QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Luna Blanc (S Y Z Y G Y X)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello Luna. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well?

Luna: I am doing pretty well, thank you. I think I am alive. Am I alive? That’s a deep question. Maybe I’m dead and this is happening in some other dimension?

Pix666: Your band/ solo project is still quite new – you formed S Y Z Y G Y X in 2017, right? Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences.

Luna: Yes, S Y Z Y G Y X was formed at the very end of 2017, but not officially. It was more about having fun with synths at first, and there wasn’t really a band; we did not acquire a band name until the year after, so officially, it formed in 2018.

S Y Z Y G Y X is a synth-based project, from Washington, D.C. Formerly a duo, and now my solo project. My project is associated with darkwave/coldwave, but I don’t really label myself with a genre (although that’s a great genre to be associated with!).

Pix666: Luna, how the hell do you come up with a band name like that? 😊 I think people almost break their tongues when they first read and speak the name. Does the name have a meaning?

Luna: That was exactly my goal, to break people’s tongues! Haha, I am kidding. When we first started making music, I was particularly inspired by sounds that would make me think of the Universe, because it has always felt so much bigger than I, naturally. So I started looking up “space terms” and I found the word “syzygy”, which means the alignment of two or more celestial objects, in other words, it’s an eclipse. I thought, celestial objects are the sounds to me, when they all come together they make the songs, the ideal eclipse.

Then, I thought, I don’t know much about what’s out there in the Universe though, or the afterlife, so the X at the end will be the unknown. And finally, I thought, because it’s a “space term” we’ll put spaces in between the letters, and just to yell it out at the world, they’ll be caps: S Y Z Y G Y X.

Pix666: When I hear some of your songs, I start dreaming and feel like I’m back in my youth, back in the 80ies. What was your inspiration to become a musician?

Luna: Well, I personally have always loved 80s/80s inspired music. I also love all the movie/tv soundtracks that have super cool synthesizer sounds, they’ve always been a big part of my inspiration as a musician (such as John Carpenter, or Stranger Things soundtrack).

I did not know I could make music until 2017, and then I didn’t know I could make music people would actually enjoy until 2018.

When I met Josh, he told me that he had been producing music for several years, but that he had stopped for some time; I shared with him that I’ve always been curious about producing. I had gone to Film School, done some photography, and wrote a lot of poetry, ALL inspired by music, but never attempted to make music.

Together we acquired the necessary equipment to just test it out, and then realized I wasn’t too bad at it. I fell absolutely in love with it. 80s inspired music just naturally came out of me. I love it!

Pix666: In a few days your album ‚(IM)MORTAL‘ will be released. What can fans expect? In which versions can fans buy the album and is it already available for pre-order somewhere?

(Im)mortal LP is all about Luna. I let all my emotions out, even when I felt like I had lost all of my inspiration. There are a couple of songs that I wrote while I had heightened emotions that quickly changed after some time, one good example is “Old Karambit”, I was very angry/resentful, which I am not anymore, so I considered taking it out, but I left it in the album because it’s part of me, it’s part of my artistic expression. Another good example is “Your Loss, Not Mine” written for my estranged father. It all felt too personal, but I left it all in there. I am very proud of this album, of every sound, of every song.

(Im)mortal LP will be available in digital (all streaming platforms and Bandcamp), CD, Vinyl and cassette. They all have different designs, they’re meant to be collector’s items, they’re also limited supplies. What’s inside the CD is very different from the cassette, and so on.

Pix666: Oh, music cassette – a cool idea. This medium fits your music somehow, of course, but do you think people still have devices at home in which they can play music cassettes, or is something like that bought as a pure collector’s item nowadays?

Luna: I have noticed a cassette revival. First, it was the vinyl, now it’s the cassette. And understandably so! They’re adorable. I am not sure if people are buying walkmans or cassette players, but I know everyone is getting them again!

A good friend of mine gave me a cassette his band released and I’ve never listened to it, I had to look it up online, but it’s a cool thing to have. I try to give the people what they want! I’ve heard you all! Cassettes for the win! 

Pix666: In summer 2021 you released the single ‘Cold Touch’. What is the song about and what are the themes of the songs on your upcoming album?

Luna: “Cold Touch” is about losing all inspiration (or thinking that you did), which in return makes you feel hopeless. I consider myself to be, mostly, a metaphoric writer. So, I turn emotions into physical beings. The cold touch of hopelessness was so indifferent towards my aspirations, that once I felt inspiration coming back to me, I told hopelessness that it could never touch me again, I would not allow it. Seeing things metaphorically has always helped me understand things better, or rather, explain things better.

It also allows people to interpret it however they’d like, you could take it literal if you’d like; it could be about a situation or a relationship, it is about whatever you feel like it’s about. And the same applies to my upcoming album, and all my music in general. I generally stay in the metaphorical state, my songs talk about emotions like they’re people, but it’s usually just a struggle within. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but artists aren’t necessarily completely sane. We feel too much, all the time, and that’s the general theme of my music.

Pix666: I’m a fan of statistics of all kinds. What about you, Luna? Do you look at the numbers of streams, the views on YouTube, or do you know, for example, in which countries the people who listen to your music live?

Luna: I do like looking at statistics. I don’t look at them obsessively, maybe once a week, to see how I’m doing. I do also look at countries listening, it all varies from platform to platform. The US is probably number one, Germany I believe is second, but that all continually changes. I have super sweet fans all over the place, and they’re all the most amazing people, I am very lucky. Heck, I am lucky that people like my art. My statistics keep growing over time, which blows my mind! It’s fun to look at the growth and be able to track that!

Pix666: Regarding the European market, you work together with the German label Cold Transmission. How did the contact with the guys come about and what advantages does that have for you as an artist?

Luna: When Cold Transmission found S Y Z Y G Y X, we were mostly releasing songs here and there on Soundcloud. We had released an EP with Cleopatra Records, based in Los Angeles, California, but we still weren’t doing things too seriously (had never played a show, etc.). Andy Hermann (half of Cold Transmission) sent us a message on Facebook and asked if they could use the song “Lovely, Deadly” for a compilation (or something like that). We said yes! We got to talking further and realized how amazing Andy and Suzy are! They really take care of their artists and they care, they’re passionate about music and it shows.

Having them in Europe helps tremendously! If it weren’t for them, I don’t think we’d be as popular in Europe. I am going on my second tour to Europe soon, and it is all thanks to them. They work so hard for their bands’ success, it’s just incredible!

Pix666: Are the dates for the European tour already fixed?

Luna: Yes! The European tour is starting at the very end of February 2022 in Italy, ending in Germany in mid-March! More info will be coming soon! I will be announcing all the European shows in the next months!  I’ll be playing tons of German cities on this tour. I can’t wait! You can stay tuned to my social media pages and spotify for the show announcements!

Pix666: When you perform live, do you actually stand on stage all by yourself, or are you supported by other musicians?

Luna: I do have a partner with me on stage, Corey, who triggers all the pads and vocal pedals so I can jump around and dance like a maniac on stage. I connect so deeply with the audience that I get too distracted with it. I also get deeply connected to the music, it’s like a high, like the greatest drug there is! So while I’m in this trance, Corey makes sure all the necessary effects, and such, are being taken care of behind me on stage.

Pix666: Are you taking merch with you on tour? I can imagine that sending it by post to the European fans is not that easy and certainly the shipping is expensive?

Luna: Yes! I always try to have merch with me on tour. It can be more expensive for European fans to order merch from me here in the US. So, while supplies last, I’ll definitely have merch with me on tour!

Some of the merch does ship from Europe from Cold Transmission headquarters in Germany, however, they’re different versions from the ones I have here in the US. Therefore, getting merch from the shows is probably the most inexpensive option!

Pix666: From your point of view, what are the milestones in S Y Z Y G Y X‘ history so far – but also the experiences that you will never forget, such as funny moments during video shoots, etc.?

Luna: To me, the fact that I get to play shows away from home, especially going to play shows in Europe this early in my career as a musician, is quite a milestone.

When I first set up my home studio, I thought it would never come out of that bedroom. I would’ve never imagined that other people would like it and I’d grow this much. Anything outside of just showing my music to a couple of friends and my mom, has been a milestone. I’m very grateful for it.

A story that is now funny (even though it wasn’t that funny when it happened), was getting stuck in the airport in Hamburg, Germany in 2020. When the COVID chaos erupted, and the US government had announced that they wouldn’t be letting people in the country, we were on a boat (MS Stubnitz) in Hamburg. Andy and Suzy dropped us off that very morning to the airport and had to cancel the rest of the tour. We got there and there were no seats to any of the flights to the US, the airlines did not know how to help, they just kept saying they’d let us know if anything had changed. We “set up camp” in some benches in the airport and just kept making calls. We were in the airport for 12 hours.

I was 100% sure at the time I would not be able to return to the US. My mother called me from the US saying that she had finally gotten a hold of a flight ticket leaving 15 minutes from the time of that call, so we just started running like crazy! One of the workers at the airport that was aware of our situation helped us cut the lines telling everyone we needed to catch a flight immediately (I believe he was a flight attendant, he could’ve also been part of security), he even helped us skip the security lines! It felt like the entire staff were trying to help us, kind of like a movie, where the entire airport seems to be trying to help the main characters. We made it on time to the door right when they were boarding, and got home safely. During our 12 hours of waiting we did befriend a band from Australia that was also stuck in the airport. They’re a super cool metal band called Sabïre, and we all kept each other company all day and even exchanged merch. They, too, made it home safely!

Pix666: As a musician, you surely spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to distract yourself – are there any interesting hobbies you pursue? 😊

Luna: I actually work as a sign artist for a store. So, I do sign art for products, for murals, for holidays, things like that. I have creative freedom too, so it’s a pretty sweet job. I basically get to draw/paint all day. I am also starting to get into tattooing, I got myself a tattoo machine to just start out and practice, see if I’m any good. So far, I’m doing decent stuff on fruits (mainly oranges and bananas)! Hopefully I can grow in that area too and maybe someday do more with it.

Pix666: Do you have any other news about S Y Z Y G Y X that you would like to share with the fans?

I just want to say thank you, always! Thank you for your support, and for being the raddest people on this planet. I hope to continue growing with S Y Z Y G Y X and I can play in more places in the world. And to stay tuned on my social media pages where I’ll always keep you updated on tour dates, releases and more!

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck with your album and stay healthy! Hope to see you soon on stage!

Luna: Thank you! this was a lot of fun 🙂



photos © by Eran Yardeni and S Y Z Y G Y X