If anyone deserved a break due to their hard work, high standards, and passion it was or should I say is Billy Liar. Signing to Pirates Press is proof that hard work can and will pay off – with a determination and unwavering belief in what he does is his just deserts. Billy has been gaining well-deserved praise from high places such as Tim Armstrong and we’ve always seen the talent and great songs he’s written and on ‘Crisis Actor’ he’s indeed taken it to the next level from the tub-thumping chest beating opener ‘Oblivion’ through the organ swirling rampant beast that is ‘Baltimore’ Billy has the sound that can and should break through big time Stateside. Its no accident Pirates Press recognised that talent and have released this new record.
Billy’s songs detail some outstanding storytelling, where every lyric has you hanging on his every breath its like turning the pages of a great book you simply can’t put down and you’re wondering where it’s heading next. The energy of ‘Negroni’ is superb (With added Frank Turner). The sound is arena-filling and also a breath of fresh air if you were in say the Black Heart in Camden watching him rip through these songs on his acoustic guitar it would still sound huge.
‘Phantom Limb’ is thunderous but then again the energy bursting through the speakers from the likes of ‘Osterich’ it’s no surprise to hear mr Frank Turner join Billy on this LP because I’m sure Turner will be looking over his shoulder at Liar as he steams up on the inside track. ‘Starlight On Main’ is more of the same but the highlight is ‘Cheyne Stoking’ with its chest-beating brilliance with a broken-hearted melody sung with vim and vigor Billy is stepping up here.
But hold on its not all thunder and attack there are also softer songs for tough guys like the jarring ‘Don’t Trust Anyone’ that wakes from its harsh abrasive into into a heaving monster. This is one of the finest half hours I’ve heard all year and the hoe down that is ‘Hogmanay’ if The Pogues had written never mind the bollocks and turned up the guitars instead of whistles. Simply a stunning record and one that should propel Billy Liar to being a household name in punk rock circles. Be it leading a raucous band or standing in the spotlight with just his acoustic guitar Billy Liar has hit paydirt with ‘Crisis Actor’ Man I thought ‘Some Legacy’ was good but this is on another level. Buy It!
Legendary punk band Subhumans announced a United States with support from Cop/Out and Upchuck on select dates!
This tour comes after a reissue of Subhumans’ first 6 LPs which were all remastered from the original tapes. These records were pressed on several different versions with fans from around the globe quickly snatching up copies. Additionally, a limited edition box set featuring all six records plus an exclusive 10”, slipmat, and 52 page book was released and sold out in a matter of hours.
Subhumans have more surprises and plans throughout the rest of 2023 and beyond so fans will be waiting with anticipation for subsequent announces from Dick Lucas and the rest of the band.
What we have here is Kepi Ghoulies love letter to the love songs of the Ramones. Its as simple as that nothing clever justsimple versions of simple songs a homage to Da Bruddahs. Hey ho lets go! 1-2-3-4.
Kepi has been releasing a love song or two every Valentines for well over a decade and when recording ‘I Want You Around’ Kepi hit on the idea of enlisting as many friends as possible to add Keyboards, Horns, whatever was needed to pour in the love on these iconic tracks. I think its fair to say that The Ramones never really got the universal credit for their songwriting that they deserved and I know that people like Kepi feel the same and every now and then when someone with equal talent shines a light into the darkened corner of rock labelled The Ramones people always trip over the songwriting and rightly so. These Love Letters are reimagined and redefined and done so so well.
‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’ kicks things off in the simple acoustic guitar and vocal lament you could imagine and it brings a tear to my eye. Beautiful. The saxophone on ‘Baby I Love You’ reminds me of Johnny Thunders when he last toured with the oddballs – simple and sublime. Same for ‘Here Today Gone Tomorrow’. ‘Needles And Pins’ has some lush electric guitar for texture making it sound like the Byrds but one of my favourite Ramones songs is ‘Questioningly’ and there is a cover out there by Jesse Malin that was a wonderful take on such a beautiful song and Kepi has taken it somewhere else with the lap steel.
‘Baby I Love You’ from the Phil Spector wall of sound album is taken on a trip with just acoustic guitar and saxophone is the sound of heartbreak and the strained vocals are just what this version needs. It might be hard to mix it up but not picking the mega hits and instead digging deep for tracks like ‘She’s A Sensation’, ‘7-11’ being almost acapella and ‘My Kinda Girl’ so its a great mix of deep cuts and course the more appropriate love songs.
If you love Da Bruddahs and Kepi Ghoulie or just want to hear something softer and downright interesting then this has to be something you need to check out besides if you’re having a candlelight meal for you and your love then this will earn brownie points for sure. Stick with it though because ‘She ‘Belongs To Me’ and ‘Bye Bye Baby’ are probably two of the best songs on offer for interpretation and delivery. Keep em coming Kepi I’m loving your work. Buy It!
From a Turbulent Heart and Civet duties, Suzi Moon has finally gotten round to releasing her first solo album after two very impressive 12″ singles even if this collection of ten tracks was done before the EPs.
Straight from the off the vibrancy and sonic intent is obvious and there is no shrinking violet at play here Suzi comes out swinging and I promise this record will lay an earworm or two on you.
Having recently caught two shows there were a few of the tunes that stuck in my head in an instant as the songs lurch from punchy punk rock (Title track and opener) to more radio-friendly (‘California’) songs Moon has honed her craft and has invested every fiber of herself into these tunes and the end result is a magnificent beast of an album.
‘Dumb And In Luv’ sets the tone with a direct one two punk rock puncher is a step up to what we had experienced with her recordings with Civit and Turbulent Hearts both of which were very underrated bands but this time, as a solo artist, Suzi has thrown away the stabilisers and cast aside any doubts as she strides tall and proud with the beats to back up any talk. The choppy ‘Money’ has a great melody and rides on a huge groove. This should be enough to make people sit up and pay attention. The song builds and builds into a throbbing crescendo that takes no prisoners. Fantastic stuff!
After nearly two years supporting her first two EPs “Call The Shots” and “Animal,” – which has seen her music appear on Sirius XM, Iggy Pop’s BBC Radio program, over 30 terrestrial radio stations, in magazines around the world, and much more – managing to headline the Rebellion pre-show she was pumped and ready to deliver and the band and songs sounded like a finely tuned sports car. Side one closes with the sultry and more laidback ‘I Go Blind’.
Side two sounds like it’s gone through the gears and from ‘Honey’ the songwriting has broken through any expectations I might have had. Sure Moon tips her hat in the direction of the likes of Joan Jett for sure but those comparisons can be a bit misleading and lazy but I’m sure Moon would take that. ‘Honey’ has some great playing and arrangement but it’s the melody and delivery that sets this off like a Roman candle. To fan the flames of that firework ‘Any Other Way’ is a rampant, rapid jam that borrows as much from the Ramones, and with the glossy production, it’s gleaming but has a few dents and scratch marks for good measure so as it doesn’t vanish into pop-punk territory but has guts with its glory.
The song that stuck with me throughout the Rebellion Festival was ’99 Miles To Pasadena’ it’s catchy as Covid and rocks like a mother fucker. Easily one of the best songs I’ve heard all year. But amongst this album, it still shines like a diamond but it’s in good company with the other nine bangers on offer here.
To close the album the snare gets beaten with brushes and an Acoustic bass slides in for one last hurrah and something a little left of center to bring your pulse back down to a respectable level. Suzi Moon has delivered one of the finest albums I’ve had the pleasure of hearing all year, no question. I’ve had the pleasure of being able to play this record over and over and my initial thoughts are still ringing true. Check this album out, It’s an explosion of Sleazy Punk Rock n Roll at its very, very best. Dumb and in Luv… You bet I am!
Summer is almost here ladies and gentlemen, and this all new twelve track album from New York ska outfit The Slackers is going to provide the perfect soundtrack.
That’s right folks, because after the high intensity punk and post punk stuff I’ve been reviewing elsewhere on RPM this month, ‘Don’t Let The Sunlight Fool Ya’ actually came as something of a welcome respite. Indeed, cranking this one out of the RPM boombox over the recent bank holiday was like a much-needed foot on the brakes of life, providing me with a chance to reflect on matters whilst also enjoying the first rays of 2022 sunshine on my face.
‘Don’t Let The Sunlight Fool Ya’ has been seven years in the making for Vic Ruggiero and his bandmates, and for once that old adage about the best things come to those who wait has really never been more apt, because this record really is a right bobby dazzler.
The New York Times recently dubbed the Slackers part of ‘the sound of New York’, and just one listen of ‘Windowland’ later I’m suddenly whisked off to an upstate Manhattan bar one Friday night supping on a cold one totally absorbed in the band playing on the small stage in the window, with the rest of the assembled weekend crew going suitably bananas all around the place. Yup, The Slackers are bringing their A -game via their special brand of ska party to your living room, and all you have to do is pick up a copy of this record to gain entry.
At this point I do have to admit that Nev Brookes should really be reviewing this album, because after all he is RPM’s resident expert in everything with a skanking rhythm, but after hearing the album’s superb title track (which got a video release a few months back) I just had to hear the rest of ‘Don’t Let The Sunlight Fool Ya’ and here within the context of the full album said title track still makes me think it’s a song custom bult for Elvis Costello to one day cover.
Elsewhere, the likes of ‘Hanging On’ and the riotous ‘Nobody’s Listening’ shine through via some truly inspired vocals from Ruggiero, whilst it’s the band’s impressive horn section (of Dave Hillyard and Glen Pine) that get to steal the show on the glorious ‘Way Of A Woman’ and on the subtle soul stylings of the sultry ‘Second Best’. Things get political for the powerful ‘Statehouse’, and dare I say that during the lament of ‘They Are Losing’ the long shadow of a certain Tom Waits looms large over proceedings.
‘Don’t Let The Sunlight Fool Ya’ is very much a dance album though and when you follow the aforementioned ‘They Are Losing’ with the almost 2Tone-esque ‘Shameboy’ you’d have to be one tough cookie (or perhaps an idiot) not to find yourself immediately caught up in the dance craze The Slackers generate.
Look, we’ve all had a couple of tough years, right? Well, it’s time to heal, and great music is the perfect medicine to help us do just that. So, treat yourself, go get a copy of ‘Don’t Let The Sunlight Fool Ya’, smile, dance and as The Slackers themselves wisely say whilst ‘Time Won’t Set Us Free’ great music most certainly will.
Black Bombers – ‘Last Bite’ (Easy Action) there is an air of confidence and an overwhelming sense of quality when the guitar chimes in on this new single from Birmingham’s finest. Channeling the spirit of Stivs Lords and the cool of Killing Joke with its howling guitars and haunting rhythm it’s a smoldering smokestack of a tune and as it reaches the guitar solo, it gives you goosebumps as the band reaches the climax before dropping back into the groove on what is a most excellent single. It’s taken a while to reach your turntables due to covid but this one has had a couple of years to ferment into this beast of noise. Flip it over and you get treated to a rather splendid version of ‘Take My Money’ from the Damned criminally overlooked second album ‘Music For Pleasure’. What a killer tune ‘Last Bite’ is and thats why its the pick of the pops for the month no question about it! Cool tunes and cool artwork – if only all 7″ singles were this good. Buy Here
Buzzcocks – ‘Senses Out Of Control’ (Cherry Red Records) The songs to emerge from the post-Shelley Buzzcocks are creeping out after the covid hibernation and ‘Senses Out Of Control’ is a lovely slice of Diggle fire and brimstone. Uptempo and out of control as Diggle fires up the telecaster and smashes the chords out of the speakers for what is your typical Diggle Buzzers tune (effectively) I’m not going to debate the should it be released under the Buzzcocks banner or not but I will say it pretty bloody decent to be fair. Live it will sound punchy and brutal but there is a huge Shelley-shaped hole happening. The B sides to this lovely 10″ record also feature the tracks ‘Carnival Of Illusion’ that tackles cancel culture in a more measured track. But the diamond in the rough here is the excellent ‘Hope Heaven Loves You’ with a great meandering guitar line. Sure to become a collector’s piece these two tracks won’t be on the album when it’s released this summer so fill yer boots. Buy Here
Suzi Moon – ‘Animal’ (Pirates Press Records) Hot on the heels of her debut EP Suzi Moon unleashes ‘Animal’ her latest EP on Pirates PRess and this time it rips out of the blocks with the super turbocharged ‘Sonic Attraction’. Her debut album ‘Dumb & In Luv’ is due this summer and if this trio of tunes is anything to go by then it’s going to be an absolute blast. the title track is a brooding, twisting, rhythm meandering along before the guitars crash in on the chorus when Moon declares she’s a fucking animal you better believe it. To wrap up this EP Moon indulges some power pop tinged punk rock on ‘Gold Record Autograph’ its another string to her bow. With a vibrant melody, the chorus is fuckin’ excellent and like a bubble gummed chorus Moon knows shes is onto something, and surely it’s only a matter of time before she sells out venues globally and she’ll have her very own Gold Record. Get it here
Flickertail – ‘Don’t You Let Me (Let You Down)‘ (Golden Robot Records) Irish Aussie rockers FLICKERTAIL release new single ‘Don’t You Let Me (Let You Down’ on 29th March, out on Golden Robot Records. liftedfrom the upcoming live EP ‘Afterlife‘, which is slated for release mid-year. The track features sizzling guitars, high-paced lyrics about parties and poor decisions and a balls-to-the-wall drum solo that could make John Bonham blush.Pre-order/add/save ‘Don’t You Let Me (Let You Down)’HERE
Chuck Norris Experiment – ‘Where Eagles Dare’ (Self Release) By no means a new tune but a new version from the mighty CNE as they lay into the Misfits classic. CNE gets the tempo and rawness of the song and capture it perfectly. Free Rock n Fucking Roll – yes please. Fill yer boots and if you already haven’t got yourself on board this is the perfect opportunity. Get it Here
WolfWolf & The Tuzemak Orchestra – ‘Monster’ (Lux Noise Records) For fans of the Bop n stroll Blues rock n roll of Urban Voodoo Machine, Wolf Wolf make an impressive mind-bending noise on this new single ‘Monster’ where they team up with The Tuzemak Orchestra: https://www.wolfwolfband.com
J Prozac – ‘Building Blocks’ (Rum Bar Records) Another band rolls off the Rum Bar conveyer belt and onto our stereos. This time its heart-worn sleeve heartland punk & garage rock from J Prozac. while still keeping the big hearted ‘whoa ohs’, snotty vocals and powerful punk rock guitar riffs of his former bands in check. It’s a memoir, diary, and photo book of lost but not forgotten moments, anthemic pop-punk lifted from the new album ‘Building Blocks’ is punk rock with a smile. Get the album Here
The Brokendolls – ‘The Only’ (Lux Noise Records) Lifted from the bands upcoming album ‘Snakecharmer’ Hard Rocking Punk N Roll sees the Brokendolls impress and march to the top of the pile giving the likes of Backyard Babies a run for their money with this new track. If the rest of the album can live up to these expectations then it promises to be a belter!
These Arms Are Snakes – ‘Camera Shy’ (Suicide Squeeze Records) US hardcore gents These Arms Are Snakes have announced a new rarities album called ‘Duct Tape & Shivering Crows’ which will be released April 15th so they have this video for the first single.
Ultrabomb – ‘Star’ (Ultrabomb Records) Greg Norton, once the driving force behind one of the most influential bands to emerge from the American punk scene, Hüsker Dü, alongside Finny McConnell, a name you’ll recognise from thirty years as the frontman of the Canadian Irish folk-punk sensation The Mahones. Completing the trio is the drumming powerhouse Jamie Oliver, having served well over fifteen years in the seminal British punk band UK Subs, as well as shorter stints with the likes of SNFU among others. Written for the singer’s daughter this is quality alternative punk rock. this second single has hints of Early Buffalo Tom and The Replacements which is always a good thing. With an album out soon the future looks written for Ultrabomb. Buy Here
Rough Gutts – ‘Control’ (Boss Tunage) From the ashes of Rotten Foxes Rough Gutts have only gone and made a record and if this video is anything to go by the Brighton rockers are gonna blow away everyone in 2022. Tour dates and a record out of control punk rock n fuckin roll is back in business and Rough Gutts are gonna rule – get on it kids before they’re all gone.
The Lickerish Quartet – ‘ Fortunately’ (Stranger Danger Records) The first song from Threesome Vol. 3, ‘Fortunately’ is Set for release May 20 on Stranger Danger Records and Tapes, distributed by Burnside and the Orchard in the U.S. and by Lojinx in the U.K. and Europe. Sony Japan recently partnered with THE LICKERISH QUARTET to release all three EPs on June 29, as a collection entitled ‘FABLES FROM FEARLESS HEIGHTS’, which will include two previously unheard cover songs, as well as a special “best of” vinyl LP in that region. Pre-orders can be found Here
The SoapGirls – ‘Breathe’ The SoapGirls consist of French-born, South African-raised sisters Noemie Debray (Mie) (guitar, vocals) & Camille Debray (Mille) (bass guitar, vocals) The fearless siblings began their music career as child street performers at ages 8 and 9,roaming the streets of Cape Town singing whilst selling handmade soap for charity, earning the name ‘The SoapGirls’. ‘Breathe’ is the first single from soon to be released 4th album ‘In My Skin’. It’s a load of energy with the uncompromising style and attitude & all the excessive, debauched live shows have paid dividends. The pair have gained quite a reputation through their live shows such as Rebellion & Camden Rocks.
You can catch the pair as Their Don’t Give A Damn tour kicks off in the UK in April at Nambucca on the 15th before heading to Europe, followed by the US in July & Japan in August.
First up today is the brand new video from Birmingham Garage rockers Black Bombers with their most excellent new single ‘Last Bite’. Released on April fools day through Easy Action Records there isn’t anything remotely funny about this slice of proto-punk, primitive Garage rock that goes straight for the jugular. Don’t delay kids because this one is backed by a most excellent version of the Damned classic ‘You Take My Money’.
This release comes as ‘UN-SCENE!’, Black Bombers’ drummer Dave Twist’s compilation album of Birmingham Post Punk, is receiving real acclaim and is already in short supply…
The band have dates around the country in the coming weeks and play the DIE DAS DER benefit show for Ukraine on March 27th at the Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath Birmingham.
To celebrate the Chats UK tour dates it seems fair to run with the video for their brand new single ‘Struck By Lightning’ Tour dates, tickets and merch available Here
Finally how about this banger to set your week up nicely. A track off her new EP out next week on pirates press Suzi Moon will release her second EP April 1st then the debut album this summer via pirates press. Check it out and pre order Here
Having initially seen large numbers of Charger T shirts at punk shows here in the UK, before checking out their debut 7 track EP/mini album released back in 2019, and thinking it was pretty damn decent, I can honestly say that I never realised that Rancid’s Matt Freeman, along with Jason Willer (from Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine), and Andrew McGee (from Wired All Wrong) were the people responsible for conjuring up the no-nonsense metal onslaught that the band specialise in.
I mean, I know Lars Frederiksen has dabbled with the odd AC/DC/Rose Tattoo riff over the years with The Old Firm Casuals, but Charger are full-on “rock out, with your cock out” (if you know, you know) heavy metal, specialising in the type of metal Hell’s Headbangers would have (dismembered?) kittens over, so perhaps that’s what initially threw me. Although knowing who is behind the unholy (yet rather splendid) racket Charger produce is neither here nor there at the end of the day, because if you like early ‘80s metal (think Motorhead, think Anvil, think early Tank and think Chariot) then you are going to absolutely love the band’s 11 track full length debut album, ‘Warhorse’.
“Fast and frantic” is the default setting for Charger, and for most of this record I’m in serious danger of having the worst case of headbanger’s neck I’ve had since the Youth Club Discos of my early teens. Tracks like opener ‘Devastator’, ‘Will To Survive’ and ‘Running Out Of Time’ simply thunder along, middle finger in the air and taking no prisoners in the process. Elsewhere there’s a whiff of early ‘80s Saxon in the riff that introduces ‘Rolling Through the Night’ and just a hint of Nashville Pussy at their dirtiest during ‘Stand Fight or Die’, all custom built to soundtrack your wildest of parties.
Its only when Charger switch direction slightly, venturing more into the dungeons and dragons world of metal, via album closer ‘Sword Of Dio’ and (with the aid of the air raid siren guest vocals of Jake Nunn from Hell Fire) on ‘Summon The Demon’ that I find myself drifting off. It’s not that the tracks are bad you understand, it’s just I’m not really a huge fan of that metal sub-genre, and I’d much rather have preferred to have heard a few more four to the floor barnstormers along the lines of ‘Forsaken Soul’ or the Motorhead chug-a-thon of ‘Black Motor’ instead.
Released on multiple formats on 18th March 2022 via Pirate’s Press Records, ‘Warhorse’ is a fierce slice of metal and perhaps one of the most radical sounding Rancid associated side-projects to date. Now someone get Charger out on the road with Midnight and give us THE metal gig of 2022.
“Nuthin’ To Me is a classic “fuck you” song about running into an ex-lover and realizing that they no longer hold a place in your heart. In fact, you can’t remember why you fell in love with them in the first place. It is one of those tunes that wrote itself in 10 minutes, the words & melody came pouring out of me. The chorus was so direct & straight to the point that I felt like there was no reason to add extra lyrics. I said what I needed to say. Repeating the hook over and over again continues to be a cathartic and empowering mantra,” says Moon.
The video, which once again showcases Moon’s directorial and editing chops, highlights her love for old B horror movies & weird burlesque videos from the 60s. “Visually, I knew I wanted a black & white video to reflect the mood of the song. I definitely see a story in there, others may see something completely different. It’s up for interpretation! I hope that viewers enjoy the weird, wild ride,” Moon adds.
Since the release of her debut EP to rave reviews, Moon is finally getting ready to hit the road. Moon and her crew will be playing songs from her EP plus a few more surprises!
Catch SUZI MOON live:
09/09/2021 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fire
09/10/2021 – Brooklyn, NY – Our Wicked Lady
09/11/2021 – Artemas, PA – Four Quarters – Camp Punksylvania
The unstoppable Suzi Moon comes roaring back with a debut solo EP Call the Shots, a powerful clutch of high-impact songs which reaffirm her status as one of punk rock’s most vibrant performers! With a stellar rock & roll pedigree reaching back to when the then 15-year-old Moon joined her sister’s famed punk band, Civet, the singer-songwriter has followed through with songs that show her incredible growth. Recording two albums for Hellcat Records and touring with the likes of Social Distortion, Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly (all before she turned 21) Moon established herself as a ferocious punk truth-teller with both a distinctive personal style and a fiercely untamed stage presence. After Civet went on hiatus, Moon formed Turbulent Hearts, a high-intensity trio that quickly gained popularity in their hometown Los Angeles scene and earned followings in the US and Europe, playing such high stakes settings as the Rebellion Festival and Punk Rock Bowling.
The restless, boundlessly creative Moon next co-founded unique garage/punk/stoner female power trio L.A. Machina. The group almost immediately issued a memorable EP for Alternative Tentacles before abruptly flaming out in late 2020. Undeterred, Moon set about crafting the groundbreaking songs which comprise Call the Shots and was in the recording studio just months later. Set for a May 2021 release on Pirates Press Records, Call the Shots is classic Moon: hard-hitting, dynamic and thunderingly expressive, the perfect artistic antidote for today’s uncertain climate. A daringly mesmerizing performer and bold, intuitive, composer, Suzi Moon consistently delivers an appealing, high-velocity authenticity that is hers alone.
OK, Firstly it seems like a good place to start, what made you decide to go solo?
I always knew I would end up going solo. As a songwriter, it is important for me to take ownership of the music I create. I have a very clear vision for my art and have brought that into every collaborative project I have been a part of. It was really only a matter of time until I had the guts to really step forward and go solo. What have you noticed so far that’s different about playing under your name as opposed to being in a band? -It comes with new challenges. Now I am solely the one to blame if something goes wrong or if it doesn’t resonate within people, I am taking that very personally as the person who is the face of the project. At the same time, it is easier in ways, like I don’t have to get 3 other peoples opinion or approval before I make a decision.
Having seen you perform at Rebellion and reviewed your music previously both with Civet and Turbulent Hearts I must admit I was really impressed with the new EP? The energy you put into a live show is something you must be really missing with the Covid pandemic interrupting live shows and travel? How have you found the downtime? What have you found fulfilling that you’ve otherwise would have filled with traveling and touring?
Thank you! I am very proud of the EP and it is a natural progression for me. I am lucky to have worked with amazing musicians, engineers, and mixers on this new music that really set the bar higher, right where I want it, for this new chapter. I miss playing live terribly. It has been very hard to stay home every weekend. I really love being around other people and feeding off the energy of a live show. That is the reason for everything else – to get onstage. That is the real payback for me. The good thing is that I have been able to keep very busy during the pandemic preparing for my new releases and that has kept me sane and on track.
Going back to the EP. How did you hook up with Pirates Press?
Well, I have admired the label for many years. They have constantly released really impressive music and the product is such high quality. I do believe timing is everything, though, and when I started chatting with them in Oct. 2020, it just made perfect sense at that moment to begin a working relationship together. They are incredibly supportive and I love being a part of their awesome team.
What about putting the musicians together to work on your solo music? Did you have a plan? How easy was it to pick the songs for the EP?
I find that whenever I make a plan, the Universe has a better one for me, haha! I try to say “Yes” to as much as possible to keep the pathways to new opportunities open. The three songs on the EP are recorded with Rikki Styxx on drums because we had been playing together in L.A. Machina and had been spending so much time jamming together it just worked out that way! She is not formally a member of my band but she is close to me like a sister, and it was very special to build the foundation for Suzi Moon solo with her at my side. My guitar player Drew Champion is just amazing, he can play anything I ask him to, it’s really cool. He is still in the project but now I have a new bass player Patti Bo (from River City Rebels) and Sean Peterson (from The Split Seconds – with Drew) so I was able to round up these amazing players who are on board to tour a lot and they are all pro’s with experience. It was very easy to pick the songs for the EP because they were already written and ready to go and they all complimented each other.
Was there a lot of music written and recorded?
Yes there IS currently a lot written and recorded! I have 13 other songs that are done – 10 are recorded for a full length and I am going into the studio in August this year to record the other. We have a plan for releasing these but I can’t say too much yet… When can we hear an LP? Then obviously see you perform them live? -The full length will be out for summer 2022. I will start playing shows this September 2021 and anyone who sees me play is going to hear a LOT of unreleased material! Going back to the beginning of this latest adventure you’re on.
What was the catalyst for going solo? Is there anything you miss thus far not being in a band situation? Is it liberating seeing your name on the artwork for your new record?
The catalyst for going solo was more like, I didn’t have a fucking choice. It was just time to do it. I had already put Turbulent Hearts behind me, and then L.A. Machina broke up, and I was in no mood to slow down. It just seemed like it was the right time.
What noticeable things would you consider an advantage now to being part of a band?
Advantages are being in control of every facet of the image/product/brand, disadvantages are being the person solely responsible for all that work, haha! I have been so lucky to be in some amazing bands over the years, and I think collaboration is one of the best facets of a band, but it’s not like I am totally alone doing Suzi Moon. I have a band, they have good ideas, it’s just that I get final say now. Which is really good because I like to be the boss.
How do you approach writing new music? Is there anyone you bounce ideas off of?
Well, I am always singing and making up little silly songs throughout the day, about random shit. Sometimes the melody is so good that I will hum it into my phone recorder and actually take it seriously. I have had songs come to me in my sleep, or when I am running. It usually starts without a guitar, and then I will sit down and figure out how to play what I am hearing in my head. After that I will wait a few days, weeks, months even and if the melody keeps playing in my mind, I know it is really good and worth finishing. So I will write the next part, and try to finish it to 90% before I bring it to the band. For years I have worked like this. It is only recently, since my boyfriend Drew has joined the band as lead guitarist, that I will ask for his opinion on things and we can work on it. He is a great songwriter in his own right, so I fully trust that together we can make something even better together. Of course, in the case of a song like Turbulent Hearts “Panic” or my new song “Nuthin’ To Me” – those are the kinds of songs that just wrote themselves in 20 minutes, ya know?
Every song requires something different!
The last couple of years have been a deep well of inspiration for songwriters with what happened stateside with Trump being dumped and what happened in January and Covid being such a mindfuck globally there’s been a lot going on out there. What has inspired you to write? Have you found the downtime from touring a productive period?
It’s really nice that Trump is out of office because he was such a fucking embarrasment but I would never give a politician space in my songs. It’s just not the kind of songwriter I am. I don’t really care for any of them, I don’t trust the system and it doesn’t feel like those guys truly have “our” best interests in mind. What I DO care about is the human condition, and I do care about the struggle and the experiences we share. This world is fucked. There is tragedy and pain all around us all the time. Please forgive me if I don’t want to relive that while I am doing something that I believe is meant to bring joy to people. I want folks to forget about their problems while they are at my show. For an hour, just have fun. There are poets and artists out there that just absolutely nail it when it comes to political statements. I respect and admire them greatly, but if it’s in everything we do, see & hear… That is pretty fucking depressing. Sometimes you just need to forget about it for a while.
The sales of the EP must have delighted you and exceeded your initial expectations. Is a repress on the cards for when you hit the road and more people want in? -Absolutely I was overjoyed and it is still very surreal! It’s been really fucking special. I can’t give out too much information yet about what’s up next but… For those people that bought one of the 200 Cyan colored records – be stoked cause those are the only ones of that color that will ever be made!
What can you tell us what’s next record-wise? Is there an album in the can? What about other titles can you let us in on what you’ve worked on. -Yes, there is a full length that is coming and another release, too. I can’t give too much away yet, but I promise it’ll be rad!
Is there anyone you’d like to work with as a solo artist? you can go anywhere you like with this what would be your dream? If you could get on a tour or record a split with someone what song would you want them to record? Any videos planned that we can watch? What about live streaming?
Living, I would love to work with Billie Joe Armstrong, and Laura Jane Grace from Against Me! Dead, Tom Petty. I have two music videos out right now for “Special Place In Hell” and “I’m Not A Man” – there will be one for “Nuthin’ To Me” next. I don’t plan on doing any livestream concerts because real shows are coming back and I want that to be the focus.
If I’ve missed anything here’s your chance. What would you like to let people know that I’ve missed out? I have a Youtube show called “Rockin’ Closets” where I interview other musicians, creators, business owners about their wardrobes and what inspires their fashion choices. It has been very rewarding to make the show and learn new things about these people. I just finished Season One and the show will be back again in the Fall with all new guests! All of those episodes are on my Youtube channel or you can watch them on my Instagram. I suggest for anyone who likes my music to check out the rest of the Pirates Press Records catalog. They have an incredible roster of bands that are doing really cool shit. I plan to tour a lot for the next few years. I will definitely be back in England during Summer 2022 so I hope to see you then! Thanks for the interview! Xo Suzi