This month is coming to an end with a woman in a band that varies from previous weeks because she is not surrounded by a group of men, nope. Stephanie Cupo only has her partner in Fascinations Grand Chorus, Andrew Pierce, by her side. So it was interesting to go into this final Women in Music series addition with a different outlook. What’s there to say about being a woman in a band when you only have one other member? We’ll soon find out as Stephanie talks about the competition between she and Pierce, their latest EP and more.
Kendra: You and Andrew have a world of differences between you, but somehow make it work. How? I mean your answer could very well go on to save a marriage or a failing friendship – but no pressure…
Stephanie Cupo: I think in any scenario where people work together towards something, they need to accept criticism and dissent and suggestions, even if it causes a temporary anger. The real problems arise when people feel unsure or uncomfortable voicing any concerns.
Kendra: I read that each release from you guys is like a competition. Would you say he’s the one person in life who pushes you the most to do your best?
Stephanie: I push myself to do my best work but ever since I met him I’ve definitely been competitive and pushed more so by him than anyone I’ve met. I’d like to think it’s mutual.
Kendra: This month I’m talking with a number of women in bands, but I believe you’re the only one who is coming from a duo. How do you think yours and Andrew’s dynamic would change if you were in a band with two or three other people?
Stephanie: We’ve both been in larger bands so it’s not a dynamic we’re unfamiliar with at all. I just think since we both tend to want to lead projects we found it’s just easier the less people that are involved.
Kendra: What about working with a man versus working with another woman? Do you feel you’d have the same creative output if you’d partnered up with another female artist?
Stephanie: I think it’s more about being on the same page musically. If I were working with a female partner who was liked minded stylistically I don’t think my output would change drastically. It’s hard to find anyone of any gender who understands what I’m trying to do so when you find someone you’ve got to stick it out, even when you don’t get along.
Kendra: All that aside, you two have a great chemistry between you. How much of you can we hear in your single “Growing?”
Stephanie: A lot, that’s definitely my baby on the EP.
Kendra: I’m fascinated with a lot of things, but one of the biggest is the concept of growing up. To you, what is the biggest sign that someone is indeed a legit grown up?
Stephanie: I guess that they don’t owe anyone anything. Adulthood is being self-sufficient.
Kendra: As a whole, what can fans expect from your self-titled EP?
Stephanie: It’s an intro but not to one specific sound. We’re not going to be that band where once you hear one song you’ve basically heard the next three albums. All the songs that are on the EP are pretty unique despite the same analog recording approach. There’s just a keen focus on solid songwriting and avoiding all the usual trappings that a lot of bands, who arguably do similar music, fall into….the same old chord progressions, constant referencing of the beach, etc. We’re more in-door boardwalk arcade types anyway.
Kendra: Will they get to see you and Andrew performing songs from Fascinations Grand Chorus in the coming months?
Stephanie: That’s definitely in the works.
Kendra: Going off your track “I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love,” if you had to make a mixtape that was all about that idea, what five songs would have to be on it?