WASI Bring Their Electro Pop to the Riot Grrrl/LGBT Community

Categories: interview, preview

In 2006, Merilou Salazar was planning an after school event for her high school in Buena Park, and when the suggestion of a live band performance arose, she sprang up and said she had a band that could play. She didn't. In fact, she didn't even know how to play an instrument, though she owned a guitar. Seventeen days later, she had recruited Jessie Meehan on bass, along with her neighbor and another mutual friend, and The Midol Poppers played their first show. It was awful.

Now, seven years later, Salazar and Meehan have stuck together through a slew of different musical acts, the most recent being We Are/She Is. After a move from Orange County to Los Angeles, the girly duo found what they were looking for musically and personally, changed their band name to WASI, and fashioned themselves stage names: Cosmo and Jess, respectively. We recently had the pleasure of chatting with the Riot Grrrl-inspired twosome about their gradual evolution and what's next for WASI.

OC Weekly (Katrina Nattress): Why WASI?

Cosmo: We always casually went by WASI. After moving up to LA a year and a half ago, we kind of figured out our sound and vibe and felt like WASI was way more fitting for us.

Jess: We've just been doing this for so long and feel like overall have evolved into something else.

As far as the sound, how has it evolved since the name change?

Cosmo: It's a lot more poppy and energetic. A lot more us. We're really influenced by '70s British punk.

Jess: I'm big on Katy Perry and Britney Spears, just sayin'.

Has it been difficult to start new?

Cosmo: It feels more natural. And we already have eight or nine shows booked in November. We're pumped.

I noticed a lot of your shows next month are benefits and events.

Jess: Yeah, we're big on that. We've done a lot of Riot Grrrl events and LGBT stuff, and we get received really well in that community because we relate to them and they relate to us. And benefits as well - we've had our own struggles. We're playing a benefit for a women who has cancer and that hits home for me. I had cancer a few years ago, and I'm okay now, but it's like, "How do we give back?"

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