La Sera is Kickball Katy, the ginger-haired Vivian Girls bass player who sings the high parts and who now lives in L.A. With her released-yesterday single “Never Come Around” (on Hardly Art) and its subsequent video, Katy displays her eviscerating talent. Here she talks about New York winter, Kathleen Hannah being a badass and how sometimes all you need to know is just four chords. (Plus you can watch their gory video!)
Have you been working on La Sera or some kind of side project the entire time you've been in Vivian Girls?
The idea to do my own music only popped up in about February. I was like, “I think I'm going to make my own music.” So I wrote an album, which is this album and I recorded five songs with my friend, and that was all in the same February-March-April, time period.
So there's no animosity between Vivian Girls about prospective side projects?
No, not at all–we are all in our own side projects. Cassie is in a band called Babies, and has her own solo album coming out. Fiona and Cassie both live in Brooklyn and I moved to L.A. in May. I love living in L.A.–it's like I'm on vacation all the time. Last winter I was boxed in my Brooklyn apartment the size of a shoebox and it was raining outside and there was like a foot of snow out there and I was very sad and I told everyone, “This is the last winter I'll spend in New York!” Everyone was like, “Yeah, right–you say that every year.” And then I did! I grew up in New Jersey and around New York my whole life. I had some friends [in L.A.] I had made because of the Vivian Girls touring but not really anything solid. I just thought, 'You know what? I'm just going to do it!' It was somewhat impulsive and I love it! No regrets.
What made you first pick up an instrument?
The first thing that really made me want to play was when I heard a song by Julie Ruin and realized it was only four chords, and it was the best song I'd ever heard. I really loved it! And she just played these four chords over and over and over and thought, 'Oh, wow, I can totally do that! It seems so simple!' And yet, it's one of my favorite songs. And of course as I got older, Kathleen Hannah and Bikini Kill of course. I really think Kathleen Hannah is responsible for a lot of girls joining bands or starting bands. She's amazing.
Both Vivian Girls and La Sera have a sort of 'harmonious' quality. Were you worried people would say La Sera sounded too similar to the Vivian Girls?
I think there is something quieter and hopefully more eerie about La Sera. Cassie is the main songwriter in the Vivian Girls so all the songs all have girl vocals–but the songs are really different. My voice is really high and sounds a lot different as opposed to Vivian Girls songs, which I don't write. I guess the only thing that sounds the same is like, 'girls making music.' My thing is definitely … more eerie and hopefully more angelic.
La Sera's “Never Come Around” 7″ is out now on Hardly Art. Visit La Sera at myspace.com/iamkatygoodman.