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Broke-Ass Band Interview: K. Flay (Friday @ Popscene!)

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I interview broke-ass bands on here every week. I mean real, local, this-might-be-the-only-thing-ever-written-about-them, broke-ass bands. And let’s be honest: most of them are only musicians because they’re not good at anything else. They might not even be good at music. My point is:

This week I pulled off a major coup. Motherfucking K.Flay is in the house. And by “in the house” I mean she answered some questions that I emailed to her (and by “her” I mean her manager) while she was in London. And she’s not just a musician because she’s not good at anything else. Lady’s a rapper, a singer, a guitarist, a gifted remixer, an amazing producer, a damned good mixtape maker, and she’s got not only one but TWO degrees (psychology and sociology) from Stanford. So take THAT, local SF bands who neither tried hard in school nor try hard in the music scene.

I feel compelled to apologize to all the local bands (who I love and count myself amongst) that I just insulted. But I’m so busy watching K.Flay music videos and permanent-markerking her show into my calendar that I don’t have time.

This Friday, September 16th, K.Flay takes the stage at Rickshaw Stop for Pop Scene Friday Night Sessions along with Teddybears, TIGERcat, and DJ Aaron Axelsen. You can buy tickets here. Read on to see what Kristine Flaherty, aka K.Flay, has to say about jean-washing hygiene, her knitting skills, the highlights of San Francisco and New York, and so much more.

Introduce yourself!

Hi my name is Kristine and I am an anxious person who creates music and enjoys finishing crossword puzzles.

Describe your sound in five words or less.

Drums, raps, synthesizers, samples.

[youtube VoUsbNO8fR0]

Tell us about your band name.

That was my nickname in college and it rhymed with itself, so when it came time to come up with a name for my alter ego, I stuck with that.

Favorite thing about San Francisco?

The people. I honestly don’t think you’ll find as eclectic, intelligent, tolerant, and creative nut jobs anywhere else in the world.

Favorite SF restaurant?

I love Domo in Hayes Valley. Oh man. So good.

Favorite SF bar?

I used to live over by this place called Pilsner Inn. It’s a perennially deserted gay dive bar where I was guaranteed to A) not get hit on and B) kick some ass at pool. Plus it has an outdoor area in the back. My roommates and I are obsessed withoutdoor areas in bars. I mean, what is better than drinking outside?? It’s very cro magnon.

[youtube W1Dn7stu068]

How do you prepare for a big show? What will you be doing the night before?

I try to practice the day before and then have a fun night out. Ideally I will not drink mezcal.

What can people expect at your shows?

Good times, weird anecdotes, and maybe some grinding. Not by me, though. BY YOU.

What do you do during downtime on tour?

I read a lot of books but I kind of feel like I should take up knitting. My scarf game would be insane.

What’s next for the band?

I just finished an EP that will be released this fall and I’m insanely excited for you guys to hear it. I’ll be playing a bunch of shows as well, although I can’t announce the details quite yet.

Three things you’d take to a desert island?

The full Harry Potter book series, a bag of sandwiches, and a raincoat.

What movie can you watch over and over and never get sick of?


Favorite season or time of year?

I like fall. That sounds like a line from Anchorman. But seriously, fall is the best. Full of the promise of lost hope and dying dreams.

Three things that are in your fridge right now?

Roasted red pepper hummus, andouille sausage, and beer.

Anything in your sock drawer besides socks?

Nope. Just an ass-load of socks.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty, i.e. money:  Have any tips for aspiring musicians trying to make it on their craft?

I’ve found that making money with music is hard when you just do one thing. Sing, play cowbell, whatever, but if you expand your repertoire a bit, you can eke out a living. It also makes you less reliant on other people for things you can probably do yourself.

Best money saving tip in general?

Five-dollar foot-longs.

Where do you live now and what are some good cheap/fun things to do in that area?

I’m living mainly in Brooklyn, and fun/cheap things are as follows: sitting on a bench along the East river, eating red velvet doughnuts at Peter Pan Bakery, drinking Miller High Life for two dollars at a bar called The Levee.

What do you refuse to spend money on?

Clothes. I buy most of my stuff secondhand but mainly just wear the same ten shirts in an ill-planned rotation scheme. And now that I think about it, I’ve had this pair of jeans on for the last three months. And I may or may not have washed them. Emphasis on may not.

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What is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought and how did that feel?

I bought a car and it felt very American.

What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten?

My friends hang out with me for free. And they are amazing so that seems like a pretty good deal.

What is your favorite free thing to do?

Sit around and complain.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?

A new computer, a nice dinner, and a bunch of sneakers.

What’s one GOOD thing about not having a ton of money?

I think it brings you closer to people. When you don’t have a ton of money, it seems like you view the world and the people around you in a more sincere way.

Any last words?

I would like pepperoni on my tombstone.

Follow Chloe Roth at E-mail her at

*Last photo by Emily Dyan Ibarra, all photos via Facebook

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Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe's youth was split between California and Kauai, frolicking on a macadamia nut farm in the tropics and landing finally in the Bay Area. Raised by super-Jew hippies, and the youngest of three sisters, Chloe learned early the virtues of thrift, economy, and green living. To the chagrin of her parents (who hoped, of course, for a Jewish doctor or lawyer), Chloe has put her degree from UC Berkeley to great use by becoming a folk singer. As "Chloe Makes Music" she plays shows throughout SF and beyond, donning vintage frocks, selling handmade merch, and pinching pennies as she sings for her supper. Calling Berkeley home for the last six years, you can think of Chloe as the website's East Bay Correspondent, opening your eyes to the hippie-filled, tree-hugging, organic-loving, vegan-eating, but way-overlooked and awesome assets of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond.