Our next interviewee should be one already familar to our readers. As part of the all-female Austin powerhouse “Danger*Cakes” Tina Marie Bartolucci combines 50’s pin-up curves with the ethereal energy of a 60’s flower child. The girls are third billed on the festival, so I took some time to play catch-up with her.
Tina, you’ve been playing sax with Danger*Cakes since the bands first year. How would you describe the experience of playing with such a fast rising band?
This experience has been one hell of a ride and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Danger*cakes is the first serious project that I really got into so, needless to say, I know no other way of doing things than how we do them which is to set goals, work hard and never stop progressing. So far that mentality has taken us quite a ways.
Do you think your playing style has evolved?
>I’ve always been prominent in the jazzy styles and definitely took to that style the quickest in my earlier years as a musician. In that regard, I fit in perfectly with this project. Although, we cover a wide variety of styles and because of that I do feel that my style has evolved and my musicianship has improved dramatically as a whole.
You also play in ska-funk outfit ‘Young Costello’. Do you switch out your playing style to suit both bands?
My jazzy style has definitely been easily incorporated into both projects. Young C definitely has more ska-funk feel so I do like to switch it up. Each project has found a home in two very different realms of style and music which I really love. It’s a great challenge for me to continue improving my skills.
How did you come to be in Young Costello?
The drummer of Young C, Matt Ramos, and myself went to high school together. We regained a connection a few years after graduation and tossed around the idea of starting a ska project. Then, coincidentally enough, Matt’s cousin, Jacob and his good friend, John Micheal moved to Austin where we were all soon introduced and the reality of becoming a full band was staring us in the face. We got together and jammed. Needless to say, we all fell in love with our groove as musicians and friends. We’ve been together for a little over a year now and the good times just keep on coming.
Is it tough to juggle both projects?
Not at all. With the right amount of organization and communication I’ve managed to make both projects an equal priority in my life. We’ve even had several shows where both projects were on the same bill. I must say those times have been very humbling for me. It’s a great feeling to have all the people I love being on stage with making magic together.
I heard you have a Danger*Cakes tattoo. Why did you choose to put the band on your body?
Twenty years from now when I’m still doing my thing, that tattoo will remind me of where I got my start as a performing musician; where I discovered that I wanted to pursue music for the rest of my days. Not to mention the cupcake with a cherry bomb on top is a bad ass image, I had to have it with me…err on me, forever.
How did Danger*Cakes get involved with Rockabilly on the Route?
We were contacted through our booking agent and when we heard that the festival was to benefit a Route 66 museum, we knew we had to be a part of it!
Do you think there are different challenges between playing in a club vs. playing a festival?
There are so many differences between playing clubs and festivals. I feel like a festival is a great opportunity to put all of your most intense songs out there to really grab people’s attention. The up side to that is there are hundreds of people walking around so its not such an unmanageable task. In clubs, I find people are more responsive to “new shit”, so it’s a great opportunity to get new material out on the table.
But really, a stage is a stage and I feel that the two most important components of any great show are PRESENCE and SOUND. When you’re on stage playing, in order for the audience to appreciate the performance as much as possible, they need to be able to hear the full potential of the band’s sound. If those two key elements are there, you’re gold!
Any bands that you’re excited to see?
I’m stoked to see Wanda Jackson. “Fujiyama Mama” is like Danger*Cakes’ fight song. It gets us all revved up for a show. Of course, I’m excited to see the Chop Tops live for the first time and I’ve heard some good things about the F-Bombs. We’re all just excited to be a part of the festival and can’t wait to check out as many of the acts as possible and make some new friends in the process!
Anything in closing?
I love what I do and can say that there’s no better feeling than being on stage making music with other talented musicians. This lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but if you’re someone who has ever thought to yourself, “I wanna be a rock star”, I encourage you to try it and discover, like I have, that irreplaceable feeling of being heard and appreciated for the energy that you’re putting out into the world.
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