Sentient Horror- A Morbid AfterglowSaturday, 21st December 2019
Dead Rhetoric: Where do you stand on the age-old dilemma of technique versus feel – and how does it come into play when you are composing material and lead breaks for Sentient Horror?
Moliti: Personally, I think as long as you are doing something that fits the song and fits the vibe you are going for, that’s really what counts. I grew up, and am still a fan of a lot of players that are considered shred guitarists. My favorite guitarist is Yngwie Malmsteen, I love guys like Jason Becker, and I am big fan of Michael Schenker. A lot of those guitar players are considered maybe more on the technical side, but for me personally I never really listen to that stuff purely for technique’s sake. I think they are always trying to say something, and especially for death metal – I don’t like it when the music gets too technical, but I really love a ripping guitar solo. Like hands down – that’s one reason why I like a record like Cause of Death from Obituary. Not only is it these crazy awesome heavy songs and riffs – now you have James Murphy ripping over it. It’s like the icing on the cake – it’s not necessary, but if you’ve got someone in the band that can do it, it’s that extra bit of wow factor. I like playing the way I do. To me it’s as long as it fits the vibe of the tune, anything goes.
Dead Rhetoric: As a newlywed, do you have the support of your wife when it comes to your metal/music endeavors? And how important has it been to have that network of support with family and friends in these activities?
Moliti: Oh yes, she’s 100% supportive of what I do. It’s important. Especially for someone like myself who is a career musician, I think having someone that understands the need to practice on a regular basis, going to rehearsals, and being supportive of what you do creatively, it’s a part of who I am. I’ve always had a really good support base as far as friends and family are concerned. I haven’t had anyone doubt what I do or discourage me. I think if I had anyone in my life that was like that, I wouldn’t want to be around them too much.
Dead Rhetoric: You have a prominent position with your day job at the School of Rock in Chatham as an assistant music director and guitar instructor. What do you enjoy most regarding this work, and how do you feel about the future of rock music in the hands of the youth that you work with currently – do you believe they are soaking in all the sources available at a faster pace than you were able to growing up?
Moliti: To answer your last question first, certainly. The resources now are tenfold from what I had. Being a millennial, I was at the point that by the time I was in college, the internet was getting to the point where you were starting to have more access to information. It was still not quite like it is today, because there wasn’t YouTube at the time – but especially for a guitar player interested in choppy, lead technique I spent a lot of time on the website Chops From Hell that was my go to for guitar instruction.
Today, just with YouTube and all the different resources, kids have it way easier than someone my age or even older than myself who in the 80’s had to learn from guitar magazines or instructional videos that guitar players put out. I love teaching, that’s the bottom line. I love the process of teaching, I’m very passionate about how somebody learns something new and develops a skill set. I enjoy helping anyone develop that skill set. I do have some students that are incredibly talented – but I also work with total beginners and I enjoy that as well. It’s the process of sharing my knowledge and helping someone grow, whether it’s someone who is doing this for a hobby or if I have a student who is going to go down a road to pursue this professionally – either / or I enjoy helping someone in those instances.
Dead Rhetoric: How did the idea of developing a limited-edition Sentient Horror coffee mug come about? What other special merchandise ideas would you consider down the line to help spread awareness for the band?
Moliti: (laughs).So that was through our US label Redefining Darkness, Thomas Haywood who runs the label came to me and I guess he does cross promotions with Trve Kvlt’s Coffee, a metal themed online coffee distributor. You can subscribe to them and they’ll send you new coffee every so often. He wanted to do a cross-promotion, and they do limited mugs and do mugs for different bands they have in their store – Midnight has one that I saw looked pretty cool. Plus myself and my wife are coffee aficionados. Her more than me – we drink it constantly. That’s one merchandise item that I would like to partner up with, immediately.
As far as other merchandise items – we’ve talked about pins, our bassist Tyler is really keen on getting pins done at some point. I would love to do zip up hoodies, personally. I don’t know if there is anything else that comes to me off the top of my head. We have t-shirts, long sleeves, and patches besides CD’s and vinyl. I think it would be cool to do cassettes at some point – I don’t think either of our record labels do cassettes. I know some people have asked for that, so that might be cool too.
Dead Rhetoric: Have you enjoyed the different colors of vinyl that your labels have been producing for this album?
Moliti: Oh yeah. The different colors, I’ve seen all of them at this point. I haven’t gotten them all in my hands yet, and we will be getting our stock for shows pretty soon. They came out very sick. I think my favorite is one of the Redefining Darkness variants, which is an orange and silver swirl. The photos that Tom has sent me of it, I haven’t seen a vinyl like it before. It’s really unique and that one stood out to me.
Dead Rhetoric: Tell us how the contribution you did for the Ed Warby death metal project Heads for the Dead came about – and what have been some of your favorite records Ed has played on over the years?
Moliti: To be fair, Ed joined up more recently. It’s really the long-standing project of Ralf Hauber and Jonny Pettersson, they are the two guys that started the thing. Ed is a full-time member now, as of this most recent record that’s going to be coming out. I got in touch with him because I’ve talked with Jonny off and on through the internet, we will just talk to each other and see what we are up to musically. He’s a fan of my bands, I’m a fan of his bands – I mentioned to him that I’ve never done guitar session work. If he needed someone to take a lead on any of his projects, I was more than happy to help.
He sent me the demos for the first Heads for the Dead record, and it was really cool. He picked out three songs and told me to take a solo here, here, and here. I just did that, sent it back to him – and it was pretty much the same thing the second time around. He messaged me about the second record, and he wanted three songs for me to play on, told me to try to get this vibe. That was cool, because when I take a solo for Sentient Horror obviously it’s the music I wrote and I have an idea of what I want it to sound like. When you are soloing for someone else’s song, you want to make sure they are happy with it. There were some things I sent him two versions of it, which direction did he want me to go in. It was a lot of fun.
As far as Ed Warby is concerned, he’s been one of my favorite death metal drummers since early on. I was into him back from being in the prog metal scene, being the drummer for Ayreon. I was into him from that, and then I got into death metal – and discovered he was in Gorefest. For Gorefest, my favorite record is probably False. For his drumming on the Ayreon stuff, The Human Equation I remember listening to that record a ton. From two completely different styles of music, I’d say those would be the two I would pick.
Dead Rhetoric: What’s on the horizon for Sentient Horror over the next twelve months for shows, tours, festivals, promotional activities – and are there other recording appearances we maybe have to look forward to from you or the other members of the band down the road?
Moliti: Right now from what I know – I’ll speak for the other guys first. Our bass player Tyler is in a band called T.O.M.B., and they are going to be opening up for Mortiis on his tour that will happen the beginning of next year. That’s a pretty big opportunity for him. He’s going to be in talks to get some US festivals – we are focusing on that for 2020. We loved going to Europe last year, but for both expense and time off reasons, we can’t do that every year. Maybe plan a short 4-5 date run around a festival appearance. I’d like to do regional shows. I’m going to start writing material for the next record early next year. Which seems fast, because Morbid Realms comes out in December – but I don’t like when bands have a long period of time between albums. I don’t like that for myself. In a perfect scenario, our releases would have 18 months between each release. We were maybe a month or two late on that for Morbid Realms, but I want to try to keep that as much as possible.
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