My Firsts: Sean Solomon of Moaning - Could’ve Had a Real Job | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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My Firsts: Sean Solomon of Moaning

Could’ve Had a Real Job

Apr 14, 2020 Web Exclusive
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My Firsts is our email interview series where we ask musicians to tell us about their first life experiences, be it early childhood ones (first word, first concert, etc.) or their first tastes of being a musician (first band, first tour, etc.). For this My Firsts we talk to Sean Solomon, singer/guitarist for Moaning.

The Los Angeles shoegazers/post-punkers released a new album, Uneasy Laughter, last month via Sub Pop. Uneasy Laughter is the follow-up to the trio’s self-titled debut album, released in 2018 also via Sub Pop. Moaning also consists of bassist/keyboardist Pascal Stevenson and drummer Andrew MacKelvie. The band worked with producer/engineer Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, Bloc Party, Melvins) on Uneasy Laughter. Solomon celebrated a year of sobriety during the​sessions for the album and in a previous press release announcing the album said he wanted to be more open with Uneasy Laughter: “Men are conditioned not to be vulnerable or admit they’re wrong. But I wanted to talk openly about my feelings and mistakes I’ve made.”

Read on as Solomon talks about the band that ruined his life, the childhood crush he recently toured with, and his horrifying first public performance.

First time your heart was broken?

In preschool I had my first crush. We never spoke but she was a twin and I decided I was in love with her because I liked her and not her identical sister. It took me a few years to finally get the courage to talk to her. It was lunchtime and she was showing someone a photograph. I asked if I could see what they were looking at. She turned around and said, “go away, faggot!” It was the first time I heard that word, but I knew it was mean.

First TV show you were obsessed with?

In first grade I used to spend the night at a friend’s house and his parents let us watch The Simpsons. They didn’t have cable and it was the only cartoon on at night. I was obsessed. I told my parents it was my favorite show before they could tell me I was too young to watch it. I think I learned everything about pop culture from that show.

First record your parents played for you?

They played The Beatles a lot when I was a kid because they’re basic. They bought me The White Album.

First favorite band?

Nirvana was my favorite band when I was 13. I grew out my hair long and wore flannel shirts for a few years before I realized I needed my own personality. It’s insane I didn’t think about how someone who killed themselves was my role model. That band ultimately ruined my life. Now I’m on Sub Pop and a starving artist. I could have a real job right now.

First musician you had a crush on?

Kim Deal from The Breeders. Weirdly enough we toured with them recently. We got along super well but it wasn’t the love I envisioned as a kid. I think we’ll just stay friends.

First music festival you went to?

It was probably Sunset Junction in Los Angeles. I was in high school and I remember seeing the Buzzcocks play. I saw someone with lipstick smeared all over their face smoke meth in the audience. My friend’s car was towed because he stupidly parked at a McDonald’s parking lot. I was stuck there. I can’t remember how I got home but it was quite an adventure.

First time you got drunk?

I can’t remember the first time I got drunk. I remember the first time I smoked weed though. It was in middle school behind a Party City. I took one hit and then put a dozen breath mints in my mouth. I think I tripped out only because I was so nervous. I proceeded to be high for the next 10 years before deciding it wasn’t for me.

First job you had?

I worked at the Laemmle movie theater in Encino. It was the fucking worst. I would have to clean up old people’s piss and shit off the bathroom floor. The manager made me cry. Who takes managing a movie theater that seriously? She had serious problems.

First email address?

My first email address was .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) named after Bart Simpson’s graffiti alias. My second was .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) named after Fugazi but spelled wrong. I stayed up late every night talking on AIM. I think my generation’s first sexual experiences were all through AIM. Now it’s probably through Snapchat.

First social media account?

Myspace was my first and best social media experience. It was about community and because they didn’t have “likes” no one felt bad…except for being excluded from someone’s Top 8. It was great for musicians and honestly helped me book my first few shows. I stand by Myspace.

First recording device?

My uncle got me a zoom four-track portastudio when I was around 13. It changed my life. I recorded hundreds of songs. Probably all incredibly embarrassing. I would send them to friends over AIM and upload them to Myspace music. That’s what we called DIY back in the day.

First time you performed in public?

I played a battle of the bands in eighth grade. We played “Molly’s Lips” by The Vaselines but the Nirvana way. The mics weren’t working so it was just two chords again and again. I was shaking and I had cottonmouth. It was horrifying. I should have learned my lesson.

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