Sticks N Stones


photo by Andy Junk

Words by Erin Wolf

The mother of all garage shows is set to smack Milwaukee upside the head this Friday. An explosion of snappy and sweet, scuzzed-up sounds will be hitting Club Garibaldi as the joined forces of locals Sticks N Stones and Gut Reactions and out-of-towners Brimstone Howl, Woven Bones and The Spits shake up the crowd and cause a little good-natured rock and roll-induced chaos.

Newcomers, Sticks N Stones, comprised of the now-defunct sugary garage pop outfit Tuff Bananas, has played only a handful of shows under their new guise, but are more than ready to play the leader. Fan-belt talks to guitarist Paul Kalfahs about ‘guitar/bass/drums’ set-ups, playing with The Ponys and about flipping the bird to the proverbial sticks and stones.


Sticks n Stones, “Tellin’ the Truth” [live]

Who’s in the band and when did you start playing together?

Paul plays guitar and sings, Natalie plays bass and sings, and Jon plays the drums.  We got together in spring and started regularly practicing and writing songs.  A few months later, we set up our first show at Franks Power Plant on June 19th.

Have any of you played together before, in any capacity?

Jon and I have been playing in bands together since we were fifteen (Teenage Rejects, Catholic Boys) and Natalie was in a band called the Tears that Catholic Boys played with often. We were all in the band Tuff Bananas and also played together in a Bay City Rollers cover band on Halloween of 2007.  The three of us actually started playing together a few years ago, but when Tuff Bananas started we sort of put it on hold.  Some time after Tuff Bananas broke up, we decided to get together and sort of re-start that band with different songs.

Why keep the band as a three-piece?

It just works out really well with just the three of us.  We’ve all known each other and been good friends for a long time, so it’s really comfortable.  We originally wanted two guitarists, because we were writing songs with lots of leads, but we came to realize the band would work better as a three-piece.  Natalie had never played bass before and decided she wanted to give it a try, so that’s what happened.

Sticks N Stones formed not too long ago, so it’s pretty cool that you’ve got some shows already lined up with some bigger bands like the Spits, Thomas Function (October) and the Ponys (October). How did all this fall into place so quickly?

Catholic Boys played with the Spits a couple times before (in NYC and Milwaukee) and also with Jered of the Ponys other now-defunct band the Hot Machines, and we’ve been friends with the Thomas Function guys for nearly eight years now, ever since Josh and Travis first came to Green Bay with their old band the Panic Buttons, so they asked if we’d play. We’ve been fortunate to get on the bills we have.

What’s the news on your show this Friday?

The show starts at 9 p.m. with us playing first.  Our friends Gut Reactions play second, followed by Brimstone Howl (NE), Woven Bones (TX), and the Spits (WA).

Planning to commit anything to recording in the near future?

We have plans to record a demo in the near future and then record for our first single on Dusty Medical Records shortly after that.

With your name, as a band, do you believe the saying, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ (someone was bound to ask this) rings true for you?

Totally.  Or in the words of Suzi Quatro “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but ya’ can’t take my rock ‘n roll!”

Sticks N Stones play alongside Gut Reactions, Brimstone Howl, Woven Bones and The Spits for a 9 p.m. show at Club Garibaldi. Club Garibaldi is located at 2501 S. Superior Street in Bay View. 21+


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