ARTIST & LADY BLADE FROM PHILLY: AN INTERVIEW WITH CAITLIN MCCANN

Interview by Kayla Fernandez

Caitlin McCann is a badass visual artist based out of Philadelphia. Her film photographs are very in the moment and show that she has a close relationship with her subjects. Caitlin’s overall style has a warm, comforting feel to it; I could look at her photos for hours. I first came across Caitlin’s photography on Instagram around two years ago and have been drawn to it ever since. A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to chat with her in Los Angeles while she was on tour, documenting her buds, Vundabar. See below to read our chat about tour experiences and dream festival lineups.

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KF: Who are you and what do you do?

CM: My name is Caitlin and I am a visual artist.

KF: What sparked your interest in photography?

CM: I got into photography around the end of middle school, entering high school. When I first started using a camera I felt like there were things I could capture that I couldn’t with my drawings. Growing up, I would always draw or paint, but I felt limited with my abilities and so the camera gave me some sort of purpose. It’s funny to me how some things just stayed consistent in my life. I recently took a year off from shooting to work on drawings and paintings but now I feel like I have a good balance of it all.

KF: Has traveling helped develop your style?

CM: Traveling in the sense of being on the move has helped developed my style because I try to photograph movement.

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KF: I feel like when you capture shots of people on the road they become more vulnerable and they are in a different element from what they are used to.

CM: Yeah, totally! Especially with touring, you are traveling as a unit and a lot of the time you are in a confined space with people. There are a lot of extremes. My friend Brandon and I have talked about how it’s a good way to find out who you love and who you hate. Photographing people on tour, and just traveling in general, pushes people to the extremes and it’s cool to see that come out in photos.

KF: You’ve been photographing your buds, Vundabar for quite some time now. How did you guys meet? And how much has your relationship blossomed?

CM: I was on tour with The Districts in 2015 and Vundabar was opening for them in Boston. We all hit it off backstage. I watched their whole set and it just blew me away. Sometime after that the guys played a show in New York and stayed at my house. We took pictures the next day. After THAT, I asked if I could go on tour with them and here we are three years later doing the same shit.

 

 

KF: That’s a great way of meeting lifelong friends. It’s very random and you never know what to expect out of it.

CM: Yeah, this crew of people has been very special. We basically met when were babies. Brandon and Drew were still under 21 at the time. Zack had to leave for a bit but now he’s back and the hole in our hearts is filled. We’ve grown up in a lot of ways over the last few years but the overall bond is still the same, maybe even stronger, at least for me it is, since time has gone by and I’ve realised there’s no one like them.

 

KF: What is your typical workflow like on the road?

CM: It’s a lot of reading people and going with the flow. It’s very spontaneous. You are constantly around people who want to be alone or not be alone. I just try to feel out the vibe, and see if someone doesn’t want to be photographed during that time. If no one is paying attention or if the lighting is perfect, then I’ll take a picture. There are some days where I don’t take any pictures and some days where I shoot a couple rolls of film.

KF: How many rolls of film do you usually bring on tour?

CM: This tour I only brought fourteen rolls with me but then I had to buy more.

KF: Do develop your own film as well too?

CM: I take it in to get it developed, but then I scan it myself. It’s cheaper and I have more control over the resolution .

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KF: Describe a day in the life whether it be on tour or at home.

CM: When it comes to a day in the life on tour, it’s hard but you try to make routines despite constantly being on the move . It’s important to find ways to make yourself comfortable on the road and basically be a chameleon. We usually make coffee runs a priority. Some days you’re in the van all day, some days you have the freedom to explore a city or go on a hike. It’s never the same. At home, I like to get into the routine of wake up, coffee, breakfast, studio. Sometimes I spend the whole day at the studio, other times I can only put in a few hours before I have to go to work (axe throwing!). I’m always trying to find a balance between it all.

KF: Tell us a story behind one of your favorite photos.

CM: It’s this picture of Brandon with his head sticking out of a car window. That was on the first tour that we did together, and we had spent like a week in Texas. It was starting to get WEIRD. . We were leaving Texas to go to New Mexico and had been driving through the night. The photo was taken at like six in the morning after we had just pulled over on the side of the road. We ran under a fence and ended up being chased by cows. We were able to watch the sunrise from the van.

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KF: In your interview with Brandon from Vundabar, you mentioned that you don’t photograph live shows anymore. What made you stop?

CM: It just got too repetitive because it felt like I was taking the same photo over and over. When I started touring more, I realized there are things that I value more than just the performance. . The shows make up like 10 percent of the tour and the other 90 percent is whatever you do before and after show time.

KF: I totally get that because when I was shooting a festival not that long ago, I was in the photo pit for three songs. I take so many photos that I know I’m not going to edit.

CM: Exactly! It becomes overwhelming.

KF: I feel like candid pictures on the road are more personal.

CM: It also shows the level of trust. Anyone can get a photo pass to shoot shows these days. Not everyone can be in the van with the band, whether that be because they are confined by other things or maybe the band doesn’t want them on tour ahahaha.

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KF: As a female photographer, have you experienced any misogynistic encounters? How did you handle it?

CM: Oh my god every day! There have been so many encounters where people ask me which band member I’m dating. I can’t even keep track of how many times that has happened. It’s never the band, or at least my friends that have treated me like that, it’s always rude security guards or drunk people trying to buy merch after the show.

KF: What was your first tour experience like with Vundabar compared to now?

CM: I don’t know how to put it into words, but the first tour changed my life in ways that I am still processing. I had just finished college and I had no idea what I wanted to do. I never met anyone like Vundabar. Zack, Brandon, and Drew have a very special bond that I can’t put into words; it’s just a thing you have to witness. The fact that they brought me into their world is something that I hold close to my heart. We are all very fluid people, we have a good balance. They are themselves all the time, they don’t fake it, they are always one hundred percent themselves. The taught me how to be more comfortable with myself.

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KF: How do you find moments to yourself or self-care on the road?

CM: Van time can turn into alone time when you are stuck in the car for hours. I’ll write or draw. I guess for me it’s a little bit different from the guys because when they are sound checking I get that alone time. Trying to eat healthy on the road is important too.

KF: Proudest moment of your career?

CM: I had a show a few years ago for a black and white portrait series I shot called Extended Family. Vundabar and my friends Pine Barons played. There were a lot of , friends from different places all under one roof. After the show, we went to The D’s old house down the street and just continued the night by dancing in the kitchen. It was such a special moment for me because the show brought us all together. Usually I’d only see half of those people at a time because we all live in different cities and tour schedules and what not, but we were all there. It was great. Lots of love.

KF: Totally not photography or art related, but what is your dream festival line up?

CM: Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, My Bloody Valentine, LCD Soundsystem. As for smaller acts maybe Shame because I really want to see them. Also maybe D’Angelo, but he’s not a small act he would be a headliner.

KF: An album or artist that changed your life?

CM: Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones. I never heard anything like it at the time. I was also drawn to it because there was this photographer that documented the whole process of that era. That album got me interested in other music; it helped developed my taste into what it is now.

KF: Any advice to young kids who want to pick up a camera?

CM: This is going to sound very cliché but just shoot what you like, figure out what you don’t like and fine tune it. When I first started photographing my friends it just clicked with me that I wanted to photograph people all the time. Don’t try and develop a style, let it happen organically.

 

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Follow Caitlin:

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An Interview With Ella Gregg

Interview by Melody J. Myers

When accidentally falling into artist management, Ella Gregg has achieved so much at such a small amount of time. Creating her own management company, 321 Artists, managing up and coming band Blushes, and while making an appearance at The A&R Feedback Centre at this year’s BBC Introducing Live, she’s taking every opportunity by storm and making big things happen. With her determined attitude, and big plans Ella proves that anything is possible, but also that we can stumble upon our calling at any time, or anywhere. Her story is inspiring, and hopeful. We chatted about all things artist management, Blushes, and so much more.

Before we start, I just wanted to say congratulations on everything you’ve achieved so far, it’s so inspiring! Thank you for taking the time and answering my questions. First off, how are you?

Thank you so so much! It’s always really strange when people congratulate me or say what I’ve done is inspiring, as sometimes I think we don’t really stop and realise what we’ve achieved, we’re all so focused on working towards the next thing, but if I sit and think how mad the past couple of years have been, I have achieved a lot!

I’m doing really well thank you! We recently unfortunately had to cancel Blushes’ tour midway through due to illness within the band which was gutting, but it’s only made us all so determined to work harder to come back next year with BIG things. So the excitement levels at the moment are high.

A lot of people must wonder what you do as an artist manager, what’s a day like for you on the job? Is it different when you are on tour, or is it the same?

So as an artist manager, I do all of the things you would expect – organising the band’s schedule, booking the gigs, being the voice of the band to others in the industry, dancing in the front row at gigs, working on new releases, but also just being a human being – going with them to doctors appointments, congratulating their personal successes, being someone to call on when things aren’t so great. Being an artist manager is basically being another member of the band, without playing in the band.

I always say that my job is to sell myself, before I sell Blushes, because if people trust me, they will trust who I work with. So most of my day is sending emails, it’s networking and introducing myself.

I’m not in a position where I can be an artist manager full time, so I spend a lot of my time behind a reception in a trampoline park. I’m very lucky in how portable being an artist manager is, I can access my emails from my phone, and all the assets I could need are all on the Google Drive app, so I can literally do everything on the go.

When we’re on tour, I can still work whilst we’re driving (unless I’m on Sat Nav duty, in which I am focused on the task in hand), but I do see gigs as a reward for all the hard work I’ve put into organising each show, so I do take some time away from emails and make the most of spending time with the band, as that to me is just as important.
You’ve become apart of The A&R Feedback Centre at this year’s BBC Introducing Live which is huge, how does this make you feel? From accidentally falling into artist management to being apart of something as big as BBC Introducing Live.

 

It’s absolutely ridiculous. I am extremely lucky. To me, I still feel as if I am constantly learning every single day, and when I saw BBC Introducing Live, I couldn’t believe that such an event had been put together, what a dream?! All of those people in one space, and I knew I could benefit so much from attending. I would never in a million years think I’d be considered to sit in a Feedback Centre, along with industry professionals from the craziest companies and labels and careers. I feel incredibly privileged to be trusted to be able to give emerging artists feedback and advice, because I know how vital that opportunity will be to them. It’s reminded me that there’s always someone watching what you’re doing! I’ve completely made the most of it already, and connected with all the individuals (153!) part of the Feedback Centre on Linkedin and social media, and have already organised meetings and had some interesting conversations.

What was it like being an intern at Secret Sessions? It really opened a whole new world for you, and introduced you to Blushes!
Secret Sessions is such a beautiful thing. For those who don’t know, Secret Sessions is a free platform for emerging artists, and they give artists live and sync opportunities. I was scouted by the founder of Secret Sessions when I was 17 to do an 8 week internship and after that period, I became the Community Manager and in the 18 months I spent there, I signed up over 1000 artists and gave many of them career changing opportunities. If I didn’t get that chance from Secret Sessions, would I even be in the music industry now?

Blushes was indeed one of the bands I discovered through Secret Sessions. I found so many gems through Secret Sessions, but there was something about Blushes which I just knew I couldn’t not explore further, and I’m so glad I did.

Speaking of Blushes who happen to be my new favorites, how did you become their manager? What’s it like working with them? Do we see an album coming out in the near future?

(Blushes are my favourites too). It’s actually quite a funny story, because I had absolutely no intention of becoming their music, or even working in the music industry for that matter. (I spent 5 years as a police cadet, and was convinced I was going to join the police force.) When I first discovered Blushes whilst I was at Secret Sessions, I was introduced to their manager at the time, who was interested in what Secret Sessions did, so I met up with them and went through it in more detail. After the meeting, they told me that they could really see my passion and enthusiasm and they wanted me to start working with Blushes under their management company.

At first, I was helping them really informally just with their social media, and then after a month, I was asked to book their gigs. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I was completely out of my depth, I had never booked gigs before. Looking back, the first gigs I got Blushes were a bit disastrous (sorry guys), they just weren’t the best quality, or in the best venues, but I was still learning and I managed to book them a tour which I was pretty proud of.

During this time, their manager began to fade and I was starting to take on a lot more responsibilities when it came to the band, without really realising if I’m honest. Due to circumstances, their manager was no longer able to manage Blushes and I decided that, with the help of Blushes, I would step up to the plate and give it a go at managing them. Within 6 months, they had been played on BBC Radio 1 and featured by NME, appeared on London Live and BBC Introducing.
Being the founder of 321 Artists is an amazing accomplishment. Can you tell us the process of how that happened, and why you wanted to go about creating your own company?
That’s really kind thank you! When I started managing Blushes properly, I knew I didn’t want to manage them under someone else’s company and name. If I was going to manage them, I wanted to do it under my own name, and put my own stamp on it. So I knew I had to create my own company, and I’m so proud of what 321 Artists is, and it’s values, and what it will continue to achieve.

How did you come up with the name 321 Artists?
So I always knew I wanted to focus on emerging artists with 321 Artists, and I wanted it to be a platform that helped artists ‘launch’ or ‘accelerate’, 321 is like a countdown, to something launching, for example a rocket (hence why our logo is a rocket), or something accelerating with support, like a career.

When looking for artists to represent is there anything you look for in particular?
I don’t really look for anything in particular. I will always see the artist perform live before anything. If I stand during your set in complete awe, or you make me want to dance the room regardless of the people around me, you’re a winner. They’ve got to be unforgettable.

You recently did a talk at a school about being an artist manager, what was that like? I’ve noticed that there isn’t really information about what you can do in the music industry, (besides being in bands) is that important to you to share information like that?
I did! And I was absolutely terrified, but I remembered when I was in school, and when we used to have guest speakers in, I was always so interested, especially when they were young. I had a really great time speaking with the students, there were a couple of students who were actually in successful emerging bands, so it was really interesting to hear their perspectives. These students were 15-18, and it was so heartwarming to hear them asking questions about what I do, and what they can do in the industry. You’re completely right, I still don’t think I have come across every single career option in the music industry yet. It’s about listing the skills and hobbies you have, and I am certain you could link at least one to a role in the music industry. There definitely is more to be done in terms of education around the music industry for young people, it’s on my to do list!

What are you most looking forward to in your career/new year? Even if you’ve accomplished so much already!
Well next for me is Introducing Live so I’m hoping I make some new connections there, and learn a lot that I can take into the new year! Next year I hope I can start working with even more artists, especially when we launch a new avenue to 321 Artists which I am SO excited about! I’m so ready for 2019, and who knows what’s to come!

I read that you don’t particularly make a big deal about your age/gender when it comes to being an artist manager, although of course many people do. How do you keep your head up with all the ridicule women get in the music industry?
That’s completely true. I don’t see the need for my gender or age to make any difference when we are discussing an artist, for example. People can’t see who is behind an email, so as long as I remain professional and get the job done to a high standard, my age is irrelevant. I remain very focused and there has only been a small handful of times where I have felt my age or gender has been taken advantage of, of which I have always commented on immediately. I’m very strong willed, and not afraid of voicing my opinion when necessary. But most of the time, I just want to get the job done, that’s my priority.

What advice would you give girls/women who want to be in the industry?
My main piece of advice to anyone wanting to be involved with the industry, is to educate yourself, don’t be afraid of learning. Because the industry is a complicated thing, that most of us are still figuring out, so education is key. Networking is the most important thing, if you enjoy writing, find journalists on social media and drop them a message or email and ask them their story, ask them if they have any advice or if they know of any opportunities you can get involved with. Don’t be afraid to get yourself out there, ask questions, and ask for favours. Even if they say no, you haven’t lost anything, but you can definitely gain a lot from introducing yourself to the right people.

Thank you again for answering all my questions, Ella! We support you 300%, and we can’t wait to see what you do next!
You are absolutely more than welcome. Thank you for giving people the opportunity to share their story and voice.
Keep up with Ella’s journey here :

 

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Interview: Tamino

Interview & Feature by Corynne Fernandez 

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Photo by Ramy Fouad / Courtesy of Artist

Belgium artist, Tamino, hasn’t surfaced in America just yet, however we can guarantee he won’t be your “pocket-artist” very long. With his chanteuse-like mysticism and comparisons to enigmas such as Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen, Tamino Amir has begun to forge a path unlike his contemporaries. The 21-year-old musician of Belgian, Egyptian and Lebanese descent, harnesses his culture in his songs with subtle Arabic inflections and even uses the guitar his late grandfather Moharam Fouad—celebrated Arab actor and musician—passed down to him.

Tamino’s haunting lyricism and leering guitar accompaniment serve his rich vocal range, transfixing anyone in earshot. Throughout his childhood, his mother would play the likes of The Beatles, Tom Waits, Serge Gainsbourg, and a mirage of opera and jazz, from which the young musician draws from to compose a sweet vagueness—something he has already mastered and made entirely his own. In April of last year, Tamino released his self-titled debut EP with emotive pieces such as ‘Habibi’ (‘sweetheart’ or ‘my love’ in Arabic) and ‘Indigo Night’ which features Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood on bass. In these tracks one can hear a painful yearning and a dance between love and anguish; he accents these stories with his traversing voice going from woeful octaves to ethereal falsettos creating a visceral response.

More recently, Tamino has signed with Communion Records, and has released a new single titled ‘Persephone’ today. With the release, also comes the big announcement of his debut album Amir set to come out October 19th.

Read below where I had the pleasure of talking to Tamino about his songwriting, influences, and more in his first in-depth American interview.

When you first were writing music, you started with punk rock. How did you evolve into the sound you have today?

When I was a teenager, I think my lyrics were much more anger based—just feeling injustice. But when I picked up the guitar it was a natural result to use distortion and arrange sounds differently than I had before. Although my voice sounded the same to where it’s at right now, when I grew a bit older—I think—my emotions changed which has contributed to what I make now.

You have a varied sound, but the emphasis on your lyrics and the musical simplicity are throughout your first EP. Do you have any influences that shape how you go about it?

Well, I like a wide range of music. I think I just love music that claims its right for being—where you can’t go around it and it not be served as background music. That’s when I only really listen to music, when I sit down and fully engage in it. I never put it on just to have it in the background. For songwriting, it’s literature that inspires me. I absolutely love Khalil Gibran, who was a Lebanese writer who moved to America when he was quite young—I love almost all his work.

When making a song, does the instrumentation come first or do the lyrics? Where do you find inspiration?

That depends—mostly, music comes first but there are a few songs that I had lyrics for before the song fully formed. I know when something I’m working on is finished when I feel like I can say something with the music and let it stand on its own.

I typically write based on my own experiences, but I do observe as well. I’ll write down observations and sometimes they’ll find their way into a song. Some songs are maybe a bit more about exaggerated characters that represent aspects of my personality. Even though the songs are pretty personal, I find the themes are universal.

With your first EP, did you find it hard to choose the final tracks?

It was difficult to choose because I had already written a whole bunch of songs. We recorded 13 out 50, and then chose 5 from those 13, so it was very hard to decide on which ones would fit together in the best way—I’m happy with the way it turned out. Also, I just finished recording an album and it was kind of a similar process with finding the natural flow of the songs.

You have a new single out called ‘Persephone.’ Does the song have any relation to the Greek mythology or does it serve as a metaphor for something more personal?

I hide behind it in a way because the song started out as one of the most personal songs I ever wrote. I also really like Greek mythology and found that there were some parallels we shared, so why not use it? It seemed to be better for my ego. [laughs]

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Photo by Ramy Fouad / Courtesy of Artist

You’ve also announced the release of your debut album, ‘Amir’, due out October 19th on UK label, Communion. What has the process been like and how do you feel about it thus far?

Well, it’s been amazing because I live in Belgium and there are not many Belgian artists that are signed to big labels, like Communion. So, suddenly everything has become international which has been incredible. I get to tour different countries—a boy’s dream come true! [laughs]

Were you already in the writing phase before Communion came in?

I already had a few songs for the album that I had finished before signing with Communion, and then wrote the rest while in the studio.

Did you go in with a concept for your debut, or were the ideas more organic?

I think they started out organically, but as we started producing, we began making choices that were based in a concept and had elements that fit the sound we were creating. It was a very fluid process.

What was the concept?

There are definitely themes that feature throughout the whole album. A very important one is: the conflict between blinding romance and dissipating nihilism.

On one side, there is life-fulfilling romance that makes you float—so high that you can also fall very deeply. There is this feeling of love that is central, making everything beautiful and anything but love, void. It consumes you.

On the contrary, one also deals with overwhelming emptiness and apathy that ground you so profoundly that nothing seems to have sense. Your life is nothing more than a coincidental event that ceases at any given moment, which means that this all is insignificant. Sometimes you can’t cope with the impermanence of things. Therefore, you close yourself off from everything that you value.

Some songs are more on the romantic side, others more on the apathetic side. In my own life I can look at the world and at life in both ways depending on my state of being. This is reflected in the songs on this album. I also explore how this conflict creates an imbalance. A lot of the album is about finding that balance as well.

I feel like I could have only written this album now, now that I’m still very young and when a lot of things are new discoveries for me. Even though it might seem like a mature album for a 21-year-old, the themes are in my opinion very relatable to how a lot of people my age feel. In a way, a lot of the lyrics are quite naive. It was a conscious decision though, to capture this naiveté and to not polish it all too much, as that would have taken the sincerity away from the songs.

Why the title, Amir for the album?

That’s also part of the explanation on why I chose ‘Amir’ as the title for this album. It’s my second surname, an Arabic word which means ‘prince’. There’s a proudness to it that is also found in my music. For me it’s the perfect title for my debut album because it suits the themes in the lyrics: a prince is royal and proud but also has a lot to learn.

Another thing I like about ‘Amir’, is that it has something ‘meant to be’—a sense of succession. A prince does not choose to be a prince; he is born like that. It’s in his blood because of his ancestors. In that same vain, I don’t choose to be an artist. I’m born like this.

Even though the themes in the lyrics can be sad at times, the songs aren’t sad singer/songwriter songs. They’re proud songs. Comparable with  Arab song from the golden age. Tearing your heart out, but always with a straight back and a grandeur to it.

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Photo by Ramy Fouad / Courtesy of Artist

Your songs seem to convey a story while retaining a vagueness. Is that something you consciously choose or is there a natural separation?

I like to maintain a gray area with my songs, where one doesn’t really know what the song is about exactly. I give some direction, but I prefer to leave it to interpretation, because each time I perform, I myself find it carries new meaning.

In recent coverage, your vocal and playing style have been compared to the late, Jeff Buckley. How do you feel about that comparison?

I love his music and I’m very flattered by the comparison. However, those are big shoes to fill. I want to remain tethered to myself and have my music be my own. I think with comparisons like that, it brings expectations to the table that I didn’t necessarily ask for.

You’ve been making your way across Europe playing several festivals like Rock Werchter and a slew of solo shows. If you could choose a lineup of artists dead or alive, who would you choose?

I’d definitely choose James Blake as the headliner, Moses Sumney, Father John Misty—of course. Then I would choose some friends like Warhaus, and maybe a flute player.

Since you’ve started touring, what has been your favorite part and what do you look forward to?

Playing the show itself is the best feeling; the performance puts everything into perspective.

What’s a song you wish you wrote?

Probably a song from Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan—they have so many. Also, I really like this band Iceage, from Denmark—I like what the singer has to say.

Do you have a favorite album of all-time?

For me, ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon is up there. My mom had played it all the time when I was young.

With big career milestones underway, how do you hope your music is received?

I hope when people listen to my music it commands their attention and goes beyond just the moment we are in—that would be amazing. I don’t need massive audiences, but it’s the greatest feeling to know my music is being heard internationally, whether it be a big crowd or a single listener. To know my music has reached someone like you in California is really cool, so thank you.

Tamino- Persephone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeaBJfzTKl8

For news and tour dates:

https://taminomusic.com/

Inner Wave Interview + Photos

Interview and words by Corynne Fernandez

On the day they released their third album, Underwater Pipe Dreams, we sat down and chatted with the guys of Inner Wave, who have been quickly making a name for themselves and gaining a dedicated group of fans all over. Read below as we talk about their sold-out album release show, the process of making their long-awaited album, and favorite records at the moment.

Pictured above left to right: Luis Portillo (drummer), Elijah Trujillo (lead guitarist), Chris Runners (keyboardist), Jean-Pierre Narvaez (bassist), Pablo Sotelo (vocals and rhythm guitar)

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You guys have been together since you were teenagers, how was the band formed and what’s the meaning behind the name ‘Inner Wave?’ 

Elijah: In 6th grade, Pablo and I both played guitar and we met Jean-Pierre and Alex (old drummer). Jean got a bass and Alex got a drum set which resulted to jamming.
Pablo: As for the name, I made a list of like two hundred names and I showed all my friends the list of potential band names. Inner Wave was the one everyone liked the most.

This album was three years in the making, how did you guys come to the decision it was complete?

Pablo: We ran out of money. Haha no— we finished it once before about a year ago, it was completely done and mastered in the studio ready to go, but something was off. We had this really strong idea on how the process should be, we wanted it to become very collaborative — it was, but we also wanted that in the recording process, so we worked with somebody new, but we became too focused on the process instead of the music. By the end of it we did what we wanted to do but it wasn’t the vibe we were hoping for so we redid it again in the garage.

Why the name Underwater Pipe Dreams?

Pablo:It was initially a joke, for the playlist of songs that we had. Then I felt like it made sense with the themes that were happening with the album. The expression of ‘pipe dreams’ is something that will probably be a long shot and not work out. That’s how the process for the album started to feel like after a long time. On a personal level, we all went through a lot of different things within the three years, so it’s like we slowly morphed into the name that started off as a joke. With ‘underwater’ it was kinda like an ode to Lil Ugly Mane, (rapper from Virginia) his work is really low-fi but also interesting. His whole persona and how he does things musically is very intriguing.

Your new record is reminiscent of the alt rock sound that defined the early 2000’s, like that of The Strokes, making it a shift from your other material. Lyrically and musically what inspired you this time around?

Pablo: Initially we listened to a lot of Marvin Gaye—I don’t think a lot of people would think that because inspirations don’t always translate through our songs. The lyrics come from personal experiences, this summer I tried a bit – not that I didn’t try harder before I wanted to improve that aspect of it more. It was the first time where I wrote the lyrics before the music; they would end up as poems.

What song are you most proud of off the album, and what are you all most excited to play live?
Chris: There is this song called ‘Conversations’ that Jean mostly wrote. It has a Bohemian Rhapsody vibe to it; it’s a really long song with many moving parts. It’s one of those songs where you have to listen to and understand all the elements in the song.
Luis:I would go with ‘Discipline’;that’s a track with a heavier Tom Groove in it and that part specifically, is one of the most challenging for me to play.
Elijah:I also agree with ‘Discipline’—that one for me is a banger. It gets so intense and it makes me extremely excited to play live.
Pablo: For me, it would either be ‘Discipline’ or ‘Conversations’ because I think those are the two songs that have a lot of moving parts and have the potential to be amazing live.

A lot has been leading up to today, have you guys done anything special to prep for it tonight?
Everyone: We like to do some ritual sacrifices.
Pablo: We tried to do something special with the stage production for the show, so hopefully it all works out the way we planned. *

*Update: It did! 

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Can you give us a day in the life of Inner Wave?
Chris: We meet up every day at 8:30pm and practice, no matter what we do in that day we always meet up at that time.
What venue would you love to play in the near future?
Chris: The El Rey, because I’ve been going to that venue ever since I was a kid.
Everyone: Red Rocks would be tight, the atmosphere is absolutely crazy.

What are your guy’s all-time favorite albums?
Elijah: Marvin Gaye’s “In Our Lifetime”
Luis: “InnerSpeaker” by Tame Impala
Pablo: That one record from Madvillain.
Chris: “Blonde” by Frank Ocean and “Mista Thug Isolation” by Lil Ugly Mane

Out of all the places you’ve toured, what would be your most memorable gig to date and why?
Everyone: The Rickshaw.
Chris: The crowd was packed; the venue had air conditioning and let us smoke in the greenroom. Also, when we were waiting to play, there was a line going around the block.

First concert?
Pablo:The first concert I was brought to was this contemporary Christian Latin American guy named Marcos Witt, but the first concert I bought tickets for was Queens of the Stone Age. It was actually a benefit concert, and so they had other acts like the Last Shadow Puppets and some other surprise guest.
Luis:I grew up around punk music, so my brother would play shows at The Knitting Factory in LA and I would always hang around him.
Chris: The first concert I got brought to was Maroon 5; it was when Songs About Jane came out and the first time I ever smelled weed before. The first one I bought tickets to was Erykah Badu.
Elijah: The first one, my dad took me to see a Led Zeppelin cover band. The first one that I paid for was FYF Fest a few years ago, the year that The Strokes played.

Now that the album’s out, what are you guys looking forward to come this year and into next year?
Pablo: Long naps and a lot of sleep—maybe take my dog for a walk.
Everyone: SXSW!

A message to all your fans?

Pablo: Keep on rockin
Chris: Y’all thanks!
Elijah: Huge thank you to everyone!
Pablo: Felt a lot of love this year—it’s intense, so thank you!

Gallery of the Inner Wave Album Release Show below:

(All photographs by Kayla Fernandez)

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Night Moves Interview

By Corynne and Kayla Fernandez

Cover photo by Graham Images and Photography

Contrary to their name, Night Moves is far from a Bob Seger tribute band, and are producing cosmic folk-rock, reminiscent of influences like Neil Young and The Flaming Lips with their own added distinct style. Read below as John Pelant, lead singer and guitarist, chatted with us about their high school beginnings, dream festival line-ups, and the progress on album #3.

First off, how are you?

Doing well!  Just got back from playing a festival in Appleton, WI.  We had a blast, in what is apparently, “The Drunkest City In America” ???!?? Yeah, I didn’t believe it either…

The relationship between the band appears to be pretty close-knit. How did you all meet and form what is now, Night Moves? 

Micky and I met in high school and kinda bonded over skateboarding. We eventually played in bands that would perform together from time to time and whatnot, so we grew closer that way. We also had a similar taste in music- Flaming Lips, The Band, George Harrison, Elliott Smith, Neil Young, which kind of turned us into even better friends.  Our current live show band members are all dudes we met years later here in Minneapolis from playing out and about. I think growing up in such a formidable time as high school will inevitably bring you together as Micky and I.

You guys have been together since 2009, and put out your debut album in 2012. How would you say you’ve evolved from Colored Emotions to Pennied Days? 

I think the writing has gotten stronger. I’m better at self recording these days, which is important because a lot of self recorded/demo stuff makes it into the albums. We’ve matured a bit in terms of the bands sound and presentation, although I still have a tough time taking the social media thing seriously.  The multitude of tours we’ve gone on has given a fair amount of knowledge about how the live thing works for us as well as against us. There are business aspects to this band thing I would have never imagined when I started out that I think we are much more adept at these days, but who am I kidding, I’m still learning and figuring it all out.

You’ve been characterized by your 70’s-esque guitar riffs and melodic folky vocal pairing. Musically and lyrically, where do you find inspiration?

I think the band name falsely informs people of this idea that we’re a homage to Seger/70’s rock band music.  That was never the intention, and it still isn’t. We just take stuff from anything we like and that moves us. The name kinda just fit the vibe at the time when we put out the 1st record.  Inspiration is constantly changing.   Lyrics always seem to come from a strange place.  They’re inspired from a variety of experiences and they are usually the last thing to come in the song writing process.  All in all, inspiration is always coming to me in ways I’d never expect.  I’m still trying to figure that all out as well.

Fans interpret music in a rainbow of ways, is there anything you’d like your listeners to take away from your material?

No, I let them continue to interpret it in a myriad of ways.  It’s best if you can get lost and find some element of yourself in the music.

 

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Photo by Erin Pederson

 

What is a day in the life of Night Moves? 

Make coffee/tea. Breakfast, which is usually these days a bagel with egg and turkey and greens.  Go through the damn internet stops, shower, go to work, come home listen to music and work on new songs, crack some wine and continue to tinker with the tunes.  Still trying to finish album #3!

If we’re on tour: Just trying to not die, drink water, hit various gas stations and grocery stores, sound check, show, after party, sleep.

What records have shaped you most as artists? 

“All Things Must Pass” by George Harrison is a big one, Micky borrowed me a copy in Driver’s Ed in high school and it has been a beacon ever since. “Highway 61 Revisited” and “The Freewheelin Bob Dylan” are both very important records that I listened to a lot growing up while learning to play guitar.

Ideal environment for a gig?

Somewhere by a body of water, but also indoors because we’ve had a lot of live sound issues outdoors.  Let’s say with lots of lights and strobes/lasers/fog, that whole thing, I’m talkin a NASA level production of fog and lasers, the big stuff that will make you blackout.  So maybe a mansion that has an indoor pool, but that is also oceanside with a giant veranda full of snacks and tequila? That’s got to exist somewhere, right?  Honestly, as long as there’s good atmosphere you could be in some jack den in the sticks and it’d be fine.

You guys have had played to a variety of audiences, what would be your most memorable gig and why?

It so hard to choose, so I will just mention one.  We played in Ohio back in 2013, right after our first album came out, and only 1 girl showed up along with her dad and brother.  She was wasted and kept calling out for the song “Colored Emotions,” even after we played it 2nd in the set. It was as if she didn’t know we even played it.  The promoter revealed to us later in the night he lost a lot of money on the show and seemed pretty unhappy about it.  He let us stay at his house, but insisted several times we “make beds” before we hit the night life, which felt very odd.  Every place he took us to he seemed to be in poor standing with the folks there and that further gave us a weird feeling about everything, as in this guy is not well regarded around these parts, fuck, what do we do? I guess it didn’t matter because no one showed up to the gig.  We ended up staying out all night and morning in this Ohio town and left at 9am. As we headed out the promoter gave us 5 big pussy willows he stole from his neighbor’s porch, stuffed them in the van. Must have been quite the assemblage to be witnessing rolling down the interstate at 9am looking like a busted, bloated, and broken Pottery Barn prop.

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At the moment you’ve been touring the mid-west. Are there any plans to venture out to the West coast or the East coast in the near future?

Unfortunately, not at the moment. Hopefully, soon though!

If you were given the chance to re-score a soundtrack what film would it be?

Plains, Trains, and Automobiles- it already has some cool tracks, but I love the vibe of what they got going on and I’d love to embellish it a little.

With festival season in full swing, who would make up your dream festival line-up?

ACDC, D’Angelo, Flaming Lips, The James Gang, Mick Taylor era Stones, Mamas and Papas Hologram set

There have been many great albums released this year. What would be your favorite record of 2017?

Maybe 1 of these 4: Thundercat-Drunk, MacDemarco- This Old Dog, or Father John Misty-Pure Comedy, War On Drugs-A Deeper Understanding

Lastly, what can fans and those new to your music, expect from Night Moves this year and perhaps into next year?

Album #3, we’re hoping to start recording it in the fall so we can to put it out next summer~

 

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Pinky Pinky Interview 

Interview by Corynne Fernandez

Photos by Kayla Fernandez

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Up and coming all-girl band, Pinky Pinky, composed of Anastasia Sanchez (lead singer and drummer [19]), Isabelle Fields (guitarist [18]), and Eva Chambers (bassist [18]) sat down with Lucid Dreams amid the party-filled Echo Park after their set for Echo Park Rising. Listen along to hear us chat about their upcoming EP, South African urban legends, and Jimmy Carter!

Listen here!

 

Photos of Pinky Pinky’s Set at Echo Park Rising

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Chatting With Bane’s World 

Interview by Corynne Fernandez 

Photos by Kayla Fernandez

We had the chance to chat with up-and coming solo artist Banes World in his hometown of Long Beach, CA. Read below, as we sat in the grass in the middle of the coastal version of suburbia, and asked the hard hitting questions like, “Pancakes or waffles?”

How did you come up with the name Bane’s World?

Well, Bane was a nickname my friends gave me in high school; they just swapped the letters of my first and last name. My friend Max, was like “Banes Slanchard, sound like you were trying to say your name drunk. I don’t know where Banes World, came from—I don’t even like the movie, Wayne’s World. So, when it came down to finding a name to put my demos under, I didn’t want to try too hard to sound cool and ended up sticking with Banes World.

 So you have been making music for two years, has music always been a big part of your life? What sparked your interest in making it?

My dad has always played music and my sisters both sing, and music is a big part of my family. I started playing guitar when I was 9, but it didn’t get serious for me until I was 18—about 2 years ago. I was in my friend Max’s band, the kid who gave me the nickname, and he came to me one night and said, “Hey man, I’m recording all this music by myself,”—he was doing the guitar, the vocals, the synth, and everything—and I felt really inspired, which led to me buying my own recording gear and making my own material.

Who or what do you turn to for inspiration?

I get it from a lot of random places. Most times, if I’m in a relationship and something goes wrong, that’s good inspiration for stuff—not that I want that to happen, but it has always inspired me in that way.

Describe a day in the life of Bane’s World.

Nothing super special! I like to eat a ton of really good food, because food is important to me, hanging out with my dog, playing guitar, or skateboarding. It doesn’t change that much, unless I go out for a gig, like to Santa Barbara, but I never really get out of Long Beach.

The writing process is different for everyone, what is yours like? Do you write from personal experiences?

For the album, Drowsy, I would record the music first and then wouldn’t have any idea of what the song was going to be like lyrically. Once I would record the music, I would just sit there a sing little things over it; I can never really write lyrics before I make a song. I don’t have a set process.

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You released ‘Drowsy’ last year, is thereany plans to release an EP this year? Or possibly an album?

Yeah! Hopefully by the end of this year I would like to release a full-length album. Somethings brewing, but I don’t know when it’s going to come.

Your sound is unique compared to a lot of music that’s been put out by other artists today. What genre do you identify most with?

I guess it’s just dreamy stuff, but I pull a lot of influence from what I like. My dad is big on the blues, so that sound was kind of instilled in me. I like all types of music—jazz, bossa nova, pretty much anything. Recently, I’ve been listening to neo-soul and in general, if I like it, I’ll try my best to incorporate it into my sound.

Is there an album or an artist that has changed your perspective on music?

An artist that heavily inspires me and makes me want to do better is, Stevie Ray Vaughan. He changed my perspective on what it means to be a guitar player, because he is so soulful. Nowadays, a lot of bands rely on single chords and it gets repetitive.

What was the first album you ever purchased?

The one I was adamant about getting—it’s really funny—but it was My Chemical Romance, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge; I was really surprised my mom let me get it at the time because I was really young. It was either between, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge or Dookie by Green Day.

You have a handful of California shows under your belt, do you have plans on venturing out to more states or abroad?

I would love to, it’s just a matter of planning it out and getting the monetization for that stuff. I don’t know how artists do that or if their label helps them out with tours. Right now, I don’t have a contracted label. In general, I would love to go out on tour; I think it would be an eye-opening and life- changing experience.

‘People Like Me, People Like You’ is a personal favorite of ours, what’s the meaning behind that song?

I am not sure what my headspace was like when I wrote that—probably after something bad happened. I remember listening to a lot of Tears For Fears and loving their electro-pop, synth heavy sound and wanting to record something like that. The lyric, “born to lose…” which is a Ray Charles song, I liked that because it sounded a little melancholy. That song is a bit of a blur.

Dream festival lineup?

Beatles (full band), Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and the full cast of the Phantom of the Opera.

Dream collaboration?

I would love to do a song with Mac Demarco or Peter from HOMESHAKE; I’d think that would be really cool.  As far as someone who’s dead, Stevie Ray Vaughan—he’s my #1.

Pancakes or waffles?

I’ll never go out of my way to get either of those, but I do like a good Belgian waffle. My ideal breakfast would include, eggs, bacon, hash browns, —okay, waffles with whipped cream and strawberries—maybe some sausage, and an acai bowl. I can eat a ton of food!

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