The Art of Shooting are one of the most incredible bands that New York has to offer. Fronted by the coolest female singer since Karen O., Kelly Irene and Co. are a band to look out for in the ever growing scene. Last weekend they hit the stage for the second time at the Northside Festival.
Modern Mystery: There are tons of bands in Brooklyn right now. What makes The Art of Shooting stand out from the rest? You DO stand out from the rest.
Kelly Irene, Jim, Julie, and Gavin: Thank you for the compliment. That’s very flattering considering all of the talented bands that are in Brooklyn right now. We love catchy songs as much as the next person, but where’s the emotion? I like to think we bring the emotion back to music. We also have the tendency to genre jump, are willing to keep going no matter the circumstances, a solid sense of humility, and we’ll drive to the midwest to play for cattle.
On a more serious note, I think it’s a concoction nobody’s tried before: blend shoegaze with riot grrl and add some proggy elements for shits and giggles). It’s atmospheric but has strong songwriting; it can be dark and noisy as fuck (“No 12″) or soft and serene (“One Minute Love Song”) or both (“Japanese”).
MM: Being a female vocalist, do you sometimes find it harder to prove yourself musically, to the masses? strong>
Kelly Irene: Oh, yes. Definitely. Without a doubt, I used to try much harder, but lately, as I’ve gotten more comfortable in my skin and musical abilities, I’m not as intimidated or ferocious anymore. The more confident you are in what you’re doing with yourself, the more that radiates and stands on its own. But we are usually the only female oriented band on a bill, and that can be a nice feeling.
MM: Blurt! magazine crowned Kelly the award of “The Most Fucked Up Thing I Have Ever Seen.” How do you feel about that? Does she still have such problems with animals?
Jim: Having been in the band the longest behind Kelly Irene, I can absolutely anoint Kelly the Patron Fucking Saint of Pooches. I have witnessed more crimes-against-person at the paws of canines than I care to mention…we’re talking the widespread destruction of items including her favorite lipstick, drummers’ after-practice-Reuben sandwich, a wallet containing the last of the week’s food money, and a particularly sassy pair of cowboy boots. The fact that she’s lived with two large, mischevious dogs for so long and has not drowned them is a wonder to me…and I’m a dog person.
Kelly Irene: Right now I live with a dog, a cat, and a snake. I share my face and cover art with my dog that I adopted at Barc five yeas ago (Nugget). I’m dedicated to this kind of abuse
MM: How do you write your songs? Is it collaborative or does everyone bring in their own songs and work from there?
Jim: Usually Kelly brings in song ideas and we all work on em, whipping em up into a full-bodied, frothy rock concoction.
MM: What inspires you to write a song? Do you have to be in a certain mood to write a certain kind of song?
Kelly Irene: The tempo that comes out of walking after a really amazing cup of coffee. Breakups, old memories that become old again, and the Little Mermaid.
Jim: Usually I’m inspired to make music when I see another band performing…it usually dredges up the old competitive spirit in me. Also, when i drink.
Gavin: Sometimes drummer Jim won’t lay off the cowbell and I’m inspired to clock him with my headstock. It makes a sound.
MM: Which do you like better, being in the studio/recording process, or playing live on stage?
Kelly Irene: Live, because the rock audience has the shortest attention span and will generally forgive mistakes!
MM: How did you get involved with playing the Northside Festival? Is this your first year?
Kelly Irene: This is our second year. Last year Jezebel Music was nice enough to host us with a band of really great friends including Patrick Bower, Right on Dynamite, and Joe and the Flying Spoons (ex dirty on purpose). It was my favorite show we played last year.
This year we’re hanging out with bands we don’t know as well, but I guess we made a great impression on the Tijuana Gift Shop, since we’ve been asked to play with some killer acts. We also view the Northside Festival as a warmer, friendlier version of CMJ with oftentimes better acts.
Jim: We heard they offer free footwear, that’s how they got us last year. I also view Northside Festival as an opportunity for me to test Heineken’s fortitude as sponsor of free beer at the badge pick-up lounge.