Acoustic band Baby Shark writes beautiful sad songs. We caught up with writer and guitarist, Elise Effect, to talk about the origin of the band’s name, the local scene, and using writing as therapy.
What is your writing process like?
I am usually just messing around. Ill find a chord I like and start singing until it sounds right. I don’t write lyrics and then find guitar parts or find guitar parts and find lyrics, I write it all at once.
What do you normally write about?
I normally write about my own experiences, usually something that makes me upset or angry. Writing and playing music is my way of getting through hard times.
Do you prefer writing happy songs or sad songs?
Sad songs I suppose, I don’t write happy songs. Even if I start to write a happy song it somehow comes out sad. I just write about how I am feeling, it’s not like I have a horrible life.
What are you called Baby Shark?
I used to run a zine called Baby Shark. B.A.B.Y. S.H.A.R.C. was an acronym for bold, Adventurous, Bicycling, Youthful Sewing, Hilarious, anarchist, Radical, and Crazy. I started it in Potsdam and then in Rochester. I haven’t done an issue in three years, but I kept the name.
What’s the difference between writing a song and writing an article?
I think songs are more receptive. People are more likely to listen to a song than read an article. But just because they listen to a song doesn’t mean that they understand or be paying attention to a message.
Do you write for yourself or do you write for other people?
I write for myself. I keep in mind that other people are going to be listening to it, but in the end it is for me. It is more therapy than anything else. Even when I wrote the zine, most of the stories were about what was going on in my life.
Do you have plans to record in the future?
I recorded a long time ago with Tim Avery with my bass player, but we never finished it. Now that I am playing with a drummer again we will hopefully finish the album soon.
What do you think of the music scene in Rochester?
I think it is very divided. There people who go to just shows at the Krown, or Bug Jar, or The Squirrel. I mean I understand the appeal of having your favorite bar or venue, but there needs to be solidarity. It is getting better; the kids doing the Trash Wave shows are working towards that. We all need to grow as a scene.