Ian Moore has this gut feeling a change is gonna come in the music industry.
And not a moment too soon.
“There’s a direct relationship to the consolidation of the record companies to the consolidation of the radio stations and venues and magazines and the fact that there’s a lot of really, really lightweight, superficial music out there,” the Washington state-based singer-guitarist said recently. “I have a feeling that there’s going to be a reaction to that. Even in the mainstream media, fans are going to want something else.
“I studied music. I wanted to be a journalist or a musicologist in college, and you look at trends and it’s happened 50 times. This is not the first time we’ve been sitting here looking at trends and going, ‘God, is there anything good on the radio anywhere?’ Then you’ll have a time when a great crop of artists will come through and it gives everybody hope, and then you get watered-down versions of what they’re doing and it becomes obsolete, yadda-yadda, ad nauseam.”
Moore has his favorites, the ones who give him hope for the future.
“There’s a lot of them under the radar,” he said. “On the road, we’re listening to a lot of Yo La Tengo, and I’m a huge fan of Neutral Milk Hotel. I think The Flaming Lips on adult radio is pretty damn funny; the fact they’ve made it through is pretty cool. There’s quite a bit of great music being made.”
Moore’s debut Koch Records album, “and all the colors …” (released March 14), would have to be included. Powerful tracks such as “Float Away” and “Magdelena” further enhance his standing as part of a rare breed of pop purveyors dedicated to taut melodies and insightful lyrics without pandering to anyone.
“What’s been interesting about this record is, we’ve gotten really good reviews across the board,” Moore said. “We’ve had a couple of dogs, but for the most part, it’s been pretty positive. Even in the positive reviews, there’s been so much division over what this record was.
“I told (publicists) Gabe (Tesoriero) and Jody (Miller) that they should juxtapose a bunch of press quotes because they’re literally all over the map. People’s interpretations of this record are everything from like last night somebody described it as very experimental pop a la Adrian Belew; the review before compared it to a rootsy version of Radiohead; CMJ called it rootsy, guitar-driven alt-pop. I’m loving it. It’s an indication that people understand things through their own filters of what they know and that we’re doing something that’s not sounding like everybody else.”
Moore simply wanted to create a good pop record.
“I wanted to make something that was smart, sonically interesting, not too intellectual,” he said. “I wanted the songs not to be spare, but well-produced, and I wanted there to be a lot of emotional texture to the record.”
Shades of Moore’s pastoral home north of Seattle infuse “and all the colors … .”
“I love the Northwest,” said the Austin, Texas, native. “I’m attracted to the environment. I do a lot of outdoors stuff, and it’s just a beautiful place to be. You’ve got phenomenal mountains and the ocean there and very progressive people in Seattle and Portland. It’s a very different world from Texas. I’m probably going back to Texas in a couple of years, which I have kind of mixed emotions about. I love Texas, but I’m really loving the environment up here.”
THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT: “Buddy Holly. I cleaned my dad’s van and he gave me five bucks, and I bought a Buddy Holly 45, ‘That’ll Be the Day.’ ”
THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER WENT TO: “I was literally going to shows in my mom’s womb, but the first one I remember going to was either the Beach Boys at an arena concert or Abba. I love Abba. Me and my brother saw them, they were great. I still know all their songs. Everybody does. I was a huge Beach Boys fan, but this was probably in the mid-’70s and they weren’t very good and Brian Wilson obviously wasn’t touring with them.”
THE LAST CD I BOUGHT: “I got some a Byrds reissue, the new Yo La Tengo and the Beachwood Sparks. They’re on Sub Pop; they’re this kind of weird mix of indie rock and the Dead and the Byrds. I’m really digging that.”
BWF (before we forget): Catch up with Ian Moore on the Web @ www.ianmoore.com. … The Ian Moore album discography – “Ian Moore” (Capricorn, 1992); “Live From Austin” EP (1994); “Modernday Folklore” (1995); “Ian Moore’s Got the Green Grass” (Hablador, 1997); “and all the colors …” (Koch, 2000).