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Do You Want Me, Death? LP 2009
All Blade, No Handle EP 2009



A tiny, striking beauty, with piercing blue eyes and black hair, and a back tattooed from her neck to her waist, Moa herself is a commanding presence. Onstage she's a blur of wide eyes, flailing limbs and vocal muscle, who sits at the eye of the hurricane of sound rustled up by guitarist Tony Naima, saxophonist Per "Rusktrask" Johnansson, bassist Markus Ingberg and drummer Fredrik Haake. On Do You Want Me, Death?, the band's official debut-following the release of the four-song EP All Blade, No Handle, this summer-it somehow fuses everything from raw punk to waltz-like fare, a meld of PJ Harvey and Tom Waits on steroids.

After a successful tenure fronting the hard rock band Meldrum (a favorite of the likes of Motorhead and one-time touring mates Black Label Society), Moa left the group out of a desire to try new things musically. "After seven years, it wasn't fun anymore," she says. "When you're in a band, you have to compromise, because you have to consider your bandmates' desires and opinions. Eventually, my ego took over, and I just wanted to leave. And, plus, I got kind of tired of screaming all the time.'

Even if she was actually quite great at that-and still is-the tracks comprising Do You Want Me, Death? are a 180-degree about-face from Meldrum, infinitely more arty and diverse, veering from raging squalls of sound to simple, spare guitar-and-vocal balladry.

MOA began life as a two-piece, comprised of Moa herself accompanied by guitarist Naima. But it wasn't long before the duo blossomed into the current five-piece, which in Stockholm took off almost immediately, thanks to clips posted on YouTube and demos streamed on their MySpace page. Everything coalesced on the night of the band's first official gig, in Stockholm: "It was packed, and everybody was there to see me. There were five other bands on the bill, but no one was there beforehand, and everybody left after we played. The show was so good, and I was so excited that I forgot to sing in the mic," she says, laughing. "I was so excited running around and going fucking crazy that Tony had to back me up and sing all the words I missed. I felt like I was 15, and I had just started my first band. In a way, it felt like the first band I had. I’ve been doing all these other shows and big tours [with Meldrum], but that was the first time it felt real. And that's the feeling I want to keep-that feeling of being 15 again, because if you don't have that feeling, there's no point in doing it."