Missio: Darkness With Underlying Beauty

reppin: austin, tx // rca records // 2014 - present

sounds like: walking through the drug part of heaven (according to david)

last album drop: loner (may 2017)

featuring: matt // david

missio | outside lincoln hall, chicago | 10.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

missio | outside lincoln hall, chicago | 10.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

The one overlaying theme that I truly believe almost all artist, musicians, songwriters and any creatives are out there to do is to make us humans feel something. To supply genuine art that we can consume and let it seep into our skin and actually affect us in some way. Make us fucking feel something. I've grown up all my life listening to music, ever since I went and purchased "dookie," "sublime," "the colour and the shape," and "licensed to ill" at best buy when I was maybe 9 years old. I didn't know it at the time, but I loved music because it could make me feel something. Even at that age, something as simple as dancing or singing along to an album brought joy. I had yet to encompass the teenage angst that my tight skinny jeans screamed out when I got to high school. So I guess you could say, I let those sounds and lyrics seep in.

Missio is a duo out of one of the music capitals of the country. In just a few short years and putting out a hell of a debut album, these two guys are on a fucking mission to do more. These two guys, matt brue and david butler, have such care for their craft and dreams that involve more of you, the listener. As someone who is trying to bring new music to the general music listener, I want to share the experience of allowing yourself to feel something when you listen to music. To strip yourself down and give a shit about what is coming into your ears. I'm a believer and advocate of it because it is one of the best feelings in the world. When Cait and I sat down with matt and david, there as an immediate calmness and chill that allowed all of us to open up. Not only do I love the music that Missio creates, as well as having a good feeling that there are big things to come for them...I a million percent respect and appreciate the detail to what these guys are setting out to do: and that is to make your hearts and mind feel things you may not have felt before.

Check out our little chat and don't forget y'all, they are on tour again and coming to chicago.

missio spring tour 2018 // bottom lounge chicago feb 25 - tickets (sold out)

interview stuff

jared: After checking you guys out in Austin at SXSW and Lolla, we are stoked to talk to y'all about the journey and how you came to be.

Let’s talk about the journey since you two joined forces? I love this soothing, almost big rock sound. What have you learned about yourselves individually and as a band as it relates to the sound you want to create? Also, what is the process to your songwriting?

matt: I was very anti working with people period for a long, long time. I never had a good experience. Everyone had different opinions of what they wanted to do and nothing really fully aligned. The relationship going on with David was dude, I just want you to produce this record. And then we started working together and I was like, holy shit, somebody else actually kind of has the same vision as I do and not squashing ideas all the time. It was a really good learning moment for me. Collaboration can actually make the art better in so many ways. And that has happened multiple times now, even with filmmakers. It def was a little bit of loosening up and just finding a match to make these things happen.

missio | lincoln hall, chicago | 10.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

missio | lincoln hall, chicago | 10.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

david: i think that question is one of the hardest any artist can ever figure out. You have to constantly keep answering. You can't just simplify it by saying, "listen to other people." I've played in bands before when everyone is coming from different perspective. There were fundamental creative differences. It is about finding people that share your vision. I know lots of great songwriters I would never write with. But I was drawn to Matt because of what he was doing. My whole thing as a producer from day 1 has been to jump in the boat with someone, swallow your ego and pride and lets make the best thing we can together. Not just it is the first thing that came to mind. It works because we have the same end goal. The other unique thing about us is honesty. Matt has thick skin and I do too. We can say things and move on. Sorry I'm gushing on this, it's just a great thing to talk about. We were in a cab in NYC talking about this and he said "you have to learn when to fight for your ideas. You can't fight for every single idea. Knowing when to stand up and trust your instincts and when to let it go."

Collaboration can actually make the art better in so many ways.

matt: There is a lot of times when our producer will go down this rabbit hole and I'm thinking this is so stupid. And then slowly I see the idea come to life and I'm like, okay I can feel it.

david: we had a co-writing session a few months back and let's just say it got off to a rocky start. We had never met the dude. This was reallll shady and all, we couldn't hold a conversation with him. My personality is I'm going to make you comfortable and keep working. Matt is more like, "fuck this." (laughs). Matt is checked out, I go through the motions and we ended up writing a dope song. We def learned from that...let things go, don't be too judgmental. The song hasn't been released, but you will know! It could def be the single.

jared: do you have a name for it yet?

both: can't tell you!

 

I love the meaning behind your songs...kinda camouflage. What do you want your fans to take away from it.

IMG_20180222_152456_496.jpg

matt: that's a good question. I think first, you have to write from experience and what you I am feeling. When you start writing for other people it can be a little bit dangerous because it can come across an disingenuous. So, that is the first step for me, for myself to be able to resonate and relate to the lyrics. People can read through the bullshit. If I am every night, singing a song, I don't even care about you, I want to go back to that time, what I felt when I wrote that song. The audience can be like, I get and feel what he is saying. I believe it, so it is hitting me in a different way. And second, I think both of our goals in music, similar to our song, kamikazee, "I want money and power / And champagne and fame / I want money and power / My black heart's to blame." I want more so than all that stuff is for people to helped. With a lyric like, "thank god for the haters, those bitches inspire me." I want people to feel comfortable to be like, "yea, fuck the haters."

david: i'm going to give you a bit more of an abstract answer. I think I really want people to listen to music with the mind I listened to music when I was growing up. It is a lot harder now being in the music business. It is easy to marginalize and minimize what song someone is trying to write. Confession: I tend to minimize someone's art until it wins me over. I hate that, but I think that is the music culture we live in. People consume music and don't really let it affect their lives like they could. Music is art. I've had so many instances where music has changed my life. Those moments are what inspire me to be a musician and song writer. I think about growing up and listening to songs and lyrics and having real emotional moments. They really helped me through a time in my life. Or in another way, I understood. Ultimately that is my goal with Missio and in general. This is how I see the world, here is a feeling that I have had. And maybe you feel that too. I want people to listen to music, period. There is so much shitty music which has no deeper meaning. No one sits down and puts on a record and listens to it anymore. Very few do. Give yourself an opportunity to fully experience music.

jared: you pretty much hit exactly what I am trying to do.

People consume music and don’t really let it affect their lives like they could. Music is art

 

What is your mission when you take the stage. What do you want people to feel?

matt: my ultimate goal with the live show is that people who come from busy lives, spend $20 on a show, they want to get out of their reality for a few hours. If you go up there and do a half ass job you're not really doing that much to help them. So, for us, and for any artist our goal is to be that filler for a few hours. Put your fucking A game on. Whether it is production, getting ready vocally, you want to put on the best performance possible. You want to let them experience different kinds of emotions. We are aggressive, we want them to feel that. And then songs like "bottom of the deep blue sea" which are more cinematic. Then "twisted" which is really fucked up and having them feel that. 

david: i used to be envious of bands in the 70s because a live show then had to be so much more overwhelming compared to the recorded quality they had at the time. It was a different experience. The further back you go, the more wild they are. But, one interesting thing about now is that there are few times were people are fully engaged somewhere, and that includes at a live show. One of my goals is to have a full sensory experience, lights has been a part of our thing from day one. I want to bring a full, emersive experience to them and make it communal. Hopefully they are singing and moving along with us. Everything matters to us and we want it to be authentic. Then you create this cycle between the audience and the stage.

 

If you had to use a metaphor to describe your sound and identity, what would it be?

Darkness underlying beauty.

david: walking through the drug part of heaven for sure. That just came to mind actually. If heaven had a really dark spot. Darkness underlying beauty.

 

suggested listening experience: getting close to your significant other // when you are angry and tired after a day of work // saturday night shenanigans

listens: middle fingers // everybody gets high // bottom of the deep blue sea // kamikazee // twisted // west coast (lana del ray cover)

missio // fb // spotify // ig // twitter // sc 

interview stuff: SURFER BLOOD

reppin: west palm beach, fl // joyful noise records // 2009 - present

sounds like: according to John Paul Pitts (JPP) - a dog chasing its tail, pure joy, a bit goofy..I’m going to catch that tail.

surfer blood | lincoln hall, chicago | 6.17.17 | @thefaakehipster

surfer blood | lincoln hall, chicago | 6.17.17 | @thefaakehipster

last album drop: snowdonia (feb, 2017)

featuring: john (lead vocals/guitar) // mike (guitar) // lindsey (bass) // tyler (drums)

Not so often does a band come across your ears that gives you a sense of calm no matter what the situation or headspace you are in. Maybe you are floating in the clouds and want to tell everyone about that new significant other or you had a shit day and you hate everyone. Flick over to Surfer Blood on your select music service and pop in your buds. JPP's soft and soothing vocals will bring you to write space. Mike’s simple guitar riffs and pleasant solos will lift your spirits. Lindsey’s running bass line will keep your head moving back and forth. Finally, the drums will bring it all together.  These kids hail from West Palm Beach and you can feel the ocean almost as you flip through their albums.

My favorite thing about these kids is that they are constantly teetering back and forth between a harder punk sound and a lighter flow of indie rock. It’s pretty special when a band can widen the spectrum and bring different feels to you with each song. There is overwhelming respect for them as well. While they played musical chairs with some band members for a bit, one of their dear friends, Thomas Fekete, passed away from cancer last year. It can really put some perspective on life and what you are trying to accomplish as a band.

These non-stop road hustlers have been making music for quite some time. They’ve played alongside the likes of Broken Social Scene, The Walkman, The Pixies and more. On top of that, their albums have constantly been hitting the top 200 on the US charts and show no sign of slowing down. As I got to interview frontman JPP, I came to realize the humility and love for playing music he has. Simply wanting to be part of the music scene is something pretty special.

surfer blood | lincoln hall, chicago | 6.17.17 | @thefaakehipster

surfer blood | lincoln hall, chicago | 6.17.17 | @thefaakehipster

INTERVIEW STUFF

You’ve been at it for almost 10 years, sorry to make you feel old, but I love your take on just constantly chugging out new records and touring. That concept, how does it help you find your sound and identity?

The reason we all got into this wasn’t to get rich or anything...it is more about making memories and having crazy experiences together. I turned 30 last year and I was looking back at my 20s and realizing I wouldn't trade it for anything. Traveling opens your mind, learn a lot. you meet a lot of interesting people and that certainly contributes to how we make music. We always want to stay consistent and to stay busy. All my favorite artists growing up were constantly putting out music and it is good to be one of those bands. We tour all the time and haven’t taken much time off in 7 years. It is a big world and there are lots of places to play and it keeps us really busy.

Jared: I really appreciate that. As a music fan, when a band always wants to be out on the road, be with their fans and constantly make music...that is when I see bands that are level with their audience. As a band, I can totally see how that sort of connection and communication can help you grow musically. There is something about really holding onto the individual.

Yea, I think we are one of the more acceptable bands around. It is just the four of us, We drive ourselves, we sell our own merch after the shows. We talk to people and sign stuff for them and while it is tiring to do that whole DIY approach, it is probably more fulfilling. We’ve been in situations before where people would sell our merch and schlep our gear and it felt weird.

Speaking of constantly touring, how do you channel your identity to the live stage. When you make eye contact with that fan or are warming up a room, what do you want people to feel?

surfer blood | lincoln hall, chicago | 6.17.17 | @thefaakehipster

surfer blood | lincoln hall, chicago | 6.17.17 | @thefaakehipster

That’s a good question. I guess, when you go to see a band and your favorite song plays and you feel that rush of energy. I want people to have a good time. We’ve played stuff from every one of our releases and we have a ton of material...over 40 songs now. I’m very proud of the fact that the albums are all different from each other. There are your 3 minute pop songs and your longer moody songs. Hopefully people get to have that feeling of hearing their favorite song. Also, maybe get exposed to some new stuff that they really haven’t listened to yet. Something old, something new.

Your lyrics where do you draw inspiration from and how ...You’ve experienced of some band members switching out, medical conditions, how does that affect you personally and help you grow as an individual and band?

For one, it builds character. Going through all this stuff gives you some really great perspective as a band. You are constantly playing these shows, you are tired. I think seeing everything that Thomas went through gives you an appreciation for being alive and doing whatever you want. Thomas came from a family of musicians and music was always something very sacred to him. That is something I always try to keep in mind all the time, even when I am tired and want to go home. Doing something like this is so precious, so fragile.

Jared: Does that appreciation and experiences channel through into your lyrics?

It does man. I never sit down and say I am going to write a song about this. A lot of times, when I am done writing a batch of songs, I’ve really figured out what is going on in my head. You know what I mean. It is hard to keep tabs on it sometimes. If anything, writing is quickest way to sort that all out. How could it not come through, you know.

The fact is people go through their lives and never reflect or think it’s necessary. I feel like it totally is. I’m a more sane person, I have a clear idea of where I am.

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

A dog chasing its tail - pure joy, a bit goofy...I’m going to catch that tail. (He came out firing right away with that answer)

suggested listening experience: hanging in your backyard with your best buds // cruising down the highway with the windows down // getting your day started

listens: matter of time // floating vibes // demon dance // prom song // frozen // anchorage // six flag in F or G // swim

sb // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

interview stuff: K.I.D

reppin: ontario, canada // columbia // 2014 - present

sounds like: according to bobby and kara - we’re the soundtrack to a 90s teen movie crossed with the soundtrack to some artistic German pornography...with a spaghetti stain on it

k.i.d | 2016

k.i.d | 2016

last album drop: poster child EP (march 2017)

featuring: kara // bobby

k.i.d | lincoln hall, chicago | 4.27.17 | @thefaakehipster

k.i.d | lincoln hall, chicago | 4.27.17 | @thefaakehipster

The two they call K.I.D, Booby and Kara, landed in Chicago on a late April day at Lincoln Hall to open for Allie X in what one would dub as a straight up pop show. But, K.I.D, much like actual human kids, are complex in nature, yet so simple from the outside. That is entirely accurate when you dive into the sound, identity and philosophy of why these two make the music they do. As Bobby put it, “Simplicity is something we definitely strive for. Contrary to what people think, it is hard to make something simple enough for everyone to like it, but at the same time make it unique. For us, our message is pretty different than most pop artist.” A pop band that could be alternative, yet is not writing about all the cushy things in life like loving oneself and being super positive all the time. “Most of those artists are preaching about loving yourself and being brave, inspire, connect to their audience. Hey look, I have all my shit together.” But is that really the reality that we all live in? Music is not only supposed to inspire, but be truthful to ourselves. “Our message is more like: we all hate ourselves on some level and let's spin that into the most accessible pop melody possible. The lyrics are about a hooker stealing all your money and wanting to kill yourself, you know the usual.”  So while not all of us can relate to hookers stealing our money, we all have bullshit that we need to face.

K.I.D began organically a few years back, drawing inspiration from random objects like plastic bags, watching Judge Judy and good old masturbation. When things started becoming real for them as a band, it was time to do what made sense for them, not emulate what worked for other bands...especially since no roadmap had been written. “Everyone’s path is different and at the end of the day you just have to try and get music heard by as many people as possible,” Bobby stated. The uniqueness of this path is parallel to the vibes they want to send fans. “I hope we get to fall into a category where we can just connect with kids, make them feel less alone and you know, we get emotionally invested into our fans.” To me, that sounds like a few kids playing music that just wanting to relate to the kids watching them.

k.i.d | lincoln hall, chicago | 4.27.17 | @thefaakehipster

k.i.d | lincoln hall, chicago | 4.27.17 | @thefaakehipster

Those catching them live can expect a bit of the different, but all around engaging show that they put on. Bobby simply describes it as, “we’re telling a story with the live show.” Behind them plays an animated story featuring remote controls, lazy-boys and eggs frying in the pan..again, the simple things in life (and yes, even moisturizer next to tissue paper). It is so refreshing to listen to lyrics in the pop world that aren’t about the same shit over and over. Bobby perfectly describes it, “we are speaking to this unglamorous, introverted, anxious state that a lot of people at least in my life are finding themselves in. Giving people something to connect to besides going to a party or being in love.” All in all you get these upbeat feels that make you want to dance around and smile, yet you are hooked into the overall message of what they are feeding you. “We take all these mundane objects and associate it with a super, unspectacular life and we try and put them in a more fantastical, pop, bright sort of show.”

While working with legendary manager, Merck Mercuriadis of Hipgnosis Music, they’ve carved most of their own path to get here. As Bobby so eloquently puts it, “you can’t be complacent or else you’ll be rubbing your taint at home for 4 months. We had to become the architects of our own tours.” The super exciting chunk of all of this, yet probably the most painful for them, is all the material they are sitting on. There is only one thing to do, “so we are just going to tour and tour and build the audience and once we are in the position to put out material quickly.” I’d look out for these kids to punch you all in the face with more pop tunes that just are not really pop tunes.

suggested listening experience: party time // cruising in your ride on a summer day // motivation to get shit done

listens: boy // taker // i wish i was your cigarette // i cannot sleep at night // errors

k.i.d // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

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”