I saw THEESatisfaction for the first time at the Wild Rose – I honestly had never seen anything quite like them. They immediately got my love with Catherine Harris-White’s and Stasia Irons’ passionate and danceable songs. Their words are just awesome too and I can’t wait for their debut LP – though for now you can hear more right here. For one of my must see Bumbershoot shows, THEESatisfaction plays the EMP Sky Church @ 4:45 on Monday, September 6th.
What’s the story behind how you two met? It was at the UW Cultural Center?
Stasia: Yeah, Cat was like the resident singer for the Retro Revolutionary Poets open mic, and I would go there just to hear her sing because I thought she was so filthy. I had never heard anything like her voice – it was just very raw and pure. You could tell that she has a story behind her voice. One day I went and she was singing a song about a guy she liked, and a girl she liked. It turned out she was singing about me and I didn’t even know. We met several other times and we started working together and became best friends, just trading music and songs, and then we started dating.
Did you two grow up singing?
Cat: I always liked to perform as a kid. When I got in middle school I started getting into choirs and singing more. Just sing more in general. I’d sing and harmonize with every song all the time, and then I started songwriting I’d say when I was about eleven.
Stasia: I was around music my whole life. My mom was a choir director and she played the piano. My dad played the piano. We would always sing around the house but [I was] never formally trained or anything like that.
Were you planning to move to San Francisco recently?
Stasia: First we went out to LA just to kick it with friends. We did a couple shows and were just seeing what LA was like. Then we came back to Seattle and did the Reverb Festival and then we went out to New York for a month. We did a couple shows – great shows actually – we were just traveling, having fun.
Cat: We like to get out and do stuff.
Stasia: I want to see the world.
Are both of you into literature, like science fiction – and sci fi movies?
Stasia: Yes – both. Right now I’m reading Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler and then we just recently got a bunch of movies. We’re going to be watching and studying.
Cat: That’s what we like to do. We really enjoy knowledge.
Stasia: Trying to find more black science fiction authors, producers . . .
The name THEESatisfaction, who came up with that?
Stasia: I had changed my name on my personal MySpace to THEESatisfaction and Cat was like, I like that. At the time we were singing but we didn’t really have a group. I chose THEE because everybody is The Something but THEE is because we both grew up with Shakespeare.
What’s some of your favorite Shakespeare?
Stasia: My favorite play is Othello.
Cat: A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Two very different plays. Comedy and Tragedy.
Cat: That is kind of how we are.
Do you remember what your first show as THEESatisfaction was like?
Stasia: It was really crazy but it was fun. It was at Voices Rising.
Cat: It worked. Being around each other all the time we kind of know where each other is going next.
Do you write together?
Cat: Sometimes you just get a groove and we just want to write something. Other times we might write something together, set aside time.
Did you grow up in Seattle?
Cat: I grew up in Tacoma and moved to Seattle when I was eleven. I moved to Renton.
Stasia: I grew up in Hawaii and moved here when I was ten.
Cat:We’re Seattle transplants but not really. We were young enough to actually grow up in Seattle and have a community.
Which one studied at the UW and which one at Cornish?
Cat: I was at Cornish – a vocal jazz major.
Stasia: English major at the UW.
I’ve seen your music described as so many different styles. What would you call it?
Stasia: Psychedelic space rock jazz. It’s something different to everyone. You could say it’s funk because to some people it’s funk. Some people with think it’s jazz or hip-hop or indie or punk. I think it’s whatever you make of it. If you enjoy it, that’s good.
Cat: We’ve heard several descriptions.
I was reading on your blog about Michael Jackson. If you had to pick – Michael Jackson or Prince?
Cat: I can’t do it.
Stasia: They bring different things to the table. I feel like they get compared a lot just because they’re black men who sing and perform. You can throw Stevie Wonder in there –
Cat: Those three are the kings.
Stasia: I think they get clustered together because they’re talented and made such a success – have such a huge fanbase. I mean, people aren’t comparing Chaka to Whitney. They’re totally different music but they do have some of the same fans. I love Prince, and I love Michael.