You have been a part of Gritty In Pink since the inception. Please tell us about how you met Shira and got involved?
I met Shira at Warped Tour in 2007 when my old band Civet played her Shiragirl Stage! We reconnected in 2014 through our mutual friend, rock photographer Lisa Johnson. Shira is one of the most driven & hard working women I have ever met! She gives so much to her community; I am constantly inspired by her selflessness & capacity to bring people together. When she told me about Gritty, I knew it was going to be great! I would follow Shira into battle any day, no questions asked.
How did your music journey start, and when did you know that you wanted to pursue music full time?
Music definitely chose me. Honestly, I wouldn’t have picked up a guitar unless my sister had forced me to when I was 15. I am glad she did because I began writing songs around age 10 & it was empowering to be given a tool to perform them with. But I am not a musician in the traditional sense. I’m not in it to perfect the craft of guitar playing, or learn scales or whatever. Once it becomes technical I lose interest immediately. For me music is just *one* of the mediums I use to express myself. My songs have characters & fantasies & exaggerated realities that I get to bring to life through music, art, fashion, and film. I guess I’ve always known that this is the type of life I would live. I just want to keep doing new stuff all the time.
From your early days in Civet, to your years with Turbulent Hearts, you were always with a band- how does it feel different now, to be releasing a solo record under your, name Suzi Moon?Oh man, going solo is a trip! There is definitely a lot of pressure and nowhere to hide... But I am ready. I’ve been gearing up for this my entire life. I am constantly daydreaming/envisioning ideas... I’ve always been very independent. Even on tour with my old bands I’d go off in a random city by myself or fly out of a different airport for fun. I like new experiences & I like to be challenged. Now I can kind of like, do whatever the fuck I want to, & that freedom is exciting. Also, I want people to know that these are my songs. Nobody writes for me, I am a songwriter & take it very seriously! I hope the music will resonate with some people.
Please tell us about your new single and upcoming album!
My new single “Special Place In Hell” is a love song. It’s about a girl who meets a guy who has never been to LA (“hell”) before, but he wants to move there for his career. She is teasing, flirting, being sassy, but also warning him about the types of people he will meet & how dangerous the city can be for newcomers. At the end when she says “there is a special place in Hell... and it’s with me...” it’s the romantic little bow that ties the whole song together. Based on a true story, too! This is the first single off of my new 3 song EP “Call The Shots” which is out May 21st on Pirates Press Records! I’ve been a huge fan of Pirates for years, so it is a dream come true to be working with them and releasing this album on vinyl together! They really understand my vision & have been so supportive of me on this journey.
Any notable collaborations or guest appearances on the new album?
Actually, yeah! I’ve got Rikki Styxx on drums for these three songs! She isn’t a permanent member of my solo band, but her sick beats really brought these songs to life & it was totally cathartic to do something uplifting together post-L.A. Machina. I also have some amazing guest singers on the song “I’m Not A Man”! Shira Girl & Alicia Vigil came down to the studio to help me out with some tough-as-nails backing vocals, which totally make the song so much cooler! I am so grateful for my real life girl gang!
Who is your dream collaboration?
I really wanna sing a punk rock ballad/duet with Matt from The Bronx!!! He has the best voice in rock n’ roll. Who is your biggest musical inspiration? Lou Reed, definitely. Because he wasn’t particularly great at guitar. But that didn’t stop him from writing some of the most influential music in rock n’ roll. He knew his own brand & was unapologetically Lou at all times. I don’t even like all of his songs, but I love what he represents. He had a very long career, I admire that. He was constantly evolving & always stayed true to himself. He was an asshole. I just love everything about the guy.
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
As powerful of a “tool” social media may be, it’s pretty sad to see how we’re all pimping ourselves out & trying to outdo one other nonstop. I would make Instagram & Spotify go away if I could. I don’t think it's very good for the industry for literally everybody to have a platform. It’s like going to a buffet. Great in theory but you always regret it. Back in the day there was a barrier, an office full of people, between fans & artists & now it’s just a free for all. I think that makes it even harder for good stuff to rise to the top & when it does, the lifespan of a hit song is so much shorter. It’ll be interesting to see how the industry looks in 5 years if we keep going at this pace.
What has been your favorite gig ever?
Favorite gig I ever played was at The Underworld in Camden when Turbulent Hearts opened for Leftover Crack. I just remember going into a trance onstage & when I came out of it I was happy, sweaty, & exhausted. It was a very responsive and fun crowd but what’s most important for me is the head space I get into when performing & that night was transcendent. My favorite gig I’ve ever been to was Iggy & The Stooges at Punk Rock Bowling 2017!! I was in the mosh pit on ecstasy & I am pretty sure we all time traveled to 1969 together. I crowd-surfed & Iggy reached out and touched my hand. My life has never been the same since that show.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t doing music right now?
I would most likely be acting. When I was a kid I wanted to be an actress more than anything. I took lessons, I had an agent, and I went on a LOT of auditions (My Size Barbie Commercials, the Little Rascals movie, etc) but I never landed any roles. I’m really grateful for that now. But I’ve always loved film & I admire directors and editors so much. It’s way harder to make a movie than it is to make a record!
What is the most valuable lesson you have taken away from quarantine?
Be gentle with yourself. You’re just a sensitive human doing the best you can. Some days are going to suck. But be kind and gentle with yourself and remember... Going for a walk can change your whole day!
How do you want to be remembered?
As a good friend, a loving partner, a caring daughter, a funny auntie, a dependable sister.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can pack a Uhaul like a motherfucker, & I cook my best meals with the very last random-ass items in the fridge.
What has been your favorite quarantine activity or new hobby/talent?
Baking has always been a passion of mine (thanks Grandma!), but I’ve finally perfected my focaccia bread recipe which was a huge achievement! What is your guilty pleasure food?Definitely pasta. Just a classic noodle with olive oil, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning & a little Parmesan cheese.
If you were a fruit, what fruit would you be? Why?
I’d like to think that I would be an Orange because they are juicy and smell delicious and stave off scurvy.
What would be your perfect day?
My perfect day would consist of me and all of my fruity fruit friends waking up in a fruit cart in Echo Park and being chopped & sliced to bits by a guy in a Dodgers baseball cap & we all get thrown into a plastic container and sprinkled with lots of Tajin & lime juice and then we get picked up by a cute hipster couple in matching overalls and we go for a walk down Sunset Blvd & then I drop out of the container & a pigeon picks me up and we fly over the 101 freeway to a bus stop & he eats me and my seeds drop onto the small patch of grass below where the circle of life begins again!
Any dream vacation destination you would love to travel to once the pandemic is over?
I’d really love to visit the Middle East!!! Jordan & Iran have been high on my list for some time. The food & the architecture is incredible.
What is your comfort movie/tv show?
The Great British Baking Show & Criminal Minds. Also, bring The Office back to Netflix!