Chastity Belt is a real band formed in Walla Walla, WA by Julia Shapiro (guitar, vocals), Lydia Lund (guitar), Annie Truscott (bass), and Gretchen Grimm (drums), now residing in Seattle, WA.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Gretchen: We actually just spent a week up in Anacortes, WA recording a second full length album. We’re not sure when it’ll be out…hopefully this summer/fall.
What are your thoughts about the music scene in Seattle? G: There are so many great artists here and shows to see. It just feels like a great place to be in a band.
Julia: Yeah, there are so many good bands in Seattle right now, and everyone is really supportive of each other.
Annie: Seattle is a rad place to play music. The music community, like Julia said, is really supportive and being involved in it has been the coolest way to make friends.
What was the last show you went to that stuck out to you? G: I saw St. Vincent recently and really loved it. She’s just such an elegant, yet badass performer. I especially loved the guitar solos she took. Usually I’m not a big fan of solos because it often feels like an obnoxious display of the artist’s ego, but hers didn’t feel like that at all….it felt like she was genuinely expressing her emotions. The lighting and dance moves made it entertaining too, although my eyes felt they were going to fall off by the end from all the insanely intense flashing lights.
J: I just saw Macaulay Culkin’s Velvet Underground pizza-themed band, Pizza Underground, last night. It stuck out because it was horrible. I saw Blouse open for the Dum Dum Girls a few weeks ago, and they were super good.
A: That Pizza-themed band made me feel weird. St. Vincent made me feel good.
What is your snack/beverage of choice when recording? G: Coconut water and organic whiskey. Actually we were just joking lately about how if we ever make it to the big time we’re going to put “organic whiskey” on our rider.
J: Yeah, we pretty much only drink organic alcohol.
A: And only eat organic peanut butter—preferably on organic rice cakes (lightly salted, plz).
What do you do when you’re not working on music? G: I nanny, tutor math, and do a little bit of sewing. And sing karaoke.
J: Flip burgers and serve tables. Karaoke too sometimes. And also I love to party.
Lydia: I’m a gardener. I like to party too sometimes.
A: I work with kids and do yoga. I’m coming around on the whole karaoke thing.
What are you really excited about right now? G: Karaoke.
Any upcoming shows or tours we should know about? J: We’re playing Sasquatch on May 24th.
A: And with Perfect Pussy and Potty Mouth on May 22nd.
If you hadn’t become a musician, what do you think you’d be doing? G: Probs just more math tutoring. Or maybe have a boring math job. Or maybe be in school for math or math education.
J: I don’t know. Maybe I’d be working in an office, crying myself to sleep every night.
L: Life would have been so different, mostly because I don’t think I’d be in Seattle
A: Maybe nursing school. Or a ski bum. Life would definitely be a lot worse either way.
What is your ideal recording/studio situation? G: Lydia’s family has a house on the Puget Sound that we have gone to a few times to get away and have some sleepover band bonding time. I would love to spend a month there in the summer recording songs while gazing out at the Sound and Mt. Rainier in the distance, picking blackberries, swimming, diggin up clams, and taking the row boat out at sunset with a bottle of wine. Too bad we all have day jobs….
J: Yeah it would be cool if we made enough money off our music to take that kind of time off to record and write songs.
L: Great idea, Gretch.
A: Lydia don’t you have a house in Hawaii? Let’s go there.
What are you listening to right now? G: I’ve been listening to one of my favorite Seattle bands/pal Mega Bog a good amount. Otherwise Wye Oak, St. Vincent, Janet Jackson, and Frankie Cosmos. We also have this great classic hits radio station in Seattle, 104.5, that’s almost always makin me feel good.
J: Yeah, 104.5 plays the hits. 103.7 is pretty good as well. I’ve been listening to a lot of Sade lately. That song “Cherish the Day” is so good. According to Spotify I’ve also been listening to Blouse, Lower Dens, Protomartyr, and Broadcast. I’m sort of on this folky female singer/songwriter kick right now, and I’ve been playing Angel Olsen and Courtney Barnett a bunch too. I go through phases where I listen to the same song everyday for a week until I’m completely sick of it.
L: We played with the band Ava Luna a couple of month ago and i’m still listening to the record I bought from them. Also Paul Simon and Deerhunter.
A: What everyone else said. Plus Fleetwood Mac and Beyonce.