The Twitterview: Black Moth Super Rainbow
Thomas Fec (aka Tobacco) Questioned in 140 Characters or Less
May 29, 2013
The Twitterview, in which we interview an artist live via Twitter. We recently interviewed Black Moth Super Rainbow's Thomas Fec via Twitter, and here is the full exchange.
There are some individuals who do not have the option of living within the confines of conventional society. Thomas Fec, aka Tobacco, aka the mastermind behind Black Moth Super Rainbow, is one such person. The Pittsburgh, PA-based musician and professional prank caller (under the guise Sbarro Hottopic) releases music that he hopes is offensive to all as Tobacco, as well as music that many, many people want to support as Black Moth Super Rainbow. For the latest album, Cobra Juicy, Fec embarked on a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $125,000 (an impressive number, even if he ended up $3000 in the hole) to release the album on his own Rad Cult imprint. The most listener-friendly of Black Moth Super Rainbow's six full-length albums, Cobra Juicy is a bouncy psychedelic beach ball of electro1pop, hidden behind Fec and his cohort's disturbing, and sometimes terrifying, masks. Fec hides behind the 140-character limit for our two-hour-long interview conducted via Twitter.
Lily Moayeri of Under the Radar (@Under_Radar_Mag): Hello! Ready?
Thomas Fec (aka Tobacco) of Black Moth Super Rainbow (@maniacmeat): Yo!
@Under_Radar_Mag: There you are. You getting ready to hit the road in a few days?
@maniacmeat: ALWAYS READY. No, I am getting ready though.
@maniacmeat: Expect a nice time with friends.
@Under_Radar_Mag: And what if I'm on my own, what will you be doing to entertain me?
@maniacmeat: It's different from the recordings because it's a whole band when we tour.
@maniacmeat: Hopefully everyone can zone out to the visuals behind us and just decompress.
@Under_Radar_Mag: Will you be sitting on the stage, as you have been known to do in the past?
@maniacmeat: Thinking of going back to that.
@Under_Radar_Mag: Have you had a hand in creating those visuals?
@maniacmeat: Yeah, shot most on bike trails around here and friends' houses.
@maniacmeat: Sort of-experimenting to me at this point is making something that almost makes sense.
@Under_Radar_Mag: Is that partially what spurred the Kickstarter campaign for Cobra Juicy?
@maniacmeat: No, I was gonna what I do regardless.
@Under_Radar_Mag: What was the best thing about doing the campaign?
@maniacmeat: The money.
@maniacmeat: But mainly knowing people out there are down for some of my Willy Wonka ideas.
@Under_Radar_Mag: What was the worst thing about doing the campaign?
@maniacmeat: Not being prepared for all the work in fulfilling.
@maniacmeat: I don't think so but you never know. I'd rather stay on the creating side.
@Under_Radar_Mag: Do you have ideas on how you would approach putting out the next album so that your ideas & artistic integrity were maintained?
@Under_Radar_Mag: What would you be doing if not music?
@maniacmeat: Making bad pizza, hot-tubbing, hanging out, maybe even Bikram [yoga].
@maniacmeat: Sales position at the Cranberry [PA] Pool City would be cool too.
@Under_Radar_Mag: You did a lot of formats and promotional items for Cobra Juice, which were really cool. Would you do that again?
@Under_Radar_Mag: Sorry, JuicY :) I'm thirsty so...
@maniacmeat: I'm used to "Juicy Cobra" so I'll take that.
@Under_Radar_Mag: What advice would you give bands who are trying to put out their records via a campaign like Kickstarter?
@maniacmeat: Hard to say because different things work for different kinds of people.
@maniacmeat: Unless you jerk off to yourself in the mirror, don't "reward" people with your self-loving shit. It's corny.
@maniacmeat: Make something more real than an autograph.
@Under_Radar_Mag: What is the philosophy behind you and your band members' noms de plume?
@maniacmeat: Don't always like mixing life with music world.
@Under_Radar_Mag: How is your focus as Tobacco different from Black Moth Super Rainbow?
@maniacmeat: Without writing with anyone in mind, I curate the way it comes out. BMSR is what I think people might not find offensive.
@maniacmeat: TOBACCO is the stuff I can't imagine anyone liking, and that makes me the happiest sometimes.
@Under_Radar_Mag: And Tobacco stuff goes under the name of something that a lot of people find offensive?
@maniacmeat: BMSR straight from the heart and the head, TOB from the loins and the heart and the head and the butt and the front butt.
@Under_Radar_Mag: Hahah :) How did your collaboration with Beck for Maniac Meat come about?
@maniacmeat: He must've thought I was the Radiohead guy or something.
@maniacmeat: Serendipity, someone told me.
@maniacmeat: That one is a headscratcher.
@Under_Radar_Mag: Any theories people have suggested to you about that unholy alliance?
@maniacmeat: Haha, none.
@maniacmeat: Haha, you never know.
@Under_Radar_Mag: A lot of your artwork is kind of terrifying. Are you the artist? What's the inspiration behind it?
@maniacmeat: Yeah, I do it. It has to look like the music sounds and vice versa.
@Under_Radar_Mag: Are you also involved in your similarly terrifying videos?
@Under_Radar_Mag: How do you convey your concepts to the directors? All your videos look like a twisted slideshow of my teenage TV watching.
@Under_Radar_Mag: That's what you like about it, passing on your nightmare to someone else, I see how you are.
@maniacmeat: One excited phone call.
@Under_Radar_Mag: I can just picture their faces on the other end of the line. What's the fascination with masks? Similar to hiding behind monikers.
@maniacmeat: Imagery. The art of the face.
@Under_Radar_Mag: The art of a face or the art of a face as a mask?
@maniacmeat: Maybe both, but a face can say everything.
@Under_Radar_Mag: And a mask can hide everything.
@maniacmeat: Haha, too deep. Need potty humor injection.
@Under_Radar_Mag: You're going to have to provide that. What's with you and prank calls? I didn't think people did those anymore with caller ID.
@maniacmeat: Seems like it.
@maniacmeat: Just heard someone humming a lullaby in my house & I'm only one home so gonna get the fuck out for a minute. Back in 10 min.
@Under_Radar_Mag: Don't forget to answer when you return, @maniacmeat.
@maniacmeat: Safe from hauntings as long as I'm touching the RedBox.
@Under_Radar_Mag: And here's one from @ToryHarter. How would you describe the BMSR sound? The Black Angels once called it "airy," which seems to fit @maniacmeat.