Music: the tie that binds married duo

By John Benson

Further proof you can’t judge a band by its name: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear of the group Sexy Pig Divas?

Perhaps an electro jam-band, a boring rap ’n’ roll act or maybe a joke heavy-metal group. The truth is the Sexy Pig Divas, which was named after a TV commercial, is a husband-wife duo, which in the past has garnered comparisons to Fiery Furnaces, Radiohead, The Beta Band and Explosions in the Sky.

“It’s hard to say, really, because we change things around,” said Nick Gregg (guitar, drums, vocals). “I play guitar, and my wife [Katherine Mikita] plays drums, or she plays piano and I play drums. So it really changes from that configuration. With her, it’s kind of more pretty and emotional and Fiona Apple or Tori Amos. We both sing and do harmonies and stuff.”

Furthermore, the Kent-based twosome of Mikita and Gregg, who met as juniors at Boardman High School in 2003, has become the talk of the Northeast Ohio indie-rock scene with their debut effort, “Eating Square Grapes at Circle Pyramids.” Remember what we said about book judging and covers? Keep an open mind.

Now Sexy Pig Divas is busy at work on a new EP, of which it hopes to release a demo version when it plays Saturday night at the Lemon Grove.

“The first album is kind of like where we were at the beginning when we started playing,” Gregg said. “It’s a little darker and at times a little slow, but not in a bad way. Where we’re going now is still dark but a little bit more driving and a little more dance kind of thrown into it. We got a synthesizer recently, so we’re kind of getting into a little bit of electronic music as well.”

New tracks the band expects to play at its upcoming show are “[No] Dreams Before We Die,” featuring Mikita on piano and lead vocals, as well as “Mudslides.” The latter track is slower and finds Gregg singing lead vocals and playing guitar.

As for Sexy Pig Divas, the duo formed in 2008 and has been a staple regionally with its sites set on an East Coast tour later this year or in early 2013.

“My wife and I are very passionate about what we do,” Gregg said. “We take it very seriously, and we definitely still have that dream of it becoming something bigger. We do it just because we love it. Like if nothing happened, we’d still do what we’re doing. We’re just trying to make the focus of our lives be music.”

Then there’s the husband-wife dynamic, which in some marriages could prove problematic after a bad show or a case of writer’s block. Gregg stressed the Sexy Pig Divas don’t have this problem. However, on occasion, there are some audience members who question their unity. Thank you, Jack White.

“We’ve gotten the sister-brother thing before,” Gregg said. “Generally, I think it’s sort of apparent if you see us play we have a certain intimacy and a certain bond that we share.”

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