By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
After posting a couple of raw but inspired demo tracks on MySpace, the trio stumbled onto the local scene last summer and made an immediate impression. Here was a band as rocking as the early-era Ramones, but with a heavy dose of '90s-era, K Records-style, melodic indie pop. Outside of Bunnygrunt (and to a lesser extent, That's My Daughter), you just don't hear this sound very often from St. Louis bands.
Now, barely six months after their initial show, the 75s are about to self-release Extra Fancy, their debut CD. It's a solid, no-nonsense reflection of their live experience — and if newer songs like "I Wanna Kill Your Boyfriend" are any indication, it's a mere warm-up to bigger and better things.
9 p.m. Saturday, February 23. Lemmons, 5800 Gravois Avenue. $5. 314-481-4812.
Mike Appelstein: Are you all from here originally?
Laurel Mydock: I'm from Kansas City. I came up here to play soccer at Lindenwood. They don't give actual athletic scholarships, but if your grades are good enough, they'll say, "Come play soccer with us!" But then when I quit soccer and started playing in a band, because that was cMoooler, they couldn't take my scholarship away. I was the soccer player out there with the blue hair, and it was just not working out. I decided to go the band route instead of the athletic route.
Scott Lasser: I'm originally from Detroit, but I ended up graduating from high school in San Francisco. I moved to St. Louis right after I got out of the Navy. I tried to get as close to Detroit as possible, and this was where I found a job.
Morgan Nusbaum: I'm born and raised here. North county!
What bands were you in previously?
LM: When I was in high school, I played with some guys. We played our high school auditorium to about five people.
LM: Well, at least it wasn't a talent show. But when I came up here on a whim, I decided I wanted to learn how to play bass, and so I started taking lessons. My bass teacher said, "Hey, I know a band looking for a bass player," and that was ResistAll. That kind of ended after a year and a half, as bands do. I just did school for awhile. I was actually playing for Cullen McGrane, the bass player for the Honkeys, for about four years, but we never got anything together. He tried to organize a garage band, and that's actually where I met Scott. He was supposed to be the drummer of that band [the Downcasts].
Had you written songs for ResistAll?
LM: No, not really. I guess it's been coming for about fifteen years. When I was in high school, I basically sat in my room and tried to play Metallica CDs. When you're a girl, it's hard to figure out how to sing that kind of music and play. It wasn't until Scott started introducing me to indie stuff that I thought, "Oh, I see how I can use my voice."
SL: Laurel thought that everyone in a band had to play pretty, be very technical and have a great, soaring voice. I basically gave her a Tiger Trap CD...
LM: He's the girly-pop influence.
SL: All those K Records bands played in San Francisco, so I got to see Beat Happening, Tiger Trap and Cub.
LM: I never listened to garage rock or indie pop before being in the Downcasts. So basically, in the last two years, I've been introduced to both [genres] and totally taken to them.
How did Morgan join?
SL: We had an ad up for about two months on MySpace.
Morgan Nusbaum: You asked to be my friend.
LM: We were scared to ask Morgan because she was supposed to be a kickass bass player.
MN: I guess you guys just caught me at the right time. My boyfriend at the time and I had a band together, Fighting Failure. I was getting frustrated with it, thinking we were never going to play out or have band practice. We had a guitar player — he and Josh were both members of Galaxy Rock Meets William, which was the band I had in high school.
The 75s decided to record pretty quickly.
LM: We had enough songs.
SL: It seems like the next logical step once you start playing out. People were asking us after the first show when we were recording.
LM: So we sold a bass and went into the studio. The album art's going to be over-the-top girly. We're making everything really pink.
You keep using that word: "girly."
SL: In a good way.
LM: Well, we're girls. Embrace the girlyness. It's fun being a girl in a band. It's not the most common thing. I work in a chemistry lab where I have to wear a white coat and crappy clothes every day. It's fun to be girly for once.