Into the Moat
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Into the Moat

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The best kept secret in music


"Review - "Means By Which The End is Justified" EP"

For the longest time, it seemed like Dillinger Escape Plan were the only band around with the talent and ingenuity to play what we now refer to as tech metal. Then, a few more bands popped up to rival them and now there is an entire tech metal scene, into which Into The Moat have thrown their hats.

With this style of music still in it's developmental stages, we've been lucky enough to have a bunch of bands doing it that don't sound like clones of one another... yet. Each group put their own spin on it and Into The Moat is no different. They've reduced the technicality and chaotic feel just a little bit in order to the let the song structure really shine through. I appreciate that because it seems like some bands just go balls out and string together as many dissonant, off-time, jazzy riffs as they can without any regard for whether or not the end result sounds like a "song". Into The Moat aren't overtly technical in what they do - none of the riffs are virtuoso level guitar wankery, but Into The Moat create things that sound interesting and still go back to being basic for the breakdowns. A nice even mix is always important for this style of music as it can get so insane that it becomes difficult to really hear what each instrument is doing, and Into The Moat have been afforded that. An impressive debut offering from a band that have finally found the even balance between technical proficiency and song craftsmanship.


"Review - "Means By Which The End is Justified" EP"

Only a few years ago, math and tech metal were still considered experimental and highly progressive. People didn't quite know what to make of bands like Meshuggah, Brutal Truth and Dillinger Escape Plan, all of whom defied genres, and have since proven to be ahead of their time. Ironically, as a new millenium begins, we are starting to see tangible results of a new generation of metalheads brough up on Meshuggah and DEP. Bands like Red Chord, Ion Dissonance, and now, Into The Moat, are meshing tech, math, death, the "cores", and even jazz to produce some of music's most volatile and crushing installments.

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of math and tech metal. I used to jump all over anything remotely tech, immediately proclaiming it the finest music to date. I have since wisened up; as with any other genre, there are good and there are generic tech bands. Just because you can distort time signatures and play mind-numbingly fast fret climbs doesn't make your group a great band; good song writing is more than just flair and showing off, it's knowing when and how to use your tricks. Restraint and contrast is the pinnacle of good songwriting.

Enough rambling, the point is, Into The Moat are very intelligent song writers and are a superior tech metal band. They are arguably the ideal marriage of math and tech, split almost 50/50; imagine Dillinger Escape Plan meets The Red Chord (heh, as if that's any help, with so many other bands citing those two as their primary influences). There's a little tech, math, grind, death, metalcore, and hardcore for everyone amidst this insanity. They share many similarities with Ion Dissonance; spastic songwriting, brutal chugs, and tenacious vocals. They differ, however, in that they use very little death metal fusion as is the case with bands like Red Chord or Deadwater Drowning. Instead, they tend to throw in strong jazzy influences, most noticeably in their drumming style, with skilled ride cymbol/snare interplay. Their vocals sound awesome; hardcore screams are offset by a plethora of death growls, often barrelling in right as a breakdown unfolds. Their songwriting is pretty much an even mix of mathcore insanity and tech-influence breakdowns, which is my primary motivation for dubbing them an "ideal" marriage of tech and math. The production is very thick and a bit more "whole" than on other tech favorites, even arguably better than Ion Dissonance. The high-end fretting during the mathcore parts sounds a bit shaky sometimes, although who can blame them when you're playing so insanely fast?

It's exciting to see the mathcore guitar style fused so well with tech ground rhythms. A lot of bands are perfecting this skill, bands like Between The Buried And Me and Glass Casket, who use high-end fret wizardry as a melody lead. In fact, this is where I see the future of math/tech; bands are starting to treat said guitar style the same way as mainstays like In Flames and Iron Maiden used the twin guitar attack layered on thrash ground riffing to produce an incredibly original union of heavy and melody. It's too bad that this is just a 6 song EP; my mouth is already watering for a full-length outta these guys. Fans of Red Chord, Dillinger Escape Plan, and especially Ion Dissonance should definitely check this out. -

"Interview w/Matt Gossman (drums)"

Living Room Mosh: I'll start with the first question. Your EP is on Lovelost, how did that come about?

Matt: Well, we had recorded at studio 13 on our own budget, and posted the mp3s on Anyway, I guess through word of mouth he heard about us and emailed us about it. At that time we were actually talking with Brutal Records, whom the number 12 later signed to, but we started talking with Kevin anyway. One thing lead to another, and we signed with him. He later told us his initial email was basically a joke because he always thought, "surely this band is already signed to a big label," but it's a good thing he went with his gut feeling.

LRM: That's awesome. I recall reading an interview with you guys where you said you were happy with Lovelost so far, but still wanted to see how the EP was going to do. Have you been happy with Lovelost in terms of distribution, promotion, etc.?

Matt: Absolutely. Kevin is one of the nicest, funniest, and best looking dudes around, haha. But seriously, he has done much more than we ever expected from him....from awesome graphic design, to being in AP magazine, we couldn't have been happier starting out on a different label, and although it looks like our time on Lovelost is coming to an end, we will for sure work together again in the future.

LRM: Do you have any idea what label your new stuff might be out on?

Matt: Yes, we have a very good idea, heh. Our lawyer actually just received the contract the other day, but we aren't at liberty to discuss specifics since we haven't signed anything yet. However, let me just say that it's a huge opportunity for us, and we are extremely excited.

LRM: Wow. That sounds amazing. Good luck with that. I can't wait to hear the news.

Matt: Thanks.

LRM: Do you have any new material written and if so, how would you say it differs from the EP? Your review on wishes you'd explore your death metal influences a bit more. Have you made any decisions about what direction to take the new material, or is it a more free-flowing writing process for you guys?

Matt: Yeah, we're working on some new stuff. Our writing process is basically what comes to us. I don't think bands should try to force themselves to sound a certain way because it won't come out right. Actually, the new stuff is a lot more death metal, but it was going that way before the Lambgoat review mentioned it so i thought that was kinda cool. It is also quite a bit more technical. In my opinion, it is a great progression from our EP.

LRM: I read about the recent departure of your bass player. It seems it was on friendly terms. What went down there and have you played any shows with your new bassist? Is he from any bands we might know about? What influence do you think the new bass player might have creatively?

Matt: Well the departure of our bass player was definitely on friendly terms. He was one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. He had never even picked up an instrument in his life before this band started, but he was just a good friend and wanted to join, so he played Slayer songs for about 8 hours a day and in about a year and a half progressed to the point when he eventually joined the band and recorded the EP. That just proves that anyone really can do anything they want if they put their mind to it. But he just got to a point in his life where he needed to start thinking about the long term and joining the Marines was the best thing for him. Anyway, yes we just played our first show with our new bassist, and it went really well. He toured once with a punk band on Blackout records called Protagonist, but that's about it. I'm not really sure about his creative contribution since all of our new stuff was written before he joined, but I suppose we'll find out.

LRM: So going back to the EP on Lovelost, how was working with Jeremy Staska? His work has become somewhat legendary. Any cool stories? Does he have any interesting recording rituals/practices?

Matt: Jeremy is a great guy to work with. So great that I went back to him with my other band, Freemartin even though he generally doesn't record that type of music. I don't have any specific stories other than the fact that he smokes an unbelievable about of weed, it's hilarious. Also this dude that works in the studio with him named tom used to be in the 80s metal band that was actually pretty big called Saigon Kick. He's cool as hell too. It sucks that I don't think we're going to be able to work with him again due to the fact that his rates are going up and he's upgrading all his stuff and I think he's recording hip hop now haha. I think we may end up recording and producing the full length with Eric Rutan of Hate Eternal.

LRM: I first got into punk/hardcore around the time of the glory days of Cheers (Miami venue for shows on US 1 and 17th ave.). That scene was really positive in that it provided a good format for young bands to network and play all ages matinees at times that younger kids could attend. I've been living in Cleveland for school the past four years, but when I saw you guys play at the Pompano Indoor Skatepark, I was really pleased to see that a network seemed to exist like I'd seen at Cheers years ago. How do you feel about the South Florida scene?

Matt: Ah, Inever went to shows back then but a couple of my friends did and have told me how great everything was back then. About the young kids coming to our shows, Idon't know how we somehow appeal to that crowd. I've heard people tell me the same girls in their school that listen to New Found Glory are listening to Into The Moat, so that's actually kinda cool if we can appeal to such a broad audience. The scene is alright, but I always thought more people should have showed up to see bands that have been around forever like Shai Hulud that in my opinion deserve more recognition down here.

LRM: True. Speaking of Hulud, you've both opened for bands such as them in places like the Factory and played in more personal venues like the Pompano Skatepark. Do you have a preference for small vs. large venues?

Matt: I'd say we like smaller more personal venues much better than places with huge stages. I think the energy level is just so much lower when you're isolated from the crowd on a big stage, but it's pretty unavoidable.

LRM: Speaking of PIS, the Halloween show at Pompano was awesome in terms of the costumes and Medieval Mosh signs. Have you guys done creative stuff like that at shows before or was that the first?

Matt: Well, we actually played the halloween before that at Club Q which since closed, but we dressed up like idiots for that as well. We once played at a jewish community center with a bunch of pop punk bands and we dressed up like the village people. We started out our set with the beginning of a New Found Glory song just to throw everyone off and it was the greatest thing ever. The one at PIS was the first more "high profile" show we had done like that, but we definitely plan on doing stuff like that again. I hate how most death metal bands take themselves so seriously, so we like to just act really stupid sometimes.

LRM: Any interesting tour stories? Do you have any pre- or post-show rituals?

Matt: Well our first tour, on the night we were in Baltimore, we couldnt find a hotel room because for some reason everyone wanted to be in that shitty town on that night. We actually saw a 7-11 get robbed, so on that note we just kept driving and ended up spending most of the night in another 7-11 parking lot in Virginia. Our recently departed bassist did the funniest poop in the bushes out front of the 7-11, and then right when he finished, our guitar player walked like 10 feet and there was a perfectly good bathroom. That same night we also ended up sleeping on the curb of an IHOP, and then on the benches out front of a mall. Nights are really long when you have no where to sleep. That same tour we went to NYC, and there's nothing specific to explain, but that's one crazy town.

LRM:: You've been labeled as a tech metal band. How do you feel that metal has influenced both the way you write and perform your music?

Also because of this, how do you feel you fit into the hardcore scene?

Matt: Well as far as metal influencing our writing, it's just what we like and what we listen to so Iguess our music is going to come out like that. As far as performance...I guess most metal bands end up looking the same on stage just because when the music you're playing is so energetic, that's just the way it comes out. As far as being a part of the hardcore "scene," I can't say we care too much about that. It's not really like it used to be where every band had a message, whether it was being straight edge or whatever. Now the scene is basically about fashion and how cool your hair and clothes look. It really disgusts me seeing these bands wearing eye liner and what not. Rest assured you will NEVER see Into The Moat doing that. However, the death metal scene is not much better. Most of the kids at those shows are doing it for a different kind of scene points where long hair and obscure band shirts matter. Not a lot of those kids in the death metal scene respect bands for their musical ability. We just play what we like, and hopefully we can appeal to a large variety of people, but whoever likes it likes it.

LRM: It goes without saying that you guys do all kinds of crazy tech shit, what kind of musical training and/or musical theory background do you have?

Matt: Personally, Itook drum lessons for about 4 years where i learned the basics, but Ipicked up all the metal stuff on my own. I've also gotten a few pointers from Derek Roddy of Hate Eternal whom I've become friends with and that's helped out my playing a lot. Rob never had lessons, Kit did for a while, but he has a lot of books on scales and theory crap but I don't really know i'm just the drummer, haha. Josh (our new bassist) I think is majoring in some sort of music thing in college. I'm not too sure though, sorry. Haha.

LRM: Are you sick of the Dillinger comparisons or do you see it as a form of flattery? To what degree would you say they served as an influence? Personally, if you were asked to explain to someone how your sound differs from Dillinger's, what elements would you site?

Matt: Ihave always taken the Dillinger comparisons as a major compliment. They are one of the most amazing bands ever. I'll be honest, when i started this band almost two and a half years ago, my goal was to make a more accessible Dillinger Escape Plan with a more hardcore element because that's something that hadn't really been done before. Somehow right around the time our EP came out, a whole bunch of other bands came out that apperantly had the same idea so it was kind of bad for us being compared to so many other bands. I think the songs on our EP differ from Dillinger just in the fact that it's not as technical, and there is the more hardcore element with the breakdowns. Our new record is going to push us even farther from those comparisons, especially since DEP is going in another direction as well.

LRM: That's exciting. I can't wait to hear the new stuff.

LRM: You guys live right around Ft. Lauderdale. Everybody always hypes Lauderdale's restaurants, where do you guys rock out?

Matt: People hype our restaurants? I've never heard about that. We do enjoy going to this pizza place right on Ft Lauderdale beach called Primonti Brothers. It's really great pizza and it's open 24 hours, and it's a really romantic place to bring a girl in the middle of the night, haha.

LRM: Nice. I'm gonna have to check that place out next time I'm in town. Speaking of restaurants…IHOP, Denny's or Waffle House? And why?

Matt: That's funny cos we sometimes try to decide between IHOP and Denny's in the middle of the night. Waffle House is not even a choice because of the fact that like on two seperate occasions, people got robbed and murdered there. I usually go with IHOP, but Ithink they're both pretty gross.

Matt: Although we do enjoy going to Steak and Shake just to get milk shakes

LRM: One more crazy question, then a serious one to wrap up. I recall reading in an interview that everyone but Earl seemed to dig Kelly Osbourne. What is her ridiculous appeal?

Matt: You know, i really have no idea. However I have since changed my mind...and my mind changed right when Iwent back and read that interview, haha. I haven't even seen her in a long that show of theirs even still on TV? In any case, Ihave a girlfriend now so I have no need for a fat annoying british girl.

LRM: Alright. Any new tours lined up or any local shows lined up that you want to hype? How about websites, bands, or local venues people should check out?

Matt: We don't currently have any tours booked, but we're looking to do a full US this summer once the whole record label thing finally goes through. wWe are playing this friday at the Alley in Miami and Saturday at Ozone CDs in Altamonte Springs, FL (jan 23rd and 24th). Altamonte Springs is the Orlando area. We are not however playing the Orlando area on the 31st, because I know those rumors had been going around. Everyone should definitely check out Glass Casket. We toured with those guys in December and they are an amazing band. Their record comes out February 10th I believe on Abacus Recordings, and it is sooooo good. Everyone pick that up.

LRM: Thanks so much for taking the time out to do this interview. It was a pleasure and I want to wish you guys the best of luck. Take care.
- Living Room Mosh

"Review - "Means By Which The End is Justified" EP"

Into the Moat couldn’t be a classical example of Florida’s extreme metal band. They don’t play death metal that is a trademark of metal scene in this state; they also don’t follow old Nasty Savage’s thrash metal school. Into the Moat is more extreme. You can label their style as death metal, metal-core or grind-core but these proposals of its classification are faulty. Extreme metal - it's the best solution if you really need such one label. However, Into the Moat’s material isn't very eclectic or at least so eclectic as suggests the beginning of this review. This is not experimental music either. Into the Moat plays innovative music but only using brutal and extreme elements of metal. This what's new and fresh in this music is first of all the consequence of good song writing that resulted in very well and intricate track structures and memorable riffing. You can compare Into the Moat to Dillinger Escape Plan or December, but I would like to emphasize the originality of Florida's outfit. Its strength is, as I have already written, simply musicianship but also brutality and aggressiveness. Listening to Into the Moat is an intellectual adventure but there is enough energy in this music to satisfy the most basic human feelings as well like the will to destroy, of course only musically, by the music and for the music. - Metal Side


Means By Which The End Is Justified EP
(Lovelost Records, 2003)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Started in May 2001 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL by drummer Matthew Gossman, Into the Moat started as a one-man project. Matthew recorded all the instruments for several demo tracks and showed them to friends to complete the band. Into the Moat was eventually pieced together composed of musicians between the ages 18 and 19. Once the line up was complete Into The Moat started playing countless shows working on their live performances, which can only be described as intense and powerful taking full command of the unsuspecting audience. Their style was refined in January of 2002 as then bassist, Kit Wray, moved onto guitar and assumed the main song writing responsibilities. The band released one EP on Lovelost Records in May 2003, which received rave reviews from the underground and gained the attention of Metal Blade Records. "Since this band started three years ago, we have wanted nothing more than to be on Metal Blade Records. They have been around for over 20 years, and we are extremely proud to be a part of something so successful, not to mention being amongst such awesome bands. It is a great feeling to have accomplished what once seemed like an unreachable goal. With MB's help, we are going to be able to take our band much further,” states Matthew

The band has definitely come a long way since their beginnings three years ago and has accomplished more on their own than most other bands that have the help and support of a label. Constantly working on live shows and fine-tuning their sound, Into The Moat have unquestionably proven themselves to be a necessity to a scene lusting for something new, bringing a redefined sense of creativity and talent to the forefronts of metal. From neck snapping blast beats and time changes to catchy and brutal break downs Into The Moat is sure to stand out among the masses of bands in the same genre.

The band is currently finishing up writing all new tracks for the upcoming release. Expect to hear heavier and more complex songs from this young 5 piece that plan on beginning recording in August. You will be able to catch the band live when they tour with Black Market Activities artist Psyopus in July. This will not be a tour to miss as Into The Moat puts on a passionate live show that will leave you longing for more!