Instrumental band from Auckland, Mothra came down to the capital to introduce their new album, Decision Process, at Valhalla few months ago. Very quiet since, we wanted to know a bit about the future of this powerful band.
The three-pieces from Auckland, who already opened for Russian Circles, Jakob, Mono or This Is Will Destroy You, serves a lavish soundscape, heavy and deep, dark and kaleidoscopic. A full range of sensations experienced through loud sounds delivered on stage with a brutal force on hold.
Those music Titans create an epic futurism which could illustrate a Ghost in the Shell-like world.
Post rock, ambient metal, dark psychedelism. We don’t really know. Mothra got their very own and unique sound and deserve a wide audience around the world.
The best way to know them is to listen to their first full lenght record, Decision Process, and read our chat with Hugh Allan, wizard of band. [below]
Mothra will be loved by fans including Isis, Russian Circles, Tool, Neurosis and alike.
Few questions with Hugh Allan.
- Hi Hugh! So, what was like to visit Wellington in Winter when you’re from the North?! Hugh: Hi Sophie, I always enjoy coming to Wellington. Colder of course, but always a refreshing change to Auckland. Smaller, more laid back, good vibes, and good coffee.
- You seem to be the busy man of the band: guitarist, working on the design and photography and also mixed Decision Process, how do you manage to combine all that and how do you work with the other boys? Hugh: I had a vision for this album that I wanted to see through. How the production should be, the art work and presentation etc. It was a long and ambitious process, especially taking on all those roles, lots of time and late nights stretched over a number of years. Everyone has busy lives and works full time, and to finally get it finished was a real triumph. I usually start the writing process with some guitar ideas, and we sink our teeth in from there and let the creative juices flow.
- Decision Process has been very well welcomed by the audience and critics but it’s been a very long process between the first demos and the album’s release, isn’t it? Hugh: Yes, a long time for sure. We recorded it in various locations when we could, trialed a few different mix engineers, but ultimately to get what we wanted out of it I took the production duties on myself. Up until then I was only confident mixing demos, so it was a huge learning curve in that respect. We are really happy with the result and it has been received better than we hoped. Chris Chetland at Kog did a great job on the mastering too. He says I hold the record for the most versions of masters in his entire career. I’ll claim that title proudly.
- Do you have any favorite tunes in Decision Process and why? Hugh: I’ve always been a fan of the album format, and just like our favourite albums we wanted to create a record where every song is important and creates a bigger whole. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but Elements of Sleep and Escapism spring to mind. Escapism has that kind of groovy flow that we often push for, almost like a pop song, and Elements shows a more dynamic and complex approach to our songwriting.
- Decision Process has been released in February this year, are you already planning to work on new material and do you have any expectations concerning the kind of sound or atmosphere you’d like to have from the next record? Hugh: We have a large backlog of material, and many of these songs have already been gigged for years. A lot of it is more ambient and minimal than the math metal-esque songs on Decision Process, focusing on one kind of mood and evolving on that, rather than being overly complex. Not that I think we are that. There are still alot of heavy riffs that will make up part of the next record.
- You’ve been travelling in Europe recently and attended to a bunch of gigs. How did you find the audience there? Especially concerning instrumental rock bands like Russian Circles. Hugh: I went to the Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands for the second time, for Neurosis’ 30th anniversary. Home made patches on denim jackets are big at European metal festivals, as well as smoking loads of cigarettes. Always a good vibe at Roadburn, people from all over Europe and other parts of the world. In London I was lucky enough to get my name on the door from ‘This Will Destroy You’. A full house at that show in East London, and great to catch up with those guys who we opened for a couple of years ago. Sorry to see that two of them have parted ways since then though. Brian from Russian Circles also put me on the door for the Desert Fest in Camden, pretty rowdy British Crowd at that show. We opened for those guys back in 2011. Amazing band. Turncrantz is one of my favourite drummers.
- So, as you said, while you’ve been in Europe, you met Russian Circles who just released Guidance. Have you listened to this album yet? Hugh: I did catch up with those guys after the show, and Justin Broadrick was also there. We named Mothra after a Godflesh song and I let him know. I’m thoroughly enjoying Guidance, another brilliant piece of work. Still that signature Russian Circles sound that only they can pull off. Interesting to see them move from longtime producer Brandon Curtis to Kurt Ballou on this one, which definitely gives the reocrd a more immediate and aggressive sound. We actually have a rough mix from Brandon Curtis of Myriad when we were toying with different producers.
- What can we expect from Mothra in for the next few months? Hugh: I think we’ve been a bit too quiet since the release, those 4 shows we did went well though and it was great to play out of Auckland for the first time. Then I went overseas, and our drummer James is currently in Europe. But we are playing a show in Auckland on September 10 and looking at lining up a few more too. Probably Wellington and Tauranga again. We have also done a fair bit of pre production on the next album and will start some basic tracking very soon. We can’t wait to get the new stuff out, it’s long over due. Hopefully it won’t take so long this time! We also have another video from the album in the works, made again by our good friend Shaun Leyden from Mintamatics over in the Netherlands.