Spencer Moody: Triumph of Lethargy Is Not for Listeners. It's for the People Playing the Music

Spencer Moody has a beard and a remote-control monster truck.
Spencer Moody will forever be remembered as the frontman of the influential '90s punk-rock band Murder City Devils, a group that refuses to stay dead. But to a certain segment of the sartorially concerned population, he's better known as the proprietor of the recently shuttered clothing and found-goods shop, The Anne Bonny, on Capitol Hill, a demise he is just starting to get over. (See his blog: Don't Ask Me About My Failed Business.)

"I just fucked it up, basically," Moody said recently at Pioneer Square's Zeitgeist Coffee, "which I was really, really depressed about when it first closed. But then once I got a regular job, I kinda seemed fine."

Now paying the bills driving a delivery truck for Stumptown Coffee, Moody sat down with us as he and his Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death bandmates ready the release of their most accessible noise-rock record to date, Some of Us Are in This Together, which hits stores on January 18.

Did you get anything good for Christmas?

My mom got me a remote-control monster truck. It's pretty nice. It's pretty big.

Have you taken it out yet?

I've only driven it in the house. The problem is once I've taken it outside, I can't really drive it inside anymore. So I gotta get the most out of it, and maybe build some jumps for it in the summer.

Was that shirt [the button-down wool one he's wearing] taken off the rack at the Anne Bonny?

It's hard to know with these shirts. This might have been my dad's. But it's just as likely I pulled it off the rack. But generally I was good at keeping things separate. My bigger problem was selling things that I should have kept, more than keeping things I should have sold. Like I rode my bike to work, and someone said, "Is that bike for sale?" I'm like, "Sure!" And then I'm like, "Fuck, I really like that bike. And now I don't have a bike."

Do you have interest in supporting yourself with your music?

I make way, way, way more music now than I ever did when I was playing shows every night. If [music is] a sole source of income, then you're hustling to get by. It ceases to be a truly creative life. It's a life supported through creative things, but the life itself is kinda the opposite.

Triumph is not for passive listeners.

I would go so far as to say Triumph is not for listeners. Triumph is for the people playing the music, and it's for our listening.

It's interesting to hear you say that. Most artists would claim that what they do on their records is just what they wake up and are inspired to do with no consideration for the audience, which is obviously a bankrupt notion. Was there a time when you were actually saying, "How are we going to get some hooks in here and get a record deal?"

Kinda, sorta. [Murder City Devils] wanted to be like the Rolling Stones. The funny thing is, I think Triumph of Lethargy--and this sounds totally silly, and I know that--is more of like a jazz approach, but performed by people who are not masters of their instruments. It's more about the idea of listening to who you're playing with.

Follow Reverb on Facebook.

comments powered by Disqus