Moe Staiano (born Mario Anthony Staiano Jr.) (b. June 13, 1973, Staten Island, New York) is an American experimental drummer/percussionist and composer who works in a variety of found sounds and prepared trap set as well as massive orchestra conductions of his own scored compositions.
Mainly an improviser in a solo performance setting, Moe! Staiano (the exclamation mark is sometimes a part of his name) has no formal training in music and would play in unconventional ways such as drumming a bat on a snare or placing vibrators on cymbals.
He usually uses objects found earlier, but later decided to move to doing prepared percussion drumming on found objects on his trap set. During the years he has experimented with solo percussion using pipes, food pans, pressure caps, sheet metals, knick-knacks & other stuff that has acquiered, including a nifty Spatula that he bows over. Some times he starts to run around, throw pipes on to concrete, walk on pans with his feet to mute sounds, running amok with his kit, and sometimes even throwing his body into old cassette tapes or two dozen cymbals in any given performance.
His early years
His early destructive performances were known to have Moe! showering audiences with packaging popcorn or even hot sparks from a metal grinder and wrapping them up with yellow caution tape and destroy an arsenal of television sets, dishes and other breakable objects and setting off loud fireworks to end a typical show. Early influences of acts such as Foetus, Einstürzende Neubauten and Z'EV (with whom he once collaborated) were evident in his playing and shows as he used various found "junk" such as springs, sheet metals, oil barrels, pipes and other metal objects as percussion. He has toned down a little with his current shows, usually using prepared drum kits and guitar loops to create a more one-man band sound, though he still breaks an object or old 78 RPM records over his head from time to time.
His later Years
In 1997, he started his large ensemble collective, MOE!KESTRA!, which employs a rotating cast of available musicians playing Staiano's text "instructional"/graphic scores for large orchestras as well as conducted improvised performances. He has been known for doing compositions that involve unconventional instrumentation such as bundt pans. One such piece is 'Piece No.7: In Inescapable Siren Within Earshot Distance Therein And Other Whereabouts' employs U-bolts, wine glasses, sirens and guitars with six E-strings along with percussion and strings.
He is a former metal percussionist in the RIO/avant rock band Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and has played alongside former drummers Dave Shamrock, Frank Grau and current SGM drummer Matthias Bossi. He was one of the original members at its formation in 1999 until he left for personal reasons in September 2004. In January 2006, Moe! formed a new post-punk band, Mute Socialite, playing drums and percussive guitar along with Ava Mendoza on Guitar, Alee Karim on bass, Shayna Dunkleman on second drum set and, later, Liz Allbee on trumpet; all former students of Mills College. They have released one full-length album, 2008's "More Popular Than Presidents and Generals" and one 7" single, "Cheap Clocks". Moe! Staiano finished working on a new post-punk project, Surplus 1980, which includes members of both Mute Socialite, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and the Ex. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum has one release with Moe! on Seeland (Negativland's label) and a live CD on Chicago's Sickroom Records.
He was also a member musician with Theater of Yugen since 2006 and performed alongside Noh Dance Plays. He also played drums and percussion with Vacuum Tree Head.
- US. "Moe! Staiano/Moe!kestra! | Gratis muziek, tourneedata, foto's, video's". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
- "Soundwave>Series 2nd Season LIVE PLAY a different sort of audio visual feast". SFStation. 2009-05-09.
- La Briola, John (2002-05-23). "Sleepytime Gorilla Museum". Houston Press.
- "Artist Detail". Bayimproviser.com. Retrieved 2011-10-26.