Amidst Cupcakes' spastic, stand-up drum-punching; and Hank's mouth-harped-effect-induced squealing of his bass guitar--their own, pulsating thump-pop--Cupcakes screeched out the chorus to one of their hometown hot-spot Brooklyn Bowl's favorite tunes of their show on November 23: "Jimmy! My name is Jimmy and I have a TV show!"
On stage for their last show of their headlining fall tour, reaching as far down the East Coast as Atlanta, with Biker Daughter and Kenan Bell, Cupcakes shook and danced on top of her drumset, red suspenders strung tight over a yellow t-shirt, clipped into a black skirt that suctioned over shin-length spandex. She stomped her boot-wrapped feet in unison with Hank, who sported a blue corduroy sports-coat, grey jeans, a shirt and tie combo, and a solid red square of facepaint over his eyes, matching Cupcakes' yellow triangle around her right eye. As the song came to a lull, and she tossed her hair out of her eyes, she confided in the crowd that, "Hank is in love with prime colors," smiling, each pointing to their outfits. "Red. Yellow. Blue."
After the show, Cupcakes, hair frilled from dancing and yelling onstage, took a minute to sit down and discuss Hank and Cupcakes.
Ian Frisch: What's it like coming back for the last show and playing at Brooklyn Bowl--your hometown spot?
Cupcakes: It is sweeter than a sundae with cherry on top and a banana split with chocolate fudge, because we played, you know, some rough shows--we were on the road playing every single day for two weeks in cities where nobody has heard of us, playing with two bands from L.A. We were all touring acts. It was a very trying experience, and we killed all those shows, but coming back here...it's a treat. It's our turf. It's our friends. It's our fans, you know, we play here a lot. We love playing here.
IF: How has your band progressed since the release of your EP earlier in the year?
CC: It's in constant...I don't know the word in English...progression...it's like a graph that goes steadily up.Yeah. Which is good because it's growing organically, not suddenly blowing up. We started here two and a bit years ago with, like, 11 people at the first show we played. We didn't know anyone. We didn't have any family here. We've been building it up. It's been growing nicely. We love it.
IF: You lived in Australia for a large part of your life, but Hank was always from Israel? How did you come together and meet and do your things as people but as musicans?
CC: I grew up on and off in Israel, but we met when I was 18 and Hank was 19, and we started our first band together--a cover band--for Tori Amos, Susan Vega and The Beatles. That was my first band. A bit of Beatles, a bit of Paul Simon. We rehearsed and we walked around the streets in Jeruselem with a mini-disc--remember the short period of time that mini discs existed?--and we let owners of bars listen to the rehearsal and we got a gig. We played for a year and a half every Monday at this bar. That was our first band together.
IF: Explain the transition into the on-stage duo, and the more unique sound you guys have now.
CC: When we decided to come to New York, we started this project, and decided to only write in English--which is my mother-tongue--which was a relief, because I forced myself to write in Hebrew in Israel. And we started the bass and drums, because we didn't think there was any point to bring in anymore musicians because we were leaving, so we thought we would just get a solid rhythm section going, and when we got were we'd get more musicians. But we started rehearsing every day, and researched the sound, and it got really good, so we just left it. It just happened by accident. We didn't plan it.
IF: What do you have planned for the future? After the holidays? Where do you see this band going and what do you see you guys doing in the future?
CC: We definitely fell in love with touring. We're going to tour in Israel in two weeks and see our families and play shows, and when we come back, we are going to be in New York for a few weeks and start touring all over again, you know, we are going to play the exact same venues and cities as we did, and go back...build the crowd.
IF: So East Coast only?
CC: We want to tour for months, so it's a matter of budget. As long as we can get shows as we get paid at, we want to tour for as long as possible. We are definitely dying to go to the West Coast.
Check out the photo slideshow from the concert below!