Los Angeles-based alternative rock band The Moth & The Flame (“TMTF”) will be making a stop in Nashville, this Tuesday, September 29th; the band is on a national tour with In The Valley Below, and has just released a brand new five-song EP, Young & Unafraid, on Elektra Records, which features their hit song by the same name and a little taste of what greatness is to come.
Releasing new music had been in the works since 2013, as drummer Tolman explains, “It’s been a little while that we’ve been working on it, it seems like it’s been forever. We recorded the majority of the forthcoming album with producer Peter Katis, who’s worked with bands like The National and Interpol, at his house in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He’s awesome. We lived there with him for seven weeks. The studio is on the third story of his house, our living quarters were on the second floor; he cooked for us, everything. He’s actually a great cook. He took care of us. We also worked with producer Tony Hoffer, who’s worked with Beck and Silversun Pickups here in L.A. It was a really different experience than living with Peter in Connecticut, but we’re really excited about what we were able to create together. We’re really excited to get the music out in the open and get people listening to it.”
TMTF, comprised of Brandon Robbins (guitars, vocals), Mark Garbett (keys, vocals), Andrew Tolman (drums), and Michael Goldman (bass), formed in their home state of Utah: “Brandon, the lead singer, did an acoustic performance at a venue in Utah, songs he’d written himself, just acoustic guitar and vocals, and Mark, our keyboard player was in the audience; really, that’s the start of The Moth & The Flame, the very beginnings of it. Mark heard Brandon and he thought it was amazing; he approached him after the show and said ‘you have an awesome voice, it’s really unique, and I love your guitar playing and your singing style.’ Mark had wanted to start something, and Brandon was open to it, so the two of them started writing music together. Fast forward six to eight months, and I came into the picture; I’d heard the music through a friend, I was really stoked about it, and I had the same thoughts Mark had abut Brandon’s voice and the songwriting in general, so I auditioned and it felt like a great fit. Probably late 2011, early 2012, the three of us were together in Utah, and there was a point where we realized we had something really special here; we thought it was the best time to make the move from Utah to L.A. We were recording our EP in L.A., and we were playing a lot of shows as part of a residency in Silver Lake. so we moved to L.A., and that’s where we met up with the final member of our band, Michael, who plays bass. I knew him through his old band and we scooped him up at the right time. The four of us started playing music together, it felt like a great fit for all of us. We all loved the style of the music, we all loved making music with each other, so that’s how it came together,” recalls Tolman.
The band has been building momentum with their infectious single “Young & Unafraid,” which has been lighting up tastemaker radio airwaves all summer and has almost two million plays on Spotify. Songwriting for TMTF is a collaborative effort: “Brandon comes up with most of the lyrical content and melodies, but even with that, he’s always open to ideas, it’s great. The four of us all write, we love sitting together and bouncing ideas back and forth. That doesn’t happen with every song, but particularly with “Young and Unafraid” it was kind of the process,” explains Tolman, adding, “That song came about when we were moving from Utah to L.A. and we started writing the lyrical content based on the emotions we were having at the time. There were a lot of haters in Utah. We wanted the freedom to be ourselves, to pursue this career in music. That’s how the song came about, it was a very collaborative experience. With our decision to move from Utah, we kind of felt young and unafraid. We just wanted to go for it. We had good things going on, it was good timing.”
The tour will take them all over the country and into Canada; the band is all in and ready to see your faces in the crowd when they come to your neighborhood. “The more we perform, the stronger Brandon’s voice gets, it’s been really awesome to see the progression there. He’s always had a unique tone to his voice, and it’s just getting stronger. The four of us are totally invested. There’s no Plan B. It’s comforting to go into a situation where everyone is willing to sacrifice everything to make it happen.”
If you’re in the Music City, you can catch The Moth & The Flame’s show at The High Watt on Tuesday, September 29th. Tickets for the 18+ show are only $12! Doors are at 7:00 p.m. and the show starts at 8:00 p.m.