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Ear buds Interview: La Bête Blooms

By Kristyn Potter

Ear buds Interview: La Bête Blooms

La Bête Blooms’ single ‘Take Arms’ is a rallying cry to the world, delivered with northern wit, fizzing synths and scratchy feeding back guitars—and it was a no brainer to put it on our March cassette curated by Left Bank magazine. 

We chatted with the band on their v. punk track, what making music in Hull, England is like, their favorite band, and what's to come ... (p.s. they are giving away some cassettes for free, go to their FB page to get in on the action).

 

For all the northeners pretending to be southern - I'm from the U.S., so not entirely sure if this is a jab or just a general fact. Care to explain?

 

Haha yeah I guess that line won’t make any sense to anyone not from the UK!

When I was growing up, everyone would head down South in England, because it felt like the only way you could make a good career in anything creative, I’ve often been told to move to London if i want to take the band seriously. 

That line is to all the friends that realised down south isn’t the be all and end all and have come running back to us!

 

Ok, glad we got that cleared (sighs deeply) - how did you guys (and gal?) meet/form?

 

Every band member has their own projects and bands they’re a part of, I just nicked them and made them join mine too! We’ve had loads of different members over the years, and I’ve made some friends for life. this lineup though, I wouldn’t change for the world. 

 

Your favorite band(s)

Everyone likes completely different stuff but I’ve made the whole band agree to say we like Pixies, I might have to get us all matching pixies tattoos just to make sure.

 

Can't go wrong with Pixies tattoos ... So, whats it like making music in Hull? Any advantages or disadvantages that come to mind?

 

People’s perceptions of Hull in England is that we’re a dead end city.

But the past ten years has seen a massive renovation project in the area including Hull being given the City of Culture title.

We have some amazing venues, great sport, and Hull people are the sweetest in the world.

Hull has an amazing defiance, honesty and self deprecating humour which I hope sweeps through in our music.

 

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would you play? (including you know, like Outer Space)

I’m a scaredy cat so hate travelling anywhere without the band. But I’ve wanted to visit Tokyo all of my life, I’m hoping that opportunity to play there with the band is possible one day.

Having said that we’d all absolutely love to visit the states one day too.

 

Yes come visit us in NYC/NJ! Any recent videos/tracks/etc you want us to share?

If you could share our latest single ‘take arms’, which features on the cassette that’d be amazing!

 

 

Any upcoming shows?

We head to London’s Lock Tavern in July. We hope to tour England this September! 

 

Your favorite line of all time?

‘I’m hanging on a ledge and your fine spiderweb is fastening my ankle to a stone’

Leonard Cohen - So Long Marianne

 

What do you do when you're not making tunes?

Josh is an actor, Emily’s a student, Jack serves up burgers at McDonald’s, John DJ’s Beyoncé songs all night for money and I promote gigs in Hull, make hot chocolate for everyone in the office and Co-book a festival we have here called Humber Street Sesh!

 

 Have your parents been to a show/heard your music and what do they think?

My Mum and Dad come to a lot of hometown shows, before I could drive my Dad would drive us across the country for gigs! They’re the best parents in the world, and really supportive although I think my Mum would wish I’d tone down the crazy at some of our gigs sometimes.

 

Great segue ... any memorable fan moment or stories?

We’ve had an unbelievable response to Take Arms, and had some really amazing comments from people online and at shows who says the song resonates with them which is the most incredible feeling. 

 

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Sounds x Interview: Switching the Label with TREADS

By Kristyn Potter

Sounds x Interview: Switching the Label with TREADS

Interviewed by: Kristyn Potter

“Clearly with a name like [Whiskey Bitches] there is a little bit of an image to keep up and all of that started as a fun joke band to me and I didn’t think it was something I could keep up.”

 On a very hungover Sunday about a month ago to the day, I ventured out of my bed (a feat I must say) and headed to a fancy hotel bar for brunch with the Brooklyn babes // badasses TREADS. I showed up late as usual (train delays, blah blah excuse) but they were more than understanding-and had already ordered a few mimosas. As I sat down, we almost instantly got into a conversation about John Mayer and how good of a guitar player he is (“who’s the emo guy who plays really good guitar ... he’s a sick guitar player from Berklee Music School” ... “Oh John Mayer, who I hate, but he’s an AMAZING guitar player) and as we all ragged on his emoness but also pure artistic talent, I knew it was going to be a Sunday well spent- my hangover was in good company.

And that’s what TREADS is; formally they came together as Whiskey Bitches (more on that later) but what kept them together was their love of music, their excellent caliber of playing, their desire to learn and grow as musicians, and their ability to work well as a unit.

I first came across them when we were putting together our cassette mixtape, and since then it was clear to me that these guys don’t just know how to rock, they also have a deep understanding of music, and aren’t afraid to show it- or experiment along the way. So without further ado, I present my second best hangover (my first was a few weekends ago on a beach in Monterosso) with the lovely TREADS.

“Before all of his stuff came out, I had a buddy in high school who was really into John Mayer and I was like ‘seriously’ ... he had all these weird demo tapes of him playing live shows, and he was doing like blues stuff, with other blues players and I remember being like he’s the biggest waste of talent, because he’s one of the best guitarists I’ve heard in a long time, but I HATE everything he does.”

Meet Mike, who I’ve been Facebook friends with for almost a year now and had no idea he was the same Mike until well after the interview. He’s the guitar and backing vocals in TREADS; unless you count the time Madge lost her voice and he had to fill in as vocals.

Which brings me to Madge. She’s the cool chick sitting in the back of the classroom in a leather jacket and like a Stone Roses shirt who visibly doesn’t give a fuck, but then also manages to graduate at the top of your class. She’s loud and unapologetic and strong in who she is, proud of what she knows and also capable of acknowledging things she doesn’t know; and it’s rad.

As the main vocals and guitar, Madge is very different than what you would think of her-if you, like me, associated her with her Whiskey Bitches days. She’s so far from just a whiskey bitch it’s almost insulting to put her in that same category; but we all have a past, and that’s the whole point of growing, right? She’s done classical piano for 15 years, stopping after high school, and instead studied recording at NYU-Tisch, and understands the whole business side of music.

She’s a silent killer if ever I met one, and in the weeks following the interview, she also kept in touch and asked about my sick puppy. A silent killer with a heart of gold.

“John Mayer’s music suckssssss. Well, it like good-sucks. It’s really good if you’re going through a breakup or something. You’re just at home eating ice cream or I don’t know a pita bread and crying listening to John Mayer.” Me - Left Bank head bitch, and occasion-specific John Mayer fan.

“We go through breakups really differently …”

Meet Glenn, drummer in TREADS, who fun fact KILLS it on the drums but hadn’t had a professional lesson until three years ago.

“My going through a break up was like spending the night skating against traffic in New York City. I didn’t put any John Mayer on … I just picked a northbound avenue and skated against traffic.” -Glenn

From then our food and more mimosas arrived, and we pivoted from John Mayer and skateboarding to things you probably want to read about.

Because Madge went to NYC for recording, we got on the topic of her involvement with the production of TREADS’ music.

“When it comes to the initial tracking and recording of things, we will go to a studio to do all of the drums because you need a drum room and a place that can do that well, so we will go to a place and I try to not get in the engineers way when we are his studio too much … its their studio, its still their session. But then all of the vocals and guitar production I do at home, and the bass I do in our practice space with Kris, and we do all of the bass tracking together.” -Madge

“So who mixes?” -Me, slightly less hungover

“For mixing you need a lot more gear, so we got this lovely human named Eric who has his own studio - he was a year ahead of me in school and was always very good, and its funny because Mike recommended him as someone he knew separately …” -Madge

“I worked with him on other projects and when we were talking about how we wanted to sound, he popped into my head as the guy who would sort of get it there.” -Mike

“He was like I dig the songs enough and I’m happy to work with this, and he’s definitely better at it than I am, which is helpful. And because we went to the same program we speak the same language, so the back and forth has actually been really refreshing and nice.” -Madge

Sidebar: because I’m late as shit getting this interview out, their EP has been released, and you can listen to it here.

Sidebar 2/Shameless plug: The conversation then pivoted over to the cassette that we put out, which Madge mixed due to the time crunch of getting our tapes out.  (Huzzah!)

“I think eventually I just need to buy a walkman,” -Glenn.

“So you listened to the cassette? Did you enjoy it?” -Me trying to boost my ego, one interview at a time.

“I enjoyed it, and the other bands too.” -Madge

Fair enough.

“This is really the first TREADS EP.” -Madge

“It’s [the new EP] the first one written as TREADS,” Glenn said. “[The first EP] was like spillover from Whiskey Bitches and those songs were all written before I joined, and I kind of re-wrote the drums, versus being written.”

“Yeah this EP is all stuff that we’ve done together.” - Madge “And its more of the direction that we want to keep going in.”

“So Left Bank interviewed Whiskey Bitches a long time ago, Alex Norelli did it during Northside, right when I launched the magazine, so I’m really interested to hear how Whiskey Bitches became TREADS.” -Me

“I was just growing out of the image. And I think that some of the other band members really wanted to keep going in that direction and Glenn and I are more on the same page, like what we are doing now makes more sense for who we are. We were getting heavier once [Glenn] joined the band.” -Madge

“Clearly with a name like that there is a little bit of an image to keep up and all of that started as a fun joke band to me and I didn’t think it was something I could keep up.”

“So was it an age thing?” -Me

“Originally Whiskey Bitches for me grew out of another band I had called Fuck Yeah, and it was my "serious band" and Whiskey Bitches was the joke side project, but then it started to get a reputation … the songs are kitschy and fun but that became my only band and when I tried to make it more serious it was clear that as a group it didn’t make sense anymore.” -Madge

It was during the time that they had a Rubber Tracks session originally for Whiskey Bitches that TREADS (at that time name TBD) had really started to evolve into its own direction.

“I joined the band because I really liked the band and was going to their shows and Madge was complaining about how she wanted to book shows but didn’t have a drummer.” -Glenn

“And thats a similar story of how I joined the band too. In my other project I had played shows with them and had been a fan for a while, Madge hurt her hand and they asked me to play guitar because I was familiar with the songs and had been to the shows, so I learned all of the songs in a week and played as the guitarist for a show, and then somehow accidentally we were like ‘hey its fun having two guitarists’ and thats how that happened.” -Mike

… and this was as Whiskey Bitches? Wait. TREADS? Anyone else a little confused?

“The name changed basically happened … so we recorded the EP, we put it out a year after we recorded it, by the time it comes out that September we’re already TREADS. I think Northside of that year was the last Whiskey Bitches show we played.” - Madge

Somewhere between all of this, our mimosas were refilled and Glenn mentioned how badly he wants to release a TREADS metal album. Which is kind of the beauty in the name change: they can do that. They can do whatever the hell they want to do.

“We suddenly have a band where the musicality is a lot higher, which is why its more of an exciting project for me personally. It’s no longer like 3-chord joke music, and I don’t mean that at all in a bad way … there is something a lot more fun if you come from playing for a long time, and you want to get better musically over time.” -Madge

“I mean you went to music school …” -Me

“And I was always shy about saying that out loud but as I’ve gotten older I’m more confident, and I would like to be considered a respectable musician not just a 3-chord punk player.” -Madge

“I also find that I’m surrounded by multi-instrumentalists, and when I replaced Eli in Whiskey Bitches, I remember he got a tattoo of a guitar on his arm and I was like why that and he’s like ‘oh I’m a guitarist, but I play drums, but you should definitely take that drumming role.’ I didn’t even realize he identified strongly as a guitarist, like that is his musical voice. And the more I work with good musicians, I think that good musicians play multiple instruments - Glenn

Sidebar fun fact: When writing music, Madge starts most of it on piano, but very recently she has started approaching and applying all of the things that come naturally on piano, to the guitar.

“And I’m the opposite, while the only lessons I ever took were piano, I would never play piano live because I’m not good enough. But while guitar is my first language, I write a lot of my melodies on piano because it makes me think of melody differently than I would with guitar.” -Mike

What became really interesting and apparent to me, was that not only were these guys good musicians, but they wanted more from the music they were creating through TREADS. Being that Madge is so classically trained, the way they compose their music is a lot more refined than your average punk band. So while on stage, you get the punk vibe or aura if you will, but behind the scenes, the composition of those same tracks is a lot more meticulous and strategic.

“This is the first band that I’ve ever played in where at the end of the show I can usually count the mistakes on one hand. Normally its like whatever mistakes happen, happen constantly but with this one they don’t. And I can tell you, we just played Knitting Factory last week, and I know two mistakes happened.” -Glenn

“Whats funny is that you’re one of those drummers that you’re so on that when you make a mistake, I notice, and you notice too. You’re consistent enough that its noticeable and we know exactly whats going on.” -Mike

“Mind you he’s playing with a sprained wrist and its like you’re really injured right now and shouldn’t even be playing, and you still only made just one mistake.” -Madge

The cool thing about this—just in sharing a meal and drink with them—is that they spend a lot of time together honing their craft and cultivating their relationship/friendship with each other. Its 100% obvious, and while I’ve been around a lot of bands during this time, it’s nice to see a band that is fun and badass, but also a serious fucking band. It’s very orchestrated, and it’s nice to watch.

“Whiskey Bitches was fun to play drums because you could kick over half the drum set and it would still be fine, it would be fun and silly and everyone would laugh but whatever.” -Glenn

“But is that kind of limiting do you think? That lack of freedom?” -Me, hangover finished and fully engaged.

“I think we are growing into it [freedom] more and more. My next aspiration is to get to a point where there are songs where we have longer instrumentals to give us more space. But when we say freedom, there were no solos in Whiskey Bitches … it was just we looked sloppy.” -Madge

“And freedom doesn’t have to be sloppy.” -Me

“It’s like adding places where you can start to play together more, and be like do we want to extend this another 8 bars, like how do we become the kind of musicians where we can get on stage and read a crowd, and react together, I think that is the next step. Now that we have a unit that is working together.” -Madge

“Watching where TREADS has gone before I was playing and being in it now, the evolution I am finding is very interesting and enjoyable.” -Mike

“I think we stopped focusing on how to play Northside and more thinking like how do we get to the Garden in 10 years? How do we got to a place where we all feel like we’re bringing something to the table that expresses the sum of all of this life and musical training and playing, and trying to make more room where everyone can come to the table and say ok this is something I want to play, this is something I want to do. And it feels really awesome.” -Madge

Catch them July 27th at Mercury Lounge, or August 15th at Alphaville. A huge thanks to TREADS for giving me (and now all of you) a glimpse into their world—excited to see what's to come. Listen to their brand spanking new EP below x

 

Cover Photo: David Burlacu

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Ear Buds Interview: Fecking Bahamas

By Kristyn Potter

Ear Buds Interview: Fecking Bahamas

We are thrilled to have partnered with the math rock blog Fecking Bahamas for the May Ear Buds Cassette Mixtape. We had a nice little chat with Nikk, one of the founders of the site, and discussed how the blog got its start, why they picked the bands they did for the cassette, and all-things math rock. This interview also covers a lot of ground, amazing links for your next rabbit hole, and some math rock blogs and YouTube pages as well. 

Let's start at the beginning, how did Fecking Bahamas get its start?

Fecking Bahamas started when my wife Kat and I were living in the UK. We had always been into math rock, but this was our chance to really interact with the scene. I started writing for Musical Mathematics, which was an amazing blog focused on math rock and the general UK scene. I guess my enthusiasm got the best of me and I started researching math rock heavily, even making a 'database' of math rock bands across the world. After a while we were sitting on so much writing and general data that we just decided to throw together our own blog. We decided to transform our math rock database into an interactive map, which people could use to find bands in the more obscure countries. At the time, the Japanese scene was super exciting but poorly documented, so we also released a Japanese math rock compilation on Bandcamp. I guess all of this stuff combined gave us our start, they got our name out. We also did this 'History of Math Rock' article series, which people tend to like.

Why math rock? Versus an indie blog or rock blog etc?

My attraction to math rock is similar to my broader love for jazz and experimental genres. I just love music that is unpredictable, stuff that requires multiple listens to pull it apart and parse the sound. However, while jazz is overburdened with improvisation and long-winded freeform instrumentation, math rock is punchy and to the point. It retains that raw energy and brevity of its punk heritage. In terms of making a math rock specific blog, I guess in addition to our love for math rock, we wanted to contribute to that particular community. It's small, friendly, and the people are open-minded. We were also enthusiastic about focusing on one genre and doing it well - researching it to the n-th, covering the entire globe, unravelling its history etc. A more general music blog for us wouldn't be as special and a bit cumbersome in terms of staying on top of things (we all have day jobs!). 

How did you guys come up with the name?

The name references a song by Don Caballero called 'Palm Trees In The Fecking Bahamas'. We were throwing a couple of ideas around like 'Tectonics' and 'Bear Tooth', but the Don Cab reference sealed it. It was Kat's idea. Admittedly, I was a little hesitant about having 'fecking' in the name, as I thought this might be deemed inappropriate. But in the end we went with it and people generally dig the name. Still, I seldom put the name on my resume. 

 

Let's get into the music ... Favorite band you’ve covered this year?

Giraffes? Giraffes! new album is easily the standout for me. It is exquisitely crafted right down to their choice of when to raise the guitar volume or hit the snares. I urge people not to sleep on this album. Some of my other personal faves we've worked with this year include sewingneedle, Cheer-Accident, Lingua Nada and Straya.

 

Now for a harder question, one of your favorite bands you’ve covered/discovered of all time

No, that's an easy question: Cardiacs. They were a wonky punk band that formed around 1977. They are my favourite band, and I've tried to infuse their legacy into Fecking Bahamas wherever I can. The frontman and mastermind Tim Smith suffered a combined stroke and heart attack in 2007, so the band have been on hiatus since. One of his side projects The Sea Nymphs put out an album unreleased of material in 2016, which we had the honor of covering. They are equally as wonderful.

Any funny or awesome fan/audience stories or comments?

I'm just generally stoked on the mail we get from people around the world regarding our site. We got a really touching e-mail recently from a kid in Thailand who was extremely grateful to us for helping him find music that he didn't have access to in his country, music that helped define him as a person. I got another e-mail from a guy who used to be friends with Matt Sweeney in Chavez, and he ended up giving me unreleased tracks from Sweeney's earlier band Wider (the band of which, according to folklore, is where the word 'math rock' stemmed from). I'm still figuring out how we can release the tracks to the math rock community. 

Oh man that sounds so cool! Please release it! And now for the cassette... how did you come up with these particular bands and tracks? Any theme for this selection or is it random?

Providing a global perspective of math rock is something we take very seriously. This is the basis of the 'World Of Math' interactive map on our site, and the region-specific compilations we release on Bandcamp. We do it to give math rock bands from less established math rock scenes or, I guess you could say, 'geographically isolated' countries a bit of a leg up. This also provides an opportunity to hear how cultural differences shine out in their music. That's the idea with this cassette. We put 8 spectacular math bands from 8 different countries all on the same playing field.   

Any song that you particularly love on the cassette?

'Jester In A Jar' by Stuck In November. These guys are really talented musicians, and they doing something left-of-center in an already left-of-center genre. There is some really interesting stuff coming out of Bangalore, India.  

 

 

Where are you guys located?

Everywhere. Australia, Japan, UK, South Korea, France, Germany, Russia, US. Location isn't a barrier to what we do.

Favorite band ever, no questions:

Cardiacs, as above. But I also love Kate Bush, I have to sneak that in.

 Anything you want us to hype/share/promote?

We try to be a well-rounded encyclopedic resource for math rock, but naturally we can't cover everything. No one blog can. So if people are into math rock, there are a bunch of really good blogs, podcasts and channels out there and they should check them all out. Some of my personal favourites are The Other Rock Show (radio/podcast), The Math-Rock News (Facebook page), Plenty of Swords (blog), and Let's Talk About Math Rock (Youtube channel). Definitely check these guys out.    

 

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Ear buds March Mixtape: Ruby Bones Interview

By Kristyn Potter

Ear buds March Mixtape: Ruby Bones Interview

While we are still gathering some interviews and cool shit for our April cassette with Left Bank Magazine, we still have some bands from other mixtapes that we wanna give a shoutout too (and a nice little feature as well).

Indie rockers Ruby Bones combine energetic rhythms with visceral, existential lyrics best digested in sweat-soaked clubs like the ones that define New Jersey and Brooklyn

Made up of vocalist/guitarist Chris Fox, drummer James Janocha, and South African import FC Spies on bass, the trio describes itself as "Bruce Springsteen on cocaine after a few drags off a helium balloon." 

We'll take it.

Check out their interview with us below:

Your Facebook bio mentions lots of pizza, so lets start there … Whats your favorite pizza topping?

Haha. I think it's in our interests, not our bio. We could write a new bio about how we met trying to devour the world's largest pizza only to be bested by Johnny Chestnut, which led us to rethinking our life's direction where we ultimately decided that we would form a band instead of being professional eaters. But I digress. Personally, my ultimate favorite topping is Bacon, but if I'm at a classic join in the city - a la Bleeker Street Pizza - I'm going classic cheese or pepperoni. You don't mess with that.

 

We have to ask, how do you feel about pineapple on pizza?

Not my thing. When I'm taking down a slice I don't want to pretend I'm being healthy. We all know what this is. Give me that grease all day. Chris on the other hand loves it... I'll just leave that there.

 

Who are your musical influences?

As a band I think that we all come through as a child of the early 2000s indie rock scene. Chris has a deep affinity for bands like Spoon and The Strokes. While FC and I come from a heavier background, I think you can trace the core of the band back to the early LES and Merge Records days.

 

Whats your favorite lyric (either in your song or others)?

I don't know that I could ever answer that question. I hate to take the cop-out, but lyrics - and what I may say are my favorite - all relate to a time in my life. The answer will be completely different today than it will be next week.. or it was last week.

 

The guys wanted to submit this one from Tom Waits: "You know there ain't no devil, that's just god when he's drunk."

 

Are you guys from New Jersey or just kind of ended up there?

Chris is originally from New Jersey and is our resident advisor. He's a pretty big deal in Rutherford (sorry, that's an inside joke you're not going to get). FC lives in Brooklyn and made his way here for school from South Africa. I was a little bid of a nomad for a while. I'm originally from Delaware and live in Nashville and Boston before making my way back down here after college.

 

Does making music in NYC/NJ bring more out in your sound? How does the city affect your music?

I think there's more of a Jersey feel to us than NYC. I don't think we fit the current New York/Brooklyn trend all that well and we're not making any conscious decision to try to adhere to that. There is something going on in Jersey that feels really special. Places like Asbury Park are embracing independent musicians and indie rock. It's a really fun time to be playing music around here.

 

HELL YEAH. Your favorite thing about making music?

There's a special energy that comes about when you're making music. I can't really explain it, but in those moments, nothing else matters. It happens to me the same when you listen to certain artists. Where you can almost zone out and feel what the artist(s) were feeling. And when you're in that moment with a band, and you're all on that same wavelength, there's nothing like it.

 

What does success look like to you?

I don't have these delusions of grandeur. If I were able to live off of making music, I would find that life successful. Being able to do what you love for the rest of your life. Not many people are privileged enough to be able to say that.

 

Have your parents been to a show and if so, what were their thoughts?

They hated it. JK. None of our parents have actually seen us perform as Ruby Bones yet. I'm sure they will some day, and I think they'll have a good time. I come from a family of musicians and they have seen me play in all sorts of bands over the years. Very little would catch them off guard these days.

Upcoming Dates

April 27 - Brooklyn (at Gold Sounds)

May - Teaneck NJ

June- Asbury Park

(Follow them on Facebook to get more deets)

 

 

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5 Minutes with Left Bank Magazine Editor

By Dan Marter

5 Minutes with Left Bank Magazine Editor

We sat down with our friend (and resident blog writer at INTHECLOUDS) to discuss this month's cassette tape. In her spare time (which we aren't too sure how she manages to have free time) Kristyn is also Editor of Left Bank magazine, an international art and music blog, and helped curated some artists and tunes for April's Ear Buds Mixtape.

How’s it going? Let’s start with the cassette tape - nice artwork!

Thanks! But I can’t take the credit, it’s by Anton Vitkovskiy, a Russian artist who is based in Bushwick. He’s got this perfect mix between Basquiat and Picasso, and really vibrant colors. It’s super expressive and I felt like it worked with the music really well.

 

 

Speaking of the music, how did you find the bands?

I actually came across most of them on the music platform we use for getting new submissions (cuz my email was getting a little out of control, not gonna lie). It’s called Submithub and they basically work with bands all over the world, so I came across Champyons, Canshaker Pi, and La Bête Blooms that way. TREADS reached out to us after a FB post. So I can’t hate Mark Zuckerberg TOO much.

I think when I was talking to INTHECLOUDS about this, I mentioned how I’m going to Berlin in a few weeks and so originally I wanted only Berlin bands, so I could meet them, take pics etc. but then other bands started rolling in, and I realized I wanted it to be more broad.

 

So how did you go about getting deciding the tracks?

That was kind of the easy part—they were all in the process of promoting certain songs, and TREADS actually gave us a brand new track that isn’t available anywhere. Seriously they finished recording and mixing and emailed us the final version, which I thought was amazing. It was all very organic and working with the bands has been awesome.

Where are the bands from?

Yeah! So actually we got a really good mix of bands: Champyons is from Berlin, TREADS is from Brooklyn (actually the lead singer was in Whiskey Bitches fun fact), Canshaker Pi is from the Netherlands, and La Bête Blooms from Hull. Their sounds all work together—very loud and in charge, with a little shoegaze mixed in thanks to Champyons

Finally, anything coming up we should know about?

Thanks for asking! Yeah we are putting out another zine soon, I’m working with this talented designer Erika Briggans-Jones who did the last zine. And Erika, myself, and this AMAZINGLY TALENTED photographer Cory Rice are in the process of putting together a nude art show and coffee table book. Keeping things weird for sure.

 

Thanks again to Left Bank for partnering with us for April’s Cassette! Check out their site here.

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Sun Opus Curated Playlist

By Kristyn Potter

Sun Opus Curated Playlist

It's still March you guys which means we are still featuring the awesome bands featured on our Ear buds mixtape (what mixtape you ask, this one). But if you're tired of reading interviews, the guys in Sun Opus curated this sick playlist. But first, a really quick/short interview. Read on ... you can do it.

Shout out to Charlie for dealing with my ridiculous schedule to put this together.

How did you guys meet/get started?

 The three of us have have been in different bands in the Philadelphia area forever so we kinda knew of each other just from going to shows and stuff.  We all ended up in the rhythm section of the band Person L in 2006.  Brian and Ryan played drums/ percussion and I (charlie) played bass. We recorded a couple albums and toured non stop for about 4 years straight.  During that time, we really synched up and connected on another level musically.  Since then, we have been in bands and projects separately and with each other.  Some time in 2014 the three of us decided to jam as a 3 piece with Brian on guitar, me on bass, and Ryan on drums.  We didn't really have actual “songs” at first.  Just hours and hours of improv jamming.  We didn't want the project to have any rules or expectations.  We all had other things we were working on so we just got together whenever we could and let it grow and progress on its own.  After a while, we decided to take a bunch of the reoccurring jams and make a legit recording.  We locked ourselves in our friends warehouse studio for two days and came out with 7 songs. 

How long have you been making music?

Forever.  

Sun Opus- what’s the meaning behind the name?

A band name was pretty low on the list of priorities for this project.  Once we were done mixing the record we figured we needed a name if we were going to release it. After throwing around different ideas for a while, I (charlie) was listening to a podcast Brian does called Volcano Vinyl.  He referred to an album as a bands “sum opus” and i really liked the sound of it.  We messed around with a few different variations and landed on Sun Opus.  

 Listen to the Spotify playlist that Sun Opus created—they each chose 5-6 songs that influence their playing, tracks that remind each other of the other’s styles, and some that are just cool tunes that they have been rocking lately.  

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FEBRUARY F*CK YEAH! Ditz Interview

By Kristyn Potter

FEBRUARY F*CK YEAH! Ditz Interview

We are closing out this awesome month with another interview from one of our February cassette all-stars — the post-emo band Ditz. The Wrightstown, NJ four piece chatted with us on how they met, how being bug boys led to their name, playing on cruise ships, and Aerosmiths CDs. Of course. Go on, check it out ... 

How did you guys meet/get started?

Todd and Luke played together in high school as  when Todd moved back to Jersey from California, they started playing together again. Soon after they recruited long time friend and door-to-door salesman, johnny, to join forces. We then asked Keith to design our logo, we thought it was cool so we just asked that cute art boy to hop on board.

 

What did you grow up listening to and how much would you say that influences your sound now?

Todd: growing up i was classic rocking boy, my dad gave me Pink Floyd and the Aerosmiths CDs. Steven Tyler is a huge influence on my voice as I’m sure you can tell. so from there it was game over as soon as i learned to “walk this way”

 

Johnny: I listened to me daddy’s music. then I really listened to Backstreet boys and that song “I’m blue abedebab di.” then i became able to pick my own music and i liked the get up kids and the fall of troy and all that stuff. yes i play exactly like that so yeah it influenced me style big time.

Luke: My dad told me to listen to Steve Vai and thats what I listened to.

Keith: My dad told me to listen to bluegrass and country so I listened to everything but that. 

 

Nice work Keith. So, the name Ditz … how did you land on that?

Well Todd was really pushing “bobby and the Menthols” for a while … that wasn’t cutting it. We then settled on the name Ditz because we’re bug boys and all of us are scared of bugs.

 

 

Any hilarious (or awkward) fan or show stories you want to share?

We have an on again off again Facebook relationship with a Nigerian woman named Goodluck who friended and messaged us. She’s been with us since the very beginning.

 

Your go-to snack/drink during band practice?

Bud light Limes, Ripits Energy and bugs.

 

Gotta have the bugs. If you could play anywhere in the world where would it be?

We wanna go on a cruise ship tour.

 

So, tell us, why do you make music (this might be a little heady, but what keeps you going?)

We make music because its good and fun. we all love each other and were all in love with each other.

 

What does success look like to you?

When the crowd goes “sing!”

 

Speaking of, what's your favorite track to play live/why?

The majority of the band prefers Spanish subtitles over the others because its a fun crowdpleaser.

Johnny is more of a Big Bug guy and Todd is more into Crudwieser. 

 

Your day jobs? 

Luke is a big daddy truck boy, he gets em greased up and back on the road. Johnny is a student who also cooks food at a place. Keith is a student and does video production. Todd is a mold remediation specialist.

 

Told you these guys were rad. Check out their music on our February cassette and stay tuned for some new music from them and a video. enjoy the last 2 hours of February guys.

 

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Interview: America Part Two

By Kristyn Potter

Interview: America Part Two
We chatted with our boys Asbury Park-band America Part Two about how they met, their influences, and things coming up on the radar (other than the cassette). 

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