Edie Sedgwick lives!
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Justin Moyer (of SuperSystem, formerly El Guapo) resurrects Andy Warhol's affluent sidekick to sing songs about celebrities.
Last month, I caught Edie Sedgwick at Brooklyn's Northsix. No, not the real Edie Sedgwick (1943-71), but a reasonable facsimile in the person of Justin Moyer. Justin has manifested this reincarnated personality to sing songs about celebrities, each tune bearing the name of its subject, i.e. Martin Sheen, Sigourney Weaver, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.
Post-show, it was clear Justin was a little disheartened by the crowd's wintery reception--as was I. The show was extremely entertaining and I, of course, was prepared for the spectacle, having read his song lyrics and watched his music videos prior to attending. For the interview, we met downstairs in the ice-cold Northsix basement:
How does it feel to perform solo after working with SuperSystem (El Guapo) for so long?
It can be really exhilarating and exciting because I've been in bands for so long where it was always "I want this! Don't do that!" and there was a lot of--not that, in the long run, it didn't work out--but there can be a lot of tension in a band, you know. Whatever. Everyone saw that Metallica video...
So, it's really nice to do something on your own and it can be really great but like, when something's wrong, it's all your fault. If you didn't book a show, it's your fault. If you're not fun or interesting on stage, it's your fault. If you can't think of clever things to respond with when someone heckles you, it's just you up there. It's not anybody else. No one else is responsible.
What about El Guapo? What's your relationship with them right now?
Well, El Guapo is now called SuperSystem and we've switched labels. We're on Touch and Go. And I'm in the band and the band is active. We have a tour of Europe planned.
So, on-stage, do you claim to be the "real" Edie Sedgwick? Like a reincarnation?
There's a whole schtick about it. If you go to my website--which is www.ediesedgwick.biz--it describes that more philosophical thing... It's like, Edie Sedgwick is supposed to be reincarnated and she reflects--she's the mirror of our culture and all this pseudo-Warholian shit.
Yea, "In the beginning of the third millennium" or whatever?
Right! Ha. A lot of it is just building on ideas--like the Makeup for instance. Just this idea that your band has an ?ism, it has a schtick. And it's show business. That always really excited me. I don't think I ever owned a makeup record, in fact, I don't own a makeup record but I would always go see them. I was always like, "What are these guys going to do next? What do they have? What's up with them?" And I'd read interviews with them and think, "Wow, this is really well thought-out" and I always wanted to be like--I get sick of just making clever songs. I didn't want to do that anymore. I wanted everything to have a reason, to be related to a greater something. So this is what I did.
The iPod is the medium is the message right? Would you ever considering performing with a live band or is it about the plasticity--the consumerism?
Well... I don't work well with other people.
And yet, you're in a pretty successful band?
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