MEET THE BAND: Nick Gregg (guitar, vocals, drums) and Katie Mikita (piano, vocals, drums)
MARRIED LIFE: The multi-instrumentalist husband/wife duo Nicky Beatnick and Katie Cat formed this art rock band while the two were still taking classes at Kent State. "It's kind of funny because neither of us ever expected to be in a band with one another," says Gregg. "We are high school sweethearts. Katie happens to be classically trained in piano, and I had been bugging her to play with my bands since we were kids." Eventually, Gregg's band broke up, and the two began playing together. "We quickly realized that we were connecting in a deep musical way. I think the way Katie's classical piano compositions sounded with drums and guitar made her want to keep playing and start a band together. At first, we did have the issue of not being able to play songs I wrote on guitar because Katie didn't play drums and we didn't have a third person to fill in. After some very persistent coaxing, Katie now plays drums when I play guitar, and I play drums when Katie plays piano."
A PEDAL FILE: Gregg uses a variety of guitar pedals and writes about his likes and dislikes on his blog, thepedalfile.com. "I have a lot of fun doing [the blog]," he says, adding that the first pedal that changed his world was the Bit Commander made by local pedal heroes, Earthquaker Devices. "[The blog] serves as my outlet, so Katie doesn't go mad listening to me talk about pedals. I got into pedals because I was always drawn to gadgets and manipulating sound. They just seemed so cool and mysterious to me, and they opened up a world of sounds that I didn't know was available to guitars. I started out slowly, but I now run a board of 10 to 12 pedals plus a looper with about one-third of it being made up of selections from Earthquaker."
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: Recorded at UHF Studios and mastered locally at Cauliflower Audio, the band's third album, Gods & Ritual Objects, features crisp synth-pop sounds that recall the alt-rock group Garbage. "White Collar Criminal" starts with twangy guitars that devolve into heavy metal riffage and pounding drums. "You're Swimming in the Barrel That I'm Shooting" features distorted guitars and manic vocals as Gregg sings, "We've been watching you," over and over. Gregg says the "state of the world" inspired many of the tunes. "The word 'moody' comes up a lot when people hear these songs, and, actually, the word 'moody' comes up a lot when people hear us in general now," he says. "We have been heading in that direction for a while I guess. We hope people can connect with us and our music and find something meaningful and surprising. I hope they feel like they are hearing something unique, maybe something they haven't heard before." The band plays to release a followup to Gods & Ritual Objects later this year.
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM:
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Sexypigdivas perform with Holy Rivals at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at Stone Tavern at Michel's in Kent.