Every once in a while you hear a song that just grabs you, and doesn’t let you go until you’ve played it 100 times and forces you to find out what you can about the band. This happened to me when I stumbled across “Go Home” by Summer Cannibals off their debut release for Kill Rock Stars. Couple months go by and I was finally able to catch up with Jessica Boudreaux before she flew into Los Angeles and as the band is prepping for their first tour in Europe.
BT: I was floored hearing “Go Home” it reminded me a bit of bands like Veruca Salt, The Breeders, and That Dog, with the power of a band like the Vandals. As a songwriter and guitarists, who did you lean on to learn from?
Jessica: You know I kind of just discovered “Rock Music” probably four years ago when I started the band. I haven’t been in it for that long. I feel like it helped me because it was all so exciting and new. I love the Pixies, listen to it a ton, but also started listening to Black Sabbath and more punk stuff like The Fall. Then newer bands like the Savages, their live shows were such and inspiration for the band and how we do the live set.
BT: Your sound, if it can be described as a throwback at all is really driven by your guitar tones, what sort of gear are you using, and how did you come about “finding” your sound.
Jessica: It wasn’t too hard, it came pretty quick. A big thing for me personally, the band started and it was like “Fuzz.” I think there’s like two songs where there isn’t fuzz on the guitars. But I use this UFO fuzz pedal and I keep that on all the time, and Death By Audio they have a pedal called a fuzz war and that’s what I use when I solo. I kind of found that combination by accident, but that was the first combination of fuzz pedals that I used for rhythm and having the second one on for soloing. I kind of just came really naturally. I do a lot of recording and I feel like there’s an ear for it to a certain extent.
BT: You’ve said in other interviews that you like to write thematically, with the record being on vinyl in mind. How does that help you put the songs together?
Jessica: I like to listen to records, and when I listen to a record that feels well put together, and when side a makes sense on its own and then side b makes sense on its own, and when you put them together it becomes a cohesive record, to me there’s a lot of power in that. I know it’s not something that a lot of people do, they just download singles, but to me, if a person is buying vinyl they’re like me, and they like the experience of it and they like listening to the record as a whole. They like exploring bands and I want cater what we do to those people. The people who want to pay $20 for a limited edition vinyl and they want to sit down and listen to it, to me it makes it more of an experience. So I just like to consider it when I’m putting the record together.
BT: How has your fan base reacted to your style?
Jessica: I think well, we sell more vinyl than anything else. I think that has more to do with being so small, we’re such a small band, but to be able to sell the amount of vinyl that we do means a lot to me and I would hope that the people who bought the last records would expect us to make a good whole record. I don’t know if that plays into the number of vinyl that we sell, but I think that the people that are buying are actually listening to it as a whole and that’s cool.
BT: “Full of It” is your third record, and first for Kill Rock Stars, the last two records you did on your own, do you find it easier with help now?
Jessica: Oh my god yeah, totally. The record came out in May and it was a totally different experience, not doing it on our own. It’s given us more time to focus on the live set, given me more time to write. We’re recording a new record in December. That’s been really nice because the less of the focus has been on the work and the business for me and more focused on the creative work. With signing with Kill Rock Stars, we signed a booking agent, because I was putting out the records, dealing with that getting out the orders and booking our tours, so having all of that off my back has been amazing.
BT: You’re getting ready to go to Europe. What are you looking forward to the most about going over there?
Jessica: All of it (laughs) I think we’re in Spain for six days and I’m really excited about that. I’ve never been there recreationally, I’ve never been out of the country. So I’m like a little scared, but I’m excited to see it and we’re playing with the Wedding Present for a lot of it and they’re great and I’m looking forward to that. Also, when we tour here, we drive ourselves and I tour manage but over there we will have a tour manager and a person who drives and that’s like huge for us because we won’t have to argue after the show about who is going to drive. I’m looking forward to all of it.