THE COOLEST GIRLS WE KNOW: CARLY COMANDO of SLINGSHOT DAKOTA
I was dying to feature Carly as one of the coolest girls we know because she was probably the first rock and roll girl I ever met. I've lost count of the amount of times I've seen Slingshot Dakota, however I remember the first time I met Carly. She (on the keyboard) and a bunch more amazing musicians played the most enthusiastic show in the middle of summer in a friend's garage. It was times like these that made being an angsty teenager didn't feel so rough. Slingshot Dakota is the kind of band that makes you realize the power of contributing something positive to your community by doing what you love and encouraging others to do so. Carly and her totally awesome husband Tom work hard to make Slingshot Dakota their career, supporting each other and creating a brilliant, energetic, new experience with each show. The songs they write speak about so many facets of life and have helped me through some tough times.
All that being said, enjoy Carly's interview and don't miss Slingshot Dakota at Milkboy for Key Fest on April 23rd!
MM: How do you find your Joi de Vivre? What are some things you do creatively, recreationally, or in your career that make you see your true love of life?
CC: One of my favorite things to do is go out into nature and walk. There is a trail by my house and when the weather isn't so cold, I'll go out walking in the rain, snow and sun just to see it all. I am so inspired by nature and being alone that it's actually where I write most of my music. I go outside with an empty brain and let songs create themselves in my mind. Other than that, I love traveling. I love driving by myself, or if I'm with my husband, he'll drive and I'll just space out and take it all in. My other true love of life, besides nature and family, is food. I feel like you can't have a great adventure without a good meal! And coffee. Lots of coffee.
MM: What were the first movies, books, images, and/or pieces of art you saw that truly inspired your creative instincts? Did you have any icons that drove you to create your own path?
CC:I was inspired as a teen by the music I listened to. I grew up on my parents music, and then from the CD's my brother would get when you could order 20 CD's for a penny. I would make my own mix tapes from the radio and listen to them obsessively. My first cassettes that I bought were Hole's Live Through This and Weezer's Blue album. I listened to those nonstop and taught myself guitar to them. I would stare at the album artwork and dream of being them. I wanted all of Weezer's amps and I wanted to dress like Courtney Love. When I think about when I really got into music, these are the strongest memories I have.
MM: How did your family and upbringing prepare you for your future path?
CC: My family was incredibly supportive of my love for music. They signed me up for piano lessons, which I eventually quit. But they helped me buy my first electric guitar and supported me being in my first band in high school, "Savoir Fare." I don't think they thought I was going to be doing this as my job when I graduated college and neither did I. It's taken them (and me) a while to adjust to the fact that I don't live a normal life by societal standards, but they've ingrained in me that as long as I have health insurance and pay my taxes, I can do whatever I want.
MM: What is something important you’ve learned from a setback?
CC: I've learned that setbacks don't define you, but they are amazing learning experiences. You can't have any career highs without the lows and I 100% envy anyone who has had the luck of getting what they want all of the time. You have to appreciate the setbacks and look at them as a way to figure out what you want, what you can do better and what you can change.
MM: What outfit do you feel your best in?
CC: I feel the best in summer/spring clothes! I hate suffocating in winter clothes and layers. I am happy in a pullover dress and flats, or high waisted shorts with a tank top. That is pure outfit happiness to me!
MM: What advice would you give a young aspiring creative person?
CC: My advice is do what you love and keep doing it. Don't look to others for approval, or to necessarily help you get where you want to go. If you are amazing at what you do, which you will be if you keep on at it, the universe will pick up on it and people will see it. Instead of focussing on where you want to be in your career at a certain point, don't do that at all and just immerse yourself in doing. Amy Poehler's book, "yes please," was incredibly eye opening to me. She repeats throughout that actually doing what you want is "the thing," not dreaming of doing it. She writes (about writing) "And then you just do it. You just dig in and write it. You use your body ... You put your hand on your heart and feel it beating and decide if what you wrote feels true. You do it because the doing of it is the thing." I thought that was amazing. Also, Dolly Parton has a book and she writes that you can't just dream a dream. You have to put wings on it and make it come true. You have to put work into it. So my advice overall is to work.