Today’s Feature, May 29-30, 2007: Eagle and Talon

January 18, 2008 at 6:24 pm (Today's Feature)

Deep behind the nightlife of Los Angeles sits two of the most
intelligent music makers today. Known as the founders of “leotard
rock”; Eagle and Talon are a high intensity two girl band that
combines strong guitar and powerful drums with cutting edge vocals.
Kim and Alice found each other off Craigslist, which is ironic because
you want to believe these ladies have known each other forever. Like
they were the offspring of Gwen Stefanie and Joey Ramone. As I learned
more about the talent behind Eagle and Talon I am again reminded about
how music is always changing and always evolving. And in this
evolution, Eagle and Talon sit high on their perch watching and being
watched. Their live shows are raw, real and unleashed. With their
latest release, “Eagle and Talon Cares” you get a small sample of what
exactly these two are doing in the face of music. Prepare to be rocked
by their XXQs

XXQs: Eagle and Talon (Kim and Alice)

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How and when did Eagle and Talon begin?

Alice: We began mid-2003. Craigslist (.org)! You wouldn’t think it
though, people always think we’re childhood friends.

PEV: Was music something you both always aspired to do?

Kim: Sort of, it was always in the back of mind. I always knew I’d be
doing music at some point in my life, but it was not what I was
pursuing. I was 17 when I first moved to New York, and I was there
only to pursue a career in musical theatre, which luckily didn’t work
out.

PEV: What exactly is “leotard rock”? And how does it feel to be the founders?

Alice: We’re not sure. Our friend coined it and it seemed appropriate
given one of our member’s styling at the time. That same member has
some ties to the musical theater mafia. Anyway, what we play is maybe
not leotard rock, or maybe it is…well, it feels good to be founders
of something.

PEV: Any influences that helped shape your music?

Kim: I feel like all of one’s experiences influences their art; there
are no particular artists that I feel influenced by. If anything, I am
most influenced by the vast freedom that I received from my parents,
in terms of life decisions as well as creativity.

PEV: What was it like the first time you stepped into a recording studio?

Alice: Very exciting. Felt like we were on the frontier of something.
I hadn’t slept all night because I was so excited. We made a big deal
of the whole thing: got up early and called each other to make sure
neither of us slept in, Kim picked me up, ate a hearty breakfast. Kim
kept singing, “Today is my big day” in her scary man’s voice. I have
to say though, recording turned out to be way harder than I thought it
would be. It’s another whole art unto itself. I didn’t fully
understand that until after we did it. The learning curve was steep.

PEV: What can fans expect from your debut EP “Eagle and Talon Cares”?

Kim: They can expect just the two of us playing in a stripped down
state, the way it is in practice. It sounds pretty close to what we
sound like naturally, in that it’s a raw, stripped down recording.
Over-production frightens me so, our EP reveals both of our fears of
sounding like an over-done record with too many layers. I feel like
this makes it more personal; I always liked records where you feel
like you’re in the studio with the artist.

PEV: What was the first live Eagle and Talon performance like?

Alice: Che disastro! We played a friend’s CD release show on
Valentine’s Day. We understood nothing about the amount of time it
takes to load our gear, eat and get to a gig on time. We showed up one
hour late (somehow allowing ourselves to stop for sushi on the way)
and didn’t get why everyone was seemed irritated with us. We switched
guitars on every song because they were all in alternative tunings and
we got me sister to volunteer to guitar tech, but she had to run out
of the room to retune between every song because we were using one of
those acoustic tuners that picked up all the room noise. Bad, bad
scene. Some bands are known for their raw energy or like crazy stage
antics or something, but for a long time we were just these two weird
girl rockers with loud drums and acoustic guitars plagued by an
endless season of technical difficulties. Not a glamorous time. But
things are better now, so there’s some comfort in that.

PEV: What can people expect from a live Eagle and Talon show?

Kim: Anything. Nothing is streamlined enough yet that we can even
predict how a show is going to play out. Sometimes we bring people on
stage, sometimes we don’t. We try and play with Andrew Jeffords from
Anchors for Architects as often as possible, he plays live with us and
he is truly an incredible performer and guitar player. We adore him

PEV: What is something we’d be surprised to hear about Eagle and Talon?

Alice: That Alice is the mean one in the band. That we’re both super
anal about stuff.

PEV: When you aren’t writing or performing, what can we find you both doing?

Kim: We go to a lot of local shows; the east LA music scene is a very
supportive and unpretentious community. I’ve also been doing a lot of
really bad baking lately.

PEV: How has life on the road been?

Alice: Awesome. So much fun I kept thinking something must be wrong.
But then again I tend not be the optimist (because I can’t handle
disappointment). Yeah, life on the road could be grueling, but felt
very right at the same time. It’s fun to be a nomad and wake up in a
different city every few days. It’s also nice to have a purpose while
traveling. That’s my favorite kind of travel, mission-based, and when
your mission is music, even better. We were also lucky to be traveling
with an amazing group of people. We had a tour manager who managed not
to kill us, and Sia’s crew was comprised of totally good magical
people. Can’t wait to do it again.

PEV: If Saturday Night Live calls you to be the musical guest, who do
you want as the host?

Kim: Reggie Watts. One of the most amazing artists (comedian/musician)
you’ll ever see.

PEV: It’s not often you see a band fronted by two girls. Has that been
difficult for people to accept?

Alice: Not at all. People are innately curious about females rocking
out. I think they’re surprised our music is as agro as it is at times,
maybe they expect something a little more pretty sounding. But no, in
general people are extremely supportive.

PEV: What is the hardest part about breaking into the mainstream music?

Kim: We’re not doing that; I wouldn’t know anything about that.

PEV: Which city do you think offers the best environment for music right now?

Alice: Not sure. LA has always been super-saturated with musicians,
but I think it has a great music scene right now if you know where to
look (check out our links for some leads). Both of us have considered
the possibility of spending some time in New York.

PEV: Describe your creative process. Do you like to write at certain
times of the day? Or in certain places?

Kim: Writing happens in classrooms, airplanes, practice, wherever. If
you write music, then music is happening at all times, it’s just a
matter of when you bother to squeeze it out of you. Alice is my best
tool for that, when we haven’t written a new song in a while she
starts treating me like a wet sponge

PEV: What is a normal day like for Eagle and Talon?

Alice: Depends on who and when you ask. Kim used to be in school and
was writing papers all the time. I used to spend a lot of time in
coffee shops, nursing a pastry addiction and working on website stuff.
I still waitress part-time. We practice twice a week, one rehearsal
happens in my bedroom, the other one in an actual practice space where
we can actually be loud, and we’ll meet other times to figure out life
and future and stuff. These days we spend a lot of time plotting how
to get our album recorded. It looks like we’ll start tracking next
week…

PEV: Having played on the east and west coast, what is the major difference?

Kim: The east coast is simply harder in there tastes, it seems. Which
works for us, when we’re there but, most of the time we’re here and
the LA music scene is a little soft for us. People are drawn more
towards sounds that are more easy listening, which we are not. My move
to the west coast was planned to be temporary and then I met Alice.
I’m continually trying to convince her to move back to New York with
me. But, LA has been very good to us, so I can’t complain

PEV: Was there any performance or show that stuck out in your mind as
a favorite or most memorable?

Alice: We played a show at a gelato shop in LA called Scoops about a
year and a half ago. It was small and not really a venue, but there
was something kind of magical about that place and that time period.
We put up this crazy floral sheet and Christmas lights and passed out
all these homemade percussion instruments, Kim’s mom was in town. I
don’t know, we were still super rough around the edges but there was
something in the air…hard to explain but some nights are just
charmed like that – you can feel it when you step into the room, even
non-psychic types like me.

PEV: So, what is next for Eagle and Talon?

Kim: We’re a couple of weeks away from starting to record our first
full-length, due out late summer or fall. And U.S. touring will
definitely be happening shortly after the release!

To find out more information on Eagle and Talon, check out:
http://www.EagleandTalon.com

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