Dance Yourself to Death Come Alive

AE: I have this experience all the time. I know you don’t feel as if it’s the main focus of your work, your music. I get that. You said you have a lot of queer fans and work with people like JD, so it’s just something that will bring you more gay fans and attention from the queer community. Do you feel any part of your music does relate or have to do with your being queer?

JM: I just think we’re really happy with who we are. We’re not hiding anything and we love playing for queer people because we are queer people.

SG: I wonder if we sound queer to straight people. I wonder if someone listened to us, if they’d wonder “Are they gay?” without seeing pictures of us.

JM: By the same token we do have surprisingly a number of mentions in non-queer press. I think that we do have a growing non-queer fan base as well. I don’t know if it’s the same in other places as it is in Toronto but when you play somewhere queer, they’re like hanging off the ceiling and doing cartwheels. An indie rock audience, they are mostly crossing their arms.

AE: Was it ever a conscious decision to embrace playing gay events like Pride? Did you have to have a discussion about how out you were going to be?

JM: No.

SG: No.

JM: Most of the first gigs that we had were our friends’ parties.

SG: We have discussed that hopefully we can go beyond just queer events and a queer audience.

JM: We are all surrounded by different musicians in our lives, so we find ourselves sharing bills with queer friends, non-queer friends, indie bands in general.

SG: There’s an overlap.

JM: And we’re fortunate to live in a city where there are a lot of music festivals.

AE: Are you planning on doing a tour in the next year?

JM: We have a European booking agent we’re working with now and so we are hoping to tour before the end of the year in Europe.

AE: Do you have any plans for other music videos?

JM: Yes, Canada has a wonderful grants system, like an arts grants system so even unsigned bands like us can make fully funded music videos. We’re also working with a few Djs on remixes that we are hoping to release on a remix CD, which is not for a while but is on the horizon.

SG: Including J.D. Samson. And we’re also always writing. We’re writing for our next record.

AE: Are you two still doing most of the writing? Are the other members sticking around for a while? Like is this the band?

JM: When we say most of the writing stuff started with us, it ended up going into rehearsal with the four of us and gel as a band when the song is being made by four people. It’s very much a collaborative approach. We tend to pass around each other’s instruments and figure out different hooks and different parts between the four of us once the structure of the song has been written by the two of us.

AE: Have you had any bad comparisons yet as far as sounding like a specific band just because they are other women or lesbians?

SG: We’ve gotten a lot of GoGos. I don’t know why.

JM: GoGos are almost like a post-punk band. We’re definitely GoGos fans, and it’s flattering but I don’t know if it’s accurate.

AE: How do you describe your own music, like to someone who hasn’t heard you before?

JM: We say it sounds good, you’d like it.

SG: It’s pop rock.

AE: Yeah but Katy Perry or Kelly Clarkson could be called pop rock. How would you differentiate yourselves from that?

SG: There are a lot more dollars put into that record and a lot of crazy production.

AE: But it’s still poppy and rocky.

SG: I think we do it ourselves. Other than that, it’s the same kind of song structure. We’re not like electro-pop. A pop song is a pop song.

AE: Your album was self-released. Are you trying to do this independently or in the future would you want to hook up with a label?

JM: It’s circumstantial that it’s worked out this way. It’s really wonderful that it’s worked out this way. I’m glad that it panned out because we did it all ourselves, our own business. We’ve always had labels around. We’re more just waiting for something that seems right, something that fits. We don’t want to make a mistake in finding a deal with anyone that offers us one. It has to be the right fit.

AE: It seems like a label isn’t even necessary anymore.

JM: The benefit would be a distribution deal. That would put us on the public radar in a way we couldn’t do because it’s costly. But our music is really easy to find and easy to get and we’ve benefited from great worth of mouth.

AE: What else would you want people to know about the band?

JM: We’re from a really strong community and have a great support system. Our video, our album art, our merch, our press photos have all been made by people who we know personally — girlfriends, friends, friends of friends, people who also have an interest in getting our name out there. It’s a community of artists that supports each other’s work and is often a subject of each other’s work as well.

AE: Are you named after the Alice Cooper song? How did you come up with your name?

JM: I guess. We were flipping through records. I don’t know, I think that’s just the essence of the band.

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