We heard you have a new album on the way. Can you tell us about it?
Yes we are so excited to announce that Sunny Bleau and The Moon’s second album, called “Slow Burn” will be out the first quarter of 2023 and available worldwide to radio stations and digital platforms. We first plan to release a couple of singles from the album and then drop the rest of it by the end of March 2023. The creative and production process for Slow Burn is well into its second year now and this collection of amazing songs is something that we think will motivate and inspire both existing fans and new listeners in very meaningful ways. Since the release of our first album, “Breakfast Served Cold,” both fans and radio station DJ’s worldwide continue to inspire us and our music.At our live shows, fans, media and radio personalities alike come up to us and say “Wow, you guys are really amazing! We love the way you fuse musical genres together especially on stage!” Slow Burn took this fan feedback into heavy consideration. Our new album features a ton of melded blues, rock and roots inspired music that we think creates an eclectic collection of songs!
What does the title, Slow Burn, mean to you?
Slow Burn is not only the title of the album, it’s also a title track on the record. Slow Burn represents the pain, struggles and sacrifices artists like me face every single day chasing the dream of sharing our personal stories and life experiences with vast audiences. It is the struggle between the love affair with the dream and the pain of having the dream! The song “Slow Burn” depicts the hurt, depression, anxiety and the fear of failure that goes into making dreams a reality. Slow Burn represents the panorama of emotional ups and downs that I have experienced in my life. I think many people can relate to it because they have been through similar struggles themselves!
Being an artist is something I have to do. I can’t escape it even if I wanted to! Finding the balance between the dream of acceptance and normalcy, and the reality of being an artist makes me feel like I’m trapped in a “Slow Burn.”
How does your new album, Slow Burn, differ from your first album, Breakfast Served Cold?
Breakfast Served Cold is intended to be an array of genres.I had a lot of ideas and thoughts rattling around my brain for a long time that I wanted to share. Nic Cocco did a masterful job bringing my thoughts to life! Breakfast Served Cold is exactly what I wanted it to be, an “in your face, you get what you get and no complaining” compilation of songs. The tracks on the Breakfast Served Cold album represent the emotions and feelings I have been moving between for nearly 40 years now.Folk, Jazz, Rock, Blues-Rock, Country Blues and even Latin help to represent all the seasons of an artist that I have been through.Like I said, I had a lot on my mind and my heart!
Slow Burn has a much more focused approach to both the music and the stories. On Breakfast Served Cold, the primary focus was introducing Sunny Bleau and my voice as a singer and the words as a storyteller.On the album Slow Burn, we significantly showcase the instrumental aspects of the songs as well as my vocal aspects. You will definitively notice much more of Nic Cocco’s stellar guitar work on this album! Also, I would be remiss if I failed to mention Nic’s bass and keyboard skills! The incredible Paul Kastick is playing drums on most of the songs on this album as well!Nic is also playing drums on a couple of tracks too!
We know there are big expectations for this second album. We know the industry would be lenient on the first album but not the second. Nic and I know that this second album needs to tell the world that Sunny Bleau and The Moons are serious and here to stay.
Breakfast Served Cold is a strong opening statement. Slow Burn demonstrates our growth as artists and set the standard for everything to come after it!
What bands or artists have inspired your work on this album?
The sounds of this album are an amalgamation from the incredible blues-rock songs and sounds of Janice Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, ZZ-Top, Anthony Gomes, Eric Clapton, Led Zepplin, Gary Moore, Free, and more! Guitar, bass and drums are at the core of each of Nic’s orchestrations and arrangements on the album. Let’s just say this album completely ignores “synth” fronted music! We really wanted to seek an analog sound!
Nic and I are big fans of the music of Paul Rodgers and no one can project a love song like he does! We have an incredible new song on Slow Burn called Starship (lyrics by Valery Taylor, with music composed and arranged by Nic Cocco and Kelly Day). When we perform this song live, I like to affectionately say “this next song is our tribute to the incredible blues-rock music of the great Paul Rodgers.”
Another example on the album is the song Rollin’ Baby Blues which is inspired by the music of the late-greats Robert Johnson and B.B. King with a touch of Eric Clapton’s approach to “Riding with the King” and Gary Moore’s version of “Stormy Monday” rolled in. “Rollin’ Baby Blues” features multiple layers of guitar work moving around a simple blues progression and includes some really incredible guitar work by Nic.
I really love to listen to the great male and female story-tellers of yesterday and today ranging from Bessie Smith to Paul Rodgers and from Kaz Hawkins to Michael McDonald – it all inspires me!
Describe your creative process when you write new music?
New music and stories comes from many different sources of experiences. Sometimes, the sources are an event or interaction with an individual or situational experience.Sometimes, it is a fantasy that evolves from a dream.Regardless of the source, writing songs is always a collaborative experience for me. Nic and I write the majority of our songs together. Sometimes it is musically inspired lyrics and sometimes it lyrically inspires the music. Every now and then we invite other writers to collaborate with us on our song ideas to help us further develop a song!We love it when people bring us their great ideas!We have been blessed to have a great group of talented people who have come into our lives that are really good lyric writers such as Thomas Bailey, Daniel Scott and Valerie Taylor as well as some others who have taken the time to understand me and my story telling proficiencies!
Nic, however is the brains behind the music itself , both composition and arrangements. He knows what instrumentation works to drive the point I am trying to make.He is always charting and designing the sound of Sunny Bleau and The Moons while I focus on the story itself.It’s a true team effort.
What do you like most about your new album?
I love the contrast of the pure energy-power blues-rock love songs, to the flowing heart-felt and very real-life trauma of “Vince’s Song.”The light-hearted story of Vegas Blues to the very personal sensuality of “Every Inch of You.” I love the tightness of the Blues-Rock songs and the cool vibe and flow of the Blues-Jazz songs. Some of our new songs are, as Nic would say, “super-tight to the grid,” while some of the songs vibe in a way that traditional Blues and Jazz enthusiasts can really appreciate them!
We are a very inclusive musical team and we make certain that there is a little something for everybody in Sunny Bleau and The Moon’s music while at the same time doing our best to stay true to our core music of roots, blues and rock.
If you had to choose one… live performance or studio work, which do you prefer and why?
There is nothing better than being live on stage and the natural interaction with real human beings! I am a performer, that’s what I do. The connection with a live audience is amazing and it is what I live for!
The in-studio recording booth provides amazing sound quality for the recordings, but as Nic says to me all the time, “just imagine you are live on stage.” Imagining the live stage in the studio is much harder than actually being on the live stage because you have no real sense of how you are connecting with the listener.That is why we like to scratch track a song first in the studio, then go play the song in front of a live audience a few times, and then finish recording the song.Then the entire band has the same live feel approach to the final recording and it is much easier to envision the live performance format!
Recordings are forever and the same every time it is played on the radio, but a live show is ephemeral. We feed off the live audience’s energy!
What’s your favorite accomplishment as a musician thus far?
Considering that Sunny Bleau and The Moons released our first song to the public in April of 2021, our first full length album in October of 2021, multiple singles and we are about to release our second full length album, we accomplished a lot in our first two years!
In addition to becoming members of The Blues Foundation, Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping the Blues Alive, National Women in Blues, and local blues societies, our first album, Breakfast Served Cold, continues to be on national and international Blues Charts and all the songs on our first album have charted multiple times on the National Singles Charts (Roots Music Report). We have also opened for #1 Billboard Blues Artist, Anthony Gomes twice, and we have opened for Grammy nominated Thornetta Davis. I had the opportunity to sing a song with the amazing Lady A in Memphis Tennessee.It’s pretty humbling when people of stature ask you to share the stage.
Perhaps my favorite accomplishment is the fact that our music continues to be playlisted on radio and digital distribution platforms around the world.We have made fans in many countries and my goal is to visit and perform for every one of them in every country!
To date, we have been able to perform live throughout the Midwest and eastern United States.We have performed at iconic venues and festivals in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and New York. In 2023, I hope we can continue to expand both our radio and performance footprint!My goal is to be able to perform for fans throughout the United States and Europe!
If you could play anywhere or with anyone in the world, where or with who would it be?
I love dreaming big, so I would love to share the stage with Paul Rodgers. He’s an incredible vocalist and songwriter, and I love the music of Free and Bad Company. I also think it would be awesome to have The Moons and I join the Tedeschi Trucks Band. I think we’d make a great opening act for them! If I ever make it to Europe, I want to team up with Kaz Hawkins. She is my soul sister (she just doesn’t know it yet)!
I can’t wait for my chance to perform at B.B Kings, Rum Boogie Cafe or Alfred’s in Memphis. I’d also love to perform on Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping the Blues Alive (at Sea). It would also be great to do a House of Blues tour or perform at the Roots N’ Blues Festival in Columbia, MO. My parents and family live in Columbia, so that would be awesome if they could see me perform live on the home front.
What’s the best way for fans to stay updated on current news, gigs and music?
You can follow Sunny Bleau on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter (@BleauSunny). Listeners can find Sunny Bleau and The Moons music on their favorite streaming platform. Everything else (show dates, band merch, booking and more) can be found at Sunnybleau.com. We also post all shows on SongKick and BandsInTown and have highlight reels and interviews on YouTube, and official music videos on SunnyBleauVevo.
What advice would you give to a new musician just starting out in the industry?
Songwriting, recording and performing is definitively the fun part of being an artist. This is also where most of us artists want to spend all their time. However, the reality is you have to be prepared to either spend 80% of your time marketing the brand, promoting the artistic content, making videos, creating graphics and posters, designing merch for the online store, creating bookings and interacting with fans on social media or be prepared to hire others who can make it happen for you. In other words, the same things any other business entity has to do!
Independent artists need to think of themselves as small business owners (just as if they were opening a coffee shop or any other business). Success happens because of a business plan and a brand strategy. The advantage of signing with a major label is you get a team of people to take on the business tasks.Unless you are independently wealthy or signing with a big label, you must think of yourself as a small business owner selling a brand new widget. Like many other musicians and artists, I must work another job to make ends meet and to generate cashflows to invest in my business brand. I have learned that talent alone will never be enough. The business side is the most important part.Coffee doesn’t sell itself and neither will the music!
Find out more at https://sunnybleau.com/