Monday, April 6, 2009

The Ettes - Empty Skeleton Interview

Take 50 bobble heads of your choice, put a spring on their little plastic feet, bounce them up and down, put them in front of an amp with three (fashionable) action figures on top labeled Coco, Poni and Jem, and video tape for 120- 180 seconds. You now have the video for a miniature Ettes show. That’s just one way to go, but after listening to their new EP, Danger Is, on repeat for the past few days, that’s what I feel like — A springy bobble head (Mr. T). When your band ingredients are 60s Beat, 80s punk, and driving, ultra sonic bass vibrations, I think that’s the desired reaction. I could be wrong.

I begged and pleaded with the band for an interview and it turns out it’s much easier to answer a few questions than secure a restraining order. Here’s how it went down with the Ettes sassy front woman, Coco.

ES: First things first, I hear you all live together in a small house in Nashville. Two girls and one guy. Does the seat stay up or down?

Coco: The seat stays down. We make Jem piss outside, which is also where he sleeps, in a ragged pup tent he picked up at the local Army/Navy.

ES: Where do you guys hang out in Nash Vegas? I'm sort of partial to Robert's Western World, but I have a fondness for boot walls.

Coco: We go to Robert's when our parents visit...

ES: Zing!

Coco: But we've been partial to the Villager, what with the darts and the smoking. The changes you will soon notice in the juke box have everything to do with me, and if you've got a problem with it, you can come tell me. I'll be at the end of the bar, watching Tim and Eric, talking to Kevin, ranting about audio books.

ES: You were recently on tour with Kings of Leon. Any fiery sex orgies? Kidding, don't answer that. But seriously, were there?

Coco: I was advised to say something to the effect of "Oh, I couldn't possibly answer that!" They're really good guys. Sooners, but pretty as hell. I can attest that a lot of sex was indeed set on fire. At 6000 capacity venues. 6000 sexes being set on fire at once is really a sight to see. I recommend it.

ES: Musically, who and what turns you on?

Coco: A great beat, honest and threatening lyrics, rhythm and melodies that stick in your head. Now tell modern bands that and have them get to work so I have someone to mention.

ES: How much did Liam Watson influence your sound, if at all?

Coco: Liam tightened us up and really taught us a lot about the history that influenced the sounds we love. He's a gentleman and a scholar, and a musical historian of the highest order, in the least pretentious way.

ES: How did you guys hook up?

Coco: We asked him if he would record us and he said yes.

ES: He also produced Wild Billy Childish whom you've been compared to. Is that a fair comparison? His mustache scares me.

Coco: You should be afraid of Billy.

ES: How do you feel about rainbows? I have this tatt...

Coco: They're pretty gay.

ES: Oh. So, what made you decide to self-release Look At Life Again Soon?

Coco: We were tired of waiting for someone to come along and do it for us. We're very impatient.

ES: How does one go about doing such a thing without breaking the bank?

Coco: Oh, the bank is plenty broken.

ES: The new EP, Danger Is, hints at a slightly evolving sound with the bass-driven "No Home." Is that a bad observation?

Coco: Maybe it's a good one. I'm lazy as hell, and Jem picks up a lot of my musical slack. He's a guitar player first, so he's got an interesting approach to playing bass for the Ettes. Hopefully our sound will evolve so much that I can just sit in a recliner on stage and tap my foot. That will truly be the day.

ES: Is this a preview of something in the works?

Coco: We're recording our third album this month with Greg Cartwright.

ES: You guys toured with the Black Keys last year in Europe. Is Dan Auerbach really the second coming of Christ? Because he really seems
like he might be.

Coco: There's no real reason he couldn't be, but if the Bible and the Left Behind series are to be believed, you would notice some people missing about now, and a charming incarnation of the antichrist named Nikolai Carpathia would soon appear on CNN. Or Fox.

ES: I mean seriously, how great is he?

Coco: Great in the best of ways. He knows his shit, is talented and fun, and is a good friend. His studio ain't half bad either.

ES: Dan Auerbach.

Coco: You said it.

ES: Your name is a suffix. Care to elaborate?

Coco: Not really.

ES: Pffft. Well, what's with the nicknames?

Coco: Poni and I pretending we were in the Switchblade Sisters. Jem is a common abbreviation for Jeremy, at least where I come from, in the south. Jem Finch's name is actually Jeremy Finch. And as we and Scout and Atticus know, he is a very important little man.

ES: I guess. I've seen/read you talking about boozing it up a lot. Should we be worried?

Coco: Probably. I mean, probably. I'll think about it.

From the new EP, here’s No Home, recorded with Christ Almighty himself, Mr. Auerbach.

The Ettes // No Home

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