A Valley Girl by any other name wouldn't be nearly as tart as sweet little Katy Rose
Katy Rose will tell you she wasn’t actually born in the San Fernando Valley and that she, like, does her very best to contain any speech patterns that may, like, reveal the fact that she grew up there. But despite the small matter of not being born there, the 17-year-old rock artist is, in fact, a Valley girl - though most of America wouldn’t know it.
Because Rose is not a run-of-the-mill ditzy blonde who shops at malls and incessantly repeats what ever in ear-piercing tones. She’s the sort of girl who’s not afraid to get dirty, who learned way too much way too early, and wants you to hear all about it - whether you like it or not. Rose is the sort of girl who prefers a good (expletive) to a good Gucci bag. And if that busts wide open the traditional notion of the Valley girl, so be it. It certainly won’t be the first - or last - convention Rose will break through in her life, or her rock and roll career.
The daughter of Crosby, Stills & Nash keyboardist Kim Bullard, Rose released her first album Because I Can on her (recent) 17th birthday, and her music was featured in the movies Thirteen and Mean Girls. We caught up with her by cell on her way to LAX, where she would take a flight to Chicago to play later that night with Liz Phair and the Cardigans in the “Chicks with Attitude” tour. She would land in exactly the right place - with her kind of chicks. Rose was humming when she picked up the phone.
Tanya Pampalone: What’re you listening to?
Katy Rose: The Evaporators.
TP: Okay, I’m old, in my thirties. I don’t know who they are.
KR: They’re old, too. From Canada. ‘I’ve icicles on my testicles... I feel like a fat frustrated fuck... I’m addicted to cheese....’ (Laughs) You can’t beat that.
TP: Nope. You’re heading out of the Valley now? Tarzana? Where they filmed Mr. Ed?
KR: That’s where I grew up, in Mr. Ed’s house. Isn’t that an interesting factoid?
TP: An even better one is that you’re from the porn capital of the world.
KR: It’s awesome! I always like to tell people that. I think it’s the coolest thing ever! I’d rather be from the porn capital of the world than from Washington D.C.
TP: What do you think Valley girl means to the rest of America?
KR: The rest of America thinks of the movie Valley Girl and some ditzy blonde girl that says ‘whatever’... it’s definitely a speech thing. Like, the Valley girl lingo, some people have it really bad, but I make a conscious effort to catch myself.
TP: Do you consider yourself a Valley girl?
KR: No. I was born in Redondo Beach.
TP: Do you go to the mall?
KR: Absolutely not. I hate malls. I find them suffocating.
TP: Where do you shop?
KR: At garage sales and vintage stores... yeah.
TP: What’s your favorite outfit right now?
KR: (Giggles) My birthday suit.
TP: If you could go anywhere right now where would you go?
KR: I’d blink myself into this house we’re driving by right now, in Silverlake, this crazy ass wonderland house. I went by it last night with my boyfriend, and it’s got all these mazes, it’s all creepy, and I love it. I’d just put my stuff in there and move in right now.
TP: What’s the last book that you read?
KR: Right now I’m reading Junkie by Bill Burroughs.
TP: Last movie you saw?
KR: (Laughs) Xanadu.
TP: What’s your favorite food?
KR: I’m really into frozen blueberries.
TP: Are you really into Kiss? There’re a lot of pictures of you in Kiss T-shirts.
KR: I’m more into the idea of Kiss... that whole era... just that they have all the gusto to wear makeup and scream and shout.
TP: What pisses you off, completely disgusts you?
KR: Stupid people who’re so stupid they don’t realize they’re completely stupid.
TP: What do you like about touring?
KR: Never really being bored for too long. The surroundings are always changing. It makes you appreciate where you come from. Not the Valley per se, but you appreciate your home, the people around you. I miss my sister the most.
TP: How old’s your sister?
TP: Is that scary for you, since some of your music went into the movie Thirteen and you really identified with the heavy involvement in drugs and sex of the 13 year-old lead character?
KR: Yeah, that was me. But (my sister) Madeline is my polar opposite.
TP: Your parents, both old time rock n’ rollers, put you in Catholic school in the Valley. Weren’t they familiar with the Frank Zappa song Catholic Girls?
KR: I know. I think they were in denial.
TP: Do you have a hero?
KR: My hero changes sporadically. Right now my hero’s my sister. She’s strong. She’s beautiful inside and out. That’s all you need to be a hero.
TP: You get pretty personal with your lyrics, but even more personal with your online journal (http://www.katyrose.net). Does your online journal ever feel too personal?
KR: It depends on what you’re writing. I pick and choose. I talk about being on meds and being depressed, but I still have a lot of secrets. I don’t think that’s a big deal - that’s kind of a general thing. But I think other people think it’s a big deal so I let them.
TP: If you had a genie to grant you three wishes, what would they be?
KR: First would be an unlimited amount of wishes. Second would be to be completely free and utterly independent - not worry about finances - and do whatever and not worry about how much I’m spending. Then I’d wish that I could fly.