There’s no shortage of amazing musical talent here in St. Catharines, but acts like Fath Moth rise above even those high lines. Formed from various former members of Oak and Elm, as well as various other projects, Fat Moth feels as much like a community as a band. Having been strong friends and bandmates for so many years prior to this group, it’s no surprise that they should have a great deal of chemistry together. Now boasting seven members and an ever-expanding roster of alumni and artists, Fat Moth have a large sound, but in vocalist/guitarist Jon Lepp’s own words, a more ‘matured group’ than previous project Oak and Elm.
“In a lot of ways Fat Moth is a matured group of a musicians that have a lot of chemistry from playing with each other in various projects”, Lepp offered when I inquired about the nature of the group. He also compares the sound of the group to the bombastic nature of previous projects: “I wouldn’t say that the sound has been tamed down, but rather that it is more controlled. We spend a lot of time talking about dynamics in our songs, working through riffs and vocalizations to figure out what the song really is.”
That time was very well spent, it seems, and it pays dividends when Fat Moth perform. Their chemistry with one another translates to pure energy live; complex rhythms and riffs weave in and out of each other beneath the soaring vocals of Lepp and fellow singer Emma Fleury). The band also comprises of Jordan Phelan, Joe Mahony, and recent addition John Marleau. And each member is a multi instrumentalist, which allows for a great deal of creative freedom in both songwriting and performance. Their music is hard to define, but there’s the energy, the rhythms, the passion in each and every member can turn any venue into an outrageous dance hall.
This much energy must surely never be contained, and it seems Fat Moth have plans to expand. On December 9, they’ll be playing a gig at Odd Fellows Temple in St Catharines. This show will be special for a number of reasons; for one, it’s the release party of Fat Moth’s debut album. For another, the show is being coordinated independently by the band, something of great importance to them.
“When we do the shows independently we have full control to create an aesthetic in the room and we of course get to pick the acts that we play with,’ explain Lepp ‘Emma is going to be installing art at the venue.” Their opening acts are fellow local band Strange Shakes, and performance and comedy group KO Improv. Between the improv group and Fleury’s art installations, the show looks to be about more than just music; Lepp has expressed a desire to make the shows multidisciplinary.
After the release show, the band has broader horizons in its sights, as it hopes to tour with the record. They’ve applied to perform at the In the Soil Arts festival here at home in St Catharines next April, and are looking for similar opportunities across Ontario. But no matter where their music takes them, Fat Moth will surely be greeted with open arms and grateful ears.