Review Fix gets the talented Betty Moon to answer some questions and learns about the role ballet played in forging her stage persona, her respect for Madonna and how her new album ‘Amourphous’ is unique from all her previous works. Read on as she explains how it all came about, including the story behind her song “Time to Move on.”
Review Fix: How does one go from being a girl who studied ballet to becoming Betty Moon?
Betty Moon: As a ballerina I studied with various teachers who inspired me on so many levels. One of the most influential teachers was a choreographer and dance teacher named Lindsay Kemp. He’d worked with David Bowie and came to Toronto with his dance troupe who performed some of the best theatre I’d ever experienced. I had the pleasure of taking his workshop for a summer at The Toronto Dance Theatre. I believe the creators of Circ De Soleil may have also been inspired by him in the same way. They went on to become a modern dance circus and I went on to becoming personified as Betty Moon. Ballet gave me a discipline and control as a young dancer that I was able to channel through music. Betty Moon in some way draws from that while at the same time, allows me to be free from both the regiment and the confinement of ballet. I’ve always been slightly rebellious. Rock N Roll was the antithesis of ballet and I was ready to free myself and explore the grounds less trampled.
Review Fix: You once admitted to an audience that you have respect for Madonna. Please elaborate.
Moon: I thought Madonna took the role of Marilyn Monroe, and the ultimate exploitation of blonde bombshell sexuality and fantasy, to a new level. And most of us enjoyed watching her in the process. She had the right connections, the right team and the right attitude to pursue her blonde ambition with force, drive and she worked extremely hard at it. She saw the opportunity and she seized it. Long live Madonna.
Review Fix: What does Amourphous mean to you as a work of art? In what way does it signal where you are in your life and as an artist?
Moon: That’s a fantastic question. As many have recognized “Amourphous,” is certainly a departure from my past releases that were more in the hard-rock category. When I was writing these songs I really focused on conjuring up some of my favorite influences over the years and create a dynamic and intriguing set of tracks. If you listen to “Amourphous” in its entirety you’ll notice the songs blend together, yet none of them sound too similar to each other. Working with our production team and mixers like Chris Lorde-Alge really helped me bring out my best without letting me second guess what I wanted to be my best work ever. As a work of art I think it truly succeeds as I explore a new palette of instruments and musical color. There’s an underlying mystery about “Amourphous” and when people hear it, it makes them happy. It’ s a power I hold with the making of my music.
Review Fix: Your song Time to Move On is full of intense lyrics. What inspired you to write it?
Moon: I was in Toronto when I wrote the song. I kept feeling a need to escape, as I entered what I thought to be my lowest low and chapter in my life. I felt like I was circling the drain with a need to save myself or be saved or just throw in the towel. I could not act quickly but one thing I was certain of was that it was time to move on. And I did.
Review Fix: The music business demands tremendous dedication from artists. What advice would you give to those who want to be a part of it?
Moon: I would say most importantly, don’t be a quitter. You will need to persevere even when you feel you’ve failed. A lot of people quit just before they reach or accomplish what they set out to. Don’t give up on your dreams and believe in yourself. If you can become a leader, the followers will flock to you once they see and hear value in your teachings and musical expression as a poet, songwriter and philosopher of sort. If you are a healer then you have even more power than you’d imagined. Look upon your talent but draw upon your human strengths. Hopefully this will resonate with your audience. You also have to look for and find your audience. Something I think I had great difficulty with.
Review Fix: You mentioned that your song Valentine was inspired by Shakespeare. Name a literary character you relate to and why?
Moon: I think I relate to several, but if I had to pick one it might be Lady Macbeth. I am always washing my hands and I am certainly OCD.
Review Fix: What is next for Betty Moon?
Moon: Working on a new CD for 2015. My band and I will be heading up the west coast this fall. Then we are venturing towards the north up to my home and native land, Canada to tour, see family and visit friends.