Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth's iconic guitarist and singer, helped create a new musical language in the 1980s and '90s. In addition to defying traditional song structures, he dared listeners to broaden their definition of rock 'n' roll. But all good things must come to an end. The band went on hiatus in late 2011, following Moore's split from wife and bandmate Kim Gordon. Instead of dwelling on the past, he launched Chelsea Light Moving, an avant-rock project that will visit the High Noon Saloon on March 28.
The focus of the show will be the band's self-titled debut. While it won't be mistaken for a Sonic Youth album, it similarly takes cues from rock, metal, grunge and punk. Moments of inspiration, like Moore's invitation to "be a warrior" on "Heavenmetal," balance moments of upheaval.
I recently learned more about this somewhat mysterious group - and their fearless leader - from two of its members, guitarist Keith Wood and bassist Samara Lubelski.
Besides referring to a moving company, what does "Chelsea Light Moving" mean to you?
Wood: It's who the owners were, Steve Reich and Philip Glass. And their epoch. Minimalist composers coming out of the New York City loft and avant scene in the early '70s. It's an era that has always struck me as particularly heady and idealistic.
Samara, how does Thurston Moore the solo artist compare to Thurston Moore in a band setting?
Lubelski: He's a lot funnier in a band setting.
You seem to play all kinds of gigs, even birthday parties. What has it been like to play these smaller events?
Wood: We all come from playing in basements, so it's not hard to go back. Tight energy flow between the band and the audience is never to be underestimated, regardless of [the venue's] size.
What are your plans for after this tour?
Wood: There's not really a plan for the past, present or future.
Do you think you might make another album?
Wood: The crystal ball seems to be broken today, but the Magic 8 Ball says yes.