Chuck Shute Podcast

Michael C. Hall, Peter Yanowitz, Matt Katz-Bohen (Princess Goes)

December 13, 2023 Michael C. Hall Season 4 Episode 401
Chuck Shute Podcast
Michael C. Hall, Peter Yanowitz, Matt Katz-Bohen (Princess Goes)
Show Notes Transcript

Michael C Hall is an actor and singer, best known for his role as Dexter Morgan on the Showtime series Dexter.  Pedro Yanowitz is a musician, songwriter & visual artist and has played drums with The Wallflowers, Natalie Merchant, Wilco & Yoko Ono. Matt Katz-Bohen is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter & producer and has been the keyboardist for Blondie since 2008. Together, the three of them make up the band Princess Goes. The band has a new album out titled “Come of Age.” We discuss the new album, songwriting process, making a music video, future plans for the band and more!

00:00 - Intro
00:13 - Describing the Sound of Princess Goes
04:20 - Michael C. Hall's Musical Influences & Style
06:40 - Playing Live
08:05 - Black Sabbath Tribute Band
09:10 - New Music Listening To
10:45 - Thurston Moore's Admiration
12:00 - Debbie Harry Fan of Princess Goes
12:33 - Album Artwork
13:40 - Song & Video for Come of Age
18:00 - Glasswing & Future Singles
19:45 - Future Live Shows & Marketing
22:55 - Secret to Success
24:50 - Outro

Princess Goes website:
https://princessgoes.com/

Chuck Shute YouTube:
https://youtube.com/@ChuckShute?si=LUVLhvd3STaM_hYU

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Chuck Shute:

I love going off topic. I think it's fun. But to the to the point of the band Princess goes, How would you describe the sound to my audience? Because I heard you guys describe it as goth Adeleke and rock Tronic which is awesome.

Peter Yanowitz:

Yeah, I don't know if we're going to talk those

Chuck Shute:

or explain what that means, yet

Peter Yanowitz:

well, we're, we're Men of a Certain Age. Go ahead. No, you go. I had nothing. I was just gonna say that we're gathering influences, you know?

Michael C. Hall:

Yeah, I think I think definitely speaks to the fact that the sound is pretty, um, that there are multiple influences. And we definitely are sort of bound by restrictive idea of how we are supposed to sound or. And we are our own sensibilities.

Chuck Shute:

You're breaking up with that. Oh, shit.

Peter Yanowitz:

Oh, shit. I'll pick it up. Okay, well, yeah, we're, we were men of a certain age. And we've grown up, you know, with our many influences, no worries, and up. And we love electronic music. We have our rehearsal space slash recording studio in downtown New York. And it's in a residential building. And we can't, we can't really play really loud live drums in there. So we, when we started just out of necessity, we were kind of making more electronic digital sounds. And we eventually we've evolved into using more acoustic instruments over the last five years. So I don't know, there's just a lot of influences in there. And our music kind of spans the Gulf to DELIC, like, rock Tronic? I don't know, kind of is in the words, you know?

Chuck Shute:

Yeah. So is it's just the three of you, the writers that you add, like players for live shows.

Michael C. Hall:

No, we could make that as a post. If if the budget were more extravagant, I suppose we could have a much more extravagant stage presentation, but uh, yeah, we the three of us, make it happen. And yes, just just the three of us. Yeah,

Chuck Shute:

cuz some of the songs have guitars and like, I think there's one that even has a guitar solo. So that's just all pre recorded then.

Michael C. Hall:

I'm not necessary. I mean, there's definitely some tracking involved. But um, I think any anything any any distinct solos are definitely played live. And some of the some of what you maybe there are guitars on the record, but some of what you maybe think are guitars might be math. Playing the guitar, which he has a sort of singular skill to make sound.

Peter Yanowitz:

And he plays if you want. Yeah, martial app. So he makes it sound like a guitar somehow. Those are ways.

Chuck Shute:

That's awesome. So that's just the three of you making all that that's amazing that you can do all that stuff. Live, too, because that without seems like it'd be complicated with all the different sounds and instruments and things.

Michael C. Hall:

Yeah, they're there. There definitely is a bit of a setup involved. I mean, not for me, I just

Chuck Shute:

do you get like a tambourine or anything to that goes with it. You just saying? No,

Michael C. Hall:

no, no. tambourine, I mean, an internal one idea,

Peter Yanowitz:

Chuck. That's a really good idea.

Chuck Shute:

Because what was interesting say, I think I heard you talking about your influences as a frontman. And you I mean, you mentioned David Lee Roth. And you mentioned Mark Lanigan who played with I'm from Seattle, so I know Screaming Trees, but I also know he played with Queens of the Stone Age. That's like a very eclectic range of frontman. Well, yeah,

Michael C. Hall:

I was I was trying to pick the sort of brought the people at the opposite ends of the of the showmanship spectrum. Yeah. You know, somebody who's doing high kicks in then somebody who's just completely standing and delivering, like a, like a tree rooted to the ground. That's a lion again, of course. But um, yeah, I think I just I gave that Answer to say that I didn't have? I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, where I fall on the spectrum between those two extremes. But, um, basically, it's it's, it's, it's not about the house, it's about the what, you know, I mean, I'm drawn to people who do, whatever they do is captivating, you know, you just want to be captivated. And that can happen in all kinds of ways.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, so do you create kind of like a stage persona? Or is it more just like, you're able to be yourself on stage and just based on what you've been influenced by?

Michael C. Hall:

I both, you know, I mean, I think a persona just sort of organically develops, the more time you spend on stage and, you know, there's a way of being when you're doing that kind of thing that's out of sync with the way you are at the grocery store the way I am right now, you know, but I'm not, you know, in a trance. I know, it's me. So in that sense, I am being myself. I'm just being myself in that situation, which is somewhat heightened.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, I would think to the adrenaline for all you guys being on stage, like you get hyped up playing music, I would think,

Michael C. Hall:

yeah, man, I mean, it's like, there's nobody nobody's going to do it if we don't, so it's like, alright, let's, let's do it. You know? And it's, it's live, it's, there's nothing. It's a unique kind of invigoration to be in front of an audience and be charged with the responsibility to take them on a ride and to deliver, you know,

Chuck Shute:

yeah. Do you guys get a pretty good response from the audience's so far when you play this live?

Peter Yanowitz:

Yeah, we we just played in Atlanta on Sunday. And I don't know, it wasn't just us feeling it, I think there was some sort of symbiosis with the, the audience that it happens in it. When it does it. It's It's pretty incredible. But there was this matching of energy, and then that energy ball just kept like rising up until like, it was crazy energy and, and it wasn't like a huge crowd or anything. I mean, it was it was a decent sized crowd, but it was just like, the energy got palpably epic. And, and that was, that doesn't always happen at every show. I think it has to do with the energy of us and the day that everyone's having and the lunar cycle, probably, I don't know, it's all over the place. But it was a crazy show. And they seem to be we toured in Europe and October and then England. Went back over there again. And it was yeah, the energy was it's definitely growing at our shows. So I don't know where it's an it's an it's an area that we're really interested in. Just checking out see how far we can take it you know, and how far how much energy we can generate, I guess.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, I guess it depends too on the songs because Princess goes is a little eclectic. I mean, as slower songs or has more upbeat. But Pete, did you play? You play the drums on a Black Sabbath tribute band with the basis from Smashing Pumpkins? Tell me about that sounds amazing.

Peter Yanowitz:

Yeah, yeah, that was a band called handed down with Melissa often Mar on playing Ozzy I was the drummer and yeah, it was a really fun band. It was I mean, I don't know if you love Sabbath as much as we do. But it's it's just such an there's just the riffs are, you know, nobody wrote lit riffs like that, and the drummer was so great. So it was just a really fun band, I think for all of us to take a break from our our day job bands and to just learn those songs which I think every musician should learn those Sabbath songs are so fucking fun to play. was really fun to play that music. Yeah. And it also kind of informed like, oh, let's write some stuff. I think even a princess we have a little bit of Sabbath in there some some. Throughout our three records. There's some influences of riff riff tastic

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, I was gonna ask because I know we've mentioned some older bands and stuff but as an interviewer I'm always like watching other interviewers like current to see what's you know, I can borrow from styles and, you know, see what kind of questions they ask you guys watch current bands and look at current music to kind of see what other bands are doing to kind of learn from that or get influenced from newer bands. Now, what do you think

Matt Katz-Bohen:

so jumping on late. Welcome, Matt. Can you hear me okay? I will. Thanks. Yeah, we really do a dance. I just saw an artist from Puerto Rico on Irani's, which I'm obsessed with now. Consider that at the last minute we're so obsessed on the exterior of Columbia. And yeah, we just can't get enough of them. So we're kind of obsessed.

Chuck Shute:

So, so you guys are Yeah. Have you ever heard of the band? Because this is what reminded me whenever Princess goes, oh my God reminds me this band called cigarettes out for sex. If you guys heard of that band,

Peter Yanowitz:

you're not the first person that's told us that. We got to check them out. Are they? They really handsome and

Matt Katz-Bohen:

incredibly handsome gentleman I think's cool. I have some other stuff on my playlist that I listen to.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, yeah, man. I thought that was interesting. I was reading that you you were in this project daddy. And that got praise from thirst and more of Sonic Youth. He really loved the arrangements and stuff. Um, that's a pretty big compliment.

Matt Katz-Bohen:

Thank you. Well, let's dive in. You don't deep we used to read that. There's more quote on our flyers back in the day. Yeah, they're still in Chem lives and my friends building. So when I was over there, I would run into them in the hall. And they're always super cool. I've always been a huge fan of theirs growing up in New York and their noise noises sound in general. So I asked if they would give a listen to our project. And they did it locally. And that's what they said. I think there's some COVID inspired and and said something like sounds are really cool. We're gonna talk about that. In like, 20 years. It's like the, the podcasts.

Chuck Shute:

Well, yeah, and you play with Debbie Harry, and she's a fan of Princess goes. Explain this. She didn't understand that story. She helped carry your gear one time.

Matt Katz-Bohen:

Oh, more than one time. Yeah, yes. She actually loves to help. She's very helpful. She carries the drums around she Peters drums. She carries whatever she can to that there's a pretty buff. And yeah, it looks to help she's given us around. And she's she's a big supporter. And a fan of princess and a road. I should say.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, I love to the the album artwork for this one, the flower petal school. This was Tim Richardson the design this and he also did the music videos.

Michael C. Hall:

Yeah, yeah, Tim came to see us in New York. And we had been put in touch with him by a mutual friend. And he was into the music we gave him some tracks he responded to shimmer in particular and did the video for that song. And, and yeah, also included the album art. They're actually they look like flower petals, but they're actually the wings of like butterflies and moths making up that skull. And then there's a crown of wings as well. But um, it just so happened that that coincided with us shortening our names. So it was a good way to sort of incorporate that iconography. Even though Princess can now go to more places than just the butterfly museum butterflies or butterfly may be part of our DNA.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, so the song coming of age, very Bowie vibe on that one. How did you come up with the lyric? I love this Godzilla goggles, seeing nothing but King Kong makes it hard to get along? That is a great lie. How do you come up with that?

Michael C. Hall:

You know, I just, I just, I don't know, it came upon me, I think. But it was a way to talk about you know, living in a world where we all have our own sort of curated and myopic point of view that in ways we're not always aware of is encouraging us to be at odds with the rest of the world. You know, and so that's what that was about.

Chuck Shute:

When you when you came up with that, were you like, oh, that's fucking great. I definitely

Michael C. Hall:

know what I came up with that and then I had another version that was maybe that obviously wasn't as good because I can't remember it and I went into record the vocal. I was in the closet actually in Peter in the studio, because we'd been getting some noise complaints from some of his new neighbors. So I was in there and I was trying different end. And I was a little I was a little gun shy about that lyric and I told Peter the other alternative the one I can't remember and he was like Nah, man. Definitely Godzilla goggles. So He's the one who he's the one who gave me the go ahead to go with that. But um yeah, you know, Alliteration is fun. And monster movies are fun. So if you can work lyric. Oh,

Chuck Shute:

absolutely. When you guys don't that video is that how did you do that? Because maybe I'm stupid cuz I don't know what it looks like you're walking through New York and there's just random people. I'm like, that isn't CGI or what? How did you do it? No, no, it's

Michael C. Hall:

all real

Matt Katz-Bohen:

repeat theater. None of them. None of them were actors. It's all just random.

Michael C. Hall:

Yeah, just guerilla style, we had one camera operator, and then Marcos, our director, and then someone who is helping us with sound because the videos were moving in slow motion, but the lip sync is in time. So we had this sort of sped up version of the song in our ears. And I was singing like a sort of sped up, sped up version of the of the lyrics so that my mouth would be in time. But yeah, I mean, Time Square that time and night, you know, it was like, I don't know, somewhere between it was around 10 o'clock or something. And it was just jammed with people. And there's so much going on. It's so chaotic that nobody really even paid us much mind. They paid us a sort of like, oh, yeah, kind of mind. But nobody, no, nobody really fixated on us because there were so many other little mini carnivals going on in that in that world. So we pulled it off. No permits.

Chuck Shute:

That's crazy. Nobody recognized you. Nobody came over. Like usually if there's a camera, there's some kid with like middle fingers like luck. You know, none of that. There was a little bit of that.

Michael C. Hall:

But um

Peter Yanowitz:

it's New York, so nobody really gave a shit. Yeah.

Michael C. Hall:

Yeah. And the fact that we were on the move, and, you know, we're, we're, we're walking and there's someone sort of walking backwards behind us. People just kind of get out of the way and are perplexed. And by the time they have a chance to, to jump in, they've been distracted by something else, or we've moved on down the street. So yeah, I wasn't sure the experiment with work originally, we were going to shoot it really, really, really in the wee hours in the morning and hopes that it would be deserted. But it turned out we did it earlier. And I think it was all the better for it. You know, it's so much more fun that we're just walking through.

Chuck Shute:

That's crazy. I can't believe that you've actually filmed it that way. But what about the beautiful woman that walks in front? That's got to be an actor. That

Michael C. Hall:

just happened that just happened. Right? Right. Right at that lyric. And and we just kept going, because, but ya know, that was that was like, that

Chuck Shute:

would have been distracting to me. I'd be like, Oh, hold on. I'm gonna go talk to her.

Michael C. Hall:

Yeah, that's great. Well, that's

Chuck Shute:

fun glass wing. That's a cool song to slower tunes, kind of a bright, sunny vibe to it, though, too. It's just it's a two chord song. And that one's got the key to our solo as well. But you guys had some issues writing the song?

Peter Yanowitz:

I'm not sure what, what you what issues you're referring to. But um, What? What? No, no, what? What do you mean?

Chuck Shute:

Well, I just heard you talking about Yeah, we had some issues right in that. So I don't know what they are. Maybe?

Peter Yanowitz:

Oh, no, no, no, that that was the story of the lyrics. And I think without getting too much into that we I think we had gone through something early in the band with somebody that we were working with. And, and, and yeah, that's all we really say about it. It was just like, we were working something out and Mike came up with a perfect lyric that just sort of put everything to rest and put it into perspective. So it wasn't a issues recording and it was just dealing with something that we were going through as a band and it was a perfect way to deal with

Michael C. Hall:

the lyrics or at least in part about issues. But the songwriting itself itself was pretty issue free.

Chuck Shute:

Would that be a future single or video? Or do you have future singles and videos lined up?

Peter Yanowitz:

Yeah, we do. We, I think we're like, you know, we just released the record last month, or you know, about a month ago, month and a half ago. And so we're feeling we're just starting and we've already released several singles and I think we imagine we're probably going to release every song as a single you know, whatever. That means that maybe we'll get lucky and make a video we got a couple in the works but Glassman is definitely going to be a single and we're we've yet to figure out what video we will do but it's going to be something

Chuck Shute:

epic. Okay. And then what about touring? I know you have some shows you've already done and then some lined up. Is there something like maybe a package that you would line up with other bands, like two or three other bands have similar sounds or certain venues you want to play or a festival you'd like to See yourself song?

Michael C. Hall:

Yeah, you want to be our manager? We have a manager. But those are all cool ideas. I mean, I mean, the package thing. We haven't we haven't really I mean, we've played with openers, but we haven't, you know, done a formal sort of package deal before. That's an interesting idea. And, I mean, yeah, we want to play.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, I mean, it's still like, that's such a, I see local bands here in Phoenix, and they're amazing. And I love music. I love live music. I feel like what the only way you set yourself apart, it's all about the business stuff, how you strategize all that stuff. Because your music is great. Obviously, it's just hard. You know, it's hard to get. It's competitive to get out there. And I feel like when you get, you know, a package where it's like people see like, oh, three bands? Oh, I'd go to that you can play bigger venues and in

Matt Katz-Bohen:

them? I don't know. Yeah. So yeah. My apologies if you've discussed this already, but we're playing at The Troubadour in Los Angeles with lightest silent. We love and some good friends of ours. And we're also doing San Francisco with light asylum. So they're kind of handpicked opening bands. You know, we'd love to retain that. But although that's also, you know, that's kind of a package show, because they've been on it for years and are amazing, as well.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah. Do you like it? What is it like to play those iconic venues like the Troubadour and the whiskey? I mean, that must be so amazing.

Matt Katz-Bohen:

Yeah, it's,

Peter Yanowitz:

it's feels good. You know, we've done some cool clubs in Europe and Paris, we were in a really, really cool club and Berlin is like, kind of like a castle. But in Yeah, to your other question we have, we've been invited to play a couple of festivals this summer. And in Europe, and those are, you know, we were trying to work out this year when we can get in some festivals, because we are curious to see what it's like, you know, sometimes those can be really fun. And sometimes those can be really like cluster fucks. Of excuse my language of just too much too many bands too much, you know, but I think it'd be fun to I feel like, you know, in my mind anyway, when, you know, we're, we're making songs and music that are meant to be played in a big on a big stage, you know, at least that's what, that's what we're we're hoping to see if that's, that's true. You know, like, we belong on the big stage. I don't know. Stop me somebody.

Chuck Shute:

You guys have time for a couple more questions. Do you have another one that

Peter Yanowitz:

we got? Maybe one more? Yeah. Okay,

Chuck Shute:

one more question. Okay. So big question for if you can all answer this actually, I'm curious because you all have such high levels of success. What is the secret to success? Like in terms of like a mindset or habits? Or behaviors? Is there some any sort of advice you would give in terms of for not just music, but maybe just how can people apply those principles to their own lives?

Michael C. Hall:

Just keep showing up and don't let the turkeys get you down?

Peter Yanowitz:

Yeah, and I would say, try to say that's a good question. Maybe collaborate with your friends if you can, because it's always better to have some energy to bounce off of. And hopefully that energy is somebody that you already like and likes you and you already have a copacetic energy. But but like Mike said, Just keep keep doing it. Don't listen to any noise or criticism and just keep doing it and keep doing it and and ask yourself what your ambitions are. And once you can answer that question, maybe put yourself in the best position to to do it. That's a terrible question. I had a better answer for this yesterday. I was

Chuck Shute:

no I actually fucking love. That's a very unique answer, but it's actually very good. I liked that. Very, very cool. Thanks, guys. I know you gotta get to another one. The album is out. Now. It's called come of age. And it's available on Spotify, all the streaming things. Can people get a physical copy if they want like a vinyl or something?

Matt Katz-Bohen:

It's all online. It's all in the thing and the stuffs good stuff.

Chuck Shute:

Okay. I'll put the website in the show notes full

Michael C. Hall:

serial artifact.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, I love that cover. Like I said, so. Very cool. Well, thank you so much. And I'll look forward to seeing you live hopefully someday. Thanks so much. All right. Bye. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the full podcast episode. Please help support our guests by following them on social media and purchasing their products whether it be a book album, film, or a thing, and if you have a few extra dollars, please consider donating it to their favorite charity. If you want to support the show you can like, share and comment on this episode on social media and YouTube. And if you want to go the extra mile, you can give us a rating and review on Spotify, Apple podcasts or Google podcasts. Finally, make sure you're subscribed to the Show on YouTube for the video versions and other exclusive content. We appreciate your support, have a great rest of your day and shoot to the moon.