There are no plans for another Black Moth Super Rainbow album, says Tom FecBy Nic Turiciano | May 8th, 2013 | No Comments »
Tom Fec, the man at the helm of Black Moth Super Rainbow and solo-project Tobacco, doesn’t speak up too often. Instead, he’d rather his music and art speak for itself.
He started obfuscating his projects before anonymity was the fast lane to going viral, using masks, stage names and engaging art instead of his face to rally fans. It’s been so effective that BMSR remains somewhat of an enigma a decade after releasing its first record.
Reverb caught up with Vec before Black Moth Super Rainbow went out on tour (the band is playing at the Bluebird Theater on May 17) to talk about Kickstarter, music label “assholes,” BMSR’s past and its uncertain future:
R: Black Moth Super Rainbow is often given the “enigmatic” label because it’s known for wearing masks, using stage names and being slightly mysterious. Is that critique fair? Is it intentional?
TF: I think that word is a little bit of an exaggeration. I do like to take the personalities out of what we do because that’s not what it’s about. It’s about having a world of sound and visuals and everything belongs in its own world, whatever that is. When people and personalities get involved I think it doesn’t really mesh. I’m not trying to be enigmatic, but I am trying to create something that exists as its own thing and place.
R: The off-kilter art associated with Black Moth is some of the most interesting music-art out there. Who conceives BMSR’s artwork, and where does the inspiration come from?
TF: For the most part that’s my stuff, and I just want the pictures to look like the sounds, and I want the sounds to sound like the pictures. So it all kind of goes together for the most part.
There have been a few missteps here and there. Like a lot of the stuff we did around “Eating Us” was not really what I wanted, not really what it should have been. I think we’re back on track now.
I think at that time I knew that I had kind of fucked up on “Eating Us.” I didn’t really write it the way I should have. I kind of knew that it was going to come to an end soon anyway, and I stopped caring. I started putting more of my chips into what would become “Maniac Meat.”
R: Do you think there’s ever a gap between the way you want your music and art to be perceived and the way that fans actually react to it?
TF: I learned this really early on when “Dandelion Gum” came out.
When the “Sun Lips” video came out, everyone wanted what you would expect. I’m not going to name names, but there were a lot of bigger bands out there that were waving the psych music flag. Which is fine, whatever. If you’re going to do it, do it, but that’s not really what I’m into. They do the trippy visuals, the people in fields and the ’60s colors and whatever.
That’s what people wanted out of Black Moth for the first video we did. I’ve never seen this project like that. I’ve always seen it as a lot of other things. There are expectations for every single thing I do, and every time I do something I think a lot of people are turned off. I’m thinking the fans that are still there, maybe they’ve come to realize they aren’t going to get what they expect.
Maybe it’s all making more sense to people now — you’re not going to get people in a fucking field every time. You’re not going to get happy-prancing-flowers kind of music.
R: “Cobra Juicy” was the first BMSR record to be self-released, and funding for it was raised through a Kickstarter campaign. Why go the crowd funding route? And did it work out?
TF: People looked at it like, ‘Why would they need $45,000 to make a record?’ I don’t need $45,000 to make a record. I can make a record for free. We needed that money to do all the crazy shit that came along with it. I think another thing about crowd funding that people don’t understand is that people are like, ‘Why do we need to pay you so that you can make stuff?’ That’s how you buy things. You pay people money and they make you something.
I wanted to make sure people wanted it, and if they wanted it, they’d pay for it. Maybe people who do it the wrong way are out there begging, but if you look at it the right way it’s a safety net. Because if nobody had wanted it, then I would have already been balls-deep with $20,000 worth of masks. That would have sucked.
R: So will you do the crowd funding thing again?
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