I loved interviewing Jody Peck, Jen Foster and Jessie Robertson of Vancouver based rock n’ roll blues trio Miss Quincy & The Show Down. Each incredibly talented in their own right coming together as a creative powerhouse with Jody singing like she’s got some unfinished business with lots of tricks up her sleeve and playing menacing guitar riffs, along with Jen’s drumming prowess and Jessie’s provocative bass melodies. We spent time hilariously reflecting on their touring life, their best and worst shows and when they first became involved in music.
CG: Jody you already had a few solo records released before you brought in the Showdown, why did you chose to go from being a solo artist to having a full band?
Jody: Quite a few reasons, it’s way more fun to play with people and you get to play way louder…hahaha. That’s a big reason why the music naturally progressed from being acoustic to rock n’roll. When I first started I was touring constantly, I’m from the North so there is not really a scene so you have to tour. I was playing a lot of bars and lots of venues where people are not there to listen to the music they are there to drink so you have to be loud enough to be heard. There are two ways to do that, play with others and plug it in!
CG: You have toured quite extensively, can you tell me some of the best shows you have ever played and some of worst shows you have ever played.
Jen: One of the best ones had to be last summer at ArtsWells and Jody was sick and lost her voice …
Jody: That was actually a career highlight.
Jessie: We found this flip chart and wrote out all the lyrics down and got other musicians to sing.
Jody: And we had our friend conducting, pointing out the words like a karaoke bouncy ball, it was really late and everyone was super wasted…it was a party..
CG: One of your worst shows?
Jen: We played in Calgary where nothing worked ..we were sharing gear, the drum set was falling apart..
Jody: My guitar broke..
Jessie: One of the amp’s stopped working….there was no sound …and this was during song two…we were the last band so we had to play for almost an hour …
Jody: It was painful..
Jen: It was exceptionally bad. Jessie is from Calgary and I lived in Calgary for a while so we had old friends and family come…it was so embarrassing.
CG: Those are the people you most want to impress, your friends and family!
Jen: Especially the musician friends but bad shows happen to everybody.
Jessie: That’s when you get the audience involved too …you have to make a joke of it and have fun.
Jody: It’s interesting because I talked to one of my friends who has seen so many shows and he said it was super fun, it was very human, it was actually hilarious and you could tell that we weren’t bad players it’s just that everything was just breaking.
Jessie: We just kept laughing at everything …it was just one thing after the other ..
CG: You just have to go along with it and laugh at that point. How old were you when your desires to become more involved in music first began?
Jessie: My Dad is a bass player so it was around me a lot as a child.
Jen: Her Dad still plays! Still gigs.
Jessie: He plays more than I do which is crazy. It was super inspiring seeing him as a child rock out with his band. I started playing at 13, that was the age where I thought this is the time to learn. My friends were starting a band and it was obvious to me that I had to be a part of it.
Jody: For me I was a late bloomer. I definitely always sang but I didn’t feel like a musician because I didn’t play any instruments. I didn’t really start playing guitar until about 25, that’s when I decided if I practiced every day for the next 5 years there is no way that I wouldn’t be a real guitar player.
Jen: I think I was about 17ish…there are a lot of “would be” drummers out there because it can be a difficult instrument as they are loud and not everyone is afforded the opportunity to have a drum set at their house. My Dad played drums for a bit when he was a teenager so he always talked to me about drums. One day he took me to the music store and I got a pair of drum sticks. I just played on my mattress and kind of got the ones and twos. I knew as a teenager that this is what I wanted to do for a living. Within months of starting playing I was in my first band and I have always been in a band ever since. I lived in Calgary and then moved to Toronto when I was asked to join this all girl pop band Tuulii.
CG: Yes! Tuulii!
Jen: Playing with Tuulii was a very cool opportunity, I learned a lot and it was very valuable.
CG: You were so young.
Jen: Tuuli was given a sizable record deal, they had big name producers …it was a completely different world. I didn’t know how to act, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t understand royalties and etiquette. I learned what I’m not comfortable with. All the girls were great, we did big tours and it was a really good entrance to the music world for me. I’m very thankful for that. I’ve never been much of a girlie girl so I have this thing where if somebody ever tries to dress me I shut down because I won’t have it
Jody: Jessie and I always try to dress Jen.
Jen: And the more you push the less likely I am to fall for it.
Jody: We will win when we get you in a dress…hahaha.
CG: Which bands would you love to tour with?
Jody: Canadian bands?
CG: Any band.
Jody: Let’s keep it Canadian
Jen: Treble charger! Moist!
Jessie: Edwin ..hahahahaha
Jen: Serial Joe
Jody: Tragically Hip
CG: Canada in the 90s….we are stuck.
Jen: Alanis! Actually I think that would be pretty cool. Hahahaha
Jody: That would be awesome. That is a tough question. Who is super inspiring but also a reachable band at this point? We’ve talked about a band like War Paint but they are not Canadian.
Jessie: Heartless Bastards.
Jody: Heartless Bastards would be amazing, they would be a really great combo. Vibe and aesthetics would be really cool. I can imagine we would get along great. Basically I don’t want to play music with anyone I don’t like. We did a tour with The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer a couple years ago that is a really good combo. I sing back ups with them during their set .
Jen: I want to live in the studio and then for one month every year to just go on tour with Wet Secrets and Bad Pop. Hahahaha
Jody: We love Bad Pop, they are one of our Vancouver bandmances.
Jen: The drummer Aaron is like my sister. We met at the Peak Performance when he was performing with Altered By Mom. Catherine who is the bass player for Hot Panda and Altered By Mom and I play in a band called Bologna Sandwich with our friend Kristy and we only play Dookie by Green Day.
Jody: I have learned more about 90s pop culture from these girls then from anyone else. I grew up in the middle of nowhere with a super cowboy family and I only ever heard country music. I didn’t even know anything else existed other than Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams…isn’t that what music is? Hahaha I had no idea.
Jen: Jody just got a VCR hahaha
Jody: That part is really interesting having really different formative music understanding. The roots where we are coming from musically is really different.
CG: Kind of ties into my next questions, what kind of music were you exposed to, listened to and inspired by growing up?
Jody: For me it was old school country straight up. Country, Blues and old Rock n’ Roll in my mind are all the same thing. Elvis Presley goes in that same category to me.
Jen: I grew up listening to a lot of the Beatles, The Police, The Eurythmics and The Pretenders. In the early to mid 90s when I was a kid it was like the really popular stuff was Janet Jackson, Ace of Base and Whitney Houston. A couple years later I started listening to Nirvana, Weezer, Green Day and also being very drawn to very strong female fronted bands like Shirley Manson, Veruca Salt, Hole, Bjork and PortisHead. Back in the day you had your five or ten bands and you just got obsessed with and you knew everything about them.
Jody: You would be rewinding that tape and rewinding that tape.
Jessie: Playing that CD on repeat.
CG: You knew every word to every song.
Jen: Those were the days!
Jessie: I grew up with my Dad’s influences, his favourite band was Led Zepplin so they were very much in my repertoire as well. Black Sabbath and Heart, a lot of the classic rock stuff. When I first started playing the bass and getting into bass lines I got really into disco and funk …ABBA, Sly & the Family Stone, KC and the Sunshine Band. After that I discovered grungier stuff like into Hole, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails with a mix of still Fleetwood Mac. I’ve always loved classic rock music.
CG: Is there a philosophy that you live by? Tough question.
Jody: I think Jessie should answer that question. That’s more in her realm. Hahahaha.
Jen: Don’t shit where you eat!
CG: hahahaha! That’s Jen’s!
Jody: I mean, I can’t disagree with that. Hahaha.
Jessie: It may sound cheesy but I’m very much a living in the moment kind of person, I try not to stress too much about future stuff. Sometimes when we are on the road and things are getting hectic, Jen is worried if we are going to get on the show on time hahahaha.
Jody: And we are lost for sure…hahahaha
Jen: Jody will be the navigator and I will be doing the driving and we will pull out and start driving and then I will be asking where we need to go and Jody doesn’t know and Jessie’s enjoying the scenery. Hahaha..
Jody: Jessie is always in the back seat hahaha.
CG: Have you ever been really late to a show before? Where you have gotten completely lost?
Jody: You guys were late because your flight was delayed and I was already there and my Mom had to drive them to the gig.
Jen: And she brought us a casserole that we could eat in the car…hahaha!
Jessie: She was like, “You have to eat!”
Jody: Hahahaha. And you made it just in time.