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Becky Ninkovic (You Say Party! We Say Die!)

Happy canadians with "croatian background" with third album "XXXX" out now and reason to come to Croatia. Becky, singer was happy to gave us some answers...

A brief history of how the band started?

We started as a bunch of friends who enjoyed riding old vintage bicycles together in our hometown. We called ourselves the "Smokin' Spokes" we would ride around, climb rooftops and other hidden places to party together. Our hometown, Abbotsford was boring to us, so this was our way of having fun. When it began to rain and get cold, we decided to start making music in my parent's basement. We just wanted to make fun, up beat music and keep our party spirits alive. Soon, we began playing shows and then touring and everything began to pick up momentum for us. We have made three full length albums, "Hit the Floor!" , "Lose All Time", and our latest and best to date, "XXXX." We also have a remix album called, "Remik's Cube" all released through Paperbag Records.

Tell us something about your name?

You Say Party! We Say Die! started out as a song we wrote. We wanted to engage with the crowd in call and response. We didn't want it to feel like the crowd was seperate from us or cater to the judgemental or "too cool" attitudes that can show up in the music scene. We liked the notion of us yelling out "you say party!" and the crowd answering back, "we say die!"

Song/album that changed your life?

Joni Mitchell's "ladies of the canyon" her vocal range is amazing and inspired me to sing and open up...expand and grow with my voice.
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Your third album "XXXX" is out now. What are the main differences between your albums?

"hit the floor" is an album that captures us in the beginning, before we began touring, so there is high, youthful and fun energies that come through. we had never been in the studio before or really took ourselves too seriously at this point. "lose all time" was written while we were in the midst of heavy touring. it captures more of the emotions that are developed through the experiences of touring and dips into more emotive places while still holding energy. we are on our way to finding ourselves on this album. "XXXX" is an album that rises above. the dark times we experienced through endless touring and problems we encountered along the way. authentic power and a spirit of love and hope break through while at the same time cloaked in new wave sounds 80's magic. this is an album where we find our heart. XXXX = LOVE

What was the main inspiration behind the songs on your albums?

I am inspired all the time, it always is a surprise to see what comes out on the paper when i write. everything from the world, social politics, relationships, issues with self, love, pain, suffering, god, beauty...it goes on and on!

Are there any song that you would like to cover and any artist that you would like to play with?

We would love to cover lots of songs, like "cold hearted snake" by paula abdul or "rhythm is a dancer" by snap. i think it would be amazing to sing with depeche mode or new order. most of the music we like is from the 80's and 90's. but, i just sang a song with canadian hip-hop artist "K-OS" on a song called "Eye Know there's something going on" which he performedat the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. it was cool to watch on tv and hear my voice singing as all the neon dancers performed.

Do you have favorite city to play in and why?

I always love playing in Marina di Ravenna at a place called Hana Bi. It is right on the beach. we always have so much fun, swimming and eating delicious fish.

What is your favorite song to play live and why?

"There is XXXX (within my heart)" Krista (our keyboardist/back up vocalist) and I love singing that one together because it fills us up with positive XXXX energy.

Do you have "proper" jobs when not touring?

Yes, we each works in different fields. Derek (guitarist) is a graphic designer, Devon (drummer) works for an organization in the downtown eastside of vancouver dealing with the homeless, drug addicted and mentally ill. krista works for an organization that provides developemental relief to third world countries. Stephen (bass ) and I both work for an organization that provides supportive care to people living with disabilities and mental illness.

You Say Party ! We Say Die ! -There Is XXXX (Within My Heart)


Which do you prefer, cd, vinyl or mp3?
vinyl and cassette tapes!

What do you listen when you're at home, on tour, right now…?

the knife, fever ray, new order, depeche mode, OMD's Dazzle Ships...to name a few

You played on Olympic games? How was it for you?

It was fun and funny. for one of the shows they drove us around Cypress Mountain on snow mobiles.

Are you a sport fan? What sport?

The guys are big hockey fans. I didn't think i enjoyed watching sports but i have to admit, i quite enjoyed watching the figure skating, hockey, and surprisingly enough i liked the women's curling.

Becky, since you have Croatian background, do you know more about Croatia than other countries in Europe?

No, we wish! I have wanted to come back to croatia for a long long time. my dad was born in Split. we grew up in canada and i mostly only heard croatian spoken between my dad and my baba.

Have you ever been to Croatia?

Yes, when i was 18 i went to Croatia with my best friend. We took a train to zagreb and Split and then spent some time on the islands Cortula and Hvaar (Korčula & Hvar - op. pedja). it was lovely. we skateboarded at a competition in split. we asked them to play 'motorbreath" by metallica while we ripped it up. it was really fun!

Tell me something I would never guess about you?

I am really into natural health and wellness. at one point, i was trained to be a doula, which is a support to pregnant and birthing women. i had plans to become a midwife but then the band life took over. i still am passionate about supporting women and those that are in need. i find i learn alot and am strengthened through the act of assisting others.

Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you'd like to say to our readers?

Thank you and we are very excited to party with Croatia!

pedja // 08/03/2010

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