Front-man Brad Stenz formed what would later become MOTH out of a garage in Cincinnati. "I had just moved from New York. I was a young punk with too much negative energy. I needed to do something, and had just picked up my first guitar. So, I started playing with a Sid Vicious wanna-be on bass and some kid who couldn’t play the drums at all. But, he had a p.a. system and that was enough. It was fucking terrible but it was a total aggression release." After years as a three piece, a few line up changes, and time to hone the craft of songwriting, MOTH added a second guitar player. "I was hearing too many parts for one guitar to play and I knew it was time," says Stenz. In walks Bob Gayol. Brad was into punk, and Bob was into hard rock, but they started to find common interests after attending live shows of bands like Dinosaur Jr., Fugazi, Jesus Lizard and Pavement. Gayol remembers, "We’d both be standing there looking up at these guys and saying that is what it is all about".
Over the next few years the band recorded two independently released albums, toured the United States extensively, and sent demos to every address in the music business. "Recordings were all done in our basements and we toured out of a beat-up, short, yellow school bus. We were constantly broke, but having the time of our lives," smiles Gayol.
When the band returned to Cincinnati and began recording their third album, some of the new tracks made their way to a production company in New York who liked what they heard. Not long after, MOTH’s new demos fell into the hands of Virgin Records America. Soon, they found themselves in the studio with Producer Sean Beavan (Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails) and the pro-rhythm section of Josh Freese (A Perfect Circle) and Tommy Stinson (ex-Replacements). The result is MOTH’s debut effort for Virgin Records, Provisions Fiction and Gear, set for release in April, 2002.
"It had been three years from our last record to Provisions Fiction and Gear, so we cover a lot of musical terrain, but lyrically there are some consistent themes. After we named the band Moth, I started to think about what that meant." Stenz explains, "Even though we came up with our band name randomly, it says a lot about who we are. A moth is a nocturnal creature that has essentially awakened from a dream state. A moth is also something that people wouldn't normally associate with beauty, but once you take a closer look…"
Upon the completion of Provisions Fiction and Gear, Moth found themselves without a full-time rhythm section. Moth first enlisted Atom Willard who had previously been drumming with Rocket From The Crypt and most recently, Weezer drummer, Pat Wilson's side project Special Goodness. Later, they completed the lineup with Ted Liscinski who was, most recently, performed with the stage presentation of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. "Atom and Ted have really solidified us. Atom brings an explosiveness to our live show and Ted is always keeping us loose. Now we just need to get that old school bus back."