Described as "the epitome of fun " and "one of the world's most effervescent bands" , Sit 'n' Spin are known for their great live shows and punky pop songs and have drawn comparisons with the Ronettes, Link Wray and Chuck Berry. Their second album , 'Enjoy the Ride', was released at the end of last year, and the band are soon to tour Europe (though sadly not the UK). Pennyblackmusic talked to Heidi Lieb, the group's singer, songwriter and frontwoman, about the album, its extremely fast production time and the band's image and sound.


PB : When did Sit 'n' Spin form ? Why did you choose the name Sit 'n' Spin ?

HL :I hate to admit it, but we started in 1993. The name Sit n' Spin comes from a toy on which a child would sit and spin himself around really fast. The original line-up of the band included me and a friend who I used to host a college radio show with. The radio show was called Sit n' Spin (as in spin records, get it?). When we got our first gig, we had to think of a name, and went with the name of our radio show.

PB : The group has been described as a punk outfit, a garage band and a rockabilly act, and has drawn comparisions with acts as diverse as Link Wray, The Ronettes, The Ramones and Chuck Berry. How would you though define the band's sound ?

HL : Good question. I'm flattered by all of those comparisons and I can see why people have described us in such a variety of ways. I actually can't even really say what the hell we are. It's hard to stick to one genre, when there are so many great ones. I still don't know if our inability to be labeled has hurt us or helped us.

PB : What are the group's influences ? What records are you liable to find in individual members' record collections ?

HL : It's hard to speak for the whole band, but my influences are a combination of sixties British Invasion bands, especially the Kinks, and American stuff like Eddie Cochran, Link Wray and Chuck Berry. I always go back to the old stuff. Our drummer, Maria McKenna, likes that stuff too, but also goes more into the country stuff. The bass player , Monica Vincent, has a thing for glam, like T-Rex and Bowie, and the other guitarist, Maria Falcone, varies between all of the above.

PB : As Sit n' Spin is an all girls' group some music writers writing about the group have concentrated primarily on the band's image. How important is image to the band?

HL : I think image is important for both male and female bands, especially these days with MTV, and that kind of thing. I know chick bands are expected to be sexy or hot or cute, more so than guys, but that's kind of true in all aspects of life. It's a pain in the ass, but we've been sucked into it and we try to work the image thing. It's of course, however, secondary to writing good songs and playing well. I can't stand it when bands become popular only because they are cute. It gives chick bands a bad name.

PB : How did you record 'Enjoy the Ride'? When and where did you record it and did you enjoy being in the studio ?

HL : We recorded the album in record time.and recorded and mixed sixteen songs in two weekends. I think we set a record at the studio. It was mostly live. We recorded at a studio that we have been using since our first recording. It's called the House of Vibes and it's in Highland Park, New Jersey. The producers and engineers have a band called the Grip Weeds, who I would also recommend. They're kind of psychedelic sixties pop.

The first weekend, we recorded basic tracks on Saturday, all live in the same room. The second day we did guitar and percussion overdubs and vocals. The next weekend we spent both days mixing. It was really intense and really insane. That's what happens when you have a budget I guess.

PB : Does the album have any particular themes ? Do you have a favourite song? Why should people buy it? What's it like compared to other releases?

HL : I didn't try to write it with any partiuclar theme, but there does seem to be a lot of longing on the record. I wonder what that means. I think my favourite song is 'Sober'. I like the words, the melody and the way it came out on the record. I just find that it really stands out for me. I like a lot of my songs though, so it's hard. That's not too conceited, is it? It's our second full length release and I think the songwriting and performance has improved. I think people should buy it because there are great photos on the inside sleeve which you can't see unless you buy the CD, take it home and unwrap it.

PB : Do you have any plans for touring ?

HL : We're are going to Europe for three weeks in May. We're playing in France, Spain, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Portugal.

PB : The band comes originally from New Jersey. What is the music scene like there ? Can you recommend any good bands from around there ?

HL : I guess the biggest scenes in New Jersey are in New Brunswick, which is a real college town filled with testosterone-laden emo-core type stuff, and Hoboken, which has more of a diverse scene. I would recommend the Swingin' Neckbreakers who are a great garage band, and True Love, who are a little more poppy with great harmonies.

PB : What is the most important thing to you in life ?

HL : Right now, playing music makes me happier than anything else, so I guess you could say it is music. After that, I wouldn't be opposed to world peace if it happened.

PB: Thank you









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