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Feb 2006 - Once A Pawns

Once A Pawn

SCS: How and when did Once A Pawn form as a band?

Catherine: Eric and I got together playing music about 5 years ago, and became Once A Pawn in 2003. We started as just a two-piece, guitar and drums/vocals. We remained that way until this last summer when Levi, who plays bass, joined the band.

Levi: I thought they rocked as a two-piece and I was intimidated because they had such a full sound. I met Catherine at a house party and asked if they wanted a bass, and it was magic from there

SCS: How would you define your band or your sound to someone who’s never seen you

Eric: It is almost impossible to describe without hearing our album, or seeing us live. All of us have such a wide variety of influences that we bring into the band and just mesh them all together. I guess you could say we are melodic rock meets indie meets punk meets pop.

Levi: It's a well rounded mixture of melodic punk of old and new. We capture different genres of melodic punk, and kind of bring together the sound of the late 70's and modern punk without the bitter 80's after taste and Cosby sweater.

SCS: How would you describe a Once A Pawn show? -- If people come to see you live, what can they expect?

Eric: Pure entertainment.

Catherine: If you came to a show you would see three people sincerely rocking out to the music they love to play. We definately get a work out and love seeing the crowd rock out to it as well

Levi: Explosive and energetic like a new S.C.U.D. missle.

SCS: What types of music and which musicians/groups influenced the band members?

Eric: I think I'm an emo kid at heart. I love a lot of bands such as Armor For Sleep, Thursday, Green Day, Coldplay, Radiohead, The Ataris, and Third Eye Blind.

Catherine: I like anything that is catchy. I like cool beats and good singing. As of now I am listening to Rogue Wave, Bloc Party, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Fiona Apple, KillRadio, and Minus the Bear.

Levi: I am influenced by many genres and styles of music. I like bands that push the envelope, such as Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Mike Watt, Husker Du, Bad Religion, Fugazi, Henry Rollins, Bad Brains, and Joy Division.

SCS: What are your goals for this band, touring, just playing around town?

Catherine: I want to go as far as we can go with this. I want to tour all over and expose our band to as many people as possible. I would love for us to just be known and respected for our dedication, creativity, and uniqueness. I am currently working on a small 3-day tour for the beginning of March. We've got a van and shows booked.

Levi: It would be nice to use our music to see the highways and biways of the United States, and see more than hay bails and cow shit.

SCS: What experience did you have in bands before Once A Pawn started?

Levi: Uh...I have been in quite a few bands playing bass and guitar. I have met a lot of great friends who are good musicians and had some really good times.

Eric: My first band was a punk rock cover band. We played one show. Shortly there after I moved to Lincoln and met Catherine. Umm, we jumped into playing music and haven't had any other serious musical endevors.

Catherine: had an all girl band while I was 9th grade called Spitwad, but wow did we blow. Since then Eric and I have had a couple bassists that didn't work out, but otherwise that's it.

SCS: How have you grown, musically and creatively, since the band first started?

Catherine: I have become a lot better singer and drummer. I have figured out more things to do and how to play music that I really relate to.

Eric: We've grown by leaps and bounds. What we are now is a stark contrast to what we were two years ago. Our music is definately maturing and we are finding out who we want to be as musicians. Every new song is the best Once A Pawn song.

Levi: I have grown with PCP and Viagra in ways I never thought possible.

SCS: When and where was your first local show, and how did it go?


Catherine: Our first local show kind of would have been in my mom's basement. But out of the basement, I believe our first show was at Knickerbockers in the summer of 2003. I think it went pretty well, we were really nervous though and there weren't many people.

Levi: I was there in spirit

SCS: What was your most memorable live performance and what made it that?

Levi: Probably the very first show I did with OAP because we got to play at the legendary Zoo Bar for the first time. And I had only previously practiced with OAP once, but the raw energy was there and has never left us...and will never leave us.

Catherine: I would have to say our CD release show at the Chatterbox this last summer. Every one in the crowd was having a good time and we were all into it.

Eric: I am a very energetic guitarist, and sometimes that gets me in trouble. I remember at Knickerbockers a couple years ago I tried to be a rockstar and jump while spinning off front of the stage. In the process I tangled up in my cord and smashed my nuts with my guitar. I finished the song on the ground and didn't miss a beat.

SCS: What do you like and dislike about the music scene in Lincoln?

Catherine: I like the comrodory that can arise, but for the most part I hate how clicky (sp) and trendy everyone is. It is like everyone is too cool for everyone else and not many people support bands that they aren't friends with. Also, there are such defined

SCS: Who are some local bands or musicians that you admire or feel should be recognized?

All: Gravid Thought, Good With Guns, Tsumi, The Bad Sects, Prints of Apple Island, Hybrid, Two by Trent, Red #9, Gammagoat, and Piss Poor.

SCS: Who’s your favorite local band to play with?

Catherine: I would have to say Good With Guns because both bands compliment eachother well.

Eric: I am reluctant to pick a favorite, but I really like to play with Prints of Apple Island and Gravid Thought.

Levi: Gammagoat because I like to see the expression on the faces of people who don't get their sound.

SCS: Do you think living in Lincoln influences your music in any way?

Catherine: Probably, but I don't know how.

Eric: Lincoln has a great underground music scene and it's always pushing me to be better.

Levi: too grew up in a small town, so I find Lincoln has influenced me by making me more musically liberated.

SCS: Was there one defining moment which led you to a life of rock and roll

Catherine: Not really, I have just always loved singing and playing music and just decided that I might as well do it.

Levi: Yeah, the death of my sister in 1992. I learned how music could be a meditational emotional channel

Eric: Yeah, the day I joined a band. I didn't even have a guitar, let alone know how to play one.

SCS: Who was the first person or band you saw that made you want to play music

Levi: Nirvana.

Eric: Umm, probably The Offspring with their record Smash

Catherine: I think Don't Look Down, it was awesome music and great show.

SCS: What was the first Album or CD you bought?

Eric: Soundgarden - "Super Unknown" or Green Day - "Dookie"

Catherine: Mariah Carey - "Butterfly"

Levi: Ghostbusters Soundtrack

SCS: Levi and Catherine, you both lost 2 cool points. The most recent?

Eric: I am rediscovering all of my older records.

Catherine: Volcano, I'm Still Excited!!

Levi: Husker Du - "Warehouse Songs and Stories"

SCS: Who else’s music are you listening to lately? -- What other bands would you recommend people check out?

Catherine: Rogue Wave, Minus the Bear, Pretty Girls Make Graves

Eric: Armor For Sleep, Thrice, Green Day's record Nimrod.

Levi: The Mars Volta, The Velvet Underground, Eistrazende Neubauten.

SCS: Name your top 4 favorite albums of all time.


  • Third Eye Blind - self-titled
  • Don't Look Down - Five
  • Minus the Bear - Menos el Oso
  • Pinback - Summer In Abadon
  • Bloc Party - Silent Alarm


  • Bad Religion - Generator
  • Thrice - The Illusion of Safety
  • Third Eye Blind - self-titled
  • The Ataris - End Is Forever
  • Don't Look Down - Five


  • The Afgan Wigs - Black Love
  • Nirvana - In Utero
  • Iggy and The Stooges - Fun House
  • Sonic Youth - Dirty
  • Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magic

    SCS: What single song in the entire history of music do you most wish you'd written?

    Eric: "Girls, Girls, Girls"

    Levi: "Don't Fear the Reaper"

    Catherine: "Thriller"

    SCS: What’s the best gig you've ever seen, local or otherwise?

    Eric: AFI at Knickerbockers in 2001.

    Levi: Sonic Youth at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 2002.

    Catherine: Again, Don't Look Down at Knickerbockers.

    SCS: What can we look forward to in the next year from the band?

    Catherine: A new CD. More merch. The making of a tighter and better band

    Levi: Prune danish, lots of prune danish.

    Eric: A full-length record, with bass. And a tighter live show

    SCS: Anything else you want to share with our readers?

    All: You should come and check us out live, like on Feb. 25 at the Chatterbox. Also, you should check out our and sites, and take a listen to our EP "This Way".

    - Tery Daly