Moksha hasn’t been together for very long, but you would never guess this by listening to there perfectly recorded and produced CD Mammal or Machine. They recently got heads talking after performing late night in Berkeley with Jennifer Hartswick after The Phish shows in August.
JambandsOnline.com recently sat down and talked with guitarist Jeremy Parks and drummer Patrick Gray about the past, present and future of this jam band that you must see if given the chance.
JBO: One of the first things that intrigued me about you guys is that you’re from Las Vegas. You don’t usually see too many jam bands out of Vegas, so I’m curios as to how you guys got together?
Jeremy: Well, we formulated 3 years ago, after having been friends playing in several different bands over the years, that aren’t really from the jam band history, although there was always a little bit of improvisation in every one. We basically came from 3 different bands that slowly dissolved and turned into Moksha.
Patrick: Brian (the keyboard player) and I met in music school where we were studying jazz at UNLV here in Las Vegas, so the jam band improvisation thing just naturally grew out of that for us. So when we wanted to do the rock thing, it was a natural fit, that sort of developed.
Jeremy: We are very proud that we are coming from Vegas and are spear heading the jam band scene that might happen here. It’s a big city with almost 2 million people, but really doesn’t have that much of a subculture.
JBO: Yes, lots of big jam bands like Phish, The String Cheese Incident and even The Grateful Dead back in the day, have played some historic shows Las Vegas, not to mention the short lived Vegoose festivals. But to actually be a jam band from Vegas, I think is a first, as far as I can see.
Jeremy: We’re really lucky; we have a really supportive fan base out here that stems from the Las Vegas Jam Band Society which formed 10 years ago. They are just a group of like minded fans that wanted to bring jam bands out to Las Vegas and they booked a bar called The Legends Lounge that would let them put shows on. Over the years, they’ve grown bigger and bigger and now they are a pretty legitimate promoter and promote some of the biggest venues in town. They’ve been really supportive and we share the same fan base, so whenever we have show they help us promote it and it’s been a really great partnership for us.
JBO: That’s an amazing story, I’ve never heard of them
Patrick: Yes, and they are all volunteers. It’s not like they are money hungry or anything, they are just true fans that want to have a good time and make just enough to bring in the next band.
JBO: Sounds like an organization of true hippies?
(Laughs all around)
Jeremy: Yes, at heart!
JBO: I only heard of you a couple of weeks ago, when I got your CD in the mail, and it really did blow my mind. You have a great sound and I can’t believe you guys have only been together for 3 years and that this is just your first album. JBO is excited to be able to help promote you, so thank you for the opportunity.
Patrick: Well thank you, we appreciate that
JBO: Speaking of the album, you got a lot of very impressive musicians to sit in with you. How did that all come into fruition?
Patrick: We were friends with a lot of those guys before we recorded the album. DJ Logic, for instance, had a done a few gigs with us here in Vegas and we and also did a small tour with him and Brian Stoltz.
JBO: Well, It’s who you know some time, right?
Patrick: We also worked with Peter Apfelbaum. We contacted him initially just because we wanted him to write the horn arrangements on the album and the only reason we got in touch with him is because a friend of ours had taken some lesson from him. Our friend said, “oh I got this great guy who does horn arrangements and he might be interested in working with you,” so we just emailed him out of the blew and he responded. He said he liked our music and would like to help us out. So first we brought him out to Las Vegas and did a couple gigs with him so he could get the vibe of what we were doing. Then he came in and wrote all the horn arrangements and knocked it out of the park.
Jeremy: Yes, in Berkeley right after the Phish shows at the Greek.
JBO: How did you meet Jennifer?
Patrick: Well, we were already booked to do the late night Phish thing, and we wanted to obviously appeal to a lot of the Phish fans, so with her being in the Trey Anastasio band, we felt having her play with us was a a great idea. So we honestly just emailed her and asked her if she wanted to be involved. Some other members who have played with TAB also play with Santana, who has a residency here in Vegas. We’re good friends with those guys and they also played on our record. Because she knows these guys and trusted their opinions, she figured that we must be a half way decent band. So she answered our email and said yes right away.
JBO: Do you guys plan on going on a cross country tour anytime soon?
Jeremy: Primarily, we’ve been playing the west coast, because we’re trying to focus on little key markets before we spread out to the east and mid west. We have been focused on Arizona, northern and southern California, and Denver. This will be our 3rd time coming to Denver in a couple of weeks here. We’re just trying to get the ball rolling in these places, the same way we have in Vegas, so we can spread out to the rest of the country with out hurting our selves (laugh).
JBO: And in Denver your playing late night after Phish again with Jennifer Hartswick and Peter Apfelbaum?
Patrick: Yes, we will be at The Quixote’s True Blue, 2151 Lawrence Street in Denver CO 80205
JBO: Where can fans find your music to download online?
Patrick: We are distributed by the Homegrown Music Network. They put us in a lot of different music stores, but the main ones are of course are iTunes and Amazon, as well as Best Buy. Live performances right now are are only available right now at archive.org.
Patrick: Our myspace page is myspace.com/mokshatime and our website is mokshatime.com
Patrick and Jeremy: Thank You!