warm up as the live show is pretty intense on my part especially for a longer headline show. I like to have a couple of beers to get loose as well, but no so many that I’m totally blasted (which i definitely used to do in the early years!).
What equipment and programs do you use live and when recording?
Dave: Recording at the Nave was recorded on tape then onto pro tools through a multitude of different preamps and outboard gear. Live we don’t use any software or tracks, it’s just all analogue live.
Guitars- Selmer T&B copies heads
Into orange cabs, custom fuzz faces
Big muffs and custom delay pedals built by myself.
Bass- custom built preamp rack into a 1000w power amp through orange cabs
Drums- Ludwig Centennial Kit with Paiste Cymbals. I use tama hardware and Pro mark sticks.
Harriet- Audix OM7 mic
There’s a recent video that you have shared for the track ‘Moonbow’ which was also played on BBC Radio 1 recently – https://www.youtube.com/watc
Dave: The concept was a collaboration and talks between Harriet and the video producer. They wanted to create something otherworldly and timeless that sucks you in hypnotically, like being in the trance-like state of pagan moon worship!
How do you approach the art of making a music video? What do you think is most important?
Dave: A concept or idea is suggested by the producer, as well as some visual references and key aspects from the lyrics and it goes from there. To us it needs to look cool and different, being able to see the main theme and subject of the song in video helps but it needs to keep you interested and wanting to watch again and again.
Dom: Im not a video producer myself, but as a performer in the video I try and pretend its a live show and put my all into it. I think its more authentic that way. But its definitely a weird set up often miming, all playing drums really loudly to a room full of cameras! Each music video we do I learn more and hopefully get better at it!
Your first 2 albums were produced by Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds). And 2nd album which was released in 2014 picked up amazing coverage across the rock/indie and metal world from the likes of NME, Q, Mojo, The Quietus and Drowned in Sound as well as Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terorrizer and Kerrang. You have found a balance of making songs that are melodic and psychedelic which appeal to one crowd but at the same time heavy enough to appeal to the metal audience. What do you attribute to your success?
Dave: If you meet all of us you will soon notice that we all have different influences in music which contributes allot to our sounds. I see so many bands with just one direction and idea and this is often because they just focus on one thing or style. We all love the classics like The Stooges and Sabbath but we all delve into other styles of music such as thrash, world music, 90s grunge and more.
Dom: As Dave said I think the very varied influences in the band contribute a lot to this. But also I think we have always had a philosophy towards music where we try and make it sonically as heavy as possible but also very melodic vocally.
How did you first start playing music?
Dave: I actually started when I was 12 playing guitar, then onto bass. Where I lived there was nothing to do in our village except form a band and play punk covers or skateboard down the street till you fall off because farmers have covered the streets in mud.
Dom: I learnt guitar in primary school (around 9/10 years old) but I was bored I think because it was all acoustic guitar. Self taught myself drums when I was around 13 and picked up guitar again at 16. I’ve been in my fair share of terrible terrible bands before i joined the Bacchae (pre black moth band featuring the same members).
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Dave: I’m really interested in the new Electric Wizard album but wish their were more tracks, check out the track Necromania. I tried to get into the new QOTSA album but that mix ruins it in my opinion. Also I’m going through some old vinyl I have like Bowie and ELO.
Dom: A lot of new black metal stuff. Mgla, Taake, Fen. The new Wolves in the Throne Room album is incredible. Also as always a lot of dirty blues. Recently saw Left Lane Cruiser live, fucking incredible.
What do you have planned for 2018?
Dave: 2018 looks like it’s going to be a fun year for us with the release of the album and the tour, also we have a few festivals such as Desertfest and tour supports in the pipeline plus an awesome show in Paris in March at a tattoo convention!!!
When and where are you playing next?
Dave: We recently played in London supporting Orange Goblin for their Christmas special at the Electric Ballroom so our next shows will be our UK tour in February.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Dave: My nickname is pepperoni dave, I love Pizza and cats and carbonara. We have a few places in Saltaire we like to go too but one cool place is called Fanny’s ale house. Go check it out if your about.
Dom: My favourite food is mexican, Pinche Pinche in leeds is an incredible little restaurant that does Mexican tapas. I like to hangout in dark dirty dive bars. Bad Apples Rock bar is my favourite bar. Temple of Boom is an amazing DIY metal venue and bar in Leeds aswell.
Upcoming tour dates:
7th February: Hope & Ruin, Brighton
8th February: Boston Music Rooms, London
9th February: Rebellion, Manchester
11th February: Garage Attic, Glasgow
12th February: The Cluny 2, Newcastle
13th February: Mama Roux’s, Birmingham
14th February: Fuel, Cardiff
15th February: Waterfront Studios, Norwich
16th February: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds