June Interview: Sharp Violet!

June 6, 2017
Check out this month's interview with Sharp Violet from Lindenhurst, NY!
Upcoming Shows:
Connollys Pub:
July 7th, doors are at 8pm
Address: 121 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036

1. Does anyone still have a collection of vinyl or cassettes? If you have vinyl, which is your most cherished album?
Jess- The Beatles/1962-1966, it's the one that started it all! 
Jasmine- AFI Fly In the Ointment, it's a first pressing from 1995 and it glows in the dark. Geoff, their old bassist posted online that he had some old merch that he found at his parents house. I contacted him and bought it directly from him.
Liz- Blondie Parallel Lines, Blondie is one of my favorite bands plus we cover Hanging On The Telephone. The main reason it holds a special place in my heart though, is because I bought it at record store called Record Stop, that my Dad has been going to since he was a teenager. It's cool that we can go there together and bond over music.
Tala- I collect both vinyl and cassettes. My most cherished album is Bernard Purdie- Soul is...Pretty Purdie. He is the ultimate soul drummer and talks through his playing plus he sings.

2. Are there any causes/organizations that are particularly close to your hearts and that you would encourage the public to support?
Planned Parenthood is an organization that's really important to us. Everyone should have access to affordable and safe health care. A few months ago, we played a benefit show for Planned Parenthood and it was great to raise money for a cause close to our hearts. 

3. Where do you all come from, musically speaking? Have you been a musician/in a band since you were a kid? Did you take lessons or are you self-taught? And is the genre you play now what you started out in/have there been some musical detours along the way?
Jess- I've been playing music since I was 10, I first learned piano and then 5 years later I learned guitar. I also went to college for music and now I teach both instruments. Prior to being in the band, I mainly played classical and jazz but my guitar playing has always been rock n roll. 
Jasmine- I started playing the trumpet at 10 and dabbled in playing the drums and piano. I started composing my own electronic music during high school. When I was 18, I bought a bass and would play it here and there. I met my friend Frankie at a show and formed a band. From jamming with that band, that's how I really began to learn how to play. 
Liz- I'm lucky that both my parents listen to good music and growing up every night at dinner we would listen to either a Beach Boys album or a classic rock radio station. When I was 13, I discovered No Doubt and my life changed forever falling in love with punk and ska. I joined the chorus at school in fourth grade and have been singing ever since. I started an all girl band when I was 15 and we pretty much played similar music that Sharp Violet plays. 
Tala- I started playing at a young age with flute and guitar but I always wanted to play drums. I finally convinced my mom to get drum lessons when I was 15. My first band was a duo with my best friend and then I played in an all girl punk band. I got really into jazz and math rock and stopped playing music in college. I picked up the drums again when I joined Sharp Violet. 

4. If you could have been involved in the soundtrack to one film, which film would you have chosen?
Jess and Jasmine- Me, Myself and Irene, We both really like the soundtrack!
Liz- Empire Records- it's probably the best soundtrack of all time!
Tala- Whip It- I'm a jammer for the Long Island Roller Rebels and what better movie to feature riot grrrl songs. 

5. What’s the strangest gift any fan has given…or tried to give…you?
Liz- It's not strange, but more of a pleasant surprise. A fan of ours in Mexico made two different drawings of me. It was so thoughtful and he's extremely talented. What I love the most was that he included a bracelet I wear to every show we play. 

6. Thoughts on technical prowess vs stage presence:
Jess- You can have a little bit of both, as long as you practice enough it shouldn't be a problem to have both.
Jasmine- Practice is very important for confidence but if people are coming to see you perform live, you should look like you're having a good time. 
Liz- While stage presence is important, I think at first the main focus should be on technical prowess. I think stage presence will come naturally once there is a mastery of your songs.  
Tala- Usually my limbs are pretty busy playing the drums so all I have in the way of stage presence is the occasional funny face and Jamie Lee Curtis jokes between songs. 

7. Best song titles ever…even if you don’t like the songs…
Jess- Dancing With The Devil by Breaking Benjamin, who hasn't been tempted to do something even though they know it's wrong.
Jasmine- Every Panic At The Disco song
Liz- Only Happy When It Rains by Garbage- I wish I wrote that song
Tala-Hip Hop Hippopotamus, it's just smart and who doesn't wish they thought of that first. 

8. Which generally comes first in your songwriting process, lyrics or instrumentals? Or does it vary so much that there is no “generally?”
Lyrics usually come first and then we work on the instrumentals. 

9. Do you have, for lack of a better word, understudies who could take over for various members of the band in a truly last minute emergency when it’s already too late to cancel a show?
We're lucky that we have a few friends who can fill in for various members. Steve, the singer/guitarist from our brother band, Steve And The Not Steves has filled in a few of our practices for guitar, bass and drums if one of us couldn't make it. Another friend, Scott from Holy Smokes can fill in on drums if it was an emergency. 

10. Do any of you teach music in one form or another?
Jess- I have been teaching music lessons for piano and guitar for about 6-7 years. 
Jasmine- I occasionally teach trumpet lessons.

11. If you had to write a song that was an ode to an inanimate object, what would that object be?
Jess- Chapstick, I own a whole bunch and might have a problem...
Jasmine- Coffee Cup Holder, it's required now to prevent your hand from being burned. 
Liz- Orange Crayons, I actually wrote a poem called "The Lone Orange Crayon" and it's about how it's tough living in a world of greens and blues.
Tala- The Snuggie- best fucking invention

12. How did the band come together? Was there an audition process? Did you all already know each other or each other’s work in previous bands? Were there some early line-up changes before everything finally clicked?
Liz- I started the band around February 2016 and had a few line up changes here and there but the line up we have now is the true heart of Sharp Violet. I'm very fortunate to play with these talented girls and I'm glad they have become my best friends. I'm getting married in July and they will be my bridesmaids. I met Jess in April through our mutual friend Annie, from Jackknife Stiletto. I met Jasmine through a former member of Steve And The Not Steves. I had met Tala about 7 years ago through my best friend Eddy who plays drums in Steve And The Not Steves and when we were looking for a drummer reach out to her  even though we hadn't talked in years.

13. Do you have a go-to band, current or past, that you listen to for musical inspiration? One that always gets your creative juices flowing?
Jess- Breaking Benjamin 
Jasmine- The Cure
Liz- Sleater-Kinney
Tala- Nomeansno 

14. Any major shows or festivals that you’re dying to play but haven’t yet had the chance to?
Riot Fest would be a dream to play!

15. Do it for the fans? Or do it for yourself?

Go Back