1. Tell us who you are and where you’re from.: My name is Athena Reich. I was born in Toronto, Canada and I now live in New York City.
My parents are both American though. My Dad is from Chicago (German Jew descent) and my Mother is Pennsylvania Dutch (Amish). So… that makes me Jamish… (I think my brother and I are the only ones)
2. Describe your music.: Imagine if Annie Lennox, Janis Joplin and Regina Spektor had a slumber party in 1930′s Berlin…. There would be the impending doom of war, the thrill of sexual outrageousness, and the blues and the quirkiness and the hilarity of it all.
3. Tell us how the band formed in three sentences.: My mother taught me classical piano at age 4. I taught myself guitar at age 15. I’ve been playing coffee shops and clubs ever since.
4. What did you do before you were in a band?: Before I did music I drew and painted.
Actually a few years ago my vocal chords started hemorrhaging and I wasn’t allowed to speak for a few months so I started painting and drawing again. You can see my freak portraits on my website.
5. List the first CDs/records each of you bought.: Cindy Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun
6. What’s the band up to over the next few months?: I’m writing new songs. Paperclip agency is booking me a tour across Europe & the UK. I’ll be making more music videos for MTV LOGO. I’ll be releasing some dance singles for the first time.
7. Best item of fan mail you’ve ever received?: On a napkin, after a gig, and I quote (it’s on my fridge so I transcribe it for you now):
Today was an awful day.
I was damn near tears when I came into the cafe. And you were singing something beautiful. And then you san a ridiculous song about your cat. I’m leaving with a smile.
8. What music do you have on repeat in the tourbus? : Janis Joplin, Etta James, Jason Robert Brown
9. What gear do you use?: Keyboard: Yamaha NP30
That’s all main… plain and simple.
10. What’s your best on-tour story?: My car broke down in the dessert in Arizona. It got towed to a place that said it was a mechanic’s shop but it was really a tire repair place and the owner was on crack and was trying to get me in bed. Meanwhile his pregnant cracked out girlfriend lived in a trailer out back. The power went out for days and it was like all the men in the town (like all 5 of them) were leering at me, trying to get it on with me (and they were all twice my age. One night, at the local hangout (the gas station!) one guy said that half the town lives there because their car broke down and they couldn’t afford to get it fixed. And he wasn’t joking!
I called the police but they said they couldn’t release the car unless the owner (the guy on crack) released my vehicle so for a few more days I pleaded with him. Finally he released the car and I got it towed to an actual shop 2 miles away. They fixed it in 10 minutes.
11. What do you demand on your rider?: Water bottles. And a sound system that actually works.
12. What’s your website?: http://www.athenareich.com