“We are a Cleveland Band that has a very original sound with lead stylings of electric mandolin, bouzouki, and guitar. With female lead vocals, a groovy bassist, keys, and drums, our sound mixes down into something most people find fresh and distinctive. We have been told we sound like Blondie, The Rolling Stones, The Talking Heads, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Aimee Mann, Skyler Stonestreet, the Cars, and the list goes on. People can hear parts of many different artists but can’t pin us down to a distinct sound besides Indie Rock.”
Kiss Me Deadly is an indie pop-rock band from Cleveland who are releasing their latest album “What You Do in the Dark” on vinyl next month. They are on a Summer tour which hits Pittsburgh Sunday (6/28) at The Smiling Moose at 8pm. I want to thank Jen Poland (Guitar/Glockenspiel/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
You know, I would be lying if I said I could remember. I know, at first, I bought CDs. I did not grow up in the era of vinyl and only within the last several years have really gotten into the analog quality of a record player. The first CDs I can remember are Madonna, Sheryl Crow, Red Hot Chili Peppers, REM, Michael Jackson, TLC, LL Cool J, Violent Femmes, Led Zeppelin. I was buying music from all over the map mostly starting with what I heard on the radio and eventually branched off into other music.
Your last album bought?
The last vinyl I bought was by an Austin Texas band, Ghost Wolves “Man, Woman, Beast”. I saw them at the Beachland Ballroom (in Cleveland) and really liked their music. I do admit, I really liked the white vinyl they printed it on. The last CD I bought was Brent Kirby and his Luck “Patience Worth” after KMD opened up for his CD release show recently.
Favorite album of all time?
Gosh this is a hard question. There are so many that I like. I guess in the end I always go back to The Beatles. I love all their albums but I think “Sgt. Peppers” is pretty amazing. I love how you can hear the Beatles evolve as musicians through all their industry setting albums but I relate to “Sgt. Peppers” as they introduced the concept album. Their use of a pseudo band name was wildly creative and inspired musical innovation. I love all the different musical influences on the album and it inspires me to keep evolving and to infuse new music from all over. I always hear the roots of The Beatles in all modern music and am not afraid to show my love for them.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
So I bought the vinyl “I’m In You” by Peter Frampton because I thought the cover was super funny. In fact, I bought one from the dollar bin and lost it so I bought another one from the dollar bin. When I finally listened to it, it really was not my style. I still think the cover is funny though.
First concert attended?
Kiss Me Deadly saw both the Pixies and Jane’s Addiction two weeks ago but we frequently go out and see local musicians weekly. We like to support local talent and also study touring musicians so we can learn what they are doing well and maybe incorporate some polish to our own performances.
Favorite concert ever?
My favorite concert ever was actually in Pittsburgh when I saw Everclear, Soul Coughing, and a pre-Fergie Black Eyed Peas when they played Bender Theater. I was kinda young at the time but it still remains as one of the best concerts I ever saw. The Black Eyed Peas, at that time, had a group of African women singers, instead of Fergie, and they all dressed in authentic African wardrobes. Maybe Fergie helped them to break big, but I remember them as quite amazing at the show.
Least favorite concert?
Whelp, this is what we call the “Ordeal in Cordele”. A couple of years ago, bassist Evan Lieberman and I were traveling through Cordele, GA and happened upon an outdoor concert erected upon a flatbed trailer outside some sort of establishment. There was a beer stand and a fruit stand giving away giant slices of watermelon. On the stage stood the laziest band you ever saw. The guitarist and the bassist were standing back to back and looked like they were leaning on each other just to stay upright on stage. The music was lackluster, to say the least, and some random guy from the crowd had gone up onstage to start singing in a microphone. I was so disappointed and I scanned the outdoor scene to see pregnant women drinking and smoking, baby strollers at the bar, and then I saw the fresh fruit stand. I thought to myself “this is why they are giving away this watermelon!!! The band is so bad, they want the audience to throw it at them!”. So, I took a giant piece of watermelon and I got the attention of the lousy random who was now barking into the microphone and I threatened to throw this watermelon at him. He then lifted his shirt and pointed at his chest. The watermelon was so big, I had to crack it in half to get a good throw. I broke it in two and blindly threw half over my shoulder behind me as I wound up and threw the other half at the singer. It smashed him square in the solar plexus. Meanwhile, Evan watched as the piece I had haphazardly discarded over my shoulder landed near one of the pregnant, smoking and drinking women. She seemed to think this watermelon piece landed too close to the baby carriage she had at the bar. She rallied a group of people who mobilized towards me while I dodged the watermelon covered singer who had jumped off the stage and is trying to force feed me watermelon. I don’t even know what is happening behind me as Evan grabs my hand and quickly runs us away. We jump into the car and split as the mobilized group pursues us. I say “Hey, if you are gonna have such a crappy band play a concert, don’t give out free fruit and not expect the audience to use it”.
Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Have some friends who live in Pittsburgh, I have seen concerts there, and have played there once with another band.I think the music scene is pretty awesome and the view from the top of Washington Hill is beautiful. The only thing I am afraid of is driving the band van on those crazy streets but we have out GPS and are super pumped!!!!
Thanks, Jen. That is hands down the best ‘Least Fave Show’ memory I have ever heard. So bad in fact, it might be considered a ‘Fave Show’ by some people!