Madrid’s Baywaves Are Flipping Indie Rock on It’s Head

reppin: madrid, spain // Ground Control // 2014 - present

sounds like: the moment before you crash onto a nice, big comfy couch

last album drop: only for uz EP (march 2016)

featuring: fran // david // marco // carlos

baywaves | photo cred: noesfm.com

baywaves | photo cred: noesfm.com

Last summer I stumbled across a little known band from Madrid that goes by the name of Baywaves. What started as a duo became a 4-piece, kinda pop, kinda rock, kinda electronic, kinda indie band of really really young dudes. In what they refer to as hipnopop, you really get a different, new kind of vibe that some recent Madrid bands are bringing these days. Young dudes just flipping rock on its head, no big deal.

What drew my ears in to Baywaves was this sense of hypnotic dance sound that is very different from anything else we are listening to these days. It releases your body, frees your mind and gives you happy sort of vibes all over. What is even more exciting is how young they are and how much is ahead in the evolution of this band. They totally get the amazing position they are in and will stop at nothing to keep challenging themselves to create newer and fresher tunes.

These are true newcomers on the scene as they just finished up with some SXSW sets the other week. I am getting the feels that they’ll start following in the footsteps of labelmates The Hinds and The Parrots and be hitting the states regularly for our ear and eyes pleasure. Check out the skype chat I had with these young lads and get on their music!


interview stuff
 

Y’all are babies in the music world, but have nailed it with that first EP...where did your sound come from and how do you see it evolving over the coming years?

That's a good questions right now because we are in the process of making new songs and we are trying to evolve from that. At first it was mostly David making the tracks and that has been going on for a year and half. We like to use references of bands we enjoy like Manchester Orchestra, Pond, King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard. Then, as we started to take part in this process, we've been listening to more and more. We all come from different background so we have a wide variety of taste. So now, we are just listening and listening and figuring out what to do next. I mean, we just bought a sampler and other equipment.

We are really trying to see what can work next because we know our sound now and what we used to have is working for us and our listeners. We're just trying to know if we can play different types of sound, like experimenting. Can we do this? Maybe we'll find some new things to incorporate into our new music. You know, one day we were listening to some new hip-hop and we're like oh shit, this is giving us a boner. We don't want to keep playing the same type of music.

 

As a band, what are you learning about yourselves as things are happening so fast? What is the most important factor to keep things together?

baywaves | photo cred: diymag.com

baywaves | photo cred: diymag.com

That is also a good question because we are also in the process of seeing what ties the bands together. Some of work, some of us our in school studying and getting masters. It is very difficult to find a time with energy to give to the band. So, what ties the band together? If anything, it sound quite cynical, is the idea of just having a band and being able to come here and play. It really depends on the moment. It is a really amazing feeling when we create something together and are like, "oh, that's amazing!"

Right now, making a new song, the whole process, it is something that ties us together because it allows us to really focus on the music. There really isn't one thing that ties us together. All these new things are happening every month, but it always comes back to this idea of just having a band. We are all really enjoying the process. We usually don't even have enough time to think about what is next when something ends because the next thing is happening.

Even just playing in front of fans and having them tell us great things, that keep us going. We've also been trying to build a network with other bands our age. You know, 5 years ago in Spain you would not see 20 year old bands playing festivals and all, so things have really changed.


Lyrics...what do you want your fans to get out of your stories? How do want them to feel?

I think there is a whole concept about the lyrics. First the songs come, then the lyrics so the lyrics are feeding off the songs. We put a lot of thought into them, there is more emphasis on lyrics now in Spain then maybe 10 years ago. We're trying to find what we want to say. We grew up with lyrics not being a big thing the rock scene, but we know it is a thing that fans like. We're trying to use all of our input so our songs are shared between all of us.

baywaves | photo cred: gigsoupmusic.com

baywaves | photo cred: gigsoupmusic.com



Lets talk about your live show. How do you get the crowd going, what is your mission when you take the stage?

After we started playing festivals and releasing the first EP and playing more shows. We knew we had to change things in our live show because before we were only playing once a month. Not only were we recording new songs, but we were really focused on how to incorporate new things.

The rhythmic thing was big with us. Different textures and all. We don't play that many songs live at the moment. Maybe 5 songs in 30 minutes. So yea, we are trying to get into a rhythm and not just be 4 guys jerking around on stage. We want fans to be able to move around and dance, but also be amazed at what we are doing.


I always use funny metaphors to describe bands and artists i write about, what would you use?

A long time ago the one the said was "suave" which is soft in spanish, but I think it has changed since then. Hmmm, we have to think about this one.

You know the moment you are going to fall onto a couch, or something soft, that moment you are in mid-air. For me, that would probably be it.

me: You all provide a soft landing for everyone, I get that. What kind of couch am I falling on?

One that is big enough to lay down on.

 

suggested listening experience: afternoon hang with friends // cruising in the city // beach/sunny hangs

listens: time is passing u by // gliss // down 4 u // still in bed // the freak kingdom // to the north

bw - spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

interview stuff: MODERN VICES

reppin: chicago, usa // unsigned // 2013 - present

sounds like: crying to the Pet Sounds albums in a moldy basement but at the same time getting off to Joy Division

modern vices | posing at Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

modern vices | posing at Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

next album drop: fall 2017

featuring: alex // peter // thomas // miles // patrick

interview stuff

modern vices | Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

modern vices | Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

I swear to the music lords i have never dropped my jaw so low and perked my ears to attention that quickly. I stumbled upon Modern Vices as I scooted over to Subterranean to check out the magical fingers of Ron Gallo. These five baby faced dudes who couldn’t be older than their early 20s took the stage with their hair...lots of hair. As soon as they kick in that intro and Alex’s vocals fill the room like a helium tank making love to a balloon. Suddenly, you are intertwined in this romantic web of old school rock n’ roll with a touch of modern distortion. You’re enticed to grab onto the someone close to you and just soak it all in. These are those moments of going out there to discover new music when you know something special and different in brewing in your backyard.

modern vices | subterranean, chicago | 2.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

modern vices | subterranean, chicago | 2.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

What began as a some friends just hanging and jamming slowly morphed into the a new beginning of a magical journey. As Alex puts it, “so it all started when we all lived with each other for a year. We played two shows in our basement for friends and the following month we got signed.” While the special connection of writing tunes was there, it can still smack you in the face as a young dude with little clue. “It all happens so quickly, being a band and all.” But isn’t that part of the fun, riding a wave that is already a mammoth from the start. “At first we were just talking about how cool it would be to just get a record out, nothing more than that,” Peter describes. “The first time we came together for that album, it was kind of a beautiful accident. These were songs that Thomas and i wrote in high school. After that we didn’t know at the time, but we were def not on the same page. But we were younger, just making music.”

modern vices | Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

modern vices | Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

Their first self-titled album gave them an identity to start with though. As Alex puts it, “the first record we made definitely honed in on that 50s vibe and the sound, tone and everything really branched off from that pop noise of that era. But, it’s not something they want to engulf themselves with. “While we started with that and still have elements of that sound, but we don’t want to be this ‘doo-wop’ band. It is part of our style, but not all of it.” This beautiful sound, while still a work in progress, translates seamlessly onto the main stage. “We really aim for that kind of smooth, flowing set,” frontman Alex said. The guys did add a distinct note, “we’ve actually been working on creating a distinct live version of songs that are somewhat different than what we record. Adding like a section, jam or a transition to change it up. It Gives fans another reason to see us live.” And ain’t that the truth.

The beauty of gelling together that early is having the time to evolve. “We had to ask ourselves that kind of band we wanted to be,” Peter mentioned. That thought has evolved into reality as their next record is due out this fall. They have worked diligently to expand their identity beyond just that 50's rock persona. Alex has taken some time to perfect his writing as well. “The first album I definitely had some weird lyrics and my friends were like, what the fuck does this mean. But, at the core, they are emotionally driven songs. It is the same kind of writing for this upcoming record too with more maturity. A romantic journey of sorts with these guys. We’re all in it together. The songs are about what all of us are going through.” It is the calm before the storm as you’ll see these dudes playing Chicago here and there throughout the summer as they gear up for this next release. As to what to expect with their new tracks: “We’re crying to the Pet Sounds albums in a moldy basement but at the same time getting off to Joy Division.” Too unique to pass up kids..I think you’ll be hearing this band name much more as we roll into 2018.

modern vices | Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

modern vices | Beat Kitchen, Chicago | 4.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

suggested listening experience: after that long day prepping for a relaxing night // chill hang session with the friends // getting amped up for the night out

listens: smoke rings // (don't) hold me down // keep me under your arms // baby // cheap style // pleasure gun

mv // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc 

interview stuff: GANG OF YOUTHS

playing schubas in chicago, june 5th // north american tour dates

reppin: sydney // mosy/sony records // 2012 - present

sounds like: (David’s words) A highly unorganized game of baseball where Bruce Springsteen gets stabbed in the head with a fork by Martin Heidegger.

gang of youths | photo cred: maclay heriot

gang of youths | photo cred: maclay heriot

next album drop: “go farther in lightness” (august 18th 2017)

featuring: max // jung // david // joji // donnie

All music is special in some shape, way or form and part of that beauty is how that differs from person to person, band to band and genre to genre. One thing hold true at the core of that all: it makes you feel something. Happy or sad, good or bad, love or hate, music allows us to expand our emotions; go to a place of reflection or simply put a smile on our face when it is most needed. That moment when music relates to back to life unfolds has a feeling that in my mind is unmatched. Gang Of Youths does all those things for me. Over the span of one of their 6 minute songs I can get those feels, reflect back to certain moments in my life as well as dream of the future.

 Hailing from Sydney and currently residing in London, they have never stopped melting faces since their debut, The Positions, in 2013. The album opens with the 7+ minute “Vital Signs,” a slow and smooth build up that, like the title of the song, reaches out in search of your life line. As you move through such tracks as “Poison Drum,” “Radioface,” “Magnolia” and “Overpass,” you are told a different story, all of which move you up and down the bandwidth of emotion. Their follow up EP was Let Me Be Clear in 2016, which opens with the beautiful ballad that is “The Good Fight.” To me a song of almost giving up, but doing whatever you can to hang on. That brings us to the present moment as the boys embark on the US and are hitting some cities for the first time, including Chicago: june 5th @ schubas.

 There is a reason these dudes were my first ever post on Faake Hipster. A sound that spans the spectrum of rock n’ roll while carrying emotion on the shoulders. Short off coming back to London from Norway, take a dive into an humbling and enlightening chat. The laughs, the sadness and the good fucking times to come.

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interview stuff

The way you all blend rock n’ roll and sprinkle it with some pop and even some soul...to me it is powerful. Your music allows me to free my mind in a few different ways, especially those longer ballads. What is the process to make that sound your own?

gang of youths | mercury lounge, nyc | 6.9.16 | @thefaakehipster

gang of youths | mercury lounge, nyc | 6.9.16 | @thefaakehipster

It took a long long time of playing in bands and figuring out what works man. Shed through a lot of to get there man, figuring out the construct of songs. The central radio format is now is the one that typifies how songwriters write these days, confined to those structures. It's formula and nothing more. The idea that something can be too long is a fucking subjective, nonsensical idea as if there is a superior standard to how long a song can be. The notion you can limit the amount of enjoyment one individual derives from a piece of music and compartmentalize it into a 3 or 4 minute song, that is a pretentious thought. You can distill an entire array of creative thoughts and you must in order for it to be good, that is an awful paradigm that I just don’t subscribe to it. Rather I write songs that are as long as they need to be and use my gut instincts.I tend to feel it out now as I used to be finicky and meticulous and with The Position, I realized how absurd the idea of not letting songs couldn’t breathe.

me: The longer songs...it is almost lets the imagination run, and it’s something special

That’s exactly right man. I believe in that. I want the listener to subscribe to every moment in our music, every passage of lyricism, every section. I want them to associate that with a moment, a time in their life and have that relationship grow. That’s how my relationship Sonic Youth, Stage Nation. Every song has association to my life. The sounds, the lyrics, the guitars...they shaped me, they  got me thing. I am a real believer in having the audience in having the time and space to do that. Some songs are meant for that, some aren’t.

me: For me, growing up in the punk rock scene, you wanted those short burst of energy to fight that teenage angst.

Yea man, I was in a hardcore punk band growing up, playing bass. I was always part of that world. For me the ambition came when I realized punk rock was a way for me to shed tropes. To become the realization of what I wanted to be. Punk rock, like any other genre, has tropes of it within itself. Why am i limiting the It really doesn’t make a lot of sense. So i think the process is trying to unlock the moments of beauty in songs and let them sit for listeners. Not rush them and give them a nice well constructed melodic context. They aren’t crowded with too much other shit. I’m still figuring it out though, not sure if I am communicating ideas effectively.

me: Isn’t that kind of the beauty of this. Does it have to be communicated effectively, or does it just have to be put out there?

I dunno man, I’m struggling. I’m not sure if what the point of art is in this post-truth society. Everything has this dance-hall, trappy sound underneath it, then I really don’t to do it all the time. That make sense? That’s not the direct point of what I am trying to make, music is supposed to evolve, but sometimes I just think, what is the point.

gang of youths | the knitting factory, brooklyn | 6.12.16 | @thefaakehipster

gang of youths | the knitting factory, brooklyn | 6.12.16 | @thefaakehipster

me: Maybe this leads to something good...because of the climate, other bullshit happening in the world. Maybe we are in a time that will bring some positive resistance.

Yea, you know we can be the correction, can be the antithesis. But yea, that is kind of my process. I used to in this 10 step process and I don’t know anymore.

 

David, your past is really the only one out of all your band buds that I found out there. You have gone to hell and back (not a religious reference haha) as I’m sure all of you have had the good and bad happen over the years. How have these past experiences helped with you growing individually and as a band?

Hmmm, individually. Sometimes I honestly feel I’ve regressed. I don’t think I’m any different than I used to be, I just think I’ve greater resilience and greater degree of coping mechanisms that are healthier. I’m better equipped to manage...and mostly not married to a dying girl. She did pass away three months ago. That is something that is something I’m figuring out how to navigate. I didn’t really speak with her really at the end there.

me: Fuck, I’m really sorry to hear that. Was it that you were just trying to survive and stay san

gang of youths | mercury lounge, nyc | 6.9.16 | @thefaakehipster

gang of youths | mercury lounge, nyc | 6.9.16 | @thefaakehipster

Look, it had to be this way. I needed to not be in contact with her. It was important to me because I feel like I possibly deserved a chance to move forward. You know I was this faithful fucking husband for awhile and then your world comes crashing down and I was just in a place that I should not have been in.

me: Shit man, I didn’t mean to bring up such a bad time.

Naw man, it’s all good.

me: You know it makes me think about interviewing James Alex of Beach Slang and his lyric, “I need the struggle to feel alive.” It certainly takes time for all these things to make sense.

It’s actually starting to make sense now.I think if i had to really to sum up how I’ve changed and how I’ve grown, I’m not a fucking idiot when it comes to dealing with my shit anymore. I believe that I have more to say than I’m sad and my wife is dying. These moments though are certainly the catalyst for all the work. It’s not all shit stuff, sometimes there is good stuff out there.

 

Those experiences can translate into really beautiful lyrics, something I treasure when it comes to finding bands I like. How do you hope new fans take those words in an interpret them? What do you want that new kid to get out of it?

I want people to find the realist and most human thing to say because that is all I have to give them. It’s a trite thing to say, you know. I just want them to know that I really do care about my lyrics. For the most part I’m documenting what is going on in my head for future reference. I don’t want to die with my life unexamined, unexplored and unexpressed. I grew up in this environment where people were repressed for saying what they thought and they couldn’t express their true thoughts. It’s cookie-cutter and sub-labeled by culture. Be authentic about the anxiety, be authentic about the good shit too. I just want to say stuff in way that sounds pretty. There is this fucking bullshit attitude, especially in indie rock where it’s frowned upon to use this poetic bend in lyrics, which is not cool. It’s so fucking stupid...flared jeans, white sunglasses, Chuck Taylor bullshit man. It’s a way for the middle class to subordinate the working class who is aspiring for more. I really have a chip on my shoulder when I see all these white kids playing indie rock and taking up every leftist cause they can, without giving you shit about the left and what we working kids gave them. For me, my attitude towards making things sounds and appear beautiful is deeply related to this desire to be who I am, authentic.

me: You know part of why I do this, explore new music, is that I really think a lot of people out there have this place in them to relate to authentic lyrics, go beyond what is spoon-fed to them. It’s just more unexplored or hasn’t been tapped into yet.

gang of youths | the knitting factory, brooklyn | 6.12.16 | @thefaakehipster

gang of youths | the knitting factory, brooklyn | 6.12.16 | @thefaakehipster

Yea, there is a sense that we are being manipulated into dummying ourselves down through the lens of culture. We have sayings that...I dunno what I am trying to say, I am just a bit testy and frustrated by the state of it, especially indie rock. People are in this grand delusion that indie rock is going to make a comeback and I don’t believe it. I think that people with guitars have made enough of an ass of themselves to last 6 fucking millennia. I’ve said this in our press release for the new record...this is music that is meaningful and there to connect with people on a different level. We are putting effort into it, not just some apathetic bullshit, something with light. I mean look at Kendrick..Camp Cope, you heard of them, Jared. Aussie three piece band. They are 3 women from Melbourne and they make very enlightened, beautiful, DIY kind of music. Sorry about the rant by the way, I just flew in from Norway and am feeling extra honest.

me: Fuck yea, that’s what I want. Feed me the truth.

Find realist and human thing to think. Don’t want to die without exploring

 

So dude, this is more of a statement. I told you this when we met in Brooklyn around this time last year...I caught your live show at the Mercury Lounge and Knitting Factory. It is fun, emotional...I can feel the emotions coming out during songs and the stories in between. The way I felt after, I have never wanted to bang someone so bad...what do you hope new fans can get our of your set?

(David laughs super deep) I remember that! What I want to be on stage is an amplified version of how I feel in the inside. I just want to magnify my desire to connect with people in the audience and I really didn’t know how to until recently. I really don’t pick up on social cues to well, I go on long self-indulgent rants to keep people interested. Being on stage is my way of expressing a kind of camaraderie with the audience and deconstructing that bullshit fake relationship between artist and consumer. I want to try and reestablish some kind of intimacy with another human being through the music. That shit is fucking fun dude. That thought of me saying the lyric and seeing them all smile and feel signifiant on this simple, deplorable, horrible rock is the most beautiful thing to me. It’s such a simple gesture. To look at someone with a desire to make the humanity known to me. To me, in that moment, everyone has a place in my world.

me: Dude, this is why I go to 3-4 concerts a week

gang of youths | the knitting factory, brooklyn | 6.12.16 | @thefaakehipster

gang of youths | the knitting factory, brooklyn | 6.12.16 | @thefaakehipster

Fuck yea. Remember in the hardcore scene back in the day. You didn’t have this feeling of being accepted until you were in this moshpit. That was first experience I felt accepted.

 

Shameless advertising time! What’s ahead this summer upon the release of “Go Farther In Lightness” - due out August 18th in Australia, probably soon after in the US. You have 16 songs, interludes, what else do you want to tell the folks?

(Laughs). I think I’m just going to try and compartmentalize 2 years of dread, honesty, healing into 16 tracks. There is a lot philosophy in trying to convey the helpful messages I learned from my heroes. Also, I feel like the questions I am asking won’t be answered in this lifetime, but I convey my desire to attempt to get them answered. Furthermore my excitement and willingness to embrace such a short life is kind of what I want to do. I want to speak to the forgotten people. You know we have a great following in Australia, but not really elsewhere in the world yet. It kind of makes us the underdog and I love the story of the underdog. You know, living in this slighted morality, but haven’t realized their full potential yet.

I always use funny metaphors to describe bands and artists i write about, what would you use?

A highly unorganized game of baseball where Bruce Springsteen gets stabbed in the head with a fork by Martin Heidegger. Then they descend into a bench clearing brawl and nobody wins. Blood, sweat, dicks and vaginas, tears and all of this stuff just thrown in there.

me: David, it has been a pleasure. I love your music, it channels my emotion and thank you for making it.

Dude, this is fucking great man, we can’t wait to come to Chicago and I’m so glad I got to do your interview.

 

suggested listening experience: going anywhere to somewhere // alone, in your apartment screaming the lyrics out // outdoor bbq on a sunny ass day

listens: atlas drowned // let me down easy // what can i do if the fire goes out // native tongue // the good fight // magnolia // radioface // poison drum // vital signs // restraint & release

goy // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

interview stuff: DUDE YORK

reppin: seattle, wa // 2009 - present // sub pop records

sounds like: karaoke with your friends....(see last question)

dude york | cobra lounge, chicago | 4.1.17 | @thefaakehipster

dude york | cobra lounge, chicago | 4.1.17 | @thefaakehipster

latest album drop: sincerely (feb, 2017)

featuring: andrew (drums) // claire (bass) // peter (guitar)

The other month I had the treat of sitting down with punk rock trio, Dude York, straight out of Seattle and signed to the legendary Sub-Pop records. Having been rocking out for nearly 10 years at this point, their latest release, Sincerely, is a bouncy rock record that spans the spectrum of the genre. The simple approach, powerful riffs and comfy sound really allow you to reach in and use their tracks as your own motivation. Life sucks sometimes, but there is no way to avoid that. Suck that shit up, roll up your sleeves and prove to yourself that you can handle it. We have our family, our friends and the ability to look within and bring out our highest potential. Music is powerful.

Interview Stuff

The new record punches you in the face with just about every sliver of rock one can think of...was it a matter of channeling your inner rock or trying to appeal to more of the masses? I really don’t hear a lot of records like this, that span the range like y’all and it kind of gives everyone something to like.

Andrew: That is really cool, thanks man.

dude york | cobra lounge, chicago | 4.1.17 | @thefaakehipster

dude york | cobra lounge, chicago | 4.1.17 | @thefaakehipster

Claire: I think from a genre standpoint, it was pretty natural to us. We weren’t exactly going for what you are saying in particular, but it definitely was all of us coming together on this different sounds of rock. It wasn’t on purpose. We got into the studio and we're just trying to write and this is the path we went down.

Peter: I def want to reiterate that, We’re not really interested in any genres, it’s about the songs. There is definitely some intentionally and adventure to it.

Jared (Me): You come together and write and this is what you pooped out kinda.

P: I mean yea, there is a bit more intentionality than that, but pretty much.

J: I did not mean to compare pooping to the writing your record, I’m just weird like that. Experiencing one another and vibing together has gotten you to this point.

P: (Laughs). I am glad you cleared up. The human chemistry element has definitely has dictated the sound more than it is the preferences of the members in the band and what we like.

I really appreciate the attention to detail with you lyrics and focus on what this record means to you, what it’s about. What do you want your fans to get out of it regarding the lyrics, the story?

P: It is a record that is predominately focused on grief, circumventing our recovery conundrum. I think in order to that you have to start by building your own triumphs and simulating that  into experiencing victory in the real world. Plan it out and build it for yourself. A lot of these songs kinda channel that, at least the ones I’m singing on.

C: I did write the songs I sing on and it was my first time singing with Dude York, but I like to leave my lyrics open to interpretation more. I think that is a cool thing to push. As time goes on in my life that song can have a different meaning to me and even someone else. You know we all go through changes so I feel like my writing should mimic that to an extent.

dude york | cobra lounge, chicago | 4.1.17 | @thefaakehipster

dude york | cobra lounge, chicago | 4.1.17 | @thefaakehipster

A: They kinda covered everything. I really like the fact that songs have the ability to get interpreted in so many different ways. What you necessarily bring to the table is not exactly what is taken away. And then you talk to people what they hear in songs and sometimes you get to go, holy shit, I never thought about it that way, but that is amazing.

dude york | cobra lounge, chicago | 4.1.17 | @thefaakehipster

dude york | cobra lounge, chicago | 4.1.17 | @thefaakehipster

C: Sometimes it is even just misheard lyrics are fun too...yea that would have been great!

A: Misheard lyrics are awesome (laughs)

J: (laughs - I always laugh) I always appreciate when musicians leave lyrics open to interpretation and I can’t tell you how many times I’ll listen to a song 10 years later and it will mean something completely different to me. Sometimes those feels constantly change through those 10 years as well.

A: This will make me sounds weird, but speaking of those bands from back in the day, Elvis Costello though, I probably took the most from in high school. Really intense records I did not really understand at the moment for me in Idaho, in the middle of nowhere not having a clue when I was 16 years old. It really wasn’t until later on in life that I finally got it. And it is mostly just a record about alcoholism, but still good and fun and meaner.  

I can feel that story not only in the lyrics, but the vocals, the angst, power and even kinda fear to extent...how do you translate that into a live set?

P: Hmmm, recognition and validation. That is how we do it. We build something that hopefully recognizes the audience some way so that they can feel it and also validates it for them.

A: High energy, good catharsis, keep it simple.

C: Ehhh medium simple.

dude york | cobra lounge, chicago | 4.1.17 | @thefaakehipster

dude york | cobra lounge, chicago | 4.1.17 | @thefaakehipster

A: As a fan, if you are going to see bands play, those bands have their time to do whatever they want on stage. But I think it is kind of on you to give as much as you can to that fan. We try to give a lot, even if it’s not all the lights and other things that make a show. We will gladly take any lighting fixtures for shows by the way. It is about giving as much as humanly possible and almost trying to force the fan to pay attention.

P: And have fun

J: Hey, that is exactly what I wanted tonight, to get away from real life.

A: Living the “Real World Wicker Park” huh?

J: Yea, it is a tough life out there

A: Especially after you see a ton of bands play and stuff. You are there wanting to keep pushing the shows further and further

P: I worked my favorite venue in Seattle and you’d see the different types of bands perform. You realize the spectrum and what they bring. Sometimes all you need are a few things, less is more, and it is a better show. And also sometimes you can do more with a lot and when it is done right, it is even more pleasing. They know it is entertainment and do not take themselves too seriously. You have to make a relationship with the audience and be aware of it.

I always use funny metaphors to describe bands and artists i write about, what would you use?

A: Like going to karaoke and all of your friends are there and everybody is kind of sad about something, but we are all here to sing songs and get through it. But the karaoke machine is broken. Just get up there and sing. We’ll fix the machine though.

J: I don’t even want to box, but your music makes me wants to get in front of a punching bag. Not because of things are bad, but because I want to get things out.

P: Maybe this is too arrogant, the oldies station in back to the future 2, that is us…we are the greatest hits of every decade! We are like robot DJs.

suggested listening experience: building motivation for anything // outdoor summertime hanging // channeling your anger into something positive

listens: tonight // the way i feel // paralyzed // love is // black jack // something in the way // KEXP performance

dy // spotify // sc // twitter // fb // ig

interview stuff: ROYAL TEETH

reppin: nola, usa // 2010 - present

featuring: nora Patterson // thomas onebane // gary larsen // josh hefner

last album drop: amateurs EP (nov 2016)

royal teeth | 2.8.17 | lincoln hall, chicago | @thefaakehipster

royal teeth | 2.8.17 | lincoln hall, chicago | @thefaakehipster

These four awesome humans formed down south and have carefully crafted their indie-pop, electronic sound over the past few years. They’ve been around the block too as they played major festivals and supported acts like Fitz and The Tantrums and Walk the Moon. They’re artistic range is visible on their past albums. Their lyrics can relate to those trying to find themselves using a mixture of cheerful and dark music. I got to sit down with these kids on the first night of their tour with SafetySuit and talk about music, life and what is to come.

Gary: After moving on from Elektra Records, they had songs ready to go and were just ready to get in the studio and record...we felt good in the moment, which has led us to the wonderful release of Amateurs...

royal teeth | 2.8.17 | lincoln hall, chicago | @thefaakehipster

royal teeth | 2.8.17 | lincoln hall, chicago | @thefaakehipster

Something cool I noticed is the change in sound and vibe from flow to amateurs….went from this mix of dark/uplifting to purely energy and positive vibes. Growth or the current situation? Explain yourselves:

G: I think we definitely continuously put more energy into Amateurs as opposed to Glow where we had this smooth layer to it, not really as exposed as we come across live. When we play live, people respond to our energy, we are really high energy. Looking back at Glow, that got a little bit lost in the studio energy, which was fine.

Josh: Also, Amateurs was less songs and we went with all the more in your face stuff.

G: From a lyrical standpoint, It’s definitely not as sad as Glow, but it is a little more aggressive. There is definitely a little more frustration hidden in the energy. Even if its an undertone of being in a situation, getting out of it, figuring out how to move on and turn it into a positive, which we did.

Words....i get a lot exploring, finding yourself sort of vibe...what do hope your fans take away from your stories? How do you capture that moment as i read in a previous story?

G: I do think people carry their environment with them, I mean on some level you're sitting down and just writing a song...you don’t want to think too much. Trying to write some lyrics, a vibe that works. No matter what, once it’s really rolling in the studio and the songs are kind of coming out so you do adapt to what is happening. More at the beginning people picked up on the early sense of adventure, especially cause we were on the road all the time. We were newly signed. That’s what that song was about, leaving your life behind and starting this new adventure. We all had quit our jobs and were becoming full time musicians for the first time. I do think naturally when you fast forward to amateurs there is a sense of like, the honeymoon is over, life is real. We are trying to sustain a career as we are growing up, it really isn’t as easy as we thought it would be. There are a lot of ups and downs. How do we keep that same inspiration that started this thing? Nora writes a lot more too now, so that was a big change.

royal teeth | photo cred: roundhillmusic.com

royal teeth | photo cred: roundhillmusic.com

Nora: Yea, I did write a lot more on this than I had ever before. I had never really written before. This is technically my first band so it took me awhile to learn, feel comfortable and have my own voice in the music. I felt like I could sing at that is it, but definitely more comfortable now.

Was it more of a fear or just being patient?

N: It was more of a fear because I never had before. I was nervous about showing anything. I usually don’t show anything until I’m ready to do it

G: I stole music ideas from her phone (laughs).

N: I did not know this

Thomas: There was one I heard in the background...and was like she is gonna be pisseddddd!

G: (Inaudible impersonation of Nora singing) I think this is good though...as a band voices need to come from different places. I think if you understand where everyone is coming from, that makes for a great dynamic instead of being one dimensional. It’s not systematic and every song we write is done in a different way. It could be two in the morning at one of our houses and it just happens. Another came from Nora’s phone, another came from my end. Keeps it fresh and fun. We need to believe it...we are not just trying to mix things in, you have to have everyone passionate about it.

You guys have spent some time supporting bands in bigger venues, how do you work on gaining your fans in that situation. In the same sense of injecting something into your fans, what do you want them to experience during your live set?

royal teeth | 2.8.17 | lincoln hall, chicago | @thefaakehipster

royal teeth | 2.8.17 | lincoln hall, chicago | @thefaakehipster

G: For me, a lot of people go to shows, I go to shows and I get home and forget who the opener was. My goal is what can we do to make them remember us. There has to be a human connection when you see something you really like. It’s more than standing up and sounding good. We try not to be too much of a shtick, if we do have one, there is a lot of energy that goes into our show. It is like there is barrier between the audience...they can clap, they may back off. I try to do whatever I can to make that go away. People that want to dance won’t feel that weird about it. Maybe if I express my goofiness, others will feel more comfortable. I’m not as outgoing in public as I am onstage. We hang out after shows at the merch and really get to know the people and our fans. When it comes time for us to actually headline a tour, I want these people to know their money is well spent on the experience.

How to you look to positively impact music through a lot of the bullshit out there?

J: I would like to say, when the world gets like it is now, music tends to step up too. Music always gets insane, especially in America.

T: As a band, we kind of stay out of it. It is not because we don’t have opinions. I don’t know if its just where we are at now, just not wanting to deal with the controversy. IF you want to listen to us, we’ll be that band you want us to be. I totally respect bands that take that political route and use their platform.

J: I don’t want it to be a forced thing, trying to be political now. I think if something comes up in the moment, that's fine. But we aren’t going to make a song or a statement just because everyone else is doing it. We are from LA, we are a bunch of liberal kids from conservative families. We’ve learned how to co-exist in an environment that is not really ours. We try not to be confrontational.

R: We all have our personal opinions, but for us as a band, so far it just hasn’t made sense to do it. We have made decisions for certain organizations not to use our music, even though they used our song without asking. We’re not just some piece of property. If it goes against something we actually believe in, then we’ll speak up. I do hate the term, “oh if you’re a musician, keep your mouth shut and stay in entertainment.” If you have a voice, use it.

G: We’ve done a show for planned parenthood once, so we aren’t going to run away from it.

I always use funny metaphors to describe bands and artists i write about, what would you use?

Literally 3 minutes of cheerful bickering back and forth, talks of marshmallows, new boots, laughs and a bit of joyous yelling until we landed on: “IF EMMA STONE WERE WALKING AWAY FROM A BURNING HOUSE WHILE EATING A S'MORE IN SLOW MOTION”

interview stuff: THE JEZABELS

reppin: sydney, australia // dine alone records & MGM // 2007 - present

sounds like: ever seen The Neverending Story? It is like taking a magical journey through the clouds with Falcor the Luckdragon

last album drop: synthia (feb, 2016)

featuring: nik kaloper // sam lockwood // hayley mary // heather shannon

the jezabels | double door, chicago | 11.23.16 | @thefaakehipster

the jezabels | double door, chicago | 11.23.16 | @thefaakehipster

Take a moment and think about the tracks you threw in your earbuds today or on your speaker system while you were getting ready. Did you play that song just because? Did you play it because there is a special meaning behind it? Or were you just stoked to hear that new track? On the surface music is so simple and euphoric, but you come across that band who brings you their tunes in such a more complex, yet more beautiful way. Then the lyrics kick in and you don’t just sing along to them, you find meaning behind them. And finally, you get to go see them live, in the flesh and watch as they play those tunes. The Jezabels are more than just music you hear...listen closer and take a dive into the story, interview and performance...

What started as 4 separate journeys back in 2007 has blossomed into one of the more consistent and ever evolving bands in Australia these days. Hailing from Sydney, these 4 musicians played around with their talent and musical desires through three successive EPs before they really started to rattle some emotions on a larger scale. “she’s so hard,” the second of the three, hit college kids hearts with a bang, which led to the dark, daring and beautiful “dark storm” EP. They began hitting the road for long periods of time across Australia and then grew to support some very well known acts across their homeland and the UK. Take yourself on an adventure through those EPs into their more recent albums. You’ll notice how their sound evolves and becomes multi-dimensional...and it is totally backed by 11 Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) nominations and acclaimed reviews. Their first 3 full lengths debuted in the top 5 of the Australian music charts. And most recently, some rave reviews of the stimulating album, Synthia.

So this brings me to the moment you see these kids live, and more so with that latest album. Cynthia offers you this uplifting sound with these deep and darker lyrics that you would think contradict one another. The soothing intro of “stand & deliver,” the dark meaning of “smile” and i don’t give a fuck “pleasure drive.” Then you finally arrive at their finale of “stamina,” pulling and pushing you to a wide spectrum of dreaming and reality. Like their record, the live performance is more play than talk and more emotion than head banging. We all have our own stories and our personal mission of how we want to make it through life. But, listen closely, someone else’s story may intertwine with yours and when you can share that together live, well, that is an experience.

the jezabels | double door, chicago | 11.23.16 | @thefaakehipster

the jezabels | double door, chicago | 11.23.16 | @thefaakehipster

interview stuff

Tap into this journey of you all finding each other’s musical desires and blending it into one through these 9 years

Hayley: It is challenging to come together and write a new album...Synthia took 2-6 months, which is pretty fast by our standards. I think I’ve gotten better at it, at becoming one. We have very different taste and at the start our sound was chaotic and destructive, which provided a ton of energy and over time we’ve kind of learned where we can sit these different paths, which makes the music flow a lot better. Working with people creatively is non-sexual when the music is actually sex...an initial stage where you don

Sam: Naturally when you work together with people for ages you kind of become similar. You can’t really see it from a distance. We are like four conjoined people now

Heather: People glorify the whole the collaboration thing, you don’t need to be best friends, we need to be able to challenge one another.

The balance of your strong percussion, beautiful melodies and vocals throughout your albums are so vastly different from the stories you tell...tell us more about the sad behind the uplifting? What can kids going through the ups and downs of life learn from this?

Heather: I think this is something we try to do consciously

the jezabels | photo cred: twitter.com

the jezabels | photo cred: twitter.com

Hayley: Some of my favorite music is actually one dimensional, but it is kind of an old school thing now. I don’t think people today are able to accept one dimensional truths so there is always a contradiction in your circumstance...privileged westerners today are living in a golden age and have great resources and are sort of undermined by a constant guilt of what else is going on around the world. Things are always happening simultaneously...we can’t be isolated with the information age. I can’t see a moment that is purely sad or happy, it is all interconnected...to make a song or painting that is truthful is very difficult...nothing is original and that is fine, but it is how you tell the same stories and what you combine them with.

Sam: I see between music and vocals trying to sabotage any earnestness..it is like a natural censorship on our part

Tell me more about the meaning behind the name, most notably the biblical character, Jezebel, an issue that is so prominent these days. How do you see your band, voice fitting into the discussion and what positive vibe are you pushing?

Sam: With the age of the internet, the trolls, it is like a snake eating its own tail and it is really hard to engage of it, it the sense of just standing up for anything. We are in an unprecedented age where it is pretty bad. The foundation is crumbling when people tear you down when you are trying to stand up for something you believe in.

Hayley: This is a strange thing to say at this time, but it's funny because it feels like we’ve been going on about this for ages and for awhile it was waving in a dark corner...and now it is really kind of coming to forefront and agrees it is important. It is strangely glorifying because now it is in the mainstream because of Trump being elected. He is a symptom of the problem and now I don’t want to say there is optimism, but it is relevant and maybe can spawn something….it reminds me of vegetarian, I’m not hurting you, I’m not telling you to do anything, the fear of losing privilege. We’ve been coming to America the last few years and no one ever talked about politics and now everyone is!

Heather: There is a new program in Australia that helps domestic violence victims and it is interesting to see how people react online and when men immediately think they are the victim...it’s a strange time.

the jezabels | double door, chicago | 11.23.16 | @thefaakehipster

the jezabels | double door, chicago | 11.23.16 | @thefaakehipster

I really do feel like I’m taking this journey through Synthia...even just closing your eyes and imagining your own world is so doable, what was the goal of Synthia as far as communicating and connecting with your fans...as well as making new ones?

Hayley: I think it comes back to the contradictions...if you make things ambiguous enough the listener can make their own meaning of it.

Sam: You seem to be in the smaller crowd when you are trying to tell a story or make something that isn’t a drug based escapism. I think our producer is a good visionary when it comes to listener experience. He likes things to repeat a lot and build slowly.

You’ve expressed how much you love performing live, and how you miss it when you are not. What do you see in your audience, fan’s eyes that motivate you to keep doing this?

Hayley: This guy Gary who was almost 70 and came almost 300 miles to see us in Minneapolis and was so happy and stoked to be there...you could be my Grandpa, that’s amazing...it’s also a bit of an ego stroke as well, but we are always on the phone, computer and when we write a song, someone can tell us that that song helped them get over the fear of bridges that is amazing...it is the surprise factor when you go to a city so far away from where you could ever be

Sam: The human connection is a big drug from me...when we are at the merch table and you see everyone thanking you, being so nice.

Tell me about this transition and evolution of yourselves and people and musicians between the albums Prisoners and The Brink. What did you learn about yourselves and the world around you?

Hayley: When we first got together we just knocked a few songs around and it sounds good to you  and we are having fun and not really sure what we are trying to achieve...not really realizing what is sounds like at the beginning. Then people start telling you what you should do and where you are going and what you sound like, then it is confusing and then you start writing music with all that in your head. Then it comes out the other side and you are like, no, fuck that. It takes awhile to go through that process. You go into form and look at songs and trying to make songs, and while some say that is the wrong intentions to write an album, but that is where we were at. Now, it is less of that youthful drive burst to write whatever and more considered. Coming out of that this new burst of energy brought so many more skills. Synthia was really beneficial of the process of writing

Heather: I mean you are always searching for what it is you want to do. You don't want to say too much though, you kind of want to outline

the jezabels | double door, chicago | 11.23.16 | @thefaakehipster

the jezabels | double door, chicago | 11.23.16 | @thefaakehipster

Sam: It is amazing how much you learn every time you write an album. First album - let's do what we can, second album - let’s what all that we can, and the last one was lets just try and do something. Looking back you can see the different things you wanted to achieve at that point. Almost subconscious

Words for those who don’t look for new music and the musician counterparts who are trying to find them?

Hayley: I don’t search for music, I’m exposed to it. My childhood, my parents played, meet some friend sand they play that. It is all experiential...but that is what is hard these days, there is so much to take in during this day and age, I don’t know what to listen to. Also, your local scene, I always try and listen to bands from Sydney...radio stations don’t tastemake anymore...people want familiarity and safety and that’s why they go to the radio, they don't want to be surprised. Certainly quite apt where today’s physci, the fear of the unfamiliar.

Heather: I’m going to find some weird obscure band from Iceland but now everything trends and it all really doesn’t sound unique to me. Mitsky is a Japanese born artist who is living in NYC who mixes this familiar sound with a different story and maybe that is a way to flip the script.

Sam: Just see bands live...I come across bands at festivals and such and yea, they are sweet. Radio just doesn’t do it for me. It is the last way to feel that connection, it is direct.

Finally, I use funny metaphors, or at least try, to describe band's sound...what should I use for you?

Everyone: Once a blog in Australia did a review if the bands using gifs and ours was from The Neverending Story, when the kid is riding that magical dog (laughs), Falcor. But instead, there is an old man on the dog flying around! (more laughs)

 

suggested listening experience: those nights it gets dark early and you need some tunes to get you through the rest of the day // getting cozy with that significant other // motivation for that next project

listens: stand & deliver // smile // pleasure drive // the brink // endless summer // easy to love // a little piece // hurt me // dark storm

tj // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc