Sunday, July 1, 2012

Trophy Wife Interview, New Record, DC - New England Tour

This week, Philadelphia's Trophy Wife celebrates the release of their new LP, "Sing What Scares You," with a string of shows from DC to New England. Here are some thoughts on their music, their new record, and their creative process, spoken directly from the lovely ladies themselves.

Interview Formula:
Trophy Wife = KO + DF
KO = Katy Otto
DF = Diane Foglizzo
FA/FS = For Arbors / For Satellites

FA/FS: Tell me a bit about Trophy Wife. Who are you and where are you from?

KO: We are a duo - drums and guitar, two vocals. We are also housemates and dear friends. We met several years ago in DC while working on a magazine together, and have been playing music since that time. I play drums. We live in Fishtown, Philadelphia. Our band is influenced by a range of music, from metal to Americana, to political work we both do to art that inspires us outside of punk music.

DF: Yeah, that’s true. I love that we share inspiration from all sorts of things, not just music. Maybe that’s why our band, I think, has many different sonic manifestations. And at times probably sounds pretty crazy.

FA/FS: You're releasing this awesome new record called "Sing What Scares You." What have you done on this record that you've never done before? How have you upped the bar for yourself musically?

KO: We focused a lot on our vocal collaboration on this record, and on singing and using harmony more thoughtfully. We also tried to experiment with controlling our dynamics. There are definitely two distinct sets of songs - some that are an extension of the heavy sound we carved out with Patience Fury, our first record, and some that have more of a poppy kind of feel.

DF: For me, I worked hard not to give up on the process. It was long and hard and there were times when I felt like it would never come together. But it did, and I’m happy with it. Sure there are things that I'd like to change, but actually, our songs, once they're recorded, don’t feel stagnant because sometimes we go back and change parts as we're playing them.

FA/FS: How do you decide if a project is worth realizing? If a song is a keeper? If one take of a track is superior to others?

DF: There are only a few songs, like 3, that we’ve never recorded and only played live several times. Songs 1, 2 and 7. When we first starting playing, our songs were simply named by the order in which they were conceived... So really our records contain them all. All of our songs are incredibly valuable to me, I can’t real
ly imagine writing something and then being like, never mind. Maybe folks don’t need to hear all of those songs, I dont know! There’s always something in a song that we want to share with folks.

KO: I kind of like that we have a few songs that only Diane and I have ever really heard. As far as takes, sometimes recording you can just feel a certain passion that you know won’t be recreated in another take. That is the “je ne sais quoi.” It’s usually best if both band members agree on it, though.

DF: It's funny, I dont think I really know what our band sounds like, so capturing our sound for a recording is difficult because I'm not sure how it should be. I hear one thing in my head and then when we record, I'm like, really? That's what my guitar sounds like?

FA/FS: Why music? Could you describe the reasons why you make music and how those reasons have changed, if they have, over time?

KO: Music transmits across borders. It is primal. It is festive. It mourns. You can carry it with you. It can tell stories, and pass them down, too - like a historian. It transcends language or place. Also for us, since we play together, it is communication and dialogue between the two of us and with audiences. It takes up space and opens up more space.

DF: There is promise in song. A potential that feels sacred. I think I was able to realize this once I started playing music myself and especially creating my own music. But pretty much at the root, I just like sound coming from other people and myself. Also, the experience of experimenting, listening to the folks I'm playing with and taking cues - I love a jam.

FA/FS: So, this is the situation. Trophy Wife takes a time machine on tour and is playing a sweet show in another time (future or past,) in a city far, far away. Someone calls out a big hello from across the street. They've mistaken you for someone else - who have they mistaken you for?


KO: Simon and Garfunkel.

DF: Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn

FA/FS: A classic duo and two awesome, powerful musician ladies. Sounds right! So, tell me about some new bands in Philly and DC that the world should be listening to, like, right now.

KO: There is a new band in Philly called XanaX that im excited about. They are friends of ours from bands like Hirs, des ark, Resister, Off Minor and more. We are playing our Philly CD release with them. I also adore Stinking Lizaveta, who have been a Philly staple for some time - metal jazz fusion-ish stuff.

DF: Bob Seger's "Night Moves." Also, the track "Tibetan Pop Stars" from Hop Along’s new album is awesome. It reminds me of Kristin Hersch and makes me hella happy. Also, Mary Christ and Break It Up.

FA/FS: Your plans for the future?

KO: Being an old granny playing loud music on a porch with Diane. Touring. Learning. Living.

DF: Yes! Sitting on a porch with grandkids - a multigenerational family band. And in the back of the house using an old family recipe to make vin de noix (french walnut wine).



Trophy Wife performing at The Flywheel in Easthampton, MA.

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Tour dates:

July 4 - DC potluck @ 1223 Decatur St., w/ Southern Problems, Lozen, Hugh McElroy, 2pm
July 5 - Philadelphia @ Philamoca, w/ Lozen, Erode and Disappear
July 6 - New York City @ Cake Shop, w/ BELLS, Lozen, and Cycles
July 7 - Providence @ Cave 16, w/ Lozen, Whore Paint, Cave of Colors, 9pm
July 8 - Baltimore @ Charm City Art Space, w/ Lozen and more

For more info, check out Trophy Wife on Bandcamp and Facebook.