Susan Said is a loud, melodic, and raw New York Original Indie Rock Band. The band is led by Susan Wilson-Sed, a tall, blonde, powerhouse who will immediately change any negative ideas you may have had about a female fronted rock band. Their new full-length CD BIG LIFE was released in February of 2016. The songs off of this CD are littered with hard driving, melodic music, and lyrical twists. Sed’s imaginative songwriting and the band’s amazing musicianship keep them on the top download charts.
I met Susan and her bassist Matt Rocchio, about a year ago while photographing a show at the Sidewalk NYC. Talented and visually stimulating to watch, I instantly liked the band. I was immediately drawn to Susan as she is not only extremely photogenic but her energy is decidedly intoxicating. I have had the pleasure of seeing them perform a few more times since then and they always deliver a powerful, kick ass show. I had a chance to chat with Susan about the band, the inspiration behind their songs, and her political views..
lcappi: Hey Susan, you know I always love running into you and Matt when you are playing but this is even better because we can get a little more personal. Let’s dive right in… Who are the other members of Susan Said? How long have you been together as a band? How would you describe your sound?
Susan: Well – let’s see, Susan Sed on vocals and guitar, Matt Rocchio on bass and backing vocals, Brendan Saadat on lead guitar, and Todd Budich on drums. We’ve been together over 10 years. Our sound is hard driving but melodic, with catchy, crunchy choruses.
lcappi: Do you write all the music and lyrics or is it a collaborative effort? What inspires you?
Susan: I write the music and lyrics. I don’t like writing about ordinary things, so there is typically some strange subject matter in there. Even though I write the music and lyrics, everyone contributes. Matt writes his own bass lines and Brendan writes his solos. Every now and then I’ll hear a catchy guitar part or bass part in my head and I’ll ask them to play it, but for the most part we all work on the arrangements. EVERYTHING inspires me! Seriously – people, places, anything.
lcappi: Who/what are your individual musical influences?
Susan: Wow, this is always a hard one. I listen to so much stuff. Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Beatles, Beck, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Cage The Elephant, Bach, Mozart, Rolling Stones, Blondie, The Pretenders, Heart, St. Vincent, Nat King Cole, Mendelssohn, Red Hot Chili Peppers…
lcappi: How many CD’s, including BIG LIFE, have you recorded? Do you produce your own music? Any immediate plans to record another CD?
Susan: We have 3 out right now, the most recent is BIG LIFE which was mixed by Bruce Buchanan who worked for Atlantic Records. He is amazing. Matt and I usually produce along with Bruce. We have a new – more acoustic release coming out this January – 2017.
lcappi: Tell me about BIG LIFE and the inspiration behind it?
Susan: Every song on that CD was written from stories that other people living in NYC told me. It’s sort of a collection of short stories from the depths of NYC. The exceptions are “BIG LIFE”, “Dirty Wood Floor”, and “Politician” – the first two are based on my own experiences, and I wrote “Politician” because every four years it’s a slug-fest with the candidates, and it seems to divide the country.
lcappi: You have made some pretty impressive videos? Did you conceptualize them? Who produced them? And what is all the controversy over the new one “Politician”? Is this song a reflection of your political views?
Susan: I usually have a vision when I write the song. Matt and I discuss what we want to do, and then I start thinking about how we are going to do the production part. We are lucky to have our friend Garland Berenzy (film director) working with us, he is a very artistic and creative force. We sit down with him and discuss what we want and he makes it come alive. He is an amazing editor and that is really one of the most important parts of the video, the editing. We may come up with the concept but everyone creates their own performances and everyone in the band has their own distinct personalities which come out on film and that is what makes the video unique.
Politician doesn’t really express any political views. It is strictly about how more importance seems to be placed on the competition of the election and not the needs of the people. The mannequin parts represent the people being torn apart instead of being brought together. The mannequins also represent a complacency that seems to prevail.
lcappi: I read somewhere that two of your tunes were featured as main theme songs on a couple of films. That is pretty impressive, it must have felt particularly empowering as an artist to have been recognized like that. Can you tell me more about it?
Susan: It was great! “Run You Away” was a ballad I wrote and it got into a film called “Federal Hill.” It went worldwide – so the song got international recognition. The song played during the movie and also at the end of the film during the credit roll. When the movie went to video it started playing on HBO and other channels and that was really fantastic. We still get tons of downloads on that song. We’ve had a few other songs in a few things. It’s always nice when someone uses a song in that way, makes you feel like you’re on the right track.
lcappi: What other musical credits can you lay claim to?
Susan: Well, Let’s see…hmmm…We played on bill with Howie Day and the cast of Saturday Night Live at Irving Plaza, NYC for the New York Comedy Film Festival. That was great fun. Met a lot of people like Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, etc. David Bowie showed up to one of our shows – that was simply amazing. We have toured almost every country. I probably forgot something… I can never remember this stuff! HAHA!
lcappi: Where can we watch your videos? Purchase your CD’s?
Susan: Official videos for the songs “BIG LIFE,” “I Just Don’t Care,” and “Politician” are available on YouTube – you can go to www.susansaid.com to watch videos and you can always listen/purchase on www.cdbaby.com/susansaid or listen on www.reverbnation.com/susansaid. You can also purchase our songs and full length CD’s on Amazon.com and iTunes.
I’d like to give a big thank you to Susan Sed for taking the time to chat with me and now check out the music video “Politician” from the BIG LIFE cd.
Cover Photo Credit: Noel Sutherland
Thursday, Nov. 10th at 10PM – Sidewalk Cafe – 94 Avenue A, NYC No cover.
Thursday, December 1st at 8:30PM – Uncle Willy’s Tavern – 31 N Front St, Kingston, NY – No Cover.
Friday, December 16th at 9:00PM – The Winery at ST. George – 1715 E. Main ST., Mohegan Lake NY – No cover.
For booking and other band information, including upcoming shows, check out the following:
JWB Management & Booking: 212-631-4260
“We just wanna kick ya in the head a little, and wake yer ass up.” – Susan Sed