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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 21 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 12
Two for one: Karmin is pop music's hottest duo
Arts & Entertainment
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Two for one: Karmin is pop music's hottest duo

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Unless you've been hiding under a rock (a big rock, I suppose), you already know that Karmin is the first breakthrough act of 2014. Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan formed their act while attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music, and became a hit on YouTube, eventually leading to a recording deal and a somewhat overnight success story. The cute-as-a-button pair sold out Neumos about a month ago and will tour heavily throughout 2014 with another Seattle stop likely later in the year. If you still haven't heard of Karmin (and, what's up with that?!), then listen to their single 'I Want It All' or check out the music video on YouTube. Better yet, get more details and information at www.karminmusic.com. Pulses, out on March 25, is their first full-length release. I caught up with both Heidemann and Noonan, at home in Los Angeles, and here's what the fab duo behind Karmin shared with me.



Albert Rodriguez: You just played Seattle. So what are the chances of you coming back this year?

Noonan: Well, we sold it out, so if we don't we would be idiots. We would love to come back.

Rodriguez: Did you have time to scope out the city?

Noonan: We did. I forget exactly where we stayed, but there was a nice shopping area and it happened to be a really, nice beautiful day and the weather was good. We did shopping for a day and a half.

Heidemann: Nick found this cool local sunglasses store and got some cool frames. It's such a beautiful city; we were in love the whole time.

Rodriguez: Did you guys know from the start that you had a Gay fan base, or did that gradually come along with the territory?

Heidemann: It was cool back in the day with YouTube because we could speak directly with all our audience, and we found out early on that our performance style did in fact attract the Gay community and a lot of early supporters happened to be Gay. But it was never something that was in the plan, or that we planned on.

Noonan: We kind of stumbled upon it, and then when the 'Look At Me Now' cover blew up, which was a combination of Gay fans and super urban fans, then we started doing a lot of Gay Prides and things like that and that kind of helped establish our high performance, actually.

Heidemann: The shows we did in front of Gay audiences were by far the most fun and energetic. Liberating. It sort of defines us now, and we're really proud that's happened.

Rodriguez: Can we get you to play Seattle Pride, and if so, can we pay you in the form of shoes?

Heidemann: Yeah!!!! Wet pants. (laughs)

Noonan: Oh my god!!! Shoes!

Rodriguez: How long did it take to put the album together?

Heidemann: We recorded Pulses for a little over a year, so the EP was a mini batch of songs and it felt very Amy-heavy, so we decided for Pulses to bring Nick into the mix more and to make it feel like a duo.

Noonan: It was a year of tumultuous events. I think we had some creative differences with our record label and there was a lot of ups and downs, which is why it ended up idled. But we definitely nailed some cool sound on this record and are anxiously excited to put it out.

Rodriguez: What are your expectations for Pulses? What do you hope it will do?

Noonan: The goal is to lock in a sound, to find a common sound. And I think you get it on this album, a natural cohesive work. And then we want to focus on our live show, we want to have people come by and say, Oh my god, the show was amazing and we love you!'

Rodriguez: How many songs from the album are you pulling out for the tour?

Heidemann: We've been doing all the songs on the tour.

Rodriguez: Do you guys get to choose the singles, or does the label do that?

Noonan: We'd like to say that we do, but at the end of the day they have the final word.

Rodriguez: When you go into the recording studio, have you pre-selected the tracks that are going to be on it, or do you record extras in case any are cut?

Noonan: Good question. We record a lot. The majority will be cut, but probably will be recorded over time for other albums or other stuff.

Rodriguez: Who spends the longest time on their hair getting ready?

Noonan: Okay, if I have morning after hair, it's fine.

Heidemann: Yeah, he'll wash his hair and it's really awesome the next day.

Noonan: But if not, I can turn into a bitch about it.

Heidemann: Like a diva. (laughs)

Rodriguez: What's happening for the remainder of 2014? Anything coming up soon - new singles, videos - that we should know about?

Noonan: There's a lot. The album comes out March 25. We're going to be doing '9 Days of Pulse' starting next Monday. We're going to be doing giveaways.

Heidemann: There will be games on the website and a bunch of cool videos explaining what's behind the songs a little better.

Noonan: Then after that, we're going on tour.

Heidemann: Forever.

Noonan: Forever. (laughs)

Rodriguez: What are some of your tour bus essentials? I'm thinking Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Game of Thrones DVDs. What's gotta be on the tour bus for you?

Heidemann: Dunkin' Donuts, French Vanilla coffee.

Noonan: A couple of adult beverages. I love G&Ts. Beer - Blue Moon, Stellas, Sam Adams, Guinness. Then we got Sour Patch Kids. Sour gummies are my favorite, and Amy loves chocolate.

Rodriguez: Are you a fan of any TV shows?

Noonan: We just finished watching 'House of Cards.'

Heidemann: It was amazing!

Noonan: And last month we finished 'Breaking Bad.'

Heidemann: I have a huge guilty pleasure: I follow 'Once Upon a Time.'

Rodriguez: Seattle has produced a lot of musicians, from Jimi Hendrix to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Do you have a favorite Seattle artist or favorite Seattle artist's song?

Noonan: Nirvana. That's up there for sure. We love Macklemore. We're big fans of what he does, what he's for. I don't even know if we can pick a favorite, there's much too much competition, from the present and past.

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