Bay Area musician and songwriter Colin Schlitt has done just that. Schlitt’s side project, Peppermint Moon, is a complete DIY one-man-band that has produced an airy and grungy album, A Million Suns. Schlitt is best known as the bassist for the Marin County band El Radio Fantastique, but his talents range far and wide when it comes to music. Schlitt is an accomplished musician on not only bass but also piano and guitar starting at a young age.
“I started writing songs in my early 20’s. That’s also when I started playing bass in bands where a lot of the songwriting was collaborative. I focused mainly on the bands I was in, but my own songs were more of a hobby at that point”, states Schlitt.
As Peppermint Moon, Schlitt had the opportunity to create music that was wholly his. “My favorite music has always been psychedelic pop,” states Schlitt, “I always try to find that sweet spot of sounding weird but also not so weird that it’s hard to listen to. That balance is what really gets my juices flowing.” On his own albums, both A Million Suns and his 2019 debut release Symphony Of Sympathy he does all the instrumentation, the vocals, the recording and the mixing for his albums. “My production style is much more punk rock – not so much in the sound, but in the attitude. I have no real production or engineering training and have learned as I go. I basically just say ‘screw it’ and try not to let my lack of technical knowledge get in the way.“
“Doing everything by myself is a very different experience and offers a different type of satisfaction. All the choices I make are solely for what’s best to convey a song.”
“I have synesthesia where I visualize music when I hear it," he states of his musical visions. "I remember describing these colorful, rhythmic cartoons I was seeing while listening to music when I was really young and no one knowing what the hell I was talking about. The best representation I’ve seen of this is in the movie Ratatouille, where they visually animate some of the flavors Ratatoulle tastes. It is very similar to what I see when I listen to music.”
Schlitt provides dreamy music with a kick. There is a buoyancy to the songs that are sidelined by an underlying edginess; it’s an interesting mix that creates wordless emotions and feelings. Schlitt will continue to keep himself busy with El Radio as well as Peppermint Moon, “I do love collaborating with other musicians,” he states, “and I would never want to exclusively make music by myself.” When one has music pulsing through their veins, it’s almost impossible to stop creating. With Schlitt’s talented repertoire of sonic tricks, it will always be fun to see what he comes up with next.