According to Liza Kate, “It had to be the right time.”
Besides the stray compilation tracks here and there, it's been five years since the acoustic guitarist and singer officially released new material (she has a split 7-inch with Rachel Jacobs). Kate says the biggest factor was “motivation, wondering why I was doing it in the first place. I was having a hard time doing something about me. For a long time, I didn't really have enough to say.”
Now, she has not only enough to say for a full-length release, but also some left to answer our five questions.
Style: Tell us about that one song.
Liza Kate: It's the title track to my new record. “Don't Let the Dogs” is about how everybody can identify with not always being such a great person and coming to terms with wrong things you've done in your life. It's about accepting yourself and also sort of an apology song. I think a lot of people can identify with that, it can mean a lot of things.
What is your first musical memory?
Probably when my sister gave me her Twisted Sister record. My sister was a total metal head. I guess she got sick of that record and pawned it off on me. It was the first record I had that wasn't kid songs. I just remember playing air guitar -- of course the wrong way. I'm right-handed, but I didn't know how to hold a guitar. So, I played air guitar left-handed for years, not knowing, to Twisted Sister.
What is one thing you think would help improve the Richmond music scene?
More venues. More medium-sized venues. More places that aren't necessarily just bars. I think it's great that people are playing at clothing stores, and houses are amazing, but we really need more medium-sized places to play.
If your music was a classic cartoon character, which one would it be?
Oh, it would be Jabberjaw [the great white shark]! I would hope anyway. Really, just because of how insecure he was.
How do you feel about being awarded “Artist Most Likely to Tell You to Shut the Hell Up” in Style Weekly's recent Music Issue?
Oh my gosh, that was weird, because I'm not a hard-ass. I would never actually tell someone to shut the hell up, as much as I'd love to say that sometimes. At this point, I know where I can play, where it works and where it doesn't. I just don't play places where it doesn't work anymore. It's not the venue's fault; some places are better for it. I'm just quiet and there's nothing I can do about that.
Liza Kate's “Don't Let the Dogs” is out on Holidays for Quince Records and will be available at her CD release show on Friday, May 22, at Gallery5 at 8 p.m., with Jonathan Vassar and the Speckled Bird and Mount Moriah. $5. 644-0005.
Download "Don't Let the Dogs" below.