7 Questions with Bree McKenna

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It’s 1:12p in the afternoon at Arcaro Boxing Gym. The air in the room is heavy after another hard workout.

Arcaro Boxing Gym is one of my favorite gyms in Seattle. The welcoming “barbershop”-style atmosphere attracts people from all walks of life. Around the room you’ll see corporate analysts mingling with firemen, helicopter pilots, and college students. You’ll see film directors holding mitts for members of the local music scene. You’ll see slam poets doing sit ups alongside restaurant owners. It really is an interesting atmosphere to both learn how to defend yourself, get a great workout, and meet a lot of interesting people.

After a mid day “lunch box” workout, I was sitting with Bree McKenna and Ryan Moon. I met Bree and Ryan at Arcaro Boxing Gym around a year ago. Both perform in local bands. Ryan for the band Turian. While Bree performs with several local bands including Who is She?, Childbirth, and of course, Tacocat.

Bree has always been one of my main motivations for exploring the local music scene. She’s just so down to earth and welcoming. There are times where I’ll see her at a show or we’ll catch each other at the gym and we’ll just chat about music. You would never think, this person played Coachella last year, this person performed on the main stage at Upstream Music Festival a few months ago, or that I saw this person perform at Bumbershoot back in 2012. Nope. She’s always just been Bree, that fun person who can throw a mean right hand, has questions about the last live music event you attended, and is more than happy to talk about the next live show you should check out.

Our workout had just ended. Bree, Ryan, and I were throwing around ideas of great interview gimmicks for this blog, when it hit me, what if I just asked some questions right now? I threw the idea out there to Bree, she smiled, and said, “Sure. Let’s do it.” So with Bree sitting on some seats outside of a boxing ring and myself sitting inside the boxing ring, we began our interview. After hearing the first question, Ryan looked at us and said, “I have to go, but this sounds like something I’ll want to read later.” We laughed, and he made his way out.

Right off the bat, I asked a question that had been on my mind for a while…

1.) I have to ask, what was with the Dave Mustaine article?

(haha) Well Vice had a series of articles about smaller musicians and their encounters with bigger musicians. The person who was organizing the series didn’t put in the introduction that the article was fiction and eventually it just got around. I didn’t want people to be disappointed especially big Metallica fans, so when people ask me about it I usually tell them I don’t want to talk about it.

Why’d you pick Dave? I mean the article was well written and I wouldn’t have been able to tell it was fake if it wasn’t for your Wikipedia page.

(haha) Yeah. We just look similar.

It’s the hair.

Yeah (haha)

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2.) A theme for most of the bands I’ve seen you perform in has been feminism and strong feminist ideals.

Yes.

However, another theme I noticed was a love for the 90’s.

Yeah, it’s a way for me to keep in touch with my teen self.

Without an explantion, what are three things from the 90’s that help motivate that love and attitude today?

Grunge, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Josie and the Pussycats (the film)

3.) Where’d the idea for Witch Chat come from (for those who don’t know Bree does an ongoing Insta-story feature called Witch Chat, which involve moments and stories told while participants wear witch hats)?

My freind had bought a bunch of witch hats online. We took a stack on tour and it just seemed natural. This was also around the same time Insta-stories were becoming a thing.

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4.) Speaking about hats and fashion, I love your fashion sense.

Thanks!

Is there any style or fashion motif you wouldn’t by any means try?

Normcore (haha)

Alright. Asked and answered (haha).

5.) Of the people I’ve met in the local music scene, you seem like one of the more enthusiastic and welcoming, what makes you so excited about local music?

I work at a club and am around a lot of it. I try to be supportive. There’s a lot of good music.

Do you feel with the rapidly changing neighborhoods, that it’s having an effect on the “Seattle Sound”?

Kind of. People are more angrier about it. It’s more expensive to live in the neighborhoods like Capitol Hill than it used to be, and that’s motivating some of the music, but I kind of think the music is better now than it was when I first started.

We’ve both seen the documentary “Hype”. You can’t say it’s the same neighborhood that you saw in that documentary.

Yeah, but the problems we’re seeing in Seattle, it’s the same thing all across America. Things like Tech Companies and Big Business. Everything is getting expensive and it’s those pressures motivating things. It’s an interesting time to be living in America.

6.) Speaking about Seattle, what’s the coolest thing I can do in Seattle, if I only had one day in Seattle?

That ones tough. Let’s go back to that.

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7.) Alright (haha), and as my last question, what bands should I be listening to right now?

Oh wow. Local bands, I would say The Black Tones and Tres Leches, otherwise Lizzo.

I saw her at last year’s Block Party.

She was here?

Yeah. “Lizzo be eating”. She puts on a great show.

I’m thinking of trying to catch her with St.Vincent. Looks expensive though.

Is that the one with Florence + the Machine, and St.Vincent? With Lizzo on there, that’s a cool lineup.

Yeah, it should be fun.

Going back. What’s the coolest thing I can do in Seattle, if I only had one day in Seattle?

Come boxing at Arcaro boxing! First Class is free. (haha)

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