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Call & Response: She's Got a Habit (plus video debut)

Posted by Jer / October 31, 2010

She's Got a Habit Call & Response is a series of Q&As with bands, artists and random people we dig that live in Montreal, visit here, or have some dubious connection to the city.

She's Got a Habit is a Montreal trio made up of Emma Frank (soulful vocals) Martin Rodriguez (multi-instrumental programmer) and Andy Bauer (Drums, Bass, Wurlitzer, Programming). Depending on what their doing (recording an EP, filming a video, etc.) they also pull in help from other talented friends around town. Earlier this summer, they released a 6-song EP full of spliced bits of soul, hip hop, jazz and pop (free download here). The result is warmly comforting downtempo sound, though tracks like "Plus Minus" suggest there's some edginess hiding in the lush synth soundscapes. She's Got a Habit play Divan Orange on Tuesday night, but before that, we grilled them with our hardball questions about making music in Montreal. Not only were they kind enough to answer, but they even let us debut their brand new oh-so-local video for "Stars that Come".

Am I allowed to ask what Habit She Has?
Martin Rodriguez: Well, it's definitely open to interpretation. Originally, we just liked how it sounded.

Besides family, friends, other music, and summer nights, what influences your music?
Andy Bauer: Humans, earth, food, living, energy in the universe.
Emma Frank: Bike rides and psychoanalysis.
MR: My cultural background, being a mixed baby - half Mexican, half Polish - has had a pretty big influence on me artistically.

I hear a bit of jazz, a bit of ambient (as in Esthero, not as is Muzak), and a bit of pop thrown in for good measure. Where do you situate your sound?
MR: We're definitely mixing a lot of different things together. But labels are hard. We're definitely incorporating some jazz elements, some hip-hop/soul, some rock. The EP is really a mix of all of our different backgrounds - folk, introspective pop, experimental jazz, ambient electro, film scoring, and whatever else you hear.

Where is the best place to listen to your music?
MR: I think fall is a perfect time to listen to this EP, especially right around dusk.
AB: In a red-lit room late at night with some drinks, drab, and shag carpet.

What do you love most about Montreal? 
EF: How everyone I meet is doing something creative and amazing.
MR: Damn J'aime beaucuop Montreal! I've lived in Nogales, Seattle, Boston, and New York and none of them can do me as good as this city does. For me I think it's the balance of urban & nature.

What do you love most about Poutine?
MR: Well as you know there are a couple schools of thought into what makes the perfect poutine. My personal favourite recipe is crunchy fries with the squishy cheese curds and plenty of gravy.

What do you hate most about Poutine?
EF: Warm poutine is a double-edged sword. Blissful, but fleeting. Soggy poutine, total turn-off.

You're EP is a bit of a there a full-length in the works?
EF: Martin and I met up this week to look over our material. We have about 9 song sketches right now and we are going into the studio this spring to record a full length.

Who was your first live concert? Was it everything you had ever imagined?
EF: It was a community theater production of Jesus Christ Superstar. It was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. I had a huge crush on Judas and learned all the words afterwards. I'm still pissed that Peaches has already done a one-woman show of JCS. Maybe that's my next step, after SGH.

What's the best way to spend a Million dollars in 10 minutes?
EF: Wow, this question stumped me. I think I've overthought it too much. Hello Kitty paraphernalia. A degree in modern dance. In a spaceship. Moving on.
MR: Roadtrip. in a Ferrari, plus a time machine, throw in a Samari sword for good measure...ohhh 10 minutes left...mmmmmm bling gotta have some bling
AB: Poverty, peace, gourmet desert.

What's the best place you've ever been to?
EF: Nirvana.
AB: Venice? Or the woods, nature.
MR: Dude, just got back from Madrid about 2 weeks ago. The food is amazing, the wine is cheap & delicious, and the city just vibrates with energy.

What's the worst place you've ever been to?
MR: Jail. No Comment

How did you spend your 16th birthday?
EF: I was crying because MTV refused to feature my party on "My Super Sweet Sixteen"

In a Blindfold Test between you and New Coke, who would win?
AB: Blindfold Test. Without sounding conceited, and substance abuse aside, Blindfold Test won't make your teeth rot and you can spin it again and again for the same price. Wink.

I hear you have a new video to debut on this very site. It's filmed up in the woods of Mont Royal parc and it's touching. Can we see it?

Stars that come from She's Got a Habit on Vimeo.

Listen to more of She's Got a Habit at their bandcamp site or see them live:

November 2 @ Divan Orange
with TAKK and Armen at the Bazaar

January 12 @ Casa De Popolo
with Maylee Todd (Toronto)



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