Mon Frere

Seattle Weekly: After winning EMP's Sound-Off! competition in 2004, you used the studio time to make the Real Vampires EP, which is being re-released by Tacoma's Cake Records. Did you get any exposure from your former label, Smug Life?

Nouela Johnston (vocals/keyboards): More than we would have with no label at all.

Kyle Swisher (guitar): It gave us something to sell at shows. Cake approached us later and asked us to check out their studio, and we didn't get to it for months.

Johnston: Finally we did, and it was amazingly huge and awesome. They said we could take as long as we want to record, meaning a few months as opposed to a couple days.

Swisher: So we were sold on that.

Cake's radio publicity program looks thorough— do they give you a rundown of who's playing your songs?

Johnston: Yeah, it's mostly college rock stations.

Swisher: And KEXP once sandwiched us between Queens of the Stone Age and Ice Cube.

Johnston: Us being the meat of the sandwich. That's how we roll.

You two and drummer David Haasl just started work on your full-length. Will it maintain your signature electro-pop sound, with the emphasis on Nouela's strong voice?

Swisher: Yes. It's all still short and poppy. Our epic song is three and a half minutes.

Johnston: But unlike the EP, not all the songs will be about vampires and ninjas.

Do people not take your music seriously because of the subject matter?

Johnston: We don't care about being taken seriously. We're not a U2, "saving lives" kind of band.

Swisher: Tears will not be shed during any of our shows.

What local bands put on a good show?

Johnston: I love the Divorce. I just bought their albums and have been listening to them all week.

Swisher: I won Divorce tickets on the End.

Johnston: You could've just asked them.

Swisher: I know, but I was at work at Red Robin, upset to be working a 10-hour day, so I felt like calling and winning.

And where are you working these days, Nouela?

Johnston: I make candles at Body Wax candle shop. You melt them, and the wax turns into massage oil. So you put that on your partner, rub it in, and commence with the lovemaking.

Will the new record have any songs inspired by lovemaking?

Johnston: All of my songs are about lovemaking.

Swisher: Especially the ones about killing.

Mon Frere play El Corazon with the Catch, Holy Ghost Revival, Siberian, and Cat Bees at 6 p.m. Sun., Oct. 30. $8.

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