Hartbeats: Tami Hart is Making Friendz

If the name Tami Hart isn’t immediately familiar, there’s still a chance you’ve come across the work of this PostR.Grrrl. After recording two solo albums for Mr. Lady a...

If the name Tami Hart isn’t immediately familiar, there’s still a chance you’ve come across the work of this PostR.Grrrl. After recording two solo albums for Mr. Lady a decade ago, Hart went on to play in Gangway, Winning Looks, and, most recently, MEN, JD Samson’s latest musical project (If you haven’t read my piece about Who Took the Bomp?, the recent doc on Le Tigre, check it out here.), for which she plays bass. Today Hart dropped her latest (under the moniker Making Friendz), Social Life, on Last Bummer Records.

I recently caught up with Tami to chat about Making Friendz. She told me about the psychedelic roots (and not in the musical sense) of the project. She, like Lenka (whom I recently interviewed for Philthy), admitted to the important role ice cream plays in her life. Oh, and I found out that I’m not the only person who uses the word “heteronormative” in casual conversation.

Izzy Cihak: You’ve been a part of numerous musical projects of various genres. What can long-time fans expect of Making Friendz?

Tami Hart: Making Friendz fans can expect more of the same punk and r ‘n’ b influenced music. I’d like to bring a fun live show to your towns and cities. I’ve also written another record of more stripped down, Neil Youngian folk that I recently performed with Mirah at her video premiere.

IC: How did the process of writing and recording this Making Friendz record compare to the other records you’ve worked on?

TH: There was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on the making of this record! When I started this band, it was just me, a cheap Casio keyboard, a couple pedals, and a 4 track. I wrote these songs, mostly out of loneliness. I figured if I started a band, I would maybe have a good chance of meeting people in New York, where I had recently moved. So I made a MySpace page, put the songs up, and started looking for bandmates. That’s how I met Daniel Scott Erickson. He joined Making Friendz and became a strong force in the band, and my partner in crime. We turned Making Friendz into a hot mess, and became pretty infamous for doing things like passing out shrooms at shows or just getting totally trashed. I often performed blacked out! Shit wasn’t working for me though, and I got sober. That was pretty much the beginning of the end for us as bandmates though. And during the recording of the album, we parted ways. He has one song on the album that he wrote, “Sexual Forrest,” and two other songs that he co-wrote. It was important to me to keep the songs on as a testament of his being in the band.

IC: Your new album is called Social Life. How would you characterize your own social life, or does the music say it all?

TH: When I started the band, it was all a play on self help books. In fact, I originally called the band Self Help. So social life, to me, ties in with the commentary. I, myself, bounce between complete and total isolation or complete and total social butterfly. Most of the time though, I am home with my partner and our dog. I am getting into wifey material. Today I dropped off her dry cleaning and went grocery shopping, and am fetishizing it. Call it heteronormative if you want.

IC: You’ve said that a lot of your latest work was influenced by dance music, but what are your biggest non-musical influences?

TH: Well I love love love the film The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle about the Sex Pistols.
But I also love pizza….and ice cream….those are huge influences. I mean, I have to keep my figure!

IC: What should we expect from you in 2011? Your live shows have garnered quite a substantial buzz.

TH: Expect the unexpected!!!

Band Interviews

During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.