Libby Schaub, Erin Flaherty, Dan Becker, & Dominick DeFalco - So I Had To Shoot Him

January 13, 2006


Photo Credit: www.thegauntlet.com

Why don't we start with everyone introducing themselves.

Libby: Hi, I'm Libby Schaub. I'm the singer of So I Had To Shoot Him.

Erin: I'm Erin Flaherty and I've been the bass player for eight shows now, So I Had To Shoot Him.

Dan: I'm Dan Becker. I play drums.

Dominick: Dominick DeFalco. Guitar player.

The last interview I did, someone told me their Zodiac sign. You want to give me your Zodiac signs?

Erin: I got mine. I'm a Capricorn Sun sign and a Pisces Moon sign.

Dominick: I'm a Capricorn for anyone that cares.

Dan: I'm a Cancer.

Dominick: Yes, he is.

Is that what's wrong with you?

Libby: And I'm a Libra.

I'm a Leo.

Libby: Oh, there we go. Leo the lion over there.

Give me a little background on the band. Like where you came up with the name. I like that.

Libby: That's actually been something we've struggled with because the band has gone through so many permutations. Not so many permutations. We haven't been that unstable but it has certainly more been changed into something different than what it had originally been put out to be. The name is actually under some discussion at this point. I'm going to hazard that. Put it out there.

Dominick: The genesis of the band is from 1995 and it was started by a bunch of kids that I grew up with and eventually I was asked to join the band when I was 17. Which was great and the name comes from the Archduke Ferdinand who was intended to be assassinated by being shot but that didn't work out so the guy blew him up. Oh no, it's the other way around. I was 17 at the time so obviously I don't remember.

At least he died and started World War I.

Dominick: Basically yeah and then after early '98 the band disbanded and went on hiatus for a long time and then it was rejuvenated in 2003 seeking a different sound which we achieved and this is us right now.

Are these all the original people?

Dan: Actually, there is not one original member left.

Libby: Hence the possible name change.

Do you think they'll come back and say they want their name back?

Dan: Well, we had a falling out. We'll change the name eventually.

Just not right now.

Dan: No, we just had an album come out.

Erin: Actually mid-show we were thinking of changing it. It would be official. Mid-song maybe.

Can you come up with something just as good?

Dan: We've got some things cooking but it's a secret right now. We're going to keep it in the vault.

It's a secret. We have ways of making you talk.

Libby: We like you but I don't know.

You'd have to kill me.

Libby: We'd have to kill you. We'd really have to shoot you.

Dan: Because of the name and because we have a female singer, we've had people think we're a feminist band.

Because you guys are chicks in drag.

Dan: We've actually been talking about how we're an all girl band.

Dominick: I'm a girl.

Erin: He definitely acts super dynamic though.

Libby: Yeah, actually I would have to say having been in this band for two years, we had a switch up and we've got Erin on bass now and there's myself and there's one less guitar. We've got half and half of a dynamic and aside from all of us being actual musicians, I would say really jelling the dynamic is actually more jovial to me at least and a little more feminine and that's kind of nice.

I was reading some reviews where people were talking about how kickass it is to have a female fronted band.

Libby: I don't know. I think for Erin and I, we've always just done music and so it doesn't seem like anything special or contrived. I know I got into it because I really enjoy the music. Erin has her reasons for being here but I think both of us over the course of our lives have both always done music and it's just natural for us to do it. It doesn't seem like anything special or programmed or calculated at all. It's funny when people say "wow, it's a female fronted band" because well, why not? It doesn't make any sense. We're all musicians and we do our thing.

Erin: At the same time also, we've got a lot of positive responses from female fans and males are so excited to see females in the band.

Dan: Playing this kind of music. Playing happy music. You don't see that. Usually when you see it, it's a girl singing like a guy.

Libby: We've seen a lot of that.

Dan: There's nothing really ideologically behind it. There are logical components to the makeup of us based on their talent and thatís basically it.

Libby: Right, so it worked out well.

Tell me a little bit about your CD.

Dan: Just writing the thing and getting it all together and then making sure everything was tight in the studio. Then actually executing it and getting it done.

Dominick: In a week. We didnít have much time to record it. We didnít have much time to mix it. We think we did a great job with it and the people that did it with us in the studio did a fantastic job.

Dan: We recorded it with Dean Baltulonis. He does a lot of bands like Most Precious Blood and even Devour Our Souls. He gets around there. He did a fantastic job and Scott Hull whoís in Pig Destroyer and Agoraphobic Nosebleed mastered the record and he made it really big and made it sound the way we wanted it to.

Libby: What I like most about the record is that I think itís extremely diverse. We all get to show different parts of our personalities. I think the songs are all very coherent and I think that thatís what makes the record really special. Every song has a really, really good thing to say into it and it keeps it interesting and it lets us express all of our different sides and talents. I think it shows our real abilities to just add all the different elements that we really all enjoy. I think thatís what really makes the album special to us personally.

I saw that your music is described as sex metal. I like that.

Libby: My father doesnít like it so much and Iím not sure my mom likes it.

Dan: With Libby singing we get a lot of the ďoh, this is really sexy music.Ē Which is kind of interesting too. Because weíre up there doing blast beats and stuff and people are like ďooh, itís really sexy.Ē

Dominick: I think itís really misleading to categorize it. Itís more of just a sensibility and embracing different forms of music. Not just for the sake of embracing them. Just in the terms of song writing, these parts logically fit together for us. This is the logical expression of music.

That could be sexual. Besides that, Iíve never come across a band that was described as sex metal before.

Libby: I think that the diversity of our background is something that really added all those different things together and we had to come up with some way to classify or somebody did.

Dominick: Our old guitar player Matt, that was his thing and as far as Iím concerned, he owns that kind of description of us. Thatís just only a description and thereís so many descriptions that you can have and itís better to have as many as possible so you canít pick one. Thatís the way we like it.

Dan: Itís weird with the reviews that you were talking about. I never thought we were such an eclectic band. All of a sudden weíre seeing all these reviews and people are saying we're crazy and jumping all over the place. To us writing the songs, we never really thought of jumping all over the place. We were just putting together what we felt logically went together. There was no attempt to try to be whatever.

Dominick: I also think weíre desensitized to it because weíve been doing it for a while. Like I said, this is the logical expression of music for our personalities.

Of course you also donít know what weíre drinking and smoking while we review CDs.

Dominick: See, Iím probably doing the same thing. Thatís how I tap into that.

Iíve read a number of CD reviews where I thought that person must have been on crack.

Dominick: I need to take back my last comment.

Erin: Let me retract that.

Dominick: People that review the record, itís kind of strange. Either they really dig it or they really hate it and thatís the kind of reaction that we want. Anything in the middle means youíre not really getting anything worthwhile. Itís good to get an extreme reaction but some of the reviews are extremely funny. The bad ones are very entertaining so thatís fun.

At least you post those too. I thought that was cool.

Dominick: Theyíre just hysterical. There was one review where a guy absolutely recommended that you do not buy this record but he gave it an 8 out of 10. He commented about how unique it was.

But donít buy it.

Libby: Steal it actually.

Dominick: This will blow your mind. Just save your money.

What three songs on this album do you think best represents your band?

Libby: I think itís all individual tastes. We come from such different corners of music.

Dan: If you take a song like "Stoicism" and you've got a very classic rock structure that morphs into almost a thrash metal grindy part back into a pop sensibility. That's close to where we're going at but then you have a song like "Chausson, Chansson" where it's just very strange. Almost disco beatish and then it morphs into very sassy rock.

Libby: It's actually based on a 13th century French motette which they're all polythenically broad somehow.

Dan: I think each of the songs represent us in a way. It's just very hard to describe even for us.

Erin: For me the one that grows each night that we play it is "Persuasive". That is totally different when we play it live than what it was on the album.

Libby: That really in and of itself is just a morphing song so maybe there's an idea that it's going to morph with us as we go through this tour.

Dan: And with the pop sensibility around it there are extremely dark textures that weave in and out. That's also part of our personalities too. It just can't be completely sugary like this. There's more to music than that. There's more to people than that.

That was a word that was used a lot in the reviews of the CD too. Sugary. Sugary and sexy. How's the tour been going so far?

Dan: The first leg of the tour was really, really great. The response has been amazing. Better than I expected.

Dominick: If you can expect a circle pit at one of our shows. That will explain it for you.

Libby: We were playing a bar of 60 people and all of a sudden in front of us was a circle pit and we were like how did this happen.

Erin: It was like someone switched on the crowd and they all just danced and moshed.

Dominick: We've played with all different kinds of bands like some very, very extreme classic death metal bands who really dug us which was great. We dug them and just playing with different bands and fitting in sort of with each of them because we don't really know where to fit in. It's been fun.

Libby: Actually I think just the time spent on the road together especially with a newish lineup has been really beneficial because we've all gotten to know each other on so many different personal, musical, and emotional levels and it seems to be working out. We're still smiling. We're volatile but we're smiling and having a really good time. For me more importantly than like an awesome crowd response, that's great. Getting great shows, that's awesome. But actually being with people you really enjoy and being able to spend a lot of time one on one with three other people for me, that's made them sort of understand the way my personality works and put up with it. I think it's really, really important for all of us and that's really been one of the key things about this tour.

So you guys aren't ready to shoot each other.

Dan: Not yet.

Libby: If you go to our website there's a blog that I think Dom wrote.

Oh yeah, I read that. "I haven't bathed in three weeks."

Libby: I think we were reviewing this like oh my God, we've been on this tour for so long. In a sense, we're feeling a lot better. I think the halfway point is tomorrow.

Dominick: It's been really great so far. For the first real tour to be getting that kind of response and people at our shows has been very cool.

And you got to shave.

Dominick: Well, yes. I had to shave.

Has anything crazy happened since you've been out?

Dan: A guy tried to sell me a walkie talkie. We've just played with some really wonderful people in Pittsburgh. There's a good punk scene.

Libby: We've been so lucky to run into really neat people.

Dominick: Everywhere we've been, people have put us up. You can't say enough about those people. It's great. We couldn't do this really without the people who put you up because you can't afford to get a hotel. Otherwise we're just sleeping in the van and getting cabin fever.

Libby: One of the strangest things for me is I'm from the Midwest. I'm from Portland, Oregon and we're coming through an area of the country that I've never seen before or experienced before and I think that's the weirdest thing. To see how truly diverse America is and the landscape, yes. But the people, the way they live and the way they operate and the towns. It's been a real eye opening experience to see how truly diverse this country is. How people can actually come out to a show and all get together and enjoy one thing which is music. That's been really eye opening to me. Maybe not bizarre and crazy like not that we're crazy people. Maybe that will come out soon.

Dominick: We went into this porn shop just to get cigarettes. How often does that happen? We went in there and this crazy guy just had the longest nails I've ever seen in my life and they were extremely well manicured. He looked just like Wesley Willis. This was last night actually. We were trying to get cigarettes and I was freaking out. This guy was terrifying. I'm sure he meant well but I don't know.

At least his nails were manicured.

Dominick: They were fantastic.

One time I was in Los Angeles and there was this guy standing there wearing a yellow dress which didn't really look good on him. It was August and I commented that that dress didn't really look good on him and my friend was telling me to come on.

Libby: Oh my God, contact. Keep walking. Like where did you get that dress?

That really isn't your color. How much longer do you guys have left on this tour?

Dominick: About a week and a day until January 20th. We're going back towards the East coast. The last three shows are Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and then back up to our hometown in New York. Well, not our hometown but basically where we're at most of the time. Our home base.

Libby: I guess next spring we're all get to see family members or good, good dear friends so that will be a fun opportunity for us.

Do you guys have any other tours booked?

Dan: Not at the moment. We're taking it in stride because this is the first real one. That's why we want to get back out. It's really been fun. We just got a booking agent and things worked out really well with that and we would like to come through the areas we've come through already because the response has been great and we think it will be even better next time.

Any other thoughts or comments?

Libby: We'll probably go back home, rest, and start writing. I can't wait to start writing. Any new album that we may put out, I can't wait to get on that.

Dominick: As soon as we get back, a lot of writing and we'll concentrate on some new music. Possibly get a new record together and take it from there.

Libby: I totally say that the soundtrack to this trip is probably Europe's The Final Countdown.

So I Had To Shoot Him