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NOBRO on Today’s Music Industry Culture and Brody Dalle’s Confidence

"For a young girl, seeing [Dalle] for the first time, you understand that other things are possible—other than what's given to you," says Kathryn McCaughey
NOBRO (Photo credit: Daniel Esteban)

When garage-punk rockers NOBRO are asked if artists today are nervous to say what’s really on their minds, singer/bassist Kathryn McCaughey doesn’t hesitate, immediately answering with a “yes.”

Sitting backstage with SPIN at SXSW, McCaughey elaborates on that sentiment, noting a shift in the music industry culture.

“Fifteen years ago, I think that you could say no to advertisement gigs and things like that,” McCaughey says. “Money just wasn’t at the center of what you were doing. And I think now it’s so hard being an artist—you’re just scraping to get by. You say yes to things that will pay your rent, and then all of a sudden you’re beholden to another person’s idea of what’s okay. To me, that’s the problem.”

“Amen,” added Lisandre Bourdages, the band’s keyboardist and percussionist.

The Canadian quartet also explained how they look up to musicians like Brody Dalle of the Distillers, who aren’t afraid to be their authentic selves and uplift messages that are important to them.

“[Dalle] had a mohawk and a leather jacket, and she just sang her songs and had so much confidence,” McCaughey says. “For a young girl, seeing that for the first time, you understand that other things are possible—other than what’s given to you.”