Folk stars Moriarty: ‘Tears can come down our own cheeks at shows’

Moriarty. Picture: Stephan Zimmerli

Moriarty. Picture: Stephan Zimmerli - Credit: Archant

Ahead of their show at Oslo on Monday, the seven-piece talk to Sanya Ali.

French-Amercican outfit Moriarty has evolved greatly since forming 20 years ago.

Some members moved on, some were added, the sound transitioned from blues to rock ‘n’ roll, but they still manage to retain their folksy feel.

“We refrain from the sirens of electro,” says Arthur Gillette, one of the seven active members of the group.

“We try to say something that can always be said with a guitar or a piano. We can perform anywhere, any time: dawn or midnight, on trains, in apartments, underground caves. We don’t need electricity.”

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This June, Moriarty kicks off the tour celebrating the upcoming release of their latest album, Epitaph.

“It’s our fourth album, so we’ve gone by the terrible three. This is the first new material in about two or three years (their last record was a cover album), which feels good.”

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The title, Epitaph, is a play on both the classic look of the word and a theme common in their previous tracks.

“It was a bit to play with the western taboo of death. We also like the idea of every time we write the song, it’s the last thing we do. It could be the last trace we leave in this life.”

“We’ve definitely always been visiting cemeteries and seeing darkness, but I think what we’re trying to do with this record – since we were touring a lot, playing quite big festivals – is to do music that would be more danceable, a little more rhythm.”

The collective is always open to new members.

“Every man and every woman has his or her own voice that counts for the others just as much. We really work on unanimous decisions, which make this band very hectic, but we always have a leg we can lean on.”

Gillette hopes the audience spends time getting to know the group during and after the show.

“We really like to talk to people, that’s the most important thing. When we talk to people, I think that there’s some sort of truthfulness – we’re not faking who we are, it’s not a persona.

“It can happen that tears come down our own cheeks during a show, whether of joy or of despair. Sincerity – that’s what I hope people would collect from our songs.”

Moriarty plays at Oslo Hackney on June 8 at 7:30 p.m. Their album, Epitaph, will be released on July 8.

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