1. What have you been listening to lately?
TJ: Wipers, Stereolab, XTC, Crass, Minor Threat, Sick Thoughts, Vanity, Exploding Hearts
Katie: New Order, Stereolab, Destroy Boys, Dog Date, Amyl and The Sniffers, Tilden
Gray: Kha-lo, Ice Cube, Pink Pantress, Heffner, Momma
Liam: High Vis, Smashing Pumpkins, Replacements, lots of Soulquarians stuff, Royal Headache, Minnie Riperton, Conway the Machine, pg. 99, etc.
2. I have a ton of footage from sxsw that I need to edit and upload, but my adhd is acting up. Any advice?
Katie: hire me to do it!
TJ: Just let it sit for decades untouched, there is too much footage nowadays
Gray: upload it all in one long, unedited video, and call it “Texas Vacation: Uncut & Unfiltered”
Liam: Delete it and break for lunch.
3. If we were to start a band together, what would we be called?
Katie: The Moon is a Loser
TJ: Steak Frites
Gray: Bob Dylan
4. The lyric “. . . and my back hurts” at what age should I retire from interviewing bands?
Katie: ghost interviewer would b pretty badass….never stop!
TJ: Whenever you no longer feel fulfillment from it.
Liam: When the dementia kicks in.
5. AT WHAT AGE AM I TOO OLD TO STAND UP FRONT NEXT TO THE STAGE AT A CONCERT?
Gray: If you’re asking you already know
Katie: Whatever age you start to fear the pit is the age to listen to your body
TJ: Never too old,
Liam: Do it till you can’t remember how many Doc Martens to the forehead you’ve taken.
6. Make me cry.
Katie: I can’t dish it out because I can’t take it
Gray: Let the kids enjoy the front, and go hang back by the bar like the jaded old fart you know you are
Liam: I once cried on my thirteenth birthday because my brother turned on “Hero” by Mariah Carey and it really moved me, maybe we could try that?
7. Why would you do that??
Katie: it wasn’t me!!
Gray: It’s ok I’m here too let’s have a drink about it
Liam: Because we respect Mimi in this household.
8. What is the most valuable piece of information that you know?
Katie: the secret to life is letting go of ecpectations
Gray: the paw paw is North America’s largest edible fruit
TJ: base determines superstructure
Liam: It’s better to piss in the sink than sink in the piss.
9. What would you like for your last words to be?
Katie: Walk hard
Gray: Go up to the front if you really want to. You get older, and you just gotta pick your moments it’s ok
Liam: I can’t believe I ate the whole thing
10. Any local bands that we should check out?
Katie: yes!!!! I am streaming my buds constantly. My faves are Lobby Boy, Rikki Rakki, Hotspit, Catie Lausten, Adi Guerrerx, Hard Copy, Cassidy Snyder & The Wranglers, and Julie Karr.
TJ: Fried Reality, Destruct, White Beast, Cicada
Gray: Jaws of Death, Landon Elliott, Bone Machine, 10 Pound Snail
Liam: ROTWLCFTSCBMH, Keep, Gnawing, Armagideon Time, Humanitarian Deficit
Isaac Gutierrez For Born Loser Mag: Hey! Great to talk to you again. The last time we spoke was this past October when you released “Habitual Creatures” ! What have you been up to since then?
Katie: We play locally about once a month but also have been prioritizing going out of town this year! We have been to Charlottesville a couple times, and headed to Harrisonburg for our fave DIY fest, MacRock. Oh, and we are also finishing up organizing our very first tour, up the east coast, to be announced very soon. We also started writing and recording again pretty immediately: Down in the Dirt is the first of four singles that are ready to go!!
Congratulations on your forthcoming single ‘Down in the Dirt’! I’m so excited for the official release, it’s so good!
Katie:Thank you!!!!!! It’s a ripper
TJ: Stoked on it.
Gray: :) thanks
Liam: Hell yeah brother.
What was the writing/recording process like for the single?
Katie: I wrote a lil acoustic song with these lyrics at first and just let it sit in my back pocket for a while. It really just stemmed from feeling depressed and burnt out. But obv from a dragon’s perspective, hehe. A couple months later, right as Habitual Creatures was about to be released, TJ came to the band with this dramatic and energetic guitar riff. It packed a huge punch and got us excited to write. We played Down in the Dirt for the first time at the Creatures release show, and people really responded well to it. Now it’s a staple in our live set and honestly my new favorite Smoon song.
TJ: I wrote the main riff, but I usually need help structuring songs. So I taught the riff to Gray and Liam and then we fleshed it out as a band. We recorded in a studio called The Ward in Jackson Ward in Richmond, Virginia with an engineer named Ricky Olson who had recorded other bands I had been in in the past. Ricky is super chill and organized and easy to work with, recording feels like a little vacation. Ricky is also super versatile from death metal to singer songwriter.
What were some of the inspirations behind the song?
Katie: My inspiration for the singing style is Screaming Females 100%
TJ: Minor Threat
Liam: Always Minor Threat
I feel like it has a more fast paced punk/hardcore sound than your previous releases. Is there anything in particular that drew you to that sound?
Katie: well, reason #1 is that our drummer TJ wrote this guitar part, and he’s very into punk/hardcore. #2 is that I think the band has felt the response shift during our live sets. I love our slow indie rock songs and always will, but I feel the audience’s energy change when we play more energetic and driving songs - and it feels really good. I also love to howl and project my voice. Not all of our upcoming songs will be like this, but it’s fun to toe the line between rock and punk! Also, I love to have a repertoire of songs that can fit any type of bill. We play with indie bands, pop stars, punk bands, solo artists, rock n roll, and we’re able to adjust our set list at this point to support them adequately.
TJ: I wrote the riff for a hardcore band I’m starting, but it didn’t entirely fit with the sound we are going for. So I changed the strumming pattern, slowed it down a bit, and it worked out really well.
What is the most important thing to you when it comes to creating a song?
Katie: having fun :~)
TJ: Making sure it rocks.
Gray: All about those mellow deeees, and I love putting the song structure together. Feels like a riddle, or puzzle you have to solve while you’re making and shaping the pieces as you go. Then when you get all the pieces together in a way that’s dramatic and makes sense it’s like mmm can’t believe we just put that together out of our thoughts how neat is that?
Liam: If it doesn’t get the people moving I want no part of it.
What can we expect to see from Strawberry Moon in the near future?
Katie:catchy releases, endless creativity, and a lil tour!!
TJ: More rockin tunes
Gray: Steady growth over the next course of the next fiscal year
Liam: I’m hoping Katie grows a strong Tom Selleck mustache to match the rest of us so we can change our name to Strawberry Mustache.
To wrap things up, do you have any questions for me?
Katie: what bands have YOU been listening to lately?
Lately it's been a lot of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, worry club, and Ed Maverick.
Gray: No questions, just expectations
That's EVEN WORSE
Liam: What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
What do you mean? African or European swallow?