IT’S A LONG WAY TO THE TOP
A CONVERSATION WITH SUZI MOON
Having been performing since she was a teenager, Los Angeles-based punk rocker Suzi Moon has experienced a massive three years. With a pair of EP’s and a full-length album under her belt, two of which released in 2022 alone, Moon is about to hit the road, touring across America through March into August, with shows supporting The Queers and Agent Orange, along with headlining dates and a set on this year’s Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas. To best appreciate her output, progress, and creative process, Moon recounts the work that began in 2020 that brought her to where she is in 2023, ahead of a pair of major tours following the release of her debut full-length album, Dumb & In Luv.
“Two releases in one year really felt like a lot of action” Moon exclaims early into our conversation. In 2022, Moon released Animal, a three-song EP on April 1, followed by her first full-length album, Dumb & In Love in September. Reflecting on the last three years, Moon states, “Dumb & In Luv took forever to make. In chronological order, it’s actually the oldest of my releases. I started recording it before Call The Shots, before Animal, and it was the last to be released… I started recording it in August, 2020, back when I was living in LA, and before Pirate Press Records, I just knew I wanted to make a record ‘cause I had all these songs in my head.” Her debut EP, Call The Shots, came about after Pirate Press Records signed Moon, “When Pirates called me up, they wanted to know what I had ready to go now, and I had the three songs for the Call The Shots EP more ready to go than the Dumb & In Luv record.” Similarly, Animal came about the same way, as Moon tells “At the same time, I had wrote ‘Gold Record Autograph’, ‘Animal’, and ‘Sonic Attraction’ was an older song from that same era of writing.”
Following a lengthy, year and a half process that saw recording sessions in LA, DC, and MxPx’s Mike Herrera’s studio in Washington, along with a pair of songs being rerecorded from the ground up, Dumb & In Luv was finally completed, Moon laughs “finally, we were just like ‘dude, it’s done’”. “Listening to it in my car, there were just no more little things missing. It sounded the way that I heard it in my head and in my heart” Moon tells me, adding “I never meant for it to be this big deal to create, it was supposed to be something that I whipped together in three days and threw up on Bandcamp, but then I joined this amazing label and the stakes just felt higher. I wanted to live up to the Pirates Press Records name; I wanted it to be polished.” The result is a strong record that finds balance between gritty, ’70s punk and pop sensibilities with the title track, “Money”, and “99 Miles To Pasadena” standing as highlights. Reflecting on the unplanned eb and flow to her songwriting that led to a trio of releases, Moon states, “it just worked out the way it did, it was not heavily planned at all”, adding “I like the music to tell me what it wants. I am just a humble servant to the gods of rock ‘n’ roll. If I’m a vessel for any sort of music that is meant to be enjoyed by more people than just myself and my mom, then it is my job to piece them together nicely.”
With a string of upcoming north American tours fast approaching, Moon discusses the crucial yet challenging nature of touring for up-and-coming artists, “you can’t rely on only Instagram and Spotify to get fans. The best way to do it, still, is to go out, constantly, to the same places, and to put yourself in front of new people. It’s grueling to tour like that on a budget when you’re a band this size. It takes such a long time to break through and to get to a point where the demand is there and you can start making money.” Speaking on the touring industry itself, Moon adds “Even bands that seem to have blown up over night, I guarantee they’ve been grinding for six, seven, eight years minimum to get where they are.” With this in mind, Moon adds, “for two years, I’m really proud of what eve accomplished. I’m very grateful, but it’s like they say, it’s a long way to the top.” Hitting the road in support of The Queers from March 29 to April 15, they will then join Agent Orange through the rest of April and into mid-May. This will be followed by a set at Punk Rock Bowling, and a headlining European tour.