We caught up with dirty blues rockers Tone Catalano and CC Spina, better known as Little Hurricane, after their set at Bowery Ballroom in New York and hit them with six questions!
1. Your music is a fantastic blend of dirty blues and rock. Who are your musical influencers and where do you get your inspiration from when writing your songs?
CC & Tone: Thanks! We appreciate the music of our parents, Van Morrison, James Taylor, the Beatles etc. So that plays a role into our style and vision for where we want to take new songs.
2. We love the story about how you met in San Diego via Craigslist. Tell us about your initial meeting, your experiences creating your debut album “Homewrecker” (2011) and how you have grown together as a band over the years?
CC: Our initial meeting was a complete leap of faith. I had been searching for guitar players to form a band with, and out of frustration turned to Craigslist. I had so many responses that made me uncomfortable, but Tone’s stood out based on his background with jazz band and recording.
I’d say that everything that followed has been a leap of faith in it’s own way as well. Recording our debut record, we ended up just setting the deadline of SXSW and forcing ourselves to just put it out. The second record came with its own challenges, and here we are getting ready to finish number three. Throughout the whole process we have had to push ourselves to get to the next chapter. It has been really exciting and scary, but more than anything fulfilling.
Tone: Every part of the process has been a fun challenge; defining our sound, touring, pushing ourselves to do the most we can with two instruments.
3. What has been your favorite memory to date while being a part of Little Hurricane – the writing, the tours, the music videos, the live performances? Tell us about what drives your musical ambitions together as a duo.
CC: My favorite memory is probably from this year playing Summerfest in Milwaukee. My 88 year old grandfather drove to the show from Chicago. It was his first (and last) time ever seeing us play live. We dedicated our song “Sweetpea” to him, which was written for him and my grandmother. I told the crowd he was there, and he stood up and waved while everyone cheered for him and took photos with him. He was beaming and so excited, and a month later at his funeral his friends were asking me “Are you the drummer? Your grandfather was so proud of you!” It was the most beautiful musical experience I have ever had, to be able to perform something you wrote for someone you love, and watching them absorb it.
Tone: We have had some amazing moments on stage performing live, times we lose ourselves in song.. even improvise some new parts. We always have to be on our toes being there’s just two of us.
4. We couldn’t help but notice your stage design set up during your show. It consisted of items such as an old-fashioned lamp and chest of drawers giving off a late 19th century southern feel. Whose idea was it to include this in your performance and why?
CC & Tone: It started when we saw the dresser at a swap meet. It looked like it should have some speakers in it. So we put speakers in it. Then it needed a lamp to go on top of it. So we found the perfect lamp. Then we needed the rugs to complete the look. With so many “garage rock” blues duos out there, we like to think of ourselves as “living room rock.” Each show is like a little peak into a house that only exists in concert form.
5. Do you have any ideas for what you would like to write about in your next album and are there any exciting projects in the works that we should keep our eye out for?
CC & Tone: We have been writing the album for the past year, so it’s coming together now. This third record speaks a lot of truth to who we are and our life stories. It is the most honest recording to date complete with high’s and lows. Look out for a release in mid 2016.
6. And finally, who are your up and coming “ones to watch” bands for 2016?
LH: We have been listening to some great new bands lately. We love the indie/Americana pop trio Rin Tin Tiger out of SF, we just toured with the amazing band July Talk out of Canada and have been really excited about Timber Timbre over the past year or two!