It’s always sad when a great band breaks up, and you can say that about Moga, a rock ‘n’ roll band that has the swampiness reminiscent of Creedence Clearwater Revival and is as soulfully genuine as The Band. It’s been a few years since they were playing venues within The Creative Capital and they’re getting back together for a show at The Met in Pawtucket on Friday, August 19 with fellow locals Last Good Tooth and The Sugar Honey Iced Tea. Ahead of the show I had a chat with guitarist Greg Mallozzi about what brought the band back together, his time in Brooklyn, what he thinks of the growth of Providence’s music scene and whether this will be Moga’s only show.
Rob Duguay: It’s been a while since Moga played their last show. What sparked the idea of a reunion?
Greg Mallozzi: Basically it sort of started as something that we joked about. Honestly it started as a joke because I think none of us actually thought that we’d ever play again, we were pretty jet set on that so we’d joke about it. One thing led to another and we realized that we were all in the same place at the same time so we figured that we’d actually do it instead of continually joking about it all the time. We then wanted to see if we could still play, then we played and it was pretty cool so we figured that for all these years of kidding around about doing it that we’d actually do it. In general we had always started as us kidding around about it and then saying that it would never happen and now it’s happening.
RD: You were living in Brooklyn for a bit. What were you doing in Brooklyn and what were the other guys in the band doing during this hiatus?
GM: Personally, I totally stopped playing music. I don’t even have a guitar. I was in New York working on film-related projects that I was a part of and I sort of started fresh over there. So I was doing that and everyone else went about their ways. I know Ollie and Max [Fisher] still played on and off and Reilly [Graham] also had moved to Vermont in Burlington and he was playing a lot with a band along with his own stuff. More or less, everyone just sort of had their jobs and they were sort of doing their own thing.
RD: What kind of film stuff were you doing in Brooklyn?
GM: I was searching for an internship out there for a while and I landed one so I sort of moved out there on a limb when I got an internship. Through that internship I had networked with some people then one thing led to another and I ended up getting a pretty standard nine-to-five type job. So I made the decision of whether to stay in Brooklyn and keep this job or to come back to Providence and at the time it was a really good opportunity so I decided to go to New York for a while and do this job, which I ended up doing for two years.
RD: What do you think has changed when it comes to local music in Providence now versus how it was six years ago?
GM: I think when we played a lot I found that it almost seemed competitive with bands trying to get big and get out of Providence rather than just have fun, play a show and have a good time. I found that back then that there was a lot of people doing that and they were looking past Providence and trying to get out there. I think it was kind of competitive in a way, which I guess any music scene is. At the same time we had our group of bands we played with, which was really fun, and we’d always play with each other and play each other’s songs. It was sort of a mix, but what I got out of it at the time was a lot of competitiveness between bands and I think that was kind of a reason to why we fizzled out. We’re more about just having fun and having people come out and having a good show. We weren’t really concerned with getting signed or getting huge or anything. In all honesty I haven’t really been in the loop nowadays but there are a lot of the same bands. I think The Silks are awesome, I think they’re doing some really cool stuff. I’m not really sure about nowadays. Back a few years ago it always seemed competitive, but I don’t know if it’s the same way now.
RD: After the show on the August 19, does Moga have anything planned for the future? Can we expect more shows from the band or even a new album or EP?
GM: I don’t know, when we started we practiced a couple times and it sounded really cool. We had discussed about what if we recorded an album again and once again it was sort of like a joke but who knows? The show coming up was initially a joke and it ended up happening so maybe we’ll try to record an album. As it stands now, nothing is really planned.