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The Weekly interview: The Soft Moon’s Luis Vasquez

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Luis Vasquez brings his post-punk project The Soft Moon to Triple B January 30.

Note: The Soft Moon has canceled tonight's scheduled Las Vegas performance. A note on the band's Facebook page reads: Last night we played Oakland. Unfortunately when we went to the van to load out, we discovered that someone broke into our van and stole EVERYTHING that was inside. We had to cancel our show in Vegas to deal with this mess. BUT, this will not stop us and we will be continuing the tour and playing SF tomorrow. People have contacted us asking if they could help/donate as we are now facing a huge financial loss. KJ cancelling on us was bad enough, but this has set us back considerably. We set up a GoFoundMe page for those who would like to help. The money raised will be used to print new merch, buy the stolen gear and new clothes (check the link for the list). If you can't donate, come to the show and show your support. Please share this post. Thanks for the continued love and support - Luis

Refunds will be available at points of purchase, per the venue's Facebook page. The locals on tonight's bill—Dark Black and Close to Modern—will still play, with no door charge.

It seems there’s a theme, or some sort of connective tissue, on March album Deeper, correct? Yeah, I guess there’s some sort of theme, just diving into emotion and expressing it on a deeper level—kind of an exploration of oneself. It’s also a way for me to learn more about myself. I’ve over the years become obsessed with learning about who I am and why I struggle with certain emotions and trying to understand them.

Your lyrics have typically been mixed low, but on this album they’re more present. Do they carry any more weight on this record than on past ones? In the past I didn’t really know how to express what I was feeling with words, so I wouldn’t write too many lyrics. My lyrics were more of a mantra—I would bury them and create a sense of frustration, like it’s hard for me to get my words out. Just naturally with this record, it just felt time. I had learned more about myself. I’ve gotten older and I think just because of that natural growth I was able to put words behind my emotions.

You write, record and engineer everything on your own. Do you think you’ll ever expand that process to involve others? I don’t know. As of right now I’m still riding the Deeper wave, still very much focusing on completing this chapter. I never know what the future holds. I am open to collaboration as a way to expand the sounds and the ideas.

You have a band that plays with you on tour. Is it difficult handing over some of that creative control, letting band members play the music you’ve made by yourself? Actually, I really embrace their style or their input when it comes to the live aspect of the project. It helps to have a better dynamic in the live show. If I give them a little bit of freedom, it creates more of a show—it’s more alive rather than too perfect. As we play each night these little things happen between us and it grows and grows.

You’ve talked about your dreams at length, and how they’ve often revolved around the world ending, something apocalyptic. When did you realize this was something that could influence your art? The whole dream thing—the nightmares I was having constantly—those have ended, actually. That was more in regarded to the second album. That was my post-apocalyptic conceptual album, playing into those nightmares I’ve had since I was a child. Once I wrote that album, those dreams stopped. That’s the purpose, to kind of banish these problems or struggles or nightmares. It seems to be working. But in order to conquer that, I had to dive into that nightmare world.

I’ve noticed that I’ve gained a little bit more confidence in myself during the writing process of the [most recent] record, and there’s a little bit less turmoil within. Also, I’ve learned to accept myself and who I am a little bit more with this record. So I guess it’s working. I suffer from anxiety, so the music allows me to fix myself.

You’re living in Berlin now, and I’ve read that influenced Deeper. Of course, David Bowie moved there for his famous Berlin Trilogy. Is there something about Berlin that makes it such a creative place? It’s more about the energy, I guess. There’s something about this place that makes me feel creative at all times, which is important for someone who has a career involving creativity. There’s a sense of freedom that I haven’t felt anywhere else. It makes me feel more comfortable in expressing myself in different ways, or more radically. It’s a very open city with good energy. It’s interesting because the city itself isn’t so pretty because of World War II, but in contrast to that you have a lot of people that are having a really good time.

I don’t know too much about [the Berlin Trilogy]. I know he wrote Low while he was out there, and that’s an amazing record. I’m just kind of doing my thing and living in my own little world, and the music is really what’s taken me to these places. I never thought in a million years I’d live in Berlin, but I’m just kind of going with the flow. Perhaps we’re kindred spirits in a way.

The Soft Moon with Close to Modern, Dark Black. January 30, 8 p.m., $10-$12. Backstage Bar & Billiards, 702-382-2227.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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