One of the few good things about this pandemic life has meant time for people to dig deep and soul search for an even more meaningful sense of self-expression. After all, we have had reminders daily that time is precious and you ought to be true to yourself, right? As a writer it has also been a good chance to have random email convos with incredible and talented cool folks and Suzi Moon is certainly high on the list of radness level as far as “rad people I have gotten to communicate with” in recent times goes.
Suzi Moon radiates the essence of punk attitude and makes the balance of sweet and sour seem effortless in glam gutter songs like “I’m Not A Man” or the rollicking “Nuthin’ To Me” that you can snarl or sing-a-long with like nobodies business. Yes, the Civet and Turbulent Hearts alumna is going solo and has delivered a fantastic video for the instantly memorable “Special Place In Hell” track from upcoming debut EP CALL THE SHOTS.
Read our chat BELOW.
Hi Suzi. I just got the second Moderna shot so am a little wonky as I write you these
questions, so hopefully I will not ramble too much like I often fucking do anyway. How is life
treating you? Absolutely thrilled to help promote your awesome new music! How can you
describe your excitement around your current work, especially after the national turbulence and claustrophobia of the last year?
Suzi Moon– Hey Morgan, it’s great to talk with ya… Thanks for reaching out! I am doing pretty damn good,
all things considered. Congrats on your vax! Hopefully you’re feelin’ better. I gotta say I am totally freaking STOKED about my new EP & working with Pirates Press. It’s a dream come true! They totally get my vision and are so super cool and supportive. I feel extremely lucky to have joined forces with them, especially during this crazy pandemic. Releasing new music is always exciting, but there is something extra special about doing it now, right on the cusp of the world reopening. There’s this collective feeling of hope that things will be back to normal again soon & I just want this record to bring joy to people and contribute to the excitement of live music returning.
It’s an obvious question to ask how being solo differs from your work in Civet or Turbulent Hearts (which also had some differences), but I am more interested in wondering what you took from those experiences that built a foundation for what you are doing now. And THEN contrasting it to what makes this fresh for you. Get me? Those bands were great and had so much vibe and presence, but your new stuff like the fabulous “Special Place In Hell” video seems to really distill your vibe into an even more potent, sort of refined brew. Not that I mean it is overproduced or something, haha. Or even that it totally defines all you can do stylewise. It just feels really focused and everything totally in your court. You nailed it!
Well shit, that is really nice to hear, thank you! I am glad you like the song and you totally nailed it, this is me to the max. I learned so much in Civet and Turbulent Hearts. A lot of it was what NOT to do, which is totally invaluable. I’m like a little sponge, soaking up experiences and knowledge everywhere I go… I definitely made some dumb mistakes in both of those bands but that stuff has to happen so you can get better! I guess now, with the solo project, I feel so much more confident in myself and ready to show all sides of myself. I’m not locked into one band
style or an image.
I can do whatever I want, and I am never giving that up.
That sounds exciting and healthy! I know when I started a solo/collaborative project Walking Bombs after many years in more democratic or traditional bands a HUGE thing was challenging myself to step out of my comfort
zones more or play instruments I couldn’t, haha. Does anything similar apply to you here as far? I mean, you already can play and also seem pretty damn confident, hahaha. But it still is somewhat nerve wracking, right? What to edit or green light? Like, with a band you can always blame them if you don’t write something as cool as (obviously high bar to clear anyway) “Twilight Zone” by fucking Golden Earring or something else rad, hahaha. Solo stuff there is like an extra rush though of feeling exposed, at least for me for some of it.
Absolutely it is way more nerve wracking. I think mostly because there is nowhere to hide, and if people don’t like you – it’s YOU, ya know? It is so much more personal when someone judges you harshly or has a negative reaction to your art. It would be impossible for everyone to like me, though. I know that. Building up a thick skin is so important; you literally have to not give a fuck whether people like you or not. I didn’t start writing music to make other people happy and that is something I have to remind myself of when I start to care too much. I think just trusting yourself, trusting that your music will find its audience, is one trick to staying sane in this
business. I would much rather have 500 die hard fans who really connect with my songs, than 500,000 casual Spotify listeners who would never actually come to a show. As for stepping outside of my comfort zone – that’s how I live my life. I say “yes” to things that are scary and new as often as possible. I like being challenged. Oh, and trust me, I get fucking nervous all the time! But I hope that feeling never goes away because I think it is an indicator of how much something means to you, and this is everything to me.
How is it working with Pirates Press for this current era in your musical journey?
I literally cannot say enough good things about the Pirates crew. They are trailblazing, finger-on-the-pulse motherfuckers and their dedication to top-notch, high quality rock n’ roll is inspiring to no end! I feel right at home with them. It’s a supercool feeling to be working with people who aren’t trying to fuck you over in any way. It’s pretty rare in the industry but Pirates broke the mold. We’re doin’ rad things together and it is only the beginning!
Have any of your favorite venues that you know of closed down from Covid-times? It is crazy the Pyramid in New York is fucking done.
RIP Pyramid, such a shame! Luckily a lot of our venues have managed to hang on in SoCal. We almost lost Chain Reaction, the legendary all ages club in Anaheim, but fans and bands stepped up and donated enough to keep the club afloat for now. I grew up at Chain, seeing bands like Sugarcult, Bullets N Octane, Dashboard Confessional, Mustard Plug, Yellowcard, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Murphy’s Law. Everybody played Chain. It is an Orange County institution and I am so glad they are gunna carry on!
I have been dabbling through Viv Albertine’s excellent memoir when I can find the time lately and also finished Debbie Harry from Blondie’s book, which was so iconic and full of insights. Like NEVER GIVE UP cuz you never know if you don’t try. It is obviously a different time for the music scene big time than when they came up, and I don’t mean this as only from the fact that they are women…though that also plays a part in how they were treated at times. But sometimes it is crazy to read an artist’s journey and see really hard times or someone like about
to do a ton of drugs with Johnny Thunders and you are like ,”oh shit, this can’t end well” and it is a miracle what some people got through and managed to turn into powerful art. Sometimes our depths or shadow selves show us our ability to rise…not that we deserve all the worst times. I guess I am wondering…what are some challenges that you feel comfy talking about that don’t “define” you but which you feel were important learning experiences or something you’d like to warn or compliment yourself on from years back?
Oh man, I’ll have to order Viv’s book, that sounds awesome! I just got a Courtney Love biography that I am looking forward to, and Keith Richards Life. Ya know, I love reading about the lives of musicians and artists. Right now I am reading the diary of Anais Nin and it is blowing my mind that this woman is writing about her experiences in New York in 1942 and like, I can relate. She got turned down by a lot of publishers and had to work very hard to have her work seen by people. She was totally DIY and very inspiring. Ah, the plight of women… Well, I have been through so much ridiculously traumatic shit, it would take it’s own book. I don’t see that as special, though. Everyone experiences pain, and I think it is more about how you overcome it. That is what is interesting to me. I am built really tough like my mom so I don’t know any other way than “keep going.” There isn’t an option to give up, not for me at least…
Do you consider yourself an activist or a musician first and does there have to be a firm distinction? I mean, just as a vocal and compassionate or passionate artist you end up advocating for awareness for certain things, but sometimes go the extra mile also in talking about them (refreshing).
“Show, don’t tell” is more my style.
What can you tell us about your future plans moving forward? Do you think given this opportunity that you will draw more on places that have been important to you or sort of play it song by song? I feel like your personality and sound and vibe would lend itself so well to a travel/musical documentary series or show/visual biography.
Who knows what the future holds! I tell the Universe constantly… I am down for whatever you wanna throw my way. Most of the time, when I make plans, something else comes along that I could have never imagined! I am super open to whatever. I just want to meet people at shows, play my songs for them, have a good time and forget about the madness of the outside world for a little bit. I’d love to do more acting, I really love being on camera and creating visual art is another passion of mine. Right now I have the EP coming out and that is my focus. These three
songs say a lot about what kind of songwriter I am, and I am excited for people to hear it in its entirety. After that, more new music!
Thank you for the interview! Xo Suzi
THANKS AGAIN \m/