Black Moth Super Rainbow
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|Black Moth Super Rainbow|
|Also known as||Satanstompingcaterpillars, BMSR|
|Origin||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Genres||Indietronica, experimental, psychedelic pop, neo-psychedelia, synthpop, folktronica, intelligent dance music, ambient techno|
|Labels||Rad Cult, Graveface Records, The 70's Gymnastics Recording Company|
|Members||Tobacco (songwriting, vocoder)
The Seven Fields of Aphelion (keyboard, monosynth)
Ryan Graveface (guitar)
Pony Diver (bass)
|Past members||Father Hummingbird (keyboard, polysynth)
Power Pill Fist (Bass)
Black Moth Super Rainbow's music contains elements of psychedelia, folk, electronica and pop. Their distinctive sound is characterized by analog electronic instruments including the vocoder, Rhodes piano and Novatron.
A Graveface insert included inside the album Dandelion Gum describes them as such: "Deep in the woods of western Pennsylvania vocoders hum amongst the flowers and synths bubble under the leaf-strewn ground while flutes whistle in the wind and beats bounce to the soft drizzle of a warm acid rain. As the sun peeks out from between the clouds, the organic aural concoction of Black Moth Super Rainbow starts to glisten above the trees."
I had started off really noisy and abstract with Allegheny White Fish. We were all so happy with ourselves for coming up with that name in 10th grade, but it wasn’t too funny 4 years later. Then ssc [satanstompingcaterpillars] was like my way to be more melodic all the time, and a little more serious. Then when it started to shift again into something I might be a little more comfortable performing live, I brought in the rest of the band and we changed over again. I’ve always felt like these ideas shouldn’t outstay their welcome. 3 or 4 records is enough, because I get really bored, and I like to keep these bands and ideas as pure as I can, in their places in time, until it seems like I’ve finally gotten it right. -Tobacco
From 1996 to 2000, musician Tobacco, along with other musicians, worked on and recorded songs for the Allegheny White Fish Tapes. When Power Pill Fist (who is no longer active with the band) joined, a side project called satanstompingcaterpillars was born and became active from 2000 to 2002. Under satanstompingcaterpillars, the members self-released their music on different labels, including Fuckeroo and Side 8. After their third album, The Most Wonderfulest Thing in 2002, the musicians, now a band, added three members, Father Hummingbird, The Seven Fields of Aphelion and Iffernaut. They changed their name to form Black Moth Super Rainbow (BMSR) in 2003. Tobacco and BMSR are both active today.
Black Moth Super Rainbow began releasing their music on The 70's Gymnastics Recording Company, which is the band's own imprint. It is characterized by a tree-person jumping rope in a dress. Black Moth Super Rainbow's first album Falling Through a Field serves as a best-of collection for satanstompingcaterpillars.
After 2005, Graveface picked them up with Lost, Picking Flowers in the Woods and bonus reissued versions of their first two albums.
Black Moth Super Rainbow's third album Dandelion Gum was released in 2007. It is possibly their most successful album with many good reviews. With it came their first music video for the track "Sun Lips."
On November 4, 2008, Black Moth Super Rainbow released Drippers. The EP not only includes new tracks like "Happy Melted City" and "Milk Skates" but also features some lost tracks from the Dandelion Gum era such as "We Are the Pagans" and "One Day I Had an Extra Toe." It also features Mike Watt and BMSR's first official remix of Laura Burhenn's song "Just for the Night." Along with Drippers, the band released Bonus Drippers for MP3 download on their Myspace, which includes older tracks, unreleased tracks and bonus tracks like "The Dark Forest Joggers," a Dandelion Gum vinyl exclusive, "Side 9," a Lost, Picking Flowers in the Woods vinyl bonus track, or "Melting in the Meadow," a Start a People outtake track.
Their fourth album Eating Us was released on May 26, 2009. Around the end of the year, Rad Cult re-published The Autumn Kaleidoscope Got Changed by satanstompingcaterpillars.
On January 12, 2012, Tobacco posted via his Facebook account that a BMSR album entitled Psychic Love Damage had been recorded, but scrapped soon after completion. According to Tobacco, "it was supposed to come out this year, but it wasn't very exciting. and not good enough in my opinion for you to spend your $ on. so i junked it for its best moments and made an album that i'm really in love with." He went on to state that although scrapped, a new BMSR album is to be released in the near future, possibly in the summer. He also stated he would be releasing many of his favorite scrapped pieces through his soundcloud account.
On April 5, 2012, Tobacco posted news on the Black Moth Super Rainbow website confirming the next album will be out soon. Its slated release is spring of 2012. Along with this announcement, he also posted the first new song of this untitled new album, called "Spraypaint".
On July 10, 2012, Tobacco created a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of their newly announced album Cobra Juicy. Different donation ranges contain different prizes, beginning with $1 for a digital download of the upcoming single "Windshield Smasher" to $10,000 for a rollerskating party in Pennsylvania to be DJ'd by Tobacco. Most prizes contain cd's, LP's or digital downloads of the new album. A bonus prize to be included is also a digital download of the abandoned Psychic Love Damage EP.
Black Moth Super Rainbow has appeared at the WIDR Barking Tuna, Sasquatch! Music Festival, South by Southwest and several other festivals. On March 17, 2007, they played alongside The Octopus Project as one band at the South by Southwest music festival, playing music from their collaborative project, The House of Apples and Eyeballs. Black Moth Super Rainbow opened for The Flaming Lips on their Fall 2007 tour. The band performed at the 2008 SXSW music festival in a badges and wristbands only, packed-to-capacity show at The Thirsty Nickel. The band's 2009 tour featured a video introduction created by Eric Wareheim. Mike Watt also occasionally joined the band on stage to play bass during this tour.
Tobacco has released several albums, including Fucked Up Friends. In 2009, Tobacco released The Allegheny White Fish Tapes, a collection of mixtapes and limited CDs from pre-BMSR. On May 25, 2010, Tobacco released the second solo album Maniac Meat. It features vocals from Beck on two tracks, "Fresh Hex" and "Grape Aerosmith." The Seven Fields of Aphelion was the third member from Black Moth Super Rainbow to release a solo project. Her debut solo album Periphery was released on Graveface in February 2010. Tobacco released his third album, 'Ultima II Massage', in 2014.
"Sun Lips" was one of the first Black Moth Super Rainbow songs to have a video made for it.
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- Falling Through a Field (2003)
- Start a People (2004)
- Dandelion Gum (2007)
- Eating Us (2009)
- Cobra Juicy (2012)
- Chinese Witch Guy With an Ax (2004)
- Lost, Picking Flowers in the Woods (2005)
- Drippers (2008)
- Bonus Drippers (2008)
- The Autumn Kaleidoscope Got Changed + Sing to Us (2009)
- Extra Flavor (2011)
- Psychic Love Damage (2012)
- "Zodiac Girls" (2008)
- "Don't You Want To Be In A Cult?" (2009)
- "Born On A Day The Sun Didn't Rise" (2009)
- "Windshield Smasher" (2012)
- Sahl, Chris (October 31, 2006), Black Moth Super Rainbow and the Octopus Project: The House of Apples & Eyeballs (prefixmag review) (– Scholar search), Prefix Magazine[dead link].
- Pareles, Jon (27 July 2008) Pop (The Week Ahead), The New York Times (describing the band as one that "mingle psychedelic whimsy ... with the pulsating analog synthesizers that made their way into rock in the early 70s")
- "FMLY interview". Thefmly.com. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- "Tobacco". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- Powell, Austin (March 23, 2007), Funhouse: Trolling South By Southwest 2007: The Octopus Project + Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Austin Chronicle
- Pareles, Jon (March 19, 2007), The Times at the South by Southwest Festival, The New York Times