Hi Katy! What are you doing right now?
Right now I'm at a coffee shop in Sacramento, just got my coffee, and am waiting by the front door and waiting for my bandmates to get their coffee.
So you're on tour?
Is your cat Walter back home? Do you miss him?
Yes and of course [I miss him] but he's doing good because I have somebody watching him, who sends me picture updates.
What's your favorite part about touring?
Oh, probably eating all over. My bandmates and I really appreciate food. We kind of like to find the best food and coffee in different cities. You get to go on a food tour.
What's your favorite city to visit?
Oh man! They're all so good. I think my favorite city in the world might be Tokyo, just because it's rare that you get to go there and it's really cool, not like anywhere else I've ever been. Plus, I love sushi.
What's the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you on tour?
Let me think…I don't know, there are so many. Can you be more specific? There are way too many weird things that have happened to me on tour.
How about the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you while you were playing on stage. Does that narrow it down?
Well [Vivian Girls] were in Detroit and we were playing the Majestic Café and a girl was lying down under the stage underneath me. So I'm singing and I look down and there's like a person lying there and then I realize it's a girl hooking up with a guy.
They weren't like totally hooking up, but they were kind of starting to. We were opening for The Black Lips and then they were full-on, hooking up, same spot, while The Black Lips were playing on stage. They were doing things that were very…not discreet. It was weird.
What's your opinion on music bloggers, because a lot of musicians hate their guts?
I think they're part of today's music culture. People used to find out about music in way different ways. Now, one of the main ways people find out about music is through music blogs and I think a lot of artists resent that ‘cause their careers and how people think about their music kind of relies on these bloggers. Back in the day it was people writing in magazines, which was more exclusive, you know? Now, anyone can start a blog, everyone has an opinion, and then a lot of bands are kind of written-off because of blogs. Blogs don't like when journalists write about things that they don't like and then make fun of it. If you're going to say something mean you might as well not say anything, but some people might say, “no press is bad press.” But in the world I live in, if someone just didn't like something that me or one of my friend's bands did I wish they just wouldn't say anything. That's why I like blogs like Gorilla vs. Bear, because they just post things that they like, or the Urban Outfitters blog, which is the same way.
Yeah! We just post things that we love.
Well we really loved your album Sees The Light, even though it's kind of super sad.
It is kind of sad [laughs].
What inspired the subject matter for the album?
A couple break-ups.
So it's a break-up album.
It's a break-up album. Well, there are two songs that aren't about breaking up, but in general, whenever I sit down to write a song, the songs that come just pouring out are about ex-boyfriends. Although, I have been writing a lot of songs lately that are all really happy and hopeful. It's weird because I wrote Sees The Light like a year ago and then had to wait for months and now I'm doing interviews for this album but my mentality is much different now than it was when I was writing it. Does that make sense?
Yeah, now you're happier and in a completely different mood.
Yeah and it's a new thing going back in my mind and trying to figure out why I wrote the way that I did then. Now I'm writing in a different way. Sees The Light was actually kind of a happy break-up album. The first La Sera album was sort of an angry break-up album. You wouldn't know it, but if you really listened to it there's a lot of anger in the lyrics. This album is more about breaking up, but being okay with it, even though a lot of the songs are sad. Actually at band practice the other day, we were practicing for this tour and I started crying while we played!
We started playing “Love That's Gone” and that song is too sad because it brings back too many memories.
So what's the saddest song that you've ever heard?
I'll always go back to Roy Orbison's “Crying.” That's my go-to sad song. Oh, and Burt Bacharach's “Make It Easy On Yourself.” Those are two of my inspirations when it comes to writing break-up anthems.
I love all of the music videos you have done for La Sera. Do you have a lot of creative input when it comes to making your videos?
Actually the fourth music video is going to come out sometime maybe this week, or really soon. It's a joint video for the songs “Real Boy” and “Drive On” and I think it's kind of the most amazing one I've done. It's pretty amazing. But I'd say the directors do have a huge say in the creative direction. For example, the first video for “Never Come Around” where I kill all those dudes, that idea was entirely Brady Hall's, the director. I was unsure of it at first, like, wow is this really the first thing that I want to put out into the world about this band, me being a murderer? Then I was like, yep. That's exactly what I want to put out. Sounds great, let's do it.
If you could describe La Sera in one sentence, what would it be?
A sweet... emotional dream.
I read somewhere that you have a degree in Physics and I also heard that you're going to blog about video games for Spin. Do you have any other geeky or surprising hobbies I should know about?
I can do a Rubik's cube in less than three minutes and I know pi to like 30 digits.
Woah, that's pretty impressive.
Yeah I'm going to be teaching my bandmate Tony how to do a Rubik's cube. Actually, the other day, my friend Chris knew that I knew how to do this. So, this kid in L.A. that I know, a music fan, was talking about how Cloud Nothings sent out these rubik's cubes to all these different record stores that said “Cloud Nothings” all over it and they said that if you could solve the Rubik's cube then you would win tickets to their show. Basically my friend was like, ‘Can someone go to all these music stores and solve the Rubik's cubes so I can get tickets to Cloud Nothings?' I was like, “I will do it!” and I went and won some tickets for him to see them. That's the only time that doing a fast Rubik's cube has ever paid off.
Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?
I always played music and I was in bands and stuff growing up but I just didn't think that it was in the cards for me. I was just such a huge nerd and I had just played in a bunch of basement punk bands for fun while I was in college. It was amazing, making music, but I never ever thought that I would have the opportunity to do it all the time, you know? Then with Vivian Girls it kind of just took off and it was like, “Oh wow.” But I definitely wasn't dreaming of being a musician for my whole life.
If you could be in any band, living or dead, for a day which band would it be?
I would have been in Fleetwood Mac because I would have been hilarious and weird. I would have so many cool stories. But I wouldn't have done drugs because I don't do drugs so I would have been, like, the boring member that they kicked out or something.
You're from New Jersey, right?
What's your favorite memory of living in New Jersey?
Probably like me, Cassie, and that band Real Estate and Titus Andronicus, we were all kind of in a crew that went to shows and were in bands, though I was never in bands in high school. We would sneak out of our parents' houses late at night and go hang out in the park. It was a very innocent teenager thing, just to sneak out and go to diners. Those were my favorite memories of growing up in New Jersey, for sure.
One last thing: are the Vivian Girls on a break?
No comment. I'm not sure. We're all doing things right now and not focusing on Vivian Girls but that doesn't mean that we're broken up.