(Photo: Charlie Wrznasty)

Last week, Philadelphia’s dreamy indie-pop band Church Girls released their sophomore album, Hidalgo, produced by Brian McTear (Dr. Dog, Marissa Nadler); on Thursday night, Church Girls will perform at Spacebar with locals GaHWNS and Church Camp. Doors are at 9pm and cover is $5.

After spending time listening to both Hidalgo and the band’s 7-song 2016 debut, Thousand Lives, I decided to take a different approach when coming up with questions for lead singer Mariel Beaumont. Rather than dig deep into the band’s history, inspirations, meaning behind songs, I thought it might be fun to base questions off of song titles. Mariel was a great sport and I think I may have even learned a thing or two about her!

Check out the songs that inspired the questions as you read along.


Cats are said to have nine lives. I’m not sure that humans have a thousand lives, but has there ever been a situation in your life where you thought you were very close to burning one of your lives. For instance, ever been in a car accident and seen your life flash before your eyes? Ever slip on an icy sidewalk and hit your head?

I’ve done a lot of stupid things that landed me in the ER. The most severe trip was a few years ago — I was hit by a snowboarder, fell onto his board, and the edge severed the bicep and tricep of my left arm. I lost around a pint of blood on the mountain, got a few hundred stitches, and couldn’t use my arm for 4 months. I still don’t have much feeling in it. Luckily, it works fine, given that it’s pretty essential for playing guitar.

My daughter has a fear of sinkholes to the point where she’s said she never wants to visit Florida. What are some of your fears?

Your daughter is onto something. My mom is from Florida and it’s teeming with horrors — gators, sharks, snakes, roaches, and hurricanes. My cousins lived on a lake that had gators, and we’d go wakeboarding on it. I’ll never forget the feeling after falling of floating alone, waiting for the boat to swing back around, wondering if the jaws of a gator were about to pull me down to the bottom. I still have nightmares about it.

Can you think of something recently that made you say, “Time is moving very slowly. I wish it would speed up”?

I’m impatient and it’s my worst quality. I quietly seethe at anything that takes half a second longer than I think it should — TSA lines, slow walkers, traffic … it’s absurd. I should start meditating again.

It’s almost impossible to imagine a time when communication happened by use of smoke signals. Of course, my teenage kids would say it’s impossible to imagine a time where people communication using anything other than Snapchat. My kids have never used a phone that isn’t wireless and, in fact, when my youngest had to call home from school because she forgot her lunch, she had to use a landline phone and had no idea how to hang it up. The school secretary had to show her what to do. Is there anything that you think your parents used regularly before you were born that you have no idea how to use/operate/etc?

My mom just told me that her family shared a phone line with their neighbors – that seems pretty inconceivable. On the other hand, it provides a solid excuse for not answering a call. Does anyone like talking on the phone?

Have you ever broken a bone? If so, is there a good story behind it? If not, is there anything else that hasn’t happened to you in terms of your health that happens to a lot of others (ie – you never wore braces, you never wore glasses, etc). I’ve never broken a bone, never wore braces, never had to go to the hospital for anything (knock on wood).

I broke my arm in half while snowboarding and fractured my foot while skimboarding. I got a concussion that landed me in the hospital overnight after my friend kicked me in the head while jumping on the trampoline. As a kid, I broke my chin open on the driveway from the pogostick. But besides a few dumb injuries, I’m lucky to be in good health.

You can be as subtle and coy as you want with this answer (you don’t have to name names and you can speak in generalities rather than specifics if you want) but can you tell me about a time where something happened to somebody that you thought, “Ha, they totally got what they deserved”?

Browse the subreddits r/whatcouldgowrong or r/holdmybeer for a slew of hilarious examples where people get what they deserve.

But yes, I think that about myself more than anyone else. I once heard a clinical psychologist say that he’s never seen any of his clients get away with anything, ever. That hit me right in the gut.

Do you speak your mind, let thoughts and words fall out of your mouth with no filter, or bottle things up?

That depends on the amount of Makers Mark I’ve consumed 🙂 We weren’t a big sharing family, so it took me until adulthood before I was able to talk openly to others about my feelings. Turns out life is way easier when you do. Shocking, I know.

I’ve never been to Canada, never been out of the United States for that matter (don’t have a passport). Have you ever traveled outside of the U.S. and, if so, would you say “Nice place to visit but I could never live there” or “If I could, I’d move there in a minute”?

We’ve actually toured through Canada! Montreal is lovely.

I spent a few weeks in Egypt after college — that’s the most ‘cool to visit but holy hell get me back to America’ place I’ve been.

Switzerland is breathtaking. It made me think I think I could live a quiet existence rife with hiking, skiing, and fondue. But I’d probably go all Jack Torrance on everyone within a few weeks.

We’re all an expert on something. I could teach a college course on ‘80s hair metal. What’s a subject that you could teach a college course on based on your knowledge?

I’m typically obsessed with one topic for 3-4 months and annoy everyone in my vicinity by talking about it constantly. Beyond that, I know a weird amount about David Bowie’s time in Berlin and Samuel Beckett.

Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met and were you able to stay composed when you met them or did you find losing all sense of composure and regressing back being a child where you couldn’t form complete sentences, babbling about something that the person didn’t care about, try to relate something in your life to something in that person’s life in an attempt to “bond” with them?

A friend of a friend was next to Neil Young in some catered food line, and all he could muster up the courage to say was “these tortilla chips are good … they taste really home-madey.” I still think of it laugh.

I felt starstruck when I saw Bob Dylan at the Academy of Music (2,500 cap theater). When he took the stage, I actually had trouble breathing for a second. I finally understood the Beliebers (yes, I’ve seen both Bieber documentaries).