Inside Black Moth Super Rainbow

ANDREW PENKALSKI | Updated 5/16/2013

Behind the mask of mysterious indie band Black Moth Super Rainbow.

Black Moth Super Rainbow
Photo by Seven Fields of Aphelion

For a long time, it’s been the desire of Black Moth Super Rainbow ringleader Thomas Fec to keep his group’s output a bit impenetrable. The Pittsburgh pop-psych weirdos are known to perform behind masks and go by pseudonyms, intentionally shrouding themselves in an oblique mystique. Since their mid-aughts breakout, however, that fringe anonymity has dissolved.

Visibility seems to be a wrangled topic for Fec, who sold Black Moth masks in pairing with their latest release, last year’s “Cobra Juicy.” Considering those sales occurred through the über-democratic Kickstarter, Fec’s greatest threat to anonymity may be his knack for ending up in scenarios that require explanation.

“I always strive to make each thing I do bigger than the last,” Fec said of the Kickstarter campaign for “Cobra Juicy.” “Getting signed was a problem. I literally couldn’t get signed by anyone, so the only way to make things work at the time was through Kickstarter, even with it being a bigger risk.”

Black Moth’s crowd-sourced, self-released approach for “Cobra Juicy” sits well in opposition to Fec’s other middle-fingering ways. The band’s previous record, 2009’s “Eating Us,” was almost their last. The Dave Fridmann-produced album was a full-band effort that touted the same sort of tuned-down percussion that Fridmann emphasizes through most of his work with the Flaming Lips. Fec’s creative process, on the other hand, is contrastingly solitary.

“ ‘Eating Us’ was the first record I’ve ever put out where I knew people were waiting to hear it, and that’s the only record I really regret,” Fec said. “I rushed it, and there was turmoil in the live band. I was putting pressure on myself because I knew people would be listening. I wasn’t planning on coming back after that.”

So Black Moth Super Rainbow faded away without even a whimper, as mysterious projects are wont to do. Fec spent the time between focusing on the promotion of his solo project Tobacco’s spastic and spiny 2010 release, “Maniac Meat.”

“Touring for ‘Maniac Meat’ was so much fun. It’s all the stuff that I’d be called an idiot for doing that I was having the most fun with, so why would I go back to this thing that has had a box put around it?” Fec said. “At the same time, I realized, ‘Why can’t I just do that? Black Moth is my thing, too.’ ”

“Cobra Juicy” shows a sort of synthesis between Tobacco’s latest and the at-odds era of “Eating Us.” Where Black Moth Super Rainbow had previously been peculiar in an inoffensive way, Tobacco’s malevolence seems to have bled into Fec’s more sugary concoctions. Where he had previously relied largely on drum machines and analog synths, he now recorded with guitars.

“In a way, it was experimenting with methods and things I do with Tobacco stuff,” Fec said. “What’s cool to me about this album is that people who listen to anything I’ve done in the past have been kind of conditioned to know that I make this kind of sound, and it’s flipped on this record.”

Fec still remains unsure about the future of Black Moth after this tour, which includes a Monday stop at the Fine Line. A full-length from his newest project, Demon Queen, is lined up for a July release via Black Moth’s Rad Cult label. Tobacco’s next effort, Fec reported, is also being lined up for a proper label release. Should a “Cobra Juicy” follow-up ever arrive, Fec assured it will arrive when it means to.

“I’m at my happiest when I’m just making stuff for myself that I feel is wrong in whatever the musical landscape is,” he said. “If it feels wrong and I still like it, then that’s the most right thing I can do.”

Black Moth Super Rainbow

With: The Hood Internet and Oscillator Bug.

When: 8 p.m. Mon.

Where: Fine Line.

Tickets: $15