interview stuff: L.A. WITCH

reppin: la, usa // suicide squeeze records // 2013 - present

sounds like: according to them (and Holy Wave): "we are a spider eating other baby spiders in a cave deep in the forest and there is a motorcycle driving off in the distance"

l.a. witch | schubas, chicago | 5.10.17 | @thefaakehipster

l.a. witch | schubas, chicago | 5.10.17 | @thefaakehipster

next album drop: L.A. Witch (debut out September 8th) PRE-ORDER HERE

featuring: sade // irita // ellie

Think about your week so far...how many instances have you had where you just wanted to say “fuck off” or you needed a moment to just shake off the anger, the stress and the typical bullshit of daily life. I dig tunes that can speak to certain aspects of life. The rad, rocker chicks that are Sade, Irita and Ellie have tunes for you so you can chew up and spit out whatever it is that you can’t shake off. This beautiful kick in the throat that spills from their amps and drums is a blender of garage and psychedelic rock with a sprinkle of punk and reverb. They will throw you back to the 60s and will literally make you think of dark, deep witches.

l.a. witch | schubas, chicago | 5.10.17 | @thefaakehipster

l.a. witch | schubas, chicago | 5.10.17 | @thefaakehipster

What began as a few friends meeting in high school turned into a band around 2013 and blossomed into something special. As we got to kick it on a rainy, early summer night, I could notice the calm over them as well as the chemistry that has built them into road warriors. They really have been a tight knit group for some years now and are ready to make some noise with their new record, which you can pre-order HERE. Hailing from LA, it is hard for bands to stand out above the crowd, but these ladies are quickly rising above the clutter. While stuff can happen quick and fast, I don’t detect any sort of fear in these ones.

After we sat down for the interview we got to kick it through the night with their good friends, Holy Wave, and the fun carried over. Beers, shots, perhaps a special delivery of greenery complements of my brother went down and it was the perfect lead up to their set. They don’t need to talk much as they take the dimly lit stage. They move through each song swiftly and you can tell they are focused on one another, in the zone if you will. When they go into their solos, you literally can just lay back and not give a shit since the instruments take you to this dream like state. The riffs are powerful and the vocals are deep, dark and delightful. As the set rolls through the crowd engagement picks up and the feels settle amongst the venue. You need to catch these kids live.

As for the interview, check out how they discovered their sound, why they write the lyrics they do and how they try to channel that into their live show. I should note that things started off on a great note before I even got to ask a questions we talked about the past few weeks...a few quotes:

“She just ate an edible the other day and that killed her.”

“In Austin we took some acid and it was like really strong. We were told, take 2 of these and be careful...it’s been a pretty fun tour so far.”

INTERVIEW STUFF

Simply put, your music takes me to a “i don’t give a fuck” space...everyone needs a i don't give a fuck moment everyday. Is that something you try to do with your sound. What do you want to get out of that fan listening to you?

Sade: We want our fans to feel inspired and take whatever they want and can from our songs. If they want to interpret songs to cater to their needs, then that is what we want. It is for everyone to listen to.It is always really cool to hear people say they started bands because they saw us or we make them want to pick up an instrument again or work harder at one. Even the people who do not plan on playing music. If you can find a connection that makes you stronger, then that is cool.

Let’s talk lyrics. They are super relatable and really left open ended, like sometimes, what the fuck are you talking about? “Save me from myself” is something that sticks out...Are there any moments as a band or before you became a band that led to this theme and foundation?

Sade: I mean, wait, I forgot the question (laughs)

It all happens way more spontaneous. We don’t really plan it out, you know. We’ll come together, maybe bring a piece of a song or lyric to the table and we’ll all sit and work on it...then it forms into something. For this upcoming album, it wasn’t really anything that was planned. There was no song on there that was, wait, this is going to be atheme. It was all very naturally put together, what we were building as we went through and wrote. In the future that may not exactly be how it is, the lyrics may be more complex. For what we have right now, we have that whatever happens kind of vibe.

That same “fuck you” idea...your tracks give me a sense of relatability. How do you channel that into your live show? What is going thru your mind as you are making eye contact with that one human out there?

l.a. witch | schubas, chicago | 5.10.17 | @thefaakehipster

l.a. witch | schubas, chicago | 5.10.17 | @thefaakehipster

Ellie: As a drummer...I just want them to feel like they are on the same page as us...raw emotion.

Sade: Yea I agree with ...I want them to feel what we feel as much as possible. We don’t exactly focus too much on the audience, it is not like we are ignoring them, but by connecting with each other on stage, we are being as honest as we can as a band. Even if that means we have to feel like we are in our own little bubble, that is for the fans. It is really scary to perform and throw yourself out there, so we are still learning to work with the audience and see what different ways we can connect with them.

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

We are a spider eating other baby spiders in a cave deep in the forest and there is a motorcycle driving off in the distance

suggested listening experience: twist, smoke and chill // road tripping // on the ride home after a long day

listens: kill my baby tonight // untitled // get lost // heart of darkness // haunting

lw // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

interview stuff: WARBLY JETS

reppin: la, usa // 2015 - present

featuring: samuel shea // julien o'neil // dan gerbang // justin goings

next album drop: most likely 2017

sam & jules of warbly jets | beat kitchen, chicago | 2.19.17 | @thefaakehipster

sam & jules of warbly jets | beat kitchen, chicago | 2.19.17 | @thefaakehipster

I wrote about these cool cats back in early December when I caught them and fellow rockers Mystery Lights at The Empty Bottle. What did it for me with these guys was not the one brilliant anthem, “Alive,” which is truly a hit. What got me hooked was how they draw you in with their sweet riffs, Sam’s killer vocals and just raw rock n’ roll baby. They can reel you in with their stage presence and melt your face with their loud sound. I wanted to get beneath the surface a bit, see what inspires these kids and bring their musical experience to your ears (and eyes if you like to read).

warbly jets | beat kitchen, chicago | 2.19.17 | @jpalove

warbly jets | beat kitchen, chicago | 2.19.17 | @jpalove

Let’s start from the beginning...some of you have been in other bands, paid your dues, went on tour...seasoned musicians if you will. What do these past elements, experiences, successes, failures mean to you as they relate to creating Warbly Jets?

Sam: I think everything in life shapes you as you go thru it, you know. All those things throughout our lives have played huge influencer roles towards what we have turned into. Jules and I definitely went through quite a lot of struggling, whether it was our project in new york together or the other projects we were apart of separately, moving to LA together and staying in a lot of motels and friends couches and bouncing around. Waiting to meet members...a lot of that has shaped our music and message, that’s in the lyrics

warbly jets | beat kitchen, chicago | 2.19.17 | @jpalove

warbly jets | beat kitchen, chicago | 2.19.17 | @jpalove

Me: The growing pains?

S: Yea, you know the reshaping, the trimming back. Trimming of the branches so they can bloom back. That happens with every band.

Jules: We have a pretty clear definition of what we are trying to do with our previously histroy separately and as a group. We’ve learned a lot, made some mistakes, had some successes. We know how and what to do now.

What’s to come for the album...what was it like recording together? Did it take some time to find your sound or was it pretty clear from the start?

J: So Sam and I had gotten together and we kind of knew what direction we wanted to put this band in. And because of being in other bands, being around the block, we knew how to start the project from the ground up. We didn’t really reveal anything, kept it under wraps until we found that sound. The only way to do that was put ourselves in a studio and write song after song after song after song. Chipping away at the marble and finding out what this was really going to be.

S: Painters will choose a pallet of colors and it’s kind of the same thing. These are the things we are into, these kind of sounds, these kind of instruments. Figuring out what those songs are from the start, It makes things easier to determine what that mission is. It’s us choosing the colors we want to use on the pallet.

warbly jets | beat kitchen, chicago | 2.19.17 | @jpalove

warbly jets | beat kitchen, chicago | 2.19.17 | @jpalove

Me: I truly value bands that know what their identity is from the start and can start the evolution from there instead of churning out singles to get on the air or something.

S: We want to have that natural identity and not sound super manufactured. A lot of bands will come out with this identity and style, but when you look further in, there is a machine behind them. That is most definitely not us. We built everything on our own.

Let’s talk about the single, “Alive,” what you hope to accomplish on tour? This song just kind of came out of nowhere, how do you

S: That single is the only song we have out. It’s streaming, been doing well, got picked up on Sirius XM and that helped out. And for whatever reason it has been getting on some good playlists on Apple and Spotify. It’s growing very organically go, not too much juice behind it aside from our management group, Rebel Union, sending it around. Everything that has happened has been organic and homegrown coming from the crew of people

Me: That’s a pretty sweet thing. Radio is not as familiar to me, but if you have an organic sort of start, it can help further your mission to be authentic and real.

S: It has def given us a realization that we can really take anything we want really far...just our team. We know that for a fact.

Liam Gallagher Pretty Green clothing line - what is this Brit stuff all about?

J: It’s Liam’s company and they pretty much reached out to us and wanted to use the song for the spring/summer campaign promotion. I’m not sure how much he really has to do with it or if he actually designs the clothes himself...

S: It’s designed and owned by him, I don't know how involved he is, but I hear he is pretty hands on with the company.

Me: That’s still really rad to get the song to the UK that quickly

S: Yea. it would be nice to get out there the next few months, we really want to crack the UK

warbly jets | beat kitchen, chicago | 2.19.17 | @jpalove

warbly jets | beat kitchen, chicago | 2.19.17 | @jpalove

The Show - 3 adjectives or a tweet like summary to describe the live show?

S: Something you’ll tell your friends about…?

J: Interesting question, I never really thought about that too much.

Me: I always like to look at the energy and connection to the crowd as well as the lyrics and personally try to relate to what the experience is

S: Yea, I mean, we just always wanted to be a band that is just larger than life and too big for the room. You know we talk some, but we want people to understand that we will be playing a room twice as big the next time we are here.

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

J: Sounds like jumping off a cliff with a trampoline at the bottom

S: Getting shot out of a canon at the top of Mt. Everest

Me: Damn, most bands take like 5/10 minutes to figure that out, well done dudes (laughs).

wj // fb // spotify // ig // twitter // sc

interview stuff: THE CHAIN GANG OF 1974

reppin: la, usa // modern art records

featuring: Kamtin Karimi Mohager

latest singles: “slow” (see below) and “i still wonder”

albums: Wayward Fire (2011) // Daydream Forever (2014)

kam mohager | backstage, Riviera, chicago | 1.31.17 | @thefaakehipster

kam mohager | backstage, Riviera, chicago | 1.31.17 | @thefaakehipster

A beautiful mixture of 80s synth and reverb rock makes for pure bliss in the ears. I had previously posted on TCGO1974 in August and I’m back with an interview. Kam and his squad have been out supporting AFI on tour...here is my chat with the awesome human:

It’s been awhile since the last full album, makes me think you’ve been hard at work finding the next album’s identity...what has impacted you as far as growth as an individual?

Kam: I like this question cause though Chain Gang was pretty inactive for a few years, me as a writer, I have never been more busy in my life creating music. There was the birth of Teenage Wrist, which started just gaining buzz and momentum without us really doing anything. That was really cool. Towards the end of the Daydream cycle my distaste for CG in general was very strong due to my relationship with Warner Bros and I just couldn't really make music the way I wanted to make it. I found myself writing a lot of songs that were heavier and more guitar driven, as you can see through Teenage Wrist with Marshall, Anthony and Scott. I started focusing on external writing and the first taste of that was with my collaboration with Dillon Francis. That was my first time doing anything like that and landed my first single for a major label release...shit i may be good at this. I’m enjoying myself.

tcgo1974 | 11.6.16 | Riviera Theatre, Chicago | @thefaakehipster

tcgo1974 | 11.6.16 | Riviera Theatre, Chicago | @thefaakehipster

I was able to then book a lot of sessions through my team and work with a bunch of different artists. That helped shaped my writing skills in a better way cause it allowed me to look at pop music differently. Wow, this is a smart way of writing music and I can take what I’m learning and apply it with what I want to do next with CG. Fast forward a few sessions later, I scored some good cuts with Dillon, Luna Shadows, 3OH3, Grace Mitchell…Then I came to this point where I wanted to make the new record and I wasn’t really afraid of pop anymore. There is a way to write something poppy, catchy and hooky but I has always masked it with something in the past. Those 2 ½ years of being able to focus on different things allowed me to become a better writer for this project. (CAPS??)

Moving onto words....i get a lot of reflection, “remember when” sort of vibe from your lyrics...what do hope your fans take away from your stories?

K: Chain Gang is lyrical content and put this band in a certain type of thing. It is more darker side, bare human emotions, but sometimes people don’t wanna listen to that shit. Wayward Fire and Daydream Forever were both written about the same person...you know, shitty ex girlfriends. This time around I was in a happier place and moved on from the past relationship and found myself in a new complicated love stuff. I didn’t want to focus on just that and made me want to touch on some more general human aspects...addiction, heartbreak, breaking off with the label. There are some songs that lyrically sound positive and some that are kinda a bummer, BUT MUSICALLY IT COMES FROM A MUCH HAPPIER AND BRIGHTER PLACE

Kinda in the same sense of injecting feels into your fans, what do you want them to experience during your live set?

K: My live show is always aggressive, more rock. There was always a difference between listening to the record and seeing us live. With this new stuff, how can we reflect our sounds as a full band? So instead of program drums, the new songs have been live drum recorded. The live show, if there is that moment to feed from the crowd, that takes me to the next level. I grew up a punk rock kid and being able to jump around and mosh around is what I want kids to experience.

It is a weird time in music...while there is plenty of “new genres” evolving sound and great artists, there is also a ton of bullshit. What positive message do you hope to send in the midst of all of this?

tcgo1974 | the empty bottle | 6.11.14 | @thefaakehipster

tcgo1974 | the empty bottle | 6.11.14 | @thefaakehipster

K: I think there will always be crap out there and people will always view it differently. I don’t know if CG will ever be a household name...I mean I’ve been around and put records out. It is hard when you do something for so long, you really want to see the reward. But I mean, shit, I am at the Riviera in Chicago right now. Will CG be that band that sells out Empty Bottle, headlines the Riviera? At this point, I’m still currently teaching myself to not ask these questions. You just have to do it. I have so many different extensions of my creativity. I can’t always throw all my energy and everything I have into CG or else you just get mentally and physically drained. Just go out and do as much as possible. As a creative person, I’m getting to that point I have this urge to just be creative in other ways. I’’m going to do a lot of exploring when I get home, play around with some ideas and SEE WHAT SPARKS THAT YOUTHFUL FEELING AGAIN.

I don’t know what the public wants...media and society tells you what to like. Maybe those people don’t have much of a grasp of a personality and kind of fall for it. I do like this, but in fact they don’t even know what they like. It kinda goes back to the first part of the question, you just have to go out and do what you believe, be honest and smart about it.

I always use funny metaphors to describe bands and artists i write about, your post: that moment when you bite into the juiciest, most delicious piece of fruit followed by the liquid goodness down your throat...your turn

K: Mannnnnn I can’t give an answer only because I knew when I started this project 10 years ago. First song I released in December of 2006 on MYSPACE. It has evolved and that was my desire and purpose with this project; never to release the same thing twice. And granted, yes, the band kinda found its world and grew within that, but it was this big bubble of everything. There were moments when I wanted to be BRMC, trying to be LCD, Daft Punk, Talking Heads….THIS BUBBLE WAS KINDA BOUNCING BACK AND FORTH, BACK AND FORTH AND THEN ANOTHER LITTLE BUBBLE POPPED OUT...oh wait, that’s the metaphor!!

tcgo1974 // fb // twitter // spotify // ig // sc