Tonight in Seattle:  

Tart!

Seattle band Tart. Photo by igDana.

Seattle band Tart. Photo by igDana.

Name:
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.

Pre-occupations?
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.

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