Spyder Monkey Interview

Spyder Monkey Interview

By: Beth Shandles
October, 2005

BS: Where did all of you meet to form the band?

Susie: Well myself, Jeff Blatherwick the bass player and Rick Flores the original drummer met in my previous band Digable Cat. When I had to decide that I would no longer be the lead singer and songwriter of Digable Cat, (drama) me, Ricky and Jeff started to play together loosely in the form of jam sessions. Chuck Polanzani later joined up to play guitar and then Rick Flores left the group shortly thereafter. We were blessed to have found my friend and fantastic drummer Mike Tooles to play the CRC sessions and end up staying on to round out the final line up.

Jeff: Well let’s see I meet Susie in the Spring of 2004 when Digable Cat was looking for a bassist I meet Chuck back in 2002 or 2001 we were involved with a few minor projects then in 2003 we were in a band called Tommy Gun together. (Some of the music for Tommy Gun can be found on our website in our personal bio section) And Mike was a long time friend of Susie’s who we asked to do us a favor and record our CRC sessions with us – it was such a good fit that he stayed on as a permanent fixture. We are very fortunate to have him he is fantastic!

BS: What are the instruments you all play?

Jeff Blatherwick plays 1994 Philip Kubicki X Factor Bass …black of coarse!** Line 6 Bass Pod** SWR 700watt 8ohms Goliath III Speaker Cabinet Peavey Kilobass 1000 watt digital bass amp.

Chuck Polanzani plays thru a Line6 Duoverb 2×12 combo, a Trace Elliot TVT9 combo amp converted to a head unit run through a Trace Elliot 2×12 speaker cabinet. He plays Schecter, Dean & Gretsch guitars, uses Dean Markley Blue Steel Strings [.11’s] and Dunlop Tortex picks. He can also play bass, keyboards & drums.
Mike : drums and a myriad of cool percussive objects.

Susie: I sing in the band. Could that be considered wind instruments?


BS: When did you all start to play them? When did you all start performing in public?

Susie: I started singing at age 7 and always experimented with instruments that my mom played (klaves, congas, piano) at our house. I continued to sing throughout my life but began official lessons for the instruments after college. My first performance in public was with the GECC (Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus) at age 8. I believe the pieces were by composers Benjamin Brittan and Poulanc.
Chuck: I started playing piano at a very young age, drums at 9, guitar/bass at 11. Played out my first time when I was 17

Jeff: I Started playing the electric bass when I was 14. I had a few different private teachers for a while I progressed the most when i attended Triton JR. College for 2 years studying Jazz Composition. I had started performing publicly when i was 17. Sneaking into bars for open mics and i had a steady with a few bands when i was 19. we played the circuit in dekalb, Illinois

BS: What were some of your individual influence in music and how did that shape the development of Spyder Monkey?

Chuck: My main influences as far as SM writing are Rush, Blues Traveler, The Police, Primus & Infectious Grooves. Rush & The Police more in the song construction and Blues Traveler, Primus and Infectious in implementation of ideas.

Jeff: That’s the thing Beth. Everybody has some very interesting influences in this band. I for example love off the wall stuff; Primus, Rush, 311, that’s what I’ll be playing in my car stereo a lot. I still love some smoother stuff like the Police/Sting, Sade and Natalie Merchant. There will always be that jazz and blues influence from my private studies though I would not classify myself as a Jazz Musician, I still have a place in my heart for that music. I sometimes feel the itch to go and jam some 12 bar blues at the Kinston Mines and Blues on Halsted where I got some of my first starts as a young musician. I would say that SM is trying to write music you can groove to and music that makes you think at the same time. We have our rock jams and some funky stuff too. The musicality takes precedence with Chuck, Mike and myself. Susie is such an entity on stage; there are times when I think she is having an out of body experience.

BS: Where did the name for the band derive from?

Susie: The name is kind of funny in how it came about in that, it started as a song titled “Spider monkey” about a character coming out of seclusion into a very judgmental world. It occurs to the character that so much of the world’s pain like apathy, envy or jealousy, is an evil that we tend to keep harbored in ourselves and that we have the choice to send it back to hell where it originates. That concept evolved into Spyder Monkey, “the natural man in search of true spiritual evolution and connection to one another.”

BS: Susie I noted that you were the main song writer for Digable Cat, your old band. I also have noted from your EP that this is true for the new band as well. Do you also do the arranging? If not who does the musical arrangements? How does the song writing come about? Do you write the music first then song or song first then musical arrangement?

Susie: With Digable Cat, it was a trade off. Generally Mandel would have a piece of a guitar part he would play and I would build a melody around that piece. Arranging key changes or bridges were more like decisions made by Mandel or Syfrig. Other times parts of songs were already written (for example Mary Poppins) with a general idea of meter or key and the natural momentum of the song sort of re-wrote itself. It gave way to an entire album (Skratch Traxx) and a self titled CD of great stories and material. I am very proud of the writing I did both lyrically and in form with Digable Cat.

With Spyder Monkey it is a very organic process. Right from the start though, there was more of a cohesiveness and a common camaraderie with one another which gave way to a freedom that I didn’t really experience in DC. We didn’t want another dictator in the band. We wanted things to be loose and truly open to experiment and go for what sounds good, not what sound is expected from a said “project”. When we write, the rhythm section will usually start a groove and I’ll weave in a melody, try scatting or repetitive rhythmic phrases. Guitar usually comes in next with the melody support or vice versa. The songwriting and arranging process comes about in an explosive collective rush with more polished parts to be added later.

Chuck: Here I would say the writing for SM is a collaborative effort. with Jeff,Mike and I being primarily responsible for the music and Susie being primarily responsible for the lyrics. Of course this isn’t THE WAY its done but a good majority of the music was done that way.
As far as arrangement I would say its a 100% collaborative between all 4 band members. And as far as what comes first, the chicken or the egg its an open process not limited by any means or methodology. The music happens organically out of our collective conscious.

BS: When did you start song writing? I also read you play guitar when did you start playing?

Susie: I started writing when I was 7. Poetry, little songs and short stories on an old crappy tape recorder my mom let me play with. I didn’t start playing guitar until after college. I was so in love with singing, I just never got started on a set instrument. A piano was easier to relate to vocally and melodically and more accessible in my home life.

BS: It was noted in the bio I read; that your mother was a jazz singer how did that shape your interest in music? Did her singing Jazz have any influence on your musical style?

Susie: My mother was and still is the hugest inspiration in my life. She is a very talented seasoned vocalist and band leader. In the often time male chauvinistic world of jazz players, she excelled at her job and enchanted audiences with her amazing voice. I used to try to emulate her and other female jazz vocalist. The lilts and phrases of Billie Holiday or Ella really started to shape how I wanted to build melodies and play against other instruments as if I were an instrument. This music was something I would hear first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn to appreciate my education of it until my latter high school days. I would say things I am ashamed of now like “oh man, not Pharoh Sanders again. This stuff is crazy!…can we play Led Zeppelin or The Who?…” Little did I realize that all this music would form what I love to sing and how I would love to sing it.

BS: Your lyric muse has been described as sweet and soulful, I find it more unique in style, it has a commanding and powerful tone mixed in with the sweet and soulful. How would you describe your lyric muse?

Susie: I guess unique is probably the best I can come up with. I have never really heard anyone sound like me, which I have come to understand is a good thing. To stand out in a crowd and be heard uniquely, not some warmed over copy of this or that carries with it a certain vulnerability that I have always fought in myself. Growing up, you want to blend in not stick out. I identified with the edgy unique tones in voices like Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, Ray Charles or Sting because I found early on that my voice sounded different from all the girls in chorus who wanted to sound like the Go Go’s. I suppose my overall sound is the blend of cultures I grew in and the wide range of music I was listening to.

BS: Susie it is evident your music has a lot of social over tones does that come from personal experiences or just stuff you read or hear about from the news?

Susie: I draw from both personal experience and of course current events. As sojourners of this planet we have in our own personal experiences and catalog of circumstances human truths. I want the listener to feel a timeless connection in the journey from history to future. I want the social overtones to be understood as relative in some way. The same types of personalities (jerks or cool cats) that were around in the days of Caesar or Kubla Khan are still around today and will be tomorrow. The backdrops may change over the sets of the centuries but the characters are still around. Cains and Abels, The Pontious Pilots, the Judas’, the Christ’s. We’re all still here. In this way, I think its easier to be empathetic to one another.

BS: What other projects were you in other then Digable Cat or other members of the band? I heard Susie are also into acting, if so, what have you acted in?

Mike: The last two years I’ve been playing around Chicago with a few different projects Rocambu Jazz, Minor Deity and Jellyeye Drum Theater along with participating in a few recording experiments with friends.

Chuck: I was in Shuragin & Tommy Gun with Jeff, in a Metal Band called Darker, and in Fragile Ethos with other non-band musicians.

Susie: I was in a blues band called the Taylor Brother Blues band. When you took the stage you were one of the family so I became Susie Taylor when we played. At Old Town School of Folk Music I took the electric blues class and we formed a group called Suzie & the Shakes with instructor Lenny Marsh as our drummer. Got to play Buddy Guys a few times for the final performances. We had hopes of playing out for real, but Digable Cat soon formed and there wasnt extra time. I had to bail. I have been in and out of acting in stage plays, commercials and indie films since I was a toddler. My mom once kept me from getting a print ad as the Gerber formula kid because she was afraid that the entertainment industry was a seedy environment for a child to grow up in. After watching Breaking Bonaducci a few times, I guess she was right. Anyway, I grew up in Glen Ellyn and that came with a great opportunity for excellence in theater tutoridge. Some actors to this day quiver or cry at the name Mr. Quinn. I was in a ton of high school plays, and I got to be a stand in and extra in “Lucas” with Charlie Sheen and Winona Ryder. I’ve done commercials for Jewel Foodstores, Cellular One, Budweiser, a print ad for Shure microphone, and a neat commercial for Wickes Furniture set against this cool jazzy campaign with Chicago celebrities. To my surprise it aired Nationally during the Olympics.


BS: You also wrote for the Peace Fest Journal or for Peace Fest? What was that like and did that help form your more social lyrics? I like the fact that you’re lyrics have something to say, yet are not preachy, is that intentional?

Susie: I wrote for the “official” Peacefest magazine called “SceneZine” which came out monthly. Our forum was primarily articles on social, environmental, humanitarian and musical news. My writing muse was open wide and I am fortunate to have worked in such an enlightening arena. There was a constant flow of information from life threatening hormones in our babies’ milk, to governmental scandals of harmful pesticides to free speech infringements on the right to assemble and lots of topic on activists and their wrongful incarcerations. You know, really light stuff. If you held it all too closely, you felt you might just explode. I think it helped my writing by getting more focused in what I wanted to say about all this crap. I was very blessed to have grown up in a loving family deeply rooted in the gospel church. I was given the gift of seeing God work in my family in a very personal and powerful way. I love the artists that aren’t afraid to call on their spiritual experiences to relate to one another. The stories I tell are just my way of expressing a type of folk inspired gospel music. I ‘m trying to let people know that above all the crap in the world that need solutions, there is the never ending Love of God to help us get thru it all. I am not talking about religion. Religion to me is a hollow word used to describe a type of structure. I am talking about a relationship with the ever-loving Almighty who touches us where we are everyday. It is up to us to receive that touch. I’ve heard it said “people don’t care how much you know, till they know how much you care”. Love is action. My writing isn’t for preaching, it’s for reaching.

BS: Would you or any of the band members consider yourselves political? What are your thoughts on the state of the world and politics? Do you feel today’s music and song writing is influence by world events? Do you feel it is more or less then in the past?

Susie: I consider myself anti political in that the politics of this country either from the beginning or soon there after shifted from the ideology of a common folk to the ideology of capitalisms and all the ugly trappings of it. There has been a strong sense of apathy and coldness that is evident in the attitudes of the haves toward the have nots. Modern day kingdoms trampling the backs of the ones who made them kings. The political process seems to have become about keeping your status and your fat salary intact instead of promoting others with cultural and social differences so that they can enjoy the same. Worst of all, this attitude is being promoted on the religious right wing platform. Last time I checked, it was not the sentiment of Jesus for us to be cold selfish bastards.

Jeff: I don’t consider myself political but I do have opinion on politics. I don’t mind if some political overtones make there way into our music. It is hard to stay neutral in the world today. If the songs are going to have a view that is fine with me as long as it is cleverly put. Who doesn’t have a view on the world maybe coma patients? LOL

BS: What do you think about artists being involved in charity events? Such Farm Aid, Debit Forgiveness, Hurricane Relief? Do you feel there are pros and cons to artists doing charity events like this? Do you think that artists should be more aware of world events and politics?

Susie: When I think about artists being involved in charity events, I kind of take the position that many of the victims of the Katrina Hurricane took- all we got is each other. I feel that the artists reaching out to people in these charitable actions are like elders looking over their tribe. Artists historically have been the compassionate ones or the town crier. Artists are the ones who despise the greedy fat cats who wont let a nickel slip thru those fingers and help someone other than their congressman cronies. Sure there are pros and cons, but the pros outweigh the cons as more and more artists become enraged with the state of affairs, take hold of their gift and actually help change the world we live in. We as artists have a responsibility to be more aware and more involved with the events of our world.

Jeff: I think it is great when artists can help out people in need. I have noticed that it is getting hard for the artist to take care of themselves.

BS: How did the transformation from Digable Cat carry over to Spyder Monkey in terms of its influences or not? Did this help form the new EP?

Susie: Quite honestly it has been a blessing and a curse. On the one hand people remember hearing me and make the association of oh, Susie is Digable Cat, but get confused as to which band I am in now. That all comes with time and making a bigger bang than before. The difference in sound between the two bands is very noticeable. Spyder Monkey is more funk and soul driven with lots of progressive rock groove and gospel messages. Digable Cat had more of an pop/adult contemporary feel with gospel messages. The over all formation of the new EP was purely the energy that was tapped into from those initial jam sessions and experimentations.

Jeff: When we go the new band together we were kind of jilted by the energy that was coming from DC. I was a short timer there, but there was a lot of negative energy. The original idea for the band came from Susie, Rick Flores, and and Me. We wanted to write some fun, more up-tempo funky stuff. Also wanted to not to be afraid to try some more progressive avenues. The Pop stuff is cool but I was personally tired of trying to make every song top 40 friendly.

BS: What were some of your musical influence growing up?

Susie: This is the schizophrenic part of the interview, eh? Well, lets see… Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Chaka Khan, Stevie Nicks, Pretenders, Led Zepplin, The Clash, Rush, Jimi Hendrix,The Beatles, Ike & Tina, Pearl Jam, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Stevie Wonder, Muddy Waters, Mehalia Jackson, U2, Bjork, Sly & the Family Stone, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Weather Report, Prince, The London Philharmonic, Handel, Schubert, Brahms, Bach & Mozart. Pretty much anything that wasn’t nailed down.

Jeff: It was my brother that turned me on to music at a young age. Mostly Led Zeppelin was his thing. Then I started to listen to all the rock bands, all the metal bands (heavy stuff not hair bands). Then in school I got turned on to a wider spectrum of music (Jazz, Blues and Fusion.) In my early 20’s I was so into fusion that I couldn’t listen to anything else. There were so many ideas and musicians that I loved in the genre.

Chuck: The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Jimi Hendrix, Phantom Helmsmen, Pink Floyd, The Police, Primus, Rush, Soundgarden, Yes & ZZ Top are my top influences when I was growing up. As I aged I began to get into bands like King Crimson, ELP, Infectious Grooves, Urge Overkill & Cheap Trick.

Do you describe your self as a neo funk rock band?

Susie: I hate trying to label anything we do since it is constantly evolving. I would have to say the safest label would be just a rock band since rock music encompasses all the genre’s (blues, funk etc.)

Chuck: I really like the Progressive Funk Rock title. I don’t know what “neo-funk-rock” actually means but I have always had a hard time with labels they almost never apply to the bands I love that they are applied to.

Jeff: that isn’t a band description. But you won’t catch me in a red jump suit with an afro wing anytime soon…….

BS: Susie, what was it like working with Grammy nominated Producer Jeff Wood? What are the pros and cons to working with a producer?

Susie: It was wonderful working with Grammy nominated Producer Jeffery Wood. He understood our potential, pulled out the best in us and systematically matched up his vision for us with ours. The pros to working with a producer is that a good producer will keep the artist focused on the goal and will help convey the artist’s vision without interjecting their own. They are utilizing their studio expertise to make a final ready for market product. They have to know the inner workings of the artist and pull it out. The cons that I can see are giving that control to someone you are trusting that you may not know very well (or at all) to enhance your vision. Obviously, it doesn’t always work out.

BS: What was it like recording at the world famous Fantasy studio in Berkeley?

Susie: Recording at Fantasy Studios was a dream come true. It was the first time I realized after waking up two days in a row and going to a studio to work 9 or 10 hours each day that this is all I want to do for the rest of my life! I mean, Hallelujah man! All our great writing and playing gigs was simply punctuated by this event. I sang thru Ella Fitzgerald’s mike. We played in rooms on instruments that were used to make music with legends. I couldn’t walk thru the hallways without staring at all the gold records of all the people that had been there. I was particularly struck by the Santana collections. I just wanted to throw down a mat in the corner and tell em, well I’m just not leaving.

BS: How does your music impact people around you? How do you all feel when performing and interacting with the audience?
Susie: They love the forcefulness of the sound. They like the ironic dynamics of a black girl singing rock music. They have told us that we have a lot of presence on stage that is the initial attraction and then the lyrics and the delivery grab their attention. Sometimes it feels like we are on fire! It is absolutely wonderful performing for the audience. The interation is magnetic.

Jeff: I think we do a good job of bringing our music to life, live. Playing out is what it is all about! The studio is one thing. It is fun to work on the solid form and funtion of the song in the studio. But playing live is my thing I have always loved it. When I do get to play live for a few weeks I start getting jumpy and crazy. It is so of the best fun I have every had in my life. When the audience is digging it that is the best reward it is the true acid test.

Chuck: They seem to really enjoy it. You are only as good as the people you play with, so I am great because I play with such talented musicians. Because of that, we really give them a feast for the ears as well as the mind (as far as appreciation for the technical abilty, lyric content, etc.). I feel great when we are performing live. Its almost as if I feed off the energy being given back from the audience. Its an indescribable feeling knowing what we are doing brings such joy to the people experiencing it.

BS: What do you see might be some of the changes happening in the music industry in the future? Do you see it as positive or negative changes?

Jeff: The music industry is a tough nut to crack man….I just don’t know what they are looking for. I’m just being myself when it comes to song writing. Success in the music industry is all depending on how many “units” you sell and what you look like. Some of my favorite bands have the type of success that I would rather have than say that of John Mayer or Dave Matthews. I would just like to be able to do what we do comfortably. That would be refreshing.

Susie: I believe it is going to be a singles market and it is positive. To spend so much money that is already hard to come by anyway on a product that may only have 3 or 4 songs you really want to hear is archaic. Good or bad, we are a fast world that is spinning up and is making those edits that affect the wallet and the clock.

Chuck: I see the record companies stranglehold on artistic creativity finally being done away with as the digital revolution continues. More and more artists are able to do for themselves and get excellent results therefore putting control back in the hands of the artists. AND THIS IS VERY POSITIVE!

BS: Any aspiration for your futures in music or as a band?

Jeff: I’m willing to take this band as far as it can go. I have never written songs with a group of people as diverse as this nor have I worked with a vocalist as talented as Susie. Every band has problems and arguments-it isn’t easy. But I have a feeling that this is just the start for Spyder Monkey. I see a bright future for us……

Susie: I want to reach the whole world with our music and our ideas. I want to be blessed by other cultures’ music and I want to bless others with ours. I want to do this and make a living doing it. Rock on!!!!

Chuck: My main aspiration is to be able to support myself doing what I love.

BS: When you have bands like the Rolling Stones and Aeromith still out there playing concerts, how long do you think you will be play music and singing?

Susie: Well, as for me I intend to sing leaving my last breath ringing out over the audience until I’m as old as dirt. I can’t ever imagine doing anything else. I hope that time is kind to our music and that it may be enjoyed for many years to come.

Jeff: I’m hoping to be hand and hand with music for the rest of my life. It is a big part of me.

BS: What do you think about the internet and music, how is that helping or not helping the music industry? Do you think the internet helps indie artists or takes away from bands and artists being forced to create really good material because it is so easy to create a CD?

Chuck: It is hurting the record companies but I see nothing but benefits for the artists. Record companies take such a huge chunk of record sales that the primary source of income for most artists is Touring & Merchandise. So as a whole I think it will help create a better environment for artists to do what they want rather than what is going to sell the most albums which in the end will benefit the quality of music being produced. Take a look at 70’s music (and no I don’t mean disco). Some of the greatest music ever recorded came out of that decade because the record labels had backed off to let the artists experiment and create what had never been done before (think Steve Wonder). The internet is causing the culture of that era to come back as people have the freedom to listen to and experience a wider range of music without necessarily having to shovel out $15.99 for a CD.

Jeff: Think the internet is awesome for music lovers…I don’t know how I got along with out it for the first 2/3rds of my life. You always hear these horror stories about how people downloading illegally is bad for the music industry. I say let them. At least the music is getting out there for people.

Susie: Internet music is great unless you are the MAN. Getting music to people is the most important thing for an artist. Yes, yes we all have to eat and pay taxes but there are other creative ways the artist can make money in the internet arena. Merchandising is one. But, if we can create an underground community say for instance like Ben Harper did and pack a hall because a friend turned them on, or a bootleg burned off a site got circulated, I can say amen and sleep at night because we are growing into not just a band, but extended family members of a global community. I didn’t find out about Ben Harper because I heard him on the radio. I still haven’t heard him on the radio. It was roots based momentum that got it to my ears.

BS: Do you feel being from Chicago we need a new music industry night or music organization to form to help young artists and bands get started? Do you feel the music industry here in Chicago is unified? Is there ways Chicago’s music industry can change to help the local indie artist more and be more unified?

Susie: Music industry nights or “help” clubs can be cool, but after a year or two, it can become too recycled. Ideas stop flowing, people stop going, they get lazy or quit. I can’t say if the Chicago scene is all that unified per say. There seem to be small bands of us roving around supporting each other, but I haven’t found it to be overwhelming. We need more unification. We need to stop hating.

Jeff: I feel that the Chicago music scene is a little fickle but I still love playing here. It is my home and I have had most of my best shows here. Back when I did do some touring I noticed that some cities appreciated the efforts of the musicians more. I just think some of these clubs should nurture the local band instead of trying to get over on them……

BS: If I invited you to a special jam session, who’s music other then your own would you be inspired to sing and play? If you could invite any four indie artists or bands and any four national or international artist or bands to my jam session who would you invite and why?

Chuck: Black Crowes, Gov’t Mule, and other such artists with an upbeat easy flowing jam sensibility. Urge Overkill, Cheap Trick, Les Claypool (in any of his many configurations) and of course Rush!

Susie: For the four indie artists it would probably be The Kills because they have an edgy dangerous duo act that I am fascinated with. They are so enigmatic and possess a clean clever sound with lots of raw emotion. Bleed from Wisconsin would be next for their old school punk rock-a-billy. OhMyGod would be after that. A fantastic wall of sound from three talented songwriting lads is what keeps them in my cd player. And lastly…. there are still too many. (Waste, Lucious Warbaby, The Dials, Headnoise, The Drastics, Waveland, Dremana, Hallelujah….) it goes on and on.

Susie: For the four international/national acts I would invite Peter Gabriel because he is the master of ceremonies in world visionary music. His voice is better than ever and the stage show is beyond compare. Ben Harper would be next. His music is transforming, engaging, honest and I would be honored to share a stage with such a passionate gospel driven individual and that SMOKIN BAND. Pearl Jam because they are amazing still and always will be. I love the original quality of Vedder’s voice, the beauty and aggression of his songs and his politics are dead on. Forthly, John Frusciante. (Need I say why?)

Jeff: I would invite:
1.) John Frusciante (red hot chili peppers) cause he has my favorite style for a modern guitarist
2.) Chick Corea – cause he is one bad mofo on the keys 3.) Nick Hex (311) I love his song writing and he has a awesome timber to his voice
4.) Bob Marley – who wouldn’t want to jam with Bob!



Biography

Spyder Monkey is an eclectic fusion of music with influences from progressive rock, soul, funk, Reggae and American blues. With raw high energy, the Spyder Monkey family of souls is creating music that transcends a myriad of musical genres. They achieve the solitary goal of touching the hearts & minds of audiences’ here and abroad.

Fronted by former co-founder & songwriter of the Chicago band Digable Cat, Susie Lofton is a uniquely gifted singer-songwriter & prolific lyricist, who sings compelling tales of the human experience. Her stories relate the struggle of natural man in search of spiritual connection, and peaceful relationships to one another, while exposing the world’s hypocrisies and devastating atrocities leveled against souls everyday. Described as “a girl who can belt a strong blues sound to rock music..” Susie’s powerful “sweet & soulful” voice is noted to be reminiscent of notorious female rockers PJ Harvey, Blondie & Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napalitano. Past projects include mainstage performances at H.O.B. Chicago, H.O.B. Back Porch Stage, Midwest Tour, UK Tour & MECA Music Conference & Festival. Susie has also recorded at world renown Fantasy Studios in Berkley, California with 4 Non Blondes drummer Dawn Richardson and has performed with Sonia Dada vocalist Paris DeLane

Coming from the heart of the jungle are the players: Machine gun drummer Mike Tooles, hot rod guitarist Chuck Polenzani, and the pop slappin bass work of Jeff Blatherwick. The three-headed monster ferociously scale the wall of sound by integrating their diverse backgrounds, taking no prisoners. With their forces combined they have forged a new dangerous breed of music heard the world over!

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