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Mae Moore Scores With 'Power of Love, Not the Love of Power' : Lyrics from Canadian singer's new album are thought-provoking. She makes her Ventura County debut tonight.

NIGHT LIFE

March 03, 1994|BILL LOCEY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

She's got a serious album, a serious haircut and a swell sense of humor. The album is "Bohemia" by Canadian Mae Moore; the haircut is from the Moe Howard Barber School, and the woman will be making her Ventura debut tonight, going head-to-head with those Simpsons, which is a prime example of why mom bought you that VCR for Christmas.

"Bohemia," not the brewski of the same name, is a song about today's descendants of those '50s beatniks and '60s trippy hippies.

Here's Moore's best line: "Prejudice is something we can transcend / Coming into season the world will flower / With the power of love / Not the love of power."

In another song, she refers to the great 1930 anti-war flick, "All Quiet on the Western Front." With references like that, don't expect a Rush Limbaugh sticker on her guitar case.

Moore released an album in Canada a few years ago, but "Bohemia" is her American debut. While recording, she received divine guidance--Steve Kilbey of the Church produced. Moore talked things over recently from her Vancouver home, moments before leaving to rent a famous movie about World War I.

So you've got a album on a major label. Are you rich yet?

Not yet--I'm still renting. I think that's how you can tell. I don't even have a car.

How is your vision of "Bohemia" different than that of the hippies in the '60s or the beatniks in the '50s?

I was too young to be a hippie, and I've always been on the fringe of whatever's happening. I think today it's less laid back; also, the Vietnam War was going on then. People now seem to be having actual discussions about things instead of just watching television.

Everyone seems to quote your ". . . the power of love not the love of power" line. Is Barney right; are things really getting better?

I dunno if things are changing or not. Personally, I'm an optimistic, hopeful person. That's what makes me get up in the morning.

Why are there so many good musicians in Canada, and are there more musicians than hockey players?

There's nothing else to do here. There's so much space between everything. I guess you could stare at the wheat fields, I dunno. As far as hockey players go, I've never thought of that one.

A lot of young people don't even know that Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant are dead, and here you are referring to the greatest anti-war film ever made, "All Quiet on the Western Front." What was your favorite scene?

I'm embarrassed to say, I've never seen it, but I will. I'll go out and rent it.

Much of your album is serious--is music serious business?

No, it's not, even though "Bohemia" is partly autobiographical. But I've been told that I laugh way too much even though I'm serious about my music.

So you're not one of those frowning folkies all dressed in black?

Oh, no, not at all. But one time, I opened for Morrissey and I wore black. This isn't a folkie thing. We're a power trio and very loud. I have a bass player that plays upright bass and a guitar player who has been called "The Digital Blizzard."

What's the process for selecting a single from an album?

My management and I lobbied hard for "Bohemia." It's the cornerstone of the record. It sets up an atmosphere and establishes a sense of place instead of one of the more poppy songs.

What's the writing process like for you?

I'm driven. It's never a chore. It's like eating chocolate. I'm very stimulated by visual things, and I absorb things like a sponge.

What's it like being the opening act?

It depends on who you're opening for. It's very difficult without a sound check because you only have 30 minutes to get your point across. Being comfortable with your sound is so important.

What do you think Mae Moore music is like?

It's lyric-oriented, acoustically driven. It's searching music, a cheap way to travel, and music to make love by. Oh hey, I just got a fax. My record was reviewed in Outlaw Biker magazine. At least I wasn't the centerfold.

Not enough tattoos?

I have plenty of tattoos--emotional tattoos on my heart that I'd never show to anyone.

When did you decide to become a musician?

I was lying on my bed listening to the radio, and this David Crosby song came on that just blew me away. I started playing the guitar when I was 14 or 15 years old. My mom died when I was 16, and I sort of turned to the guitar to get away from depression. I've always been sort of a shy person, so I started to write to work things out in my mind. But if it would be possible to make a wish and have it come true, it would be to hear yourself on the radio.

All musicians want to know this one. How does a band get signed?

I think you have to have something different. You have to have songs. Anyone can come up with a halfway decent sound with synthesizers and computers, but you need that intangible something. I was friends with some people in bands, and one of them got one of my demos to the president of Sony Canada and he came to see me play. It was a good night; the place was packed and he offered me a deal. I wasn't really stressed or anything--if it happens, it happens.

What do you do for fun?

I took up surfing because Vancouver Island has waves, plus we don't have a shark problem; they're little lemon sharks. I paint; I went to art school, and I'm hoping to do an art show soon. I read a lot. I watch movies.

What's next?

We're going to tour with the Dummies for three weeks at least, maybe a few more, then go to Australia, Tokyo and London.

Details

* WHAT: Mae Moore, October Project and Crash Test Dummies.

* WHEN: Ventura Theatre, 26 Chestnut St.

* WHERE: 8 tonight.

* COST: $13.50.

* FYI: 648-1888.

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