Q & A with half an atomic duo
Frank Hoier and Moselle Spiller may be the cutest couple in rock and roll—but that's not why you should see Boom Chick play live.
The onomatopoetically named Brooklyn duo melds lo-fi electric blues and rockabilly, accented by surf reverb and frenetic punk. Synthesized in jam sessions and loft parties, Boom Chick's multigenred sonic amalgam sets heads bobbing and asses shaking. Guitarist and vocalist Hoier has been turning out well-received tunes for years. Spiller, the drummer, has less musical experience, but you'd never know by listening to her energetic, on-target boom and kick.
The band's self-released debut, Show Pony, is 20 minutes of fast, expansive music recorded live to two-inch tape. Comparisons are hard to avoid in describing a boy-girl rock duo. Yet Boom Chick doesn’t really sound like The White Stripes or The Kills. Hoier's licks concurrently call to mind Marc Bolan, Bo Diddley, Link Wray and living legend Poison Ivy. The what's-the-fuss comes through loud and clear on tracks like “When I Don't Love My Rock n' Roll,” and in live covers of early rockers and ’60s girl groups. Ultimately, the sound is Boom Chick and it sounds best live.
The band proves the formula at Low Spirits on Tuesday. Burque garage rock foursome The Scrams and rock ’n’ soul quartet Red Light Cameras open. Fun fact: A year ago, Boom Chick played a show here with The Scrams, but Hoier and Spiller have never seen the boys sans dresses and makeup—the band played that show in drag. Hoier took time out from thrift shopping and riffing in Tennessee to fill the Alibi in via email.
How did you and Moselle decide to work together?
We lived in the same building in Bushwick, Brooklyn, so we'd see each other in the hall. I was convinced to work with Moselle because one of our first “dates” involved watching The U.S. vs. John Lennon and The [Rolling Stones] Rock and Roll Circus.
So who are your favorite musicians?
Our fave acts are Little Richard and Bo Diddley—that early, crazy atomic rock and roll. We like lots of current acts, but our faves are Feral Foster, Shilpa Ray, Foxy Shazam, Dex Romweber Duo, The Weber Brothers and Cass McCombs.
How do you create your songs?
It's always different. Sometimes we get excited and jam out a song straight off our heads, coming up with a melody on the spot. Sometimes we hear a phrase and write lyrics first. Most importantly, we let the song write itself and don't mess with it too much. It always has to feel good.
Will you be releasing anything new soon?
We are going to release two 7-inch records and another eight-song CD soon. The first 7-inch will be "Shake Can Well" and "Sweaty Dress." We're very proud of our new recordings.
Has anything unusual happened in your recent touring?
Touring is pretty unusual in itself. We saw a 6-foot-tall man in a red dress down at the thrift store here in Nashville today. And we are constantly amazed at the kindness and strangeness of people.
How do you prefer your audiences?
We love when people dance. The more dancing there is, the better we play. We can whip each other up into quite a wild state.
Are y'all looking forward to playing Albuquerque again? And seeing The Scrams?
Oh yes! We had a great time in Albuquerque. This will be our second time there, and for good reason. We'll always come through Albuquerque. [The Scrams] played after us at The Kosmos. Really great band! I hope to grab their 7-inch this time.