[Interview] The Mosers
Hailing from one of the greatest states in our nation, The Mosers hit the music scene from Asbury Park, New Jersey. I was fortunate enough to catch them play CMJ weekend and instantly loved their music. After stalking their publicist I nailed down an interview with Mike Pellegrino- lead singer of The Mosers. They are currently on tour with Young Rising Sons and their first EP Ticonderoga is out now. The band will be at Brooklyn Bowl on Nov. 22nd, so be sure to check them out. I’ll see you friends there. Interview below:
Mikey! Hey my friend.
Hi Cassie! How are you?
Great, great. Where are you guys right now? Texas?
Yep, we are in El Paso.
Nice, what time is the show?
Good question. Our set is at 8 but its like a street music festival here. So there are a bunch of local bands playing around the main stage. So there isn’t anyone playing on the main stage yet, just all around it. Still trying to figure out what is going on ha.
Haha ok. Well I’ll keep this short and sweet for you, but thanks so much for jumping on the phone with me today. I saw you guys play at Black Panda’s CMJ showcase, and what an awesome performance.
Ah nice, thank you! Yeah that was a fun night.
Ok first question, have to ask- where specifically in Jersey are you from?
Half of us are from Asbury Park, and that is where we say we are from. Kinda like our home base. The other half are from a little more north.
Awesome, my whole dad’s family is from Rumson/Fair Haven area.
Oh yeah! The Young Rising Sons guys are from there.
Yes, yes. Love the Jersey.
I actually grew up in West Jersey, like with cows at the bottom of my street. That’s the great thing about New Jersey is that there are so many different sections you often find yourself thinking “What is New Jersey? Does it have an identity?” Haha.
Yes, agreed. So did Jersey have any influence on your music? Or was it more your parents?
Jersey for sure- 100%. We all met when we were 16/17. We were all in different local bands. Jersey had a huge music scene, venues all across the board, all ages shows, every weekend. My first band was when I was 14, then I started another band when I was 16 which kind of took off to local celebrity type level. Rick was in another band called Racing Kites, and then Matt and Dave were in another band called Alora. So at that time we were all on the same show circuit and aware of each other’s musical abilities. And you know, so many bands have come out of New Jersey like Bouncing Souls, or Thursday- and played the same stages that we were playing on. Tt gave us the work ethic, like if those guys could make we can make it.
So yeah, and then 3 years ago we had nothing really going on and Dave called me up saying he was started a band with Rick and Matt. And I said fuck it yeah, let’s do it.
That’s amazing. Alright, so huge congrats on Ticonderoga. I listened to it all today, and it’s amazing. I’m officially obsessed.
Haha thank you! That’s awesome.
Yes, one of my favorites is ‘Jeepers Creepers’. I heard you all play it at CMJ and was like “Wait, wait, wait- this is amazing!”
Ha! That’s been I think the favorite so far. I mean it was the last song we wrote for the album. We wanted a 6th song and we had written a ton of songs for it, and Dave and I were like hmm.. let’s write one more. We actually almost dropped it, we didn’t know how we felt about it. That’s kind of a classic thing for us to do.
Yeah, like ‘Cold Hearted Girl’ we almost dropped that song too. Thinking ‘I don’t know if this is good or not…’ and then it ended up being our single and music video. So that’s that.
But Jeepers Creepers we wrote that after we shot the music video for Cold Hearted Girl. So that was the absolute last minute song for the EP, and it turned out great.
Yeah, so is it you and Dave that mainly write?
Nah all 4 of us write. It was just that one where him and I were in the studio doing some mixing and we started to get it going. But then you need everyone in there to make it happen. We actually write our music to play it live. So we write at rehearsal spaces, live.
Yeah that’s pretty smart and definitely a different approach. I feel like a lot of bands should do more of that.
Where do you look for inspiration in your music when you are writing?
Hm, I’ve been asked this before and I feel like I need to change my answer.
There is no wrong answer. Some people say nothing, some say everything, some say the Spice Girls. No judgement here.
Haha ok. Well I’m inspired by my musical taste, which is all over the board. For example in the summer, I’ll usually listen to punk rock like Flatliners, Bouncing Souls, stuff like that. The songs of the summer are usually a little more up tempo, let’s party kind of feel. ‘Bad Times’, our first song on the record, actually came out of that type of feeling. We wanted to kick off the record with an up beat feel, the kind of feeling that you want for a first song on an album. Going back to what I was saying before, we really write to play sick rock songs live. I mean our idols are people like The Foo Fighters and Nirvana and you see them perform live, well footage because I was a baby when Nirvana was playing, and it is just incredible. Real talk, leave it on stage.
And then with all of that comes the lyrics afterwards. What is the vibe of the music? Is it more of a somber of a song, or minor notes? Does it make it more serious? Like ‘Jeepers Creepers’ we purposely put some wrong notes in there to give it this super quirky 90’s feel, and that’s a fun song to play live. We wrote about just being.. a piece of shit I guess haha.
I love it! So awesome. Now that I’m thinking about it I haven’t seen like a really good live rock band in awhile. I feel as if everyone went through the house music phase, some hipsters decided to like country along the way.
Country, is that a real thing!?
Ha! I mean I listen to country, but it was this new wave of cool. Good rock and roll music is really hard to find.
Yeah that’s been the goal the whole way through, just a straight rock band. We didn’t start the band and say “We need to sound like this”, we just started a band and all really love rock. And beer.
Yes haha. Both amazing things in life. So you mentioned the Foo Fighters and Bouncing Souls before but do you have one band or musical influence you look to? This is super cliché but maybe it’s Bruce because of the whole Jersey vibe.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Bruce. And to give you some context I got into music myself. My parents really weren’t into music or showing me music, so I was actually in college when I found Bruce. Which is probably a sin being from New Jersey. But I love Bruce.
Yeah of course. Who doesn’t love Bruce?
Haha. But my favorite band of all time…. Weezer.
Haha they were one of the first records I got as a kid. My cousin had given me 3 records: the Blue album by Weezer, Green Day’s Dookie, …And Out Come The Wolves by Rancid. But my mom drove me to school and the only one I could listen to in the car because there was no cursing was Weezer. So I would listen to it every morning, every single day coming home. Half on the way there, and then half on the way back. And I still listen to that record front to back no problem.
Oh hell yeah! I go back and listen to all of those records. I was a punk kid back in the day, definitely threw down some Taking Back Sunday, Hawthorne Heights, Story of the Year. Lost the black nail polish, bracelets, and lipstick- but the music is still a hug part of my life.
Oh absolutely! I mean I have lyrics from The Format tattooed on my arm. Nothing wrong with being an emo kid.
I fucking love it! Alright, so far what has been the most impactful moment in your music?
Hmmm… signing a deal with the Sons Social Club, which was more of a production deal since we are still an unsigned band, and shooting our first music video was incredible. It was a pretty big budget for a music video, nothing that we would have been able to afford on our own, and the experience in and of itself was…amazing. We all just had this feeling when we were shooting that this band could really go somewhere.
So then from there just getting signed onto this tour. The EP came out the day we left, 4 days before our first show. And then kids were in the front row singing the lyrics to our songs.
That is amazing.
I meant that is one moment, and I could give you another 10! Haha, let’s just say that the month of October was insane for us. We are kinda getting the vibe like this could go somewhere, we don’t know where it would go, how far it’s going to go, how long its going to go, but it’s going.
I love it! Ok- next question on the industry. We are in an interesting place right now where there are a lot of free outlets to music (SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Music), and a lot of top artists (Taylor Swift) who are battling the big music companies. But as an up and coming artist do you find them helpful for discovery purposes or should they be renegotiated to give better rights to artists?
I think it is absolutely helpful, and you kind of answered it for me. I think Spotify is amazing, I pay for it- through Spotify Premium. I just think it should be more in the favor of the artists. The way that Apple Music renegotiated their contracts when Taylor Swift spoke out- that is what needs to happen more and I think its coming back.
Look everyone is a business person. You’re a business person, I’m a business person with this band. I think that more kids, who grew up in our era of Napster and are passionate about music, need to be running the industry from a business perspective.
But I will say this as well. I know the music industry is what it is, but if you look back in time and you could talk to The Rolling Stones… I’m sure they would have something that they complained about [in the industry] in the ’60’s and ’70’s. You will always have these things and hardships, but it is how you deal with them that will make you successful. You don’t let them cripple you, but you learn to the play the game. and I’m ready to play this game.
Awesome. I love it and I totally agree. Ok last question- tell me something nobody knows about The Mosers, but will soon know since everyone on the planet will read this interview.
I’ll tell you two things. One thing that I want people to know, that I feel they don’t know, is how we got the name ‘The Mosers’. It’s based after the show Dexter. So in the first season you find out that the main character is adopted and his biological last name is Moser.
WAIT. No fucking way- Dexter is my favorite show!
Yeah! So Dexter and Rudy Moser- the Ice Truck Killer.
That is Amazing!
That’s why we are the Mosers, we are huge fans of that show! But I’ve said that in interviews and its out there so I need one more thing… something that no one knows. Ok I got it. When we were in LA the venue was across the street from a Jack in the Box so Dylan from Young Rising Sons and I went there at 5 in the morning. I ordered 3 tacos and they gave me 6. So I came back with some extra tacos and I woke Rick, our drummer, up by putting the taco on his chest. I go ‘Rick, Rick I got you a taco’- and he shoots straight up in the air and goes “Mike, get that fucking taco out of my pump. Don’t you ever bring me a taco again!”
Hahaha and for some reason I thought it was the just funniest thing in the world.