Pretty and profane pop-punk artist Sizzy Rocket is back with a new album, Live Laugh Love. Whether it’s safety-pinning her undies or finishing blunts in her bathtub, Sizzy came to the project with teeth-gritting spunk and a commitment to bearing her insides to her fans.
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Join Sizzy in her world of car breakdowns and f-boy breakups. In this track-by-track run-through of her album, Sizzy transports you into the mosh pit alongside her, screaming “fuck everything!”
"rockshow in the basement"
This song is about the first time I ever went on tour and ended up at this abandoned mansion in Kansas City. Every room was covered in graffiti and there were overturned couches on the front lawn with stuffing spewing out and it was truly one of the most beautiful, most alive places I have ever been. There was a punk show in the basement. There was a mosh pit going and the music was so loud that it was distorted and it just consumed me. I jumped into the mosh pit without hesitating and it sounds cliche but that was one of the first times in my life where I felt genuinely free — dripping with sweat and unbearably light.
The track isn’t punk, though. It’s slow and cinematic and beautiful. Even though punk music is raucous and aggressive and, at times, even ugly, there is a palpable joy in it, and that’s the beauty of it. It was in the room that night in Kansas City — this raw energy. That feeling is what this whole album is about.
"live laugh love"
Bang, all of a sudden you’re in the middle of the mosh pit. I wanted the second track to drop you right into the rock show and start the album with a bang. And what better way than with a chaotic guitar solo? I love that it’s angsty and aggressive and kinda nihilistic: “Break my heart, make it hurt/ Rip the shirt off my back/ Rip the entire universe/ Ain’t it always been a sick sad world? Well that’s all it’s ever gonna be…” But it’s still somehow hopeful in the end: “So bring it on! I’ll be okay no matter what/ Cus I can live laugh love, laugh it off.”
That’s kinda what the past few years have been like, through the pandemic and its aftermath. But I’m still here. I worked through it. Through the chaos and a violent rollercoaster of change, the art remained intact, somehow. That’s when I knew I was meant to be an artist, when I started putting my art before everything else. It gave me resilience and confidence and taught me to just keep going. It’s the only thing that really matters.
"wendy's parking lot"
I remember the day we wrote this song so vividly. I was having car trouble. I was stranded somewhere in a parking lot in Burbank and I was so frustrated that I just started laugh-crying. I looked up and I was standing under a Wendy’s sign and it just made the whole thing kind of insane and surreal and American — hysterically crying about car trouble, stranded under a Wendy’s sign.
Eventually, I made it to the studio and I knew I had to write about that feeling. When you’re so frustrated that nothing matters anymore and it becomes liberating. I love that the song’s lyrics are angsty as fuck but the feeling of the song is upbeat and playful: “All by myself, I’m crying in the parking lot/ Nobody loves me, guess I’ll just lay down and die/ Now I’m just a sucker living in the gutter/ Nobody loves me, not even your mother.” Now that’s camp.
Maybe it’s because I’m an Aries but I loooove an anthem. To really capture the spirit of punk on the record I knew we had to make an anthem for the punks, something with a ton of energy. I love all the imagery in the lyrics: “Swinging from the rafters/ Wreaking havoc/ In the bathroom at your party raiding your medicine cabinet.” I love when a song feels like you’re watching a movie as you’re listening. I wanted this one to embody some Harmony Korine art-skater-film vibe from the ‘90s.
I also love that the hook has no lyrics, even though it’s an “anthem.” It’s just a repeating melody and the line “this is the anthem.” It’s subversive. And that’s always been the point of real punk.
BUBBLEGUM was the first song we made for the album in July 2020. Me and my producer decided we needed to get the fuck out of LA, so we drove to Joshua Tree for a week with our friends and set up a studio in the house. We would go from nine in the morning until 2 AM. It was the last day and I was going through a breakup and hungover from rosé and I was just so sick of looking at my phone all day and so upset about the world. Benny started this guitar riff and it just happened in a snarl: “I’m gonna ruin my reputation/ Fuck the internet and never look back.” I think we really captured that wild, frustrated energy on this song. Like it can be extremely empowering and sexy to say fuck everything. Fuck my phone, fuck the police, fuck it all. And that feeling, being at your breaking point, actually leads to true freedom.
"All I Ever Wanted"
When we started working in the new studio at the beginning of 2021, this was the first song we made. I was really nervous because I hadn’t written a song in a few months. I knew whatever we made that day would be the start of this new album journey, so I wanted to start with what I do best: some crunchy guitar and a bratty pop vocal.
The crunchy guitars actually have my vocals mixed in as well. I love using my voice to mimic my favorite instruments. I call it “painting with my voice.” You’ll hear it on the second half of the choruses: It sounds like a distorted guitar sound comes in. And that’s what makes this lil bop so fun, it has my dirty punk essence all over it.
It started one unassuming afternoon. I had been working with Fernando Garibay that day and was riding a high of inspiration. When I got to the studio, I started blasting my favorite anthems: Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl,” David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel,” Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” I was determined to capture a similar energy and tap into my own fearlessness. The session began and within minutes the first draft of what would become “Rebel Revolution” was up and running. The first verse was freestyled in one take.
I like to think of my songwriting process as physical. How could it not be when music is what literally moves us? We left the second verse blank, and I ran home to finish the song in full glam. Sometimes I have to dress up to get the lyrics out. Sometimes I have to close my eyes and pretend like I’m on stage. To finish the Rebel lyrics, I had to go all the way: safety-pinning my underwear, smearing red lipstick all over myself, and doing full out diva choreography. Only then would the song let me finish her.
This song was the last one we made for the album and I remember wanting to do something ridiculous. I had been listening to Gucci Mane’s “Lemonade” that morning. It starts with this bouncy, whimsical piano riff, and when the beat kicks in with his singing, it’s sooo swag. I love this combination of confidence and playfulness. It becomes contagious. When I came to the studio that day, I knew I wanted to do something cunty and fun.
I love the way that my co-writer Troi Irons and I really brought the metallic world to life. It’s that feeling when it’s 2 AM at the club and you’re standing on top of the speaker whipping your hair and shaking your ass and radiating energy and power. That’s how gay clubs make me feel, like I’m in a safe space and can express my sexuality and my queerness fully. Like I can really be myself and live my true fantasy.
"Suck My Luv"
I was still stuck in my contract with Universal Music Group, and it had been about a year of battling with them, trying to get out of it. I was feeling defeated and I wanted revenge. As I was writing this song, I realized the best revenge ever would be keeping my love for my music and art alive and not letting the industry contaminate it. I came up with “Suck My Luv” as a way to take my power back. Like, you may be able to take my songs and my money and my name, but you will never ever be able to take my love away from me. “Middle fingers up/ You can suck my love/ Like you mean it/ Like a blade, I’m bout to switch up the game/ So keep the bull shit, I don’t need the fame.” And I really don’t.
I was in the middle of a breakup and just in so much pain, working a lot, trying to stay busy. Writing was really the only thing that helped. The sun was going down and my producer just started with those two mellotron chords and it flowed from there — like an open wound. The lyrics kinda just happened in one of those rare moments where it all seems to fall into place without even touching it. I guess it’s easy to express myself when I’m hurt because that place is so specific and familiar. Heartbreak is easy to indulge in, like emotional porn. I felt so foolish for sincerely falling in love with this boy who was clearly a player. So betrayed. And so alive. “You’re not even trying, I’m still riding and dying/ I’m still bending over backwards, falling for the asshole, looking like a fool for you/ Don’t let me go just yet, I still got love left baby/ Where is it supposed to go? I sound crazy/ Like a broken record wishing you’d still play me.” I love how angry and defiant it is, yet still so soft and delicate. It almost hurts to listen to it.
This is a true story. It’s one of my favorite memories from when I was in love on tour during the summer of 2018. We walked five miles in the insane summer heat to a museum in Milwaukee and I wanted to kiss her so bad, right in front of this Picasso painting, but it was too soon. So instead of writing about it I’m just going to share a poem I wrote during that time. It says more than I ever could now.
“and there we were, in black and white photo booth strips
soft and naked like rose petals pressed in a book
inseparable before we even knew each other, spending hours
on a bench outside of a bumfuck holiday inn laughingandkissing and
laughingandkissing and I remember kissing you burned
like something wrong in my throat —
unbearable light. shitty white wine. hope, all around me that summer
like a soft yellow glow of butterflies
I started writing love letters. meeting you at galleries.
walking 6 miles in the minnesota summer heat fueled by god and love,
new and ruthless”
"Lasso The Moon"
I think this might be my favorite track on the album. It’s so lighthearted and hopeful, yet somehow remains cool. And it happened with so much ease. I love how it creates a world, with the synth sound effects that feel like a rocket ship taking off. Then the spoken word skit in the middle zooms you out, all the way into outer space.
The post chorus is my favorite part. I was listening to a lot of electronic music last fall while we were making the album. I was inspired by the hook in the Caribou track “You Can Do It.” Like, fuck yeah, I can do this! So I took that energy with me to the studio and we made her: this motivational anthem disguised as a soft indie bop.
“Wild Woman” almost didn’t make it on the album. I remember feeling like the vocals were too harsh to listen to, imperfect and gritty. The song was recorded on a day where I wasn’t even supposed to go to the studio because I was ill. But I absolutely hate laying around when I’m ill. So I sat down at my desk and started writing on my piano and this song just came out.
The lyrics and the melody have such a power behind them. I knew I had to capture the vocals right in that moment or else risk losing that feeling forever. Sometimes that’s the way it is — that’s why it’s important to be able to record your vocals the day you write a song while it’s still fresh. So even though I was super sick, I called my producer and told him I needed to get the vocals down. And we did in one take.
I thought it was ugly-sounding for a long time. The beauty of the raw vocal didn’t hit me until later, when I was choosing songs for the track list. Towards the end of the album-making process I was really struggling with my perfectionism and it was getting hard for me to make creative decisions without fear of destroying the project entirely. But luckily I woke up one day and heard how the imperfection of “Wild Woman” is what makes it beautiful.
I wrote this song with Troi Irons, who is one of my favorite artists ever. We just connect on a deep level and I feel like our music individually is deep, so being vulnerable in the studio with them is effortless. I was hunched over my notebook on the floor and they were playing that soft guitar riff at the beginning on a loop, and I remember Troi asked me what I was thinking. And I was thinking about The White Stripes’ album Elephant, and how much it influenced me and how iconic it is and how I wanted to make something big and iconic. When I first found The White Stripes I was in the fourth grade, and that album really shaped me. I would listen to it over and over when I came home from school feeling like a loser and a misfit. I went to a private school and was bullied by the popular rich kids and was such an outcast. But my favorite bands made me feel like I had a home.
And so I told Troi I was thinking about the word Elephant and being a misfit — and the two sort of combined in my mind — the elephant in the room. I knew I wanted to paint a picture of an outcast coming into her own, chipped black nail polish in the corner of the room, invisible and alone. The truth is that she’s soooo powerful, she just doesn’t know it yet. When we started the verse, it just flowed from there. We cut the vocals that day and the song was done quickly.
"With My Idols"
I actually wrote this in a hot bubble bath the night before a studio session. I love to smoke a joint in a hot bubble bath after a long day. So I was sitting in the tub not even really thinking about it and just started singing this beautiful melody. It was so beautiful that I had to run out of the tub to grab my phone and record it. I started doing what I call “working a melody.” Just singing it over and over and seeing what words come out, letting it evolve. So, I sat in the tub with a joint in one hand and my phone in the other, working the melody and feeling out the words.
Within 15 minutes, I had the first verse and the hook worked out and I knew it was special. This song is about leaving behind all of the bullshit of the industry and following in the footsteps of my idols — Jack White, Iggy Pop, etc — towards “heaven,” which for me, is a life full of art and love and realness. “Goodbye world, I’m leaving it all behind,” as in, goodbye to a world that measures success in numbers and money and followers and material things. “I’m going to heaven with my idols.” I choose to live my life in pursuit of love and art and truth. That is how I measure success. That is all that really matters. That is how I want to live laugh love.
Photos courtesy of Sizzy Rocket