WCW: How and when did you become a band?
Lexi: I originally started Suzie True in 2016 as a solo project to experiment with a more pop sound than the band I was already in, but the more I started writing and sharing it with friends I realized I wanted it to be a full band. I met Sarah through a mutual friend and we had my ex play guitar. We met G when we played a show with her amazing band Punk Crush and when she was interested in playing guitar with us, me and Sarah were SO STOKED. I feel like when G joined in 2018 is when we really became Suzie True.
G: We became a band the moment Lexi emailed me an essay with her EP, LP1, and a wonderful intro. Nothing has changed since <3
WCW: What are your musical influences and inspirations? Both on the latest single and your “Nothing to You” EP, there seems to be a blend of indie-surf musicianship with Ramones and Buzzcocks pop-punk sensibility.
Lexi: I think I’m equally influenced by pop and punk and of course emo and pop punk lol. I love a catchy pop melody paired with a heavy riff and driving percussion!! Also definitely influenced by bands from the 90s like The Breeders, Hole, The Muffs and Belly.
G: For my guitar playing I draw from everything I listen to – with a special place in my heart for punk and emo music – to really lay down a solid music arrangement that both highlights Lexi’s songwriting and emphasizes her lyrics. I also riff a lot off of the bass, the vocal lines, or the drums to add musical flares to moments that make my heart hurt.
WCW: Although not a radical departure from your previous songs “Rat Kid” and “Don’t Grow Up”, your latest single, “Toothache”, shows some growth and maturity at pop song writing. What can people expect from your upcoming album “Saddest Girl at the Party”? Anything different from your previous releases?
Lexi: I hope it feels like the kind of music you’d play at a sleepover – a little sad, a little, angsty, and fun!!
Sarah: The sound is robust and feels like a little stack of dynamite!
G: Simply put, Rocque Music™.
WCW: Since one of you hails from the Central Coast and Suzie True has played here almost every time you’ve gone on tour, how does the DIY music/indie scene in the Central Coast compare to the one in LA?
Lexi: I feel like it’s hard to compare because both areas are so different!! I do feel like the central coast needs more bands, especially from BIPOC/queer folx/femmes – start bands ya’ll!!!
WCW: What lyricists/poets inspired your fondness for wordplay?
Lexi: That’s a tough one because there are so many! I love lyrics that are super specific but still relatable while also being funny and a little self deprecating. To be totally honest the first band who’s lyrics really stood out to me were Motion City Soundtrack’s lyrics when I was like in middle school. When I first started writing songs in high school I was listening to Best Coast, AJJ, Ramshackle Glory and Pavement non stop. Best Coast’s first album was so seemingly simple yet relatable and genuine in a way I had never heard before as a teen girl. AJJ, Ramshackle Glory and Pavement lyrics all had humor, specificity, and honesty which drew me in and inspired me a lot.
WCW: Where do you find inspiration for your lyrics? Specific experiences (definitely curious by what you mean by “draw all over my face with sharpie”)? Any special muses?
Lexi: I write most of my lyrics about specific experiences. I keep a daily journal of “word vomit,” where I write whatever pops up in my head without filtering it and that’s usually where I take my lyrics from. My goal for lyrics is for them to feel a little bit TOO personal and specific, like the listener is reading my diary. I want it to be a bit uncomfortable for both me and the listener haha. The Sharpie lyric is just about that classic teen movie thing of getting drunk and passing out at a party and waking up with Sharpie drawings all over your face – never happened to me haha but it fits in with the song.
WCW: Although Suzie True is a pop band of sorts, some of your members have backgrounds in punk rock or DIY music. Would you say that contemporary pop music as a whole lacks the sense of ethics and political consciousness found in DIY music/punk rock? Why or why not?
Lexi: A lot of the time yes BECAUSE CAPITALISM SUCKS THE LIFE OUT OF EVERYTHING and most of mainstream pop music is literally just about making money.
Sarah: At the moment, there seems to be very little consciousness in pop music but it once had a voice for the people and I think it is important to usher that back in.
G: You know, the Pop Machine is so far removed from a lot of the processes that come along with making music because they have a team for everything and money to spend. A DIY musician typically isn’t afforded such resources, and in turn they end up doing a lot of the process on their own- from paying for studio time to making album art to booking their own shows. Knowing exactly the effort that goes into this is a really humbling thing and if the Pop Machine had to start doing everything themselves again, I think that there would definitely be a paradigm shift in terms of everyone understanding that artists are working so hard for so little pay, and occasionally under terrible conditions. However, please note that a lot of the problem is not the “successful” artist, but the Music Industry itself and the broken patriarchal and racial institution that it is rooted in, and that’s an entirely different conversation that we could probably write a book on.
WCW: What has your experience as a band been like in the DIY indie music scene?
Lexi: I’ve had the best moments in my life and met all the people I love the most thanks to the DIY scene. When I first started getting involved with it like 8 years ago I feel like it was more white/male dominated which sucks and posed challenges being latina trying to play music in punk bands. But I feel like that’s been changing and we want to be part of creating a scene that’s completely inclusive and safe. Also fuck cliqueness!! Everyone should feel welcome. If you’re alone at a show and feel nervous or awkward, come hang with us, we’ll be your friends!!
Sarah: most of my favorite shows we’ve played have been DIY. DIY people go hard and I love the energy they bring.
G: I LOVE IT. And also sometimes it’s the worst. But we do everything ourselves, which gives us a huge appreciation for the hard work that it takes to make a music project come to life!
WCW: Can we expect a visit from Suzie True in 2021 (or at least whenever Covid-19 goes away)?
Lexi: Yes of course!!
G: I sure hope so :,)
Sarah: yeah, louder than ever.
WCW: What’s the best kind of dessert to eat?
Lexi: Vegan ice cream, with like brownie or cookies pieces all mixed in
G: Ice cream DUHHHHHHH
Sarah: YES ICE CREAM
WCW: If you got to be a band for a Halloween and do an entire cover set of their songs, who would it be?
Lexi: I want us to do a CKY cover band and call it She-KY
Sarah: My chemical ro- just kidding.
G: MCR part 2? Perhaps as Joyce Manor?? Or as our curséd Pop Punk Forefather trio Blink 182??? Who knows, the future is WILD lemme tell ya that