Seattle Weekly: Given how visible your pop-rock band, the Catch, has become locally since it began four-and-a-half years ago, it’s sort of surprising that Get Cool(Made in Mexico) is only your first full album, and that it only came out a month ago.
Carly Nicklaus (singer/guitarist): I know—it’s a huge accomplishment for us. [laughs] When we became a band, none of us really knew what we were doing. We’d been playing music in different ways, but we’d never really played in a band. We learned how to write songs together and play together, and it took a while for us to get [the] final lineup. [It] got faster to write songs, but it took a long time for us to even have enough [of them] to play a show. We wanted to make a record as soon as we had enough songs to do it. The record is a collection of almost every song we’ve ever written.
The album has 10 songs, which means you’ve written an average of two-and-a-half songs a year.
I think it was more like three songs in the first three years. [laughs]
You work a job and are in two bands, the Catch and U.S.E., both of which play a lot. Do you have any time to yourself?
I do. I work at Vain as a hairstylist 21 hours a week. They’re really awesome to me; they let me leave to go on tour whenever I want. It’s more like I have four days where I work all day and practice all night, but three whole daytimes where I just lay around my house all day. It balances out exceptionally well.
Were you a singer before you started writing songs, or did the two happen at the same time?
I don’t think I’m exceptionally [good] at singing, but I’ve always liked to do it, and I’ve done it all my life. I started playing guitar when I was 13; I was always trying to get my brother to play [a] song so I could sing along to it, and I just wanted to be able to do it whenever I wanted.
Did you wait until you were in a band to start writing songs?
No, I started when I learned to play guitar. I just wrote them for myself. I look back at journals I kept a year or two before I started [the Catch]—I was 19 when we started—and [they’re] just like, “Man, I want to play music with other people.”
Which band’s meetings feature more drinking, U.S.E.’s or the Catch’s?
U.S.E. meetings take a really long time, so often we think to bring refreshments. [At] Catch meetings, there’s only four of us; they take a long time because we talk about our lives and the new clothes we bought. [laughs] We make decisions a lot quicker.