The first place the two turned was to Katz’s then girlfriend (and eventual wife), Alice Beretta (now Alice Katz). Alice and Simon grew up in the same town in Texas just a few minutes apart from each other, but didn’t meet each other until they were in their 20s and living in Los Angeles. “She went to private school, I went to public school,” Simon recalled. “Our grandparents knew each other, our parents had worked with each other, we lived two blocks away from each other growing up but never met. We had been running parallel together all these years.”
Despite an early experience where she was pulled from the audience and onto the stage of a Beach Boys concert (she remembers being “7 or 8″), music wasn’t something that Alice ever envisioned herself pursuing. “The two things I studied when I was younger were piano and singing,” she told me during a break in the action early during the day I spent with them. “At that point in my life, it was something that i was passionate about and loved to do, but in my wildest dreams, I couldn’t imagine this happening ever. I guess life just brought me here.”
Alice attended college at Loyola Marymount, where she racked up a 4.0 GPA, graduated at the top of her class of 1,500 students, and won the Art History Program Scholar and the College Scholar of the College of Communications and Fine Arts. She and Simon met while attending a Christmas party of mutual friends, and the two began dating. Unbeknownst to Simon for the first 10 months or so of their relationship, it turned out that Alice had quite an amazing singing voice, which he discovered when they were driving one day and she started singing along to the radio. As quickly as he could, Simon got her into the studio to see how her voice would mesh with this new material.
“The best part about it was that we were recording the whole EP, me and Sam, and I’d be like, ‘This could really use a girl harmony part,’” he laughed. “And then Alice came in the room, just nailed it, and was like ‘See you guys later!’ It was so instrumental to getting the sound, it really helped us develop.”