30 Jul 2014

Vapour Trail interviews... David Vachon and Jim Swainston of Black Moth



Black Moth are one of my favourite bands at the moment. Combining stoner rock, classic rock and metal, they're one of the most exciting bands on the scene at the moment. They played (what I believed to be) the finest set of the whole Truck Festival. Since, I've caught up with Dave Vachon (bassist) and Jim Swainston (guitarist) about all things Black Moth, Truck, and the stunning Leeds music scene... 


Hello! Did you see anyone else's set at Truck? If so, who were the best?

David -Myself and Nico (Carew, guitarist) managed to catch a glimpse of Deap Valley which are cool, kind of a mix of Jack White and country girl vibes. Also we managed to have a quick catch up with our pals DZ Deathrays who played an ace set.


How did the crowd, and the atmosphere of Truck's converted cowshed compare to other places you've played?

David -We have played some odd places before but a cow shed defiantly puts it up there. We once played an ex slaughter house in Germany and our dressing room was an old chiller room.

Jim -The Truck goers were great. Everyone was dead up for it and The Cowshed was suitably dingy for some rock and roll.


Hookworms - Leeds' finest
The Leeds music scene is pretty great right now, who are your favourite bands from that scene?

David -There are so many rad bands coming out of the Leeds scene right now it's hard to say. I always love to watch Hawk Eyes live and they are lovely guys.

Jim -Kings have a cool new E.P. out, and Bongcauldron are great for pure riffs. Blacklisters are awesome live and their debut album was great. That Fucking Tank have been favourites in the scene for ages. The two tracks Pulled Apart By Horses have just released suggests their new album is gonna be killer. Curious to know what Rent Boys are up to these days and I'm wishing Normal Man were still active. The Gin House (Leeds record label) artists are always cool to watch, with X-ray Cat Trio being my favourite (I'm biased of course as It's Nico's band). The list could go on and on.....


Are you fans of the band (my personal favourites) Hookworms at all?

Jim -Yeah I really enjoy listening to Pearl Mystic and seeing them live. Looking forward to hearing new material.

David -Because Leeds music scene is such a tight knit community you can often find us drinking together in bars.


Do you have any huge influences that aren't particularly obvious, or on the heavy side of music? (I think I hear a lot of High Rise and Mainliner in your sound)

Jim -It's hard to single out an obscurer huge influence as we all contribute to writing and are quite a diverse bunch when it comes to our listening habits. I can see where you're coming from with the references to High Rise and Mainliner as they sit at the heavier and more intense end of the garage spectrum. I reckon they're probably fans of The Stooges. That's a band I can say I have never wavered in being a fan of. Aside to listening to garage rock one of my most listened to albums over the past few years has been Advaitic Songs by Om.

David -I'm a huge Pink Floyd fan. I grew up on all my dad's vinyls, all mainly 70's stuff from Small Faces to Black Sabbath.


I've heard the second LP is out in September, are there any other details you could share?
Black Moth LP #2 - Condemned to Hope

David -Well the release date is set for September the 15th and it's limited to 500 copies on a special American style gatefold sleeve. Oh, and the artwork is done by the legendary Roger Dean!


The new songs sounded great at Truck, what were they called? (or if you still have it, what was the setlist for the Truck slot)

David -The new songs we played are; Undead King of Rock and Roll, Tumbleweave and White Lies!
(Tumbleweave is available for online streaming)


Are there any other albums out, or coming out this year that you're really into, or really looking forward to?

Jim -Our labelmates Limb released their debut earlier in the year and it's ace. The new track Solid Gold from Turbowolf is great and I think they should have a new album on the way. I've just been listening to Rapt by Karen O, which has got me excited for her new release. I loved Fever To Tell when it came out. Sleep have just released their first track in decades. I'm dead excited by the prospect of more from them!

David -Pulled Apart by Horses recorded their album at the same time as us and are releasing their album in September too. At one point it was a battle of studios and equipment because we used the same engineers who had to share out the gear. Looking forward to hearing the rest of their album.
A Soundgarden / Black Moth tour... you can dream


If you could tour with anyone as support, who would they be?

David -Soundgarden

And if you were in charge of a huge festival, and had to pick three headliners, who would they be?

David -Hendrix, Elton John, and Pink Floyd!


And lastly, who would comprise your dream supergroup, and why?

David -That's a tough one; Josh Homme, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones! Oh wait, that's "Them Crooked Vultures".

Jim -hmmmm.... I haven’t thought too long and hard about whether this would work but I’d be interested to hear what Harriet Bevan, Jim Sclavunos, Warren Ellis and Q-Tip would come up with.



Black Moth played Truck on July 18th, and their second album, 'Condemned to Hope' is out September 15th! It's available to pre-order, and they still have some festival dates on the way; including Raw Power with Acid Mothers Temple, Teeth of the Sea, Younghusband and Bo Ningen!

(QUESTIONS ASKED AND EDITED BY CALUM CASHIN)