“You only live once,” says Moment Trigger’s Tierra Williams, “So you might as well do whatever the hell you want to do, and not worry about what people will think about it.”
Along with partner Chris Lazard, Williams has done just that. These two L.A. underground stalwarts took the incredible, cathartic squall of their group and transformed it into some of the best electronic beat-oriented music I’ve heard in Los Angeles.
From Masonna to…Stacey Q? I think a lot of people would imagine a musical transformation like the one Moment Trigger has so magnificently managed would not be possible. But there’s a long tradition of electronic experimentalists—from Kraftwerk to Skinny Puppy to Andrew WK—who have taken their full-frequency sound and sculpted it into more widely-appealing song-based music of high caliber. Add Moment Trigger to the list.
Who is in the group, what are your names, and what do you play?
Tierra Willams—keys, synths, vocals
Chris Lazard—synths, guitar, programming
When did you guys start playing music together?
Tierra: Chris and I started playing music together about ten years ago. We were living in Santa Clarita and working part time at a video store. Things were pretty boring around that time so we decided that we wanted to start a band. Chris taught himself how to play bass and guitar, and I started playing keys again (I’ve played off and on since I was a kid). We played with drummers ocasionally but never really had any solid third member of the “band.” We didn’t really have a definitive sound or anything. We were basically just trying to teach ourselves how to play at that time.
Chris: We had a song called “Moment Trigger” that we recorded back when I was playing bass and Tierra was playing keys and singing around 2004. We liked the title and decided to use it for our group name. Around 2005 I was getting really interested in audio technology, in a homebrew DIY kind of way. I was circuit-bending broken sound generators and effects boxes, building small synths, teaching myself to read schematics, and building electro-acoustic instruments based on the designs I would come up with while waiting for orders at a Chinese food restaurant. We came across Masonna and Merzbow through the web and started getting into a lot of different harsh noise. From there we really dove into making harsh noise. We started going to the Il Corral in 2006, which was a space that hosted a good amount of the noise/experimental shows going on in Los Angeles at that time.
You have been out of circulation for awhile—what have you been doing?
Tierra: We decided in early 2011 that we wanted to take a break from doing live shows and focus on writing new material. What I thought would only be a couple months of a break turned into a couple years. We used to have shows at the house we live in on almost a weekly basis (aka Women House). After being around so many people for so many years I sort of went through a phase where I just wanted to be alone and get away from alot of the social/scene shit. Aside from all that we’ve just been writing and recording, and spending alot of time with our cats. I’m excited to get back into the mix of things though, I feel like im in a good place right now.
Well, your sound has undergone quite a metamorphosis. How would you describe your “old” vs. “new” music?
Chris: Our “old music” was: loud, harsh, high-energy, noise… Basically controlled chaos.
Tierra: Our “new music” to me sounds like danceable hip hop with chick vocals.
Why the change?
Chris: There is still a lot of the same underlying elements present in our sound, mainly in the overall vibe and energy. We have gone from noise to computer based sequencing and sampling now. The “change” in our music is our sound, not our aproach to music. We went from what seemed like an ultimate sound palette to work with in regards to making noise, to what we now see as an absolute Infinite pallette of musical possibilities.
Was there a reason you changed your sound?
Tierra: We just wanted to challenge ourselves musically and try something new. Although our sound has drastically changed from noise to whatever people want to call it now, the intent and feeling are still the same to me. Also—you only live once so you might as well do whatever the hell you want to do, and not worry about what people will think about it.
Who are your biggest musical idols and influences?
Tierra: I really like Michael Jackson, I think he was a magical person. But as far as what influences me there’s way too many to list. Probably anything I’ve heard good or bad could be influential in some sort of way. Lately a lot of my ideas come from how I feel I fit into the world and how and why people treat each other the way they do.
Where can folks get your music?
Chris: We upload all our music to Soundcloud with downloads enabled. We put together cassette singles as part of our MTSS/FGSS series as well. You can get those from us in person.
What’s your favorite new track that you’ve recorded?
Chris: I don’t really have a “favorite track”. Instead I get really into certain elements in each and every track we put together. Like transitional parts, build-ups and breakdowns, sound design elements, etc…
Tierra: I like everything that Chris produces. I feel like he gets better creatively and technically song by song.
Anything special planned for the Pehrspace show?
Tierra: We’ll be playing all new material. I guess the goal in mind for me is just to have a good time with it.
Explain “fatt grabbers”…has that replaced “sickkk ripperz”?
Chris: Haha! Sickkk Ripperz is just part of a bigger set of slang I’ve been coming up with for years. Sickkk that it caught on!
Fatt Grabbers came about over skate sessions in my front yard and was originally me and my buddies skate team. We built some ramps, put on some sessions and that was that… I’ve always kept Fatt Grabbers alive as a platform to put out art/music/whatever for the o.g. dudes involved. Now it’s basically a little label for me to put out Moment Trigger tapes and represent MT’s overall output.
What’s the plan for Moment Trigger moving forward in 2013 and beyond?
Tierra: We don’t really have any solid plans other than continuing to write, record and play live. I am excited for the future though and am hopeful for new and exciting opportunities, whatever that might be.
What’s the perfect day like for Moment Trigger?
Tierra: Being productive musically, hanging with my cats, and eating good food.
Sean Carnage presents…
Starts 9:30pm sharp / $5 / all-ages / RSVP
Pehrspace—325 Glendale Blvd., in Historic Filipinotown