Spirit Orbs and Blood Bunnies: In Conversation with chloe moriondo
Ahead of their upcoming tour for their album Blood Bunny, chloe moriondo joins in a conversation with Indie/Alt’s Bren Swogger about the album, graduating high school, and their love of Halloween and horror. Cover photo courtesy Elektra Music Group.
Back in June, Indie/Alt named chloe moriondo’s new album, Blood Bunny, as our album of the year so far. Having been on constant rotation ever since its release in May, it’s fair to say that it’s held that position well. Now, after a year of transitions and a challenging time for live music as a whole, the record will finally see its time on the stage when the Blood Bunny Tour kicks off next week in Cleveland, Ohio on September 30th… one day after chloe’s 19th birthday. Ahead of the tour, Indie/Alt’s Bren Swogger talked with chloe moriondo about what inspired the sound of Blood Bunny, as well as their mutual love of Halloween, fall, scary movies, and Ghost Adventures.
Bren: You started off with a more ukulele-driven and bedroom-pop sound on your first album, [rabbit hearted.]. And now with Blood Bunny, you’ve transitioned to a more alternative rock sound. What inspired that transition of sound and what was on your musical mood board while making this album?
chloe: During Blood Bunny, I think I was definitely just going through a lot of changes that you go through as a teenager, going from like 17 to now almost 19. I think a lot of people can understand that those years are pretty crazy and, a lot of the time, can take a lot of different turns. So I think I just wanted to do something different. I wanted to return to the music that I was listening to a lot growing up. I listened to a lot of like Avril Lavigne and Paramore growing up. Like Riot Paramore was a staple for me when I was really young. I was very much inspired by that sort of sound making Blood Bunny. So I guess the mixture of teenager-hood in 2020 and my childhood listening habits kind of spit out this album that I’m now going to be touring.
Bren: Speaking of growing up and big transitions, I also saw that you graduated from high school last year as well. Did you graduate during the pandemic or was that a different experience for you?
chloe: Yeah, I did. 2020 was my class year, which is very weird to think about. It was an interesting graduation. I had like a drive-thru graduation and we took our pictures six feet apart from our principals. And it was all outdoors. It was an interesting experience. It’s really weird to think about the fact that that only happened like a year ago.
Bren: What has that transition been like going from high school and now, you’re a full-time musician about to hit the road? And in the midst of everything still going on.
chloe: It’s a really surreal experience. It’s not as hard as I expected it to be. I still live in the same bedroom that I’ve lived in my whole life. And I have the same dog that I hang out with every day, just with band practices now. And that’s a very surreal thing for me, but I’m so grateful to be here and I’m just hoping that I can keep making music for the rest of my life.
Bren: I hope you do too. So you kick off your tour next week. How are you feeling about finally getting on the road after so long?
chloe: I am so, so ecstatic to be able to finally tour this album. It feels like such a long time coming, and I’m just very excited to be able to see people’s faces and to see people’s physical reactions to this album that’s so special to me and just so much bigger than any of the music I’d ever released beforehand. So I’m just very excited to give people a tour experience and hopefully have a good time with everyone. It’s going to be really, really fun.
Bren: Yeah, I’m looking forward to it personally. I know that the day before you start tour is your birthday as well, so happy early birthday!
chloe: Thank you!
Bren: You’re welcome! As a fellow Libra and autumn baby, I’ve always felt very drawn to this season, like autumn and Halloween and everything. Do you also feel that?
chloe: Obsessed! First of all, I love the fact that we’re both Libras. I felt the energy immediately when you said it. I love autumn. I love fall so much. It’s always been a very comfortable season for me. I love Halloween. I’m so excited for the seasons to change. As much as I love summer and the warmth—and I love every season. I’ve learned to appreciate all of them—but I’m very, very ready for the fall moment that is about to happen. It’s going to be really nice to wear different clothes and go apple picking and pumpkin picking. It’s gonna be great.
Bren: I’m so excited for it too. And in that vein, I actually have a couple of Halloween-themed questions for you. I read that you cited both Jennifer’s Body and Midsommar as inspirations for your songs “Bodybag” and “I Eat Boys”. I’m a huge horror movie nerd myself, and I’d love to know, how has horror as a genre shaped the way you approach storytelling or songwriting?
chloe: That is a great question. I’m obsessed with horror. I feel like I’ve grown up with it my whole life. My mom really loves horror movies. My brothers really love horror movies. I’m the youngest of three and I have two older brothers. So I feel like that definitely has an effect on the way I like view horror movies. I feel like I have always just kind of been thrown into them. But I think that’s a good thing at the same time. I love it so much. I love everything about the genre and I think creepy stuff is fun. And I think there’s so much potential in horror as a concept, and I like writing songs inspired by it. I think it’s so much of my entire personality that I couldn’t write a song without citing a horror movie or at least giving some credit to horror as a genre.
Bren: What are some other horror movies that you’ve been really into lately?
chloe: It’s really hard for me to find really good ones recently. I’m kind of picky nowadays, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Sinister. That was one that I grew up really liking. And I think some of like the weird little gems that I’ve found from Netflix I kind of have a soft spot for as well. I remember I really liked Creep when it first came out. That was an interesting little concept. I need more recommendations though, for sure, if you have any.
Bren: I just watched one called Malignant. It’s on HBO. It’s James Wan’s new one and it was really good. Definitely recommend that one.
chloe: Thank you! I need new horror recommendations so I’ll remember that.
Bren: You have a song called “Ghost Adventure Spirit Orb”. So I’m assuming that you’re a fan of Ghost Adventures?
chloe: Oh my God, yes! I grew up with that show. It was like my family’s thing. Like that was my whole entire childhood. It makes me so happy when people actually recognize that song for being named after that.
Bren: Do you have a favorite episode or a lockdown that they’ve done? I’d love to know.
chloe: Oh my God, my most memorable one… I don’t remember any of the names of it because I watched it when I was so young with my family. But the plague one where they had the plague doctor mask on. And I don’t remember if this was the same one or if they were different, but when they were in the darkest place in the world, like the darkest island in the world or something. It was so scary. I was obsessed. I definitely remember those the best.
Bren: I love that one too. Would you ever go on a paranormal lockdown?
chloe: Oh my God, absolutely! I would be obsessed with that. I feel like so many of my friends would think that it’s so cheesy, and would be like, that’s dumb! But then they absolutely wouldn’t go with me because they would be scared and I would be the only one and I would do it.
Bren: I definitely feel you. So with this upcoming tour, what can we expect to see?
chloe: You can expect to see a Cranberries cover, and you can expect to see some really cute bunnies and some really, really big and fun songs. And hopefully you can expect to dance a lot.
Bren: Good, I’m really looking forward to it! Do you have anything else that you’d like to add?
chloe: What I’d like to add is that I hope that we go do a paranormal lockdown together one day as Libras.
Bren: I think that would be so much fun. I’d absolutely be down!
chloe: [Laughs] I think so too!
The Blood Bunny Tour will land in Portland, Oregon on October 9th at Holocene with Addison Grace and Shortly. Blood Bunny is available now on all streaming services. To buy the album or get more information on the upcoming tour, visit chloemoriondo.com.
Bren Swogger (they/them) is the creator and editor of Indie/Alt Magazine. Bren started Indie/Alt as a music blog during their sophomore year of high school, and after a long hiatus, relaunched it as an online entertainment magazine in 2021 for their capstone project at Pacific University. After 10 years in the music journalism industry, Bren has a long-standing passion for live music, but also loves to explore their passion for other artistic outlets. You can find Bren writing voraciously, adding to their never-ending stack of TBRs, and marathoning classic horror films.