DISHING WITH… The Ettes

With their second CD about to drop
frontwoman Coco Hames takes stock.

BY APRIL S.
ENGRAM

 

The Ettes-guitarist/vocalist
Lindsay “Coco” Hames, bassist Jeremy “Jem”
Cohen, drummer Maria “Poni” Silver-are coming, and bringing their dose of old-school
thunder once again. After serving up high octane, ‘60s-evocative punk rock on
2006 debut Shake the Dust (Sympathy
for the Record Industry), the trio returned to their sonic roots for their sophomore
effort, Look at Life Again Soon, recorded
in London – as was the first album – with British producer Liam Watson (White Stripes, Kills, Billy Childish)
at Toe Rag Studios. The new record was self-released this spring exclusively on
vinyl just in time for a trip to Austin for SXSW
(which by all accounts went smashingly); San
Francisco’s Take Root Records just issued it digitally
and will have it in stores on CD starting September 9.

 

In May the Ettes
went back to the UK and Europe for a tour as the opening act for the Black Keys.
Prior to that, though, Hames, feet still planted in the States, let us into her
world. In this modern age of artificial intelligence and electric cars,
resorting to antiquated technologies like the phone may seem passé. Thus, while
basking in the Florida sun at the group’s temporary home (they’ve since
relocated to Nashville), Hames braved a terrible gash on her finger – disposable
shavers are deadly weapons – and typed a droll yet acute response to our
inquisition on her BlackBerry. We’ll take her thinly veiled threats to burn the
house down and wield her Fender as a truncheon as a cue to watch our ass.

 

***

 

SIMPATICO

 

Live and in
action, the Ettes share glances, smiles, laughs and jokes – it’s apparent they
just get along. “We communicate without speaking,” Coco
elaborates. “It makes it easier that everyone is so great on their own and when
we come together, we’re like… Captain Planet. We already recycle, what’s a
better analogy? A Swiffer?”

 

 

HOW SHE COOK

 

When not holding her guitar, Coco can
be found with a skillet in hand, but that may prove to be a deadlier
combination. Though she indeed loves to cook, “I don’t think I could be a
professional cook; I have a bad temper,” she says. “If someone scolded, ‘Coco!  Table four says the lobsters are still
alive!’ I’d probably burn the place down.”

 

 

CUDDLE VS.
CUDGEL

 

Coco might look cute and cuddly, but after
one show, the trio usually converts their doubters. “We don’t give a fuck if
you’ve got antiquated sexist notions. How fucking boring, you know? If people
have something to say [about it], that’s fine… our instruments double as
weapons!”

 

 

SONGBIRD BACK
HOME

 

Recording with producer Watson “was a dream
come true” for Coco, and now the Ettes are a viable contender in the rock and
roll arms race between the US
and the UK. “Rock
and roll has always gone back and forth across the pond. We had Elvis, they had
the Beatles; we had the Ramones, they had the Sex Pistols. It’s a terribly
lovely volley but I’m afraid it’s back to America now, old chaps. I do beg your
pardon.”

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: Matt Wignall; L-R: Poni, Coco,
Jem]

 

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