Awe Yeah!

Homework before rock with Smoosh

Dad tells us that things around the House of Smoosh have been hectic recently, with (in no particular order) "sick kids, State Cup soccer games (go Aysa!), cleaning for the Today Show film crew, huge homework assignments [and] our normal jobs." With that said, we imagine it wasn't easy getting his daughter Aysa to sit down for yet another one of these pesky interviews when all she probably wants to do when she gets a little free time is play some music.

What Redd Kross' barely teenage brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald did for punk in the early '80s, Smoosh's junior-high-attending sisters, Aysa (12, keyboards) and Chloe (10, drums), are doing for pop in the '00s. It's the kind of fantasy you want to believe in: recording a CD of original material, receiving rave reviews everywhere from Tiger Beat to CNN, and then taking that adored-by-the-masses music on the road (during school breaks, of course) to open for the likes of Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World and—oh, yeah—Pearl Jam.

Smoosh's debut album, She Like Electric, is a fun yet sophisticated mix of sugar-coated pop and light-hearted rock that sounds exactly like you'd think it should: happy, youthful and optimistic, and girly and adorable, with vocals that resemble Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo). And they can play, too—Chloe was schooled on the traps by Jason McGeer of Death Cab for Cutie, while Aysa's piano skills could nearly rival those of Tori Amos. Not even kidding.


OCWeekly:What do your friends think about you being in a band?

Aysa:Some of my friends think it's cool, but they don't really think of me as being famous or anything 'cause I am just a regular kid.

Do either of your parents go with you on tour? What's that like?

They come with us. It's pretty fun. They take us to the shows and help us get situated, and we all visit the cities together. I am looking forward to playing California again in a couple of weeks because I want to play on the beach. Playing in front of new crowds is fun, too.

What's the most rock-star moment you've experienced?

We sign autographs and stuff. At our last show with the Presidents, some kids threw dollar bills onstage for us. We signed them and gave them back.

What do you do with the money you make on tour?

Mostly, I just keep it in my bank account and use some money for touring and traveling and stuff. We get to spend leftovers on whatever we want.

Have you tried creating music with anyone other than each other?

Yeah, we had a rock lottery here in Seattle where we got to create music with musicians we met that day, and we were one of five bands. At the end, we put on the show. And my little sister Maia is playing bass, and we hope she will come in the band sometime soon because we want more of a full sound.

What's been one of the most memorable experiences of this all?

The first time we played a big show with Death Cab at the Showbox. And recording our CD and playing with Pearl Jam.

So are you keeping a journal or scrapbook documenting of all this?

Not at all. I'm not that organized.


Smoosh play with Mates of State and Aqueduct at Koo's, 530 E. Broadway, Long Beach, (562) 491-7584; www.koos.org. Sun., 7 P.M. $10. ALL AGES.

 
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