Did you know that no word in the English language rhymes with The Molochs? Have you heard the one about two Molochs walking into a bar? Sick of listening to ya Mama’s old Big Band records? Do you agree rock and rock ain’t noise pollution? Need a band that can do both? Lucas Fitzsimons (vocals) and Ryan Foster (guitar/keys) are the Molochs and they have brought us something that’s becoming rare these days: creating a lyrical driven rock and roll sound that will be the soundtrack to your next BBQ and late night make out sesh, and adding a wildly entertaining live set made up of Mateo Leonardo on rhythm guitar, Derek Cowart (Cosmonauts) on bass and Cameron Gartung (Mystic Braves) on drums. Look out for The Molochs “America’s Velvet Glory” out 1/13/17 on Innovative Leisure Records. Why did the Molochs cross the road, read below to find out… –Tony Accosta
The Molochs are playing at Non Plus Ultra in LA with the Paranoyds this Friday, October 21st. Listen to them, and see them live. For the love of music. And read Tony’s interview with lead singer Lucas Fitzsimons below.
WHAT YOUTH: The Molochs just got signed to Innovate Leisure here in Los Angeles. Whats 2017 looking like for the band?
We won’t be leaving a second to spare in the new year… We are immediately kicking off a January residency at The Echo, for which we are planning some very interesting guests. In the middle of that month, on January 13, we are releasing our second LP and first debut LP on Innovative Leisure “America’s Velvet Glory.” It’s gonna be an exciting moment and we ask that everyone joins us in celebration.
2017 will be the year the Molochs take over the world. The last few years we’ve been confined to the general L.A. county area, but in 2017 we will make up for lost time. It’s too soon to talk specifics but let’s just say we’ll be getting way, way out there. People from out of town aren’t really aware of us, so touring will give us a chance to give the public in other cities an in-person first impression. They will see the live show and it’s going to be inspirational.
And of course always writing, always looking to the future…eager to get back in the studio and onward to the next thing.
Describe your dynamic with Ryan as The Molochs.
Ryan joined the group a couple years into its existence, so at the time he was basically only learning songs. As we started to work on new material he began to come up with his own guitar parts and leads. Ryan was also a talented keyboard/piano player so we incorporated the farfisa into the live group as well as piano, wurlitzer, and harpsichord on the new LP. The natural progression thus far has been for Ryan’s involvement to continue increasing, which I’m sure it will as we get into our newest material. I’m still going to write the songs, but my plan is to start bringing them to the band at an earlier stage of writing so we can work more collaboratively. Aside from the music, Ryan and I are pretty much partners throughout all of it, living together and going through all the motions together… We’re both having a lot of these experiences with the music industry for the first time, so it helps to share the confusion and excitement and frustration and anxiety with someone else.
Whats your first memory of music?
The earliest that comes to mind is a short trip my parents and I took when I was a kid. I remember getting in the back seat of the car and laying down. We were heading out early so I probably was still tired and cranky. My dad put on a CD as we drove off. It was an Argentinean band called Sui Generis. They were a hippie-folk band from Buenos Aires in the late 60s and 70s. I remember the songs being so vivid. Being folk songs and all, they were full of stories and fictional characters. I remember laying back there and the songs coming to life in my mind. We listened to it over and over on that trip and I learned all the lyrics and sang along. It’s extremely nostalgic for me now. Around that same time I have memories of listening to my dad’s John Lennon and Supertramp CDs, ha! And me semi-secretly listening to a Westside Connection single that I had borrowed from the kids across the street.
What are you listening to right now?
I got this amazing Go-Betweens box set as a gift, I’ve been really delving into that. I thought the thing was sold out but she completely surprised me with it. It has 4 LPs and 8 CDs.The LPs are a Singles collection plus the first 3 studio albums. I haven’t even gotten into the CDs yet, which are just endless gems of rarities, b-sides, live sessions, etc. I know I’ll be digging into that for a while. Some current stand-outs are “Draining the Pool for You” and “River of Money” on Spring Hill Fair; “8 Pictures” and “It Could be Anyone” on Send Me A Lullaby. Forester and McLennan are poets that should be remembered in the same light as Dylan or Rimbaud or Beaudelaire. Romantic…vivid…razor-sharp.
Some other records that have really gotten into my head lately are Agents of Change, a 10” by Blue Orchids, Up the Hill and Down the Slope by The Loft, Ghetto Music by Eddie Gale, Asante by McCoy Tyner, the Foxy Brown sound track by Willie Hutch… Also, as often happens, I had another one of my bouts of Stones-mania recently. I would need a whole separate interview on what that band does to me. I have lots and lots of favorite bands, but they’ve been the most consistently nourishing to me no matter what I get into. Them and Dylan…I get Dylan-mania once or twice a year. Yes yes, I love punk and post-punk and proto-punk and prenatal punk and whatever, but some artists have such pure expression of soul that it transcends what’s in vogue. Oh yeah… and “One Nation Underground” by Pearls Before Swine. That’s another one that came out of nowhere that just blew my mind.
You recently moved back to LA from Long Beach. What prompted that move?
I lived in Long Beach for 8 years. I went to college and I worked and I played in bands and never once had the slightest urge to move away. I guess I reached a point where I felt that I had exhausted all my opportunities there. I moved there from the west side of L.A. to go to college in ’06. In the Fall of ’14 I started a Masters program for History and within 3 weeks I dropped out. I guess I needed to start something that serious to realize what I actually wanted out of life. At the same time, I got fired from my full-time job of over 2 years. It all seemed to converge at once. All of a sudden Long Beach looked a lot different to me–I was sick of it basically. Musically, too, I felt that I couldn’t thrive there anymore. I had played every venue you could possibly play in Long Beach more times than I could count. Played with all the bands. It was starting to feel like the Twilight Zone. You could get really comfortable doing that kind of thing, which is fine, but I wasn’t ready to accept that quite yet. Right around that time, Ryan who plays in the Molochs with me was looking to move out of his place. I had a vision for the two of us to break out of the Long Beach bubble and hit the big city. I immediately moved out of my house and lived out of my van and several friends’ homes for 6 weeks while we looked for apartments.
It really had nothing to do with the actual worth or value or appeal of Long Beach itself as much as it had to do with my own reality and my own needs. I’m not really one to be a cheerleader for where I happen to live. It was funny hearing people’s opinions when I decided to move. The Long Beach people teased that I was getting “too cool” and was gonna go become some L.A. asshole, and the L.A. people congratulated me on finally getting out of Long Beach where “nothing was going on.” Both sides were wrong. And for the record, there are just as many cool, down-to-earth people in my part of L.A. as there are in Long Beach, and there are most definitely just as many conceded, entitled people in Long Beach as there are in L.A. It’s one of the perks of feeling like I don’t quite fit in anywhere—I get to see everyone’s insecure assumptions about each other. Very entertaining. We did the new Molochs album in Long Beach actually and I enjoyed going back. Felt nice.