Rate the Artist:

Please visit The Deli's full web charts organized by genre and region.

Go to Charts


Apocalypse Meow 6 Preview: Sister Mary Rotten Crotch

Apocalypse Meow 6 Preview: Sister Mary Rotten Crotch

Sister Mary Rotten Crotch. Try saying that name without making some sort of judgment about the music.
Not that your judgment would necessarily be wrong. We’ll let the band describe what they sound like, but it’s every bit as gritty and rowdy as you’d hope. The band got its start 15 years ago and reunited less than a month ago. Its last show was at the very first Apocalypse Meow. On the eve of the sixth and largest Meow yet, we talk to the four-piece to see what they’re up to and what they’ve been up to over the past few years.
The Deli: In a sentence, describe what Sister Mary sounds like.
Alison Dunlop-Sanders: Smirk, if you say it really fast.
Liz Spillman Nord: Your mom, when she's really pissed you didn't do the dishes or pick up your room, and you're getting an F in math... yep, that's what it sounds like.
Amy Farrand: Fun for the entire family.
Brent (Tammy) Kastler: Apple pie and Chevrolet. 'Merica dammit!
The Deli: Why did you decide to reunite now instead of moving on to your other respective projects and not turning back?
Alison: Personally, because no other band or project will have me. I can play only Sister Mary stuff, if I play anything else it'll sound like Sister Mary stuff. Who wants that?
Liz: We reunited because Alison wanted us to play the Mid-America Bully Rescue benefit. Collectively, I think, we decided we were having too much fun and we should ride the ride until the ride isn’t fun anymore.
Amy: It's the 15-year anniversary of the beginning of it all. Why not?
Tammy: Cause we are that good, damnit! We do what we want!
The Deli: What other projects have each of you been in through the years?
Alison: I was in the Itty Bitty Biggy Titty Band in my teens. We never actually played. Anything. And I played bass for The Skags for like 15 minutes, I loved it! Big fan of Rudy.
Liz: I think the music projects fall to Amy and Brent. Alison and I have focused on visual stuff long before the band, during the band, and after the band. I’ve spent the last several years trying to create little musicians of my own with my kids, so I guess that’s my music project. I like to play the piano with my son when he practices his bass. I force him to improv.
Amy: I'll just go over the ones since the old days. Shotgun Idols (guitar), American Catastrophe (bass), Whiskey Boots (drums), Rural Grit All-Stars (miscellaneous instruments), Experimental Instrument Orchestra (various homemade and experimental instruments), Dangerhand (drums), Atlantic Fadeout (drums), The Silver Maggies (theremin/percussion) Solo work.
Brent: In no particular order. Anti-state (bass) element (bass) the great planes (bass) the radtones (bass) chad Rex and the victorstands (bass) waiting for signal (bass) salt the earth (bass) spinal tap (drums) poison (vocals) milli vanilli ( backup dancer ).
The Deli: Have you written much new material or playing mostly material from before?
Alison: We haven't written anything new yet. But we have brought back some stuff that's new to Amy Lu and Tammy.
Liz: So far we have concentrated on our existing material. Amy and Brent have had to learn some songs that were crafted during the two John (John Barker and Jon Cagle) era. I have couple of little numbers in my head, and a draft on paper. We’ll tackle those following Apocalypse Meow. They will need massaged by the better poets in the group. Fortunately, there isn’t a shortage of stories or people to write about.
The Deli: What have been some of your biggest accomplishments as a band?
Alison: Epically bad humor. Epic, man.
I concur with Liz on our biggest accomplishments. I'm not even sure WE thought we'd pull it off, and I'm pretty damn sure no one else did. It really was kinda kismet. It didn't occur to us to NOT do it, we just kept plugging away without looking up in a way. We did shit we didn't even know how to do, but since we didn't know we couldn't do it we did. And we were so lucky to have amazingly talented people come along that never pointed it out, which was fucking awesome. We also had awesome support from other local musicians, who were also polite enough not to say "what the fuck are you doing?" hah. I freaked out once because I really have one style, that's it, I can't play other stuff because I have wackafied rhythms that I can't seem to not have so I went crying to John Cutler about it when he practiced upstairs from us at El Torreon with Parlay and he was like "so fucking what? Embrace that shit, you have a style. Own it." He probably doesn't even remember that but it totally made an impact on me. I was seriously ready to quit playing all together before that. I still have no fucking idea what I'm doing but fuck it. I'ma do it anyway. And I'm hurt that Liz is going to have a slumber party at Tammy's without me.
Liz: Some might say our Pitch awards are our biggest accomplishment, but I would argue that the biggest and best accomplishment is that after 15 years, we can still call ourselves a band. Granted, we’ve had some long breaks and a few changes in line-up, but considering this was really a gimmick when we started, this is pretty amazing. I will never forget the moment on Rico’s porch, July 4, 1998, when Alison said to Hannah and me, “Hey, I’m learning to play the guitar… thinking about starting a band. Wanna be in a band?” Me: “Sure, I’ll play Tim’s bass.” Meanwhile, Aaron was making bombs out of sparklers, and Tanya was telling the story about breaking her tailbone during childbirth. I’m pretty sure guns were shot into the ground in the back yard that day, and god knows what else. I don’t remember much after my kids were born, but I remember that day. What followed was a week-long discussion about the name… Sister Mary Sodomy was on the table, among others, and I believe Kathy Dunlop gave some solid advice.
Tammy: That we are still doing it! After all of the years and line up changes, time off. We can still get in a room and spend more time laughing than playing tunes. We have fun dammit!
The Deli: How do you think the music scene has changed around here since you all last performed together? Is it better? Any local bands you're really into right now?
Alison: I do not really know. Big fan of The Big Iron and Red Kate fo sho. And Amy Farrand is a bad ass. I'm old and stay in a lot tho.
Liz: Sadly, my life for the last nine years has been sucked away by the suburbs. I’m fighting my way out right now… My kids have been, and continue to be, my priority, so my life discovering new music and being involved has revolved around elementary school picnics and yearbooks. I am finally at a spot where I’m comfortable concentrating on things that I love, so ask me that same question in six months.
Tammy: I'm really into puddle of mudd.
The Deli: You're headlining what hopes to be the biggest Apocalypse Meow yet. What does this mean to you?
Alison: We're headlining? ... It's an incredible honor for sure, if that's true. Little overwhelming. Now I'm scared.
Liz: There’s a little pressure that accompanies the headline spot, but I don’t think we’d be in that position if the decision makers didn’t have faith in us. It’s an honor for me to even be on stage with Amy, Brent and Alison. I think the world of them… all three have more talent in their little pinkies that most of us have in our whole bodies. The caliber of musicians that will be performing over the weekend blows me away, and I feel blessed to be part of it, even if it all ends tomorrow.
Amy: It's pretty cool for me. I do what I can for this cause. It's very close to my heart, and I want to see it continue for a very long time.
Tammy: I'm stoked to be playing. It's a great cause.
The Deli: What else do you have planned? Anything in the works for you all?
Alison: I do what they tell me. And I wanna write some shit. I like writing shit. And then convincing these crazy bitches to go along with it.
Liz: I plan on staying the night at Brent’s house sometime in the near future. That is all.
Amy: More shows. More recordings. More. Taking over the world.
Tammy: Trying to piss people off one song at a time. I'm looking forward to truth or dare and the pillow fights that are gonna happen when Liz comes over for the sleepover.
You can hear some of Sister Mary’s music at http://sistermaryrottencrotch.com.
Sister Mary will be headlining Apocalypse Meow tomorrow, November 2, at Knuckleheads. It kicks off at The Midwestern Musical Co. Doors open at 6 pm both nights. Friday’s show is free (and features Farrand’s other project The Silver Maggies) and all ages, Saturday’s show is $10, 21+. Visit http://www.apocalypsemeow.net for a full lineup and schedule. Ticket linkFacebook event page. To find out more about MMF, visit http://midwestmusicfound.org, and learn about Abby's Fund for musicians' health care.
--Michelle Bacon
Michelle is editor of The Deli Magazine - Kansas City, and also plays drums Drew Black & Dirty Electric and bass in Dolls on Fire and The Philistines.

HTML Hit Counter

This Emerging Artist is based in Seattle,
check out other talented locals we picked
for our Seattle Artist of the Month poll below!

New Poll Coming Soon!

sponsored by::



Seattle New Bands With Buzz

- news for musician and music pros -