Text and interview: Alec Coiro
Images and Video Courtesy of All Boy/All Girl and Terrorbird Media
Originally conceived in Philly with a name that originally comes from an Arthur Russell song, the group consists of a full seven members. While the musical backgrounds of these seven are various, they all share the common thread of real rigorous training. The musicianship comes across in the finely crafted, gentle pop music that masterfully manipulates the emotions in a way that that is pleasure to give oneself over to.
If you’re a fan in New York, you’ve probably caught them already at one of their many shows in Brooklyn or Manhattan. If not, you’re in luck because they are just leaving for tour. We had number of questions for the band, not the least of which was how they became so transfixed with whipped cream (it’s a Dutch tale).
Answers by Danielle Lovier (Lead Vocals/Ukulele):
Can you tell us about the genesis of your live shows? Did you start out in more classical settings or were you playing clubs?
Our first show as all boy/all girl was at Pete’s Candy Store in 2012. We’ve since played a range of different types of venues, definitely leaning more towards clubs than classical venues. In New York, we typically play at places like Le Poisson Rouge, Baby’s All Right and The Studio at Webster Hall where we’re having our album release show. Before the end of the year, we’re doing a special acoustic set at St. Mary’s Church in Harlem, but more on that soon!
Speaking of classical, how do your musical backgrounds and training compare?
We all come from slightly different neighborhoods musically, except for Josh (guitar) and Nick (bass). They grew up playing in bands together and they both studied jazz bass at University of the Arts, which is where I met them. Susan (cello) studied classical music at NYU, Hannah (viola) is currently pursuing her PhD in performance from NYU. Joey grew up behind a drum kit playing big band, and rock music. Jessie (vocals) and I both have a background in musical theater.
You are New York-based band currently if I’m not mistaken. Did you start out in New York or have there been other points of interest on the way?
The roots of the band can be traced back to Philly, when Nick, Josh, and I were all going to college together. Josh and Nick had a noise rock band together with another friend, and at the same time Nick and I were playing pop covers together as a duo, busking in the park.
After we graduated, Nick and I did a 3 month tour of the US living out of our station wagon, and playing on the streets for gas money. At the end of the tour, I had signed on with an (acting) agent in NYC. Nick soon followed, and Josh moved here about a year later. We met the rest of the band here in New York.
The video for Pastels seems to have been shot in Poland? Is that right? How did that come about? Is if from a tour?
No, unfortunately! We’ve actually never been to Poland. The video was made by a really talented director Lukas Pytlik, who we worked with on the “Glitters” video. We really loved that video, so we approached him about making one for “Pastels”. He lives in Warsaw so he decided to use the city as the inspiration for the video.
Why Slagroom as the album title? And more generally why whipped cream?
Slagroom translates from Dutch to whipped cream. So that explains the whipped cream. The reason why we chose to call the album Slagroom is a bit harder to explain. Nick spent half a year living in the Netherlands, and that word really stuck with him. A lot of the themes in the album deal with different rooms and spaces, and we liked the idea of what Slagroom might mean in English. It seemed wormy, and awkward, and it felt right for the album. We just sort of ran with the whipped cream aesthetic from there, because who doesn’t like whipped cream?