Local Musician Check-in: Moby and the Dicks

Posted on August 27, 2014 by

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These fellas ain’t dickin’ around. They mean business when they take the stage. You’ve probably heard them play at Rapture, The Jefferson Theater, Brews with a View, or The Southern, but if you haven’t experienced a performance by Moby and the Dicks, you’re missing out. They’ll have you dancin’ and whippin’ your hair around in no time. Their bassist, Stan Marshall, recently relocated to Mexico, but I was able to check in with guitarist Julian Carta, lead singer Moby Brown, and drummer Scotty Derrico so we could get to know more about this kick-ass local band.

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Julian, Moby, Scott, and Stan of Moby and the Dicks | Photo by Shannon Gillen

Moby and the Dicks

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? If not Cville, what brought you here?

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Moby Brown | Photo by Shannon Gillen

Moby:  I’m originally from Idaho, but moved here when I was really young. I love it out in the West, but this is definitely where I call home.

Julian: I am from Charlottesville, Virginia.  I went to JMU for Undergrad and spent a year abroad in England.  I have been back in town since 2010.

Scotty: I was born in New York and moved to Cville when I was 3.  So I’m basically from Charlottesville.

How and when did you guys meet and form the band?

Julian: Moby began playing music back in the late 90s and early 2000s with Seth Green, Benjamin O’Brien, Adam Barth, and Laura Wortman – from the Honey Dewdrops.  This band eventually developed into Moby and the Dicks in 2002 at UVA with Todd Wellons on drums (Sons of Bill).  Scotty played Lacrosse with Moby in high school.  Moby was my coach for a bit and Scotty was my teammate.  Scotty and I were always pretty tight in high school because we played in different bands.  Over the years there have been many members of Moby and the Dicks from the Charlottesville music scene.  In 2010, I moved back to Charlottesville and began playing guitar.  We played at a lot of bars until Scotty moved back from Los Angeles in 2012.  Since then, we have picked up our game and have moved to playing regional music venues and recording music. Don’t ask me how many bassists there have been.

What are some of your favorite local spots: to be creative? to catch live music? to grab a drink? to eat?

Moby:  I think my favorite spot for creativity is at my house in Greenwood–it’s so nice and quiet, so there aren’t a lot of distractions.  I’ve been hitting The Southern a lot recently as well.  My favorite place for eats and drinks is definitely Fardowners in Crozet.  They’ve always got great beer, and the food they have is super reasonable.  Ever try a hippie wing!?!

Julian: I spend a lot of time seeing shows at the Southern Cafe and Music Hall, Rapture, and the Jefferson Theater.  You can also find me at Millers on Wednesday and Thursday evenings for some of the finest jazz on the east coast.

Scotty: The Jefferson Theater and The Southern Cafe and Music Hall are my preferred spots to catch live shows.  The Southern has an excellent menu.  Try their “Goat with a Flow.”  It’s super delicious.

What local musician(s) you are most excited about?

Moby: I’m really lucky to be playing and surrounded with such great musicians. Adam’s Plastic Pond is wonderful.  I know Adam just came out with his album pretty recently, but I’m excited to see what he comes up with next. I’m also pretty psyched that the Astronomers are back at it and writing again.  Our good buddies, Sons of Bill, are just about to rock The Jefferson for an album release, and it’s going to be a blast. There really are a lot of great bands for a C-villain.

Julian: Travis Elliott is recording a record with Dave Stipe right now.  He is honestly one of my favorite singer-songwriters in town and it has been far too long since he released any new recordings.  I am also excited to hear what Nate and Scotty’s band, Astronomers will be recording.  Gina Sobel and the Mighty Fine have also been on a nice little run and I am happy to see them working on a full length record.

Scotty: Adam’s Plastic Pond, Superunkown, Sons of Bill and Corsair.  All are very different from one another but these groups are ones that I’d go see on a regular basis.

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Moby and the Dicks | Photo by Shannon Gillen

What local music projects are you/have you been involved in recently?

Moby: Recording an album always looks like fun on VH1 (does that still exist?), but it’s a lot of work!  I’m proud of our new album, Abandon All Hope, and have had a lot of fun sharing it with people.

Julian: We recorded our debut full length album, Abandon All Hope from November – May of 2013-2014.  It’s 10 really solid songs produced by our new bassist, Nate Bolling.  Please give it a listen if you get a chance.  I realize it is extremely unconventional to record 10 songs and press CDs for distribution, but we spent 2 years writing and recording the album and we wanted to get a lot of new music out there.  It’s my proudest musical accomplishment and it was a lot of work.  We ended up gigging a lot this summer and I recently played a show with Seth Green’s side project, Modern Medication.  We’ll be back at work on some new songs and a possible 2-3 song EP for 2014-2015.

Scotty: I play in a wedding band called “The Lone Rangers” and another original group, “Astronomers.”  Both in which I’m heavily evolved.  I’ve also worked with Luke Wilson and the Dericks, Corsair, Carl Anderson and Adam’s Plastic Pond over the past year or so.

When and why did you start playing music/singing?

Moby: I guess I started singing when I was pretty young, riding around in the car with my dad and singing along to a lot of his music.  Actually, singing in a band started back in 10th grade for me, which was the basically the first iteration of MATD. I like to think that we’ve grown quiet a bit as musicians since 15.

Julian: I was always drawn to music as a child.  Even playing the recorder in elementary school music class brought me a lot of joy.  I had a cousin who played guitar around me when I spent time in Italy growing up.  I appreciate how music is borderless and a pure form of art.  There’s absolutely zero bullshit in the creation of music.

Scotty: I started playing at the age of 12 and since I’m shy I figured that it would get me all the ladies.

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Scotty Derrico | Photo by Shannon Gillen

Most influential artist as a child? Teen? Adult?

Moby:  As a child, I pretty much just listened to the oldies station, and loved every minute of it. I can’t really say for sure who stood out for me then, but the soul stuff really stuck.  By the time my teens rolled around I got into bands like Seven Mary Three, Live, and Metallica.  Finally, as an adult (which I can hardly get away with calling myself), I’ve listened to a lot of Prince, Jeff Buckley, and revisited my old blues and soul favorites (Otis, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and Ray Charles).

Julian: As a child, I was instantly drawn to Jimi Hendrix’s music.  I was listening to Band of Gypsys – Live at the Fillmore East today. There was so much passion in his playing and songwriting. As an adult, I would say Jeff Buckley has been a major influence on me.  Grace is my favorite album from the 90s.  Jeff had it all: fantastic songwriting, a brilliant voice, interesting arrangements, tasteful use of chord voicings, and this extremely haunting dissonance to his songs.  I use chords from Grace in almost every song I write.

Scotty: ACDC all the way.

When did you write your first song? What was it about?

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Scotty Derrico and Moby Brown | Photo by Shannon Gillen

Moby: I think my first song goes back to the summer before 9th grade.  I’d just gotten back from nerd camp, and was totally in love with a girl I’d met there. I wrote lyrics about how I always saw her in my dreams, and actually had Laura Wortman from the Honey Dewdrops write the music. It was a classic case of ‘boy meets girl, writes and sends her a song on a cassette, and next time they meet up, it’s really awkward.’

Julian: I started writing songs when I was 15.  The first one I clearly remember writing was called “Dank.” The chorus went: “Hey now, you’ve got that place to go, take a look inside, the music’s in your soul.”  It was about music and it was really bad.  I think OAR was one of my favorite bands at the time.

Scotty: My first writing experience was with my first band Kilroy.  Our first song was about absolutely nothing.  We had no idea what we were doing but still made it with anyways.

What influences your songwriting?

Moby:  Whimsical imagery, drinking too much, abominable break-ups, and existential terror,  you know, the finer things in life.  Whoa! ‘The Abominable Break Ups’ would be such a good band name…

Julian: Keith Richards, bad breakups, travel experiences, and meeting interesting people.

Scotty: I’m very fortunate to have an older brother who is extremely talented at music.  I look up to him in every aspect of music whether it’s writing or performing.

What aspects of life excite you and stir your affections, fuel your passions?

Moby:  Beautiful weather like we’ve been having the last couple days, Evan “Emotion” Williams, and helping out friends in need.

Scotty: Just to be able to wake up every day and play music.

What do you want people to take from hearing your music? As a fan, what do you also want people to take from experiencing your live show?

Moby:  I just want people to feel something.  That something doesn’t have to be adoration or even admiration, and it could even be disgust.  With all the phones, instabooks, tweeters, and facegrams, people seem to forget to feel things.  Let it all go.  Enjoy a show.  Dance a little bit.  Pump your fist.  Whip your hair back and forth.  I dare you to get as sweaty as I do at a show. ‘Double-dog’ dare you.

Julian: I want people to put their phones away, dance, and enjoy the honesty of our songwriting.  If our one hour set can be an escape or release for somebody, I’ve done my job.  A while back, a mutual friend told me that she was having a hard day and came to see us at the Box (probably back in 2010 or 2011). She said after hanging out for a while and enjoying our performance she felt a lot better.  That means a lot to me.

Scotty: People who come to see us are amazing and really do support our local music scene.  As long as they keep doing that I really can’t ask for much more.

Where in the world is Stan Marshall?

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Stan Marshall | Photo by Shannon Gillen

Moby: I used to have a Stan. Someone asked him to hold a balloon. It was pretty hard at the time, but now, you know, I just like to think he’s traveling…

Julian: Stan is in Chiapas, Mexico.  He texted me the other day and it read: “I’m eating breakfast and listening to a Spanish version of “Achy Breaky Heart.” Just thought you’d wanna know.”  He’s happy and I will undoubtedly be playing music with him again soon.  We’ve been playing together since 11th grade.  7th grade if you count his stint on the tuba in the Henley Concert Band.

Lastly, describe yourself in 10 words or less.

Moby: Because yoU Deserve What Every Individual Should Enjoy Regularly

Julian: (I see what what you did there, Moby).

Scotty: I like to eat large quantities of ketchup every day.

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