I corresponded recently with Melle Dielesen, lead singer of Mozes and the Firstborn.
Turn Me On, Dead Man: I'd just like to ask about your influences. I noticed one of your tags on Bandcamp is "70s". What bands would you put in your top 10 (or however many)?
Melle Dielesen: I'll answer by myself but I'll to represent the band as well as I can. So, here we go...
The top 10 (oh darn, this is my "High Fidelity"-moment)
Okay, off of the top of my head...
2. Plastic Ono Band/John Lennon
3. The Rolling Stones
4. The Velvet Underground
5. Guided By Voices
8. Black Lips
9. Neil Young
All of us listen to old and new music and we try to mold those two into our own music and make something refreshing. We lend from old music (like every band, I guess) because we're not gonna re-invent the wheel and we're inspired by bands from present day that are exciting to listen to live and on record. I mean, Nirvana would have never existed without the Beatles OR the Pixies. I'm not nearly trying to compare us to Nirvana... You see? Well, I think I get the point across. Ha ha! I always find it really hard not to sound pretentious when I'm talking about our influences.
Turn Me On, Dead Man: What's the music scene like in the Netherlands?
Melle Dielesen: There's definitely something happening here right now. I find it very hard to talk about a scene because it's not how I view it. It's just that there's a couple of artists in the Netherlands right now who seem to do well and are getting across the borders. It's not like there's a traditional scene where everybody hangs out in the same bar and share ideas. You know what I mean? But I can tell you about two Dutch bands that, we think, are really cool!
There's Jacco Gardner (http://jaccogardner.bandcamp.com/album/clear-the-air), a 24-year old sound whizkid. He actually signed with Trouble In Mind Records, which is really cool for a Dutch act. At least, that's what we all think! Not to mention, his psychedelic pop music is plain beauty... Cool surname, by the way!
Turn Me On, Dead Man: [note: Melle is referring to my name, which is Todd Gardner] Yeah, I've listened to Jacco Gardner. Not only is my last name Gardner, but my father's name is Jack, so his name definitely got my attention.
Melle Dielesen: Another Dutch band that we all like is traumahelikopter (http://traumahelikopter.bandcamp.com/). They're a Gories/Oblivians-style garage band. Their drummer only has a floor tom, a snare and a crash. He also plays while standing up. Their live shows are just a burst of energy! Burger Records recently released their album on cassette...
Which brings me to... us. Burger Records also released our record on cassette two weeks ago and their planning on putting it out on vinyl as well! Burger is just a really cool small label. These guys just put out everything they like. Almost 500 releases in 5 years! For us, the release on Burger Records definitely opened a window to new opportunities in America. There have been quite a few people from the States who responded positively to our album and showed interest.
Turn Me On, Dead Man: Looks like you're touring a lot this month. Any plans to come to the US (and DC in particular)? Have you had much response from people in the US?
Melle Dielesen: There's a possibility of Mozes crossing the Atlantic soon but I can't really tell you more because nothing's a hundred per cent sure yet... But of course, if there's certainty we'll let you know as soon as possible. Would be great to come to DC and play there!
In the meantime we're playing a lot here in Europe. Tomorrow we're setting out on a two-week-tour with Two Gallants! It's the longest we've been away from home with the band, so we're all really psyched about that! Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Belgium... Just going from town to town with some of your best friends. And on top of that, we get to play a show every night! Well, I can't think of anything I'd do rather than that! This month is gonna be one for the books, I guess...