The Velveteens on crushes, influences and air guitar
You know those dreamy beach parties you see in movies, but never get invited to? The kind with a clambake, a bonfire, and ladies in capri pants dancing wildly, 60s-style? Well, that's exactly the way the band the Velveteens sound: young and kitten-soft, with sweet scratchy vocals and bright jangly guitar.
The Velveteens recently recorded nine songs to be released this May in the excellent format of cassette tape. The band is also contributing to a vinyl compilation for Hollander Records--the latest endeavor from the boys from The Pearl Recording Studio--which will be coming out this summer. Gimme Noise checked in with the band before their show this Saturday night at the Hexagon.
By the way, the band was first formed in 2008 by high school friends Kiera Coonan and Jonny Holupchinski -- Jonny on bass and Kiera on the most rockin' instrument of all -- a mic'd typewriter. After a few lineup changes, Jillian Schroeder took over bass duties, Jonny moved to guitar, and Kiera gave up the typewriter for a drum set and vocal mic.
Gimme Noise: What are some of the themes in your lyrics?
Kiera Coonan: A big theme is crushes. Though lately, I think we've been getting darker.
Jillian Schroeder: Crushes. Forbidden love.
When you were kids, did any of you have that magical music moment when you realized, "That's what I want to do."
KC: There was a gymnastics class across the hall from my health class, and one day they were practicing to "Rockin' Robin," by Bobby Day. I freaked out about that song for some reason!
JS: I wanted to be Annie Lennox when I was little. I loved her. I used to imagine being on stage doing a duet with her!
Jonny Holupchinski: The first musical memory I have was listening pretty obsessively to The Trogg's "Wild Thing." I just freaked out. I think the reason I loved it so much was because I felt like I absolutely wasn't fooling myself doing air guitar and jumping around to that song.
Was playing your first live shows scary?
JH: Yeah! We played at The Belfry Center for our first show, and that was absolutely terrifying. We had only practiced in Kiera's mom's living room at very low volume and all the sudden there was people crowded in front of us and it was loud! I'm still not much of a performer. I tried playing my guitar behind my head last practice, but that didn't work.
KC: I think at our first show, we hadn't ever played a whole song through. It was a total disaster! Everyone was really fun and encouraging though.
JS: I remember being nervous when we started playing shows together. I never get nervous playing in my other band, Teenage Moods, anymore so it was kind of nice to have that new band feeling again.
What would be ultimate setting where you would like to hear your songs played and see people dancing happy-style?
JH: Some secret cave next to the river with a ton of disco balls hooked up. And there should probably be a kissin' booth in there, too.
The Velveteens recording at The Pearl.
Here's The Velveteens with "Chico," from the Hollander Records compilation.
The Velveteens. With NPC's and Little Pagans. Free, 10 p.m. Saturday, February 25 at the Hexagon. Click here.
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