Album of the Week: Moths & Locusts – ‘Come Together Right Now ‘ / ‘Think Pink IV: Return To Deep Space’ with Twink

Across the Strait of Georgia about 55 kilometers from Vancouver, British Columbia lies the beautiful coastal city of Nanaimo. With its forested mountain vistas, it would seem an unlikely place to be the birthplace of a revered space-rock outfit.

Moths & Locusts are a sextet of musicians from Ontario and other parts of BC who came together in Nanaimo through their shared love of psychedelia, Krautrock, science fiction, vinyl records, and delay pedals. They’ve been recording since 2011 with 3 full-length LPs and a handful of singles, splits, and collaborations, all highly collectible by the way.

This year has been a busy one for the band with the release of ‘Come Together Right Now‘ a collection of 8 remixes of the track that was originally offered as a flexi with the UK magazine Optical Sounds in 2018. They also released ‘Think Pink IV: Return To Deep Space‘ a fantastic collaboration with the legendary psychedelic songwriter, poet, drummer John ‘Twink’ Adler (Tomorrow, The Pretty Things, Pink Fairies & Stars with Syd Barrett).

Come Together Right Now‘ features Rob The Viking & Watson, Mongst & Khufu, Galactic Butterfly, Wide Eyed, King Pong Dub System, Wasted Cathedral, and Moths & Locusts themselves twisting and reshaping the track into a nebulous entity that makes for a mind-expanding listen.

Think Pink IV: Return To Deep Space‘ pairs Moths & Locusts with Twink whose first solo album ‘Think Pink‘ was released 50 years ago in 1969. The guest list of players features Ian Blurton (Change of Heart, C’Mon, Public Animal) Jay Ferguson & Gregory Macdonald (Sloan), Arlen Thompson (Wolf Parade) to name a few.

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We hooked up with bassist Dave Read for the lowdown.

Give us some background on the members of Moths & Locusts, their journey to Nanaimo, previous bands…
Angus Barter (guitar/vocals/synth)– from Grand Forks BC, a true hippie child of the sun, lives on a farm in the country outside Port Alberni BC with several ducks

Dave Bean (drums/vocals) – from Ottawa Ont, also does all our pre-production engineering. The Mr Spock on our bridge.

Mike Breen (lead guitar) – from Vancouver BC, nicknamed Le Serpent, as every true lead guitarist deserves a suitable nickname. Will cut your head clean off with a 4 bar lead. Also weaves in & out with Angus for a 4 handed guitar monstrosity. Played in Vancouver band The Daytonas in the 90s.

Valentina Cardinalli (vocals) – from Campbellford Ont/New York City, former child actor, all-powerful Mother Earth goddess vocals from the soul.

Samantha Letourneau (vocals/flute/keys) – from Timmins Ont, biggest stoner in the band but married to a politician, also a dancer.

Dave Read (bass/synth) – from Toronto Ont/New York City, bass behemoth overlord, formerly in Death Militia, Sing Along With Tonto, Sub*Stack, Fantastic Four, Carlito Verde. Also presently in Anunnaki, Galactic Butterfly (with Valentina) and solo as El Hombre Al Agua.

When you hooked up to jam with Dave Bean, did you consciously choose to play psychedelic space rock or is that what just came out?
We all come from different backgrounds musically which I think is part of our appeal. I’ve always been a big psychedelic music fan, and we always seem to gravitate towards to trippier end of the spectrum when we jam. I think at first we were kinda going for a Hawkwind meets Boris kind of thing but now we’ve added so many different elements it’s taken on a life of its own.

What’s the scene like in Nanaimo? It seems an odd place for a hip underground scene.
Nanaimo is a small town of @ 90K people, it’s a classic case of larger cities ignoring small places, but that’s where the rent is cheap for artists, so a killer scene developed over the last decade. So many good musicians in town, of all stripes, and great venues, plus a super supportive scene. Many bands have jam spaces in their homes. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen more and more musical folks moving here. It’s a beautiful place!!

How did the “Come Together Right Now” remix album happen? How were the collaborators chosen? Do you have a favorite remix?
We got asked to do a flexidisc for UK psych zine Optical Sounds, so we came up with and recorded our version of CTRN. The idea just popped into our head to ask some pals to do remixes, and the result was overwhelming, we ended up with 8 remixes, perfect length for a vinyl LP! We ended up with shoegaze, experimental, one that’s almost trip-hop, ambient, they all sounded so different that they made a pretty cool mix. Goes with the whole Come Together Right Now vibe. My fav is the Mongst & Kufu mix, or the Wasted Cathedral mix, or the Galactic Butterfly mix. or…

Is there anyone else you would love to collaborate with?
We just did a collaboration with psych-rock legend Twink (Pink Fairies, Pretty Things, Tomorrow etc etc), ‘Think Pink IV: Return To Deep Space’ with Moths & Locusts and Heavy Friends came out on July 5th. The sessions were once again engineered by Rob The Viking, and we got Ian Blurton out to BC for the whole session, plus members of Sloan and Wolf Parade on tracks too, along with a couple of other pals. Super inspiring dude, super excellent session, great record! We’ve already collaborated live with Damo Suzuki of Can (twice). Who next? Henry Rollins? Nik Turner? Klaus Schulze?

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Tell us about your gear?
Some stuff we use: Ampeg amps (SVT for bass, Reverberockets for guitar), Traynor amps, flute, Rickenbacker 4003 bass, Fender Jaguar, moog/korg/roland synths, mellotron pedals, wah wah, Boss Tera Echo, too many delay pedals to list, Sonor drums, Boss vocal pedals

What’s up for 2019? Any touring? Recording?
We’re starting to talk about a new Moths & Locusts LP, we have a bunch of songs written already, we’ll be spending the next few months working on that before heading to the studio, maybe late in the year. We have a bunch of killer new ones already incl ‘Rain Upon’, ‘Serpent Comes Seeking’ and ‘The One’. We’ll be doing the odd show around BC too, nothing booked at the moment!

Moths & Locusts – Facebook

Twink – Facebook

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