Pushing Boundaries; An interview with CC and Tone of Little Hurricane

(Photo by Cory Piehowicz)
From day one, the narrative of Little Hurricane has echoed the tale of a momentous journey: Their story began in San Diego, where Little Hurricane formed. Having recently resumed playing drums after an eight-year hiatus, Celeste “CC” Spina placed a musicians-wanted ad on Craigslist. Among the myriad of respondents was Anthony “Tone” Catalano, a studio engineer who’d worked with artists ranging from John Paul Jones to Gwen Stefani. The two musicians were neighbors who had never met, and bonded over mutual interests including the blues, unusual and vintage gear, and their individual experiences playing in high school jazz bands.
A year later, Little Hurricane won three San Diego Music Awards, including Album of the Year for 2011 debut Homewrecker. Little Hurricane’s explosive live show soon landed them slots at major festivals including Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza, and garnered media attention from outlets including Rolling Stone, which profiled them in an extensive behind-the-scenes piece at SXSW 2012.
Little Hurricane has toured throughout North America, Europe, and Australia, both as a headliner and main support for artists including The Specials, Manchester Orchestra, and John Butler Trio. Television music supervisors also took a shine to Little Hurricane, featuring the duo’s songs on shows including Gossip Girl, Revenge, Mistresses, and ESPNs First Take. In addition, a quartet of Taco Bell TV commercials has showcased three Little Hurricane originals, as well as the pairs spirited cover of Starland Vocal Band’s 1976 U.S. chart-topper “Afternoon Delight.”
With so much history behind the band, their new record, Same Sun Same Moon (out April 14 via Mascot Label Group) is a nod to its predecessors Homewrecker (2011) and Gold Fever (2014) while taking a resolute turn with its intention. These twelve new songs retain the honesty and immediacy of Little Hurricane’s earlier work, yet they also incorporate new timbres and a broader emotional scope, changes that underscore the band’s desire to transcend its dirty blues roots and connect with a wider range of music lovers.
The band will support the record via tour dates (http://www.littlehurricanemusic.com/tour-dates) that begin in April and Ghettoblaster caught up with the duo to discuss marriage, writing the record, and having unique experiences. This is what they told us.
How has being in a marriage influenced being in a band together and vice versa?
The band brought us together so its really developed side-by-side.. I can’t imagine one without the other.
When did you begin to write Same Sun Same Moon? 
We started writing songs three years ago, right when our last record was released.
What catalysts were influencing you as you wrote the album?
We always challenge ourselves to push the boundary of what sounds two people can produce. This album is no exception. The best part is it will always sound like Little Hurricane since its just us two.
You had an interesting experience while you were recording SSSM.  Can you tell us about that?  What happened during those 17 hours, and what impact did that experience have on the record?
Yeah, well it is hard to explain in words, but the experience helped me see things in a different way and I tried to explain it with music. The track “Moon’s gone cold” is about that experience.
What are your proudest moments on the record?
The track “Mt. Senorita” was a fun track to bring together. Also, learning to play the trumpet for a few songs felt like an accomplishment!
Will you be touring in support of SSSM?
Yes! A full North American tour plus Europe is currently on the books.
Has it been legitimizing to get attention from mainstream press?  How about to have your music licensed for television?
Not for me, I’m my toughest critic and the biggest hurdle is making music that I like. So it’s nice but not legitimizing. TV placements are great, I think music can be discovered in so many ways now and that is a good thing for both those who make music and those who listen to music.
What is the ultimate impact you are hoping the record has on your fans?
This album I really thought about what my place in the world is as a “musician.” Am I just an entertainer? No! I think music has such a deeper purpose in society and worldwide as a human language. When you really think about it music can’t be explained- why it causes certain emotions, causes people to move and dance. Anyways, I think besides being fun to listen to this album should inspire unity and remind us that we are all in this together and under the same sun and the same moon.
What are your loftiest goals for Little Hurricane?
Hmm, sounds silly but we’ve always dreamed of being able to play a show where we just walk on stage and play music. No sound check our setting up gear. So I guess to have more roadies etc. Haha!
(Visit Little Hurricane here: