Have you heard of the Brooklyn based indie punk band, The Shondes?
We had the good fortune of having Louisa Salomon, the lead singer of the band answer some of our questions, recently.
Where did you girls meet?
I met Temim at a Jews Against the Occupation event in 2004. I’ve known Eli since we were teenagers — we went to the New School together. We met Fureigh later on after our first guitarist left the band.
What are the band’s members full name, age and place of birth?
Eli Oberman, 28, Smithtown, NY
Temim Fruchter, 33, Englewood, NJ
Louisa Solomon, 30, Ithaca, NY
Fureigh, 28, Kansas City, MO
So, you live in Brooklyn now?
We all live in Brooklyn, and we love it there!
Is the band particularly religious in any way?
I think each member of the band has our own take on religion, and we each come from different kinds of Jewish background. Speaking for myself, Judaism is a really essential part of my life. It informs my ethical orientation, how I try to live and treat people, how I find comfort, how I look for beauty in the world and as a band, we try to maintain some level of Jewish observance, even on the road. One really cool thing about touring is getting to visit shuls all over the country, and this fall we’ll be spending the high holidays in Eastern Europe.
So, all the band members are Jewish?
Would you say the band is active in the Jewish community in any way?
We have all been active in different pockets of progressive Jewish New York over the past decade, and working nationally and internationally with radical Jews, particularly around challenging Zionism and supporting Palestinian non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation.
Yes, we all went to college. Eli and I went to the New School in NYC as I mentioned before, Fureigh went to Reed College in Portland, OR and Temim went to University of Maryland.
Do you notice a difference at all in the age of your fan base?
In rock music culture, there is not always a lot of space for young people and elderly people. Some of my favorite performances have been those where it was more possible for there to be age diversity in the crowd — playing at the Brooklyn Museum or at Union Square, playing at progressive Jewish community events — as opposed to at clubs, late at night. We try to play all-ages shows whenever possible and to support younger people putting on shows — this was so vital to be as a teenager, and I’d never want to turn my back on it!
In your area of music, what expectations are specifically placed on men? On women?
It can be difficult being a woman in the music industry! Within indie rock, there tend to be more different ways men are allowed/encouraged to sing, to look, to act, while expectations for women are narrower. There is often not a lot of room for being a multi-faceted human being, while expressing your experiences through song!
Who are your musical influences?
The members of the band bring together a wide variety of influences — jazz, soul, rock, pop, jewish music — but the ones that most come through in The Shondes’ sound are probably feminist punk, pop, and hints of klezmer.
What places are you going to during this tour?
All over the continental United States! Very excited to return to our favorite cities in the midwest and on the west coast – and of course Austin, TX, where we are based right now for South by Southwest – but also to add some cities we havent’ been to in ages like New Orleans (pickle po boys, here we come!) and new cities like Orlando!
What are your plans after this tour?
We are definitely taking the summer to work on our new material and prepare for our European tour this coming fall!
Anything you would like to add?
Check out our most recent album, “Searchlights” and our new video for the single “Give Me What You’ve Got” on our website.