by Matt Dunn
I had a blast at the 2015 Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, NC.. I was the most excited about seeing a band from Memphis, TN on Goner Records called NOTS. I was a big fan as soon as I heard their debut album "We Are Nots". It's Garage Punk mixed with synthesizers which adds a lot of depth to their music. The songs are heavy and the synthesizer beats stick in your head. They played a killer set at a show that was stacked with talent: Roky Erickson, NOTS, Moon Duo and Natural Causes. I caught up with the band after their set and we discussed everything from what it's like to perform on those 6 am local morning news shows to the city of Memphis and why it's important to pay respect to the trees.
Natalie - Guitar/Vocals
Meredith - Bass
Charlotte - Drums
Alexandra - Synth
Interview originally conducted on: September 11th, 2015
Click here for the audio version of this interview:
How long has NOTS been a band for?
Natalie: This formation has been together for like 3 months but it's really hard to explain how long we have been a band for. Charlotte the drummer and I have been together forever and Alli joined us last year or two years ago? I don't even remember. We've had a lot of formations.
How did everyone in the band first meet?
Natalie: Charlotte and I met at a party and we started talking about music and movies and decided to start a band that night. It was a good drunken decision. *laughs*
Is this your first time playing in Raleigh?
Charlotte: It is our first time playing in Raleigh. We have never played in Raleigh before tonight.
What are some of the best bands coming out of the Memphis area?
Charlotte: Sheiks are a great band from Memphis. They are currently Jack Oblivian's backing band. And they're a great rock n roll band. Gimp Teeth is a really great sort of weird hardcore punk band from Memphis that's been around for a while. Aquarian Blood they're on Goner Records as well. They have a couple of singles out. They're a bizarre Yahuwah (sp?) style weird hippie punk band. Those are some good ones among many many great great musicians and performers.
Natalie: It's a really good time for music in Memphis. For live music there are so many rad shows. It seems like new bands are popping up way often. *laughs* It's rad!
I saw a clip of NOTS performing on a local morning news show in Memphis. What was that like?
Natalie: It was like a dream come true! It was also very early so we wore sunglasses.
Charlotte: Yeah, we accepted the invitation while we were on tour and we're like "yeah sure the news that sounds great". And then like a week later when we were home, we were like "oh we have to get up at like 6 and drive like an hour to get to the news station. I made everybody hash browns and they were terrible! I remember that. And when we got to the news station, we all had sunglasses except for one of our members so we had to borrow some sunglasses from a news anchor and it worked out pretty well. People seem to like that video.
Natalie: Public Access TV is the shit! It was a dream come true in a way for me. Even though I am not a morning person at all, so I was probably really cranky the whole time. But it was fun to be around total morning people who wanted to hear punk music at 6 am.
Charlotte: And there was a cat on the news right before we were on the news. It was like a community week long thing. There's a festival in Memphis called Cooper Young Festival so they were talking about bands who were playing the festival and also different vendors. So there was a cat adoption agency that was on the show before we were. So it was nice to go on after a cat. It was pretty cool.
Do you think you could do a morning news tour circuit?
Natalie: We can only dream.
Meredith: Dreams are real. Dreams are real.
Charlotte: We'll stay up all night and then we'll go on the news. *laughs*
Natalie: It'll just get weirder and weirder and it'll just downward spiral. It'll be amazing.
I think the host put on some shades to look as cool as you guys, right?
Charlotte: Yeah, after a while he really got into it. That's his words not mine. That's what he said: "After a while you really get into it!"
Did you get the Green Room Red Carpet treatment?
Natalie: No, we got some coffee in a styrofoam cup.
Alexandra: We sat down on the floor in the hallway for a long time.
Charlotte: Yeah, we were next to a vending machine.
Natalie: We got to see all the behind the scenes of the news though. *sarcastically* Riveting shit.
There could be some morning show outtakes on a DVD one day right?
Natalie: We can only dream. *laughs*
Does NOTS have a tour rider like Morrissey? His says someting to the effect of "There must be 10 pounds of organic cheese from Brazil backstage.
Natalie: Yeah, we have the exact same one.
Also, no meat consumed on the premises.
Natalie: Except for me, I require a cheeseburger the size of a human to be waiting for me outside. It has to be outside though.
What are the future plans for NOTS?
Meredith: We're recording a new album in January but before that we're going out on an East Coast/Midwest tour mid October through early-ish November. And then we're going out to Europe for the first time.
Natalie: The single will come out soon (Virgin Mary) and the album (We Are Nots) will come out for the first time in Europe on November 20th.
Do you have a title for the upcoming album yet?
Charlotte: We have lots of ideas but it's a secret.
How about "We're Still Nots"?
Charlotte: Or "NOTS gonna be sorry that you bought it." *laughs*
Or maybe "NOTS Landing?"
Charlotte: Yeah that sounds good. We're open to suggestions. Please write us at wwww.NOTSgonnatakeitanymore.org
Does NOTS ever do any cover songs?
Alexandra: We've talked about it.
Charlotte: We have a lot of songs we like but we haven't really done any covers. Me and Natalie did a Nerves cover way back when, a long time ago. We've talked about covering a bunch of songs. Hopefully in the future.
What's the coolest stuff to check out in Memphis?
Meredith: You gotta go to Goner Records.
Charlotte: Goner Records. That's a great record store.
Meredith: Then you goto Ebbo. (Ebbo Spiritual Supply Store)
Charlotte: You gotta goto Ebbo. Get your spiritual supply on.
Alexandra: You can go play Pacman at Amvets Thrift Store.
Charlotte: Yeah, go play Pacman at Amvets. Goto Overton Park and walk around the old forest.
Natalie: Pay your respects to the trees.
Charlotte: Yeah gotta pay your respects to the trees.
Where can people go online if they want to hear your music?
Natalie: The whole album is on YouTube. Please listen to it. Or you can buy it I guess.
Charlotte: Or steal it from your friend or something.
Danzig from The Misfits won't autograph bootlegs. If there was a NOTS bootleg, would you sign it?
Natalie: Hell yeah we'd sign it!
Charlotte: I'd want to shake the hand of the person who did it.
Natalie: We made our own bootleg. We're down.
You wouldn't shake them down with your team of lawyers?
Natalie: Download our album. I don't give a fuck.
How many releases are out there so far that people can steal off the internet?
Natalie: A full album.
Charlotte: Three singles.
Natalie: Three singles maybe if you can find them. That might be like a deep nerd internet that you have to go down. It's probably there.
On the VH1 show Behind The Music, Fleetwood Mac was having affairs and Motley Crue were addicted to heroin. What would NOTS main scandal be?
Natalie: We're pretty embracing of our vices.
It woud just be like "We're really low key and down to earth and everybody lives happily ever after"?
Natalie: We're just too chill. One of us floated away on a lazy river listening to The Grateful Dead.
Alexandra: We lost gravity. One of us had no gravity.
Natalie: *laughs* Yeah, that's probably what'll happen.
Are you going to be checking out any of the other acts at the Hopscotch Music Festival this year?
Meredith: We're gonna see Roky. (Roky Erickson)
Charlotte: We missed OBN III's but we love them.
Meredith: Where's Blaxxx?
Charlotte: Blaxxx is playing really soon. I'd like to see them but I don't think you can do it all. There's so much stuff happening at this festival.
Has NOTS played a lot of festivals?
Charlotte: Yeah, this year. It seems like it.
Natalie: A lot of small breweries are having rad festivals. It's cool.
Have you played at Goner Fest already?
Alexandra: We played last year. And we're playing this year.
How did that go?
Alexandra: It was awesome! Best show ever.
Charlotte: Timmy Vulgar was crowd surfing.
Natalie: He wore a blonde wig and he looked just like an alien Dolly Parton. It was beautiful.
Charlotte: Yeah, it was beautiful.
Are there pictures to prove this?
Natalie: Of course. Everyone loved it. And the celebrity photographer Don Perry. All over it. Everyone should know Don Perry.
If there was a NOTS board game, what would be the object of the board game?
Charlotte: To continue to pass go forever and ever.
Natalie: To pay respect to the trees. An outdoor game.
Meredith: Whoever floats away wins.
"We Are NOTS" is out now on Goner Records.