The last time Farida Lemouchi–memorable Mouth of Satan from The Devil’s Blood–took the stage, was during the 2014 edition of Roadburn to pay tribute to her brother, guitarist Selim Lemouchi, who died a few weeks earlier. The singer could have stopped there, if it had not been for the insistence of the festival’s artistic director Walter Hoeijmakers, who pushed her to return to the spotlight for the 2019 edition. Accompanied by her former comrades Oeds Beydals, Ron van Herpen (guitars) and Job van de Zande (bass) and two newcomers, Bob Hogenelst (drums) and Matthijs Stronks (keyboards), she agreed, but no question of replaying Selim’s songs without him. Molassess was born. Now, the group offers its debut album, Through the Hollow, seven years after the last joint creations. A psychedelic spiderweb of rock with the doom and space side of the ’70s, the prog approach and the thirst to combine everything into one huge heavy cauldron. Instead of reproducing The Devil’s Blood and what has been buried for years, Molassess moves forward. Through The Hollow makes clear that this is very much a singular, standalone entity with its own distinct vision.
To celebrate the release of the album, we caught up with Molassess to find out the Top Five Psychedelic Rock Albums That Changed Their Lives.
Farida Lemouchi (vocals): Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
I was 5 when I first heard that record. My mother had a friend who bought that LP and came straight to our house to listen to it, music enthusiast as he was (we had this old Marantz amp with great sound). I [would] always lay on the floor with my ears in the old Philips speakers. The real big ones, in a wooden housing. With my eyes closed, I remember that I was immediately carried away by the dreamy, unworldly sounds. Like a fairytale, but one of which you don’t know if it will end well. Until the intro of “Wish You Were Here,” everyone was silent and full of attention, and then all of a sudden he turned off the record, packed it up again, and said this one is not good, I’m going back to the store. Of course, I was very small, but it is a vivid memory, and that has changed my life in a way, it has been the start of listening to less common music, the beginning of a journey of discovery and the love for anything out of the ordinary really.
I could also have chosen a record by Roky [Erickson], Jefferson Airplane, or some obvious others, because they also made their mark but only at a much later age, so that’s why this one was the “lifechanger” in particular.
Bob Hogenelst (drums): Dr. John – Gris Gris
When I first listened to this record I was amazed by the combination of an electric band and African voodoo music and vocals. Fine-tuned by Dr. John’s vocals and keys. The album is like a mushroom trip, you should try. The background singers sure know how to get hold of your ears and when you close your eyes you can see them singing and dancing around a voodoo campfire. New Orleans is the place where funk meets creole, and this record catches it all.
For someone who got shot in his hand during a saloon shooting, I think he plays some pretty good piano. Dr. John, in his own words: “If you work too hard, and you need a little rest, try my evil eye rub. I’ll put some on my boss fix jam in your breakfast.”
Ron van Herpen (guitars): Funkadelic – Maggot Brain
It was a long time ago. I must have been somewhere around 20 years old. I was hanging out with some friends in a real dirty shithole. We were drinking cheap beer and maybe smoked some pot and listened to all kinds of music. Suddenly someone said, “Hey Ron, check this out!” and then the first tone of Maggot Brain kicked in. That beautiful first push tone that really sucks you is (if you ask me) one of the best psychedelic emotional guitar solos ever! It lasts for 10 minutes and it never gets bored. Then, someone told me it was Funkadelic. I never knew much funk in those days, except for some disco-tunes (which I really like to!). Funkadelic showed me that funk music could be really psychedelic and dirty. Also, the rest of the album is great material but the title track always stayed my favorite.
Matthijs Stronks (keys): Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
My professor at the conservatory reacted with surprise when I said, “I haven’t heard it.” That same day, I went to the record shop to buy the album. Since then, my interest in combinations of sounds was even bigger, it was absolutely clear that you can only make music with a lot of balls and you have to have your own identity. What Miles did perfectly, in my opinion, is not giving a shit about frameworks and exactly because of that, he reached a bigger audience. The way of combining the establishment in jazz and making music, beginning at zero and ending up at zero, to me, is timeless. The way music should be.
Job van de Zande (bass): Orange Sunshine – Homo Erectus
It’s not only the album that changed a lot in my life. With Orange Sunshine came countless sweaty, loud, beer-spilling shows. The home of this band was a squat called the scsi-cell. Lots of cool shit happened there. I remember Annihilation Time playing there and The Murder Junkies. Orange Sunshine was notorious for putting their tube amps at full weck and the scsi-cell was not bigger than a small living room that barely fit 40 people. “Otherwise the amps would sound pussy.” Good reason, I reckoned. The shows were energetic with long fuzzy solos and repetitive bass lines. Sometimes catchy melodies, sometimes psychedelic stretched parts. For me, it changed the way I listened to music at that time. It made me more patient and appreciative of repetitive music. I could lose myself in this music in a different way than punk and hardcore that I was listening to mostly at the time. This is the reason that I chose this album. It made me change the way I listen to music, and opened the door for a lot of other musical goodness in my life.
** Molassess’ new album, Through the Hollow, is out now on Season of Mist. Get your devilish blood over to the label’s US store (HERE) to pick up Molassess on LP, CD, and digital.