If you’ve been following Punksburgh, you already know that I fell hard for the band Garter Shake when I saw them play at Ladyfest, so I had to track Jenn down for an inquisition.
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?
Hmmm. Tough to say just one. I really want to play guitar like Carrie Brownstein. And, Kathleen Hanna‘s fierceness and fearlessness and brilliance and sense of humor has been really important to me just in getting through life sometimes.
What is your favorite piece of merch that you own?
It’s actually merch from a local comic. He does a joke about how guys can’t really catcall each other. So, it’s a t-shirt of what he says guys would say which is, “Hey, man – cool butt”. It’s pretty amazing because we joke a lot about butts in my group of friends and bandmates. Because we’re 10.
Tell us one thing about the Pittsburgh music scene that could be better and one thing about the scene that you love.
We need some major improvement in PGH music in diversity, and I mean that in a few ways. There’s just way too many shows where everyone on stage is a cis-gendered, Caucasian male, playing a similar genre. And unfortunately, I think that affects who’s in the audience for those shows, and I think that’s really stunting artistically and preventing us from creating a diverse and connected society, which I think we need now more than ever, and in which I think art and music could play a role.
On the other side of that, I’d say from my lens as a woman musician, the thing that I love about the scene the most is that there’s a lot of solidarity and support and positivity that many of us share with each other, and we get out and support each others’ shows. Ladyfest was a great example, and HollyHood‘s PMS (Promoting My Sisters), but you see it all the time at shows year round.
What’s something about you/your band that you think people should know that maybe they don’t?
I keep “joke”-offering to all my bandmates to do a tap-dancing solo in the middle of one of our songs. (I’m not joking.)
If you had to pick only one of your songs for people to listen to, which one would it be?
The Park Plan plays a silly little song called Dudebusters, and it’s just about the dumb stuff dudes do that women have to deal with, like catcalling and mansplaining. I love that my all-male bandmates are so down with it, and our guitarist Joe has one of my all-time favorite comedic moments in the middle of the song. We haven’t recorded it yet, so best come out to a show and see it!
Who would you cast in the movie of your band?
The cast of Glow!
How does your mom/family react to your music? Do they come to your shows?
I send my mom and my aunt & uncle our recordings. They seem to gravitate towards the songs where I’m screaming. Hah!
What band or artist have you seen live the most number of times?
National artist would be Ani DiFranco. I’ve loved her for two decades. Local artist would probably be Brazilian Wax – my favorite local band and also some of my first friends in the local music scene.
What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you at a show as a performer or spectator?
Our Park Plan drummer, Ian, has a very young son who got to see us play for the first time at a music fest last summer. He got away from his grandma and ran up on stage and danced behind us for a good part of our set. Our one and only time having a hype man.
You can see Jenn playing with The Park Pan next Wednesday, July 19th, for a rock ‘n’ bowl at Arsenal Lanes. Make sure you check out their music so you come prepared. Garter Shake’s next show is Friday, August 11th at Howlers with When Particles Collide from Maine. You can find their recent 2 song demo on Bandcamp.
Check out Punksburgh‘s past Inquisitions, too!
Jimmy Bastard (The Bastard Bearded Irishmen)
Joseph Stephen (Eternal Boy)
Tim Little (Playoff Beard / Nightmarathons / Lansbury / The Shutouts)
Rishi Bahl (Eternal Boy)
Donny Donovan (Dinosoul / Hearken)
Ray Kolcun (Crooked Cobras)