Â Bands With Cats: Kevin Romain Â from SprÃ¯ng
– by Cheena Jean Normandin
Your band and role/instrument: Kevin RomainÂ from SprÃ¯ng
What’s your cat’s given name? Misha
What’s Misha’s story?
We live in a big house in East Vancouver called Thor’s Palace, where we recorded our record Celebrations. The house is named after Thor, a big orange cat who used to live here. He actually graces the cover of a record that our old band SSRIs put out a couple years ago. Misha isn’t actually “our” cat, technically – she lives next door at another big communal house – but she spends a good 50 per cent of her time hanging out on our front porch and roaming around our house destroying things. She sort of adopted herself into our household about five years ago when she was just a kitten.
What does Misha eat?
Misha has a real taste for bread, and tortillas in particular. If she can find a package of tortillas left out on the kitchen table for example, she eats through the plastic bag and munches a hole through each one ’til she hits the bottom of the bag. I think of it as a necessary sacrifice to the cat gods.
Â WhatÂ do you think Misha’s theme song is?
“Straight Up and Down”, from Eric Dolphy’s excellent record Out To Lunch. The tune was written to sort of imitate a drunk person stumbling home from the bar, but it reminds me of the first time I saw Misha – she was jumping back and forth between two trees in front of our house, swinging on the branches like a crazy monkey.
Listen – Eric Dolphy, “Straight Up and Down”:
Do you have reason to suspect Misha isÂ hatching any incredible schemes at the moment?
A few years ago when she was full of youthful enthusiasm, I’d say yes, but lately she just sleeps a lot. I think her spark for doing evil stuff is burning low. She still knocks cups off of the counter from time to time, but it seems more out of boredom than as a malicious master plan.
What is the last book Misha fell asleep on?
She would never sleep on a book, only on comfy, luxurious surfaces.
What is theÂ most impressive thing that Misha has murdered?
Last year we had a bunch of mice living in the walls of our house so we invited her in more often than normal. Within a couple weeks there was no sign of the mice anymore, so we can only assume there was a liberal amount of “murdering” going on. I also once spotted her in the backyard prancing around with a whole live pigeon in her mouth. It was squawking and flapping halfheartedly, but I think it was resigned to its fate. I ran out and rescued the poor bird from her jaws. It flopped around for a bit and then flew off. I don’t think Misha has ever forgiven me.
What is the lastÂ incredible feat that Misha has accomplished?
Clearing a rodent infestation in a couple weeks flat is pretty impressive to me!
What type of music does Misha listen to when she’s getting ready to prowl?
Her real owners next door are kind of New-Age-y types, so she probably doses up on Enya over there and then comes to our house and listens to some Dirty Projectors or Drive Like Jehu to get amped up. She’s also been really into the new St. Vincent record.
If you and Misha woke up in a weird Freaky Friday situation, what do you think would be the first thing your cat would do?
Probably she’d gather up all the tambourines in our house and burn them. I discovered that the one thing that can drive her out of the house when she’s being a jerk is shaking a tambourine at her. I don’t know why, but she FREAKS out and bolts toward the door instantly as soon as she hears it. After we covered some Beatles records a couple years ago I began to recognize that tambourine is prominent on almost every classic recording you can think of, so I’ve got a pretty big collection of ‘em and they’re all over our last record. If the next SprÃ¯ng recordings come out with no tambourines on there, you’ll know that this strange body-switching scenario probably came to pass.
In band news, SprÃ¯ngÂ has just returned from a western Canada tour to promote their new LP Celebrations and they’ll be hitting Ontario and Quebec in June (dates TBA very soon).
SprÃ¯ng will be sharing the stage at the Biltmore Cabaret with four amazing bands from Japan onÂ May 21Â as part of the Next Music from Tokyo series (for only 10 bucks!!!). Check out the event’s Facebook page here.