Phlegm Fatale can best be described as a hot mess of dirty guitar riffs, riot grrrl screaming, and ridiculous stage antics that will leave you feeling fired-up and ready to party.
With Alana Mercer on guitar, Karyn Broadfoot-Walters on bass, and what sounds like a Casio keyboard on drums, this duo has perfected the art of sloppy garage rock and is now ready to release a full-length album.
Phlegm Fatale will be releasing a 10-song CD on Transistor 66 records due out on Nov. 30, but fans who don’t want to wait that long can look forward to the tracks being released on iTunes prior to the official CD release.
I chatted with Mercer through the magic of the internet about their upcoming release and here’s what the rock and roll vixen had to say.
The Manitoban: How was Phlegm Fatale formed?
Alana Mercer: We were friends that just started jamming on ridiculous cover songs together when we hung out. After a while Karyn played me some of her original stuff and I kind of had a meltdown I was so excited! [They were] super catchy – I didn’t expect pop songs like that.
M: Where was your new album recorded and how did that influence the final product?
AM: Kalyn Hanuschuk recorded us at Quagmire’s jam space, which is also her studio. Her presence had a fantastic effect on us. She was very positive and understood right away what we were doing and I think her attention to detail—especially when it came to recording all of Karyn’s weirdo sound effects randomly thrown into songs—brought out the fun that we were having [while] recording it!
M: What can fans expect from this album?
AM: Well, we keep laughing to each other that it’s turned out to be the album we both wanted to make when we were about seven years old and obsessed with bands like Veruca Salt, Ace of Base, Technotronic, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts; basically everything that fell between (what we knew of) heavy metal and techno. I feel like writing myself a letter back in time that says, “Just wait. You’ll have a dance-rock band.”
M: Given that you’re a two-piece, have you ever considered adding a drummer, or are you satisfied with using samples to back your music?
AM: I actually originally drummed for this [band], and we had two men who played guitar while Karyn played bass and sang, but there was something missing, or maybe too much was being added. When we stripped it down to just my guitar and a ridiculous Salt-N-Pepa beat [ . . . ] we found that so much more came out of the songs. Also, the beauty of not having to move around a drum kit for every show is definitely a perk.
I love my old Pearl [drum kit] but holy hell some winter nights you just want to turn the kick drum into some sort of [a] transportation device where it magically whisks you and all your stupid hardware that’s freezing to your hands back home without any effort whatsoever. So no, pretty sure we’re sticking with the drum machine.
M: What can we look forward to at your album release (besides an awesome album)?
AM: A crazy party. We’ve been working on this album a while now and really can’t wait to put it out. It’s going to be on iTunes before the actual show, but it’s so much more fun to have the actual thing. Also, Quagmire and Archagathus are playing which means the night is starting off rowdy and really loud. We’re really tickled pink to have these bands involved – the members have been so supportive. The least we could do is throw them a big party.
Check out Phlegm Fatale’s CD release party at the Cavern on Nov. 30.