Creating the Creature and other such stories, as told by Moist
Moist>Hot off the release of their sophomore album, Creature, Moist secured the spot of the opening act on Neil Young's current tour. The increased exposure should shoot the band into an even higher stratosphere than Silver could reach.
Paul Wilcox, Moist's drummer, talked about the band's origins, brief-but-busy history and, of course, the Neil Young tour.
(F denotes Fitzpatrick, P denotes Paul.)
F: So you're having a busy day, I take it?
P: Yeah, we're just putting the finishing touches on getting ready for opening up for Neil Young tonight here in Vancouver.
F: So you've done setup and soundcheck and all that fun stuff?
P: No, that has yet to happen
F: God knows how many times you folks have had to answer this question, but how did you arrive at the name "Moist"?
P: Well, there was a version of the band with that name that Mark (Makovy, bassist) and Jeff (Pearce, guitarist) were in beforehand, and that disbanded for a while and when it reformed with the new members, that was the best name we could come up with at that time.
F: So have you guys known each other for a while?
P: Yeah, I'm the only person actually from Vancouver, the rest of the guys went to [Queen's University] together in Kingston, Ontario
F: So what was your school of choice? College, university, the school of life?
P: A little bit I did some recording arts courses, but the rest was basically motivated by my desire to make music. That's what I've pretty much always been interested in.
F: You were the last member of the band to join then? What's the chronology there?
P: Yep, I was the last to join. O.K. Mark and Jeff were in the original, then the band disbanded. They stuck it out together. Kevin (Young, guitarist) and Dave (Usher, vocalist) were together doing some song writing and what have you. They all joined to form the band and there was a revolving door thing happening with the drummer they went through a number of them and then finally settled on me. We got together for the MusicWest conference and that really got the ball rolling. From there, we went on our first tour a couple months later. That was in 1993.
F: So you guys have been touring quite a bit ever since?
P: Well, for the last year or so we've been focused on the new album, so not much touring there.
F: So was Creature a little more intense than Silver?
P: Well yeah (chuckle), Silver was recorded in basically six days and we recorded everything live off the floor and just went bang, bang, bang. Very limited overdubs. For all intents and purposes this is our first record. Silver was actually a demo, really. We weren't getting any interest from any record companies, so we released our own CD first off. It started to get some airplay, then we got the video to run on MuchMusic, which was great as an independent act. The record company bought the whole package from us. From then on, we simply started working with them. ... Creature is more of a cohesive mix and was written as a record and seems to flow a lot more smoothly. It's not too much of a departure from our first sound, but it definitely just fits.
F: Consensus seems to be that it's a more finished product, that you folks had a lot more time to run this one through
P: Absolutely. Plus we had a little bit of a budget on this one, which certainly helped. To tell you the truth, we were thinking that it would take a little over two months to get it all done. But it kept on going. We created a monster a "creature" if you will. It just went on and on.
F: So, do you remember playing Fredericton at the AUC, Paul?
P: Yes I do! I think we had a great show in Fredericton.
F: Did you folks manage to figure out the acoustics of the Aitken Centre?
P: It was a little boomy, but it was a great gig though. We had a really fun time with the crowd it was a great crowd. That was the first time we actually played in Fredericton, which is kind of silly when you consider that we have been on the road for two and a half years.
F: Well, we kind of wondered when you guys would eventually find your way through here.
P: Well yeah, it's weird. We hadn't had the chance to get through there before. But we're going to be going back to Fredericton again after Christmas, that's for sure. The closest we'll be making it this time is Saint John.
F: With Neil Young and Crazy Horse?
P: You got it. In the past, we've been all over the world. We try to go where the record is moving to keep supporting it. It's rather odd that we hadn't been there until September.
F: So what about Neil Young. Is this your first show tonight?
P: First show tonight. We've got ten gigs in 17 days across Canada and then we'll be doing Buffalo and Hartford. We'll have to see after that. It was some pretty good news, though. I mean, we heard that we were up for the tour. You always hear that you're up for this or up for that, so we just wind up saying "Great, if we get it that's nice. If not, then that's life. Tell me if it's finalized or not." We really didn't expect it to happen, and then soon after, we were told that we got it. I was just dumbfounded. I was in Montreal when I heard that we got it, and basically blew my phone bill through the roof calling everybody that I knew to let them know. He's the king, the Godfather of modern music. It's definitely pretty cool for us.
F: So what happens after the Neil Young gigs?
P: I don't really know, to tell you the truth. I'm not even sure if he (Young) is continuing on tour after Hartford, so we'll have to see. We'll be doing our own cross-Canada tour after