Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Meet the fine women of Tart! Sarah and Julia each play guitar (and incidently, are twins). Good friend Lisa drums. Older sister Anna plays bass. All the Tarts sing.

Lisa: I’m totally obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Anna: {others all nodding in agreement} She’s gotten all of us hooked.

Coffee Specs:
Sarah: I’m having a cappuchino.
Julia: I got a steamed milk with hazelnut syrup and a plain donut because I’m going through a plain phase.
Lisa: I got a peppermint tea because I’m sick.
Anna: I didn’t order coffee because I’m a student and a musician and I’m too poor.

{imaginary aside: Did you read that? Go buy a Tart CD and help this smart talented girl maintain her caffeine addiction!}

Your band name — is it a noun or a verb?
Julia: Tart is a noun and an adjective. It depends on the mood we’re in.

Three of you are sisters. I guess you grew up playing music together?
Julia: Nope, we didn’t start playing until we were in college.
Anna: We wanted to be in a band, so we figured we needed to learn to play instruments.
Sarah: We know a really amazing guitar teacher, if you want to learn…

Really? That’s incredible. Did you all fight as kids?
Anna: Hell yeah! We still do!
Sarah: Yeah, we’re more *senstitive* to each other’s feelings now though.

How about your musical influences?
Sarah: Sleater-Kinney, PJ Harvey, Ani DiFranco(looking around table for encouragement; receiving it, she carries on…) Kristin Hersh, Throwing Muses
Lisa: Should we go further back…?
Anna: Yeah. How about John Denver, Fleetwood Mac
Julia:The Beatles, Gordon Lightfoot, Simon and Garfunkel
Anna: Simon and Garfunkel is how we learned harmonies.
Lisa: I’ve also been influenced by some harder stuff… U-2, Guns & Roses, Living Color (laughs). Now I prefer really sparse drummers — like the guy from Modest Mouse, and PJ Harvey’s drummer… I like simplicity and syncopation.

What local artists are sparking your collective interest now?
Sarah: Tart and Lila are boyfriend/girlfriend bands. They are the sweetest boys. They sing on the song “Venus” from our new CD. Plus I’m really loving the Thermals, and Andrea Maxand. Oh, and I really like Sick Bees.
Lisa: Laura Veirs has a new CD coming out soon, and she’s awesome. We used to play in a punk band called RAIR KX together in college… which is really funny, since she’s all folksy-alt-country now.
Anna: I love Rosie Thomas.
Juila: I just recently discovered Mirah and I’m really liking her music.

How does your song-writing process work?
Julia: We all write the songs. It’s a different formula for each song — sometimes someone has a riff, or someone else has a lyric… often with Sarah and I it’s serendipitous. Sarah and I will have two parts that go-together perfectly. It’s a twin thing.
Sarah: We’ve been doing more collaborative writing lately…
Anna: …so we all share the writing credit.

One last question: how do you girls feel about karaoke?
Sarah: I did it once on my 21st birthday and it sucked.
Julia: I did it once and I’ll never do it again.
Lisa: I don’t feel strongly about it. I do love Rockaroake though.
Anna: I haven’t done it in years. It was cheesy-coutre about five years ago… hey, I think I just coined a new phrase! Anyhow, now I just go bowling.