It about time the world embraces some Morningwood, and by that, I don’t mean the kind your boyfriend gets. I’m speaking about the Bi-costal rockers. After 3 years on hiatus they are getting ready to launch their sophomore release on October 27th, appropriately titled “Diamonds & Studs.” Part lovely, part badass.
"Like all things Morningwood, its super sexy, very useful, kind of funny, and really beautiful sounding," Says Bass Player Pedro.
The rock and rollers are back for your listening pleasure. This time; stronger, with more guts, less band members & sass that will have you unleashing your inner rock star! Morningwood is Chantal Claret (originally a Berkeley film student), and Pedro Yanowitz (Formally a member of the 90’s hit band, The Wallflowers).
You see, it started off as a fairytale; Chantal & Pedro met at a Rooftop industry party in New York and by the end of the night Pedro had talked Chantal into becoming his partner—musically speaking, the band says. Soon after, the two scored a deal with Capitol Records. Life was good. Well, for a little while… because great music is never that easy.
Clashing views mixed with rotating band members had their creative endeavors hitting a roadblock. So naturally, in an effort to save the band & the bond, Chantal and Pedro decided to enroll in couple’s therapy. This also led to the re-evaluation of Morningwood. “Pedro and I have always been the core of MW, it just took us about 5 years to realize it. No one has had the interest of the band at heart as much as we have. The other members left or were kicked out for various reasons, all of them cliché; drugs, women, or emotional baggage. Whatever the case, Pedro and I continued,” Explains Lead singer Chantal.
The two found themselves flying coast to coast to meet with one another in order to continue what they had started. The dedication breeds infectious tunes, and a band worth watching to say the least. They provide a funky/fresh, rock and roll dance party you will want to be a part of! Chantal’s voice sounds like a more vibrant, energetic Shirley Manson. Their song lyrics are an ode to sexy, angry women everywhere! The single, Best of me, will have you feeling liberated after you sing it to your ex-boyfriend who did you wrong. The music promotes shouting, laughing, bouncing, and maybe even swigging a bottle of Jack while parading in your underwear…
I got to experience the goodness of watching these two kickass during a performance. All while being fascinated by their stage antics which include but are not limited to: Licking people, undressing audience members, treating the microphone as if it were a penis, and of course seducing the security guard on stage right… oh, let’s not forget her yoga poses.
The emotions on stage read like a diary covered in lipstick kisses and nonetheless beer stains. The lipstick from Chantal, and the beer from Pedro. The duo is empowered, and smart. The music is genuine, but don’t take my word for it. We spoke with Lead singer Chantal.
Take a look at what this rock and roll butterfly has to say about women in music, going on tour with the band Jet, and why her other half, Pedro is going to kill her…
Veronica Barriga: In 2006 the 1st record was released, Cut to: 3 years later… You guys are back with a new sound. What went down during those 3 years, in a nutshell?
Chantal Claret: In 3 years we managed to move across the country, change labels, almost break up, go to band therapy, stay together, both Pedro and I got married (to different people). Write about 2 and a half albums worth of songs, I started a clothing line, while Pedro wrote a musical. We have been pretty busy, but Morningwood-wise 90% of the time was spent waiting on lawyers and contracts to be started and finished. Fun stuff. . . .
VB: You went through couples therapy with Pedro, what the hell was that like, and whose idea was it?
Chantal: When we started writing the second record we had a huge strain on our relationship. The way we communicated since the beginning of our relationship… When we first started the band I was a baby, I was 19, and I went along with pretty much everything. As I grew up and became a "woman" I started to stand up for myself, and Pedro and I began butting heads a lot! We couldn't talk without arguing about every little thing, let alone write music with each other. We've always been complete opposites of each other. Sometimes it worked for us…
Finally, it got to the point where I knew if we didn't find someone who could give us the tools to communicate, we would break up. What happened behind closed doors is just a bunch of gripes and grievances, but ultimately we learned how to listen to each other which is key. We still struggle and work on it every day but it has totally changed our relationship for the better!
VB: How does it feel knowing the release of “Diamonds & Studs” is near by?
Chantal: It's very exciting and very unsettling being that it has been so long coming. There is so much to do before it comes out!
VB: Were your earlier shows similar or did you grow some balls along the way?
Chantal: Our shows have always been pretty ruckus; my voice has gotten a little stronger. I do a little more yoga now on stage, but there is a bit less nudity and props now. Our live show has always been one of our strong points and had the same amount of energy, however it filtered itself.
VB: What do your parents think about your stage show?
Chantal: My mother passed away 5 years ago in February. She absolutely LOVED our shows and coming to see us perform! Her favorite song was Take Off Your Clothes (which she called Take it Off, Take it Off). She would stand in the front row of every show with a bottle of water and a towel for me. She was probably our first and biggest groupie. The first record is dedicated to her.
The last time she left the house she came to see us play at the Knitting Factory in NYC and she passed out in the bathroom and went to the hospital and died a few days later. I had a show the night she died and I went and played it, because I knew how much she loved it when we performed. I had a panic attack for the first time in my life. I went on stage and had temporary blindness for a few minutes- and I sang the first song and said "My mother died today, this show is for her".
When I opened my eyes, there were 300 people crying in front of me, I think I told them all to "Stop being pussies".
She is amused and laughs…
VB: How you know its love, is very visual & theatrical. Since you come from a film background- Do you ever see yourself combining both worlds in a musical?
Chantal: Pedro is actually the one who has been working on a musical! He’s been writing the music for “Clueless” The Musical for about 3 years now. So that dream will come to reality for him, it’s very exciting! I’m VERY picky about musicals; I find the majority of them incredibly cheesy and the music atrocious, with the exception of Disney movies, Bob Fosse musicals and, of course Rocky Horror.
VB: What were you like as a child, and when did you discover your passion for music?
Chantal: I was pretty much EXACTLY the same as a kid; I talked the same, danced, sung, and thought the same. As young as I can remember… I have always thought about sex, killers, swimming, yummy food, love, and television. Having an overall good time. It puts my mind at great ease to know that I haven't changed much, except for maturing a bit. It means I am being completely true to myself.
VB: Tell us something about Pedro that NO one knows!
She cracks up, then goes for it..
Chantal: Ha,Ha,Ha,Ha... They used to call him “Banananips” in school! He is gonna kill me for that…
VB: What can you tell us about your upcoming tour with Jet!
Chantal: I am psyched for the tour, we are going out with Kill Hannah, who I have known for years now, they are super nice guys! Jet… who I have met a few times, and seem nice, and Papa Roach. It should be a very interesting tour. I am excited to see how Papa Roach's audience reacts to us. I am most excited to go on tour, it has been ages and I am ready to shake my shit.
VB: Favorite song on the album- Why?
Chantal: My favorite song is a split between three of them; Hot Tonight has my favorite bridge, I absolutely love to sing it. Killer Life, I really love the verse lyrics, and it reminds me of my mother for some reason. Cat In A Box, stylistically it is like the type of music I listen to. It is so nice to sing, it feels like a massage on my throat… mmmm, it is my jam!
VB: What's the writing process like? The atmosphere in the studio?
Chantal: The writing process for this record was interesting in the sense that it was so focused. Since Pedro and I live on opposite ends of the country when we got together for a day or two to write, we knew we HAD to come out of the session having written and recorded at least one song or the trip would be fruitless. So we got it done. Recording, was the same I had 4 days to record all of my vocals for the masters, we got it done.
VB: What is a misconception about you, the band, Pedro?
Chantal: For one, I never take off my clothes on stage, just other people's clothes. I am not going to spoil the mystery, what if one of those misconceptions is what makes someone like us, I don't want to ruin that… if one of those misconceptions is what makes someone dislike us, I probably didn't want them to like us in the first place.
VB: Who do you dream about collaborating with?
Chantal: Beyonce, we love her!
VB: Got any advice for young gals who want to be part of the music industry...
Chantal: Learn how to do whatever it is you do as well as a man! Do not use the fact that you are a girl as a crutch to not be as good and get you through. That does not mean you cannot use your sexuality to add to your persona if that is who you are, but first be good at what you do. Also, do not feel inhibited by your femininity, you can get away with sooo much more than a man can, which is amazing and fun. Have fun with it!
VB: Describe Morningwood in 3 words.
Chantal: Pretty Fucking Awesome!
Morningwood is this month’s: Vh1’s “You outta know” Artist on the rise!
For tour dates and more on Morningwood Check out: www.morningwoodrocks.com
Thank you to Transfer Media Group for setting this up!