Artist Spotlight - Tacocat
(Photo Credit - Helen Moga)
We had the opportunity to interview Tacocat! It's an exciting time for the band as they just announced a tour that will take place in January and February! Check out what they had to say in our Artist Spotlight.
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"Growing up I always loved singing, but you know, just singing along to the radio, and at the top of my lungs when no one was home. I loved the idea of theater and was in a few plays, but ultimately felt a bit too shy and awkward to really pursue that too hard as a teen. Moving to Seattle when I was 19 really opened my eyes to how much music was EVERYWHERE, in real life! I had never really considered the idea that normal people could just put a band together and play in front of people. When Bree, Lelah, and Eric asked me to sing with a project they were trying to form, I never thought we'd go anywhere but the practice space haha. Twelve years later, here we are!" 2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"I keep notebooks full of snippets of ideas and sentences or words I like, conversations I've had, concepts to look into, that kind of thing. My band mates will usually start with riffs on the bass or guitar, then add some drums to it, and at that point that's when I start putting together ideas for melodies, and jigsawing together the lyrics. Lyrics are important to me, so it can take awhile to get the right meaning and ideas, the right syllable-to-beat/note ratio, the right rhyme pattern, all of those considerations AND a good melody is a real puzzle that takes a lot of finesse to solve. Once I have some loose ideas to bring to the table, we try to practice songs all together to get an idea of how long certain parts should be, or if we need to add or subtract anything." 3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"We all really love Dolly Parton—she's such a shining beacon of positivity and talent and hard work. And costumes!!! We've also always loved the Slits, Bratmobile, Bikini Kill, the B-52's, the Ramones, and so many more."
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
"I'm not really the gear guy in the band. My one instrument has traditionally been the tambourine—I have a couple standard "RhythmTech True Colors" that you find at any old music store. It's kind of the only option. I've always wondered why the selections were so limited with tambourines! They should be so much more fun and flashy, like glitter, or LED lights, or crazy sizes (I would die for a HUGE one), or even just a better color selection outside of the primaries / black and white. Maybe I should beg RhythmTech to let me design one."
"I now have a MicroKorg I use for one song, but I want to use it for more because it's so fun to play. It's just tricky to get used to playing and singing, especially a fixed instrument when you're used to whirling around throughout the show. I don't even use a mic stand, so I'll need to get better at more purposeful choreography in the future!"
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"Our fans are INCREDIBLE. Like so, so wonderful, so their energy makes the whole night zing. We're really lucky to have cultivated such a cool following of genuinely neat people. After playing shows for years with lots of cis dude punk bands (that's kind of all there was for a while when we first started), it's so refreshing to be privileged enough to guide the energy away from some of the more violent / rude / scary kinds of experiences we had back in the day. It's important for us to put on shows that feel fun and safe for everyone."
"Good sound in a venue obviously. And a good layout! Love a nice fog machine. Cool light systems. Friendly staff. A temperature that's not extreme one way or the other. But really, venues I appreciate the most are the venues that get what's it's like to be living on the road. Green rooms are sometimes your only respite on tour, so when venues put thought into their green rooms, that can make or break your whole night. Not having even a broom closet to change in, or a tiny office to just chill in for a sec before the madness, can be one of the more stressful experiences ever. Trying to change tights in a dark van parked on the street is less glamorous than you might imagine."
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"We have been doing this for 12 years and for us, it's so much more than just the music. We design all our own artwork—everything from album covers to merch, even some of our videos were DIY. We try to have a say in every bill that's booked, which means not just letting venues pick whoever as openers; it's important to us to be as inclusive as possible when possible, which all goes back to the question about the vibe at our shows!"
"Also important to note: Being a band at this level (more successful than, say, a hobby band, but definitely not even close to "big" haha) makes it a labor of love where we can't work steady, high-paying jobs and still devote the necessary amount of time to the band, yet the band doesn't cover our rent. Support bands in real life! Buy a shirt! Buy a record! Streaming services have obviously irrevocably change the industry, and record labels, managers, bookers, everyone involved with a band takes a huge cut, so coming out to a show is the most straightforward way of supporting a band you'd like to see make more music :)"
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
"We're touring in January and February 2020 with AJJ! Come through!"