Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez
Whether they were in Hawaii or stateside, one thing was always for sure when it came to The Moss – they were going to win over anyone who came within earshot with their alt-rock ways, and they have. Sold-out shows left and right for The Moss have made them ones to definitely watch and chart-topping heavy hitters. Their own Tyke James came through to talk about locale changes, fanbases, and more like their latest release, “Insomnia.”
Kendra: The band kicked off a handful of years ago, but was this the first time each of you had been in a band, or had y’all gotten your feet wet elsewhere before?
Tyke James: Addison and I have been playing together since we were young teenagers in a band that was sort of evolving into The Moss, so I’d say The Moss is the first band he and I have played in. Our drummer Willie drummed in a couple of reggae bands growing up, and Caiden had a high school band with his buddies. But The Moss is really everyone’s first shot at really making it happen as a career.
Kendra: And to go from Hawaii to Utah, that must’ve been a culture shock on a lot of levels. Was the move based on getting somewhere the band could take advantage of touring?
Tyke James: The band was actually dissolving as we’d all moved away from Hawaii. Addison moved to Utah for school, I was mobile living in a van, and it just so happened we started jamming together again and with Willie for the first time. Our first “real” shows ever were out here in Utah in 2019.
Kendra: Which, the fans come out and support when your name is on a bill. Do you have any advice for bands that might be struggling to carve out a dedicated fanbase?
Tyke James: I think the truth is there’s no shortcut to building fans; it’s just to do your best and know that it’s not an easy thing to do. Oh, and don’t have a plan b!!
Kendra: So let’s talk about your 2023 release, ‘Insomnia.’ It reminded me of not only summer but the music that used to be filtered into the likes of Hollister; so still very beachy. Is that those Hawaiian roots coming into play?
Tyke James: It definitely feels natural playing beach music as a lot of us consider Hawaii home. Our biggest reggae fan is definitely Willie though, he’s our drummer and from Arizona!
Kendra: To date, you’ve cracked the top 20 on Alternative Rock Radio, and have been mentioned in some of the biggest music publications and sites, but what are some goals you’ve set in the back of your mind that you’d love to accomplish this year?
Tyke James: The goal as always is to just keep playing bigger and better shows and making sure we’re making every show better than the last. We would love to get out of North America this year and play for some foreign fans!
Kendra: Now it’s time for a side note – with it being almost May, I always think of the end of the school year and all those memories of field trips, parties, and yearbooks. With that, I’d love to know what your fondest end-of-the-school-year memory was?
Tyke James: I didn’t go to much school but I remember after I finished first grade my cousin rented a bouncy house in his front yard and we tipped it over and ate ice cream with all of our friends. That’d probably be my school party highlight.
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘Insomnia’ out now, what else can fans expect as we continue towards summer?
Tyke James: Mainly just more shows for now, I don’t like mentioning anything that’s not set in stone for juju reasons. But we have a lot of shows coming up in a lot of new places!