Ian Tordella (far right) on the name Moth & Sons: “This group has a lot of rough edges...a moth is a less beautiful version of a butterfly.”
“We were thinking about ‘Big Moth’ as a name,” says saxophonist Ian Tordella, referring to the search for identity on a new project and recording. “But we decided on ‘Moth & Sons’ because it’s a collaboration. This group has a lot of rough edges...a moth is a less beautiful version of a butterfly...we have faces made for radio.”
Sign of the Times
...sneak peek at Moth & Sons' new record
According to Tordella, Moth & Sons is consciously pursuing a different aesthetic. “It’s definitely a fusion band. That’s why we didn’t want to be known as the ‘Ian Tordella Group’ or something like that. We wanted to bring an element of weirdness or even science fiction to it. We’re trying to think more like engineers or producers on this one instead of the usual jazz thing where one guy solos followed by the next guy. This is more about textures and thinking programmatically.
“In this group everyone is using electronics, even me,” says Tordella. “There’s a liberal use of effects pedals, so the end result doesn’t sound anything like mainstream jazz. We have a lot of layers and on some tracks extra guitar parts as a kind of ear candy.”
Moth & Sons includes the twin guitars of Joey Carano and Jeff Miles, augmented by the bass of Harley Magsino and drums of Charlie Weller. Their debut recording, Sign of the Times, was done the old-fashioned way, in a single day at Audio Design.
“We set everything up the night before so that we could track the whole thing in one long session,” Tordella recalls. But that plan almost blew up in their faces. “Two-thirds of the way in, the recorder, an older 16-track German machine, broke down in the middle of one of Harley’s songs! So we went out to dinner and our engineer was able to pull the whole thing apart and cannibalize parts from another recorder and solder it back together.”
2181 Logan Avenue, San Diego
Moth & Sons perform Friday night at 8 p.m. at Border X Brewing in Logan Heights. Copies of Sign of the Times will be available at the show.