Atwood Magazine issue no. 5 “roadtrip” 1
Atwood the roadtrip issue editor-in-chief & founder Liza Pittard features editor Annie Stokes literary editor Jeannine Erasmus interviews Jenna Rainey, Cristina Good, Kristin James, Anna Peters Special thanks to... Maddy Mallory contact firstname.lastname@example.org www.atwoodmagazine.com 2
cover by Cameron Lee Phan
LEtter from the Editor The idea for“Roadtrip” began organically as both myself and Annie (our feature editor) were travelling from destination to destination this past summer, seeing places both new and old. However, this issue isn’t just about the literal concept of a roadtrip. As we interviewed creators from the United States and beyond, we took a metaphorical roadtrip, marking each new place with a pushpin. I’m extremely proud of this issue and want to thank all of the amazing contributors for being apart of this “journey”. XO, LIZA PITTARD editor-in-chief & founder
Model - Mashie (Peggi Lepage) MUA - Windy Chiu Photographer - Alexandra Votsis
A n E x c e r pt f r o m “ A n I n t e r v i e w w i t h O l i v i a : O f f R oa d ”
Let this be my take-away point, that one thing you learn when you’re stuck in a car with four people or stuck behind a camera pointed at one person you’ve given free reign to talk as long as they want—you have to learn how to listen to people, and hear them in a way that they know they’ve been heard… and it makes you better. It redirects you, even if you don’t realize it. Puts you off road—off your road. Everyone needs to be taken off their road once in a while. We’re not meant to stay put. Staying put… for lack of a better way to put it, it just gets you nowhere.
THALES PESSOA Born and raised in Brazil, Thales Pessoa is an artist who thrives off of spontaneity. The everyday bustle of his current home, Buenos Aires, serves as his inspiration. Ever since he was a child, photography has been his medium; however, Pessoa has plans to dabble in cinematography: his films are to be finished later this year. As each question is answered, we begin to see Thales Pessoaâ€™s life like that of an unstructured dance: free and natural.
interview by Cristina Good
Who are the people in your images? What are their stories? Some are my closest friends and others are unknown people I cross [in] the streets, like when I was doing this series of double-exposed portraits with flowers and saw a guy from Angola in a fruit market. We [went] to my studio and spent a whole afternoon talking and doing the photos. Another time, walking in San Telmo [in] south side of Buenos Aires, I crossed [an] African guy and asked him for a photo. We couldn’t exchange a word because neither of us could speak [the same] language. I really like getting to know people a lot different than me in the streets and portraying them. It always generates different situations [that] I didn’t expect. This feeling of having no control of what’s going to happen next feels good.
The human body is wonderful and beautiful. Should it be one with nature or one with society? It depends, both things interest me in different ways. I was born and raised by the ocean and what remains of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, so nature will always be a safe place for me and, consequently, an inspiration. A human body lost in a natural environment brings [to] me an animalistic sense of tranquility and freedom, which I like to explore in [my] pictures. In a society, [it] is the opposite. You have agitation and freedom is relative, but the amount of information and the plurality of cultures makes one able to encounter things that can be almost impossible to [find] outside of the city. Thatâ€™s what pushes me to photograph people in society.
What is the most fascinating aspect of the human? The ability of adapting, reflecting and appreciating things.
The theme of this issue is ROADTRIP. Your work itself takes us through a series of roadtrips. Which one holds to be the most memorable? Chapada Diamantina, in the central region of Brazil, with a friend. We decided to go and just took the bus with no place to stay and almost no money. We met a guy there who let us sleep in his camp. We [would] spend the whole day walking through the mountains without any directions, searching for hidden lakes and waterfalls. [We brought] only cameras, pots, and caramelized bananas. It was amazing and worth every wound and scratch.
How did you get to where you are now as both an artist and a person? Photography is a medium [that] I’m used to playing with [ever] since I was a kid with my father, so it [has] always been something I enjoy doing. All I [that] learned about it was by using the camera freely, reading, and hanging with friends with cameras. Lately in Buenos Aires, I’ve been going to ateliers of a couple of photographers like Ignacio Parodi, one of my favorites in Argentina, which helped me to take pictures in a more concise way. I [have] always been free [to make] my own decisions and [have] never had anything preventing me. Since I finished high school in 2008, I moved alone to different cities. I believe this freedom and will of new things is what moves me to be and do what I want.
When you have time to sit alone and relax, where do you go? Conversely, where do you go to keep yourself busy? In Buenos Aires, where I’m currently living, I go to rooftops. In Brazil, I sit near the ocean by night or in the very early morning. To keep myself busy, I stay in my place.
What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve done? Probably entering a church and walking to the priest during a mass [while] holding hands with two drunk gay friends.
You art ranges from trips to the arcade to tricks with light to abnormal geometry. What do you believe centralizes all your work? Photography, for me, is about discovering the space I’m in and what’s happening there. I like to keep it clear. Either if I’m talking with a stranger, hanging with some friend, or alone looking at a pile of garbage, I want to make the most simple and objective image out of that, so anyone that sees it knows what I’m talking about.
You seem to capture your moments into the perfect image. Is living life your inspiration? If not, what is? If I have to summarize everything that inspires me, living life would be the expression. Also, the way Jorge Amado describes the life on the streets of Bahia, on the Brazilian northeast, and the ideas of masculinity and love that Jean Genet created are two great inspirations in my life.
Take us through the steps to creating the perfect image. Objective framing, no superfluous elements, good light, and something to be momentary obsessed [with].
What can we expect next from you? I’m working on a series of portraits of men I met on the streets, and projecting some short films, including a documentary about two guys who live in a broken bus in my neighborhood. I’m planning to finish it this year.
CRYSTAL FIGHTERS interview by liza pittard introduction by annie stokes
Crystal Fighters is a unique study in contrast: a band that makes new music inspired by one of the oldest unsullied languages on earth; a group of people making very specialized art based on the global roots of human expression. Formed in Scotland and currently based in London, they seek to spread love and positive energy through their guitar-based music. Their current album, “Cave Rave”, combines instrumentation and influences from all over the world to remind listeners of their common ancestral roots. Graham Dickson gives us insight into the band’s past, present, and future.
Who are the Crystal Fighters?
The Crystal Fighters are a combination of people from different places in the world who, when combined, create the music that you hear.
Whatâ€™s the story behind the band name?
Crystal Fighters is a loose translation of this one passage from a book that we were extremely inspired by years ago. It was describing the use of Spain at the time and basically these free thinking rebellious young people and the thoughts that were discussing existentialism within Spain at an earlier time and we found it to be inspirational enough to use as the name of our band.
You describe your music as being inspired by the Basque culture. Can you give us a little background on that culture and how you incorporate it into your music?
Basque culture is one of the oldest cultures in the world, their language is one of the three languages left that is derived from nothing. The instrumentation that they use is all very percussive and the melodies that were shared in these traditional dances, there is an eeriness to them, and we really liked that. Then, we realized that using these instruments [with] modern dance music that we were listening to and producing ourselves worked very well, and that was really the beginning of the Basque inspiration.
What is the song-writing process for the band?
It can be different depending on the time. For this album we decided to go out to Basque Country and write songs on guitars rather than just making beats, which we did for the first album and then kind of writing the songs over the beats. We were experimenting a lot in London. So, rather than doing it over the beats, this time we wrote on guitars. I think, just generally, inspiration comes from anywhere. Sometimes I’ll have a melody in my head or a lyric or, you know, a groove, and we’ll develop a little on [our own] and then we’ll work on it together, but sometimes we’ll just jam. We’ll start with a little rhythm or something and then a song comes from that, but we don’t have one way of doing it. I think in the future our system of writing songs will change.
How did you all evolve from “Star of Love” to your most recent album “Cave Rave”?
I think that a lot of the evolution had to do with [going] to the Basque Country to write the songs. We started thinking more about how Basque culture was created and the people way before the Basque, how they influenced Basque culture, and [then we] started really looking into cave art in Europe and Southern Africa. 35,000 years ago there was a symbolic revelation when people decided to start documenting creativity and [their] beliefs of how they exist among the universe and the shared understanding of existence amongst many indigenous tribes around the world. If you look into the art, they are all discussing shared experiences of different dimensions of cultures. I think just starting to realize that our physical lives and our waking lives may really only be one aspect, or one dimension, of our existence really influenced our lyrics as just a general type of approach to the way we were writing the songs. Also, [we] tried to incorporate more instrumentation from other indigenous parts of the world. We have some African guitar, some South American [instruments]; we tried to represent every culture that has a shared understanding from thousands and thousands of years ago.
â€œThe message is to spread that feeling, spread that vibration of love and happiness because if everyone actually felt it, there would be no problems.â€? 29
Do you have a favorite track from “Cave Rave”? If so, what is it and why?
I don’t think that there is a favorite track, but I do like a few of the slower ones because we don’t really have any slow songs on the first album except for “At Home” which isn’t that slow. So, “Bridge of Bones” and “Everywhere”. I look forward to incorporating them into the live sets.
I was able to see you play this summer and it was out of this world. Would you consider your live show as an important part of the “Crystal Fighters experience”?
100%. I mean, the band started as only playing live shows. We played a lot of them in the first few years and developed our sound, and also [an] understanding of performance. The experience you will have coming to see us play is a lot different than the experience you will have listening to the album. It’s a real privilege for us to be able to go out and tour the world and play our songs for people. We don’t take that for granted. Every show we play might be our last, so we treat it like that and I think it’s important to keep that mindset if you’re given this amazing opportunity.
One of my favorite tracks from “Cave Rave” is “LA Calling”. What is the message behind this song?
“LA Calling” is about somebody who lives a hectic lifestyle and isn’t at home as much as other people. But no matter what, no matter where they are, they are thinking of the one they love and nothing can change that, no matter how crazy their world can be. It’s also a shout out to LA because we recorded our album [there], gotta respect.
How exactly did the band come together?
The band came together in 2007. I met Gilbert in Scotland through a mutual friend. I was making some music at the time and he was interested and wanted me to meet Bast. I was about to move back to America at the time, but then decided to move to London on a whim, moved in with Gilbert, met Bast, and then stuff came up shortly after and we just started doing it.
Do you have any current favorite bands?
Yeah, Hearts of Beatrice--they’re amazing and they’re about to release their first album. It’s one of the best albums I’ve probably ever heard. Mount Kimby--they’re amazing extreme progressive electronic music. I love minimal techno, and stuff like Ricardo Villalobos will always have a place in my heart. Also, people [who] are still just killing it like Prince. He is by far my favorite band, dude, ever.
What messages are you trying to convey with your music?
I think the general message is love and positivity, and I think the human race at the moment has kind of separated itself so that we feel like we’re not a part of the system of honor, and because of [that] we’re ruining it, and our species is about to go extinct. I think if everyone can realize that it’s a lot easier to love and a lot easier to not have guilt or greed on your shoulder, you can have a good time no matter where you are. The message is to spread that feeling, spread that vibration of love and happiness because if everyone actually felt it, there would be no problems. Human beings have been living on this planet for tens of thousands of years and it’s [just in] the last five hundred years that we’ve really made a negative impact. It’s possible for us to live in harmony with nature [and] honor; we’re just trying to get everyone to realize [that].
Do you have any touring experiences you want to share? What has been your favorite show thus far?
Oh, man. Every show is different and awesome, and every crowd is different and awesome, so every show we play is my favorite show, but I think in terms of tour experiences it was really amazing to be able to travel to places I wouldn’t have been able to go, like Japan and The Azores off of Portugal, and being able to see cities that I’ve already been to in a different light and [having] people want to show you the underbelly of these places is really awesome.
One of the most interesting tracks from “Cave Rave” to me is “Bridge of Bones”. What was the thought behind this track?
“Bridge of Bones” is about the guy from “Xtatic Truth” on ‘Star Of Love’. He is still out on the water and he is basically run [out] of all of his own nutrients and is dying and starts hallucinating and trying to think of ways to get back to the one he loves, and he can’t get there and he’s thinking [of] what can he do, and to build a bridge of his own bones is the only thing he can think of. As the song unfolds, people [who] have near death experiences talk about how the spirit leaves the body and looking down [at the world]. He talks about that feeling, that peace, feeling love for once, [and] feeling free from all burdens of life on earth. It’s a good feeling, so then the song turns into really celebration of leaving this life and transitioning into another.
What are you all’s interest apart from music?
I love to skateboard and surf mostly, aside from music, which is [my] main passion in life. Gilbert really loves to DJ. I think just being out there being free in nature and not feeling any boundaries. Getting to those places, you know, that’s fun for us.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue touring and playing for as many people as we can, spreading love, [and] writing more music that will hopefully impact the world in a positive way for generations to come. 33
Photographer: Cameron Lee Phan Model: Emily Deavers (Kim Dawson) Stylist: Jennifer Bigham (Sister Brother MGMT) Hair and Make-Up: Samantha Landis (Seaminx)
Let Me Walk Let me walk all day in the heat Sun clouds rain shade stars and the moon. Eat dried food Drink water from streams Sleep on the foam pad Shower when I can Listen to old music Only talk when necessary.
PITSTOP by dennis miles model - sara skinner
HICKEY HEART One of many talents, Hickey Heart flourishes with creative ability in painting, photography, graphic design and writing. As her work centers on self-manipulation, she sees not a line between perfection and imperfection. There is evidence in her work that highlights and analyzes the depth of the human psyche. When interviewed, she lifted a veil, giving us insight to her own soul and future pieces.
interview by CRISTINA GOOD
From your use of distortion to your project “Missing Scene,” it is quite prevalent the impact that faceless subjects have. What is the motive behind this commonality in your work? Probably because i see no physical difference in subjects. Main problem is existing. I don’t feel like i have to draw a certain portait. Your work is perfectly flawed. How does highlighting imperfections in your art affect your life outside of it? Actually it doesn’t matter in real life. I feel so much separated between the environs i feel i belong to and the current state framed with modern-time issues. Consequently, all is indirect expressions that generally has something to do with one main problem and feels good for a short time but it won’t matter unless you shout it out directly to the address and make sure it’s hearing and disturbing.
The project Magnetic Urges certainly stands out from the rest. What inspired this project? Feels like i’m generally on the same direction: self-manipulation. Conversely, Magnetic Urges is a bit self-defensive. It’s advocating the fact there’s another universe out of conception. This is also where i’m mostly in contradiction with. When choosing a human subject for a photograph or painting, what do you look for? Vulnerability.
The theme of this issue is “Roadtrip.” Explain a time when travel positively or negatively affected your art. To be honest, i don’t really like roadtrips and the best ones i had was the ones where i cruelly push myself to enjoy it. Ignoring inspiration, what is the first step towards completing a piece? Make it a part of yours like drawing a cross on your hand.
Which artists do you admire most? And do their techniques reflect in your work? I admire lots of people in a very wide range of art areas. I learnt to get inspired from Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Lautrec, Marina and Ulay, Pina Bausch, Lucian Freud, Beuys, Giacometti, Duane Michals, Hans Bellmer and so many more when i start to get interested in arts. Marlene Dumas, Nan Goldin, Zimoun are the ones i can add. I am kind of obsessed with story of Vivien Maier. What i mostly research on is furniture designers/sculpturers on the net lately and Frank O. Gehry, Elisa Stroyzk, Ben Butler, Robert Hite, Carolien Laro are the ones i can think of right now. 71
After reading “Please call me later when I’m dead” on Metazen, I can see that you are one of many talents. Does your writing ever coincide with your art? I think i have a different style of expressing myself in writing and i’m not so proud of what it turns out like. It’s more like telling, not doing and showing. There’s a time difference between two. I’m aggressive when i do and ironic when i tell. What initially drew you to art/writing? When did you realize that art and/or writing was your forte? Probably first piece of Distortions serie.
Is Hickey Heart a pin name? If so, explain the story behind the name. If not, explain the history behind the name. It is simply inspired by a heart shaped hickey.
What can we expect from you next? Something bothering.
The Neighbourhood, comprised of Jesse Rutherford, Jeremy Freedman, Zach Abels, Mikey Margott, and Bryan Sammis, achieved mainstream popularity this summer with their infectious pop hit “Sweater Weather”, but the California-based band has been perfecting their sound and growing their fan base for two years. With two EPS and a 7’’ under their belt, The Neighbourhood is currently reveling in the success of their first full-length album, “I Love You.”, and touring with Imagine Dragons. Bryan Sammis chatted with us about their explosive success, their musical influences, and his wonderful breakfast sandwich.
Tell our readers a little bit about who and what is “The Neighbourhood”.
The Neighbourhood is a group of friends releasing audio & visual content for the world to enjoy.
If you had to explain your music to someone who has never heard it, what would you say? Dark Pop. Black & White.
the neigh bour hood interview by Liza Pittard introduction by annie stokes photos by James Minchin
You guys released your EP “I’m Sorry” in 2012. What was the process and evolution of the band and your music from that EP to your first full album?
It’s funny because a lot of the tracks from the album were made around the same time as the EP. I think it was a natural progressing from EP to 7” to LP.
Your tracks seem to be a marriage of rich layers of instrumentals and very honest, moody lyrics. How did this sound come together and what messages are you trying to send with your music? We are expressing ourselves through our music. We want people to find a way to relate, whether that be intentionally through the music (or literal lyrics), or whether they find their own way to relate. It’s always cool hearing how our music affects different people.
Where are you as you answer these questions?
I’m currently sitting in my backyard listening to Marvin Gaye, drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette, and enjoying this delicious toast, eggs & tomato sandwich I’ve made myself.
You released your debut album “I Love You” a few months ago. What was the process of making this album and did you face any challenges along the way?
We had a lot of the songs demo’d out before we went in, which made for a quicker process than normal. However, I would say one of the main bumps in the road we came to was being too attached to the demos. So when we made changes, it was hard to swallow them because we had been sitting on the demos for so long. It took us a minute to get over it and know it was for the better.
Is there a favorite of the songs in “I Love You”? If so, what is it and why? Afraid or W.D.Y.W.F.M? are probably my (Bryan) two favorites.
So, I understand that you all are very young (19, 20, 21, 21, AND 23). How does it feel to have your careers taking off at such a young age? Did you guys ever anticipate this immediate success?
We definitely wanted success. We anticipated it to an extent [because] we had faith in ourselves. However, we are truly humbled with how our music has taken off. It’s a blessing.
What are your music influences? How have they shaped (or not shaped) The Neighbourhood?
We are influenced and inspired by each other. We got together and wanted to make this style of music we weren’t necessarily hearing out in the world yet and I think we accomplished that. We grew up listening to anything from Pantera, N’Sync, Slayer, Stevie Wonder, Sade, The Beatles, Metallica, Pink Floyd Etc...
Your music has been described as having an underlying hip-hop influence. How did this come about?
We all thoroughly enjoy hip-hop. Jesse also used to be more involved in that scene. I think it happened naturally.
“Sweater Weather” has been on replay on my iPod since its debut. What was the thought behind creating this track and how did it come together? Sweater Weather was actually the first song we wrote. It came together pretty seamlessly. It was the undeniable moment for us that this band was what we wanted to pursue 100%.
The theme for this issue is ROADTRIP. How has your experience on tour been? What has been your favorite show you’ve played thus far?
Man, Montreal was insane. Osheaga. We were having some monitor problems on stage, but it didn’t even matter. I think that was one of the most hyped crowds we’ve ever played for.
Whatâ€™s in store for the future of The Neighbourhood? #000000 & #777777
H e a di n g S o u t h Sitting in the spotlight, alone but together. Rapidly getting higher than a seven forty seven. Baked goods in our laps and sirens alarming, we speed down back roads not knowing of any certain destination, just invisible. We’ve stopped now and committed about three sins since. With each creakity crack, I picture scenarios and convince my conscience that it’s as real as ever. I fall asleep with a book of free spirits lain on my chest, incense burning, and some jazz coming out of speakers from across the room. It’s dim and the wind can be heard gloating through bushes and trees, knocking on different sides of the humble room. In the nude, rapture blues. Skin glowing from sexual healing, still pure. Breasts form mountains over the calm night and all is lost in dreaming. I’m headin’ south.
Christina Fisher 84
interview by annie stokes photos by liza pittard
When we met Noosa (real name: Sky), she was sitting quietly and unassumingly in a café in Brooklyn. It was hard to believe that such a thoughtful, soft-spoken person could be a pop singer. And yet her honest manner of speaking – punctuated by nervous laughter, full of self-deprecating jokes – very much mirrors her organic rise to popularity. She’s happily unsigned, as of yet has no manager, and works in tandem with her producer to create songs. As she prepares to release her full-length album this fall, she sat down with us for a chat and some ginger pear juice to give us some insight into her busy life.
Your name is Sky but you go by Noosa. How did you come up with the name Noosa? Well, I lived in Australia for a bit a couple years ago and Noosa is this town I went through quickly on my way up the coast. I was living on the Gold Coast. And it was a really rainy day and it was really magical. But this town, Noosa, I was there for like an hour, and it was just so beautiful to me. And Australia is where I found my voice. I wrote my first song in Australia.
Why were you living in Australia? Just for fun. I quit school and I was like, I’ve got to get out of here. I convince my friend in college so study abroad there.
What school did you go to? I went to the University of the Arts in Philly, for film and animation.
How long have you been a musician? I started playing piano when I was eight. I don’t really play much piano anymore. Then I started playing guitar when I was ten, and I wrote my first song two years ago.
So what’s your journey been like as a musician? It seems like very recently you’ve become a songwriter. I guess in high school I knew what I was going to do in the long run was music, but I did not know how I was going to go about it. I figured, Oh, I’ll play guitar for some band. Because I wasn’t a songwriter. I stopped playing guitar for two years in college, and when I started writing songs, I put some of them up on YouTube just to see people’s reactions. I was not comfortable with my voice at all. And through that I met my producer, Micky Vallen.
Via YouTube? No. We met online at Starbucks. I was like, Oh, your latte looks just like mine? We’re probably soul mates. So we were like, let’s get together and write some songs! At first, we were trying to do a really lo-fi, like chill-wave sound, and then I came in with a song I wrote (“Mirrors in the Moonlight”), and he took that, stripped everything but the vocals, and made “Fear of Love” and we were like, wow…we can do pop. We put out the single, and then “Walk on By” came along, then we put out the EP.
Are you an independent artist? Yeah. I don’t have a label or a manager.
Do you like that? Yeah. I mean, eventually, we’re going to need a manager a manager will be necessary, because it’s a lot of work to handle business and I’d like to put all my focus on creating.
Are you performing yet? Not yet. We’re just finishing the next album right now, which is a full-length. It kind of blows the other stuff away. We’ll be done with that soon, and then I’ll start preparing to perform.
Tell me about the songwriting process. What comes first for you, the lyrics or the melody? How do you build a song? Usually the melody. We’ll just be in headphones, playing in our instruments. And Micky will start playing something or I’ll start singing…and then I’ll just say random lyrics. But sometimes I’ll be sitting with my guitar and I’ll come up with a full song, just there. It’s always different.
What are your inspirations for writing songs? A lot of my songs have been about family issues, nature is reoccurring theme, and, of course, relationships.
It’s about your life? Yeah. Even if I think it’s unrelated to my life, . I’ll go back later and be like, Oh, yeah. It is.
What sort of music did you grow up listening to? Typical stuff, like Spice Girls and N’Sync. John Mayer was a big influence when I started playing guitar. Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell, Moody Blues.
Of your whole musical career thus far, is there any achievement that you’re particularly proud of? I’m just blown away that people like my stuff in general. That’s crazy! But we’ve had some pretty cool success commercially which is incredible because that allows us to do music full time.
When you put the album out, are you thinking of doing tours? Yeah, for sure. That’s what I’m so excited about.
Where do you see yourself going as a musician? As far as I can!
hitchhiker photos & MUA by liza pittard model - kate pittard clothing - Gladiola girls & Vintage
alana dee haynes by annie stokes
Alana Dee Haynes has never not been an artist. “My parents really exposed and immersed me in art as a kid. It was never really a question of what to do. I had a little studio set up and I was given unsupervised studio time to experiment and play,” says the sculptor/sketcher/clothing designer/collage artist. “In elementary school, it was more important to get your thoughts on paper than to spell it correctly.” She went to arts institutions for both middle and high school, and has studied at both the International Center for Photography and the Fashion Institute of Technology. And yet, years and years of formal training have not made her approach inorganic or clinical in any way. Her soul-driven, unbound creative energy is evident in everything she does – from her free-hand ink-on-photo masterpieces to her creative process to her manner of speaking. Every answer, like her pieces, is complex, emotional, and carefully crafted. This is a woman who is eager to welcome others on her journey – and her work wouldn’t sing to us the way it does were she any less forthcoming.
Even her creative process runs on adrenaline. “My first daily ritual is to grab some ice coffee. It completely changes the way my body and mind work- getting my hand steady and my mind thinking and ready to make art. I’m completely dependent on it, but I absolutely love it. There are also visual stimuli that inspire me, in a deep seeded way.” Of the actual process, she says: “I just start. I usually work sitting on the floor or in my bed, with the photograph on my lap. I don’t sketch anything out. I just get super close and intimate with the photograph, and that keeps me focused and mediated on the piece. At times, I’ll look up from a piece and its hours later and I haven’t stopped or eaten, and have to wander out of that mindset.” The result is a story with a story written on it: a picture, covered in a tight web of lines and circles that both enhance and obfuscate the picture’s original purpose. The handiwork is fluid and the finished product is mesmerizing. Alana, for all her years of work, is still only beginning. “I have been working on clothing designs. It is based off the illustrations I have drawn on people. The clothing line will allow people to wear my illustrations, and hopefully feel like they are part of my art. I have been starting an art book, but not sure if it will make it to the public. I’ve been shooting a bunch of new photographs lately. I’m not sure when I’ll release them, but it feels good to hold a camera again. I also have a plan for a huge installation project and collaboration with three other artists. I am really looking forward to creating a totally immersive experience with my art.” She also lists a nine foot sculpture as one of her proudest accomplishments. In case you lost count, that tallies up to four different art forms (fashion, photography, drawing, and sculpting) that Alana flourishes in. I asked her what her ideal road trip would be, and somewhat unsurprisingly, her answer was broad and boundless: “I would love to buy one of those silver airstream trailers and hook it up to my future station wagon with the wood panel sides and go everywhere in America, as long as I can get to the Blue Ridge Highway, Redwood Forest, and Red Rocks. For other countries, I think backpacking is the only way to go for me.”
Bipolar Sunshine, the performance name of Adio Marchant, is working towards big things. Not that he hasnâ€™t already accomplished a lot in the musical world -- he was formerly part of the band Kid British. But Marchant is obviously not comfortable with artistic stasis. He just released his first solo EP, Aesthetics, and is working on creating his own label. He took a break from his busy schedule while in the back of a taxi cab to talk with us about his upcoming projects and his love of David Attenborough.
BIPOLAR SUNSHINE INTERVIEW BY LIZAPITTARD
INTRODUCTION BY ANNIE STOKES
“Imagine being at your favorite destination and you’rE about to do something [that] you’ve always wanted to do. I am that soundtrack.” 112
Tell us a little about yourself. I reside in Pluto; you should come with me next time I go. I will save you a seat. Did you find music, or did music find you? [It was a] mixture of the two. I was always into music, but when I dropped out of uni[versity]--that’s when I took it much more seriously. Where are you as you answer these questions? I’m in a taxi going to Manchester City Centre with Jazz Purple, asking the taxi driver if he knows what twerking is. He says “no.” Now I’m telling him to go watch Miley Cyrus! Just standard jokes with the driver, as the journey is long. You just released Aesthetics. What was the process of making this debut EP? [It consisted of] mainly deciding from the bunch of songs I have, finding the ones that best represent me at the time, and [deciding] how I wanted my music to be perceived. What was the inspiration behind the song “Rivers”? Everything and anything [that] has happened in my life over the last five years or so. It touches on personal issues that I’ve had to face. The song “Fire” reveals a quieter, more serious side of your music. I particularly like the conversation in the background towards the end. What does this track mean to you? Freedom.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before? Imagine being at your favorite destination, and you’re about to do something [that] you’ve always wanted to do. I am that soundtrack. When you’re not making music, what are you most likely doing? Working on my Aesthetics record label, waiting for the premiership to start, or watching David Attenborough explain something. Love that guy... Our theme for issue 5 is “roadtrip”. I understand you’ve been playing some live shows. How has your experience been on the road playing in front of an audience? [The] best part of music is performing live and seeing your songs connect with people. The journey[s] to and from shows [are] pretty funny as everyone around me is always up for a laugh. What are your plans for the future? To have my label up and running, to meet more like minded people who can show me new things regard[ing] arts and culture, and everything else in between. General happiness is main on my list as everything else will fall into space. Where do you draw inspiration for your music? Being in a band before this, I had to compromise my ideas, so it’s very liberating to just record exactly what I’m thinking. I also like to visualize everything so it makes some kind of sense to me, [and] then I write it down. I think it’s best to not go too deep about writing about yourself, as you want people to make the song relate to them also, but sometimes I can’t help it. What is one thing you can’t live without? God.
T h e R e p e at i n g R oa d I had a pull for nostalgia With my car packed And teaming with life In a place where I donâ€™t expect to return. So I paused my journey To taste a memory And to avoid an acquaintance On the sidewalk. On the road I see peaks and planes In a landscape of my experience. Iâ€™m speeding away Or rushing towards. Now, a different coast spreads before me Where life repeats anew, And covers turn And I fall into bed.
WEST TEXAS photos by dennis miles model - sara skinner
a w e d n e s d ay t h at l a s t e d 2 7 h o u r s i n b a r c e lo n a - f r a n k f u r t - c h a r lot t e - r a l e i g h this is what i am a pair of white converse sneakers levi jeans a canvas backpack. i live in airports, on trains, in cafes in bars. this is my name written on a cardboard cup this is my name written in a luggage tag this is my name written on a boarding pass to london, to budapest, portugal, south africa. a passport a photo of someone who looks like me stamps with dates with cities airport codes. boarding time 6:05 gate 5C flight LH 1139 aisle seat 9B ice with your orange juice? a cream filled pastry from plastic wrapping two sugars and milk. boarding time 8:35 gate 15D flight US 1610 aisle seat 30C chicken or pasta? chicken or pasta? 23 minutes watching entourage, 1 hour 27 minutes arrested development, 45 minutes sex & the city. boarding time 16:45 gate C16 flight US 705 window seat 13A i am a window seat i am a window seat. from up here the clouds look like clouds.
Tr a i l s a n D Wa y s
If youâ€™ve ever wanted to dive into a river of dreamy synth inspired music, then be prepared to jump into the musical stylingâ€™s of Trails and Ways. Singer Keith Bower Brown, drummer Ian Quirk, bassist Emma Oppen, and guitarist Hannah van Loon are longtime friends who capitalized on their collective musical talents to form this new age band.
interview by Kristin James photo by amy harrity
This California bay group merges English, Spanish, and Portuguese with a fusion of west coast pop, indie jazz, and a bit of punk to create a Beach House and Rilo Kiley recreation of a Fugazi album. Their sun-drenched tunes are inspired by “Broadcast and the Radio Dept. and some jangly postpunk bands are pretty heavily touched touchstones. I (Keith) have a longtime fixation with Brazilian pop, especially Jorge Ben, Tom Ze, João Gilberto. Recently we’ve been collectively tripping into a lot of classic soul and disco and pop.” The conglomeration of ideas has led to songs such as “Mountain Tune.” “Mountain Tune” comes from an imaginary place where “somebody (is) taking me, (Keith), climbing and (I am) fantasizing about them falling for me like I was for them, set in the resonance of the Sierra.” From the beginning of the song to the end, you can imagine someone leading you away to the top of the mountain with a honey-sweet serenade. This is similar to the formation of the band. After Emma returned home from teaching English in Spain and Keith returned from Brazil, the four friends met up and decided to form Trails and Ways. The group’s name comes from the “clear spaces in mind” where their songs take form. “The songs are the trail through that time and place. ‘Nunca’ is in São Paulo; ‘Bordercrosser’ is in the Alps of (Keith’s) grandparents in 1939.” Keith works as a renewable energy consultant. Currently his work is focused on mapping the projected impacts that climate chaos will have on the United States. His involvement in climate crisis management has influenced the band’s songs. “Our music meditates a lot on our connection to places; connections and places that will be deeply f ’ed by climate chaos. I want a sense of urgency and refusing to accept injustice to be viscerally felt in the music. I think it’d be crazy for art right now not to reckon with climate change and how to fight it. We make it part of our music sometimes, often obliquely, but it’s going to keep being part of our music.” The group is currently on their Trilingual Tour, “couchsurfing” from venue to venue. The band has yet to play in the South, but has hopes to play in “the wellspring of jazz and blues.” The most memorable part from their tour has been “a night (spent) in Kansas City. It was hit by its biggest thunderstorm in years. For an hour, there was lightning every four seconds. Rain about three times Portland average levels. We sat on the porch and thought about going out skateboarding, and didn’t, and our friends kept bringing us crazier local beers. The sky was so constantly lit up that trees and houses looked like they were being flashed with xrays.” There are currently no plans to play outside of the states, but the dreams lay rampant in their wayward minds.
LINDA ALTERWITZ interview by Jenna Rainey
Linda Alterwitz is an artist who follows a conceptial path to explore the meetings of art and science, in a way that can provoke both fear and reassurance in a contradictive like manner. Having great interest in both the inner workings of the human body and external enviroment, Linda’s taken influence from past medical issues, which coinside alongside childhood memories of her time growing up in Indiana and has gone on to exhibit her works globally. Can you share a bit about yourself/your background? Currently, I am based in Las Vegas, Nevada. I live with my husband, David, and our German shepherd, Ruby. I received my MFA in painting and drawing from University of Denver in the mid 80’s. My paintings were large non-representational pieces, influenced heavily from American and European art from the 50’s through 70’s. I found my own voice through photography during the last decade. How would you sum yourself up as an artist? My photography lives at the intersection of art and science, the creative and the logical, both the right and the left sides of the brain. After grad school, I think my strength was primarily my creative side. Yet there came a time in my life where I had to change my direction in order to raise and support my three children. I delved into business, and became very adept [to] using the left side of my brain. After some time, I returned full circle to my art. To “sum myself up” as a visual artist, I believe my strength is that mix of logic and creativity, that eventually led me to artwork that conceptually delves into art and science.
Your work appears to contain more than initially meets the eye, where did you draw the inspiration? My inspirations, the inner workings of the human body and my external surrounding environment, play with the dance of the two sides of the brain, as well as the contradiction of fear and reassurance. Past personal struggles with medical issues have been tempered by fond childhood memories of playing in the sand dunes and forests of Gary, Indiana, where I grew up. I believe it is this dichotomy that gives my work a comforting sense of familiarity, while simultaneously creating tension.
Can you share with us how you managed to achieve such exquisite results with your photography? I always use experimentation as part of my process, trying to push the boundaries in some way. It’s important to me to use chance and lack of control as an element [in] my work. In regards to photography, it’s just so easy to take a “perfect picture.” If you know how to use your camera, you can usually get the shot in regards to exposure, clarity, depth of field, etc. Although I am no stranger to a digital camera, I find the unpredictability and element of chance that you get with the plastic camera an interesting element in my work. The low-tech workings of the plastic camera fill this need in capturing that element of chance. In complete contrast to my low-tech cameras, I also use a high tech digital camera, the Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 lens. I use this equipment to re-photograph medical imagery, trying to capture a factual image of what lies beneath the surface of our unaided vision.
Aesthetically, emotionally and physically, what is it you wish to come through in your photographs? I would like my work to pose questions that deal with life’s challenges.
“Road trip” is the theme for this issue. What does the term mean for you? In regards to my most recent series “While I Am Still” the theme “Road trip” can refer to the individual path that each person follows. My work is about a reflective moment in time, one’s personal journey.
Speaking of Road trips, it would appear that your photography has led to global exhibitions. That must be amazing. The most challenging part of being a visual artist is finding your audience. I am continually seeking my audience for hours every week. And yes, it’s very rewarding to always reach toward a more broad audience and find it.
Photography aside, what else does Linda enjoy? I enjoy hiking in the mountains, walking at 5am with Ruby, hanging out with my husband David, having my kids home, and painting with my mom.
If you were granted the wish to photograph any person in any place, who or where would you choose and why? Add time travel to that wish list and I would love to get my hands on Functional MRI scans of Albert Einstein’s brain and use the images in my ongoing photographic series on the human brain. Looking to the future, where would you wish to take your work next? work next? I’m always interested in museum exhibitions, especially exhibition themes that focus on the intersection art and science. I also strive to continue having my art exhibited in public venues.
Christopher Coppers by Annie Stokes artwork-
copyright CHRISTOPHER COPPERS
Christopher Coppers finds inspiration in the absurd. The thirty-year-old collage artist from Brussels can often find inspiration in the inane headlines of tabloids, and then, in his words, “Once I really put myself into those themes, I start to take a magazine and my x-actos!” The resulting pieces are evocative recreations of magazine covers. Some are almost three-dimensional; some are altered so subtly the viewer has to inspect and rediscover the cover to find Coppers’ mark; some are so slashed and clipped and repurposed that it’s hard to recognize the publication. But each piece quietly prods the viewer to question the magazine’s original message. To examine its absurdity. To see if it couldn’t be something better. His proudest accomplishment thus far is an installment called “TRASH TV” which highlights the various genres that come to audiences over the airwaves: cartoons, reality TV, sitcoms, and et cetera. It wasn’t a judgment on TV viewers – as Coppers says, he was “born with a TV in front of (him)” – but rather an honest request to reevaluate.
While Christopher Coppers didn’t decide to pursue art as a career until he was 18, he’s been attracted to self-expression since he was a child. “Since the age of 11 or 12, I started to collect all the magazines that were in in my house! I loved it, all the colors, the articles, the pictures. I knew at that time I wanted to work for the magazine industry, but didn’t know how yet. Concerning my Vintage PLAYBOYS, I am just going to say, “Ask my father.” (The elder Mr. Coppers was unavailable for comment.) His journey as an artist stems from a need to feel free and have fun, and to “leave a little imprint of the society he lives in.” To this day, he still lets inspiration come to him naturally and relies on the roller coaster ride that is day-to-day existence to breathe life into his art. “My inspiration is always there when I don’t know it’s going to arrive! So I let myself go…” And when asked where he would go if he let himself go, he responds with: “I think that I would take a car from New York and would go across the USA to be inspired!”
someday, somewhere Photography by Johanna Frischherz Model & Styling - Anna Gรถsselbauer Hair & Make-Up - Conny Hauk
Coyote Armada by Anna Peters
How did Coyote Armada start playing together? [Bob Barrick] Well, that’s quite a long story. It [has] never been a particular set of people, but rather a rotating cast. At the moment, though, we seem to have found a lineup that really works well creatively. I guess we originally formed when I came to work with our ex-bass player, Scott Janz. I found him sitting outside the school’s library one afternoon, smoking a cigarette and preparing reeds for his oboe. And, although I barely knew the guy at the time, I asked him if he was interested in finding out what a guitar sounded like with a woodwind. From there, everything really took off. Having a source from which I could promote my material, I started writing more and picked up musicians I met as I progressed through my time as an undergraduate. Today, it’s me, Josh Turner (banjo, mandolin, guitar), Craig Middleton (bass), Reid Swenson (fiddle), Philip Janz (percussion), and Patterson Day (percussion).
There was a name change that happened in there, do I remember correctly? What’s the story behind the name and the change? [Barrick] Right. The first name was just Coyotes. I had found inspiration for that whilst lost in the woods behind my house back home. As I’m prone to anxiety attacks-- I think this instance may have actually been one of the first times I had one-- I started thinking of all the worst things that could happen. Ya know, in the unforgiving suburban Indiana wilderness. I remember muttering “Coyotes...” to myself and being so taken back by my hick-ass pronunciation (Kye-Oats) that I felt the need to give it significance. When I brought the idea back to Scott, I’m pretty sure he brushed it off as hokey. I guess I won that battle. Our changing the name to Coyote Armada is actually rather recent. After having been together for a year or so, we discovered that there was another band out there going by the same name. Unwilling to abandon Coyotes, we decided to combine the name of our house, the Spanish Armada, with the name of our band. Thus creating the Coyote Armada. That house is where everything started and represents quite a lot to us, so it seems fitting. 157
How did Kye Oats come to be? What was it like creating the EP? [Barrick ] The Kye Oats EP was honestly one of the most difficult undertakings of my entire life. I think few people realize, and I certainly didn’t at the time, how much deliberation needs to go into to making a record if you expect it to stand out against the wave of poorly produced indie rock. This past semester was dedicated entirely to the record’s creation. Most nights of the weekend, we skipped out on regular college festivities and buried ourselves in the studio. That’s where it really took its toll. We came into so many roadblocks via differing opinions and technical difficulties that it ultimately took us 10 months to finish the thing. And being so dedicated to the project, recording was all I could think about. I missed a lot of class, I drank a lot of coffee, and I nearly lost my goddamn sanity, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I like to think that tension is what creates good art. If it comes easy, then you’re probably not doing it right.
What has been your best experience as a songwriter so far? [Barrick ]That would have to be in the writing of our tune “Bloomington.” Early in the group’s career, when we were still just Coyotes, we were invited to play a show at self-sustaining farm in the middle of Brown County, IN. The show was shit, but the party afterwards was off the hook. Lots of nudity. I’m not too keen to the flower people, but I can assure you that these people were some trueto-life hippies. Pretty late into the night, like 3 A.M., the guys and I decided to pick our instruments back up and attempt to lead a parade of sorts down the road that cut through the Hoosier National Forest and led back into Bloomington. I just started playing this minor key lick with all the guys around me banging on various hand percussion, and we led this troop of dancing hippies away from camp and up this hill as I was singing what would become the lyrics to the song. “We are a couple of Coyotes / Running down this gravel road...” When we got to what would be the chorus, which is just a repetition of “I wanna die,” all the people behind us decided they weren’t about it and peeled off back towards camp, kind of leaving us alone in the wilderness with our instruments and darkening thoughts. That tune isn’t on the Kye Oats EP, but we’ll be releasing it soon. The theme of this issue is “roadtrip” - describe your dream road trip. Where would you go? What would you do and see? do and see? [Barrick ] I’ve recently really gotten into busking, as I fell in love with the street performance scene in Dublin the last time I was there, so I think my dream road trip would be a busking trip. I’d love to backpack across Europe with just a couple thousand Euros and my guitar, staying in hostels, and playing on the street to make money for the night’s meal. I’m not too big into tourist spots, so there isn’t anything I’d really want to see but the different people that populate these places. I find it so fulfilling to walk into a pub and strike up a conversation with some salty old sailor or something. Where is Coyote Armada headed next? [Barrick ] Right now, we’re working on putting together a group of songs to release a proper, fulllength record. But, in the meantime, we’re playing shows all over Indianapolis and Chicago. We’ll be playing the inaugural WARMfest in Indianapolis this year, sharing the stage with the likes of Delta Spirit and Mayer Hawthorne, so that’s pretty exciting. I hope to see us really take off, though. And, that should be obvious, but I feel like a lot of people don’t take young musicians too seriously. In reality, there’s really nothing I’ve ever wanted more than to tour the US with my music. I can’t imagine my life taking me anywhere else. 159
A l as ka The road is paved with ocean Mountains for guard rails I never want to go back
atwood magazine is an arts/fashion/music/literary/interview publication that seeks out new talent and fresh voices, giving its readers a uni...
Published on Sep 30, 2013
atwood magazine is an arts/fashion/music/literary/interview publication that seeks out new talent and fresh voices, giving its readers a uni...