1. For those who don’t know you, can you state your name and talk a bit about what you do?
Sure, my name is Melissa Lucciola. A lot of people know me as Francie Moon, some know me as Ms. Moon and some call me Melissa Moon. I mostly play guitar, sing and write songs. I’ve been spending a lot of my time performing those songs around the USA for the last couple years, from small intimate house shows to big outdoors festivals, with close friends to complete strangers, stuffing into tiny cars months at a time until I finally graduated to having my own full size van. I also have been farming a bunch and getting pretty passionate about the environment and holistic health.
2. How would you describe your music to those listening to it for the first time?
It has been hard to describe for me but I like to say it’s a mix of rock and roll, blues, folk, garage and whatever else comes out of me and whoever I’m making music with. Lately, the band and I, which features Adam Pumilia (bass) and Richie Samartin (drums), have been making some really wild and fun music that I’m excited to work on and record. I’ve been messing around with some new pedals and sounds with them. It’s been fun. Some people say I sing like Billie Holiday, which is cool even though I never really listened to her. I actually credit finding my voice to singing along with a lot of Eric Burdon and The Animals and also Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks.” I love all types of blues music and been listening to that for a long time and in my recent years got into a lot of garage and surf music so I suppose I mix everything together and wrap it up in my own weird way.
3. Recently, you released your latest single, “Walked Away,” what do you want to say about this release?
Releasing “Walked Away” was so special for me. We have been working on it a while and that song was a really beautiful group effort that I am really proud to be a part of. Richie Samartin, our drummer, initially recorded the track and then we spent months with Jon Irizarry from the band Rigbi and Land Bridge Records overdubbing, mixing and mastering the track along with a bunch of other songs. We would meet up on random Tuesdays and Thursdays and giggle, sing a lot, mix songs and play guitar solos. I couldn’t have asked for a better time and better people to share that process with.
4. Later this month you will be releasing your self-titled EP, how would you sum up the release?
The EP has been a long time in the making, between writing the songs and recording them, moving and traveling a bunch, nailing down our version of the songs and finally getting it to a point of releasing it is an awesome accomplishment. I picked the songs on the EP because I felt like they were a good representation of what we’re about, what we sound like and what we’re going for. That can all probably boil down to nature, feeling feelings, playing in a garage but somehow also on top of a mountain, a yin-yang lo-fi going a little higher-fi twist, understanding we’re all going to die physically someday and so loving every moment, traveling and seeing new things and sometimes watching the old things change, and just straight up loving to play loud music, especially in a barn in the woods of NJ. Also, the final song on the EP features a bunch of my closest friends who have definitely played a huge part in my life musically and otherwise and I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have them singing and playing with me.
5. If you had to choose one song off of the EP to show to someone listening to it for the first time, which song would you choose? Why?
It really depends on the person. But for the standard stranger I’d probably play “Walked Away,” which is why it’s the first song on the EP.
6. Is there anything else that you would like to say about the EP or the single that you have not yet set?
I want to say thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of my music so far. Releasing this EP is a really special thing for me and I’m really glad to share it with everyone!!
7. Thank you for doing this interview! Before we go, is there anything that you would like to say to the people reading this?
Well, since this is LivingTheVanLife, I can share that I’ve definitely lived in my van for 4 months last year, with my boyfriend, traveling and playing music. You should have seen this thing! We had a memory foam mattress, tapestries, cool curtains, a basketball net, a fridge, all our music equipment, a big case of art supplies, and even a ton of plants!! It was incredible.