Trapped in the matrix with Black Moth Super Rainbow 

Electronica nihilist Tom Fec snatches chaos from the jaws of victory

Fair warning: This may be your last chance to see Black Moth Super Rainbow. Tom Fec's decade-long psycho-experimentalist pop project is currently out on the road supporting Cobra Juicy, an album that sounds a lot like its title — fierce, strange and impossibly sweet.

It's perhaps BMSR's most accessible, fully realized effort. At least, Fec seems to think so. What's more, he's not sure he can improve upon it, or would even want to. Like a laptop-swinging Björn Borg, he's ready to drop the mike and leave the stage.

"When I get into stuff I kind of accelerate my way through it, and like get tired of things really quickly," says the Pittsburg native, who's also released two albums under his stage name Tobacco, which sound like BMSR's more twisted and tweaked little brother.

Fec's sound is typified by percolating analog electronics and merry-go-round arrangements that suggest a Matrix-era version of Alice's Wonderland. With Cobra Juicy, the blurred psychtronic miasma is better defined and a bit more DayGlo, the result of a pop flirtation on Fec's part.

Over the years Fec's been approached on a number of occasions to do remixes, soundtrack work and whatnot. He probably should know better by now. After all, Fec couldn't be conventional if he tried.

"I've been hired in by so many people and I've been fired by almost all of them," he confesses. "I don't really work well under direction and don't necessarily work well with people."

As an example, Fec was recently hired to remix a large portion of a certain pop star's album, which had already been released but quickly tanked. (He's legally barred from naming her, and wouldn't want to give her any unwarranted publicity anyway.) As you might've guessed, it didn't end well.

"At that point, I was done with Black Moth," he says. "I was more than happy to stick with Tobacco. So I spent my summer making that record and then, as soon as I turned it in, they essentially fired me. It wasn't what they wanted. Which is weird, because why would you hire someone like me?"

That said, Fec has successfully produced tracks by the Hood Internet (who are opening on BMSR's current tour) and remixed Rob Zombie and the Go! Team. And even the failed female pop singer project didn't completely go to waste, since portions of it made their way into the musical bed for Cobra Juicy.

"I stripped it down to some of my favorite parts, wrote it again and again, and it finally made sense," says Fec, who reckons about 20 percent of the original material still remains. "Creatively, it's like I finally got there."

The question, though, is whether he'll go there again. Fec's indifference toward his future isn't out of character. As evidenced by the masks in publicity shots, his approach tends to be less ego-centered and more like the unattended kid on the floor of a toy store oblivious to the fact that it's not his own bedroom.

"There were these sounds I wanted to hear that no one was making, and I wanted to make them for myself," he explains. "I never wanted to be a musician onstage. I wanted to make tapes for myself."

So BMSR's post-tour future is still anyone's guess.

"I don't know, we have fun playing shows. I don't have plans to do another record as Black Moth, but that doesn't mean I won't."



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