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Summer Ends Music Festival: Q&A with Carol Pacey & the Honey Shakers

carol pacey interview, carol pacey & the honey shakers, semf, Summer ends music festival, semf 2014

Summer Ends Music Festival will feature live performances by The Replacements, Foster the People, Capital Cities, Descendents, Violent Femmes, Fitz & the Tantrums and more than 20 other popular acts. The inaugural three-day festival will take place September 26-28 at Tempe Beach Park.  Tickets are on sale now: three-day passes for $250 and single-day passes for $65.

Through September 24, The Spec will be publishing interviews with bands on the lineup and giving away tickets to the event.

Carol Pacey & the Honey Shakers has performed at numerous events and venues around town and will add to its long list of live sets when it plays SEMF on day one. The female-fronted group, which released its Yeah Yeah Yeah LP in April, is known for compiling rock, alt-country and folk components to produce music that will get listeners shaking and grooving.

Below, read The Spec‘s interview with the entire band and enter to win a pair of tickets to the festival…

Song of yours you would recommend to someone just being introduced to your music?
Carol Pacey (vocals, acoustic guitar): If I had only one song to hand somebody to introduce them to our band, it would have to be “The Knitting Song.” It rocks from the get go, presents our overall upbeat attitude in music and in life, and displays our musical energy and genre of Americana rock-ness.
Andy Borunda (lead guitar): I would recommend “The Knitting Song” to somebody just being introduced to our music. It’s quite the rocking song! It still has a lot of textures to it as well with the dynamics of the vocals and instruments which includes the addition of keys.
Benno DeLuca (drums): It’s hard to single one out. If I had to, it would be “Eyes on the Prize.” There are a lot of good ones, though. I would recommend hearing our music live, catch a show when you can.
Dante Fiorenza (bass): Yes, “The Knitting Song”! Another one of my favorites is “I Feel Love,” but look out for a new one called “One for the Heart.”

Unexpected talent you or someone else in the band has?
CP: We all have a bit of a sales person in us as I’ve learned with both Benno and Dante who actually do sales as part of their daytime careers, but they also use it to help promote the band while they are out and about in public, and they are really good at it! Andy and I do a bit more online with social media and interacting with our fans there.
AB: Hmmmm…this is quite silly, but it’s true. I can balance a stack or two of coins on my right elbow and then snatch them all with my right hand.
BD: I hear Andy does something with some coins and his elbow…haven’t seen it myself yet.
DF: I’m really good at opening bottles of wine and then making them disappear, but I will be on the lookout for that coin trick.

Must-have thing while on tour or in the studio?
CP: We recently recorded our first record, Yeah Yeah Yeah, this year and what was needed most in the studio were snacks! We had some long days and keeping everybody fed was key!
AB: I think a must-have thing in the studio is a strong work ethic. By getting your job done and not wasting time in the studio, you make it a more enjoyable atmosphere for everyone involved. Chocolate is good too!
BD: I had to give this question some thought. My only “must-haves” are equipment related. So, as to not endorse a specific brand, I have to go with a “stock” rockstar answer… hookers and blow.
DF: I didn’t record on this album, but from past experience it takes determination and patience (insert from CP…we hope he’s on the next album!).

Music award, honor, achievement or induction that you would be most excited to get?
CP: It would be a most exciting achievement to receive a nod from the local media as to our band having one of the top 10 local albums of the year.
AB: We work really hard on what we do so any kind of recognition we get from our fans and peers means a lot. That being said, how about a Weird Al Yankovic parody?
BD: A lot of hard work goes into making original music, so any recognition is much appreciated. But nothing beats a fan coming up after a show and saying how much they enjoyed it.
DF: Being asked to play some amazing gigs this year and last is a great feeling.

Explain the moment you knew that you wanted to be a musician.
CP: It was when a flier came in the mail from South Mountain Community College and it was like a light bulb went off…I would learn how to play guitar then I could finally speak to musicians about lyrics I had been writing. Up until that exact moment, I had never once thought about learning to play an instrument!
AB: I think there were different phases that reinforced wanting to be a musician in some capacity. One of the most significant moments was when I was just learning a couple things on the guitar and I found the tablature/sheet music for “Stairway to Heaven.” I did not want to stop playing no matter how much my fingers hurt.
BD: Can’t really pick out a specific moment… I was introduced to musical instruments at a very young age, but I knew I wanted to be in a band when I realized the girls liked it.
DF: I was in sixth grade and at a friend’s house I heard AC/DC. I heard the opening riffs of “Highway to Hell” and let’s just say I hit puberty right there on the spot. I guess I should have been a guitar player hearing Angus Young, but it was the bass that made me feel it all.

Recent concert you attended as a fan and your favorite memory from it.
CP: We try to go to a lot of local band shows and our most recent outing was at the Yucca Tap Room in support of Harper & the Moths and Fairy Bones. My favorite memory was dancing with other local fans and friends of these bands who are also fans and friends to our band too!
AB: We rushed late one night to catch Harper & the Moths and then Fairy Bones right after. I love local music, but sometimes the performance aspect doesn’t seem too important to some bands. These two totally brought the house down with not only awesome songs but with their stage performance as well. Big kudos to them!
BD: Saw the Pixies in Phoenix. Pretty memorable moment for me, as when I walked in, someone there recognized me as the drummer for Carol Pacey & the Honey Shakers and said hello.
DF: Bella Fleck and his wife at the MIM.

Finish the following sentences:

Everyone thinks our music is…
CP: …always upbeat and happy,
AB:…all about good times as it is upbeat,
BD: …fast and upbeat,
DF: …original,
but I think it is…
CP: …about presenting a couple of different sides of a story with some not always so upbeat and happy thoughts, but with hopefully a positive spin if possible.
AB: …an expression of many emotions, which is manifested in the notes being played.
BD: …difficult to put in a box or specific genre…and that’s good. I just hope people have as much fun listening to it as I do playing it.
DF: …groovy!

Number one rule of being a musician or in a band is…
CP: …to always be respectful.
AB: …be prepared.
BD: …be professional.
DF: …all of the above and have fun!

Don’t ever underestimate the power of…
CP: …fans. Fans rule!
AB: …the song.
BD: …an electric fence.
DF: …the thunderous power of a great rhythm section!

Summer Ends Music Fest will be…
CP: …the for our band, and for music fans to see The Replacements and the Violent Femmes LIVE!
AB: …an incredible showcase of local and national acts that will definitely be a great time for so many fans!
BD: …three days of awesome music and fun in a great setting (Tempe Town Lake). Come out and join us if you can make it! We’d love to see you there.
DF:…like losing your virginity….joy, passion, slightly confusing like where is the stage? And over way too fast. Can’t wait!

Enter below for a chance to win a pair of tickets to Summer Ends Music Festival (the day of your choice). Winners will be chosen on Sept. 24 and contacted by email soon after. To be eligible, you must complete the tasks in the Rafflecopter below, including leaving a comment with the day of the festival you most want to attend. Giveaways not your thing? Purchase your tickets online here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow The Spec’s continuing coverage of Summer Ends Music Festival here.


  1. Can’t wait to see CPHS open the Local Stage! And fingers crossed to win Day 3 tickets to see Violent Femmes!!! 🙂

  2. Friday, Day 1 tickets would be awesome, thanks!

  3. Day 1!!

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