Hallo Children! And welcome to my first ever Singer Sessions | with Brooklyn based singer Erin Pellnat.
A few months back I sat down with new artist Erin Pellnat, of the band Caretaker, as we chatted about what it’s like to build a band from scratch, making your own solo music along the side, and trying to create a name for yourself as a new artist, in a city where everyone else is trying to do the exact same thing. Thing is tho, I saved all those Deep Meaningful music questions for an interview I am doing for The Famous Company. Over on my blog, I wanted to get to know Erin a little bit, ask her some random questions to bring out her humanity. So I decided to have fun with the questions I asked her– delving into random nonsense that I’ve always wanted to ask my favorite singers. ONWARD!
Ooh. That is really tough, I have written so many songs. I think my favorite song that I’ve written so far is called, “Monogram.” … The line that monogram is in— it says: ‘you save me for your monogram but you don’t want me in your waking life.’ And so, its kind of about people who will use you to get ahead… people who will use your name, for their own advantages, but they don’t [actually] want to be around you. It’s kind of a love song, and it’s also like this really dark— I basically just felt, like I was used by a person … who would use me just to get ahead, but, doesn’t [really] want me in their life. I also just really liked the song musically. I really like the end— it’s got this great outro that’s … really intense. It’s got like a little bit of a Radiohead vibe— I’m very excited about it.
2. So tell me about a cool spot in New York City—
I’ll go [anywhere] for the music, really … [so] Trans-Pecos [DIY music venue] … always have lots of really cool events. They do a lot of art stuff too— I guess it’s not just music, it’s kind of everything. And there’s a really awesome backyard hang, and they have dance stuff too, they have a lotta electronic [stuff], they’re just really well rounded. And … I mean it’s DIY so its got that … vibe to it. Cuz a lot of the DIY venues are shutting down— which is this huge bummer … there’s this one place that everybody goes now, for dancing— and… I used to go there all the time but now its so popular that its like, so difficult to go— so … I kinda feel like there’s no where to dance any more? Which sucks ‘cause I love dancing— but I guess people could go to Three Diamond Door [bar] for dancing, or Madtropical which is down the street … oh! They can go to Kinfolk 94! That is in Williamsburg. Saturdays— excuse me— that’s a crazy dance party.
3. So what has been the hardest past about you’re journey as a new artist?
Finding out where I fit. because, growing up in high school, in middle school, in elementary school, all they really offer you is show tunes or arias. So you kind of have to do like, the high school play and chorus, or this one group we had called Singswing, where you just do chorus versions of these Jazz standards. It was fun it was cool and it was what we had so I did it, but when I left high school I had no idea where I fit in, so I ended up majoring in Opera, which was the complete wrong call! I am not an opera singer, but I can sing, so I just did it. And then it was clear that I am not an opera singer, so I dropped out. And then, I thought about doing musical theater, but I’m not a theater person either— I don’t have an ounce of that personality in me, I’m just not that person. And so then I ended up starting a rock band, that actually was a funk cover group, and I realized well yah, I can belt the sh** out of this sh**, and I have soul, and I can really sing, so thats the kind of stuff I should be doing, [so] then I decided to go back to school for Jazz … the worst thing was that I ever knew where I fit in until now. And I’m 28. So just, bouncing around— I finally found my own voice, but it took so long, because there’s no class offered for being a rock singer… you just do it! So no one ever pointed me, and I didn’t know where to go, so that’s the hardest part about being a [new artist], was not knowing what kind of singer I was.
4. You have a very punk rock vibe, your head is mostly shaved, you’re covered in tats, where do you get your style inspo from?
Honestly? I don’t know. I just know what I like. I know [right now] I’m wearing all black, but I’m actually obsessed with rainbows and sh**. So I wear a ton of rainbows and iridescent things. I have like a 60 shoe sneaker collection—I don’t know that I got it from anything, I just never wanted to look like anyone else. So I’ve had this haircut for like, 4 years, ‘cause as soon as I did it I was like, “It’s the one. It’s the one.” You know you go through so many hair cuts in life, and then you’re like ehh, I’m over this. I’m sick of this … ah it’s changing again as it’s getting longer. I should cut it again. I don’t know … I’m obsessed with [this hair style]. Just ‘cause it embodies everything that I want to be. Also, I have such a dude inner self— I don’t identify as a dude or anything, I’m a straight woman, but I have a lot of— dude energy, so I’m with the kind of androgynous look. I like androgyny, and that’s also maybe where the sneaker thing comes from, because I like to feel strong. and I feel like sneakers kind of keep you grounded in a way. I don’t like a lot of heels, sometimes I wear them, but barely ever. Generally, even if I wear a really s*xy dress, I’ll wear sneakers. So where do I get it? I don’t know, I just know what I like. And I know how I wanna feel, and how I wanna come across.
5. What is an insecurity that you have, especially as a new artist?
I do feel like, as a musician, working with [other musicians] they will think that I’m not as good a musician. so I’m constantly asking “oh, what do you guys think? Do you think this is good?” I doubt myself, because I think that they doubt me. So that is why collaborating with musicians is difficult… I mean, I’m not difficult to collaborate with, it’s just that I don’t put my foot down enough at all, because I doubt myself constantly.
6. So what is something about the world that you wish you could change?
Are we going there?
Yup. We are.
Alright, well if I could change anything about the world, I would … legalize marijuana.
Because it’s medicinal. It helps a lot of people. A lot of people. And it will help to shut down the pharmaceutical industry. Not shut them down, I don’t want to shut them down, there’s a lot of great medicine out there, but they’re making a lot of money off a lot of stuff that they don’t have any right making money off of.
Yah! Lot’s of stuff, lots of horrible pill addictions going on. And other addictions. I don’t know, [legalizing marijuana] would be a step in the right direction.
7. Is there a line that you will not cross in the entertainment world?
Yes. I just don’t want to feel demoralized, ever. I mean it’s really case by case of course— I’m open about sexuality and things like that, I have no problem with any of that. But if I feel like I am being presented in a way that I don’t agree with, then I wouldn’t do it… I think that as long as I am comfortable with what I am being asked to do, I will absolutely do it. But if I feel uncomfortable about something, then I will not…I’m very open you know? So I’ll tell you anything you wanna know, and I’ll dress any way you want me to dress. Maybe I won’t show my kooch, but maybe I will…I’m not [closed to the idea]— it just depends on the context. You know what I mean? Art. Not something else.
8. What are some of your favorite singers that you can recommend to the readers?
That’s a band? The Internet?
Oh yah. Check them out, They’re amazing. Fronted by this chick, Sid, who also just put out her own albums, it’s also very good, Sid The Kid.
Thank you so much Erin for being on the blog! All photographs taken with permission from Erin’s Instagram.
Check out Caretaker’s new single Swallow on Spotify!
That’s all loves.
Any new artist you’ve been loving recently?
Leave their name down in the comments so I can check them out!