The AS Review caught up with Khaela Maricich, lead singer of The Blow, before her show on campus. The quirky electro-pop artist will grace Western as a part of the Bellingham Electric Arts Festival. After one failed attempt at an interview postponed by an exhausted Maricich, a product of a long night filing taxes, we connected later that day to talk the future of The Blow, bad TV and heartbreak.
ASR: What are you doing right now?
KM: Uh… [laughter] It's kinda embarrassing. I am reading about Madonna's trainer. There is all this dirt on her ripping people off by opening a fake gym or something on this gossip page. I was googling her cause she had this crazy amazing workout for Madonna.
ASR: Yea, I am definitely a sucker for gossip and trash TV once in a while. Like the show Flavor of Love.
KM: I never really watched that, I maybe saw two episodes. It was garbage when I was in the mood for garbage. It's pretty ridiculous-the less love he finds, the more money he makes.
ASR: You are originally from the area, what is your favorite Seattle haunts?
KM: I love walking around Queen Anne where I spent 18 years. And even though I know it sounds cheesy I really still love the Pike Place Market.
ASR: Do you plan on releasing any more work under, Get the Hell Out of the Way of the Volcano?
KM: I haven't really thought about it, I always saw The Blow as like a shortened version of that title.
ASR: Will you write another album? How will the sound change?
KM: I am working on music right now but I don't know if it will be an album I don't want to be an album producer my whole life.
It won't sound the same for sure. The background beats were all Jona. I don't think it will be as low-fi as my older stuff is. The last project was a conscious step towards pop. It will be interesting to see how it sounds different. I'm not out to try and repeat what I already did.
ASR: What is your process of music, do you force yourself to write every day or do you just wait for it to come to you?
KM: Kind of when it comes to me, I sorta just fit it in. It's when I am avoiding what I'm supposed to be doing it always happens; I think its best as an alternative thing.
ASR: Was “Hey Boy” written about a specific experience?
KM: Yea, it was.
ASR: Do you want to talk about it?
KM: No…They got all the notoriety they deserved.
ASR: Did you ever find out why he didn't call you?
KM: No, all my friends said that's just LA guys.
ASR: Sounds like Bellingham guys too.
KM: I actually came across the person again in a group and nothing happened. Ultimately it was worth a lot more than any dumb relationship I would have had with that person.
ASR: I personally love the song, “True Affection” the snapping is so catchy! What did you intend for the song to mean when you wrote it?
KM: This song was about a relationship with someone that was not mature. It was never going to work even though there was really love there. It was so real that it was hard for me to get over. I had never realized in my life that something could be so real but still not work.
ASR: Others have labeled you a role model; do you see yourself as one?
KM: I just try to be a good role model for myself. Once I got into my 30s I was more honorable and a lot less shifty and shitty and not fucking around with my friend's boyfriends You just have to try and maintain good behavior. When it's just me, I think “I should volunteer more” or “my hair looks shitty.”
ASR: What is it like to sing such vulnerable songs in front of an audience of strangers?
KM: I feel really comfortable, I recently played a big show in New York and I was really nervous about it, but after it was this amazing feeling of what did I just do.
I am trying to be honest even if it's kind of sad and a little funny. Once you're telling the truth your feet are at least planted on the ground. When you are trying to hide your weakness you are much more vulnerable. It's a much stronger place to be when you are exposed, it is a really amazing feeling to me.
ASR: You seem to have been through your share of heart ache in your life. What advice would you give to someone who's had their heart broken?
KM: When I had my heart broken really bad I needed my friends around me to make sure I ate food. Luckily, with my job I had time to lie around and be self-indulgent but I would force myself to do one useful thing a day like go to a cafá© to check my e-mail. You have to give yourself lots of room to feel. I guess just be really kind yourself even if that means watching seven hours of TV.
ASR: What if it is Flavor of Love?
KM: If that's what makes you feel better.