Party people of Pride, have you heard the news? NO YOU HAVEN’T BECAUSE WE’RE ANNOUNCING IT HERE FIRST: The previously secret co-headliner of this weekend’s Volunteer Park Pride Festival is none other than Tacocat!
The Day-Glo pop-punks come off a main-stage blowout at Upstream to join an already stellar lineup of performers this Saturday in Volunteer Park, including City Arts favorites Fruit Juice and DoNormaal plus London-born, LA-based soul singing co-headliner Desi Valentine, Nashville’s cosmopolitan-country upstarts Little Bandit, Seattle blues rocker Betsy Olson and DJ Toya B. This FREE, daylong festival is always an energetic celebration of diversity in all its sounds and styles and with the inimitable Tacocats headlining we expect even more sparkles and sunshine than usual.
City Arts caught up with Tacocat’s lead vocalist Emily Nokes, who graciously answered questions via email after making the scene in Pioneer Square all weekend at Upstream.
City Arts: You guys are going from the Upstream this weekend to Pride next weekend—from a giant stage to a more intimate community. Do you approach each of these gigs with a different intention in mind?
Nope, no different intentions really. Actually, my intention for any show we play right now is to make it through a whole set without flubbing anything too badly haha. Since we just spent a few weeks in the studio, and a few months before that writing new songs, we’re in a unique time where we kind of don’t remember our old songs, yet we also don’t know how to do the new ones live yet. We had a really fun Upstream show, so now I’m extra excited for Pride! Maybe we’ll have a bubble machine for Pride… that’s actually the main intention: bubble machine.
If you ask me, that span of Upstream—>Pride pretty much encapsulates Seattle in 2018 and I kinda love it. Does that spectrum feel zeitgeisty to you?
This was my first real Upstream experience seeing the full scale of it, so I’m still trying to get a feel for it—there’s a lot going on! But yeah, getting swept right into Pride month, with so many rad events happening feels like we’re all officially kicking out of hibernation mode.
Why is Pride a priority? What’s the band’s relationship to Seattle’s queer community?
Pride shows are always such a blast. We’ve been playing Pride events since we were kittens, and have always been a part of/felt at home in/been fiercely supportive of Seattle’s LGBTQ+ community, which feels more vital and more important than ever. Beyond the celebration of our own and other folks’ queerness, it’s essential to remember that Pride commemorates the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City in 1969, spearheaded by Marsha P. Johnson, a trans woman of color. A lot of strides have been made since then, but… well, I don’t need to tell you what kind of grotesque dystopian sci-fi the news is looking like these days. Support LGBTQ+ artists this month and always!
I hear there are new songs. Will we hear new songs?
There are new songs, YES, and I think we will play a couple of them!
Does anyone remember if four years ago I tweeted “y’all ain’t ready for this new @TacocaTs record”? Just want to know if I’m about to repeat myself.
— Erik Blood (@erikblood) May 19, 2018
Erik Blood says the new album is a radical evolution of the band’s sound (or something like that, per his tweet). How is recording going? What kinda sound or vibe are you going for?
It’s been so great! Erik is such a genius wizard and it was a pleasure as always to work with him. For each album we try to evolve and stretch out from the last one, and we definitely continued that trajectory. It’s kind of hard to see your own art when you’ve been so up close to it for so long—like your nose it touching the painting so you can’t even tell what colors you just painted. But I can say we’re deeply giddy about it!
I’ve heard rumors that maybe TACOCAT IS RELOCATING TO LA? Is that because you guys were working with Blood down there or…?
We shall see. It’s hard to plan three months or even three weeks ahead with sporadic touring schedules and such, but I’ll let you know when I have more than $80 in my bank account haha. Someday we’re going to build a castle-ranch that’s also a recording studio where we all live, but for right now Blood actually comes up here when it’s time to record. His studio is still here!
Volunteer Park Pride Festival is this Saturday, June 9 from noon to 7 p.m. at Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill. Admission is free. Food and a 21+ beer garden will be available. See you there!