Tight Poet Syndrome: IWTAShowcase’s Leading Ladies
May 6, 2011
[show_avatar firstname.lastname@example.org align=left avatar_size=62] We’ve seen them play. We’ve chatted them up over beers or Quiktrip sandwiches (it doesn’t matter). And before they take the stage on May 14th at Off Broadway, we’re profiling Jenn of Tight Pants Syndrome and Anna of The Dive Poets, as they share their thoughts on music, memories, and their favorite places in St. Louis.
IWTAS: State your names for the record.
IWTAS: What instruments do you play in your respective bands?
AM: Viola and vocals.
JM: Keyboards and vocals.
IWTAS: Do you have a day job? If so, tell us all about it.
AM: I have too many day jobs! I work at the symphony, teach violin and viola lessons, and freelance as a classical violist. Pretty soon I’ll be full time as a music therapist in a mental health institution.
JM: I’m involved in the day-to-day operations at the Steinway Piano Gallery, including helping out with the recital hall (which we make available free of charge to local piano teachers). I really enjoy having a day job that involves music and allows me to be surrounded by beautiful pianos.
IWTAS: Name a memorable moment from your band’s history.
AM: Last year’s Undercover Weekend (and the long struggle leading up to it) was pretty memorable for us, because we undertook a difficult set list and performed very solidly. Then we jumped straight from AUCW to the Uncle Tupelo tribute show – another difficult set list with little prep time. We performed well and gained a lot of confidence as a band. That’s a very good thing, since we’ve lost some consistent practice time lately with all of the big changes in our personal lives this year. We learned that we’re able to adapt and rebound and that we can trust each other.
JM: Tight Pants Syndrome was in existence long before I joined in 2009. As far as my own history with the band, one of the most exciting experiences has been releasing Fully Attractive. It was the first completed album I had ever been a part of. I’ve since released an album with Paper Dolls and an EP with Middle Class Fashion, and I loved every minute of it – the recording process, listening to the finished product, the CD release party…everything.
IWTAS: Locally speaking, who has influenced your music (this can be anyone – a band mate, teacher, family member, etc.)?
AM: The two biggest influences I’ve had since joining The Dive Poets are Karl Eggers and Ryan Spearman. Ryan helped me learn to adapt my skills to folk music styles, and Karl (Dive Poets’ guitarist) has been an excellent role model in how to fit into a rock band since this is my first non-classical performance experience.
JM: I can honestly say everyone I play with influences my music in some way. I’ve learned that as a writer and performer, the best thing you can do is collaborate. Tom Stephens does the majority of the writing for Tight Pants Syndrome, and working with him has especially helped me in diversifying my own writing style.
IWTAS: What’s your favorite place to eat/drink/socialize in St. Louis?
AM: Pretty much all my money goes to the Tap Room and Local Harvest. It’s really dangerous to live around the corner from Local Harvest and love bacon and eggs.
IWTAS: In your opinion, what’s the best thing fans can do to support local music?
JM: Attend shows! Check out some bands you haven’t had an opportunity to hear, including new bands. Last week I went to see Sleepy Kitty and Warm Jets USA (both of whom I’ve seen multiple times), and had the unexpected pleasure of catching a set by Frances With Wolves.
AM: Keep coming to shows, and talk to us! If you like what you hear, don’t hesitate to become our friends. Music is all about communication and connection, and we wouldn’t do this if we weren’t interested in making a connection with you! Also, don’t download music illegally :)