Friday, September 8
Having taken the west coast by storm, the talented "art metal" trio behind Gibson, B.C.s Mothra are ready to swoop down and incapacitate all who stand in their wake. Known for their heavier-than-hell aural onslaughts and technically adept instrumentation, 19-year-old bass wizard/vocalist Liam Bryant, drummer Allan Miller and keyboardist/vocalist Karla Miller unleash super-sonic devastation with every beat of their mighty wings.
Armed to the antennae with a self-titled debut that boasts a dozen untitled post-hardcore tracks, Mothra promises to leave you shuddering like a 20,000 ton butterfly caught in a power line.
"Weve spent the last year and a half booking this tour," Karla Miller explains of their master plan. "Liam and Al were together for the first month or so, then they decide they wanted to add some more vocals and synthesizer to the mix. We spent two weeks preparing and then we were out playing live. Shortly thereafter we hooked up with producer Colin Stewart (Hot Hot Heat, Radio Berlin, and Black Mountain) at The Hive Creative Labs to record the album. We had tight time constraints and I think the pressure definitely helped us to move things along quickly."
Blending together the disparate elements of cacophony and melody comes naturally to Karla,who readily admits to being seduced into joining the bands lineup when they metamorphosized into a three-piece in February of 2005. Sharing vocal duties and adding her own feminine touches to Bryant and Allans passionate prog-rock stylings, Karla proves that women can hold their own in a largely male-dominated genre.
"Ive played the piano since I was a kid growing up in Edmonton and have always been surrounded by music and musicians, but this is my first real band," she says. "Ive learned so much by being challenged to advance and really improve my techniques. I dont come across many women who are in bands that are similar to Mothra.
"I know that Im so lucky to have my husband (Allan) as a bandmate the three of us get along so well its a pleasure to work together. As a band, were all of the belief that the right thing will happen at the right time and that the right exposure will in turn generate the right opportunities for us."
Opening ears and minds wherever they appear, Mothra takes a certain pride in offering up the unexpected, combining Bryants complex finger-tapping fret work with super-tight percussion, spine-tingling synthesizer reverberations and vocals that range from ethereal to brutal. Branching out from their home near Mollys Reach, (where The Beachcombers was set and filmed in the 80s), Mothra is still a relatively new phenomenon, but one that increases in strength and complexity with every live performance.
"Liam uses his bass skill to fill out the sound like a guitarist would," Karla says. "As young as he might be, he always has plenty of cool effects and interesting combinations to contribute. We like surprises throwing seven-minute-long songs into our live shows tying together the melodic songs with the darker eerie ones. But above that we like to be really prepared before we go onstage."
Indeed, honing their razor-sharp musicianship on the road has benefited Mothra in ways that prolonged studio sessions never could have. Building on their sinister sound with each new conquest they continue to evolve from their larval state to that of a full blown imago lepidopteron giant capable of defeating Godzilla while spinning a cocoon of silken steel.
"Although, the state of popular music is quite sad," laments Karla. "I think people are becoming increasingly open to music like ours and we are being looked at by a wider audience. Allan loves Rush, Liam is a jazz artist who loves Primus, I grew up listening to punk, Fugazi, Sonic Youth and Tool. Our varied influences work to our advantage and work against us in a way.
"The name Mothra refers to a beast that is primarily good-natured and is summoned to rescue those in need. Like her, we are not necessarily aggressive, but our focus is often mistaken for violent intent."