Words by Willa Rudolph
It’s no secret that artists love NYC – maybe it’s the grit, the drama, the freedom, the anonymity, the history, the dirt and grime, the realness, the queerness, the RATs, the music, the way even the aunties pulling their little grocery carts are somehow serving looks… Anyone who’s lived here, even if they’ve left, has been forever branded by it. NYC changes you and even more, it makes you.
All the way from sunny Los Angeles, critically praised electro-punk-pop artist Sizzy Rocket dreams of the city that never sleeps in her unabashed new EP, RAT.
“New York City itself lives in my artistic DNA. I moved there when I was 18 and coming from the suburbs of Vegas it was like being thrown to the wolves. The city taught me about drugs and partying and what it means to fall in love, how to be queer, how to be an adult,“ says LA-Based and Vegas born-and-raised Sizzy Rocket, who pivots in EP RAT, out today. The 7-track collection consists of “feral club rat bangers,” inspired primarily by her six years spent in the club scene in New York City.
This project marks Sizzy’s official foray into the electronic space, as she presents work with new producers and touches on sounds from the indie-sleaze era–-the very years she spent wandering these NYC streets.
Along with the EP in full, we’re also graced with a new music video for the title track, “RAT.” The ferocious track is a little Gaga and a little Peaches, and the imagery depicts Sizzy Rocket strutting and growling through a graffiti-covered tunnel. She has the night all over her, as she yells, “AND IT FEELS LIKE TRASH / WHEN WE BURN AND CRASH / BUT I’M SUCH A RAT/ DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY, YEAH“
Ms. Rocket maintains her punk sensibility and remains in keeping with her classically suggestive subject matter, despite the sonic shift. Her time spent in New York City clubs, absorbing all that club kid culture and signature don’t-give-a-fuck essence, lent itself to working with new collaborators such as Gold Glove, (Slayyyter, Gia Woods, Lil Wayne) Brasko (Dorian Electra, Pussy Riot, Yungblud), and Matias Mora (Rebecca Black, K Flay, PVRIS), among others.
Another favorite of mine from the EP is “Rubber (intro)“, the opening track, whose beat has moments of feeling like you’re hearing it from the outside of a club, smoking a cig in the alley, perhaps. It’s a trance-y and grungy dance beat with Sizzy’s gritty vocals echo-ing, fading out and then reappearing with a vengeance, “…taking you straight to the gutter.“
Read my conversion with Sizzy Rocket below:
WR: Why has your music taken on such a new feel?
Sizzy Rocket: I’ve been going out a lot and making friends with the club kids and now we’re like a little family – it’s really sweet. and they’ve shown me this whole other world underground that really brought me back to life after 3 years of isolation and anxiety. I’m just so inspired by dancing and thumping music and serving looks and becoming the most heightened version of yourself for a night… I feel free at the club. and sometimes I feel like the world I experience in my daily life would never understand.
WR: How does it reflect the ways in which you’ve changed since your last release?
Sizzy Rocket: I feel like I’ve let go of a lot of anger and grown out of my angst. Now I’m a woman making artistic statements, not just a spastic little girl making punk songs because she’s mad at the world.
WR: What about NY is reflected in “MOMMY” and in “RAT”?
Sizzy Rocket: RAT is sooooo New York – I mean first of all, the literal rats. I also spent a lot of time in NY clubs when I was going to NYU from 2010-2013…Le Bain and The Woods and the Electric Room and the smaller dive bars on the Lower East Side…I mean, those places basically raised me. And you can hear it in the songs, they have this grungier, dirtier more industrial sound that doesn’t really come out of LA.
WR: What imagery and/or language do you use to evoke this?
Sizzy Rocket: I feel like RAT speaks for itself…it’s such a dirty, charged word. And the lyric in the title track is literally “Dirty dirty dirty I’m so dirty dirty dirty / got my love in the gutter” – I can’t wait for you to hear it when it comes out!
WR: How was the project inspired by your time in NY?
Sizzy Rocket: Well, New York City itself lives in my artistic DNA. I moved there when I was 18 and coming from the suburbs of Vegas it was like being thrown to the wolves. The city taught me about drugs and partying and what it means to fall in love, how to be queer, how to be an adult.
WR: What was the indie / underground music scene like then?
Sizzy Rocket: It was bands – which is funny because I never felt cool enough to be in an indie band. I was always the weird pop club girl covered in glitter and I never really fit in with that scene but I wanted to be a hipster so bad. I’m too colorful to be a hipster. I like hot pink too much.
WR: Do you miss living in NY?
Sizzy Rocket: Every day – but if I went back it wouldn’t be the same. Which makes me miss her even more…
WR: Why is NY sensibility something you want to channel in your music, since you live in LA?
Sizzy Rocket: I just think NY is more real. LA is cool and I’ve grown to like her but the core of LA is plastic and fame and becoming whoever you need to be to get what you want – even if it’s fake. I mean, sometimes it feels like I’m the only artist in LA with real lips! Everyone has injections! New York is more about revealing who you truly are… New York shoves the truth in your face and doesn’t give a fuck what you think. She’s that bitch.
WR: LA or NY?
Sizzy Rocket: NY forever.
WR: What clubs did you frequent when you lived in NY?
Sizzy Rocket: Le Bain… Pianos… The Electric Room… The Woods … Union Hall.. Glasslands.. the Hot Rabbit party was a favorite of mine.. anywhere the gays were, I was there!
RAT’s release also launches Sizzy into a 22-date US tour supporting Little Miss Nasty, a rock & roll burlesque troupe who specialize in dark performance art.