Mono Mojado
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Mono Mojado

Band Rock Funk


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"Interview: Molta"

By Nick McGregor

Walking into local band Molta’s practice space, I’m immediately struck by the sound of shuffling funk drumbeats, loping yet steady basslines, shimmering guitars, and soulful lyrics that, when taken together, could represent just about any moment in the last four decades of music history. But when the energy kicks in and the flimsy walls of the band’s practice room begin to shake, this quartet shows they have what it takes to succeed: concise song structures, a solid grasp of far-flung genres, and, most importantly, originality.

Drift: Let’s start off with your names and instruments.

JC Gray, I’m the drummer for Molta.

Tyson Jones, I play the bass.

Roody Burns, I play guitar and handle vocals.

Chuck D., I just play guitar.

Drift: How would you describe yourselves as a band, and what kind of music does everybody bring to the collective?

JC: I bring lots of hip hop and untaught funk. I think we’re a weird combination, Roody brings a lot of hippie acoustic stuff into the mix, which translates well onto electric guitars. I don’t know, rock, funk, reggae?

Chuck: We play modern classic rock.

Roody: I used to play mostly just acoustic, and when I started playing with these guys I picked up the electric guitar, and that changed my playing style a lot. I was more from a heavy folk background.

Tyson: I think that stems from the local influence. The acoustic level is pretty much the vibe here. And we’re trying to take that vibe further.

Drift: How does an original band like Molta fit into the mostly cover band music scene here in St. Augustine?

Roody: I think in St. Augustine there’s a lot of original bands, they just don’t really play out a lot. It’s hard playing here, because there’s not a lot of venues. But you can still have a lot of fun, because people in St. Augustine want to rock, they want to come out and throw down.

Chuck: That’s where we come in.

JC: We are definitely on a mission to change the whole cover band thing.

Roody: But not so much change it, because we realized we can’t really change it, the cover bands are gonna keep playing for the tourists. But the more people get involved and play out, the better the scene becomes, and the audiences start becoming aware.

Drift: Any venues in particular where it’s happening?

Tyson: You’re starting to see that a little bit more at places like The Oriole’s Nest.

Roody: Yeah, that used to be Backstreets, and when I used to play there was us and about three other bands that would play weekly, so you could always count on a show. It was a good scene and everybody was doing their own thing.

JC: Roody’s been playing music down there for a long time.

Roody: I talk to people older than me about the old days, and they say there used to be a real thriving music scene here in St. Augustine, with a lot of bands doing well, going out and touring.

Tyson: Locally we have not so much a struggle, but a different dynamic working with tourists mostly rolling through town, and that’s probably why you get into the typical cover band mentality.

Drift: You guys put out your own EP earlier this year?

Roody: Yeah, and we just did a second one with four songs. We’re giving it out to people, letting ‘em try it, and I’m hoping they’ll get on MySpace and tell us if they like it. We’re trying to put music into the hands of people for free. It won’t be a finished, professional product, but we’re trying to get the music out there to see if people like it.

Drift: How many songs total does the band have?

Roody: For our next show, 28 or 29 broken up into two sets. We’re trying to get that into the music scene here too, where you don’t have to play three hour marathon shows, you can actually take breaks. The last EP we put out had 7 songs, with 4 more on our second EP, for a total of 11 recorded songs.

JC: The cool thing about our music is Roody could play every song on acoustic guitar as one thing, and then Tyson could come in on the bass and it’d be another thing, and I could come in on the drums and it’d be its own thing, and Chuck would play it and it’d be its own thing, and then we could take it to the electronica stage and make it a completely different thing. The songs we write are so multi-versatile that they go beyond us, it’s amazing, if you break the 28 songs into five elements, that’s like 140 different songs.

Drift: Good math, JC!

Tyson: It’s like our own “Molta-verse.” JC: That’s the thing about the word Molta, it applies to so many every day words… Molta-tude, Molta-verse, Molta-ment, Molta-ply… [laughter all around]

Drift: Any plans for Molta’s future?

Chuck: Keep playing music and having fun.

Roody: Keep on rocking in the not-so-free world.

JC: We’re trying to definitely get exposure beyond the area, and we’re looking for longevity. I’d like to be able to sell Molta as a songwriting, performance, engineering, producing package.

Chuck: Yeah, we definitely want to expand our audiences and locales.

Tyson: We want to be all-around, Molta-talented… [laughs]

JC: Also, our first EP is in the process of getting copyrighted, and I’m getting help starting Hot Fire Records. It’s going to be a slow process, but as long as we’re doing it ourselves we’re gonna incorporate everything. That way if anything major ever does happen, a label will have to buy us out.
Drift: Any last words?

JC: I want the main objective to be making music that 7-year-olds and 67-year-olds can listen to. I think we already have some of that going on…

Tyson: We’ve seen 7-year-olds at our shows!

JC: …because classic rock music is the number one pick among ages 7-18. But I want to have music that rapheads can listen to. We also have a song that goes out to all our indie friends because it’s got this little indie emo sound to it. A lot of people think I’m making fun of it, but you don’t understand, its satire. In essence I made a little joke, but maybe I have a little indie in me, you know.

Drift: So you’re an indie kid? [laughter all around]

JC: No! That’s not it!

Roody: Did you buy some Chuck Taylors, JC?

JC: No! But our music is composed of many different influences, and that’s what I want people to know.

Roody: Yeah, bands like The Clash, The Police, it amazes me how versatile they were.

JC: Yeah, except we don’t do heroin. [laughter all around]

Roody: There’s your headline: “Molta: at least they don’t do heroin.” - Drift Magazine


Mission Revision : Toes in the Sand Studios,
St. Augustine, FL (2008)

songs available through itunes(usa,japan,uk)napster,rhapsody,emusic,amazon mp3,groupie tunes,myspace



MoLta was first formed in late 2003 with Roody Burns and Jc getting together just to play music.

Seeking to gain knowledge from other seasoned musicians, Jc found Roody Burns and Tyson.

Roody Burns comes from a diverse background musically and has played all over St. Augustine, FL for many years. His wide range of musical taste and talent can be found in everything that he plays whether it be Rock, Funk, Jazz, Reggae, Punk, Jam-Band, Blues or anything else that might tickle his ears.

After a couple of months Roody and Jc realized they had something, so the decision was made to start a "Band". Not too long after that realization - Tyson came into the picture.

Tyson brings with him 20 yrs playing experience and some funky gut-grabbing grooves. His old school days are apparent in all that he plays the sweet simple smooth sound of the walking bass followed by his love of music combine to bring life into MoLta's sound.

Jc, the youngest of the three and also the 'new-comer' to the music scene, blends well with Tyson and Roody. His high energy and endless creativity are a nice compliment to the sound which is produced and allow him to back the band with ease. In his style you will find strong hip-hop influences followed by a little go-go.