Charles Moothart's band memberships number more than you can count on one hand.
Based in the Bay Area, the drummer/guitarist and singer is often seen playing with much-loved garage rocker Ty Segall, whether that's in Fuzz, GØGGS or Ty Segall Band. Moothart and multi-instrumentalist bandleader Mikal Cronin play together quite a bit as well, with Moothart assisting Cronin on some of his solo albums and putting out records together as Charlie and The Moonhearts in the late aughts.
Now, the multi-instrumentalist is adding yet another notch to his belt with the start of his very own solo project, CFM.
With an album slated for release in April via In the Red Records, CFM features Moothart up front, with a cast of bandmates that includes high school friend Michael Anderson on guitar, Tyler Frome on bass, and Audacity's Thomas Alvarez on drums. He's on tour with Ty Segall and The Muggers right now, but will stop in Indy on a day off from touring on Monday to headline a bill otherwise made up of Creeping Pink, Feels, Raw Image – the newest incarnation of Raw McCartney — and Thee Open Sex.
Titled Still Life of Citrus and Slime, Moothart's first-ever solo record was written during two months of isolation brought on by a temporary separation from his longtime girlfriend and bandmate.
"The record came from a feeling of necessity," Moothart said on the phone to us. "I needed to sort out a lot of thoughts and emotions and creating something new is always the best way to do that."
Initially, he had no plans of turning this collection of songs into an album, either.
"I started recording songs just to see what I could do on my own as a sort of meditative exercise," he says. "As I started to have more songs, I realized the possibility of doing a record. I didn't go into it thinking I wanted to make a record, but every step of the process led to another personal challenge that ultimately came to releasing a record and playing the songs live with my friends."
Moothart records as CFM with an open mind, a quality he brings to all of his musical pursuits, says longtime collaborator and friend Segall.
"The best part about Charles is he's all about never doing the same thing, even live. He wants to play his riffs differently every night. He wants to continuously find every different way to play a riff or explore an idea. It's rare to meet people like that who aren't just satisfied with playing a song the same way every time."
"I'm lucky to have a group of close friends that are talented and down to get weird," Moothart says. "We all went into it knowing it was going to be challenging and different. So in that way it has been very fun and scary at the same time."
Moothart and Segall first met while attending Laguna Beach High School in Southern California – fun fact: the same Laguna Beach where they filmed the MTV reality TV show, while Segall and Moothart were matriculating – becoming friends the summer after graduation.
"He was just hanging around with a bunch of our mutual friends. And then, he joined this band I was in, and we just kind of became musical soulmates," Segall says. Their relationship sparks all kinds of music, from garage rock with Ty Segall Band to proto-metal with Fuzz.
Initially drawn to working with him because he was "just a good guy," Segall eventually discovered just how talented Moothart was.
"Charles is just one of the most talented people that I know literally across the board. He's the most proficient in all instruments. He's a crazy drummer and an incredible guitar player," Segall says. Combine this with their "complimentary styles," he says, and there's no wonder why the two have played in so many bands together.
"He's like my brother-in-arms," Segall says. "We're trying to achieve the same thing, so we continuously push each other into doing that."
With this in mind, Segall is certainly excited about what Moothart is doing with CFM. "It's just full-on his style, which is great," he says. "He's a great singer, and I'm so happy to see him front a band and do his thing. I'm a huge fan of people doing their thing, and that's what he's doing." Segall says to expect to hear "righteous rock'and 'roll" when the band makes its way to State Street Pub Monday.
In terms of local connections, both Moothart and Segall are no strangers to Indianapolis' Landon Caldwell, who fronts the band Creeping Pink and books shows at State Street Pub. Caldwell's California-based band Burnt Ones even toured with Ty Segall Band at one time.
"I've known Landon for a while. I feel like I got to know [Burnt Ones] better in the short time we had together in L.A. versus San Francisco, but obviously great people," Moothart says. He also notes he's really looking forward to Creeping Pink's set when he comes to Indy on Monday.
"I've seen Creeping Pink play a couple times and I'm really looking forward to see what the Indianapolis incarnation will be like," Moothart says. "I know it will be great."
While he does play in other bands, Moothart admits that he's currently committing himself to CFM. However, it's not likely that this will remain the case for too long, considering the way he approaches making music. "Having different sources of outlet is crucial and keeps things interesting. I feel lucky to be able to create in different environments and to different capacities," he says. As for the future of CFM though, Moothart plans to continue writing songs for the project, with hopes of doing another full-length record featuring his other CFM band mates.
"The whole point was to bring a group of radical people together to try to have fun and push ourselves out of our comfort zones," he says.