Keeping with Austin’s reputation of “being weird”, there certainly is no shortage of performance art-based concerts during South By Southwest. Chain Drive played host to a steady flow of outrageous performers, including Bay Area-based Carletta Sue Kay and Austin based performance artist Christeene. I had the chance to speak with both before they hit the stage.
Thrillcall: Carletta, rumor has it you were raised in the Pentecostal Church. How has that shaped your sound and visual aesthetic?
Carletta Sue Kay: It doesn’t effect my visual performance at all, in fact I would say that it’s basically an anti-church stance. Vocally, I was a soloist in the church choir, and they always used to ask “Brother Randy, will you sing Unclouded Day?”. Though I have moved on from the church, it certainly helped solidify my love of singing.
Thrillcall: Carletta Sue Kay shows are always incredibly intense. Where do you come up with ideas for your stage show?
Carletta Sue Kay: I have a cousin who is actually named Carletta Sue Kay, who is doing 15 years in the Iowa State Prison for domestic terrorism. She decided she was going to build a pipe bomb to blow up her abusive boyfriends house. Clearly she didn’t get away with it. So I base my performances on the trainwreck that is her life.
Thrillcall: What’s on the horizon for Carletta Sue Kay?
Carletta Sue Kay: Well after our performance with Sandwitches, Tim Cohen from The Fresh And Onlys offered to record and produce an album for me, so that’s going to happen very soon. We’ll also be doing a screening party when we return to San Francisco, showing footage from all the shows we did while here in Austin for SXSW.