TEMIM: I met Eli and Louisa when we were all protesting the Republican National Convention in 2004. The two of them had gone to college together, and had in a band together previously (called The Syndicate). They really wanted to start a new band, and I had always been a musician at heart, so we all decided I would take up the drums at age 25 in order to start the band! Fureigh joined as our guitarist in 2008.
what’s your message?
TEMIM: We don’t have one particular message, but the music that’s important to me – and I think to everyone in the band – is music that makes us feel deeply and that maybe motivates us to engage and to act. We always strive to make music that does just that!
do you play shows and how do they look like?
TEMIM: We do! We play lots of shows, as many as we can. We love performing. Our shows can look al kinds of ways – we play college campuses, rock clubs, teeny bars where we accidentally fall off the stage! Once we played outdoors on a steep incline and my drums were sliding down the hill the whole time. I believe Louisa swallowed a fly and continued singing anyway. On our last tour, we played on the steps of an art museum and at the edge of someone’s backyard pool. Our shows range from tight-knit crowds to sold-out venues but we almost always have people enthusiastically dancing.
what was the craziest show you’ve ever played ?
TEMIM: Craziest might be the event we put on a couple years ago called Hartzveytik, which is a word in Yiddish that means “heartbreak.” It was an awesome heartbreak-themed ball with awesome bands, and the place was packed! But it was kind of a three-ring circus – there were baked goods and vendors and emcees and special guests and raffles – so it was a lot to take on! We had fun but slept for days afterward. We tend to be ambitious about our events. :)
what was the worst and why?
TEMIM: Oh goodness – I’d have to say the worst in recent history was a show at the SXSW music festival last year where we had to endure a lot of weird sexist comments and were instructed to play in a very narrow alleyway on some gravel! No one even knew we were playing back there (because there was an extremely loud metal band playing on the main stage inside the bar) and our instruments were dust-coated for days!
what are your future plans?
TEMIM: Touring and more touring! We love playing all over the place and connecting with people and communities through our music. Also, hopefully, a new record in 2013!
are you going for the big deal or are you more the d.i.y. type?
LOUISA: We don’t feel like we have to choose between the two! We do A LOT ourselves and we love diy scenes and house shows, but we also like playing big shows and would love it if more people heard our music, and if we could live off the band, rather than working so many other jobs on top of it! But I think you can definitely hold on to a DIY ethic and still try to make a career out of music.
your 3 favorite bands:
Just 3?! Uh oh. Of all time??! Well, for today I’ll say: X-Ray Spex, Bikini Kill, and the Go Gos. But that’s TOTALLY non-scientific!
your 3 favorite colors:
TEMIM: Red, Sage green, Golden yellow
your 3 favorite dishes:
LOUISA: Matzoh ball soup!
Kasha Varnishkes! (preferably all together. Can you tell it’s winter?)
your 3 favorite movies:
LOUISA: The Empire Strikes Back!
Rock N Roll High School!
your 3 favorite books:
LOUISA: Giovanni’s Room!
His Dark Materials (ok, so it’s a trilogy, i know)
Sholem Aleichem stories!
your 3 favorite records:
LOUISA: Nebraska - Bruce Springsteen
Germ Free Adolescents - X-Ray Spex
Beauty and the Beat - The Go-Gos
your 3 favorite venues:
TEMIM: They’re all US venues because we have yet to play Europe! I’m sure the list will grow. The Doug Fir (Portland, Oregon)
Southpaw (Brooklyn, New York)
Hotel Congress (Tucson, Arizona)
your 3 favorite hobbies:
TEMIM: writing eavesdropping donuts
your favorite joke:
TEMIM: Well I’m kind of a 10 year-old at heart, so any knock knock joke whose punchline is “interrupting turtle” or “interrupting cow” or “interrupting starfish” is pretty great in my book.
your 3 favorite animals:
TEMIM: Cats, Hamsters, Pigeons
3 things you totally need on stage:
ELI: My violin! And my pickup and a mic.
ELI: For the world I’d wish for an end to all domination and oppression, free and quality healthcare, and a healthy planet. For myself I’d wish for happy, loving relationships, the ability to support myself playing music with The Shondes so I can focus on that and have enough money to live, and more time to cook.
what do you fight?
ELI: Sexism for sure. Also despair and the impulse to self-sabotage†(playing music is good for all of these things)!†
what’s your best song eva and why?:
ELI: I’m really proud of the title track off our most recent album, Searchlights. I think it’s catchy, has good flow, and it might have my favorite bridge ever (and I’m a real sucker for a good bridge).†