Riffing It Up

Charleston City Paper | September 20, 2005
Local modern-rock band Moonless Moth typify the young, struggling rock band still stuck in the garage. They’re eager to play out and get a reaction from a crowd, no matter how big or small. They’re anxious to express themselves on tape, disc, and stage, no matter how unrefined. And they’re almost too excited about each of their forthcoming gigs to properly promote them without making clumsy mistakes: City Paper had some light laughs at one recent gig announcement via email in which the band hoped to get some print from Preview editor Bates Hagood (whoops, wrong paper), and another in which a press kit was so hastily assembled that the demo disc turned up in the post too bent and water-damaged to play.

Despite the band’s seemingly amateur status, they demonstrate a devotedness unlike many up-and-coming acts in the scene. According to David Adams, the quartet’s guitarist and lead singer, it’s all a matter of showing the audience you’re serious enough to follow through.

“Over the past few years we’ve learned that no one wants to support any band until they’ve proven themselves,” says Adams. “We’re still in the process of proving that we’re here to stay in the Charleston scene.

“There are some great and passionate supporters of music, such as the City Paper and the rock goddess herself, Amy Hutto [of 98X], and, of course, the people who are regulars out at the local shows. Without these people, the Charleston scene would be longing for some kind of passion. We feel like it’s getting better every day for local bands, as more and more people are pulling the sticks out of their asses and supporting the local musicians that put everything they have into their music.”

Adams, 20, was born in Virginia and grew up in Charleston. He and bassist Chris Yaun started getting into modern and classic rock music at an early age. As high schoolers in North Charleston, the pair decided to get their hands on some electric guitars and teamed up with drummer Dominic Stabile and guitarist Dustin Karst. By 2001, the group became serious about putting a proper band together. Adams immersed himself in American and European poetry and literature and began writing lyrics for the group’s earliest original material.

In the last year, the Moth hit the local club circuit with a burst of enthusiasm and (jokingly) claimed to to have “set out on a crusade to free the minds of mortal beings from the oppression of their own subconscious.” Yeah, right.

Just what kind of rock band is Moonless Moth? The three-song demo suggests some acid-rock influences (Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rush) and heavy doses of classic grunge (Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney) with the emphasis on metal rather than garage-punk. Serious in tone, a bit rough with the meter … but a decent first-time effort, nonetheless.

“We are the type of band that won’t let ourselves be barred by ‘what we should sound like,’” says Adams. “We write about experiences in our lives. As a whole, we have a ‘whatever comes next’ attitude, meaning that we don’t have a set artistic direction. We write whatever we feel and feel what we write. Moonless Moth’s sound is influenced by the early ’90s era with a hint of newer rock elements. We are evolving.”

While the band has not yet released a proper album or EP, they do have plans to record later this year — if they can afford it.

“We have tentatively set the release [of an album] for the beginning of 2006,” says Adams. “We are all broke, of course, and we’re slowly raising money for this venture by playing shows and basically doing whatever we can to scrape together money.”


Charleston City Paper

Founded in 1997, the locally owned and operated City Paper is Charleston's only weekly alternative newspaper and the second-largest publication in the metro Charleston area. Reaching a strong mix of active, affluent locals and tourists, the City Paper has thrived...
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