Indie-folk duo, Dead Fingers, consists of local songwriters Taylor Hollingsworth and Kate Taylor. Through complex,driving acoustic guitar figures, lyrical wordplay, and vocal harmonies blending two individual styles, Dead Fingers presents a captivating first record. They will play a CD release show at Bottletree Cafe on Saturday, March 3rd with Preston Lovinggood and Modern Life opening. Doors open for this 18-and-up sow open at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10, which can be purchased online or at the door. Here’s our conversation with Dead Fingers, discussing influences, beginnings, and future plans.
Chris K. Davidson for Birmingham Weekly: When and how did the band come together?
Who plays what instrument in the band?
Kate Taylor: Well, we started playing together a few years ago, maybe 5 years ago, but not necessarily as an official band. More for fun, a show here and there. It wasn’t until early last year that we began taking things more seriously, pursuing Dead Fingers as our main focus, and started recording our first record. We both play guitar and sing live but have fun messing around with other instruments in the studio.
BW: Is there a significant meaning behind the name?
KT: The name comes from the children’s hand trick. I showed it to Taylor one day and he thought it’d be a cool band name and it just sort of stuck.
BW: What are some of your biggest musical influences?
KT: Biggest influences…hmm…for me, I guess dudes like Tom Petty and John Prine for their writing styles and then old duos and girl groups like the Supremes and Micky and Sylvia for their awesome vocal harmonies and arrangements. Taylor says, ‘The Ramones’.
BW: What lyrical themes do you find yourself coming back to?
KT: Lyrically we can both be all over the place but love, loss, and partying seem to come up a lot!
BW: In the album, it seems to progress from acoustic driven songs to more distorted, almost bluesy numbers? Was that intentional when you were sequencing the record?
KT: We labored over the sequence for a while, each took shots at it, got friends to chime in and just couldn’t quite decide. In the end, the songs just sort of fell into place. Most people put them in almost the same order without even knowing it. Nik Freitas, our good friend, ended up taking the cake…we kept his sequence.
BW:What have been some of your biggest accomplishments as a band?
KT: Well, we’re a fairly new band so putting this record out and signing an additional record deal in Europe have been our biggest accomplishments so far.
BW:How have you been received as you have toured and where have been some of your favorite venues?
KT: We did a couple of tours opening for Maria Taylor last October and November which were great. Our record obviously wasn’t out yet but I think the shows went over well and it got us a lot of exposure in every city which is great. The High Dive in Denver, Subterranean in Chicago, The Echo in LA, and the Mercury Lounge in NYC were a few particularly fun shows on that tour. We also love our hometown Bottletree Café, Smith’s Ole Bar in Atlanta and Union Hall in Brooklyn..
BW: How did you get involved with Big Legal Mess?
KT: Taylor met Bruce [Watson, owner of Big Legal Mess] while recording in his studio with Henry Dunkle a year or so ago. Bruce had initially wanted to put out a 7-inch of Taylor’s solo stuff. But, as things go, the 7-inch turned into a full length and, once I started showing up singing on a bunch of stuff for that, Bruce wanted to switch gears and make it a Dead Fingers record instead. So we began recording a few of my songs and just revamping things to make it the first Dead Fingers full length.
BW: How do you feel the band has progressed since its inception?
KT: Well, again, Dead Fingers started kind of for fun, something we didn’t really take all that seriously…played a few shows every now and then. It’s been awesome that in the past year it has really become something we are excited about pursuing.
BW: Where do you hope to see the band in the next year to year and a half? KT: I don’t know, somewhere with a roof still over our head, I guess (laughs).
BW: Where are the best places online for our readers to connect with you? KT: You can check out our website, www.deadfingers.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Myspace.