Green Tongue Twist Interview
- What type of artist are you?
Christine: We identify as an “emo shit band”. We’re pretty much just making it up as we go along.
Emma: We call ourselves an “emo shit band” but we cover everything from punk to classical rep.
Brian: We define ourselves as an emo shit band, somewhat sarcastically. We don’t adhere strictly to one genre. Everything is on the table, be it folk, opera, rock, pop, theatre, metal, emo, punk (which is the genre we began with), etc. We do whatever we’re in the mood for at the moment.
- Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Christine: Our band literally formed over the internet. I got tired of dreaming instead of doing so I just said “fuck it” and asked for shitty musicians to play with on our college’s open forum. I didn’t expect to get phenomenal musicians but I’m so glad I did!
Emma: Christine called and we answered.
Brian: The band came around because of a post by Christine in our college’s Facebook open forum. She wanted to gather musicians for a “shitty punk band.” As people started to back out, Christine, Emma, and I were the only ones left. We kept changing and evolving, and really just having a good time. It’s just a lot of fun to play music with your best friends.
We kept changing and evolving, and really just having a good time. It’s just a lot of fun to play music with your best friends.
- Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Christine: My biggest musical influence is Fall Out Boy. They’ve been my favorite band for a decade, and are the reason I chose to start writing my own songs. As for my biggest non-musical influence, definitely my mom. She’s always pushed me to chase my dreams, and has always been an unconditional supporter of my various pursuits. I got my grit and work ethic from her.
Emma: My personal musical influences are Steven Wilson, Mick Karn, Stevie Nicks, and Kate Bush. My non-musical influences are Neil Gaiman, Olivia Benson, and Robert from Season 10 of Face Off.
Brian: Musical: There are a lot, so I’ll just name a few. Queen, Jake Shimabukuro, My Chemical Romance, Alan Menken, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, John Williams, Bach, Beethoven, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Gilbert & Sullivan, The Four Seasons, The Beach Boys, Bartok, and The Ventures, among many, many more. Non-Musical: Leonardo da Vinci, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Van Gogh, Steven Spielberg, and Leo Fender (he never played any instruments, so I consider him non-musical), among others.
- What are your dreams and goals?
Christine: My biggest dream was always to start a band, so I’m literally living it right now. My biggest goal is to make some sort of positive impact in this world- to leave a mark. Hopefully I can do that through music.
Emma: My goal has always been to find a platform and an audience for my music, which I guess is already happening between all of the projects and bands I have going! As far as dreams go, I’d like to live in a brownstone with a corgi, and own a Gretsch electric hollowbody.
Brian: My dream is to pursue a career as a film composer/orchestrator. Film music is the reason I began studying concert hall music in the first place.
My biggest goal is to make some sort of positive impact in this world- to leave a mark. Hopefully I can do that through music.
- Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Christine: Emma generally takes my riffs and lyrics and creates an awesome melody, then boom- we have a song. She also writes amazing songs on her own; in fact, some of our (best) songs are completely written by her. Emma and Brian are the musical geniuses of the band, so they really help me bring my riffs to life in ways that I wouldn’t be able to on my own. As for lyrics, mine are usually pretty dark and reflect various personal struggles I’ve been through or am currently going through. Writing is extremely cathartic for me.
Emma: Christine and I generally write together. I can’t speak for her, but the lyrics I write come from personal experience, usually negative ones. It’s all about catharsis.
Brian: Emma and Christine are the main songwriters. I dabble in it, but they’re powerhouses. As I didn’t write the songs, I don’t know fully the meaning behind most of them.
- How do you promote your band and shows?
Christine: I usually handle the promotional stuff. I try to get as many opportunities as possible for our band.
Emma: Ask Christine.
Brian: Christine promotes us through social media. She’s a master of networking.
- What do you think about downloading music online?
Christine: I think the digital age has given a lot of musicians an opportunity to be heard at a magnitude that just wouldn’t have been possible decades ago.
Emma: I think that on the one hand, it’s made less established and independent artists to find their audience, but on the other, I think it’s detracted from the way an album is experienced as a whole. So many recent albums feel like a few singles and a bunch of filler songs rather than a narrative, which I think is what an album should strive to be.
Brian: I support easy, cross-platform access to media. As such, I think online services like Spotify are excellent.
- What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
Christine: I think the music industry itself has been turned on its head with the advent of independent artists and DIY music. Musicians no longer need to rely on a label, and that brings a lot of creative freedom with it.
Emma: Like I said above, the accessibility of everything nowadays is a huge blessing, but the charts these days are dominated by a select few writers, and an only slightly larger pool of artists, which is really discouraging. It makes independent musicianship all the more competitive.
Brian: There’s very little artist loyalty from labels, but I feel that’s been the nature of the beast forever. Not every album, however good, is destined to top the charts. And that’s okay. God, Bon Jovi was almost dropped before Slippery When Wet. I’ll bet the label executives were glad they held onto those guys for a bit.
- What’s your claim to fame?
Christine: I guess just that we kind of don’t give a fuck what people think. We might scream in one song, do opera in another, or both at the same time. We want to be able to express ourselves the way we want to, and don’t like being boxed in.
Brian: I/we don’t have a claim to fame. Yet.
- What are some of your pet peeves?
Christine: My biggest pet peeve? Musicians who act like they’re so much better than everyone else. Luckily, all of us are super humble, so that’s never been an issue in this band.
Emma: My biggest pet peeve is the texture of Jell-O. My biggest musical pet peeves are arrogance and impatience.
Brian: Lack of professionalism is my biggest pet peeve. I give my all to every project I sign on to, and I expect the same from my collaborators.
Lack of professionalism is my biggest pet peeve. I give my all to every project I sign on to, and I expect the same from my collaborators.
- What are the biggest obstacles for artists?
Christine: I think the biggest obstacle for artists is to get people to want to listen to you. There’s just so much music out there, and we live in an age full of low attention spans thanks to the blessing and curse that is the internet, so it can be hard to really stick in people’s heads.
Brian: Exposure, whilst much more available presently than prior, is still hard to grasp. Serious performance opportunities are vastly outweighed by the sheer number of bands. Some of the finest artists I know usually play for audiences smaller than their own bands. It’s unfortunate, but a fact.
- Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
Christine: We don’t have any shows planned right now, but we’re looking to play in Westchester, New York and New York City in the near future. Stay tuned!
Emma: See no. 6.
Brian: We don’t have too much lined up yet but, once we do, you won’t want to miss us. Our setlists are very eclectic. Emma and I, aside from our rock/punk influences, both have opera/theatre training. So we like to take advantage
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