Musically Chic: Carousel Rogues

Get to know Carousel Rogues!

They were formed in 2006 with singer/songwriter Caitlin Nethery, Zach Anslemo and a few friends.  Actually, I learned more about this awesome local band from last year’s featured Musically Chic artist, Matt Hutchison

Luckily, I was able to get in touch with lead vocalist/guitarist, Caitlin Nethery to talk girly fashion stuff and of course, music! 

“I love writing and playing music, and making art that goes along with it,” Nethery said.  I write garage rock-pop, but I also sing in a funk band and play with an early music ensemble (mostly 16th century music).  I teach piano and song-writing, and I truly enjoy my job most days.”


How did you know you wanted to be a musician?

“As a little girl, most of my play time was spent picking out tunes on the piano or drawing, ” Nethery said. My favorite toys were my suitcase record players and my mom’s discarded 45s.  On car rides, I would listen to my mom sing harmony with music of the 50s and 60s and it wasn’t long before I was singing with her.  I guess you could say I was just “born that way,” but it wasn’t until high school that I realized I couldn’t imagine studying anything else for 4 years in college, or doing as a vocation.”


What do you remember about your first live performance as a solo artist?

“My first live performance with Carousel Rogues was at a little coffee shop called The Mudd Puddle in downtown Frederick, Maryland,” Nethery said.  Our gear was mostly terrible, and I stared at my left hand the entire time while I played guitar, ha!  For a long time, I’ve struggled with feeling bad about drawing attention to myself, so the live thing can be really tough for me.  I’ve had to learn to be okay with the fact that I’m naturally a little bit shy and passive aggressive, both on and offstage.  I also really enjoy performing when I’m in the right frame of mind.”


What’s the best part of performing live?

“I love that when I play live, I am getting the chance to say something important in person, as it were,” Nethery said. The older I get, the more I just want to write about important things.  I want to carefully consider who my song is for as I write it, and while I play it on stage.  Those kinds of things deserve to be communicated in person I think.  I really like getting the chance to share a little bit of the stories behind the songs as well, if it’s the right crowd.  You never know when someone is really going to relate to your music and your story. “



Describe your personal style in five words or less.

“Neo-Victorian meets tough and tender,” Nethery said.  I love high frilly collars on blouses and dresses because I love anything Victorian era!  I love pastels and soft dresses, but I also love pieces that have structure and more aggression.  I have a spike bracelet that I wear almost everyday–it looks so tough; I love it!  Sometimes I’ll pair it with a sweet little dress for the juxtaposition, and I think it reflects my personality.  The guys are both lower maintanance.  Dan is usually in a vintage tee shirt and hoody, though he wears a tie at shows a lot.  Zach is like a hipster grandpa!  He can honestly wear anything.”


Does your stage style differ from your personal style? Why or why not?

“My stage style is the same as my personal style, but it’s stepped up a little,” Nethery said.  I’ll spend more time on my hair, make-up, accessories and overall look for a show.  This is important to me because I think that visual art just helps to further express whatever the music is communicating.  As an artist, what I want to communicate stays pretty consistent, whatever the medium. “


Anything else you want to share?

“Whenever I am demoing a new song, I use whatever is handy,” Nethery said.  Sometimes my percussion is high-heeled stomps and hand claps; sometimes it’s a broken toy tambourine.  On our new record, there is a song that has growly guitars and lots of swagger, then abruptly shifts to early instruments in the chorus, which is about as acoustic as you can get.  It’s like Weezer crashing the renaissance festival.  The pallet for each song ends up being pretty eclectic, and the way I go about fashion is very similar.  I’ll use whatever is handy.  A nice ribbon becomes a choker.  
I learned to do so many things– drawing, song writing, singing– by listening and imitating.  In a similar vein, I would LOVE to write a song for the credits of a Disney film and also do voice-over work for a Disney film.
Zach (husband and guitars for Carousel Rogues) and I live in a 108 year-old house in Brunswick, Maryland.  We recorded most of our first record here, and I also run a song shop out of it.  People can commission an original song from me and I will write, produce and record it for them.


CAROUSEL ROGUES PLANS FOR SUMMER 2014 “Well we have been sitting on our second record for months, and we can’t wait to release it.  Hopefully that will happen this summer.  We are also working toward moving to Nashville.”