Princess and the Criminals
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Princess and the Criminals

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The best kept secret in music

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"Music Box: Princess and the Criminals"

Music box: Princess and the Criminals
By Kristin Day
Mixer
Monday, April 02, 2007

Surrounded by equipment in a small room with foam lining the left wall and a large cage of ferrets to the right, members of local punk band Princess and the Criminals hold their biweekly practices.

For a little over a year, they've made a name for themselves around town with their energetic punk shows that could intimidate most all-male acts.

Tiffany Banwart, Emily Lozen and Kim Thompson first started playing together in February 2006. After their bassist moved away, Rick Badger joined in August.

But it was after their first performance, inside an octagon-shaped living room at a friend's party, that realized this was something they could actually do.

"Once we found out we were capable of (playing gigs), we just kept going," said Thompson.

Since then they've enlivened Greenville audiences at Backdoor Skate shop, Moxie and The Phoenix, as well as punk fans at venues around Chapel Hill and Durham.

And with a full-length album and possible summer tour in the works, they plan to be around awhile.

Being the only mostly female band in town is both a blessing and a curse, according to the band. It makes them unique and memorable, but it can also make people skeptical of their talent.

"(Women) are seen as the weaker sex in the rock industry, but it's such a misconception," said Badger. "But these girls can (expletive) rock.

I have so many guys coming up at shows saying they didn't think (Lozen) would play good ... (but) her image is harder than most guys."

Each member's image and ideas are reflected in their songs, which cover a variety of topics and musical styles.

"Besides the fact that we have three girls, we're different because every song sounds like a different genre of music," said Lozen.

A fan favorite is their punk cover of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," while originals range from the light-hearted "Go Outside," to dark with "Smells Like Anger, Tastes Like Hate," to political songs like "America" and the seemingly random "Gingivitis."

They even wrote a track about the perils of Greenville traffic.

"It's more or less things we experience," said Banwart. "And then I'll turn it into a song."

Princess and the Criminals expect their new CD to be released no later than September. Pick up their demo at Moxie, East Coast, Expressions or through My-Space page at www.myspace.com/princessandthecriminals.

In the band

Kim Thompson, drums

Rick Badger, bass

Emily Lozen, guitar

Tiffany Banwart, lead vocals

Upcoming Shows:

Moxie, April 20

Nicole Allen's Senior Art Show April 30 at Henry Stindt's Photographic Studio.

Contact Kristin Day at 329-9579 or kday@coxnc.com.

- Mixer by The Reflector, Greenville, NC


Discography

Demo (Produced by The Room Recording, High Point, NC 2006)
1. Go Betty Go!
2. America
3. Go Outside
4. I Wanna Dance With Somebody
5. Smells Like Anger Tastes Like Hate
Singles:
1. Internet Invasion
2. I Don't Wanna Be A Kid
3. Fight Back!

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Princess and the Criminals, a garage punk band from Greenville, N.C., blends the essence of old school punk, riotgrrl, and indie rock to form a cohesive, raw, high-energy, gravitating sound that keeps audiences toes moving, even after the bar closes. The band's most important goal in music-making is to capture, incorporate and express the universal experiences from Generation Y's point of view and to give that generation a voice.