A unique brand of improvisational jazz
Toledo-based musical collective, Moths in the Attic, perform at the Art and Performance Center of West Toledo at 6pm on Sunday, May 5. Primary singer/songwriter Zack Fletcher, who creates improvisational jazz and rock influenced music with his driving acoustic guitar, describes the group as a collective, as opposed to a band.
“The music actually started as a solo acoustic project. I was hearing additional musical elements in my head and sought out musicians who could make it a reality. The original intention of the project was to have an array of players and instrumentation that revolved around those players and/or the needs of a particular show. The main elements have emerged as a trio (Zack Fletcher, guitar/vocals, Michael Williams, saxophone, and Kevin Jorrey, percussion).”
Moth’s music, while free-wheeling and improvisational, is focused and driven, with clear melodies. This complex style creates music that at once sounds unique but also familiar, energetic and unpredictable, while rooted in fundamentals. Fletcher comes up with the songs and works on the vocals and lyrics, separately. “The guitar parts are really the foundation and driving force of the songs, then voice is typically the first instrument to be added. At that point the song is introduced to Kevin and Mike to start formulating their parts.”
Fletcher lists a diverse array of bands and musicians as influences, ranging from Pink Floyd to Bon Iver, a spectrum that might seem disparate. Pink Floyd began as a straight-forward psychedelic rock band, and blossomed into prog-rock behemoths. Bon Iver, conversely, began as a bedroom folk singer who blossomed into a musical polymath who has made recordings with Kanye West. Both of these influences are multifaceted, much the same as Moths in the Attic.
Fletcher explains the group’s name refers to a poem he wrote that embodies the idea of artistic expression— moths in an attic may be comfortable trapped in the dark, but they must break out and fly free to survive. “The same is true for these songs and the ideas expressed in them. They can exist in my mind where it’s comfortable, or we can play and record them, allowing them to be something more than an idea.”
The May 5 event will be Moth’s first time performing at the venue. Fletcher says, “We’ll be capping off a big weekend of performances and we’re very excited for the opportunity to be featured and share our music there. We’ll be playing a lot of original material, some of which will be featured on our upcoming releases and probably a couple of our favorite covers too.”