– Jonathan Cholewa
Right now things seem pretty hectic for Shamon Moore. Several times during our interview he stops mid sentence to answer a question from someone in the background. I hear what sounds like car doors shutting and closing, along with several people carrying on conversations. But then again, the chaos is understandable considering Moore, who is the vocalist/guitarist for upstarts Sick Puppies and his band mates are preparing to go out on the road as support for red hot Flyleaf.
Suddenly, without warning, and again mid sentence, Moore lets out a rather horrified sounding “Oh fuck!” The reason for his brief decent into hell? He has forgotten to pack his pillow.
Having conquered their native Australia, Moore and bassist Emma Anzai decided to move to America and “give it a crack,” with original drummer Chris Mileski staying behind. Once the pair arrived in America, Mark Goodwin took over drum duties. With a shared love of bands like Rage Against The Machine and Green Day, the band began plotting its next move in America.
Alternative tastemakers KROQ were the first to pick up on the Sick Puppies and began spinning the track “All The Same.” This, coupled with millions of plays on its Myspace page as well as millions of views of its now infamous “Free Hugs Video” (which featured “All The Same”) on Youtube helped to grab the attention of Virgin Records, who smartly signed the band to a deal.
In terms of the bands songwriting process, Moore explains that’s it’s an entirely collaborative effort. “It’s a band thing, yeah,” he says. “It’s pretty much; the songs sort of are born however, whatever’s best for the song. Sometimes I will write the majority of the song myself, sometimes it will start with a beat that Mark and Em create and we will build it together. We collaborated with a lot of people and we wrote a lot of songs with our producers for this album because we wanted to learn the most we could about the song writing process and make sure the record counted on every song; every moment and every note was really perfect so nothing sort of fell behind the wayside and nothing was not given as much attention or anything like that, so it really all depends on the song. One of the things we decided on when we came into this was that it was going to be about the songs and not about an ego or vibe or movement or anything like that; it was going to be about whatever song was best and what ever was best for that particular song.”
Apparently Moore, Anzai and Goodwin listened to their producers and fellow songwriters as nearly every track on Dressed Up As Life gleams with confidence and charisma. Tracks like “All The Same” and the cathartic “Asshole Father” display a wide range of dynamics, never sticking to any one formula. “We have always been a fairly diverse band,” Moore says, “but we wanted to make a really cohesive record that displayed a lot of the sides of the band that we like playing. And so I think this record has captured that.”
Prior to the Flyleaf tour Sick Puppies had already begun to win fans over with its larger than life, adrenaline fueled performances. Moore breaks down the Sick Puppies live experience. “Loud as fuck,” is how he describes it. “Turn it up to 11, see how loud we can make it and just go hard. We are pretty focused on the dynamic range of the band and really using the songs to accentuate the heaviness. We take a page out of the book from Rage Against The Machine and Green Day and really try and make the live sets really count. Be tight and in tune and get it all happening. We do everything we can.”