After receiving local acclaim for their debut album, Provo art-rockers, The Moth & The Flame are taking their show on the road. The first leg of a planned series of “mini-tours” kicks off Friday night at Salt Lake City’s Urban Lounge. From there, the band will head south and west to play shows in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Brandon Robbins, the band’s frontman, said this will be the first trip they’ve taken as a foursome. Before adding Nate Pyfer and Andrew Tolman to the fold, Robbins played some shows outside of Utah with his co-founder and keyboardist, Mark Garbett.
It’s not like touring is foreign to the newcomers, though. Pyfer toured the U.S., Canada and Japan with Joshua James a few years ago and Tolman has played internationally with his former band, Imagine Dragons.
For Robbins, the opportunity for the band to start playing shows away from their home turf is a natural development. To him, in order to be taken seriously in the music industry, it’s necessary to demonstrate a serious work ethic.
“You’ve got to pay your dues, as a band,” he said. “You’ve got to earn your keep, and touring is something you have to do to be a legitimate band.”
Garbett, who also sings backing vocals and influences the band’s unique aesthetic, said he looks forward to the opportunity to create a stronger music network outside of Utah.
“Tours are necessary for any serious band and it’s good for you to meet other bands and people in different cities,” he said. “It’s super hard. Sometimes you play shows that suck, and other nights it’s great, but you’ve got to do it.”
Although the band is just starting to branch out of Utah with their live shows, their album — which is currently only available in its physical form — has been featured on blogs and music websites across the globe, including Europe and Australia.
Having learned from experience, Pyfer — who also produced the band’s album — said touring is essential for any band who wants to get a practical feel for where they stand.
“Bands get into a cocoon locally, so when you go play on the road with new audiences you get a more realistic picture of where you need to improve as a band,” he said. “If you keep playing in front of your friends you’ll never get a realistic picture of where you stand.”
Tickets for the band’s show at Urban Lounge — which is a 21+ venue — will be $5 at the door, which opens at 9 p.m.