After a whirlwind year, members of Sauna look back at 2011

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In the fall of 2010, Robin Edwards of Lust-Cats of the Gutters wrote to CJ MacLeod and Ethan Hill and asked if they wanted to play a late-December show at the Carioca Cafe (aka Bar Bar) in December. Mcleod had seen the Lust-Cats months before and had written about them for his high-school paper; being fans, he and Hill called up their friends Molly Bartlett and Samantha Davis to put together a band for the occasion.

From the beginning, Sauna's upbeat, sunny, smart and consistently evolving pop songs caught the attention of everyone who saw the band. Sauna was rapidly embraced by its peers and started landing choice opening slots almost right away (including this two-night Colorado run with the B-52's).

The group also appeared in the inaugural episode of Brass Tree Sessions and played at the Westword Music Showcase. Needless to say, it's been a whirlwind year, and the bandmembers all realize how fortunate they've been in such a relatively short span of time. We spoke with the witty and endearing foursome recently about one of Sauna's signature songs and how far they've come.



The B-52's, with Sauna, 7 p.m. Sunday, December 11, Ogden Theatre, 935 East Colfax Avenue, $37.50-$40.00, 1-888-929-7849.

Westword: You have a song called "Croctopus," which is really funny. How did you come up with that?

CJ MacLeod: Thank you, Modern Family.

Samantha Davis: That's one of our early songs.

CJ: Didn't we go, like, "Let's write a song like the B-52's"?

SD: We were like, "I want to write a song like 'Rock Lobster.' Let's do that!" Then we wanted to write kind of a story.

Molly Bartlett: We were brainstorming different combinations of animals.

Ethan Hill: And we had recently seen an episode of Modern Family, and there's a fake horror movie called Croctopus. And it's about a crocodile and an octopus that formed into one creature.

MB: Then it turned into a love story.

SD: So it's kind of a creation story. Especially the whole talking part. We started improving it and making stuff up on the spot. Then we got stuck on that part.

EH: We made Molly talk like a Southern belle. And Sammi just pumped all her testosterone out with her end of the dialogue.

SD: It's what I do. Pump it all out.

You've played somewhere around fifty shows in less than a year, so it must be odd to think of "Croctopus" as being one of your early songs.

CJ: It's felt like it's been a really long time, and then you look at it, and it's, wow, it's been eleven months!

MB: We're still a baby.

SD: Aw...we are...

EH: We have a reunion "Greatest Hits" tour planned for next year.

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