Moist (band)

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Moist performing in 2019.
Moist performing in 2019.
Background information
OriginVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
GenresAlternative rock,[1] power pop,[2] grunge[3]
Years active1992–2001, 2013–present
LabelsEMI (1994–2001)
Universal (2014–present)
MembersDavid Usher
Mark Makoway
Kevin Young
Jonathan Gallivan
Francis Fillion
Jeff Pearce
Past membersJamie Kaufmann
Paul Wilcox
Louis Lalancette

Moist is a Canadian rock band that originally formed in 1992. It consists of David Usher as lead vocalist, Mark Makoway on lead guitars, Jonathan Gallivan on guitars, Kevin Young on keyboards, Francis Fillion on drums, and Jeff Pearce on bass. Drummer Paul Wilcox left the band just before its hiatus in 2000.[4]

Moist was signed by EMI Music in 1994 and released three studio albums in the 1990s, becoming a staple of Canadian music culture. Shortly after releasing a compilation album in 2001, the band underwent an unplanned hiatus for over a decade, and then became officially reestablished in June 2013.[5] Shortly after reuniting, the band began work on their fourth studio album, entitled Glory Under Dangerous Skies, which was released on October 7, 2014.

The band has received 10 Juno Award nominations, winning two.[6] Between 1996 and 2016, Moist was among the top 50 best-selling Canadian artists in Canada and among the top 20 best-selling Canadian bands in Canada.[7]



Mark Makoway, Jeff Pearce, David Usher and Kevin Young, all from Kingston, Ontario, all individually moved to Vancouver over eight years. The group came together in 1992 where they formed the first version of Moist, which included drummer Jamie Kaufmann. The band began writing songs in November 1992 and played their first gig two months later. Drummer Paul Wilcox replaced Kaufmann in early 1993. In 1993, the band recorded a 9-song demo tape at the 8th Avenue Sound Studio with engineer Kevin Hamilton. Their sound was influenced by contemporary Seattle acts such as Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Mudhoney.[1] The two-day recording session cost $500 Canadian dollars. The band had 500 copies of the untitled cassette pressed. The band found support from the staff at the flagship Sam the Record Man store in Vancouver. The cassette reached No. 1 on Sam The Record Man's local independent chart. The release was distributed to other stores in the national chain and entered the top 10 on Sam The Record Man's national independent chart. In 1993, Moist signed to EMI Music Publishing Canada. Moist spent much of 1993 touring Canada and writing material for an expanded release. In January 1994, they completed their first full-length album, which cost $3,000 Canadian dollars. The album was titled Silver and released independently on February 8, 1994. After MuchMusic began playing the music video for Moist's lead single "Push" in medium rotation, the album sold almost 6,000 records within six weeks. By March 1994, the band signed with EMI Music Canada.[8] The Silver album went on to sell 400,000 copies in Canada on the strength of the singles "Push", "Silver", and "Believe Me". The band was also successful internationally in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Thailand.[9] That year the band continued to tour around Canada.[10] In 1995, the band won the Juno Award for "Best New Group".

Frontman David Usher performing in 2012

In late 1996, Moist released their second album, Creature, to favourable reviews and sales in excess of 300,000 units. The album included the hits "Leave It Alone", "Resurrection", "Tangerine", and "Gasoline", all of which were placed on high rotation on MuchMusic. In addition to these, a remixed version of "Tangerine" became a hit on radio and MuchMusic.

Following the band's second record, David Usher released his first solo album, Little Songs.

In early 1999, the band regrouped to record their third full-length album, the melancholic and soft-toned Mercedes 5 and Dime. The album was released in the summer of 1999 in Canada and later in 2000 in the United States. Singles included "Breathe", "Underground", and "Comes and Goes". While touring in support of the album, drummer Paul Wilcox injured his back, causing him to miss the band's final performances. In December 2000, it was revealed that Wilcox had decided to take a "potential permanent leave from the band."[11] Wilcox never returned to the band and retired from music. The band released a compilation album and DVD in 2001, titled Machine Punch Through,[12] and thereafter unofficially entered a hiatus period that would last 12 years.


David Usher continued to record solo, releasing Morning Orbit in 2001, Hallucinations in 2003, If God Had Curves in 2005, Strange Birds in 2007, Wake Up and Say Goodbye in 2008, The Mile End Sessions in 2010, and Songs from the Last Day on Earth in 2012. Mark Makoway published a guide to the music industry, called The Indie Band Bible, and continued to produce and mix records. Jeff Pearce formed the band RYE, and released the album "Wolves" through Maple Nationwide in 2004. Kevin Young toured with David and worked as a freelance writer.


In June, 2013, the band got back together, with Francis Fillion on drums. The first new Moist recording in 13 years, a cover of Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas", was released through CBC Music in December 2013. Moist toured around Canada in November and December that year, calling their tour "Moist - The Resurrection", a reference to their 1996 single "Resurrection".[5] The tour began in London, Ontario and ended in Calgary, Alberta.[13]

In January 2014 the band, now including Jonathan Gallivan, who had accompanied Moist as a second guitarist on the 2013 tour, reconvened in Montréal to continue work on material for a new album. Although he would still be featured on some of the new record, bassist Jeff Pearce left to focus on being a father. Recording of the new songs began in January, 2014. The band signed a new deal with Universal Music Canada, and released a single, "Mechanical", to radio on May 23, 2014 and to iTunes on May 27. The band's fourth full-length album, Glory Under Dangerous Skies, was released on October 7, 2014.

On May 9, 2019, it was announced that Jeff Pearce had reunited with the band.[14] 2019 also marked the 25th anniversary of Moist's debut hit album Silver.[15] Moist took to the road for the Silver 25th Anniversary Tour through Canada. The group performed Silver in its entirety, as well as favourites from their career. In November 2019 Moist released a 2CD/digital remastered edition of Silver and a 180g 3LP deluxe edition out in December. Both versions include demos, acoustic versions, and previously unreleased live tracks recorded in Los Angeles in 1994.

Also in November 2019, Moist released remasters of their albums, Silver, Creature, and Mercedes Five and Dime, for the first time on 180g vinyl.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
1994 Silver 12 4× Platinum
1996 Creature 7 3× Platinum
1999 Mercedes 5 and Dime 4 Platinum
2014 Glory Under Dangerous Skies 8

Independent albums[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Certifications
1993 Moist (independent cassette) -

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
2001 Machine Punch Through: The Singles Collection 58


Year Song Peak chart positions Album
US Main
CAN Rock/Alt.
CAN CanCon
1994 "Push" 37 32 Silver
"Silver" 9
1995 "Believe Me" 11 8
"Machine Punch Through" 72 5
"Freaky Be Beautiful"
1996 "Leave it Alone" 3 6 Creature
"Resurrection" 8 4
1997 "Tangerine" 25
"Gasoline" 27
1999 "Breathe" 30 5 22 Mercedes 5 and Dime
"Underground" 42 7
2000 "Comes and Goes" 10
2014 "Mechanical" 3 Glory Under Dangerous Skies
"Black Roses" 9
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.
  • Note: The Rock/Alternative chart was dormant from 1973 to 1995, hence no ranking for Silver's singles.

Music videos[edit]

Year Video[citation needed] Director(s)
1994 "Push" Brenton Spencer
"Believe Me"
"Freaky Be Beautiful"
1996 "Leave it Alone"
1997 "Tangerine" Stephen Scott
"Gasoline" Javier Aquilera
1999 "Breathe" Phil Harder
2000 "Underground" Ulf Buddensieck

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • David Usher – lead vocals (1992–2001, 2013–present)
  • Mark Makoway – guitars (1992–2001, 2013–present)
  • Kevin Young – keyboards, backing vocals (1992–2001, 2013–present)
  • Jeff Pearce – bass, mandolin, backing vocals (1992–2001, 2013–2014, 2019–present)
  • Francis Fillion – drums (2013–present)
  • Jonathan Gallivan - guitars, backing vocals (2014–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Jamie Kaufmann – drums (1992-1993)
  • Paul Wilcox – drums (1993–2000)
  • Louis Lalancette - bass (2014–2018)


Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Won Juno for Best New Group at the 1995 Juno Awards.
  • Won Juno for best video (Gasoline) at the 1997 Juno Awards.
  • Won "Q107 Canada's Rock Award" for best album (Silver) in 1995.
  • Won "Q107 Canada's Rock Award" for best group in 1995.
  • David Usher won "Q107 Canada's Rock Award" for best singer in 1995.
  • Kevin Young won "Q107 Canada's Rock Award" for best keyboard player in 1995.
  • Won an MMVA (MuchMusic Video Award) for Favorite Canadian Group in 1995.
  • The video for the song Tangerine won Best Video, and Best Director at the (MuchMusic Video Awards) in 1997.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b John Bush. "Moist - Artist biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Two Hours Traffic, Chance the Rapper and King Krule Lead This Week's Can't Miss Concerts". Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  4. ^ Bliss, Karen (December 12, 2000). "Moist's drummer quits band". Canoe Jam. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Hart, Courtney (September 17, 2013). "Moist "The Resurrection" 2013 Tour Dates Announced". Kingston Herald. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Awards". Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  7. ^ "NIELSEN MUSIC & BILLBOARD PRESENT CANADA 150 CHARTS" (PDF). p. 28. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  8. ^ "CANADA'S MOIST REIGNS WITH GOLD DEBUT". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  9. ^ Larry LeBlanc (24 December 1994). A Breakthrough Year for Canadian Acts. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 53–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  10. ^ "Moist savours sweet taste of success". The Gazette, Montreal, Canada, September 18, 1994. page 39
  11. ^ "Moist's drummer quits band". Archived from the original on 2000-12-12.
  12. ^ "CD REVIEWS: Kittie, Moist, Radiohead, Sevendust, Swollen Members and many more". Chart ttack, November 13, 2001. Review by Erik Missio.
  13. ^ Gallivan, Jonathan. "MOIST". Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  14. ^ Barber, Jim. "Moist Mark 25th Anniversary of Debut Album, Welcome Pearce Back into the Fold". Music Life Magazine.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Peak positions for Moist's albums in Canada:
  17. ^ "Gold/Platinum". Music Canada. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  18. ^ "Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  19. ^ "Moist Top Singles positions". RPM. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  20. ^ "Moist Rock/Alternative positions". RPM. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  21. ^ "Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  22. ^ "Moist Canadian Content positions". RPM. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  23. ^ "RPM - Library and Archives Canada | RPM - Bibliothèque et Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2011-07-20.

External links[edit]