Biography

MOEV was originally formed by Tom Ferris and Cal Stephenson back in 1981. After some initial demos they added the voice of Madeleine Morris and the guitar of Mark Jowett to form a solid four piece. The first recording output of the group was “Zimmerkampf” which only saw vinyl and tape releases and has never appeared on an official release CD (except as part of a compilation collection). (Go! Records) went bankrupt leaving the band to find another publisher for their work.

1984 saw a number of important changes and milestones for the band. Nettwerk Records was formed to release the next Moev album. Madeleine Morris left the band and was replaced by Michella Arrichiello. With their new record label and singer on board, the band entered the studio to record Dusk and Desire which was released in 1985. The album was a bit poppier than early releases, and “Took Out the Lace” became a small club hit. (Interestingly, the album was distributed in the US by hip-hop label Profile.)

Through 1986 and ‘87 all original remaining members of the band left but for founder Tom Ferris. He was joined by new vocalist Dean Russell and bass player Kelly Cook and Anthony Valcic. The band released Yeah, Whatever in 1988, a moody synth record quite removed from the dance-pop of “Took Out the Lace”, but reminiscent of their earlier work. After the title track began to climb the college radio charts and receive some MTV support, Atlantic signed Moev in the U.S. The followup single “Crucify Me”, a largely instrumental track highlighted by the alienated spoken-word sample “Properly sedated” from the film THX1138, became another club hit charting in both Billboard and Rolling Stone. Further singles “Wanting” and “Capitol Heaven” are fine exemplars for the album, which is driven throughout by strong sampled percussion and ever-present melodic bass guitar lines, often reminiscent of the bass guitar work of New Order’s Peter Hook.

Valcic left soon after Yeah Whatever; the remaining trio released Head Down in 1990. The album continued in the vein of Yeah, Whatever but traded the brooding electronic anthems of the former album for a more traditional songwriting approach with a lighter overall tone and more polished production values. Although the majority of the instrumentation for Head Down was still electronic in nature, the feel of the album verged away from the industrial militarism of Yeah Whatever. Notable tracks include “In and Out” (featuring backing vocals by Sarah McLachlan) the title track “Head Down” and the seething heat of “Noise”.

Head Down was produced by John Fryer (Fad Gadget, Wire) in 1991. Lead singer & lyricist Dean Russell died tragically in 1994 and Moev took a break while Tom Ferris founded “Econoline Crush”, wrote and produced “Waiting For God” and co-wrote “Blackland” with Mike Balch (Frontline Assembly, Ministry).

In 1998 Tom Ferris reignited the MOEV flame with a brand new lineup and recorded the EP “Suffer” which featured several new tracks and remixes. Again featuring female vocals (this time by Ferris’ wife Julie Ferris) the band seemed posed to make an astonishing comeback.

In 2010, first longplay in 20 years appeared - Ventilation. 3 years later Ferris couple released One Minute World.

Edited by devotional_93 on 13 Feb 2014, 21:44

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Formed in
  • 1981
Reformed in
  • 1998
Band Members

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