Black Moth: Tal Fineman Interviews Vocalist Harriet Bevan On The Eve Of Their Temples Festival Appearance

Black Moth were propelled out of the stoner/doom underground by their 2012 debut, ‘The Killing Jar’, which has won them mainstream attention and slots on the bill at festivals like Download and Reading/Leeds. Now, fresh off the back of a successful tour with Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, the band are preparing to hit the stage at the inaugural Temples Festival. We caught up with vocalist Harriet Bevan to talk stereotypes, festivals and new material, with an as-yet-unnamed second album ready for release later this year.

Black Moth

What was the inspiration for the name Black Moth? Who’s idea was it?

A combination of factors… I’m really into moths and what they symbolise for me since reading “Lament for the Moths” by Tennessee Williams years ago. Moths are the artists of the world, bronze flakes, delicate but gleaming, and stricken by a plague, perpetually downtrodden by the world’s mammoths….

Moths are amazing creatures. The more I learn the more they blow my mind. I recently read that the Greater Wax Moth has the world’s most extreme hearing – capable of sensing sound frequencies of up to 300 kilohertz!

It seems like the latest trend in stoner/doom is to be female fronted. Do you feel like you get lumped in with other female-fronted bands?  Does it ever annoy you? What do you think sets you apart from the other bands in that scene?

I don’t know, probably. I really don’t care though, people can lump what they want, with what they want. People love lumping and categorising. It bores me. Just listen to the music you dinguses! I like to think we’re a lot more than “female-fronted” and I can’t see the “female-fronted” thing as a scene at all. I don’t think that I even really know of another female-fronted band that we really sound like!

You guys have a new album coming out this year. How does it compare to ‘The Killing Jar’?

I think our song writing has progressed a great deal… It’s a definite weirdo album again, but that’s owing to our refusal to be tied down by any set of rules/genres. The lyrical content/themes are definitely our strangest yet… when I listen back now I have to say I wonder what the hell was going on in my head when I wrote them! The few who have heard it seem pretty excited so that must be a good sign.

Black Moth 'The Killing Jar' Artwork

How did the writing/recording process for the new stuff work? Care to tell us a bit about any major musical or lyrical inspirations?

As always, we wrote these songs collectively. The difference this time was that instead of gradually writing stuff over a period of time as we were finding our feet as a band, we pretty much got together and hammered out the whole thing in an intense couple of months. It was a heavy time for us… for all sorts of reasons, and the record definitely seems to have captured that feverish disquietude.

The legendary ‘Bad Seed’ Jim Sclavunos has produced both of your albums to date. What’s he like to work with?

He’s fantastic. A real inspirational, creative presence and he knows when to crack the whip if we’re not performing as well as he knows we’re capable of. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun, he’s very much part of the gang and indulges our often absurd sense of humour!

Which of the other bands on the lineup are you most looking forward to checking out at Temples Fest?

Unfortunately we can only be there for the Sunday due to other gig commitments! Otherwise I’d be all over Blood Ceremony, Electric Wizard and Anaal Nathrakh. We’re spoilt as it is though… so many good bands on the Sunday it’s ridiculous.

Black Moth

You guys are one of the more accessible bands on the Temples Fest lineup. Do any of you dig the more brutal stuff that’s out there?

Absolutely! Our taste is extremely varied and some of us certainly have a taste for the more extreme ends of things. All extremes in fact.

I’m sure you’ll agree that Temples has a pretty fantastic lineup, and a lot of people are excited about the prospect of such a cool new festival. A lot’s been going round lately about the stagnation of the UK festival scene in recent years. As a band who’ve played big festivals like Reading/Leeds and Download before, what’s your take on that?

Well we have always had a great time playing Leeds/Reading and Download and the cool thing about playing those kind of mega festivals is that you’re playing to people who may not have discovered you otherwise. I mean someone has to break up some of that indie drivel for the kids right?! Obviously its more fun for us to play at smaller, niche festivals with brilliantly curated line-ups stuffed with our favourite bands like Temples, but there are probably benefits to both. I’d always root for the smaller non-corporate festivals over the big guys though.

Do you have any other exciting plans for 2014? Which shows are you most excited about? (other than Temples Fest of course)

Our second album is due for release in September 2014. We’re very excited to finally be able to share this with people, but we have had to be patient for various reasons… it’s going to be a very special vinyl package indeed. We’re also working on a pretty great video for the first single from the album as we speak. Looking forward to playing with the legendary Acid King at Camden Underworld on 18th June and more interesting smaller festivals including Camden Crawl, Y Not and Truck Fest. We’ll also be looking at our first headline tour of UK and Europe later this year following the success of our recent support tour with Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats.

Anything else you’d like to say?

See you at Temples!

Band Links: Official | Facebook | Twitter

Interviewed by: Tal Fineman