Moth Circus is a Norwegian band and with Sideshow Sweetheart they want to conquer the world of rock. To get a better idea about Moth Circus drummer Glenn Asbjørnsen was so kind to answer my questions.
For many rock and metal fans you are a nobody, so please tell us a bit about the beginning of Moth Circus! And why the name Moth Circus?
We started out sometime around 2007, we rehearsed for a while. We soon found that we had something good going on, and decided that we wanted to try to do 'something' outside our home base. So we recorded a 4 track promo in my home studio (where we also later recorded our debut album Sideshow Sweetheart).
The name Moth Circus took a while to nail, we had names such as Roadkill (hehe f.f..k sake) and Hooligans Parade (that was my idea, but I am glad we moved on ;) ) after a while we landed on Moth Circus, there is a legend in the US, in Pennsylvania I think, where there is supposed to be seen a character that is a hybrid between man and a moth... there is a movie about this with Richard Gere.. It's a good movie :)
How did you got the deal with the UK-based label Rocksector Records? No suitable label in your home country Norway?
Well, to be honest we shipped out lots of promo CDs and Mark at Rocksector was one of the few who came back with genuine feedback and he seemed to like it (he must have since he signed us... ;) )
There was a lot of good feedback though from radios to magazines in both Norway-Sweden-U.K. and the US, but the labels where a bit slow.
Before you recorded your debut album you did a short tour in the UK. How did the English fans react?
We did a 4 day tour in the UK to meet up with Mark and meet him and to try out the English venues... The crow responded very well, however the number of people attending show to show were very up and down, but that's just the way it is when u don't have a big name built up yet.
But I remember at one of the shows we played when we supported Fury UK, some of the crowd already knew the lyrics to the songs, and that was pretty cool coming over to England and people know our songs!!
On your debut you have two songs off your demo and a dozen new ones. Have the new songs been written after that tour? Or have some songs or parts have already been written?
The songs on the promo that made it to the album kind of went so well with the fans that we decided that we would put them on the album.
All the songs on the album where ready before the UK tour – we pre-recorded the album the summer before, we performed the majority of the songs in England and started recording the album after we got home. Some late adjustments and after ca. 4 months the album was recorded and mixed (by Arvid Tjelta), I think most likely he will do that on our next album as well.
Why did you name the album Sideshow Sweetheart?
We played with a few titles, I myself like the album to be the title of one of the songs on the album, I am a bit old fashioned that way and alien Ken suggested the song Sideshow Sweetheart and I guess that was it.
You did a video clip for Sideshow Sweetheart. Who had the idea for the clip? I guess you don't go on stage with the clown make-up, right?
The script is all alien Ken's idea and has its roots in Dumbo (the Classic Disney animated feature) but gone a bit 'wrong' sort to speak, it all looked great, we got a nice chick in there, some evil clowns, a dude with syringes as fingers.
All in all I think it's a great video and it is done by Hex film in Oslo, it's a low cost video but it came out great. We do not need any make-up to be clowns.
Do you consider to do another video? Which song will / would you choose?
We just talked about that the other day, it might be a song from the album or we might even choose a new song, I really don't know right now so you will just have to wait and see.
How would you describe your sound? What are your influences?
Our music sounds like Pamela Anderson masturbating at a freak show!!!! Thought everyone knew that by now!! ;)
As for influences Tommy and I are into stuff like Kiss – Mötley Crüe and Guns'n Roses. Alien Ken is a big Nirvana fan, he loves Buckethead as a solo artist, Johnny likes Ozzy (we all do, who doesn't?) and Mastodon. We all love Alice In Chains.
The list could go on, I guess, but I'll stop there, but I really like Lady Gaga's ass! And of course Pam doing her things at my freak show in Stavanger!
Who's writing the songs? Do you have a main songwriter in the band? Or is everybody contributing?
Alien Ken is the main man in the band there, he is always on the move with new riffs and great hooks, but Johnny also writes lyrics. I guess everybody does something, because I make all my drums parts myself, but if the band have something they want me to do on the drums my ears are wide open (or not?)
Just after the release you played SOS Festival and a few more shows in the UK. How was the response at the festival? At the club shows?
I think the response at SOS fest was good; people there gave us good feedback afterwards. Some guys there even traveled to our gig in Newcastle to see us again, and that really is cool.
Some of the club shows were great like Newcastle and London and down in Chelmsford outside London, hosted by Shakey, he is a really cool dude with a heart for rock'n'roll.
How was the album received? Are you happy with the reactions you got?
The album was really well received and we got some great reviews, so I sure am happy with the album and how it was received, but I wish we would have sold more, but time will show, maybe a new album will open up people's eyes for Sideshow Sweetheart as well, U never know, like Kiss' first album who didn't sell at all until they recorded Alive and suddenly everything sold gold and platinum. ;)
Have you already started writing new songs? Gathered ideas? Any idea when you'll start recording?
Once again our Alien invader tries all the time to bomb our heads with new stuff, and we sure as hell got some really fat tunes coming your way, just wait and see. ;) We will start to pre-record new stuff during this spring time and dog knows when we will record for real, but as soon as we are ready!
What are your plans for 2011?
A new album for sure, I am working on booking us some gigs and festivals as we speak and I guess we will have to see.
I am sorry to say the band has been a bit slow lately due to some private issues on my behalf as my Father recently passed away (RIP Stein Asbjørnsen), but things have started to settle and the sun will shine again. ;)
My condolences to Glenn and his family. I think, everybody understands that things have been slowed down a bit in the Moth Circus camp. And it looks like they will be back soon with more Moth Circus craziness....