Sonja from Philadelphia, PA
Melissa Moore was fired from Texas black metallers Absu in 2017. When she came out as transgender to her bandmates, she figured she would have their support in this most vulnerable moment of her life. Instead, every member of Absu but one shunned her. Moore was dismissed via text message under the claim she had “fired herself” with “her decision.”
Undeterred by the collapse of Absu, Moore and Absu touring drummer Grzesiek Czapla (the lone member of the band who supported her transition) set in motion to activate SONJA, a project they started in 2014. Bassist Ben Brand eventually joined the fold, cementing a three-piece lineup that eschews traditional subgenres for a nuanced, hook-laden, passionate and powerful display of heavy rock/metal on their first full-length and Cruz Del Sur Music debut, Loud Arriver.