Grateful Web Interview with Rosin Coven

Article Contributed by June Reedy | Published on Saturday, July 20, 2013

Grateful Web had an oppturnity to speak with San Francisco based theatrical music ensemble, Rosin Coven at this year's Electric Forest Festival.  Founding member Carrie Katz and her husband Justin Katz spoke about their extremely busy EFF (9 sets in 4 days), Edwardian Ball Roadshow, and their story behind "Make Martinis Not War."

GW: Were you also part of the performers throughout the festival with Father Time and the other almost steam punk characters’ crew?

CK: No we were not.  We just met all the performers, in fact we just met there for the first time.

GW: I know you played a couple different sets throughout the weekend….

CK: Yes, we played 9, actually.

JK: 9 sets in four days! Laughter

GW: Was that exhausting or exhilarating?  How was the experience?

JK: Do we have to choose just one?

CK: Both, absolutely

JK: This may be something you’re getting at, but what was so fun about that Father Time and the whole group which appeared in several incarnations as you may have seen, is that they did keep appearing when we were playing.  That has always been a backbone of what Rosin Coven aims to do.  We want to create a show and the kind of environment where spontaneity is not only possible but welcome.  People feel like they can jump right in with the show and the fact that people might not know what was planned or not, is really exciting to us.

CK: Yeah, that we really we call our music Pagan Lounge music. We like to say that we’re creating the Pagan Lounge.  It’s not just us; it’s us and the people that come to listen to our music that get involved.  We all create this space together. It’s kind of a third thing that wouldn’t happen without all of us there. 

GW: Absolutely

CK: Which is exactly what happened in those amazing moments at the festival.  They were completely unplanned and surprising and hilarious and great.

GW: I was reading about the Edwardian Ball that you guys are involved in.  I’m currently living in Chicago and I see this is a San Francisco tradition.  You guys are a big part of this awesome event, can you tell me more about it?

JK: That is an event our band founded in 1999 as a bit of an experiment, something fun to try with a couple hundred people, if that.  It’s just really taken on a life of its own over the past 13 years

GW: This is the first year you’ve done Electric Forest Festival, right?

CK: Right

GW: Do you plan on continuing to bring that San Francisco vibe back out this way (Midwest)?

JK: We would love to! We are really excited to be bringing even more of the San Francisco and Edwardian Ball experience on the road.  We have a very new project in the works, which will be the Edwardian Ball road show. Which will be sort of the best of – ya know, everything we can pack up into suitcases and beyond and roll into festivals.  I would love to bring something like that to somewhere like the electric forest.  If they have us back we would be back in a heartbeat

GW: My last question is – what is the story behind your “Make Martinis Not War” slogan?

CK: We are really in support of celebration.  There are so many difficulties in the world and in our lives that art & music has always been a way for people to come together – in the best of times, and the worst of times, so the martinis is one way of looking at that as a way of letting loose and having fun and being transported to another place, another dimension.  That’s what we really strive to do with our music and our shows.  We actually, I think Justin came up with this years ago… Some people say well, what is pagan lounge music?  We like to say it’s like having a martini at your solstice ritual.  It kind of combines that martinis have that feeling of elegance, sort of retro time when things were more civilized, then we really bring it down to the basic things of life, the cycles of life and death, the cycles of the Earth and the cycles that we go thru as humans.  All of that is reflected in our music.  It brings those different worlds together.

JK: Especially after a couple of martinis – Laughter

CK: Even if it kind of hurts the next morning, all in moderation! – Laughter

GW: Got to work hard, play hard

JK & CK: right!