Fear of Men Interview with Jessica Weiss

 

jessicaweiss

“We wanted this record to be more personal and thought more about the live dimension- the newer songs feel very powerful to perform.”

While picking a favorite band from England in the 80s or 90s would be quite challenging, Brighton’s Fear of Men are far and above the most impressive band from the nation since 2010 in my opinion. The indie pop trio formed in 2011 in a sort of unusual way while vocalist Jessica Weiss was creating soundtracks as part of her art degree program and a fellow art student and guitarist Daniel Falvey heard and was impressed with the recordings enough to ask her to form a band. They began by releasing a cassette and single in 2011 and added their current drummer Michael Miles in 2012. This trio has remained the consistent core of the band ever since. In February 2013, Kanine Records decided to compile three singles and the then unreleased “Seer” for a release called Early Fragments. They would travel to the US for the first time that summer to play FYF Fest. Their debut LP Loom came out in May 2014 and they followed it up with a US tour with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. After some down time while the band would rework their sound to add a more electronic element, the band released Fall Forever on June 3, 2016. The LP features a much more dramatic, serious vibe in slight contrast to the slightly poppier, more upbeat sounding songs (not necessarily lyrically) of Loom. This evolution makes for quite an interesting juxtaposition of vibes live when they switch back and forth from new songs to old ones and vice versa. Earlier this month they completed their first headlining North American tour with Puro Instinct and have a plethora of European dates scheduled for September and October.

I know you said you used to suffer from stage fright. Did you do anything in particular to overcome this? Do you still have bouts of anxiety when performing or are you fairly comfortable now? You have shed your guitar to perform the new songs live and just focus on singing (still playing guitar on the old songs) and I was curious if you feel that is something that demonstrates how you have settled in as a performer.  

I think the new songs feel a lot braver, which in turn allows me to adopt a more confident pose while performing them. I can still be pretty anxious, but I think it’s getting better. Part of this is learning to feel more ‘in the moment’ on stage, rather than getting caught up in my head, part of it is the supportive reactions we’ve had to the new record, part of it is probably just getting older?

How did you link up with Puro Instinct for your recent American tour? How did it go overall and was it different to play all these US cities for the first time as a headliner?

We liked their record and the music made sense, so we got in touch with them about touring. They’re very sweet and were fun to tour with. Doing our first headline tour was a dream. It was amazing to play the Bowery Ballroom and the Echo, and everywhere in between.

Resized95IMG952016081695175451
Photo by Christopher Montiel

You toured with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart on your previous US tour so you clearly know how to pick great bands to join you on the road. What are a few bands/artists that you would tour with in an ideal world?

We would love to play some shows with Japanese Breakfast at some point, also The National, Deerhunter, PJ Harvey. Angel Olsen.

Fear of Men essentially started as a result of soundtracks you created to accompany your short films in art school. Please tell me about your favorite film that you created and what types of emotions you wanted to convey with the music to it. Do you still work on films at times?

Not really… I write a lot and draw/paint more these days. I’d love to come back to it at some point. The films I was making were kind of abstract, almost hypnotic; I wanted to convey things very intuitively to create a world rather than tell a narrative.

It seems as though you are a big fan of museums based on some of your artwork and random social media posts. What is your favorite museum that you have visited and is there one you particularly still want to visit that you haven’t been able to yet?

I love the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford- it’s a very idiosyncratic collection of strange ethnographic finds. There’s a witch in a silver bottle, shrunken heads, a totem pole… I am very proud of the free museums in London too- the Tate and the British Museum in particular. All museums should be free and they are really wonderful ones. I always try to visit the Egyptian temple at the Met when I’m in New York, and I’d love to return to Egypt one day to see more things first hand in Situ.

You have basically had a revolving door of musicians fill out the live sound on bass/synth. Is that an intentional choice or just something that has happened out of necessity?

Fourth members have never written or recorded with us- they’ve always been talented people who have wanted to pursue their own projects at some point.

How would you personally describe the progression from the first record to the second both in terms of sound and lyrics? It creates an interesting live contrast to hear songs from both albums side by side since they have quite different vibes.

I’d describe it as naturally growing older, progressing, learning about ourselves and our instruments. It felt very organic. We wanted this record to be more personal and thought more about the live dimension- the newer songs feel very powerful to perform.

What is the process for a Fear of Men song coming together? Is it always the same or does it vary? 

It definitely varies- we try to put the song first, and just do whatever it takes to get it to a place we’re happy with. This often means lots of really different demo treatments, but the general way that we work is I write a skeleton song on my own, then we come together and work out what to do with it.  

Is there a song on Fall Forever that you are particularly proud of and why? 

I’m proud of the whole record, but I particularly love “Ruins” because it was one that felt very simple but very right and sincere, so we resisted the urge to add too much to it.

I’ve never been to Brighton, England so how would you recommend I spend one day in the city? 

I love it there so much. You should start with a Small Batch Coffee on the beach, having picked up a book to read from one of the second hand stores. Sit in the sun for a bit watching the dog walkers, then maybe go to the Booth Museum to see some strange Victorian taxidermy, then make some demos in a hotel room looking over the sea (I’ve never done this but I imagine it would be nice. Turner used to paint in a house overlooking Hove beach), meet some friends at the Bee’s Mouth for drinks and life drawing in the evening and maybe see who’s playing at the Green Door Store to finish your night.

What is something exclusively American that you wish you had over in England? 

The weather extremes- I love the climate in New York, for example, where the summer is so hot, and then you still get a lot of snow in the winter. The open personalities, maybe? On the whole, the British are a lot more stand offish. I’m the same, but sometimes it’s nice to experience the opposite.

What’s next for Fear of Men coming on the heels of the record’s release and first headlining American tour? Please tell me you plan to come back to the US soon!

We’ve got our UK and European tour coming up and then we’ll probably get back to writing, but we’ll be touring the States again with someone I’m really excited about in November.

fear-of-men---fall-forever---press-pic-credit-to-rosie-carr

Check out Fear of Men’s website for updated tour dates: http://www.fearofmen.co.uk/

Please follow Ice and I Zine on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook  to be updated when new posts occur. I am updating regularly and the first print issue comprising the interviews with Globelamp, Jane Pain, Mark Palm, Part Time Punks, Annex and Body of Light is available now here.

Advertisements

Body of Light Interview with Alex Jarson

BOL.png

“The world is a dark place. It’s falling apart, or so it seems. Fear has really done us in. The mythology we’ve built is growing, and leaders are running wild with half-truths. People want to believe in something other than themselves.”

Body of Light should be a name familiar to most who keep track of the synth pop music scene these days. The duo comprised of brothers Alex and Andrew Jarson hail from Tempe, Arizona and are strongly associated with the Ascetic House community of artists. While there are quite a few great music projects coming out of the barren desert wasteland, Body of Light are my personal favorites. I first saw Body of Light at the actual Church on York venue at the Pacific Pop Festival in 2014 and was blown away by them. That show seemed to usher in an era with a great deal of interest in both the Ascetic House and Posh Isolation collectives. Some have described them as an evil Pet Shop Boys (I can’t take credit for that) and I would be inclined to agree. They began in 2011 and have progressed towards a more pop-based structure over that time. Volunta Di Amore (2013 – Chondritic Sound) and Limits of Reason (2014 – Ascetic House) brought that sound to the forefront and they released their debut LP Let Me Go on Dais Records on July 29th. They recently did a good deal of touring in North American playing new material for the first time. Alex also does a solo project called Somali Extract which sees him experiment in different ways than with Body of Light.

Please tell me a little more about the Ascetic House community and how it came to be. What were the reasons behind forming it and how has it evolved over the years? Any new projects we should keep an eye out for? 

For me, it was boredom, the need for growth… self-loathing and learning, and experiencing a slew of coincidences that brought us all together. We’re all friends with a long history, and we’re all heavily into many different art forms. New stuff is continually coming out. Please stop by wherever we’re at next and grab something you haven’t heard or seen before.

It seems like Ascetic House and Posh Isolation are two tight knit communities. Would you say that is an accurate statement? 

Definitely. True allies til the end.

Do you think growing up in a small music community impacted your development as a musician differently than it would have if you had grown up in a place like Los Angeles or New York?

Well, it’s hard to say because I don’t really have the context of growing up and going to shows in LA and New York. The scenes around the globe are so intertwined now. In Arizona, going to shows, spaces, and having friends who wanted to try new shit was so important and is 100% why I’m doing what I’m doing now.

I remember reading that you played in hc/punk bands earlier on in your youth just like everyone else basically. When did you start experimenting with electronics? Did you learn on your own or did you have a mentor?

It was in college when I first starting experimenting with electronics, but only minimally. But then I bought a synthesizer and a sampler, and some pedals. I started slow and made loops with my voice and some minimal synth drones. I banged on pieces of metal and recorded it. Pots and pans. I jumped into everything that pushed the boundaries of my perception at the time and I tried to mimic others’ techniques. I sold some tapes and got some confidence. I just kept recording until I started to really learn everything. The mentors were everywhere, all around me.

Was there one artist in particular that inspired you to start creating music as Body of Light?

There’s been so many. Coil is one of those bands that continually blow my mind. But all experimental movements that push the boundaries of their culture are inspiring to me. Henry Miller… A lot of the people that pushed me and inspired me are my friends and family.

Tell me about Somali Extract and how you are able to express yourself differently with that project. Are you working on a new record? Any tours planned?

I wanted something that really helped me push the idea of song structure and sound. Something not quite techno, not quite dance floor, like off kilter kind of stuff. You’re not going to grow as an artist if you don’t take some risks. Every record is a different entity and that’s what makes me so fond of keeping it going. Even playing live, it’s always different. Nothing is heavily structured. I have three or four records that I’ve finished. They should be out soon and then I’ll do a tour or two.

How do you and your brother Andrew contribute differently to Body of Light as a project?

It depends. Usually, it’s one of us who writes a drum part or bass line and we contribute until it’s finished. A lot of the core of the songs are written by ourselves and then we bring it back in together and work on it as a band.

Please tell me about how you got connected with Dais Records and your opinions on shifting to a label that can maybe give you slightly more exposure than past ones?

I’ve been listening to the Dais artists since the beginning. Like, I’ve been listening to Gibby and Ryan’s music since high school and college. It was just the right decision. They’re the best, the absolute best. There are so many incredible people involved with them too, so it felt like the obvious choice.

Outside of the artists that you are friends with, what have you been listening to as far as newer stuff goes?

YKO, Andy Stott, Burial. Anohni, The Pen Test, Field Agent, Draa, and Din. Posh, NON, PAN, Halcyon Veil. Too many good things out there to name.

What should those who haven’t heard the new LP yet expect? A progression of Limits of Reason or something quite different?

It’s definitely a progression. We’ve really pushed our songwriting skills. This was easily my favorite record to write and record, and totally eye opening. It’s heavier, darker, but poppier on some fronts. It’s got a unique sound to it and for that, I’m really proud of it.

The artwork for the new record is really great. Who created it?

Yeah, our good friend Collin Fletcher did the design and art for the record. It’s beautiful. He’s a genius and I’m excited to have him be a part of the record.

BOLfinal1rgb

Would you like to make Body of Light a full-time project or do you feel that would make it into more a job and lose some of its appeal?

At this point, it is full time. I mean, it is a job. It’s work. But it’s work I love doing so I’m willing to spend most of my life doing it.

Do you feel there is an overarching theme for your lyrical style or all over the place? Any areas you’d like to explore more lyrically?

Maybe. For this record, I think the message is try and have some hope. The world is a dark place. It’s falling apart, or so it seems. Fear has really done us in. The mythology we’ve built is growing, and leaders are running wild with half-truths. People want to believe in something other than themselves. But I really do think you have to find some sort optimism out of this whole experience. Even if it’s hard, like, we have to come together and make the most of it.

What are your passions outside of music?

I like movement and exploration. Film, sound, and visual art of all kinds. Anything that focuses on the truth.

Order Body of Light’s debut LP “Let Me Go” here and check them out August 21 at Complex in Glendale with a very sick lineup including Jock Club and Oil Thief!

Please follow Ice and I Zine on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook  to be updated when new posts occur. I am updating almost regularly and the first print issue comprising the interviews with Globelamp, Jane Pain, Mark Palm, Part Time Punks, Annex and Body of Light is up now for order!

Annex Interview with Nikole and Migas

annex band

“We’ve lived our lives in notoriously cartel related areas, where music is really an escape for us. ANNEX play with a lot of emotion and our music and lyrics define that. One of our goals has been to get our message across to people who can relate to our settings or to just expose people to this part of the U.S. which is sometimes overlooked.”

Annex is a band that I initially heard because they released a record on Mass Media Records, a highly underrated label specializing in post punk, deathrock and the like, out of Southern California. Since that label’s catalog is typically solid, I checked out Annex’s Despues de VI  LP that was released in May of 2015 and was blown away instantly. The record is easily one of the best post punk records of any kind of the past five years in my opinion. Imminent Destruction Records handled the release in Europe. They followed the LP with a 7″ single titled “Silencio” on Occult Whispers in November 2015. The band hails from McAllen, Texas, a city on the southern tip of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley that is only a 15 minute drive to the US/Mexico border to the south and a four hour drive to San Antonio to the north. They play a style that combines post punk, deathrock and early 80s UK peace punk among other varied influences to create a sound all their own. This March they made it to California on their first West Coast tour and I was able to catch a flawless, intense set at Five Star Bar in Downtown LA. In early August, they will play the third annual San La Muerte Fest in San Antonio that features some of the absolute best bands going playing post punk including Brazil’s Rakta, Rhythm of Cruelty from Canada and Denmark’s Moth to name a few.

What five bands shape the Annex sound most strongly? There are certain influences that seem obvious but it would be great to get your take on it.       

Migas – Hey Kris! Thanks for inviting us to be in your zine. Our influences have always been our favorite bands in this genre since the beginning. We are influenced by many post-punk, gothic rock bands from around the world. Our top influences are Killing Joke, Xmal Deutschland, Musta Paraati, The Skeletal Family and Siekiera or Vex if it’s only 5 I can list. We try to capture that sound and make it our own with a modern twist. Everything we do and everything we love comes from the late 70’s early 80’s.

Nikole– As you can tell, we are definitely influenced by the harder sounding post-punk, gothic rock. That kind of sound just attracts us more. We all come from hc punk so a harder style is something that comes naturally to us. When Migas and I started ANNEX, we knew from the beginning that we wanted to be a little rougher and more punk sounding than other bands currently doing post-punk because we wanted to differentiate ourselves and create our own sound. I really like getting influences and turning them into our own. In a way, ANNEX is in honor to the pioneers who started it all.

Does being from McAllen, Texas influence your music in any particular way? Tell me a little bit about the city. Do you have to travel 4 hours to San Antonio to plays shows usually or are there are neighboring cities in Texas or Mexico that are conducive to that?         

Migas – Being born and raised in this segment of the South Texas (the Rio Grande Valley) area has had a lot of impact on our band as we are literally a 15 minute drive to the U.S./Mexico border. We’ve lived our lives in notoriously cartel related areas, where music is really an escape for us. ANNEX play with a lot of emotion and our music and lyrics define that. One of our goals has been to get our message across to people who can relate to our settings or to just expose people to this part of the U.S. which is sometimes overlooked. San Antonio, TX is about 4 hours from here and, yes of course, we need to do a little traveling to play shows outside of the South Texas because Texas is so big. Neighboring cities to play are Brownsville (still part of the Rio Grande Valley) and heading north is Corpus Christi, followed by San Antonio then Austin, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, etc. But all in all, we love to meet new people and travel as a band. It’s about being humble and being able to be successful no matter where you are from.

Nikole – One of my goals as a female that’s been part of the punk scene in the Rio Grande Valley for many years is to be an influence to other females in this area to go out and create music, regardless of the adversity we face being from a strong Latino/Tejano culture where we still face oppression on many levels. Now that I get to front a band, I hope I have made some sort of impact to other chicas in the area throughout the Rio Grande Valley, not just in McAllen, to make art in one way or another. Being from way down in South Texas has definitely created more of a challenge for ANNEX as opposed to other bands from larger, more well-known areas of the U.S. I think this type of difficulty has pushed us even harder and has made us closer in ANNEX. Every type of success is much more appreciated and, as Migas mentioned, we really don’t mind traveling and we realize we have to get out of our comfort zone in order to grow ANNEX. Also, South Texas has a beautifully distinct border culture and we sometimes joke that we just have that “flavor” other bands don’t!

Are there any other bands from McAllen or surrounding areas that people should take note of going these days?

Nikole – A personal favorite regional and relevant band of mine is Vivent Les Morts. They’re a 3 piece electronic darkwave band influenced by the likes of Skinny Puppy and Ministry. The guys in Vivent Les Morts have done so much for the darkwave/goth scene in the Rio Grande Valley and have really pushed to keep the scene going. They’ve always supported us and we always loves performing on the same bill with them. They even performed at last year’s San La Muerte Fest which was so rad for us to see them get some recognition that was way overdue.

It’s been about a year since you released your first LP. How do you feel about it now that it has had a chance to settle in and you’ve played a bunch of shows to support it?   

Migas – It’s been fun since our LP came out.  Lots of new faces always coming up and telling us how they really enjoy the record. Touring has really been great to us. I haven’t heard the LP in a while but when I do it always brings great memories. We are currently writing a 2nd LP that will hopefully be as successful.

Nikole– Hearing people’s reactions to the LP has been very positive for us. Although we do write for ourselves, it’s been fun to go out and perform our songs for people from all over the U.S. One of my favorite parts about performing the LP is the feedback we get after we get off stage! I think we are just very different from a lot of bands in the U.S. post-punk/gothic rock scene and bring a bit of diversity to the table. I still love performing every single song because they are all near and dear to me, yet I know we are all ready to move forward and keep writing new material which will be a continuation of the sound from our 7″ “Silencio” which followed our LP.      

migas
Migas

Did you learn anything in the process of recording the first LP, and even subsequent EP, that you’ll take with you when it comes time to write/record the next record?

Migas – We learned quite a bit on how to deal with gathering our thoughts as a band. Basically what happened with our 7″ is that we started playing those 2 tracks live and people started saying that they wished they were on the LP. We went into the studio in August 2015 and recorded for a second release on vinyl which resulted in our 7″ “Silencio”. It’s been hectic touring, throwing shows and recording all at once. But I know when we start recording for our 2nd LP later this year, we will all have a clearer mindset as whole because we’ll have more time to concentrate on the next release. We will be taking a break from touring and playing after August to focus on writing and getting into the studio. I have written 7 of the 10 songs that will be on the new record, so everything will come together as time gets closer.

What is your favorite song lyrically on the full length and what does it mean to you?

Nikole – Ever since the music for the first track off our LP, “Nostalgia”, was written, I knew it was going to be my top track. The music is just so dark, powerful and it sounds like it creeps into your soul, where memories are suppressed but linger and never really disappear. I speak for myself when I say that even when we perform Nostalgia live, I feel like it truly kicks off our set. It just sets off that emotion in me that makes me sing with a passion that I don’t really expose to many people. I wrote the lyrics in reference to letting go of the past and allowing some things die in order for one to move one.  “Assure yourself your war has passed / New comfort exists & this will last…& this will last / Forgotten those days, recollection spent, deprive your mind ‘cause you’ll never regret the ties we share – the lies – the air – death’s sometimes fair – the cross we bear.” This is really just about subduing feelings and memories…we move on, but do we ever really forget?

band

Mass Media is a great label. How did you get to know and start working with them and how has that gone so far?

Migas – Mass Media Records is part of our family. They’ve been a great deal of support to me and the rest of the band. We goy into contact with them because of our Tribute song of Joy Division’s  “Day of the Lords”. We were featured on a compilation for CVLT Nation featuring many amazing, current bands that we all love and consider friends. Shortly after CVLT Nation released the compilation, we reached out to Mass Media Records and they really were interested in a full release for ANNEX.  We were in a good spot from then on. They have pushed our LP all across the country to many record stores and different labels. It’s hard for a d.i.y. band to do that alone. Being on a record label really gets all that pressure off of you. And we knew at that point we were on the verge of doing awesome things.  Nikole and Tricia (MMR) talk frequently, almost every day. Everyone in our band and the MMR family have a good relationship with one another.

Nikole – I really cannot think of a better label than Mass Media Records to work with. They worked with us really well on our LP which was a split release with Imminent Destruction Records from the U.K. I was literally overjoyed when we got the “O.K.” from Mass Media Records to move forward with an LP. MMR is just so on point with their releases, being focused on darkwave, peace punk, goth rock, post-punk bands. I feel like Migas and I relate to Cameron and Trisha on many levels and we just get along really well so we’ve just always been really thankful they gave us the opportunity that they did!

Did anything notably funny or ridiculous happen on your recent West Coast tour? I love a good tour story.

Migas – Yes! Well, on the last day of our tour, which was our 2nd time playing Portland on that leg, we had a drive to make from there all the way down to Las Vegas. The scenery was so beautiful and unlike anything we had really ever seen before. So, being that there is obviously a lot of desert in Nevada, we found ourselves on a quarter tank of gas and had a 60 mile drive to the nearest gas station. We were freaking out because it was 3am, almost pitch black outside with strange animal noises in the distance… and to top it off no one could get reception on their phones! By this time everyone who was asleep was well aware and ready to find shelter somewhere, or life, anything! We stopped at a gas station that was, of course, closed but had a house in the back yard. Everyone was trying to see if we could make noise so we could pump or ask for help. No one answered, so we knew we were going to have to make that 60 mile drive work. I don’t know how we did it, but it was crazy. We were on a race against time to fly out of Las Vegas at 12pm and we were still 10 hours out. We finally reached the gas station 60 miles out and pumped and loaded up on coffee. From that point on, it was 100 miles before the next gas station. That was insane, and I hope we don’t have to go through that again! Haha

You recently played with Modern English. How was that show and what are some bands from the 80s that you would love to play with, either realistic or unrealistic? 

Migas – It was a great show with Modern English. Very good, solid people. They put on a great show, their Mesh and Lace material is always the best for me personally. So to hear it in its entirety was beyond rad! Oh gosh, bands that I would definitely want to play with would be Paralisis Permanente with Eduardo in the band. Musta Paraati with Jore in the band and def Killing Joke 1979-1982 era. Those are dream shows that would be the best for me!

Nikole – Opening for Modern English was a pivotal moment for me in ANNEX being in the post-punk revival genre that we are in. It really opened my eyes and even though we had toured and had releases, things just got a lot more serious for me at that moment. Needless to say, Modern English was really, really amazing. One of the best memories from the Modern English show was watching their guitar player manipulate his guitar sound with his pedal board. Main reason being is that it really reminded me of Migas and his own pedal board which I know intrigues people when we perform live. Haha, while opening for Modern English, the power went out mid-song during out set! It was hilarious. The show went on and Modern was perfect that night. If had to choose a band to perform on the same stage with, it would definitely be Xmal Deutschland. Anja is my girl for life!

logo

What are some places you would love to place that you haven’t been able to yet?

Migas – There are many people from around the world that have offered to host us if we play in their countries. Right now we are still trying to figure that out. However, Puerto Rico, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile are areas we are planning on this coming year 2017. We are already in talks. It’s so hard to try and do everything all at once. We will eventually play other areas but as Latinos, we do want to visit other people who feel and love what we do and share our similarities. We want to give back to the people in countries that don’t have the resources to come out and see us play over here. We are grateful for anywhere we are able to perform and, to me in d.i.y., that is one of the things that keeps me writing and going in this band.

If you had to start a music project completely different than Annex, what influences would you like to explore?

Migas – Nikole and I have talked about doing a Synth wave/Dark wave project together as a duo. I am also a producer so a lot of my writing ranges from everything to Killing Joke to dance-y music. I’ve written a song or 2 as melodies for different stuff. For now, our main focus is to continue with this band and once we finish doing what we need to do with ANNEX, I’m sure Nikole and I will do something that is just about us.

Nikole – As musicians in the punk scene, we have kind of already done it all collectively so starting ANNEX was that next project and next influence we decided to delve into. I guess we’ll see what the upcoming years bring us.

I know you said you have a new drummer. Has the lineup of Annex remained fairly consistent since inception or has there been many member changes?

Migas – We do have a new addition to the band with Omar on drums now! There hasn’t been many line-up changes but basically, Arnold, our drummer for our LP and EP didn’t really have time to tour. And we knew it was going to be an issue, especially with the plans we see later this year—recording a new LP then touring in 2017 to promote. We felt like Omar was the right decision because he has been a longtime friend of ours, he already knew the songs and he’s a talented, dedicated musician. Having Omar in the band has made it much simpler for all of us. We are all on good terms with Arnold and he does wish us the best.

San La Muerte Fest is coming up soon and has a killer lineup. Who are you most excited to see and do you expect that to be one of the best shows you play this year?

Migas – San La Muerte does have a great line-up full of talent. I am most excited so see and finally meet MOTH (Denmark)! We are record label mates on Mass Media Records, so we have talked about meeting and performing together before. And not to mention, San La Muerte Fest will be their last show ever. I also want to see Masses (Australia) which is another band on Mass Media Records. They had asked us to tour together for this summer leading up to SLM Fest but plans fell through due to scheduling. Overall, there are a lot of good bands on SLM and should be a fun night to party and hangout

Nikole – This year’s San La Muerte Fest lineup is so amazing that is it kind of overwhelming! I feel like I could list every band as a band that I am anticipating to see but I will narrow down my list to Dead Cult (looong time fan), MOTH of course, Cold Complex, Rhythm of Cruelty, Masses, Otzi, and Slimy Member (TX represent!). & I REALLY want to dance to DJ Goth Mommy’s set… SLM 2016 will for sure be one for the books.

nikole
Nikole

Do you have any new releases or tours planned at this point? What’s next for Annex?

Nikole & Migas – After SLM, we will take a break to continue writing and record our 2nd LP this year. We don’t plan on touring again until after we record and hope for our new LP to be out before we go to Puerto Rico in Spring/Summer of 2017. It’s really hard to play long distance places without merch especially since we keep selling out of everything. We might have another label re-press our first LP but that might take some time. We look forward to an even better year in 2017 and can’t wait to see how everything plays out! Thanks again for chatting with us, cheers Kris!

Follow Annex on Instagram and Facebook for updates.

Please follow Ice and I Zine on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook  to be updated when new posts occur. I am updating almost regularly and the first print issue comprising the interviews with Globelamp, Jane Pain, Mark Palm, Part Time Punks, Annex and Body of Light is up now for order!

Part Time Punks Interview with Michael Stock

michael-dirtysnapshots
Photo by Dirty Snapshots

“And to this day one of the highest compliments I can receive is when someone says something like ‘omigod, I can’t believe THEY are playing!! I can’t fucking believe it! I thought it was impossible!!’…Because growing up, I really DID think it was impossible”

If a music community is to thrive and live up to its full potential, legitimate promoters/bookers are quite vital and sometimes underrated in importance. For those into post punk/shoegaze/dream pop/synth pop/etc in Los Angeles, there is no one who contributes more and has done so more consistently than Michael Stock who has been booking shows under the name Part Time Punks since 2005.

Every Sunday, Stock takes over the Echo, a 350-person capacity venue (occasionally the larger downstairs 800-person venue Echoplex) in Echo Park. The shows typically don’t start until 10-11pm and end between 1-2am but it is worth losing sleep and coming in to work groggy on Monday morning just about every time. Each show typically consists of three bands perfectly united by a genre theme for which Michael also provides a soundtrack to by DJing relevant music in between bands. Whether it is minimal snyth night, Krautrock night or twee pop night, you are sure to see bands making often rare LA appearances that will blow your mind. Part Time Punks also does themed dance nights such as The Smiths/Morrissey/The Cure/Depeche Mode and special events for New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day. Michael is also a professor by day, books Punk Reggae Party, where he DJ’s a soundtrack of punk, post punk and reggae, every Friday at La Cita in Downtown Los Angeles. Oh, he also does a radio show on KXLU, makes comic books and records band sessions. Michael Stock may book under the moniker “Part Time” Punks but he surely has been contributing “full time” to the Los Angeles music scene for the last 11 years.

You were born in the Midwest, correct? When did you move to LA and how did your upbringing impact your decision to contribute to the music scene of the big city?

I moved to LA in the late 90s — to go to film school at UCLA; specifically, grad school in Critical Studies and Film History, as the original plan was for me to dive right into a career of academia…  But yeah, I was born and raised in a tiny farming community in Eastern Nebraska. A dairy farm, actually, run by my father and his father and, uh, well me (as my father never gave me much choice in the matter).  Which of course was a life of misery for me, and starting at a very early age music was my only real escape (with comic books a close 2nd actually).  The farm I grew up on was about half hour from Lincoln — which is the capital, and home to the University Of Nebraska (and about 220,000 Husker Football fans).  HOWEVER it also meant there were a couple great record stores there and pretty much the entire handful of weirdos in Lincoln all worked there — including most notably Jeff Runnings (from For Against) who really set my tastes on the right (and very British path): 4ad, Factory Records, Creation… These record stores would get vinyl from all the great labels in that era AND even more importantly perhaps copies of Melody Maker and N.M.E., which I always inherited and was able to take back to the farm with me (after all the other weirdos at the store had read them).  This was my window to a world  of music that was changing every week, and would help guide me to which imports I absolutely MUST buy (using the money my father gave me working on the farm, and YES, milking those cows.)

In that era very very FEW bands ever came through Nebraska to play shows. The few that would dare swoop through the great barren plains of the Middle West would tend to play in Lawrence…or worse yet…play Chicago then Denver…and/or Minneapolis.  So to me seeing my favorite bands LIVE was always this great impossible thing. I mean I read about it; I saw in those British weeklies how many amazing gigs they were playing in the UK, but in Nebraska….very, very rare.  Looking back of course it’s easy to see how then booking my favorite bands to play would become such…well…such a fucking MISSION really. And to this day one of the highest compliments I can receive (and the sweetest) is when someone says something like ‘omigod, I can’t believe THEY are playing!! I can’t fucking believe it! I thought it was impossible!!’ That sort of thing.  Because growing up, I really DID think it was impossible — unless you got in the car and drove the 6 hours to Minneapolis or the 8 hours to Denver or the 10 hours to Chicago…which I did as a young lad, and managed to see bands like My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Slowdive, Lush, Cocteau Twins, Galaxie 500…even Oasis’ 1st US show  (at this restaurant in Minneapolis where Greg Norton aka the bass player from Husker Du was rumored to be working in the kitchen).

When you started Part Time Punks, did you set out to book a show every single week or did it sort of morph into that? Most promoters don’t book that consistently aside from those who do it as more of a job than a passion.

Originally it was just gonna be a night where me and my friend Ben White were gonna spin all these crazy post-punk records we were both recently obsessed with. Ostensibly a dance party…maybe. Though I’d never DJ’d a dance party before & had no real idea how the hell that even worked. (I’d spent about a year before this DJing in-between bands at places like Silverlake Lounge and Spaceland and The Echo — at a time when such a thing was unheard of; like, I would hafta explain how much cooler a show could be with music between bands that would actually connect with the bands playing — how it would be part of the nite; conceptually and creatively contributing to make the whole thing more of an event.  I remember explaining this to various promoters & club owners & them sitting there listening to me but looking at me like I was crazy until it came time for them to speak & the first question was always: ‘Uh…ok…but how much do you need to be paid???’ And I of course was like, ‘well just let me come to other shows when I want to & you don’t need to pay me in anything other than whiskey.  So THEN of course they were like ‘great! love the idea!’

Anyway…so the very 1st nite of PTP there were about 30 people there & I had to get into a yelling match with the bartender to let us stay open til 2am.  (He’s turned into a longtime pal now, this guy Joaquin, who owns/runs Little Joy; check with him & he will verify the story.)  Anyway, the next day it was Liz Garo (who books the venue the other 6 nites a week since it opened) suggested to me — hey, why don’t you try having a band or two play since you know so many of them, that way they will bring their fans too, and hopefully their friends will become your fans & that’s how the whole thing can grow.  This was of course a REVOLUTIONARY IDEA to me…and also at the same time like ‘duh, why the hell didn’t i think of that???’  So yeah, definitely quickly morphed into that.

And very quickly the booking part of it became my absolute favorite part of it. It’s like a constantly changing conceptual art piece, every Sunday. Piecing together 2 or 3 bands playing live along with a vinyl soundtrack to augment these bands before/between/after they’re done…plus projections…plus of course all the amazing and magical HUMANS who happen to show up that particular nite.

The only thing I love as much is of course the Part Time Punks radio show, which I’ve been doing every Thursday afternoon 3-6pm PST for over a decade now.  (With making all the poster/flyers for PTP coming in a close 3rd actually…which I make all myself in oldschool punk/collage style aka cut/paste/Xerox and NO fucking photoshop FYI.)

radio.jpg

You’ve booked some insane bands from Modern English to Clan of Xymox to Wire to Mark Gardener of Ride doing their songs before they reunited. What band are you most proud to be able to say that you booked? The most surprising one you pulled off?

Well, all the above of course. And I guess the most surprising ones to pull off were the shows that almost killed me — literally — ie, the bigger shows, the Fests or I suppose Mini-Fests is more accurate: the PTP Festivals of 2008 & 2009, the Frontier Records Nite, Dangerhouse Nite, Shoegaze Fest.

frontier

 

ride.jpg

I’m also very proud of the fact that I’ve booked the 1st-ever LA shows with most of my favorite contemporary bands –Nothing, Beach Fossils, Diiv, Wild Nothing, Mac Demarco, Craft Spells,Veronica Falls, Toy, Pity Sex, The Soft Moon, Ice Age, HTRK, Xeno & Oaklander, The KVB, Black Marble, Lebanon Hanover, Be Forest…..and the list goes on…(and almost all of whom have also done Part Time Punks Radio Sessions as well!)

Were there any bands that you attempted to book that fell through that would’ve been insane?

Yes…and sorry to be evasive here…but I’d rather not say because I STILL have my fingers crossed on these!!!!

Most interesting experience for you that has occurred at a Part Time Punks event?

That answer changes every few months actually! For 11+ years now! Constantly changing!

Have you ever attempted to play your own music?

When I was in grad school, I made a bit of noise with my best pals from UCLA, Slater & Jay….but it was very out there & mostly cathartic. Probably sounded more like The Fucking Champs or Slint/Unwound but with bad math skills.  I very quickly realized that I would rather enjoy other people’s music than try to make my own…

How many records do you have in your collection approximately? What are your most prized ones? 

Yeesh…uh…I really don’t know! Maybe 30,000? Maybe more? I’ve pretty much NEVER sold anything…so, uh, of course, these things pile up… Most prized ones? Um…..well most RARE ones would be the first singles by Orange Juice, Sea Urchins, Go-Betweens, Felt, Beyond The Implode, the Factory Sampler double 7″, Durutti Column 1st LP in sandpaper sleeve w/flexi, Lilys 1st LP, MBV ‘Loveless’ LP… But to be honest, the answer to that question probably changes every few months actually, whenever some sweet new score rolls in….

What is your best piece of advice for someone looking to get into booking shows?

Stay the fuck away from Sundays.

Were there any promoters who inspired you to get started? Are there any other promoters today that you admire today?

Well, of course my main inspirations and heroes are John Peel, Malcolm McClaren, Tony Wilson, Alan McGee (and I only got to meet the last 2 on the list there). But my other 2 main inspirations — who also continue to inspire me — are both based here in LA: Jim Smith from The Smell AND Tom Chasteen from Dub Club.  Dub Club, of course, has been going for 15 years now or something, and Tom books all the bands for that — all these crazy legendary acts & artists from Jamaica and the UK; bands who fans are constantly saying ‘omigod I can’t believe this is even happening!’  So I was very consciously trying to do my version of that with PTP starting very early on, booking a lot of these original post-punk bands.  And of course The Smell, which has been going for even longer, which has long been known for hosting all these amazing bands before anyone ever heard of them.  And I am very proud to say that is something that Part Time Punks has always done…and that part of course works very well in conjunction with the PTP Radio show which has been on KXLU 88.9FM every Thursday afternoon for over a decade now.

On a related note, I should give a nod here to David Orlando, who of course is the other guy from Dub Club.  He’s one of my best pals in LA, and we’ve been doing Punky Reggae Party every Friday nite at La Cita for a decade now.  David is the guy who pretty much has taught me most everything I know as a DJ.  He grew up in LA, has been DJing since he was a teenager, and literally blows me away every Friday with his mixes…. RESPECT!

Give us some current bands to check out that we may not be aware of.

Well…of course all you gotta do is tune into the Part Time Punks radio show to find out that answer!  But here’s a few of my current new faves: Dilly Dally, Exploded View, Lake Ruth, The Goon Sax, Leave The Planet, Gold Class, Leatherneck, Downers, Choreography, Sextile, Odonis Odonis, Wray, Forevr, Them Are Us Too, The World…..and list very literally goes on & on, growing every week…. Such a rich time for new music! Unprecedented!

11-16-08 Part Time Punks Festival

Tell us more about your comic book series. Are there any other creative projects you would like to attempt? (Michael suggested reading the 3 interviews at the links listed for more in-depth information on that project)

http://herocomplex.latimes.com/comics/penny-dora-michael-stock-sina-grace-realize-a-wish-at-image-comics/#/0

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=55353

http://comicsalliance.com/penny-dora-wishing-box-hope-larson-sina-grace-michael-stock-image-comics/

I will say that I’m working on the script for a new book now…and it actually is deeply connected to music…but its still in the works, so it’s still hush-hush.  I started teaching at Sci-Arc last fall (a course on Comic Book History and the History Of Punk), and they have asked me to teach Core Classes there on Film next year, so my time for writing has been severely cut & looks to be for the near future. Gonna try and finish the script this summer then tho!

Some say being a promoter is thankless, agree or disagree?

Disagree. Mostly.

But ask me that question on a slow Sunday night around midnite when I am lying on the floor behind the stage or in the soundbooth, utterly crushed, and I may have a different answer.  Oh, but can you buy me a drink first?

Most ridiculous request a band has had for their rider?

Ummmmmmm…at this point I’m still holding out on dishing dirt and naming names.  But maybe some day….

Do you love booking today as much as ever and do you see any end in sight?

Absolutely YES I do!!!!  That still remains one of my absolute favorite aspects of Part Time Punks….and of course something I knew absolutely ZERO about when PTP started back in May of 2005.  People do ask me from time to time ‘how long do you intend to keep going?’ Sometimes it’s haters asking with sneer, but mostly it’s rad supportive music loving people who want it to keep going, and I always say the same thing — ‘I’ll keep doing it until I keel over dead at the controls some Sunday nite.’ (With sneer or without, my answer is always the same.)

You have one last PTP to book and can book any 5 bands, who would you book?

Ah…the dream…

That one is easy:

(1) Cocteau Twins

(2) The Durutti Column

(3) The Wake

(4) The Pale Saints

(5) Felt

Part Time Punks books amazing band every Sunday at the Echo, sometimes Echoplex, (Clan of Xymox, Them Us Are Us Too and The Names are a few he has coming up) and Punky Reggae is a fun time every Friday at La Cita in Downtown LA. Always keep an eye out for what Michael is working on and follow him on all social media for updates.

PTP Festival updated flier

Please follow Ice and I Zine on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook  to be updated when new posts occur. I am updating almost regularly and the first print issue comprising the interviews with Globelamp, Jane Pain, Mark Palm, Part Time Punks, Annex and Body of Light is up now for order!

Mark Palm of Devotion, Go It Alone, Supercrush, Modern Charms Interview

Devotion - photo by Amos Harnett

“It’s a little strange because it’s my most recent release so perhaps it’s seen as an indication of where my songwriting is at right now, but really it’s more of an example of where I was at half a decade ago.” – Palm on Devotion’s “Headspace Astronaut”

When I interviewed Mark Palm for the first time in October 2007 for my last zine, The Wizard, I certainly did not expect to be doing yet another interview with him roughly 9 years later but here I am! At that time, Palm’s longstanding hardcore punk band Go It Alone was gearing up for their final show in their hometown of Vancouver and I was pretty bummed on that because seeing them play had been a big part of my youth. Since then, Mark has remained active in music while contributing his talents to a variety of projects that draw on influences quite different than the ones used by Go It Alone. He formed Devotion and put out a debut LP in 2009 called Bastard Son of Affluence Blues on Rivalry Records, also the previous home of Go It Alone. After the release of that record, the band would do some limited touring to promote it but then remained relatively quiet over the next 6-7 years aside from some scattered shows. While living in the San Francisco area in 2013, he played guitar and wrote music for dream pop band Modern Charms along with vocalist Inna Kurikova and guitarist Blaine Patrick that was reminiscent of Velocity Girl. Later in 2013 and also in early 2015, he released EP’s with former Lights Out drummer Aaron O’Neil in Supercrush who take hints from early Swervedriver and Teenage Fanclub. I had seen Devotion play a show in early 2013 where they mentioned a new LP and played new material but after quite some dead space, it seemed as though maybe Devotion was done and the new LP wasn’t ever going to be released. This was not the case though as seemingly out of the blue, Devotion announced the Headspace Astronaut LP in April 2016. They have not played any shows to support the record to the best of my knowledge but it is quite a great record if you’re into northwest grunge and groove oriented down-tuned southern metal and rock.

Headspace Astronaut came 7 years after Bastard Son of Affluence Blues and over 3 years after I saw you guys playing songs from it live and discussing how it would be released soon. Why did the record take so long? Did you always know in the back of your head it would eventually be released or were there doubts at times?

That record was a really difficult one to make.  It’s funny, a couple months ago the LPs finally showed up in the mail and Aaron, the drummer, brought me a copy of the record to check out.  As I was looking over the record for the first time I just said “Damn, that was a hard one.” and we both started laughing because it was so true.  It took so much time and effort to finally complete that project.  It took so long for a number of reasons.  Prior to recording the album we had various record label situations fall through.  Multiple labels that we were talking with actually folded.  That wasted some time.  Eventually, we just got fed up with label nonsense and decided to go ahead and pay to record the album ourselves. Luckily, our friend Jackson Long is a great engineer and he gave us a really affordable rate at his studio.  There’s no way we could have made the record if it wasn’t for that.  We probably spent about 30 days in the studio, but that was spread out over a year or so, a week here, a few days there, whenever Jackson had time.  After we finished tracking, the mixing process took forever.  When that was finally done and the recording was all finalized it kinda just sat there for another year while we tried to figure out how we were going to release the thing.  We were pretty financially drained after paying for tracking, mixing, and mastering.  Finally, we got it together to release the record ourselves in North America, and our friend Gabi in Spain offered to handle the European release.  That’s when we encountered the usual pressing plant delays.  We ended up having to switch pressing plants.  That pushed the release back another year.  Basically, one thing after another added up to years.  It’s crazy, I started writing some of those songs in 2009 or 2010.  So by the time they actually saw the light of day they were six years old.  It’s a little strange because it’s my most recent release so perhaps it’s seen as an indication of where my songwriting is at right now, but really it’s more of an example of where I was at half a decade ago.

Devotion - Headpsace Astronaut recording sessions by Jackson Long
“Headspace Astronaut” Recording Session by Jackson Long

From my perspective, it seems like we saw hints of what was to come on Headspace Astronaut on the first LP but now you have fully developed that sound. The other part of the first record seemed like it was a more direct progression from the last Go It Alone record drawing on Damnation A.D. and others. Would you say that is an accurate way to describe the progression of Devotion’s sound or do you disagree?

That’s absolutely accurate.  We made a conscious decision to move in a more rock direction, continuing on from songs like Bastard Son, and Needle Full Of Liquid Pain, as opposed to the more heavy hardcore, Damnation AD influenced stuff.  I actually have a ton of song ideas and riffs stored away that are more in the Damnation vein, but I wanted to make a cohesive album, and that material didn’t really fit in with our vision for this particular album.  Who knows, maybe one day some of that stuff will see the light of day.

What were the main influences for the new record both musically and lyrically?

Well, musically I’d say it was influenced by all sorts of heavy rock stuff.  I mean, there are pretty obvious influences from groups like Down, (rock era) Corrosion Of Conformity, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pantera, Only Living Witness, etc.  And of course, proto-metal groups like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple.  Not that we sound like Sabbath or Purple, but how can you play heavy rock and not be influenced by those bands?  Of course there are tons of other influences that I don’t think the listener could ever pick up on.  We all listen to a really wide range of music, across all genres, and we grab little ideas here and there from all different sources.  As for the lyrics, they were written over a long period of time, and so reflect a bunch of different ideas.  They were influenced more by my life experiences and thoughts, than by any band or artist in particular, aside from one particular lyrical nod to the Pink Fairies, by way of Rollins Band.

Do you plan to play any shows to support the new record? Touring maybe?

I’m not too sure about that.  At this point the band members are spread out between LA, Oakland, Seattle, and Bellingham, so the logistics of playing together are pretty complicated.

What song on the new record are you most proud of?

I think Ocean Of Grief is the strongest song on the album.  That one came together nicely with great contributions from everyone in the band.  I remember putting that one together on a day off while on tour in Richmond, Virginia.

Do you see any future plans for new music and/or shows with Supercrush or Modern Charms? Has Supercrush ever played a show even? PS I love the Modern Charms EP artwork!

I’ve been really busy with Supercrush lately.  We’ve been working on some new releases.  We’ve got six new songs all recorded, I’ve just gotta get up to Seattle to put the final touches on the mixes.  Hopefully we’ll have a new single out by the end of 2016, or very early next year.  I’m glad you dig the Modern Charms artwork, I was really happy with how it turned out too.  I love the front cover photo.  It originally appeared in National Geographic Magazine as a reader submitted photo.  I had to do some serious internet sleuthing to track down the girl who took that self portrait to get her permission to use the photo.

a1125502921_10
Modern Charms “When We Get There” EP

Have you done any other musical or other artistic ventures outside of those mentioned? (sidenote: I’m not sure how I spaced on how Mark played in Black Breath)

Oh yeah, lots.  I played rhythm guitar in a metal band called Black Breath for three or four years.  I toured all over the world with them and was involved in their latest album, Slaves Beyond Death.  I haven’t been playing with them since I moved back to California, but they are still going, and still a great band.  I’ve played in a bunch of hardcore bands over the years, like Vacant State and Keep It Clear.  I also still do a hardcore project from time to time called Night Prowler.  I’ve been releasing Night Prowler cassettes every now and again over the past six or seven years whenever the mood strikes me.

vacant state by milton stille

Any new projects in the works or ideas for ones you’d like to start?

I’m mostly just concentrating on Supercrush right now, always working on new songs.  I’ve been playing guitar just about every day, and working on improving as a songwriter.

Supercrush by Jackson Long
Supercrush – Aaron O’Neil and Mark Palm

It’s been 9 years since Go it Alone broke up yet I feel like they are still one of the few bands from that era that I can turn on and enjoy just as much. It definitely “holds up” unlike most of that genre. How do you look back at Go It Alone all these years later? Have you ever considered a reunion or no way?

Go It Alone was the most important thing in my life during that time period and I look back on it fondly.  I think some of the records hold up better than others, but all music aside, I’m just really proud of the effort we put into that band.  We were really going for it.  It wasn’t just a hobby or something we did for fun in our spare time.  We were serious about what we were doing.  As far as a reunion goes, it’s not something I’ve considered.  We’ve had a few offers, but I was really happy with how the band ended so a reunion doesn’t really appeal to me.  It would be hard to live up to our last show, so it seems better to just leave it as it is.  It would be hard to recreate the intensity that we felt in that time, ten years later.

It is actually insane to me how different the hardcore scene is in 2016 than it was when GIA was most active over 10 years ago. Part of it is getting older I feel but things seem so different. How do you feel about the hardcore scene now? Do you have any involvement or observations?

I’m still involved in the hardcore scene.  I’ve been in California for the past year so I’m away from my home scene in Vancouver, and I’ve been really reclusive, so I’m not as involved as I was a year ago, but I still go to shows.  I actually think there’s a lot more good hardcore bands playing now then there was during Go It Alone’s time.  Sometimes it seems that there might be a certain intensity or desperation that is missing in a lot of current bands, but that might be more of a reflection of my age and where I’m at than anything else, you know?  I’m sure some of these bands are resonating on a really intense and desperate level with the younger people in the audience.  I’m always fascinated to see the different cultural shifts that occur in the hardcore scene.  Ideas, musical styles, politics, fashion sense, are always shifting within the scene and I’m always curious to watch those changes take place.  I’m actually pretty impressed with a lot of what I see in the hardcore scene lately.  Of course there’s a lot of bullshit, as always, but I’ve been seeing a lot more women in particular, making great music and doing powerful things.  I’m pretty excited about that.

Supercrush video shoot
Supercrush Video Shoot

You are starting a new band and are able to pick a supergroup of musicians to back you, living or dead. Who would you choose?

I’ll choose from my group of friends.  Aaron O’Neil on drums, he’s one of the best ever.  Jamie Byrum, the drummer from Black Breath will play guitar.  Everyone knows he’s a great drummer, but not everyone realizes that he is a guitarist first and foremost.  Definitely the best guitar player I’ve ever met.  Bob Reed will be the singer.  He played guitar in Devotion, and he’s a great guitar player, but his singing is really out of this world.  He does the additional vocals on the Devotion song Seeing Through The Eyes Of My Own Storm.  And on bass we’d have Allen Trainer from Big Bite, Strange Wilds, Wreck, Shore, etc.  I’ve seen him play drums and guitar many times, but apparently bass was actually his first instrument, so I’d like to see that.  And I wouldn’t even be in the band, I’d just be a fan and enjoy what they come up with.

It seems as though you have lived in Vancouver, Washington and Northern California. Do you feel those locales have influenced your music? Any place you’d like to live in the future?

Yes and no.  Certain bands and projects that I’ve done were definitely a product of their environment and a reflection of where I was coming from.  Go It Alone was definitely a reflection of growing up in Vancouver.  Vancouver references showed up in a lot of the lyrics and artwork.  Modern Charms on the other hand, was very much influenced by my move to San Francisco in the late 2000’s.  I was trying to write music that somehow conveyed some of the natural beauty of the Northern Californian Pacific Coast.  As for living elsewhere, I kinda have a scheme to move to Hawaii at some point in the future, but you never know.

While not playing music, how are you spending most of your free time these days?

I still spend most of my free time working on music.  Aside from that I try to get out of town from time to time to go camping, hiking, swimming, that sort of thing.  And of course I’m always working to get by and pay the bills.

Give us one record we likely have never heard that we should check out. Any genre, any time period.

I think the most under appreciated current artist is Ka.  He’s an MC from Brownsville, NY.  He has a really unique vocal style and usually raps over really sparse beats.  I guess it’s not for everyone, but I love it.  And lyrically, I’d put him up against any rapper, of any era, past or present.  Really deep lyricism.  I recommend his album called The Night’s Gambit.

What was the last band you saw live that blew you away?

Power Trip.  I saw them play a couple nights in a row recently and they were killer.  I’m really looking forward to their new album.

Be sure to keep an eye out for new stuff from Supercrush and hear songs from/pick up a copy of the Devotion “Headspace Astronaut” LP here.

Please follow Ice and I Zine on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook  to be updated when new posts occur. I am updating almost regularly and the first print issue comprising the interviews with Globelamp, Jane Pain, Mark Palm, Part Time Punks, Annex and Body of Light is up now for order!

Jane “Pain” Chardiet of Appetite Interview

908
Photo by Haruka Hirata

“It is hard to try and learn electronics because it is a sort of punishing and exclusive scene and it seems like no one wants to teach you and it is hard to teach yourself.”

Jane “Pain” Chardiet is easily one of the most interesting artists currently active in the noise/photography scene. Her photography is often disturbing and shocking, yet always fascinating and eye-catching. Jane’s photos absolutely shine through in an age where every random person with a camera and an Instagram thinks they are an artist. Chardiet’s picture of two appalled audience members covering their ears with looks of pain on their faces while watching her sister Margaret Chardiet perform as Pharmakon is one of the greatest photos I’ve seen in years. Her power electronics/noise music project with collaborator Ciarra Black, Appetite (two new songs posted recently with new release on No-Tech coming soon), is equal parts rhythmic and excruciating depending on which song you listen to. The common theme is that her art remains prominent in an ever-crowded landscape today and she has the rare power to make the viewer/listen gasp, laugh and even dance. Check out her website to keep up with her projects. Her Twitter is also probably the funniest one around right now.

Were you and Margaret close growing up? Were the Chardiet sisters a thing?

My sister and I have always been fiercely close, since I can remember. I can’t really go into things too deeply out of respect of her privacy but we had a bizarre and sometimes unstable upbringing that sort of left us to rely on each other and act as a team to survive. We’ve remained a unit into our adulthood. Kinda like the same things and go to the same shows and hang with the same people and are in each other’s daily lives a lot.  I love her so much, she is such a hilarious, talented true weirdo.

Have you done any other music aside from Appetite or is this your first project?

I’ve been playing music in bands since I was in High School… Been in like 9 “real” bands that played shows out, I guess. That is a strange thing to realize, ha! Aside from some noise rock stuff and thrash and punk bands I was in a project most recently with Christopher Hansell (Ligature/ Warthog) called Foreplay and did a solo performance/ noise project called the Waitress.

How did you and Ciarra Black, your collaborator in Appetite, start playing music together?

It was actually inspired by my decision to book a going away show for myself when I decided to move back to New York from Philadelphia. Ciarra and I had already been friends for years and years at that point, and had always wanted to play music together but never really got around to really making it happen. I threw us on the flyer and we spent my last month in Philly focusing on that set and processing everything; it was a pretty fucked up time for both of us.

About a year later, Ciarra moved to New York as well. We decided to start up Appetite for real.

artworks-000087988459-wh72rs-t500x500
Appetite – Ciarra Black and Jane Chardiet

 

Do you devote more time to your music or your photos? Any other ways that you like to channel your creative energy?

It really depends on the time. Right now, for instance, my life is sort of ruled by Appetite. I am either working so I can afford to take time off for a gig, working on Appetite on my own or at practice and have had little time to go out to shows or hang out or take pictures for the last month. Sometimes I spend months at a time traveling and focusing on picture taking. It just depends.

In terms of other ways of channeling creative energy… I make videos from time to time, try to collage and make flyers… I try to be kinda down for whatever and consider openness to experience and reading and exploring things as an investment in my creative energy as well. I also journal and write, although I have been sharing less of my writing and more of my photos in recent years.

What does Appetite have coming up?

We are leaving in a few days to play a monthly event called Surface Tension in San Francisco. I am stoked to share the bill with our NYC comrade Cienfuegos as well as one of the most inspiring and brilliant people I know, The Creatrix. When we get back we are playing a show with one of my biggest influences and personal heroes Lisa “Suckdog” Carver. Then, recording all this new stuff and putting it out on Ciarra’s label, No Tech.

It’s fairly easy to get started playing guitar in a traditional punk or rock band but experimenting with power electronics/noise seems a bit daunting to get started with. What is your advice for people looking to get into playing that kind of music?

I had a sort of gradual shift from playing in punk bands into playing keyboards in weirder and weirder bands into just playing electronics… Which was nice because I sort of eased into things, got comfortable with playing shows and learning gear and all that before going out on my own with a solo noise project…

There is so much to say though. It is hard to get the gear you need, especially to afford it if you are broke. It is hard to try and learn electronics because it is a sort of punishing and exclusive scene and it seems like no one wants to teach you and it is hard to teach yourself. You can spend hours and hours working on something that just gets fucked up. You can try something new and fuck up your gear because you don’t know what your doing. There are a lot more variables with playing electronics, but if you really want to do it you just have to make it work for you. And don’t be a fucking snob. Play the shit out of junk gear, make your own shit, try to do something new instead of lusting after a $2,000 drum machine that you don’t know how to use. You’ll be better off that way.

Do you have any plans for future art gallery appearances or to publish photos?

I am going to have a photo installation at a music fest in Chicago (it’s not announced yet so I am going to keep quiet) this September, and want to make some new zines for that. There might be a hardbound book in the works as well. Other than that, hoping for some new opportunities to arise!

cjwzj2tuuamblcg
Jane captures two audience members loving the harsh sounds of Pharmakon

 

Who and what inspires your music? What about your photography?

I am not sure how to answer this question gracefully! Everything inspires me, for better or for worse!

If you were exiled from New York, where would you go?

In a perfect world, I would split my time between LA and Japan.

Is there any current music you are into that would surprise us?

I think the things that I don’t like would probably surprise you more than the things I do like, to be honest, haha!

Favorite photo you have taken?

Even though the content was directed by Margaret, the cover of Pharmakon’s Abandon remains one of the most important photographs I have ever taken. I think that it really resonated with people and endures as a sort of iconic image. I am proud of it and I think that having taken that picture led to a lot in my life. Just the places I have seen it… Blows me away. Plus the whole scenario of shooting that photo was so insane and hilarious.

What is the best new New York hardcore/punk band going?

Man oh man, Prolly Mommy and Nandas and Warthog???

I know you have done some interviews yourself. If you could interview anyone in the world, who would it be?

I have always dreamed of interviewing Lisa Suckdog, so I hope I can make a connection with her at this show in a couple of weeks and scheme up something crazy for us to do together, but we will see! Beyond that, damn. I pretty much hate all pop music and don’t care, don’t want to talk to politicians, most musicians are sort of in reach or probably not that interesting to talk to, most of the writers I like are dead, I don’t know anything about film… Eh???? Would love to interview Genesis P Porridge and Rose McDowall someday maybe as well.

If you interviewed yourself, what is one  question would you ask because it would elicit an interesting response and please answer it, of course.

God I don’t want to take myself too seriously but here are some fun facts:

1) I have three band tattoos hehehehehe

2) My cat’s name is Calvin after a singer in a band I am embarrassed to like but also he is kinda old so you can’t judge me. He is the best cat.

3) Have only shit into a plastic bag one time

4) I have broken two other people’s arms, only one time was it on purpose

5) My left eye is half green and half brown. Some people notice right away, some people notice years later.

Your Twitter is the best for a good laugh with observations on random subjects. Please feel free to give me an unreleased tweet right now of something that you debated tweeting but decided not to or something that is on your mind right now.

Well I was going to tweet this earlier and forgot. I will stick to the format. “Just got asked out on a date to guitar center”. My partner kinda threw that out there earlier as an option of something to do, and we probably would have taken the train just to jam on gear and stare at freaks but they were closed so I did this interview instead!

Please follow Ice and I Zine on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook  to be updated when new posts occur. I am updating almost regularly and the first print issue comprising the interviews with Globelamp, Jane Pain, Mark Palm, Part Time Punks, Annex and Body of Light is up now for order!

Globelamp Interview with Elizabeth le Fey

Untitled

“I hope that my art and life speaks for itself after I’m gone.”

I first became aware of the work of Elizabeth le Fey just a few months ago when I saw her open for Charlie Hilton in Los Angeles. I typically try to sample the music of openers on a show I’m attending before I go to see if showing up early is worth my time. Although I can often be pessimistic when I haven’t heard of an opener, the music of Globelamp hooked me instantly. Elizabeth’s set under her Globelamp moniker was so impressive that I decided to listen to her music more and basically became obsessed with the song “Washington Moon” and came to love much of her other material. Her music seems almost frantic at times and has a very unique quality where it seems as though the vibe changes suddenly and unexpectedly which keeps me interested and on my toes as a listener. Although I wouldn’t identify the music that closely with one particular artist, favorites of mine such as Kate Bush and Cat Power come to mind for sure.

Le Fey, a former member of the band Foxygen from 2012-2013, has been making music on her own terms on the side since 2011 but only more recently as a full-time project. Her “Star Dust” full length came out in 2014 on Gazelle Recordings and her new full length “The Orange Glow” was re-released this past Friday, June 10th, on Wichita Recordings. Her record release show is tomorrow, Wednesday, June 15th, at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles coming on the heels of her recently completed European tour.

Is Globelamp your first predominantly solo project or have you been making music on your own prior to 2011 as well? 

Globelamp was my first musical project. Everything else came after. Even though I was in other bands, I still had Globelamp. The only reason I joined Foxygen was because the lead singer, Sam France, saw me perform a few times and liked Globelamp. I think people get confused and act like I started Globelamp after Foxygen but that’s completely untrue.

You have been a member of Foxygen and Meowtain. Have you done any other bands? How did your experiences in each band differ?

Well in Foxygen I was just a touring member who played keyboard, tambourine, and sang backing vocals. Meowtain was a band I helped form with Joel Davenport, Adam Kimball, and Dave Crager. Meowtain was more of my baby and I had creative control in there. We started Meowtain because we all wanted to be in a band and just decided to do it. It was a blast playing Meowtain shows, I miss doing it. Foxygen was more of a job.

Compare being a member of a band to making music completely on your own. It must be quite empowering to rely on absolutely no one to play music.

Being in a band taught me how to treat my future bandmates. It teaches you how to work with others not just on a musical level but on every level.

I see that you have lived in both Washington and Southern California. Have your experiences in these places shaped your music/lyrics strongly? If your surroundings impact your music, is there a place you’d like to live to see how it shapes the music you make?

Yes I think locations has influenced my music more than I realize.  I would like to live in Germany or the Netherlands and see how living there would influence my music.

Was there an artist, or maybe show that you attended, in particular that inspired you to start playing your own music?

Kathleen Hanna, Cat Power, Bright Eyes. A Le Tigre show sometime in 2005 and a Conor Oberst show at Pappy and Harriets sometime around 2010.

FullSizeRender (1)
Insert from “The Orange Glow”

What inspires your lyrical content mainly? Are there subjects that you feel you have yet to explore lyrically that you would like to?

I love words and stringing them together. Anything could inspire my lyrics. Someone could say something and it could spark an idea in my head and I’ll jot it down in my journal. Everytime I read fiction books I am inspired to write more fantastical lyrics I think.

Have you ever considered adding accompanying musicians to Globelamp, live and/or on record or do you plan to keep it a solo endeavor?

Yes I would like some other musicians play live with me eventually.

Your new record was your first on Wichita Recordings. Was there any type of adjustment going from a smaller label like Gazelle to a larger one like Wichita?

I had left Gazelle a long time ago and Lolipop Records in LA reissued Star Dust for me. Psychedelic Thriftstore, Joel Jerome’s recording label, originally put out The Orange Glow and now Wichita is. Wichita liked the album how it was so we didn’t have to change anything which was really awesome. It’s amazing to have their support. Gazelle was a really small label run by a married couple and they didn’t have much time to do anything other than put out my tape StarDust.

It’s undeniable that social media has had some extremely positive yet very negative impact on the music “industry” and community. What is your opinion on that?

I don’t know because I never grew up as a musician without social media. It has definitely helped me as a DIY musician. People have heard my music in countries I have never been to and that was before I was on a record label.

What are your passions aside from music?

Animal rights, photography, writing, astrology.

IMG_1348.JPG
Elizabeth on her record release day as she played Permanent Records in Echo Park. Photo by Angela Izzo. @izzoimages

If you could play any place on earth with any other band, where would you pick? This could be based on the music scene or just somewhere you want to visit.

Fleetwood Mac – Tokyo

How would you like people to remember Globelamp after you have ceased to make music? Is that even important to you?

It isn’t important to me. I hope that my art and life speaks for itself after I’m gone. I can’t control what others think or how they will remember me. I would like people to remember me as a songwriter who worked hard in the DIY music community for years and finally had her music heard by the rest of the world.

“The Orange Glow” came out last week. Do you plan to tour extensively to support it? Is there something about the record that you feel will surprise your fans?

I do plan to tour extensively to support it. Maybe the insert will surprise them, I put a lot of work into it 🙂

Order Globelamp “The Orange Glow” on LP/CD/Digital Download here.

Please follow Ice and I Zine on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook  to be updated when new posts occur. I am updating almost regularly and the first print issue comprising the interviews with Globelamp, Jane Pain, Mark Palm, Part Time Punks, Annex and Body of Light is up now for order!