Ari Bowe of Spud Cannon
Bringing to you their sweet riffs, nostalgic tunes, and much more is the sloppy kiss rock band from New York, Spud Cannon! The band consists of Margret Matthews on vocals, Jackson Lewis on the guitar, Ariana (Ari) Bowe on the keyboard, Lucy Horgan on the bass, and Sam Saias on the drums. In this interview, I was given the pleasure to communicate with the keyboardist of the band, Ari Bowe, and talk about how the band came to be, the creative process, favorite tunes on the LP, & much more. Their music is definitely something you cannot stay seated for, so go on and read to learn more about New York’s very own Spud Cannon.
Can you give us some background information about your band? How’d you all come together? How’d you come up with “Spud Cannon” as your band name?
We came together in the fall of 2016. We came together pretty organically, in kind of an “old-fashioned” way. Jackson’s the one who put us all together though, I think he’s the one who was originally looking to start a real band. He recruited Sam (our drummer) in the dining hall. It’s kind of a funny story actually: Jackson saw Sam, who was wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt and aviators, then went up to him and said, “What instrument do you play?” and it just so happened that Sam played the drums. Jackson also put up fliers looking for a bassist, and Lucy was the first to respond, so she was in. Jackson asked Meg to join after seeing her sing at an acapella show. I tagged along with Lucy to an early band jam session, not even knowing that they were looking for a keyboardist, and we all wrote the bare bones to our song “Midnight” that night.
Did each one of you always know you wanted to make music or when/how did you find out you wanted to make music?
I’d always been interested in making music, but mainly because I idolized musicians and what they were able to do. I played in a cover band in high school, and that’s when I started feeling like I had a home in music. It wasn’t until I was actively making original music with Spud Cannon that I realized how much I love doing it. It’s so satisfying to create something out of nothing.
What’s your favorite part of the music process? (Ex: Writing, recording, performing & etc.,)
Writing is so exciting because when you’re first starting a new song, just riffing, you don’t know where it’s going to go. But there comes a point when it all clicks and it’s a song — and that’s just an awesome feeling. But I’d say performing is my personal favorite because you get on stage, forget about everything else and share your music with an audience — it’s pure fun.
What influenced your debut album, Next Time Read the Fine Print ? The sound of your album seems to carry so much more than just one feeling!
The feeling of nostalgia is definitely strong on the album. Nostalgia for childhood, relationships, places, all kinds of things. We also wanted some sense of femme power in there too, given the lineup of our band, so a couple of our songs might give off a bit of a “man-eater” vibe.
Speaking of the album, what track would you say is your favorite to perform and why?
Ow Ow Ow is my favorite — the end of the chorus is literally “ow ow ow!” so everyone can sing along to it.
What is the meaning behind the title of the debut album? How’d you all develop that idea?
The title is actually a line from one of our songs, “Hurricane Hands,” which is a bonus track on our cassette release. And fun fact: we ran the album through a tape machine so it’s recorded over some old Disney soundtrack cassette. Sometimes in between tracks you can hear little bleeps from the original tape — that’s the “fine print!”
What do you guys like to do outside of music that contributes to your musicality; such as, a hobby that you turn to in order to rejuvenate your creativity? It can be anything!
Lucy and I used to swim a lot, which sometimes puts you in a nostalgic mood. Recently we’ve been hanging out on my roof a lot, just talking and listening to music looking down on the quad — that really clears my head.
Aside from “Sloppy Kiss Rock,” what else would you name your genre of music?
Spray-paint Pop. It might be all over the place but now and then you get something pretty!
Now I have to ask… What is your dream venue to play at? And do you plan to tour anytime soon/ where would you love to tour the most?
If it were still around, CBGBs! But since it’s not, I’d say any place in New York like the Beacon Theater, Bowery Ballroom, or Terminal 5. We’re hoping to tour soon, maybe a quick one in the summer — but we’ll focus more on touring once we’re all done with school! It’d be super cool to tour the South, and beyond that I’m dying to play in Japan someday.
And finally… Is there anything else you’d like to add? Upcoming projects, shows, or any thoughts/ statements? GO ON!
We’re doing a limited release of our album on cassette, which you can find IN REAL LIFE at Rough Trade Records in Brooklyn, NY. And we’ve got a show in NYC on February 17th!