Hanna: When we got together to work on this video trailer for it, I was like, “Did you laugh? I was totally laughing.” It’s just how young we were, I think, and how different we sounded. It brought me back to that feeling of… I used to have this white truck, and I would drive in it and listen to cassettes from our practices, and I would make up lyrics in the truck, like singing at full volume. That’s how “Double Dare Ya” came about, and a whole bunch of other songs — and that really came back to me full force when I was listening to the demos.
There are a few unreleased tracks on the reissue. Why did you decide to pull those out of the vault now?
Hanna: Those were recorded at the same time, but for some reason we didn’t mix them. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t enough room on the cassette tape.
Wilcox: That’s what it was. We just picked the songs that would fit on the cassette. Maybe it was the songs we liked best at the time. I don’t remember how we chose, but they wouldn’t all fit on the cassette.
Hanna: It was definitely a mixture of the two. What would fit, and within those parameters, what were the best songs, so we had to leave three off. But it’s really interesting to listen to those three songs. I think you said, Kathi, something about how they sound more “grunge” than our other stuff [laughs].
I was actually thinking that when I was listening to the new songs — there’s definitely a grungey vibe to them.
Wilcox: Yeah, “Ocean Song” is kind of dirgey. We were definitely listening to the bands that were happening then. I’m sure we were internalizing that to some degree.
Hanna: That’s why I think it was cool to put those on. For me, the more I listened to it, I started remembering that, like, I was also listening to Tad [laughs].
Wilcox: But, like, the first Nirvana record is pretty dirgey. Bleach is pretty dirgey.
Hanna: Actually, the cassette was recorded primarily… [Nirvana] had all these cassettes, and the record company or whoever was putting it out accidentally put the same songs on both sides, and they couldn’t use [the tapes]. And they gave us this bag of used cassettes, so we taped over them, and then we just put a cassette label over it to hide the “Nirvana” bit. If anyone has an original one, they can peel that off and they’ll see it. And also you can actually hear, because our music will stop first, and then you can hear the end of “Negative Creep,” or whatever.
Wilcox: Reduce, reuse, recycle. We were just making the most of thrown-away tapes.
You two have worked together for nearly 20 years, first in Bikini Kill and now in the Julie Ruin. How has your working relationship changed in that time?