Black Pistol Fire - Rock N' Roll Cheese Eating Friends Since Kindergarten

reppin: austin, usa by way of canada // modern outsider // 2014 - present

sounds like: a sizzling plate of delicious cheese aka saganaki

last album drop: “deadbeat graffiti” (sept 2017)

featuring: eric // kevin

jared (left) hanging with eric (center) and kevin (right) during the black pistol fire interview | riot fest, 2017 | chicago |@thefaakehipster

jared (left) hanging with eric (center) and kevin (right) during the black pistol fire interview | riot fest, 2017 | chicago |@thefaakehipster

Lou Reed once said he would die for rock n’ roll because it is something so beautiful that you can feel. When I look at this genre, I couldn't agree more with the emotional connection that us humans can have with such an energetic sound. The raw and blistering guitar riffs and solos, lyrics about angst, love, life, death and everything in between. The audience, the atmosphere that can be created outdoor at festivals and inside at sweaty rock clubs. We individually become one and as one we can forget about the daily bullshit life brings us. Every genre of music, every type of melody and lyric and every type of musician and band can bring us all the good things in the world because music stands alone like that. With Black Pistol Fire, they bring all the rock and all the emotion for us to enjoy live.

Black Pistol Fire is described as high octane and that could very much be an understatement. Two dudes take the stage and then they start playing their instruments and you are like, “holy shit, how are these two guys making so much awesome noise together.” It really is a site to see Eric and Kevin really vibing off each other, the audience and just going balls to wall in their performance. You can tell they are having just as much fun as everyone watching them. Kevin will use the whole stage as he swings his guitar around with him and Eric pretty much beats the shit out his drums...oh those poor drums.

black pistol fire | bottom lounge, chicago | 12.7.17

black pistol fire | bottom lounge, chicago | 12.7.17

Cait and I had a chance to kick it with these cheese eating chill dudes after their stellar Riot Fest set. They really are just normal dudes with just enough weird in them that know how to play their instruments really well. Read away kids:

 

the interview

How did you guys meet and what past experiences attribute to you all making the music you do?

kevin: Well we actually met in kindergarten believe it or not in Toronto at a very young age. We were always very clsoe and all. We didn't really play music until we were in high school. Playing a lot of Nirvana, Oasis, Beatles and Weezer covers. Then we discovered Zeppelin and our whole world change.

me: it's crazy how times like that happen, you hear a band or a era of music and boom, your whole taste of music starts to expand.

kevin: Yea I was in a Zeppelin phase for like a year and wasn't really paying attention to everything else, I should have been. But it all came around for me once I started listening to more.

eric: I think the first real rock band I got into was Silverchair actually. You know also though, my parents listened to Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Chuck Berry. I was obsseded with that music.

me: So how did all of that land on Black Pistol.

kevin: I think when you hear us live you can tell I am coming from one area and Eric is coming from another. But we are both attacking at the same time with the same intensity.

 

So as you portray that on-stage, we literally were talking about how you are able to sound like more than two people.

black pistol fire interview | riot fest, 2017 | chicago |@thefaakehipster

black pistol fire interview | riot fest, 2017 | chicago |@thefaakehipster

kevin: You know I think everyone attacks it differently. You know we don't want to overplay, but raising the stakes. We definetly try to put out a lot of energy. We spend time with arrangements, rehearsing, how our dynamics are going to works on stage. The idea is that one part is high and loud and maybe the other is lower and quieter. A little of this is confusing people and having a natural build to the show so it isn't the same thing over and over. You have to hone that in and take advantage. Also, playing every single song like it's your last.

me: That has to be exhausting...but so rewarding.

No amount of cheese is ever too much cheese.

eric: Oh yea, for sure. I mean if you love what you do, you can beat the hell out of yourself and it doesn't really matter.

kevin: I know after shows we are so taxed, but the adrenaline rush is still there, you can't sleep or anything. It is a weird kind of feeling. One of our routines when we get off-stage, we like to take a big brick of cheddar cheese and just finish it off in about 15 minutes.

me: hahah. No amount of cheese is ever too much cheese. That is great.

kevin: It wears you out actually so you can sleep.

me: So eating a brick of cheese is as exhausting as the performance?

everyone: Yea!

IMG_20171208_165529_104.jpg

 

We are very big on lyrics and I am curious what the writing process is and how you want fans to react to it.

kevin: So for me, the music always comes first. I write something I really feeling and all and then the lyrics dictate the music and it's a merging of the two kind of. Sometimes I'll even look back at the lyrics later on and be like, huh, I think I know where I was at during that point. Maybe I was getting dark, maybe I was getting sassy. I don't think I ever sit down and say I am going to write a break up song or love song. I think you always leave room to see where it goes. The music sometimes evokes whatever emotion and words you are feeling at the time.

eric: I mean we always take lines too and if it doesn't work in one song, it can work in another. Spare puzzles.

kevin: Yea, sometimes we have that one lyric and hook.

I write something I really feeling and all and then the lyrics dictate the music and it’s a merging of the two kind of.

 

With all of that coming together, how do you guys challenge yourselves to evolve?

eric: I think the big thing is different genres of music are part of it. The new album that is coming out is a lot of different stuff and some stuff that we have never tried before. We listen to a ton of different music so you kind of say, how do you make your version of a hip hop song. I can elements from this genre and that one and try to fuse them together,

IMG_20180205_170012_383.jpg

kevin: Yea, we are constantly working in the studio, rehearsing and writing. It is always going. This new album coming out is the reflection of listening habits. I'm a big fan of albums in the world of playlists. But I like how an album can hop around with different types of sounds.

eric: We definitely want to change it up with speeds.

me: Yea I get that. I want to hear all the music, see all these bands and artists live so it can come back full circle and give me an understanding of the roots of my favorite music and everything else.

 

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

eric: Damn, that is a hard question.

kevin: Imagine doing a lot of blow then balancing it out with some booze. A booze filled 8-ball.

cait: Then eating some cheese!

kevin: Something that sizzles...

me: Saganaki!

kevin: Yes! We are a sizzling plate of delicious cheese.

 

suggested listening experience: outdoor summer night parties // getting amped up for the day // enjoying some sweet love making

listens: suffocation blues // hipster shakes // fleet foot // lost cause // beelzebub // where you been before

bpf // spotify // ig // twitter // fb

WHITE REAPER: Pure & Sweaty Rock N' Roll For All

reppin: louisville, ky // polyvinyl records // 2014 - present

sounds like: tony - "a very old muscle car that has be repaired frequently due to the high speeds at which it constantly performs"

tony of white reaper | metro, chicago | 11.14.17 | @thefaakehipster

tony of white reaper | metro, chicago | 11.14.17 | @thefaakehipster

last album drop: the world’s best american rock band (april 2017)

white reaper | metro, chicago | 11.14.17 | @thefaakehipster

white reaper | metro, chicago | 11.14.17 | @thefaakehipster

featuring: tony // ryan // sam // nick // hunter

When I come across a pure band like White Reaper, I get those goosebumps up my arm. The vibe of the tracks, the smoothness of the riffs and uniqueness of the vocals brings back memories of kids being kids. No responsibilities, I just want to go out on a Friday night and forget about my worries for a few hours. While it was a Tuesday night, looking around you would think it was the start to the weekend.

I scoped out these dudes back in May when they played the tiny, sweaty rock club that is Beat Kitchen. It was wild. Bodies everywhere, most of them crowd surfing, but I recalled the most from both shows were the smiles on everyone’s faces. That is the emotion is look to tap in every show I go to and every song I take into my ears. When I see it in the fans faces, in the performers on-stage, well that is why we are all living.

After Chicago’s own Post Animal took the stage, White Reaper came on and killed it. An hour of in your face rock n’ roll, good times, shredding solos and heavy bass. Kids of all ages were banging back and forth, looking to float above the crowd and get their faces overall melted. I shot off a few questions to frontman Tony and got some insight to these kids from louisville. How they have grown as a band during their short lifespan, write their songs and impact their dedicated fans across the country. Here it is in nice short form for you because we all have attention spans of 15 seconds these days.

interview stuff

You all have only been a band for 3 short years, yet you have landed on this clear rock n’ roll vibe that is obviously catching on. What have you all learned about each other as musicians that have allowed you to create this music?

The more we play the better we get. Seems obvious, I know but we were pretty stupid when we first started out. 

What is your songwriting process like? When you all sit down to start writing, how does it begin, what happens in order to carry through an idea into a track?

I usually come up with an idea, and then i show the guys to help me elaborate on it. We usually try to set up the framework and then pick apart the arrangement until we think its right. Then we dive into the trenches and hammer it out. 

white reaper | metro, chicago | 11.14.17 | @thefaakehipster

white reaper | metro, chicago | 11.14.17 | @thefaakehipster

What are you inspirations when it comes to lyrics? What do you hope fans as well as those who don’t know you, respond to your words?

Old mystery novels from the 40s and 50s are truly a vocabulary goldmine. Lyrics will always mean different things to different people. Sometimes lyrics don't have to mean anything at all!

Your live show is bananas...how do you bring the energy and vibes to your live set on a daily basis? How do you want the audience to feel after you play? 

We're pretty much bottled up in the van all day so by the time we get to stand up and move around we're pretty excited to not be stuck sitting down. Hopefully the audience is as sweaty as we are when the show is over.

Instead of comparing White Reaper to other bands I like to use a metaphor to describe the identity of the band...usually a humorous one. What is White Reaper’s metaphor?

A very old muscle car that has be repaired frequently due to the high speeds at which it constantly performs.

suggested listening experience: any party on any day or night // time to suck it up and get that project done before the deadline // waking up in the morning

listens: judy french // world’s best american band // make me wanna die // eagle beach // little silver cross // sheila // tell me // crystal pistol

wr // fb // spotify // ig // twitter // sc

interview stuff: PEARL EARL

reppin: denton, tx // dreamy life records // 2014 - present

sounds like: in stef's words - when two praying mantises meet and do a dance and they fall in love and then make sweet mantis love then the female eats the other one’s head off and then she has a baby (check out the bottom of the story for more good ones)

pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

last album drop:  pearl earl (july 2017)

featuring: ariel // stefanie // bailey // chelsey

pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

Something about summer nights and finding new music makes my mouth water, the hairs stand-up on my arms and my ears start begging me for some good sounds. It is nights like these that I seek inspiration, a feel good kind of story that answers the calls of expanding my mind and focusing in on what matters in life. Well, these four nice, sweet an bad-ass chicks delivered in just that way. Hailing from Denton TX, which I can only imagine as a hot summer spot with lots of good food, cowboy hats and denim, they have musically grown from within as well as taking in from the scene around them.

bailey of pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

bailey of pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

What I love about these ladies is that their music is parallel to the journey and goals they have as a band. Their sound blends the psychedelic feel from the 70s, garage rock from today and classic rock from way back when. The mysterious slice of exploration puts my my into an imaginative and open kind of space. I also can focus in on the bouncy sort of sound that reminds me that life can be fun and easy if you let it. Much like that psychedelic vibe, their free spirited nature has allowed them to find one another as their musical careers have moved forward. Then, there is the more focused idea that fun and love is so visible in their music. Something I can only allude to their music minds being flexible in nature, allowing them to let these different types of sounds blend. They each bring a bit of past to the picture, a favorite style of music that makes them a rare group.  

I happened to come across the girls that are Pearl Earl on the Jukely app as they were rolling through town this past July at the Empty Bottle on a chill Sunday night. I am telling you, the mixture of furious vocals, guitars mixed with that good old rock n' roll is something to pay attention to. Sitting down with these goofy girls, as fireworks were going off all over the city, we chatted about their adventure as Pearl Earl, what is to come and what they truly want out of being a band. I could immediately since the comfort they bestowed upon the venue as well as opening up to me, a complete stranger. Check out what makes these ones rev up their engine and go.

INTERVIEW STUFF

ariel of pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

ariel of pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

When did you all start as a band. How did you land on your sound, what happened in prior experiences that made you want to make this music?

Bailey: We started 3 years ago this August.

Ariel: I started the band back in the day, I was in the another group called Mink Coats and then I wanted to start Pearl Earl. Naturally just the kind of music I gravitate towards. After knowing Bailey, we just kind of played and learned more music together and I dunno, we are definitely influenced by more of the psychedelic sound. When we played together more and more and that’s what just sort of happened.

Stef: Bailey and I are def more into classic rock and Ariel is definitely more into psychedelic so I think that kind of meshes a current tone these days, while being centered around certain themes that were happening in Denton and Austin area. Certain rhythms were coming from more of a classic rock and prog driven area. The key parts kind of came in with a certain tone that bridges the generational gap of music.

Jared (Me): I personally like your music because you have one half of it that is just fun while the other half that is more in this clear mind kind of space, that lets your imagination run. It’s a really good balance

Bailey: You hit the nail on the head. We definitely try to split the fun and out there kind of vibe.

Alright, the lyrics. So usually I see lyrics being about something in specific, or something that wants to be interpreted. What is your style?

chelsey of pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

chelsey of pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

Ariel: So, I try to write really ambiguously for this project, but with hints at something that really does exist rather than not making it super personal. You know, I want it to be for everybody. I also kind of think of this as an experience as Pearl Earl. Also metaphorical. I try to be kind of witty with it...not take it too seriously, but I also have to remember there is going to be that serious, personal factor always there.

Me: I like interpreting lyrics, so thank you.

So what about the live show, what is your mission when you take the stage? What do you want to do in order to gain fans, what do you want them to experience?

Stef: We all have our own things

Me: Oh yea, hit me?

Ariel: She (Stef) has good eye contact and the running man down.

Stef: Yea, it is just constant movement with me. I can’t help it. Sometimes it is just hair in my face or other times I look up and try to make connect with someone. It may seem stupid, but its fun and engaging. I like to get engaged with them (bandmates). It can be very distracting and kind of almost a game. Sometimes when you get engaged with your bandmates, sometimes you just do it until someone fucks up, then you’re like alright, alright (laughs from everyone).

Ariel: We are all really into what one another is doing since we have our own way of interacting during the set.

chelsea of pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

chelsea of pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

Bailey: Honestly, all of our crowd engagement happens when we are not playing. We all disperse and talk to everyone and dance for the bands and hang out. Cause, if you do that, you have a fast friend and they’ll have you back.

Me: I like that, cause if you are not having fun on stage, then what is the point.

Ariel: You can tell if bands are disinterested and it sucks.

Chelsey: I don’t want to go see a sad, sappy band. I want energetic shit, something that will make me happy.

Stef: Not only does Chelsea do the keys, she does percussion as well. And she’ll tell you how different she is on stage.

Chelsey: Yeaaaa, I’m really quiet in person, but when I get on stage I am a different person, more wild. Last night, we played at an easy house show, there was no stage and I could walk out into the crowd. So if there is an opportunity where I can just walk into the crowd with a tambourine and get dancing and get hyped up. I’ll jump in there! Then everyone goes crazy. No one expects it (weird screams). I love it, easy access off the stage! One of the bands we traveled with was thinking we were trying to start pile-ons on stage and everything. Come on man, I can’t workout, so I am going to burn my calories on stage. The music is so energetic, there is no way you can be deadpanned.

stef of pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

stef of pearl earl | empty bottle, chicago | 7.2.17 | @thefaakehipster

Okay, finally, what is the metaphor for Pearl Earl?

Stef: It’s like, when two praying mantises meet and do a dance and they fall in love and then make sweet mantis love then the female eats the other one’s head off and then she has a baby.

Bailey: So actually, praying mantises have like 100 kids and they all fight until the death until there are four or something left.

Me: For real, this is true?

Bailey: Yea man, I’ve seen it, it’s nuts. (screams and cheers for fireworks)

Ariel: The one that I like that someone else said is we sound like the a scene from Fear and Loathing when all the lights change colors when you walk into the casino. And another one I liked, mystical wizard rock.

Stef: Rainbow fuzz power too!

suggested listening experience: mid-day pick me up // kicking it with with some friends // any kind of road trip

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: BEACH SLANG

reppin: phili, usa // 2013 - present // polyvinyl

sounds like:  loud, sloppy hurricane // drunk and dirty church

latest album drop: a loud bash of teenage feelings (sept 2016)

featuring: james // ed // aurore // cully

james alex | beach slang | house of blues, chicago | 4.6.17

james alex | beach slang | house of blues, chicago | 4.6.17

When I first heard word that I was going to be able to sit down with a legend, the butterflies naturally float around there. But, I am a big boy, took a deep breath and soaked in the idea of not just chatting with James Alex, but being able to learn a thing or two from him. Hailing from a time when Jawbreaker and The Replacements were punk Gods (sorry buddy, you have a few years on me), he really took to heart the angst as a teenager, but the joy of being part of a scene that he could relate to. Being a weird reject can blossom one into a creative human and positive influence on others. Life lessons, right?


I tend to take an idea, a big thought and split it into two paths as it honestly keeps life very real and at least somewhat more simple. There are those who can take experiences and just not learn and repeat the same mistakes. There are those who take those same experiences and become a strong and better person for the world. Mr. Alex is the latter without a doubt. Throw in your headphones, switch it on over to Beach Slang and let me take you through a magical and eye opening conversation. A punk rocker, a father and what I came to learn, an overall awesome dude you just want to have a beer and shoot the shit with.


Interview Stuff

I love your gritty, raw rock sound...Alkaline, Jawbreaker..there is something about your sound that makes you more relatable and comfortable to listen to. How do you channel that into your live show? What is going through your mind as you are looking into the audience?

Right on man, The whole thing to me is just about that very connection. When we recorded this last record I remembered first saying to the engineer, “look man, I just want to make a live record.” I want that honesty with no divide. I dig that because the whole thing is this cyclical exchange of energy. It made me think about earlier on in life and it was always embarrassing to me when bands think they are Gods. I look at my fans as this idea of throwing energy back and forth at each other. I really believe our records are what we are. It’s that honesty that I want. It’s imperfect. We try to get everything in the 2nd or 3rd take because you can make everything so perfect now, it kind of massages all the soul out of it. If that goes, I think the whole thing that makes what Beach Slang does goes with it. We exist in that, we aren’t trying to be prodigy players. That is punk rock. There isn’t that crazy technical prowess, but the heart of it comes through.

The straightforward lyrics are legit..and a lot are about love. Specifically I love that little line in Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas, “too fucked up to love, too soft to hate.” What are you trying to tell your fans through these stories?

beach slang | house of blues, chicago | 4.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

beach slang | house of blues, chicago | 4.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

I think in the broadest brush stroke I could paint it in: This is life and it is happening. Bite into it and live it all the way. That know you are enough thing. So many people get hung up, and I’m guilty to, of getting caught up in their shortcomings and their failures. It’s more about these weirdo paths we have to take to get to where we want to go. I try to plant that idea of romance in the struggle. Be okay with that. Listen, I have written probably a million fucking terrible songs and there are 30 that may be okay. That’s cool. When I get to one of those, it makes me feel something, it means so much more. This isn’t trust fund rock n’ roll, I didn’t get handed it, I had to work for it. Sometimes you have to take a moment and sort of stop and think about it in broader terms for something like this to really work.

Me: Yes, yes yes. What you do in music is what I go through at work. I’ve fucked up so many times.

I remember when I was first growing up and picking up a guitar, there is this Bouncing Souls lyric: “you are not at the bottom, you are at the beginning.” And that line is just is always stuck around in my head when it does feel like gloom is knocking away the light. I don’t why, maybe it was because I was at that age where it just made sense.

Me: Hey man, I got my lyric tattooed to me soooo (laughs)

It cut in right when I was getting turned on and figuring stuff out. It really has a permanent mark on me.

beach slang | house of blues, chicago | 4.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

beach slang | house of blues, chicago | 4.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

You’ve been around the block playing music, touring, being the leader of the wolf pack, etc, etc...music is about experience to me. What’s the best one, or at least one of the tops you’ve had?

Man, I don’t know, the individual occurrence I am not really sure. To what I just alluded to, the acceptance and appreciation of persistence. I’m into that. Even when stuff starts to fall into place, I’m still looking for the grain to grind against. Quoting myself is so stupid, “I need the struggle to feel alive.” If I buy a place on easy street I’m not going to know how to do it. I kinda need that thing to sort of grind against. What I have found in small successes and big failures, navigating the waters of rock n’ roll….really loving the idea of the struggle of it all. Dig the idea of persistence. Not get beat by things. Even the way I can write now, I couldn’t do it before, my bones were too brittle, I didn’t have the guts, the provado cause I was hit then with mean critics...I would have shattered. My spine is kinda steeled up now, still in a soft way. I read this interview with Joe Strummer once...and this is fucking Joe Strummer off the Clash, and he understood that not everyone is going to dig something and that’s cool. It’s just not for you. In just him saying that, which is so common sense, but until you hear it and digest it..it really means something. Like okay, go find out what turns you on.

Me: Maybe I steered you somewhere else that will help you be happy.

Right on, I’m looking at the bigger picture and trying to chuck happiness at people. And if it is not through our band maybe you just dislike this so much, I am challenging you to write better than that. Now maybe the thing that lights you up is that you started a band or a book and I happened to be a catalyst in getting you there. I really dig the idea of that.

Me: Yea, I’ve probably done that same thing to numerous girls (laughs laughs laughs)

What has the rotating members you’ve had taught you about Beach Slang and where you want to go as a band?

beach slang | house of blues, chicago | 4.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

beach slang | house of blues, chicago | 4.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

That’s a great question. It has been a bouncy kinda thing. I am a pretty self-contained unit in terms of writing. I don’t think we’ll ever have that issue. I think what is painting for us is the idea of getting it right on two levels. For me, getting it right as a band and as musicians, that is absolutely necessary for what we are doing professionally. The bigger thing for me is, you know aside from singing in a band, is being a great human being. I really want to try to be some force of good in the world. The lineup changes almost have more to do with getting chemistry right,. We march across the country and there are 5 of us including Charlie (tour manager), she is just as much in it. I dig how we are represented on stage...I think we have been getting that right from the beginning. But off stage, that’s equally as important to me, if not more. I think we are finding our footing a little better. Look, everyone who has played and been part of this, I root for them in what they are chasing now, but I gotta say, it has never felt more right.

beach slang | house of blues, chicago | 4.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

beach slang | house of blues, chicago | 4.6.17 | @thefaakehipster

Me: That’s good, that does not happen unless you go through the shit before

It’s like a lot of life, you are learning in two ways. You see one thing that is aspirational and then you see the other stuff and you’re like, now I know not to do that. And Slang being a rock n’ roll band is no different. We’ve fucked up plenty. We keep marching on with no animosity. I want everyone to be friends.

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

I’ve described it as a loud, sloppy hurricane. It’s drunk and dirty church. Look man, I came up with The Replacements being my favorite band. There is an importance to plugging in, turning up and going. Whenever I do radio shows or acoustic performances. Would you want to record that again you feel happy with that. Well, I messed up, but no. I just want it to be honest and real. In that imperfection, it goes back to what we were first talking about man, the connection. We see each other as humans. When I was a kid and getting turned on to Yes...I’m never going to be able to play 3 keyboards at once! (laughs). It was relatable to me. But then I saw The Ramones and I played along to the records. Then there was an immediate gratification and it was just so relatable. People have come up to me and said watching Beach Slang...I can do that. And I’m like, fuck yea, that is what I want, that was me when I was coming up. All of the sudden music became attainable.

Me: As a music fan...I always go back to that moment when I discovered that band, even when I listen to them. To me, that is as relatable in life as it gets.

That relatability has really paid dividends to me. Really too, while playing music keeps the lights on at home, I’m just a fan of rock n’ roll. I’m jazzed most of the time when we go on tour with that band you never heard of and I’m like, I think I just found my new favorite band.

suggested listening experience: at the gym letting off some steam // rocking out with your friends on a saturday // finding clam and comfort when shit is not right

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