Welcome to Almost Famous, a weekly segment where we ask up-and-coming queer musicians some not so hard-hitting questions about music and life and maybe even convince them to share photos of their pets. Get to know intimate details about your new favorite artist or band before they hit the Big Time and become too famous for us to interview for real.
Header by Rory Midhani
Porch Cat and the Fairweather Family
There’s a story to how Washington-based folk/folk-punk/punkgrass outfit Porch Cat and the Fairweather Family was born, and it starts with a shy kid from a small town who liked to play guitar, sing classical music and perform in music. Upon moving to another small town, said kid wrote too many songs when they should’ve been writing essays, started making home demos and adopted the name Porch Cat. Eventually, they found some musical friends who became The Fairweather Family.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s been consistently folk, with varying amounts of indie and punk, but lately, it’s taken a turn for bluegrass and country (not modern day country-rock, though). I’d say folk/folk-punk/punkgrass is a pretty comprehensive description.
What instruments do you play?
I’ve been playing guitar for about eight years, the ukulele for a couple years, the banjo for about a year, and the musical saw for a few months. I also play a few random things that I’ve picked up here and there. I definitely consider my voice my main instrument, and took classical voice lessons for a few years a while back.
Which track would you most like everyone hear?
Probably “Man of Few Words”.
What inspires you to write?
Way too many things! I write from experiences or feelings I’ve had, or experiences of people close to me. Sometimes writing to people results in great lyrics. I’m also really inspired by political and social issues and how they’ve affected me and other people in my life – being a queer person of color gives me a lot to write about.
What was the last piece you wrote about?
I just finished a bluegrass song we started writing on tour, where the narrator is a young boy who goes to California in hopes of hitting it big during the gold rush only to find that there’s no more gold.
What are the best and worst things about touring?
Best things: camping and kind people – whether they just want to hear your music, tell you they enjoy it, offer you shelter, or give you something to eat. Also, bonding with your bandmates.
Worst things: when your cooler isn’t a functional cooler so it leaks and floods the car, barging into people’s lives and overstaying your welcome, and cat poop in your bed because you were gone too long and they were mad at you.
If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life?
If you could share a line-up with any two other artists?
Bob Dylan and T.Rex. But, slightly more realistically? Ramshackle Glory and Defiance, OH.
The best piece of advice you’ve received?
Learn the rules to break the rules.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
Some sort of body of water, wine, and sun.
Do you have any pets?
Yes! Here’s a blurry photo of Pewter (the grey one) and Dagwood (the black one) cuddling.
If you are, or know of, a queer artist or band that should be featured in Almost Famous, drop the details to stef [at] autostraddle [dot] com. Please write ‘Almost Famous’ in the subject line!