What did you do for your 21st? Huh? Did you have a nice dinner with family and friends? Maybe you went to a local club and got yourself fairly slaughtered on cocktails you can’t recall and a series of shots that made you swear off drinking alcohol ever again. That is at least until next weekend when you forget that the Zambucca you thought was a great idea at the time had you face-first in a well used and highly unsanitary pub toilet…
Well if you’re Noah Weiland, ex-singer of Suspect208 and son of legendary frontman Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver) you go grab a bunch of your mates and rock on down to the iconic Viper Room on LA’s famous Sunset Strip to headline a night of music and frivolity held entirely in your honour.
Noah sat down with Wall Of Sound to talk about celebrating this huge milestone, his newfound sobriety, learning from his past musical endeavours as he heads into the future, including the release of his new song ‘One Day’. But landing the Viper Room for your 21st is insane and a wee bit cooler than where I had mine, i.e My mum’s back paddock. So we asked Noah, what’s it like having that honour of playing at the infamous venue, given the calibre of musicians that have graced that stage.
“Yo I wish my mom would let me have a damn gig at her house! But she did come fly out to see my show that night. It was dope, we packed the whole sh*t out, and I crowd surfed for the first time. Everyone there seemed to have a great night, I just probably shouldn’t have taken so many free drinks, ha. I got the blessing to have my brother Indio Downey play guitar alongside my brother Christopher Mudget. I don’t see myself doing most shows with a live band anymore but those are my guys.”
And how does he feel about them bulldozing that iconic venue to make way for a block of units?
“I thought it was supposed to happen in January. Maybe they’re staying? Not sure but that place is legendary for sure.”
Now the man in question has been producing music in various capacities for a few years now and has just released his own solo tune ‘One Day‘. Noah has experimented with various musical styles in the past, but is ‘One Day’ a solid indication of his sound moving forward?
“Yeah, I’d definitely say ‘One Day’ is a good transition song from the music I used to make to what I’ve been making now. I think it’s a cool song, but I crank out songs like that or even better in like 45 minutes multiple times a day.”
Having been immersed in music his whole life, it’d be interesting to see where creatively his musical influences lie?
“I listen to a lot of rap, mostly rap actually. Kanye [West] is my favorite rapper probably of all time, but every day I usually listen to Lil Uzi Vert, Future, and anything unreleased that Ghoulavelii sends me. But I grew up on Green Day, My Chemical Romance and Nirvana. That’s my childhood.”
Given the array of musical styles that Noah is influenced by and the quick turnover in which he can pump out a song, it makes us wonder how much more music Noah has up his sleeve and when we can expect to hear any of it?
“Like I said before, I freestyle all my songs on the spot. It really only takes me like an hour tops for the most part to make songs. As of right now, I want to be consistent and in everyone’s faces, so you don’t forget me. But someday I just want to be able to not have to be on social media as much and just let the music do its thing. For now though, expect another single a week after this conversation is out for the world to see.”
That’s great news for Noah’s growing legion of fans and an impressive rollout of new material.
Wall Of Sound first came across Noah when he was the frontman of the short-lived Suspect208, a project alongside bassist and good friend Tye Trujillo (son of Rob Trujillo – Metallica), drummer London Hudson (son of Slash – Guns N Roses) and guitarist Niko Tsangaris. The band experienced globally recognised success with their first song ‘Long Awaited‘ getting north of a million hits on YouTube in a few short days. Only months later, Noah was fired from the band amidst accusations of drug use and a poor work ethic. London and Niko went on to form S8NT ELEKTRIC and Tye kicked on with his other projects OTTTO and Feed The Beast as well as starting Blu Weekend with Noah. So what has Noah learned about that experience with Suspect208 to help guide him through this new direction?
“I learned a lot actually, I learned that I work best alone and that I’d rather not have to carry other musicians on my back. Tye is my boy though, we are just in two different lanes, he’s hard as f*ck. I also never realized my full potential, I did everything for that band. Sh*t wasn’t popping off for nobody ’til I came in the picture.”
As for the music he produced in that period of his career, will it make an appearance in his future or is that part of his life dead and buried?
“No. The song ‘All Black’ was originally my solo song that was recorded on a YouTube beat. I think it was a blackbear type beat. I knew the song was hard and by that point, I’d already been fully in with the band. So I said f*ck it, the song’s a hit, and I told them to remake it, but change some chords. That song used to be my baby, but I’ve gotten so sick of it by now.”
In the wake of his exit from Suspect208, Noah and Tye were talking about being in a new group called Blu Weekend, including the release of the song ‘Typical Girl’. We questioned if that project was still going ahead?
“Nah, Tye is my brother but we’re just into different sounds. He never even wanted to be in the band originally but he f*cked with the music I made at the time so he was down.”
Tye has already covered a lot of ground musically. At 17 he’s already played live with Suicidal Tendencies and KoRn, as well as a slew of his own personal musical projects. What’s it like working with a guy like that, an already respected and driven artist?
“He’s a good friend of mine. I had his band perform with me at the Viper Room too. They’re tough as f*ck, but lately I’ve just been on more pop sh*t. I’m very thankful to work with him always though.”
Another collaboration that Noah has continued to utilise from his Suspect days is with Sunburst Films, who created Suspect208’s ‘All Black’ film clip, as well as the video for Noah’s new track ‘One Day’. So what is it about Sunburst that keeps him wanting to work with them?
“That’s my brother Sage Flores. He’s the GOAT. We’re always on f*ck sh*t together. We just got the same vision. I see myself doing everything with him because we both have a dream and want something that’s one in a million. He thinks quick like me, and comes up with crazy ideas for videos for all my songs. I see us really going to the top together. We’re both passionate about what we do and when we have an idea we’ll get it done. We always have a killer time and he has a great team working with him.”
What’s next for him personally and spiritually?
“I just hope I’m not so underrated soon. There’s a few people who I’m getting to know that are huge, talented artists. They f*ck with what I got going on.
But I mostly just believe in myself. I feel that one day I’m going to be one of the biggest artists in the game, and have a really good run. I feel like people don’t understand what I’ve really been through to become the person I am.
Like when that band first started I was sleeping on the floor in a studio that had roaches. I have been in rehab, had to live in my car, gone without a dime a million times, sh*t wasn’t always sweet. My Mom lives in another state and I feel like my journey starts out in LA. She loves me and I love her to death. But I don’t rely on her like a kid ya know? She’s done so much for me already. I’ve been out of the house since the day after I turned 18. My life has always moved very fast, but nowadays things just feel more quiet.”
Noah has also been a longtime friend of London Hudson, but the recent fallout with Suspect208 has seen them drift apart. In October 2021, Noah posted on Instagram that the next time he sees him he’ll “punch tf outta” him, but that he also changed Noah’s life for the better, showing him “how to not give a f*ck.” Is there any chance of the two reuniting as friends again, or even on the music front?
“Yeah that’s a childhood friend for sure. Sh*t, in 2020 we’d even smash each other’s girlfriends we were so close. Towards the end of the band, we were staying in an Airbnb and he had found out I was getting high on some stupid sh*t at the time. I don’t know if that’s really why it all ended because he was off the sh*ts himself for months, but addicts always like to point the finger at ‘who’s higher.’ I feel like I got framed as the bad guy sometimes when everyone goes through their own sh*t. Everyone deals with pain differently. But nowadays I’m chilling. I got a mentor in my life, close with the family, surround myself with people who uplift me and I just do my sh*t.”
It’s great to see that despite the obstacles behind him, Noah is doing well. It looks as if sobriety is working for him and he’s kicking huge goals musically. He’s ready to take on the world and this next stage of his life starts with ‘One Day’. Suss it out.
Interview by Duane James
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