Fronted by Kat Robichaud, Raleigh band The Design broke out into the scene in 2008 with full-throttle rock ‘n’ roll. With two albums under its belt, the band performs regularly in Raleigh and surrounding areas. Robichaud shares some of her favorite picks for dining, drinking, local music and more.
How would you describe your sound?
High-energy glam pop rock with influences from the 80s.
What do you like most about the music scene in Raleigh and what would you change?
I love American Aquarium and A Tin Djinn. I’m really excited and proud of Delta Rae and I’m happy that we got to play a few shows together.
What I don’t like about the [Raleigh] music scene? I guess the general consensus online is that there needs to be more support of local bands. You constantly see people posting pictures on Facebook that say “Occupy a Local Venue.” I do my best to get out and see local bands when The Design isn’t playing. It’s so important.
I know how it feels to sit and watch the door, hoping that people come to the show. If you have a band that you know and love, make an effort to get out and see them as much as you can. We are blessed with a group of fans that come to every show without fail, and we wouldn’t survive without them.
What are your favorite bars and clubs for live music?
I love different venues for different reasons. Lincoln Theater is a great venue to see nationally touring acts because it’s big enough to house the acts, but small enough so that there’s still that level of intimacy that you can’t achieve with an arena show.
The Pour House and Local 506 are always a fun show, and they’re nice because they’re central to a lot of other bars and restaurants. Slim’s is a go-to if I want to drink PBR and listen to some good rock ‘n’ roll. Where else in Raleigh can you go to hear David Bowie played in public place?
Where is the best late-night meal?
Sushi Blues is open pretty late, and they have the absolute best sushi in Raleigh, hands-down. The atmosphere is also laid back and unpretentious, so you can get really comfortable there, eat good sushi and drink wine. If you’re talking late-late night—like pretty much morning at this point—IHOP and Waffle House on Hillsborough St. are great for curing the inevitable hangover.
Where’s your go-to spot for new clothes?
It’s actually kind of hard for me to find my style of stage clothes in Raleigh, and I have zero patience when it comes to sifting through vintage clothing racks. I do most of my shopping online.
I get my tights from Modcloth, American Apparel, or Ebay. I really love Etsy, too, and there are a lot of upcoming fashion designers that use Etsy as their store. You can find some pretty amazing stuff on there. Lately, if I shop locally, I’m all about H&M, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters and Francesca’s, which has some insanely cheap cute clothing.
What is the best place for new or used musical instruments?
I got my SG from a friend at Harry’s Guitar, and I love them. They have excellent customer service, and they’re locally owned.
I do most of my shopping at Guitar Center, because they pretty much have everything in stock, and they’ve been really good to us over the years. They’ve come through for us from time to time when the band has been in a pinch.
Guru Guitar is another little locally owned guitar store that has some pretty unique items and hand-made guitars and amps, and it’s fun to visit them from time to time to see what they have in the showroom.
What’s Raleigh’s best kept secret?
I don’t think it’s really a secret anymore, but Poole’s Diner is my absolute favorite place to eat. Everything on the menu is to die for. The atmosphere is laid back and cozy. There are no hand-held menus, just giant blackboards that you have to stand up to read, which is kinda fun. Their wine selection is lovely, and they make the most amazing mac and cheese that will put you in a coma. I’ve been going there for years, and it has been consistently amazing.
Where can we find you next?
The Design is playing the Pour House on Sunday, August 26th with The Dirty Names. If you haven’t seen the Dirty Names, you have to see the Dirty Names! It’s just four hot, sweaty guys with incredible stage presence that play nitty gritty rock ‘n’ roll that you can’t help but dance to. They’re from Annapolis, Maryland, and I really want to see them get a good reception in Raleigh, because they absolutely deserve it. We’ve played with them twice before, and we are thrilled to play with them again.