Betty Moon is a larger-than-life LA rock n roll survivor. After coming out big in Bambi at the end of the 80s, she was touted and lauded as the new big thing at the beginning of the 90s.
Then her label was eaten by another label and she suffered the fate of so many. But for Betty Moon there was never any question that she was going to continue and stick to her guns all the way down. And she has: setting up her own label and resolutely releasing albums and touring, she’s ready to take on all comers and doesn’t look like stopping any time soon.
Betty’s new single Little Miss Hollywood has a surprisingly fresh pop feel while remaining as resolutely rock and roll – with equal portions of funk and punk thrown in – as anyone could ask for. She knows how to work a verse-chorus just like it’s meant to be done and In these days of faithful following of fashions, it’s refreshing to find a musician who knows what she wants: what she wants to sound like and what she wants to say.
“Little MIss Hollywood is about “my life as “Little Miss Hollywood”, but is also reflective of the young nymphet socialite who butterflies about and tip toes her way through life hopping from flower to flower like a pretty bee.”
indieRepublik: How did you come up with the name Betty Moon?
Prior to going solo I was in an industrial rock band called Bambi, and during that transition phase I committed to finding a stage name that would reflect my essence. I don’t remember half the ideas, but Betty Moon really stuck and has a lot of meaning to me.
Elizabeth is my legal middle name and I had much admiration for my three Aunt Betty’s as well as being a fan of Betty Page who revolutionized the “pinup” girl. I’ve had the name since the launch of my solo career in 1990 and so many people have zero clue what my real name really is. It will be in the memoir I release at some point haha.
indieRepublik: How does the songwriting process work for you / in your band?
I usually start with basic ideas on acoustic guitar, piano or even with pen and paper for lyrics and a melody or recognize a cool voice memo I’ve spontaneously recorded. Then I head into the studio if I’m confident enough about the idea and start laying down bed tracks and structure an arrangement once I’ve captured a nice full production.
If I’m happy where things are going I’ll make the call and bring in my band and session friends to hang for the day and record their given parts in my home studio. I have a pretty cool setup here in the LA area, and thankfully some of the best in the business are just down the way.
There are so many well-equipped recording facilities in L.A. They have become close friends and collaborators throughout the years, so it makes the process that much more fun.
I just put on music and let loose like a crazy woman.
indieRepublik: Tell us a secret about yourself.
I spend a half hour on Zillow daily haha. Seriously though I think one of my biggest secrets is how much I love to dance freestyle. Especially by myself, no shame and I do it all the time with or without an audience. It’s an ultimate form of expression, and honestly relieves a lot of the daily stresses. I just put on music and let loose like a crazy woman.
indieRepublik: Where did you get your inspiration for “Little Miss Hollywood” from?
It’s been a story long in the making, for what seems forever. I’d been obsessed with Hollywood as a young teen who visited for a summer at fourteen years old and revisited at every opportunity that came my way. I would leave Toronto often and always knew I would eventually live here permanently.
I’ve been a fan of nightlife, concerts, festivals, art events, and pop culture throughout LA since the 90’s and considered myself a “socialite” of sorts in certain scenes in and around L.A.
“The energy and vast history has always been and still is incredibly intriguing to me”
The story of the song would be about my life as “little miss hollywood”, but is also reflective of the young nymphet socialite who butterflies about and tip toes her way through life hopping from flower to flower like a pretty bee. The energy and vast history has always been and still is incredibly intriguing to me.
indieRepublik: What music do you listen to when you’re touring?
Well, I’m not touring as much these days but when I’m on the road or taking a plane it’s really a mix of music types. From rock to hip-hop, to blues and soul, I really run the course on music genres. If I’m working out, it may be more intense rock but when I’m traveling I may want something a bit more down to earth and acoustic.
I remember back in my touring days I would blast everything from Alice In Chains, Pantera to White Zombie and Soundgarden everywhere I went. I’m a bit more mellowed out at this point, but I do believe music is the best thing for the road. Move aside podcasts, I’ve got some rock n’ roll ready to blast out the windows haha. There’s a bonus track coming out on Little Miss Hollywood that kills.
“Biggest stage fuck-up? Haha there’s been several but I think I’m prone to carry on and block them from memory”
indieRepublik: What was your biggest stage fuck-up?
Haha there’s been several but I think I’m prone to carry on and block them from memory. I tripped on a chord and felt flat on my face on stage once. haha. I think I just started laughing and when I turned around so was my entire band. I hope that I never have to repeat that wonderful performance.
indieRepublik: How do you feel about covering a song?
I absolutely love doing covers and trying to do a version of the song that is my own interpretation on each album I release. One of my favorites was Depeche Mode’s “It’s No Good” on my album Pantomania a few years back. I know some bands don’t touch those grounds, but I’m all about it and wear my influences proudly.
In ten years I’ll say… “I survived it all”. Hopefully.
I covered “Gimme Shelter” and did a pretty radical thing with the song making it more hypnotic and trance-like. I’ve even received an email on Facebook from James Jagger saying he actually liked the version I did.
indieRepublik: Do you prefer to play big festivals / stages or smaller club gigs?
Honestly nothing beats an intimate gig with your friends and closest fans. Large festivals get you that high that you’re in your glory and super popular, but they are more business deal-ridden and brutal in many ways than smaller shows. You’re also putting yourself at more risk doing festivals. But who doesn’t like a great big rock show right?
I think I probably dream in millions of colors. Muted or otherwise. Faded, vintage tones and bright day-glo fluorescent electrics.
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.