In the mid to late 1990s, Canadian rock band Moist was seemingly on top of the world.
Their 1994 multi-platinum debut record Silver marked the beginning of a long line of impressive accolades and achievements for the band. Their 1996 sophomore release Creature was certified for more than 300,000 copies sold while 1999s double-platinum Mercedes Five & Dime helped the band solidify their rock star status in the country.
Following their 2001 hits retrospective Machine Punch Through: The Singles Collection, all went quiet in the world of Moist as the group’s members splintered off into a variety of other projects and subsequently remained on hiatus for 12 years.
“The band’s hiatus came on rather naturally,” Moist vocalist David Usher says. “Everyone was interested in doing other things with their lives and with different people, which I think all of us felt was a really natural thing for artists to want to do.”
Asked if he ever had any concerns that the group was in fact over, Usher says he felt confident they would re-group when the time was right.
“It took us a long time to find the time when everyone involved in the band would be focused and want to resurrect the group. First and foremost, we wanted any kind of reunion to be for the right reasons. It needed to be fun and energetic. And because I think we were each so comfortable with what was going on outside of the band, it felt like a very full-circle moment when we decided to pick things up.”
Moist returned to the Canadian concert scene with a series of sold-out shows around this time last year. Initially, no further plans were made but after seeing the reaction that their fans had given them, they knew they simply couldn’t let a good opportunity go to waste.
“It seemed as though everything just fell into place. Going into that first show, we were discussing maybe getting back into the studio to cut one song. After that first show, however, it was a totally different story. We were determined to make a new record,” Usher says.
“The reaction that we received was humbling because we didn’t really know what to expect. We hadn’t been on stage together for 13 years so you feel as though your head is a little foggy. But once we stepped on the stage for that first show, the audience really brought things to life.”
The Moist of 2014 looks a little different compared to how they left off 13 years ago. While original members Usher, guitarist Mark Makoway and keyboardist Kevin Young remain with the group, the band is sporting some new faces, including guitarist Jon Gallivan, bassist Louis Lalancette and drummer Francis Fillion.
Original Moist bassist Jeff Pearce took part in the group’s shows late last year. When talk turned to the making of a new record, Pearce admitted that he was not necessarily interested in the seemingly endless work that goes hand-in-hand with the promotion of a new album, a decision that Usher says that he and his band mates appreciate and respect. Moist’s original drummer, Paul Wilcox, had bowed out of the group at the turn of the century due to an extenuating medical condition.
“The six of us are gelling well,” Usher says. “In a lot of ways, our old songs have had new life breathed into them due to the changes in the group’s lineup. There is a definite power to the band these days which is very exciting.”
Released in early October, Glory Under Dangerous Skies shows there is an immense amount of promise left with the band yet. “Mechanical,” the first single from the album was a Top 5 Rock Radio smash this past summer while the group’s follow-up track, “Black Roses” is showing equal promise.
As far as Usher is concerned, everything is gravy from this point forward. He is simply grateful that the band has been given a second lease on life.
“We were pleasantly shocked that radio came on board for our newest songs because you never truly know how people are going to respond to new material,” he said.
“It is safe to say that we just continue to follow the flow and see what feels right for the group. If something didn’t feel right, I don’t believe anything would have worked up to this point. The band is unfolding in the way we had hoped it would.”
What: Moist with special guests Alert The Medic
When: Thursday Nov. 13, 8 p.m.
Where: Casino New Brunswick, 21 Casino Dr., Moncton
Tickets start at $24.50