#TalkNerdyToMeLover’s Elizabeth Rosselle
“Well, we like to think of oursleves as a disgusting, dirty virus that we want everybody to get infected with….”
Six months ago, TNTML’s Elizabeth Rosselle of Musicwire TV sat down with indie electro duo, Bullet & Snowfox, for her first ever exclusive with the band and, at the time, the band had not yet performed live. Since then, frontwoman Kristen Wagner and guitarist Josh Shapiro have really made their mark on the music scene, playing at some of L.A.’s most legendary venues, including The Viper Room and House of Blues. They’ve also been spotted tearing it up at some of Hollywood’s more underground hot spots, namely Bardot, an ultra-exclusive lounge that sits atop Avalon nightclub and sees surprise performances from the likes of Prince, Perry Ferrell, and Macy Gray to name a few. Elizabeth sat down recently with Josh and Kristen, and here’s what they had to say about their sudden success that continues to grow, well, like a virus…
ER: How are you guys feeling six months after our first interview? You’ve been busy.
KW: God, we’ve been playing like crazy!
JS: Yeah, every show is just getting better and better.
KW: Definitely, and it’s actually been surprisingly – you know, I know that a lot of new bands have a hard time booking gigs just because when you’re a new band, bookers don’t really know what kind of numbers you can pull, but for us it’s been so easy. Aside from the very first show that I reached out to the booking agent for, I haven’t had to approach anybody about shows. I mean, literally, every venue we’ve played has led to another gig.
JS: It’s like the domino effect. We impress somebody and then not even two days will go by and we’ll just get a phone call!
KW: We played six shows last month which is just insane, and the thing is, so many of them were just things that popped up last minute, and the cool thing is that some of them were at standard venues like the Silverlake Lounge, but some of them were specialty shows, like one of them we played at The Bang (art) Gallery downtown that literally popped up the day before the show. We’re really lucky that everyone in the band is such a team player, and that they’re ready to rally for whatever so if we have something pop up like that, it’s not difficult to get everybody on board and go do it.
ER: And Bardot?
KW: It was one of the most fun shows that I think we’ve ever played. I mean, it’s a great venue anyway, but it’s also fun to be in a really intimate environment with a lot of people.
JS: Drunk people! Everybody was drunk.
KW: A chick came up on stage and was dancing and doin’ her thing (pause) with me! She eventually got pulled off stage.
JS: Yeah, before she got to me because she was on her way.
ER: That’s great because I’ve never seen a single bad performance at Bardot, and I’m sure you were able to book some great gigs from contacts there.
KW: It’s funny because it seems like all of our shows have happened that way. The first time we played Crazy Girls – well basically we met this guy, Jake, who managed a band who was going to be playing at Crazy Girls and he needed an opener, so he asked us to do it. The booker liked us and asked us to come back, so that’s how we started playing Crazy Girls, and when we played our first show there, a guy that I know who’s a producer and mixer came to the show who has a friend who puts on events downtown, like Bloomfest and the art gallery – he needed someone for a Filter party at a loft downtown and so he referred us to his friend, we went and did the Filter party, and then from there, the same guy continued to ask us for other gigs so that’s how we ended up doing the Bang gallery show, and how we booked Bloomfest, and how we ended up at Commerce Casino (laughs).
ER: You guys have now played House of Blues and Viper Room – two legendary spots.
JS: I couldn’t wait to play at the Viper Room when I was living in Pittsburgh!
ER: Hard to believe that just six months ago you hadn’t yet played a single show and now you’re playing at venues like the Viper Room and House of Blues. You are going viral!
KW: Well, we like to think of oursleves as a disgusting, dirty virus that we want everybody to get infected with! That’s the plan! No, I mean it’s one of things – we’re really lucky to have a great group of guys that play with us on stage, that are up for anything and are totally committed to everything that we’re doing. They will rally for whatever pops up. We’re lucky to have a lot of friends that are really supportive that will come out to show after show, and it’s awesome that we’re able to play venues that make us available to new people that would never hear us otherwise.
JS: And we’re lucky that we make new friends every show!
KW: In this town, you don’t have the luxury of getting your feet wet and warming up playing shows. You have to be solid and ready to go from the second that you get out there.
JS: And we were!
KW: It was really important to us that we felt prepared, so I think that’s part of the reason once we started playing, that it was a really quick, rapid response from people because we had taken the time before setting out on stage to get prepared.
ER: Have you noticed that you’ve made any adjustments to your sound and stage performance based on audience and fan responses?
JS & KW (in unison): No!
KW: I think the thing is that we have such a clear idea of what we’re doing. I mean, we have these songs fully demo’d before we go perform them because, you know, some bands like to go and work out their songs on stage and maybe won’t have a finished song but they’ll sort of perform it to decide how they want to have it finish, and that’s just not our process. We want to make it sound good first, have it be a finished song, and then we want to get on stage and have it sound like what that recording would sound like so when people go to shows they’ll say, “oh yeah, this is exactly what the record sounds like.” Because it’s so fucking disappointing when you buy a record and you listen to an awesome song and you’re stoked on it, and then you go and hear it live and it doesn’t sound anything like what it sounds like on the record.
JS: Well on my part, I think the guitar parts are probably twenty percent, maybe thirty percent different. I get real fancy! Because recording-wise, you’re thinking just real simple and catchy, you know, and live it’s just like dirty, fast, and what looks awesome. So I mix it up.
KW: We just do whatever feels natural and I think that’s what we find is what the audience responds to. You can tell that we’re partying our balls off and having a great time on stage, so I think that’s what people react to.
ER: Now that you guys have played around a bit and you kind of know the LA venue circuit, do you have a favorite spot to perform?
JS: I would say Moscow at Boardners just because there’s four hundred people there I don’t know and they love it! I mean, you just get new fans every show and they just want to hear music and have a great time. It’s mostly kids – it’s eighteen and over, so people are just there. They’re not there to get wasted, they’re there to hear music and have a good time.
ER: Well, the kids are the best fans to have.
JS: Exactly. I’d love to play there every Wednesday because it would be new people, and it’s just religiously packed.
KW: Totally. I would say Moscow and Bardot are my two favorites.
ER: Where do you guys see yourselves in six months?
KW: On tour! Right? (to Josh)
KW: I think so!
JS: Selling a bunch of records!
KW: Totally! I mean, obviously the EP will be out. Our video will be done within the next couple of weeks. We’re very excited about that! So yeah, hopefully when we get the video out and when the EP is ready to be released, we can get some more traction and get on the road! That’s kind of the goal.
ER: Do you have the van picked out yet?
KW: Well, we just found out that our drummer, Matteo, has one that needs a little mechanical work.
ER: Any Bullet & Snowfox updates since we last spoke?
KW: We have a new drummer from when we started playing and he’s amazing!
JS: He’s absolutely fantastic!
KW: We had been working with someone since last October and, you know, he didn’t really have the right mentality for what we’re doing, but it was random because it happened last minute [right before a show] so we were scrambling to find someone to fill in and learn the songs in a couple of days…he [new drummer, Matteo Eyia] plays drums with our bass player [Baron Von Luxury] who also has his own project, who’s also our producer – it’s a very incestuous relationship – so basically we asked him to do this one show just to fill in for our guy, and he did, and he sacked up, and had a great attitude, and played the shit out of it, and did an awesome job, and then the Bardot show popped up super last minute, and our regular guy was not available. So it was kind of weird, but the situation and timing worked out so great because the drummer that we had filling in is awesome, and he did a great job and has been acting like part of the team.
JS: He just brings a whole new energy. You know, he’s so aggressive, and so in the pocket – he’s like a sponge, like I’ll just tell him something about the song and he’s like, “okay,” and then does it ten times better than I would have expected!
KW: And it’s kind of one of those things where even when we’ve hit a wall in some respect – and I hate to sound cliché – but we’ve come out the next day or the day after in a situation that is ten times better than before, and again, it’s sort of that validation that this is totally the right thing. You know, I mean, when stuff like that happens obviously Josh and I have to get on it and tap into our resources and figure out a way to make it work, but when we do that, it always seems to work out, and always seems to work out better than had the status quo remained the same.
ER: And what does Susan Miller say for you this month? (www.atstrologyzone.com. Go there, kids! Susan Miller kinda rules)
KW: Susan Miller was very encouraging this month for me in terms of this kind of stuff, so it’s good. It’s crazy, it kind of feels like we’re finally in the payoff stage for what we’ve been working on this past two years. We’re at the tipping point for that payoff stage, so it just feels like a matter of time before it goes to the next payoff stage which hopefully involves money! That’s the idea. But the bottom line is that Josh and I love to play. We just love to be on stage, so that’s why I’m saying that it’s already paying off tenfold for all of the work we’ve done.
*Make sure to visit the band’s website for updates, show info, etc.: www.bulletandsnowfox.com