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Sizzy Rocket

Infusing rock and pop (and a tiny twang of folk at the finish line), Sizzy Rocket’s latest, 15-track project will blow your mind.

Live Laugh Love documents all the most glorious and tender moments of life through the lens of Sizzy Rocket. With the project roughly broken down to four different sections, Sizzy tends to both pop fans and punk heads. From the thrashing title track “Live Laugh Love,” to the swaggy, grungey guitar banger that is “Bubblegum,” even the tender closing number “With My Idols,” not a moment did Sizzy Rocket settle for the ordinary and the old. Using an interestingly curated, demo-esque but highly fine tuned production style, Live Laugh Love provides full-body experience of all the highs and lows of life.

A seasoned songwriter, Sizzy Rocket is the highly anticipated, pop influenced rockstar who’s charging through a moment of her own. Staying true to her musical influence and her humble beginnings, Live Laugh Love contains endless subtle and not so subtle reference in the most surprising ways possible. Through the creative process of this album, she has run through strip malls in Nevada and self-directed frenzy and mayhem in the NYC subway with her video camera. Live Laugh Love is the unhinged and daring diary most would have kept to themselves, but Sizzy Rocket was kind enough to share the sincerity behind the thrill with us all.

Prior to the release of Live Laugh Love, we caught up with Sizzy Rocket on the making of the album, as well as all the fun that came with it.

 

I’m just gonna start off by asking you to introduce yourself a little bit. How are you doing? And what’s the weather like where you’re at?

Hi, I’m Sizzy Rocket. I’m doing great. Right in this moment. I woke up in a good mood. And it was really foggy and cloudy in Los Angeles this morning, which is my favorite weather. So I’m good. 

 

Congrats on finishing the new album. I have my guesses but I wanted to confirm with you. It feels like it has four different sections, but is there an overall story arc? Is it four sections? Why is it ordered that way?

Thank you so much. This album was a beast to finish. It’s been two and a half years. But yeah, she is done. It is split into sections–I love that you noticed that. I actually had it sequenced a different way and one of my fans, who I actually worked with a lot, we met because he had discovered my music in 2016. He’s a really dope artist living in Germany. He helped me design the album cover actually, and we’re working on a couple other designs together. I sent him the link to the album and he was like, Do you mind if I rearrange the tracklist for a second? And I was like, go ahead, feel free. He sent me back the tracklist that now exists and he had a drawing to go with it that explains the sections. It starts with “Rockshow in the basement” and then you’re in the rock show right away–that’s the punk section. Then it goes to a dance-party-in-full-swing section. And then there’s the soft pop section. It sort of ends on a lighter, dare I say, folkier section. There’s not really a narrative but you know, the album’s called Live Laugh Love, it’s about staying hopeful the journey of life.

 

I did read in the press release, about how this album is about reclaiming your love for your own life. Does that play into why the album ends up sounding a little bit more punk but also has this folky closure to it?

I don’t like to limit myself in the studio. When I allow myself to explore new sounds–because punk is my home base, that’s my core, that’s like who I am, it’s what I do–but there are really soft moments on this album as well. And I think what makes me feel in love with music and in love with my work is that freedom to have a punk song, and a dance club banger, and a folk song all on the same project.

 

 

It plays together very well. It’s very cohesive for something that is quite long in today’s climate.

I think it’s really long. But I can’t imagine it being anything other than what it is. I do understand that even putting out an album in 2022 is a little subversive, but I know I needed that length to say what I needed to say and go where I needed to go.

 

Right. And I just got a press statement regarding “Bubblegum” this morning, regarding this numbness, this TikTok era that started in the pandemic when the song was written. Can you tell me a little bit about how all of these ideas played together? 

We spent the past two years making this album, the world has completely changed in that time. When I’m working, I have my head down; and then I felt like I lifted it back up, I was like, Whoa, okay. I’m gonna have to promote this on TikTok. There’s really no getting around that especially in music, the landscape is just so different. I’ve been on there studying what’s happening. And it just seems like everyone’s doing the same thing. It’s kind of a free-for-all space, where the tone is really self-deprecating. There’s a lot of trauma and drama. I don’t know, I’m just sick of it. The whole reason why I make work and why I wanted to be an artist as a kid was to have this freedom and to explore originality, like what do I want to say that’s different from everybody else. That’s what makes art special. So yeah, when I wrote bubblegum, I was already sort of fed up with the way this was going. It’s actually posed an interesting challenge for me with this album, like how do I become part of this cultural conversation without succumbing to the trends.

 

One thing that really makes you stand out, personally, I think it’s the self expression part. It’s very obvious that self expression is something that you care a lot, and obviously do a very great job of presenting that. I definitely want to talk about your newfound passion for self directing and editing your music videos. Would that be a way to maintain that level of self expression and what you want to say in this very chaotic post-TikTok era?

That was definitely a way for me to take my power over the situation. If I’m gonna have to be filming stuff, I might as well do it my way. I also just felt this need to explore other ways of being creative. Music is a medium that I’m just so comfortable in. I’ve been doing it my whole life, it feels like home, and it’s absolutely my favorite way to express myself. But I just started thinking, the visual part of this is so important now, video is the medium of the moment, so I just wanted to really see how far I could take that. I’ve been shooting and editing all the music videos for this album, and it’s been fun. I mean, there’s been a learning curve, because obviously I’ve had to learn the cameras and the editing programs and all of that, but it’s been super fun. It sort of reawakened this new creative spark and I feel like I see the world in a completely new way now that I’m behind the lens and not just in front of it.

 

I want to talk about the “Live Laugh Love” music video, because it’s just so specific that it was filmed at a strip mall. Does it have something to do with you performing as a kid at strip malls?

I discovered music and ultimately decided I wanted to be a performing musician. I was seven year old growing up in Las Vegas. I loved Britney and Christina and the pop stars of the 90s, obviously. I wanted to perform so my parents found this local kids performance troupe that would rehearse all day on Saturdays, and then on Sundays we would go to the outlet malls and put on the show. That was my start in music. This album is about rediscovering that pure love for life. And for me, my life is my work, [my life] is my art. I wanted to find the dead mall to do the video and we found the Laughlin Outlet Center within driving distance of LA. Nevada is my home state so it was perfect. We drove out there and shot the whole thing in a day.

 

I want to transition to the last track of the album–name dropping always works–you mentioned Jack White and “Seven Nation Army,” but what particularly is that song about, and what do you mean by “I’m going to heaven with my idols?”

I’m so happy to be talking about this song. I just felt like that’s the one that would get overlooked, because it’s the last one and it’s the most stripped; but I love the song so much. I actually wrote it in the bathtub. I was taking a bubble bath, I just started singing that and recorded a voice note of it, then called my producer the next day. It’s sort of just about not selling out. “I’m going to heaven with my idols” means that yeah, the music industry has put me through the wringer. I’ve been through a lot in the past 10 years in my career, but it doesn’t mean that I have to sacrifice any originality or authenticity to be successful. I can stay pure, and I can maintain my love for art’s sake. That’s what my idols meant to me. Jack White is one of my ultimate idols, so growing up and watching him just do things his way he’s like the king of like, you know, original promo ideas and I don’t know if you remember when he like released like balloons filled with like seven inch records into the sky. Like just things like that. That really like got my my brain going as a kid. I always just want to stay true. I think ultimately that song is about staying true.

 

That makes so much sense, because I feel like something that makes you, once again, special, is that you start little moments that people haven’t previously done before. I want to bring up the “Smells Like Sex” music video, because it obviously inspires other artists to make their own version of that. So as a musician, yourself, do you ever aspire to inspire your peers? And do you yourself frequently feel inspired by your peers?

I only hope to inspire my peers. That’s the best. The reason why I make music is for that feeling of inspiration. I’m constantly inspired by my peers, that’s how I know I’m hanging out with the right people and the right circles. There is a difference between being inspired by someone’s idea and just taking someone’s idea. I know that other artists have made sex tape music videos, and I’m like, Well, that’s a little… That’s called stealing. There’s a difference. But ultimately, I hope to inspire with my work. I actually have a saying with my team and post it above my desk that says “Wow, Shock, Inspire.” So I want the feeling that anyone gets from my work to be “Wow,” “Shock” and “Inspire,” sort of in that order. 

 

I love going down the comment section under YouTube videos, because sometimes I just can’t put thoughts together and people do it for me. For “Wendy’s Parking Lot,” there was this one comment that just says, “I kept waiting for something to happen. I kept waiting for a moment. But then I realize this is the moment.” I personally think that was the point too. Was that the point?

Yeah, that was the point. Speaking of stealing, I totally stole that concept from Andy Warhol, who is one of my other ultimate idols. I wanted to pay homage to him, and highlight the fact that every moment is the moment of your life, even if you’re just sitting there eating a cheeseburger. It’s still the moment.

 

Do you set out to look for the moment at all? Or do those moments just come to you?

Yeah, I definitely am a striver. I’m always searching, seeking something. But I’ve also been trying to enjoy every moment, especially on the cusp of releasing an album. I’ll never get this time back of releasing Live Laugh Love. Once it’s out, it’s out. It’s just such a specific time, looking back, every little detail about this time becomes special, even if I’m not aware of it right now. So yeah, I’ve definitely been trying to be more present. 

 

Do you consider yourself a pop star or a rock star?

I love that. I’m definitely a rock star though. Pop stars, you know, play by the rules and rock stars don’t. So definitely a rule breaker, if you will.

 

Are you content with where you are and who you are as an artist right now?

I mean, that’s a tricky question, and this is something I’m working on in my personal life. It’s like after making an album, this 15-track, all out journey and crazy body of work, how could I not be content? But like I said, I am one of those that just is constantly pushing myself and striving for more, and how can I level up and become better. I would say not content, but I try to be grateful.

 

Interview Gomi Zhou

Photography Worst November

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