Nanaimo psychedelic rock band Moths and Locusts – Angus Barter, Dave Bean, Valentina Cardinalli, Mike Breen, Dave Read and Samantha Letourneau (from left) – is marking its 10th anniversary with the release of its latest album ‘Exoplanets.’ (Photo courtesy Dave Bean)

Nanaimo psychedelic rock band marks 10th anniversary with new release

Moths and Locusts’ new LP ‘Exoplanets’ includes recordings made over the last 10 years

Nanaimo psychedelic rock group Moths and Locusts is marking its 10th anniversary with a new album recorded across Canada over the last decade.

On Oct. 29 Moths and Locusts – guitarists Angus Barter and Mike Breen, drummer Dave Bean, vocalist Valentina Cardinalli, flautist Samantha Letourneau and bassist Dave Read – unveil their fourth album, Exoplanets, at a listening party at the Vault Café. The album will be made available the following day.

“The goal with this one was to sum up the entire last decade,” Read said of the album.

Three of Exoplanets’ seven tracks were recorded on Vancouver Island, while the remainder were put to tape during breaks in touring. The 15:39-minute title track was recorded in a former slaughterhouse in downtown Toronto in 2017 and three pieces were recorded in a remote studio surrounded by canola fields in Saskatchewan in 2016.

“It’s nice to be able to put some of our best songs on one album,” Cardinalli said. “This is a real representation of who we are.”

Read said some of the compositions are “live favourites” that fans have long requested but have yet be on a proper Moths and Locusts album. Others date back to the band’s earliest years, including a remix of their first single, Avulsion, which dates back to 2011.

“We took off the original lead vocal and we added new stuff to that, so you could say we’ve pretty much been working on this [album] for 10 years,” Read said.

He said it’s hard to believe “a band of people that just got together to blow off some steam” is now celebrating its 10th birthday. Cardinalli said it’s a feat worthy of “a little pat on the back.”

“To have a solid crew of committed people who have stayed together for over a decade is an accomplishment. It’s like a kind of a marriage … and that is hard to do,” she said.

Since making its debut as a trio at a Halloween show at the Mount Benson Legion hall in 2010, Moths and Locusts has gone on to release nearly a dozen recordings, including collaborations with ’60s psychedelic rock veterans Damo Suzuki of experimental German group Can and British musician John Alder, known as Twink.

Aside from the band’s musical output, Read said he’s proud of the work Moths and Locusts has done to bring artists like Suzuki and Alder to the city. Cardinalli said the band’s goal is to raise Nanaimo’s musical profile.

“This band is for Nanaimo because it’s something different, it’s something weird and interesting and experimental,” Cardinalli said. “And it’s not for everybody, it’s not, but even the people who don’t love it have to admit that there’s something there and that’s worthy of note and that helps to put Nanaimo on the map musically which is really our aim, to be like, ‘Oh, look world. Look what little Nanaimo is doing.”

WHAT’S ON … Moths and Locusts Exoplanets listening party at the Vault Café, 499 Wallace St, on Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

RELATED: British psychedelic rock veteran recruits Nanaimo band for new album

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