I recently had a
chance to chat with Pauli Gray about his band Candy From Strangers.
Pauli and Vocalist Ruby Jordon, have been long time musical
collaborators which show's with the bands success. I first met Pauli
when he worked at Planet X and was immediately drawn to his outgoing and
friendly personality. I hope you enjoy this Interview.
1. Tell The
Readers About The Band and The Members?
rock n’roll band. We definitely still have a punk feel and some of it
has some pop influences but it’s a fucking rock band. The band is
fronted by Ruby Jordan and has double guitar, some keys, bass and drums.
There are three women in the band: Ruby, Gina May Montel on drums and
Paula Sutor on keys, bass and vocals.
guitar players are Pauli Gray who also sings a bit and Jamie Muntner.
The guitar sound is sonic, gritty and Big-double Les Pauls and
old Marshalls. Ruby has a soaring voice. She is tough and sexy and tears
it up. She plays bass on a few songs. She used to be the full time bass
player but is now more of a front person. Gina is a great drummer. Paula
is a perfect compliment to the others. The key parts are kind of simple
and electronic. She does really interesting harmonies and plays bass on
a lot of the tunes. Ummmm…we don’t wear white belts.
2. Your Music Has
Been Compared to Cheap Trick Meets Iggy Pop. Care to Elaborate?
kind of hard to earmark. That has been a bit of a problem but we hope it
turns into a positive thing. Other people have said a gritty version of
Garbage, X, early Pretenders, shit, I dunno…It’s heavier than that live.
There’s even a touch of psychobilly in a couple of brand new tunes. To
directly answer the question after digressing (no.. never!): Iggy would
represent our rock/punk roots and Cheap Trick our pop and hook edges.
Several tunes have to do with sex (funny that). It’s female fronted rock
that tells stories a lot of the time.
3. Do You All Write The Music As A Collective Or Is There
Certain Members Who Write the Songs?
Pauli or Ruby and Pauli together write the songs. Paula has been
pitching in a bit lately too. The other band members help with
4. Who Are Your
I are the longtime band members. Between us we have played a lot of
music and done a lot of life. We love the Clash. She still loves them
the most. We’re also crazy about PJ Harvey, Zep, Ramones, Patty Smith,
Keith Richards, Queens of the Stone Age, White Stripes, Kinks, grunge
(Alice in Chains, Nirvana) to name a few. I’m also a fan of real country
music (NOT new country) and Dylan.
5. Has The Band
Toured? If So Where Have You Played?
We’ve done some touring. We actually do well on the east coast. We’ll be
going for our 4th east coast tour in the fall. We do really
well in NYC and Atlanta. We’re going up to Oregon in July for a few
gigs, including a Warped tour show. It will be our second trip up there
in a few months. We’ve done some LA shows and are headed back down there
sometime fairly soon.
6. How Is The Scene
In SF? What is Your Favorite Club To Play?
Francisco rock scene is steadily improving. There are always a lot of
nitch scenes and there is a huge amount of talent. Electronic music
really took over around the dot-com era and it seems the backlash has
taken hold. People are going out for live music more again. There are
cool, high-end clubs with great sound systems like Bottom of the Hill
and DuNord but Thee Parkside is probably the most fun for us. It’s the
kind of place you want to hang out in all night.
7. You Recently
Played An AIDS Benefit At Thee Parkside. How Did It Go and Who Else
great. It was a rainy Wednesday night and we made $1,500 at 6 bucks a
head. The other bands were the Underthings, Bluebeard, Jenny Kerr band,
Wilson Gill and the Willful Sinners, Mix Tape, Los Nadies, Kim Lembo,
Newman, and Jen Schwartz. I actually work in the fight against AIDS.
Ruby and I are both deeply committed to that cause. We do an annual AIDS
benefit, this was our 5th or 6th one.
to get musicians to show up and do a weekly volunteer thing, some of us
can hardly find our way home. However, a lot of us are willing to work
hard at a yearly benefit. We’ve also done a Needle Exchange benefit and
are getting ready to do a second one of those. It’s a great thing to put
something like this together.
8. Tell Me About
Your Favorite Show You Have Played?
We’ve had a few lineups over the years and a lot of fave shows. We got
added as a late act for a Halloween Vampire Party and did it for the
hell of it. It was a great show. Sometimes it goes like that when you
least expect it.
****Here is a pic someone in the audience took:
9. Has Candy From
Strangers released any Recordings? If So, What Label?
have two self released CD’s called ‘Quickie” and “Horizon”. We have a
new one coming out in late June called “Cat Butt Tattoo”. It’s a
six-song preview of a full length one that we’re working on. We’re
hoping to have that done in the fall.
10. What Does The
Future Hold For The Band
going to shop our new CD to labels. Tours and shows have been going
really well. We’re excited about where it’s going. I really feel that a
great song is a great song and that stands alone. We want to do
that-have the song always come first. At the same time we are not going
to be wimpy about it. It has to have grit and it has to kick some ass.
I’m sick of whiny songs, no matter who is doing it. Fuck that.
going to try and keep playing and writing good songs, playing good
shows, being true to what we love to do.
11. Any Final
get one life: Sex and drugs and rock n’ roll-only we’ve kind of been
there/done that with the drug thing and lived through it. So now it’s
and sex and rock n’roll (although it’s music in general-we even have a
twisted little country tune on the new CD). We’ll see what happens. You
do what you love as much as you can.
Did I mention we don’t wear white belts?