Moses Nose and the Rediscovered Cause of Rock and Roll
With electronic music easier to make than ever, a resurgent acoustic culture and the pop charts being dominated by hip-hop, the louderati in Moses Nose, who will be playing two nights in Ashland, have a simple, clearly-defined struggle.
“Not a lot of people connect with rock and roll like they used to,” says Trevor Lucier, bass for the band. “We gotta bring them reasons why they should.”
Their strategy for that is also simple: “rock or be rocked upon.” That means big riffs, loud amps and a rawkus stage demeanor, a formula that packs ballrooms in the band’s hometown of Monterrey. They call it blister-rock.
“Blister rock is vintage rock stylings, specifically rock and roll riffage, brought into the modern area,” says Lucier. “We use a lot of modern techniques. Especially with the signal chain in our pedal boards to achieve certain sounds. Almost everything in it is using some kind of effect that wouldn’t be possible at least until the ‘90s. But we stick to rock and roll techniques in our riffage.”
That’s pretty clear even in just the opening chords of Moses Nose 2015 album, The Burning Bush. The core of the song is a driving wave of ‘70s style stadium rock, with a swung rock riff and a power-pop melody. But the bassline beneath it is a roll of tapped and trilled textures for an especially driving sound.
Lucier says much of the more experimental techniques are lower in the mix on The Burning Bush, but they are still evident.
Another favorite technique of the band is a series of metal finger-rings worn by guitar player Lucier to interfere with the magnetic field of his guitar’s pickups for a ghostly, ethereal sound.
“It’s really something we developed through a mixture of boredom and necessity,” says Lucier. “For one, we really like trying new things. And for two, we live in a place where there are a lot of great musicians around, but not a lot of people play rock and roll.”
But that’s a corner Lucier sees culture coming around with the success of bands like The Black Keys and The White Stripes.
“It’s always been here,” he says. “But it’s being re-recognized.”
The band will be playing back to back nights in Ashland, at Paddy Brannan’s Irish Pub on Sat., May 30, and at Club 66 the next night. And as the band has to fly its drummer in for gigs from his full-time gig as an electrical engineering scholarship student at USC, it’s a good thing there are two chances to catch them because they may not be back for awhile. After tour wraps, the band will be heading into the garage to work on its next album.
“I think the second album is really going to be more focused on grabbing our audience by the throat and telling them, hey, we’re right here,” says Lucier.
And when, Dear Listener, it does inevitably grab you by the throat: feel the blisters on those fingers.
“We shred pretty hard,” says Lucier. “We get blisters a lot.”
9pm, Sat., May 30
Paddy Brannan’s Irish Pub, 23 S. Second St., Ashland
9pm, Sun., May 31
Club 66, 1951 Ashland St., Ashland
CREDIT: Peter Nichols of Peter Nichols Photography.