Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Farewell to Brooklyn's Corita

Monday evening I had the pleasure of Gchatting with Marisha (guitar/vox) from the band Corita.  She, along with Eleanor (guitar/vox), Aileen (bass/vox), and Nick (drums), will be closing out the 5/8/13 Hearts Bleed Radio show at Cake Shop.  We're are super excited to have them on the bill, but before we got to talking music, we felt it necessary to tackle the day's depressing news...   

Hearts Bleed Radio: Hey. Crazy shit today, huh?

Marisha:  Yeah, it's so sad and weird. WTF? I had a friend I just discovered was running the marathon, a girl from my college radio station. But she's OK. And I felt a little freaked out, working across the street from the Empire State Bldg and passing under GCT twice a day on the subway.

HBR:  I remember like, watching the marathon as a kid. It's like someone bombed the Macy's Thanksgivings Day parade to me. Did you see a lot of cops and security around today?

Marisha:  Kind of. I heard a lot of helicopters hovering around. I felt a little on edge anytime I heard a siren. I lived in NYC during 9/11 so I get a little flashbacky.

HBR:  All my Bostonian friends are accounted for, I think... The nice thing about Facebook is that like, the second it happened, everyone started popping up in my news feed, "I'm OK, I'm OK."

Marisha:  Oh OK. Yeah social media really makes everything immediate. Good and bad news. I'm glad all of your friends are safe and alright.

HBR: I mean, I guess we'll get past it.

Marisha:  I also stayed in that area during a conference so I know exactly where that is. Yes, the news cycle moves all too quick...

HBR:  Glad all your people are ok too.... Yeah, it's a pretty centralized and populated area.

Marisha:  Thanks. The interview hasn't started yet, has it?

HBR:  I don't know. I think we should include some of that, like, it feels better than just ignoring it.

Marisha:  Ok, sure. It's not something to ignore, surely all of these things make up the collective unconscious, or what's on our minds. you can't ignore context of something like this happening in the world on a certain day and time and part of the world.

HBR:  It's kinda how everyone's conversations are starting today. But let's get to band stuff.

Marisha:  Of course. Now on to more happy thoughts.

Corita will let you continue down the hall...  If you can answer a riddle.

HBR:  Corita has a familiar texture to it. How would you describe your sound? I see it as kinda a quasi-shoegaze indie-pop. Or whatever that means.

Marisha:  That sounds accurate to me. I think some of the pedals we've sought out are an intention to pay homage to the bands we love and shoegaze is certainly among our influences but not all of it. And most of us have a love of indiepop or some kind of indiepop upbringing.

HBR:  Do you guys all come from common musical background? Grow up listening to the same stuff?

Marisha:  More or less, we overlap quite a lot in our love of 90s indierock. though our drummer Nick has quite different influences -- he's from the Pacific Northwest and is a punk, metal dude. Eleanor and I found out we knew quite a few of the same indiepop people without realizing we were traveling in the same circles. Aileen was on the typical girls mailing list with Eleanor. Aileen and Eleanor and I were around the Riot Grrrl scene, though Eleanor was really involved much more than I was. I remember Aileen was thanked in the liner notes of the Delta 5 reissue and that kind of blew my mind when it occurred to me that this awesome music person I admired agreed to play music with me. Maybe it will make her blush, but Eleanor and I were in awe of her from afar for having amazing taste and for playing in very cool bands before and being an excellent bass player. I think what works though is that we all have pretty different backgrounds and perspectives. That being said, this show is our penultimate show!

HBR:  A lot of drummers are into punk and metal, like, I think there's a better appreciation of the drums in those genres, so drummers kinda gravitate to it. I mean, I can't name most of the drummers from bands I really like. You guys have been together for awhile, right? When did the band start?

Marisha:  Yeah, I'm grateful we have a more hardcore sound to our drums from someone into punk and metal because we definitely want to sound powerful - and be powerful! It gives the band a harder energy that makes it more punky indiepop, or edgier shoegaze. The band started in the Fall of 2008, and we played our first show in May 2009. First at Fontana's and then a benefit concert at Cake Shop to raise money and awareness for musicians with hearing loss for a media studies graduate school project on nonprofit campaigns. I had been playing with Nick before in Polar Bear Parade and Rattus Rattus. I was introduced to Eleanor at the Oneida show at South Street Seaport in August 2008
Aileen was there too. That's where Aileen and I recruited Eleanor to jam with us. It was kind of perfect meeting at a free Oneida show outdoors on a summer's day by the water. Being our penultimate show makes me feel... well, so many different feelings really!

HBR:  I mean, you gotta be a little sad, having been together so long...

Marisha:  Excited for the future, nostalgic for our greatest hits, regretful of not having had more potential, it's a complicated thing, but Aileen has an amazing opportunity with The Space Merchants - who YOU MUST SEE as soon as possible, they're really something. The band was started by Mike Guggino from Mount Olympus, who are also epic and grand. And Nick plays in the Yakima Nation with his long, long time friend and collaborator Sharif, who's Eleanor's boyfriend. Sad, yes, definitely a bit sad, too. Though these other projects are awesome, and yes, Eleanor and I will have the opportunity to invent a new project, which is fun and liberating. The act of creating and destroying is quite healthy in art. It's important to challenge yourself and evolve and not cling too tightly to the past. I'm inspired and comforted by artists and the lives they lived, and most of the best ones weren't afraid of change. I'm sure I was in a similar boat when my previous bands ended but it's all a nice progression when you have 5 or 10 years hindsight to see how much you've grown from those experiences and the people you've gotten to work with, places you've played, people you've played for and so on.

Corita, in motion.  Separately together.

HBR:  Do you guys write as a group?

Marisha:  Yes, we write as a group. Partly out of the principle of a democratic process, partly because our studio time is when most of us play our instruments (I should practice my guitar lessons at home more!). Aileen is great at bringing in parts. The organic production during our time together is social and gets a bit into our current mood or thoughts at the time. Like when Eleanor came back from LA, we wrote a song about LA. Or something going on with us at that time. It's therapeutic that way, too, to share these autobiographical moments. It's not very time efficient, but then we tend to come up with these ideas quickly and polish parts and organize the song structure over time. My friend Jed would record voice mails to himself with song ideas--I aspire to that level of spontaneous musical genius some day.

HBR:  "Remember That You Will Die" starts off with a feel kinda like the other songs on Bandcamp, but it has a very kinda punk-y and sharp section. How did that come together?

Marisha:  RTYWD is from one of these current mood, autobiographical moments because Eleanor worked at an art museum at that time that had an exhibit on Memento Mori on Eastern art on the theme of death. She was very moved by it and was telling us about it. The idea of freedom from the material world after you die. In the western world, especially in the city, I think we yearn for an absence from the sometimes overwhelming atmosphere of consumer culture and fabrication and superficiality. So yeah, remember that you will die, relax, reflect on whatever is bothering you today and if in the grand scheme of things it's that important... Or if you're ignoring something more important that you'll appreciate at the end of your life... Geez, sorry this interview is getting so serious! But that's why we had to put that faux-metal breakdown in that song because it's a pretty intense topic. And she bought all of us Remember That You Will Die shirts from the museum's gift store, which was adorable.

HBR:  So, 5/8 at Cake Shop... When is your final gig?

Marisha:  Saturday, May 25 at Fort Useless, It's Eleanor's birthday and book release party for her book Grow: How to Take Your DIY Project and Passion to the Next Level and Quit Your Job! http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/3905/

 HBR: Cool, we'll be there!

You can listen to Corita on Bandcamp here.

More info on the show (please RSVP) here.

And you can "like" Hearts Bleed Radio on Facebook, here.

Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you at the show!

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