Cascadia Weekly: Evolution and Revolution


Valley of the cats

Evolution and revolution

To listen

What: Cat Valley, Linda From Work, Separatr


9:00 p.m. Thu. Nov 18

Or: The Shakedown, 1212 N. State St.

Cost: $ 8


Wednesday 10 November 2021

It’s not every day that I get an email with the subject line, “How would you like to write about a local feminist rock band?” So when this particular request came in reference to a new Cat Valley album, I paid attention. Founded in 2016 by Whitney Flinn and Abby Hegge, whose experiences as gay women playing music in a male-dominated industry inform their songwriting, their songs are part punk, part pop, and relentlessly engaging. I met Flinn recently to find out more about their new EP, Savage, which they will make their debut during a show on November 18 at Shakedown.

Cascadia Weekly: Topics like rules, sexism, and the power of friendship inform the music of Cat Valley. Do you think singing about these topics demystifies them?

Whitney Flinn: Abby and I just started writing about things that we had in common, and we were both very frustrated with being left out of the music scene and growing up without seeing a lot of other women performing, etc. So we turned to the topics we found. cathartic and writes songs we would have liked to hear growing up. I think singing about these topics makes others feel empowered. My favorite thing is seeing a group of women rocking to our period song, or just feeling the whole thing in general.

CW: In the last section of the song “Manager”, the mood seems to range from acceptance to “fuck you” after the stanza “for the male world”. What was the impetus for writing this particular song?

WF: We wanted to talk about growing up and the shit about gender norms, how much they influence you from an early age, from childhood to adolescence and beyond. We wanted people to think about how patriarchy influences you even when you try to overthrow it, and ultimately how angry and frustrating it is – that’s why the end of the song is so much louder and more. angry than the softer start.

CW: How did you stay connected during the worst of the pandemic?

WF: Abby and I have been roommates for the past two years, so it made writing the music easier. However, last year in March when things started to shut down we went months without a band rehearsal. We tried to keep busy but it was tough and it took a long time to get back on track with the shows. We had a big tour that we were planning, and like a lot of bands, we had to cancel everything. I am very grateful that we are all vaccinated and being able to replay shows is a huge privilege.

CW: You say the new album is tighter than what came before it. How? ‘Or’ What?

WF: When Abby and I started Cat Valley we really wanted to jam, but then we started to realize how much more we could do, how much we wanted to improve and how unique our sound was. So, on our eponymous debut EP, you can still hear the playfulness; it was all recorded in one day and we had been drinking a bunch of beer and pizza. When i listen Savage, I can hear how much effort and skill was required. We have all developed as musicians, both separately and together. Melanie Sehman is an amazing drummer we’ve been playing with for a few years now, and our latest addition, bassist Kristen Stanovich, is really holding up.

CW: What do you hope emerging artists take away from you doing your thing?

WF: I hope we inspire others who feel left out to start playing music or forming bands, and that our music is cathartic and helps people feel like they’re not alone. We want to be there and see more diverse bills – more queer games, BIPOC, women and non-binary people, less gender specific and more solidarity.

CW: What does the name Cat Valley mean?

WF: A few years ago there was a local band called Dog Mountain, and we thought it would be funny to do the opposite of that name, because their band was all about guys… us. Plus, we’re both big cat lovers!

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