Monday, March 25, 2013

Carts Before Horses Release Their First EP

I have always been fascinated by sisters. Some sisters get along too well and it makes me jealous. To have a friend like that, who knows you so well, would be amazing. Other sisters steal each others clothes and makeup and compete with each other. Those sisters do not make me jealous, but rather happy that I only have three brothers. Thankfully, my brothers have yet to steal my clothes or makeup, although realistically I might like them more if they did. When I first listened to Carts Before Horses' new EP Allegories I immediately thought to myself, "This is what happens when sisters use their talent and sister powers for good."

Lauren and Elizabeth Reisig (a.k.a. Beez) are two sisters that came together to form Carts Before Horses. Forming a band was not their original intent, but rather a by-product of being asked to perform once a month on the streets of Oxford, their home town. The covers were then recorded and put on online, which created quite a buzz. That's when these ladies realized they had something and could make something out of it. They began to write their own original music. Before they knew it they were opening up for other local acts in the area with all their own music. They had officially become a band.

They sent over a copy of Allegories for us to review and within minutes we knew that we were fans. It reminds us of The Watson Twins with more energy and better harmonies. It is quite amazing how well these two women can sing together. Damn sister super powers! They have a very cute tumblr where you can ask them questions and learn more about them. They also have a music video that will be released in the next few weeks. You can follow them on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with their announcements. In the meantime you can download their album here and read ahead to learn more about Lauren & Beez.
Photo Credit: Leo Bautista

Hip In Detroit- What are your biggest musical inspirations?
Carts Before Horses- "Just life and relationships in general! We write a lot about (past and present) romantic relationships, relationships with friends, family and each other. We're both big readers so, we find a lot of inspiration from books as well!"

Hip In Detroit- On Facebook you say that you started playing "gigs before you started making music". Explain that.
Carts Before Horses- "Well, before we'd ever even written a single song together, we were asked by our city (Oxford) to street perform on the first Friday of every month during the summer. We'd just go out, stand on the street corner the city assigned us and would perform a bunch of covers! People responded really well to it and, our friends asked us to play a show with them even though we didn't have any originals yet just from hearing us do that! It wasn't until about 2 weeks before our very first show that we wrote our very first song, "Pipe Dreams." We kept booking shows after that and writing and introducing more original songs into our live sets as we went along!"

Hip In Detroit- Do you play any instruments? Are you formally taught or self taught?
Carts Before Horses- "We both play guitar. I am more confident in my guitar skills, so I take over that duty when we perform live. Beez is gaining confidence more and more and, we're hoping that soon she'll be playing live as well.
As far as how we were taught goes, I'd say a combination of both. I was taught by my youth pastor when I was still in highschool, but I am still learning new things all the time. Beez is just a natural at all things musical and has primarily taught herself."

Hip In Detroit- You post a lot of covers to your tumblr. What motivated you tostart doing that? How do you decide what to cover?
Carts Before Horses- "That started during the whole street performing thing last summer! Partially, we just had so much fun doing the covers for people live, we wanted to keep doing it. Mostly, once we decided that music was something we seriously wanted to pursue, we decided it would be a good way to get people's attention until we had our own material to showcase. It really helped us develop a small following before we even started seriously writing."

Hip In Detroit- Who writes the lyrics? Do you write from your personal life or do you write about the world around you?
Carts Before Horses- "Our writing process is a little funky, but we both write the lyrics. We both keep journals where we write lyrics and poems. After writing a while, we sit down together when we think we've got something good and write a song around the lyrics we have. It's weird but, it works!
For the most part, we write lyrics based on our personal lives. There's a lot of material that comes from relationships we have with various people in our lives."

Hip In Detroit- How the fuck did you learn to harmonize like that?
Carts Before Horses- "Haha! I love this question! We like to joke and say that everything we learned about harmonizing, we learned from singing along to Eisley (our favorite band which is also fronted by sisters). A lot of it we owe to just being fortunate enough that we're sisters and we can both sing. Other than the fact that, as siblings, we have similar timbres which makes harmonizing a little easier, we've been singing together for years in the car and at home which makes predicting what the other will do and what works for us a lot easier."

Hip In Detroit- Best and worst part of performing in front of people?
Carts Before Horses- "Other than the adrenaline and the catharsis that comes from it, I'd say the best part is the people we have met through performing! We've been so lucky to have met such a lovely, diverse group of people from all walks of life by talking to people after our set is done. We love asking people questions and learning about other people's lives so, that's definitely fun.
The worst part is probably the vulnerability that comes with getting up in front of people and sharing an intimate part of yourself. We both tend to have a streak of perfectionism in us so, every 'screw-up' on stage we notice and tend to fret over. Every mistake has helped us get better and taught us where we need to improve though, so we are thankful for that!"

Hip In Detroit- Best and worst part about writing music with your sister?
Carts Before Horses- "I think the best part is that we know each other so well and are so comfortable with each other that there is no fear of judgment when sharing new song ideas and lyrics with each other. It makes the creative process much easier knowing that we can both be completely honest with each other without fear of judgment. We both kind of make up for what the other one lacks too (She's more skilled at writing lyrics, I'm better at instrumentation and writing melodies), so we don't get 'stuck' or experience writer's block very often.
Honestly, I can't really think of a 'worst' part. We are two very different people with different ideas and perspectives. That being said, we squabble and bicker and have to retreat to our separate corners sometimes (ok...many times...) while we write, but...I can't imagine being in a band with anyone else and not still having that happen! "

Hip In Detroit- Do you still live together? Do you ever get sick of being around each other? Be honest!
Carts Before Horses- "Beez lives in the dorms at her school during the school year and, I work two jobs and am going to school so, we're never given the chance to get sick of each other! Even when we're both home a lot, we don't get sick of each other though. Like I said, we squabble and bicker and fight-we are sisters after all!- but, we really are best friends first and foremost. Beez is my favorite person in the world! Our parents really emphasized while we were growing up that someday, they wouldn't be around anymore, and friends/boys come and go, but we would always have and could rely on each other. That lesson stuck!"

Hip In Detroit- Why the name Carts Before Horses?
Carts Before Horses- "It goes back to the whole “booking shows before we started writing music” thing! We kept jokingly throwing it around when we were trying to think of a name and eventually we were like 'well, it's unique and it tells a story, so...why not actually use it?'"

Hip In Detroit- Where can someone get a copy of the new EP?
Carts Before Horses- Allegories is available on iTunes and Amazon mp3!

Hip In Detroit- Where was this album recorded? Who was it recorded with?
Carts Before Horses- "Another local artist, DL Rossi, recorded “Allegories” in his home in Macomb! He's an insanely talented artist and producer-we were so lucky to work with him!"

Hip In Detroit- Favorite venue you have played at in Detroit Metro area so far and why do you like it?
Carts Before Horses-"We loved playing at The Pike Room! We've seen so many of our favorite bands play at The Crofoot, and in that room specifically, it was just a surreal experience to play there. can still hardly beli Ieve it happened..."

Hip In Detroit- Do you have any upcoming shows?
Carts Before Horses- "We do! We are so excited to be working with Groovebox Studios in Detroit on a Kickstarter campaign so that we can (hopefully-gotta raise that ca$h!) perform and record a live session with them on April 13th. Anyone who donates $20 to our campaign can come, watch, and take part in that with us!
We also have a show on April 26th at the Vernors Room in Pontiac with Flashing Blue Lights."

Hip In Detroit- Single or taken? Two hot little singers are a big commodity! The boys will want to know!
Carts Before Horses- "I am taken. Beez is single. The boys better watch out though! Beez is has grown up to be a gorgeous, talented and smart young woman, but....she'll always be my “baby” sister. You mess with her, you mess with me! ;)"

Hip In Detroit- Other local acts that you enjoy and think others would enjoy?
Carts Before Horses- "We have a ton of locals we love! DL Rossi, American Opera, Jeff Pianki, Claslan, and Shapes & Colors are just a few of our many local loves!"


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