January 2008 - MOS GENERATOR
It's a long time since I was so exalted from an album as from MOS GENERATOR's 'Songs for Future Gods', which has been released by Small Stone Records last year. Not only that they hold a vast number of killer riffs as well as a rhythm section, which is one of the tighest I had hear for a while, but also they write striking songs that you still will remember after a couple of weeks, accompanied by the bluesy vocals of Tony Reed. The recipe for their magic blend is simple: MOS GENERATOR is influenced by the cream of the crop and due to the fact that all three members are long-running musicians, their playing skills are in high gear. So it was time for me get to the bottom of it and guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed did answer my questions. We talked about his love for Pentagram, Saxon and much more...
Hello, Tony! How are you doing? It'll be only a few months until MOS GENERATOR will play at this years Roadburn Festival. Are you very excited about it and is this the first time for the band to play here in Europe?
Hey Klaus, doing very well thank you. This will be the first time Mos Generator plays in Europe and we are very excited about spreading our music abroad.
How long will you stay here in Europe? Do you play more shows in other countries?
We will be in Europe for 18 days. right now it looks like we are playing Holland, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. The tour is not completely booked so more countries could also end up on the itenerary.
I think that MOS GENERATOR fit perfectely to the Small Stone roster, because Scott has a good sense for picking up some of the best hardrock/heavy rock bands worldwide. When did you actually join Small Stone Recordings? Did it happen right after you made your contribution for the second 'Sucking the 70's' compilation or was it before?
We had been talking to Scott since our first album came out in 2002. We recorded 'The Late Great Planet Earth' in hopes that it would be released on Small Stone but Scott thought it was a little too ambitious to be our first release for his label. Sucking the 70's was our introduction to the label.
The new album 'Songs for Future Gods' is a masterpiece. It contains of excellent hooklines, heavy riffs, powerful grooves and your bluesy vocals. It's also very nice, that you have a very own sound, which has not much in common with the typical stonerrock sound. What do you think about the album?
I think 'SFFG' our most straight forward disc. It sounds like it should be our second album. In fact, we re-recorded four songs from our out-of-print self titled first disc and those songs seem to fall in line just fine. We wanted to make an album that was more like our live feel. Not so epic.
The CD version of the album contains an untitled hidden track, which sounds as if it was a spontaneous jam. Did you play this when the recordings have been done for the album and why is there no title?
When we first formed in 2000 we would just jam to get to know each other musically. This was one of those jams. It's called 'You feel it until you can't feel anything at all'. It's the edited version. it was 38 minutes.
Your previous album 'The Late Great Planet Earth' is more progressive than the earlier recordings, while 'Songs for Future Gods' is a more like a straight hardrock album, although a few of the songs are sounding like the missing link between both releases. How important is it for the band not to be tied to a specific musical formula?
For us constant growth is essential. Most musicians are music lovers which means they usually don't love just the style of music they play. Our goal is to slowly bring all of our influences into the songwriting while keeping the MG sound intact.
Listening to the record 'The Late Great Planet Earth' is like listening to one huge epic song, where every track blends into the next without any break. How did you record the album and is there a concept behind the album?
I produce and record all of our albums and I will tell you that 'The Late Great Planet Earth' was the largest recording task I have ever taken on. Only two songs were written when we decided to do a concept album. Other than the placement of the those two songs we wrote the album in order. Tempos and song end/beginning keys were always a factor when writing. The album is about the end of the world by the hand of man and a biblical sense. I was watching alot of doomsday documentaries and bomb testing videos.
I've seen some photos of you where you're wearing a Pentagram shirt, so it would unnecessary to ask you if you're a fan of this legendary band. But what are your favourite records of Pentagram and have you ever had the chance to see them live?
I am a big fan of Pentagram. From the 'Be Forwarned' 7" to the 'Sub-Basement' cd and EVERYTHING in between. If things would have come together for them in the 70s there is no telling who big they could have been. I even have the 'Be Forwarned/Lazy Lady' 45 in my juke box.
MOS GENERATOR are deeply rooted with the hard and heavy rock of the 70's, but you never sound like one of these bands, who are on a total retro trip. It's more that you have taken all the good things of that period and carried them into the current decade, what is more interesting than just trying to sound like a heavy band from 1972. Well's, that my point of view, but what's your philosophy? Do you agree or what do you think?
As much as we want to sound like a band from 1972 we have had the privilege to have lived through the 80s heavy metal movement as well as the 70s. We pull a lot of our sound from the NWOBHM movement. Listen to the intro of 'Silver Olympus'. It is a mixture of 'Heavy Metal Thunder' and 'Taking your Chances' by SAXON. I also try to throw in the hooks without giving away my love for a good pop song.
In the 90's you've also played drums and bass in TREEPEOPLE, but in MOS GENERATOR you're singing and playing guitar. What is is your favourite instrument and do still play bass and drums in your free time?
In MG I love where I am at. Being a front man is great. I also have a project called STONE AXE, where I play all of the intruments and a good friend of mine sings. It's totally a retro band. The sound is heavily influenced by Free, Cream, Grand Funk and other late 60's heavy blues groups. We have a 7" and full length coming out on Roadburn Records the Winter/Spring.
When did you start playing music?
When I was 13. 1982.
What were some of the influences you had when you start playing?
Black Sabbath, Kiss, Rush, Iron Maiden.
You live in Port Orchard. Is it a small town and what's going on there? Are there a lot of clubs and venues?
There is a ton of talent in this little town and a great club that invites music of all styles and treats them well.
How do you earn your money? Do you have a cool job or do you curse the day you were born, when the alarm clock interrupts your sweet dreams?
I record/produce records and also do live sound. I spend 90% of my free time involved in music. I have the luxury of being a true musician.
Ok, Tony, that's all for this moment. If there's anything you like to add than just do it. We'll meet at Roadburn and have a good time! Cheers!
We are touring Europe with the Texas rock outfit BLOOD OF THE SUN. If you haven't checked them out yet please do. You won't be sorry. Thanks klaus. See you at Roadburn!