The Molochs

Photo by Laura Lynn Petrick.

Tune Up: The Molochs

by Elena Childers | Music | Mar 10, 2017

The Molochs are a band that hits everyone in the right spots. Their music has everything you could want—a little darkness, a little love, and a lot of catchiness.

Their most recent full-length album “America’s Velvet Glory” came out only a few months ago and is already getting embraced by music lovers everywhere. Their inspirations are culled from all over—old school music like ‘60s pop, ‘70s rock, and even ’90s punk, and the melodies have the ability to get as stuck in your head as a chart-topping pop song.

Their most recent release “AVG Sessions” is an EP of songs that are still in the same vein as the full-length, but just didn’t fit on the track list. Molochs’ front man assures BTRtoday that the songs were just as good as the ones that made it onto the full-length, so they had to share them somehow.

The Molochs are currently on the road and have a full tour ahead of them. They’ll be playing all over the U.S., parts of Canada, Europe, and (maybe) Asia. So, make sure to catch a show in a city near you, and check out the interview below with front man Lucas Fitzsimons!

BTRtoday (BTR): How did Molochs come to be?

Lucas Fitzsimons (LF): Well, pretty much no one is in the band now from when I started it. I started it with an old drummer of mine from a band before that, that had kind of broken up and I wanted to continue. It was almost like it grew out of the ashes of our old band. I started writing more songs and getting new players and moving through a lot of different players who weren’t working out for like a year or two. This was until I finally met Ryan who is now a permanent member of the band. We’re basically the two main people now.

So that was about Jan. of 2012. When I met Ryan, before he joined the band, he was someone who just approached me to put out our first record. I had released our first record just by myself—I was giving out CDs of our first album “Forget Our Blues.” It was a full-length LP, recorded well and everything, we just didn’t have anyone to put it out. So we had some mutual friends, and he approached me about putting it out on LP. During that time we actually needed another guitarist and my bandmate at the time suggested Ryan. He ended up outlasting the people that got him into the band, which is kind of ironic.

Since then we still have gone through a lot of members. It’s just kind of hard to get people to commit, you know? We were the only two who were really willing to be poor and live in a crappy apartment and go on tour and not have real jobs and all that—I guess it’s a lot to ask of people.

BTR: True, but that’s the price you pay for what you love I guess!

LF: Oh, yeah! It’s worth it to me.

BTR: How has your sound evolved since you first started playing as The Molochs?

LF: I think it has stayed consistent, which I’m happy about. I’ve noticed a lot of times people start bands because they’re really into a certain sound, and then a year later they’re over that sound and it doesn’t make sense to have that band anymore, or they do a new recording and it sounds like a completely different band—I’ve always liked to see some consistency in the evolution of a band. I do think we’ve evolved, but I also do think we’ve continued to stay the same in other ways.

We’ll also be refining our sound. Hopefully there will never be an end point. I think every album comes as a snapshot of a moment in time, what we’re into at the time.

BTR: So what does playing music do for you?

LF: It keeps me out of school… [Laughs]. It’s a release, an expressive relief. All the stuff that builds up inside of you, I think it’s a good and positive way to process it. It’s also a ways to make your mark in the world, to show people that you’re alive! When you write a song you’re putting yourself into that, you’re taking an active role in being alive—it’s a fight against passivity. Just being born and having life happen to you, to do anything with passion it’s your way of using the life that you get.

The Molochs – America’s Velvet Glory

BTR: Wow. Beautifully said. So let’s talk about the newest LP “America’s Velvet Glory” and your recent EP release, “AVG Sessions.”

LF: The digital EP came out like a few days ago! It was actually the remaining songs from the session that was for “America’s Velvet Glory.” In that session we did about 15 songs in like three or four days—11 of the songs went onto the LP. Now this last EP, which is four songs, were just basically the songs that just didn’t make it onto the album. I think they’re still very strong! It’s not that they weren’t good enough for the album, we just wanted to sort of cut it down a bit.

BTR: Oh cool! So all the tracks were written in kind of the same vein?

LF: Well, actually, when it comes to when they were written, they’re pretty much a collection of songs written as early as 2012—around the time the first album was recorded. I already had new songs ready after we made the first one, but for all kinds of reasons we just didn’t come to the next album until almost three years after the first one. So there was a lot of material built up. Basically, me and Ryan kind of pulled out from all the material that was good to go from those three or four years. There’s probably a handful of them that were written pretty close to the time that “Velvet Glory” was recorded, and there’s a couple that were pretty much finished off right at the studio—-“No More Cryin,’” I wrote those lyrics in the studio. I think the lyrics to “You Never Learn” were written around that time as well. But “I Don’t Love You,” I know that song was written in 2012.

BTR: “America’s Velvet Glory” has been out for a few months now, how does it feel to have it out in society and seeing people’s reactions to it?

LF: It’s great! It’s a huge release, because we started recording in Oct. of 2015, and basically we didn’t know who was going to put it out at the time—we didn’t have a label or anything. From the time that we recorded to the time that we got hooked up with Innovative Leisure and they signed us was about six months. Then from the time we signed to the when the album came out, that was about seven months—and in that whole time you’re also getting inspired by other stuff and writing new stuff and you already want to make another record!

In a way, I’m really happy it’s out, but I’m also extremely ready to get on with it. You kind of have to accept the fact that this is how these things move and you have to be patient and let the world hear it. So I feel good about it! I think that people are responding well to it–overseas too, which is really cool! That was something that I don’t think we’d be able to enjoy if we didn’t have a label, actually getting out music all over the world, and that’s really amazing! We’re not really people with connections or anything.

BTR: Is there a common theme or ultimate inspiration that goes throughout the album?

LF: I guess for this one in particular there’s a lot of themes of trying to deal with personal relationships. I tend to just write about what’s going on in my life, and I think a lot of these songs are about things going wrong with girlfriends… that makes it sound simple, which I guess it is, but it’s more than that. There are love songs, there are heartbreak songs, there are songs about going out and having a good time, there are songs about staying in and having a bad time, so there’s a wide range of emotions in it. It’s an emotional record, but I mean that in the whole spectrum—good and bad.

BTR: You guys go on tour very soon! Do you have a favorite part of touring?

LF: Well, this is actually our first tour. As a band, we’ve never left California. The farthest this band has ever gone is San Francisco. So it’s going to be a pretty exciting few months, because we’re headed out to SXSW on Saturday, and then we’re going to do the south, east coast, I think a couple of Canada dates and then go through the mid-west and back to the west coast, which is all new for us! Then after that we’re going to go to Europe for the first time!

BTR: Oh! That’s so exciting!

LF: Yeah! It’s been a very exciting year for us as a band that has been pretty stationary for about… Five years now? Shit, what year is it? 2017?! Yeah, wow…

BTR: What are you looking forward to during this tour?

LF: I’m actually very excited to see New York! I’ve never been. I’ve always thought that I would like NYC—that it would be the kind of city that I’d really enjoy. We’re actually spending five days in NY, we’ll be at Berlin for three nights with Cosmonauts; the whole tour is actually with them. We’re doing a sort of co-headlining tour with Cosmonauts. So we’ll be there three nights at Berlin and one night at Union Pool.

Flyer courtesy of the band.

BTR: Is there a band you’ve always yearned to share the stage with?

LF: Hmmmm. I don’t know… I’m excited to do this tour with Cosmonauts, because I’ve always thought we’d be a good combination. We’re not too alike, but I think we are complimentary to each other. If there’s any band in LA honestly right now that we would want to do this with, it would be Cosmonauts. It’s not just that they’re our friends, I think it’s going to be a really good fit.

BTR: Well, I’m excited to see you guys! What should we all be looking forward to for the future of The Molochs?

LF: Well, I really want to make another album—so that’s definitely going to happen. I hope it’s going to happen at the end of the year, but with the way things work we have to be promoting this album. So, for the most part, what people can expect of us, at least for the next year or so, is a lot of touring. I think it’s safe to say that many people in most places on this planet will probably have a chance to see us if they want. Maybe not somewhere really obscure, but I know at least we’ll be around this country, we’ll be in Europe, I think we might even end up going to Asia, but I’ve no idea about the specifics of that…

So yeah, that’s what people can expect from us now, but we really do intend to keep making music as long as we can—it’s important to us to keep moving forward and progressing. I think our next album is going to be a lot better than this one. We’ve already acquired so many more interests and influences, that I think our sounds are going to widen a lot. Even though we’re playing all the same songs from the album, I think you’ll notice that there are already all kinds of other things influencing us in the way we play these songs—it’s true to the album, but you’ll see there’s something more there.