Petty Morals at play in Somerville

On March 23, 2016, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

By Blake Maddux

Petty Morals will be gracing the stage at Once Lounge and Ballroom on Friday, March 25. ~Photo by Joshua Pickering

Petty Morals will be gracing the stage at Once Lounge and Ballroom on Friday, March 25. — Photo by Joshua Pickering

“The Rolling Stones are like our spirit animal,” says Lauren Recchia, aka LoWreck, drummer for the Salem, MA-based synth-punk band Petty Morals.

In addition to the musical influence of the Stones, this all-female sextet took its name from a 1967 Keith Richards quote.

Petty Morals received Boston Music Award nominations for New Artist of the Year and Rock Artist of the Year in 2014, and won the award for Video of the Year (Just a Game) in 2015. They have released three EPs in the past two years and are currently working on the fourth.

Recchia, a Boston-area native who joined her first band in 2005, spoke to The Somerville Times by phone while preparing to perform with Petty Morals at Once Lounge and Ballroom on Friday, March 25.

Somerville Times: How did Petty Morals discover the quote that gave the band its name?

Lauren Recchia: We started the band, we had a couple practices, and were playing for maybe like a month or so before we were like, “Alright, let’s actually come up with a name.” Our bassist Chrissy [Tierney, aka Ivahna Rock] came to practice one night, and she had just watched a documentary on the Stones [Crossfire Hurricane]. And there’s one clip from when they got arrested for whatever debauchery they were causing, and the judge was reprimanding them, and Keith Richards goes, “We’re not old men. We’re not worried about your petty morals.” So we were like, “Oh, that’s actually awesome.” It was the easiest, probably, that any band had ever come up with a name and all agreed on it!

ST: How important are music videos in the 2010s?

LR: Now, obviously, MTV and VH-1 are no longer what they were in the ‘80s or the ‘90s. It’s like music video television is not really existing anymore. It’s all like reality shows and stupid stuff for dumb people to watch and be entertained by all day. The videos that we’ve done, it’s not like we’re thinking deep about them, like they mean anything or they’re super profound. But we like to actually get really creative and have a plot and have something to do with the song and the topics that the song talks about. I think we put more time and effort into making the video and so we have to do fewer. It’s more creating different content than just like doing a photo shoot and releasing and album with pictures. But I don’t know that it’s going to get us any more credibility or any more exposure.

ST: Is an EP an artistically and financially more advantageous way of releasing music than an LP?

LR: A lot of people need constant gratification, and releasing one album every two years that has, you know, 15 songs on it is harder to do, first of all, and you don’t want to lose their [the fans’] attention. We also write that way. We don’t write a ton of stuff, so we’ll come up with new songs and we’ll batch them together and we try to be efficient, especially because we’re funding everything ourselves. We’ll plan a recording session, and we’ll want to get in and out in like two or three days. We’ll do as many songs as we can, which usually ends up being about three or four. We feel like it’s better to give people less more frequently than more less frequently.

ST: Why do the members of Petty Morals go by stage names, among which are Taiphoon, JC, Chrissy V, Ivahna Rock, and Allison Wonderland?

LR: In my previous band, Vagiant, which was renamed to Tijuana Sweetheart, the singer was Helen McWilliams. We really were like, we ought to do this whole stage name thing. So we came up with our nicknames then. And I think it just kind of carried over, because she was one of the first singers in Petty Morals, and we just thought, well, when we were online we want to be LoWreck and Hellion. And everyone else just kind of followed suit. Chrissy, our bassist, her stage name has been Ivahna Rock for a while as well. So it was just kind of a fun thing that we didn’t mind keeping.

There’s no super crazy meaning or anything secretive behind it. It’s just, nicknames are fun. I don’t think anyone in the band is, you know, “I can’t have my real name on Facebook because I’m a teacher or a CIA agent.” We don’t have any reasons that we’re hiding our identities but, you know, it’s just more for fun.

ST: Is there a desert island album that the whole band could agree on?

LR: We actually have very, very similar tastes in music. Since we are named after and we all do have a shared love for The Rolling Stones, that would definitely be something that we would all agree on. That’s a really hard one. There are so many different bands and different albums that we would all be able to listen to front to back.

ST: So if it were up to you, which Rolling Stones album would you choose?

LR: I would pick, let’s just say Exile on Main St.

Sidewalk Driver, Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents, Muck and The Mires, and Petty Morals. Friday, March 25, doors at 8 p.m. Once Lounge and Ballroom, 156 Highland Avenue, Somerville.


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