Secret Superheroes: An Interview With The Moth Lantern
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Hailing from Lincoln, Olympics performers The Moth Lantern are an intriguing indie venture. Producing quietly moody, but unashamedly charismatic acoustic rock they've been getting all the good adjectives out of their champions far and wide. 'Beguiling', said Steve Lamacq at the BBC. 'Quirky, yet tuneful', said Stuart Maconie on Radio 2. 'Terrifically understated', said Pete Donaldson on Absolute Radio. That's all very interesting and that, but what we really wanted to know is if they liked Batman...
So, The Moth Lantern. Was the name inspired by the death traps of those irritating winged creatures, or after the signal-lamp of Batman's foe, Killer Moth? Yeah, we know our comic book villains...
Jason: OK, I admit it. I am the band geek. I love comics so much I have taken the sacred oath and forever condemned myself to a life without a girlfriend. Batman is the best of them all. Of course he's not that good as he's never realised he could've used those clever UV lamps you see in kebab shops to defeat Killer Moth. I have also been known to employ the famous "rolled up magazine/towel/cheese baguette" technique for manual moth destruction. Problem solved. You owe me, Bats.
To that end our band is definitely named after Killer Moth. We are absolutely not named after a pub in Retford called the Moth and Lantern. Don't listen to Dan. He lies.
Dan: We're named after a pub called The Moth and Lantern.
If it's the latter- does that mean you're great big comic book geeks? Who has been the most mis-cast Marvel or DC film adaptation?
Jason: The worst and yet strangely the most inspirational casting ever was Arnie as Victor Fries in that truly awful Batman film that if Christopher Nolan hadn't come along with a handful of reboot pixie dust I would still be having nightmares about it to this day. Mr Freeze was actually a really dark and complex character in the comics whose mind gets twisted after the horrific loss of his wife [Geeks: I am referring to the Paul Dini modern era re-imagining of the villain before any of you decide to write angry blogs]. And yet without this travesty we wouldn't have quotes such as: "ICE to see you" and "Time to kick some ICE!!". Genius.
Arnie- We salute you.
The other name we have to mention is the greatness of Jason's surname (Rungapadiachy). Does he enjoy watching strangers struggle with the pronunciation?
Jason: The question I get asked most in life is "can I call you Jason?" My answer is always a firm "no". They must attempt to pronounce my name in full and correctly first time in order to gain entry into my clan and access to the many benefits it gives them. Such as a plethora of virgins. An 800 strong army of woodland creatures for protection. And a free video rental card.
You hit BBC Introducing nearly two years ago now but you're still keeping up the good work as you persue that big break. What's your secret for perseverence?
Dan: We've actually only been together since last year and were on BBC Introducing in April this year. But as musicians we've all been doing this for years in various forms. I personally discovered the secret for perseverance off a small gypsy lady selling lucky rabbits feet, she followed me for miles and miles, was quite frightening really, but I thought that's perseverance as she only had one leg, so I bought one.
There's been plenty of successful husband-wife musical ventures in the past. Do Dan and Joanne find that they bicker more about domestic disputes or creative differences?
Jo: Definitely domestic stuff. Wouldn't be normal otherwise. It's usually things like Dan not picking his pants and socks up off the floor, leaving the toilet seat up, wearing my tights and using my make up...and inviting random men into the house.
Dan: F**k off!
Living together and working together is notorious for being a bit of a killer... how do you like to spend your 'escape' time away from each other?
Jo: Dan actually works full time as a Guitar teacher in secondary schools and I am a hairdresser so at the moment we have plenty of time away from each other. We do have a right laugh with each other and I really can't see that changing if we got to do our music full time. Quoting Alanis Morissette we are 'best friends with benefits' Cheeeeeeeeeeeeese!
In the history of rock n' roll there's aways been knickers-throwing and wannabe groupies... say The Moth Lantern got to this prestigious level- would that be a bit of a laugh or a bit of friction for the lovebirds?
Jo: Can always do with some new knickers...as long as they're clean...you never know there may be some pants thrown too?!
Dan: Errrgh there would be skiddies in them!
Lincoln's seen a lot of action in it's time- with the Celts, Romans and Vikings all having a place in it's history. What would you like future historians in a few hundred years to be saying about The Moth Lantern?
Jason: "In dark times, before the second ice age and the 3rd reanimation of Cher, Cameron and Clegg gave birth to the High Overlord, Thrax Xrifx III whose rule had cleansed the realm of East West Englandshire of all plant life, banned Tupperware and made auto-tune compulsory in all music. The Moth Lantern led the revolution. With cheeky acoustic rhythms, powerful melodies, strikingly good looks and vegetarian nun-chucks the band forced Xrifx III and his randomly acquired woodland creature army into hiding in the Lincolncester Chicken caves where it is said he eventually choked on eggs and died. The Gods, Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix were pleased."
Steve Lamacq described you as a 'beguiling proposition' on his Radio 1 show... we like the sound of that. What's been the most beguiling proposition you've ever had? Winky face and that...
Jason: Not counting the millions of times I've been asked to smell someones cheese, I can safely say the most beguiling proposition I've ever had is when Dan asked me to make a threesome with him and his wife. I instantly agreed, did some press ups and lunges and removed my clothes. It turns out he said a three-piece and not threesome. I was instantly barred from the pub (I can't remember which one, something to do with a moth. And a lantern). We had a similar experience when we agreed to be a four piece. To be fair Eddie took it well...
In other news I was once asked to strip naked for money. True story, and like most of my stories it ends with me starkers. I used to help out (for the princely sum of £20 per afternoon) the University of Leeds by being a live triage subject for medical student exams. I had to lie on a table, pretend to be unconscious and pray that it wasn't too cold. Or hot...
Your acoustic pop is set to create a really harmonious atmophere at the Olympics- what's the general reaction to your music at your shows? We're guessing neither hardcore moshing or raving...
Jo: Hardcore nodding in appreciation and breaking out in freestyle expressive dance is a regular occurrence. We have genuinely been getting some amazing feedback from our gigs which leaves us in a ridiculously giddy mood. We often walk back in a jig like fashion...in fact Jason pulled his leg skipping at our last gig....and Eddie rather impressively forward rolled all the way home!
As we've firmly established how 'beguiling' this band really are, you'll be wanting to have a listen to their stuff just here.