By Asia Sheppard
The best music tells a story and the best music needs air. The profound and passionate music of Durham, NC natives, Mount Moriah, will make you want to go for a drive down a country road with the windows way down. Every song takes you on a trip like their nostalgic and airy track, “Younger Days.” They channel emotions we have all known so well. At times it is so deeply soulful that it mimics a hymn. There is honesty and a vulnerably to their music that just draws you in.
Interview with guitarist Jenks Miller
CCD: Your latest album, Miracle Temple, is like a letter. The whole album feels like a journey. Can you tell what the story is behind the tracks on the record?
Jenks: We wrote the majority of Miracle Temple at a cabin in a swamp in eastern North Carolina. The record is strongly rooted in a sense of place, owed both to the atmosphere we felt at that cabin and the places we visited on our tours supporting our self-titled record.
CCD: What inspired you to make music together?
Jenks: Heather and I are both very interested in contributing to the cultural conversation about what the South might represent today. Casey joined us a couple years later, and brought with him a trained musical ear and a jazzy inflection (though he would probably chuckle if he heard me say that).
CCD: How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
Jenks: Heather and I originally started playing together as a duo (then a trio) called Un Deux Trois, which served as an alternative to the darker and more aggressive bands we were in at the time (Bellafea for Heather, Horseback and In the Year of the Pig for me). Eventually that darkness lured us back in, so we adopted the name of the band I had had a few years before, Mount Moriah, and started exploring a quieter approach to Southern gothic. Since our first record, we’ve allowed our tendencies toward louder music to further seep into Mount Moriah’s sound.
CCD: There is such a soulfulness to Heather’s voice and I’ve heard people compare her to Dolly Parton. Do you ever play any covers at your shows?
Jenks: We do sometimes! But we haven’t played any Dolly Parton songs at this point.
CCD: What is the weirdest thing that ever happened to you at a show or while on tour?
Jenks: We’ve experienced plenty of weird stuff, the weirdest of which we’re not at liberty to discuss…
CCD: What classic music artists do you most admire?
Jenks: If you mean classic rock/pop, the answer would surely be Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Fairport Convention, Richard and Linda Thompson, Linda Ronstadt, Karen Dalton, etc etc.
CCD: What’s next for Mount Moriah?
Jenks: We’re currently writing songs for a new record. We’re doing a short tour of the Southeast with M Ward at the beginning of May.
CCD: You are playing Phuzz Phest Friday! What do we have to look forward to with the show?
Jenks: We’ll be playing some new songs! Come check it out.
Mount Moriah will play at 11:40 pm at The Garage on April 4.
Phuzz Phest is one of North Carolina’s premiere indie music festivals and will be coming at you April 4-6. You can find dates, times and tickets for Phuzz Phest HERE. Please check back to CCD throughout the week and into the weekend for our coverage of Phuzz Phest.
You can read Asia’s interview with Phuzz Phest musician Miss Eaves HERE.
You can read Asia’s interview with Phuzz Phest band All Them Witches HERE.
You can read Asia’s interview with Phuzz Phest musician Jessica Lea Mayfield HERE.
You can read Asia’s interview with Phuzz Phest band No Age HERE.
You can read Asia’s interview with Phuzz Phest band The Tills HERE