Cell Mates Interview
(Between Two Fires)
Your father is an Inspector
on the Police Department; you're twin sisters and you want to start a rock
group. So what do you call yourselves? Cell Mates, what else? That's what
Paula and Pamela Mattioli did. Bom in Buffalo, N.Y., they left home at 16,
moved to Florida, and made a name for themselves in music circles there. If
that wasn't enough, they went on to join a band that performed all over the
world, including the Soviet Union. Releasing an album and E.P. on an independent
label in Europe, the Mattioli sisters put down roots in London for awhile.
These days, you'll find the Cell Mates living in Los Angeles, recording
for Scotti Bros. ("Between Two Fires" — debut album) and anxiously
waiting to take their act on the road.
Q. When you left home at 16, and went to Florida, what did you do for a
Paula - We hooked up with a band right away, and we learned from them.
They were of course much older people than we were. They taught us the ropes.
They taught us about the business. Meanwhile we worked jobs as waitresses.
Q. Had you been in a band before that?
Paula - We tried to join a band in school. I saw one of the musicians
in school that I used to know at a show we did in Buffalo recently. He
came to see us. I used to beg to sing with the boys, and they said, 'Girls
can't sing rock 'n' roll.' The guy apologized to me. He said, 'If I would've
known how talented you were, I would've formed a band around you and your
sister in a heartbeat." I thought it was very nice that he said that,
you know? But, it was prejudice.
Q. Of course, what else could he say?
Pamela - He also handed us a demo tape under the same breath (Laughs)
Q. How did you know at 16, that you wanted to be a singer?
Paula - We knew at 2.
Pamela - I think most people know what they want to do at that age.
Paula - I think people forget what it is they want to do.
Pamela - Or they get swayed by other peoples viewpoints.
Q - You think that musicians should know more about the business side of
the music business don't you?
Paula - Yeah.
Q. And you got your education in the business side courtesy of your band
Paula - We sure did. A lot of artists have this viewpoint, ‘well,
I only want to create art. I don't care about the business.' You've got
to care about the business, because you've got to be in on every step. Pam
and I hare there for every step. We're there for editing, mastering, of
course, the mixing. We produced our vocals. Even keeping on top of your
record co. and your career, you gotta stay on top of it, 'cause it's your
life. If you let yourself always be in other peoples hands, you may not
get the results you want.
Q. - Tell me about Gypsy Queen.
Pa - We were based out of Miami. Then we got a deal over in Europe. First
off, we were very huge in Miami. It got to a point where Paula and I would
go out and people would stop us all the time.
Paula - That's South Florida.
Pamela - It was our first taste of success in an area. It was like wild.
Paula - It would be in the papers all the time. We'd even be on the news.
All kinds of stuff. Then we got a European deal, and lived over in Europe,
which was wonderful, 'cause we loved London. We even played Russia in 1989.
We played all over the world.
Q. Where did Scotti Bros, catch your act? Did you get out of Gypsy Queen
first, and then put something together?
Paula - Yes. It was interesting. We were in Florida and we had let Gypsy
Queen go, and we were concentrating on getting an American deal. Scotti
Bros, got a hold of our tape, and they absolutely loved it, and they
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