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Viva Phx Q & A: Moving Units

viva phx, viva phoenix, arizona music festival, arizona events, phoenix, live music, interview, band interview, downtown phoenix music festival, phoenix new times, stateside presents, blake millerMoving Units is a nu disco, indie dance duo from Los Angeles. The band formed in 2001 and released Neurotic Exotic on Metropolis Records in September of last year. If you’re over 21, you can move along to the Moving Units when they play Bar Smith at midnight for Viva Phx.

Read The Spec‘s Q & A with Blake Miller…

Very first concert you attended and a memory from it.
I remember lying to my parents when I was 16 and running off with friends to an arena rock show in Detroit. Totally against the rules of the house. We went to see Jimmy Page perform in his supergroup called The Firm. It was ridiculous. Page played a 20-minute guitar solo inside a laser beam pyramid. The drummer did a solo while his kit turned upside down. Some brawny, blue-collar dude was bending over his Ogilvie home-permed lady friend against the railing next to us. Dirty weed smoke was everywhere. Of course I never wanted to go home.

If you could have any musician (dead or alive) as a mentor, who would it be?
Miles Davis would have been an amazing mentor. Everyone knows he was an amazing brass player, but I love the way he rocked an organ and a wah wah pedal. And if I could choose a living mentor, it would probably be Richard D. James (a.k.a. Aphex Twin). His sampling and programming skills, sense of swing and knowledge of sound design is awe-inspiring.

Very first concert you played and a memory from it.
I started so many terrible Christian rock bands during my teens. I remember playing a youth group event in front of 50 Christian kids from church at some janky ranch in rural Michigan one Friday night. It was chilly, so they hung some black duvateen behind the band to block the wind and they had those yellow portable work lights shining on us. Suddenly, the stage looked really weird and punk by some accidental coincidence. That’s when I realized performing was going to be my thing and I never looked back.

Artist you would most like to collaborate with or have produce your music?
I’d love to re animate Rozz Williams for a sleazy goth-disco single produced by Goblin.

Personal truth that fans would be surprised to know about you.
I once took a leak in the men’s room next to Robert De Niro. He had a really long…ponytail.

How do you spend a typical day when you’re not touring or busy recording?
Screaming at my manager to book me back on the road or into the studio as soon as possible.

One artist or album you could never get tired of listening to?
I don’t think I could ever grow tired of listening to Cocteau Twins or the album Her Satanic Majesty’s Request by The Rolling Stones.

Earliest music-related memory you have?
Listening to 70’s road trip cassette mixes my father would make by taping the radio on his home stereo. Lots of Beach Boys, Dionne Warwick, Glenn Campbell, The Carpenters. I like to believe that was when and how my instinct for melodic hooks originated.

Nicest thing a fan has ever said, or given, to you?
I met a fan recently who told me she bumped our song, “Between Us & Them” on her iPod every day while she was going through rehab. It was the song that defined a very signficant transition in her life. I was so humbled. She’s stone-cold sober and studying to become a surgeon now. Win!

Interesting fact about your newest release.
I was struggling to overcome a crippling nervous breakdown during the writing and production of our latest release, Neurotic Exotic. The title kinda says it all.

Xperience you will never forget.
I will never forget stepping onto Mojave Stage at Coachella in 2004. It was an exciting, career-defining moment and it took place during what I consider a golden period of indie music and culture.

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