The Soft Moon on Live Performance: "It's a Living Thing"
Photo by Dennis Shoenberg

The Soft Moon on Live Performance: "It's a Living Thing"

Listening to Luis Vasquez's three dark industrial albums as the Soft Moon, you would think he always lived in Berlin. But he originally hails from sunny Southern California. "I was born in L.A., where I watched MTV every morning. It was mostly glam rock like Poison, Mötley Crüe, Cinderella, and Warrant. I was obsessed by the guitar when I saw Slash from Guns N' Roses."

His obsession led paid off and after years of playing guitar, Vasquez started familiarizing himself with Krautrock like Can and Neu!, which inspired him to buy his first synthesizer and begin recording as the Soft Moon. Those first three albums — The Soft Moon, Zeros, and Deeper — were completely solo endeavors with every note and lyric composed and recorded completely by Vasquez. "This is an exploration of my existence so it makes sense not to have any collaborators," he says.

Though his methods might sound isolating, Vasquez says the Soft Moon has helped him feel less alone. "After the first two records I got obsessed with the connections I made with other people. With Deeper, I realized I wasn't alone and I felt more confident in expressing myself now that I knew there were like-minded people out there."

Being around those like-minded people is what brought him out of Oakland and to Berlin. "I go where my music takes me and my strongest audience is in Germany. Berlin's not the prettiest city because of World War Two, but I constantly feel inspired there, which is good for someone who needs to be creative to make money. In Berlin there's a sense of freedom to do whatever you want at any hour."

He's considering his current tour, which takes him to Gramps January 16, as a farewell of sorts to Deeper. "I write a record and once I tour it, that chapter is completed. After this tour I can focus on the next chapter and writing new music." But Vasquez assures attendees that on the current tour, his mindset is solely on the live experience. "Every show is a little different. It's a living thing. I like to get inside the music and get lost in the sound."

Saturday's show was originally supposed to have the Killing Joke on the bill as well, but last week it was announced the band had to cancel its tour. But there's still plenty of reason to come out tomorrow night. 

Vasquez is very excited to bring Soft Moon's live experience to South Florida for the first time ever. His parents are Cuban and lived in Miami before Vasquez was born. He's hoping before the show to get to see family members who still live here. "Miami is like the second home I've never been to."

The Soft Moon with Jennie Vee, Heavy Drag, and more. 8 p.m. Saturday, January 16, at Gramps, 176 NW 24 St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com. Tickets cost $10 via epoplife.com

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