by Eric Toennis
State each of your names, what you play, and your most listened-to musical artist of this last year.
Bryan Casey - Vocals, Guitar & percussion / drums, synths, programming, etc.
Melissa Dorres - Vocals & Bass Guitar.
Another artist this year that we’ve been listening to a lot is MACHINE (another duo). We’ve been jamming on a few of their songs lately for some super secret future events. shhhh
So...when did you guys meet? Is there a special story behind it? Does it have anything to do with the band name?
The name came as we sat going through our lists of ideas for band names, out of pure frustration Melissa said “can you just think of something from when we met?”, with that Bryan said “that’s it! ...When We Met!” The name could have been so many things, we met at a James show (90’s group mostly known for a song in Reality Bites) at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland, Oregon. Completely random meeting and somewhat interesting circumstances. But after meeting, we became basically inseparable.
Being in a two-piece band seems to be a very interesting dynamic. What are the biggest struggles of only having two of you? What are the biggest advantages?
The biggest struggle is having to lug around all of our gear, we have a lot of equipment for two people. And also... using backing tracks there are pros and cons. It takes a lot of extra time and work involved in creating the backing tracks. Such as, physically playing/recording drums, creating massive layers of sounds with synths and programming and studio plug-in fx tricks. Along with doing all the recording, mixing and mastering on our own.
The biggest advantage is the freedom to tour, it’s easier to coordinate schedules and cheaper to travel with two. Also, we don’t have to worry about band members constantly coming and going or breaking up. We recently came home from a monthlong national tour. Not only are we a two-piece, but also a couple, so being on the road is extra special.
What famous rock duo do you guys look up to most for inspiration?
We are always looking for new inspiration. Old school WEEN is one. They began as a two-piece with backing tracks they made on tape. They are probably one of our biggest influences, especially since they are so diverse live and are they kings of incorporating different genres in their music. The Kills, once again, they began as a duo with tracks, stayed that way for a long time because of the ease of touring until they reached the fame they are now. We recently got turned on to Hers, but unfortunately they died last year in a car crash while on tour.
What is the most interesting or unique two-piece band you’ve ever seen or listened to in regards to sounds or pairing of instruments?
Lung: Electric Cello & Drums (a little grungy, a little weird, & a little eerie)
You guys seem to have your fingers in a variety of different creative endeavors including video production, and graphic design. How do these other art forms help contribute to your music?
The stuff we do for our music such as recording, graphic design, some videos, tour management and tour booking saves us money and keeps us in control. But we out source where it makes sense so we can have more time to be musicians. The hardest part of being a DIY musician with day jobs, is having time left over to make music.
I am originally from Montana but I have been living out in Oregon for a few years now in Eugene. I have made it up to Portland a handful of times and I’m always in awe at the vibrant nature of the city with so much to do and see, and a thriving arts culture. But, one of my favorite things about the city that I get super geeked about is the food scene. Where is each of your favorite places to eat in PDX? What’s your go-to meal at that place?
OMG, lol. Yes, Portland has great food, that was the best part of getting home from our last tour, back to good food. We honestly don’t keep up with the latest and greatest trends but some of our go to’s are: Chaba Thai, Lemongrass, Chameleon, Black Heart, Nongs, and Hit The Spot (best burger food cart!!)
You describe your sound as “punky power pop to sultry electro rock, with an 80's new wave / post punk and 90's indie / alternative vibes.” Now I want you to describe your sound as a main entrée at a restaurant.
Raw Oysters, may or may not give you food poisoning, it’s like playing Russian roulette, but you won’t die, you might just poop your pants a little though.
If you were a dog, what breed would you be? What brand of dog food would you eat?
Weiner Dog that eats hot dogs.
Have you ever been to Montana before? If so, what are your favorite memories, and do they include grizzly bears? If not, what are you looking forward to most, and are you afraid of the grizzly bears?
We played at Kirks’ Grocery. Shane De Leon of Miss Massive Snowflake runs Kirks’ and is one of our favorite people. We also played at Monk’s in Missoula with another fun WEEN inspired act, Zenitram Jr. Best memory was the drunk frat boy barfing by our van, or it could have been a grizzly bear?