TONIGHT: Seraphine Collective Presents: Double Winter + K9 Sniffies + Blurb (CHI) + HAUNTED + Best Exes @ The New Hybrid Moments. Let’s get to know Blurb, shall we?
Who is in the band and what do they play?
Katy’s on guitar and Taylor plays drums. We both sing!
When and how did you become a band?
Taylor: We both started teaching ourselves to play guitar a few years ago. One afternoon, with nothin’ to do and nowhere to be, we wandered down to the basement to noodle. I’d never really found myself behind a drum set, so I just hit stuff while Katy strummed stuff and eventually a song about having a head full of mush emerged. The rest is (recent) history!
Katy: I live at a DIY venue in Chicago, Pinky Swear, so that made it super easy to practice—a big old basement (with tragically low ceilings) with a PA. One of my roommates, Shelby Turner (Richard Album and the Singles), had started hosting a Songwriters Club, which was a good opportunity to start writing and sharing songs. Taylor and I both contributed solo, but it was a good starting off point for generating songs. Some of the songs that we had written for the club made it into Blurb’s repertoire.
How did you decide on your band name?
Blurb was the product of a committed mostly-text message brainstorm sesh. (“Blurb is my favorite” “There’s no bandcamp for that” “Let’s do Blurb.”) It won out over Frog Genius, Genuine Fun Fun, Freaker, Girly Freaker, Eat This, and Where’s My Money. It was obviously a tough decision.
Tell us about your first show.
Taylor: Well…full disclosure…it was in Katy’s basement.
Katy: We had a mini fest called Fog Fest at Pinky Swear. It was super glamorous to play our first show with a bunch of other bands that I admire – Violet Mice, Forced into Femininity, Lala Lala, Deadbeat, Jazz Baat, Vehicle Blues. It was also super glamorous to have fog machines billowing around us and a bunch of friends in the audience. We were thinking about playing in costume (I have this baby costume and a giant tongue costume), but we were too shy. Maybe we’ll bust them out somewhere along the line, but they are both made out of blankets, so it is a commitment to sweatiness.
Can you describe your music?
We’ve described it before as queer post-punk. It’s kind of hard to escape that– it is pretty minimal and it is just drums and guitar. Lyrically, besides being sincere and fun, we are coming from places that are radical and inclusive. It is kinda bouncy. It’s really catchy (according to us).
What bands or other things are your influences/inspiration?
Taylor: Throwin’ us the tough Qs! For musical influences I’ll go with Kimya Dawson and Bjork with a Scout Niblett drum beat. I’m also always thinking about how what I’m doing as a musician informs and is informed by my commitment to anti-racist queer livin. Sometimes that manifests in song lyrics, sometimes in how I navigate a space or participate as an audience member. Always trying to keep it intentional, though, as a white queer sorta-girl with stage-time privilege.
Katy: I am kind of all over the place when it comes to inspiration—I really like the artists Yayoi Kusama and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. My other creative projects are performance art based, so I have a lot of influences from that direction – Yoko Ono, Vaginal Davis, Marilyn Arsem. Also, Adam Rose and Jose Hernandez from Chicago. My favorite song of all time is probably “Me Myself I” by Joan Armatrading. Bands I luv are: Cousins, Megabog, Sheer Agony. From Chicago: Columba Fasciata, Circuit Des Yeux, The Funs, ONO, Gold Paint Boy. We just played a show with Blackerface from Oberlin and they totally ruled my world.
Gear talk!: Instruments/pedals/amps?
Taylor: Shout out to Craig Canario for not only letting me play his drum set all the time, but also letting me bring it on tour! What a guy! Meanwhile, I don’t even really know what all the drum parts are called yet. During sound check I just make educated guesses.
Katy: I have an Epiphone Les Paul in (their words, not mine) “honey burst”. I bought my guitar off of Craigslist and what sold me was the peace sign that someone had sloppily carved into the back. I don’t use pedals on my guitar, but we go for as much reverb as possible on vocals – we use a electro-harmonics cathedral pedal into the mixer, which is a little temperamental, so at times it cuts out, which is nice…it keeps things honest.
Who are your favorite Detroit bands?
Taylor: Despite having lived in Chicago on and off since 2008, I somehow didn’t make it to Detroit for the first time till last weekend. (The Allied Media Conference was so rad.) That paired with my pretty remarkable music-scene ignorance in general means Stef Chura’s the only one on my list of “Detroit bands I’ve ever heard of.” But this changes on Thursday!
Katy: I have to admit ignorance on this, too. This will be my second time in Detroit (the first time was super brief) and I don’t know a whole lotta bands. I love what I have heard from the other bands on the bill–K9 Sniffies, Best Exes, and Double Winter. Also super stoked that there will be a performance from Haunted. As Taylor said, we will be educating ourselves.
What has been the biggest challenge of being a band in Chicago?
Taylor: Um… trying not to get parking tickets? We high fived so hard after we somehow didn’t get our friend’s car ticketed outside of a venue we played. Small victories in a tough town.
Katy: Leaky basements, cops, and faulty wiring. What do you want everyone to know about your band? We are having a lot of fun. Any other comments? Thanks for our first Blurb interview ever!