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the Whistle Stop Interview
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Whistle Stop Rock

Group Interview

By John Keegan

Keegan - Love the WhistleStop tour idea. Who are the bands involved?

Justine - The bands and organizers are, in no particular order - Cold Expectations (JoEllen), Tiger Bomb (Lynda), The Knock Ups (Cat, Gretchen), The Chelsea Curve (Linda), Kid Gulliver (Simone), PowerSlut (Linnea), Field Day (Joan), Heather Rose in Clover (Heather, Lisa), and Justine and the Unclean (Justine).

Keegan - How did the idea evolve, why do you care about it?

Whistle Stop Logo Lisa - I think many of us are equally musicians and music fans alike. That appreciation for other bands who run in the same circles initially connected us together, and some networking discussions started this process. It’s awesome to play live music and even better to play live music with friends, and bands that you enjoy as a fan. I think our bands “fit” well together from both a sonic and a professional standpoint. Pulling this group together allows us to join forces, amplify our message, and all row in the same direction.

Linnea - One day I woke up and saw a Facebook group chat from Simone about wanting to play some shows together. Then it kind of exploded from there!

Linda - (Making loud explosion noise with lots of expressive hand gestures.)

Simone - It was pretty straightforward. I wanted to play/play again with my friends. A lazy attempt at booking that turned into something amazing.

Lynda - I’ve always felt a kinship to other musicians, especially women. After Simone’s suggestion, I thought, “I want Tiger Bomb to be part of a cool collective of women,” and besides, we are becoming more aligned with the Boston music scene each and every week!

Keegan - How did you land on the name?

JoEllen - The longest, funnest back and forth on chat ever. Some highly inappropriate names were enjoyed by all, but this one was the winner.

Lynda - Yeah and our logo fits great with the name, can’t wait to see it on a tee shirt!!!!!!!!

Linnea - Whistle stop references a traveling campaign that goes from city to city. We’re stopping in a handful of different New England cities to bring our campaign of ROCK!

Cold Expectaions
Cold Expectations with JoEllen
Keegan -You have six dates booked through March. What do you all envision as an extended timeline and a total number of dates?

Linnea - New England, East Coast … who knows where this could go?

Simone - I’d like to play in Cleveland.

Lynda - I’m from Detroit area (Justine too) so I’d like to take us there, also maybe someday EUROPE!

Linda - Yeah! All of this! Plus Toronto is on my wish list!

Keegan -Anything in the offing for central and western Ma rockers?

Lisa - We’re suped to be hitting the HiLo in North Adams on April 25th!

Simone - And looking into dates in Northampton, as well.

Keegan - It seems like the local version of a big undertaking. What's the motivation?

Linnea - Much like a band can bring something unique to a song with each player’s individual contributions… when you join forces, you can accomplish new and wonderful things. I’ve never been part of organizing anything on this scale, and it’s been amazing seeing the different strengths we all bring to the group.

Keegan - We're curious about the roles people play behind the scenes.

JoEllen - that’s the secret sauce.

Tiger Bomb
Chris - Tiger Bomb
Lynda - The magic word is “collective.”

Keegan - Who dots the I's and cross the t's?

Lisa - remember the first question you asked about the bands playing this festival? Everyone on that list has been contributing to this effort, digging in on details, doing the hard work, and getting stuff done!

Keegan - Who has the crazy ideas that suddenly seemed feasible?

Simone - What constitutes a crazy idea?

Lynda - Feasible?

Justine - Crazy = Feasible

Keegan - When things fall apart who's the person pull them back together?

Simone - Nothing has fallen apart. At all.

Lynda - We sprinkle fairy dust on everything, then drink martinis.

Keegan -When someone has a meltdown, who is the empath to talk to them off the ledge?

JoEllen - You’re assuming there are meltdowns. Everyone has been very open, honest, and respectful. No melting, no ledges to be talked off of. We’re an autonomous collective, beholden only to ourselves and our bands.

Keegan - This seems to be a case of the "girls coming out of the garage". Did that show plant a seed or serve as a model for this idea? Or what did?

JoEllen - Is that a show reference? I have no clue! Regardless, these girls have been out of the garage for a long time. Because of all of these bands playing out frequently, or infrequently, and genuinely liking the other bands on the tour, the idea of playing out together germinated. And grew really fast. And why not put together a tour of awesome bands? The focus is on *awesome*. Bands are awesome, women know how to get shit done and we’re getting this done, and it will be awesome.

Knock Ups
Cat and Gretchen - The Knock Ups
Lisa - Some of the best music and business is made in a garage. Hell, look where Apple started.

Lynda - I do love the Girls in the Garage comp on Romulan Records. All of these women are extremely hard working and superstars in their own right. I am honored to know the greatness of each and everyone of them. We got together to lift each other up and promote each other’s shows. So why not play shows together and support one another? Boom!

Keegan - How are you choosing the local special guest(s)?

Justine - We are looking for bands that fit loosely in the power-pop-punk genre, who we admire and who can bring in fans. We’re keeping a list of bands who have reached out or who we aspire to play with. If you’re in the region and interested, you can contact us at www. whistlestoprock. com.

Keegan - Is there a steering committee or is decision making a free for all?

Justine - No steering committee, we decide things together as a group of members from each band. If we disagree, we talk it out til we agree. It takes a little extra time to check for agreement, but we are all committed, reasonable people who want what’s best for the festival and for our bands, so we see eye to eye on most things!

Simone - This isn’t the PTO.

Keegan -There has been a fair amount of talk about mixing younger bands in with some of the more....seasoned....bands. Is that something you are thinking about?

Simone - Kid Gulliver
Justine - We are defaulted to inclusion, and are not categorizing bands by age. It’s about the rock, not how many times anyone has been around the sun. Open to up-and-coming bands as well as established bands ... but most importantly awesome bands who fit with us musically.

JoEllen - Yes to inclusion!!

Lisa - Agreed, but just to add ... seasoned does not equate to old or young in age to me, so this isn’t an “either seasoned or young” choice we’re making. Key to this group is a respect of each others’ thoughts and ideas and a full-throated support of each others’ music and talent. I believe we’re linking up with bands that share this philosophy and who make sense with this team musically rather than by age or experience.

Linnea - It didn’t feel like age or experience went into consideration so much as genre, and the fact we are all powerhouses who get shit done

Simone - I sent out a message to great musicians. I didn’t think about, or care, how old they are.

Lynda - Age means absolutely nothing to me, you can be a seasoned musician at 18.

Keegan - By definition, this show has an identity all its own. Sure, its only rock n roll but what do you hope folks will take away from a full slate of these bands?

Justine - A day of hooky, great songs, friends having fun and supporting each other in doing what they love, and oh yeah, your socks rocked clean-fuckin-off.

Linnea - Your 8 (or is it 9?) new favorite bands.

Justine and Janet
Justine and Janet
Justine and the Unclean
Simone - Take your vitamins. You’re going to need them.

Lynda - I want the average person off the street to come in, check it out and say, “Holy Shit, these bands rock!!!!!”

Linda - Although all the bands fall easily under the umbrella of power/pop/punk, the diversity within this collective is really astonishing! I would hope fans of one band would find a couple of other favorites out of the bunch.

Keegan - Is there anything that you would like to mention that we haven't asked?

Linda - I’d like to request that Mallo Cups be added to the rider.


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