With over two decades slaying the violin under her belt and multiple forays into Indie Noise Rock, Rocky Capizzi has wowed me every time I’ve caught her live.
Pulled into the HR Indie scene by some friends, she spent some time as a member of the Virginia Beach based Lo-Fi minimalists, We Are Trees. Later she became the front woman/founder of BitchIMightBe — an absolutely ferocious band that’s sadly on hiatus right now. One of my favorite bands of the past year, I’m pulling for a resurgence soon. That said, whatever happens I know Rocky will be back playing shows at some point, and I anxiously await her next project, wherever or whatever it may be.
AltDaily: What’s your epigram?
Rocky: “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” — Mark Twain.
What makes a piece of music, or even a part of a piece of music, good? And why?
I think continuity between parts, dynamics, bass lines are really important parts of making good music. Take Radiohead, for example. They make a great concept album to be sure, but they also.. With ease and fluidity visit different places, soundscapes within a song that make sense. They direct your emotions, but in such a way that a listener is able to make the space their own.
Dynamics, obviously, keep things exciting. Bass lines are amazing because you can play a melody on the guitar, a scale, whatever, BUT you can play this bass line in a major key the first time at a piano dynamic and then crescendo to a forte breaking into a bass line using its relative minor and BOOM! You have this exciting, dynamic thing that even utilizes continuity. We did this in the Bitchimightbe song “Celebration Day.”
What do you look for in a guitar? What makes you go wow!!! – When you walk past a pawn shop or a music store? What is it about your guitar that made it yours? And what do you play?
To be honest, I’m not well-versed in guitars. I really like Jaguars.. I like Fender shit in general. I get more of my freak-on with amps. I love me a Fender 75, Bassman, or a Twin Reverb. It’s all about that fat, complex depth of sound that my ear craves.
As far as my sex machine is concerned, I don’t really know what it is. It’s a Frankenstein mashup of different guitar parts. I do know that it was built in the 70s. The coolest thing about my guitar is that my friend Nkozi Cole-Giscombe asked if I wanted an electric guitar — at the time, I only had this acoustic Fender from the early 90s — so i got really stoked! Of course I will take this free guitar! He brought it over to my then boyfriend’s Ghent apartment, and it wasn’t even in a case. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on. It was a really emotional moment that I’ll never forget.
Side note: I will tune, repair, and play every violin I see in a pawn shop.
How do you know when a show is going well? What’s your criteria for successful live music?
Deafening silence then deafening applause. You can tell when an audience is rapt. All their focus, anticipation, even tension is on you. You know when the prestige is good when just after you stop playing there’s this brief moment of silent anticipation for one more something from you, then applause.
Successful live music comes from the work done behind the scenes. It’s a lot of teamwork, a lot of putting aside your own comfort — i.e. practicing when you’re not feeling like it because it’s easy to forget just how therapeutic it actually is when you suffer from mental illness like so many of us do. It’s about going BIG, bigger than you did at the last show because ultimately the pride and approval should first come from the musicians. And finally? Just plain hard work. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to know your parts and improvise. If your band isn’t acting as a unit, the live performance becomes disjointed. Doing an old song as an encore takes mental acuity. All these elements require diligence.
Oh, and if you have stage presence, then fucking bless up.
What do you want on your tombstone?
Mushrooms, sausage, extra cheese, feta, kalamata olives, green peppers, jalapeños, and cherry tomatoes.
With no upcoming shows, Rocky asks that we plug the upcoming You’re Jovian album release party, April 15th at Charlie’s. Click for More Info.
This Weekends’s Shows
LAVA Presents: Futurebirds with Ian Randall Thornton
Toast. Norfolk. 8PM. More Info.
Josh Coplon shifts from labeling his shows MiniFests in favor of LAVA Presents. I was just barely sold on the Futurebirds the last time I saw them at O’Connors. You can read that review here. I think they’re good at what they do, but it’s not really my music. If that makes sense. Still, plenty disagree with me, and if you’re into a Psychedelic Country Jam kind of vibe? This might be a show for you.
5 Points Community Farm Market. Norfolk. 6:30PM. More Info.
Always a treat to catch one of Norfolk’s pillars of Singer/Songwriting.
Poet Fest 2017
The Venue on 35th. Norfolk. 2PM. More Info.
A day long celebration of local poets. I’ll be part of a panel discussion for this, so come check it out. Or, you know. Don’t. Maybe you don’t dig on no poetry. Maybe you’re part of what’s wrong with this country. And you probably kick puppies. And smell bad.
Cafe Stella. Norfolk. 8PM. More Info.
The continuing adventures of Sheela Fortner and her merry band of refugee Mermaids. Blues / Folk Rock from some local masters.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong / Big Something
The NorVa, Norfolk, VA, US
Purveyors of badass-funkery. Read a prior review here.
Shakas Live, Virginia Beach. More Info.
Are you down with the Wu Tang? Then this is a no-brainer.
Lacanthrope / Hound / Clary Sage
Charlies American Cafe at Riverview. Norfolk. More Info.
Punk rockers and a swap meet.
Okay. We’re done here.
You can go now.
**I don’t know who Felicia is, actually.. But I hear the kids say that these days. I assume she’s related to Basic Becky?