An Horse on “Letterman,” Favorite Bands, and Favorite Things

Between sets at this year’s annual music festival South by Southwest (SXSW), I sat down with the duo that make up the Australian band An Horse — out lesbian lead singer and guitarist Kate Cooper and drummer Damon Cox — to ask them about playing on Letterman, which bands have influenced them, and their favorite things.

Don’t miss the free MP3 download at the end of the interview! Tell me about the band name "An Horse."
Kate Cooper: It was a
grammar conversation I was having with my next door neighbor at home
in Brisbane, years ago … about the use of “an” before hard H’s. It
became an ongoing debate we had because we lived next door to each
other. I liked the way the two words sounded together. My neighbor
made me a sweater with “an horse” on it and i loved it. It’s still my
favorite sweater.

AE: How did you two meet?
Damon Cox: We
were aware of each other because we both played in Brisbane bands. We
actually met when I was working in a record store and Kate ended up
getting a job at the same place…so we got to know each other fairly
quickly from working together.

AE: So when/why did you decide to start playing together?
DC: Well, we didn’t really start playing together for a
good two years or so.
KC: We talked about it a lot.
DC: We
realized we had a lot of common interests. We liked the same bands and
went to see shows together … and toyed with the idea of playing
together one day. Kate ended up supporting one of my bands, playing a
solo set. She said "why don’t you get up and play drums on a couple
KC: It made sense.
DC: The timing was finally right to
play together. We went into the rehearsal room and it clicked really
well. I think [Kate] played 8 songs and I went up for three songs.
From there it quickly progressed into a real thing.
KC: Yeah, I
remember it was really exciting straight off. It just worked.

AE: It’s great how you can pull off being a two-piece band
without it sounding like something is missing.

DC: We
didn’t set out to be a two piece. It just happened. We didn’t feel
like we needed to bring anyone else in. Mainly, on a personal level
more than musically.
KC: Even before we started playing together,
we were talking about music. We were really comfortable with each
other. We’re on the same page musically and I think adding someone
else into that situation is unnecessary. It didn’t feel right.
We have quite a few friends trying to join the band and we’re just
like no, no.

AE: Maybe for fun. At a live show…?
DC: No.
KC: No, I don’t want them getting comfortable with
the idea.

AE: What bands/musicians have made an impact on you? Or
possibly made you want to be a musician?

DC: We were
talking about this the other day and when I’m asked this question, I
didn’t really think I had specific influences. We kind of figured out
that we do.
KC: Sleater-Kinney, Go Betweens
DC: Fugazi and At
the Drive In
inspired me. Fugazi was the first band
I got into. They were honest in the way they made music.

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