1. Introduce yourself with your name and role in the band.
Hello! I’m Shaina and I am the lead singer.
2. When did the band form and how did you all meet?
Kate and Joe are both from very wealthy families that lived across the street from each other. When Kate and Joe were very young, their families promised them to each other in marriage. As they grew into teenagers, it became apparent that the marriage would never work but that they both enjoyed playing music. One day they took a trip to a local guitar store to look at gear and I was sitting outside. See, I had run away from my abusive family and planned to pan-handle enough money to join the circus. They felt bad for me and let me hang out at their band practices. We found that I had a knack for music as well and it was at that point we decided to throw in all our chips and move to Seattle, far far away from the jungle of Chicago. Once out here, we lived in a 300 square foot room with one bed and one light. A little while later we saw Dwayne at a coffee shop (we couldn’t actually afford coffee, we were standing outside) and we thought he was pretty and started talking to him. Turns out he was a savvy businessman with a lot of cash to burn, and an excellent drummer. He agreed to fund our band if we all got jobs, so we did. Then, one night we were all out at a metal show and noticed the bass player in one of the bands. His long black tresses bounced gracefully over his black tank top and tight leather pants, which were tucked into the most intimidating studded leather boots I had ever seen. We knew then and there, with one glance, he would become our bassist. And, uh…that’s about it. Readers note: This story is not to scale and may hold some mild sarcasm.
3. On your Facebook page, it says “when the pieces fall into place, you know it!” Explain a little about what that means. How did you get to the point you’re at now as a band, and is this what you set out to achieve?
With five people in a band there are a lot of opinions and feelings. We are a family, working together to achieve a goal. That goal looks the same, but the path we take to get there is sometimes different. But there are times when things just click. A show is booked, a photo shoot is organized and shot, a song is written, and there is an ease and a happiness that just surrounds everything. I think that we have accomplished more than we ever expected to and we are so pleased and grateful.
4. How did you decide that being in a band was what you wanted to do?
I have said this before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think anyone chooses to be a musician. Put a band together, sure. Write some songs, okay. Play a couple shows, right on. But move across the country, live together, practice 2-4 times a week, sleep in a van together for weeks at a time…that takes a lot of time, work, and commitment. There is a passion that true musicians have, and if you don’t have it I can’t explain it, but it makes all the work, hassle, money, fights, hurt feelings, bad shows, and worse tours completely worth it. Because instead of seeing them as closed doors, you see them as step stools to an open window.
5. What brought about the move to Seattle? What were some of the challenges of moving out there?
We decided on Seattle because we believed it had a better music scene at the time than Chicago. We also wanted a change. The midwest was sucking us dry. Some of the challenges definitely included money, lots of money, and some more money. And responsibility. We only knew two people when we moved to Seattle, and getting our bearings, finding jobs, and keeping our eye on the ball was hard work. But now here we are with more friends than ever, great jobs, and a great music community that has embraced us with open arms.
6. What’s your writing process like?
Kate takes off her pants, then Shaina does, they do a little dance, put on skip-itt’s, and some Clay Aiken covers… that’s when we know it’s time. Usually, Joe and Marlon throw skittles at them until they get pink-belly, and lastly we throw green paint all over each other until we’re laughing so hard we fall down, luckily there is some huge canvus paper. So we roll around on that which usually looks like a psychedelic killing spree. Lastly, we spray each other with supersoaker 5000’s, and then. And only then are we ready. To. Write.
7. When writing and recording songs, how do you know when they’re absolutely done and ready to put on the record?
I think when everyone in the room feels that nothing needs to be changed is when a song is ready to go to Joel Casey Jones, our producer. Then from there, he will help us to enhance the songs with his ingenuity. Ideally, we want the song to be able to enhance the story both through the music and lyrics, taking the listener from point A, then all the way over to point B, by the end of the song. It’s a journey, and when we all get there, the song is ready to go.
8. What’s your favorite part about playing shows and touring?
The people. Meeting new people every night that have never heard of us, but are singing with us by the end of the night. I will never get tired of hearing an audience sing along with us. It’s magical.
9. What’s your favorite song to play live?
My personal favorite is “All Around Us” off of our last album Unraveled and “Scream it Out” off of new EP The Villain in Me.
10. If you could have anything happen at a show, what would you want it to be?
We play a show in Texas and Lacey Sturm, formerly of Flyleaf, is there, jumps up on stage to sing with me, and loves Alabaster, and wants to be my friend. …laughs… But realistically, I would say that we inspire someone. Even if it’s one person, it makes a difference, and means the world to not only me, but the whole band. We feel it, feed off it, and effin love it.
11. Would you rather have a major recording company viewing your show or play in front of your biggest inspiration?
Oooo that’s a tough one because both could greatly influence the next step in life and there are pros and cons to both. I would have to go with Recording Company, only because we all have different inspirations from different genres but a record company deals with all genres so that might be more beneficial.
12. Would you rather sell one billion copies of an album that doesn’t mean anything personal to you or sell 100 copies of an album that means the world to you?
I’m gonna go with the latter. I understand being an entertainer and I understand wanting to be successful. But I could never feel proud of myself if I participated in something that meant nothing to me, and made money off of it. It would feel like a huge lie and thats not what I want to exude as a person.
13. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Just that we are so thankful you gave us this opportunity to chop it up and kick it for a minute with you fine folks, and we really hope you love the EP!