Devil Killing Moth: Butterflies With An Attitude

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're trying hard to find meaning in the oddest monikers.

It has been a sad bastard and kill 'em all kind of week on Rocks Off's iPod. A little Blitzen Trapper's "Black River Killer" here. Some Nick Cave over there. Oh, and a whole lot of our own Devil Killing Moth.

Too put it bluntly, DKM is the kind of music you listen when you don't care if the sun ever rises again. Dual guitarists Dan Oviedo and Anton de Guzman wander all over the acoustical wasteland laying additional waste to the good cheer of men with their spacey vocals, talk of brothers' blood being spilled, and basically making music as heard through a warped amp of regret.

We dig it. After all, this shit ends in tears anyway. But that name...

Devil Killing Moth? What the hell does that mean? You can't throw a moth at the Devil. He's the devil. The devil is supposed to be this huge black goat with an enormous hymen-smasher.

He's got, like, magic and a pitchfork and contracts that read like lease agreements and shit. Moths are just emo butterflies. Except Mothra, of course but that's trademarked. We don't endorse adding copyright infringement to Japan's woes, DKM. You'd better not.

In the end, we were forced to hike all the way to the top of Mount Houston, where we found Oviedo eating a sandwich. Panting, we asked him where the name came from.

"One day I had a very obscure dream," says Oviedo.

"Was it where you wake up and find you've been turned into a cupcake?" we asked.


"Why are we the only person who has that dream? Never mind. You were saying..."

"I couldn't make much sense of it, but it had a very unusual shape and image, as if in a moment where I couldn't really find the right words to describe other than the thought 'Devil Killing Moth.'"

Rocks Off gets a lot this kind of thing when we delve into band names. Granted sometimes the "dreams" could more accurately be referred to as chemically induced lapses of reality, but one man's meth is another man's Strawberry Quik.

Nonetheless, we've started trying to learn some dream interpretation to further explore the names we tackle.

Moths are often interpreted is as a hidden irritant you wish to be rid of. By that interpretation, if the Devil is your irritant, having a moth doing the killing seems to be some kind of wish for damnation. The Devil himself tends to represent negative temptation.

Again, if temptation is the hidden irritant symbolized here, then whole-hearted debauched capitulation would seem to be the true desire of Oviedo's heart.

"To some extent, the moth means life for us, at least in terms of the power of an individual," says Oviedo.

"You wouldn't expect much from a moth, but there lies the allure in being more than what's expected. The mind is so wonderful with the possibilities it creates. Honest expression, true collaboration, and the battles that we face with the facades that scare us from adventure."

We take this to mean that Oviedo doesn't have the slightest clue that his secret wish is to pillage. That tickled the back of our memory stick. Wasn't there a crap Batman villain called Killer Moth?

That's right, there was. He basically hired himself out as the anti-Batman. Crooks were given a Moth Signal to call him for help. He'd swoop down and rescue them from the cops. Now that we think about it, that's actually a pretty badass idea.

"Hypothetically," we asked, "How do you think you'd do in a fight with Batman?"

"We would smash that obsessed sociopath's ass so bad that Bob Kane would feel it," replied Oviedo. "Then we would elect Ed Koch for Gotham's Mayor. Then we'd kill the Joker - no wait, he's already dead."

With that he cackled wildly as he rose into the air on the wings that suddenly sprang from his back, hurling moth-themed puns at us as he flew away.


Devil Killing Moth (n): 1. The sound of all hope dying. 2. A secret desire to become damned. 3. Moth themed crime.

Devil Killing Moth plays Thursday at Rudyard's with Irene. Free.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.