Black Moth Super Rainbow makes their first swing through Louisville next Thursday at Zanzabar. The band, who have been described by various reviewers and fans as “psychedelic folk,” “experimental,” “electronic,” and even “notoriously enigmatic,” will tour to support their new album, Cobra Juicy, released last Tuesday. You can listen to the whole album over here on Paste’s website. (FYI, the album is marked as having explicit content.) I was able to speak with Tom Fec, perhaps better known to fans as Tobacco, last week about the band, the album, and their very successful Kickstarter which earned them over $125,000 earlier this year.
What can people expect at a BMSR show? Expect to hear the songs. We show up and play.
For those who may be unfamiliar with BMSR, how would you describe your sound? I get this question all the time, and I don’t have an answer. I don’t set out to make it sound like anything. It’s just what’s in my head. I kind of need other people to describe it for me.
Why did you go the Kickstarter route? It was a way to expensive things, so we could make masks and special vinyl. I had to do it.
How do you feel about the success of it (the Kickstarter)? You raised over $125,000, including numerous single pledges between $500 and $3,000. Were you surprised? Yeah, I was surprised. I didn’t even know if I would make the goal.
With your success and Amanda Palmer’s recent crazy success of 1.2 million, do you think more musicians will use something like Kickstarter to produce their albums as opposed to going through a record label, even an independent one? It only works best for people who are kind of established. I don’t see it working for brand new bands. If nobody knows who you are, why would they give you money?
Item collecting for BMSR—did you mean to make this a form of 90’s nostalgia? (There's masks, Poloroids, stickers, necklaces, etc) I wasn’t trying to make a collector’s item. I just wanted something that – I like making things you can’t download. You can’t download a mask. It’s a pretty big endeavor. I had this album cover that looked like a mask, and it made sense. I like to do that every time around.
I've read that you feel that Cobra Juicy is the most solid BMSR Album. Why do you feel this way? It’s just solidly focused and it took a lot of time to put it together. I really thought about what I was doing. This time I had a lot of time to think about it. I don’t have any regrets.
How is this album more lyrical than previous albums? It’s a lot more lyrical. First and last time I’ll get so lyrical. I just approached it differently.
My friend is really who turned me on to your music. From what I’ve witnessed, it seems that BSMR/Tobacco almost has a “cult” following, or even simply a really attached/dedicated fanbase. Whenever he wears a Tobacco t-shirt in public, for example, usually a few people will approach him to admire/appreciate it, a type of camaraderie (so to speak) that I think happens with few other bands or artists. What do you think about this culture that has spawned from your music? Do you think you did something to create this or was it a sort of unintended coincidence? I think it’s just nothing about what I do has been – I can’t even get signed – I guess I’ve been able to take this weird, different path than anyone else. A lot of others have money and opportunities – that doesn’t happen with me. Other bands get shoved down your throat. You kind of have to be looking for it – kind of like weird movies. It’s really easy to go to a Redbox and be able to pick through a number of movies picked for you by [someone else], which is basically what music is. If I were a movie, I wouldn’t be in Redbox. I’d be something you’d have to pick out. I try to create my own world; I’m not trying to be a genre. The whole aesthetic works together.
"The only thing I can really say I would want them to hear it. Let them hear," Tom said. And hear it, you shall, if you head over to Zanzabar next Thursday, November 8. Tickets can be purchased here. For more information, check out the links above or go to the band’s website here.