“This group is really a good forum for me just because we’re all a little long in the tooth,” laughs Thurston Moore.
The onetime Sonic Youth singer/guitarist, kicking off Aaron Franklin and James Moody’s Hot Luck food festival, follows up 2014’s The Best Day with his fifth solo album, and second with his Group of former bandmate and drummer Steve Shelley, bassist Deb Googe (My Bloody Valentine), and British guitar wizard James Sedwards (Nought, Chrome Hoof).
“It’s so different from Sonic Youth, where the guitarists were interwoven in a way so there was no real distinction between who was lead guitar, who was rhythm,” explains the lanky 58-year-old from his London home. “In this group, James is primarily the lead guitarist, because he’s more traditional. Which I really like. When I was a teenager, some critic from Creem magazine ended his review of a Blue Öyster Cult record saying, ‘Free Buck Dharma!’ [laughs].
“So I was like, ‘I have a Buck Dharma in my band. I’m gonna let this guy breathe.’”
The BÖC reference outs Moore’s interest in heavier sounds, which have led the alt-rock icon to work with black metal supergroup Twilight and publish Mayhem bassist Necrobutcher’s memoir in English.
“Even in Sonic Youth, I would employ a lot of metal aesthetic,” says the closet headbanger. “I remember somebody in The Village Voice once wrote, ‘The two most influential bands for independent rock are the Velvet Underground and Black Sabbath.’ Lee [Ranaldo, SY co-guitarist] was like, ‘Well, I get the Velvet Underground part, but I don’t know about Black Sabbath.’
“I was like, ‘Dude, you have no idea. I’ve been employing Black Sabbath moves ever since we started!’”– Michael Toland