The San Francisco stoner/doom trio Hornss are in the spotlight for this week’s Meet The Band. They just released their sophomore album Telepath. Vocalist/guitarist Mike Moracha introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Hornss.
Mike Moracha: I’ve known Bil (Bowman, drums) since the drug days of 1990s San Francisco when he played in an amazing black metal band with my roommate called Black Queen. When Nick Nava (vocals/bass), who I’ve been friends with since 1991, and I wanted to start a new band, Bil saw the ad and contacted me. I think we mentioned Saint Vitus, Black Flag and Overkill (L.A.) in it. Possibly Zoogz Rift and Würm as well.
Describe the songwriting and recording process for Telepath.
The way we make music is either Nick or I will come in with a song mostly done, then we’ll all kinda work on it – arranging it, adding our own personal riffs, drum fills, bass lines and whatever. Sometimes though we just have a riff and everyone kinda adds to that. I usually come up with my riffs while watching movies then from there I kinda write a bare bones version of the song – usually while drinking on my back porch – then take it to practice and see what the guys think. We demo everything at our space, which is always really fun.
How has the band’s sound evolved from your 2013 debut?
This one is more atmospheric but still as energetic, which I dig.
What are your expectations for the album?
I’d just like people to like it, ya know. It’s gotten a couple good reviews already, so that’s always really nice.
What has been your most memorable Hornss live show?
Most of the shows we did in Europe with Black Wizard were really fun, Austria especially was a blast. Playing at Psycho Las Vegas the same day as Alice Cooper was amazing. I had a good time in Croatia skating drunk after our show, but that was the night some guy nearly pissed on Bil in his sleep, so that might not be all of our favorites. Ufomammut, Yob, Elder and Bang were some real fun bands to play with, too.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We just did a couple record release parties and are now taking some time to finish writing our third record. We’re looking into another European tour at some point in 2017, though.
Who are your musical heroes?
Leslie West, Paul Leary, J Mascis, Woody Weatherman, Yamataka Eye, Chuck Schuldiner, Maddy Prior, Mississippi John Hurt, Daevid Allen, Mance Lipscomb, D Boon, Brian Eno, Robert Pollard, Steve Harris, Dio, Lee Hazlewood, Sun Ra, Question Mark, Chris Cosey and Genesis, Chuck Berry & Johnnie Johnson, Richard O’Brien, Wendy O, Ron and Russell Mael, Wino, Nik Turner, Screaming Lord Sutch and Rozz Williams.
Seen any good movies or DVDs lately?
I just pre-ordered I Drink Your Blood from Grindhouse Releasing, that’s one of my favorites. I also bought the Residents movie, The Theory of Obscurity. From Criterion I recently got the Lady Snowblood collection, The Ballad of Narayama, In a Lonely Place, Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman box set, and some more. I usually buy whatever new slasher flicks, film noir and Italian Giallo are released.
I blow a ton of money when Criterion has those 50 percent off sales, too. We have a song about Watership Down, so I was pretty stoked when they released a Blu-ray version recently. As for newer films, I liked the Conjuring movies, What We Do in the Shadows, Under the Shadow, The Hateful 8, The Danish Girl and Mascots. A friend of mine was executive producer on Author: The JT LeRoy Story, which is a must see.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
I recently got the Loss/Hooded Menace split, been listening to our buds Cardinyl Wyrm’s new LP, the last Ramleh CD Circular Time, the new live Stick Men With Rayguns LPs, the latest Dinosaur Jr, and the new Eight Bells LP is really great too. Probably the most played things recently have been Lee Hazlewood, The Wall (the band), Gastunk, Sockeye, Swans. Early Butthole Surfers and Blue Oyster Cult are always on rotation.
(interview published November 19, 2016)