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!
AfterEllen.com: 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
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.
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.
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…?
KC: No, I don’t want them getting comfortable with
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.