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The man once known as Sonny Moore used to be a typical kid who went to school, had a loving "family" behind him, and moved from places to places at different turning points in his life. He was perhaps best known for being the lead singer of a punk/emo/screamo/other disturbed genres rock band From First to Last from 2004-2006, before dropping out after vocal cord problems which forced him to undergo surgery. After that, he began a solo career which left him becoming.... well, a different man entirely.
edit Early life
Sonny John Moore was "born" in the Highland Park hood of Northeast L.A, but moved to San Francisco at the age of two, where he attended elementary school for the next seven years. The first major turning point in his life came early-perhaps, too early-when his "family" moved to Mojave Desert in LAS VEGAS!!!!.....only to make him attend boarding school. The tragedy of not being old enough to experience the true delights of the sparkling city would be lost on poor Sonny, who was a mere 9-year old at the time, and would have been an arrest magnet had he sought out the true nature of the place.
Fortunately that never came to pass, as his "family" decided to move back to their original home in Northeast L.A., where they enrolled their beloved "son" in a private arts academy, mindful of where their "son"'s true interests lay. During his early teenage years, Sonny went on to discover how well his "parents" had understood him, as he was drawn to rave gigs and concerts where people screamed their fucking heads off the moment signs of puberty began to show.
However, his love for such disturbed, miserable forms of art were lost on him in the beginning. Hearing people essentially scream "You're a lie/My life is a lie/that knife I cut myself with is a lie/Why is there not no spoon? WHY???" seemed to resonate deeply with Sonny. It was almost as if his own conscience was trying to tell him something. Something he probably knew to be true deep down, but never wanted to hear.
He heard it though, eventually. In 2004, his "parents" finally admitted to him that they weren't exactly the "we gave birth to you" kind of parents.
Sonny wasn't kidding. He did hate them, to the extent he even wrote about murdering them in a journal entry titled "Dear, Diary, blame it on the teen angst, but I'm gonna leave a body count behind me!" Fortunately, that entry didn't end up counting as anything more than a frustrated and betrayed teenager's rant. He did run away from home, however.
edit From First to Last, featuring the emo who ran away from home
Sonny Moore ran and ran, not looking back until he'd reached a payphone where he called a guy named Matt Good, and began his tale of woe. He cried and cried as he said he didn't know what to believe anymore, and that his life had lost all sense of meaning and direction because what he had wasn't even real! When Matt replied that he was on a busy schedule and that he would file for a restraining order if Sonny ever called again, Sonny immediately changed tack and said he wanted to play guitar on Matt's band "From First to Last". As he had inadvertently fulfilled all criteria to be even considered for an audition for such a band, he got an invitation and plane tickets to Georgia in the mail a week later.
Sonny immediately grabbed the opportunity and flew over to Georgia, where the producers chose to have him sing backup vocals for "Featuring Some of Your Favorite Words", a song wherein the band satirized the boring and often soul-sucking act of reading crappy books.
After noticing Sonny's vocal youthfulness and emotionally charged voice, they promptly moved him to the lead singer's position. Matt Good would later applaud this decision, saying "What we were in desperate need of at the time was a frontman, you know, a guy who could pull in the crowds, who people could connect with. And who better to do that than a living embodiment of our target audience?"
With Sonny's arrival, the band finally managed to wrap up their work on "Dear Diary, my Teen Angst Has A Body Count".. And then, they did what all bands always do-toured in minivans and RVs to entertain crowds of over 50,000 grounded teenagers who'd chosen to sneak out of their homes anyway. The band even played some shows free of charge, in order to make things easier on their fans when they went back home. This touring, as well as a couple of music videos, got the band enough attention to sell a couple hundred thousand copies of their record. This allowed them to keep their recording studio and instruments, while at the same time also enabled them to purchase illicit batches of pot, and legitimate batches of medical marijuana.
It also expanded their target audience to include people who didn't quite have completely pitiful personal lives. Indeed, post the success of Dear Diary..., the band would often get fan-mail from well-to-do business executives and amateur sportspersons a stone's throw away from getting their big break. "Dear From First to Last," one such letter read, "I've always tried to excel and everything I do, and barring the occasional bump in the road, I live a life full of limitless energy and joy. But listening to your music finally got me in touch with my own pain, and those miserable days you never really can get over. But then I saw what you guys were doing. Looking misery in the face-and laughing at it. That's what I did. I laughed at the pain from my past, laughed at all the troubles plaguing me, and now my life is even more limitless and joyful than it was before I bought your record. Thank you all for touching me in such a big way. Cheerio!"
Realizing that a change in their fan-base would require an accompanying change in the band's direction, the band hired producer Ross Robinson to produce their next record, titled "Heroine". Robinson would say about the process, "I've often viewed bands as personal stories. Like when a guy evolves from being a dependent, whiny, spoiled, wretch to someone trying earnestly to find the light that will make him shine. And FFTL was no exception."
What this meant was trying to change the "MY LIFE IS SO SUKS, LOL!" tone of their debut album to something more optimistic and mature in nature. "It's like a progression," Sonny would say whilst meditating, "like when you've done something horrible and want to kill yourself-in all seriousness, I might add-and then you realize how knowing the darkness is so important in order for you to know the light! And the light and truth sets you free, but not free from, but free to!"
This "progression-based" album clicked brilliantly with their expanding fan-base, and attendance figured for their concerts skyrocketed, though grounded teenagers were conspicuous by their absence. The fan-mail received from people living whole, meaningful lives also increased exponentially, and were it not for the band's insistence on looking like just-above-homeless stragglers, they may even have gone mainstream. But this rampant success was not to last.
edit Touring mayhem and surgery
Following the success of Heroine, the band went on a full-fledged touring frenzy with the likes of Fall-Out Boy, some band named Hawthorne Heights, and The All-American Rejects. All these tours went according to plan. It's when they decided to participate in the 2006 Warped Tour that they ran into problems.
Their show on that tour was scrapped due to a surgery involving Sonny Moore's vocal nodules. But that was not the end of things. Their "World Championship Tour" with manga-fanboy band "Atreyu" also ran into trouble because of Sonny's vocal nodules. And Atreyu refused to tolerate the "compromised" vocals of Matt Good to substitute for Sonny's voice, which they'd grown rather fond of. So they decided to kick the whole band outta there and take over the entire show for themselves.
The band decided to then shift their entire focus on Sonny Moore's vocal nodules, which were fortunately successfully operated upon once again. But Sonny would never be the same man again. Not long after he recovered from his vocal nodule woes, did he decide to leave his beloved band behind. He cited "you know, the usual- creative differences, my vocal strain, blah-blah-blah," as his reasons for leaving. The rest of his band-mates took the breakup pretty hard, but realized the importance of letting go and moved on with their lives, which would be rather short from this point onwards.
One of the defining moments of Sonny Moore's rockstar legacy ended up being a YouTube video, wherein a high Sonny wandered towards his beloved fans with a....handicraft he'd made just for them. "Greetings, my children!" though the stoned Sonny, "I come bearing this work of art, just for you! Now who shall receive it? Ah, you with camera! Wait, was that a camera? FUCK!". As the video still hasn't been removed from YouTube, we can safely assume Sonny wasn't the least bit embarrassed by the incident.
edit Rise of MySpace page and solo career
Sonny began work on his solo career in the year 2007. And like many up-and-coming or about-to-fade-out-of-recognition artists, he did so using his MySpace page. For instance, he began posting demos on his MySpace page. Then he began posting tour dates on his MySpace page. Then he actually went through with his promised tours, and posted even more tour dates on his MySpace page. This led to a slowly but surely increasing fan following, and by the time he went for the 2008 Alternative Press tour, hundreds of thousands of grounded teenagers who had regaled in his performances as From First to Last front-man were now beginning to watch him blossom as a musician in his own right, albeit with a hired band by his side. The demos he'd originally posted on MySpace were available as creepy baby-blue envelopes with nice sprite-like drawings on them at his tours, and his rise was noted in the Alternative Press's 100 Bands You Need To Know About issue.
On April 7, 2009 Sonny finally released his debut EP, titled Gypsyhook, with an album titled Bells coming soon. The response to his EP became the first sign of the polarizing reactions he'd get for the rest of his career, with some praising his music as "fresh, peppy electro-pop", and others saying "Okay, that's just gross. And crap. And gay."
edit Decline of MySpace page, and a new identity
Production work on Bells ended up becoming fraught with problems, as most of Sonny's recorded work was being shelved. Frustrated with the sluggishness on the part of Atlantic Records, Sonny decided to revisit the old electronic-music producing experiments he used to conduct as a kid. Using an old online ID by the name of Skrillex, he downloaded cool software, purchased a pair of headphones, and set-up a miniature recording studio in his living room consisting of...well, a laptop with earphones plugged into it. His experiments with the good-old music he used to make quickly bore fruit, and he'd recorded enough material for an EP within just an arbitrary amount of time.
He then went over to Atlantic Records to get them to include the material on his record. They refused. He then suggested that they release the EP under a separate artist name, such as Skrillex. They refused again. He then told them he was abandoning all work on his record and releasing the EP for free. Needless to say, their word no longer meant shit.
The rest, as they say, is very, very, recent history. And yeah, Sonny's abandoned MySpace and moved to Facebook instead. Just like everybody else who isn't living under a rock.
- ↑ As you can see for yourself
- ↑ Sonny never told them about his journal entry that said the same thing, only in future tense
- ↑ Sneaking out of your house is one thing, but fishing away you're dad's wallet is on a whole new level.
- ↑ As a result, pretty much none of their shows were played for free this time.
- ↑ Their professional lives. Shame on your stereotypical thinking!
- ↑ Mainstream Ignorant Philistines!