Katy Goodman is best known for her work with hyper-punk rock band Vivian Girls and her more atmospheric solo project La Sera. Recently, she branched out with a spacey new musical project called Books of Love, a duo with Gold Motel/Hush Sound’s Greta Morgan. While they only have one song readily available for public consumption (which you can hear below), her new project finds her dipping into ’60s bubble-gum style pop. And it works. Hive recently spoke with Goodman’ about the intentions of Books of Love, La Sera‘s upcoming third record, the future of her other band, Vivian Girls.
Your new project, Books of Love has a single out. It’s about falling in love with an extra-dimensional extraterrestrial. Have you ever seen an alien in real life?
No, I have not.
Do you think that extraterrestrials exist?
Yes, of course!
Do you think that they’d be friendly like E.T. or mean like the giant bug monsters from Alien?
The odds that they’d have the same exact conscious level that we do would be rare. They might just be like amoebas somewhere. Or they might be better than us. That they would be just like people and would be friendly is a stretch to me.
Is Books of Love an on going project?
For now, we’re just taking it one song at a time. The reason it started is because I wrote the song, “Space Time,” just to break up things. It was sitting around for a while and Greta Morgan and I became friends this year. We just hit it off and we were like “Let’s make a song together.” I was like, “I have this song about space-time. Let’s record it together!” and we recorded it the next day. There will be more Books of Love songs, because it’s just so fun. You saw the video?
Yeah, it’s hilarious!
We made the video in a day. It was super easy and fun. I love working with Greta. She’s like a little angel. We already have another song written. I don’t know if it will be the next song to come out, but it is called “Dark Matter.” It’s about dark matter. So far, they’re all space related. I think there’s going to be more that are math based and maybe get into history.
What’s the purpose of Books of Love?
It’s a break from the La Sera record, because the La Sera record is taking all of my mental capacity, right now. So, I wanted to do something short and fun. Does that make sense?
It does. I’m curious as to why the new La Sera record is taking up so much of your mental resources and energy.
I’m definitely just putting a lot more time into it. It’s not going to be exactly like the last two records. I felt like the songs on the last two records — not all of them were exceptionally well edited. It was like “here’s some songs, let’s go and record them.” These songs, I’m really going over them and revising them. I’m really going all out.
What are some of the new songs like?
A couple songs are a lot faster and more aggressive than before.
Does that mean that you are angry or more frustrated than before?
For a long time, while La Sera was starting, I was still playing with Vivian Girls all the time. That was great as an aggressive outlet. Now that Vivian Girls really have not done anything in a while, there’s almost like a subconscious desire to play fast music again. In my mind, La Sera was always the side project where I got to play slow, dreamier songs. But now that Vivian Girls hasn’t really done that much in the past year, I’ve slowly started to write songs that are more aggressive and are more punk. More like Vivian Girls’ speed. I miss that a little bit.
Since Vivian Girls have not been active, are they going to pick up with a fourth album eventually?
Right now, there are no solid plans. We played some shows. Right now, [Vivian Girls vocalist/guitarist] Cassie Ramone is with her other band, the Babies, in Europe. I’m completely into writing this new La Sera record. We’re not even thinking about Vivian Girls right now. What Vivian Girls is, what it means to us, and remaining a band is very important to us. I think there will be a fourth record, we just haven’t sat down and discussed it. In Vivian Girls, we were basically on a five-year non-stop tour and released records. It was like a never-ending tour. It was so much fun, but it was exhausting. We are cherishing our time off the road right now.
I know that you’re a fan of video games. What games are good right now?
Well, I kind of quit video games in January, cold turkey. What happened was, I got an X-Box and I got Modern Warfare, and then, I finished a campaign, so then I was like “Well, now I have to play online.” I called the cable company, because I just moved. I had been stealing Wi-Fi from my neighbors. I got the Internet installed and I had the Ethernet cable and I was just about to plug it in when this feeling washed over me that “If I plug this in, it means I won’t write my record.” My priorities all change and I get very into video games and I didn’t want that to happen. So, I didn’t plug it in and I’ve been focusing on writing for the past few months.
You sound like an addict!
Yeah! I literally was faced with that dilemma! The moment I was faced with plugging the X-Box in, I realized that it was a huge mistake. I’m really glad that I didn’t. But, at some point I will. We are recording in June or July, but the moment the record is done, hell yeah, I am going to get right into playing Modern Warfare. I still play stupid games on the phone, but like the stupid Farmville games where you check in a couple times a day. But, that doesn’t take over your life like Modern Warfare does. You know, where you’re cancelling plans with your friends to stay at home and play X-Box … that’s sad … That’s a bad zone to get into, but I get into it very easily.