1.0 – How is the new The Cathy Santonies record coming along?
We’re writing songs and arranging things pretty steadily. It’s coming along well, I really like all of our new songs. We’re trying them out in front of people and all that.
2.0 – Do you have any specific goals for it?
This will be our first full-length record ever. So for me the first goal is “make a full-length record.” We’ve gone through a lot of lineup changes in the past couple of years, and when you’re often in a state where you’re teaching your old songs to new drummers so that you can play shows, it’s hard to find time to work together on all new stuff. We have also just been in kind of a songwriting funk lately for some reason (who knows). So I think for us we’re using the record as a way to motivate ourselves to write a bunch of new songs. That’s my personal goal, and we’re meeting that so I’m cool with it.
3.0 – Is it hard to capture your aggressive live sound and attitude in a studio?
Hmm, I don’t think it’s too hard to catch our live sound. We record live, all at the same time in the same room, usually in one or two takes. Then we typically take 1-2 takes for vocals and 1 take for backup vox. Actually tracking each song will take less than 30 minutes, all things considered. I think that helps our recordings sound fresher and more realistic and energetic than if we took forever over-dubbing and making it “perfect.” Obviously in recordings you can hear each part better–we’re not quite as loud overall. I like that though.
4.0 – Is playing heavy a choice or just what you became as a group naturally?
I think it’s just something that naturally happens. We never say like oh this song should sound like this or that or blahblahblah, we usually just let it emerge. We might start with a mood or feeling we want the song to have (this should be creepy, this should be dancey, this part should be really tight, and then this part explosive etc), but we don’t have a certain musical “sound” we’re going for.
5.0 – How did the band come together?
Well Mojo and I grew up together, and when we were in high school we wrote a bunch of super awesome bedroom rock that we never let other people hear. We decided to start an actual band about five years ago because it was something we had always wanted to do and we finally got up the nerve to do it. We met Jane through Girls Rock! Chicago and she started playing with us about two or three years ago. We had to lose our original drummer a couple of years ago, and so over the past couple of years we’ve had a few different drummers. Now we finally have a permanent drummer in Chip. And now here we are.
6.0 – What sort of stuff do you guys like to sing about or is that secondary to the rock?
Like any songwriter, we write about things that are on our mind or that we need to express. Typically we’ll have some music and a vague idea of what a song is about and then we’ll go forward from there together. We have a tendency to often write kind of like optimistic lyrics. But then again sometimes we are angry or hurt. Sometimes sarcastic or funny. It just depends really. Since we have a pretty collaborative songwriting style, there are usually multiple points of view involved in each song.
7.0 – Is part of the apparently unbridled fun proving that chicks can rock?
Hmmmmm welllllllllll okay this question….Speaking for myself personally, I’m only one person so I don’t see how my doing anything in particular is going to prove anything about ~50% of the world’s adult population (I’m assuming by “chicks” you meant adult human women, not baby birds). I don’t speak for or represent all women ever. I do feel involved in a struggle to help show that, contrary to what we have all been raised to believe, rock n roll doesn’t belong to one type of person or group of people. It belongs to everyone who wants it. Like every other person in the world, I grew up being taught that a woman’s place in rock n roll is as an object of desire for men who play the music, a trophy for them to parade around as the prize they’ve won for being good at rock n roll (these are of course just a few ways women have been portrayed in the context of rnr–but these are the main ones that stuck with me when i was a kid). I have spent a lot of time feeling hurt by rock n roll and a lot of time feeling saved by it–I’ve got my own role models and heroes. Any ‘outsider’ who loves rock n roll might recognize the feelings I’m talking about, I’m sure. It’s complicated and confusing.
8.0 – Do you think having stage names frees you up to be more creative or behave differently than you might otherwise?
Personally, I like having a stage name because I have a profession where I’m not sure “being in a badass punk rock band” is something that all my colleagues would be super cool with. For me, it’s a way to keep my worlds from colliding. For others in the band, it could be that you can do things as an alter-ego that you can’t as yourself.
9.0 – Are you ladies as rowdy off stage as on?
Yes. Wait, no. Wait, yes. Definitely. Yes.
10.0 – Would you have to sell out musically to have a mainstream hit?
To me, i guess “selling out” means that you’re playing something you don’t personally like b/c you think other people will like it. None of us wants to do that, and I actually don’t think we are capable of playing something we don’t like or can’t feel. I can’t imagine why a person would do that.