Some of the biggest waves in independent music have been the result of the movement of bodies in ways that nobody expected, but that yielded serious gravity. Both Daisy Caplan (drums) and Kate Wakefield (cello, vocals) have been in multitudes of projects in the past; Daisy was a core member of both the prolific rock band Foxy Shazam and feminist punk band Babe Rage. Wakefield has been writing and performing music with live cello and vocal loops for years. Together they create a distinctive, provocative style and an enigmatic live performance, and if the buzz coming from Cincinnati, Ohio, regarding cello/drum two-piece Lung is a sound indicator, the team is clearly poised to catastrophically alter the world view on rock music.
Formed in March, 2016, Lung launched out of the gate with a four-song demo in advance of a full length album, and a flurry of regional dates. Their genre defying aural gravitas is at once sludgy, grungy and symphonic (St. Vincent meets Death From Above 1979 someone suggested). The songs from their most recent effort, the Bottom of the Barrel EP, are already airing airing on radio stations throughout North America and Europe to South Africa.
New Noise caught up with the duo in advance of their massive Spring tour plans to discuss their sound, hauntings, and desire for health insurance. This is what they said.
How did Lung become something that you decided to pursue?
Daisy: Kate and I got together to play music last spring and we worked really well together. We respected each other as musicians already, it just clicked and it kept being a good thing, so the path seemed clear.
Kate: As far as really pursuing it goes, I remember we kept taking time off work for shows, and one day I was jokingly like, “Hey Daisy. Let’s be crazy broke and just quit or jobs and do this.” Daisy started booking two crazy long East and West coast tours like the day after.
Your approach to music is pretty unusual; a duo with drums and cello. Has this been done before?
D: I’m aware of a couple who are awesome: Rasputina and Spires in the Sunset that Rise. However, both are multi-cello setups and don’t sound a whole lot like us, despite similar instrumentation.
K: I don’t think it’s been done quite like this, but I hope to run into more distorted cello drum rock duos in the future. We could tour together.
I hear a bit of a Belly influence, but that is my ladder of inference at work. Who would you say are the bands and artists who may most inspired your output?
D: Belly is a cool band! We are pretty across the board as far as bands that inspire us. Most of mine lately are our contemporaries – Blakkr, Anwar Sadat, Spandrels, Brianna Kelly, SKRT, Street Sects.
K: Definitely agree with Daisy as far as all those bands go. I also have always loved and been influenced by St. Vincent, Metric, The Dresden Dolls and Brian Eno as well.
When did you beginning writing Bottom of the Barrel and what catalysts were inspiring this output?
K: I started writing the songs Bottom of the Barrel and Actor in late 2015. I would say that a specific messed up relationship of sorts was a definite catalyst for writing heavier music. One bad heart break can write an album pretty quickly. The album is definitely about other things as well, but those initial songs were what got me wanting to write with distorted cello. Once I got an electric cello, and started working with Daisy the other songs wrote themselves.
When and where did you record the album? What was the process like?
D: We recorded at the Lodge in Dayton, Kentucky. The session was supposed to just be five songs – we ended up recording 12!
K: Yeah, it was a pretty intense two days that’s for sure. I definitely want to give a huge shout out to John Hoffman, the audio engineer who recorded it. He is always super great to work with.
What are your favorite moments on the record and why?
D: I’m really proud of the energy and vibe in “Stranger” and “Bottom of the Barrel.” Capturing the feeling a song can give you in the room can be pretty tough – I felt like we accomplished that well on those two.
K: I like how the cello sounds. After doing a lot of acoustic stuff, it was fun to hear it all distorted and crazy.
You will be touring pretty aggressively in support of the EP right? What are you most looking forward to about that?
D: I am looking forward to playing with awesome bands, seeing friends, sleeping in parking lots, and eating awesome.
K: I really can’t wait to be in different places every day and to hear all the music coming out of them.
When you’ve toured in the past have you ever stayed anywhere that was haunted or encountered anything supernatural?
D: Not yet, but hopefully soon!
K: We crashed at a pretty haunted gas station once…
What are you hoping people that encounter the band take away from the experience?
D: Self-empowerment, joy, self-realization, emotion.
K: I hope that we can possibly inspire people to make music. I feel like I was super shy about song writing for a long time, and seeing womxn rock out and own the stage gave me confidence to do what I do now.
What are your loftiest goals for the band?
D: Health insurance!
K: Definitely health insurance. That would be so cool.