December 13, 2004


Ian Moore.jpg

Ian Moore continues to evolve

He cut his teeth as a musician in Austin, Texas, and eventually moved on to the scene in Seattle. In the process, Ian Moore changed more than just his address.

During the early '90s, the Lone Star State native earned a reputation as a hotshot guitarist, touring with country singer-songwriter Joe Ely and releasing a self-titled blues-rock solo album in 1993 on the Capricorn label.

More solo discs followed, and so did his relocation to the West Coast. These days, Moore probably is thought of more as a solid singer-songwriter than as a skilled guitarist, blending elements of pop, rock and soul on 2004's Luminaria (Yep Roc), which he recorded at home and on the road with friends. Moore, currently on a U.S. tour, recently fielded some questions about his musical metamorphosis, his latest album and the future. Your period as a guitar slinger may be in the past, but when writing songs these days, do you have to fight the initial urge to throw in a smoking solo, or is playing that way the furthest thing from your mind?
Ian Moore: The word "slinging" should only be used in reference to short-order cooks and hash browns. The studio is an instrument in itself. I guess I practice the same irresponsibility with recording; a compression slinger of sorts. I have the perverse need to over-compress vocals and guitars all the time, to try to turn a folk song into a Phil Spector wall of sound. To this I plead guilty. What triggered your move from Austin to Seattle, as well as your shift in musical styles?
Moore: Largely [George W.] Bush becoming the governor of Texas. So many of the "freaks" [who] made up the underground Austin scene had fled, [and] the town changed to accommodate the yuppie high-tech influx. I had drawn my line in the sand as far as musical direction with my second record, Modernday Folklore. It gave me perspective on what I wanted to do and what fans of mine were expecting . . . I wanted to find people [who] were attracted to some of the same qualities in music that I was.

[Leaving Austin for Seattle] wasn't necessarily a geographical move, though I did find a community that at the time was more sympathetic to the type of music that I wanted to make. It seems that Austin is now sharing many more of those sounds and aesthetics. Which song or songs best sum up Luminaria, and why?
Moore: Those are always hard to come up with. I purposefully try to make eclectic records that cover a lot of ground. Each side of Luminaria starts with a quiet intro, morphing into songs that go in various directions. I really don't think there is a song that sums it up, and hopefully that would be a plus for the record. Recording Luminaria on the run, so to speak, with various friends seemed to work for you. Is this something you'd try again, or are you planning a more traditional approach to recording a follow-up?
Moore: I don't imagine making a traditional record in the near future. I think the nature of recording, with the advances in digital technology, has taken the studio proper a bit further out of the process.

There are certain points where it is nice to work in a well-tuned environment: mixing, and definitely mastering, but overall I think a lot of cool records will continue to be made outside of this environment, and that is one of the most exciting ideas in front of me. What are your touring and recording plans for 2005?
Moore: I want the next release to be more eclectic, more dramatic, etc. There are many things from Luminaria that I want to expound on, but I want it to be a bit sloppier, to be a little bit stranger, to rock a bit more. Touring is something that is always there. I do a lot of it, trying to make it count [and] be smart with tours. As 2004 comes to a close, do you have any new year's resolutions?
Moore: Write better songs, spend more time with my family . . . cook more, eat less . . . write some short stories [and] tour Europe more.

-- Introduction and interview by Chris M. Junior

Official Ian Moore site:

Ian Moore on tour (dates subject to change):

Dec. 13: Knitting Factory -- New York

Dec. 14: Johnny D's -- Somerville, Mass.

Dec. 15: Jammin' Java -- Vienna, Va.

Dec. 16: ArtsCenter -- Carrboro, N.C.

Dec. 17: Sylvia Theater -- York, S.C.

Dec. 19: Basement -- Nashville, Tenn.

Dec. 29: Juanita's -- Little Rock, Ark.

Posted by medleyville at December 13, 2004 11:33 AM