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Vivian Pikkles and The Sweethearts Über Alles

Submitted by RamonLP4 on December 1, 2011 – 7:30 am2 Comments

Vivian Pikkles and The Sweethearts Über Alles (l to r: Niki Seven, Anna Garza, April Brem Patrick and Matt Hall)

Leon casino, Punk Rock was never about intricate arpeggios, complicated chords, or symphonic length albums based on the Shastric scriptures.  No, bands like the Ramones played chimpy riffs and sang about beating people with bats and sniffing glue. Punk turned a middle finger to pretense and was about being loud, obnoxious, and fun.  If there is one band in Houston who understands this, it’s Vivian Pikkles and The Sweethearts Über Alles.  You say you are looking for a band that “that rips you out of your confusion and makes you feel like things matter, like you matter?”   Fuck that!  No, this band is about Booze, Burgers, and Boys!  If you’ve ever wondered how many songs about food one band play at inhumanely loud levels while being so wasted that it’s a wonder they can keep it together, you are in luck because April Brem Patrick (vocals), Matt Hall (guitar), Niki Seven (drums), and Anna Garza (bass) are four people who have made it their goal to find out.

FPH – How’d Pikkles start?

April – After Guitars ended, I came back to Houston and holed up at my mom’s garage apartment and started writing songs.  The first year we did Girls Rock Camp, I talked to Anna, Niki, and a couple of other girls about doing a Breeders cover band.   We did and it was a lot of fun but we were talking about keeping it going and I said, “Well, I’ve got these songs if you want to play ‘em?”  So, Niki moved over to drums, then Matt Hall came a long, and here we are.”

FPH – Why Vivian Pikkles?

April –Vivian Pikkles was a British actress - she was the mother in Harold and Maude – and I always loved the name. It was going to be my solo project where my friends would come in and help me record songs but it’s grown.  Usually it’s me coming up with the riffs but Matt came up with “We Never See What’s Up.” We just recorded a tape for Bummer Tapes.  It’s gonna be called Burger She Wrote and after that I’d like to see December be all new songs ‘cause I’m kind of tired of playing these songs.  It’s time to grow up and stop writing so much about food.

FPH – So the Houston Press Music Awards…

April - We have NO idea how that happened.  I mean you’ve got Secret Prostitutes, The Energy, The Mahas,  Wiggins, Something Fierce…

Anna – It was a surprise.  We never followed the nominations.  We all found out when April called us.

April – Niki thought I was crying.

Niki – I thought someone died when April called.  Why would she call me at 3’o clock at work? She knows those are off limits.

Matt – Everyone got a scary hysterical voice mail.

FPH – Why were you hysterical?

April – Because the day before we have a brunch club…

Anna – We’re punks who brunch

April – …and we were at Ninfas passing around the phones laughing hysterically at New York City Queens’ promotional video that said “Vote for us!” Really?  You’re gonna make a video to promote nominating you?  Why do you care that much? But the next day I got an e-mail saying we’d gotten enough nominations to play the showcase.

Anna – A band that’s never had a proper recording, never toured, and only played locally – it was kind of a shock that people would even consider us.

FPH – What makes for a good band?

April - If you are entertained by what you do that’s what makes a good band.

Anna – Kim Gordon had a great quote saying that “people pay to see other people believe in themselves.”

April– These are three of my best friends in the entire world and THAT is what I care about.  I don’t care about being the best band in town and I don’t care about anybody else liking us.  I care about playing music with these three awesome people.

 FPH – Niki you play in Something Fierce. What does this fill?

Niki – I learned how to play drums to join this band. It was something I always wanted to do and I love playing drums.  Once, we got to play with an Iron Maiden cover band. So I got to play on their drum set.


Niki – I HAD A GONG!!  I got to use it at the end of the show! 

Anna – The pictures were of her and her head peeking out over this massive kit.

Matt – She had to reach to the end of her arms to reach the cymbals.

April – We thought playing with an Iron Maiden cover band would be funny.  They were called Metal Maiden.

FPH – Were they awesome?

Matt – They were good – REALLY good!

Anna – They were great and the guitar player was actually a huge supporter of Girls Rock Camp and gave a really huge donation.

Matt – I have to say they are the best Iron Maiden cover band I’ve seen!

FPH – You guys aren’t what I’d consider technical.

Matt – I don’t care about technique.  I don’t want to be a fast player, I just want to play what sound good.

Anna - We’re all misfits and fuck-ups but we make it work – we make it happen. We drink at every frikkin show, we’re sloppy-ass drunk when we play, we’ll miss a note, and we’ll end a song before it’s supposed to end but it doesn’t matter ‘cause we’re having fun and people see that energy.

Niki –That’s not to say we don’t give a shit how we sound.  We definitely do.  We work hard at what we do and we practice a lot but we’re just not so wrapped up in it that if we mess up, it would ruin our entire life. As long as everyone is having fun, we’re having fun.

April – …and if it starts falling apart we’ll start taking our clothes off.

FPH – That doesn’t work for my band.

Niki – It helps if you have boobs.

Matt – We have six tits and one funny lookin’ guy.

April – We don’t have a label to impress. We have no one to impress. We’re like the cool table.

Niki – YAY, I’m in the cool table!  It took me 26 years but I’m IN!!

April – When we play a show, everyone is at the cool table!


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