This week’s answers provided by Carrie)
Q: Ever since I was fifteen years old or so I have been a big Ted Nugent fan. Now, at thirty-five, I am also a big SK fan. Can you reconcile this or does it offend you? Would you ever consider touring with him?
A: A love for The Nuge and a love for S-K is not offensive to me. After one of our shows in DC, Ian Mackeye told me that one of my riffs on the One Beat album reminded him of Nugent, which he assured me was a compliment. Then once, while listening to the local classic rock station, I stumbled upon a very long, guitar-heavy song that I instantly loved but did not recognize. When it was over the DJ said that it was from a live Nugent album. I went out and found the record the next day. The indie kid working the register questioned my purchase, as if to say that there is nothing redeeming about Ted Nugent. I disagree, at least in terms of his guitar playing. However, I doubt there will ever be a joint tour.
Q: How does the band select an opening act? Does the selection process vary? Do you usually tour with one act, or do you try to showcase local talent?
A: We often pick the opening acts based on how much we like the music, how interested we are in watching them or listening to their music every night for weeks on end, whether their music/performance will be somewhat congruent with the energy of our own shows, and whether we think our fans would like them. Sometimes we pick both opening bands in order to make the bill more cohesive. There is a great dynamic that can develop between the bands on tour; having the same bands night after night can create a consistency and familiarity that often fosters better live shows. Other times, we will only fill the middle slot and then have a local band open. It depends on the tour.
Q: What are some of your favorite films? Who are your favorite directors/actors?
A: Some of my favorite films are: 5 Easy Pieces, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Lady Eve, Nashville, and Jules and Jim. Directors: Robert Altman, Sydney Lumet, Preston Sturges, Howard Hawks, John Schlesinger, Stephen Frears, Miguel Arteta, and Miranda July. Actors: Barbara Stanwyck, Nicole Kidman, Samantha Morton, Toni Collette, Julianne Moore, Jude Law, Adam Sandler, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Patricia Clarkson, Helen Mirren, Tim Robbins, Maggie Gyllenhall, and Tobey Maguire.
Q: My question is, over all the years, and albums I’m very curious as to whether or not you girls, have developed any rituals or habits when it comes down to writing
A: Something that is new for me is actually practicing the guitar. I used to only play guitar when I wanted to write a song or when we were practicing as a band. Now I sit down and play nearly every day. Sometimes I will write a riff merely to work on speed and dexterity and to stay in shape. I can’t think of any band rituals, no group prayers or advice from psychics, but I’m not ruling anything out. Oh, here’s one: sometimes I keep my coat on when we write.
Q: If you could choose any 3 artists/bands; dead/alive, still together/broken up to go on tour with who would you choose. Also, of all the clubs, arenas etc. you’ve played in, what is your favorite and why.
A: Nina Simone, Tina Turner, and Elvis Presley. My favorite club (and this is different than favorite show or favorite city) is: The Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, OH. They have a great jukebox in the adjoining bar, you perform on a stage that seems more suited for a school play than a rock show, they make you good food and bring it downstairs to a vast basement/dressing room and, most importantly, the whole atmosphere feels very laid back (i.e. no security, no hassles).