Sit Down Conversation with Jeff Losawyer and Pedro Espada of Voodoo Moonshine

Image by MarkHoran.Pictures LLC

 

We sat down with Jeff Losawyer and Pedro Espada of Voodoo Moonshine to get the update on the reformation of the band and the upcoming CD.

 

 

All Music Magazine:  Pedro. How and when did Jeff contact you?

Pedro: That was probably like what, Almost two years ago now?

Jeff: August 2018

Pedro: August yeah. Jeff saw a video of me singing a cover on YouTube. For awhile I was doing karaoke of covers and posting them out there. He saw one of the videos and he contacted me. Jeff asked if I was interested in signing some of his original stuff and I said…, I think I just ignored him for a while. (Chuckles)

All Music Magazine:  Why did you ignore him? 

Jeff:  He was totally unimpressed with the shit I was selling.

Pedro:  You know, there are a lot of creeps on the internet.

All Music Magazine:  Pedro, when you posted over a dozen YouTube videos over a year and a half, weren’t you were looking to hook up with somebody?

Pedro:  I was just putting the videos out there. I had posted one video just for fun and people enjoyed it so I started doing it for fun. I wasn’t looking for anything.

Jeff:  Which is why he wasn’t impressed with me!

All Music Magazine:  Pedro, since hooking up with Jeff, How excited are you about this project?

Pedro:  I first heard the songs that he had not released yet. Jeff had finished an album and was kind of sitting on it for a while. He had a singer that had done some of the tracks and I listened to some of those songs. I liked the songs obviously, but I didn’t like the singer. While I was listening to them, I thought that I could do a better job by maybe making some changes. Eventually when I talked to Jeff, he gave me the go ahead that I could make the changes. That’s what sparked my interest. So, as long as they’re originals and they are done, he was allowing me to put my spin on them.

All Music Magazine:  Have you had experience writing before?

Pedro:  Oh Yeah, I have written a lot actually. I am in a cover band currently and I started the band so I could write originals, but we never got to that point. I have always been a song writer.

All Music Magazine:  Are you currently sitting on a bunch of songs?

Pedro:  I have a bunch of songs, but I think what I’m writing now is better anyway.  I’ll reference back to some of my old songs and take some riffs and stuff and add it to the new ones.

All Music Magazine:  When the two of you co-write in this fashion are you recording the songs and sending the recording or are you just sending lyrics back and forth?

Pedro:  For this album; and for this CD, there were two songs that I really don’t like the way they were arranged and Jeff already had the music. So, it was easy for me to sit down with the music that was already complete and just write something new to it.  With the melodies and lyrics, I worked on “Bring It Down” and Jeff finished off one of the verses. That was the first song that we worked on together.  But for this CD, all the music Jeff had already done so I didn’t have to put my input on that.  The music was fine.

All Music Magazine:  How many tracks are going to be on the CD?

Jeff:  It looks like there will probably be like Ten? Ten on this one?

Pedro:  Yes; ten.

Jeff:  And there might be a fan club CD with different versions.  Who knows?  With this CD, it looks like ten songs.  I mean really we need to get this shit done after all this time!

All Music Magazine:  Yes, 12 years is a long time.

Jeff:  Yes, really you know, that way we can start writing together.  They might be new songs to the guys in the band, but this shit is old hat to me and I still f**k them up.  I just want to be done with them. (Laughter) Pedro knew that the goal is to get the product out there, to get it done.  The last two songs we worked on, I think we should be able to spit out a bunch of new great songs when the time comes.

All Music Magazine:  I saw you perform eight of them.  So, there are an additional two you haven’t performed yet?

Jeff:  Yeah, Pedro isn’t too happy with one of them.  It’s an acoustic.  It’s supposed to be the last song on the CD.  It’s already done.  It’s an acoustic ditty.  (Laughter) that’s why he isn’t thrilled.  We killed two; Pedro killed two of my songs. (Laughter) He played the f**king singer card and just wouldn’t do them.

Pedro:  We can do better.  That’s what I’m saying.

All Music Magazine:  Do you have a release date yet?

Jeff:  I’m hoping we can do it in October.  I was looking at packaging and stuff last night.  I’m hoping Sean Shannon, our producer, has got four or five to finished mixing.  We are giving him a couple of weeks for each song.  So, I’m hoping maybe the end of October.

All Music Magazine:  Have you used Sean before?

Jeff:  Pedro has, and actually Pedro’s the one that got us together and he did a really great job. So, he’s the guy.  That’s another thing.  Because the CD is so old and I started it so long ago, I’ve had four previous producers since the beginning.  As Pedro said, the other singer just didn’t work for him.  Finally, we know who is who.  Sean is going to do it. 

Pedro:  I did an all original Spanish EP, and Sean did an amazing job.  So, that’s why I told Jeff, I have the guy.  He did the first song, “Give It To Me” and it was great!  We’re keeping him.

All Music Magazine:  What do you think will be the top single?

Jeff:  I bet Pedro and I pick different songs.  That’s the great thing about me and Pedro.  We don’t agree on shit.  I don’t know man.  I’m partial as I wrote the music and a lot of the words so there are certain ones.  “What A Way To Go” – I told Pedro I wanted it to be the first single and Pedro wanted “Give It To Me”.  There are both good songs. Then we did “Bring It Down” and that totally changed everything.  And, now we like “Rise Free”.  I still think for a maturity level for song writing and stuff…  I still think “What A Way To Go”.  I don’t know, But “Bring It Down” has a lot of attitude. 

All Music Magazine:  I agree as it has a Skynyrd or a Southern Rock twang.

Jeff:  Pedro, how do you feel about being in a band with a Southern twang?  What’s your pick Pedro now that we’re on the spot?

Pedro:  I like “Bring It Down”.  But, as far as a commercial song, that’s really commercial… it will probably be “Round and Round”.

Jeff:  Yes, I think as far as a ballad. We did the ballad “Eden In Your Eyes” first. That was our first video together and that was the first time we put out. But it’s without the band. Just acoustic and vocals. “Round and Round” is a typical type written rock ballad and it’s supper catchy. The song sticks in your head even if you don’t like the song, it sticks in your head. So, I agree with Pedro. But it’s not the same to me as “What a Way To Go” as I’m partial to it as that song has a lot of meaning to me.

All Music Magazine:  “What a Way To Go” and “Give it To Me” are my choices if either of you give a shit! (Laughter)

Jeff:  We write about deep shit and sex. One of the two with no in between.

All Music Magazine: The Covid conspiracy or catastrophe, or what ever you want to call it. Has it been a blessing or a curse?

Jeff:  It’s been a blessing for me, but has been a curse for Pedro’s cover band Rockit Fly. They are so big and are booked nonstop. We are going to have scheduling issues when it all opens up again. It’s been a blessing for the band because we don’t have to play every week. It gives us time to finish this project and build our brand.

All Music Magazine:  How is the chemistry?

Pedro:  We all get along.  The past few shows that we’ve done and all of the rehearsals were fine as I know two the guys very well.

Jeff: Twenty plus years.

All Music Magazine:  Eddie appears really into the project.

Jeff:  He’s really into it.  I contacted Eddie Cruise a few months back and he’s been totally on board and driven to do it.  He’s a good drummer and he can sing his ass off.  That’s so helpful.

All Music Magazine:  I was impressed with the comradery when I did your photo shoot.  Everyone seemed to be having a good time and it was 95 degrees outside.

Jeff:  It was pretty good.  Our past photo shoots sucked ass.  This past one was good and without issues.

All Music Magazine:  When I did the shoot on the sound stage, the band’s energy was incredible.  I can’t wait to see you guys on a big stage.  Are you ready to tour right now?

Jeff:  No.  No, we aren’t.  I have no doubt if some shows come around, we can pull them off.  We have only had three rehearsals together.

Pedro:  We can pull it off definitely.

Jeff:  There’s a lot that entails a tour.  It’s big business.  You have to take into account everyone’s job.  There has to be decent money guaranteed for any of us to consider it and it’s not possible right now with the covid situation.  Nobody is doing anything.  But, I think when the time comes, we will be able to handle it.

All Music Magazine:  Do you have enough material?

Jeff:  Pedro and I haven’t haggled over the songs on the first CD.  There are probably four or five.  Pedro will have to go over them.  Like I told him from the beginning, you have free reign.  Make them yours.  I told him pick the song you can’t stand first.  If you don’t like it, you definitely are going to make it like you want it.  He’ll have to go back and do that with the first CD.  Any songs we want to do live, he’s going to take his time with it.

All Music Magazine: Pedro, I watched a dozen of your YouTube videos.  What impressed me the most was the Dokken, Skid Row, and Steelheart covers; not the Journey covers that showed your range.

Jeff:  Those were the videos I watched. Steelheart’s “Everyone Loves Eileens”, the live one.  That’s when I was like I want the bass player too.  Tommy sang is ass off and he put on a good show.  We know Pedro can pull off ballads and Steve Perry stuff, and that’s why in the last couple of songs I’m like, dirty it up!  Sing like Paul Rodgers or Ray Gillen because you know he has the range.

All Music Magazine:  Your videos are quite impressive Pedro.

Pedro:  I grew up listening to Skid Row and Steelheart.  I love dirty, but I’m also a rocker.

Jeff: Voodoo Moonshine is totally out of the box of what he has been doing.  I think when we start writing, it will be heavier, the next stuff… because of what we grew up with.

All Music Magazine:  When you start touring will Europe be first on the schedule?

Jeff:  Yes.  Honestly, Europe was a better market for us back in the day with the first CD.  I have been recently contacted by a distributor out there that we may go with.  Europe has always been better; a better market of original bands.  You can play the Download Festival and be an unsigned band.  It’s a totally different game over there.

All Music Magazine:  Is Japan a viable market as well?

Jeff:  Back in the day with the first CD, we had magazine coverage.  I think so.

All Music Magazine:  You previously charted well in both of those markets, so starting there seems to make sense. 

Jeff:  Yes, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, and Japan… back in the day.  I keep saying back in the day, and those were fan-based requests.  Fan-based voting #1.  I think now with a better band, we will do even better.  But, it’s a marketing thing.  We need to make sure the vehicle is ready.  We’re spending the rest of 2020 finishing the CD, building our website, developing the art, and recording videos for “What A Way To Go” and “Bring It Down”… Getting our shop in order if you will.  Next year, we should be ready for everything.

This is a band you will be hearing about in the near future. Checkout the videos below and pick your top single!

 

Voodoo Moonshine Bring it Down

 

Voodoo Moonshine What a way to Go “Quarantine video”

 

Voodoo Moonshine “Eden in Your Eyes Live”

 

 

Voodoo Moonshine Give It To Me “Live”

 

 

Bottom of the Barrel tracks (Not in order)

Bring it Down

Give It To Me

Round & Round

Swallow My Pride

Sometimes Ya Just Wanna —

What a Way To Go

Eden in Your Eyes

Rise Free

Two more tracks to be added.

 

 

Band:

Pedro Espada  Vocals
Jeff Losawyer  Guitar
Jeffery LaRoche  Guitar
Thomas Ray Neeley Bass
Eddie Cruise  Drums
 
 
Follow Voodoo Moonshine on line:
 

 

Freelance Photographer and Editor/Founder of AllMusicMagazine.com. My love of live music has taken me to incredible experiences with the top bands of all time in stadium shows to the smallest venues with equally inspiring musicians. Using the medium of photography and my publication, these memories will last forever.