Every Record I Own - Day 342: Dust Moth Dragon Mouth
It’s no joke when people talk about bands being intense relationships. You live in close quarters, surrender your privacy, expose your vulnerabilities, and put all your faith in your bandmates to help keep the whole fuckin’ thing afloat. And when things end, it can get ugly. The end of my old band These Arms Are Snakes had its own share of drama, though the details are better discussed in person over a couple of beers than in some one-sided online essay. It should suffice to say that after seven years of heavy touring and hard living, we reached a point where lopsided precedents and bad habits were deeply ingrained in our chemistry. We dissolved and went our separate ways.
Our guitarist Ryan wasn’t prepared for the news, and a slew of bad luck and hard times followed him in the months following the break-up. After a year or two dedicated to getting back on his feet he recruited some friends and started Dust Moth.
I can honestly say I’ve never played with a guitarist quite like Ryan. He’s one of those guys that will hear you play a riff once or twice and no matter how knotty or convoluted he’ll have a hooky lead to go on top of it within a matter of minutes. These Arms Are Snakes was an exciting and empowering band for me in that sense because not only was Ryan the rare guitarist who was content to hang out in the higher octaves, giving me free reign over the entire range of the bass guitar, he was also someone who thrived on building off of other people’s ideas. He was a creative musician who was also incredibly adaptive in the songwriting process.
So I was curious to hear what Dust Moth would sound like given that Ryan was in the driver’s seat. Knowing his love of layered guitar stuff like Doves and My Bloody Valentine, his formative years adoring the more rock-oriented post-hardcore stuff from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and his current predilections towards sultry guitar pop like Dum Dum Girls, the dreamy instrumentation and authoritative groove of Dragon Mouth makes perfect sense. It’s good stuff.