Interview with Dom McCready drummer of Black Moth
MoM: Let’s start at the beginning. How did Black Moth come about?
DM: Most of the members of Black Moth were playing together in a band beforehand. We found that our tastes and what we wanted to do musically were gradually getting heavier. Eventually it reached a critical mass where we realised we were not the same band anymore and had to form a new one.
MoM: What are your best and worst memories of the early days of the band?
DM: Well I was partying a lot back in those days so can't say that my memories are all that clear! We did a disastrous European tour way back in our earlier days where our van broke down three times. To make one show we had to get a taxi like 80 miles either way with all our gear. Was worth it in the end though as the crazy Europeans loved it. On the last show of the tour they just wanted let us off stage and we ended up having to repeat songs! Can't say I have any particularly bad memories due to always being drunk. But when our long time keyboard player left us it was initially quite hard. But ultimately probably did us a favour!
MoM: Listening to the band there are a myriad of influences in the mix. Everything from The Stooges, Sabbath to Siouxsie and even Mastodon. How do you channel all of those influences in your song writing?
DM: I don't think it's something we consciously do. We never approach song writing saying things like "Oh we want this song to be sabbathy" or anything like that. We just write what feels good and fun to play. The influences of the different members are so wide and varied that its kind of impossible to write like that. We just do our thing.
MoM: The Killing Jar was your first album and received very favourable reviews. Casting your minds back to 2012, how happy were you with it?
DM: For me personally I found it very hard to listen to that record. I'm a perfectionist and I also find it very hard to listen to anything I wrote as I doubt myself a lot. At the time I wasn't super happy with it and thought we could do a lot better. Now I can go back and enjoy it for what it is. You have to let go ultimately.
MoM: You then released Condemned To Hope, which I think was a bit more accessible on first listen. It was the first release I picked up by the band. Was there a deliberate change of direction?
DM: There was no deliberate change of direction but we did recruit second guitarist Nico into the band which brought his influences into the melting pot. So I think it was just natural for the songs to have taken a slightly different vibe. Ultimately as a band we don't want to stagnate, I would always want to be evolving and enjoy that each album is quite different to the last.
MoM: Roger Dean was responsible for the artwork on Condemned To Hope. He’s produced some fine art for bands such as Yes, Asia and the legendary cover for Never Turn Your Back On A Friend by one of my faves, Budgie. How did this come about?
DM: I think we just reached out to him is all. Apparently he only works with bands he liked but luckily he liked us and agreed to do it which was pretty mind blowing. Definitely a unique and awesome opportunity to be a part of.
MoM: I first saw you at Temples Festival in Bristol in 2014 where you received a great reaction and then followed it up with a slot at Damnation in your home town. What can you remember about those gigs?
DM: I remember Temples being very hectic, we had to drive all the way down to Bristol play the show and then head straight back to Leeds as Nico had work that evening (such are the drawbacks of balancing working life with being in a band). I remember it being a great crowd and the festival seemed really cool but unfortunately we didn't get to stay and experience it. Was very sad to hear of its demise as a festival. Playing Damnation was fantastic. It's overall my favourite metal festival and the fact it's in Leeds made us very proud to play at it. Apparently the room was so packed out that people couldn't get in to see us!
MoM: I’m ashamed to say I missed your set at Bloodstock last year but I understand you received a very good response. How was it for you?
DM: If Damnation is my favourite indoor festival then Bloodstock is absolutely my favourite outdoor one. Absolutely amazing atmosphere and general vibe of that festival, I go every year as a customer anyway. So obviously it was again a huge honour to be playing, we were given a really great slot as well. Even though we clashed with Testament lots of people came to watch us anyway watch was great.
MoM: Let’s have a look at the latest release, Anatomical Venus. It’s a superb album, and as you’ve said in your promos your heaviest offering to date. Was it a conscious decision to ramp up the riffs?
DM: Again we never really make conscious decisions like that when we are writing, we just always do what we enjoy. After all if we don't enjoy playing it then what is the point!? But part of it being heavier than the last two my have had something to do with the fact that Nico left the band and we recruited Federica. Her influences are generally more metal than Nico's were and she has previously toured in thrash metal bands.
MoM: I think it’s an album that you have to devote a bit of time to listening to but the rewards are substantial if you do. Is that a fair view?
DM: I'm not sure I really get what you mean, surely any album requires time listening to? But if that means that after listening to it for some time you still want to go back to it then that is always a good sign for a record.
MoM: You’ve moved to Candlelight Records from Spinefarm. Tell us a little bit about this move. What does it give Black Moth?
DM: We've been talking to those guys for a couple of years but they were always waiting to here some new stuff. So in the end we went ahead and recorded the album and then sent them a copy. They loved it and wanted to bring us on board. Hopefully it will give us a wider reach with things like day one distribution. Ultimately moving to a larger label brings with it the bigger influence of that label.
MoM: You played with some of our favourite British bands before Christmas including The Pearl Hearts and the mighty Orange Goblin who are blistering live. How did they go?
DM: Playing with the Goblin is of course a massive honour. We have all been listening to that band since we were kids really so it was fantastic. The show was at electric ballroom which is a venue I love already, we played there with L7 a couple of years ago. The crowd was totally packed out with plenty of people there to see the Moth as well.
MoM: You now head out on tour in the UK in February. What can we expect from Black Moth in the live arena this time around?
DM: From guitar tones, to the songs themselves this is the heaviest Black Moth has ever been live. So expect that, as well as the raucous rock n roll party we bring to every show. See you on the road!