Meet Fold in Half Cat, Buffalo's newest buzz band. Go to Nietzsche's on Saturday for its debut EP release party. Chew on the disc for a while, and please help us put a finger on this distinctly outside-the-box sound.
Sort of hipster lounge with muscle, the unique mix starts from the bottom, with Anthony Aversa's meaty, dominant bass and drummer Monkis' slick steering. Each takes turns driving the groove with cascading keyboardist Josh Hill, laying the template for vocalist Heather Hodson to stand center with a commanding, falsetto-rich croon and more sass than you'd ever want to bring home to Mom.
We gave Hodson a chance to nail down the band's sound.
Have you found a name for your sound yet?
It's hard for me to describe. I don't want to sound cliche, every band says they sound unique. I've used the term "evil lounge," but it's more of a rocky thing, too. It's kind of tough.
Sure is. The rhythm section is too aggressive for lounge, but between the piano trio dynamic and your flair for falsetto, I hear a lot of jazz in there.
Tony's a guitarist -- he's played for 20 years, so he plays the bass like a guitar. It gives us this strange foundation, it's very heavy, and the piano and vocals can soar above it with kind of a jazzy feel.
I have some jazz influences -- I've always thought jazz and blues singing is timeless. I was classically trained -- my mother's a singer, and she used to teach me musicals and operas. But then I did a 180, started smoking cigarettes and partying.
Next thing you know, you're dressed as Alice in Wonderland for the Schwannoma CD release party.
I can honestly look back on that and be extremely embarrassed! I was just 18 at the time.
You and Josh had a great run with Schwannoma in the late '90s. Where've you been since then?
After Schwannoma broke up, I graduated from college and moved to San Francisco. But before I left, I saw Tony at a show, and he talked about me singing in Salt Peter. I said I wished he'd have asked a few months ago, and he said to look him up if I came back.
When I came back, I called him and he said, "actually, not now." But I got him to play with Josh for Nietzsche's Tom Waits tribute, and Tony introduced us to Monk, and by the end of 2003 we were getting it together.
I imagine it took a while for you to come together creatively.
It's weird -- everyone has totally different influences. It did take a long time to figure out what our sound was gonna be. It used to stem a lot from Josh's piano, but now Tony, Monk and I are bringing in different styles and making it our own sound.
Any Alice-like tricks up your sleeve for Saturday?
Not really, just a nice live show. Salt Peter always puts on a great show, and the Glitter Tits have a hilarious, punk-rocky kind of . . . I can't even describe them, they're absolutely hilarious. At their last show, (singer) Jessica (Brooks) came out in an '80s prom dress with puffy sleeves and black velvet, a stupid cowgirl hat, this awful sea-green sparkly thing and gothic boots. They'll definitely be entertaining. And hopefully we'll have our best show yet.
So you're willing to let someone else steal the show at your party? It's not about stealing the show, just contributing to the overall entertainment experience. I want to be entertained myself, you know?