Kate and James Hathaway, who together comprise the Hathaways, are like two sides of a coin. It’s not that they are complete opposites (this brother and sister duo don’t work off the little bit country, little bit rock n’ roll dichotomy); rather, the two compliment each other so nicely that the product of their collaboration is seamless and unified.
Read what the Hathaways had to say about their latest EP (which can be purchased at Exile on Main Street or iTunes, Amazon, etc.), George Clooney and vomiting into the audiences’ mouths after the jump.
Smile Politely: You recently had an EP release show at the Iron Post. How did it go?
James Hathaway: We predicted a million, but only a quarter million showed up, sadly.
Kate Hathaway: It was great. All of our favorite people, as well as new, crammed into the Post’s very intimate setting. Some of our biggest supporters went home with our hand-made CD sleeve, the new EP and our newest edition of recycled t-shirts.
My favorite part of the evening was when Tom Turino and Ben Smith of Big Grove Zydeco helped us create new renditions of several tunes off the new EP. Tom played what we call the manjo, part mandolin part banjo, and Ben was on fiddle. We have some new ideas flowing now. Thanks you two!
SP: This is the first Hathaways release, if I heard correctly, but Kate, you’ve performed solo before. How did making this Hathaways release differ from your solo work? Was it more of a collaborative songwriting environment?
KH: Definitely. Before Hathaways, I only wrote by myself and depended on good friends for feedback. But with our new project, we collaborate on every song. Sometimes we’ll write both lyrics and instrumental parts to a song together, and sometimes one of us will start a song and ask the other to write harmonies and add ideas. We’re always working as a team.
SP: What’s it like working as a sibling duo? Do you think that sharing some genes lends itself to musical collaboration?
JH: I think that being a duo is like Batman and Robin without the crappy George Clooney spin-off. In other words, we help each other out quite a bit and tell one another “you suck” when it really comes down to it, but usually with a tone of constructive criticism. Our costumes still need some work though. (See question six.)
I think sharing genes has enabled us to connect on different levels than most musicians. For example, Kate can sense when I am being lazy even if I am in another room, and she yells for me to get my ass busy on promotion and filling out surveys.
SP: How would you classify your own music? Do you place yourself in a particular genre or discipline?
JH: The music is folksy and mixed with some poppy elements. Coked Up, Folked Up.
SP: What’s your all-time favorite artist or album … or both?
KH: Neko Case, Blacklisted
JH: Jeff Buckley, Live at Sin-é
SP: If you could rename your band, what would it be and why?
JH: Cuckoo’s Nest. With this name, we could wear cuckoo costumes while regurgitating food into the mouths of the crowd below, and it would be no big thang, yo.
KH: Hmmm … interesting James.
SP: What are your plans now that the EP is out? Looking to tour? I heard you’re traveling to Peru?
JH: We plan to tour the earth, starting with Peru, before we move on to other touristy planets like Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. I wonder how a charango sounds in outer space?
KH: Ahem … Yes, we’re heading to Peru for January and February. We have quite a few shows booked so far, and we’ll be taking charango and guitar lessons from a friend during the day. We’ll be back March 1 to plan a tour closer to home and to record a new album.
Tonight, Nov. 21 @ Cowboy Monkey, 9:30 p.m.
with Grace Askew, Post Historic and Jamie Randolph
Friday, Dec. 5 @ Mike & Molly’s, 9 p.m.
with Lovely Houses, Peter Adriel, Casados and Ryan Groff
Wednesday, Dec. 10 @ Canopy Club, 8 p.m.
with Sunset Stallion, Post-Historic, Jonathon Childers and Brian Esmao