Read the full interview here
The delicate-sounding title to hard rock ballad 'Piece Of My Heart' belies an inexorable onslaught of string-shredding axe chops and decisively planted lyrics - and everyone wants a piece of that.
From the first listen you can tell this band has a lot of moxie - and its vocalist has a cool name, too. Moxy And The Influence is one of the most ambitious and accomplished young female-fronted hard rock gigs on the scene at the moment, and their new single 'Piece Of My Heart' is a perfect example of how they got to that place. A surly concoction of string-wrenching, cymbal-denting moments in mayhem of the Joan Jett/Pat Benatar imprint, this fervent anthem has a giant sound that can temporarily displace the external world to occupy the whole space of your head - or an arena with a five-figure crowd. Their recently released music video 'Alive' gives a taste of what these Renaissance rockers can accomplish with a mass of combustable fans packed close to the zone of ignition. Independent reporter Blake Wright recently caught up with the band to talk about their unique history in music and their ambitious plans for the days ahead, which include a massive tour.
BLAKE: When did you first discover your love of music?
MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE: We all discovered our passions at different times. Sydney heard a Led Zeppelin song on the radio and was hooked on playing guitar from her early teens. Moxy sang from the age of five, heard a rock band by accident for the first time and couldn’t stop listening or walk away from it. Shea (actually still in her early teens) has been playing guitar and bass forever, and listened to music all her life. Ignacio, after failing to learn piano from his father at a young age, tried instrument after instrument and was determined to find his perfect fit - finally discovering drums.
BLAKE: Your song ‘Piece Of My Heart’ is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE: It was pretty incredible. To hear any of our songs on any radio station just puts huge smiles on our faces and somehow gives us a sense of fulfillment.
BLAKE: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE: When I wrote this song, it was actually a personal message about something I needed closure on. I needed to say goodbye and let it go. I wrote the lyrics for this song in five minutes, frantically scribbling everything that was in my head onto my notebook and pacing in circles around my room blasting the instrumentals. That song was able to finally end something I had been mentally stuck on for two years, and it makes me so happy to hear the pure emotion of my words on the radio.
BLAKE: Would you say that the mood of your other songs is in the same vein as ‘Piece Of My Heart’?
MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE: There’s definitely the same character behind the words and the same passion in them, but the feeling of this song is more passive than the rest of our material. It puts a serious vulnerability on display - something very personal and intense. It’s still on the same wavelength as the other tracks, but originality is a priority.
BLAKE: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving…)
MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE: Passionate, never ready to give up and never willing to do anything but succeed. We’re all best friends and we have way too much fun together, but we focus too and can always finish what we set out to do. More than anything else, we’re caring and want to give our all and our best to our fans and friends, even when it means emptying ourselves out until we have nothing left. Somehow, there’s always more strength where it came from in the first place.
BLAKE: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE Moxy and Ignacio have the most musical connections in their families; Moxy’s uncle is the singer of popular Christian reggae band 'Christafari', and her father sings on the back of a romantic Venetian gondola in Newport Beach. Ignacio’s father was a piano teacher and taught Iggi almost everything he knows, and he has more family in Chile with musical talents.
BLAKE: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE: Seeing the faces of people enjoying our music is by far one of the best parts of being an artist. Live performance gives us a rush and fuels us. The most difficult part of being artists in this industry is - quite simply - the industry, because it’s all about who you know, and sometimes there are people you can’t trust. We have to be discerning.
BLAKE: Who are your role models in music?
MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE: We've been influenced by the best in modern history - Led Zeppelin, Joan Jett, Aerosmith, Journey, Nirvana, Heart, Prince, etc. If it’s got a beat, solid hook, complicated theory and technique, we can pull inspiration from it and grow ourselves. Music from the seventies, eighties and nineties is what we mostly listen to.
BLAKE: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE: When we played the House Of Blues Anaheim last year we brought in an amazing crowd and had so much fun up on the big stage! Running around in the fog and seeing the people singing and partying with us... it was so fun to have that room to move and dance and headbang and scream. The sound system was amazing and the lights made the night for us.
BLAKE: Do you have a music video for your hit single? If so, what can you tell us about it?
MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE: We don’t actually! But we would love to produce one eventually. We have music videos for our songs ‘Alive’ and ‘ME4ME.’
BLAKE: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE: Never give up - on the music industry, or on yourselves! Keep pushing to get better and better and never stop till you reach the top.
BLAKE: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
MOXY AND THE INFLUENCE: We will be touring this June, starting June fifth and continuing for two and a half weeks. We’re super stoked for this tour and can’t wait to get on the road. We are hitting nine states and two countries with seventeen shows in as many days. We will be releasing a new single as well - very, very soon! Make sure you stay updated on our website, Facebook page, and all the rest of our social media outlets to see it as soon as it hits!
BLAKE: Thank you all so very much for taking the time to talk with us. We expect to see you in more headlines this year and wish you the very best!