Monday, July 6, 2009

Interview with the First Ladies

Who: The First Ladies
What: Rock / pop band opening for Truman
Where: The Quad, Idaho State University, Pocatello ID - map
When: Thursday, July 9, 2009 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Truman is headlining this week's Thursday night Concert on the Quad at ISU, with The First Ladies opening. They have been performing live in the Boise, Idaho area and writing songs for two years. I caught up with the incredibly well-spoken Joel and Micah Smith about the band, their music and the upcoming show.

SLG: Tell us about your music? Your influences and in what way you appeal to your fans?

JS: Our style is primarily influenced by the Euro rock scene, as well as Northwestern innovators like Death Cab For Cutie and Modest Mouse. Our most crowd pleasing songs are "Heatbeat" and "Emotional Knapsack," both written within the first few months of starting the outfit, as well as "Your Demons and Your Smile," a newer song.

MS: I'd imagine the attraction for these tracks has to do with the memorable hooks and the rhythmic bounce pronounced dynamically throughout each piece.

Micha Smith (Guitar and Vocals) and Joel Smith (Percussion and vocals) are primarily responsible for the song writing and production of the First Ladies.

MS: We've had a number of stage musicians and temporary help, but our current bass player, Jordan Hopewell is a more permanent occupant.

SLG: Tell us where you're from and where you're currently based?

JS: We originated out of Eagle, Idaho. Currently, I live in Seattle, Jordan lives in Boise, and Micah is between cities. Though the distance can be difficult, we are all spending the summer in Boise, so much of our time goes to writing new songs and playing shows in the area.

MS: We should be doing shows during the fall and winter also. It all depends on who's busy at the time.

SLG: Any shows or venues you've played in the past you want to brag about?

JS: We've had the privilege of playing the Neurolux Lounge in Boise twice. Both experiences have been enjoyed and we hope to be invited back soon.

MS: It's the best crowd in Boise.

The First Ladies are also playing at The Boise Venue on July 17 with Pocatello locals Somewhere in the Middle.

~Check it out.~

SLG: Any comments about the local live music scene? The music industry in general? What do you think is the best way to get your music out there?

JS: Locally, We've found that there are a few hidden gems among the casual hobbyists that make up a majority of Idaho's music scene. With the sprightly outlet of the internet, there's room for independent artists to find modest success in local and regional entertainment scenes. Auto-tune and "Birthday Sex" aside, we still believe in hope for the popular music scene to make a turnaround into a more creative and innovative direction and have dreams of one-day being a part of this... perhaps I'm jumping ahead of myself.

SLG: Naw.

MS: There are a ton of good bands out there who are creative and honest with their work. Bands like Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, and Band of Horses are becoming pretty prominent not only in finding their niche audience but bringing originality to the masses. Some people might say this is a bad thing because they want indie bands to stay a "secret." I say let the best music rise to the top...just don't let money change you.

SLG: Amen Micah. Do you have a favorite video of your music on YouTube?

MS: We have a couple videos on YouTube and Facebook of tracks from a BSU show, including our remix to "Ignition" (Remix) and a crowd favorite and original of ours "Take Your Share." But the big thing for us this summer is our video for our song "Heartbeat." Our friend Aidan Brezonick is shooting it in Boise next week and we should have it out by mid-August.

SLG: What's the best way for fans to keep in contact with you?

JS: We can be contacted through our Myspace (, Facebook page, website, or directly emailed at

MS: We ARE looking for more shows in Pocatello if anyone would have us...shoot us an email.

SLG: Will you have CD's and more for sale at the show?

MS: We have our first, 6-song EP for sale at the show. You can pick your own price for that. We also have some free stickers and our new t-shirts which are only $15 each. And stay tuned for our new album this fall.

Thank you!

SLG: No, thank you! Look forward to seeing you.

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