Canada's authentic road band
Kevin Young, keyboardist for Vancouver's Moist, had a recent chat with The Brunswickan regarding their upcoming performance at the SUB cafeteria. It is the third time that the band is coming to the East Coast since September, and this is something that not many bands do.
When asked how come they venture out east so much, Young says, "Part of that is that originally when we were touring Canada as an independent band, we didn't go any further east than Montreal, just because it wasn't feasible. We did quite a few tours when we didn't hit the east coast at all. There are still a number of places we haven't played which we'd like to." The response from audiences on the east coast is one that should guarantee return trips for quite a while.
Moist formed around 1993, and Young comments, "We essentially all met in Vancouver." This is interesting because four of the five band members (Paul Wilcox is the odd man out) had previously attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. The would-be Moist troupe trickled back across to Vancouver where they came together. "Essentially what happened," continues Young, "was the band got together out of two projects that were not going very well. Dave [Usher, vocals], and I had been working together, and Jeff (Pearce, bass) and Mark [Makoway, guitar] had been working together. So we got together and we wrote some songs and went off and searched for a drummer. We tried out every drummer in Vancouver it felt like, and then we found Paul [Wilcox]. Shortly thereafter we were doing gigs and setting goals for the future, such as touring, which is when we really came to find out what we were about, as we were on the road all the time."
Touring is something that the band knows quite well. Having two stellar albums released since their inauguration, the band has been on an almost constant touring schedule. According to Young, "It's been about four years now since we started out as a band. [With touring] it all sort of melts into one big year after a while. We've actually had some time over this Christmas, and we had six weeks off, which was the most time we've had off at one time for the entire time we've been together.
"We've always been about being a live band. It's our most comfortable place to be, and while we don't want to kill ourselves by being on the road all the time, we really think that its important to get everywhere we possibly can, and let people see us live.
"It's been quite a schedule for the past four years but we have had a good time." The fact that the band is having fun while touring makes it a lot more enjoyable for the fans to come and see them. When you blend a popular, but not overplayed, sound with the fact that they are easy to see live and can write good songs, an easy explanation for their sound comes to mind.
A lot of their almost unique sound stems from using keyboards/piano on almost all of their songs. Not many bands have integrated using a keyboard as a regular instrument in the music scene today, and one has to wonder if the success of a group like Moist may cause a bunch of bands to spring up using keyboards. "For quite a while there were very little keyboards present in rock and roll in the last few years; however, people seem to be experimenting with a lot of different instruments," says Young. "We've used a cello and trumpet on the album, [and] we'll probably get into more of that as we go along."
UNB concert-goers shouldn't worry about the rumours of the upcoming show being cancelled by David Usher's recent bout with the flu. The band has full intentions of being here on time and giving it all for the show. With regards to Usher's illness, Young says, "We were in Toronto, and it was a pretty hectic schedule coming across the country. We try not to do more than three shows in a row three nights in a row, simply because the band does tend to self-destruct after too many nights on, just because it is a very energetic rock show. Dave went down with the flu, [and] a couple of other things hit all at the same time. He blew his voice out, and so we had to dump three shows which we will make up in mid march." It is this attitude that is so great about Moist. They give their all for the fans because they realize that it's the fans who have been giving them the ability to tour the world. Too many bands these days are not willing to put all their energy into all their shows and it is nice to see this enthusiasm coming off the stage.
Another thing that UNB concert-goers should pay attention to is the band's stand on moshing and crowd surfing. They are all for high energy and the activities that go with the energy, but they do not want to see people get hurt. "We do like an enthusiastic crowd. The one thing is we just ask people to take care of each other. It's important that everybody has a good time and does what they feel like doing."
The band's future plans hold constant with what they have done since they began: tour. They have no plans for another new album, at least "not for quite a while," according to Young. The current album has enough momentum for the next while, and they plan to film and release another video sometime in the next few months. So, for Canada's road band, there are no majors changes as they continue down the road.