San Francisco's Bay Area has always been home to a special blend of music, and there is a new star shining on the horizon in Ubiquity's, Nino Moschella. First heard by the label on a demo tape handed in by Bart Davenport, Nino was quickly snapped up and sent back into his studio to record the debut LP, The Fix. Already being hailed as a future classic by the likes of Peterson and Straight No Chaser magazine, Matt D caught up with Nino for this exclusive interview
There has been a lot of underground talk surrounding the release of the LP, and a lot of excited people out there. Judging by the reactions the album has been getting all the hard work Nino put in is paying off, "Its been great so far, really well received and people are digging it so its all good stuff. Its been a pretty natural progression, I've just been doing my thing, doing what feels best at the time and that's what is represented on the album.."
Nino is a man pretty much in charge of his own sound, starting out using a four track recorder, handclaps and improvised kits in place of computer driven drum loops. It is a hard sound to describe but probably an even harder sound to achieve. "Every time I go in the studio I try to get a fresh output and try something new. And hopefully if something is working out, well that usually works!"
Sticking to what he knows best, the album was recorded entirely in his own studio. Coming from a musical family, Nino recorded most of the instrument himself, along with a little help from close friends and family members, "The studio is over where I'm living right now in Central Valley, California. Its just up from the house in this old shop that's been converted, it's a cool space
There are a couple of folks that help me out on the album, my buddy Thomas, who is playing in the live ensemble with me, he plays bass on some tracks and drums on others
And then my wife, Mia, she sings a couple of tracks, but apart from that, I?m trying to hold it down myself."
I had heard he build his studio in the middle of the woods, surrounded by nature. "Ha ha, kinda like that! Its actually in the foothills, there are oak trees and stuff but its not like super dense forest! Its been nice, we've spent the last six years in the Bay Area and we moved out there a year ago. Its defiantly been a different experience in terms of writing and recording out there."
To give a bit of background, Nino grew up surrounded by musical influences, his father sang with the choir, encouraging his son to take up backing the group on drums when the regular drummer failed to show at rehearsals, "He is responsible for getting me into music, for getting me onto that track so, we play together still and, yeah, he is a true inspiration
Loads of people
Some of the staples in my life have been singers
Like Etta James and definitely Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles
You know, some of the old school folks
And then as far as contemporaries, like D'Angelo, I love his music
You know, folk music like Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan
All kinds of rock music, Jimi Hendrix, The Who.. All kinds of stuff man, I like good music"
Talking about influences and future recordings, "Ha ha ha Damn!
That's a tough one, ha ha , it would be cool to get ?uestlove on drums, that would be a dream!"
It is refreshing to hear someone talk so passionately about artists past and present, whereby in his music, these influences only inspire his drive to create new sounds and ideas. "If I sample, then I?m gonna sample myself! The instrument I started out on was the drum kit so if I?m sequencing a drum track, its usually live drums to start with and then I cut that up and mess with that. Otherwise its usually a live drum track from start to finish. I don't necessarily sample drums in the conventional sense. But I sample myself for sure, like snares and kicks n stuff, I also do some beat boxing and whatnot "
So with the album now out on Ubiquity, Nino has been touring and promoting the recording, but how did he go about re-creating the sounds he captured in the studio
"Well its me and three of my closest friends and we're just bringing it to people live. We've got a couple of guitars and keyboards and everybody is singing. Its just a good time man! We're just gonna hang on the West Coast for a while, we've got stuff going on here just up and down California then we're gonna head up into Seattle and Portland. We?re looking actually to do a Mid West tour like Detroit, Minnesota in the Fall so we're looking forward to that and definitely coming over to Europe as soon as possible"