Category Archives: Interviews

Interview with Temples

Photo courtesy of music.topman.com.

Photo courtesy of music.topman.com.

By Victoria Powell

We had the chance to speak with Thomas Warmsley, the bass player and co-founding member of what has been called the best new band in England. Temples have left their home in Kettering, England to come tour the U.S. and they recently played here at Kung Fu Necktie on November 3rd.

VP: Are you having fun in America? Have you been here before?

TW: Yea, it’s the first time any of us have played music in America. In England it’s quite a landmark thing to come over to the states and play. Yea, it’s been quite a special trip, I guess, to come out here and do that. I think every venue has its own atmosphere and every country has its own kind of way of doing things, and different audiences. It’s really exciting and we’re having a great time; taking it all in.

VP: What do you miss about your home?

TW: I don’t know, I mean when you go on tour you kind of expect to leave all of your home comforts behind. I think we all enjoy the fact that we’re not home in Kettering, where we all live. It’s kind of like a world away from where we’re from. I think we kind of embrace the fact that it’s a little bit alien and different. It’s all part of the trip really.

VP: Who is your all time favorite producer and why?

TW: (laughs) Tricky question, because we have so many… I don’t know, I mean Phil Spector for us is such a big name and his whole style and way of doing things in the studio is kind of a real institution. He has such a signature sound – signature meaning the reverb and other elements. It kind of takes it away from being familiar, in terms of sound.

Jack Nitzsche as well, I guess he falls under the Phil Spector umbrella. I think between the two of them, they had something really special.

He worked with The Rolling Stones, the orchestrations on there and their records. He always worked very closely with the artists he was recording with. He played on the record as well and having that kind of involvement blurs the line between artist and producer. Most of us in Temples think it’s very important to embrace both because we are fans of producers as well as bands and artists.

VP: What artists have you been listening to lately?

TW: Umm, yea well we listen to quite a lot.

VP: Well what about in the past few days?

TW: We’ve been listening to Atom Heart Mother, the Pink Floyd album, if you know that one. And there’s a band that just released a single, they’re called Telegram. We’ve been touring with them in England and they have a song called “Follow,” which is their debut single. Since we’ve toured with them we’ve had the pleasure of getting to listen to them every night. We’re really big fans of what they’re doing. So I guess that’s one old and one new?

VP: What is your musical guilty pleasure?

TW: I guess, film soundtracks are always a strange one that people either love or hate. We really enjoy listening to some kind of more cinematic sounding music. We try to play our music so that it kind of transposes visually. And like, Ennio Morricone, he does soundtracks. Oh and like Goblin, as well, they’re like an Italian prog band that did some soundtracks in the seventies as well. It’s kind of slightly weird and you know that’s a little bit different from your normal rock band.

VP: Who would be your dream collaboration?

TW: Well we’re from the Midlands and not too far away in a place called Rugby is where Sonic Boom from Spacemen 3 is based. And yea, we’re all really big fans of Spacemen 3 and Spectrum. He has his own studio as well. He creates some really interesting sounds in the studio and we’d like to, one day, perhaps, collaborate with him. Peter Kember is his name, but his nickname is Sonic Boom. But yea, really spacey and almost like soundscape and noise. There’s something quite simple and charming about his recordings.

VP: In your song “Shelter Song,” the lyrics mention reading poetry aloud; who are your favorite poets?

TW: James wrote the lyrics… but yea William Blake is great, if you like reading and stuff. I think it is part of your admission into music that deals with consciousness, that you read, “The Doors of Perception” and “Heaven and Hell”.

VP: How do you prepare yourself for a live show? Any weird rituals?

TW: (laughs) Not especially. I’m kind of torn between just saying anything; making something up, and just being honest. We always sing as much possible and do three part harmonies. We like to sing some songs by The Byrds and we usually fight over who sings David Crosby’s harmony. That’s always the best.

VP: I was wondering just now, have you ever tried meditation?

TW: Um, not yet. I think we all kind of meditate in our own way. That’s not meditating explicitly but yea. I think you have to be in the right mindset when you go on stage and stuff, so I think everyone has their own way, perhaps, of meditating.

VP: What’s coming up in the future for Temples?

TW: We just announced that we will be releasing our album, Sun Structures, in February. I think it’s February the 10th. We announced it online yesterday actually, so it’s really excited for us. All this year we’ve been recording in between touring, and it’s great to finally have a record. So that’s in February. And I think we’re coming back over to the states again in like March or April as well, so we’re really looking forward to coming back over here once the album’s been released. We can’t wait for everyone to hear it, since everyone’s only heard the singles and what’s online. It will be great for everyone to hear the full spectrum of music that we play.

Check out Temples on Facebook here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Interview with Kevin Devine


Last week we spoke with Kevin Devine about his two latest albums (Bubblegum and Bulldozer), his biggest influences, and  even got to hear an impromptu cover of Elliott Smith’s “The Biggest Lie”. If you missed the on-air interview, you can listen here!

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Interview with Kate Nash

Image

Courtesy of iradiophilly.com

By Shannen Gaffney

Shannen: Your latest album Girl Talk came out earlier this year, and you released it on your own label, after crowdfunding and raising money through PledgeMusic. What made you go in this direction?

KN: Well, actually it wasn’t really like a choice. I got dropped from my record label so I had to figure out a way to put out the record. So I decided that’s what I had to do because it was my only option really.

Shannen: Girl Talk has a less polished but more natural, raw sound than your previous work. What was your writing process like for the record?

KN: I was really determined and emotional, and it all just kind of exploded; it all just came out in the record. It was very therapeutic. Writing on the bass was really helpful, that helped changed my sound and it’s just such a fun instrument to play. So I didn’t really think too much about it and it kind of just all came out.

Shannen: So you started a video series where you give your fans advice on various problems. What gave you the idea to start this?

KN: The fans will write and tell me a lot of personal stuff, and I often end up talking to them after shows. I kind of joked about it and then we did a practice one and we really liked that so we were like, ok we’ll do videos and we could have guest stars and stuff. It was just really fun to do.

Shannen: You’re on a U.S. tour right now with La Sera, what’s the best thing about touring with Katy Goodman?

KN: She’s so nice. All of La Sera are really nice, so fun to watch jam. They have a dog called Beau, who’s so cute. They’re just lovely people and I love getting into the music on tour. I think you have to have a band with you that you really like and like to watch before your show. It’s just really fun, yeah.

Shannen: Do you have any favorite tour bus snacks?

KN: Oh my god, we’re really low on snacks but there’s always Cheetos running around like the nuclear orange kind (laughs). Not very healthy.

Shannen: “Rap for Rejection” is definitely a very different style than you’ve done before, but you mix it with your traditional pretty vocals in the background. What made you want to do a spoken word kind of song like that?

KN: I thought it would be funny to do a rap about sexism and feminism. It’s just too funny for me, and I wanted to write about something serious but in a fun, lighthearted way, inspired by the Moldy Peaches, and Smoosh if you know them. They’re these two kids that have a really cool song called “Rad,” that’s just a really funny rap.

Shannen: On record store day last year you put out a really awesome heart shaped 7” with a song dedicated to Pussy Riot. Why did you want to pay a tribute to those girls in particular?

KN: I just feel like… it just seems kind of crazy to me that they were put in prison because of a protest song. I think that it’s important for everybody worldwide to talk about anything that happens that you think is unfair, and raise awareness. Music and freedom of expression is so important and with all the problems in Russia right now, there’s such unfair treatment. It’s really scary, just very government heavy and power concentrated. I just wanted to talk about those things.

Shannen: What can we expect from you in the future?

KN: Um, um um um… I don’t know! I’m kind of unsure about what I’m going to do next. I collaborated with a friend D Wing who makes simple R&B music. His soundcloud is at soundcloud.com/Dwingmusic. I’ve been having fun singing with him. I’m also writing songs for a musical in New York which is really fun, and then one more shoot coming out at the end of this month. I don’t know, like I’m still going to tour a bit more next year I think, and put out a few music videos still haven’t come out yet. I might even write another single for Girl Talk that would be released next year or something just to kind of finish up this record, I think the album deserves that.

Kate Nash’s advice column can be found at her site, myignorantyouth.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Claude VonStroke talks Dirtybird, Diplo, and Playing Shows Sans Bass

Courtesy of Sumi Management

Courtesy of Sumi Management

By Chris Burrell

Amidst a crazy tour schedule, I was able to get some time on the phone with one of my DJ / producer idols: Dirtybird label boss, Barclay Crenshaw, better known as Claude VonStroke.

CB: Mr. Crenshaw, I’m a huge fan, spin your stuff all the time on air, and I know you’re busy – thanks for you taking the time out to do this call.

CVS: Thank you, no problem.

CB: So you’re on tour now, but you have the night off tonight, is that correct?

CVS: I do, yes, kind of (chuckles).

CB: So you have the night off doing phone interviews and stuff like that, are you on a tour bus in the middle of nowhere?

CVS: No, I’m at home.

CB: Oh okay, and where is home for you these days? LA or San Francisco?

CVS: I’m in LA right now.

CB: OK cool, well how’s the tour been so far?

CVS: It’s been really great.

CB: I follow you on Twitter, and I’ve seen that perhaps you and J Phlip are doing T 25 to stay active on the tour bus?

CVS: (laughs) I am, she’s not!

CB: She’s a sick DJ, how’s she been received as the opening act?

CVS: Great, I think she’s done really well on this tour. Trying to get her on the Europe tour.

CB: I read somewhere that you don’t have a tour manager per se.

CVS: No we don’t, we don’t have a tour manager. I haven’t had one for 10 years.

CB: Have you had any interesting situations on this tour so far?

CVS: Yeah, there was like no bass for like 30 minutes in Denver.

CB: Oh shit! How does the Dirtybird sound go without the bass?

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Interview with Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes

 
Barnes performing in Gothenburg, Sweden

Last week DJ Kirsten spoke with Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes about his new album, dramatic stage shows, and getting his start in the 90s with support from the Elephant 6 Collective. Read below to find out the inspiration for the album’s title and more.

Kirsten: We saw you guys in Philadelphia at both of the shows that you did a couple weeks ago; they were awesome! Did you have a good time here?

KB: I did, those were fun shows. I wasn’t expecting so many people to come to the afternoon thing [WXPN's Live at Noon session]. I was pleasantly surprised. I guess I didn’t really know what to expect, but I definitely didn’t expect it to be as crowded as that, so it was awesome.

Kirsten: Yeah it was great. So Lousy with Sylvianbriar just came out and is much more relaxed than your funkier stuff from Paralytic Stalks and Daughter of Cloud, what was your writing process like for this album?

KB: Well, it kind of came from a different place of inspiration. I was really inspired by people like Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan. The last couple of records were more influenced by people like George Clinton, Parliament, Sly and the Family Stone, Prince, people like that – so definitely coming from a more funky source. This record is definitely a bit more introspective. I really wanted the lyrics to be the main focus; I didn’t want the orchestration to be as phonetic and schizophrenic as previous albums, so that might also be playing a role in the kind of more mellow vibe.

Kirsten: Where do you find inspiration for your stage shows?

KB: Well, that is mostly my brother who comes up with all the theatrics.

Kirsten: Oh, really?

KB: Yeah. I kind of just let him do whatever he wants and come up with different concepts. I’ve had a handful of ideas that I pass on to him and he figures out the logistics of it. But for the most part, it’s his project, or his side of it.

Kirsten: You’ve been working under the name Of Montreal since 1996, how do you keep each album sounding fresh?

KB: I guess I always get inspired by different things. So, I just kind of stumble upon some new inspiration, get really excited about it, and want to make songs in that genre or influenced by a certain group of artists and then all these interests have this new spark developed, inspired by something new. In that way it’s always very much influenced by other people. A lot of what I do is basically just pulling from these different sources of inspiration and hopefully it doesn’t sound completely derivative of one particular thing, but coming from all of these different kinds of places. I’m not really trying to make something extremely original, just trying to make something that I find exciting in the moment. I want to work really quickly, I don’t want to necessarily labor over something. I feel like it’s more important for me to just keep producing things and have it be a part of my life, my daily life, the creative process.

Kirsten: Cool. So how did you come up with the name for your latest album?

KB: Well, sylvianbriar is a word that I made up that’s basically a nod to the writer Sylvia Plath, who I thought was a very influential spirit for the record. I was reading a lot of her poetry and fantasizing about her, her life, and her work. For whatever reason she was just this important figure in my mind when I was writing and recording the record.

Kirsten: “Hegira Emigre”is probably my favorite song from this album. Can you tell us what it’s about?

KB: Yeah, in a way it’s following the template of things that Bob Dylan did on Highway 61 Revisited and songs like maybe “Tombstone Blues” would be a good one to say, “Oh yeah, that’s my take on that kind of song,” where you have a bunch of verses strung together and then you have this chorus that just repeats. But the thing that I really like about Dylan is that he’d go so overboard with verses, like he’ll have as many as eight verses in a song whereas most people would stick to maybe two verses. I think it was crazy just having four, but it’s sort of following that template and that concept of having something that’s a little bit political. You know, the lyrics, “They’re up on the hill, they’re having a white riot with no violence or protesting;” it’s sort of a reference to the top one percent and the influence that they have, and that feeling of powerlessness. In the face of that, you wonder how much influence and power you have and there’s people that seem to be pulling the strings and you can’t really say much about it. There’s a lot of lines in that that have some sort of personal or political significance.

Kirsten: I know you were involved in the Elephant 6 Collective, how was it working with all of those different, creative minds and how has it affected you as an artist?

KB: It was great in the early days because I hadn’t really established myself at all and I was trying to get something together, and to see bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control going out on tour and getting record contracts with indie labels and making their own records; that was something that I wanted to do and had started doing when I was in high school working with my cassette four-track in my bedroom, still living at my parents’ house and going to high school and stuff. To see, oh these people are basically doing the same thing I’m doing on a slightly bigger level, but they’re able to reach an audience and they’re able to establish themselves in a really grassroots way. To see how they did it, in that way, was very inspiring and helpful. A lot of times when you’re first starting making music you don’t really understand how the machine works, how you can get your name out there or even how you can get your records released. I mean now it’s much easier, this was like pre-internet so it was more dependent on finding a record label, finding a publicist, there wasn’t that much that you could do by yourself, you kind of needed the help of other people in the industry. But not wanting to go to the major label route and wanting it to stay indie and DIY and all that. But that was really helpful for me. Also to establish a support group of like-minded people that were doing similar things, so yeah that was great.

Kirsten: Do you still keep in contact, or have you done anything recently with them?

KB: Not really, Of Montreal has sort of become its own collective within itself with all of these people contributing ideas, and working together like I said with my brother and my wife that does a lot of the album artwork and animation that we have live. Everyone is performing different roles within the group. I haven’t really felt the need to… I’m kind of just off on my own now. I haven’t really been looking for that kind of support because it’s already there in Of Montreal.

Kirsten: Are there any future plan for the band as of right now, or are you kind of just playing it by ear?

KB: Yeah, I’ve kind of started working up some new songs and starting to develop a concept of how I want to approach the next record. We have a ton of shows ahead of us over the next four or five months, so we’re definitely going to stay busy.

Lousy with Sylvianbriar was released on Polyvinyl on October 8th, and has charted #1 at WKDU for three weeks straight.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Surfer Blood talk Halloween costumes, flax crackers, and haunted practice spaces.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

We spoke with Surfer Blood members John Paul Pitts, Thomas Fekte, Tyler Schwarz, and Kevin Williams before their midnight show at the TLA on October 4th. Read below to find out about new obstacles they encountered moving onto a major label, their favorite horror movie, and what they’re thinking of dressing up as for Halloween.

Shannen: How did you guys all meet?

JP: Well, we’re all from the same town; we all grew up there at least. We went to high school there, and we were all playing in bands that were a little bit left of center. We all were sort of aware of each other and what we were doing, and yeah, I mean one day we started recording demos of some of the Surfer Blood songs. It wasn’t really serious and I guess Tom heard it and brought it up to me that he’d like to play guitar.

Shannen: Do you remember what some of those first songs were?

JP: A lot of the songs ended up on Astro Coast, our first record. I don’t think it was ever really supposed to be a proper record or anything, it was just something that we started and I felt really, really compelled to finish. So yeah, some of those songs ended up on the record later.

TF: I think the first song that I had heard was “Fast Jabroni”. That was a really early one that you guys had written.

TS: There are some demos that we’ve never even put out that I have on my computer. Well my laptop was stolen, so I must have lost some of them, but we had some kind of pirate-sounding songs.

Shannen: I think you guys tweeted the other day that you recorded on a Dell. Was that the laptop that got stolen?

TF: Yeah, I tweeted a really ridiculous run-on sentence that was ranting about Macintosh, even though I have nothing against Mac. I was just basically saying you don’t have to have a Mac, and we made a record on a Dell.

JP: There is so much digital noise on that record, though. If you listen closely there are so many parts where it’s just like (makes noise).

Continue reading

Leave a comment

by | October 24, 2013 · 3:00 pm

Interview with Young Pilgrims (September 10, 2013)

Courtesy of The Key

Courtesy of The Key

By Jonathan Plotkin

Young Pilgrims are an indie punk revival band from Philadelphia. Earlier this summer, they released their debut album Kyoko and a Rocket to the Moon on their Bandcamp, have been playing places such as Don’t Tread On Me, Jolly’s, and North Star Bar, and were recently featured as artist of the month by The Deli Magazine. On September 10th, after their last show, I got the chance to sit down with the band and talk it out for a few minutes.

Jonathan: So you guys are Young Pilgrims, what are your names?

Sean: I’m Sean Brown.

Zack: I’m Zack.

Jonathan: And what instruments do you play?

Sean: I play the guitar and I sing.

Zack: I play the bass guitar and I sing sweet harmonies.

Jonathan: And is there a drummer in the band?

Sean: Nick Boonie. We have two drummers, actually.

Jonathan: Who did you record the album with?

Sean: Jesse Appel.

Jonathan: And they’re both not available right now.

Sean: That’s right, they both died in the accident.

Jonathan: Right, the accident. We’ll get back to that totally true and not made up story later. So how did you guys meet in order to form your band?

Zack: High school. A lot of people went away to college and their band broke up and we made a new band.

Sean: Can I… can I tell that better than you did?

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews