There is such a thing as being too far ahead of the curve. Or just too outspoken, creative or damn convincing. Betty Moon is a former teen model, singer and dancer. She sold over 10,000 DIY records during her high school years and A&M/Universal signed her to a record deal, launching her professional career. Still and all, traction for her particular brand of music was hard to come by in Canada and in 2010 she relocated to El Lay. There she found a toehold which to date has grown to an impressive global footprint.
In 2013, Moon broke through as a featured artist at the Sunset Strip Music Festival. Moon has performed at venues including The Roxy, Whisky a Go Go, and The Viper Room in Hollywood, California. As you can imagine, much has been written about the rising Moon, with the final product, of necessity, allinterlarded with the viewpoints of the writer and oftimes, an editor.
A good way to get out of the way of the story is to have Betty tell it in her own words, via a Q&A.
So here we go.
How do you stay so prolific?
“The mind is similar to your memory card on your computer I suppose. What you save or purge is really up to you. I've tried to learn great lessons from various mistakes but I choose not to harbour any negativity. There's are reasons we do what we do. Good ones mostly. And human nature is full of goodness I believe. Or I'd like to believe. That being said, my main goal has always been to enjoy my life, my friends, good literature, music, art and the human spirit and try my best to be the best creative and contribute as best as I can to this life and this world that we all live in. My mantra has always been "Dounto others as you wish they will do unto you". I aim to read a book a week and write a song a day to keep my tools sharpened. But I still have so much to learn and I realize this as well.”
Why did you decide on Save My Soul as the leadoff single?
“I think the sentiment of this song resonates with the climate of America, Canada and the world today. Just for right now and maybe from here on lol. "Save My Soul"is a deeply personal song and I sing it from my heart and my gut. We all must live with much pain. We endure much suffering, and sometimes we just need saving. From ourselves, from each other and from something much greater.On both personal levels and universal issues such as climate change and gun control, we could use a little help.”
Is Salvation a central theme of the album? What is in need of salvation?
“There are many topics on this album and yes salvation is one of them. As I listen to it as a body of work, there is a continuous sense of what we can get better at and to protect ourselves from being harmed. We seem to have to wear a lot of armour in this world of brutality and bullying. We also have to be careful about who we engage with and who we allow at the wheel to steer the ship. Youcarry responsibility with your choices, and have to live and die by the sword.
“Having such high expectations of humans that continuously make mistakes is not going to do anything other than disappoint? So we should be somewhat forgiving if we can find it in our heart to have understanding. We are quick to throw stones even when we don't have enough evidence to support why, and that is sad. I'm also tired of people pretending to be perfect. You're not. I'm not, so get over it.
“At the same time I wanted a strong sense of continuity on this album, and an edginess to it, without the music becoming repetitive as a result. And that is not an easy task because it’s somewhat of a contradiction in terms. The industry wants you and your music in a box so they know what to do with it. I've never been keen about doing that. But I do understand the industry and how it functions and why some artists and their music are more popular. I want to be proud of the music I write and record and work really hard at making sure I'm happy with it first. I also feel compelled just to let the sonic soundscapes come together organically.”
How about the genesis of its video?
“I knew the concept would be comparing two individuals (played by me) who are at completely two different spectrums of life. The irony and message with the video and lyrics is that no matter where people are at in life, they have their struggles and that many of us need saving for different reasons. It’s really driving home that we’re all human, we are all going to die, and at the end of the day have the same wants, needs and desires. Finding peace within ourselves is the hardest part, and I think we can all relate. Peace is the ultimate nirvana, within yourself and for each other and the world. When are we going to find it? Once the planet suffers a massive impact and implodes?”
Found the choice of characters interesting. Are you seeing more homeless younger people in L.A?
“There are definitely many homeless in Los Angeles and yes, many are very young and helpless. But everywhere you go you can see that people are struggling; some have given up, and sometimes it just breaks my heart to look into their eyes and realize how hard their lives are.
“I'm an empath so I feelit. And I'm in tears a lot of the times as I experience their pain. Some people are lucky and have goodfamilies and friends and minor troubles. Others have been given a bad hand at life and are lost in so many ways. That just sucks doesn't it? I have my own troubles and have worked so hard at being recognized and active in the music industry but I do my part and try to help and contribute as often as I possibly can. I just don't post or try to generate press when I do.”
What’s the takeaway from the video?
“You can be at the top of your game one minute and lose everything the next. You can be Miss Popularity and the "It Girl" one year and forgotten the following year. We are all lost souls. We live and we have to die. Money is not the answer. Enjoy your life, be kind to one another, give to each other andthe universe will give back. That's what I have found works for me. I just wanted to show a parallel between a woman who supposedly has everything, but still needs to be saved. Then there is one that is more open and honest about reaching out to be saved. If you don't ask you don't get. That's the basic takeaway. And then there's the black angel who cops a breast feel by mistake and starts laughing. The point? Angels can be led into temptation like anyone else. Lol”
Talk about the inspiration for Hellucination?
“Hellucination is a continuation of my story and my life's movie. Some people pass judgement and think I've been living the dream. Smoke and mirrors. Others are jealous I'm living the dream. Envy is not a very good trait in the human condition. I try to enjoy every day and the extremely competitive are just unfortunate fools. There is room for many to enjoy the fruits of success if you're prepared to work your ass off and be committed to it. But don't impose your beliefs, your moral code, your rules aside from the law of the land, on me and my person. It’s my life, my body, my choices. I feel like the "my God is better than your God" position is rampant and that’s just not acceptable. If there is a hell it may be the one that’s here on this earth right now.”
Is this your most political album yet?
“Yeah, I think so.”Get Your Gun" takes a political position on gun control. Some people don't want to part with their guns. But as the songs clearly says "When you hold it, turn it around on your whole life". So be prepared to die yourself. The gun laws need desperately to change here in America. Protect your children, not your stupid guns!
"Crazy" also speaks to all the people that have been accused of things for no good reason. Again people are so quick to attack each other and therefore I wanted to write a song that is fun and entertaining to listen to but addresses the concern that I have. Everyone saying everyone else is crazy when in fact each of us can have a certain amount of crazy just by being human.”
What drove you to it?
“I'm passionate about lots of things. I'm passionate about music mostly and the art of creating and recording it. But I just love art, period. And there's lots of it everywhere to see and hear, appreciate, and just enjoy. Fun is also a thread through the album to balance out the serious messages that are deep and thought-provoking. We can't all take ourselves so seriously and sometimes it’s important to just say "fuck it.” I'm here for a short time so let’s make it a good time.
Did you have Hellucination in mind as a follow up to Life Is But A Dream? Or is its darker tones more intended to contrast with the bright and shiny Chrome?
“That's a tough one. There's a misunderstanding that I've switched over to making pop music rather than just writing effective, mostly alternative rock songs. Just because there's no guitar in a song it doesn't mean it can't rock. Guitar has gone out of the limelight for say the past 7-8 years now but it will make a comeback and I've always been appreciate of great guitar work in music. And there is always going to be darker shades in the music I create. Why? Because I'm Betty Moon!”
Who are the players on the album?
“The players are myself, Jason Ganberg, Owen Barry, and Justin Smolian, who I've worked with for almost ten years now here in Los Angeles.”
What are the takeaways from the album?
“The takeaways? Dance around your living room, sing along in your car. Learn the songs, the lyrics and rock out mofos. It's free! Or pretty damn close to it.”
2018 was a big year for Betty Moon. What were some of your biggest accomplishments?
“When you google Top 10 Women in Rock. There I am... Ms Betty Moon! I've been listed, recognized as being at the top of my game. That's an unbelievable accomplishment for me. I am so grateful. I thank God. And I am truly thankful to have achieved this kind of status in the music industry.”
You’re now living In Malibu. What prompted the change of residence?
“I've realized that I need to live by water, or at least it's a preference for my life. Being Pisces and all. And that’s the closest body of water to Los Angeles. The look of the ocean, wave and the sparkle it creates is pure visual bliss to me. It's also a quaint, quiet and unpretentious community. I've been going to Malibu since I was a teenager and fell in love with its terrain more and more in recent years.”
Given the state of America, why do you think there are so few protest songs being written?
“I think a good number of songwriters tend to view music as an escape from the world as we know it. Although I can't speak for others, myself I prefer avoiding politics in my music and my own song writing. It's a little boring and too serious a topic. But right now I feel empowered and passionate about so many issues and misunderstandings. "Get Your Gun" can be heard as a protestsong I suppose. It's definitely within the vortex of important political topics right now. And "Crazy" (What You Make Me) could also become anthemic for a large number of people. It’s a fun little ditty that makes a humongous statement.”
Any tour plans for 2019?
“Some but it’s not really a priority. But that could change. There will be more videos though and I can't wait to express the visual thoughts I have to present these songs with moving pictures.”
Why do you tour so rarely?
“I'm a recording artist ... mostly. I love performing but I have never really pursued the undertaking of a world tour. Though I wouldn't be opposed to visiting throughout the entire USA on a vacay in an RV. That's always been on my bucket list. Right now, and just like the moon, I reflect from the observation tower above and beyond. I quite like my bubble but invite me out and I may accept the invite to explore new horizons.”
Some folks feel the world needs more Betty Moon.
“Do you? Ahhhhh. That's sweet. Thank you. I'd like to think that would be a wise choice. I do shoot for the stars. And for now all the stars are closer. Ha-ha. I am just delighted for the recognition and the love I am getting for all these years of hard work. Sure. Thank you kindly for saying that.
Hellucination is out and available at all online retail stores throughout the world now. Stream it on Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes or Amazon Music or wherever you get your music.