Casual Strangers

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Katey Gunn from Austin alt-rockers Casual Strangers tells us about the sounds, films and books that shaped her

First single

I remember getting Pearl Jam's ‘Last Kiss’ and listening to it 50 times in a row the second I got it home. 

First album

Jewel - Pieces of You. I was an angsty little girl learning to play the guitar, so I really looked up to her. The first CD that I was given was a Motown compilation which I kept in my car up until last year when it broke in half!

Favourite artist of all time

Brian Eno for his mastery of mood and elegant taste, no matter the collaboration. 

Favourite current artist

I listen to a lot of non-current artists, but I have to say Jenny Lewis. She's in a league of her own. She's an amazing songwriter and a brilliant singer. I like to think we could be friends. 

Favourite period in music history

The late 60s and early 70s Summer of Love fallout, where you have Krautrock, space-rock, the Canterbury scene, and funk coming out of these kind of drug-induced microcosms. I don't think music listeners were ever more progressive than they were at that time. It's been a regression to the pop conformations since then, so we really like to enjoy those mind-bending records at 33rpm. 

Style icon

Brigitte Bardot - big hair and cat eyeliner. What more do you need?!

Best gig you’ve attended

Neil Young, stage-side at ACL Festival. I'd been dreaming of that day forever. I'm a Neil Young super-fan, so I screamed, "I love you, Neil" during a quiet moment. He totally heard me. 

Favourite festival

Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin. It's really fun!

Favourite movie

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery – well, because it's hilarious and set in swinging London, but the soundtrack is my favorite part. ‘Incense and Peppermints’ by Strawberry Alarm Clock, ‘What the World Needs Now’ by Burt Bacharach with Elvis Costello, ‘I Touch Myself’ by Divinyls. George Clinton scored the movie, too! 

Favourite TV show

NOVA on PBS. Don't get me wrong, I watch a lot of trash TV, but I love learning. They make difficult concepts easier to understand. I walk away feeling like I am string theory expert, which is a way better feeling than spending an hour comparing yourself to the Kardashians. 

Favourite book

100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. By abstracting time through magical realism, he shows the cyclical nature of our relationships and existence, which we all struggle with. I don't think that idea had ever been communicated in such a profound way. It changed the way I see relationships, and added meaning to Fleewood Mac's ‘The Chain’.

Casual Strangers’ self-titled debut album is out now and you should get it: http://casualstrangers.bandcamp.com/releases

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