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Cutters Records Presents: Das Moth Diaries

"The label's aim was simple; to foster quality music and generally create a hypnotic dance vortex in the club, on the stereo and in your record collections."

Dan Whitford the founder of Cut Copy launched Cutters Records in 2006,  creating a new outlet for a community of musicians, collaborators and friends to release music that was inspired by, for and with each others music tastes in mind that involved a broad array of genre's unified by the synthetic and digital music sphere. After launch releases of K.I.M and The Midnight Juggernauts who have both grown exponentially in notoriety and musical mastery here in Australia, if not on the blogosphere, 2009 saw the label relaunched to cater for Melbourne's Knightlife II EP. After a few months hiatus, I caught wind of Cutters Records releasing at least two to three 12" in 2010. It was more an interest in both these artists that brought me back to Cutters Records and their "fostering of quality music", now in the trusted hands of its G-Man, Knightlife.
So here's a spiel, a spot, some free press, an interview, some tunes and hopefully a neat little grab into the prospective releases of label of win 2010, Cutters Records.

Das Moth. (Damn Arms RIP, Current member of Gimme Um)
Timothy Sullivan is in Japan today, flying the ex pat flag, quite simply enjoying himself. Running a series of parties in Tokyo's nightlife of Le Baron, it would seem he's fallen into the musical fold of expats, sharing his same distant relationship with home. His membership in Gimme Um -where each member originated from a different continent- typifies his musical mould of exploring and sharing different experiences and genre's of music.

Swooning over His Tokio Disko Mix (previously posted) that he released earlier this year, it's been a long while between drinks for his moniker Das Moth. With a steady release of tracks on his myspace for a second 12", his first release on Cutters is slightly more enigmatic, save for this video teaser from his recent QLD trip.

Recently, I was lucky enough to garner a moment of this worldly purveyor and exceptional creator of music's time for a chat. 

BK: What is it like in Japan right now?

DM: Japan is kinda coming to the end of Sakura. Which was really beautiful. The weather has been kinda up and down lately, but that adds to the attraction of Tokyo.

What's some good music you've been listening to during your recent travels?

I've been listening to more music now than I ever have. Maybe a substitute for not writing much lately and trying to find the inspiration to write again. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Bruce Springsteen, The Boys, Ramones, Peter Green & Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Earliest Musical memory / first album you owned?

My first musical memories were sitting passenger side in my Dad's work van listening to Tom Petty, U2, The Doors & Meatloaf. The first album I ever got was a cassette of Alice Coopers' "Poison" album in 1989. I played it till its death or till at least cds were cooler.

How would you describe your musical journey so far? From the first instrument your played, to Damn Arms to DJing. Has it been overall an enjoyment infused into your day-to-day life?

My first instrument was a kid’s acoustic guitar that didn't last long. I think I was about 8 and saw Slash do his guitar solo in "November Rain". Which intern made me think it would be a good idea to play in the rain. The guitar fell apart soon after. I'd played in a bunch of bands before Damn Arms. Ranging from Metal to Punk to Instrumental Indie to Jazz. If I didn't do music I'm not sure what I would do. Enjoyment has always been the main reason for doing it. Djing is a weird thing. I still don't get the allure to watching a Dj compared to a live band. But that's just me. I do enjoy playing records out, but it's not something I would want to make a career out of.

Have you found that your time at Le Baron and being outside of Australia, has, if at all, influenced your musical abilities or your own music tastes?

Coming to Japan has made me think about things a lot more. Music being one of them. This countries ability to inspire me to do things is insane. Whether it is music, photography, putting on a party or riding a bike for hours to a park. Since I've stopped touring and constantly writing music I've started appreciating music a lot more. I've now started to write songs on piano, which is kinda silly. Considering I have no idea what I'm doing. It's a challenge and it's exciting.

What's the development of your Das Moth Material been like? (Working with Joel Belgium, I heard it was mostly unfinished material by the time you left for Japan.) When will Das Moth get a Release?

You'll be seeing and hearing a release sooner than you think. One of the main things I wanted to do with Das Moth was not to rush it. Only write music when I felt like it. I may be walking down the street and see something that makes me want to write music or makes me not want to write anything at all. I spent a lot of time pushing the "feeling's" I wasn't feeling out. Retrospectively, listening to past work. I have mixed emotions towards a lot of it. Don't get me wrong, I'm super proud of it. I guess it's how things change.

Describe your influences for your Das Moth project? what's it sounding like?

I can honestly say my influences for doing music aren't really related to music. It's more about being inspired to write. When I was listening to Bruce Springsteens' "Fade Away" and saw a photo i'd taken of someone I was missing at the time. That made me write a song for my second 12" called "I'd Be Lying [If I Said I Didn't]. It sounds nothing like Bruce. But I can hear how I felt at the time. Friends or seeing an old couple drinking coffee together. It can be anything. The first Das Moth 12" sounds really good! I'm super super happy with it. Is that an answer? The songs on my myspace might not sound like my release that's coming out on Cutters. But I can see a theme throughout all of the songs. Even if the "genre" is different.

I would imagine your address book is quite wealthy in terms of musical collaborators, have you met some amazing people while in Japan?

Japan is full of amazing people. Musically, besides Gimme Um I haven't met many others I've wanted to work on music with. I've met film makers, photographers & fashion designers that have had incredible music taste. The conversations with them are endless. Collaborating with them on soundtracks and runway music is something I can see us doing in the future.

How did your involvement in Gimme Um come about? Care to shed some light on the outfit?

In July 2008 I went to Japan to Dj a few great parties and Gimme Um were playing at one of them. We instantly got along. I thought they were really awesome and trying to do something different. Ryan [Guitarist/Singer] & Pierre [Synth Bass] have been the solid line-up since they started 2 years ago. They went through a bunch of drummers and second guitarists. We'd stayed in contact since we met in Tokyo and when I mentioned to Ryan I was returning to Tokyo to live he asked me to join. Of course I said yes. At that same time the now Drummer [Gui] was asked to play as well. Then the line-up/team has been solid since.

Other than music, do you posses any other passions or interests? I noticed you have a fair few tatts, do you like getting inked?

I really enjoy photography & reading books on musicians/cultures that fascinate me. Lately I've started posting a photo a day on my blog [dasmoth.wordpress.com] along with a song that I'm feeling at the time. I've also started working on a magazine with the drummer of Gimme Um called GUIM MAG. It will be a collection of photography, music, art, short stories & general things that excite us. As for tattoos, of course "I like" getting inked. But it's more the memories that stay with them. They were all done for a reason and I still find it hard to talk about what they mean to people. When it comes to summer, they are definitely high on the topic list. ha. Plans to get more are always there too.

What's on your calendar for 2010?

2010 is pretty busy. Currently in pre production for the Gimme Um album, which is super exciting! We're recording in June and hopefully it will be released around September/October. I'm working on the music for a short film about Sakura by a very talented friend too. I've always admired soundtracks and their composers and hopefully in the future I could do more of those kind of projects. The first Das Moth 12" for Cutters is done now. Just getting a few remixes done and aiming to be released around September/October too. Then after all releases are out, I guess it's time to tour. Gimme Um will be heading around Japan and then heading to the UK/Euro. We are planning to head to Australia too. Time will tell. Also, I'll most probably be coming back to Australia to do some launch parties with the Cutters Crew before the year is out. God.. reading all that makes me slightly tired.

Care to shed some light on an incident from your Damn Arms’ days - what’s this about the time you left Simon (Parker, Drummer) asleep on a plane because he smelt like booze so bad?

Yeah.. Probably wasn't the nicest thing to do. But alas it was funny at the time. God Bless Mr Parker.

What's your one record/song that justifies a good night out?

Ramones - This Ain't Havana.. before I go out. Peter Green - Little Dreamer or Ennio Morricone - Rodeo.. when I get home.

Also, Check out the Das Moth Blog, for a daily dose of nostalgic tunes and polaroids.

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