I pull up just to the right of the Palladium at this venue called the Neuehouse. Easily the nicest place I’ve caught a show—an exhibit? A night of happening we can simply call it. The nicest place I’ve caught a happening.
On July 8th, the Sunset Strip saw some of its zaniest characters crawl out of the corners of the earth in honor of our planet king himself, Mr. Andy Warhol. Surrounding his newly exhibited rare photographs on display lived the anticipation of seeing the first live glimpse of LA based duo, more, in action—debuting their opening EP titled 1/2.
The pair’s music is expansive on record and in person, it’s larger than life. With a July release on the EP back in 2020, this show, while long overdue, has kept listeners on the edge of their seats for almost exactly a year’s time. This EP of five songs weighs in at eighteen minutes—eighteen minutes—but let me tell you first hand, it sends you down a hole of timelessness where space bends into a place where minutes feel like a thick jelly. Fuzzy when it needs to be while still staying tighter than tight, 1/2 is eruptive and refreshing on a palette grown tired of the slop coming out of the city of Angels.
With my first step into the Warhol transformed Neuehouse, the energy of John Cale’s viola was standing before me in hues red light. On the face of every attendee was the sunglass clad smirk of Lou Reed as he spit “Bleed for me” in “Venus in Furs”. 2021 was far gone, the year was now 1969 and we had all hopped on a time machine headed straight for The Factory.
Before the madness ensued, I caught up with Malcom McRae and Kane Ritchotte of more to discuss the EP, what’s next, and their first live show as a duo that lay minutes before them.
“I’m completely rejuvenated getting to play live tonight and getting to see live shows in general now too,” Ritchotte says. “I’ve gained real perspective this past year about how I can’t live without not just playing shows, but participating in music in general.”
The guys sit back in the green room as people start to pour in just a wall away, each long haired twenty something wearing 1/2 of a brown suit–Malcolm in the jacket and Kane, the pants.
“You look like brothers,” I say with a smile as I sit down.
“That’s not the first time we’ve gotten that,” they reply with a laugh.
Much like their suits, this EP, as stated in the name 1/2, is just half of their debut album as a musical pair, releasing in the form of 2 EPs. Feeding us their work in pieces we can bite on feels just right in this age of rapid consumption, giving listeners something to sit with as well as look forward to as album cycles seem to move quicker and quicker. Though this two part release allows its own opportunities to spread things out, McRae and Ritchotte are big fans of the undertaking of a record for the purpose of preserving a moment.
“What I like about listening to a full record,” says Ritchotte, “is you get this thing that encapsulates a period of a band’s life, it’s long enough to do that. As long as we get to do that in our own process, we are happy with it.”
EP, LP–it doesn’t matter–what more laid down last July with 1/2 set the standard high and got the ball rolling for collaboration and the formation of the band.
“You have to feed your own fire and get pumped about something,” says McRae, “Sometimes it takes a real project to dive into and gear up the courage to do it and at the end of the day, it’s something that inspires us and that’s why we do it.”
“You have to feel inspired, otherwise it’s too much work,” Ritchotte chimes in with a laugh.
Recorded over at Sound City studios by the guru himself, Mr. Tony Berg, the product of these two EP’s took around three years to complete, but has been well worth the wait.
“We were searching for an identity back then which took a lot longer than we anticipated,” recalls McRae of the process, “Now we’ve had time to grow together, we’ve had cohesion,” he continues.
When things were set to release, live music was put on pause, causing more’s introduction as a band to look a bit different than I’m sure they’d hoped. The tracks weren’t road tested upon their release, live shows weren’t there to send a single to the top, and the climate of music was just immensely a year in the past. Although the time 1/2 found its release in was unprecedented, it wasn’t entirely negative for their flow.
The guys explain how the over-a-year quarantine caused them to create as a duo in ways that would have been so much more open to other voices had it been any other time, solidifying the sort of language between them that is so essential for any two-piece. Taking into consideration that the EP was filled with production ticks that had to be stripped to translate into a show setting, Ritchotte and McRae had their work cut out for them figuring out how they’d bring these tracks to life live.
“It’s actually influencing the way we write music now, the way we are recording the next album, and the songs that are coming out of it,” says McRae, “It’s interesting to see how the live aspect and the creative aspect have coincided.”
Now after a handful of years working together, songs come out easier, the two have a jumping off point sonically, and as Ritchotte puts it, when you hit a stride, every facet of being an artist morphs into one singular place. As more gets the ball rolling with their live work, we can look forward to getting a further look into this fresh sound that is set to dominate the scene.
“Now things seem to be a naturally appearing vision,” McRae teases what’s to come by saying,
“It’s spawning, now we are moving into a growth period rather than the last album which was so much searching, this next one is right in front of us.”