LIFE OF A ROCK STAR
Shimon Moore Interview
Sick Puppies and Shimon Moore Evolve with "Connect" and There's No Going Back
Rock Star Music News
SICK PUPPIES Alternative Rock "CONNECT" Interview
Shimon Moore (lead singer/guitarist) of alternative rock band Sick Puppies may or may not use the F word more than any other person I've ever interviewed, but with every line he delivers such endearing truth telling sentiment that it glides by like just another part of speech. With new album "Connect" now on shelves and Sick Puppies touring with their third full length album, the band that includes Mark Goodwin on drums has come along way from forming in 1999 and the high school music room in Australia where Shim and Emma Anzai (bassist) first met.
Far from where they started with appearances on Oprah and the world's eyes on them as their song "All The Same" blew up with the Free Hugs video with over 75 Million views, Sick Puppies is producing music that has evolved with the times. Song "There's No Going Back" on the new "Connect" album hammers this point home. Their new album runs the gamut of rock with hard rock in "The Trick The Devil Did," a Muse sounding ballad "Under A Very Black Sky" and indie rock influence similar to Walk Off The Earth's "Red Hands" in "There's No Going Back." Folk rock sounds appear in both title track "Connect" and "Run," making the compilation play like a novel of short stories that reflects changes the band members personally (for instance, Shim got married) and as a whole have undergone since forming.
Produced by Rock Mafia Tim James and Antonina Armato, the compilation of songs on the album was narrowed down from nearly 100 and is the band's attempt to "Connect" with both the world at large and the world around them after five or six years on tour without a break. Says Shim, "We were doing 14 hour days, 30 days in a row without a single break or no sleep, no good food and after doing all that stuff for the five years, your body just gives out."
I waste no time telling Shim that I love "Connect." He thanks me with real appreciation in his voice, something for which the band is known--expressing gratitude and talking directly to fans. "I think 'Connect' is such an amazing folk rock song that's just lyrically perfect and instrumentally a huge evolution for you," I say. Adding, "It seemed like you personally evolved a lot between this album and your last album, can you talk maybe a little bit about how your life has evolved along with the creation of the new album?" "I got married, that was a big one," says Shim. "I think we grew up a lot by the end of Tri-Polar; we'd done it for a while. We were at it for five years straight and you can't go out on the road for five years without burning out and we'd burned out by the end of it. …I think we learned what was of value …we just wanted to be rock stars and once we became rock stars to our definition of rock stars--which was we played music every day and we'd drink beer and we'd meet all these cool people and we'd see all these cool places--after a while, it becomes a blur."
Shim expands on how they changed, "Becoming a rock star isn't really as important as just making music and enjoying what you're doing, which is really what life should be about, it doesn't matter if you're making music or working in it, if you like what you're doing and the people you are with, it's all good. Once we realized we needed to enjoy what we were doing, the songs naturally changed into, well, we can make rock or we can make the best music that we're capable of and if it's not in keeping with what's on rock radio or rock magazine, we're going to have to deal with it because that's the band that we are, not the band that we want to be. You know what I mean?"
I sigh and tell him I do know what he means which is exactly why the blog is sarcastically titled Life of a Rock Star. Shim consents with me at the perceived glamour of it all and says, "You should call it the life of a quote unquote rock star." -
We go on to chat in depth about having blind faith and I ask Shim about the healing message that emanates from "Connect." "Was that something that evolved with the music or did you know going in writing the music that was your intention?" "Yeah, we've always had that mentality towards our music," he answers. "On the first record it was a little more aggressive in terms of the statement lyrically. But it was a healing from catharsis. On 'Tri-Polar,' it was more of a healing of realization. It's going to be OK, that's what 'Odd One' did and taking control of your life to an extent and making the changes that you need to make. With this one, it was more living in the moment. Once you're in the process of healing and you're not just bashing it out and saying, 'I'm going to get through this.' Once you're actually moving forward and living life, I think that's more where 'Connect' comes from because we're actually in this moment, at that record, we're in the moment of it."
FUN Q&As WITH SHIM
Shim: Sidney, Australia
Nicole: Sidney and where else would you choose?
Shim: Honestly, wherever my wife is. That line was written about my wife, from me.
Nicole: In song "Where does The Time Go?" you say, "I realize I never learned how to fly, is there still time?" Is there anything that's on your list of things you want to learn how to do?
Shim: Endless. Endless fucking things. Eventually, I'll learn how to fly. I'm going to pick it up. I'm a believer in and this is validated by my current life experience but I believe that you need to focus your full attention on what you're doing in your life and then your life becomes almost like a work of art. I'm lucky because what I've done, to me, is just what I had to do. If I wasn't going to be in this band and make music and take it as far as I could, I'd feel regret and I'd have to live with it and then I wouldn't really be living my life, I'd have all this shit to deal with whereas right now, I don't have any regrets. …My plan is to do all the things that I want to do. People change careers, I can imagine, there'll come a time when--we're lucky too because Emma's in the band, she might want to have a baby at some point--so we'll take a break. I'm going to go and make films. I'll direct a few films and I'll act in a few films and then I'll write some music scores and I'll have a kid and I'll practice being a father until I get that down. Then the sky's the limit, really.
Nicole: I know you are an actor and you brought up wanting to make some films, so I want to ask you if you could pick three iconic actors to play, you, Emma and Mark and take the stage, who would you choose to play the three of you and act out "Connect" on stage?
Shim: Jesus Christ, I'd probably pick Ryan Gosling for me because I just want to see it happen.
Nicole: Then I am definitely going to see the movie. (laughing)
Shim: Yeah, (laughs). Then I know it will sell some tickets because I'm the producer in this film so Ryan Gosling’s playing me. What's the guy who's in that, he was in I Heart Huckabees and he was in, he kind of looks like Mark, almost.
Nicole: Jason Schwartzman?
Shim: Yeah, that guy, Jason Schwartzman.
Nicole: That's Mark.
Shim: Then who'd play Emma ... I don't know, it'd have to be an Asian chick because she's half Asian. Lucy Lou.
Nicole: Lucy Lou, oh that's a good choice.
Nicole: This is one of my signature questions. Wondering which song title, if you could choose any song title in the world, doesn't need to be one of yours, would you say best describes your personality?
Shim: That's so broad, that's so fucking hard, how do you do this to people?
Nicole: It's so much fun.
Shim: Any song in the world, any song, that's like go to the ocean and pick up one drop that's the best drop. How the fuck do you pick that shit?
Nicole: It usually is the first song that comes to mind.
Shim: Then it's "Drops of Jupiter."
Nicole: What's the last album you downloaded or purchased?
Shim: The last thing that I got, was actually a gift. I got it as a gift from a fan a few days ago. It was the vinyl EP of "Straight Lines" by Silverchair which is awesome. It was actually the first CD I'd ever bought and I knew how to play every song on that EP. I learned guitar by playing that EP, that's why he gave it to me.
Nicole: There's one last question, Shim. I know you guys are super charitable and give back but is there one charity that's close to your heart?
Shim: Athinline.org …about bullying, online bullying. That was the one that we've got most involved with and definitely have the most passion for right there.
At the end of the interview, I tell Shim I'm excited to see Sick Puppies play The Roxy in Hollywood on September 11th (with Redlight King and Kingsize). True to form he asks me to be sure and come up to introduce myself because authentic to Shim Moore's core is the desire to "Connect" with his fans of which I am one.
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