Get to know the cool Austrian band everyone's talking about
Indie rock band Cari Cari plays eclectic music you're bound to fall in love with. We talked to the talented twosome about their beginnings, their musical inspirations, and what's next.
Between the emotional lyrics, the acoustic guitar, and the whispery voices of drummer/singer Stephanie Widmer and guitarist/singer Alexander Köck — it’s hard not to drift off into the ambient indie rock tunes of Cari Cari (@CariCariMusic). Having recently released their first full-length album Anaana this past November, we talked to the duo about their friendship, life, music, and of course — their career.
Stephanie and Alex, how did you two meet and decide to make music together?
S: We actually met through music! Alex was already in a band, and I was working on a singer-songwriter solo project. We played a gig together and got along very well straight away.
A: Steph’s voice blew my mind when I first heard it, so I offered to help her record a few songs in my basement studio. At some point she decided to start playing drums, and I think that’s when we became a band. We recorded AMERIPPINDUNKLER, our debut EP, which made a lot of noise in the blogosphere. Five months later, we kicked off our Australia tour in Darwin, Northern Territory.
What’s it like working and constantly traveling together? How do you navigate the challenges that come with this dynamic?
A: The most important skill — knowing when to take a step back and admit you’ve been an idiot.
S: Exactly! Ego is the biggest problem when being together all the time. Things are bound to go wrong… Sometimes you’re tired, hungry, and/or pissed off — of course there will be fights. As long as you can admit that you were wrong, everything will turn out just fine.
A: Most of the time we make up after we’ve had dinner.
S: Yes! Never underestimate being hangry!
A: Another issue? Staying on the same page. Luckily we agree 99% of the time, but it can be very exhausting to work together if you constantly disagree. For us, it’s important to discuss the seemingly insignificant details. It’s all fine and good to synchronize on the general vision, but it’s the tiny details that can cause the biggest problems.
You’re steadily gaining global traction. Where would you love to play some day?
A: Central and South America — the crowds there are crazy! They dance, they mosh, and they sing along to every song. There are videos on YouTube where they even sing along with the guitar solos. It seems incredible.
S: We’ve actually had requests from Mexico, Argentina, and Honduras, so we’ll see. It would be an amazing adventure!
Congratulations on being featured on the soundtrack for the American TV series Shameless! In a perfect world, what would be your next pop culture integration?
A: Legend has it that we only founded Cari Cari to be featured on a Quentin Tarantino movie soundtrack, so I’ll go with that!
S: Once Upon A Time in Hollywood will be out next year — maybe there’s still time to bring this to fruition!
Let’s rewind — which albums did you listen to on repeat when you were a teenager?
S: I really loved Norah Jones back then — I still do. I just love her voice. She is very inspiring as a singer — and as a person. I actually got into a lot of the music I listen to now through her.
A: I was really into ’80s Bay Area thrash metal. I listened to Slayer and Megadeth all day long. My absolute favorite album at the time was Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying!
And which artists and albums do you have on repeat today?
A: Some of my current favorites are: Flying Microtonal Banana by King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, A Deeper Understanding by The War On Drugs, and a lot of classic tunes from Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd. One of my all-time favorite albums is Cross by Justice.
S: I listen to The Shirelles a lot lately. I love great female singers like Aretha Franklin.
What’s on the harmonious horizon for the future?
S: We want to continue doing what we do right now, because we’re happy. We love making music and the life that comes along with it.
A: We get a lot of messages from people that are really moved by our music, and it’s very rewarding. Also, Bob Dylan once said, “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between he does what he wants to do.” Thankfully I do what I want everyday and for that — I am very grateful.