Stiff Love is a tough garage rock band from Olympia made up of Xtine on guitar and vocals, Elysa on bass, Dahlia on guitar, and Claudia on drums. They shares members with Lysol, The Vitamens, Lowest Priority, and Beta Boys. Here's our Q&A with them!
How did you all meet and form a band?
Xtine: My friends in Seattle and I did a “72 hour band challenge” where we got a bunch of homies together and put names in a hat and everyone drew 3 names, that was your “band.” We had 72 hours to write three songs and at the end all of the impromptu bands played a gig. Elysa and I wrote the original first three songs for Stiff Love that way. We wanted to keep playing together so we asked Claudia to play drums and our friend Corey to play second guitar. Eventually, Corey had to move to CA. We quickly started jamming with our friend Dahlia and she became our permanent second guitarist.
Can you describe the process of creating Trouble? Who wrote the
lyrics? How long did you work on it?
Xtine: I wrote the lyrics. We worked on it for awhile, it was songs we had written after recording the demo back in the summer. “Capt. Tripps Ballsington” recorded it!
Dahlia: We had just gotten back from tour which was great for recording cause we were super tight and shit. It took us a couple days to record it. Ballsington is really talented and patient.
When did you start playing music and how did you learn?
Claudia: I taught myself to play the drums when I was 21. I wanted to play my whole life but never had the chance. I bought a shitty kit off of my friend Dean for $69 and lurked YouTube. I learned what I could while my roommates wheren’t home.
Xtine: I started playing guitar when I was around 11 or 12 but had no discipline and only wanted to play guitar so I could learn Green Day songs. Recently, I’ve been trying harder to get better at guitar. I learned bass around age 18 or 19 so I could play in a band that needed a bassist.
Elysa: I only started playing more seriously within the past couple
years, but on and off since I was 18 with both bass and guitar.
Dahlia: I could barely play a power chord on the guitar until I started playing in stiff love. I had only played bass in fast hardcore bands before this. It’s been quite a wild ride baby but I’m getting better at guitar. I think.
What other bands have you been a part of? What’s different about Stiff Love?
Xtine: I play in Lysol and Beta Boys right now besides Stiff Love. I was in a band called Freak Vibe before and some other bands as well. Personally, Stiff Love is a completely different experience for me because I’ve never been the “main songwriter” before and it’s fulfilling to me in a way I haven’t experienced. Also the style of music we’re playing I feel like I don’t know a lot of other bands playing it, and it’s the music i’ve been really wanting to play. Also, I’ve never played with girls before and it’s sick!
Elysa: I had the privilege to play guitar with Lowest Priority, but that’s the only band I’ve ever been a part of besides Stiff Love.
Claudia: Uh, I was in a band in Houston called Nut Boys :’D. I could barely play then, pogo beats exclusively. Then I moved to KCMO on a whim and quickly started a band called The Vitamens with friends. The Vitamens did a demo before half of us moved out to the North West. Stiff Love is different in so many ways. We all play exactly how we want to play, allowing us room to grow. We all experiment together without frustration, helping us figure out how we want to sound. Stiff Love is different because we are all together.
What is the music scene like in Olympia?
Xtine: Olympia is sick! Tons of people play music and start bands, it’s really easy to hang out and jam and stuff here. My favorite current Washington bands are Gen Pop, Xylitol, Table Sugar, Graceland Too, Cheetah Print, Kid Chrome, Youth Regiment and a bunch others.
Claudia: Winter honks ass. It rains for 9 months out of the year but im drunk so it’s fine. the weather makes me sad but at least the gigs are good! I like Youth Regiment, Bacteria, Table Sugar, Beta Boys, Gen Pop, Xylitol, Electric Chair, Physique and so many more.
Elysa: Look out for the Minor in Possession demo!
Dahlia: there’s always shows happening in Olympia. Almost everyone is active in a band and supportive of each other’s projects!
What aspirations do you have for the new year?
Xtine: We’re going on tour through the midwest in March and playing
the fest Everything is not OK, when our new record comes out! Aspirations besides that is we are talking about doing a fly-out tour to the east coast in the summer possibly.
Dahlia: My resolutions are for me to get better at guitar and for us to write a bad ass lp!