Katy Della Monica has been making music for a long time, starting her first band at just 16. Since then, alongside pursuing a visual arts degree at Moore College of Art studying Fine Arts, she’s teamed up with Nick Holdorf (In the Pines) and Evan Bernard (The Superweaks) to form No Thank You, turning her reams of notebook jottings and iPhone recordings into debut ‘Jump Ship’. A coming-of-age album that tackles everything from friendship, betrayal, romance, death and addiction, it’s a record that resonates – and it’s out today.
Hey Kaytee, how did you guys get together?
Well, Nick and Evan went to high school together and are old buds. I also grew up near them and met them when I was in high school still, and they were in college. We were in a band together called airports. We’ve been friends for like 10+ years. I wanted to start my own band, finally and decided to keep it in the family.
What’s the best thing about being a musician in the Philly area right now?
I think the best thing is that there are a lot of other musicians and people who support the music scene. There are tons of people to get inspired by and collaborate with, and tons of people that make you feel like what you’re doing is meaningful and important. It’s very encouraging and makes it way less scary to put yourself out there.
What can you tell us about ‘Jump Ship’? What ship are you jumping from?
This record has been in the works for a few years now. Music is primarily a means of therapy for me. These songs are sort of my response to a build up of negative vibes that restricted me from growing as a person, deciding to remove myself no matter how hard, and move forward. I’m running, guns blazing (420 friendly), from a past life.
When did you begin working on the album, and what was your starting point?
I have been writing these songs for years now, but it was recently that I decided to make them a more permanent collection. I was in a bad place, and I moved to Vermont on a whim a couple of years ago and spent a lot of time writing and finishing old songs while I was away from the things that made me write them. Evan encouraged me a lot to write and record the songs full band. I moved back to Philly, and we started working on it together soon after.
How do you go about writing your songs?
I actually have no idea. I have feelings, and I write them down and try to figure out the most ambiguous way to talk about whatever I’m feeling. If it’s about a person, i try to make it so only they will know it’s about them, usually. Sometimes the music comes first. I am not very good at guitar I just play things until I think it sounds cool. I just learned how to use alternative tunings to standard. I also love dashboard confessional more than life.
What do you most want to achieve with the album?
Platinum record, lol.
Are there any themes or events covered on the release that were especially important to you to include?
Strained relationships with everyone in my life, including myself.
Was creating your debut a steep learning curve? What was the biggest lesson?
It was kind of a learning curve… I have a lot of amazing friends and support that are extremely helpful, caring and patient with someone who has no idea how to interact with people, let alone how to be in a band or on a label or play shows or book shows or literally anything. Evan is like my literal lifeline and has helped me learn so much. The biggest lesson has probably been to be patient with the people who are supporting you because they believe in you when you don’t believe in you.
Album aside, what are your plans for 2017? Do you have a busy year ahead?
I would like to tour as much as i can this year. I don’t have any real plans though after our little release tour. I need to spend more time in the mountains I think.
No Thank You’s debut album ‘Jump Ship’ is out now.