Collective Approach

by Gerry Krochak
From Regina Leader Post
July 31, 1995

Moist has been on the move. After accomplishing all anyone could ask in Canada with its debut, Silver, the Vancouver band has toured Europe and the U.S., and is now getting ready for a new album.

"We're just starting to record demos for (the next album)," bassist Jeff Pearce says, adding that the band has changed since Silver.

"I think musically we're more focused than we were before.

"The first record was pretty much a collaboration of songs we had written, and they all came from different periods in our individual lives.

"Now I think for this next record, the songs come from a similar sort of place."

Pearce says it's that kind of collective band approach that happens when you spend so much time on the road, experiencing the same sorts of things and places as your band mates.

He also adds that the band's new material is "more varied" than the songs on the group's debut.

"There's more separation between the lighter stuff and the harder stuff," Pearce says. "On the last record there were a lot of songs that are sort of in that mid-range.

"This one will be going to the extremes a little bit more.

"I'm not sure why that is. I think it's just because songs like that work really well live, and that's sort of where we're coming from."

Despite the double platinum success the band generated with Silver, Pearce says the guys are just now figuring out what kind of band Moist is.

"Our lives haven't changed that much--except that we don't spend nearly as much time at home as we used to," he laughs.

"Now that we've been playing every night for two years, I think we have a much stronger idea of what we are, of how we exist, of what our sound is and that kind of thing."

If they were flying by the seat of their pants before, it seems certain that the next Moist album will be an event.

Although it's too early yet to start revealing much in the way of song titles and what will or won't be on the record, Pearce says that a couple of tunes stand out for him.

"There's one song we're calling `My Conditioning' right now, which I think is a really moving song," he says.

"It's unlike anything we've ever written before in that it's very long and simple, but I find it very moving at the same time."

Speaking of moving, with the second Moist album not scheduled for release until February, there will be some time to get back on the road before recording.

And the road has been an interesting place for the last couple of years, after the band's success in Canada with "Push" and the title track from Silver.

"We're doing really well in England," Pearce says. "It's really fun for us over there.

"In the past eight months we've been over there four times and every time we go back we see it rising.

"Every time we go back we're playing in larger halls and the people are a little bit more manic than the previous time."

While the band is making some significant strides in Europe and America, Pearce says that playing around the world has helped keep the band grounded and even more focused.

"It's really good for us, too," he says. "We did a show in Vancouver in April and there were 12,000 people here for it.

"Two days later we were playing in Brighton in the U.K. for 300 people in a chip shop," he laughts.

"It makes us remember that a year before, we were doing the same thing in Canada, essentially."

Unlike some bands, who complain about having to be on tour nearly all the time, Moist is having a blast.

Pearce marvels at the fact that Moist has played all over Europe and the U.S., plus Thailand.

And he's equally excited to have opened for groups like Live, Collective Soul, Matthew Sweet, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers and a slew of others.

The band will also play with Metallica, Veruca Salt and Hole in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. as part of a brewery promotion.

"I think it will be a really fun experience!" Pearce muses. "They've done these things all over Canada in various locations.

"We did one on Canada day in Newfoundland with Tea Party and I Mother Earth.

"This one in the North West Territories is the only one that's going to be a North American wide contest.

"I guess they figured because it's in Canada, but it's for America essentially, they wanted to put a Canadian band on the bill just to show a bit of Canadian support."

If that wasn't exciting enough, the band will also be playing the prestigious Reading Festival in England with the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden.

But Pearce and bandmates David Usher (singer), Paul Wilcox (drums), Kevin Young (keyboards) and Mark Makowy (guitar) will play about 10 more outdoor shows across Canada this summer before the band jets off to play Reading.

One of those outdoor gigs will be a show at Buffalo Days this Thursday night.

Pearce says the Regina show will be one of the first to feature some of the band's new tunes.

"We're really looking forward to it," he says.

"It will be the first chance we've had to change up our set in quite a while.

"We're probably doing at least three or four new songs."

This will mark only the second time the band has played Regina since Silver broke, and the band's first show here outside a club.

Pearce says the group's show will be a little different on a larger stage.

"We find that we behave differently on a big stage just because we have more room," he says.

"When we play in Manchester in a 200-seat room that they've crammed 300 people into, we're playing shoulder to shoulder!

"It's a way different show than when we have a big stage and room to explore."

Pearce says the size of venue and stage also presents the band with the challenge to involve the whole crowd.

"It's a lot of fun," he says.

"But it's strange as well, when you're playing to a crowd where you have to project to the back of a crowd of 5,000 people.

"You sort of find yourself unconsciously doing things a little bit different to try and find those people in the back."