“My show is kind of like a punk show, but also a pop show, but not in a pop-punk way,” says Sizzy Rocket, laughing. Sizzy’s crass, club-ready bangers owe as much to the acts that made Max’s Kansas City and CBGB famous as they do to any of the artists you’re likely to wiggle your ass to at Woody’s or Voyeur. Next week the singer/songwriter/producer kicks off her Rebel Revolution Tour (which includes a July 4th stop at The Dolphin), named for her most recent single, which she has described as, “a hot, gay summer anthem,” and tells me during a recent phone chat has received basically the perfect response from her fans: “I feel like ‘Rebel’ did kind of exactly what I wanted it to do. It introduced a new era, a new album’s coming.”
The last time we saw Sizzy Rocket in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection was right down the street from the former go-go bar, when she opened for synth-heavy alt rockers Kitten in 2017 at Boot & Saddle (where her fans made up about 80% of the crowd). In the time since, she’s released two LPs (2019’s Grrrl and 2020’s ANARCHY) and a plethora of singles. However, she currently has a new LP completed, which is awaiting a release date and which she tells me is her most accomplished work yet: “The album is done and it’s my most ambitious thing I’ve ever made. With Grrrl, I didn’t know if I would be able to make a whole album on my own, and then with ANARCHY I was so bombastic and confident to make a punk record in eight days. With this one, I will have been working on it for two years by the time it comes out.” She also tells me that fans can definitely expect a preview on the Rebel Revolution Tour: “I don’t like to sit on music. I like to write things and then put them out, so you’re gonna hear some new songs.”
In addition to her setlist, Sizzy tells me that her live performance will also be something new for longtime fans. “Expect the unexpected,” she tells me, before adding that she’ll be playing piano more than ever before at these shows. She even tells me that there’s something extra special planned for the start of her set, although doesn’t offer any spoilers: “I’m opening the show in a way I’ve never opened a show before, although I’m not going to give that away…” She does, however, admit that some things will never change about a Sizzy Rocket show: “I just want it to be a big, fun, sweaty dance party.”
Despite her dirty mouth and sartorial swagger, Sizzy Rocket’s music is firmly within the pop realm, and she does tell me there’s plenty going on in that world right now of which she’s a huge fan. When asked about her favorite “gay summer anthem” that she didn’t write, she tells me, “‘Cool for the Summer,’ by Demi Lovato is one of my favorite summer anthems, and that is definitely gay. That is one of the best vibes: ‘This summer I wanna feel free and celebrate love.’” And when I ask her about her favorite album of the moment, she proudly proclaims, “This Post Malone album that just came out was pretty incredible. The songwriting is next level. Shout out, Post Malone – I love you!”
However, when it comes to her performances, Sizzy tells me that the majority of her influences are on the edgier side of things (Most notably Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and The Julie Ruin’s Kathleen Hanna.) “Iggy Pop is a big one for me, too. I studied him in high school on YouTube, videos from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The backbend I do is inspired by him,” she says, before going on to cite Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O and The Kills’ Alison Mosshart as other major influences (in addition to Freddie Mercury and Lady Gaga). She also tells me that her wardrobe is far more inspired by the subcultural.
“I make a lot of my outfits, or thrift something and then add to it. That’s such a huge part of punk. It’s DIY music, but then you can make your own identity; it adds a statement of originality to anything. It’s for anyone, it’s for everyone. You can get a leather jacket at Goodwill for $20 and then add safety pins and zippers or whatever.”
Sizzy Rocket’s upcoming Philthy show happens to fall on The 4th of July, and while the singer/songwriter admits to having enjoyed America’s birthday on many occasions, she confirms that it has never had anything to do with patriotism: “I have some good memories of the holiday, but nothing to do with what you’re supposed to celebrate, just about being in New York and hanging out on rooftops and being in love, that angsty summer feeling. I’m not about America in that way.”
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