Featured Artist Interview: Homme
Homme is a bare-bones two piece indie-alternative duet comprised of two talented and inventive women musicians. These ladies use the strength and simplicity of their guitars and their voices to get their point across organically.
CC: As two ecclectic young musicians, in a world where everyone's more and more in support of female empowerment, what made you decide on a name like "Homme" for your band?
Sima: We didn’t necessarily put a whole lot of meaning behind it, but we had been messing around with the idea of making the name of the band “The Men”, and I think part of that had to do with the fact that we’re two women. It’s not necessarily that we were saying that we’re genderqueer or anything, but we like the idea of having there be an initial distortion or confusion about what’s going on.
CC: So kind of like an initial juxtaposition.
Sima: Yeah!!!! But honestly once we heard “Homme” it just stuck.
Macie: Like it just seemed right, and finding a band name can be really, really tough.
Sima: Yeah, so when something sticks you go with it.
CC: (For Macie) How is your experience as a musician in Homme different than your experience in Kid These Days, besides the fact that there’s only two of you?
Macie: Well, it’s a whole different world. A- I’m playing guitar in this band, which I was not doing in Kids These Days, and I’m also writing music now, and there are only two of us, Sima and I, so there’s a lot more room for experimentation. And a lot more freedom, especially since there’s no drums in our band, it’s just two guitars. Also it’s a lot easier to carry our gear places. It’s much freer.
CC: I can definitely hear a lot of vocal experimentation in your sound.
Sima: Yeah it certainly started as kind of a vocal-oriented project, and because of the fact that we both just wanted to play guitar. It’s been fun because since it’s such a small set up we can play in like, alternative spaces which we kind of prefer to. Like the standard rock venue. We really enjoy playing in small spaces.
CC: I’m sure both of you have been asked a million times what your musical influences are. I’d like to know from each of you one influence, and what you feel you've pulled from said influence to keep and evolve as your own.
Sima: I think one major influence that I've been picking up on and paying a lot of attention to recently are Jim O’Rourke, who we’ve both been listening too pretty heavily, even more so than usual in the last year.
Macie: Also, records that he’s produced, like Stereolab (an English alternative band from the 90s), and stuff.
Sima: Yeah, and we've just really been enjoying their playfulness. There’s a lot of interesting repetition. I think he uses repetition in an interesting way. For example, he’ll use the same line over and over again, and it’s not necessarily like a repeated chorus. A number of his songs almost kind of have these incantations in them. I really like that and we've been doing some of that in our music. Nina Simone is also someone that I've been listening to a lot recently just because her performances and her style as a performer is so direct. Particularly later in the 70's when she was performing, she was really assertive on stage and speaking directly at what she was trying to say, and that really inspires me. I think about her a lot. Besides the fact that she is an amazing musician, piano player, and writer, I admire how direct, forthright and honest she was onstage. I think that we try and emulate that.
Macie: There was a YouTube video of hers that we were watching for a long time and it was called, “How it Feels to Be Free”. It was just her and a grand piano, and she’s just pounding away on it. It was really awesome. David Bowie, I think inspires us a lot, too. I love his songwriting style too. He’s a very eccentric dude.
CC: What's been your favorite place to perform so far?
Macie: We just played in New York. We played in Brooklyn at this venue called Cameo which was…so much fun. This girl Jess Ledbetter opened for us and she was really fucking awesome.
Sima: She’s got like blue hair. She rocks. She plays guitar.
Macie: Yeah, she’s got like beautiful mermaid hair. She was great, and that show was awesome. We had a fair amount of people come out which was unexpected (giggles). I enjoyed playing there.
Sima: We’re still getting our touring legs on. But we've played a lot of fun places in Chicago. We’ve played a couple of house shows, and a couple of venues. The Hideout and the Constellation, those are both really fun venues to play in. The Constellation is our spot, we play there quite often.
CC: So how’d you guys come together?
Macie: We’ve known each other for awhile, and I’ve always loved Sima’s music. I also played in a band with her brother. Sometimes I sing with her, and it just seemed like the right time to bring it together y'know, to actually collaborate on something. Rather than just me doing some of her music, and her doing some of my music, we wanted to actually bring our forces and create something new.
CC: So what's upcoming for Homme that you'd like to share with us?
Sima: Well, our record is coming out. We’re still trying to figure out exactly what we’re going to do with it but we finished it and we’re really pumped about it. We really love how it sounds, and feel good about it. We’re trying to do a couple of cool videos, and put some stuff out there so that people can familiarize themselves with it. Yeah, but we’re pretty much excited just to get things rolling.
Macie: I got a new guitar petal and I’m really excited about that. It's a reverb petal and Sima has it already (all laugh).
Macie: Our single “Fingerprints” just came out.
Sima: Yes it did. Also, we’re playing a show here in Chicago, on May 19th at Café Mustache, so we’re really excited to play there.