By: Lindsey Anderson
It has been awhile since we caught up with one of our faves, Celeste ‘C.C.’ Spina of Little Hurricane! Little Hurricane has a new album out titled ‘Same Sun, Same Moon’ and we got to chat with C.C. about her drum journey, Little Hurricane’s sound and her dream festival lineup!
TT: Tell us your drum journey; how did you first get started? What challenges and triumphs have you experienced as a drummer?
CC: I got started in the school band at 10 years old. I got to pick any instrument and something about the drums called to me. Luckily my parents were cool with it and my dad bought me an Iron Butterfly CD and got me my first drum kit. Most of my challenges occurred in those first few years that I was learning to play. I struggled as the only female drummer in school band and into high school marching band. In the end it served to my benefit because I worked extra hard during those years to try and be better than my bandmates. Those years are the primary foundation to what I do now. My triumphs have been getting the chance to play on some amazing stages with amazing drummers that inspire me. We toured with the Specials, and hanging with John Bradbury was huge for me. I feel so lucky to have seen him play every night and get his feedback on my drumming. I have noticed that the best drummers I’ve met are encouraging and kind, and that serves as further inspiration
TT: What’s your kit setup for tour? Do you have different kits that you use for different occasions?
CC: On tour I play a 4 piece Ludwig Legacy classic with a Copperphonic snare that I absolutely love! I use Zildjian K cymbals and sometimes I have Remo roto-toms I bring out. At home I have a few 60’s vintage club kits, and a variety of vintage snare drums. I love collecting vintage drums because I feel they hold the spirit of drummers before me, plus they usually sound really great!
TT: Little Hurricane has a very southern, swampy, spooky rock sound to it. Is there a reason why the band seems to gravitate towards that sound?
CC: In high school, we both played in Jazz band and have very similar musical upbringings. Our parents leaned towards the exact same music- a lot of Van Morrison, James Taylor, The Beatles and Bob Dylan. I think being brought up on amazing songwriters really helps us understand songwriting. We also like to draw inspiration from the deserts of Southern California. A lot of people think of San Diego as beaches and palm trees but if you head a few hours East you find some really inspiring landscapes.
Backstory on ‘Same Sun Same Moon’While recording in their studio (built on Native American lands), the guitarist was “inexplicably drawn” to remove his shoes and climb an ominous 3,400 foot mountain in a “trance-like state,” without food and water or notifying his wife. “I kept hearing frequencies or vibrations that made it impossible for me to work,” he explained. He didn’t come back that night, and a search party tried in vain to find him, but he returned 17-hours later — albeit with kidney failure, frostbite, and severe injuries that left him immobile for over a month.
TT: The The backstory behind ‘Same Sun Same Moon’ is wild. What were the thoughts going through your mind while Anthony was away in this trance-like state? Did you take the feelings you were experiencing during that 17 hour period and inject it into the drum parts?
CC:It was really scary. I didn’t know what to do, and I had just returned from a trip that left me without sleep and totally exhausted. I knew I couldn’t go looking for him, but I wasn’t ready to call for help. I went into the studio and wrote a song with drums to it. I combined my emotions with a really jazzy but aggressive beat that helped me take my mind off what was happening. The drum part never made it onto the album, but the title and some of the lyrics in the closing track “Moon’s gone Cold” are taken directly from what I wrote that day.
TT: What do you feel are some of the overarching themes in ‘Same Sun Same Moon?”
CC:Our intention with the record is to bring people together and to celebrate our similarities vs our differences. We wanted to somehow, in our small way, try to unite people with our music.
TT: Why the title ‘Same Sun Same Moon?’
CC: It’s a reminder that we all share one planet with one solar system. Without the sun, we’d all be fucked. No matter where you are in the world you can look up and see the same moon as everyone else and feel the same warmth of the sun.
TT: When you’re getting ready to make a new album, do you have preparatory rituals that you take part in? For example, do you take a lot of walks? Increase practice time? Eat certain foods?
CC: I like to journal a lot and reflect on where I am going and where I have come from. We write from life experiences and channel those emotions into songs. I also like to get the guitar tracked to a click and be able to sit by myself with it and try out different versions of a song once we have the bones of a song done.
TT: If you could describe your drumming style in 3 words, what would they be and why?
CC: Hard-hitting, dynamic and engaging. I like to smash my drums when it’s called for, but I also like to write the right parts for the song which are sometimes laid back and easy going, or some simple brush work. Engaging because I feel so happy when I am playing that I can’t help but laugh or smile throughout the set, which tends to make the crowd really happy to watch.
TT: I feel you both would be very popular at a number of festivals and y’all have a number of festival dates on your tour list. What do you enjoy about playing festivals? What can be challenging about the festival atmosphere?
CC: I love playing festivals because the audience is usually a broader demographic than what we draw from on our own. It’s also really fun to reconnect with other bands on the lineup that we may not have seen in years. It’s challenging because there is a lack of soundchecks ahead of the set which sometimes effects the overall experience.
TT: If you could curate your own festival, what would it be called and what 5 acts would you invite to perform and why?
CC: Celestival (after my full name) I would include carnival games and rides and have Bahamas, Timber Timbre, July Talk, Alabama Shakes and Devil Makes Three. They are 5 great bands and I think it could be a fun lineup!