Sunday 1 October 2023

An Interview With Doom/Sludge Metallers THE MOTH

Sludge/Doom Metallers The Moth first came to my attention back in 2012 when I reviewed their debut album They Fall back when I was The Sludgelord. The Moth impressed me with their brutal Sludge/Doom Metal grooves with an honest "Pop" outlook that reminded me of heavy hitters such as TORCHE and FLOOR.

Fast forward to 2023 and The Moth have just released their fourth album FROST which is perhaps their best album to date. The Moth have become well established within the Doom/Sludge Metal underground scene thanks to acclaimed albums and countless gigs and tours across Europe.

I caught up with the band to discuss the making of the new album which you can read below.

Hi there. Thanks for doing the interview. How are things with you all today.

Everything is good so far, we are preparing for a little run of shows we are playing with our buddies from Thronehammer at the beginning of October.

For people not in the know, you can provide a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today.

Cécile and Freden have been making music together for almost 25 years and founded The Moth in 2012 after our previous band broke up. We started writing songs and looking for a drummer and then had the live premiere at the end of 2012. Since then, four albums have been created and we have played countless festivals and shows across Europe and especially Great Britain, including with Conan, Belzebong, Conjurer and Witchsorrow.

How would you describe your music in your own words.

The style is rough and heavy, but still quite catchy. It's always important for us to start with really good riffs and build a song around that. Comparisons are always difficult, but  what others say about our music is, for example, “Pop music played with a bulldozer” or “Slayer-Doom”....but that always depends on which song you are currently listening to. there's not a simple box for us, which is exciting, but sometimes it's harder to reach people because there's no concrete label.

We're here to talk about your new album FROST. What can people expect from the album.

Of course a real The Moth album, with a heavy sound, groove and the alternating vocals of Freden and Cécile. We really exploited our coarse and violent side on the last album, the brutality has definitely remained, but the Frost album is a bit more emotional and catchy. We have currently dared to call the style Doom-Sludge-Pop.

The record is perhaps one of your bleakest records but also one of your most uplifting especially towards the later stages of the album. Was that what you wanted to achieve with this album.

Before writing an album we never think of what we want to convey with it. We just go ahead and write and eventually we realize that there actually is a recurrent theme. On this album it was facing and dealing with hardships. And yes exactly Steve: Though it is about pain a lot it also wants to point out, that you are stronger than that and that some day things will change for the better and you will be happy again. 

What inspired you to call the album FROST.

Freden had read the diary of Robert Falcon Scott, the South Pole explorer, and was very impressed by it and the shocking experience and end in the ice of these people that is described there, the failure, the suffering and the hope that is lost or remains. Themes that appear again and again in the lyrics of the songs in direct or subtle ways. And Cécile thinks that if you are going through grief or other emotionally tough times, this feels like having to walk through a desert of ice, until that period of frost is finally over.

Was this an easy or hard album to record and write for compared to your previous album. As I know the band went through some pretty turbulent times before and during COVID.

In our opinion, it wasn't mainly COVID that made the process of creating the album difficult, but rather that our living conditions have changed a lot due to work and family. But one point is that in some areas of life it was a challenge to resume the rhythm and pace that was interrupted by COVID as a matter of course, and certain structures also suffered, such as the events industry, you always notice that still.

Did those daily struggles, challenges and uplifting moments in life shape up the creative outline for the album.

Of course, this was incorporated into the songs as a mood and statements, but because the process dragged on, the songs were able to mature better - if you want to look at it positively

How does FROST differ compared to your previous records.

Well, it doesn't really differ, as it is a typical THE MOTH album: exciting and heterogeneous with different vibes from song to song: from Punk over noise rock to sludge. But overall it's more melodic again, similar to our debut album THEY FALL.

I still find it hard to believe that FROST was recorded live in only 24 hours. WOW. It doesn't feel or sound like that. As I think this is your best produced effort yet. Was that the plan to record the album LIVE and release that version.

We have always recorded the albums live, except for the vocals, because rawness and directness are very important to us and that's just how The Moth works. Of course that can go wrong, but then you just have to start the session again.

You've signed to Exile On Mainstream for FROST. How did that come about as you had a great run with This Charming Man Records.

We were very happy with This Charming Man and are very grateful to Chris and the people he works with, for example Daniel Czieschke. We have known Andreas Kohl for a long time and think that he is really moving the scene forward. Also, we have repeatedly toured with bands from his label who have become friends. So were were already in Andrea's orbit, so to speak and it felt right for us to release FROST there.

What formats is the album being released upon.

We have vinyl and a CD comes with the LP. Otherwise, of course, also online in digital format for example on

What is the creative process or setup within the band? Do you write the music together or do certain people within the band do that

The band was founded by Cécile and Freden and we had already completed the debut album when Tiffy joined us on drums. We both write the riffs and the lyrics, but  Curry, who has been drumming with us since 2015, is now fully involved in how we arrange the songs. Let's see if he comes up with song lyrics at some point.

Will you be promoting the new album with upcoming gigs. If so, where can people see you live.

Sure, but only in Germany for now: we're on the road in October and November.

Of course we hope to be able to play a lot of good concerts and festivals, and a tour through Great Britain would be awesome, tours there have always been very special in the past.

What is the live THE MOTH experience like.

Watching us live is the best thing you can do if you're into music. Listening to an LP and drinking a glass of Médoc is also nice, but the raw power... you will definitely feel it better at one of our concerts, and what's more - as we say in Germany - you eat with your eyes.

What bands or artists influenced you to pick up an instrument and to become a musician.

Freden: I think I'm in good company if I can honestly say ACDC and Metallica. Even if you probably won't hear it anymore. 

Cécile: My first musical love were The Beatles when I was ten year old – awesome songs and the band went through such an impressive musical evolution! As an adolescent I realized how powerful and important the bass can be when I discovered Rage against the Machine through my brother Erik. I loved the deep tones and my fingers loved the thick strings, so it was settled.

You're from Hamburg, Germany. What is the local live scene there. Do you have a live scene to perform gigs on a regular basis or do you have to travel further afield.

There are many cool bands like MOOR or SHAKHTYOR and also locations for concerts. Unfortunately, some good clubs have and will disappear, but hopefully some new ones re-emerge.

How do you all relax away from music. Do you have a favorite hobby that folks don't know about.

Cécile does Kung Fu, Curry steels his muscles “eating iron” and Freden is happy when he can sit somewhere in peace and drink coffee.

Do any of you have any side projects that folks can check out.

Freden has reunited his old doom punk band Sissies, there are also few concerts coming up and an album will be released in the near future.

Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom for your fans currently out there.

We are not a very nerdy band equipment-wise. We stick to the stuff we have. As Freden once said: “Get the best shit out of the shit you got.”

Words by Steve Howe and The Moth

Thanks to The Moth for doing this interview.

Frost will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Exile On Mainstream Records from September 22nd 2023


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