Interview by Marie-Pauline Cesari

Numéro Netherlands Digital presents Zander Bleck and Michael Pozzi, the visionary minds behind Mojave Grey. Melding their individual artistic prowess and a shared sonic vision, Mojave Grey has pioneered a genre-defying sound that seamlessly blends classic rock and contemporary electronic elements. Zander’s soulful vocals intertwine with Pozzi’s instrumental mastery, resulting in compositions that not only take listeners on an acoustic journey but also offer an experience as boundless as the desert that inspired them.

Rooted in the raw energy between Joshua Trees and the serendipitous encounters that brought them together, Mojave Grey emerges as a rising force injecting new vitality into the electronic music scene. Their latest single, ‘Ride The Fire,’ serves as an enthralling sonic odyssey, mirroring the transformative journey of confronting fears and surrendering to the unknown.

In an inspiring conversation, we had the opportunity to delve into their passion and discuss the intricacies of their latest track, ‘Ride the Fire.’

Zander and Michael, you are the masterminds behind Mojave Grey. How did you first meet, and what sparked the decision to collaborate as Mojave Grey? Is there a memorable anecdote to share about this match?

(Pozzi) We met on a 17-hour flight to Dubai.  We had known each other previously, but that was the first time we truly met.  Adventures ensued, and we both recognized what a great match we had made.

What is the story behind your band’s name?

(Zander) I have always loved the American West. I also moved to the Mojave Desert in Joshua Tree during COVID and the stars aligned. There is a lot of mystery and power in the Mojave. The “Grey” represents all in love and life that isn’t quite black and white. The middle area is where all the best nuance lives. The sonic “gray space” that comes to life as Mojave Grey.

Can you share with us how your individual musical journey evolved before you formed Mojave Grey? What were the key moments that shaped your musical career?

(Zander) We have both been on quite the journey in our musical careers.  We both come from more traditional rock band backgrounds, but we bring that energy to Mojave Grey, which we think makes us special.  I was a solo artist for years as a pop rock artist and have had somewhat of an almost hard-to-believe trajectory that would be too long to get into, and Pozzi has a music career of his own. The transition really came to life when we began to think outside the box. The moment we embraced electronic dance music through our own rock and roll lens, everything started happening. Mojave Grey is the culmination of so, so much.

Which artists or musical experiences have had a major influence on your artistic approach as Mojave Grey?

(Pozzi) We’re big fans of the greats.  U2, Queen, Led Zeppelin, etc.. But currently, we love what RÜFÜS DU SOL has done by bringing a live performance element to dance music, among others such as Monolink, Who Made Who, etc 

Let’s talk about your latest track, ‘Ride the Fire’. Can you tell us about the spiritual expedition that inspired the creation of this music and how this experience has influenced the music you’ve produced?

(Zander) We’ve found ourselves this year not just on a rollercoaster musical journey but also on a spiritual one.  This past spring, we embarked on a journey that really shaped us, both as artists and as humans.  It’s been wild and amazing, scary and transformative.  As we began this journey, our hearts were practically beating out of our chests. But the pivotal moment was when one of the shamans guiding us pushed us through to not fight the “fear”. Instead, we were directed to envision that fear was made of fire and that we should embrace the fire, let it in, dance with it and ride the fire. From that moment on, the song basically wrote itself. 

‘Ride the Fire’ seems to be an auditive metamorphosis. How did you decide to structure the song to reflect this transformation, from the quiet beginning to the final crescendo?

(Pozzi) ‘Ride the Fire’ musically really captures a lot of what Mojave Grey means to us.  It’s more of a journey than a typical song, especially when performed live. It’s a track that is really meant to be experienced. We wanted to capture the same inspiration we felt on this hypnotic, unpredictable, yet empowering journey. 

As artists, you talk about the importance of facing your fears. How do you hope ‘Ride The Fire’ will inspire your listeners to embrace their own fears and emerge stronger?

(Zander) It’s good advice we all need to take, us included! What lies on the other side of our fear is usually everything we want.  We aren’t saying it’s easy, but it is a constant that we always have to tackle. We’ve learned that when you embrace your fears and harness that fire – on any journey – you emerge with a newfound, unshakeable strength.

Do you see music as a cathartic medium, a kind of therapy itself?

(Pozzi) Most definitely.  We both feel so fortunate to be able to create and sonically capture these glimpses of life and what it means to be human through our music.  We take our small role in this very seriously and hope we can help more people lean into these shared experiences with music as the universal connector. It’s an awakening that is needed now more than ever. 

Outside of music, what other passions and interests do you have that might influence your creative work?

(Zander and Pozzi) We both love film and telling stories in general. Traveling, taking photos, fashion, hiking, and reading.  As artists, everything we do and everything around us influences our work. Our job is to soak it all up and make some kind of sense out of it. 

Do you have any future plans or aspirations that you could share with us?

(Zander) It’s amusing that you bring it up. Back when I was just beginning my career, I dabbled in modeling. I distinctly recall aspiring to grace the pages of “Numéro” — it was the ultimate goal. Making it into that magazine was a symbol of success. Although I never quite achieved that feat as a model, here we are today!

(Zander and Pozzi) We are both really ambitious and thrilled about the future of Mojave Grey. It’s an exciting feeling. We are enjoying the journey and are eager to continue sharing our story and music with the world.  We have our debut album coming out in the spring and lots of other exciting moments on the horizon that we can’t wait to unveil.