Q&A: Spinster Records’ Kate Siamro

Spinster Records‘ Kate Siamro has music in her blood. Having swapped Toronto for Dallas, TX, she talked to us about the best record stores in her hometown, and how Spinster is helping the local music scene thrive.

What was the first record you fell in love with?

Gosh. First album I ever fell in love with was “White Blood Cells” by the White Stripes. I was 8 and living in Michigan, I heard them on college radio, and it blew my little mind. I got more into vinyl once out of high school, my first record was Tea for the Tillerman by Cat Stevens. My mom gave it to me, it was the first time I realised how much better vinyl sounds then digital.

You’re originally from Toronto; where’s the best place to go record shopping there?

Easy! Sonic Boom and Kops. You might have seen Sonic Boom in the movie Scott Pilgrim vs the World. Very extensive and massive. Kops is walking distance and an audiophiles’ dream. I like how they are curated, like Spinster.

What’s the best thing about working at Spinster Records?

The ability to play whatever music I want. After working at places with horrible playlists, it’s a luxury to be my own DJ. Oak Cliff has become very community oriented so I enjoy working on events and shows in the area, especially meeting new bands, to have awareness of the local music scene helps with my writing and projects. My staff is family to me. David Grover is a fantastic boss, he’s high energy, full of stories, and supportive. I couldn’t imagine not being connected to Spinster. I identify with the shop, that’s why the Instagram videos are easy. It’s not like acting, it’s just me loving my job.

When did you learn to DJ and what does your typical set sound like?

I sometimes DJ for the shop, and its events with their tables. I’ve never done it like my co worker Nick Metzger, he actually does weddings, art galleries, clubs. He goes by Spiral Dive. I’m all over the map with what I play. Recently I’ve been on a kick of Shuggie Otis, Parquet Courts, Talking Heads, Vundabar, and ELO. I’ve thought about actually jumping into DJ’ing freelancing, but it’s an investment, and very pricey.

Which women in music inspire you most?

Women locally… to see women I personally know kill it on stage inspires me. Sure, I admire Debbie Harry, Allison Mosshart, and Grace Jones. However, there’s so much hidden talent here. Sam Villavert works with me at Spinster, but she’s also in Sealion and Son of Stan. She’s ridiculously multi- talented, she has creative range. Sam Lao is an independent powerhouse on stage. Pearl Earl makes it look easy, they’re magnetic and femme fatale. I saw Bayleigh Cheek recently, her voice gives me goosebumps, so much soul. We are a very lucky city… people need to support their local arts or they go elsewhere.

If you were cast away on a desert island, which record would you take?

I’ve been asked this so much. If there was electricity, a turn table, speakers, and hopefully booze – and given the circumstance – “Kings of the Wild Frontier” by Adam and the Ants. That would suit the situation. Couldn’t pick a favourite record.

You can follow Kate on Instagram here.