This is kind of a big week for Tokyo’s Moja. Yesterday the two-piece released a new music video for the playful, spastic cut “China” from their sophomore album, “Super Ultra Gold 79.” And this weekend they will be showcasing their explosive brand of bass-and-drums driven rock in Korea for the first time during Seoul gigs at Club FF (May 18) and Salon Badabie (May 19).
Bassist and vocalist Haru and drummer Masumi formed Moja in 2006. The pair originally played together as part of a rock quartet called Gorilla. When Gorilla’s guitarist and vocalist quit the band, Haru and Masumi decided to keep on playing music as a duo. Since then they’ve released two albums (2009’s “Moja” and March’s “Super Ultra Gold 79”) and have performed throughout Japan and also in England, Wales, Italy, Hong Kong, the United States, and Canada.
Their Seoul concerts were organized by local post-hardcore act Apollo 18. The groups met at Texas’ South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in 2011 and have stayed in contact over the last year.
“Our official SXSW showcase was at the same venue as Apollo 18’s,” says Masumi. “They played after us and we thought they were amazing. We spoke together and they said they thought our set was great too. We’ve been friends ever since. SXSW is a massive festival, so being placed on the same bill as Apollo 18 felt like destiny to me.”
Moja are currently touring in support of “Super Ultra Gold 79.” The offering was recorded last year between March and December in New York and Tokyo. Wanting to expose more people to their awesome music and try something different at the same time, the band opted not to make CD copies of “Super Ultra Gold 79.” Instead the album is available only on limited edition vinyl or as a free download from Moja’s website – www.hellomoja.com (click here to be taken directly to the download section of their website).
“We feel that Moja are best experienced live,” says Masumi. “So we really wanted this album to be a loud, high-speed, and chaotic affair – just like our concerts.”
Her description of Moja’s performances is pretty dead on. Definitely noisy and wild affairs, Haru bounces around with infectious energy while Masumi flails around like a woman possessed while she abuses her kit.
Moja recently toured the U.K. in April, and rightfully received high praise for their concerts. While in London, they also found time to record two new songs.
“The studio in London was amazing,” says Masumi. There was a custom-built car factory, a skateboard park, and a studio all in the same building. It was so cool. We don’t know when we will release the tracks we recorded, but we plan to put them out as a special U.K. package. We’ll play the songs while we’re in Korea too!”
Moja play Friday, May 18 at Club FF in Hongdae. The show starts at 7:30 pm and No. 1 Korean, Juck Juck Grunize, The Magicians, and Gravity will also perform. Moja play on Saturday, May 19 at Salon Badabie in Hongdae too. The show starts at 7 pm and Apollo 18 and National Pigeon Unity will also perform. Tickets for both the Club FF and Salon Badabie gigs are 20,000 won.
Here are the estimated set-times for both gigs:
May 18 @ Club FF
7:30 pm Gravity
8:10 The Magicians
8:50 Juck Juck Grunzie
10:30 No. 1 Korean
May 19 @ Salon Badabie
7 pm Apollo 18
8 pm Moja
9 pm National Pigeon Unity (This will be National Pigeon Unity’s last gig before starting their mandatory military service.)