LUCY: Why is France so groovy?

APRIL: Maybe it has to do with its position to the sun?

LUCY: Maybe it's the wine. Tell us about the puppet Monsieur Hibou:

APRIL: He was my first French teacher (aside from my mother). He was an owl hand puppet. This was in nursery school. He appeared just before nap time to teach us a few words and phrases before we nodded off on our mats.

LUCY: As an illustrator you assisted Steve Ditko. What were you working on with Ditko? Whatís he like?

APRIL: It was his Mr. A comic. He was very quiet and modest. He gave me some pretty radical reading material for subway reading.

LUCY: Oh, cool. We have Mr. A no. 1 from 1973 in the Mystery Island comic collection. Tell us about the demos you recorded with Brian Wilson and Andy Paley. What are they and how can we get them?

APRIL: Brian has them. I donít know if heíll release them. I hope one day he does. I particularly liked one song we recorded called "Sweetie." Itís just him playing piano and me singing. There might be some backups too. I canít remember. I havenít heard them in a long time. There isnít much to say except that these were days of pure magic in the studio. We had so much fun. He and Andy Paley are a dynamite team and are extremely funny to be around. I also got to see Brian a fair amount outside the studio. He would play songs I asked for on the piano for me and I would sing. ďIn the Land of Make BelieveĒ by Burt Bachrach and ďDown HomeĒ which Diane and Marilyn Rovell sang on the Spring album and were ones I liked to sing with him apart from all my Beach Boys favorites. Thereís nothing like Brianís piano playing. Itís very unique. He would also play Ronettes songs. He was very pleased that I had done shows and recorded with Ronnie. He loves Ronnie Spector. It was amazing to meet his family too. I spent one fatherís day at his house and met his mother and Carny and Wendy. I really liked Carny and Wendy.

LUCY: Tell us a little about your bands The Pussywillows and The Shitbirds:

APRIL: I formed The Pussywillows in NYC with my two friends Lisa Jenio and Lisa Dembling. We just liked singing together girl group style. We did some recording with members of The Raunch Hands initially. After an EP was put out by Telstar Records called ďSpring FeverĒ we started doing shows around the NYC area. We loved doing shows with Red Kross. They liked to sing Chiffon songs with us backstage.

The Shitbirds were formed by a fellow animator friend of mine, Steve Savitsky. We had both been laid off from The Ink Tank (an animation studio in NYC) so while we were waiting for work we decided to just go to a rehearsal space everyday and play music instead. We did some recording and then I was hired on Ren And Stimpy so I moved to L.A. Steve moved out a year later and we continued to record and do shows. We played a few times with The Muffs who had helped us get on Sympathy For The Record Industry. ďChick HabitĒ was recorded primarily with The Shitbirds and Andy Paley did some over dubs.

LUCY: As a child were you a creative outcast or did you get along well at school?

APRIL: I donít know if I was an outcast but I was very quiet. We moved from NYC to New Haven, CT after kindergarten. I wore my uniform from Kindergarten to my new school which did not have uniforms. When it was cold I wore pants under it. I was not an outcast but I was a quiet eccentric. My cat followed me to school everyday and sat on the window sill of the classroom. His name was Lancelot. I was crazy for the movie Camelot with Richard Burton.

LUCY: Did you ever carry a metal lunch to school? If so, which one?

APRIL: A red plaid one.

LUCY: Is that you on the I am Weasel theme song?

APRIL: Yes Iím the singer on it. Andy Paley played most of the instruments.

LUCY: Wow, that's awesome. I love that theme and I love Andy. What a great team.

"Chick Habit" has got to be one of the catchiest and coolest tunes put together. It really sticks inside your head and makes ya wanna twist. Do have any apprehensions that "Chick Habit" will get overexposed having been in But Iím a Cheerleader and now Death Proof? I was excited to hear one of my favorite Dick Dale songs, "Miserlou" positioned so well in Pulp Fiction, but now itís very hard to listen to "Miserlou" without feeling something critical, like that secret surfing spot has been lost.

APRIL: Good point but I think itíll probably remain pretty obscure next to "Miserlou." If I become as big as Dick Dale that will really be something! Speaking of Dick Dale when I first moved to NYC after high school I bought the Dick Dale Waterskiing album at a used record store. I think it was around $15 which was a lot for me at that point. I paid for it with $15 in pennies. I just had to have it.

LUCY: I have the Duane Eddy Waterskiing album. Is that the one? It was obviously inspired by Dick. Cool album, though, worth every penny.

Do you prefer singing in French as opposed to English, or does it become something like an extra tool, like knowing how to play more than one instrument?

APRIL: Itís just another instrument for me.

LUCY: Do you have any animation projects coming up?

APRIL: Thereís something very exciting in development. Itís still in the top secret stage.

LUCY: Whatís next in the music of April March?

APRIL: I'm just about to start looking for a label to put out this album I did with Steve Hanft who's a film director but also does music. He had a killer band called Sexy Death Soda. Lisa Dembling (Pussywillows) was the drummer. The album we did together was recorded in L.A. Tom Chasteen produced it and John McEntire (Tortoise, Sea and Cake) mixed it.

I also just recorded a song with Bertrand Burgalat which I think came out ďsuper top notchĒ as they say in France.

Iím planning to record something with Louis Philippe for his label. Louis Philippe wrote ďMartineĒ on Chrominance Decoder and his new album is great.

LUCY: Thank you so much, April.

APRIL: Thank you!

"April March Interview" by Lucy Hell copyright © 2007 by Mystery Island Publications.
Published 08.01.07 by Mystery Island.
Edited/formatted by Bradley Mason Hamlin. All rights reserved.
Photo of April March from the collection of Elinor Blake.