Sunday, January 3, 2010

Q&A: Photographer & Artist Angelina Fitzgerald

I first met Ange at a local concert- I think it was my pals the Boys named Sue- at a now-closed bar on Greenville ave. Since then, I've been impressed with not only her photography but all around creative drive and how she brings people together and has so much energy flowing. She's very cool and it's about time everyone knows who she is and what she does!

Q: What got you into photography and what has kept you interested in it?

Ange: I've always been really interested in photography and at school, I studied it (film) but then my Minolta got stolen and I lost interest due to lack of gear and just getting busy with other stuff, like moving to Seattle. I was reunited with (digital) photography when a guy I had a crush on put his camera in my hands on a weekend road trip to Austin... it's been a love affair ever since (with the camera, not the guy)
for me, I shoot to get to the editing process. there's nothing better than a full memory card and a free afternoon with nothing to do but edit my heart out w/ the National radio on Pandora in the background. I adore looking at what I've shot, adjusting it slightly (if necessary - cropping/lightening/darkening is mostly all I do) and then moving on to the next image. I'm totally addicted to the whole post production process and would be the happiest of camera campers if that's all I did every day, all day long.
I love looking at the photos I've taken in the past, and reliving that moment, emotion, energy... that, for me - is the whole point.

Q: What would you say to someone who says that photography is just luck and opinion, that no one person can say what is a good photo or not?

Ange: I guess I would agree that "photography is in some cases just luck and opinion". who said that? you?
I think everyone has their own idea of what a good photograph is, much like any art form - its all subjective.
people have different tastes and that's what makes Art so interesting. it's also fun when you click with someone who has the same taste as you.

Q: What sort of camera and gear do you use and why? Do you have a favourite camera and why?

Ange: I shoot w/ Dex, who is a Canon 5D. mostly because that's what I learned on. Dex has a bunch of cool lenses that I swap out but I'm partial to my 16-35mm wide angle. I just acquired a Yashica-A from some friends who collect vintage camera gear, and this camera I am totally unfamiliar with, know not the first thing about it, but I'm really looking forward to the medium format film photo field trip adventures I plan to have with it.

Q: What is your favourite subject matter and why?

Ange: as far as genre, I like shooting pretty much everyone and anything when it inspires me. lately I've been shooting mostly for hire and it's become work and something I have to get through so I've noticed that I don't have the passion nor desire as often to shoot just for fun when I have the time, probably because I've been kept so busy shooting for other people, I've found that I maybe need to give it a rest for awhile.
I definitely have to be feeling it and when I do, I like street shooting and am not really into having everything all planned out. I sortof fly by the seat of my pants and like to see what happens. I will say that I definitely prefer getting people in my shots most of all. love shooting musicians and bands. and kids. I'm more of an on location than in studio type of shooter.

Q: Do you have any favourite photographers?

Ange: I have so many favorite photographers. take me to the bookstore and I'll make a beeline for the photography section every time.
Sally Mann, William Eggleston & Andreas Gehret are just a few I'm obsessed with at the moment.

Q: what sort of bands/artists do you enjoy? Guilty pleasures, please!

Ange: listening to music is like breathing.
one band that I am enjoying right now, (as I type this even) is the Rogue Wave on Independent Lens.
The Boom Boom Box is my FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE local band right now. they are so badass and brilliant. "I take my medicine. I have my uniform on" zomg. I just love them. I love them so much that I'm a little bit intimidated by them and when I saw their show at the doublewide last night for Cha Cha's bday I couldn't bring myself to speak to them or ask them if I could take their photograph. what a nerd, huh?
other musical artists I am really inspired by: Iron & Wine, the entire Garden State soundtrack, Neutral Milk Hotel, the Dandy Warhols, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Ryan Adams, Nada Surf, The National, Beck, Tegan & Sara, the Decemberists, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Sufjan, the Musettes, the French Kicks and so so so many more. I could go on for many more paragraphs here.

visual artists: I'm a huge fan of Michele Mikesell's work and my daughter Sage Ryan's artwork is ridiculously amazing too. My nephew Jack just turned 8 and he is a really fantastic artist...he has a gift. oh and check out Gigi Bio out of BKLN NY - she does amazing photo collages. Gustav Klimt.

Q: What other artistic pursuits do you have other than photography?

Ange: artistic efforts I'd like to pursue other than photography: I'm looking forward to fine tuning my screen printing skillz. I want to master photo transfer to canvas/wood/fabric. I'd also like to become a fabulous seamstress and make my own clothes. I want to get better at making shooter straps out of recycled bike tire tubes, it's an ongoing merch project for
I want to weld metal. one of my dearest memories is of sitting in my grandfather's workshop and watching him weld together stained glass window panes.

Q: tell us about your relationship with bicycles.

Ange: let's see...what's the deal w/ my relationship with bicycles? I love biking. I wish Dallas had a better relationship with bicycles. I have a personal relationship with Clyde, my ride who is an ultra cool blue cruiser I picked up on Craig's List. He has a bell and a basket. we're uber cool. jealous?
I really would love to see a culture in Dallas that is more bicycle friendly. I lived in Seattle for 5 years and it's very different there.
I really prefer a more urban city, that's more dense, where you can walk most places or bike, where public transportion is the norm.

Q: What sort of plans do you have for the future? Anything fun and
exciting you're working on?

Ange: some of my plans for the future include a photography teaching trip to Laos/Thailand/Cambodia, spending more quality time in Brooklyn and Manhattan with my beautiful daughter, Sage Ryan. and continuing to live/laugh/love/learn in general. my relationships w/ my family and friends are most important to me in life.
I've got 2 shows coming up in December that I'm babbling about to anyone who will listen:
my pal Clint & I throw an art party every December and called COLLISION. this is our 3rd year and we're really excited about our musical guests, the FELONS and the HAPPY BULLETS playing this year. We've also got a fantastic lineup of local artists exhibiting some awesome work to benefit Arts Fighting Cancer. it's Dec 5th, from 7-midnight at Rorschach Gallery @ 518 West Davis (in Oak Cliff near the Bishop Arts District, across the street from Gloria's Restaurant)
Art Conspiracy is turning 5 this year and this is my second year as volunteer wrangler/coordinator. we've got 150 artists coming in to build out their art onsite and then we auction it off on the evening of December 12th at 511 West Commerce, Dallas TX.
I'm SO excited about the amazing line up of music we've got scheduled, including:
The Crash That Took Me
The Boom Boom Box
Telegraph Canyon
it is going to be so rad - last year was a total blast and this year is going to be even better.
more info can be found at benefitting resolana.
I invite anyone who wants to get involved to contact me in order to help out.
we've got lots to do to get the rough warehouse space ready for ArtCon5. we're building a stage and we also need people to help out the night of the event 5pm-midnight. contact for details.
other areas of interest:
I don't watch much television, unless it's some kind of documentary on photography, or the independent film channel.
I used to be addicted to the food channel. I love to cook.
I love going to the movies. LOVE IT. but not the normal kind, mostly art house cinema. indies. sadly, not much time for it recently.
oh, and my friends and I are in a camera gang called "Drive By Shooters" and we used to regularly go to brunch on sundays and then off on photo field trip adventures. we really need to start that up again. I miss it.
I love to read. I wish I had more time to read. I love books. I usually carry a book (sometimes two) w/ me where ever I go, just so I can read if I ever find myself standing in line somewhere. or stranded in traffic. someday I want to own a library or a bookstore.
some of my favorite books:
Kiss My Tiara & Hypocrite in a white poufy dress, both by Susan Jane Gilman; Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman; The Idiot Girls Action Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro; Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them by Al Franken; Dude, Where's My Country by Michael Moore; At Home in the World by Joyce Maynard; The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams; The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath; 3 by Julie Hilden; Pink Slip by Rita Ciresi; Devil's Knot by Mara Leveritt; Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel; Riding in Cars with Boys by Beverly Donofrio; Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier; Geek Love by Katherine Dunn; Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll; Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak; Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole; Lucky by Alice Sebold; Dry by Augusten Burroughs; Naked by David Sedaris; Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck; The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides; The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank; Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel; The Sexual Life of Catherine M by Catherine Millet; Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azur Nafisi; The Hours by Michael Cunningham; Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White; The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger; On the Road by Jack Kerouac; Brave New World by Aldous Huxley; Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher; The Liar's Club by Mary Karr; The Abortion by Richard Brautigan; The W Effect (Bush's War on Women) edited by Laura Flanders; The Complete Kama Sutra translated by Alain Danielou; Cad, Confessions of a Toxic Bachelor by Rick Marin; Diet for a New America by John Robbins; Henry and June by Anais Nin; Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf; Strip City by Lily Burana; A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers; Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell; SPELLS by Matthew Green; House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski; Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss; Total Yoga by Tara Fraser; Toot and Puddle by Holly Hobbie; Lyle and the Birthday Party by Bernard Waber; Guess How Much I Love You? by Sam McBratney; The Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed; At the Cafe Splendid by Terry Denton; How Georgina Drove the Car Very Carefully from Boston to New York by Lucy Bate; Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, Girls Poker Night by Jill A. Davis

other than that, in general, I'm a big fan of bringing people together for a good cause. usually art and live local music are involved.
I'm for hugs.
and no drama.
so in closing, I am all about reading, writing, art, books, films, photography, live alternative music, liberal politics, tarot cards, cooking (the new radio station, KXT 91.7 rocks btw and has changed the quality of life in Dallas so drastically) and promoting a creative and cool camera culture in my community,

please tell your readers to feel free and stop by my website, and contact me for any shooting they might need done...I'm currently booking holiday portraits at a discounted rate and my calender is filling quickly.

also, everyone needs to visit the metropolis for DFW photog nerds RIGHT NOW. it's a little photography blog my my friend Andrea Roberts & I started, Andrea also happens to play bass for the Happy Bullets. She's a photography nerd, I'm a camera gangsta. we make a good team. (rhymes with metropolis) is everything photography, all of the time, we've got scoop on local photo exhibits and shows, national photography news, daily pix chosen from our flickr pool, ( interview every friday w/ a photographer ArtStar, project snapshots, photo field trips and so much more. stay tuned, because we'll be taking it NATIONAL very soon, eventually WORLDWIDE. Do you think they're ready?

Q: Do you have any funny or crazy stories you'd care to share with us?

Ange: ok yes, I do have this funny story but it might be the type of situation where you maybe had to be there to think it's funny?
like, it's hilarious to me but it may not be to anyone else.
but I'll tell it to you anyway.
so my daughter and I were staying in NYC, in the theatre district and it's winter, february, FREEZING COLD. like, you wear tights under your long johns and jeans over that and then a long coat on top of all of it. she was getting rundown and a little bit sick so when she was on break from rehearsals she always wanted to go around the corner to this asian place that had really good hot and sour soup.
so we go in there one day for lunch, and we order and I sit down w/ my spring roll and she goes back up to the counter to get those little crunchy things that go on the top of her soup. only, the thing is... the people working behind the counter CAN NOT for the life of them figure out what she needs. she is trying to explain it and saying "chips? you know, those crunchy things? that go on top of the soup?"
and they aren't understanding her AT ALL and they are holding all these different things up, hoping one of them is right and saying, "what? you need napkin?" "toothpick?" "water?" "cracker?" "cup?" and she keeps saying "no! chips! crunchy? on top of the soup?" and looking over at me helplessly and I'm laughing so hard witnessing all of this that i'm crying.
and I can't breathe I'm laughing so hard.
we still, to this day, laugh about that until we're both crying. it's good. she's so fun. she's my favorite person in the universe.
our dog, Jane Louise, is our 2nd favorite.

Find Ange Fitzgerald using one or more of the following ways:
Ange F. Does Photography
All photos © Ange Fitzgerald


Q&A: Ren the guitarist of The Sweethearts

When I saw The Sweethearts perform in Austin in 2005, I was not only impressed, but found that they were fun people to hang with as well. Ren and I become friends and have hung out both in concert situations and normal situations and he's a cool dude, and a guitar nerd like myself. I'd already Q&A'd their singer Linette this past summer, so it only seemed fitting to see what Ren thought about everything.

Q: Do you like the slogan "keep Austin weird" or does it bug you?

Ren: Ha! I don't really like it. You can't go anywhere in Austin without seeing someone with a "Keep Austin Weird" shirt or a car with the bumper sticker on it. They have an annual party here to in Austin to celebrate Eeyore's birthday from Winnie the Pooh which I guess is something that keeps Austin weird. I've heard that people meet at a park hang out and form hippie drum circles. I've never been to one though and I don't think I want to. I just don't get it. I remember going with you the No Doubt concert in Dallas and there was a girl with a pink tie die " Keep Austin Weird" shirt in front of us. I remember it really bugged you! That was funny!

Q: What's the Austin music scene like? Does it live up to the stellar reputation?

Ren: The Austin music scene that I liked when I first moved up here is gone. Most of the cool local bands are gone. There's still shows going on every night but I don't recognize any of the bands. Seems like there's a lot of bands that get together for a little while and then just disappear. One thing for sure is Austin does not have many people who are into pop punk music. There's not much of a fan base for it here. Most people in this town like the indie and emo bands . They do really well here. The only times you get to see cool punk bands is at the annual Fun Fun Fun Fest and Chaos In Tejas.

Q: Do you have any funny or crazy tour stories or hometown concert stories you can legally share with us?

Ren: We had a crazy and scary experience on tour once. We had a show in Downey California and we got to the venue really early.We decided to find a liquor store a start drinking in the van to kill some time. We had no idea where we were going or knew how close Downey is to Compton. We finally ended up finding a liquor store in Compton. Our bass player at the time Kyle and I went inside while Joel and Linette waited in the van. We got down with tour cash in hand which was a big mistake! A thug walked in and whispered in Kyle's ear to give him the money cause he had a gun. It was scary! Kyle acted like he didn't hear him and the store clerk kicked the guy out. We saw him waiting outside for us. He got impatient and walked back in to get some cigarettes and Kyle and I ran out of the store! Joel was thankfully waiting for us with the van on so we jumped in and hauled ass out of there!

Q: What sort of guitar gear are you playing thru these days?

Ren: Right now I am playing a DiPinto Mach IV guitar through a B52 head and a Randall cab. I'm left handed so it's really hard for me to find cool looking guitars that sound good. I got a good endorsement deal with DiPinto and I really like my new guitar. I'm saving some money to get myself a JCM 800 half stack. My guitar sounds amazing through those classic amps!

Q: Do you have any personal favourite songs The Sweethearts have done and why?

Ren: One of my favorites is a song Linette wrote about 10 years ago called "You Did It Again". We recorded that song on our first album and decided to record it again for our last ep " Take Note" We changed that song so much and made it sound 20 times better. It's cool playing and listening to the new version cause it just reminds me of how much we've grown as a band.

Q: What's the songwriting process like for The Sweethearts?

Ren: Linette will usually write her own songs and I write my own songs. We do have some songs we've written together. We then take them and play them as a full band at practice and just start tweaking them from there with everyone's input.

Q: How did The Sweethearts begin as a band?

Ren: Linette and I met when we were 15. We played in a punk cover band together and started going out. We ended up moving to Austin when we were 18 and started looking for people to play with. We started as a 3 piece. Linette played guitar and vocals and I played bass and sang backups. We had my brother Aaron travel to Austin to play drums on our first record and and just kept playing as the Sweethearts with a few different lineup changes since then. That was around 2000.

Q: What other bands/artists do you listen to regularly that inspire you?

Ren: I'm really inspired by alot of the Rock n Roll and Doo Wop bands and artists from the 50's. Two of my favorite artists are the late Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly. I just love their sound and songwriting style. I wish they were still around. As for punk bands I really like The Leftovers and the Copyrights. I wish I could write awesome songs like they do. I think they're both great bands.I'm really inspired by Ben Weasel as well.

Q: What's next for The Sweethearts?

Ren: I don't know right now. I think we'll eventually start working on some new material and maybe go into the studio and record. I got a little burned out on playing live shows recently so I don't think we'll be hitting the road anytime soon. I prefer to be in the studio working on new songs and ideas as a band. That's my favorite part about being in a band. I could be in a studio for days!

Random topic round.

Topic: Tex-mex

Ren: Tex- Mex food is my favorite!I love to cook mexican food. Linette makes the best mexican rice ever!

Topic: guitar hero

Ren: I recently bought a Wii system and Guitar Hero. It's really fun to play. Linette and I have a Guitar Hero band called "The Party Anjimalz". We were supposed to be calld the Party Animals but I accidently spelled it wrong and just left like that.

Topic: classic cars

Ren: I love classic cars. I've always wanted a 1955 Chevy Belaire. I like to watch the classic auto auction show on t.v. I just sit there and drool over all the awesome classic cars they auction off!

Topic: sodas

Ren: I think I drink too much Coca Cola. I really need to cut down.

Topics: boxers, briefs, tightey-whiteys

Ren: You're probably going to think it's weird but I like to wear my boxers over my briefs.

Topics: sports, olympics, luge, skiing, football, soccer

Ren: I've been watching alot of football lately.

Topics: skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing

Ren: I used to be pretty good at skateboarding when I was younger. I would ride my board all over town and then I justed stopped. I wish I could've kept skating.


Q&A: Singer/Guitarist Brijitte West

I first saw Brijitte West when I got to open up for NY Loose on toour in 1997. She was beautiful, sexy, abrasive, dangerous- everything a female rock-n-roller should be. Her band NY Loose was signed to a big label, and had released a wonderful rock and roll album called "year of the rat" which I still listen to on a weekly basis to this day. I lost track of them and then maybe a year or so ago went looking for them online and discovered Brijitte had a nice solo career going. I got in touch with her and we mailed each other CDs, and I discovered she had relocated to London. We keep in touch regularly and hopefully one day we will be able to collaborate or tour together and just rock. She found time to do this Q&A and it's about time all of you learn just how Rad Brijitte West is.

Q: What was the New York music scene like that you came from, and is it overly romanticized, or was it really a cool scene?

BW: It was a really cool scene. There were so many bands. New York was relatively cheap so you could be a waiter and still have enough for rent and rehearsal. The club bookers were really supportive too and did not put too much pressure on the bands to bring people in. It was before myspace and all that so we really had to go out and be seen if we wanted to be in the scene. There was a lot of different sorts of music happening as well. Sure you had the likes of NY Loose but there were also some amazing 60’s sounding garage bands, stuff like the Chrome Cranks, Blues Explosion and also clubs like the Empire Soul Club where you could dance to obscure records by Irma Thomas. Tramps was also great and you could go see Wilson Picket or Charles Brown tinkling away on piano in the restaurant next door. New York City was full of music. Now it is full of bloody bankers!

Q: Your biggest album with NY loose was arguably "year of the rat", which I adore. Do you have any favourite songs off of it? How did it all work out with a big label at the time?

BW: My favourite song is Detonator not only is it such a cool word but i also wrote the song in five minutes. I have always been a bit tightly wound . Big label ruined us. We signed to the wrong label and had a s**t manager. Music biz worse case scenario number 100,000,000.

Q: What made you move to England, and how do you like it there compared to America and New York?

BW: I moved to London for a change and kind of got stuck here. Life sort of happened ya know? I never had a reason to move back. Now I regret ever coming to this place except of course that I have my gorgeous and amazing and fabulous two children.
I live in London which most people think would be really exciting. London is shit..It’s dirty crowded expensive, full of head scarves, no quality of life, and there is no rock scene. The biggest thing here is X Factor and that creep with the high waisted jeans and all the garbage he churns out for the brainless masses. I live in my own bubble here.

Q: What have you been up to all these years? Catch everyone up on your achievements, what takes up your time, both musically and non musical.

BW: Well I have a certificate to say that I can run a horse stable. I also have a certificate to say I can teach English as a foreign have two birth in the National Health Service is like giving birth during the Victorian era. I had no pain relief. I don’t think you want the details there. My life has been about my kids. I have become a kid again through them. I had to ditch their father unfortunately and now I am a single mom living in a foreign country. Life is tough so I made the toughest coolest and sexiest record you will ever hear!

Q: What are you currently working on and what's up next for you?

BW: I have just made the record that I have always wanted to make!

Q: What sort of gear do you play out of? I know you were fond of SGs.

BW: Marshall tube amp, cab and SG with one p90 single coil pickup.

Q: Do you use any effects pedals and why?

BW: No too complicated

Q: what beauty products can you not live without?

BW: Kiehl’s Creme de Corps

Q: do you have any favourite spa treatments?

BW: If I could afford spa treatments I would have a favourite, it’s been a long time since I have been to a spa. Sorry to p*** on your glamour parade.

Q: Do you have any favourite songs you have written and why?

BW: My new favourite from the upcoming solo album is called “Hey Papito” It’s about my boyfriend. I had no idea he was famous until I went to Brazil where he lives. It’s about being on the beach in Rio and also about all our mutual friends in New York. It’s as if the Beach Boys and the Shangri Las and the Ramones all have a big happy clam bake!

Q: What inspires you to write songs?

BW: Literature, at the moment it would be Leo Tolstoy. Also, really interesting sentences or words I hear randomly, my new album is all mostly about being in my sexual prime and not being able to physically be with the one I want to be with. Sexual frustration can be very inspiring.

Q: What other bands and artists do you simply adore? what are your guilty pleasures?

BW: Rothko, Darlington and Green Day, and really goofy songs like “Mairzi Oats and Dozey Oats and Little Lambs Eat Ivy”. Fave new band is Brothers of Brazil.

Q: Where are some of your favourite places you've been to on tour, and why?

BW: I love Chicago and I saw a ghost dressed in 80’s clothes in the girls bathroom an the Metro just before the gig.

Q: are there any crazy or funny tour stories you can legally tell us about?

BW: Marilyn Manson made all their groupies drink Sea Monkies!!!!

Random topic round!

Topics: bacon butties. are you being served. fish n chips. bobbies. keeping up appearances.

BW: Ugghh all so bloody English...fattening and tasteless, and unappealing uniforms.. 75% of the English culture wear track suits on a daily basis though, that is the reality and they have never seen a track in their lives except of course the race track down at the betting shop!.

Topics: top of the pops. sloane square. piccadilly circus. the Queen.

BW: No thanks to all of the above, give me Prince Charles at least he does useful things with his power.

Topics: east village. CBGB. the continental. coney island high. the ramones.

BW: The breeding ground of sleazy rock and roll. No place in the world will ever be cooler when those places where at their heyday!

Topics: rockabilly music. lesley gore. elvis presley. little richard.

BW: All genius through and through. I bet they all had a fondness for oriental cats.

Topics: rubiks cube. rubiks snake. atari. miss pac man. galaga.

BW: No way never, nada. I am a surfer girl!!!!

Topics: british pound. US greenbacks. the concorde ssupersonic jet

BW: I am a huge aviation and airplane fanatic so I must tell you I saw the last flight of the concord standing in Kew Gardens here in England. I actually wept. Did I just admit that?

Topics: airports. airplanes. cross-atlantic flights. flight attendants.

BW: TAM the Brazilian airline gives you those buttery toffee sweets for some reason. They have the best flight attendants because they are Brazilian and they are always happy and the best bit is they play awesome classic Bossa Nova when you get
on and when you are leaving the plane. I fly to Brazil quite a lot. So much so that I have my bag checked every single time I get back to England. I guess they think I am a drug smuggler. They don’t believe me when I tell them I fly there so much because I am in love with Supla the Brazilian superstar.

Topics: handbags. purses. fanny packs. heels. shoes. makeup.

BW: Um women who spend their entire months wages on a handbag I cannot understand. The only way I would carry an “it” bag is if I had a boyfriend that was rich enough to buy me one and even then I would punk it by defacing it with black magic marker just to be really annoying. Fanny packs are one of the great American fashion faux pas, heels? yes ,whenever possible and black eyeliner and lots of mascara even if you are only going to the post office.

listen to Brijitte's fiery guitars and beautiful voice at and


Q&A: New York City girl rocker Kitty Kowalski

I first got to meet Kitty as far as I can recall in 2005. She set up a show at CBGB, and not only was it a blast, her band rocked hard, and she played this crazy cool glitter green guitar. Me and my band stayed at her apartment and we had a lovely time. She set up another show at the Continental but was called away to Sweden on business and couldn't make it. We'd been in the same rock-and-roll orbit for years, and I believe we have a mutual respect for each other's music and opnions on so many things. She's been a New Yorker since the old days and has seen it all. She found time to do this Q&A, and I think all of you need to get to know miss Kitty K!

Q: what sort of guitar are you playing now? you still have that crazy cool green glitter one? why do you play the one you do?

KK: I've gotten into my semi-hollow body Mosrite lately. It's a 1962. I still have the sea foam green 1972 Gibson SG Special. I think it's my favorite for the way it plays and the way it sounds. Nasty!

Q: what sort of amplifier do you use and why?

KK: For small rooms I have a 1960s Silvertone combo 2 X 10. Then for the arenas, I have the 1977 Marshall 100W JMP.

Q: do you use any effects pedals and why?

KK: Nope. To much to mess with. I'm not that technical.

Q: what made you want to become a rock and roller to begin with?

KK: David Bowie. Ha ha. No seriously, I used to play "Beatles" with my sisters when I was like 5. I watched The Monkees and Josie & The Pussycats n TV, and said, that's the life for me. But seriously, David Bowie.

Q: what are 5 landmark rock albums for you and why?

KK: Never Mind The Bollocks - it was like the album I had waited my whole life to hear. Can't Stand The Rezillos - it has great timing song to song to song, and no album filler. X's Under The Big Black Sun - perfect mix of the uniquely American music I love - Country, Rockabilly and punk - a great collection of Americana. Dawn of The Dickies - some of the tightest, catchiest and clever songwriting known to man. Leonard Phillips is the John Phillips of my generation. Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - a concept, a man, a band. Mythological in its undertaking.

Q: what bands/artists do you listen to on a regular basis lately?

KK: The Wildhearts - I discovered them kinda late so I'm catching up. Electric Six - it's like a party on a disc. Hedwig & The Angry Inch soundtrack - see David Bowie above. Mostly, I kinda hate bands. I like songs. I can hate a band and like one of their songs.

Q: do you still drive that sexy schweet classic convertible?

KK: Sure do. 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme convertible. Some guy on a bike self-righteously asked me at a stoplight, "What kinda mileage you get on that?", with a sneer, to which I replied, "With a car like this, you think I give a f***?".

Q: do you still live in manhattan?

KK: I'm one of the last holdouts. It's sad that the artists and cultural contributors that made Manhattan interesting are now forced out. I've been in my place for 12 years, so I'm hangin' in there, by my fingernails, which are really short because I bite them.

Q: what's the NYC music scene like nowadays? what has changed and do you like it now or not?

KK: Everything changes over time. "The Scene" moved out to Brooklyn and beyond, and a bunch of new little joints cropped up. Some of them are quite DiY. In Manhattan, there are no good small rock venues. Mercury Lounge is about the best there is for about 250 people, but there's no good say 100 - 150 people place. I think there is a lot of interesting stuff going on right now because people are experimenting more. A few years back it was kinda annoying because it seemed a lot of bands were just making music "to get signed" or to be popular, so it had no soul and it was very watered down. Because that doesn't happen like that anymore, and bands break in unusual ways, and sometimes the quirkier the better, bands are kind of chucking out the formula and experimenting with different sounds. It's cool. There's good stuff in every era and in every seen - sometimes you just have to work harder to find it.

Q: do you have any crazy, funny New York stories you can legally tell us?

KK: There are so many. One of my faves, is a crazy guy who rides the Broadway line who calls himself Broadway Bob. He rants on the train, but it's like a standup act. I know several people who have Broadway Bob stories. He called a very fair friend of mine "a delicious, cream-filled, golden Twinkie". I hear him rant on the train, "They say that AIDS come from the MONKEY! They SAY that AIDS come from the monkey! How did the AIDS get from the Monkey to the man? (maniacal laugh a la Live & Let Die voodoo man) The wimmins! The wimmins LOVE the monkeys!" I was trying not to crack up or draw attention to myself. The seats next to him cleared out at the next top of course, and some poor unsuspecting hippie girl sits next to him and the doors shut. He looks at her and there is more maniacal laughter. "Your hair...looks like a PONY!", he shouts. I was about to pee in my pants, when he said, "How 'come your hair looks like a pony? (pause - wait for it) The wimmins! The wimmins LOVE the ponies!" I could not contain myself and had to get off at the next stop. Also, there used to be a lot of hookers in my neighborhood and I got into a fight with a pimp once. It was scary at the time, but I can laugh about it now.

Q: what's parking like in New York if you own a car?

KK: You have to be like a fisherman or farmer and study the almanac. Traffic is like the tides - there is an ebb and flow. You also need common sense. It's hard to find a spot between 7 - 9 PM, because everyone is eating dinner. Things free up after 9:30 or so, but on a weeknight, if you don't find a spot for the next day by midnight, you are kinda f***ed. You have to do it at night, and not in the morning when the commuters come in. If you are unemployed, you can do the alternate side of the street parking for street cleaning thing and follow the sweeper, but you have to babysit your car for an hour and a half.

Q: tell us a little about the Kowalskis. how you started it, what you've done so far and what the future holds.

KK: Sheesh - it started a long time ago and morphed from my first NY band, the all-girl Starkist. When that fell apart, me and the guitar player formed a band called The Drags, until we found out there was another one - this was in the days before google, where you actually had to read fanzines to find this shit out. We became Killer Kowalski. As the other girl members fell away, I got Greg whom I played with forever and Paul from AOD, who brought Jack in and that was the Goofballs line up that was probably together for 3-4 years where we had an awesome run as The Kowalskis. When the record came out and we needed to tour, Jack & Paul dropped out, and we had a touring line-up for a while. I kept losing people touring. It came time to make another record, and that was such a long process. I picked up Mike when I was working on The Manges recordings and they wanted a guy to play guitar. I always wanted to steal him from The Vacant Lot, but didn't, so when they stopped playing I stole him. We first recorded with session guys and then I put the band back together, so the other half was the original Kowalskis drummer Greg and another guy he played with, another Mike. I kind of added in some parts, and now The Kowalskis is like Chuck Berry's band with me and Mike. I married a drummer, so he's stuck as a Kowalski for life, and he can't quit. We're working on a top secret, Internet only project that I can't discuss due to legal issues, but we're kinda doing to entertain ourselves. I have to have something subversive going on or I'm not happy. I have other conceptual projetcs - the experimental band, that all-girl country band, the supergroup. I need about 3 more brains for all the stuff I have in my head. Right now, I'm playing guitar in Bebe Buell's band, so that's been fun, and that does not take the brain power that writing your own songs, booking your own shows and chasing band members around does. I always say the worst thing about having a band is dealing with musicians.

Q: Do you listen patiently or wait to talk?

KK: Both. Depends on if the person is actually communicating information I want to listen to. It happens so rarely.

Q: Are you an obnoxious person?

KK: I'm sure lots of people may think I am.

Q: Do you enjoy causing a ruckus?

KK: I'm not a drama queen. In fact I despise people who manufacture problems and run around acting as if the most trivial thing actually matters. Very little matters. I do like to challenge people and ideas in my own way. I like railing on people, places and things that deserve it. I like to expose hypocrisy. I like to f*** with the system. I commit little acts of cultural terrorism every once in a while. I think it was Elvis Costello who said you should aspire to be an irritant, or something to that effect.

Q: What is your adult beverage of choice?

KK: Beer. Boring.

Q: do you have any favourite songs of yours and why do you like that song or songs best?

KK: I have different ones at different times. I loved "10 Things" when I wrote is as it was my first big girl song - a real song about something real in my life. I liked "Matter of Time" to explore my Country side and got some pedal steel on that, which I love. Some songs are fun to play, like "Mr. Wrong". Right now, "Oh Dee Dee" has been my fave for a while because it's a super short and simple pop song. Very concise.

Q: any last words for readers?

KK: Live every day as if it were your last because one day, you'll be right.

Find and Stalk miss Kitty Kowalski online at and


Q&A: Phanie D, drummer for Girl in a Coma!

I've gotten to see Girl in a Coma twice, at Poor David's pub and House of Blues here in Dallas. Not only did they put on a very entertaining live show, the drummer Phanie was very personable and down to earth. They got the opportunity to open up for my idol Morrissey on tour as well, and after the HOB show Phanie took time out of their busy touring schedule for a lil' Q&A action! read and enjoy!

Q: ya'll are getting more and more famous recently. your touring hasn't seemed to even stop. how do you feel about your growing fame and how has it affected things touring-wise insofar as dealing with "fans" and such?

P: We dont really see ourselves as famous. We notice the crowd getting bigger.. but to us.. the more the merrier. Nothings really changed so far... we try to hang as much as possible.

Q: do you have any funny or crazy tour stories ya'll can legally share with us?

P: legally there are tons. but so far on this tour we had our number one austin fan come up on stage and do a crazy pelvic thrust dance.. then try to sing some songs with Nina with interesting lyrics.

Q: how did the onstage dancing originate and do your fans go crazy over it? i personally find it endearing.

P: Jenn likes inviting people onstage... we encourage it. i dont think sound guys like it so much.

Q: What sort of gear do you use and why? Especially tell me about those crazy cool custom telecaster guitars and your pedal boards.

P: Gretsch for Phanie because the 22'kick is fun. Jenn loves fender P basses and Nina plays on a Valley Arts telecaster. Gibson offered them to Nina.. and she loves the feel and pickups on em.

Q: what's the songwriting process like? do each of you bring finished pieces to the band or do you all collectively write?

P: the music starts with nina... she writes all guitar melodies and lyrics. once in a while i will dabble in the writing.. ive written The Photographer on Both Before Im Gone. She shows us the music and jenn and I will take it from there and compose and arrange the song with her.

Q: what's your favourite song of the bands and why?

P: Probably Vino we love the change ups in it.

Q what's your favourite place you've toured to and why?

P: Besides playing to our hometown.. LA has become a 2nd home. We recently sold out the Knitting Factory and the fans out there are really supportive.

Q: what other bands and artists do ya'll listen to? and don't be cool here- let us know what your guilty pleasures are too!

P: Magneta Lane, Blue Means Go, Bowie, Elvis is always in rotation, Velvet Underground... guilty pleasure... Revenge Of the Nerds soundtrack.

Q: do ya'll like to read? especially on the road, you got lots of downtime to read books, so if you do, please share with us what you like to read.

P: Nina does the most reading..all kinds of novels.. I like to read books about a nerd like that.

Q: do ya'll have handbag collections and if so, do you have a favourite handbag and why?...

P: no handbags here.

Q: will ya'll be moving as a band to LA or NYC or somewhere else or stay in your hometown?

P: Nope.. we love Sa and plan on stayin forever.

Q: what does the future hold for Girl in a coma?

P: More records and touring

Random topic round.

Topics: heels, sneakers, boots, cowboy boots, foot odor, pedicures, socks

P: heels are nina,sneakers are phanie,cowboy boots are jenn, foot order are all three of us..pedicures are none of us and socks are stolen between us.

Topics: rubiks cube, rubiks snake, hungry hungry hippos, candyland, monopoly

P: Hungry Hippos is my fav,Candyland,,nina will still play, monopoly is to long.

Topics: galaga, galaxian, space invaders, pac man, miss pac man, atari

P: all these games are frustrating and fun

Topics: whiskey, vodka, beer, wine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin

P: whiskey =yum,vodka=not so yum,beer= good time yum,marijuana=not anymore ,cocaine=stupid,heroin=even stupider

Topics: coca cola, sprite, 7 up, root beer, big red, big peach, orange crush

P: whatever happened to orange crush? kids who wore the shirt annoyed me. plus i had one.

Topics: tanning salons, hair salons, fake tanning spray, fake grills,overblinging

P: sounds like a day in the life of the toddlers in pageants.

Topics: rims that cost more than the hooptie they are on, blasting bass rap with the windows down when its over 100 degrees out, tshirts so long and big they look like a mumu, jorts so long they could be slacks.

P: entertaining.

Topics: don cheto, sabado gigante, the price is right, deal or no deal, wheel of fortune

P: always sabado gigante

Topics: bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, kiwi, figs, peaches, pears, tomatos, yams

P: sounds like a party

Topics: sour gummy worms, twix, reeses cups, M&Ms, milky way, altoids

P: sounds like a naughty party

Topics: cadillacs, deloreans, porsches, ferraris, lamborghinis, mini coopers

P: if jenn ever has the money.. she would probably have one of each.

Topics: sherlock holmes, casinos, kayaking, volcanoes, barracudas

P: sounds like a board game.

Cattch Girl in a Coma and their wonderfully fun live show at a concert hall near you!


Q&A: Poppy Robbie. The Dictator of Pop!

Poppy Robbie is just plain cool. And it's about time all you grubby little worms get turned on to the great tunes he makes. And believe the propaganda, folks, this is one Dictator that's all about fun. And great music. And more. That is, unless you're an insurgent- then look out! All hail the Dictator of Pop!

Q: Let's catch everyone up with you. Describe in your own words who you are, what you do, and what makes you want to wake up in the morning.

PR: Well, first off thanks for inviting me to do this! Your Q&A's are so much more entertaining and thought-provoking than those silly ones everyone passes along to each other over the internet. How many times are we required to answer the same old questions about our tah-tah's and nyeah-nyeah's anyway? I mean, I don't even have tah-tah's or nyeah-nyeah's, but that's sort of the point, you know? Nevertheless, my name is Poppy Robbie, I'm a proud resident of Earth (Southeast Texas, to be exact), I write music and ever so often record or perform it, make questionable art, and the hope of one day owning a fully-functional jetpack makes me wake up in the morning.

Q: What sort of guitar gear do you use and why?

PR: I've got a couple guitars, but mainly I use my Gretsch Streamliner hollowbody and electrify it into loudness with a small tweed Fender Blues Jr. The reason I use those is because that's what the snake in my dream told me to do.

Q: what inspires you to write songs?

PR: I've always loved the idea that no matter how many songs have been written, most of them the exact same or in a similar way, people still do it all in hopes of perfecting the art a bit more. The idea of attempting to come up with new and clever lyrics when there have been an infinate number of songs in existance saying the same basic thing is endearing to me. Everyone who writes is wanting to just get their own unique perspective heard. Until the end of time, people will be out there continuing to write songs that have already been written a million times fold, either intentionally or not - most of the time completely nieve to the fact that those songs exist and may have already relayed the exact same feeling and emotion. That's beautiful. All sorts of things inspire me to write, though. Everything from relationships to picking up the mail to seeing a band play can get the wheels rolling upstairs...

Q: What made you want to play music and sing to begin with?

PR: Listening to 45's on my mom's stereo as a child and digging through boxes of them on the floor was one of the earliest memories I have of being actively interested in music. Around that time I began recording myself singing on a small cassette stereo for fun. By the time I had reached Jr. High, like so many others, my love for music evolved into an active interest and hobby to write songs and play guitar myself.

Q: What are you currently working on creatively, both musical and non-musical?

PR: I'm continuously writing, but those folks out there closest to me all know that I've been threatening to release new stuff since I starting playing solo shows way back in 2003. The truth of the matter is I'm very lax about it and figure in the current climate of the music-releasing world, with the internet and strange shifting of the role and lack of importance of record companies, that I'm in no hurry to rush anything in particular out to be swallowed up into the vast void of the digital abyss. That's a sort of defeatist attitude, I guess, but I know my music-listening audience is a small handful of close friends and folks who either know me from my past efforts or have been following me through recent years via online and those folks should all be used to my indecisiveness by now and understand that I've got my head up my ass when it comes to that stuff haha. NON-musically though, I've been doing paintings continuously for the last few years, mostly small pieces I've been flogging-off here and there via eBay. Back in February I did a project I called "28 in Paint" where I decided that I was going to paint one painting a day for the entire month of February (of course I pick the shortest month out of the year to do this). It was fun to try and I was happy with the results. Right now I usually do three or so paintings a month, as I find time. This all started out as a random whim but has now turned into an active enjoyable interest of mine. I'm about to begin work with a couple new projects to get my art out and about and spread the word. I've been happy and thankful for the response I've been getting from it all.

Q: are you into books? If so, what are some of your personal favourites?

PR: Comics count too, right? If so, I'm a monthly avid reader of anything Ninja Turtles or Green Lantern and I've been enjoying Kick-Ass and the comic adaptations of The Stand as well. My two favorite graphic novels are probably Kingdom Come and Watchmen. As far as standard novels and the like, lately I've been enjoying the work of David Sedaris, having just recently finished his 'When You Are Engulfed in Flames'. One of my all-time favorites books is 'Walden' by Henry Thoreau.

Q: What are some other bands and artists you enjoy listening to? Including those embarrassing guilty pleasures?

PR: My top five are probably The Beatles, Tom Petty, Wreckless Eric, Elvis Costello and Paul Westerberg. Lately I've been listening to a lot of George Harrison, Violent Femmes, and enjoying Regina Spektor's new album. Guilty pleasures? Haha, most of those around me would probably argue that pretty much everything I listen to should be an embarrassing guilty pleasure. That list is too long...

Q: do you enjoy any sports? Watching or participating?

PR: I've always been into skateboarding and love the 80's skateboard culture centered around The Bones Brigade and Powell Peralta. I hear Stacy Peralta is supposed to be producing a Dogtown-style documentary about the Bones Brigade, hopefully that's true. Recently I got one of those Powell reissue decks, the Mike Vallely elephant one, and fixed it up as ugly and bright as I would have had I bought it in the 80's. I still have my old Mcgill skull and snake deck from when I was a kid. I'm pretty sure I wanted that one only because it's the model Christian Slater had in Gleaming the Cube. But yeah, I don't get to ride much anymore but when I find time it's always fun.

Q: What's the music scene like in your area?

PR: Southeast Texas has always had a very independent and varied music scene. Almost every band that springs up seems to truely have their own sound and there's a good spirit of bands wanting to help each other and the local scene itself out, it seems. A lot of people tend to move out of the area after finishing school in favor of Austin, Denton or elsewhere, but there's always new groups popping-up that are interesting and bring new life to the scene, along with new sets of music fans eager to take the keys to the car, so to speak. The only downfall I think this area has is its inability to maintain venues for long periods of time. Each time a good venue has sprung up it's always shortlived.

Q: What's next for you and what can the world expect from the Dictator of Pop?

PR: Capitol Records is going to call any minute now and you can expect a box set of all these ridiculous songs I've been hording inside my head.

Random topic round.

Topics: jeans. tshirts. jorts. swim trunks. bikinis. speedos.

PR: Jeans and tshirts are a-ok! I'm not sure what a jort is, but it sounds like an energy drink. Bikinis are a go, speedos are a no!

Topics: adult beverages. soda pop. juice boxes. hot cocoa. coffee.

PR: adult beverages < soda pop. juice boxes < juice pouches. Cold weather is my favorite time to drink hot cocoa and coffee.

Topics: cereal. grits. toaster strudel. pop tarts. protein shakes.

PR: Cereal > grits, toaster strudels or pop tarts. Protein shakes are ridiculous.

Topics: texas. cowboys. country music. rockabilly music. honky tonks.

PR: Texas is grand. Cowboys are terrible drivers. Country music is okay before the mid-ninties. Rockabilly music isn't as cool as it's fashion. Honky tonks are where you can boot, scoot and boogie.

Topics: electric bulls. oil and gasoline. james dean. michael jackson.

PR: electric bulls are just as bad as electric bills. oil and gasoline are overrated. james dean and michael jackson are no longer with us.

Topics: elvis presley. buddy holly, britney spears. warped tour.

PR: I've honestly never "gotten" Aaron Presley. My opinion is that there's only one Elvis that matters and one King of Rock n' Roll and he's neither one of those. I'm a big Buddy Holly fan (the real King of Rock n' Roll?), as well as Ritchie Valens. I would've been very interested in hearing what sort of music those two guys would have been making during the 60's had their death not occured. Britney Spears is about due for a comeback. I've only been to one Warped Tour, it was in Houston, 1998 and I got to see The Specials and Swingin' Utters. It was pretty fun aside from the extremely long hot dog line...

Topics: fast food. sit down restaurants. whataburger. tex mex.

PR: I eat way too much fast food. I like to stand up in sit down restaurants. Whataburger are Wal-Mart are the only things open in my town past 9pm. Tex mex is great!

Topics: PCs. macs. ipods. zunes. cds. dvds. vhs. mp3s. cassettes.

PR: PCs and Macs just need to have sex and get it over with. I used to be against Ipods, zunes and all those things but then finally got one as a gift and absolutely love it. Cds and dvds look identical. I was okay with VHS. MP3s are better than M16s. Ahh, cassettes - You can't make a mix-tape on a cdr, kids.

Topics: rubiks snake. rubiks cube. nerf guns. atari. pac man. galaga.

PR: What the hell is a rubiks snake?! That's terrible, take something I love (Rubiks Cube) and something I hate (snakes) and put them together. What's the world coming to. I want an arsenal of nerf guns so bad it's killing me. Atari < NES. Pac Man > Galaga.

Thanks again, Christy! Anyone interested in following my silliness can find me over at:


Q&A: The legendary singer Alice Bag

When I first saw Alice Bag, it was when I was a early teen watching the documentary "The Decline of western civilization", which featured several influential L.A. punk rock bands in 1979-1980. It was influential to me. Despite any shortcomings or skewed perspective, I thought it was great for me to be able to watch some performances and interviews of these talented and great bands. i loved the two songs Alice and her band did. Fast forward to 2005. I was on tour in L.A. performing to pretty much nobody at Zen Sushi. Just Aaron, Valeriebot, Donna, a few friends. I was stoked because Alain Whyte's band Red Lightning had performed there and I'd been rockin' to a bootleg copy of the show. Well, the opening band was pretty cool. Three girls and a boi drummer. I was watching them and there was something strangely familiar about one of the girls. The way her mouth moved when she sang...I'd seen her before. Halfway thru their set it hit me that I was watching the legendary Alice bag singing. Opening the show. I was floored. When they were done, I tentatively approached her... "Are you Alice Bag?" I hesitantly inquired. And she was. And I dorked out so badly, I must've looked so silly, but I didn't care. It was a cool moment, getting to meet this talented and influential singer, I thought she was the coolest! I gave her my CDs and a Tshirt and buttons. Well, when I started doing the Q&As for my blog, I had her in mind early on, and when I emailed her, I was very glad she remembered me, and she took time out of her busy schedule to do a Q&A, and I hope you will all read it and start getting to know the super rad friend I have named Alice.

Q: What made you want to sing and perform music to begin with and how long have you been performing now?

Alice: I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a singer. In elementary school, I was extremely unpopular and the only time I had a moment to shine was when the music teacher would come into our class and ask me to play the autoharp or help her lead a round of singing. I realized that I had a natural aptitude for music. I enjoyed singing and those rare occasions were the only times when I felt accepted by my peers. There was no doubt that I was better at singing than most of them so it helped me feel better about myself in general.

Q: How did the Bags start up? What role did you play in that? Were you an instigator?

Alice: My friend Patricia Rainone (now Patricia Vanian) and I had been wanting to form an all-girl band since we were in high school (we went to different schools but met and became fast friends). We tried putting ads in the Recyler, a newspaper that offered free want ads, but we kept getting calls from guys who wanted to be in our band. We did put together a couple of all-girl line-ups prior to The Bags: one was called Femme Fatale, the other was Masque Era. The Masque didn't exist yet, so the name was pure coincidence.
The idea for The Bags was that we'd be an anonymous group who played with paper bags over our heads. It was Patricia's brain child and I loved the idea. We put another ad in The Recyler and ended up getting a call from Geza X and Joe Nanini. Geza begged us to give them a chance, so we auditioned them even though they were the wrong gender for our original plan. After playing with Geza and Joe, things just fell into place and we decided it was time to jettison the all-girl band idea and try something else.

Q: you're arguably most famous for your segment in the documentary "Decline of western civilization". Can you tell us how that went down? Were you happy or sad or indifferent with the portrayal of the artists and people in the documentary and was it true to reality?

Alice: I was terribly sad after seeing myself in The Decline. By the time the film premiered my band had already broken up and what was captured on film was not our best performance. The Decline captured the emerging hardcore scene; unfortunately, it was filmed too late to catch the early Hollywood Scene at its peak. In late 1979 and early 1980 there was a palpable change in the energy of the growing L.A. scene. It was evolving, going through it's awkward stage like a pimply adolescent. The Decline is like a high school picture of that pimply teen.
After refusing to see the Decline again for some twenty plus years I finally gave in and went to a screening a few years ago. It was really fun to watch it and appreciate it for what it is rather than stewing over the fact that it wasn't what I'd expected.

Q: Could you tell us about the two songs you sing in "Decline"?

Alice: I can't really tell you much about the song selection for the movie (Prowlers In The Night and Gluttony). Our whole set was filmed and I imagine Penelope selected the songs that worked best in the context and mood of her film.

Q: I noticed in "Decline", that the guitarist in your band also played drums in Catholic Discipline. Can you tell us more about the sharing of band members, and how that worked in the "music scene" at the time?

Alice: Our band was in a state of flux, we'd only recently had a major falling out with Patricia, our original bassist and she had left the band. Craig Lee, our guitarist in The Decline had been our rhythm guitarist, Rob Ritter (AKA Rob Graves) had switched from lead guitar to bass to replace Patricia.
Aside from The Bags we all had part-time projects. I sang with Black Randy and The Metrosquad from time to time and did one off performances with friends whenever the mood struck. Our drummer, Terry Graham played drums for The Go-Go's at their first show.

Q: Was the L.A. music scene even a scene at the time? Was everyone buddies and working together as many try to make it appear now or was it fragmented and hindsight is rewriting history a bit?

Alice: I know it must sound too good to be true, but it was a close community. It was small, so yes - we all knew each other. By late '77 there was definitely a scene. Early in '78 a whole bunch of us moved into The Canterbury Apartments just a block and a half away from The Masque. We lived, breathed, ate and drank punk 24/7. Think about it: we were the only ones playing the new music and the only ones interested in hearing it, so we went to each other's shows and supported each other. I think the fact that the outside world saw us as freaks also made us band together. There were occasional fights between people and a healthy competition for the best spots on any given bill, but overall it was a pretty tight family.

Q: What would you say your position was back then? Did you, or anyone else you knew, have any idea that what you were doing and creating was going to influence so many people years later, or were you just living in the moment and being spontaneous?

A7. I had no clue that what we were doing would ever mean anything to anyone other than the people who were there. I was completely in the moment, so much so that it seemed like time stopped during those years because I wasn't aware of time passing at all. At the same time, I was aware that what we had was something special. I'd felt like a misfit in high school but here I felt like we were all misfits who accepted each other's quirks and valued each other's uniqueness. That's not to say that every creative endeavor was my cup of tea, we all had our favorite bands, our own style, and our own take on what it meant to be a punk.
It was only many years later that I fully recognized the lasting impact the early scene had made. When I began posting my personal collection of photos and artifacts of that time on my website, I started getting emails from people all over the world who were interested in what those early days were like.

Q: How do you think the music biz has changed since then, do you like the changes, and do you think you had a hand in changing things with your contributions back then?

Alice: I don't know that the music business has changed at all except to get even more pedestrian than it used to be. Many of the artists that I like aren't waiting around for a fat contract, which I think is smart.

Q: What have you been up to since the late 70s/early 80s? What has life been like for you, both musical and non-musical?

Alice: After dissolving the Alice Bag Band at the end of 1979 I moved back home with my parents and went back to school. After that I became a teacher, but I've always continued working on music. Some of the bands I was involved in after the Bags were The Castration Squad, Cholita!, The Afro Sisters, El Vez, and Las Tres.

Q: What are you currently working on musically?

Alice: I haven't played with a steady band since moving to Arizona about 4 years ago. I recently had throat surgery and lost some notes in my upper register. I'm struggling to recover my full range, but I'm confident I'll be howling again soon.

Q: What other artists or bands were your favourites back in the day, and who do you find yourself listening to alot now?

Alice: The greatest punk band ever was/is The Weirdos.
Some of my current faves include The Gossip, Girl in A Coma, The Sounds, and The Dresden Dolls. I like bands with strong women in them.

Q: When you write songs, what inspires you?

Alice: I like to write about the evolving role of women, social injustice, politics, love, and pretty much any topic in which I become emotionally invested.

Q: I heard you moved away from L.A... where are you at now, and do you like it better than L.A.? Are you originally from L.A. or were you a transplant?

Alice: I love L.A., I was born and raised in East L.A. and I'll always consider it my home. These days I'm living in Arizona because that is what works best for our family right now. I really enjoy the desert. The area I live in is sparsely populated and I'm treated to awe-inspiring sunsets, clean air and the sound of birds singing every day which I drink in gratefully.

Q: Do you like to read? What books have you read lately that you liked? Do you have any all-time favourites?

Alice: I am an avid reader. Right now I'm working on a book called Little Heathens about growing up during the Great Depression, some of the passages remind me of my mother who also grew up during those times.

I periodically make all-time favorite book lists and then find myself wanting to update them. Here's my quick list:

1. Middlesex- Eugenides
2. A Tale of Two Cities- Dickens
3. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao- Diaz
4. The Grapes of Wrath (or Cannery Row)- Steinbeck
5. Frida- A brief biography of Frida Kahlo- Herrera
6. Buddha, Phoenix or Adolf (series)- Tezuka
7. Dracula- Stoker
8. Love in the Time of Cholera- Garcia Marquez
9. House of the Spirits- Allende
10. Flaming Iguanas- Lopez
11. Ham on Rye (or Post Office)- Bukowski
12. 120 Days of Sodom- De Sade
13. The Diary of a Young Girl- Frank
14. Fingersmith (or Tipping the Velvet)- Waters
15. Aztec- Jennings

Q: What does the future hold for you musically?

Alice: The future holds an upcoming memoir of my childhood and punk years, tentatively titled Violence Girl. I've signed a deal with Feral House, the same publisher who put out Lexicon Devil (about Darby Crash and The Germs) and I hope to have the book out sometime next year. The book is already written and we are in the editing phase and selecting photos from my collection. I sporadically write a blog (Diary of A Bad Housewife). I think I'm going to stick to writing until I get my singing voice back.

Find and keep up with Alice online at


Q&A: Sean of the band Murder Majesty

I first met Sean in 2005 at the Showcase Theatre in Corona CA where I was performing. Aside from being one of the 5 or so people at the show (Along with Aaron, Valeriebot & Meagan J!) , he was pretty cool and we kept in touch over the years and became friends. Nowadays, he sings in the band Murder Majesty, straight outta Las Vegas, and he also does tour booking as well! He found time in his busy schedule for a lil' Q&A action.

Q:give us a little background on Murder majesty. how did it start, what was your role in it, how the name came to be, how long you guys have been around, fun facts.

Sean: Murder Majesty has been around for about 2 1/2 years now. I moved to Las Vegas from Orange County because I was sick of living with my mother whenever I wasn't on tour with my old band The Shilling (
and I thought 24 was an appropriate age for me to make a scenic change and to grow up. Well I already had a friend living here from Orange County who knew a few punk rock kids in town so after going to a few bars, my friend introduced me to a guy named Beavis who was soon to be our first drummer. He was busy playing in a punk rock band and I had success playing ska/punk with my old band and he wanted to venture down that road and knew a few people who were also into that kinda shit and so Murder Majesty was born. We decided on the name because out of every option we came up with, the name seemed to be the catchiest and fit the style.

Q: what's the latest project you guys have released and what are you working on right now?

Sean: We recently came out with our debut full length a couple months ago entitled "Start From Scratch" on a great up and coming east coast label called Unable Records. We're currently transitioning a new drummer into the lineup with all the member problems we've had over the year so we have only tossed around ideas for new songs. We haven't put any on paper.

Q: What's the songwriting process like for you guys?

Sean: Well for songs structures and backbone, me and our bassist are pretty much the inspiration behind the music. We both compose the music, then I usually come up with a harmony and then the lyrics are usually much better structured when there's a prewritten vocal harmony/pattern.

Q: Do you have any favourite songs, and why?

Sean: I have plenty of favorite songs but they aren't from us. hahaha. I like a lot of stuff from my favorite ska band ever Slapstick and pretty much everything written by Operation Ivy. Jesse Michaels is my favorite vocalist not for his voice but strictly for his lyrics. He's a poetic genius with a lot of undertones in his lyrics. You just have to use you head to figure out what the songs about. As far as favorite voice, I'd have to say Brendan Kelly from Slapstick/Lawrence Arms/ The Broadways. My favorite song that we have has got to be Goodbye because the whole song from the lyrics to the drums to the horns is very well arranged and I think its the catchiest.

Q: What other bands or artists do you like listening to?

Sean: Well for me personally, I don't have a wide spectrum of stuff I listen to. It pretty much boils down to ska, punk, and black metal. Some of my favorites recently have been Mute, Leviathan, Nokturnal Mortum, Teenage Bottlerocket, This Is A Standoff, and We Are The Union. Told ya it's a simple yet wierd mix.

Q: Do you have any funny or crazy tour stories you can legally share with us?

Sean: Well on our last tour, we encountered a few problems in the state of Arizona. After our show in San Diego on the way to Tucson, I got out of the van on the side of the freeway to stretch while someone took a pi** and then my stomach all of a sudden felt like it dropped (you know like in the movies where you hear a kerplop when the person has to take a s**t real bad) well that happened to me so i tried to walk it off but after 5 steps I had to go worse then before so I tried to round everyone up but just couldn't hold it so i dropped one on the side of the freeway. An hour up the road. Our drummer got prosecuted for marijuana posession. Awwwww what a day.

Q: what do you like to eat when youre on tour? what are the problems with getting decent food on the road?

Sean: When we're on tour, its mostly cold canned food like ravioli. Fast food is eaten often too. Or if we're hungry enough and we have the money truckstop buffets. Decent food is non existent on the road unless you're a big band and catering is included in your rider.

Q: you also do booking. How did you get involved with that and do you have a roster of bands you book, or how does it work?

Sean: I started booking shows in California when I was 12 for touring bands and after moving to Vegas, it's just kind of evolved.
I also help out my friends with tours because it's fun for me, as long as I have time. I do work for a booking agency which has a limited roster but I just handle dates I'm dealt.

Q: There's been lots of changes in the industry since we first met. Do you like the changes? Where is the music biz now and where is it headed? is that a good or bad thing?

Sean: I don't like the changes because it's put some of my good friends out of work with lack of records sold meaning no money for labels which means no money to pay employees. The music business now is exactly the same as where it always has been meaning kids still get their hand on records they like whether they buy it or steal it (from a store or online) but their is still as much of a desire for new music as there was 20 years ago, it just doesn't show in record sales. This economy and lack of funds in peoples hands does impact every bands draw at shows and such but if the money was still just as abundant as it was 10 years ago, shows would still be as crowded because people still want to go to shows, they just have to spend their money on necessities like food and alcohol.

Q: what's the music scene in Las Vegas like compared to other places? what's good and what's bad about it?

Sean: The music scene in Las Vegas sucks. We're way oversaturated with music. There's like 300 clubs, 300 shows a night so theres so much competition that shows don't do as good here as they would Orange County or Phoenix. Most clubs are also 21+ which sucks, but we as a band do our part to play a lot of all ages shows because the minors are the ones who really care for the music scene for the most part and appreciate what were doing.

Q: What does the future hold for you and murder majesty?

Sean: Hopefully not new members! :)

Random topic round.

Topics: jorts, crocs, tshirts so big they hang down past the knees like a mumu.

Sean: tight emo clothes are in! Look at the way I dress haha.

Topics: casinos, strip clubs, gambling, brothels

Sean: casinos are great if you dont lose money. Free drinks are nice too. So are tits!

Topics: rubiks cube, board games, simon, guitar hero, rock band

Sean: The best way to a girls heart in our kids generation is be great at either rock band or guitar hero.

Please check out Murder Majesty at


Q&A: the Great Rebel Elle

I met Miss Rebel Elle when she played bass in a band called Responsible Johnny. She put on a hell of a show. Eventually she didn't play with RJ anymore and was playing bass in another band, as well as drums for Jane loves dick (with Kristen who is now with the Crazy Ivans), and I asked her to play bass with myself and 2 of the gals from the girl band Lovie for a special show at the Barley house, after which she also played stand-up rockabilly style drums for me at 2 other shows. She also mixed 3 of my music videos and is not only a close dear friend now, but she's also one of the most talented, creative, coolest, motivated, and driven gals you could ever hope to meet. Nowadays, she sings and plays guitar in a fine band called The Loosies along with a gal named Rachel (who plays bass, and played in Jane loves Dick with Kristen and Elle as well as played bass with Elle and I for the 2 shows Elle played drums, and is married to Rob of Responsible Johnny), and their very cool drummer Misti. I've been blessed with the chance to take photos of the Loosies at a few shows and Rebel Elle is very near and dear to my heart and I'm very pleased to see her new band gaining momentum with a nice opening slot for Girl in a Coma coming up soon. Read on and get to know Rebel Elle!

Q: what is it like to be a female rocker and frontwoman in a scene that seems dominated by men? how has this affected you and your music and attitude?

RE: It's awesome. It's nice to be one of the only few girl bands around. It definately gives you a different perspective when you're competing with a whole bunch of guy bands who have been around forever. But over the years I have been able to hang out with much of the talented men out here, and they seem to support me as much as I do them.

Q: do you get along with other girl rockers? is there any camaraderie that exists?

RE: Most definately, I think all girls love seeing another girl up there doing her thing.

Q: How does the music scene differ from Louisiana to Texas? What's the good and bad?

RE: I'm from South Louisiana and the scene down there is HEAVILY dominated by Zodeco and country bands. There isn't much of a punk rock scene. So it was a relief to get to spend most of my musical years in North Carolina where the music scene was really awesome at times. The Raleigh/Durham area has some really awesome girl bands. I was really excited to come to Dallas and find more of a "Scene." Although, now, it's not as promising as it was three years ago. I miss Bar of Soap. I saw many good bands come through there. I'm hoping with the re-opening of Trees, there will be better spirits in Deep Ellum. It was pretty bad for awhile. I think everyone was bitter and turning on each other. That is the only bad about the scene here in Dallas. With all the bars closing... instead of teaming together and trying to make things work, it felt as it was every band for themselves, and no one was helping anyone. Let's hope we can change that.

Q: You work in television. How has that affected your music and videomaking?

RE: It definately makes creating music videos much easier ;)

Q: How did you get started in filming and editing music video, and do you have any favourites you've done? I got started in college, it was my major. I've always wanted to make music videos. I'd sit and watch CMT and MTV all day when I was a kid. You would be surprised at how inexpensive it really is to make a music video these days. People think you need all this fancy equipment, when really, all you need is decent lighting, a home camcorder and basic editing software. At around 300 bucks you can be cranking out video after video.

Q: you've played in different bands. Tell us about some of your experiances you really enjoyed.

RE: Lots of different bands with lots of talented people. Touring was always fun, but very stressful. What most people don't know is that I did a few cool things in the country music world. I've gotten to play with Miranda Lambert and Sarah Evans. I've played on the same bill as Bowling for Soup, Evanecence and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But at the end of the day, I gotta say, Responsible Johnny was the most fun I have ever had.

Q: Tell us about your current band: how it began, what you've done so far, and what's on the horizon.

RE: Ha! Its a very crazy and short story. I had just been given the boot out of another band. Cera from Screaming Red told me I needed to get over it and it was my opportunity to start my own thing. I had played witH Roxxxi in Jane Loves Dick and then I had jammed with Misti a few times. We were all pretty unsuccessful at finding a band that catered to the sound we wanted. One quick call to Roxxxi and Misti and that was it. Had a bassist and a drummer. Normally I would have gotten a singer, cause I cant sing, but after talking with the band we decided we didnt want to teach another girl "our" songs, we should sing them ourselves. That was in May, and here we are in September. So over 4 months, we have come a long way. We have an EP already in the can and we just finished recording another one this past weekend. It will be a split with an all girl band out of Kentucky called "Some Skank" They are pretty awesome. We will be playing House of Blues with Girl in a Coma on Sept 25th. We are super excited. Here is a promo video we shot just for that.

Q: you play multiple instruments. how did you begin playing? do you have a favourite to play? what do you like about each and what sort of gear do you use?

RE: I started playing drums when I was about 11, then shortly after picked up the guitar. I started playing bass, well pretending I could play bass when I moved to Dallas. Responsible Johnny needed a bassist, and I could play guitar so I faked my way into playing bass. My bass rig is a Fender Jaguar and Ampeg BA 115. My guitar rig consists of 2 Jagmasters and a Line 6 Spider 3 amp. Drums are my absolute favorite thing to play. My set is a tama 4 peice birch Superstar EFX kit.

Q: what inspires you to write music and songs, and do you have any personal favourites you've written and why?

RE: Bad breakups, love, Stupid boys.. anything that I'm feeling really. I guess you can say "Life" inspires me.

Q: what other bands and artists do you like listening to?

RE: Nirvana, Dandy Warhols, The Randies, Pixies, Bikini Kill, Huggy Bear, Bratmobile, Julie Ruin, Le Tigre.

Q: why does Responsible johnny have a song about you and does it bother you or do you like it?

RE: I'm flattered that Rob even thought I was that special to write it. L's on Lithium is an awesome song (and true story)

Random topic round.

Guitar hero:
I freaking hate guitar hero, it gets me drunk and I'd rather play guitar for "Realz bruh"

Adult beverages:
Lately, I have had this weird addiction to Bloody Mary's. I never really liked them until last Christmas. It's weird.

My favorite TV show of all time is "Welcome Back Kotter" but I can quote nearly every episode of "always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "The Sarah Silverman Program"

Lightning & Alligators:
I'm terrified of lightning, I won't go outside. Alligators are cool animals. I grew up around them and I am not afraid of them. Most people have a misconception about them. We had an alligator that lived in our drainage ditch for like 3 years, We fed him and he never really bothered us or tried to attack us. One day it rained really hard and he just swam away.

Find the Loosies online at:


Q&A: the band Goodbye Gadget!

Q: How long had Goodbye Gadget been around? And how did the band start up? What's the current line-up? How did the name come about?

Jess: Goodbye Gadget came about in 2006. Ana and I were in a band together prior to that called Inspect Her Gadget. The members changed and the sound had changed and it was definitely going in a different direction. We felt it wasn’t the same band anymore, and although at the time we said it was just a name change, it really was a lot more than that. We liked the name “Goodbye Gadget” because we (in a way) said goodbye to the old band, but still had the gadget in our name to let people know we weren’t gone completely. Inspect Her Gadget was all-female until the very end. It was more riot-grrl/punk whereas goodbye Gadget is more Alt/Rock/Pop with some Punk and some Electronic. Our line-up now is still me on guitars, and still Ana on vocals, however we have a male drummer (Pave) a male keyboardist/guitarist (Neil) and a male bassist (Chris-just joined the band!)

Q: Have ya'll gone on many tours? Where have been some favourite places to perform, and do you have any crazy tour stories you can legally tell us about?

Pave: We went on a two week tour to play SXSW last year, and we typically do a lot of weekend warrior trips to LA or Seattle. One of my favorite places to play is El Corazon in Seattle. The music scene and the people are a great. Another is Slim’s in SF. The staff there treats every band like gold. They feed us, and liquor us.

Neil: Slim’s. Opening for the Vandals and meeting Josh Freese and Robin Finck!

Jess: Locally I like Blake’s in Berkeley, Uptown in Oakland…Slims in SF and definitely one of my favorites is Bottom of the Hill (also SF). Outside of local venues, I really like Chain Reaction in Anaheim.

Chris: I haven't yet toured in Goodbye Gadget but I am looking forward to hitting the road with them in the near future. I have toured in other bands. My favorite place to play? That's hard because there are so many cool places. I’ve had the privilege of touring Europe and the people over there seem so happy that you've come to their country to play and they thank you for coming to their country, and I'm like thank you for having us and coming to the show you know. Some shows here in the states it's hard to get kids to come to even come out and over there it's so different. They really appreciate it. Tour stories - well let me get back to you after the gG tour. I think I'm bunking with Pave and well.....

Q: O.K., this is for the string players. What sort of guitars and amplifiers and effects pedals do ya'll use? Is there a reason for using what you do? Do you have a favourite guitar and why?

Neil: I’ve always liked the sound of a Gibson guitar plugged into boss effects pedals and a marshall tube amp. I also use a Line 6 POD X3 Live effects board.

Jess: I’m actually not too much of a gear head. I like different guitars for different reasons; absolutely love my Gibson SG because it’s a limited edition, and really easy to play but I’m also really in love with my Daisy Rock (Rock Candy) guitar. The pick-ups on it sound better than my Gibson! As far as pedals, I have a VOX Tonelab LE which I love, because the tuner and any sound I could possibly want or need is in there-I don’t have to cart around 5 million pedals and hook them up to each other.

Chris: I play Fender Jazz basses through GK heads and Ampeg cabs. The Fender jazz bass has a really nice fat/warm tone through the rig. I just love my set-up. I may however get a SVT head one of these days maybe a reissue or an old 70s one. I would love to get some old Fenders but they're so expensive.

Q: What are your favourite songs you've written and why?

Jess: I really love the new songs, but that’s probably because they’re new and exciting, and we’ve played them the least! Plus they include Neil on keys, and I think that’s been a big part of our progression as a band. The song-writing process is much more collaborative now. The song “June” will always hold a special part in my heart though, since it was the first song I ever wrote, and holds personal meaning to me.

Neil: Missing. This was the first song we wrote and played live since I joined the band. The song marked a new sound for the band. I think we really got this one right in the studio and the production on it is very good as well. I also love because, which was the last song written and one of the easiest to write.

Pave: My two favorite songs are Sugar & Sinnamon and BINMYS. I love Sugar because it’s bouncy and dancy and makes me want to shake my hips when I listen to it..ha. I love BINMYS because it’s a beautiful and powerful song.

Ana: Because I'm Not Myself You See is one of my favorite lyrics that I wrote. I feel that the source was pure, matches the emotional undertone of the music, and is general enough to have folks relate to it for different reasons.

Q: What inspires you to write songs and lyrics?

Jess: In terms of songs, I get melodies in my head at very random times…sometimes I’m inspired by another band I’m listening to, but really I could just be walking down the street and something just pops in my head! I have no idea where it comes from…I’ll try to take my phone out and sing the idea into my own voicemail, which can be pretty embarrassing depending on who else is around!

Neil: Discovering new music on XM radio and emusic, going to shows, seeing new places. I get ideas in my head and try to record them or write them down so I can remember them later. I also come up with stuff while jamming with the band. Sometimes I’m inspired by the gear or effects that I’m using or the sounds themselves. Some of my first concerts as a teenager were The Cure, U2 with the Pixies, Jane’s Addiction and NIN. Seeing those shows really inspired and influenced me musically.

Pave: Listening to my favorite bands inspire my ideas. I’ll hear something cool and be like, hmmmmm..what if it was played like this or that.. and go from there.

Ana: My lyrics are almost always based by first or second hand experience. I am very moved by the intricate relationships between people, and their effect on perception.

Q: What is living in San Francisco like, and what's the music scene like there? Is there a rivalry between Oakland and the East bay and then the city?

Neil: Living in the Bay Area is awesome. I don’t think there is much of a rivalry of anything except for maybe the A’s and Giants. Now with the opening of the Oakland Fox and Uptown, more bands are playing in Oakland including the same types of shows at the Fox that the Warfield in San Francisco had before they closed.

Pave: My heart will forever be in the East Bay. I love living here. Unfortunately the music scene is not what it used to be. There used to be a great mix of rock, punk, metal, and alternative bands. Now SF is overrun by indie bands, in my opinion. Not that there is anything wrong with indie bands, but no one seems to care about anything but that, and its sad to a lot of great local bands die off because of the changing scene.

Chris: I love living in the city. There's so much to see and do. What a beautiful city. The music scene is cool. There are so many different kinds of bands that it definitely doesn't get old. There have been so many cool bands to come out of the Bay Area: Journey,Metallica,Night Ranger,Green Day,Rancid. That's right I said Night Ranger and so many more. It’s so very cool. If there is a rivalry between Oakland and San Francisco, I don't pay any attention to it. I know there used to be but I think bands are just being bands. There's always the band that thinks they are better or whatever. Who cares as long as your having fun doing and playing what you like. I'm only out to impress and please myself and my band mates.

Q: Have any of ya'll totally crashed trying to ride skateboards, bikes, or roller skates down the hills there?

Jess: Oh hell no. You will not catch me trying to skateboard or roller skate in San Francisco! I am seriously the world’s biggest klutz. Not that I have never put on a pair of skates; I have…however it’s probably in a rink or on flat ground! I stub my toe just walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night…! I really wish I was better at that stuff though. Sometimes I pretend I am. I have friends that are awesome skateboarders and it makes me jealous.

Neil: Once in high school my friends and I tied a rope to a jeep and I rollerbladed down the street until eventually the rope slacked and when it caught back up it pulled and dragged me down to the pavement. I still have a scar on my arm from that one. I was the first and last one of my friends to try that stunt.

Pave: I used to skate a lot back in the day, but then I got to paranoid that I would break my arms and have to stop playing drums, so now I just stick to sucking at snowboarding.

Chris: I've never skated down any hills here. I skated back in Virginia. Yeah I had an old Powell/Peralta skull and snake I was a badass back then.

Q: Do you all work regular jobs? What do all of you do in your spare time away from the band, and how does your activities and work influence your music?

Jess: YES! All of us have full-time jobs, which allow us to do what we love: play music. Bands do not make money; if a band says that all they do is play in a band to support themselves, they’re probably not telling the entire truth (unless they are VERY successful and have had at least more than 1 album that has sold really, really well-even then they aren’t necessarily making a lot of money, just able to do what they love without being in debt). As far as WHAT I do…rather not say. Let’s just say that I have to do a ‘combover’ to hide my dyed red/blue/purple whatever color hair. As far as spare time: Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot of that! I’m usually at work, or doing something band-related. We’re all DIY, and I do the majority of the booking/promoting; so if we’re not practicing or playing a show, I’m typically making phone calls, sending out emails, flyering for a show or sending out cds for press/radio. Especially with the album coming out soon, there’s a lot to do. I’m even working on my lunch break (at my day job). If and when there is down time, I’m probably just at home watching tv (TrueBlood, The Office, Weeds) or reading one of my vampire novels (I’m pretty boring!)

Neil: Yes during the day I work as an engineer but not the kind that kind that drives trains but that sounds like fun. In my free time I like to go to tahoe, camping, hiking, watch movies, attend sporting events and concerts.

Ana: Yes I work a very normal job in the corporate world. Spending time with my large extended family provide a foundation of belonging (and a pool of influence) that definitely inspire my lyrics.

Pave: Spare time, what’s that? When I get a free moment I love to watch movies, run, read books, and work on side band projects with my friends. Also love me some comic books and video games. I’m such a nerd.

Chris: Yes I have a regular job. I work on a loading dock for a retail store in downtown San Francisco. Yep I'm a workin' man down on the docks. In my spare time I like to play my bass, watch movies and take nice quiet walks on the beach. Are you listening Pave? hint hint...

Q: What does the future hold for the band, and what are you working on now?

Jess: Right now we’re focusing on promoting the new record! It’s out officially September 1st, so we’re sending it off to radio stations and magazines and whatnot. We’re also working on setting up new shows in the area since we haven’t been out as heavily (due to trying to finish the record) and once the album is out would like to work on setting up a tour for the near future…

Neil: Besides promoting and touring for the new EP we will also continue writing more songs for a future full length album release. Also we have talked about a releasing a B.I.N.M.Y.S. remix album so that is a possibility.

Chris: Well the future of the band right now is the new record comes out soon and we will continue to promote it by playing shows etc. and follow that by a tour this fall..

Q: How well does everyone get along, having multiple girls in the band? Is everyone pals? Do you hang out outside of shows and rehearsal?

Jess: We actually get along great, and hang out together a lot outside of the band! Not that we never disagree, but it’s limited. And we know each other pretty damn well-we know each person’s quirks. We’re all really good friends, which is why I think it works so well. Love to have barbeques at Ana’s! And if you see one of us at a concert, it’s probably not just one of us. Pave and Neil and I just saw NIN together and ALL of us are going to be going to the Blink 182 concert coming up together…
As far as having a couple of girls in the band, I don’t think it makes a huge difference, except that maybe we’re more chatty! But Ana and I are similar in that we have always gotten along better with guys than girls, so that may help too.

Chris: Yeah everyone gets along really well. Better than you would think for a band. It's a family. Having girls and guys in a band is no big deal - it's like being around your brothers and sisters. We do hangout outside the band.

Q: This is for girls only. What sort of beauty products do you like using? Any favourite things you can't do without?

Jess: Gotta say I do love my LUSH. They make a ton of very environmentally-friendly products, and products that are “natural”. I love their bath bombs! Awesome when you’re stressed out…plus I have super sensitive skin (in case you haven’t noticed how pale I am in photos!) and there aren’t a whole lot of facial scrubs and cleansers I can use without breaking out! I also love MAC make-up. I’m not a make-up snob by any means, but I get a discount on their make-up (thanks to the band) and they have super fun, vibrant colors of shadows which are fun for performances.

Ana: I do not have one favorite brand of makeup, but I do have a higher number of Clinique products in my bathroom closet. I cannot do without my lipstick and perfume.

Q: Girls only again. Do you like designers or mixing and matching? Any favourite places to shop in San Fran? Ever go to LA on shopping expeditions?

Jess: I know this question says ‘girls only’, but it really is directed at Pave! I think he has more clothes than any of us! (And he loves to shop). I do love clothes, but do not tend to go for a lot of the more well-known designers. I really like Vivifromage-it’s this chick in France that makes one-of-a-kind clothing, and everything is just amazing. I really love her stuff, but it’s only sold on sites like Etsy. Emily from The Action Design likes her stuff a lot too-that’s actually how I first heard about it. I also like Clandestine (Pete Wentz’s clothing line)-although I don’t have much, I’d like to get more. And Johnny Cupcakes t-shirts are just fun. OH! And Famous Stars & Straps. Totally find to mix & match-not that picky! Shopping in San Francisco? Hell yeah! IF I have money (if you can’t spend it’s just a tease!) I love to hit up LUSH and Urban Outfitters-and love going to Haight -Ashbury to hit up the random clothing stores. I actually love going vintage-clothes shopping, although that can easily be more expensive than the chains. I have been to LA on shopping expeditions (more vintage clothing shopping) however not recently…too broke!

Ana: Much to the dismay of my fashion minded cousins, I grab whatever seems to satisfy the need of the moment. I can say for stage and band related events I prefer funky dresses, weird leggings and the ugliest/biggest rings on the planet.

Q: Girls only again. Are ya'll bag ladies? What sort of handbags do you like and do you have any favourites you'd cry if was stolen from you?

Ana: My travel purse is one that looks like a messenger bag. My splurge is a cute coach clutch that basically only fits my blackberry. I never use it.

Jess: We are SOOO NOT bag ladies, lol. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) I know I can speak for Ana and myself when I say we’re really not girly-girls. Not bag ladies or shoe ladies! Don’t get me wrong-I love my Skelanimals bag, and I had a bear back-pack that was super cute that I loved; but in terms of having a Coach bag or Couture bag, not really us…I’d rather carry around a Hello Kitty purse than a $500 handbag. But that’s just me.

Q: Girls only. Shoes, shoes, shoes! What's the shoe collections like? Do you wear heels onstage, and what do you take on tour with you?

Ana: I love my Ed Hardy shoes. I will wear low heel boots onstage. I will wear crazier boots for photo shoots. I tried to wear those onstage a few times to disastrous results.

Jess: Well like I said above, we’re not really shoe ladies in the sense of having a ton of different pairs of shoes, or having really expensive shoes like Carrie in Sex and the City…but I do tend to like fun tennis shoes, like Vans with crazy designs or the Ed Hardy’s…I have a pair of Converse “All Star Xtra High” shoes which lace up to my knee, and those are both fun and comfortable for shows! I NEVER wear heals. Very, very bad idea for me. Ana loaned me some of her heals (we wear the same size!) for one of our photo shoots, and it was a nightmare. For one, it left me feeling self-conscious for being wayyy too tall (I’m already 5’7”, and heals can add another couple of inches…then I stand next to Ana who’s SUPER short, so I ended up feeling like a towering giant). Two: I CANNOT walk in heals. So either I fall, or walk like I have something stuck wayy up my ass. Not a pretty site. Three: I just don’t find it comfortable! As far as what shoes to take on tour: The converse. But multiple pairs on tour are not a good idea, because it just adds to the luggage load.

Q: What other musical bands and artists do you like listening to in your spare time?

Ana: I love a wide variety of bands. Without being a hardcore fan of a few, I am an appreciative fan of many. I can like the Ting Tings and Vampire Weekend and Sigur Ros in the car -Clean the house to an old Third Eye Blind album, and sing along to the songs that come on any young country radio station. No joke.. I'm all over the place.

Jess: Depends on my mood! Sooo many bands/artists I love. I don’t think I could possibly name them all. Bands out right now: AFI, The Almost, The Used, Alkaline Trio, The Vandals, Tiger Army…and then yes, LADY GAGA. I can’t help it, I’m addicted (we actually do a cover of ‘Poker Face’ live!) Love The Pixies and then sometimes even A Flock of Seagulls. It just depends. And I also of course LOVE a lot of the old riot grrrl bands-Bikini Kill, Sleater Kinney etc.

Pave: A.F.I., Refused, NIN Fall Out Boy, Frank Sinatra, Tiger Army, Underoath, Kanye West, Raelin, Blink 182, Avenged Sevenfold, Danny Elfman and many more

Neil: There are too many to list but recently I’ve been listening to the latest albums by Rancid, Gaslight Anthem, Silversun Pickups, Greenday, Glasvegas, Marilyn Manson, and Depeche Mode.

Chris: Well there are so many bands out there that I like to listen to, it's all about what I'm in the mood for. I listen to punk,pop-punk,metal,classical etc...Am a huge fan of Dean Martin as well coming from a Italian family. Dean Martin and Tony Bennett were big and tons of classical music on the radio.

Q: Do you have any goals and dreams for the band? Where do you see yourselves in the future?

Neil: If I could predict the future I’d be betting on sports and buying stocks. I’d like to see us play even bigger shows and record a full length record.

Jess: You know, I have no idea where I’ll be in the future…but if I’m playing music and I’m happy, that’s what matters. People should have fun with it. What’s the point of ‘trying to make it big’ if you’re miserable? I would LOVE to someday be able to make a living at it-not necessarily be ‘big’ or anything, but be able to do what I love to do and support myself.

Chris: Goals for the band well to keep playing and progressing and always have fun and shoot for the stars. Thank you so much for interviewing us!

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