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Taxes & Death - An Interview with Cousin Betty

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by Karli Sample (subscribe)
Freelance writer based in Sydney.
Published January 25th 2022
Cousin Betty, Cousin Betty Band, Cousin Betty Taxes & Death
Cousin Betty New Single 'Taxes & Death'


In a dusty, innocuous little bookstore in Seattle, a book of olde English slurs caught the eye of Damien Stofka; and one slur in particular, Cousin Betty.

I asked the guitarist and founder the following questions and in the interest of community, he farmed them out to his bandmates.

How does the name relate to/or influence the music?

[Damien] Cousin Betty is an outsider. Jilted, bitter and menacing. She's weird as fuck, and hard as nails. Hopefully our music embodies at least a couple of those great qualities.

The current line-up is relatively new, have the inclusion of your current members altered your initial vision for the band?

[Damien] Absolutely, and in the best way. It's gone from a singular vision heavily focused on recording, to a full time band packed with talent and individual flavours. Over the last year we've kind of melted into our collective sound. It's way more fun as we're all a little out of our comfort zones.

What type of sea fairing vessel would Cousin Betty be?
[Astrid] A giant gravy boat, with tiny oars.

How have the restrictions of the pandemic affected the band?

[Tara] Lockdown - gigs gone in an instant and because the band is spread out geographically it meant we physically couldn't get together until it was lifted. Makes it hard to write together.

Your current single, Taxes and Death, has a mild political overtone, do you regard yourselves as a political band?

[Damien] Not in the sense that we have a shared political belief system or agenda, but Matt's writing style does focus heavily on social politics.

Regardless, should bands/artists be political in your opinion?

[Damien] I'm split. On one hand, Rage Against the Machine are a force of nature, but on the other hand... shut up.

Among the 5 people in the band, is there a general common influential artists or band?

[Damien] DEVO.

Is there more than one chef in the Cousin Betty kitchen?

[Andi] One Chef. A Sous Chef. A Pastry Chef. An Executive Chef. A Saucier. We'll leave it up to you to decide.

Could Cousin Betty beat 80's Rambo in a fight?

[Andi] Shit yeah! We're highly trained in the art of Bataireacht (Irish stick fighting). We're quite frightening.

Benjamin Franklin is quoted having said "In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes." What other two things could you have titled your song in terms of ugly inevitabilities?

[Damien] Hard to answer this question without going too dark. Let's say love and happiness.

Cousin Betty's new single 'Taxes & Death' is available for purchase from 10 January!

Website // Spotify // Bandcamp
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