Even though it’s been a decade or so, I still remember the first time I heard All Girl Summer Fun Band. I was visiting friends in Tallahassee, FL, listening to FSU’s college radio station WVFS, and the song Canadian Boyfriend came on. I was instantly hooked and had to run to Vinyl Fever and buy a copy of their self-titled debut release. I have been a huge fan ever since. Back then the band was comprised of Kim Baxter, Jen Sbragia, Kathy Foster, and Ari Douangpanya.
Four albums later, the band is operating as an amazing three piece of Kim, Jen, & Kathy.
When their latest release Looking Into It came out last fall, I wrote, “all 11 songs on this album are strong, well written, pop gems.” I can say with absolute certainty that this is true for their entire body of work. If you have never checked out All Girl Summer Fun Band, you owe it to yourself to go buy one of their albums immediately.
I caught up with Kim, Jen, and Kathy and they very graciously agreed to answer highly dubious questions:
Viva: What was the first record you ever bought?
Kim: A Billy Joel 7” with Uptown Girl.
Kathy: Well the first vinyl record I bought was The Specials. But I remember one of the first cassettes I had was Thriller by Michael Jackson.
Jen: The first LP I bought was “Autoamerican” by Blondie, but I bought a lot of singles before that, like Air Supply and Kool & the Gang
Viva: What's the funniest thing that has happened to you on the road?
Kathy: One time we played in San Jose, Ca, near where I grew up, and we were staying at my mom's. She came to the show, and we played with a loud hardcore band. We thought they would be too loud and unpleasant for my mom, but she was actually into it more than any of us, and bought the band's cd! Later, when we got to her house, I went outside to move her car to make room for our van, and when I started the car, the cd blasted on full volume and I scrambled, like an old lady, to turn it down. The girls said they could hear it from inside our van. My mom had been rocking out to hardcore! What the?
Jen: Looking back I’d have to say going on tour in Kathy’s van, which had some sort of gas leak, and we bought this little fire extinguisher just in case of…well, an explosion, I guess. That sure is funny NOW but it was scary then.
Viva: What is the worst song you ever covered live?
Kathy: We don't know many covers. I think only two. And I loved playing them ("The Look of Love" by Lesley Gore, and "Dust From a Memory" by The Cat's Miaow).
Viva: Who has the worst van etiquette?
Jen: It couldn’t be me because I always hold in my farts.
Viva: If you could relive your prom, what song would you want to slow dance to?
Kim: "Sailing" by Christopher Cross.
Kathy: I didn't go to any proms. But I did slow dance to "Stairway to Heaven" at my sophomore Sadie Hawkins dance. You can't beat that classic!
Jen: I would never want to relive my prom, but I think “True” by Spandau Ballet is the song I always relate to 1980s high school dances
Viva: Who's in heavy rotation on your iPod?
Kim: Sigur Ros & Dinosaur Jr.
Kathy: Brightblack Morning Light, Pseudosix, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin
Jen: The Donnas “Bitchin”
Viva: What was the worst fight over nothing that you got into with each other after being road weary and exhausted?
Kathy: Luckily we haven't gotten into many fights on the road. One time I was upset with Kim because she was putting on her very loud velcro shoes at 8am. Ha ha! We were in Europe and I had been having insomnia for a few nights. That velcro almost sent me over the edge.
Kim: I was just so excited to be in Europe that I couldn't sleep!
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