MothRider: ‘We will listen to it until our ears bleed’

Olympia’s very own “face-melting” electronic dance musician, MothRider, will share this year’s Bumbershoot stage with Skrillex and M83, two popular electronic musicians.

“It was sort of like winning the lottery,” he said, commenting on how “lucky” he feels to be playing “such a huge, iconic northwest festival.”

He began his musical journey at the age of 14 in Olympia where he was born and raised. At 17 years old he could play the bass, guitar, drums, and keys then began experimenting with remixes and electronic music.

Jamie Simmons, age 29, evolved two years ago into a masked artist now known as MothRider.

Simmons’ image derived from a dark and mysterious, yet also “nerdy” pairing of sources. According to Simmons his interest in both the Mothman, a strange winged-creature people sighted for a period of 13 months in 1966 at Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and Magic: The Gathering, “yes the super nerdy card game,” created his theatrical stage presence.

Simmons began looking through Magic’s characters, a game he used to be an “avid” player of, to help him find a name that wasn’t already taken, he found MothRider and linked it with the Mothman, he said.

“I wanted to make myself a symbol and something people would remember,” said Simmons.

“If DeadMau5 [an electronic musician] can wear that ridiculous giant mouse head on top of everyday street clothes and get away with it, why not?” he said.

According to Simmons he categorizes MothRider as electronic dance music but it could also be considered as glitch, cut-up dance…oh, and awesome.”

Simmons however doesn’t listen to very much electronic music finding it “boring and too repetitive.”

“That’s why my stuff is so spastic. I’m impatient. I don’t want you to have to wait to dance. Dance now!” said Simmons.

“I just want to make people dance,” he said, “I’d like to make a great living doing what I love…as far as being famous though, I really don’t care.”

“At my last Seattle show, a ton of people rushed the stage, jumped up there, and started dancing right next to me! That type of stuff makes me really happy,” he said.

Although Simmons didn’t have the patience to take lessons he was in band, orchestra, jazz band, chamber strings, and choir.

Simmons gained credits for transfer at SPSCC. “It was a great place to build a foundation,” he said. Simmons went onto study Audio Production at the Art Institute of Seattle and attended Montclair State University for English and Marine Biology.

Upcoming shows

Thurston County Fairgrounds, Lacey, at 7 p.m. on Aug. 3. Free with fair admission.

Hard Rock Cafe, Seattle, at 9 p.m. on Aug. 18. Advance tickets are $10 and door tickets are $15.

Bumbershoot show details are currently unknown. Keep posted at

Listen to MothRider at