Thurston Moore is an iconic symbol of the New York underground scene, witnessing the birth of no-wave and the rise of grunge, echoing the sound of a generation with his guitar for decades now. He co-founded Sonic Youth with Kim Gordon in 1981. Soon after Lee Ronaldo and drummer Richard Hedson joined the band they became the most charismatic translators of noise and sound. Moore released his first album 'Demolished Thoughts' in 2011 as an independent project and last year Sonic Youth decided it was time to part the ways. Soon after that, Moore returned back to music business with his last album released on October 2014, 'The Best Day'. We caught up with the legendary guitarist before his live performance at Babylon on April 22.
'The Best Day' strikes me as an unusually positive record for you—it ends with the line, "The best day along with your best friend." How did this happen?
Even when i use negative tones, or negative imagery - it comes from a positive light, a positive heart. I feel to use dark images and sounds is a way of rescuing misery from it's cave and presenting it as a tool of hope. But i think negativity is also something that is very sensual and alluring and should be left to it's own creation. But I do like to play with it. "The best friend" is the one who is your sweetheart. This happens when the Spirit of life smiles on you.
How did the band on 'The Best Day' come together? How do you choose musicians to work with at this stage of your career?
I met James Sedwards in London after I moved here two years back. His guitar playing was pretty sick so i asked him if he wanted to jame and he wasinto it. It was his idea to call Deb Googe, who I adore, and she came on board. And then Steve was always my first choice as drummer, there's not many drummers who can traverse between the traditional and experimental as he.
It seems to me that some of the repetitive dissonance of your earlier solo work has a renewed prominence on The Best Day. Was this catalyzed by anything specific?
I love the mantra of repetitive playing, particularly when some dissonance jars the soul into some feeling of strangeness. I like strange attractions and like to investigate those sounds and repetitions to share.
What's the meaning behind the album's artwork?
It means I love my dear momma who is in her mid 80s and was the one person who helped me the most as a teenager when i decided to pack a suitcase and find my self in New York City in 1976.
Do you feel comfortable settling into a solo identity?
Yes it's ok, i played in a fairly democratic band for over 20 years so right now i like being the president of my artistic decisions.
Do you find that your influences are the same as when you started or have things shifted over the years?
I think my influences have changed to some degree due to the fact that the person I am in love with brings newness to me with her influences and inspirations. The sharing of such things is always very exciting.
Does living in London influence the music?
Yes it does. I live in a small village where I walk the main street and the old architecture and rambling double decker buses feed me with new environmnetal vision. It goes into the blood, the skin and into the guitar.
How is the tour going so far? You spent a lot of your life when you were younger traveling and on the road, including the itinerant experiences you had when you were a teenager. What’s the difference in traveling now?
I love touring - it's like being a nomad and having the pleasures of the world arrive each day with a new land. I've done it for most of my life and i see that it is where charity is - in travel and discovery. It's easier to move aorund in one way due to technology but the airports and crossings of borders in more difficult because of so much unrest. -- GUNS DOWN, LET'S WORK TOGETHER.
Are there things you do to keep grounded when you travel outside of the work?
I go to record stores and book stores and museums and find local cuisine. I love it all -- usually there is not enough time for such bounty.
Was there a noticeable point for you when Punk lost it's attraction or appeal?
Punk still rules!
What do you think about how people discover music now? Everything is readily accessible. There is almost too much to choose from.
Yes but it's easy to shut the lid on digital music bullshit and get a cool record player, and buy records and listen to them. The option to create parameters is there.
What motivates you to continue with it all, despite the disappointments and the parasitism of the music business?
I don't ever think of the "business' when i think of making music. I would do it if i was penniless and living on the gutter or if i was a zillionaire with homes in every port.
Are you working on a follow-up to The Best Day?
Yes, it's going to be a new day.