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Plush / “We’re just musicians,” Moriah Formica says, “and we love making music.”

Plush recently celebrated the one year anniversary of their first single, Hate. Their self-titled debut album was released three months ago and was recently followed by their second single, Better Off Alone. While their album, unfortunately, went under the MetalTalk radar on its release, recent spots with Evanescence, Halestorm, Mammoth WVH, Daughtry, and Sevendust certainly made us take notice.

MetalTalk reached out to Moriah Formica to look at this new bands development and just how much they were looking forward to touring with Slash and Myles Kennedy and sharing a stage with Kiss.

Interview: Kahmel Farahani

The Plush performance at Rocklahoma, which has had nearly 800k YouTube views, is a great introduction to the band for those who have not seen them perform live. The set is a fantastic, raw, straight and short festival set and includes their astonishing version of Heart’s Baracuda. “That was a lot of fun to play,” Moriah says. “It was so hot that day, though.”

Moriah Formica from Plush
Moriah: “Being catapulted into a lot of this just makes you grow as a person.”

Moriah is certainly someone who has totally embraced music, and as every new door opens, it makes her hungry for more. “I feel like every day there’s a different opportunity out there,” Moriah says. “It’s just an incredible feeling to be able to grow. I just can’t believe how much we’ve grown within a year. I mean, it’s crazy because this time last year, we were preparing for all of this, and we were still in the baby phases of our band. Being catapulted into a lot of this just makes you grow as a person and as a band, so we’re doing very, very well.”

Mariah had been working solo, but as the Covid-19 pandemic hit, her plans were soon to change. “I wasn’t fully complete with what I was doing,” she says, “and right around the same time, I met Brooke [Colucci, drums]. We set up a jam session, and we just clicked. The chemistry was just there, as friends and as musicians.”

Brooke introduced Mariah to Ashley [Suppa, the female version of Cliff Burton]. “Brooke said she had a friend who was really good and really cool.” The three jammed, and it worked. “We were like yeah, let’s be a band.”

The trio secured management, and lead guitar player Bella Peron joined following Lzzy Hale sharing a social media post. “In no time, the four of us got together, and the chemistry was just flowing.”

Plush
Plush, soon to share the stage with Kiss and Slash

Mariah appeared on The Voice when she was 16. “I thought it was incredible,” she says, “and I learned a lot of new skills and a lot of things about myself, as a person and as a musician. I learned about my ability to endure things. I learned I had to persevere.”

Even with the competitive element of the program, Mariah enjoyed the experience. “I met a lot of really great friends on that show,” she says. “I met my best friend in the whole world on that show, and we’re still best friends to this day.”

It is very impressive, too, that Mariah, the rocker, survived the intimidating experience and, having questioned her direction, emerged a stronger person. “I guess I didn’t feel much different being a rock artist on there,” she says. “There were a couple of rock artists. The rest were country, pop and soul, which is great too. It taught me more than anything to just stick to my guns as a rocker and that nothing is going to ever steer me away from rock.”

The elimination caused some heart-searching. “After I was eliminated from The Voice,” she says, “I was feeling pretty discouraged, and I was just thinking, probably because I’m a rock artist, do I need to change? I was seriously considering my writing. I started writing a lot of pop songs for a couple of months and was getting ready to release these songs. But I said this is stupid. I can’t do something that I’m not going to be happy with because if I’m not happy with it and I’m not feeling it, then nobody else is going to.”

Programs like The Voice and X Factor are pop-centric, altough Jeff Gutt from Stone Temple Pilots and Adam Lambert proved a success. “I would say The Voice really taught me a lot of things about myself,” Mariah says, “so I’m very, very grateful for that experience.”

Even though Dave Grohl said that it was giving a lot of young bands the idea that this is your route or your path to success?

“I know that exact quote that you’re talking about that Dave Grohl said,” Mariah says, “and that’s one of the many reasons that I love Dave Grohl. I also had a short run on American Idol, and I did not like it. I was feeling so bad for a lot of the other contestants. I found one girl absolutely devastated outside of her hotel room, just sobbing, like it was the end. It was so sad to me because I wanted them to realize that no, this is not the only avenue. I kept on thinking about Daves quote while I was there.”

Plush recently completed a tour with Mammoth WVH. “They’re ridiculous,” Mariah says. “They sound exactly like they do on the album live. It’s incredible. I watched them, and there were parts that Wolfie was playing, and his voice is incredible, so powerful and just perfectly on pitch all the time. He hits every note with the same quality. He is so consistent.

“There is one song where he has a keyboard setup, and he’s singing with the keyboard, and then he’s playing lead parts while he’s singing choruses. I’m guitars, and I don’t understand this guy. He’s a freak, super talented. It was an honour to be on the road with them, and I definitely recommend seeing them. He is being his own individual person and creating his own art.”

‘All girl rock’ is not a sub-genre of rock music, so how does Mariah feel about being written about in that way? “I think it’s cool,” she says. “There aren’t that many all-female bands in rock right now, and I think it gets a lot of heads turning. But I also don’t like to focus on what people are. I’m honoured to be hopefully inspiring a lot of young women, and young men too, but specifically young women, because I know that rock specifically has been a very male-dominated thing. But at the end of the day, Plush is still just a rock band that makes rock music.

“But it is really, really awesome to be all females too. So I guess my take on that is it’s really cool, and I like that it turns a lot of heads and gets people thinking, and it inspires people. But I don’t want that to be the main focus of the band. You know, we’re just musicians, and we love making music.”

Plush will be supporting Slash and Myles Kennedy in a few days. “I’m really nervous if I’m being honest, but I’m also really excited,” Mariah says. “It’s pretty surreal. It’s one of those things that, like with the Evanescence tour, is not going to hit me personally until I’m there. But, holy crap, we’re literally about to play with Slash and Myles Kennedy. I’ve never seen Myles live, and I’m so excited for it because I love his voice, and I love Alter Bridge too.”

Cover of Plush, from Plush
Plush: Self-titled debut album is out now

For future plans, might we see Plush at European festivals and more tours? Or maybe a live album, which would be MetalTalks vote. “I actually would love to do a live album,” Mariah says. “Hopefully, that is in the near future. We are trying to get overseas to Europe, but we don’t have anything planned for that right now. Word about Plush is spreading a little bit in Europe, which makes us really, really happy. I hope that we can be there someday soon.”

Plush will play the Welcome To Rockville with Kiss in Daytona Beach this May. “We’re just gonna keep on playing around, trying to grow our fan base as much as we can, release some music, write some more music and just really try to evolve and establish ourselves more as a band.”

This organic approach is serving Plush well, as we can watch the band develop and grow without it being thrust upon us through billboards and adverts. “We really tried to keep this as organic as possible,” Mariah says.

“Sometimes that’s just the way it is, especially in rock now where it doesn’t make as much money as pop or really any genre anymore, in America at least. So we’re not going to be one of those people or one of those bands that are paying to get ads in certain places or paying to get billboards.

“I think that’s part of our appeal, the organicness, so I’m glad that people are taking notice of that.”

The Plush debut album is available from orcd.co/plushalbum and plushrocks.net.

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