Interview: MMOSS

MMOSS puts out some great psychedelic rock—grand bass lines and restrained drums set the foundation, while jangly guitar and organs fill out the sound, and flute and guitar provide higher-register flourishes to accompany the pretty vocals melodies. Doug from MMOSS was good enough to answer some of my questions. They’re playing O’Brien’s October 19—I’ll be there! And now, the interview:

How’d you get into playing music?

I had a plastic guitar from the time I was 3-4 and played with it non stop/begged my parents for a real guitar. When I was 6 my mother’s cousin and her husband (who played guitar) bought me a harmony acoustic for Christmas.

Rachel started playing flute in elementary school but wanted to play violin.

Justin bought a Danelectro guitar in his late teens after he decided he wanted to be Syd Barrett.

What would you recommend for a newbie trying to get into playing music?

Find an instrument and start a band.

How do you go about writing songs?

It varies. Sometimes I come up with some chords and a melody and the others pick it apart and then I rewrite my parts, sometimes we all work on things together, sometimes bits get lifted from jammy stuff we do. We also jam a lot…..we are a jam band. Haha.

Can you think of any problems with song writing people usually don’t hear about?

The only problem is when you like your songs more then you really should.

How’d you get your band together?

Rachel and I started playing in another band together in Boston 6 years ago, then started dating, then started a new band, then kicked everyone out and moved to NH and met Justin, then we started shuffling through drummers…..this part continues to this day.

If someone were trying to get into starting a band, what advice would you give them?

Find people that are into the same shit as you. It’s way more important than how well someone plays.

Did you experience anything forming up a band that was a complete surprise to you, or something that people starting a band would find surprising?

Not everyone puts the same level of importance on the band as you might.

What do you use for practice space?

A room in a barn that used to be a woodshop.

How often do you practice?

Never.

Any horror stories or funny things happen during practice?

One of our drummers kicked himself out of the band, we’ve had lots of fights, we make jokes that 12 year olds would enjoy.

Is there anything that was a surprise to you about the experience of practicing for gigs?

Things usually go a lot smoother once you’re playing the show.

Any practical advice for people who are starting to practice for gigs?

Don’t worry if people are going to be drinking, sober crowds are harder.

What was your first live show–what was it like?

Our first show is a total blur, don’t even remember where it was. However my first show was at a trailer park block party right after I turned 14.

I was supposed to sing “Rape me” and got there and couldn’t do it (I started to really question the message of the song and how others may interpret it) so a guy in the crowd got up and sang it.

I had a baseball cap pulled over my eyes the entire set (of 3 songs) and was shaking uncontrollably.

Any horror stories or funny things happen up on stage?

Nothing too outrageous.

Is there any advice you’d give to someone who hasn’t played out yet and is trying to get over stage fright or just the overwhelmingness of playing live?

People aren’t as critical as you may think. As long as you look like you know what you’re doing, people will believe it.

Are there any experiences you’ve had playing live that people who don’t play would be completely surprised happens?

I don’t know.

How do you record?

We record everything ourselves on whatever equipment we have at the time that works and sounds good to us.

Our first record was done on cassette, our new record was done on a 1/4″ 8 track, and now we’ve started recording on cassette again.

Any advice for a newbie trying to get into recording his or her stuff, either professionally or as an amateur?

Buy a cassette 4 track, make that sound good and then decide if you want something better. I can’t say don’t go digital, but I haven’t had much luck with it personally.

Cheapo analog formats make things sound the way I want them to without a lot of work.

Is there anything you experience when recording that you think would surprise a person who doesn’t know anything about the process?

You don’t need the gear people tell you you need on the internet to make a good sounding record.

You don’t need condenser mics, you can mic a drum set with one mic, you can put that mic anywhere that sounds good to you and it will work.

Any bands you’d recommend that are from the Boston area?

More so the broad New Englad area, The Migs, The Fedavees, Herbcraft, Quilt… there are more, but I don’t go to shows too often.

What are your impressions of the Boston scene as you’ve experienced it?

Boston has some good shit going on, and a lot of bad shit.

Most bands that are popular in Boston are hugely popular there, but rarely leave the city.

Could you recommend one album by some other artist?

Well if I can suggest a non-current artist, yes!

Tony, Caro and JohnAll on the First Day. This is a band that should be known by everyone.

What do you think is the most interesting thing about your experience with music?

I really don’t know.

What’s most important to you about playing music?

That people hear our records.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I don’t think so.

Finally, is there anything we can do as writers to help you out?

Write about us a lot.

(Featured image source)

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