List the names of every band that you’ve ever played in ever.
What was the artist, album, or song that inspired you to play/write music?
I think I always wanted to play and write music. Growing up, I was surrounded by (mostly rock) music and that seemed to me to be the best way to express oneself. When I was a young teenager I got really, REALLY into The Smashing Pumpkins. Soon after that, I started playing guitar (and then bass guitar) so that I could make music and be in a band someday. D’Arcy Wretzky (the original bassist from The Smashing Pumpkins) sparked my interest in playing bass. She was cool, and I loved how she brought a classical element to the instrument yet still was able to rock.
Down the road, I was introduced to instrumental rock music and drone music (thanks, Trevor!) and that is what really inspires me now. William Slater of Grails is such an inspiration for driving, moody bass lines (he really knows how to set a tone with bass); and Al Cisneros (Sleep, OM) is an inspiration for bass intensity!
What is your favorite piece of merch that you own?
I have a signed poster from The Smashing Pumpkins (Machina: The Machines of God-era). The signing was awkward and amazing for 16-year-old me. I have other SP-related tickets in the frame – some signed, some not. I’m not really into the band anymore, but it’s definitely my favorite piece of merch!
Tell us one thing about the Pittsburgh music scene that could be better and one thing about the scene that you love.
One thing that could be better is more people getting out to more shows and really encouraging the artists that they like.
One thing about the scene that I love is that there are so many great bands and artists here. Every night of the week there’s an interesting show (or two or three)!
What’s something about you/your band that you think people should know that maybe they don’t?
I think people should know – and if they listen and watch they probably do! – that we really love making music. Making music with The Long Hunt, to me, is about digging deep into emotions and the psyche and alchemizing them into sounds. It may not seem like fun when I say it that way, but it is really cathartic and enjoyable!
Also, I’m a huge fan of the writings of Tolkien and all things Middle-earth!
If you had to pick only one of your songs for people to listen to, which one would it be?
That’s hard! For The Long Hunt, right now I’d pick “Ground of Being.” We plan to record it for our next album, but you can see us play it live and on a video we made. It really illustrates our minimalist, droning, and psychedelic style.
For Emily Rodgers Band, I’d pick “In the City” because it’s a sparse and beautiful song that really showcases each of the band members’ styles.
Who would you cast in the movie of your band?
In the soon-to-be-released movie of The Long Hunt (just kidding) I cast actors based on vibes rather than looks. So, Trevor would be played by Neil deGrasse Tyson (did you know he is making movies now?). Mark would be played by Conan O’Brien (they also happen to be about the same height). And me? I’d be honored to be played by Claire Foy (love them-there BBC movies!). Though if Scully (me), Mulder (Trevor), and Skinner (Mark) did better at the screen test, we’d go with them in a heartbeat.
How does your mom/family react to your music? Do they come to your shows?
My parents have always been incredibly supportive of my music. They definitely have come out to plenty of shows near and far! Sadly, my mom passed away a few years ago but the thought of her is still a source of support musically. My dad is still always listening to our music, telling us to “Rock On” in person or via text, and coming out to our shows as often as he can.
What band or artist have you seen live the most number of times?
Definitely, The Smashing Pumpkins (and any of their offshoots). There’s so many bands right here in Pittsburgh, though, that we see as much as we can: Horehound, Monolith Wielder, Jakethehawk, Action Camp, and Old Game to name just a few.
What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you at a show as a performer or spectator?
Several years ago, I was playing a small festival show with Emily Rodgers Band. Afterwards, Trevor and I were walking around looking at the artisan booths. A man shyly approached us. He explained that he really liked the show and thought the music was beautiful. He was very nice. He reached out to shake my hand and said to me, “I really enjoyed your bass lines. Where did you get them? Your Dad?”
That was the craziest – and funniest – thing that has ever happened to me as a performer. He was so serious, and there was no way to answer (I mean, yeah, my dad plays a mean air bass (!) …but you know, I didn’t actually inherit my bass lines from him and he didn’t write them for me). Years later, Trevor and I still have such fun with this (and we’ve created a whole mythos for how I got my bass lines).
You can hear Allison playing with The Long Hunt today (Monday, October 16th) live, in-studio on the Advanced Calculus radio show at 9pm. Tune in locally to 88.3 or stream it online at WRCT.org. Make sure to check their website soon to find out about their upcoming shows in November. You can catch Allison and the Emily Rodgers Band this Friday, October 20th at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern with Ploughman’s Lunch.
Allison is also starting a blog that focuses on the intersection of music and the mind from a musician/social worker’s perspective. Writing is in progress now, with the first post scheduled for late 2017. Stay tuned!