Concert Review

Boy Band With T*tz: DIE SPITZ at Levitation 2022

todayNovember 17, 2022 245 2 12 5

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By Ashley Farnie, Assistant Music Director and Avery Viers, Local Music Director

On Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, we arrived early for day three of LEVITATION, the established psych music fest hosted annually in Austin’s Red River District at the end of October. We arrived at Mohawk with anxious anticipation, nervously reviewing before our interview with Austin-based grunge band, DIE SPITZ, as they prepared to open for Pleasure Venom and legendary Hard Rock trailblazers, L7.

Image features DIE SPITZ guitarist and vocalist Ava lit dramatically by moody stage lights, while playing her guitar.
Ava and Boogey of DIE SPITZ on Mohawk Stage, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Ashley Farnie.

While waiting in somewhat surprisingly delightful weather outside of the venue, Ashley opened her email to discover a message from DIE SPITZ’s vocalist Ava, asking if we would mind doing the interview at their house instead. Without missing a beat, we shot up from our seats and practically skipped to the car.

Image features DIE SPITZ guitarist and vocalist Ava lit dramatically by moody stage lights, while distinctly focused on playing her guitar.
Ava of DIE SPITZ on Mohawk Stage, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Ashley Farnie.

Not to expose ourselves, but we’d been obsessed with DIE SPITZ’s recent EP, “The Revenge of Evangeline,” since its release last July. If our excitement to meet the band at Mohawk wasn’t enough, the opportunity to enter the infamous DIE SPITZ house had us giddy the during our short drive across downtown.

Black and white image features Ava, Boogey, and Kate (respectively) standing – faced toward the camera – while reaching out towards an unseen viewer. Squatting below, bassist Kate can also be seen reaching towards an invisible audience while dressed in full goblin attire.
Austin-Based DIE SPITZ Sporting Halloween Costumes, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Kyra Ganson.

 As a college student, there is something about being surrounded with creatives in your age range. When I learned of the proximity to many local musicians my age, I understood the commitment and passion these artists have, balancing school and work with a demanding music career. DIE SPITZ gladly wedged Avery and I into their tight schedules between rehearsing and recording to discuss the group’s recent rise in exposure.

Image features DIE SPITZ’ Ava, Boogey, and Chloe.
DIE SPITZ for LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Ashley Farnie.

A drum set centered the living room of residents and bandmates Ava, Kate, Chloe and additional roommate, Cooper, who entered through the front door holding a bike as we began our interview. Although not a member of the band, Cooper’s recognizable face was one I remembered from my photographing DIE SPITZ shows in the past. The roommates debriefed their Sundays, sharing work stories and biking adventures.

Image features an upward facing shot of members of DIE SPITZ; Ava, Kate, Chloe, and Boogey, respectively. Ava is seen dressed in a zookeeper’s uniform with skeleton face makeup while goblin-dressed Kate sits in a squatting position over a closed toilet. On Kate’s left is Chloe, wearing bold face makeup reminiscent of glass doll. Boogey is dressed similarly to Chloe, wearing a white, babydoll dress with striking white foundation and bright red cheeks.
Spooky Green Room with DIE SPITZ. Taken by Kyra Ganson.

The band members met in grade school, but Chloe was introduced to the existing members only two weeks before their first show. Their first performance solidified Chloe’s belonging alongside the existing DIE SPITZ members, and her creativity fueled the creation of “The Revenge of Evangeline.” Lead vocalist Boogey explains, “it wasn’t an actual band until she joined and we played a show and we were like ‘oh, we’re a band.’”

Image features bassist Kate (far left) kneeling while flexing her right bicep for the camera; Kate is in goblin costume, simultaneously grabbing and propping up the ankle of Boogey (far right). Left center is Chloe, grabbing Boogey’s leg like the neck of a guitar, while bashfully looking up toward the camera. Right center is Ava, supporting Boogey’s extended leg, with Boogey’s right arm draped over her shoulders. Far right is Boogey, dressed in a babydoll white dress, staring directly into the camera.
DIE SPITZ showing off Halloween Costumes, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Kyra Ganson.

The band unanimously attributes the naming of DIE SPITZ to, “fireball, three in the morning. ‘The Spits’ was already taken and we wanted something not English…’DIE SPITZ’ is ‘die horny’ in German – we didn’t know that, a German man told us,” explains Boogey.

Black and white image features DIE SPITZ members Kate, Chloe, Ava, and Boogey standing shoulder to shoulder in Halloween costumes. Kate is seen as a goblin, Chloe as a glass doll; Ava is wearing what appears to be a zookeepers uniform with spooky makeup while Boogey stares blankly at the camera with ‘CUNT’ written across her left forearm.
Austin-Based DIE SPITZ Sporting Halloween Costumes, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Kyra Ganson.

DIE SPITZ categorizes themselves as grunge, resisting all attempts at labeling the band ‘punk.’ Their sound exists independent of their identities despite attempts to categorize them into a narrow genre. Many writing sessions consist of band members bringing in scraps of songs to complete together, but “The Revenge of Evangeline” prompted a cohesive vision inspired by the rage of the title character in Chloe’s favorite book, “Evangeline: A Novel” by Catherine E. Kovach.

Image features green room shot of DIE SPITZ in full Halloween Stage makeup, mischievously looking up at camera. Kate is far left in goblin gear, sitting atop what appears to be a sink. To Kate’s left is skeleton zookeeper Ava with a pennywise smile. Right center is Boogey, dressed in doll attire, wearing black sunglasses with a tilted head. Far right is Chloe, also a doll, smirking as she looks into the camera.
Austin four piece band DIE SPITZ in Halloween Costumes for LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Kyra Ganson.

Rather than an ekphrastic album derived explicitly from the novel, DIE SPITZ channels their own rage through the direction of Evangeline’s fictional experiences. Chloe familiarized her bandmates with the characters and plot of “Evangeline,” lighting candles in the living room and reading aloud to Ava.

Image features close-up shot of smiling DIE SPITZ’ vocalist Chloe while wearing Halloween face makeup onstage at Mohawk. Chloe is illuminated by moody stage lighting with the neck of her guitar in frame.
DIE SPITZ Vocalist, Drummer, and Guitarist Chloe on Mohawk Stage, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Ashley Farnie.

DIE SPITZ further demonstrated their dedication and creative vision for “The Revenge of Evangeline” spending hours in the studio, and underwater, to compile their efforts into a bewitching thematic expression. The album cover was shot by Austin photographer, Brooke Ellisor, one of the many local efforts that aided in the making of the EP.

Cover Art features an underwater photograph capturing two women floating closely above the bottom of a swimming pool. The girl floating on the right points a gun directly at girl on left. A surplus of air bubbles emit from girl on left.
Cover Art for DIE SPITZ’ Latest EP Release, “The Revenge of Evangeline.” Taken by Alex Paradox.

DIE SPITZ recently collaborated with the owner of Try Hard Coffee, where you can purchase a specially brewed coffee named after “The Revenge of Evangeline.” Try Hard Coffee donates proceeds from the sale of their coffee, in addition to their assistance with printing vinyls, CDs, and recording and producing, to DIE SPITZ themselves. DIE SPITZ is currently recording in association with Try Hard’s owner at his studio, producing an EP of tracks for the B side of “The Revenge of Evangeline” on vinyl.

Black and white image features DIE SPITZ’ Boogey alongside bassist Kate – mid-shred - on Mohawk stage. Kate’s spookily painted face makeup adds to the theatrics of image.
DIE SPITZ’ Boogey and Kate Playing Mohawk Stage, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Kyra Ganson.

The band is excited to be working with Austin Signal again, looking forward to what Boogey describes as tracks that are, “a little more produced, which I think sounds cool. Two separate albums but double sides, so one will be like a live sound, and one will be more produced which is really cool.” The vinyls will be available for purchase at Try Hard Coffee Roasters following its recording!

Black and white image features DIE SPITZ vocalist and guitarist Boogey – mid-shred -on Mohawk stage. A dazzling glimmer shines off of the neck of Boogey’s guitar while she is captured with her hair being swung, mid-air. Drummer Chloe is partially visible behind.
DIE SPITZ’s Boogey Shredding on Mohawk Stage, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Kyra Ganson.

After finishing up our work at Casa de DIE SPITZ, Ashley and I headed back to Mohawk just in time for doors at 7:00pm. As Mohawk’s massive congregation began to absorb us, I began to take notice of the conversations – and people – surrounding us. Because L7 first started making their name for themselves in 1986, the demographic of the LEVITATION crowd that Sunday night was an assortment of drunk Gen Xer’s, teens, a sprinkle of twenty somethings – and nothing in-between.

Despite my distaste for inebriated middle-aged adults, I was still excited for the show to begin. We managed to wiggle our way to the front of the crowd, cameras in hand, ready for whatever DIE SPITZ’s set had in-store. If you’re interested in reading more on L7’s set, as well as an interview I conducted with the band’s lead guitarist, Donita Sparks, keep an eye on the KTSW blog!

Black and white image features DIE SPITZ guitarist Ava front and center, slouching over a black electric guitar. Boogey’s face can be seen in the upper lefthand corner of the photo, while bassist Kate’s back is turned as she engages with their audience.
DIE SPITZ On Mohawk Stage, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Kyra Ganson.

Our opener’s arrival onstage would unsurprisingly ignite an uproar from the packed house as they took their places in unique, elaborate costumes. Dressed as a convincing goblin – prosthetic ears and all – bassist Kate began enthusiastically engaging with their crowd as Chloe, Ava, and Boogey completed their final preparations for the first song of the night.

Image features DIE SPITZ bassist Kate dramatically facing the audience dressed in Goblin Halloween costume – complete with prosthetic ears, bald cap, and exaggerated makeup. Kate is holding her bass almost vertically while oversized black ‘X’’s are visible on the backs of her hands.
DIE SPITZ Bassist Kate in Full Goblin Attire for LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Ashley Farnie.

Whether it was the power of music or possession by a supernatural alternative, DIE SPITZ’s explosive performance initiated a full-on frenzy in the lower-level crowd. To say the Austin-based band simply performed songs from their EP, “Revenge of Evangeline,” would be an understatement; DIE SPITZ was without a doubt one of most entertaining sets I’ve seen in the last six months.

Image features close-up shot of smiling DIE SPITZ’ vocalist Chloe while wearing Halloween face makeup onstage at Mohawk. Chloe is illuminated by moody stage lighting with the neck of her guitar in frame.
DIE SPITZ Vocalist, Drummer, and Guitarist Chloe on Mohawk Stage, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Avery Viers.

A performance packed with memorable spontaneity and electrifying presentation, DIE SPITZ’s aptitude for executing delightfully chaotic atmospheres throughout their performances was only enhanced by the night’s spell-binding ambience. The compelling cohesiveness of the band’s stage presence is undoubtedly the consequence of longstanding childhood friendship and electrifying talent.

Black and white image features an aerial view of Mohawk’s stage and lower level crowd at the beginning of their LEVITATION set. Boogey is seen on stage right, Kate on stage left, and Ava shredding an electric guitar center stage. Chloe is seen behind her three bandmates on drums. A enthusiastic onlooking audience is also pictured.
DIE SPITZ Takeover Mohawk Stage, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Kyra Ganson.

As always, what’s an unforgettable performance without technical malfunction? Soon after the start of their set, guitarist and vocalist Ava’s unfortunate encounter with her broken guitar strap would have ordinarily prompted a quick switch for another offstage; lucky for us, DIE SPITZ is anything but ordinary. Ava played the length of the set playing with a broken strap, not allowing the unexpected occurrence to impede on a spectacular Hallow’s Eve.

Image features DIE SPITZ guitarist and vocalist Ava lit dramatically by moody stage lights, while distinctly focused on playing her guitar. DIE SPITZ bassist Kate is also pictured, though playing in the shadows of the kinetic background visuals.
Ava and Kate of DIE SPITZ on Mohawk Stage, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Ashley Farnie.

Rotating halfway through their set, Ava and drummer Chloe switched positions onstage to feature the show-stopping vocal triumph hidden behind the drum set. Chloe’s distinct voice echoed throughout the intimate venue as Ava began her own impressive display with the organized chaos of her percussion.

Image features close-up shot of smiling DIE SPITZ’ vocalist Chloe while wearing Halloween face makeup onstage at Mohawk. Chloe is illuminated by moody stage lighting with the neck of her guitar in frame.
DIE SPITZ Vocalist, Drummer, and Guitarist Chloe on Mohawk Stage, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Ashley Farnie.

Boogey’s ability to cast unyielding enchantment over her audience was apparent from the moment the band stepped onstage. To put it plainly – she can wail. With a personality as big onstage as it is off, the 19-year-old’s vocals – in combination with the impassioned talent of her counterparts – undisputedly packed a punch and would set the tone for the two bands that followed.

Image features DIE SPITZ’ lead vocalist Boogey, eyes closed, playing guitar. Blue backlighting is visible behind her, while her microphone is pictured far right center.
DIE SPITZ Vocalist and Guitarist Boogey on Mohawk Stage, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Kyra Ganson.

Mohawk’s lower-level crowd moshed, danced and cheered at the passing suggestion of their adored entertainers. By the end of our opener’s set, I had forgotten all about the two bands that were to follow.

Image features DIE SPITZ’ lead vocalist Boogey, eyes closed, rocking backward as Ava shreds, facing away from camera. Bassist Kate is visible in far right, playing instrument. Moody backlighting is visible behind them.
DIE SPITZ’s Boogey and Ava on Mohawk Stage, LEVITATION 2022. Taken by Kyra Ganson.

Our newfound friendship with the members of DIE SPITZ gave us a new perspective when witnessing their performance. Before hanging out in their living room, my previous experience at a DIE SPITZ show, which you can read about here, did not evoke the same exhilarating emotion that the musicians’ intimate personas provided. DIE SPITZ has only just begun, existing only in our current year of 2022. We hope to speak with DIE SPITZ again further along in their career and cannot wait to watch them grow within and without Austin. See you at the next show!

Written by: Hannah Walls

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  1. Anonymous on November 21, 2022

    Great article absolutely love Die Spitz but I’m friends with Brooke Ellisor and she was just the assistant!! The photographer for the ‘Revenge of Evangeline’ cover was Alex Paradox. She just took some film photos behind the scenes!

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