I did this interview in 10th grade (lol see “what advice do you have for a hs band” see also, all other questions) but this was at a time when I was too scared to publish anything that didn’t have a pitchfork corollary. So, four years in the making: Hannah vs. Screaming Females.
Hannah: Jersey bands often get a bad rap, because, well, 90% of what people know from Jersey sounds like Bruce Springsteen. How much do you guys consider yourselves a strictly Jersey band and how does that affect your sound?
Jarrett: We are strictly a Jersey band because we were all born and raised in New Jersey. Judging by what I read on the Internet, it’s really cool to be in a band that sounds like Bruce Springsteen right now…maybe we should sound more like Bruce Springsteen. I feel like all of my life experiences added up to what my music sounds like, so I guess it has to sound like Jersey.
Hannah:You guys started out in the New Brunswick underground. Are there any other really cool bands from that scene?
Marissa: Sure. There is a great band from New Brunswick called Mattress. There is a great new band about town called Lost Weekend.
Hannah: Since your first album, you’ve signed to a label and opened for Arctic Monkeys and the Dead Weather. How has the band changed since its earliest days?
Marissa: Our label, Don Giovanni Records, is a very small operation run by two guys out of their apartments. We were added onto the Arctic Monkeys and Dead Weather tours completely on our own accord by playing good shows, being seen, and getting offers. Not much has changed in the way we operate. We have a tiny network of cool folks who help us out with our band, but we still travel in our own van, carry our own gear, sleep on floors, and the like. Only tiny nuances of change have popped up within the last couple years…
Hannah: You guys tour an awful lot. do you get tired of being on the road?
Jarrett: Yeah, sometimes I get tired of being on the road but then I go home for a little while and get tired of being home. I guess I’ll just stick to the cycle until I’m dead.
Hannah: Half of the bands today can be fairly described as twee. Do you have any particular reasons for your decidedly edgier style? (It’s very refreshing)
Marissa: When we first began playing, the whole reverb-soaked twee craze hadn’t really exploded. Even if it had taken off already, we’re not the type to jump on a bandwagon.
Mike: It’s because we grew up in New Jersey and it’s not a very cute place…
Jarrett: We didn’t just copy the latest new “cool” sound…
Hannah: A lot of people, outside of it and its residents, hate New Jersey. Do you have anything to say in its defense?
Marissa: New Jersey’s residents run the gamut between sophisticated metropolitan moguls and genuine Jersey hillbillies. It’s eclectic.
Jarrett: No, I hate most of its residents as well.
Hannah: Marissa, you shred fairly hard. Really hard. How did you first get into guitar?
Marissa: I picked up a guitar when I was about 14. My dad plays a bit of guitar and offered to show me a couple chords since I had just started listening to rock music. I spent a lot of time printing out tablature…
Hannah: As an example of d.i.y success, do you have any advice for high school bands on getting heard?
Marissa: I was never in a band in high school…anyone who manages to get a band together in high school oughta construct a time machine and offer advice to a 14 year old me.
Jarrett: If you’re looking for success, don’t follow our example.
Mike: If you’re looking for success, do anything but play in a band. Go to Lincoln Tech and get a job as a mechanic.
Jarrett: Yeah, don’t bother with regular college…learn a skill…
Mike: Yeah, go to a trade school, get a job that pays well, settle down, and live a sad, sorry life.
Image courtesy (?) phillypunk.wordpress.com