LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info:
Vanilla Sugar: I am Vanilla Sugar. I originally started writing music in Houston, Tx on a midi keyboard and an iMac.
LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you been holding up?
Vanilla Sugar: I’ve actually been pretty okay. I really miss touring and being able to connect with people in person, but I have been making a lot of use of my downtime during the pandemic. I am now connecting more virtually with fans, across many different platforms. On Tuesday nights at 7pm PST, I stream video games on Twitch. Fans can watch, chat, and play with me! On Thursday nights at 7pm PST, I host an Ask Me Anything chat session on Facebook and Instagram Live. Saturdays at 1:30pm PST, I cook different gluten free and vegetarian meals on Youtube and Twitter. It has been fun to connect in different ways.
LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
Vanilla Sugar: Yes, definitely. I have really enjoyed getting to know my fans more during the pandemic. I also went back to school online. I am getting my degree in music so that I can eventually teach lessons when I am not on tour.
LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre?
Vanilla Sugar: I call this genre HorrorPop. The music has a Pop sensibility to it, but my lyrical content describes a lot of horror type undertones…like me wearing someone else’s skin for example. I am also pretty creepy..haha.
LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
Vanilla Sugar: SHE is pretty much a deep dive into my head. I have never been more open lyrically before. The music video for ThisDarkPlace is spot on with what I feel like is going on in my mind all the time. It’s a DarkPlace…This album really focuses on that.
LOMM: Are you happy with your product? What aspects of it do you think you nailed?
Vanilla Sugar: I love it so much!!! I listen to it often. I always say you should write what you want to listen to. I love all of the music, the haunting vocals. All of it.
LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
Vanilla Sugar: I have seen positive feedback, which makes me so happy!!! I had the opportunity to tour for a couple weeks in support of the album release and it just made my soul feel alive when I was watching people sing the lyrics back to me.
LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
Vanilla Sugar: I LOVE TOURING. SO much. I have toured the US, except the east coast – I need to make my way out there. I promise I will. Performing is what keeps me alive. I have been in weird moods since the pandemic – it is EXTREMELY tough to not be able to perform. Shows are my emotional release. I had a couple of tours postponed and was so sad, but understanding. I want us all to be safe.
LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
Vanilla Sugar: Once we get through this pandemic, it is on to tour preparations. I am hoping everything is good to go by this summer so tours can happen. I am scheduled to go on a UK tour with The Birthday Massacre in July and August. Outside of touring, I am planning on shooting a few more music videos for SHE.
LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?
Vanilla Sugar: I find inspiration from a couple different artists. I really love Mindless Self Indulgence, Grimes, Alison Wonderland, KoRn, and Mudvayne to name a few. They are all so drastically different from each other, but I think that contributes to the sound.
LOMM: Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?
Vanilla Sugar: Both have their own kind of magic! The road is a lot of fun, always somewhere new every night, making new friends. The shows are where I really feel like I come alive. The studio is also amazing because that’s where everything gets created. It’s such a cool experience to watch a riff or idea mature into a song.
LOMM: What first got you into music?
Vanilla Sugar: My dad is a drummer, and was playing shows from as far back as I can remember. I always thought that was cool. He would play at all these different places for so many people. I had the opportunity to go to a few of the shows as well. Always a good time. He also took piano lessons, and when I was 4, I enrolled with the same teacher.
LOMM: What do you like the best about being a musician? And what is it that you do not like much?
Vanilla Sugar: I really love that I have an outlet. I am a Pisces, so I’m super emotional all the time. I get really frustrated, but instead of getting into something that could be harmful, I write it into a song. I get out a lot of aggression that way. I feel like almost all of my songs are about something that bothered me. I hardly write happy songs…haha. The only thing I dislike are negative stereotypes about musicians.
LOMM: If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?
Vanilla Sugar: I would be focusing more on photography. I shoot live concert photos and band promos now, but if I weren’t a musician, I would spend a lot more time shooting.
LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
Vanilla Sugar: I would love for the audience to like what I write, but I believe that writing what is real to you is important. Not everyone is going to like it, but that’s okay! There will always be someone that appreciates you and your music for what it is.
LOMM: What is the most memorable gig that you have played to date?
Vanilla Sugar: I absolutely loved my album release show in Houston, TX. It was SOOOO FUN. I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who came out. It really made me feel supported. I saw so many new and familiar faces. It was the best!
LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Vanilla Sugar: I am really happy that I have an album now! I have been playing music for a while and it just feels so good to have a physical (and digital) album.
LOMM: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Vanilla Sugar: I would love the opportunity to collaborate with Grimes.
LOMM: Who would you like to go on a tour with?
Vanilla Sugar: The Birthday Massacre! I have been a fan since I was in middle school, so I am really looking forward to our upcoming tour!
LOMM: If you could play any festival in the world, which one would you choose? Tell us why.
Vanilla Sugar: I would love to play the Download Festival. I have always wanted to since I was a kid!
LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones.
Vanilla Sugar: I have a few albums I can listen to over and over: The End of All Things to Come by Mudvayne, Follow the Leader by KoRn, and Iowa by Slipknot. I discovered these albums during a time of my life where I was trying to figure out how to handle my depression. These really got me through it.
LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess?
Vanilla Sugar: My collection is mostly digital! I am a huge fan of digital music. I love being able to listen to whatever I want, whenever I want to! Magical. I do own a couple of vinyls that I will probably never open, haha. They’re too beautiful!
LOMM: What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Vanilla Sugar: I’m from Los Angeles, CA. Pre-pandemic, it was thriving. There always seems to be a show going on every night out here. It’s a bit eerie with how quiet it has been since the pandemic. No-one is on the streets; all the venues are closed. Very different.
LOMM: You can invite 5 people to a dinner party, from the future, the past, rock stars, a movie characters, you name it. Who are you having dinner with?
Vanilla Sugar: Oooh! I would love to invite Jonathan Davis (Singer of KoRn), Grimes, Elohim, Alison Wonderland, and Mr. Bean.
LOMM: If you had one message to your fans, what would it be?
Vanilla Sugar: I love you all! Thank you for being there for me. We can get through anything as long as we watch out for each other.
LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
Vanilla Sugar: Please join me during one of my lives: Tuesdays 7pm PST – twitch.tv/vanillasugarmusic – Thursdays 7pm PST – facebook.com/vanillasugarmusic and instagram.com/vanillasugarmusic – Saturdays at 1:30pm PST – youtube.com/vanillasugarmusic and twitter.com/iamvanillasugar – Thank you! See you soon!
LOMM: Thank you for taking the time!