Interview with Genders

KS: We’re really stoked to be having this interview right now. It’s actually our second interview so this is really cool. You guys stoked to be playing with Helio Sequence tonight?

Genders: Yes definitely, they’re one of our favorites. We’re really excited. It’s exciting to play with bands you really like.

KS: Absolutely. I really enjoyed the album you released last year Get Lost. First of all, that album artwork is super-cool. Did you have an artist do that?

Genders: She did that (points to singer Maggie Morris).

KS: That’s Awesome. I really like it. Is that just a bunch of stuff that you threw together?

Genders: Thanks! Yeah, a previous housemate left hundreds of National Geographics in my house, and I took a bunch and went though them. I spent a long time–I’d never done a collage before. Really like ten to eleven hours. It’s was really fun, I actually want to do it again.

KS: Ten hours straight?

Genders: I did like five hours straight then I probably did four or five putting around. I didn’t have an exacto knife, I just had shitty scissors, so it took a long time to get close—-and then I scanned it into my computer. I had two images that I was trying to decide which one was going to be the cover, then I was like ‘Oh, I need a front and a back’.

KS: Well it turned out really awesome. It’s definitely one of the most expressive album artworks I’ve seen in this past year. I know you guys toured with Built to Spill as well, that’s one of our favorite bands. We’d like to ask you about your experience touring with those guys since they’re since a staple of the Idaho scene. We do a lot of work in Idaho through Treefort and it almost seems like the Portland and Boise scenes seem interconnected. How did you guys get in with Built to Spill?

Genders: They were practicing in our practice space. They were borrowing a friends’ practice space to practice before a tour again. I guess it all kinda comes to Treefort because we were using Typhoons space, and they were friends with Typhoon from playing at Treefort with them. Yeah we just gave them our EP a couple of times and kept bugging them (laughs). They liked it; they invited us to their show here at Doug Fir, when they were playing in February with Finn Riggins. So we came and hung out with them, then they offered us that show.

KS: Right on. Another thing I noticed from seeing you guys play before, you guys rock the She Shreds, are you a part of that (asking drummer Katherine Paul)?

Genders: One of my best friends is involved. Maggie just did something recently for them—a tour photo diary. We’re good friends with them and we support them, they’re a really awesome magazine–the only magazine about women guitarist. Maggie documented our tour with Built to Spill. They posted it online. You should check it out, it’s really neat.

KS: I’ve seen some of their stuff around, I guess I didn’t really know too much about them until they did that show.

Genders: Here? With La Luz?

KS: Yeah. So they do guitar features…?

Genders: It’s a lot, they do interviews with women guitarists and bassists, they incorporate gear reviews, it’s kind of all over the place but it’s centered around women guitarists.

KS: That’s really awesome. I guess my next question is are you guys working on any new recordings or any new songs?

Genders: Yeah we’re working on new songs right now and we’re going on tour at the end of March for a couple weeks and then we’re just going to play them out on the road and when we come back we’re going to get down to recording an EP, and then tour again at the end of summer.

KS: That will be cool. We’d love to listen to what you got coming up. Feel free to take a couple months off if you need some time…

Genders: We’re learning how to say no. It’s really hard. We have a lot of friend bands in town and friend promoters that want us to play show, and we love to play shows. Your schedule gets filled up pretty quickly. You don’t realize. You go from having two months free to having a show every week. Even when we say we’re going to take time off. We’re only playing three shows that month? That’s taking time off. For us.

KS: I’m wondering since you’re music is new to me, it’s impactful. I just wonder where your inspiration comes from.

Genders: I think we have pretty different influences, but we come together. Maggie or Steve or Katherine or someone will bring in an idea for a song and then we’ll all bring our own stuff in, so it’s a really collaborative effort. And with such varying influences, that’s what makes Genders what it is.

KS: You really get that kaleidoscopic sense, when you listen to it it’s synergistic.

Genders: As far as inspiration I think all of us just think about music a lot. It’s the first band I’ve been in that I feel like everyone’s really invested in the music. Even if we weren’t in this band together we’d still be making music.

KS: Well I’m glad you guys are in the band together. We don’t get any specific musical references from anybody though?

Genders: It’s constantly changing. It’s whatever I happen to be listening to and it’s totally random. I think we all have music tastes that are all over the map. I feel really inspired by seeing live performances specifically, going to a really good local show. Seeing people actually creating music is really inspiring more than listening to tracks at home. It’s raw. Something about it…

KS: It’s straight heroin versus the synthetic stuff. (laughter) Don’t pay attention to that one.

Genders: Speaking of, RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

KS: Who are some of your favorite acts around Portland, or to play with.

Genders: (pause) None (laughter). My friend Mike has this band called Paper Brain that’s really really good. I think my favorite Portland band that’s recently defunct is Support Force. They we’re really really good. They were a local band that I would look forward to seeing more than some national acts. RIP Support Force. I really like Ghost Ease. They’re really great. My best friend is the drummer. Actually my other best friend Bobby is the bassist, she runs She Shreds. Jen is really awesome as well.

KS: Is there anything you guys want to promote or talk about, about the album or in general?

Genders: What should we promote? Hmm. We’re learning how to do all this…

KS: So are we.

Genders: Our next show is at The Know on February 22nd, it’s going to be really fun. It’s with The We Shared Milk, another great Portland band. We haven’t played at The Know in a while. So that will be really fun.

KS: Such a great spot…

Genders: It’s definitely going to be loud. We’re going to try to play an all new set that night. Maybe I’ll just play one song though. I kinda want to play just one song.

KS: Man, last time we were at The Know things got really weird. So feel free to just live it up… UFOFBI with Spookies, it was quite the show. So if you want to play a twenty minute long song go right ahead, we’re into it.

Genders: Yeah lets do it, I won’t even play the drums I’ll just play the clarinet. Just chords over and over, chords for twenty minutes.

KS: I think people would be way into it. You never know what’s going to happen when you walk back there.

Genders: Yeah that might actually get people to come out to the show. We were thinking it might be a negative thing, but it might be like ‘Will they actually have the balls to play that, will they drive themselves insane? Can your fingers sustain the power for twenty minutes?’

KS: You could at least squeak out ten, fifteen.

GS: That’s what we should promote.

KS: Well we still want to hear the new stuff too. Just one last question; you mentioned you were new to this. When did you guys form exactly?

GS: A little over a year and a half ago. July, Summer 2012. In July we’ll hit the two year mark.

KS: Wow, that’s crazy fresh.

GS: Yeah. We’re primarily new to thinking about businessy shit. I think we’ve all been playing shows and touring for quite a while. But in terms of actually trying to make it like a business and doing the things you have to do to succeed, we’re all like OK, promotion, how do we promote ourselves? How do we manage this, getting a band bank account? All this stuff. How do you do taxes as a band?

KS: So you guys are like an incorporated business?

GS: We’re an LLC. Yeah, planning a tour we used to just “Let’s go on tour!” and we’d just pick a time and called it good and now we actually have to think about it.

KS: Well I say just make good music and the rest will follow.