Vivian Girls interview
In the name of art. In the name of science. In the name of rock 'n' roll. Hell, in the name of love, I willingly travel the four corners of this planet called 'Earth' in search of the truth for you our glamorous, foxy readers.
This week's episode: “VIVIAN GIRLS”. The place: downtown New York (ahem). The scene: a table, two chairs and your inquisitive hero (that's me). In steps one Cassie Ramone, one third of ace lo-fi surf punk pop trio Vivian Girls. The mission? Both “Questions” and “Answers”.
Welcome Cassie Ramone from Vivian Girls. For the record can you please introduce yourself and for fun tell us your childhood nickname?
Hi! I'm Cassie Ramone (childhood nickname: Cassie-massie-chusetts) and my bandmates are Ali Koehler and Kickball Katy.
Photo credit: Olly Hearsey / www.ollyhearsey.co.uk
Can you tell our lovely readers what they can expect from your forthcoming second record Everything Goes Wrong?
Sure. They can expect it to be longer and more diverse within itself. The songwriting is a little different since we have a different drummer now. We're really proud of it!
Your fanbase is increasing everyday and Everything Goes Wrong will no doubt ensure that continues. What's been the most surreal or memorable part of the ride so far?
Opening for Sonic Youth! Playing huge festivals like Coachella and Primavera. Getting asked for an autograph on the street. All these things are so surreal and when they happen we basically have to pinch ourselves.
The new album is titled Everything Goes Wrong. Are you half-glass 'full' or 'empty' people in real life?
I wouldn't really say we're either but if asked to choose I guess we're more 'glass half empty' type people, most of the time.
You originally set out to be a “house party punk band”. What was the NY punk scene like when you were growing up? Anything like Penelope Spheeris' Suburbia?
I wish! That movie is great. No, it's more like kids finding cheap lofts and apartments in ungentrified neighbourhoods to live in and then throwing shows there. A lot of these kids are in bands themselves so everyone would play at each others' houses. It was really fun.
You've recently done some more shows in the UK. How did they go and are there any particular British sayings or habits which baffle or amuse you?
The shows were great! I love how British people call sweater vests "tank tops" and tank tops "vests”. And how pants are "trousers" and underwear is "pants”. I love it!
What do you all miss most when you're out on tour?
Our boyfriends and the ability to live life on your own terms.
Your tour manager demands some 'novelty' Vivian Girls merchandise be created for the new tour. Given an unlimited budget, what do you suggest? (e.g. Vivian Girls figurines, wigs, shaped candy, etc.)
I've thought about this before. Vivian Girls long sleeve leotards: nude colored, with all our tattoos printed on the sleeves. Vivian Girls pillowcases with our faces on them. Vivian Girls Barbie dolls. Vivian Girls temporary tattoos. I think we're making Vivian Girls flip-flops for our Japan tour.
Put me down for one of those Leotards. Size medium. OK next question, what kind of mischievous shenanigans did you each get up to in your youth?
Me and Katy used to sneak out of our parents' houses and drive around stealing American flags and setting them on fire. We also used to set trash cans on fire.
Ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have fallen in love with?
Yeah for most of our lives.
How could someone impress a Vivian Girl?
By being funny, down-to-earth, chilled and more or less into the same things as us.
I notice your sportin' some amazin' tattoos. Could you talk us through some of them?
Katy and I got the milkshake and burger tattoos on the same day to symbolize Jersey diners amongst other things. Ali has three cups for three cups of coffee (or tea). Katy has Minor Threat and Germs tattoos and Ali has Bikini Kill and Jawbreaker tattoos and me and Katy both have a Ramones tattoo.
Finally, what are your hopes and dreams for the future of Vivian Girls?
To keep doing our thing, keep evolving as a band and not compromise our vision.
God bless you Cassie and Viva Vivian Girls! May we wish you luck on your travels and hope “everything goes right” for 'Everything Goes Wrong'. Tee hee, see what I did there?
Everything Goes Wrong is out in September. It's good stuff.
For more info see Vivian Girls' Myspace and Twitter