ERASE ERRATA'S POST-RIOT GRRRL, POST-FEMINIST POST-PUNK // The Bay Area quartet creates a new kind of noise.
|Interview Jenny Tatone Photography Jim McGinnis|
Ellie Erickson (left) and Jenny Tatone
"People are really anxious to put some sort of label on our music like, 'Oh, they're girls who play rock music.' Anything that they can think of that's similar, they automatically stick us in a genre. None of them are really that accurate." Bianca Sparta
Tatone: What music did you listen to growing up?
Jaffe: I listened to a lot of punk rock. You want names? I've always been a huge Misfits fan....
Erickson: My first concert was Ah-Ha [laughing]. I think I listened to oldies, mostly, in junior high, and then I figured out there was a punk scene in Nebraska so I listened to a lot of local music.
Hoysten: There was always a lot of music in my family. My dad played piano and he was always into old standards and show tunes and that kind of thing. So, that was my really young sort of stuff. I always listened to the radio even if it was just Top 40 or whatever. Then I got more into like indie or college-radio scenes and started learning about more new bands kind of coming from a really wide range and then narrowing in more and more along the way.
Tatone: You have a very distinct sound, and it is obviously all your own, but could you cite some people you'd call influences, or who've had an important impact on you musically?
Sparta: I think oldies radio totally inspired me to play drums in a certain way.
Tatone: Like how?
Sparta: Ripping beats off from oldies songs [laughing]. Like the simplicity of the steadiness of the beats. The beats aren't necessarily simple, but we definitely study the old songs.
Erickson: I took a lot of experimental music classes, so that opened my mind up as to how you can use an instrument and that you don't have to play it in the traditional way.
Jaffe: I think we all listen to so many different kinds of music that we take in all of it. And it's a process of everything from the most random noisy stuff to the stuff we listened to growing up it kind of all comes out.
Tatone: I don't know if you saw the article that was in The Mercury [a Portland alternative weekly] in town, where they were calling you no wave. I wanted to know if you agreed with that, or saw that as fitting?
Hoysten: They just never bothered to listen and see. At the very beginning, I think we had problems with that. There are certain sounds we have, for sure, that are reminiscent of no wave, but there are a lot of other different sounds too.
Sparta: People are really anxious to put some sort of label on our music like, "Oh, they're girls who play rock music." Anything that they can think of that's similar, they automatically stick us in a genre. None of them are really that accurate.
Jaffe: We're definitely not eager to pigeonhole ourselves in any way..
Hoysten: I don't think anybody is [to Jaffe].
Jaffe: I think some people might be more marketing-oriented sorts of bands.
Hoysten: Oh yeah, those kind of bands [laughing].
Jaffe: That corner of the adult contemporary market [laughing].