A Chat With: Bunny
In what seems like such a short amount of time, Chicago’s own Bunny has already become a local legend of sorts. The project came around when frontwoman Jessica Viscius decided to pick up a guitar, start writing songs, and basically never stopped. After enlisting the help of her twin sister Alexa and friends Shane Prewitt and Tim Makowski, the full band formed and began playing shows around town. From shows they curated themselves, like the inaugural Scrapyard Fest, to shows at Coles and Hideout, Bunny have already checked off some of the best venues for discovering music in Chicago...and that’s just in their first year. This Friday, the band will join another set of siblings, Brian D’Addario and Michael D’Addario, who are better known as The Lemon Twigs, for their official Lollapalooza aftershow at Schubas Tavern. Before the show, we chatted with Viscius about everything from her first musical memories to breakup advice and more!
ANCHR Magazine: What was your first musical memory growing up? Either the first concert you went to, the first band you fell in love with, or something that sticks out as being monumental to your love for music.
Jessica Viscius: My parents are deadheads so I'm lucky to have grown up listening to pretty good music. It's corny but the first band I fell in love with was probably The Beatles. I have a vivid memory of being like 11 years listening to "Let It Be" on my bright pink walkman laying in bunk bed quietly crying because John was dead and I'd never be able to see The Beatles live.
AM: With Bunny being such a new project, you’ve already gained a lot of (much deserved) attention from listeners. Songwriting seems to come so naturally to you, so what’s your advice for anyone wanting to venture into writing and creating their own music?
JV: When I write songs I just focus on the vocal melody. Everything falls into place after that.
AM: What are some of your favorite parts of the Chicago music scene, from the overall community to favorite fellow bands and favorite venues
JV: I've met a lot of people in the last year who are not just great musicians but artists in general. There is a lot of collaboration in the scene, people offering to make flyers, take photos, make a music video, do liquid lights, or musicians jumping on other projects, filling in on shows, laying down a track for a recording, whatever!
AM: Your band is very DIY with your visuals. Not only do you make your own graphics and posters, but Alexa even filmed the music video for “Promises.” How did you come up with the concept for that music video?
JV: I came up with the idea for the music video when I was walking around Logan Square one day on my lunch break feeling hung over and manic. I was listening to “Promises” on my headphones and thinking of all these different unrelated brief scenes filled with tension that were all sort of manic in and of themselves. I went to work and scribbled a story board and we filmed it that weekend. My sister Alexa, who plays bass in the band shot it and I edited it. The whole thing took about 5 hours. It was really fast and kinda sloppy, just like the song.
AM: Along those lines, you recently posted on Instagram about changing your icon to reflect the band entering the “blue period.” Do you have a usual creative process for the visual work that you produce alongside your music?
JV: No not usually. I was just really sick of the pink color we were using at first. Every millennial brand is using it right now. The "Blue Period" is a little nod to Picasso for sure though.
AM: In your Stereogum premiere (congrats on that by the way) for “Not Even You,” you mentioned you wrote it when you and Alexa were both going through breakups. Besides writing a song about it, what’s your best breakup advice?
JV: I'm probably the last person you should ask about breakup advice but I'd say a good tip is never memorize a partner's phone number-- it makes breakups much easier.
AM: On the same subject of new music, your EP Sucker will be out later this summer. What can you tell us about the songs on the EP and the mind-frame you were in when you wrote the rest of it?
JV: I was pretty depressed when I wrote this EP. It's a breakup album for sure. I was just learning to play guitar when I wrote it. It was nice not having to feel self conscious about my lyrics or about writing a two chord song because the only ones listening back then were my dog and cat. I wrote it alone in my apartment before I could ever really imagine myself playing shows or releasing an album.
AM: Your Lolla aftershow with The Lemon Twigs is just around the corner! Are you planning anything special for the set since it’s a big show?
JV: We're bringing in our friend Paul Cherry to play keys and probably a sax player. I want to trick at least one of the members into wearing a bunny costume or something.
AM: Speaking of Lollapalooza, who are some of your favorite acts on the line up this year?
JV: The Lemon Twigs, that's probably it. Lollapalooza is scary.
AM: Circling back to being DIY and the Chicago music scene, you guys also put on Scrapyard Fest earlier this summer, which featured a killer line up (so bummed I miss that- I was out of town). Any plans to put on more shows like this in the near future?
JV: We might make it an annual thing. It was too much fun not to do again.
AM: Besides the EP, anything else this year you’re looking forward to?
JV: We're playing with our friends Deeper at The Whistler on August 23rd, The Hideout with Dent May on September 2nd and a show with Hoops at The Bishop in Bloomington on September 15th, really looking forward to those shows.