April 27, 2010
Interview and Photos: Lorna Pacheco
The members of Mama Lion took the time to talk to Kill The Mic's San Francisco contributor, Lorna Pacheco. Who are Mama Lion? They are Victor Mitrani, Hana Frances Healy (corrected - sorry about that) and Gabriel Gipe. Their latest EP ('Gamble Gamble, Die') can be found on myspace and be purchased on iTunes. They are currently working on new music and plan to tour southern California. Definitely worth watching out for! As for the interview: there are a shitload of "likes" so brace yourself...
KTM: Thank you guys for joining Kill The Mic. I read somewhere that you are originally from San Diego?
Hana: We all came separately. I came to go to San Francisco State. (When) I graduated high school, I wanted to move up here. My sister was up here (and was) going to SFS.
Victor: I went to school at UC Santa Cruz and I reconnected with one of my friends who I knew from San Diego. Towards my senior year I was coming up to SF to hang out with him and (Hana) happened to be there and they would go into these crazy jams, and I would jam too.
Hana: Victor knew him from elementary school and me and Victor went to the same elementary school.
Victor: We lived in the same apartment complex, but we didn’t know each other. It was just like one of those "Whoa, what are you going to do now when you graduate?" "I'll go to san Francisco, work at a shitty job and play in a band."
Hana: He graduated as a business major.
Victor: Which is completely worthless, and then I asked Hana, "Oh we should start a band," and she said "OK." And we started jamming with some people and we were sort of a band. We didn’t call it a band for so long. It was like "We’re just jamming” and we played with them and it didn’t work out with them. At the end, Hana asked Gabe a question like, half question, like "Are you still drumming?" and Gabe (said) “Why you still need a drummer? I can drum buy drums."
And so we did a very formal, test out run with Gabe and you know…
Gabe: I think it's just funny, we all grew up in the same neighborhood, but I knew Hana since I was a kid.
KTM: Tell me a little about the song writing process?
Hana: We usually write songs separately. That’s how we started playing music, writing songs on our own, and that’s still how we do it. We usually make songs separately and then add on to it .
Victor: We play the song through. We sort of figure out an arrangement. Pretty much the main ideas are developed by the time we get it in there.
KTM: How would you describe your sound?
Hana: It's sort of like the same problem for us, we have a hard time describing it, we actually just finished recording this past weekend and the guy that was recording us was like, "Yeah I really couldn’t pinpoint, if we needed to call you a genre, like its really dynamic there’s a lot of different parts, different styles different influences, you know?" So I guess we just put it under the blanket of indie rock.
Victor: That’s just the easiest thing
Hana: Or folk rock. We made, like, a fake genre: Post College Rock.
Victor: Post College Folk Punk Rock. Post College Graduate School Rock
Hana: The most effective way is to say what people say we sound like, what our influences are gives you more of an idea than a genre.
Victor: Like country music. I really, really like Hank Williams, or Johnny Cash, which isn’t to mean I like Toby Keith or whatever; you just pick the best parts out of the stuff you like.
KTM: You put out a 4 song EP, any full length CD in the works in the near future?
Hana: We have tons of songs. We just need to get the money to record them. We met this guy who is recording us pretty cheap. We're probably going to record more songs. We recorded, like, 4 and a half songs. In a couple more months we are gonna do more as far as, like, a full album. That will be a couple months, you know if we do it.
KTM: Do you feel the San Francisco music scene is pulsating again?
Victor: There is definitely... as far as an interest to what’s happening in San Francisco. I would say so, but I noticed that a lot of those bands are sort of similar. People are excited about music which is great, but it's just, like, I don’t know, the garage rock sound of it is like…
Hana: I don’t know it's different now. I think there are a lot of specific genres that are popular and those are, like, the scenes that are really popular... Psychedelic Rock and Garage Rock.
Victor: Lo Fi Chill Wave…
Gabe: The all ages show were our biggest turn outs.
Victor: There are some really cool bands. It's really cool to see, like, Grass Widow. Now they are blowing up. There seems to be an interest in music.
KTM: Hana what’s your favorite song right now?
Hana: The first song on 'Death of a Lady’s Man' by Leonard Cohen, great song. Oh, also "Big White Cloud" by john Cale.
KTM: Victor, favorite guitarist?
Victor: Guitarist, wow, how much time you have? (laughter), I like, see it's different aspects. I like me some Lee Renaldo and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. I like Jimi Hendrix, I like Greg Ginn of Black Flag. I like so many guitarists, it's really, it's a lot of people.
KTM: All right, Gabe. Favorite movie of all time? And don’t say Avatar!
Gabe: This is really easy for me cause when people say what’s the biggest book that’s ever influenced you, the biggest band and the movie, the book would be "1984" the band would definitely be the Clash and the movie, well who am I kidding, Star Wars! Original Star Wars Trilogy. I can recite every line. I get in arguments at work on who is on the Jedi council. That’s how ridiculously dorky I am!
KTM: But you know what, you are still cool. It's not Star Trek. You got any shows lined up in the near future?
ML: We have a show May 27th with our friends' band, The Guns and that will be a fun.
KTM: Anything else you’d like to add?
Victor: We might go on tour afterwards. Maybe a southern California tour…
Hana: Possibly, but that wont be until August.
Victor: So south. Try to do Santa Barbara, try to visit my mom, we have friends in LA, San Diego, our biggest show, homecoming. We will see how things pan out.