A Sunday Conversation with Mos Generator

Thundering and loud, ass-kicking and in-your-face, seventies fueled rock and roll. That's what Mos Generator bring to the table and without overstating things, kicked our butts. For those who haven't tuned into their particular brand of heavy rock, do yourself a favor and check them out. In the meantime, we invited the main Mos man to come sit a spell on the Ripple couch and discuss life, music, and everything.

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkle, the first time I ever hear Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I looked at music, what it could sound like, how it could make me feel? What have been your musical epiphany moments?

My parents were hard rock fans when I was very young so i was brought up on Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Bloodrock, Ten Years After and cool stuff like that. But when I was seven I went to live with my grandparents who listened to country and western. That summer my older cousin came up for the summer and brought Kiss Alive. When I heard "Deuce," for the first time I was sold. I've been a fan of heavy rock ever since.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

The riff comes first. Most of the time I don't even start the lyrics until we've done a demo of the music. Then I come up with a title or subject matter that will fit well with the feel of the music. Then I put the vocals on the demo and usually we end up doing another demo after we have had time to work the song out.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

The past! Musically, I pull a lot from feeling I get from music I love. Lyrically,I use a lot of science fiction and religious themes, not necessarily christian beliefs though. In the material we're experimenting with now I am hoping to bring emotions into the music and lyrics that people can become closer to and identify with. Rock music is the most diverse genre of music. I want to use that strength to my potential.

Genre's are so misleading and such a way to pigeonhole bands. Without resorting to labels, how would you describe your music?

Heavy melodic rock

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

Ultimately, I would like them to feel what I feel when I hear a song I love. Truthfully, I don't think I can achieve this. When I hear a great song at some point during the song I might think "how the hell did they come up with this? I will never be able to write something this good." I am very humbled by great music.

The business of music is a brutal place. Changes in technology have made it easier than ever for bands to get their music out, but harder than ever to make a living? What are your plans to move the band forward? How do you stay motivated in this brutal business?

Staying motivated is much more difficult that writing and performing music. We are being realistic in knowing we are not going to sell millions of albums, but if we work hard to make the best music we can and are honest in what we do, then that is all the motivation we need. Honest music brings honest fans. Fans that will stick around to see what's coming next.

Describe to us the ideal (realistic) record label and how you'd work with them, and they with you.

All we really need is good distribution, a publicist and tour support. Right now all of our record deals are on handshakes. We own all of our music. Did I mention tour support would be cool?

Do you have a particular sound in your head that you try to bring out? Or is the creation process random and spontaneous? Or both, or neither?

All produce all our records at my studio. songs never turn out like I hear them in my head. Close but never right on the money. It's something to strive for I guess.

Where do you see you and your music going in ten years?

The good thing about being older is that musically I have gone through many different phases and now I can take what i consider the best of those phases and make rock records with that knowledge. It will take years to realize what that could be.

What makes a great song?

The riff and the hook

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

"Island of the phoenix. " 1983 it sounded like "The Eagle has Landed" by Saxon.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

I like them all equally. Vinyl is cool because it sounds great and you get the full size packaging and artwork. CDs are cool because the re-issues and box sets that have come out on that format. Digital is cool because of it's portability. All of our releases have come out on all three formats.

What's the best record store in your town?


Thanks for joining us at the Ripple office. May the Mos Generator continue to generate a massive amount of rock and roll energy!