After a name change, Matt Cloutier and Kyle Riche have a new identity and new track.

von mozes photo
Von Mozes' Kyle Riche

Von Mozes started life as Teenager, which emerged from indie rock band King Rey and One Warmer Blue. Matt Cloutier and Kyle Riche renamed their two-man alt/electro pop project late last year, and yesterday they released their second song as Von Mozes. The new tracks are produced by Royal Teeth drummer Josh Hefner, and he and/or the name change toughen the music up—not dramatically, but the songs don’t slide by quite so effortlessly.

I asked Von Mozes to explain themselves. Here are the results. Von Mozes and Bantam Foxes will open for Royal Teeth at Gasa Gasa Thursday, January 21.

Where did the name come from? 

We liked the idea of creating a character as the band name, much like Gnarls Barkley. After toying with a bunch of ideas we landed on Von Mozes. It stood out to us because it sounds less like a first and last name and more a noble family title.

What happened to Teenager? 

We started Teenager thinking we were breaking new ground writing pop music coming from a ‘60s psych band. It was a great exercise in writing and recording as we penned roughly 16 songs in about six months. While the positive response from shows seemed earnest, we still found ourselves not really making waves. We hope Von Mozes will bring the same shameless pop sensibilities as Teenager, but now backed by real and relatable emotions.

What do you do?

We play pop music. We are workaholics. We write and record all of the music ourselves. If a song calls for it, we’ll spend upwards of 18 hours in our Fontainebleau studio. We play along with backing tracks live, almost like karaoke. We have been playing in the New Orleans music scene for the past four years in various groups. Von Mozes is different than anything we have ever done.

What makes you special? 

We want to make music that catches you subconsciously at a festival or a crawfish boil or public event. We want to blend in smoothly and get people to have an Ah-Ha! moment when they realize what they’re listening to. We spend a lot of time refining song ideas, melodies, and chords because we believe the most important thing is the song.

What’s the story behind “Exist”?

“Exist” is a dialogue about all the small fights in a relationship. An introvert tries to explain to his significant other why all their tension is just a misunderstanding. In the world we live, there are so many things that get in the way of a healthy relationship. By acknowledging those useless distractions for what they are, life and love become much more enjoyable.