It Takes Two: Bunny’s Jessica and Alexa Viscius
By Jessica and Alexa Viscius
Twin sisters Jessica and Alexa Viscius make up one half of Chicago band Bunny. With their counterparts Shane Prewitt on drums and Tim Makowski on guitar, you're immediately brought into a hazy world full of secrets and dreams you're begging to know. What started as Jessica's brain child has now grown into some what of a family affair, but when not playing in Bunny, Alexa spends her time as a photographer. Since only your twin knows you best, we had Jess and Alexa photograph and interview each other about early childhood memories, firsts, and Chicago past times.
Early musical memories:
Jess: Oh where do I start.... Singing Frank Sinatra Christmas songs in the family room while hanging ornaments on the tree. Being absolutely mortified about going to piano recitals. Laying in our bunk bed with my hot pink Walkman carefully trying to learn all the words to ABBA's "Take a Chance on Me". Dad crying at gas station with a newspaper in his hand during our family camping trip out west the day he found out Jerry Garcia had died.
Alexa: Yeah, mom and dad were our introduction to music. I also hated piano recitals. I don't know if I ever got through a song without making a mistake, even though I had practiced endlessly. I think my favorite earliest music memory is dancing along to the Grosse Pointe Blank soundtrack in our basement.
Jess: Oh yeah, I remember that soundtrack and later feeling cool knowing that the Vanilla Ice song sampled Queen/ David Bowie's "Under Pressure".
Best / Worst part about being twins:
Jess: Best: You're my ride or die, you always keep me check, you tell me when my outfit sucks, lol. Worst: You tell me when my outfit sucks :/
Alexa: Best: Life long companion and best friend. Whenever I see two old women walking together with their groceries or something I think that will be us someday. Worst: Separation Anxiety! Also yeah, your outfit isn't great tonight.
Jess: Rooney, omg. I remember we made custom Rooney shirts for the show and had them sign it afterwards. Mortifying.
Alexa: N*Sync :(
Favorite Chicago Bands:
Alexa: Dehd, Lala Lala, Glyders, J Fernandez, Divino Nino… I mean there are too many to list. Chicago’s music scene is incredible.
How did you get started with photography/ projects you are working on/ music?
Jess: Because you left your guitar at my apartment for so long I figured well hell, I might as well do something with this thing!
Alexa: I remember when you were living in New York and I came to stay at your place. You played a song for me, probably your first song you wrote? It was so pretty and I cried.
Jess: You cry a lot.
Alexa: I'm on my period.
Jess: Me too!
Alexa: Anyways, I started taking photos... hmm... I distinctly remember taking a photo of a friend when we were about 9 years old on a disposable camera. She was leaning up against a tree looking sad and I asked her to stay there so I could take her photo. That's the first time I remember that ability to capture a feeling on film.
Jess: And now I am your sad girl muse!
Alexa: It's true. I learned how to shoot portraits because of you.
Something I've never told you...
Jess: Back when we were living together in Logan Square, you let me borrow your car for a weekend. As I was parking it one night someone hit me from behind and sped off.
Alexa: You already told me that
Jess: Oh I must of been drinking when I told you! I forgot. Okay—Something you've never told me?
Alexa: If I'm not willing to share my secrets with you, I'm definitely not willing to share them with the internet.
Jess: Fair enough!
What do you want to name your kid?
Jess: I'm not having kids, I want one more dog. and a bird. and a turtle, lol.
Alexa: I like the name Josephine, because you can shorten it to Jo.
Jess: I guess you're having a girl.
Alexa: If I'm lucky I'll have twins. Just kidding. I never want twins. Too much work.
Jess: Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, or any Bob Dylan album, really.
Alexa: I knew you we're going to say that.
Jess: What can I say.
Alexa: As of the past few years I think my favorite album is Arthur Russel's Love is Overtaking Me. All time fave is probably OK Computer.
What is your artistic process like?
Jess: I sit with my guitar in my room, strum random chords, and say random words. Eventually I form a melody and the lyrics just kinda fall into place. All my songs revolve around the vocal melody, I bring that to practice and the band throws in their magic.
Alexa: I don't know if I have a specific process. I always have my camera, I take hundreds of pictures and every once in awhile I get something right.
Alexa: Wait, I don't actually know the answer to this. Why did you name the band Bunny?
Jess: Some old lady in the Lower East Side wearing a babushka was slinging some of her possessions on a street corner. She had a bunch of vintage patches, in particular this weird little red bunny stood out. I bought it from her for $7, which I thought was way too much, but it was too good to pass up and she assured me it was very special. Later that winter I sewed the patch onto one of my coats. When it came time to name the band I remember slipping the coat on and thinking "Bunny" is kind of a cool band name and it just stuck. Also I like bunnies because they are soft, sexy and anxious.
Alexa: Lol, just like you.
Favorite thing about Chicago?