The queen of quiet-girl shoegaze, Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos and Porches, is working on her next album and doing an upcoming tour of two local spots, including Chum’s Coffee House at Brandeis University on April 24 and the Elk Lodge in Cambridge on June 6. Greta is everything her quick-witted lyrics promise her to be: kind, clever, and possessing a unique perspective. The former NYU student shared with the Boston Hassle some of her tour experiences and what it’s like to work with her boyfriend and band-mate Aaron Maine.
Boston Hassle: I saw that you studied poetry. Are there any poets in particular that influenced your lyrics or music?
Greta Kline: I wasn’t majoring in poetry, but I did take poetry classes every semester. Two of my favorite poets since high school are Elizabeth Bishop and Frank O’Hara. They definitely influenced my lyrics and made me want to write.
BH: Do you still write poetry? Or do creative writing?
GK: I am part of a really small poetry group that forces me to try to complete at least one poem a month. Writing poems is a different process for me than writing songs, so it is a nice exercise.
BH: What musicians have influenced you? Is there any band you really like right now?
GK: Oooo so many musicians have influenced me. Some musicians that have had a huge influence on me for a long time are Aaron Maine, Arthur Russell, Joanna Newsom, Eskimeaux, Kate Ferencz, Old Table, No One and the Somebodies, Jonathan Richman, Calvin Johnson, Moldy Peaches, Jeffrey Lewis, Beck, Juan Wauters, and Smog. I’m probably forgetting to mention a lot of amazing, important music. More recently I got really into Chris Weisman.
BH: You just turned 21 (Congrats!); did you do anything cool for your birthday?
GK: Thanks! I’m not super into my birthday, so I just hung out with my family and relaxed. I was also pretty tired because I played at Northeastern University the night before with Waxahatchee and Pasture Dog, and I got back to NYC at 4am. It was an amazing show.
BH: Is there a story behind the name Frankie Cosmos? Are you into astronomy and space?
GK: It was just a nickname given to me by Aaron Maine when we were starting to date. He started calling me Frank because I gave him a book of Frank O’Hara poems. The cosmos part just represents mystery and vastness.
BH: What do you like to do on your downtime on tour? Are you reading any cool books?
GK: My main hobby when I have free time is writing songs and recording. I also love reading, but I read very slowly. Recently I read Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut for the first time and I loved it. I’ve been telling everyone to read The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood too, it’s perfect.
BH: In your music video for “Art School” you scribble a drawing of Justin Bieber; do you like to draw as well?
GK: I like to draw and paint, but just for fun.
BH: It’s so cool you collaborate with your boyfriend, Aaron Maine, in both Frankie Cosmos and Porches! Did you guys meet first for music reasons or did you decide to make music together as a couple?
GK: We met because of music, but we didn’t decide to make music together until we were hanging out as a couple.
BH: I saw you played a basement show in Boston about this time last year with Frankie Cosmos at a place called Neverland; do you still like to play basement shows?
GK: We love playing basement shows! It depends on the place. I don’t know if we could get away with playing a house show in NYC or even Boston at this point because we have a bigger audience that needs more space. But we can still play small house shows in some places. It is really fun to get a glimpse into the house-show scenes in random towns—that is one of the best parts of touring for me.
BH: What’s next for Frankie Cosmos? Are you writing a new album?
GK: We are in the process of recording our new album! It is going to come out on Bayonet Records. We’re really excited about it.