I recently chatted with TOBACCO, frontman of Black Moth Super Rainbow and general purveyor of some of recent history’s most misunderstood (but none-the-less thoroughly enjoyed) takes on popular music (He’s a big fan of utilizing analogue synths and noise boxes to produce sounds that often ring of psychedelic fuzz in a cage match with comically crass hip-hop.)  He makes a point to obscure his physical appearance, often hiding behind masks, hands, or simply Photoshopping something that could be considered cleverly postmodern.  TOBACCO has a short string of upcoming performances (three, to be exact) that begin with an appearance at Philthy’s own First Unitarian Church on April 18th.  For an artist who has been characterized as being “very private and rarely does interviews,” I was quite flattered to hear that he was willing to talk to me “Any day and any time.”  Surprisingly, he was actually not at all a difficult interview, but he did confess “I don’t really have an agenda.  I kind of need people to ask me things.” (Although he did admit to being a “shameless self-promoter” via Twitter.)  During the course of our chat he proved to be just as brilliantly esoteric as I could have hoped… although that doesn’t necessarily seem to be what he was going for: “It’s not meant to be weird or to turn people off or to be smart.”

TOBACCO describes his sounds as “It’s like my version of pop music… It’s not supposed to be as avant-garde and distant as people think it is.”  As for his own personal ambiguity, he states “The way people expect things to be, they want to be able to know everything about everyone from the second they come out… When I was a kid everything was kind of more mythical then… I appreciated that, never knowing anything about the bands.”  He admits that it is really as simple as letting his music do the talking and not allowing any sort of a public figure to impact the way that his sounds are received.  In terms of his influences, TOBACCO tells me “I grew up listening to just as many prank call records as music… The way I do things is just influenced by fucking with people.”

Upon asking TOBACCO what he plans to focus on in 2012, he tells me “I’m trying to pick something to focus on and I can’t.”  In addition to the three shows he’s playing this week, he’s working on a new BMSR album (along with four West Coast tour dates in May); he has a new band, Demon Queen, who is about to finish up an album; and “I really want to make this new TOBACCO record,” he tells me.  For his appearance Wednesday at the First Unitarian Church, he tells me “You know what, I’m still figuring that out.  I think we’re gonna do a lot of the new Black Moth Super Rainbow… I think we’re gonna test a lot of stuff out.”