I get a lot of requests from bands coming through town to do interviews for The Reader. No surprise there. How else are they — unknown quantities traveling through a maze-like network of faceless towns— going to get people to come to their shows? Any buzz — no matter how little — is better than no buzz.
Unfortunately, it's not possible to interview all these bands. Still, I want to be helpful, which is why I came up with Ten Questions.
Actually, it was Bernard Pivot who came up with the idea for the French series Bouillon de Culture. James Lipton stole the questions and uses them to close out each episode of TV show Inside the Actors Studio. And I stole the idea from Lipton, changing the questions so they have a music spin. The 10 questions will be the same for all the bands and performers, though I might adapt and/or change a few if I can come up with something better.
The first band to take the plunge is Seattle band Wild Powwers, who are playing at fabulous O'Leaver's this Friday night. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Lara Hilgeman, drummer/vocalist Lupe Flores and bassist/vocalist Jordan (JoJo) Gomes wholly embrace the "grunge" label, though their sound more closely resembles modern-day bands like Dilly Dally (Who sounds like Hole to me, so yeah, I guess there is a grunge connection).
Their new album, Hugs and Kisses and Other Things, comes out this month and is a real grinder — towering guitar lines and soaring vocals that reflect the musical heritage of the Pacific Northwest city they call home. Actually, the more I listen to this album the more I hear Seattle influences from Temple of the Dog to Screaming Trees.
To me, grunge was a throwback genre coming out of the mid-'80s post-punk/new wave/hair metal era, grunge brought back big guitars and heavy rhythm sections. Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam were repackaged '70s heavy metal. Somehow Nirvana got roped in with the label, though (to me) they weren't grunge. These guys are. If you're a fan of the kind of music heard on the Singles soundtrack, you're going to love Wild Powwers.
So without further ado, here are the Ten Questions:
1. What is your favorite album?
Lupe: Exile on Main St.
Lara: The Man Who Sold The World
Jojo: Right now I'm listening the most to Dilly Dally's Sore
2. What is your least favorite song?
"Hotel California" and anything by Mackelmore
3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
Getting to write sweet rock 'n' roll with your friends and touring.
4. What do you hate about being in a band?
Not being able to do it full time.
5. What is your favorite substance?
I mean, tequila.
6. What city or town do you love performing at?
Anywhere, all the time.
7. What city or town did you have your worst gig?
8. How do you pay your bills?
We all work at the same bar -- Hattie's Hat -- the best bar in the world. We slang dranks and snacks.
9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?
Lara: Illustration. I would hate to be a telemarketer.
Lupe: Deep sea diver; insurance salesman
Jojo: Dog walker; janitor at a strip club.
10. What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Have fun. Making music isn't about getting attention or being the coolest person in the room. Making music is about putting all you are into something you believe in and loving it despite the fact that people may not care, or listen. Have fun with your friends.
Wild Powwers plays with Bien Fang and Low Long Signal Friday, March 4, at O'Leaver's, 1322 Saddle Creek Rd. Showtime is 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5. For more information, visit liveatoleavers.com.