You can learn an awful lot about some people just by discussing a subject in a location that sets the right tone. In an almost literal case of be still my turbulent heart the wonderful Suzi Moon and our own Gary Trueman took some time out from Rebellion and headed off to the tranquillity of the Blackpool beach. It turns out punk wasn’t an obvious first choice for Suzi but when it’s in your blood it’s hard to ignore.
When was the first time that you saw the alternative style and saw people around you and thought that’s how I want to look?
“It didn’t come as easily for me as one might expect. When I was 10 or 11 years old I was on the cheerleading team at school. I come from a really rock and roll family. My mom is totally rock and roll, she used to tour with bands and met Tom Petty when she was 16. My big sister is also very rock and roll, and my step dad was a musician so we had a drum kit in the house. My form of rebellion when I was younger was trying to not be like my family and not wear all black. We were like the Addams family and I was like wanting to be normal and be on the cheerleading team. I loved the Spice Girls and I still stand by that, they had amazing songs. My sister was the one really though, she was like you’re going to come to this punk house party in a basement in Wilmington, in a bad neighbourhood. It was full of people, and young too, and she would push me into the mosh pits. I did not have an option. I always liked the energy, that was the thing that got me first and I loved dancing around like a crazy person. I also did acting classes when I was a kid and all the girls were blond and beautiful and I felt I just wasn’t like them at all. So I started getting in to punk rock, I started listening to The Cramps. I wasn’t really a Hole fan but the Courtney Love album America’s Sweetheart came out when I was about 15 and that is an album that had a huge influence on me. People might think I’m more in line with other types of female music but really the stuff that got me came a lot later. You probably expect me to say I play music because of Joan Jett, and yeah, I love Joan Jett, but that is not why I play music. I play music because of Duane Peters because Duane Peters is who I want to look like when I’m on stage. It’s always the harshest ones, I think I identify with them on an emotional level. There’s a reason we do what we do on stage, we’re not settled, turbulent if you may. There’s something turbulent within us and that’s the only place where your thoughts make sense. So I went to all these shows and my sister handed me a guitar and said you’re going to be in Civet now. She said I didn’t have to go to school and was totally in.”
Moving more to now. Are there any artists out there whose look and how they portray themselves you like and admire, even if they’re not particularly your thing?
“I’m a huge Cardi B fan, I love the Invasion Of Privacy album, I love everything she’s about. She is so punk rock, she is the most punk rock pop person out there right now. She doesn’t give a fuck. She’s the first person to say I don’t give a fuck if you like me or not, I don’t give a fuck if you like my music or not, I’m just doing what I want to do. That’s what resonates with people I think, is the honesty. I think people are refreshed by an honest person. I think she’s a badass.”
So let’s get a bit more into your particular image starting with make up. What products do you use and where do you get them from?
“My make up routine is like a five minute on and done kinda thing. I figured out pretty early on that a simple little cat eye was my signature thing and it always works for me. If I put on too much make up I feel that I don’t look like myself so I tend to not wear a lot. I like to use organic vegan cruelty free products. There’s a brand called Pacifica that I love. I just put on a little foundation, a little blush. I buy the cheapest stuff if it’s on sale and it’s my colour, that’s what I’m buying. I’m a frugal lady, I don’t spend a lot of money on make up. The stuff I do spend money on is my night time facial routine, that’s where I get really serious. I will shell out good cash for face masks and stuff. There’s a brand called Drunk Elephant that’s like a little facial peel. It’s like 89 bucks but it’s the most amazing mask I’ve ever used in my entire life. I’ll tone my face with apple cider vinegar and wash it with Berts Bees all natural face wash. I also use coconut oil on my skin and that’s pretty much it. I can’t do false eye lashes any more or any of that crazy stuff. I did a lot of that when I was in Civet.”
Hair wise you tend to go for colour highlights rather than full on bling and stick to the same style generally. Is that from a practical point of view that you’ve found what you like and have stuck with it? And what products do you use?
“Again I hardly use anything in my hair. I tend to purchase shampoo and conditioner that’s on sale and the stuff I live for is any kind of dry shampoo. If I can go five days without washing my hair that’s a good week. It just looks better the dirtier it gets and the more dry shampoo I put in. I’ll do hairspray too. As far as dying goes I’ve done every single colour imaginable and I started when I was 12. Right now I’ve got this dark blue green going and that’s because I decided to stop bleaching my hair. I’m happy with myself and I don’t need to be bleaching my hair any more. It got to the point where it was like wow! that’s expensive, it takes eight hours every session, I value my time and I just want my hair to be natural. I’m letting my natural hair grow out so it’s dark brown and what I have left at the ends I just use Manic Panic on because it’s a vegetable dye, it’s vegan. I just put that on for four hours and whatever happens happens. So once again low maintenance is my jam.”
Where do you source your clothes from?
“I would say that 98% of my closet is all from charity shops. In LA we have a lot of different thrift stores and there’s so much turnover it’s really easy to find cool stuff. I try to pack way less when I’m on tour because it just makes my life easier. At Home I think my coolest outfits are my day off Suzi wears whatever the fuck she wants outfits. I have my signature punk rock bag lady, gypsy look going on. Back home I wear a lot of colourful flowy pants. I actually wear a lot of colour. I don’t on stage and I don’t on tour because it doesn’t fit my mood. Black makes me feel my punkest authentic raw self, and that’s what I’m trying to be on stage is my most raw self. If I try too much to put together an outfit then I feel I’m not me any more. As far as brands, when I go thrifting I do get excited when I find something like Top Shop because I know it’s a higher quality. I really love Zara, their stuff fits me really well and I like their styles because I like classic stuff. At home I’ll wear trousers and little belts and little pointy high heels but you can’t travel with that shit if you’re going to Europe for three weeks.”
So boots and shoes, are you a two or three pair person or do you have loads of boots and shoes at home?
“I don’t have loads of anything. The last few years have been about me trying to minimise my entire life and get rid of all the shit I don’t really need. I’m constantly throwing clothes and shoes out or giving them away to people. I want to have a little stuff as possible in my life so I can be free to tour more. What I do have a lot of are vinyl, but that I think is acceptable. I’ll find a way to store my vinyl I don’t give a fuck, but everything else is just stuff.”
You have a cool look, but if they ever made a film of Turbulent Hearts who would you want to play you in that film?
“Oh, that’s the coolest question ever. Y’know, in my dream there’s this actress/comedienne Rachel Bloom, she has a show called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and she is my hero of life. I find a lot of similarities of myself and that character and I’m so grateful to her for putting that type of character on TV. It’s a different type of woman that isn’t represented a lot. She’s also hilarious and even though we don’t look exactly alike I feel she could nail the emotions and feelings. It’d be fun to go to a casting and see who they bring, just so long as my love interest ends up being Emile Hirsch then I’m cool with that. But then we’d have to cut out the actress and I’d have to be there, haha.”
As a minimalist person, if you were stranded on a desert island with everything you needed to survive. What three vanity items would you want to have with you?
“Definitely my dry shampoo but it would have to be a life times supply because one can would do nothing but infuriate me. I’d go with apple cider vinegar because I don’t know how to make that myself. I’m also a sucker for some really good deodorant. I don’t want to be smelly when they come to save me from the island. When Emile Hirsch comes to save me from the island, in my movie.”
Snaps and chats by Gary Trueman