PLUSH – an interview with Moriah Formica and Brooke Colucci

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Interview by Miriam Cadoni

Photo by Elissa Ebersold – Concert Photographer & Graphic Designer

Try to imagine the cheeky attitude of Heart and Halestorm, now blend them together and the final result is PLUSH. Strong of its newly-released single “Hate”, this hard rock band is ready to show to the world what it is worthy of. Despite the young age, this amazing band is ready to kick some serious (metaphorically speaking) ass. In order to know more about it, I have spoken to the singer Moriah Formica and the drummer Brooke Colucci. Enjoy!

Hi Moriah and Brooke, welcome to Femme Metal Webzine. How are you and how is life treating you in this precarious period? 

Moriah: Thank you for having us. I guess life during this period is difficult in regards of planning live activities. For the rest, I’ve been really really grateful because up to now, a lot of opportunities have opened up. 

Brooke: Thank you for having us on and I totally agree with Moriah. You know, definitely, with this pandemic, for some aspect is quite disappointing but on the other hand, this situation is offering us a lot of opportunities for new things that we have never done before.  

For those who are not familiar with PLUSH, would you mind introducing how did the band get together? 

Moriah: Actually, me and Brooke met first and our dads got in contact with each other through a mutual friend who worked in a venue where both me and Brooke played. Then, we ended up jamming together and we just clicked. Since the beginning we had a great chemistry and we subsequently thought that it would be a great idea to form a band.  

Brooke: Instead, for what concerns our bass player Ashley, me and her met a couple of years before at “The School of Rock”, which is a school program. Though, when me and Moriah started our musical adventure with PLUSH, we were in need of a bass player and I simply reached out to Ashley and asked if she was interested.

After, we just met and we realized that we clicked with each other. And, we simply had a great time together. Lastly, there’s our guitarist Bella. So, through a tweet that Moriah has published which it was retweeted by Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, we received a video where she was playing. Of course, she included a lot of bio info and simply, it’s how we met.  

Girls, I was curious to also learn which are your personal and artistic backgrounds? How did you end up playing rock music and which are you favorite musical acts? 

Moriah: I guess, my story with rock is started since I bass a child because my dad would always be playing 80s classic at home. Also, “That Metal Show” with Eddie Trunk was our weekly appointment on Saturdays. You know, I just fell in love with guitar and with Aerosmith too. Essentially, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry is the one who has inspired me to pick up the guitar and start playing at the age of 5 or 6. 

That’s how I came to be into music because music chose me and not vice versa. Then, around 9 or 10 I started singing. For what concerns my favorite artists, one of them and one of my biggest influence is definitely Evanescence’s Amy Lee which are followed by Halestorm’s Lzzy HaleLady Gaga and KoRn

Brooke: Well, personally, I got into rock music through my parents because they are big fans and I’ve been listening to it since a little child. In relation to playing the drums, my dad would always show me Godsmack’s live drum battle “Batalla De Los Tambores”, which it turned out to be one of my biggest influences. 

In truth, I didn’t start playing until I was invited to a friend’s rock-themed birthday party. During this party, some musicians were invited and we had the opportunity to try out their instruments. So,  when I sat behind the drum kit, I’ve instantly fell in love with it. In regards of my favorite artists, I can surely mention Godsmack, Tool, Led Zeppelin, Blondie as well. 

Moriah: Blondie is definitely a good one. 

You know, I have to do a special mention about Blondie, due to the fact that throughout its long career, the band went through different type of skins in each decade. It actually embodied everything all together… 

Moriah: Right, right. The band is constantly re-inventing itself which is supercool. 

Brooke: Yeah, the band always took a lot influences from a lot of different genres. Without any doubt. 

PLUSH is a force of nature. Despite the young age of the members, you sound already mature. In truth, what does PLUSH stand for and which goals do you want to reach?  

Moriah: Well, I have many goals for this band but, one of the biggest, for sure, is I really really would like to be a role model for young girls. As far as females goes, I personally think that there aren’t any genuine and enough role models in music industry. And when I say this, I point to the fact that there’s nobody for example that can teach you to not exploit your body to be somebody. So, what I’m really looking forward with PLUSH, is to inspire our young female fans. 

What also I would like to do with PLUSH is to touch people’s heart and through my personal experience, help them out with the same issues I struggled in the past. Lastly, I would love to tour outside the US. For example, I’ve heard that the crowds in Europe are amazing and I literally dying to do it. However, our main goal is building our fan base. 

Brooke: I couldn’t agree more. Especially, with inspiring our young fans. About that, lately I’ve been receiving a lot of comment on my YouTube and Instagram accounts such as “Oh my god, you’ve inspired me to get back into play music”. Actually, those are my favorite comments because they make me feel amazing and they really touch my heart. 

Photo by Elissa Ebersold – Concert Photographer & Graphic Designer

About this matter, girls, for each of you, which is the most inspiring female role model that you respect and appreciate? 

Moriah: For me, the most inspiring female model, I guess, is Lzzy Hale from Halestorm. She is and she was a true inspiration because when I was growing up, there weren’t any good role models in my generation that played guitar and sang in a rock band. Actually, when I was already 9 years old, I was already playing the guitar and I remember that I saw my first Halestorm’s concert back then. 

It felt amazing because of the fact that I never ever saw a female up there on the stage who was completely badass and being unapologetic her. Just doing what I want to do. Definitely, Lzzy Hale had a huge impact on me and attending my first Halestorm’s concert was something quite spiritual.  

Brooke: Instead, for me is a bit different. When I was approaching music itself, I have never ever seen any female musician or drummer that inspired me. So, I find quite hard to reply this question because I necessarily had any female role model to look up to. 

Recently, on Feb 9th, your début single “Hate” was released via Pavement Entertainment . What can you tell me about its production and the lyrics? And also, I saw the video, it’s amazing. 

Moriah & Brooke: Thank you.  

Moriah: Lyrically, I can tell you that “Hate” is about that classic story of heartbreak, so, of a relationship gone bad. You feel literally broken by. At the end of the day, you hate all these things of that person, what they did to you, how they hurt you. But what you hate the most is the fact that you still love them and you still think about it every day. 

Brooke: As for the production, it was amazing to travel to Nashville for our recording session together with Grammy nominee producer Johnny K. Of course, it was a dream coming true working with him. However, if I have to speak about my part, throughout this session, I just tried to channel the same emotion that the lyrics were giving. Just to carry on with the vibe. 

In that regard, how was collaborating with Johnny K and so far, which lesson did you learn from it? 

Moriah: It was amazing. I really loved to work with me, and I hope in the future that we get to work with him once again. You know, during our session, it might sound corny, but all our visions simply aligned, and it felt almost magical. As far as what I’ve learned from Johnny is let go of myself.

Then, experience all the emotions that come out and simply convey the message of your song with your own voice. Just stop to worry about to sound good or pretty. In my opinion, all that helped me out to being the song to life. Essentially, that is what I’ve learned from Johnny.  

As I mentioned before, your breakout single “Hate” was published via Pavement Entertainment. So far, how is this cooperation treating you and how did everything start? 

Moriah: Everything started almost one year ago around end April/early May, with me and Brooke releasing a cover on YouTube from Heart’s “Barracuda”. And, it was just at the beginning of the first lockdown. Actually, it went viral and it gained a lot of attention which both we didn’t expect. 

Due to this impressive feedback, consequently all this has sparked the interest of Pavement Entertainment, in the person of the boss owner, Tim. His first message was appreciation and congratulations for our work but it turned to be just a kind message, it evolved into a proposal of collaboration with his label. 

What are the future plans that lie ahead for PLUSH

Brooke: Well, up to now we have two more recorded songs to be released in the near future. Then, we hope that the current situation will improve and settled down in order to plan some shows because we have been dearly missing them. Lastly, just grown our fan base and get our name out more. 

Well, girls, actually the previous question was my last one. I hope you have enjoyed the interview and please now, feel free to say hi to your fans and our readers. Thank you so much. 

Moriah: Thank you so much for having us. I just hope that everybody is doing fine. Stay safe and healthy and thank you for reading our interview. 

Brooke: Again, thank you so much for having us. It was great and thank you everybody for your support.  

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