"We're kind of doing it on our own, still keeping regular jobs to the extent that we can," says petite vocalist and keyboard player Annalee Fery, 28, who also works as a makeup artist.
Fery (though she prefers to go by her first name only) is the kind of girl with style money can't buy and a down-to-earth attitude that defies the intensity she has on stage. Fashion-wise, she reworks vintage pieces and channels Chrissie Hynde: A typical outfit consists of black tights torn here and there, with a white short-sleeved tunic and silver Mary Janes. After a recent sold-out show at the Wiltern Theater, she and her bandmates passed out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to friends backstage and could be found circulating in the lobby, meeting fans.
The group formed 18 months ago when drummer Eric Gardner, guitarist Jonathan Siebels and bassist Andrew Clark began meeting for regular jam sessions. Clark hailed from alt-rock favorite Campfire, while Siebels had just completed a successful run with Eve 6. Fery met the rest of the band through Clark. "For me, it felt fun and effortless right away. I come from a family of five and grew up with three older brothers. Being in the constant company of three guys doesn't really bug me," says the Portland, Ore., native as her miniature pinscher Monkey nips at her heels. Not that they do everything together. If there's time on the road, Fery breaks away to scour thrift stores for vintage treasures "because it's so good out there."
Fery first caught the music bug while attending Catholic school. "We had to go to church every morning and sing," she says. "I guess you could say I was religious about the getting-to-sing part."
And despite the growing acclaim Fery is receiving for her singing, for now she and her bandmates are just living in the moment."We would rather take things as they come and not feel forced," she insists.