The Like

The Like

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Monday, 30 October 2006
INTERVIEW

The three ladies of the Like are young. So young it’s hard not to get hung up on the fact. However, unlike other songstresses their age who come off as manufactured pop tarts, this trio is a savvy, silly group of girlie girls with extraordinary music sensibility. Their debut album, Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? showcases vocalist/guitarist Z. Berg’s beautifully sandpapered vocals coupled with clever pop melodies that have truly impressive song structure.

Speaking via phone with Berg as the girls are en route to another show, it’s hard not to be won over by her earnestness and charm. It’s also hard not to cave in to an open session of slumber party girl talk.

It seems like the trajectory for you guys has been rather quick, a lot faster than for other bands…

Except we’ve been together for four years.

Yeah, since you were five.

(Laughing) Right, since I was seven and a half.

So, you’ve known each other since your teens…and from what I’ve read, it seems a lot of emphasis has been focused on who you’re related to (their fathers are Pete Thomas, longtime drummer for Elvis Costello, producer Mitchell Froom and A&R man Tony Berg). How do you feel about that attention?

On one level, I understand it. It’s interesting where people come from, but to write an article with the spin of “children of the industry,” it’s kind of sloppy. You can’t find anything more interesting about us?

It also assumes that you only got somewhere from who you know and let’s face it; there are a lot of people related to people whose albums flopped.

Seriously! It’s also funny because our parents will read it and go, “Wow, I didn’t know we were rich and famous!” Nobody actually knows who our parents are, the only people who would read an article and know who our parents are…are journalists!

The editors at MOJO, for sure.

Right! Our parents really don’t have much sway. It’s great though; our parents are getting some good press! Maybe they’ll get some work out of it!

That’s an interesting spin to put on it, “We’re just trying to help our parents get jobs!” Moving on, basic question, how long did it take to write the album?

The oldest song on the album is from when I was fourteen, so the songs span four years.

The production has a lot of interesting layers and I know a lot can change from songwriting to production. How much actually did change?

As far as the arrangement of the songs, basically [nothing] at all. After four years of being together, the arrangement was finished. Production was more about making it sound as good as possible and what nice flourishes could we add. Mostly just trying to sound bigger and better.

A lot of bands are concerned with their image as far as who they tour with. You’ve toured with everyone from Kings of Leon to Maroon 5 to Tori Amos. It seems like you have a different approach.

At this point, it’s not like we can be picky. We just want to get out and play for people. If we had a choice, it would be great! But we don’t…(laughs)

So, on these tours, what has been the most embarrassing thing that has happened?

Yesterday the fire alarm went off during the show but that was during the Kings of Leon set. We had to evacuate! It was funny. I guess there was a lot of…incense burning upstairs…

Incense burning? Is that what we’re calling it these days?

(Laughing) Um…yeah…you know. I don’t know, I feel like we’re less prone to embarrassing things than boys because…well, boys are stupid and girls are smart. Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice and boys are made of…worms…and shit. Hellooooo.

(Laughing) Hellooooo…and there goes your male fan base!

Yeah! But I’m sure that all boys reading this article would agree with me…or most of them.

No, all boys reading this article are thinking, “She’s hot…and she’s in a band.” So where are you headed now? When does the tour end?

We’re on our way to New York right now then England in November then the West Coast with Giant Drag in December so…the touring schedule ends never. It ends when we die.

How has the audience response been on tour?

We haven’t been booed off stage so that’s a good sign! I think generally people respond pretty well…at least a few people.

All those boys…

Right.

Now…your names…where did they come from?

Well, (drummer) Tennessee Jane Bunny Thomas was born Tennessee Jane Bunny Thomas. It blows the mind, I know!

That’s up there with Michael Hutchence’s daughter, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily. Wait a minute, what is Tennessee saying to you in the background?

Oh! She said, “Tell her I’m making a friendship bracelet.”

Tell Tennessee my favorite colors are blue, magenta, black and white.

Awesome. Come to a show and it will be waiting.

I’ll come with an empty wrist waiting to be friendshipped.

We’re making them for members of the crew. Well, I’m not, I don’t know how, but they are because they’re useful like that.

What other crafty things do you guys do?

We used to embroider our underwear back in the day. Being in a band with girls is great. Oh, you know what’s awesome? We did this MTV piece and we were talking about how on tour with Maroon 5, everyone was throwing fucking panties at them and shit and I said, “Throw me some panties! What is this bullshit? We would ACTUALLY WEAR THEM!” So, some girl came to our show with a bag of underwear for us! It was awesome, like Superman underwear!

Next time you have to ask for more stuff.

Yeah, next interview I’m asking for a car.

I don’t want to keep you since you guys need to rock and make friendship bracelets.

We have two more hours of sitting in the van…

Well, have a good show tonight and work on more embarrassing stories.

Well, Charlotte fell on the dance floor recently…but it was a greased, rotating dance floor if that helps.

I’m sure that will help the boys reading this.

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