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Mad Moon Riot Interview

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 Perry

Naming a band can be difficult.  It needs to reflect the sound, look, and overall vibe of everything the group represents.  Mad Moon Riot does just that.  Like a sucker-punch to the head, the name comes at you with surprising force, leaving you wondering, "who are these guys?".  Their music matches with a jolting effect.  Based in LA, their intense eclectic instrumentals and bewitching vocals make all the good girls want to go bad!  Lead by the ultimate bad girl, Mia Von Glitz, this fierce quad is delivering a whole new kind of rock-and-roll.  

Halfstack: What was the inspiration behind the name Mad Moon Riot?

Ru Hazell (drums): We couldn't agree on a name, other than we didn't want a "The" band name. I think we each had a word we liked so we threw them all together and came up with Mad Moon Riot. 

HS: What bands or individual artists are your biggest inspirations?

Pou Piam (axe man) : So many to name, but I'll keep it short.  Queen and Brian May got me started, Guns N Roses/Velvet Revolver and Slash got me hooked, and The Roots and Questlove keep me going.  

HS: What band would you love to share the stage with?

Matthew Hitchens (bass): My favorite band of all time is Metallica, so obviously sharing a stage with them would be the ultimate gig share for me.  However, on the more realistic side of things, one of my favorite bands at the moment is an English band called Canterbury.  I first saw them about 5 years ago and have followed their careers grow since then, and I really admire the way they have done things in terms of growing a fan base and including them in everything they do.  And they really write some incredible rock music, so I think a bill with us and them would be a great match! 

HS: Mia, what’s it like being the only woman in the group?

Mia Von Glitz: (lead vocals) Um, It rocks serious ass.  Basically I have three built-in bodyguards/brothers/spar-partners/inspirations/assholes to keep me sane on any given day.  I was used to being in a band with all dudes, since my old band in NYC Shoot the Freak was 3 boys and myself as well. It's always a dynamic I enjoy working in. That's not to discount the incredible dynamic an all-girl group can have, because I rather enjoy both. I am lucky enough to be a part of both.  But I am kind of a dude myself, so it just kind of works.  These guys make me help build the drum kit and carry heavy shit, while simultaneously making me feel like a princess so, kind of a Cinderella story I suppose. 

HS: Who is the most spontaneous band member?

MG: I would say I am probably the most likely to plan a trip and zip off out of the country at any given moment. But Pou is like, the RANDOMEST person. Depending on how much Rockstar he has consumed that day, he can be a pretty spontaneous guy.  

HS: What is your favorite song from your album, Make Me?

RH: Feels Like The Way.  It's got a no-nonsense, power chord pinky guitar riff fused with high soaring, melodic vocals. Also we managed to get some reggae, ska and fast punk in there. Plus it has a little drum solo so obviously I dig that! 

HS: What is the best part about playing live?

PP: Hands down, my favorite part about live music is what, as of five seconds ago, I affectionately call the "Oh Shit" face: it's the uncontrollable and instinctual combination of raised eyebrows and a wide-eyed gaze that an unsuspecting audience member or listener makes when they hear something that smacks them in the face and piques their interest.  (You can practice on your own in your bathroom mirror by pretending to be RobertDeNiro smelling something funky.)

 As a performer, there's no greater feeling or reward than eliciting "The Face" from an audience member.  As a fan of music, there's been a handful of moments where I'm watching a show and with the amps blasting and the flashing stage lights blinding, a singer hits a high note or a guitar player bends a string and my jaw drops and all that comes to mind is, "Oh Shit."

HSWhat is your favorite venue to perform at?

MH: Even though we are a relatively new band, we've been really lucky to play a couple of venues that are legendary in Los Angeles music history: the Viper Room and The Troubadour.  These are two places that I only read about in biographies and music magazines whilst growing up, so to be able to have the opportunity to play on those stages was a real privilege.  They are also two places that obviously take live music very seriously so you know you can trust the quality of sound that comes out the front of house.  To be able to trust the sound guy is always a huge deal as if they don't care, it doesn't matter how good a band you are, you will sound like crap.  We also had a amazing crowd at both these venues and that is the most important thing for a good show! 

HS: Running On Empty came to life through a music video.  What was it like making the video? 

PP: The video was a blast. Working with my longtime friend Rocco Guarino sitting in the director's chair was a new experience for me, and watching the narrative unfold as the first day of shooting went on was so fun.  Our crew and all of the other characters in the video kicked ass too.  Our friends Andy Mientus and Carly Foulkes were absolute pros and were troopers letting us "drown" them in what was probably a really, really cold pool. 

The second day that we shot the performance parts was a little more time consuming but the shots turned out great. There's a chunk of the performance where the four of us are standing in a line, lit from above while a fog machine surrounds us in a haze - my favorite shots from the entire video. But the fog, the fog smelled and tasted like the Grim Reaper's gym socks. Death. Death and talcum powder. 

Highlights were Ru's blond wig, yoga in the park, and the green beans Rocco's dad made the night we shot the dinner scene. 

HS: What is next for Mad Moon Riot?

RH:  We're currently in the studio recording our debut album with Bob Marlette producing, so keep your eyes peeled for new music, new videos and plenty of live shows this year.

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