We’re Into the Kitty: An Interview with Paige Brubeck
August 20, 2013
Last week we spoke with Seth Porter of The Blind Eyes in anticipation of their set this Friday at the Pageant. On the bill with TBE? The Incurables, Shooting With Annie, and Sleepy Kitty, who has a new album slated for release this January. Will said record, in all its awesomeness, be the work that finally tears STL’s fiercest rock felines from us, as more and more folks nationwide learn what Paige and Evan can do with a guitar, a drum kit, heart, sweat, and soul? We went to the source for the scoop:
IWTAS: Let’s start by talking about Projection Room, your second full-length release that’s dropping in mid-January (although St. Louisans have already been enjoying a few tracks thanks to KDHX!). How have you progressed as a band since Infinity City? What’s different structurally or lyrically?
SK: Infinity City had a lot of songs that were written before Sleepy Kitty was a band and they became Sleepy Kitty songs, but Projection Room was written very intentionally by us together, and I think it sounds that way, too. The name Projection Room came from the fact that we were kind of curating our own film class for ourselves, and a lot of the songs were directly inspired by things we were watching and talking about together. Like instead of writing an essay for a French New Wave film class, we wrote “Godard Protagonist Inflection” and “Nothing = You.”
By being a band on our second album versus our first, we’ve really figured out some of our patterns and working styles. I think that allowed us to do some bigger and more challenging songs on this record.
IWTAS: As you gear up for a late summer/early fall tour, I was wondering how much you’ve been on the road this year and if you’d care to share a highlight or two from your travels.
SK: So far we’ve done about 4 weeks of out of town shows this year. We’re out almost every weekend in August and we’ll be out most of September and October, going east, then home, then west, then back east. It’ll be Sleepy Kitty’s first West Coast tour so that’s really exciting. I really love traveling, so there’s a lot that I think of fondly, but I’d say some highlights were doing a 5-day run with the band Smoker, from Knoxville-via-Chicago. We didn’t know them before the tour, but by the end I felt like we were all old friends, or like it was the last night of summer camp.
Also, last time we played Chicago, it was a thing called “Fuckapalooza,” kind of a d.i.y. response to Lollapalooza. We headlined and a lot of friends came out, and the host of the event was Brian Babylon from Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. Being an NPR addict, I thought that was awesome.
IWTAS: As we mentioned earlier on the blog, Sleepy Kitty – along with The Incurables, The Blind Eyes, and Shooting With Annie – are playing a special, fully local show at The Pageant on the 23rd. For that event, you’re releasing a single called “Hold Yr Ground”. Can you talk to us about the origins of the song and what it means to you two?
SK: “Hold Yr Ground” is a reflection on our time so far in St. Louis, and specifically the Cherokee neighborhood. There are a lot of great things going on here, but it’s not like all the work is done. We gotta take care of each other and look out for each other. St. Louis is still pretty rough around the edges, but that’s one of the things that makes it a good city for artists too. I was just looking at the state of our neighborhood, and also where I was at in my life. Being a freelancer and an artist is a constant hustle, and it takes a certain type of personality and attitude, and it’s an attitude that a lot of people in this neighborhood have.
IWTAS: Who or what is currently inspiring Sleepy Kitty from a creative standpoint? Who is making art, music, or written work at this moment that’s keeping you on your toes?
SK: We’ve been watching a lot of Marlon Brando films lately, specifically from the ’50s, and besides being a total fox he’s a really amazing actor. I know I’ve read that and heard that before, but really watching a bunch of his movies, and getting used to the pacing of the films from that time is pretty awesome. He’s got such an attention to detail in each scene that really makes each character seem real. It’s inspiring to see someone have control like that of their craft.
Also, the new Middle Class Fashion record is a great example of something that’s keeping me on my toes. The band is sounding super tight live, and from what I’ve heard, Jenn Malzone is a songwriting machine who just keeps cranking out one great tune after another, and their new record is proof of that. If you haven’t heard it, you should, it’s really great. It makes me want to keep up!