Taryn: I sing and play tambourine.
Paul: I play Keys, sing from time to time and write songs.
Stephen: I play bass, sing, drive and post things on social media.
Johnny : I’m on the drums and I’m the chief procrastinator
Why did you pick your band name? How did you form?
Paul: Many years ago NighTraiN had a show at the old Funhouse. They asked Aaron Morgan and Alex Upton if they wanted to play that show, even though neither of them had a band at that point. Of course they said “Yes”…who says “No” to that offer? So Aaron asked me if I wanted to try to put a band together in two weeks. I agreed. Like I said, who says “No” to that? We wrote a bunch of songs, practiced a few times and played the show. It was fun, so we kept at it. Now we are the greatest band on the planet.
Stephen: I was at that show it was great. There was a long droning jam at the end that eventually resolved into “Sunglasses at Night”. Aaron left the band about 4 years ago, I auditioned for his spot after he spent the previous evening showing me how to play the songs.
Taryn: I was asked by the band about five years ago if I wanted to sing for the band. I said, Hell yes.
How do you describe your music to people?
Taryn: I consistently use a quote that someone said about us, we sound like the Ronettes backed by Devo.
Paul: Pop Punk, but with 100% more keys and 1000% less guitars.
Johnny: I really go out of my way to avoid describing the sound. If people are curious and you give them a label then they stop being curious once that label is in the brain or worse, they lose interest. I push them to listen and make that determination for themselves.
Stephen: The music playing in Godzilla’s head when he fights Mothra.
What are your songs about?
Taryn: Monsters, love and loss, sex, murder and mayhem
Paul: Like life, our songs run the gambit between relationship problems and getting attack by monsters.
Stephen: They’re a survival guide to modern life in Seattle. Also monsters.
What is Wiscon working on right now?
Taryn : We just recorded our first political song called “My First Day” which is a song about what we would do if we were president. We are putting the song and video out on January 20th and all proceeds of the song will go to The Southern Poverty Law Center. We will be collecting funds for 100 days after the Inauguration. We will also be putting out our second song and video from our Trilogy, “Closet Light.”
What are you looking forward to the most for Wiscon this year?
Paul: Doing something good with our music with “My First day.” Rocking the planet with the rest of our releases this year…and, of course, writing new hits.
Johnny: This is the completion of my first full year with the band, and even though I’ve been a fan long before then, for me these past 12 months have been about finding my niche within the group. Going into the future I’m feeling a stronger foundation as a fourth of Wiscon and am seeing some clear paths forward to a lot of exciting performances and opportunities.
Taryn: All of the possibilities, playing outside of Seattle, making more videos, meeting new bands and enjoying making music with people I respect and care about.
Stephen: We’ve got some good shows booked already (Dancing on the Valentine!) hopefully we can schedule some time to record some more solid-gold A-side hit singles.
Taryn: Punk n rock n’ roll. My ancestors.
Paul: Screeching Weasel, The Screamers, Tears for Fears, John Carpenter and weird 1960’s synthesizer records…(I’m looking at you Moog: The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman.)
Stephen: Therapy? Kerbdog, Iron Maiden, YouTube videos where they test fuzz pedals.
Johnny: R.E.M., They Might Be Giants, Talking Heads, Better Than Ezra. A considerable amount of 80’s and 90’s college rock stuff. Impressionable sounds from my childhood like Boston, Bob Seger, Duran Duran. The first few Tune Yards albums hit me pretty hard. I discovered some Staxx material a few years ago. And always most classical music. Gioachino Antonio Rossini, Frédéric François Chopin. I’ll listen to that all day.
Gear questions: For the gear obsessed.
Paul: I love guitar gear. I’m super into it, so this could be a very long list. Some of favorite Pedals are: Boss Dual Overdrive (I’ve had at least one of these since ’96), DOD Echo FX, MXR Blue Box, BS/SS Team Awesome Fuzz machine and the OBNE procession.
I don’t have one, but I would love to have a Roland Juno 60.
Johnny: Not partial to any particular gear. Not really a tech level drummer. If it sounds good to my ear I’ll bang around on it. Granted, I could probably use some schooling, but still. Try to at least maintain a four piece set up. Too many toms and cymbals drive me crazy, quantity wise. I’ll fill like crazy sometimes but maintaining a bit of austerity is preferable
Stephen: I’ve not found a better fuzz pedal than the Musket by Blackout Effectors, but I’m still looking. The Eau Claire Thunder by Dwarfcraft comes really close (especially on bass), they also sound good together. I also love Devi Ever’s stuff for over the top uncontrollable crazy noise nonsense.
For amps – my Orange Terror Bass head sounds amazing and you can pick it up with one hand. I don’t use it in this band but my favorite amp is a custom build from Verellen, it has a great “chime” and it looks cool.
Upcoming shows we should put on our calendars?
Taryn: Dancing on the Valentine on Feb. 10th at the Crocodile
Wiscon with Dumb Thumbs at The Central Saloon Feb. 24th
March 11th we are opening for Gilbraltar, and also with HLAK at Barboza
Stephen: We’ll put more shows on our website www.wisconseattle.com when they’re confirmed.
Any side projects/music collaborations happening?
Taryn: My other project is Sessions of She, a monthly showcase that highlights womyn in Art, Music and Comedy.
Paul: I compose music and play live guitar for a band called “Ghosts in the Graveyard.” We’re a very “80’s” sounding new wavy shock rock band.
Stephen: I can be found singing what I think sounds like Morrissey in various karaoke bars in the 206 area.