Look at these guys... Looking all good looking and stuff. You can see these lovely faces live at the Calgary Gateway tonight. Want more tour dates click here. These cats are bumper carring around our beautiful country till the end of March. So don't be square be a-round. I may or may not be killing it today people. You're welcome. Buy their new album on iTunes and see the LW interview below! -Rayray
Does Kelly shred better on a snowboard or a surfboard?
"Kelly would definitely Shred better on a snowboard." I personally imagine Kelly to be an individual of many talents so the possibilities seem endless. Maybe their true passion is shredding through chess matches while playing like Bobby Fischer?
Where was your best show?
"One of our show highlights was playing at The Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival. We've all been to the festival a few years earlier, when we started the band, so it was pretty surreal to return as performers."
What musical inspirations did you have growing up?
"A bit of punk rock, a bit of alternative rock and a bit of Fleetwood Mac." I think we've all dabbled with a little Fleetwood Mac in our time. I can dig that.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
"We are most looking forward to festival season and a possible tour to Europe." Is there anything else to look forward to than festival season? How else am I suppose to hang out with the people I call friends in my life.
Where do you guys feel the most inspired?
"Tim gets most inspiration in late night solo jams in the jam space. We are also really inspired by our pasts and the town of Fernie." I wonder what their jam space looks like...
What's the hardest thing about making music and making a living nowadays?
"Making music and making a living is a bit of an oxy-moron nowadays. We all have other jobs on the side. Which I guess is the hardest part. Trying to make music for a living, but still having other jobs to do." Try owning a music blog... Worse fucking idea ever.
If you became a superhero tomorrow what would you name yourself and what would your superpower be?
"Our group super power would be transporting ourselves from gig to gig so we could spend less time in the van." Very reasonable answer I would say.
Would you rather have 6 fingers, be able to hold your breath for 6 minutes or always look 6 years younger than your present years?
"We would all like to look 6 years younger. But holding your breath for 6 minutes would be pretty cool." Just imagine the avalanches you could get buried under and dig yourself out in one breath.
Alt-pop band Echosmith gaining attention thanks to chart-climbing song
Were you a cool kid in high school? I can say with a measure of confident certainty that I was no where near as cool as the kids from Echosmith are with their chart topping tracks and enviable style. I feel like they have gracefully passed the awkward, acne filled years of adolescence and bounced joyfully into young adulthood. This So-Cal band of brothers and sisters is part of a trend of growing family bands making incredibly outstanding and catchy music. From the likes of Tegan and Sara (our hometown Calgary favourites!) to the darker indie-pop duo of Broods all the way to the kick-ass sister combo of Haim, it seems like family is making some pretty funky music.
Whether it be genes or just pure musical talent, Echosmith with their brand of catchy downtempo alt-pop music is making waves- their song “Cool Kids,” from the their 2013 debut album, “Talking Dreams.” It’s currently No. 2 on the iTunes alt chart and No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100, which is an impressive feat for a group of relative newbies.
Sydney Sierota, 17, chatted with Ladywood music about what is playing in their earbuds right now, how she likes working with her built in bodyguards ahem brothers, and how stoked she is to come up to visit the great white north.
Who writes the songs? And what is your creation process like?
We all Write. It’s never quite the same with us. We’ve always written songs and we all come up with parts and lyrics and melodies, Graham can make up a melody and we many times love it, or Noah could come up with a cool guitar line and Jamie can have a lyric idea or I can have a drum groove I love, it’s just so collaborative and fun. It’s cool that we’re related because we can get right to the point and be honest which is hard for bands to do. We already know we’re not going anywhere so we can say “hey I really dislike that idea, or that isn’t right for us” and no one gets too offended.
You guys have a tour coming up what’s one place that your most excited to visit?
Canada for sure. The Canadian people are some of the nicest and most genuine people we’ve come across. It’s a little cold up there but we can’t wait. It’s super pretty up there. (Again with the niceness!)
Who do you think is the most underrated musician or band out right now? Overrated?
Hard to say but bands like Foals and Young The Giant should be known by more people, they are amazing bands with amazing songs. We’ve had the pleasure of playing a show with YTG and they we’re so nice and their show as perfect. From the lighting to the production of the show it was just so good.
We chatted with Young the Giant a little while ago! Check out our YTG Interview here
What do you think sets Echosmith apart from the crowd?
We’re crazy passionate about our fans. We feel like they are all our friends. We are a happy bunch and all about spread joy and love through our music, so I think people feel good when they listen to us. At least we hope so.
What’s next for the band?
We’re all about touring and introducing our music to the whole world over the next year and half. This week we were in London, Madrid, Germany and tomorrow we fly to Toronto to play Cool Kids on YTV - Next Star and we can’t wait!
Finally Would you rather:
Live the rest of your life with Cheeto dust on your fingers? Or have taste buds in your butt?
Uh, we’d rather have cheeto dust on our butts and use our fingers to take wash it off. lol ( I will gracefully let the fact that they didn't answer our would you rather question directly, pass)
We think these guys are really going places- we love their brand of unique alt-pop music and can't wait to see what they have in store. - C
The boys from NapSky took time of their hectic summer schedules to talk what's good with their musical endeavours. Carson (NapSky's drummer) was up on a 30ft ladder during the phone conversation while Jordie was lounging poolside. This combination is yet another reflection of the ying-yang connection these friends constantly find themselves in.
How did Nap Sky come together? Was it a buildup of several musical interactions or one explosive collaboration that demanded the group be formed?
Jordie: "I guess you could say it was a combination of the two. The seeds of Napsky were planted one summer at a party when Carson sat down behind a drum kit and I sat down in front of a piano. We had a few hilarious alcohol fuelled jams in this fashion but the real musical explosion happened the next summer. I spent that following year away at school and getting into electronic music; when that met the drums we knew we had something worth exploring. I actually managed to switch schools two weeks before classes started to stay in Calgary to work on Napsky."
I can personally attest to the good vibes these boys present on stage. Their talents of synergizing electronic music with live instrumentals is phenomenal. Nothing is better than watching a group get jazzed on what they play, and they boys kill it. Carson takes on an inhumanly persona while rapidly drumming to the sheet music in his mind, and Jordie's constantly elevating his electronic compilations.
What direction do you anticipate electronic music is taking? Does this affect the type of music you're making?
"Electronic music performance to some extent, has gotten to a place where everything is pre-meditated and planned down to the second. A lot of the time this is the only practical way of performing. It's allowed for some amazing things to happen in the visual realm with 3D video mapping, lights and lasers. The experience can be extremely powerful. Someone who's a truly talented DJ is in a totally different ball game; it's an art in itself. Taking all the things that are awesome about purely electronic music - the soundscape, movement, energy, visuals - and integrating them back into something that looks like a traditional performance, is exactly what needs to happen for electronic music to reach the next level. This is already starting to be done effectively by guys like Badbadnotgood and Thundercat. We are definitely trying to push ourselves towards creating as much room for improvisation and live creation in our shows. When you spend hours perfecting something in the studio it can be really tempting to just save it all as audio and press play live. You have to consciously acknowledge that you probably won’t be perfect in a live performance, but at the same time that human error element can be exactly what allows a crowd to connect at a deeper level. This is a work in progress for us, mainly with all the electronic parts. The acoustic drums that Carson does are a massive part of the show right now but we want to keep going, add in keyboards and other improvisational elements. Get outside the comfort zone!"
Who do you guys think are the most under-appreciated musicians of your time?
"J Dilla, Madlib, Black Milk, and Tipper"
Which musicians/bands are on repeat on your Ipods right now?
Jordie - "Kyle Watson"
Carson - "Jaylib"
What did you do with the fruit in the picture off your website? After you were done with the photo...?
"Haha. We ate what didn’t get drummed to pulp or invaded by ants and spiders." The boys assured me that NapSky members are big advocates of being green and always have 'reduce, reuse, recycle' on their minds. If you want to see the picture I'm referencing, then check their website.
This Friday Aug.15th Napoleon Skywalker is performing at the National Music Centre in Calgary. Check yourselves before you wreck yourselves and get your tickets here. -Rachel
Ladywood caught up with singer/songwriter Miranda DiPerno who is one part jazz, one part R&B and a whole lot of soul. This 22-year old native from Vancouver, BC moved to New York to study music and make a name for herself. Drawing inspiration from the stark contrast in west coast living as compared to the nonstop energy of NYC, Miranda's debut 6-track EP, Home, is a beautiful compilation that showcases her talents not only as a strong vocalist but as a songwriter. She has it all and great things are in store for this up-and-coming beauty. Check out her soundcloud and go buy her album.
1) What is the process for making your music? How does it come together with your band?
My music making process is a little different everytime, but it usually starts with me sitting at the piano fooling around and then when inspiration hits, I better run fast because it doesn't hang around too long. Afterwards, I'll bring it to the band and we'll work it out. What I love about the guys I play with is that we all have pretty similar tastes in music, so when it does come together and sounds right, we all know it.
2) Plans for live shows/tour?
This past month I traveled up to Montreal for a gig at Ogilvy's during the jazz fest and I sung the national anthem at the Alouettes CFL home opener game in Montreal. I'm also hoping to do a little tour upstate later this summer and some bigger stints next fall and summer. You can keep posted about gigs on my facebook page at and website that is presently in the works!
3) What are your fondest music memories?
My EP release show this past March was definitely one of those pivotal music moments. Completing the record was a personal milestone, but what made it all even more unbelievable was the energy in the room that night. So many loving faces in the crowd, family, friends, new and old, strangers; the place was packed. It was a beautiful night of music and I was fortunate enough to share the stage with some incredibly talented musicians and special guests. You can check out a video from the release below.
4) Where does your inspiration come from?
As long as I'm open and looking for it, it seems that inspiration can come from anywhere. For me, it's a lot about the story in the song, so regardless of it being mine or someone else's, I'm always trying to find my own truth in it. Authenticity and intention are the ultimate goals and what I'm always reaching for.
5) What was it like to move from the west coast to New York?
It is the 180 from where I'm from, so it's always an adjustment, but, like anywhere, you eventually find your way. That being said, the ride thus far has been absolutely thrilling. The energy in New York City is contagious, it keeps you going, it's exhausting, and it continues to push me beyond my own expectations.
6) Was it hard to get into the "scene"?
Being in a music program definitely helped me meet other musicians and like-minded people, which created a nice platform to branch out from. I'm not sure I'm "in" the scene quite yet, but, at the end of the day, if you aren't going out and supporting others and making a connection, you're going to have a hard time getting anywhere, which is definitely part of how I've gotten to where I am at this point in time.
7) How many hours a night did you sleep while recording the album?
The EP recording was intense. I didn't want to drag the process out, and ended up doing the whole thing in five days then mixing for two, during which life had no other meaning than waking up, studio, eating, studio until the next morning, home, laying down, rinse, lather and repeat. I tried to get sleep in because it's important, especially for singers, but the excitement paired with the stress of wanting to do a great job, and the joys of an impromtu cold, did not make for a sleep condusive situation.
8) How was your experience with Kickstarter?
Kickstarter was great. Not only because I got my project funded, but it was an incredibly humbling show of support from family, friends, and complete strangers. It changed the expectation of the project as well. I'm used to making music mainly for myself, but with this support there was an added intention of wanting to honor people's investsments in my work. Disclosure: it was a lot of work... a lot.
I recorded the EP at the Rumpus Room in Brooklyn, NY with the kick-ass producer Barb Morrison (Blondie, Rufus Wainwright) along with the musical talents of Olivier Court (keys), Richard Emery (guitar), Dylan Kaminkow (b.ass), Brendan Mcguckin (drums), Nick Grinder (trombone), Linton Smith (trumpet), and Gabriel Richards (tenor sax).
9) What's playing on your iPod right now?
This second? Let me check.. the last song I listened to was "I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)" by Stevie Wonder. It changes everyday. I have my favorites but the rest is in constant flux. I love jazz, soul, R&B, the oldies, but I check in with what's new because there's so much amazing music going on, and - best part about NYC - is that I can usually see it all live.
Photo cred; Tim Saccenti
The members of Little Daylight chatted with us after performing last weekend at the Governors Ball in their home town, the Big Apple. We've been following these guys for a while and couldn't be more pumped for their success. Check out some of their brand new tracks below that you can find on their debut (!!!) LP Hello Memory coming out July 15 and check out the interview. All the love. -C
When did you realize that music was going to be a career for you?
Matt: Music is fickle, passionate, and full of surprises. You don't interview for it and you don't get ask your boss for a raise when you've put in a year of hard work. So it's more like a mission to the moon than a career. You build up to something huge. You get there finally. You get home. And the next morning you say to yourself: Cool, now let's take this ship to Mars.
Do you have a crazy fan story?
Matt: At Le Poisson Rouge in NYC I walked by the merch table and someone shouted "Matt!" and I looked up to see someone who I was fairly sure I didn't recognize. NYC is home though, so there are so many people we know at these shows I was like, shit, this is someone I've met and don't remember! So I'm staring at his face trying to figure out where we've met and he says. I'm Matt too! I'm a fan. And we have the same name. Turns out, we have the same name.
If someone was to write your biography- who would you want to write it and what would the title be?
Matt: I'm 100% not cool with someone writing my biography yet. I have a lot left to do. It'd be called BioDome.
Below Nikki (the lead singer of Little Daylight) performs at the Governors Ball in New York last weekend
How do you keep challenging yourself to keep making new and interesting music?
Matt: Sleep little, walk around a lot, love your friends and family, take advice exactly half the time.
What are your fondest music memories?
Eric: Playing with these 3 kids named Nikki, Matt, and Ernesto, and this band called Little Daylight, at Governor's Ball last weekend!
If you could spend the rest of your life in one place, where would it be?
Eric: Brooklyn, NY, absolutely. We have it all, even the beach! (And I could never live without excellent pizza in close vicinity.)
What place haven’t you been to yet, but that you really want to visit?
Nikki: The Amazon
Check out Mona Lisa on LIttle Daylights debut LP Hello Memory coming out July 15th.
Ladywood was curious to learn what the Brooklyn based duo, Inky Jack, was all about. So we did.
Inky Jack is Dipesh Sinha and Kwame Butler. Their sound has depth and soul as they blur the boundaries of electronic, reggae and rock. Later this year they will drop their forthcoming EP Infrared - so watch out! If it's anything like their latest single, Freedom, or Handmade (my favourite track)...get at me. There is something about their songs that are addicting. I'll listen once to find myself replaying it over and over again. Well done sirs, I look forward to all the good vibes you keep on producing. Read the interview below to learn about how they met, how the magic comes together and other fun/weird facts about these two talented humans...or maybe they are aliens from the future...no one will ever know.
How did you two meet and decide on the concept of Inky Jack?
We met when Dipesh moved to Crown Heights and asked a mutual acquaintance if he knew any talented artists and he introduced us. Dipesh was doing pop/urban production and Kwame was doing pop/urban hooks and we had both quit the music industry a couple of years prior, as that world was pretty lame and boring. We initially got together just to hang out and make music for fun, make stuff that we could sit back and smoke a spliff to, when our friends started liking the music we were doing. Inky Jack was a very organic thing that didn't form as an actual entity until we had 4 or 5 songs and decided to get a live band together. It was initially called Patchwerk, when we were just having fun as that described our sound best, but then we changed it when we decided to make it a more serious endeavor. Starting in this particular way made us promise to ourselves that Inky Jack would always be about real, honest music, because that's what actually resonates with ourselves, and by extention to others.
What is the process for making your music? How does it come together, who does what?
Dipesh is the music producer, Kwame the songwriter/vocalist. We make some suggestions occasionally in the other's realm, but its pretty cleanly split. Dipesh will usually lay down a groove, kwame will come by dipesh's house/the studio and see what he feels. Usually he'll come up with an idea on the spot if the groove catches him and then we'll develop a structure and arrangement together and Dipesh will fill out the music production
Do you guys have any plans for live shows/tour?
Getting the band together after finishing our record and playing our next show on April 30th and The Bowery Electric in NYC. We're planning a north-east tour in the fall and hopefully more, depending on how the record goes, but its all a bit up in the air at the moment.
What are your fondest music memories?
- Fondest Inky Jack memory: playing at the Highline Ballroom
- Dipesh's fondest music memory: playing flamenco guitar when I had the time to practice in college and was actually getting decent at it
- Kwame's fondest music memory: being in four-man singing group "release", sang for over 600 people
Where did the name Inky Jack come from?
Inky Jack is a character from Neil Gaiman's American Gods. He was captured in West Africa, brought to Haiti as a slave, was given the monniker Inky Jack because of his dark complexion, and joined Toussaint Louveture in leading the slave rebellion. During the fight for freedom, he was killed and became a spirit that the rebel fighters summoned for strength. The first time I read the book, I thought this was a real deity, as many that appear in his book are. However, I'm now pretty sure this is a made up character as I haven't been able to find anything else on this.
If you could spend the rest of your life in one place, where would it be?
- Dipesh: Rio De Janeiro - I actually learned Portuguese and planned to move there before a freak medical situation which prevented me from going. I love it down there!
- Kwame: South America or Ghana
What are the plans for 2014?
We just finished our record and our now shopping to build our team to get to the next level - distributor, publisher, booking agent, publicist. We plan on doing a small tour in the fall, and hopefully something bigger afterward. We're also producing and writing for other artists, most notably one named Roxiny Rivas, who will be releasing music featuring Inky Jack and we'll likely play live with her as well.
Any other weird things we should know?
- Dipesh's ears are asymmetrical and he has a prosthetic hip for reasons no one knows
- Kwame never writes down lyrics and is insanely afraid of heights
- Ol Dirty Bastard's brother almost pulled a gun on Dipesh in a Brooklyn studio
The moment Tyrone Lindqvist (guitar, vocals) of RÜFÜS DU SOL offered me part of his Kit Kat bar, I knew it was going to be a good interview. The obvious first question was....
What's your favourite chocolate bar?
Jon George (keyboard): I enjoy the Tim Tams (classic Aussie)
James Hunt (drums): Bounty is definitely in the top 5
Tyrone: Snickers are delicious but I love all chocolate bars. And did you know that in North America you don't call it a chocolate bar, you call it a candy bar? Like it's not even worthy of being classified as a chocolate bar.
You guys are just three weeks into your 4 month. How was it to start with SXSW? Danny (manager) said it was amazing but relentless, did you guys have a good time?
James: We did, but it was crazy packed with 6 showcases. One day we had 3 shows and we literally had to get a little trolley, put all our gear on it and push it down the side of the road, it was intense.
Jon: A friend described SXSW as a bootcamp for musicians, everyone's there trying to make it. It was really fun and awesome, but definitely a lack of sleep and running around playing a lot of shows.
Were you able to catch any of your favourite artists?
Jon: We saw Kaytranada, which we were pretty hyped up about.
James: Saw Washed Out, Girrafrage, and Chet Faker - they were all really awesome.
What’s the music festival scene like in North America compared to Australia?
James: There's this big camaraderie happening in Australia amongst all the artists. We are all becoming buds because we see the same artists playing the same venues and festivals.
How did you three become buds?
James: Jon and Tyrone know each other through Jon’s little brother who does all our film clips and I went to school with Tyrone and the three of us started making music in Byron Bay.
Byron Bay is one of my favourite places in the world. Do you guys surf while in Byron or is that too cliché Australian?
Tyron: Ya, that's too cliché, James surfs the internet.
How does your music come together?
Jon: Its very collaborative, the three of us just go into a room and start making music.
Tyrone: Someone might bring an initial idea but then we will all work on it. We don’t stick to our roles or instruments on stage when we are making music, we all bring input to every aspect of a song.
James: We always knew we wanted to fuse acoustic with electronic, because at the time, I was doing more electronic stuff while Tyrone was doing lots of recordings and live instrumentation. And when you translate it to live shows, we knew we wanted to be more of a band as opposed to three DJs on stage.
Tyrone: When I was younger, there was a few bands floating around like the Presets and Cut Copy that were translating their live shows using instrumentation and I remember opening up to dance music and electronic music because of that. I said to my friends "no it's not electronic music, they're a band, they play music" and it opened me up to that genre. I hope that fusing acoustic and electronic will open up other people and embrace where music is at these days.
Many people have these preconceptions and judgements about electronic music being guys up on stage pressing buttons, but I think this is the evolution of where music is heading because of the technological advancements. Music is always played with instruments at hand and since we're becoming more technologically savvy, we can make tons of crazy beats; music will keep evolving with this.
James: Couldn't of said it better myself, can you quote me on that?
Tyrone: No quote me, I said that.
I like how you bring in that live aspect to your show because it makes it more fun to watch.
Jon: Ya, and more fun to play, rather then having all the pre-sets and just miming up on stage. Your actually hitting drums and instruments and you can make mistakes.
James: And it makes it fun for the audience because they are rooting for you, because things can go wrong: like when you fall over.
Tyrone: Its more exciting as an audience to watch and not know what's going to happen. The audience is really on your side. For example, this one time, the power cut out on the whole tent and we had to stand around for a couple minutes waiting for everything to reboot. That's just life.
Any crazy fan stories?
Jon: There are these girls from Newcastle in Australia that are really intense. We've been back there a few times and the last time we went one of the girls started messaging James on Facebook and photo-shopped her face into one of his pictures with the caption "soon..."
James: She looked so creepy, like she's about to kill me or something.
Wait kill you or DTF?
James: Haha well, the latter and then the former haha.
Jon: And the same night the girl was trying to get back stage and the bouncer had to kick her out after attempting to prove her worth by doing the worm.
Tyrone: And by the worm, we mean she bellyflopped around on the floor, she was so drunk. Luckily she got out.
What's the most fun about touring and the least fun about touring?
Jon: Well its exhaustion and then excitement. The highs are amazing, but you get so tired.
James: As soon as we finished a show and feel like we nailed it, there is this huge satisfaction and amazing feeling. Tyrone: Its like a sine wave. There's never really a low though, just exhaustion and we are going to be on the road for 4 months and we are only in the third week.
Jon: Touring is relentless because you still have to work in between shows when all you want to do is sleep and it's hard to balance that. Like for example last night before our show in Edmonton, Zoolander came on TV and I thought "Fack, I could just sit here and watch this all night instead of go to this gig. I wonder if anyone would kill me?" But then if you battle that, and it's 100 times worth it.
So trivia time: what's Australia's national animal?
James: Well the Koala is the official animal but the unofficial one is the drop bear. (I had to google this and supposedly the drop bear is a fictitious Australian marsupial. Drop bears are commonly said to be unusually large, vicious, carnivorous marsupials related to koalas (although the koala is not a bear) that inhabit treetops and attack their prey by dropping onto their heads from above).
What's Canada's national animal?
Jon: The grizzly bear?
Tyrone: The maple leaf? I
James: I thought it was the bison, no the moose.
Tyrone: The Elk?
I think it's the beaver.
Jon: The Bieber?
Tyrone: Justin Bieber? So did the national animal change once Justin Bieber became so successful?
What are you guys most excited about for 2014?
Tyrone: We are excited to write again. It' s been a while with all this live playing and touring but its probably a good thing because we'll come together with a lot of fresh ideas.
Jon: We've all been listening to a bunch of different artists which is good because we will come together with different ideas. Everything we've done so far has a pretty set style and we knew where we wanted to take it, but when we go to write our second album we will have a fairly open plate.
So what are some weird facts about you guys?
Jon: James gets really narcoleptic after he's been drinking, he can fall as sleep anywhere.
Tyrone: We have so many photos, like one time we found him on the bathroom floor of a club after its closed.
James: Tyrone is like a little kid, he loves puzzles, toys and chocolate. And he gets really creative with food.
Tyrone: Ya, let me show you something I've invented because we've been getting so many veggie platters on tour. So you take a piece of celery and dip it in the ranch sauce, and then you take a carrot and fit him in the celery, like a blanket. See, they were meant for each other.
So who would win in an arm wrestle?
Tyrone: Jon and James usually arm wrestle and Jon usually wins.
James: Ya right.
Jon: Alright, I'll prove it.
All in all, Ladywood had quite the time watching the boys put on a stellar performance at Commonwealth. Every Australian in Alberta came to support their fellow Aussies and the boys said it was one of the rowdiest crowd they've ever played for. Way to go Calgary - kudos to you!
We are excited to see what's next for these talented fellas and wish them all the best in their journey.
ps. If your still wondering who won the arm wrestle, Jon did take the W again.
pps. All photo credit goes to Phil Crozier - thanks! (website / www.photophilcro.com)
How was the Calgary show? (They played Calgary this past Friday at Republik)
"Calgary was insane. People were revved up to hear good music and have a good time. That energy is good fuel for on stage. Everyone can crowd around the stage and you feel trapped." That's apparently a good thing.
Do you guys find a lot of inspiration when you're touring? Do you write a lot of music on the road?
"We're pretty go go go on the road and the way we write isn't conducive to touring. We don't sit with an acoustic guitar and strum out a song."
How does it comes together? Did you guys anticipate your band's current sound?
"While we wrote this record it took a few years to figure out what we would sound like. We probably wrote 100 songs and we'd write a batch and keep it if it sounded like something we'd get excited about. We were really excited about the interplay between acoustic and digital; that was something we latched onto early." Vocals, keyboards, sounds with lots of harmonies and octave vocals with three stacks of octaves were examples of things they would incorporate. "In terms of how we construct a song it's a lot of recording while writing; the writing process is heavily contingent on recording ideas. After 100 layers you start to peel away certain pieces and everything will find its place."
What are your musical backgrounds?
"We were all in other bands before this band so we had a chance to figure out what we liked to play and what got us excited. We skipped the growing pains because of the experiences we had before Royal Canoe."
What do you guys get pumped for now?
"Playing shows, and when people are into it is an amazing feeling. It's that high that gets you through sitting in a van for 12 hours. Getting that boost makes it all feel worth it. When we’re writing and working on new music something that's really exciting is discovering a new sound. We’re constantly trying to mess with new pieces of gear or new styles of playing our instruments. When you find something that you’ve never heard before, it's a pretty big rush. You're working on a drum groove and you move a snare drum ½ beat back and it’s the grooviest thing in the world, then you’re laughing at how great it feels. Its an awesome rush."
We’ve been covering the Chainsmokers for a while now, and most of that coverage has involved posting some really high quality remixes that the boys have made, ranging from a cover of Say Lou Lou’s Julian to Banks new track Change- and they’ve been consistently releasing tunes that are not only listenable, but just plain fun. But now, taking a step away from the remix mold, they’ve released their first original song, #SELFIE. The bombastic duo, who never shy away from a moment in the spotlight have made a low-brow song that is a direct commentary of the terrifyingly high levels of narcissism that our generation has reached.
Cultural theorist, Theodore Adorno once said that "the social and psychological functions of popular music [is that it] acts like a social cement to keep people obedient and subservient to the status quo of existing power structures." From the Chainsmokers novelty song, we can then assume that the existing dominant power structure is technology, or specifically the front facing function of the cameras in our smart phones and this song is keeping us totally obedient and subservient to that structure, the selfie. The songs content does not bode well for the state of our generation, but at this point arguing that we aren’t a generation of self-involved egomaniacs is like Rob Ford trying to convince the public that he didn't buy crack in a shady McDonalds alley way last December. So while, the #selfie may be saying more than we like to admit about our current state of affairs in popular culture, that doesn’t mean that the song isn’t enjoyable. It’s fucking fun. And ridiculous. And over the top. But so are The Chainsmokers, so for us to expect anything less from them than utter absurdity- well that’s on us folks.
So in honor of their latest and greatest release, we chatted with the Chainsmokers about a variety of topics, very few of them actually involving music, and we find out some interesting facts about Drew and Alex, including a doozy about one of them being a closeted republican and a rousing game of Would You Rather. -Christine
READ MORE HERE!!!!!!! -------------------------->>>>>>>>>>
Check out the Zolas at Republik on November 9th! Hope to see you all there! XOXO Christine
Talking to Ladywood Music from Montreal, where they were spending some time rehearsing in between shows, Zach Gray (left) from The Zolas chatted with us in between bites of a smoked meat sandwich about their latest release, touring around the country and what he believes is the secret to happiness.
You guys have been on tour for quite a while with Hollerado, how has that experience been?
They’re a good group of guys. They’re a good band and they’re the type of people that manage to be a lot of fun while also being consummate professionals. And it’s fun to travel with guys like that because you get better sounchecks in, you get a better sound. Touring is a skill- you get better at it as you go and once you’ve done a few tours, you become more comfortable with it, and I think both our bands are at that stage right now.
What do you think you've learned from touring?
I think I've learned that you are always going to crave a way of being that you’re not. One of the best things that I ever wrote- once in a while you write a line that just totally expresses what you’re thinking and feeling perfectly and the song You’re Too Cool has a line that says “on the road I dream of home, and when at home I dream of action” and that’s pretty much what touring teaches you. You really look forward to going away and seeing all these new places and meeting new people, but all it takes is a couple weeks for you to think of all the things you can’t do on tour that you can do at home. And I think the secret to happiness is going back and forth between the two all the time.
“Youre too Cool” is one of The Zolas best tracks and one of the best recent tracks about the Vancouver music scene (mainly the Biltmore) and the touring lifestyle of the band, off of their first record Tic Toc Tic
I guess you always kind of crave what you can’t have.
Yeah when you think about it, the only thing that matches the feeling of leaving home after you’ve been home for a long time is going on an adventure. The only thing that matches that is coming home after an adventure.
Do you think being on the road so much and touring so much has changed the direction the music has taken? You’re music has really evolved over time and do you think touring has had anything to do with that?
I don’t think it’s necessarily touring no but we do get to know each others musical tastes a lot better when we’re touring. Your musical tastes get thrown into the well and everyone sort of contributes and injects their appetites into what you’re all listening to and it comes out in the music.
You're kind of forced to be creative?
You’re forced to get excited about new things.
What kind of new music are you excited about right now?
Well the new Arcade Fire album, the new Danny Brown album, we listen to a lot of rap. I don’t know what that means for an indie band.
Zach is all sorts of excited about the new Danny Brown album...and to be honest so are we. Take a listen to one of his classics "Grown up" below, and read a review of the infamous rappers newest release "Old" here.
I wanted to ask you about the Knot in My Heart music video and how you felt about being a stop motion character? It’s a really beautiful video but it seems like the process just would have taken forever.
It sucked. I hated that. I hated every second of it. It was so long. Especially because we were expecting it to only take 3 nights, which is long enough but it took like 6 days. It’s not a super high concept video but I think we put a lot of effort into making it look good. We were doing normal stuff during the day and putting in long hours writing or whatever and afterwards, instead of going to bed or chilling out we went to film more of the video. You end up standing in the street for 8 hours from dark until the sun came out moving an inch and a half every 4-5 seconds. It was long exposures because we only used native light. It was like standing there doing glacial tai-chi in the street. By the 6th day we were all so out of it and I’m pretty sure if somebody accidentally killed another person we would have been able to get off on grounds of insanity. Apparently if you kill someone after 3 days of no sleep, it’s legal.
The slinky, ultra-catchy tune makes good use of stop-motion effects, as singer-guitarist Zachary Gray and pianist Tom Dobrzanski slide through a city as if on conveyor belts. Check out the striking but labour intensive video below.
Check out the Zolas at Republik on November 9th! Hope to see you all there!
Fun Fact: Zach has previously said that The Zolas second record Ancient Mars feels like “a Grizzly Bear record, if Grizzly Bear sold out.” Here’s his fav Grizzly Bear track. from their 2009 album Veckatimest.
We are a Calgary based music blog that focuses on bringing you the greatest and latest in good music. Run by three effervescent ladies, we just post what we like and hope you like it too! Live, Love and Laugh, and listen to some good tunes while you're at it. Want to hear a tune? Send us a message - we love hearing your sweet honey voices in our inboxes!