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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

VIDEO: Orlando punks Wet Nurse on Off the Avenue

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 1:55 AM

Wet Nurse is one of those bands that isn't just fun to watch every time they play a show, but they also reliably bring rad bands to town to play those shows with them, further enriching Orlando's music scene in true punk tradition by making sure we know they're not just cool but their friends' bands and tour friends are worth checking out, too. Their story begins in 2010 when sisters Nina and Susana Chaplin lamented to a coworker how badly they needed a drummer. The coworker played roller derby with Vanessa Brewster, and that kicked things off when the band gelled after just one jam. As a three-piece, they recorded 2012's Daily Whatever (released on Astro Girl), and OW critic Bao Le-Huu proclaimed, "Daily Whatever bursts with lively garage-punk nuggets that sparkle with vim, bounce and tons of pop instinct."

In 2013, they added second guitarist Baile Yeager at guitarist Nina's prompting. As Brewster tells it, "On the first record, Nina played single guitar tracks with leads overdubbed. But as we kept playing out, she wanted a bigger sound and mentioned the second guitarist. Baile had been practicing with their other band, Tit Sweat, at the house Nina and Susana shared, and Sus brought up liking her style and possibly joining forces. One of her first shows with us, she busted her knee on a wet floor and needed to get rushed to the E.R., so I'm glad we didn't scare her off and she stuck around!"

As a four-piece, Wet Nurse headed out to South By Southwest for their Lolipop/Burger Records showcase in 2014, where our SXSW critic Nick McGregor chased them around town to experience what he dubs their "straight-up girl-power ragers" for the first time as a Texas resident. Later that year, Wet Nurse played the Fest in Gainesville, repping Orlando hard and catching the eye of trendy blog BrooklynVgan, which likened them to Vivian Girls and called them a band to watch. With visibility higher and higher, Wet Nurse is nearing the end of the recording process for their as-of-yet untitled new LP. Next comes touring and they say even a music video (!!), so it's safe to say that unlike their furiously flippant stage persona, Wet Nurse seems pretty serious about an awesome-packed future.

click to enlarge Wet Nurse at North Avenue Studios - PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTH AVENUE STUDIOS
  • Photo courtesy of North Avenue Studios
  • Wet Nurse at North Avenue Studios

With so much going on, we figured we better get them into North Avenue Studios as soon as humanly possible, and to our surprise and sheer delight, they performed two new songs, "LCE" and "Got You" (both above) for this month's Off the Avenue session and answered some questions about, you know, whatever.

Orlando Weekly: What are you loving most in music right now?
Baile: I've been listening to Froth's album Patterns lately, along with Corners' latest album, Maxed out on Distractions, that recently came out on Lolipop Records [Editor's note: Corners plays Will's Pub on March 8; don't miss out!]. The Breeders, Tacocat, Together Pangea and Swearin' are some more faves. Can't really go wrong there.
Susana: I have been really digging the new Slutever EP, Almost Famous, lately. Also, I have had Grass Widow's album, Past Time, on repeat for the past few weeks.
Nina: I've been really into the Seattle music scene. Tacocat, Chastity Belt and Dude York, just to name a few. Really good stuff.
Vanessa: The new Sleater-Kinney LP is ruling my world right now. I have weird and varied tastes - T. Swift's 1989 sits comfortably next to the ripping new Priests LP, Mean Jeans' party punk next to Fleetwood Mac classics, etc.

Who is the best band you’ve ever seen live? 
Susana: The best band that I have seen live would have to be the Descendents when they played for the Fest 13. It was probably the biggest show on the festival and had the entire Bo Diddley Plaza packed shoulder to shoulder. The show was incredible. They were a huge influence on Wet Nurse when we first started and to have the opportunity to see them live was a life-affirming experience.

click to enlarge Wet Nurse at North Avenue Studios - PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTH AVENUE STUDIOS
  • Photo courtesy of North Avenue Studios
  • Wet Nurse at North Avenue Studios

What’s your favorite city to play in?
Susana: We had an amazing time in Philadelphia when we played there on our first big tour in 2012. We met so many great people, as well as old friends from Orlando who moved there, who made it so fun. The show we played was awesome, and we were very well received. Cannot wait to go back.

What’s your favorite Orlando venue to perform in?
Baile: All of our local venues have something different to offer. I had a blast playing St. Matthews (outside) a couple weeks ago, and I'm hoping shows there will really start to catch on. I will always love playing at Uncle Lou's though. Shit gets wild. 

What do you think is important in a live performance?
Nina: I think it's important to look like you're having fun. Dancing, walking around the stage. Just being into it on stage will get the audience's attention for sure. Especially if your band sounds good already. 

click to enlarge Wet Nurse at North Avenue Studios - PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTH AVENUE STUDIOS
  • Photo courtesy of North Avenue Studios
  • Wet Nurse at North Avenue Studios

Do you have any gear that helps you achieve your sound?
Nina: All I really use are overdrive pedals for all the lead guitar parts. Without it, the solos don't sound as present with the two guitars.

Which band would you most want to tour with?
Baile: Tacocat. They look like they have the most fun. 

Which comes first: the lyrics or the music?
Vanessa: Typically, it's music first for us, but we've had songs where the words were written out first and then put to music. We'll each bring pieces (we call 'em noodles) we've thought up to the group and flesh it out together into a full song.

What’s the best live music video you’ve seen?
Vanessa: So many good ones! Tacocat on KEXP was killer:

Swearin' with "Dust in the Gold Sack":

and RVIVR on the pink couch is hilarious because you can tell it's awkward for all involved, but they can still rip acoustic:

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