What better way to spend a muggy summer night than to attend an inspiring show at an exclusive venue? I’m talking about Saro, a queer LA-based electronic artist with the voice of an angel. He played a stripped down, raw performance at the intimate members club that is Ludlow House. Unmarked, one could easily pass by the building thinking it was an apartment or hotel even. There was a gentleman speaking into the intercom stating his business, and I followed him in. Once inside, I made my way up to the third floor, where there is a gorgeous fully stocked bar. Of course, I was drawn to get a drink and opted for one of my go-to’s: a Moscow mule. No exaggeration, this was by far the best cocktail I ever had. It was perfectly executed, and I am always a fan of the garnishes. Once I had my drink in hand to help cool down my sweating, I made my way to the floor.
There was an artist performing on the stage, which was set close to the floor. The stage was set up to look like the inside of an artist’s apartment, with pictures and paintings hung up on the wallpapered walls. Natti Vogel was performing when I arrived – a giant ball of energy and rawness. He was wearing what appeared to be boxer briefs, a tie-dye shirt, and opted to be shoeless, which I absolutely loved. I had the chance to chat with him briefly after his set while Saro’s performance was being set up, and he was such a warm, inviting individual who took his time to take notice of me. He was amused and skeptical when I told him I’d remember his name without writing it down somewhere. But here we are, and I distinctly remember him spelling his name out for me, “N-A-T-T-I”. Great memory on the kid.
The lights dimmed, and visuals were put on stage. There was a guitarist in the background beginning to play, and out came Saro, accompanied by a woman and a man, both at his side. In sync, they dropped their heads and arms, to be filled with life and energy once the song begins. Saro has a light, angelic voice and completely floored me at how effortless he sounded. The man and woman started dancing contemporary style to his lyrics, and boy was that powerful. They interacted with each other and Saro, fully encompassing the space. I was right in the front where all the action was, though at times I was a little afraid I was going to get kicked in the head. All in all, it was a captivating performance. Between the dancers killing it emotionally, passionately, and with the fluidity of their movements, to Saro slowing it down to acoustic, emotional versions of his songs like “Rampart.” In celebration of his new EP Die Alone, which was released earlier this month, sultry Saro is an artist I highly recommend you watch live.
Friday, May 10 at Warsaw was a sold-out show. The weather was warm and on this night, the rain stayed away in our favor. Headlining was The Drums, an indie pop band from Brooklyn! The show started at 9, opening with Tanukichan, an indie band from California. I had arrived just in time to when The Drums started performing due to our ever so reliable public transportation. Warsaw is a fairly smaller venue, being one floor and quite flat. Since my friend and I didn’t arrive early, we managed to squeeze ourselves into the side so we could see the stage through the heads of tall people. I was a bit disappointed in how this venue was constructed because if you weren’t in the front, there would be no way to see the acts on stage if anyone was taller than you in the slightest. We got lucky in the spot we found, only to have passersby trying to get to the bar and food area, which I didn’t mind at all.
The crowd took me by surprise – there were a plethora of older men, older than I have seen at a show especially with a newer band like The Drums. (Formed in 2008) I love seeing bands I love get loved by everyone. However, this show was an all-ages show, and that was clear. Once I got blocked by a tall person who wasn’t moving, I decided to go a little further into the crowd, only to be surrounded by cringe teenage girls and couples. They were all over the place and very sloppy which is totally fine until you start stepping on people around you and spilling your drinks everywhere. Then it gets infuriating the lack of awareness to personal space. The show was sold out, but it wasn’t smashed to the brim. There was breathing room and room to dance around so there was no reason for being that obnoxious.
The Drums played a lot of their newer songs off the Brutalism album. As singer/songwriter Jonny Pierce told the crowd, “My past albums have been sad, so I decided to make this one happy! Enough of the sad.” He played songs off all his past albums as well, which I prefer to the newer. The sound system in this venue didn’t travel well, only if you were close to the stage. The sound would have loud humming at points when Jonny sang because the levels were too high. That didn’t phase Jonny, because he is a true artist and musician. He is so quirky on stage with his spooky yet wavy moves. The Drums played for over an hour and did an encore. This was my second time seeing the band, the first being at Elsewhere, where my experience was much better. That being said, I would rate this show 6/10 mostly because of the venue and crowd. I look forward to seeing The Drums again because they are just that good and I highly recommend checking their music out. Jonny is a talented musician and so unique, he is an inspiration.
Published at WMSC Radio.
I had the pleasure of photographing Colorado natives Slow Caves. They are an indie rock band consisting of Danish-American brothers Jakob and Oliver Mueller and their childhood friend David Dugan.
Mad Liberation is a 3 day, 2 night, camping, music & arts festival. Set deep in the vast pine barrens of South Jersey, it is a highly anticipated platform for artists from all over the globe who defy limitations, definition, and identity itself to realize their full potential in live performance for a captivated audience. I interviewed festival founder John Mould to find out more about this exciting event!
How long have you been doing this festival?
John Mould: This will be the 4th annual installation of the event!
What experience in event/festival planning have you had prior to this, if any?
John: I worked putting music live on air at William Paterson University’s radio station for a few months before we started the festival. People naturally started hanging out and they became full-blown shows. Besides that I have no experience, just jumped right into producing the fest.
What are the must-haves when curating a festival?
John: When curating, you need to have a strong sense of what you want to do musically overall, then what artists are going to elevate this event and the festival prices for different tier artists. How to recognize an artist’s value and how to properly communicate with huge booking agencies that will burn you if you sound like you don’t know what you’re doing.
Why the Pine Barrens?
John: We started in Upstate NY in what we thought was the middle of nowhere. The police came more than once. We needed a place we could get rowdy late into the night, far away from any houses or people who might make noise-complaints. We wanted to do it in Jersey. The Pine Barrens called our name.
I love your message of a community built on love. Can you elaborate more and it’s importance?
John: We put a strong emphasis on community because we want this to be a place of intention. A place people come to embrace each other and get down to a whole lot of music they might not be used to. A respite from the alienation of everyday life. The community plays the biggest part in the overall atmosphere of the festival and we want to make sure everyone is coming out for the weekend with good intentions. This plays a huge role in harm reduction for us as well. Bystander intervention is everything: you see something you know isn’t right, do something about it! When our guests take care of each other, make sure everyone is having a good time, healthy, feeling okay; we all elevate together!
What can we expect to see on the festival grounds?
John: You can expect a ton of crazy-sounding music and wild people (characters really) having a great time, spreading a whole lot of love and getting down everywhere you look. Maybe a few “YERRR’s” too.
Can people get involved with sharing their art or music at this festival?
John: Anyone can get involved! We offer vendor slots for people interested in selling their art, we love to have people painting live, and we low-key appreciate unplanned pop-up performances if they are done with good taste and don’t interrupt any planned acts.
Who are you most excited about performing this year?
John: Eartheater, I have no idea how to describe her so I won’t try.
What should festival goers bring along with them in attendance?
John: Tent, pillows, blankets, sleeping bag, swimwear, flashlights, sunscreen, bug spray; everything you could possibly need for camping!
With so many festivals starting up soon going throughout the summer, what separates yours from the rest?
John: There isn’t really any camping festival I’ve seen doing anything like us, drawing the kind of crowd/community we have and curating the way we do. The only festival combining punk & jazz (and everything in between) the way we do is Afropunk in Brooklyn; taking nature and the campout experience into account and the fact that we run into the early hours of the morning: we’re still completely in our own league. I’m still looking for competition.
More at Stars & Scars mag
Calling All Captains is a five-piece pop punk band hailing from Saint Albert, Canada. Consisting of Luc Gauthier on vocals, guitarists Brad Bremner and Connor Dawkins, bassist Nick Malychuk, and drummer Tim Wilson. Since forming in 2014, the band has been working rigorously to put out EPs, touring, and their debut full length album. They have a reputation for high-energy live shows, and this one at The Kingsland in Brooklyn lived up to that rep.
Your debut EP “Nothing Grows Here” has been recently released (February 2019). What can you tell us about the album?
Luc: We can tell you that it’s out now on Spotify and Apple Music and available for your listening pleasure. But more specifically, this album means a lot to us. For me, Luc, this is the first album that I’m singing on fully. We put a lot into this record and without the help of our producers, this album wouldn’t have sounded exactly the way we wanted it. Connor and I put the work in to writing, and it also is his first time singing on this record as well.
What’s your favorite song off the EP?
Connor: That’s a really tough question. They all mean something different, but I think my favorite would have to be my favorite to play which is “Out of My Head”, which has fast riffs and is really jumpy.
Luc: My favorite is definitely “Fools Gold”. That was one that meant a lot to me. We got back from our two week run across Eastern Canada. I wrote that in one day and I was going through a lot of things and was really happy with how things sounded. I stole Connor’s riff – sorry mate – he wrote something real nice and I just took it and made it into a song.
Nick: “Chasing Ghosts”. It was the first thing we did together with the lineup change and proved we still got it. So it was the evolutionary process and kind of cementing that we’re not done yet.
Luc: We back baby!
How did you go about finding the artist or artwork for the LP cover?
Nick: So Kevin at Soft Surrogate and his wife does archive design, so we got in touch with them because they’ve worked with a ton of other Canadian artists. We wanted to keep as much of this album as we could in Canada because we are really proud of where we’re from. Although, for lack of a better pun, nothing does grow there. It is frozen nine months of the year, we’re very proud of it.
From the places you’ve toured so far, where was your favorite?
Nick: I’m gonna say Fullerton [California] because we got to hang out with our Equal Vision family and my girlfriend flew down and saw a couple shows. It was the gnarliest venue, dropping like a hundred bucks buying shirts and records inside the venue which was just incredible.
Luc: My favorite show was probably Odessa, Texas. It was so. Much. Fun. It was the best ever. It was the first time I’ve ever seen this: after the show everybody stayed at the venue. The soundman pumped on traditional Mexican tunes and the whole place was bumpin’. It was like a nightclub.
Nick: The venue was an abandoned retail store, too, it was cement walls, cement floor. It was gnarly.
Connor: I’m gonna say the shows we did in Florida were my favorite, and not only the shows, but I was looking for gators the whole time. I’m really into shit like that. Now here we are in Brooklyn, looking for rats.
Where are you excited to head next?
Nick: We got two weeks left and we are excited to get back home. We get home and immediately do our Western Canada tour. Our hometown crowd in the entire Western Canadian scene has been more than family to us than any of us could have ever expected. So to go back to them after this, and have the stories and memories I think is one of the coolest things we get to do.
Luc: We’ve never even played these songs for Canada yet.
Connor: I’m excited to go to Albany because we finally get to meet our manager, who we’ve known for a long time, but we’ve never actually met him. So I’m stoked about that. We’re gonna hang with some Equal Vision peeps, which is always fun. And the homies from Young Culture are coming out.
(Tim) What was it like getting rotator cuff tendonitis during tour? How did that affect the tour and the band?
Tim: Oh well, you know, it was a rough couple of weeks. The boys had to pick up literally all of the slack for me. For two weeks I was just a useless deadweight and they literally hulled around all my stuff – they wiped my ass! It sucked not being able to play, but I had a lot of positive support and the band really helped me out. Even the people back home and at the shows, people were really supportive. Luc ended up playing the drums and singing at the same time for two weeks.
Being from Saint Albert, Canada, what is the music scene like?
Connor: Edmonton, Canada is the best. Western Canada is awesome. We have some of the best shows of our lives just in the Western Canada scene. We haven’t done a ton out in the eastern and central parts of Canada, but when we do get some good crowds.
Luc: Hometown shows are the best, we have people flying off the stage. It’s actually dangerous.
Nick: We lost all three monitors in one song.
Luc: I had to listen for the stage volume. It was crazy.
Connor: We just have an ambulance outside now.
Nick: No, but we got very fortunate to be from such a loving and tight-knit community that goes from Edmonton to Vancouver to Calgary and everything in between. We’ve got people in every city willing to put us up and come out to these shows and sing along. We’ve made such a family between Western Canada it’s amazing.
Who are your musical idols?
Connor: We get asked this a lot and it’s weird because we are all over the place. I’m into all the old, classic rock stuff like Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan’s my boy.
Luc: I listen to weird shit, too. I listen to the heaviest music like Lotus Eater, Acacia Strain, but I also really mess with that trap stuff like Lil Pump. I love Lil Pump, he’s hilarious. But writing style, I’d have to say like Knuckle Puck, The Story So Far. I jam those dudes all the time.
Nick: I’m more or less the hardcore kid out of all of us. I appreciate the business mind as well as how Grayscale and State Champs write their music. For Grayscale to literally run their band as a clothing company that plays music to advertise is one of the smartest things you could ever do.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not doing music?
Connor: At home I worked at a furniture warehouse. I quit that to do this, but all I would do is move furniture and write music, go on tour, come back and move furniture and write music and go on tour.
Luc: Back home, I run my clothing company, Worthless streetwear. I’m also a traditional Métis dancer. Métis means half Native American and half French. It’s actually our own indigenous culture in Canada, there’s the Inuit, First Nations and the Métis. I’m part of the Métis and I’m very active within the community. I MC events and perform dancing all the time. I also quit my job to tour, and what I used to do was be an admin assistant/case worker for a company called Native Counseling Services of Alberta. We help with at-risk young adults aged 18-30 get back on their feet, try to get sober, basically making sure they have all the support that they need to move on to the next step of their life.
Nick: Well I got nothing that cool in my life, I play music, I’m a photographer and I’m a heavy beer connoisseur – there’s a brewery five minutes from my house that sponsors the band because we’re there so much.
Calling All Captains: You mean YOU’RE there so much!
Nick: But yeah, I’ve got a degree in graphic design, I’m dating a hairdresser who’s training to be a tattoo artist, so we’re creative all the time. We’ve got two hairless cats that I have to deal with, one just had surgery.
Connor: They lotion them and sunscreen them.
Nick: I love my cats, man!
Luc: They’re like little people.
Connor: ..All covered in lotion.
Nick: They get like super dry. We’re not human at all back home, everything is dry to begin with. And we found out that Edmonton is on par horizontally with Siberia. So we live where they exile people.
What’s your favorite home cooked meal?
Connor: Whatever’s cooked, man.
Luc: I would kill for some of my mom’s moose meat and mashed potatoes. We’re fortunate to know a lot of aboriginal hunters, so they go on hunting missions with the youth and it’s like a right of passage. In the culture, you share what you get, and they share the wealth. If anybody has a chance to try moose it’s good, definitely try it. You cook it up just as you would a steak.
Nick: I just miss my mom’s cooking. I don’t live at home like these two, so even when I’m home I don’t get homemade meals unless I’m making it. I do a ton of chicken and cauliflower based stuff. My girlfriend was vegetarian for a while, then I converted her back to meat, but we still eat a buttload of not meat.
When you’re touring, what essentials besides band gear are your must-haves?
Connor: Baby wipes and bananas. You gotta wipe down your whole body sometimes. I also just recently got into bananas. If you’re out there and you’re not sure about bananas, they’re fucking good. Give them a try.
Luc: Dry shampoo. Love that stuff. Spray all day. And probably 30 t-shirts. I just love having a different style all the time.
Nick: Beard oil and my phone. I’m tour managing this run so I’m organizing seven different bands and every show. I need so much information, I live on this goddamn thing. So it’s glued to my hip at all times.
Any music video ideas for your new songs?
Luc: Well it’s not gonna be in a house. All of our music videos are just in our houses: my house, Brad’s house, our old singer’s house, and my backyard.
Make sure to catch Calling All Captains on tour here!
Check out the full article on Stars & Scars and for video content of Calling All Captains performing at The Kingsland!
Hailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, alt-rockers The Haunt just wrapped their European tour. Teenage siblings Anastasia Grace and Maxamillion Haunt merge together for an eclectic sound, combining alternative, indie, rock and roll, garage, and blues. As a victim of bullying, Anastasia had a vision for their music video “All Went Black” which went viral with over 100,000 views. The group partnered with the Stop Bullying Now Foundation to help contribute to putting an end to the epidemic of bullying among today’s youth, empowering them through counseling, life skills training, open communication, and creative outlets. Next up, The Haunt will release “Why Are You So Cold?,” a powerful song that summons the band’s notorious haunting eeriness that burrows into your soul. To learn more about this captivating group, read what I asked them below:
You recently toured Europe. What was your favorite destination and why?
The Haunt: I think collectively our favorite destination was Milan, Italy. We have Italian heritage, so we were already very interested in the country, but when we got there it exceeded our imaginations. It’s a truly beautiful place with lively, wonderful culture and warm-hearted people. Anyone who gets the chance to visit Italy should definitely take up the opportunity.
Where do you plan on touring next?
The Haunt: We’re open! Right now, we’re working on a bunch of different things, such as recording music and videos, writing, and all that jazz, but we’d love to tour anywhere that would have us. We’re dying to visit Asia – Japan specifically.
What’s it like being so young and touring other countries?
The Haunt: It’s not all that different from touring in the U.S., honestly. The biggest difference, aside from the slightly increased energy in some European crowds, is the fact that we lost weight on the European tour, whereas we gained weight in the U.S. LOL. I can’t tell you what the reason is for that, but it’s a thing.
What’s like being a young musician?
The Haunt: I’d say that people automatically want to look down on you just because you’re young. Some other bands think they know more about this business than we do just because we’re young, but the truth is we’ve been doing this for four years, which is much longer than most other bands can say for themselves. It’s really fun winning people over, proving to them that we’re genuine musicians and not some gimmick. I think over the recent years, the climate has changed on young musicians, and it seems like now is one of the most accepting times in the general public for younger acts, and we’re really excited to be coming up in this time period.
What’s it like working together with family?
The Haunt: Exactly as you’d expect it to be. Lots of arguing and fighting but just as much love. It’s not always easy working on something as personal as art with your sibling, but the process has led us to become best friends, which we definitely were not before the band started.
Do you guys play any instruments?
The Haunt: Anastasia plays piano, ukulele, and, of course, sings. I (Max) play piano, guitar, bass, ukulele, synth, and also sing. We’ve been taking music lessons since we were really young, about five years old.
Your self-titled EP was released last year and is spectacular! What can we expect from your upcoming music?
The Haunt: Thank you! The EP was a blast to make, and we were really excited at the response it got. We have a new album on the way. It’s currently titled AREA51, and we’re really excited to share the first single “Why Are You So Cold?” in the next few months. It’s something new and different, so look out for it! 🙂
What do you like to do when you’re not making music?
The Haunt: I (Max) draw a lot, and write short stories. It’s my second passion. Anastasia loves musical theater and has been in a few school musicals, including being Wednesday Addams last year.
Who are your favorite artists to listen to?
The Haunt: We have a really diverse music taste. I’ve always loved more modern rock stuff, like Catfish and the Bottlemen, Royal Blood, K. Flay, Arctic Monkeys. Anastasia’s always loved older classic voices, such as Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse, and others. Our favorites mix in bands like The White Stripes, The Kills, Cage The Elephant, The Dead Weather. Bands that make modern versions of blues rock. We love that stuff.
What’s the music scene like in Fort Lauderdale?
The Haunt: The music scene in Fort Lauderdale is better than you’d expect. Collectively, the music community here was really good to us. There’s a lot of talent here; the sounds that come out of South Florida are very diverse, and that definitely helped us shape who we are as musicians.
The masks for your “All Went Black” video were terrifying and unique! Where did you get the inspiration for that?
The Haunt: Terrifying and unique is a good assessment. The masks are symbolic of an adolescent society that has been less than kind to each other through recent years, leaving young people feeling insecure, judged, ridiculed, and fearful to be themselves during a time where it’s most important for them to find their value. We wanted to shine a light on that aspect of adolescence and hope to do whatever we can to improve that reality.
To listen to more of The Haunt’s music, click here.
Article on Stars & Scars mag: Stars & Scars
This past December, alternative/indie group Bay Faction released their long-awaited album, Florida Guilt. Consisting of James McDermott on vocals and guitar, Kris Roman on bass, and Alex Agresti on drums, Bay Faction were formed in 2013 and have been making waves ever since. Their previously released tunes were unique and catchy, which first drew me to the band. Florida Guilt is truly amazing all the way through, and I am not usually one to like the entirety of an album. It excites me to see how they continue to grow musically.
Opening song, “Faux Snow Globe”, transcends you to an eerie dreamscape, with haunting slowed riffs and James McDermott’s gloomy voice. “It’s Perfect” is bright and poppy, a total opposite mood from the first song. However, if you listen carefully to the lyrics, it is darker than you think. McDermott is singing about being with someone who already has a partner. Jealousy comes into play – “no more after this one”- or perhaps he is feeling guilty about the affair. “Donor” is one of my favorite songs of the album with lyrics like, “It’ll never work out / figure something else out / Baby it’s okay / I’ll go home early today / It’ll never work out.” Each song on Florida Guilt is different from the last and has the potential to become a favorite in its own right.
Bay Faction played a record release show at Elsewhere’s Zone One, a smaller section of the venue. The room filled quickly as eager fans piled in. The band sounded spectacular – as crisp as their studio recordings. They are currently on their February tour. Be sure to see these indie cuties if you’re in any of these cities!
Recommendations: Florida Guilt, Soppping, Ur My Bug
For fans of: Swmrs, King Krule, 6lack, Arctic Monkeys
I sat with pop-alternative band, Crimson Apple on the first of November at Big Picture Media Studios. It was unseasonably warm, so we took advantage of the sunny day to take the interview on the rooftop. The four-piece band is comprised of four beautiful sisters, each with their own unique style. Their message is strong: to inspire and stay true to themselves. Originating from Hawaii, the Big Apple is a long ways away from home.
What was the move like from Hawaii to Los Angeles?
Shelby: It was really hectic and it happened really fast. Hawaii is a very different lifestyle and a lot more laid back. Moving to LA, it’s a lot more fast-paced and more to do.
Colby: New York is surprisingly more faster-paced than Los Angeles. It definitely is an overload of the senses. It’s actually really cool and unique here. Lots of walking, which is really good for our health.
Since being signed with Amuse Group how have things changed?
Colby: Things have changed quite a bit. When we were doing things DIY, everything was very in-house. A lot of things we were doing stayed within our family, we were doing things on our own. When we signed with Amuse, we had so many more resources, more help, we were able to be connected with amazing producers and songwriters. We really feel like our sound has grown to the next level. Our vision that we couldn’t always complete on our own, we can finally acquire what we’ve envisioned our whole lives for our sound to be.
The music video for your new single, “Can’t Get Out Of Bed” recently released. How do you feel it turned out?
Colby: We are so proud of this music video. It’s kind of crazy because when we were writing the song, we were visualizing what the video would be like. We thought of the four of us all in red, which represents our blood and our family, and how we were trying to break out of this house, which symbolized our careers and going to the next level. When we gave our vision to our director, she totally understood it. We filmed in a day, with everything moving so smoothly and perfectly. The final product was better than we even envisioned.
So you’re all sisters and you’re in a band together. You must like each other. How do you maintain professionalism and your personal lives?
Carthi: It’s really hard because we’re always working and sometimes when we want to have family time, we end up talking about our work. It’s just natural for us. So sometimes we have to say, “Okay no talking about any band business, we’re just gonna have a normal time and relax.” But it’s also kind of cool because we’re always on it, we’re always working. So it’s important to have that balance.
Colby: It’s a good and bad thing because it’s within our family, we are able to be so open with our ideas and it’s always flowing for us. At the same time we get tired out, say we’re sitting watching a movie and someone will say, “Hey you know what we should do for this song?” like no, we should really just watch the movie and hang out as sisters.
Faith and Carthi: You only had a few months to learn your instruments before your first live performance. How did you make that happen?
Faith: Lots of practice?
Carthi: The first few shows were rough. I couldn’t move on stage, I had stage fright pretty bad, but just practiced a lot.
Colby: I think because Shelby and I were already experienced, we were able to be with them as they learned their instruments. They say when you’re trying to learn something new you should be with someone who’s already experienced at it because it makes you learn and grow that much faster.
What would be your dream tour?
Faith: Personally for me I would want to go to Europe.
Shelby: Japan, and to see the rest of the U.S. This is our first year touring the U.S. and so far every state kind of has its own unique vibe. It’s been cool to experience our country!
Who would you tour with if you could choose?
Faith: Taylor Swift
Colby: Halsey, oo Twenty One Pilots! We just saw them at Madison Square Garden! They were amazing. Mind blown. It was our first time seeing them, we were so lucky we got tickets to see them.
What do you miss most about Hawaii?
Crimson Apple: the food, the people.
Colby: We have a lot of friends and one thing I think is really unique about Hawaii is that there is this fusion of cultures and it’s really family oriented. You can meet a stranger, and the fact that you’re from Hawaii and be like “Hi aunty, hi uncle”.
Shelby: Meat jun. It’s basically really thin beef marinated in like a teriyaki sauce but it’s better than that, then you fry it in egg.
Colby: We found out it’s a fusion dish. It’s from a mixture cultures that created that michan. We also miss Hawaiian poke.
Shelby: We have friends in California that always go to the poke places and we try to explain to them, “This is good, but Hawaiian poke is better”.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Colby: I think one of our biggest inspirations as a group is that we’re doing it together as a family. We’re always pushing each other and relying on each other so we’re feeling that responsibility to do well for each other. We’re in it together. Our parents is one of our inspirations because they are so massively supportive of us, we are so blessed to have them. They put so much into us so it’s important for us to succeed for them.
Who do you make your music for?
Colby: People our age, we’re going through a lot of things our peers are going through. We write about our real life experiences, and we feel like there are a lot of people like us that are going through the same things and that’s really who we’re writing for. The four of us all collaborate to write the music together.
What’s your favorite part about being a musician?
Crimson Apple: All of it!
Shelby: It’s so much fun. Me personally, I think I like performing live. I love being on stage and performing for people.
Colby: For me, I think I’ve always loved songwriting the most. I think it’s because I’m a really introverted person and I’m kind of reserved. From a young age, music was the only way I knew how to express how I was feeling. I like challenging myself to come up with a cool metaphor or create something that is relatable to people.
Carthi: I really do like all of it. It would be easier for me to say I don’t like the business side of it. Everything else is amazing.
Faith: I really like all of it too. Whatever I’m doing in the moment. Right now we’re on tour so I like playing live and meeting people. Inspiring people, because not a lot of people can do what we do.
How do you guys get pumped before going on stage?
Shelby: We have a strange ritual. It basically involves us crossing hands and holding hands with some yelling involved.
Faith: A lot of “LEHH”
Colby: It kind of originated in this moment where we were kind of going through something really rough during practice one day, feeling this weight on our shoulders, and all of a sudden Carthi just started yelling, and we were all like “that’s what we need to do right now”. So we all just let it out and that moment was special for us so we included it in our performance ritual.
You all have amazing style. Who are your style icons and where do you get your inspiration from?
Faith: Aw man! I love Korean fashion, I love Gigi Hadid, she is my fashion icon.
Colby: I love Dua Lipa. She is so fly all the time, I love her fashion sense.
Knitting Factory, Brooklyn
It was a perfect fall day in New York City. A perfect day to walk about Brooklyn and go to a show. Beach Goons, from San Diego, California, and Super Whatevr, from Costa Mesa, California blessed our ears with a fantastic show. It was Beach Goons first time here, and they did not fail to bring their Cali swag to Brooklyn. The three-piece band consists of guitar/vocalist Pablo Cervantez, bassist David Orozco, and drummer Chris Moran. If you’ve never heard of Beach Goons before, your earbuds are truly missing out. Their sound is a mixture of surf punk, with their latest album including more of their Hispanic roots. I first heard of them in 2017 and instantly was obsessed with them, playing their one album over and over again.
The trio played a mixture of songs, old and new including Tar, Grimey, She’s Dead, Reservoir Dogs, and Anirak from their 2016 album, Boisad. From their new album that they released this August, they played hits like A.M., Hrsb, The End, and Miedo. Although the venue was small, the crowd was able to get very close to the stage with plenty of room to dance about. Beach goons were so pure in that they wanted everyone close and dancing and singing along with them, like with the song, The End, Pablo told us the lyrics so we could sing along with him. I highly recommend seeing them live, and you still can catch them on tour here.
Super Whatevr is an emo-punk band also from California, so although they weren’t the same style as Beach Goons, they were sweet in personality and humble, yet packed a punch when it came to performing. Guitar/vocalist Skylar McKee has the voice of an angel, sounding so crisp, clean, and articulate during their set. He would stand on his tippy toes at some moments and it was awe inspiring. Skylar showed his spirit through the band’s performance and not many musicians show that vulnerability while on stage. Sure, you get great stage performance and sound, but not all musicians open up like Skylar did.
Guitarist Nick Wickander and bassist Josiah Beason had great energy throughout their set as well, jumping around on stage and thrashing about at just the right times. Not to leave out drummer Josh Gomez, who also was full of high energy and throwing those arms at the drum set. They played songs like Benjamin Alphabet, Someone Somewhere Somehow, Bloomfield, and more from their latest album Never Nothing. What was beautiful about Super Whatevr’s set was that they were playing dark songs and embracing it completely. You would think that this would make the crowd feel sad, but the energy was not that at all. It was inspiring and moving, full with life. If you were somebody struggling with anything and saw Super Whatevr live, you would feel something within you awaken and make you want to battle your inner demons. Catch Super Whatever on tour here.