Moist needs to be busy to be happy
David Usher can't sit still. Whether he's thrashing around stage with his band Moist (and often tackling various members thereof), hammering out a new song idea or touring the globe for three years straight, the 28-year-old singer hasn't had a moment's rest since a little song called Push lived up to its name back in 1993. And that's exactly the way Usher and his bandmates want it. "We're a band that always works under pressure," Usher says, "and in many ways we've created our own pressure. "That's just the way we work. In fact, I think we need it. "We need to have things happening all the time or we get relatively unhappy." Warming up for Neil Young at the Coliseum tomorrow night, Moist spent almost seven months writing and recording its new album, Creature. That's a terribly long spell considering that the band produced its debut album in less than a week. Having just come off the aforementioned three years of touring, the band got so antsy after just four months at home in Vancouver that they decided to move the whole operation to Montreal last Christmas. "We just needed to shake things up," explains Usher. "We'd been travelling for so long that to stay in one place was twisted. We hadn't quite adjusted. We were having definite social dysfunction." Nothing like week-long gin benders or shooting heroin into their eyeballs or anything like that, Usher assures, but just a lack of fresh experiences in Vancouver. Montreal, with its vibrant late-night life, on the other hand, proved to be a very creative environment. It also brought Moist into Quebec's famous Morin Heights studio, where they spent three long months laying tracks for Creature. "It was exciting and frustrating, all those things," Usher says. "You go through a lot of different spaces when you're spending that much time making a record. We did need to spend the time this time out. We had to work through a lot of songs. We wanted to try out different instruments and different spaces and give things a chance to breathe a little bit." The band itself hasn't taken a breath, however. To questions like what his "definite view on the world" is, the perception of Moist as a teeny bopper group, or whether the band was successful in its effort not to retread old ground on the new album, Usher gives answers like, "I haven't had time to really take stock of what's happened." And he's not likely to soon, since the band's been touring since Creature was mixed and will probably be on the road all the way through 1997. These new Montrealers haven't even had any time to brush up on their French. "We've been trying," Usher says, "but we're pretty pathetic so far."