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Spinn Are Putting A City Twist On Country
Thursday, October 23, 2014

Being a country trio in the New York City area, Spinn realized very quickly that they were going to be fighting an uphill battle. “We would literally say, ‘we’re in a band,’” Stephanie Spinner remembers, “and they’d be like, ‘not country music, right?’”

Stephanie, who along with sister Cheryl Lynn, and their friend Megan Battaglia, make up the New Jersey based group which formed in 2006, realized the best way convince people they might like Spinn’s brand of country is to get them to come to their concerts.

Cheryl Lynn explains this ideology, saying, “People seriously don’t really don’t know that they like country. They think they don’t like it, but they actually do.”

As Spinn was developing their fan base out of people who were just discovering an appreciation for country music, a crossover was happening on pop radio. Stephanie notes that during that time, “You have Taylor Swift who was crossing over a lot. Lady Antebellum was being played on Z100. You have Darius Rucker, now he sings country music. You have Florida Georgia Line, they had that song with Nelly.”

This, Stephanie explains, resulted in a great opportunity for the genre “because people, they’re getting a taste of it, but it also has a flair of stuff that they already like. It’s like they’re being eased into it a little bit, instead of it just being thrown down their throats.”

Now there’s even a country music radio station in NYC (94.7 NASH FM), which is the city where Spinn performs the majority of their shows.

All of this makes for what seems like perfect timing for Spinn’s message that, as Cheryl Lynn says, “You don’t have to be from the country to love country music.”

This idea is how they define their brand of music, which they call “city country.”

“We don’t fit into the uniform,” Cheryl Lynn explains, “we don’t hunt, we don’t camp, we don’t fish, we don’t do any of that stuff, but we love country music, and we are trying to get across the point that you don’t have to be from the country to love country. We’re a bunch of city girls. We dress like city girls. We talk like city girls. Everything we do is fast.”

Cheryl Lynn continued, adding, “When we were in high school we loved metal music, and you couldn’t tell by looking at us. Stephanie was a cheerleader. You certainly couldn’t tell that she was at home listening to Metallica and Megadeath.”

Some of those early musical influences have snuck their way into Spinn’s live shows, as they enjoy singing the occasional country version of a Metallica song. “We throw it in there when we can,” Cheryl Lynn says, “the looks on people’s faces. Oh my God.”

After two successful EPs, She Was A Heartache, and A Little Crazy, the latter having both a five, and an eight song version, Spinn recently completed their next release, a four song effort appropriately titled City Country. The lead single is already available, but the trio have launched an Indiegogo campaign in an effort to do a proper EP release, including an official music video, and full publicity campaign. According to Cheryl Lynn the group’s goal is a big one, as she says, “We want to show Nashville, and Austin, that there is some good country coming out of New York.”


Although Cheryl Lynn notes some of the group’s songs involve “running away from love, or love that literally ran you over, and now you’re a flattened pancake on the road,” the trio is excited to have a positive songs on the topic of love on City Country. Titled “My Summertime,” the song is, according to Stephanie, “a happy love song, which we’ve never done, never ever.”

The long celebrated national pastime of drinking also makes an appearance on the EP on the song “Last Call,” and at a recent show in NYC the women of Spinn had wished a bartender had told a guy it was his personal last call, as his drunken rowdiness led to an awkward situation, and some seriously unexpected WWE skills from a member of their family.

Stephanie remembers the man, who was extremely inebriated, and the group attempting to deal with him through music. “We tried to mellow him out, play a slow song,” she says, “it kind of worked for a second, but then we played a cover song, ‘Go Your Own Way,’ by Fleetwood Mac, (which is) not even like a raging song, but he got up, and he was so into it that he ended up running up on stage. I thought he was gonna kidnap Meg, but (then) it seemed like he was trying to grab her microphone, and sing. He wound up bumping into her, and he fell, and the microphone fell, and she broke her flip flop. It was kind of intense.”

The intensity was ratcheted up a notch when Stephanie and Cheryl Lynn’s mom played the role of security. According to Cheryl Lynn, the family’s matriarch “grabbed the guy from the back of the collar and like chucked him across the room, and she didn’t even remember how she did it. She got into like a protective rage blackout, and then all of a sudden this guy’s across the room.”

Cheryl Lynn says the moral of the story was voiced by her mother. “She was like, ‘You can look at them, but don’t touch them!’”

It was an important lesson, and a noticeable difference from when Spinn used to feel the need to slyly work around mentioning the genre of their music to get their friends to attend shows.

We’ll probably never see people wearing spurs on the subway, but there’s country in the city now, and more and more of the city is realizing they like what they hear.


Interview originally ran on Arena.com.

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