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Mixing Up the Music Scene

Jeff Moleski
Mixing Up the Music Scene


First of all, Happy New Year, everyone!

I hope that your year is filled with peace, love and harmony.

And especially, good music. Thank you to everyone who creates music, plays music, listens to music, encourages music, teaches music and in any way engages music. Without music, life on earth would be meaningless. It is our planet’s one true universal language.

Ok, with all that said, this is an article about Jeff Moleski.

He goes by “Mole.” You might see him around dropping in show’s around the area foraging through the talent, simultaneously endorsing/supporting/nurturing that scene along with simply loving the music. He’s the one with the longish hair, irreverent ball cap and the 50-yard gaze as he fixes his attention on the band. He can’t help it.

If you don’t see him, then it means he’s in his studio —locked-in— much like Uncle Fester­ down in the cellar, blowing things up, working on a project – or perhaps rocking out with his band, Amerikan Primitive. And “yikes!”check out his credit list. His credit list for engineering and producing records is impressive: including significant amounts of work for Smashing Pumpkins, Suicidal Tendencies, and many more.

Here, in Syracuse he stays busy with local artists and writers. Right now, he’s busy here, taking a little time to share with us, personally.

Chuck Schiele: Hey Jeff. Good to see you, man. Thanks for chatting with us. How are you?

Jeff Moleski: Couldn’t be better, Chuck. Thank you.

CS: So, how did you get started in music, anyway? What do you play?

Jeff’s studio where he makes magic with artists new and seasoned.

JM: My parents made the mistake of giving me the broken AM radio when I was 7 … YES I fixed it!! No one could pry it out of my hands. Music, radio and broadcasting  became everything to me. I started taking music lessons in third grade. Drums /percussion and bass are my main instruments.

CS: And then you got busy.

JM: Been Rocking since birth! I played bass in Tangled Thought and Seeking Asylum in the 80s; Agent 86 in Chicago during the 90s. Now, I’m playing drums in Amerikan Primitive.

CS: How and when did you get into the recording world?

JM: My father was an engineer at Carrier which had led me down the road of electronics. I had always felt the need to record things even if it was just to a cassette. Things progressed from there. Steve Feldman, Theo Mack and myself started Penguin studio and it was off to the races. After I had moved to Chicago I had the opportunity to work with Bruce Swedien. I was all in. I felt like I had found immortality. When I returned to Chicago Soundworks was born.

CS: What do you like most about recording, and which aspects of it?

JM: Creating and hearing what no other human has heard before.

CS: I really like that answer. Who are some of the artists have you enjoyed working with?

JM: Smashing Pumpkins, Local H. (Joe Daniels is an amazing drummer and human). Hole, Kathy Valentine was cool. All my clients, here.

CS: Cool things happen in this business. Tell us one of your cool experiences.

JM:  I came in one morning and found that Earl Slick  had signed my wall before he left.

CS: Yup. That one totally rates. As a producer, what do you look for in an artist?

JM: As a producer I’m looking for creativity. I will drag it out of you if need be.

CS: Can you offer your best advice to musicians looking for studio help?

JM: Be humble. Listen.

CS: Whats coming up, next?

JM: Little Georgie.

CS: How do the nice people find you?

JM: mixmastermole&yahoo.com … The World Famous MOLTRAX page on Facebook … or my favorite … Just call me at 315-383-7372 … I’m old school like that!

CS: Thanks, Jeff. I hope you have great year.

JM: Thanks, Chuck, you too.

Jeff playing Drums for Amerikan Primative.

Chuck Schiele
Chuck Schiele is a lifelong, award-winning musician, art director, producer, editorialist, artist, activist, member Quatrocollective.com and fan of the CNY music scene. To be considered for this column, please write chuck.schiele@gmail.com.