Watershed Hour is Laura and Natalie. Originally from Whitby, they have become a household name in Peterborough and a staple in the Trent music scene. We are sitting outside by Bata, on the steps near the water.
How was the summer for Watershed?
We recorded our new EP in her boyfriend’s grandmother’s’ garage in the backyard of Peterborough suburbia.
Do you have a name for it yet?
From Your Best Friend. It’s going to be released October 22. [stay tuned for part 2 of this interview for more details]
Favourite band you played with this summer?
N: Garbageface’s birthday show. Everyone there was just buzzed. It was like we were playing a house show but it was at the Garnet. Everyone just kind of went crazy, and Karol was amazing. And there was also his other project Hush Money, who I’d never seen before, and I thought they were the funniest band that I’ve ever seen in my life.
L: I’ll just say Slut Island Fest in Montreal.
N: A strategic answer.
L: Yes, I don’t know. It was my first time in Montreal.
N: That’s not a band!
L: I don’t know, playing with Television Rd on the lawn (at Sadleir House) and then having Natalie show up after the fact.
N: ‘Cause Matt was driving me!
So you write the lyrics, Natalie. Would you say that most songs are about your love life?
Natalie: I don’t even know what songs I’ve written recently… uh
Laura: The new song…
It seems like most of Yacht Club.
L: Fun fact! I arranged the songs for Yacht Club and I actually arranged them to tell a story… and I arranged them backwards. So the story is “oh she fell in love” and then it’s like oh fuck you, and then oh she broke up … but it’s actually backwards.
N: But then eventually it became that way. Yacht Club was when I was dating a person in Germany.
Oh, so that explains the “jet lag.”
[Line: I want you to fuck me through my jet lag]
N: It’s a classic line. I want to get it printed on t-shirts.
Okay what about lines like “a woman’s empowered when she’s on her knees” and…
N: Well that’s because my mom called me a slut… Oh wait, no that’s a different song.
I think that’s “Poles Are For Stripping On, Not For Crashing Cars Into”
N: Oh yeah, I was living in rez and was kind of seeing this guy from another Trent band, Revolver. [fake name fyi]
He was like, I’m not ready to date and I was like whatever, I’m not ready for sex. So we’ll just do whatever. But then this other girl was dating some other guy and he broke up with her and so she was just trying to hook up with everyone. And so then she hooked up with him and I wrote that song. It’s taken him like four years and he hasn’t found out so I hope he reads this and is like “oh cool.”
L: Natalie lived in the same rez building with the band in first year.
N: They were my buds and we just lived together. And then I slept with them all.
What song was about your mom calling you a slut?
Guitar Song. Okay, I didn’t sleep with them all. It’s just funny to say that.
So Laura, it’s my understanding that you title all of the songs?
L: Yeah, not all of them though because as of recently, Natalie got mad with me and said I wasn’t allowed to title anything. True story.
N: What songs have you not titled recently? That was like a year ago.
L: Manic Pixie Dream Boy
N: I think it’s clever!
L: Romance B-sides
N: We don’t even call it that! We call it Guitar song. Because you hate me. Laura just doesn’t get my sense of humour.
Laura: nobody does…
What about the title of your last EP?
N: Yacht Club is a good story.
L: No, it’s not really.
N: It’s funny! The person who recorded our album was in a band called Yacht Club… But then Fucked Up’s guitarist started a band called Yacht Club after and he messaged the guy who recorded our album and was like “Ok, look, we’re called Yacht Club and if it comes down to it and you decide to keep your name, we will overshadow you because we’re way bigger. So how about you just change your name?”
L: They also threatened a lawsuit. Or a cease-and-desist, I swear.
N: So the person who recorded our album had to change their band’s name and we thought it was so funny so we decided to call our album Yacht Club.
What’s it like coming to a Watershed Hour show?
L: I dare you to come to a show and try not watch us.
How would you describe your infamous weird dynamic on stage?
N: We’ve been friends for a long time…
Well when you go to a Watershed Hour show, there is like this palpable, weird dynamic…
N: I once heard someone say that the tension between Laura and I was too uncomfortable so they didn’t want to watch us. I like Laura. We argue but we’re friends. Maybe more like sisters than friends.
L: There are no sexual tensions on my part… It’s like a mother-daughter thing.
N: No. It’s like we’re dating each other, but we also hate each other, but we have to stick together for the kids. But then we’re also friends, on the side.
N: We’re each other’s bottom line. At the end of the day, no matter what I did, Laura would still be there. And vice versa.
L: I can’t hold grudges.
Are you as bad of a person as you describe yourself in your songs?
N: Maybe not anymore but I’d like to be.
L: When she’s drunk.
N: No, that’s not true! I’m nicer when I’m drunk! Here’s the thing, Laura is one of the harshest people I’ve ever met in my whole life.
L: I said I was going to throw up in Ottawa, and then Natalie said I was a drama queen, and then I threw up on the streets of Ottawa. Just to prove her wrong. Four times. I think it was the fourth time that made her realize I was serious.
N: I never saw her throw up before!
L: I haven’t thrown up since first year when I ate too much chocolate. Someone gave me free chocolate.
N: A lot of the songs I have about being mean are back when I was being mean. Laura’s actually the harsh one, she calls me a dumbass or an idiot at least once a day.
L: I’m not harsh, I’m to-the-point.
Why should anyone give a fuck about Watershed Hour? What’s the point?
L: To throw off the conservative government!
N: Neither of us want to work. Our plan is to become huge rockstars and everyone should come to our shows to fund our life of sin and deceit.
L: I don’t like that.
N: Well that’s the truth!
What do you think is the biggest political issue right now? What do you care about?
L: Heteronormativity, queer issues, lack of queer visibility in the music scene, poverty.
N: World Hunger.
L: The West created that. The West destroyed everything. I’m a former IDS [International Development Studies] major, what do you want from me?!
N: emphasis on “former”
L: I couldn’t take it!
N: Don’t remind Laura about problems in the world. Numbers are all she knows now. [Laura is a math major]
What about you, Natalie?
L: Vegan issues.
N: No, laws that stifle protest and give police special powers.
L: Russia is taking over Ukraine. It’s been happening for a while right now… My grandfather told me to never return to the Ukraine and I have followed his wishes.
N: Was that his dying wish?
L: No, stay in school.
What do you think about Pride?
L: Sad to say I don’t have pride. I’m an inner-homophobe.
N: You can’t joke about that stuff.
L: I’m not joking, this is serious. I don’t have pride.
N: You’re homophobic?
L: Against myself, yeah. Internalized homophobia, that’s what I mean. When you hate yourself.
For liking women?
That’s so sad.
L: Well then don’t ask me about Pride!
But you were just talking about queer issues, and the time of Peterborough Pride is upon us!
L: I don’t know, Pride is now… capitalist, white… it’s typically for a white gay man. It’s a rich pride. It’s not intersectional. But there are other alternative events that are trying to reclaim Pride.
N: Well I don’t know about rich…
L: Well it’s a parade, not a protest.
Are you glad it exists as a concept?
N: I am. Now that it’s established, I feel okay protesting it for different reasons. I’m glad at least that the majority of people support Pride and whatever half-baked way that they support it. If I lived in a riding where the NDP was certainly going to win, I would feel comfortable not voting or protesting the vote, or refuting my ballot, or whatever. So I’m glad that Pride exists and that it’s mainstream because now I can go against it – not as someone who is homophobic, but as someone who thinks that it is not representative.
Catch Watershed Hour Friday, October 2nd at the Historic Red Dog https://www.facebook.com/events/1484735668513057/