Stereogum Q&A: Thurston Moore

Tomorrow night (4/7) at 11PM, we offer a new installment of our ongoing Tuesday series Sessions at Santa’s with Spencer Sweeney. This one’s curated by Thurston Moore, who’ll hop on the stage with cellist Okkyung Lee and downtown legend/DNA drummer Ikue Mori for what should be an intense performance. Load-affiliated crews Fat Worm Of Error and Noise Nomads are each doing a set as well. The Sonic Youth vocalist/guitarist clearly doesn’t need an introduction, but we thought what he planned to do tomorrow night might, so we dropped him a line and, while in conversation, snuck in a question about The Eternal, Sonic Youth’s upcoming No Fun festival appearance, and their Twitter.

STEREOGUM: When you were approached for the show at Santos, how’d you decide who to choose for your night? It could’ve obviously gone in a bunch of different directions. ([New York black metal trio] Malkuth would be fun in that bleak basement space, for instance….)

THURSTON MOORE: Yeah Malkuth would rule, they always do — I decided by impulse — I thought it would be cool to bring down the wild cats from western Massachusetts noise/outsider scene. First and foremost Noise Nomads which is basically one dude who plugs his shit in and takes it wherever it takes him — it’s as black metal as Malkuth but way more tweaked. Fat Worm Of Error have been killing in our valley for years, ex-members of Caroliner Rainbow and more local freaks — a totally weird and off-the-map band — who have progressed into a great live thing. And then me — I wanted to do Northampton Wools which is me and Bill Nace playing prepared electric guitars through shitty amps, but he’s going to be on tour with Daniel Higgs — so I figured I would reach into NYC my real 1st home and ask a couple of people I totally love playing with: Okkyung Lee and Ikue Mori.

STEREOGUM: What can we expect from your set? Improvisational piece? How’d you decide on the pairing?

THURSTON MOORE: I put an Okkyung Lee LP out on Ecstatic Peace. I saw her early on when she started playing improvised music in NYC and was always enchanted — we played together years ago way uptown at some show Dave Nuss (No Neck Blues Band) put on and it was heavy and I had her join the Dream-Aktion unit, which is a large ensemble I organize once in a great while, to play one of the Voctoriaville Festival years. She’s academically trained and a formidable musician, and I like hearing someone like that investigate pure and free spontaneous composition focusing on action and energy. Ikue I’ve know since the ’80s and I was always a great admirer of hers back to the ’70s when she was drumming with DNA. I did a trio with her and Jim O’Rourke years ago in Austin, TX which I always wanted to revisit which is difficult since Jim O shunted off to Tokyo, the land where Ikue is from (!) — But I always have Ikue on my mind when figuring a gig of improvised music., so yes it will be completely improvised. Maybe.

STEREOGUM: Any interplay between the three sets?

TM: No.

STEREOGUM: While I’m asking questions: How’s it feel to be off Geffen/DGC and on Matador? The Eternal’s out soon.

TM: I think the Matador record shows us in an excited and newly liberated state of play.

STEREOGUM: No Fun is coming up as well. Will you be playing material from the new album at that? Doing a noisier set?

TM: We’re going to compose something distinct for No Fun — it will be fucking insane…

STEREOGUM: Finally, who in Sonic Youth’s the most active Tweeter?

TM: Lee and Steve tweet the hardest — I live a secret life with many dark and magic walls of love and desire.


Remember, The Eternal is out 6/9 via Matador. Moore’s not shitting you — they do sound reinvigorated (and keep in mind, Rather Ripped was no slouch, just less noisy). As far as tomorrow, tickets are $10, with a $5 reduction if you RSVP. It’s 21+, so bring your ID. You can grab tickets in advance at Ticketweb.

[Thurston photo by Michael Schmelling]