• About A Band: Tacocat

    We met with Emily Nokes, lead singer of power pop outfit Tacocat, at her Capitol Hill apartment on the day of Tacocat’s new release, Lost Time. Just the night before, the Seattle four-piece played two sold-out shows in honor of the new record. Resplendent with blow up ice cream cones, feline illustrations (designed by the band itself) and a lively dancing lobster, the night was something to remember.

    And so is Lost Time. Chockful of short, catchy, summer-ready songs, the band’s third release covers all bases. From tracks making note of X-Files' Dana Scully’s scientific savoire-faire to the upbeat missive "Men Explain Things To Me," Lost Time accounts for at least some of the misplaced hours. The album clocks in at just under 30 minutes, giving its 12 songs all the more urgency, even as they err on the lighthearted side of things.

    Read our interview with Emily below, where we discuss working as a music editor at Seattle’s The Stranger, revamping the theme song to for the colorfully bubbly cartoon, The Powerpuff Girls, and that time her parents camped at the Cracker Barrel just to see her perform. 
    Words and photos by Chona Kasinger

    You grew up in Montana, where your parents would occasionally put you in the car and take you on extended trips through the US. Did you ever think you’d be doing the same as an adult?
    Definitely not on this scale! It’s funny, my parents just came to our show in Missoula and I asked them where they were staying. My mom was excited to inform me that they’d just found out anyone can car camp in any Cracker Barrel parking lot for free! I can’t imagine sleeping in my car when I’m in my 60s, but they love it so much. 

    How did working as a music editor and writer at The Stranger, an alt-weekly notorious for its anonymous commenters, inform your relationship with the Internet?
    As awful as I think trolls are, and as hurtful as anonymous (or not-so-anonymous) hate-spewing internet jerks can be, I realized that comments are best ignored altogether, reverse trolled (“Oh shit, I totally did forget to include any men on this list!), or just straight up laughed at. 

    Who are the commenters, really, that spew that kind of vitriol? Faceless whiners who don’t have enough guts to form their own band? Slimy misogynists who didn’t get enough dates in high school? I love that comments are becoming more of a thing of the past. They’re just not as relevant as they once were now that people have so many other ways to communicate usefully.

    Agreed! On a more positive note, Tacocat recently contributed a new version The Powerpuff Girls theme song. Do you anticipate an influx of young listeners influencing your songwriting?
    In terms of songwriting, I actually feel like our older songs were more playful and childish in their composition—some of our first songs remind me of punk nursery rhymes—and that we naturally progress away from that on every album. But then again I find that lot of the lyrics I write are meant to be silly and fun, even if they’re about getting your period or something (FDP-- or First Day of Period, for inquiring minds-- tackles this subject with remarkable finesse). But yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to censor my songwriting to be quite up to snuff for super young kids to listen to.

    In light of Guitar World dropping their Bikini Gear Guide issue, it would appear strides are being made in the music world in terms of misogyny.  As an ex-music editor and writer, do you think media outlets that focus specifically on women harm or hinder feminist objectives?
    I feel like more and more folks are realizing just how common casual misogyny is in our culture in general and are now making strides to cover more women and other marginalized people in music (and other art forms), and reflect on how they cover them when they do. While I do think big strides are being made, even bigger bigots exist between the coasts, so it’s hard to measure progress using Seattle or any other major cities as measuring sticks.

    As for the long-term objective of feminism, that’s complicated and nuanced (and depends on variables we haven’t even considered yet) and it’s hard to think that far ahead in a theoretical world where gender roles and sexism are eradicated. It’s also somewhat difficult for me to separate myself from my gender in fighting for my own equality, so I often have actually been drawn to lists and articles that focus on women specifically and felt some empowerment from the ones that did it right. Rolling Stone does not do it right. Neither does Guitar World. Eventually, yes I think the “women in ____” focus from hamfisted dude-run mags will be seen less and less (or at least less heavy handed) as society evolves, but on a broader (ha!) scale, publications like Tom Tom, Bust, Rookie, Bitch, and others still feel very important.

    Tacocat has played together since 2007. What advice do you have for bands hoping to attain longevity?
    Start a band with your best friends! Be patient. Practice as much as you can and challenge yourself to get better, but don’t take yourself too seriously.

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