Waking up to pop's latest buzz band can be an, um... er... exciting experience.Got Morningwood?
It's not as intimate a question as it might seem. Instead, it's merely a radar check, for if you don't, it's likely time to get your hands on the self-titled debut by this cheekily named New York-based band.
Last week, "Morningwood" entered Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart at No. 1 and The Billboard 200 at No. 102.
The day before hitting the road with Head Automatica, lascivious vocalist Chantal Claret spoke to Billboard.com about what contributed to the success of the album and why her band is raising eyebrows and more.
"Every day feels like before the first day of school, you know when you like lay your clothes out, you can't sleep and you're really excited," she says about getting ready for the trek, which will be out through the end of February.
Don't let her giddiness fool you -- Claret and chief collaborator Pedro Yanowitz (bassist and onetime Wallflowers drummer) -- are no strangers to touring. In fact, they've barely been home in the past year, having spent that time on the road building a budding following.
"I'm seeing all these shining braces and push-up bras. It's a sea of little pimples in the front row," Claret says. "There's a lot of girls questioning their sexuality, and a lot of young boys who are just sprouting pubic hair as they [watch] me. They're all adorable."
Taking a cue from their fans, or vice versa, Morningwood's sound runs the gamut from Sunset Strip grit to bubblegum pop and everything in between. Just don't compare Claret to other notorious vamps, say, Courtney Love or Peaches.
"Because I have a pair of t*** and I rock it's like I have to be either this or this," she says. "I feel more of a kindred bond with the men [people] compare me to than the women. If someone says Bon Scott or Guns N' Roses, I'll take that any day over f***in' Peaches. If I remind myself of anybody it's probably a man, and he's probably gay."
"People feel like they have to define [music] and put it into terms so they can wrap their heads around it," she continues. "People have an incredibly hard time doing that with us, and I feel like that's why either they really love us or hate us. It's either one or the other, which is fine with me because I can't f***ing stand ambivalence."
Luckily, Capitol, the band's label, was anything but ambivalent about promoting Morningwood's music.
"Initially they were gonna do a soft release, but word-of-mouth is all hype and so fleeting, and that just doesn't seem realistic anymore in this day and age when McDonald's and Britney Spears and all that s*** is flung in your face," Claret says. "We're all about big first impressions, and the label understood that. They realized we don't do anything soft, everything's hard with us -- just like morning wood," she laughs.
With a much buzzed about album and growing stage reputation, Morningwood has made a grand entrance in the pop music world. But there's a formidable benchmark for which Claret will strive.
"I just want gay men to dress up like me for Halloween, and then I'll know I've made it. I know when they start impersonating me, I'm f***ing there," she quips. "We all have different standards of success, but that's mine."