Friday, May 6, 2011

Big Mosey

L to R- Matt Jacob and Evan Hammer
Big Mosey is getting noticed for their raw unique sound in NYC. These Brooklyn born boys are channeling the sounds of the south with their soulful gritty southern rock sound. They recently released their debut ep, Homeward at Daybreak at Arlene's Grocery.

The four song ep is packed with the guttural vibrato of Jacobs powerful vocals and storytelling flow. The music transitions quite a bit and moves smoothly through from track to track. The music is kind of reminiscent to early Modest Mouse, and vocals could be compared to blues/jazz legends. It is really cool to listen to the blends of style, and hear the emotion and genuine passion in the songwriting. 

If you're into old school straight up rock at it's purest, Big Mosey is the shot in the arm you're needing.

For a free download off the new album go to

Matt Jacob - vocals/rhythm guitar
Evan Hammer - Bass
Nick Fokas - Lead Guitar
Chepe Beltranena - Drums

Where'd the name Big Mosey come from?
That’s something we’ve been wondering ourselves. Although the decision to adopt the name “Big Mosey” came out of a discussion Matt and I had last summer, we didn’t exactly force it into existence. If my memory serves me well, Tom Waits said that sometimes a song tells you she’s ready for you to hear her and sometimes she doesn’t. In turn, once “Big Mosey” made himself known to us, Matt and I naturally gravitated toward the moniker’s pleading implications.–Evan 

Being located from out of the Brooklyn area, how did you come up with the bluesy/southern rock sound?
A great deal of what drives Evan and I to write are the influences found in the story teller tradition of U.S. music history. The foundations of modern rock music stem from blues greats like Robert Johnson and Howlin’ Wolf, which makes it impossible to separate the South from what we now refer to as rock music in almost any form. Our song writing is also currently very environmental, and living in a major city for an extended period of time changes a person. It’s made us want to do what we can to wake people up from the monotonies most of us experience in daily routine, and realize that there are daisies to sniff everywhere if you can find the flowers. We strive, lyrically and sonically, to usher common emotion to create a collective experience. I’ve never lived in the deep south, but I have spent a considerable time below the Dixie Line in both Maryland and Florida. Less than three hours from NYC, in Baltimore the younger generation still refers respectfully to adults by their salutation and first name instead of last. That always stuck with me, as well as many of the customs that differ in the South. That’s the great part about the East Coast though, in actuality, the South isn’t all that far from us, and I’ve always kept southern music by my heart. –Matt

Who are your influences and what inspires your music?
Matt and I actually have a lot of similar influences, which I think he mentioned: Tom Waits, Pearl Jam, Howlin’ Wolf, The Doors, The White Stripes... I don’t know if that has shaped our styles in a similar direction but it definitely helps with the communication. Last weekend, I was singing a new song that was getting aggressive after having been locked up in my room for a couple of weeks, and Matt said, “That part sounds a bit like ‘The Spy’ by the Doors.” Although this worried me (of course), it also meant that we were on the same page about how the song should be conveyed. I guess those bands capture the attitudes of men who are both commanding and emotionally exposed, preferably at the same time, old generals who glow as they story-tell the evening away, giving out all of their guts, regrets, and wants. -Evan

Talk about your recently released ep, and is there a focus behind it?
There was a definite focus to our debut EP, Homeward At Daybreak. I think, first and foremost, there was the importance of capturing the raw emotion and energy that we’ve developed playing live shows throughout the Northeast. We wanted to step away with something that had a breath and subtlety to it (which was why we were drawn to the skills of Jeremy Sklarsky who did the Freelance Whales’ Weathervanes album). Further, we really wanted the EP to sound, for lack of a better term, human; full of expression. Finally, it was quite important to us to maintain an organic texture in the recording that was close to the feel of actually being in the room with us. We wanted the listener to feel intimate with the songs we created and also feel the energy we thrive on that ignites us to perform. –Matt 

You had your cd release show April 14th. How was that show, and will you guys be touring to support the album?
We had our album release on April 14th at Arlene’s Grocery here in New York. As this show was the band’s first album release, I think we were all a little bit unsure about what to expect. But the evening ended up being glorious. We had a full house and the crowd that came out to see us was excited for the music and we were thankful to share the album and a couple of new tunes with them. And now we are getting ready for shows around the Northeast (Boston, Philly, Connecticut, DC). The schedule will be announced soon. –Evan

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Certainly within the next five years we would like to be touring, recording albums, and writing music with most of our time. Our plan is to keep on playing in the same cities to build an audience that can pack some of the bigger venues around. We would also love to be working with other artists whose music we admire - perhaps hearing Matt’s voice on a future Edward Sharpe album, or having Ida Maria sit in for a show. Our biggest concern is about building a following and community that not only supports us, but each other too, and letting that desire lead us where it may. –Matt

There's two of you listed in the band. Who are your live musicians if any, and what's the band dynamic like?
Matt and I put this project together last year. Both of us are spending our days writing music and we’ve taken those songs as focal point for the band. On the album we were joined by Tom Grise on guitar and David Bucci on drums, and we were thankful to have them explore and arrange the songs with us. Currently the lineup includes Nick Fokas on guitar and Chepe Beltranena on drums. Up until now our focus was on actualizing our shared visions for the band, but looking forward, Matt and I want Big Mosey to be made up of folks who are equally interested in exploring our musical bellies. -Evan

What's the song writing process like for Big Mosey?
Our process goes something like this. Evan spends a weekend on a bender locked up in his apartment, howling at the moon, playing a chord progression he’s drummed out, and pencils in what really sticks. Matt looks through books of poetry he’s written over the past decade; he tries to find where the meter’s really centered and what chords best reflect the meaning behind the words. We each pound out the best skeleton of a song we can, and then sit down with various instruments to really ingest the song. Finally, we bring the structure of the song to Nick and Chepe and try to find multiple ways to capture how the song should feel. Once we’ve got it and, like scientists, we can prove we can duplicate a fully realized new song, we rehearse until someone passes out. -Matt

Anything else you want to add?
The one thing that hasn’t been mentioned so far is the EP name, Homeward At Daybreak. Although we don’t want to claim ownership over interpretation, I will tell a short story. Sometimes a man can get carried away, journeying across people and terrain, and maybe one evening he finds himself out on the Canadian tundra with a single depressing mantra, fueling a night spun into weeks of delirium; but after stumbling and faltering through the incessant darkness, he is given back that splendid silent sun, with all its beams full-dazzling; now this man might be a long way from home, or he might not be, but the point is that once again he orients himself in her direction. -Evan


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