Tape Girl - Sound In The Signals Interview

Gracie Pryor 

I recently had the opportunity to interview Tape Girl. We discussed inspiration behind starting the project, the introduction to ska music and the most influential ska albums, writing and recording "Half Pipe (The Art of Vocal Feminization)", collaborating with Kmoy for ‘The Precure Album’, the potential for new music, and more. Check it out below. 

First, thanks for the interview.

Of course, of course! :3

Can you tell me how you started Tape Girl for those who may be unfamiliar? How did you initially become interested in ska music?

I remember this started with me playing around on my phone with different apps that would let me record my guitar as well as sequencing fake instruments as a teenager. I was inspired to do this because I was really into this music project/band called Car Seat Headrest. The main person behind it, Will Toledo put out the first like 11 records just by recording them at home by himself and I thought that was such a cool concept. Which is funny because Car Seat Headrest has nothing to do with ska music, but if I had to pinpoint exactly how I got started making music, it was by all that. 

But how I got into ska is more of a different story. In one part it was because of Jeremy Hunter of Skatune Network, I always stumbled across their ska covers whenever I was on Youtube and they always covered songs from bands, TV shows, and video games I either knew about, or was really into. So I can say their covers went down as my first conscious exposure to what ska is. 

In another part it is because of Jeff Rosenstock. I really got into his solo music and had this idea from what I heard online that he used to be a "ska guy". But I wasn't quick to hop on that musical adventure to find the knowledge of what that exactly meant. Instead I was handed it on a silver platter: The Bruce Lee Band's "Rental!! Eviction!!" which I can say for sure is the first ska record I heard. And I really loved everything about it, from the instrumentation to Mike's lyricism, I fell in love with it all.

What are some of your favorite or most influential ska albums?

With that I eventually got into the other Bruce Lee Band releases along with The Arrogant Sons of Bitches' "Three Cheers For Disappointment" and Bomb The Music Industry! Especially those first three albums when it was for the most part all done by him on his computer. So obviously I really do love Bruce Lee Band's latest two albums along with the Division In The Heartland EP, AND obviously Ska Dream. That album is quite grand in all the sounds of ska it has. 

I really like Lo(u)ser's EP "Super Gwario Kart '' and the way he blends ska with chip tune music and video game-y aesthetics. I don't think I can think of any influential ska albums because the music I'm making isn't influenced 100% by ska only... Maybe Alone In The Universe's "Taking Shortcuts, Getting Home ''. Which is this super grand chiptune rock album. The only reason why I bring it up is because it does have three ska songs and I really dig how the game boy is arranged on all the tracks. I very genuinely say I am influenced by Kmoy and The Precure Album, even though I am scattered across the album in a way. I really loved literally everything about his songs. Same thing with the band Barely March and also Peach Rings. Those three are sorta like my biggest influences.

Your song “Half Pipe (The Art of Vocal Feminization)" was on the ‘Shape Of Ska Punk To Come Vol. 2’. It’s one of my favorite songs of yours. Can you tell me about writing and recording that song?

So you wish to know more about the song "Half Pipe (The Art of Vocal Feminization)"...?

Well it is quite simple! This song is about the special stage you play in the video game from the 90s called Sonic The Hedgehog 2...

(This song is about how when being a transgendered person of the lady variant, there is this thing we can do called voice feminization and I have done a lot of research online about all the way you can do it, and one of the main things you do is make the space between your mouth and larynx smaller/shorter. So my silly willy brain simplifying stuff was like "yeah I gotta half my pipe" so that is where the chorus comes from.) 

Was it specifically written for that compilation or was it a song you had been working on?

Yes, this was specifically written for The Shape of Ska Punk Vol..

You’re featured pretty heavily on Kmoy’s ‘The Precure Album’. How did it work out for you to be featured on that album? What was it like working on it?

Ah! ~ The Precure Album. I don't like to think I'm a "feature" on The Precure Album. I became friends with Kenny a tad before he started getting to work on recording the album. He had most of it worked out, but I was there when he was putting the final pieces together and recording the whole thing. He had me sing background vocals on a few songs just as he had his best friend from college and then roommate Nehemiah Williams sing on Celtic Precure as well as play bass on 4/10th of the album, he freaking rocked a 5-string bass if I remember correctly too! So Nehemaih WIlliams is also a feature too!

What’s coming up for you? Can we expect new music this year?

Aside from like two or three covers I'm doing for a few different things. I have nothing planned for this year. But for what's coming up, I have a handful of bigger non-single projects that I actually need to finish because they are all in various degrees of incomplete states. But I do know I want to release them all in the same year. Sorta like how King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard did in 2017 and Skatune Network did last year in 2021. I think all those albums they all did turned out so great! 

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

At the time of me finishing this, February the Twenty-Fifth be with you! Oh and Gracie Pryor did the Tape Girl graphic!

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