Behind the Noise: Interview with The Sewing Club
Words edited by Amesha Tiwari
Photos by Sydney Gregory
Pictured left to right is members of The Sewing Club: Stephen Meaux (Guitar), Will Harris (Bass Guitar), Hannah McElroy (lead vocal/writer), Justin McKinney (Guitar), and Zach McCoy (drums).
Surrounded by the smells of local Mediterranean food, I sat down with The Sewing Club at The Basement in Columbus, Ohio to talk about burning topics like if a hot dog is a sandwich and if cereal is a soup (which they agreed with both). More importantly, we discussed their experiences with sewing, their new songs, and origins.
Sydney: What is your experience with sewing?
Stephen: I'm embroidering all the time! I embroidered this shirt and made these stuffed monsters from socks. They're easy to make and a nice past time while in the van traveling.
[Stephen makes these little monster guys to sell at shows. Made from socks, these handy stuffed monsters come with much love from the band. I had to buy one for myself because they were so adorable! They had pink ones for Valentine's Day with adorably mad monster faces that just spoke to me.]
Hannah: I took one sewing class and I made a pillowcase.
Sydney: Oh, yeah, I did that too! Did you get to draw on it with crayons?
Hannah: No, I wish I did that! But that's the only time that I have sewn... I wish that I would know how to sew clothes, because that would be cool. I love a good thrift.
Sydney: Tell me more about your latest release 'Sport Mode.'
Hannah: Sport Mode was written over a year ago. All of our songs start with a little guitar part that we build into a whole song. And add melody and lyrics, so that's how that started.
Stephen: Yeah, she started with that thing you hear - that opening, that's the first thing to add then we just built it all around it.
Hannah: And the song is sad, but it's about trying to communicate with someone that can't open up emotionally.
Sydney: What about the other most recent release, tell me about 'Cool Girl.' Are there any plans to release more singles soon?
Hannah: When released Cool Girl, that one is our producer's favorite one. Cool Girl is probably my favorite out of our songs just because I felt the lyrics are very relatable. Girls are always meant to like come off as chill or cool like everything is fine. And it's about just not wanting to be that anymore.
Zach: Oh, we have a song coming out in like two weeks.
Hannah & Zach: It's called "On My Own"
Sydney: Can't wait to hear it!
Sydney: Where do you draw your musical influences from?
Everyone: All over, haha.
Stephen: The main thing is like a shoe gaze influence, late 90s shoegaze stuff. That's kind of like the general census of like everybody. But I listen to a lot of math rock, and emo music, so that's where all the sad guitar stuff comes from. Everyone else in the band has their own influences.
Will is super into jam band, so the baseline kinda comes from that route. Noodle-ly baselines. Dancing all over the place. And then Zach played jazz drums growing up, so that's where the chops are coming from.
Sydney: How did the band form?
Hannah: Most of us met in college. All of us except Justin. Stephen and I were friends freshman year and we started writing songs together. And Zach was in my copywriting law class. And I was like, "Do you want to play drums with us?" And then he played with us, with songs that were god awful, literally the worst songs.
Zach: So different. Like some of them even have the same titles as the songs we have out. We just like redid them.
Hannah: It was so bad.
Sydney: Haha, it was like the first draft, no one needs to see it. It's for you.
Everyone: Yeah, yeah.
Hannah: And then Will was roommates with Stephen and our bass player before him ghosted us. Zach: Yeah it was the three of us for awhile, and then he was just like gone. Still a nice guy, but you know.
Hannah: Then Will joined at a house show in Louisville, Kentucky. So that's when he joined. And then Will and Justin knew each other from playing in Nashville. So that's kinda how that happened.
Sydney: Wait, you said pre-law? Did you go to school for law?
Hannah: We were taking copywrite law class. I was in songwriting business sophomore year.
Zach: Songwriting business as part of our prerequisites in college.
Hannah: Music school, haha.
Sydney: Any final words?
Hannah: Kinda insane to be on our first tour ever and we are very thankful to Arlie and Whitehall for having us! We are playing our first SXSW, which is awesome and exciting so definitely check that out.
Follow The Sewing Club on social media and say hi to them at SXSW Valhalla on Mar 13, 2023, from 10:00 pm — 10:40 pm!
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