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Self-growth, creativity, "Exister": In conversation with Luis Vasquez of The Soft Moon

Photo: Andrea Rigano

by Stina Isabel Gavrilin

The Soft Moon, the industrial tinged post-punk brainchild of Californian-born Luis Vasquez, returns to Tallinn in support of his latest album Exister. Before the highly anticipated show at Sveta Bar on April 14, we sat down virtually to chat about the album as well as Vasquez's creative process, musical beginnings and mental tortures. Midnight in Tallinn meets afternoon at Los Angeles...

You’ve said that after releasing the much different A Body Of Errors under your own name, making Exister felt like starting The Soft Moon from scratch. Did your approach to making music change a lot?

No actually, the approach kind of returned to how it used to be with The Soft Moon because A Body Of Errors was a departure. I just wasn’t as emotional to create that record so it was more soundtrack inspired. When I returned to The Soft Moon, it was basically back to the torture. It’s always torture when I create Soft Moon material because I’m unearthing the things that are inside of me, that I dig up that I’m not usually aware of. It was back to the same torturous process when I was creating Exister, in fact it was probably the most torturous album to create. Criminal was shortly behind that one but I would say creating Exister was very emotional.

At fifteen, when you first started writing music, what was it about back then?

(Laughs) it’s funny, I actually wrote about similar things. I guess I was a frustrated kid. The first song I wrote, I remember it was called ‘Claustrophobic Man’, and I vaguely remember some of the lyrics. It kind of came off as frustration, not being able to express myself, feeling claustrophobic. So yeah, I was already writing about these sort of darker, serious topics, emotional things. Since the beginning, it’s funny.

Your first album was a reaction to childhood and on Exister you’re revisiting it once again. Comparing the creation process of the two, how much had your frame of mind changed?