JUMP Summer 2018

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CONTENTS | Issue #27



THE JUMP OFF Etheric Felines, The Necrosexual, RFA, Working on Dying, Eric Wortham, Cherry, Thee Glitterbombs, Square Peg Round Hole, Deadfellow, The Whips, Korine, Loafass and Straw Hats.


MUSIC & EDUCATION Paul Green found massive success the first time he created a music school in Philly. He left for a while, franchised his school and then sold off the whole business. He's back now, running the Paul Green Rock Academy.


THIS PLACE ROCKS Rock to the Future offers free music traning to Philly kids but the goal isn't to build the next rock stars. They want to grow good citizens ... who may become rock stars, as well.


COVER STORIES No Thank You's latest album reflects on the loss of two key figures in the life of the band. Low Cut Connie makes super fun party music. But there's more to the band that puts on one of the most outrageous live shows around. Chuck Treece grew up skateboarding and making punk music.At 53, he's still skating. And still making music.


FOOD THAT ROCKS Warmdaddy's has been a home for jazz and R&B, as well as a home for Southern cooking, since 1995. The loyal audiences attend shows and build community seven days per week.


INSIDE VOICES The Menzingers' Tom May writes about moving to Philly and watching everything change. Kississippi and Queen of Jeans are both having monumental years. We introduced the two bands and then listened as they talked about their new projects.

FRONT COVER: Low Cut Connie, by Mike Arrison. BACK COVER: art by Eric Kenney, aka Heavy Slime. CONTENTS PAGE: (top to bottom) RFA, by Sydney Schaefer; Straw Hats, by Bonnie Saporetti; No Thank You, by Rick Kauffman. JUMPphilly.com



Publisher's Note

Janpu Shite Kudasai! During the summer of 2010, I took 20 Temple University students to London and we made a magazine about the local music scene there. It was a school project, done for educational purposes, but it was kind of a blast. We saw concerts, went to festivals, made friends with lots of British people, danced late into the night and had way more fun than you could ever imagine from a project sponsored by a college. One student, Evan Kaucher, even busked on the streets of London dressed in a bear costume, dancing to dubstep. We called it JUMP because everywhere we went, I made the students jump in the air while I took pictures (see above). It was all pretty ridiculous. But that mag that we made was wicked cool, full of big pictures, great stories and loads of suggestions of things to do, see, hear and otherwise experience while in London. When I showed it to my music friends here upon our return, they were not that enthused. One friend said, "This is cool but I'm not going to London any time soon. We should have a mag like this for Philly." And thus, JUMP Philly was born. A few months later, we were on the streets, a DIY mag with no affiliations, no rules, no money and no idea how to sustain a publishing business (because yes, we are an official business, Mookieland Inc., named after my 13-pound shih tzu). I figured we'd do that one edition, maybe a second. But it would never last. That was 26 issues ago. Our printed editions have featured more than 700 artists and acts over the years, from Freeway to PnB Rock, and from Martha Graham Cracker to The Menzingers (see page 45 for the first person story that Tom May wrote for our special five-year anniversary edition ... that we never actually published). Many of the bands have broken up, changed names or otherwise morphed into something different (a few times the alterations happened during the period between our interview and the time the edition hit the street). Restaurants, bars, venues and shops have closed while new ones have sprung up. There has been a steady flow of stuff for us to document. And in recent years, the music scene in Philly has just exploded. The past seven years have been beyond amazing for me, largely because of this project. Running this magazine has been the greatest excuse for a middle-aged man to continue doing the most ridiculous stuff. I would tell you about some of the good times but after the issue you hold in your hands, I'm stepping away, moving to Tokyo to be an associate dean at Temple's Japan campus. I don't want to say anything that could mess that up! JUMP has a future, though. It would be premature to reveal the details but the magazine will continue - in print, highlighting local talent just as we've always done. Stay tuned. JUMP or die, my friends. JUMP or die. - G.W. Miller III JUMPphilly.com



Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone.

The JUMP Off




Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone.

The JUMP Off

Metaphysical Cats The trio behind Etheric Felines came together randomly but had chemistry right away. They now create dreamy hip-hop/pop/groovy dance tracks. The members of Etheric Felines sit inside a Vietnamese dessert cafe on Sixth Street near Washington Avenue. A wall-mounted TV blares Top 40 satellite radio above their heads and blenders grind ice and syrups into sticky, sweet drinks. It’s laughably loud. Andrea Bollard wears a blue velvet blazer and is seated next to a vintage bag jammed with papers and binders from her day job as an elementary school teacher. Away from school, the 29-year-old performs under the name Acid Orphan and is one third of Etheric Felines. James Kalinoski, a multimedia artist, South Philly resident and Etheric Feline’s producer sits across from her. It’s impossible not to notice their almost matching vertical hairstyles. Katie Lauren Ross, a 25-year-old singer and songwriter also from South Philly, sits next to him. In her spare time, she’s been learning how to repair and restore classic cars, with a 1976 Chevy El Camino to her name. They met through a mutual friend in fall of 2016 after Kalinoski reached out to his network looking to start a new project. There were other members at first but as time went by, they fell to the side and the dream pop trio that exists today came to be. “We had really good chemistry as friends and also as creators together,” Kalinoski says. After a year and a half of writing, recording and working fragments of lyrical ideas into catchy, dense tracks, they released their debut EP, The Selves We Bury, in December 2017. The EP explores themes common to the human experience, like struggling with change and mental health, thoughts on death and rebirth and discovering one's self through transitions and trauma. The Selves We Bury was recorded both in Philadelphia and Norway with the band’s producer, Lucas de Almeida. De Almeida, who is currently living in São Paulo, Brazil, has been a close friend and frequent collaborator of Kalinoski's since high school. He mixes and masters the Etheric Felines’ music and has a unique insight from his behind-the-scenes role. “I think what sets them apart is the adventure,” de Almeida says, “the willingness to go places [musically] and look underneath the furniture for hidden treasures.” Heavily influenced by psychedelics, their personal struggles with mental illness and ’90s trip hop giants like Massive Attack, Portishead and Aphex Twin, The Selves We Bury is dream-like, experimental and emotional. It’s also full of raw lyrics and wet vocals. “I love how Etheric Felines blends their influences into a sound smoothie,” de Almeida says. “It’s difficult to tell each element apart, yet it still contains all the nutrition and energy.” The EP is sonically diverse but many of their tracks embrace pop elements that make them feel familiar. Especially on “Birth House,” where the sound is reminiscent of early 2010’s indie electronica. “Even though the song is written about reincarnation, it’s really more of a metaphor for getting tired of yourself,” Ross says about the “Birth House” lyrics. “It’s about moving forward and trying to be better.” For Bollard, Etheric Felines allows her to explore different themes than she does with her solo project, Acid Orphan. “This is more spiritual, more introspective, more to do with uniting the collective consciousness,” she says. “James’ beats are these really intricate, sonic landscapes.”


An EP with this level of cohesion could have been meticulously mapped out from the beginning, but it was the opposite in this case. “We didn’t plan for it but all of our minds were in the same places,” Ross says. “It was almost a mistake that everything worked so perfectly. Once we realized it, we started working toward it, revisiting things over and over again.” “And we made it perfect and grinded it to become very pop,” Kalinoski adds, finishing Ross’ sentence. “In our own messed up way.” Now that the pressure of their first project has been relieved, the group is looking to delve into more experimental realms and change directions. “I think that going forward, we want to make music that is primarily uplifting,” Bollard says. “We may return to the shadow realm but we want to make music that is joyful and magical and playful.” “We trust ourselves more,” Ross says. Bollard unlocks her phone to pull up a picture from The Selves We Bury’s album release party. It was at The Barbary back in early December 2017. They covered the walls with holographic paper and brought a giant wooden cut-out of a cartoon cat to sit with them on stage. “I was wearing this amazing clear trench coat,” she says, showing the picture through her cracked phone screen. "Katie and James were wearing these coats with really exaggerated sleeves with stripes up and down them.” The outfits are part of a capsule collection by TH3M, a local design collective and brand, whose members are friends and frequent collaborators of Etheric Felines, across both design and musical projects. “We thought the reflective and glossy PVC materials fit best with their ethereal sound,” says Tyler FitzPatrick, one of the designers behind the brand. “When they approached us with the opportunity to dress them for the album release, we were thrilled to share that moment with them.” Etheric Felines want to continue this collaboration as they grow as a group, maybe evolving into some type of an art collective in the future, while still releasing music. “We want to be more theatrical, make it a big production.” - Jennifer Granato facebook.com/JUMPphilly


Stupid. And Genius. The Necrosexual wants you to know him as the hardest working ghoul in show business. As he puts it, he and his eponymous band are the most electrifying act in corpse entertainment. The man known as The Necrosexual balances a life in music, an Internet web series where he interviews metal bands as somewhat of a Nardwuar in corpse paint, and he occasionally performs standup, does burlesque shows and hosts events. He does everything. “It’s a deathstyle brand,” he says. “Lifestyle brand sounds too wimpish.” The Necrosexual, 30, of South Philly, is here to vanquish posers and create a multi-faceted persona and creative outlet that celebrates his lifelong love of metal and the over-the-top nature of rock n’ roll. He received Slayer’s Reign in Blood at 14 and it’s been one of the cornerstones of his life. He played in bands with friends here and there, but nothing too serious. After graduating from Temple University, he started dabbling in comedy. It was before one of his early sets in New Jersey that he decided to become this character. “I put on corpse paint, a cape and a Speedo and I just went on stage and mostly told people to shut up,” he says. “That got an immediate reaction. So, I was like, 'All right. Well, maybe I’m on to something.'” Then, he started interviewing bands for his YouTube channel. Blogs like Metal Injection took notice and featured his videos on their sites. As the deathstyle brand grew, his attention shifted back toward making music and he enlisted friends to record the band’s first album, Grim 1. He’s fully aware of the comedic aspects of his persona but is quick to point out what he does isn’t just a comedy act. It’s just not 100 percent a serious music act either. He’s fully aware that the black metal community sometimes takes itself too seriously, creating a homogenous, black-and-white aesthetic. He draws his influences equally from metal, like Venom, and the huge, colorful personality and antics of David Lee Roth. It allows him to exist in all of these worlds—comedy, vlogger, MC, musician—all at once without pigeonholing himself as one thing. “Necromania, I call it,” he says. “The Necro World Order. That’s a real thing. I’m setting my goals super, super high. I want to be on Conan O’Brien. I want to be on late night, Adult Swim, Netflix. I’m talking about world domination. And I know that’s not easy but, then again, you see shows like ‘Metalocalypse’ that have done it. It’s a humorous approach but if you listen to the music, I think that I have a natural balance.” There’s obviously the black metal and thrash metal influence but there’s also humor, like in the song “The Lair Where No Light Enters,” which was partially influenced by his time living in his grandmother’s basement. To personify that balance of influences, he wanted to make sure the visual representation of his music was done right. To do the album art, he enlisted local artist Scott Johnston, since they had a bit of a history. “I was the first producer to book The Necrosexual in an official burlesque capacity, as he appeared at Burlesque-N-Beyond at Underground Arts in 2013,” Johnston says. “Speaking directly on The Necrosexual personae, he takes his music very seriously, while not taking himself very seriously. He manages to lance the absurd seriousness of the darkest metal icons and bands with a straight face. But behind that, he is quite a mega-fan of black metal.” Johnston says that what The Necrosexual does is performance art, and he calls him fearless. So, his album art had to follow suit. “[I] gave him a general idea, like, I wanted it to be the three of us,” The Necrosexual says. “And my guitarist, Dave, drives a Mustang, so I thought it’d be cool if we were space warlords in a Ford Mustang. Almost like a post-apocalyptic ZZ Top. And he pretty much ran with that and delivered the goods.” “He asked me to make the car’s lightning bolts pink,” Johnston says. “Stupid. And genius, all at once. Kind of like The Necrosexual.” - Brendan Menapace



Photo by Matt Decker.

The Necrosexual brings together a love of black metal and the personality of David Lee Roth, creating, well, Necromania.

The JUMP Off



Rude Fat Assholes RFA is ready for action, and really fucking awesome. BTW: Randy feels ambitious. The four-piece band RFA gather, arranging chairs in a bustling Saxby’s coffee shop on Drexel University’s campus, eager to set off on their second national tour to promote their new selftitled, self-released album. Dan Cousart (vocals and guitar), Christian Turzo (lead guitar), Brendan McHale (bass and vocals) and Alec Powell (drums) met at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in North Philadelphia, sparking lunch table conversation of their shared love for stripped-down rock ‘n’ roll music. The friends eventually brought RFA to fruition playing in Turzo’s basement. They played their first gig at a bar in Wildwood for a family reunion when they were 16 and just getting their driving permits. Now, they have South by Southwest experience added to their resume. Recounting tales of the road and their first national tour, RFA think of Chicago and its signature drink fondly. “It taste like lemon rinds and grass,” Powell notes of Malort, a Swedish bitter. “It tastes like if grain alcohol tasted worse.” Along with what RFA collectively refer to as “the shot of Chicago,” there are tales of a mysterious bartender with two names, Sean and Chris, and memories of swimming in Lake Michigan. Tales of drinking and having a good time are


rooted in RFA’s philosophy, ingrained in their ethos and explored in their lyrics. In discussing the influence of the Philly music scene on their sound, they collectively explain RFA is the antithesis of the sadder music that is prevalent in the city. That sadness made them want to create their own interpretation of rock ‘n’ roll. “There’s nothing better than a packed basement of people drinking, dancing to you and your songs,” says McHale, whom the bandmates have dubbed the optimist of the group. It’s those basement and house shows that created RFA’s sound and energy, having played to crowds of Drexel and Temple students in the party and houseshow scene since they were freshmen in college. It’s not just parties and fun that carry RFA, but scrappiness and determination to prove themselves. “Philly has a chip on it’s shoulder for some reason,” Powell says, adding that this speaks to RFA’s style being the local scene’s antithesis. The members of RFA do not have that same chip on their shoulder. They’re grounded in who they are and what their mission is. RFA did a fundraiser for their tour, selling donuts homemade by McHale’s mom in her Moorestown, New Jersey-based pie shop — scrounging up dollars and making their own opportunities to feed their hunger to play in front of live audiences and spread their sound. “We sold them in one of the buildings on Drexel’s campus during the day and any leftovers we took to our house for a fundraiser show,” McHale says. “People were definitely shocked to see those

being passed around at a house party.” With their first full-length, McHale says the band wanted to create the same sonic feeling they created during their live shows. It was recorded mostly at the Cambridge Sound Studio on West Moyamensing Avenue in South Philadelphia, though one track was recorded at Fishtown’s Miner Street Recordings and another at Milkboy the Studio. They finished mixing the album near the end of February, just in time to load the van and set out on tour. “Some of the songs we’ve been playing for a couple years now, so we were happy to put together an album we believe really represents us,” McHale said. “I think the record delightfully shows our true colors.” Along with their self-titled album and two EPs, RFA have also written a soundtrack for a movie, “The Girl With The Nose Ring,” which came to be through one of McHale’s Drexel connections. “The producer asked me to act in the film for a minor part and I inquired very early on about RFA writing a soundtrack,” McHale recalls. He adds that writing the soundtrack was a different experience for the band - with all four sitting down and writing it together after seeing the rough cut but it’s something they wish to do again. With two festivals scheduled for this summer, Hershey Summer Music Festival and MusikFest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, RFA’s audience is likely to grow. But that won’t limit the opportunities to see them around the city, playing their catalogue loud and proud, enticing audiences to dance along. - Mike DiGuilmi facebook.com/JUMPphilly

Photo by Sydney Schaefer.

The JUMP Off












P H L M U S I C F E S T. C O M JUMPphilly.com




Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone.

Photo by Brianna Spause.

The JUMP Off

Chaotic but Creative

Photo collage by Charles Shan Cerrone.

The collective of producers known as Working on Dying are behind some of the most popular music coming out of Philly ... and beyond. The group of producers and creatives who make up the collective Working on Dying are making their way in the Philly rap world and beyond, frequently collaborating with North Philly native Lil Uzi Vert and teenage rap sensation Matt Ox. They're fostering a community vibe, which makes all ships rise. “We’ve all known each other for a really long time,” says Loosie Man, a DJ and one of five producers in the collective. “We’ve either grown up together or went to school together.” After Loosie dropped his mixtape, Working on Dying, his friend F1lthy, another producer, realized the potential of their colleagues. Forza, Brandon Finessin and Oogie Mane are the three other producers who make up the musical house. While all sonically different, there is an underlying sound that brings them together. “We all have strong personalities,” says Finessin. “It can get dysfunctional but that’s what makes it dope when it comes to the music.” The group can seem shy at first but as one explores the different facets of the talent it is easy to see they are removed from what others may think and have have the quintessential Philly attitude of “for us or against us.” The collective’s talent garnered mainstream attention when Matt Ox dropped his song “Overwhelming,” produced by Oogie Mane and engineered by F1lthy. The infectious trap beat and the video of the then 12-year-old rapper casually playing with fidget spinner gained national attention. Oogie went on to make beats for D.R.A.M. and Philly artist PnB Rock. “I learned you gotta be more outgoing and you gotta work everyday for it if you’re going to make it,” Oogie says. Currently, the team is working with up-andcoming artist Quadie Diesel, who is confident now that he has the collective on his team. “Everything’s inevitable,” says Diesel. “It’s going to happen regardless.” The Working on Dying crew are also producing music for Matt Ox’s upcoming project, as well as with other artists from Philly and beyond. Whatever life throws at them, they’re ready. “That’s the whole Working on Dying shit,” says Finessin. “Organized chaos.” - Cierra Williams JUMPphilly.com

From Philly to the World

Eric Wortham grew up in the city of dreamed of making music. He now performs around the world with some of the industry's biggest stars. Between hugs and hellos from the staff at Time in Center City, Eric Wortham II stands under a speaker pumping Latin soul music as he recounts his days working with some of the heaviest hitters in the music industry, artists like Adele, Jill Scott and Bilal. Wortham, dressed in all black, is 10 minutes away from a jam session he’s curated. When not on the road, Wortham is a favorite at this Philly musical hotspot on Sansom Street, chatting with almost everyone who walks through the door. “I feel fortunate enough to play music with the ‘heavies’ in terms of musicality,” he says, recalling his experiences behind the piano. There’s a humble cool emanating from Wortham, a coolness that shines through when he’s on the keys. His drive, determination and talent have gotten him on some of the biggest stages in the world, from a three-month residency at the House of Blues in Shanghai, China to the set of Saturday Night Live in New York City. Wortham expresses his gratitude to the artists who have called upon his services. “I’m just being my honest self with my playing,” Wortham says. It’s that honesty that keeps him busy and vibing with highly respected performers. He’s worked hard through the years, grinding out multiple year-long world tours, studio sessions and performances for companies like Yamaha, that have sponsored Wortham for the past few years. “I like to move the world forward,” he says. “I like to be around those that want to move the world.” That forward momentum and inspiration started in Philadelphia. And with all the globetrotting and performing, this classically trained pianist still

calls Philly home. “Philadelphia has impacted me a lot,” Wortham says. “I had the ‘Philadelphia Experience’ — the time period I grew up in, the teachers that I had, my family — all of it played a part into who I am, and every day continues to play a part.” As Wortham says this, local Philadelphia musician and drummer Keaton Thandi comes up and gives Wortham a big hug. “Eric's as beautiful of a person as he is a player.” Thandi says. “He is always out and about supporting the scene and encouraging musicians in the area to keep hustling.” Wortham has most recently been playing piano in the band accompanying Seal since the release of the British soul singer's album, Standards, in November 2017. Wortham recalls first hearing Seal when he was a young, inspired pianist. Tracks like “Crazy” and “Killer” stuck out to the aspiring accompanist. Unknowingly, Wortham would eventually become a world-renowned player in his own right, playing those tunes for thousands of people every night. He’s currently on a break from the road, back to the city that helped raise him after the unfortunate passing of a relative. Reeling from the loss, Wortham reflects on his own human experience. “My existence, this gift that I have, everything about me is finite,” he says. “My ability to utilize this is finite. My vision will go. My hearing will go. Everything’s gonna go. When you have an artistic ability, to leave something behind that can resonate and be informative generation after generation, I think it’s very important to max it out and give it its best possible chance.” - Kirby Sybert




The JUMP Off

From NEPA with Love

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo.

Russell Edling formed Cherry on his own, and then populated the band with friends from back home. Origin stories aren’t just for superheroes. For the members of indie band Cherry, it all started during their collective childhoods, living in Northeastern Pennsylvania. “We had a fake band,” guitarist Justin Fox says. “Like, we talked about being a band together but we weren’t really in one.” Fox and vocalist Russell Edling were friends from a young age, starting their fake band during their middle school years spent in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. Although they practiced together, at such a young age they never expected to find themselves on stage. Which might explain what happened when they were. “There was this dance and somehow someone in the fake band got us in the dance to play,” Fox says. “Russell was supposed to sing and he didn’t come. So, it fell apart rather quick.” About an hour's drive away, bass player Spencer Colmbs and keyboard player Matt Schimelfenig JUMPphilly.com

became friends at their Scranton high school and later found themselves on stage as part of Three Man Cannon after a misunderstood invite. “I didn’t actually think they wanted me to play with them,” Colmbs says. “I thought they were just, like, telling me about the show.” These first stumbles through various bands were to be expected for young musicians. More than a decade later, these four would find themselves playing together in Philadelphia, their new home, after Edling and Fox’s previous project, Kite Party, consistently played in the same shows as Three Man Cannon, with whom Schimelfenig and Colmbs still perform. Edling started Cherry as a personal project, creating an EP, Gloom, with friends and releasing it in February 2016. He then started booking shows for his new band even though he hadn’t found a regular accompanying cast. “I just wanted to have a band and it was like, here’s a way to get a fire under the ass,” Edling says, knowing that he’d figure out playing live one way or another. Edling’s game of chicken paid off, as Colmbs, Fox and drummer/manager Eric Osman agreed to join the band before the first show. In September 2017, they released their first LP, Dumbness. Both of Cherry’s records have been released by Lame-O Records, which Osman founded in 2012. Osman’s first experience on stage came when Edling approached him in need of a drummer for

Cherry. “It felt just like an extension of management or the label,” Osman says. “It’s like, this is what you need.” Schimelfenig came on as a replacement for Jessie Kennedy, who the band had played with until this year. This wasn’t Schimelfenig’s first Cherry experience, however, as he assisted Edling in the studio while he was recording Gloom. “I feel like I’m home,” Schimelfenig says. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, as it was their childhood homes where they developed their skills and friendships. Close friend of Edling and Fox, Ben Walsh remembers their early beginnings. Walsh, of Tigers Jaw fame, grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania as well, where he became friends with Edling and Fox. “Justin had this really cool practice space where his parents lived,” Walsh says. “So we played a show there once and we met his family.” Walsh consoled Edling as he transitioned from Kite Party to Cherry. “It’s a scary thing to put yourself out there creatively and to show something personal that you wrote to the world,” Walsh says. “When you do that and you put everything into a project and it sort of runs its course or doesn’t feel right to continue with, you’re almost starting from scratch.” For his younger self, plagued with doubts and fears for his future, Edling has only a few words of advice to offer. “Just crash through it,” he says. - Sam Trilling




Photo by Jennifer Costo.

The JUMP Off

Model Students Thee Glitterbombs found each other as students in an adult music program. Thee Glitterbombs began their journey in 2012 at Girls Rock Philly's summer program, Ladies Rock Camp. Madeline Thomas and Michelle Freeman had been serving on the board, while Rebecca Lopez Kriss volunteered. The three were partnered together in the Ladies Rock Camp, a weekend music program for women, trans and gender non-binary/genderqueer adults. “I remember feeling like I could never play music,” Thomas states. “Doing Ladies Rock Camp was so scary for me because I never thought that I could ever do it, and then you just do it. Like you can't not do it. There’s a deadline, you know? So it pushes you to be creative, and then we just kept doing it. It was amazing.” After the weekend was over, the women decided to continue creating music with one another. “This is the band I always wanted to be in since I was 17," says Lopez Kriss, guitarist and vocalist of Thee Glitterbombs, while smiling at her fellow bandmates in their Bella Vista rehearsal space. It’s this love for the riot grrrl-reminiscent punk group that keeps its members determined. While eating sandwiches and pasta dishes in the Italian Market, guitarist Thomas recalls watching Lopez Kriss play shows at Kung Fu Necktie and The Legendary Dobbs while seven and eight months pregnant. “I remember thinking you made pregnancy look easy,” Thomas jokes. According to Lopez Kriss, taking a break from Thee Glitterbombs was not an option. “It was really, really important to me that I maintained this part of myself and this part of my life,” she explains. “It’s the one thing that I have picked.” Freeman, bassist and vocalist, feels the exact same way. “I work a lot and I really like what I do for work, but I often get so lost in my work life that I don’t make time for my own thing," Freeman says. “This is something that, even if we have little spots of time where we are not practicing a lot, feels like this thing that I have to hold on to because of how much I realize the older I get that music is such an important part of my life. Being able to make it and produce it and put myself into it feels therapeutic.” The punk group owes a lot of their early successes JUMPphilly.com

to Girls Rock Philly. Not only did the program help them access equipment and practice spaces but it made them realize their musical potential. Equipped with the tools gained in Ladies Rock Camp (now called LRC) and Freeman’s experience with booking and promotion, they became a full-fledged group. Stefi Varghese, Thee Glitterbombs drummer, was the last to join the band, in 2014. After losing their original drummer, the group planned to hold auditions in order to find a replacement. But after meeting Varghese — another Girls Rock Philly alum — they knew their search was over. The women all agree there was an instant connection. After finding their perfect fit, they put out a 12-inch split with local band Sick Panda entitled Diner/Karate. The eight songs including “Brunch,” with lines like, "I don't fucking wait in line for brunch / I don't fucking wait in line for eggs.” The song “Fuck Your Job Search/Hole in the Pole” is about giving up on corporate America and devoting yourself to a rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. It captures the unapologetic, fun-loving nature of the quartet. Jim Becker, guitarist in indie-rock outfit Taggart and friend of Thee Glitterbombs since the beginning, feels that the record is truly representative of Thee Glitterbombs as a whole. “It’s just really strong but fun at the same time,” he explains. “There’s not a lot of stuff out there with an edge. Their music definitely has an oldschool punk edge to it while still being fun.” Freeman’s bold, gritty vocals paired with the steady rhythm provided by Varghese’s drums

command attention. But it’s the bouncy, animated vocals supplied by Lopez Kriss that drive the songs home, creating a catchy appeal. The bandmates admit they’re main musical messages usually revolve around partying and everyday life but the current political climate has forced them to shift focus. “We used to be more fun before the election,” Thomas says. “Now, after the election, it has become more political.” “It used to be that we were just all about having a good time,” Lopez Kriss quickly adds. “That was the mission of our band. It was drinking beer and having a good time, and now it's like we don’t have really have that luxury.” Whether they are singing about Freeman's cat in “Meowk,” taking The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby" and spinning it in to a rock anthem, or addressing mental health issues in songs like “Low," the band does it in a punchy, fun style, making their presence known. Becker says the band’s classic punk sound and fun stage presence may make them stand out but it is their continued work with Girls Rock Philly that is most important. "They’re good role models for this city, especially coming out of Girls Rock Philly,” he says. “I mean the whole point of that is trying to show kids how it’s done, as far as playing music and forming a band and all that. And now they’re taking that two steps further. Yeah, that’s how you start a band but this is how you exist as a band in the city. They’re a great example of how it can be done.” - Jennifer Costo


The JUMP Off

Technically Sound After making two albums on their own, Square Peg Round Hole began working with a Nashville producer in order to get perspective. Sipping on leftover cans of Hamm’s in a dimly lit, refurbished rehearsal space in North Philadelphia, the members of Square Peg Round Hole reflect on the process of creating their third full-length record. “That is one of the crazier things,” band member Carlos Pacheco-Perez says. “We all have our different artistic voices, and so making that into one thing… I never thought that was ever difficult, but people grow at different times and just aesthetically like different things. But then it was kind of cool when we


went to Nashville to record, to be like, ‘Okay, so what are we actually doing?’” Square Peg Round Hole, comprised of Pacheco-Perez (Rhodes piano), Sean Gill (vibraphone) and Evan Chapman (drums), are no different from any band, really. They’re collaborative, driven and incredibly methodical. They are also, however, entirely instrumental. Having first met at Indiana University, Bloomington a few years back, the trio had initially been classical percussionists, performing in recitals at their school. When they finally decided to create something original together, it was almost instantly seamless. “I don’t know if we ever talked about forming the band,” Pacheco-Perez notes. “We just kind of wanted to. Even though we’re a weird band, we still do similar things, so we can co-write a lot of the parts.” Being a triad of like-minded and equally talented musicians certainly aids Square Peg’s notable simpatico, although the bandmates will be the first to tell you it’s not always a walk in the park. Since they are all also perfectionists facebook.com/JUMPphilly

Photo by Ashley Gellman.

and producers in their own rights, it can be difficult to let go of some of the control over a song. But at the end of the day, they understand it is worthwhile. “It’s been interesting because we’re all percussionists and we all write music,” Gill notes. “So it’s, like, with this dynamic of three songwriters who can sort of control anything they want, trying to collaborate can be challenging. But it’s, like, really cool. And it leads to awesome things.” Utilizing their dynamic triumvirate of drums, vibraphone and Rhodes, Square Peg’s unique and ambient sound blends ethereal sonic diversity with classical percussive ingenuity, offering a dichotomy that ultimately separates the band from most modern acts. In 2013, the trio put out their first full-length record, Corners, a stunning introduction to an unorthodox band. Corners was then followed by the dreamlike Juniper in 2016, further establishing Square Peg’s unique prowess and impenetrable niche. Juniper was meticulously crafted, recorded and selfproduced in two and a half days in Chapman’s basement in Manayunk. JUMPphilly.com

As these first two records were entirely self-produced, the bandmates wanted to try something new for their third effort. In the beginning of February of this year, they spent a week in Nashville with acclaimed producer and percussionist Darren King, marking the first time the group has ever enlisted help from an outside producer. King, 35, of Nashville, is no amateur, either. He’s worked with powerhouse artists like Kanye West, performed with Mutemath and has a definitive ear for percussive sounds. “I think their balance between complex and simple rhythmic patterns is pretty unique and sets them apart from other similar artists,” King notes of Square Peg Round Hole. “They are three insanely good percussionists.” Gill acknowledges King was a key stabilizer during the recording process. “Should it be this sound or that sound?” Gill recalls the bandmates constantly asking King. “He helped us focus more on what kind of songs we were making. Are they angry songs? Are they happy songs?” King encouraged the band to let the songs breathe and not add any unnecessary parts. The bandmates note they went down to Nashville with a lot of ideas. Having King as a neutralizer helped them refrain from overthinking things too much. “Part of it is like, we are technically capable of doing very crazy music,” Pacheco-Perez says. “At some point you have to ask, what are we really trying to say? Is it supposed to be super technical? Is it supposed to have a motive? So, it was really nice having Darren to kind of at least just be another person in the room. He came into it being like, ‘I don’t know this song at all, but I like it.’” “We could make some fucking nonsense,” Gill adds. While the band often feels a bit all over the place in their ideas and processes, King says Square Peg’s innate talent and particularities pay off, thanks also in part to the trio’s ability to work so well together. “The best kind of collaborators are the ones who know how to be kind and thoughtful without losing their desire for the song to be as good as it can,” King notes. “That can be a hard balance to strike sometimes. They actually listen to each other.” Square Peg Round Hole are constantly attempting to strike a balance - are they being too technical, or not weird enough? Even still, the band’s general collaboration has paid off elsewhere, too. They’ve played with a variety of different artists, including Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter Josh Miller, who first met the guys back in 2015 and calls them some of his favorite musical minds in Philly. “There really aren’t any bands I can think of that are quite like Square Peg,” Miller says. “They blend so many different elements and instruments together that I feel like they’re some of the only people who can really make music like theirs. Each member brings something so unique and special to every song, while still being able to work as a team.” While the bandmates are overall satisfied with every effort they’ve put out thus far, they firmly believe it is important to continually grow as artists. Miller acknowledges this constant evolution, too. “With each record, they grow so much as a band,” Miller says. “From their records to their live shows, I can’t think of another three-piece band that can be so powerful and different at the same time.” As they continue on their path of progression, the bandmates are grateful for the chance to pursue new opportunities, such as working with King, to help guide them into the future. “It helps to work with someone like Darren. It’s not like we’re just giving the record to one of our friends.” Chapman notes. “This guy has produced Kanye, so, like, he’ll know what to do. He’s an easy person to give it to.” Gill agrees it’s important to bring in an objective outsider at this stage in the band’s life. “I think we’re all learning the artistic value in diversifying the voice, and getting out of our insular, weird, percussion instrumental bubble,” Gill says. “It’s valuable to change our sound and see what else we can do. And I think bringing a producer in does exactly that. It’s been awesome.” This yet-to-be-titled record, due out sometime over the summer, is the polar opposite for Square Peg in comparison to the processe bhind their previous albums. Now that they’ve fully jumped into the unknown, a unique challenge remains - wondering if it will pay off. The trio admits to not having touched anything that they did in Nashville since being there. And while it’s nerve-racking, they’re ultimately excited about it. “You just have to have trust in everybody on the team,” Pacheco-Perez says.

- Maggie McHale


Photo by Matt Decker.

The JUMP Off

An Artist in Constant Motion Deadfellow challenges himself to experiment and grow, and the results are compelling. Few careers rely as much on sentimentality as singer-songwriter, but 26-year-old Hayden Sammak, known by the stage name Deadfellow, takes a realistic stance when speaking about his music. The Mantua-based artist is quick to point out the absurdity of trying to eke out a music career but he goes for it anyway. And while he doesn’t have much hope that piano ballads about online dating — specifically his latest single, “Millennials in Love” — have a long shelf life, he writes them anyway because it’s better than trying to write about problems that stopped existing once we all got cell phones. “I think it's important to have your lyrical content address relevant, modern issues in an informed way,” Sammak says. “If you want to hold on to some of that nostalgia, production is the way to do it. I really like to use old-style production methods when I go after it, too, because that to me is what's charming about those records. They're topical in their own time but that shit becomes irrelevant. However, the sound will always sound good.” In the age where everything old is new again, Sammak’s style, like his sound, reaches back decades. On this Friday night, he is wearing a patterned cardigan, sitting in the timelessly rundown Fiume, drinking a Basil Hayden whiskey and discussing how “Millennials in Love” has been named WXPN’s “Gotta Hear Song of the Week.” He says the down-to-earth outlook is a somewhat recent development, earned only after a previous try at music wherein he bought all the young-person’s illusions of becoming Bob Dylan, to unfortunate results. This time around, he has focused that energy into writing and recording. In less than two years as Deadfellow he has turned two albums and is finishing up his third, Millennials in Love (and Other Pre-Apocalyptic Standards), which is due out soon. That sense of continual motion comes through in conversation with Sammak. He can talk for hours, with each topic leading to another, and if you don’t get to the topic he’s ready for, he’ll just tell you to ask him about it. He struck up a friendship with Dan Reed, afternoon radio host at XPN, who has featured some of Sammak’s


work on air. Reed sees the challenges but also the benefits in Sammak’s relentless drive. “He moves on quickly,” Reed says. “He's in a hurry to experience more things and do more things. He's very restless, you know? But that's all good shit, man. Or, it can be. You can't just rest your laurels.” Sammak’s low, drawling style of singing has anchored his music through a catalog that is evidence of his consistent drive to seek out new sounds and directions. From the disaffected chronicler of modern love in his latest work to something haunted and mechanical in the slow, industrial-sounding “Machine,” off his first record, Love Songs for the Contemporary Listener. Reed points to “Machine” as one of the early standouts on Deadfellow’s records. Some early recognition has brought Sammak some talented help for his new album. Bill Reynolds, formerly of Band of Horses, is producing Millennials in Love (and Other PreApocalyptic Standards) and Robbie Crowell, touring drummer for Midland and formerly of Deer Tick, is stepping in on keyboards, percussion and other instruments. Crowell says even with such notable talent around him, Sammak’s growing comfort in production and his vision for the album was apparent in the studio. “He's got some really strong ideas about what he wants and the direction he wants things going,”

Crowell says. The studio is Sammak’s preferred venue. Much of being a musician is repetition, playing the same songs night after night. But in writing and recording, Sammak sees a challenge and the chance for something new. He has allowed this impulse to take him down some strange paths. For his second album, Mescalifornia: A California Dream, he decided to write his own surf-andsand-tinged album by putting himself on a strictly Beach Boys music diet for six months, despite the fact he hates the Beach Boys. Sammak is not pleased with all the results of these experiments but he says pushing himself is the way to break through to really compelling music. “I like to do something in every album that is very difficult for me,” Sammak says. “What's the point of recording an album if it doesn't make you a little bit better somehow? And when you're doing something that is difficult for you, people hear you wrestling with that on the record. That's what makes it interesting.” Sammak talking about his existing music bleeds into him talking about his future projects. There is a sense of wanting to move forward, to find the next song, the next sound, to not rest on what is already done. He gripes at multiple points that he would like to be putting out albums even faster. The attitude can be infectious, wanting to see where he goes next. - Eric Fitzsimmons facebook.com/JUMPphilly

The Circle of Friends

Photo by Ben Wong.

The guys in The Whips know each other from the local music scene. They share a love for being loud. “Grey,” The Whips guitarist and vocalist Joe Kusy calls out. “Can you turn it down a little bit?” Kusy stands on the opposite side of their garage rehearsal space in South Philly. “You turn it up,” responds Grey Haas, the band’s other guitarist. This exchange probably embodies The Whips most succinctly. Standing in a small rehearsal space spotted with old posters and fliers and hazy with cigarette smoke, the four-piece is going through a last run of their set before they set off on their first real tour to South by Southwest. When they recorded their latest album, Citywide Special, they had to crank Haas’ guitar volume as loud as his amp could possibly go to cover for electrical imperfections at their studio, i.e. the third floor of their friend Adam Garbinski’s North Philly home. “It was funny because the third story of his home wasn’t grounded,” says drummer and vocalist JUMPphilly.com

James Horn. “And Grey usually uses a pedal that uses a lot of electricity to overdrive it, give it the fuzz, and it was buzzing too bad. So, he was cool enough to let us crank his Fender Twin up the whole way. We cranked it up to 11 to get the same breaking that his guitar pedal was doing. That way it didn’t have the same buzz while we were recording. I thought that was really cool. He let us play that guitar as loud as it goes. And that’s loud.” It worked out better, in fact, because it gave the recording that gritty edge and fuzz that the band wanted. It added a vintage recording feeling to songs that already sound like they were spat from a time machine on their own. To make it even more genuine, they recorded it all live to tape. “It was pretty loud,” Garbinski reminisces during a phone conversation. “We had the amp totally turned up. It was really fun to record. Very raw and quick. We kind of set it all up and got the amps fired up, laid it all down. It didn’t take long, which is awesome. It was pretty painless except for the pain generated by the loud volume.” “In the past, when we first started, we tried to be more polished,” Kusy says. “And we realized maybe we should just play what we feel is more comfortable and raw. We just went for that and it went way better.” On this night, before their rehearsal, the guys are forced to sit at a table on the lower level of South Philly bar Lucky 13, contrary to their usual routine. Typically, they’re upstairs. They joke that they

want the bar’s management to install a plaque so no one else sits there. The band’s dynamic echoes their musical duties, too. Horn is bombastic. He’ll go on tangents of old classic rock trivia, and he’s the only one in the band drinking whiskey. He’s kind of all over the place, which is appropriate for the drummer of a garage rock band. Kusy shares most of the talking duties with Horn, but Kusy’s a bit more controlled. Haas, the lead guitarist, throws in some quips and adds some details to a story. Bassist Rusty Langley, remains relatively quiet and reserved. Their band dynamic and friendship dynamic evolved over time. The guys all play or played in other bands, sometimes sharing bills and, at times, DJing together. That led to The Whips’ formation. They and their personalities work together as a unit. It’s why they chose to keep it within the friendship circle to record Citywide Special with Garbinski. “We just work with our friends,” Horn says. “Garbinski is our friend. Let’s reach out to our network.” That’s how they planned their tour, too. “Use the resources you have,” Horn says. “Your circle of friends. You hit them up and say, ‘We’re going on tour!’ That’s what we did on this tour. I think the most important thing is that you maintain friendships. That’s a real thing in life.” - Brendan Menapace


Photo by Cassie Segulin.

The JUMP Off

Music For the '80s Masses Korine has been making beautiful synth music since the band became a duo last year. Sporting an all-black throwback turtleneck, Trey Frye is fast at work on an iMac creating music for Korine’s next song. Frye, 26, produces the ‘80s-centric sounds for the two-piece band. To his left, sitting on the window sill, also in black, is Morgy Romane, 29, the singer/songwriter behind the enchanting vocals of the band. “Most of my hardware is from the ‘80s,” says Frye. “I’m influenced by contemporary and ‘80s music, such as Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears. I like the dancey vibe of ‘80s music.” Located in South Philadelphia is the in-house studio of the duo where the synth-fueled ethereal sounds of Korine are created. The studio is a small but cozy room, each of its four white walls home to little squares of sound absorbing material. On one wall are shelves where a few electric pianos from the ‘80s are held - some older than the bandmates themselves. On the back wall is a small set-up they use for live shows, comprised of an electric piano, various synthesizers, a sampler and effects pedals that all work to create Korine’s sound. In the front of the room sits the iMac, draped by a spider plant. On either side of the iMac are speakers. Just to the left of the keyboard is an analog audio mixer. Korine aims to be as authentic as possible, resembling some of the bands that inspired them, yet staying unique on their own. Romane takes a moment and lists his inspirations. “I’d say that The Cure and New Order are some of my influences,” he says. “I grew up listening to ‘80s music and I’m influenced by the love of how it sounds. I love its warmness. It just sounds so good.” It’s not just the sound and the feelings that are important to him. “The lyrics are hard to write because they are so personal,” Romane says as he begins to tousle his shoulder-length hair, “but I want them to be as honest as possible.” “The lyrics that Morgy writes are so genuine and that really resonates,” says Frye, smiling. They met in 2015 when both worked at a West Philadelphia coffee shop. Frye and Romane were brought together by their love of music and their mutual feelings for their job. “We hated working there,” Frye explains.


Uniting in their hate for the unnamed coffee shop and their appreciation for music, Frye and Romane became friends. At the time, Romane was performing as Korine and Frye assisted Romane with creating their now popular synthfueled music. “Trey helped record and produce for me,” Romane explains. “Then, around the summer of 2017, we decided to work together as Korine.” Approaching their first anniversary as a duo, the uniting of the two seems to make sense as they’ve since found their groove. “I felt more like myself in the past year than I have in a while,” says Frye. “This is the only thing that makes sense,” Romane adds. “It’s what I want to do. I’m not going to not do it.” Since becoming a duo, Korine has garnered a fanbase both on social media and in the local music scene. In August of 2017, Amber Lynn Ensign booked Korine for their first live performance. Ensign runs the music event A Black Celebration, which is ‘80s themed and takes place on Saturdays at local Philadelphia bars. Ensign first learned about Korine when a friend of referred them to A Black Celebration party, where bands with similar musical style play between DJs. “It was amazing,” Ensign recounts of having seen them perform the first time. “You can tell how much time and effort they put into their music. It really is their craft, and they do it well - the energy

they brought to the vocals and the music. Not only did Korine bring out a huge group of people who were singing along to their songs but our regulars really dug the music. They still talk about how good they were, 10 months later” Checking out that same show was Damian Hrunka, now their manager, who came from northern New Jersey with a carload of friends to see Korine play. “I already had it in my mind to want to be involved in booking/managing them as part of the mission because I loved the music they shared with me,” says Hrunka. “But first, I had to see them perform live. That night, they sounded sonic and very true to the material released. They also had some pretty rad visuals. We were all in agreement that we were taken back and impressed.” Playing a sample of their soon to be released song “Burning Up!” it’s easy to picture David Hasselhoff driving KITT through the desert, playing this song in the background. In a sense Korine harkens back to the Golden Age of the energetic anthems of the ‘80s but at the same time is a revival of a genre music that’s at the root of most modern pop-music. “With the vintage feel of their music,” as Ensign describes Korine’s sound, “I can see them being one of the top synth bands on the east coast.” Greatness can come from small beginnings but any dream starts with a jump or die moment. For Korine, it all started with a passionate hate for a coffee shop. - Cameron Robinson facebook.com/JUMPphilly

Penn’s Master of Liberal Arts is a customizable graduate program offering daytime, evening and online courses. Stephan Clyburn wanted to promote human rights in the justice system, so he brought his research to Penn.

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Photo by Ben Wong.

The JUMP Off

Still Hanging Loafass started in the '90s and the band is still a staple of the local punk DIY scene. Loafass’ practice space at Surreal Sound Studios in Harrowgate resembles little more than a glorified dorm room. Items collected from the trash and yard sales - such as a painting of an angel baby, a large fish pinned to a board, a pizza box adorned with Pope Francis’ image, concert posters and photos of topless women - cover the walls of the tiny square room. Loads of equipment and a mini fridge filled with beer line the perimeter. It’s in this small space that the Philly punk rockers create their magic. “We’re definitely the longest, stable band that’s been in here,” says Fish, Loafass’ frontman and co-founder, who admits they found the space through an ad in the now-defunct Philadelphia City Paper more than 10 years ago. “Everything is done in this room,” says drummer “Metal Mike” Reese. “Someone has an idea, they bring it here and we play on it, and the next thing you know it’s like this part works together,” continues bassist Colin McDonnell. Loafass’ origin story epitomizes the ethos of DIY punk. “Tommy (Schiro) and I started Loafass in about ‘93,” Fish explains. “We just wanted to be in a band. Tommy learned a bunch of songs by trial and error, and I wrote some stuff. We found a drummer, Ethan (Hostettler), who was a roommate of Tommy’s, and we got this girl, Veronica (‘V’ Batter), who I was working with at the Academy of Natural Sciences. I got her high under a T-Rex and then asked her to join the band.” Fish then points to a blown-up photo of the band’s first album cover, titled Drop Deez, which features this original lineup in ‘90s fashion, right by City Hall. The Loafass bandmates choose to keep some of their history shrouded in mystery. The band refuses to say on the record how they decided on the name Loafass, and Fish remains coy when asked about his name. “It’s my given name,” he deadpans. “I started off as just a guppy though.” After Hostettler moved away, the band went on a brief hiatus. Reese and Fish met each other through their wives and soon after, Reese became Loafass’ new drummer. Batter had a child and left the band, and Fish’s longtime friend McDonnell


stepped in. After Schiro moved away five years ago, Nic Maccri came in as the full-time guitarist. “I saw them play at the El Bar years before and thought, ‘If I’m going to be in a band, I want it to be like that,’ because they were just out there having fun, singing about drinking beer and having big dick days,” says Maccri, referring to the fan favorite tune, “Big Dick Day.” “A big dick day is like a great day,” explains Fish. “It’s more of a mood.” Loafass plays more than 20 shows a year, mostly in the tri-state area. In the ‘90s, they participated in Old City’s thriving music scene, and frequently played Patty’s, Cafe Einstein and Mighty Mighty Friends in Chinatown. The band has moved on to other venues like The Century in South Philly as well as Kung Fu Necktie and El Bar in Fishtown. “We’ve jumped off of balconies before,” says Fish. “Well we didn’t, you did,” corrects Reese. Fish, who used to book punk shows in Philly, built some bills featuring Loafass and their idols. “The majority of the bands I have liked, we got to play with them,” says McDonnell. The bandmates start naming a laundry list of their favorites who they performed alongside: Murphy’s Law, The Dwarves, Guttermouth, Peelander Z, David Johansen of the New York Dolls and The Heels. “Some of the best shows we’ve ever played are with Loafass at the El Bar,” says Mike McManus, guitarist of The Heels and former member of Philly hardcore punk band Pagan Babies. “Fish is the king of that place. The shows at the El Bar were so great. That’s the thing about Loafass and Fish, everything is personable. They’ll draw punks and a hardcore crowd but then they’ll draw

people who just want to have a good time.” McManus and Fish met each other in the scene through a mutual friend. When the Pagan Babies did a reunion show opening for Ruin at Union Transfer a few years ago, McManus asked Fish to duet with him for the track “In a Lifetime.” “Where did he end up?” asks McManus, laughing. “In the crowd with a microphone. It was awesome.” For the Loafass bandmates, this project provides an outlet to escape the mundane realities of adulthood. “It’s all about having fun,” says McDonnell. “Everybody works and has their lives, families and businesses. And you get to the practice room and it’s like, ‘Ah, finally. We can play the loud, raw, rock ‘n’ roll.’” “Everyone here is a good musician but it’s not about the musicianship,” says Fish. “It’s about friendship. We’ve all been in each other’s weddings and at the hospital when our kids were born.” This camaraderie has kept Loafass a fixture on the Philly punk scene for more than 20 years. They are finishing their sixth studio album with producer Mike Moebius and self-releasing through their aptly titled label, Buttbread Records. Loafass starts their practice by playing a new track off of the upcoming record, right into “Duck Boat” (about the Philly Duck Boat incident) and “Big Dick Day.” Fish jumps all over the tiny space as each member grins from ear to ear, satisfied with each note they hit. For two hours each Tuesday, all that matters for Loafass is the music and memories they create in this room. - Lauren Silvestri facebook.com/JUMPphilly



Photos by Brianna Spause.


Side Project of Love The guys from Straw Hats grew up making music together and they continue despite their successes in other projects.

JUMP publisher G.W. Miller III is moving to Tokyo so we're throwing a party on July 21 at

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And all-night dancing thanks to

All proceeds will go to

Find details at jumpphilly.com!

It’s a chilly Tuesday night at Ortlieb’s in Northern Liberties but the bar/venue is bustling, as the staff is preparing for their weekly karaoke session in the front room and a punk show in the back room. Nestled in a booth sits the members of Straw Hats, who are headlining the back room show that also features Rough Cuts and Qwark. The trio, which features The Districts’ members Rob Grote and Braden Lawrence and their childhood friend Breshon Martzell, laughs when asked if they practiced ahead of tonight’s show. “I don’t think we’ve practiced since September,” says bassist and vocalist Martzell. “We’ve played a couple shows since then. We just kind of wing it. Everyone’s involved in a lot of projects, so we don’t always have time. But that’s the kind of thing we like - even if we don’t have the time, we’re just gonna do it anyway.” This attitude sums up the band’s approach to their music. While The Districts’ music (especially on their last album, Popular Manipulations) employs introspective lyrics and slick production to create some of the more notable indie rock of the last decade, Straw Hats eschews those qualities to create punk music stripped to its core. “With The Districts, we learned a lot of business stuff and organizational stuff that, with the Straw Hats, just doesn’t apply,” explains vocalist and guitarist Lawrence. “We kind of just don’t do any of that.” “We just wanted to have no plan whatsoever,” continues Martzell. “We don’t really go into making anything with an idea. We just kind of all start saying things that we think are funny and then it turns into a song and that’s pretty much it.” All members contribute to writing the songs, which happens by chance - they’ve used a lot of napkins to write on when inspiration strikes. “Every song is different. Breshon got fired from a job, so we were like, ‘I guess we’re gonna write about Breshon getting fired,’” says Lawrence, referring to their song “On The Box.” “Let the record show I got let go, I did not get fired,” Martzell clarifies. Grote and Lawrence met in preschool in the Lancaster County borough of Lititz and they both met Martzell in middle school. “I feel like we all like a lot of different music,” says Grote, who drums for Straw Hats, “but punk was one of the things we all enjoyed.” The trio formed Straw Hats when they were sixteen, before The Districts was a thing. All three struggle to remember how they landed on Straw Hats as a name, and look at each other to jog their memories. “It definitely wasn’t me,” says Lawrence.

“It definitely wasn’t me,” says Martzell. “I guess I came up with it,” Grote says with a shrug. “Sometimes when inspiration strikes, it can be a powerful experience. I don’t think there’s anything behind the name.” “I feel like you were just like, ‘Hey, let’s start a punk band called Straw Hats,’” Martzell follows. They played two shows and then went on a hiatus for four years. After casually discussing getting back together, Lawrence spontaneously booked a show. “I thought, ‘We’re never going to do it unless we have a show,’ so I booked a house show at Temple,” Lawrence explains. “And then we wrote the EP that came out. And then we kept at it.” Their music thrives in the house show scene that encapsulates the DIY punk ethos. It was at that Temple show that one of their friends, Tyler Olivieri, was electrocuted. “I was crowd-surfing when my exposed belly from the Straw Hats crop-top touched an exposed wire running across the ceiling,” Olivieri recalls. “The electricity conducted through me and the two people holding me up at that point. It was easy conduction as it was very wet everywhere. After the show, I went upstairs. Someone tried selling me free wifi. I went out back to warm up next to a burning mattress in the middle of the summer.” Fortunately, he recovered. John Brown (who uses a pseudonym because of the nature of the space) resides in Residents of New Planet in Fishtown, which is also a DIY venue. Straw Hats have played there three times. “My experience with them has always been just a rush of excitement,” says Brown. “The house gets packed every time they’ve played. They bring people together because they sing about everyday society and its antics. It's relatable, it's clever and it's powerful, while keeping a ‘fuck it’ sense of humor.” In Ortlieb’s back room, filled with several men wearing pants slightly too short, the Straw Hats come out in their signature orange jumpsuits (also slightly too short) with “Straw Hats” stitched onto them. The band plays their songs loud and fast while the crowd moshes and crowdsurfs. The party can’t last forever though. Two days later, The Districts will start a new tour. Martzell (who also is in Philly-based band Stoops) will join them playing keys and acoustic guitar. What keeps them dedicated to the Straw Hats in spite of their hectic schedules and other projects? The trio look at one another in that way only longtime friends can. “Love,” they say in unison. “We love each other.” - Lauren Silvestri facebook.com/JUMPphilly

Photo by Bonnie Saporetti.

The JUMP Off



Photos by Kristie Krause.



Photo by Sydney Schaefer.

Music & Education

The Teacher Returns Paul Green found massive success the first time he created a music school in Philly. He left for a while, franchised his school and then sold off the whole business. He's back now, running the Paul Green Rock Academy. An Oriental rug runs the length of the room in Paul Green’s second-floor music school in Roxborough. The room is packed with music equipment - amps, guitars and basses piled on top of each other, and a drum kit resting on an elevated stage. Green sits on an amp in front of his students, conducting them in a rendition of “King Kong” by Frank Zappa. “I love teaching kids,” Green says later. “It’s something that’s always been there.” In February, Green opened his new passion project for those serious about pursuing a career in music the Paul Green Rock Academy. It's a second act of sorts. In 1998, during his junior year at the University of Pennsylvania, Green started the Paul Green School of Rock in the living room of his 19th and Pine streets domicile. There, he taught children ages 8 to 18 how to play music. The school took off beyond his wildest dreams, Green recalls, and he ended up having to put a pin in his law school dreams. “I’m, like, the opposite of most people,” Green says. “Most people had to give up their rock ‘n’ roll dreams to follow law. I had to give up law school to follow my rock ‘n’ roll dreams.” After graduating from Penn with a degree in philosophy in the early 2000s, he moved to Manhattan and began franchising the Paul Green School of Rock. Fifty-seven schools were in existence around the country when he sold the company in 2009. JUMPphilly.com

Green moved to Woodstock, New York for a few years but he always knew he'd come back to Philly. Green promised himself he would return to law school one day, and he finally did. He started at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law last fall and now, he juggles coursework on top of his dutied at the new Paul Green Rock Academy. “I love it,” Green says. “It’s really reminding me how hard and wonderful this particular job is.” When Green held auditions at the new school, 20 potential candidates auditioned but only 14 made it through and became students. Since then, he’s held rolling auditions along the way. Eventually, Green wants to have a solid base of 50 students serious about a career in music. “I didn’t want to build a big school again from the ground up, with lots of kids,” Green says. “Even at the best School of Rock, even when I ran it myself, 80 percent of the kids are there instead of at soccer. The 20 percent who were there to really pursue music careers, those are the ones who I connected with the most.” Some of Green’s current students attended the School of Rock in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and other locations at some point, but feel that Green’s new school has a more focused approach. “School of Rock was kind of like a hobby,” says Camille Doyle, 16, one of Green’s students. “It was something you’re just doing for fun. But this is actually working toward being a professional musician.” Every Friday, his students meet at the Roxborough location, where Green pushes his students to the best of their abilities for three full hours. “He wants you to learn your songs so you can be prepared,” says Jordan Weaver, 16, one of Green’s students. Green plans to take his new group of students on tour next summer. “When I have 50 kids, I can put them in two groups,” Green says. “Take one to Europe every summer, take one out West and make sure they’re getting these - Sydney Schaefer unique experiences.”


Photos by Bonnie Saporetti.

This Place Rocks

Creating Leaders Through Music Rock to the Future offers free music traning to Philly kids but the goal isn't to build the next rock stars. They want to grow good citizens ... who may become rock stars, as well. Your guardian just enrolled you in Rock to the Future’s after-school program in Kensington and immediately you try to picture what this place looks like. Would there be guitars hanging from the walls? Do the instructors wear ‘70s band T-shirts? Finally, you’re standing in front of the St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, the home of Rock to the Future, and the setting seems perfect. Founders and Fishtown natives Jessica and Josh Craft welcome their students with echoing voices caused by the performance hall’s vaulted ceilings. The stained glass windows cast various shades of color on the wooden floors, and the stage looks out onto a wide-open room. Across the hall is the student study room, with all sorts of instruments and recording equipment. Equally as noticeable are the long tables, bookshelves and laptops. By now the question becomes, what is this place? Rock to the Future, a now beloved organization, was started in 2010 thanks to the couple’s volunteer efforts. The vision was simple but something they felt was lacking at the time: they wanted to introduce kids from low-income areas of Philadelphia to rock band programming, while encouraging academic success and improvement of social skills. Before RTTF, most music


programs in the area centered on classical music, or students had to meet with instructors privately for lessons, often paying a hefty sum. The Crafts flipped that script by not only providing every instrument needed for an entire rock ensemble but they also made it absolutely free. Students arrive every day for after-school music lessons, recording sessions and homework assistance. To satisfy the demand, the couple expanded their resources and currently provide summer programs as well. Throughout the year, students get the chance to showcase their musical and social progression through concerts and events open to the public. “Rock to the Future has helped me grow both socially and emotionally,” says soon-to-be graduate Alexus Arthur. “When I first arrived at RTTF, I was a very shy and quiet person. I didn't really like to speak to many people. I would've never performed on a stage. Since joining RTTF, I have made many new friends and performed in places all over Philadelphia, New Jersey and even the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio.” The inspiration for the organization came from Jessica Craft’s musical experiences while growing up, which gave her a sense of community,

friendship and a place to belong. “I wanted to give that experience to kids, rather than just the traditional experience they might get through school,” she says. “Music’s expensive, and a lot of kids don’t have the opportunity to participate. Even if they do have the opportunity to participate in school, they definitely don’t have the chance to perform with friends or at hip venues.” It was during Jessica Craft’s employment at Janney Montgomery Scott, a financial service firm, when she concluded the vision was too important to push aside. So, she took action. In 2010, Jessica Craft applied for seed funding from Women for Social Innovation, which loved the idea. While securing the funding was an incredible feat, the Crafts had to volunteer their time in the beginning. This required working five jobs on the side between the two of them to make ends meet. “We skipped Thanksgiving one year because we could get paid double time for doing a Harry Potter promotion at Best Buy on Black Friday,” Josh Craft recalls. After two years of mentoring neighborhood kids, they ended the year with only $5,000 in the RTTF bank account. The Crafts were uncertain about whether the program would continue. Their big break came when Jessica Craft pitched the program to an investment firm in Center City. The firm was blown away with the idea and awarded RTTF $214,000 during their annual Charity Goth ( yes goth, not golf) Classic. “That’s when we realized we can actually build facebook.com/JUMPphilly

this into an organization, instead of wondering where the money was going to come from day by day,” Jessica Craft says with some relief. “At least now, it’s wondering where’s the money going to come from in six months.” Today, Rock to the Future introduces music to many students, (around 300 students through after-school and summer programs) and operates on a $350,000 annual budget. However, Josh Craft says the program teaches much more than how to play an instrument. “If the students really love music but don’t necessarily want to be a musician or teacher, the program introduces them to the idea of being radio DJs, sound engineers, publicists, musical editors or to copyright work,” he says. The concept of offering more than instrumental instruction is where RTTF truly stands out. According to the Crafts, graduates of their program attend secondary schools and study computer science, nursing, creative writing and other fields. This desire for post-high school education is largely a result of the academic assistance and encouragement the students receive on a daily basis. Students with various social impairments also evolve due to this environment they’re introduced JUMPphilly.com

to. One student with Asperger’s hardly participated at first and struggled in school. “Now he has a B average, he’s in general education classes, he’s on honor roll, involved in the student government and will go up to people and say, ‘Cool jacket,’” says Jessica Craft. “Before,

he wouldn’t do any of it.” Seeing the potential in all students regardless of socio-economic or personal issues, the Crafts and their staff take students on college visits, host FAFSA nights and guide them through the application process for colleges and trade schools.

“We get phone calls every month or every other month from somebody from Texas or Michigan, or somewhere else in the U.S., asking us about our program because they want to start a similar program out West,” says Josh Craft. “We give them a little bit of information but not too much.” In the beginning of every year, the Crafts and their team ask the students to create their own rules to abide by. The only stipulation is that students must attend every after-school or summer program session. The RTTF staff are now growing their mobile music program, building summer camps, adding teen nights and collaborating with local musicians like Chill Moody and Grandchildren. They hire tutors and arrange performances at venues like Union Transfer. Most importantly, they are expanding the organization to serve other low-income communities, like Germantown. “It’s not about creating rock stars or musicians,” says Jessica Craft. “It’s more just about creating passionate leaders and good citizens.” What the founders of Rock the Future teach is that while the plunge into the unknown may appear daunting, sometimes the jump is worth - Hannah Kubik the risk.



No Thank You's latest album reflects on the loss of two key figures in the life of the band.

Story and photos by Rick Kauffman.



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hat is loss but a yearning for simpler times before it all fell apart? That’s what Kaytee Della Monica comtemplates on What It Takes to Ruin It All, the sophomore album by Philadelphia indie emo three-piece No Thank You, which dropped on April 6 on Lame-O Records. Along with her best friends - Evan Bernard, her partner, boyfriend and frontman for the Superweaks, as well as drummer Nick Holdorf - Della Monica created a self-reflective, physical manifestation of grief written in the aftermath of losing her father. “It’s about people in your life either dying, or not being there for you, or not being what you want them to be, or not being what they were,” explains Della Monica about the album. “Things changing and what do you do when everything gets pulled out from under you?”


n November of 2015, Della Monica's father, Armand Della Monica, died of leukemia. That moment is the focal point of the new album’s first single. “Hasn’t sunk in/ one sick man dies and you see him in every reflection/ It’s like the 16th is always just waiting to creep in/ And I can’t even begin to understand how I’m going to look at my mother again,” she sings softly on “New England Patriots.” A steady strum, building with the addition of a crunchy bass line breaks down under a heavily distorted riff as she belts, “I heard you breathing/ Inhale, exhale.” She recalls how for much of her life their relationship was very strained. They rarely saw eye-to-eye and little was done to mend the breaks in family dynamics. On his deathbed, she confronted him but never got the closure she sought. “I tried to have a conversation with him about it and he wouldn’t apologize,” she says. “I just wanted him to acknowledge to me that he realized that his actions affected me, and he wouldn’t.” This inevitably strained relations with the rest of her family, as she viewed her father as the common thread between her half-siblings and other members of her extended family. She reflects on this in her music. Snippets of her father’s voice appear on the album, recorded in a voicemail in which he calls and asks, “How’s my favorite daughter?” He asks her how she’s doing and how her new job is going - dad stuff - but his voice rings clear and thoughtful, highlighting the bright personality she liked best about him. On the cover of the album is a photo Della Monica took of two men setting a controlled brush fire, a preventative measure to protect further wreckage. Between the threat and that safety barrier, a tree rests undisturbed.


ix months after the death of her father, Evan Bernard’s brother and Superweaks' bassist Corey Bernard, whom Evan Bernard describes as a “looming force” and larger-than-life friend and musician, died suddenly of heart complications. He was only 22 years old. “He came home, said hi to my mom, who was getting ready for work in the morning,” Evan Bernard remembers. “He laid down to go to sleep and he never woke up.” When he was 12 years old, Evan Bernard’s parents bought him his first drum set. “It became our drumset,” Evan Bernard says of then 6-year-old Corey, who


would eventually influence Evan Bernard to listen to doom bands like Sleep and Boris. Evan Bernard remembers his brother as someone who oozed confidence and formed endless bonds with friends far and wide, but also someone who would get fired from jobs for telling the boss how to run his business. He was pulled in multiple directions, his brother recalls, wanting more than anything to play bass in a famous rock band but also just wanted to play video game in his friends’ parents basement. “Maybe secretly he wasn’t super confident in himself and he didn’t believe in himself,” Evan Bernard thinks back. “Kinda everyone has that problem. He definitely was real deep, always being upset and not really believing in himself and being bummed out a lot. But, when he presented himself, he was like, ‘I’m fucking right and you’re not arguing with me about anything.” Corey stood 6-foot-4 and weighed nearly 280 pounds at the time of his death. He was a physically imposing specimen who enjoyed the advantages of his size. Evan Bernard recalls a photograph by Jessica Flynn of his brother mushing Superweaks’ guitarist Andrew Wilson against a wall during a live show, their faces exploding with laughter. “He was a presence,” Evan Bernard says. “That is very much a thing the Superweaks have struggled with, finding someone to fill his shoes. Maybe we took him for granted during the time he was alive because the way he played was so confident. That’s how he was in life.” Corey may have been young but he had the personality and disposition to hold his own in any situation. He was loved for his passion and commitment to those he cared for. “He was a big part of Evan’s life, looking up to him and all his friends,” Della Monica says. “He would probably say they were his peers and not his role models, but he was still always the youngest and still had a lot to learn. But would never admit to that.” Holdorf has known the Bernard brothers since their sophomore year at Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. They became bandmates as teens, stayed friends through the years and later, he lived with Corey and Della Monica on Susquehanna Street in Fishtown. “He was a very passionate individual,” Holdorf says. “What he felt, he expressed.” The members of No Thank You, among others, complete Holdorf's personal project, Cheer Up, which will release their first album Sleep Debt in the fall. “He was very funny, very smart, probably too smart for his own good,” Della Monica adds. “If he was ever wrong, he was very stubborn about being right.” While his presence was imposing, he was extremely approachable. “I think of all the times that I would first see him, like the initial sight of Corey, I would feel happy and just want to hug him,” Holdorf reminisces. “He was one of my favorite people to hug. I always think about hugging that guy. It was all-encompassing. It was the place to be.”


fter Corey’s death, Evan Bernard put the finishing touches on the 2016 Superweaks’ album, Better Heavens. The album’s cover features a Pablo Picasso-esque image of a man painted by a then 13-year-old Corey. Evan Bernard remembers his brother calling the work a “Mona Lisa.” “He passed away like one week before we got our record mastered, so he facebook.com/JUMPphilly

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never got to hear it all together,” Bernard says. With the help of $3,000 in savings left in Corey’s name to his brother, the Superweaks toured Europe and the U.K. in 2017 in support of Modern Baseball and Thin Lips. It was something Corey always wanted to do. Della Monica recalls the time when she, Evan Bernard and Holdorf were still in their teens, leaving on their first tour in the band Airports and waving goodbye to Corey as he was standing in the Bernard family driveway, having lent her his Harry Potter catalog for the road. “We were leaving in our Toyota van on my very first tour ever, ‘Stillness is the Move’ was playing and Corey was standing in the driveway,” she recalls with a laugh. “He was enormous, so tall, just a giant person. Really long hair, big dumb T-shirt, dumbly waving goodbye as were leaving on our first tour. It’s so stuck in my memory and I can’t believe I ruined his Harry Potter books.”


n the aftermath of losing those she cared so deeply for, Della Monica took the time to write the bones of what would become All It Takes to Ruin it All. “I was a wreck of a human being,” Della Monica says. “I couldn’t leave my house for a month.” She borrowed the title from a frame in the graphic novel “Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth” by Chris Ware. Evan Bernard gave her the book years before they started dating. “It’s just a drawing of Jimmy and that’s it,” Della Monica says. “It just felt really relatable. Anything can be all it takes to ruin it all, and everything is.” It was a combination of events that came together to give the album its shape. “I was thinking about what was happening and my reaction to what was happening,” Della Monica says. “I just wanted to make a record of it, write what I’m thinking and feeling, because I knew that was the only way to release some of it. I knew it wouldn’t solve anything but it felt good to put it to a physical form.” Bernard describes the tone of the album as having “this crazy Smashing Pumpkins, huge, smeary, creamy distortion,” aided by Superweaks’ JUMPphilly.com

bandmates Andrew Wilson and Chris Baglivo in recording and production. Della Monica invited her bandmates to bring their visions to the work. “Kaytee brought a skeleton and she allowed Nick and I to flesh it out,” Evan Bernard says. “We helped it take shape, what she wanted it to feel like. We all got to have input on it and make it into a culmination between all three of us.”


rare Sunn Model T bass amp purchased by Corey on his 18th birthday lives on in No Thank You. That amp was once a point of contention between the brothers - Evan Bernard argued it was the wrong fit for the Superweaks, while Corey was convinced it was the greatest amp ever made. “Very much the reason that the guitar on All It Takes... is so massive is that amp,” Evan Bernard says. “You can thank Corey for that.” The album’s final track, “Space to Grieve,” faces head-on the threshold of pain and anguish that the human body can hold before overflowing. It was a song Della Monica wrote with Corey Bernard in mind. “If you gave me space to grieve/ Maybe I would finally see that we are all more than human beings/ We’re living in captivity/ There’s one way out, everything dies/ Makes it hard to tell when you’re alive/ So don’t be scared to hold on tight to ghosts who tuck you in at night/ I’m planting violets for you,” sing Della Monica, Evan Bernard and Holdorf in harmony. For Della Monica, the writing of songs has either been a way to force herself into confronting anguish and pain she may otherwise succumb to, and a way to relish in the joys life can bring. “It’s self-help,” Della Monica says. “It’s not even that it’s cathartic. But I learn shit about myself. It helps me be honest with myself. When it comes down to it, it’s definitely for me. But I do want people to care and I want to affect people the way other artists have affected me.” She thinks for a moment before continuing. “I think it’s endearing and that’s a fantasy world that I want to live in, where people find me relatable and can relate to one-another, or me,” she says. “That’s pretty sweet.”




Low Cut Connie makes super fun party music. But there's more to the band that puts on one of the most outrageous live shows around. Story by Lauren Silvestri. Photo by Mike Arrison. 38


dam Weiner notices the details. A small class ring on someone’s finger catches his eye, and later he stops speaking to listen carefully to the music playing softly overhead in Anthony’s Cafe in the Italian

Market. “They’re playing ‘Hearts of Fire’ from the Rocky movie,” he says, referring to the John Cafferty song featured in the training montage during “Rocky IV.” He’s humored by how Philly this scene is. It’s this attention to detail that has allowed Weiner to evolve Low Cut Connie (of which he’s the founder, singer, songwriter and pianist) from a raucous, crazy, rock ‘n’ roll band to a still-crazy band that also has something to say. Milestone moments include interviews by Howard Stern and Elton John, playing this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction dinner and former President Barack Obama including the band on his summer playlist. “These aren’t the things you work for but when these things happen, they put wind in your sails,” says Weiner. “Obama told me to ‘Keep it up.’” While accolades and recognition might give a sense of accomplishment, Low Cut Connie has gone through a process of maturation. The current lineup also includes Will Donnelly (rhythm guitar), James Everhart (lead guitar), Lucas Rinz (bass) Larry Scotten (drummer) and former Sharon Jones collaborator Saundra Williams (vocals). “The very first review we ever had was from [music critic] Robert Christgau and he said I was writing scuzzball anthems,” Weiner explains as he stares intently. “After he said that, everyone who reviewed us recycled that term, facebook.com/JUMPphilly

Cover Story

and people got this idea that we were like a crazy, party, kinda kegger band. Nothing wrong with that. We are a party band. Our live show is outrageous fun. But as the years have gone on and I’ve gotten a few albums in, I want to expand the range and show people there is more going on.”


ow Cut Connie started as a side project for Weiner, who was living in a fourth floor walk up apartment in Philly and teaching music lessons. They booked their first show at the Old Swedes’ Episcopal Church for New Year’s Eve 2010. They played for two hours and 200 people showed up. “It was explosive,” says Weiner. “It was a very special night. It was very clear something new and exciting was happening.” About three months later, Christgau wrote his review of the band’s first record, Get Out The Lotion, rating it an A-. Soon after Christgau’s review, Rolling Stone and NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross covered their album, and sales slowly grew. “We just made music that was fun,” says Weiner. “We weren’t trying to promote it or set the world on fire. It was just for us and our friends. Something I’ve really learned about is that you need to do things for the purity of it, the love of the art, and you can’t chase the trends.” Low Cut Connie’s live performances, featuring Weiner wailing on his piano Jerry Lee Lewis-style, caught critics’ and early fans’ attentions. Christgau saw them live a few months after his review and loved the show. Weiner recalls Christgau saying, “You’re completely over these people’s heads and you’ll never make it.” “Adam is one of the nicest, strangest, funniest people I’ve ever met. I don’t know anyone else who is like him,” says WXPN evenings and weekend host Eric Schuman, who has known Weiner since Schuman was in high school and Weiner dropped in on his music class. “It’s remarkable to see him go from performing on stage and then walking off stage, towel in hand and we’ll go to a diner after the show and he’s surprisingly soft-spoken. I don’t want to say it’s an act but there’s something that takes him over when he goes on stage that you forget he’s this regular guy.” Weiner grows bashful hearing Schuman’s comments. “I feel like it’s the true self that reveals itself,” he vaguely explains about his stage persona.


erry Blavat, the legendary oldies DJ known as “The Geator with the Heater” who currently hosts a show on WXPN, was another early fan of Low Cut Connie after discovering them in a small club in Harlem. “I was completely blown away,” Blavat says. “So much so, that I said to [Weiner], ‘You know what? You are a throwback to the real rock ‘n’ roll legends’ – Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard – guys who had that feel, not only singing but playing a piano.’” Blavat invited Weiner to open one of his oldies concerts he hosts every year at the Kimmel Center. “I was blown away a second time, because now I saw 2,800 people who thought he was tremendous,” Blavat remembers. Blavat and Weiner have since continued a friendship. Blavat has booked him at his club, Memories, in Margate, and he appeared on the Low Cut Connie song “Low Cut Strut (Strut That Ass Right Back to Class),” which is the B-side JUMPphilly.com

of “Shake It Little Tina,” which is only available on vinyl. “Jerry would leave me voicemails telling me, ‘Don’t get discouraged. You’re a star,’” says Weiner. “Sometimes, on a rough day, that really helps.”


espite these initial critical successes, Low Cut Connie was still very much an underground band. Weiner notes that about 15 labels turned them down and they were getting pigeonholed as a crazy frat band. “I like to get people into a wild frame of mind but I want it to be for a higher purpose,” Weiner explains. “I don’t want to just facilitate stupidity.” “Beverly,” the first single from Low Cut Connie’s new album Dirty Pictures (Part 2), demonstrates a more vulnerable and observational side of the band. "I'm screaming your name/ Bent over backwards while you watch the game/ You're making faces just to feed the flame/ It's such a shame/ Beverly, come on and talk to me," Weiner pleads in the mid-tempo song. Joe Wehner shot the accompanying music video which features an actress who goes by Centerfold Angel as the titular character, traveling from motel to motel in upstate New York. “[Centerfold Angel] understood the song and what I was going for right away,” says Weiner, who did not meet her until after the shoot. “She gave us that resilient, deep and vaguely spiritual energy I was looking for. I wasn’t looking for a depressive piece just about poverty. I was looking for this strength of character that a lot of women that I know have and how they deal with their circumstances and find a kind of positive spirit in the face of obstacles.” The “Beverly” music video begins with Beverly turning off a Donald Trump speech on the television but Weiner defers from making a clear political statement. “It’s not not political,” he says. “We do a 100 shows per year, so I’ve met people all over the country. I’ve started writing more about people’s lives in America. If that makes it political, I’m ok with that. I don’t have a very specific agenda that I’m trying to push. I’m more interested in looking at people and how people live. Making the video about Beverly, it seems very much about our current climate and culture, and Beverly is an amalgamation of different women that I’ve met.” He pauses. “Is it a political statement?” Weiner asks. “I’m not sure. It has political overtones but I think it’s more than a political statement. It’s a character study.”


t’s been a long, strange trip for Weiner and Low Cut Connie to get to this point in their career. “Something like ‘Beverly,’ I could never put out years ago,” Weiner explains. “We didn’t have enough respect.” While Low Cut Connie still has no major label, they are now represented by the esteemed William Morris Agency and are playing larger gigs, such as Bonnaroo and the Newport Folk Festival, this summer. “They represent Philly in this scrappy, underdog sense,” says Schuman. “It’s been a slow and steady build to where they are now. I think Adam’s determination and perseverance in being an independent artist, and knowing the amount of work he has put into making this band a reality, whether it’s the recording or touring or promotions, he’s got his hands in every aspect of it. I think that kinda ‘stick-to-it-ness’ is very Philly. He really sticks to his guns.” This journey culminates with Dirty Pictures (Part 2), Low Cut Connie’s most sensitive record to date. It follows last year’s Dirty Pictures (Part 1) but there is a thematic difference between the two. “Dirty Pictures Part 1 was a very grimy album - very rock ‘n’roll, tense, some explosive moments” Weiner explains. “Part 1 is the tension, and Part 2 is all about release. Part 2 is a lot more emotional, a lot more direct and with a lot of naked, open feeling.” Dirty Pictures (Part 2) was released on May 17 in Philly, a day earlier than the rest of the country. Low Cut Connie celebrated the release with a show at the Union Transfer the same day. For Weiner, it’s his way of thanking the city for its support. “The city has meant a lot to us,” says Weiner. “I just hope we can keep growing, both artistically and professionally, with Philly. Once Philly likes you, you are in all the way. They’re skeptical at first, they don’t want to like you. Like a new quarterback on the Eagles, they want to hate you. You win them over and they want to make a statue of you. It’s a nice thing. It took us a while but we got there.”


Cover Story

PUNK FOR LIFE Chuck Treece grew up skateboarding and making punk music.At 53, he's still skating. And still making music. Story by Dave Miniaci. Photo by Ben Wong. 40



n the midst of new construction and bustling businesses on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown stands a traditional rowhouse. It’s an old house, nothing like the other ones going up all over the neighborhood. Up the creaky stairs with a half-missing railing is a studio, and behind the drumkit, Chuck Treece is pounding away. He is focused. While his drumming sounds good to the untrained ear, Treece isn’t satisfied. He shouts instructions back and forth with producer Derek “Jah B” Myers, who owns the studio. Again, they record. And again. Finally, time for a break. And Treece collapses down onto the nearby couch and immediately starts joking, laughing and rolling a smoke. These are the two sides of him - the intense career musician and the funloving skateboarder punk. Often, they come together. He’s played with Bad Brains and recorded for Billy Joel. He's also toured Israel as a skateboarder and was the first African American skateboarder on the cover of Thrasher magazine. He’s chill, sure, but he still has that punk fury.


reece has been playing music as long as he can remember. The 53-year-old started when he was 8, helping out his father, who played tenor saxophone in a band. He began playing drums and his older brother played guitar. He recalls his dad’s band always rehearsing in the living room, leaving instruments out even when the band wasn’t practicing. “The instruments were just always there, so we’d play around,” Treece says. He started skateboarding when he was 11 and found places to skate in his neighborhood in Delaware where he grew up. He jokes it was in part to keep him out of trouble, like many kids get into sports. It became a part of him, and he grew close with other skateboarders. It also helped cement him in the punk ethos. “We started skateboarding, me and all these other kids, and we had skate parks everywhere,” Treece says. “When I was about 16 or so, the real estate people came in and started tearing them down to build high rises and offices. We had to build everything back ourselves. No one taught us how to lobby for stuff. If we were gonna rely on someone else to keep our movement together, it wasn’t happening.” That was how he ended up on the cover of Thrasher magazine. Treece had a friend with a backyard ramp in New Jersey. As the skate parks closed, skateboarders built ramps in their backyards to make up for it. A photographer for the magazine happened to be there, checking out skateboarders’ personal ramps. “That helped revive the scene,” Treece says of the cover and the magazine. “People in rowhomes like this one with small backyards but these huge ramps back there. That’s how we skated and trained year-round.” Skateboarding helped push Treece toward other kinds of music. He was drawn closely to music being played on MTV at the time and some New Wave bands, like Devo. But it was reggae music that really captured his attention. “That more closely grounded me in punk than actual punk music,” he says. “There were really good musicians but I also felt strongly about the punk message.”


t around age 20, Treece became a sponsored professional skateboarder. That took him around the country, performing in competitions and at various skate parks. It also sent him abroad. He helped bring skateboarding to Tel Aviv. Treece took much more enjoyment from the trips where he could skate and enjoy the experience - “safari skating” as he calls it. Rigid, strict competition never sat well with him. “Most companies want a rigid athlete, and if you’re a rigid athlete, then you’re not an artist,” Treece says. “Some kids are like, ‘I’m just here because someone is paying me.’ But what about trips with your friends?” “They just take the creativity away from you,” Myers chimes in. He and Treece have known each other for five years and currently play in a reggae band together called I Yahn I Arkestra. But the two ran in similar circles for years, as both grew up as skateboarders and punk rockers. While he was skating, Treece kept music close at heart. The two went hand in hand many times. Around that time, in the ‘80s, Treece formed McRad, a punk band, and released two albums.



reece and Myers laugh and joke about the many underground shows they attended growing up, from Philly to D.C. to Baltimore. “It was basically skate all day, punk shows all night,” Myers says. “We really were into Bad Brains. They were reggae and punk and there was this Rasta thing goin’. There were a lot of Rasta elders who hung around. They were kinda like the lost punks. So them and H.R. (of Bad Brains) really helped get us into that.” Eventually, Treece got to sit in on drums with Bad Brains while on tour. He remains close with, H.R., who performs vocals on the track for which Treece is currently recording drums. “I’ve known him since he was about 14 or 15,” says H.R., fondly looking back on when they met. “We were playing at CBGBs and he came and watched and asked if he could help us. He ended up being a roadie for us for about 15 years.” H.R., who moved to Philadelphia five years ago, later invited Treece to work on his solo work, playing guitar. “He invited me to watch I Yahn I Arkestra play Reggae in the Park and I was so inspired by his performance,” H.R. says “He played some really great notes on guitar, and I had thought he was a drummer first. He’s so talented. And he’s a groovy skateboarder too. He’s really talented.” Treece has also worked with The Roots and Santigold. And he also played bass on Billy Joel’s hit 1993 song “River of Dreams.” Joel was working on his new album, recording in studios in New York and Los Angeles. His team reached out to Ruffhouse Records in Philly to do a mix of the title track. Treece got together with his friends at the label and recorded the song. What was supposed to be a remix impressed Joel so much that it ended up as the song on the album. It became Joel's highest charting song of the 90s. “I just remember when that dropped, it was everywhere,” Treece recalls. “It sold something crazy, like 4 million copies right away. I saw that as a Philly moment. These musicians from Philly got together and put this song out.” While that brought him some prominence, Treece enjoys remaining punk to his core, joking he got the “pop hit” out of his system.


n 2011, Treece was the recipient of a Pew Fellowship, something that humbled him but also made him look back and consider the punk movement he grew up with. The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in Philadelphia awards these grants to help fund artists in furthering and innovating their work in the Philadelphia region. Receiving a grant is prestigious, the culmination of tireless work. Treece had much to say in his application, reliving many details of his life in music. He also submitted his punk rock music as part of the application. “Back then, growing up, we were like pirates,” Treece says. “Like, ‘Fuck you, get out of the way. Fuck the system.’ But applying for this grant, this fellowship, made me wonder what would have happened if I had taken this seriously from day one? If I’d know how to sell my brand and be more of an artist because now that’s more than just going out and playing a show?” Treece notes that today’s scene is much more in line with that thinking. “All this resurgence of skateboarding and punk rock in history, it makes me happy because people now realize they can fight for something and lobby for something they care about,” he says. “I wish someone had explained this to us. We spent 20 or 30 years complaining about the system and Ronald Reagan when we could have been applying for grants or lobbying for things we need. The arts, to me, are the last thing in the human psyche worth fighting and lobbying for. If you don’t, then we all end up in cubicles for the rest of our lives.” The punk ethos is clearly something Treece lives by closely. He talks about hard work, marching to your own beat, and protecting and battling for things you hold dearly. “I will always be punk rock,” Treece says. Treece sits up in the couch. He motions to the house, mentions its age and character. Then, he leans down and smacks the floorboards. “Look at these floors,” he says. “I love the stories in the floorboards. They give us music. These floors, these are punk. This house, this is punk. Someone built this with their bare hands thinking, ‘This shit’s gonna be around forever.’”


Feelin' Good Triple Threat Warmdaddy's has been a home for jazz and R&B, as well as a home for Southern cooking, since 1995. The loyal audiences attend shows and build community seven days per week. It’s hard to ignore the faint sound of a bass and the strong smell of cajun seasoning while walking up to the door at Warmdaddy’s on any given Sunday. Most of the reservation-required tables in the dining area are packed with people chowing down on the buffet-style brunch and enjoying the live entertainment in front of them. Jaz Jordan and the G2 Band are covering R&B classics from Alicia Keys and Chaka Khan as patrons wait in line for made-to-order omelets and waffles. Jordan, the lead singer of the band, comes into the crowd and gets a friend to stand up and sing, diverting the crowd’s attention momentarily away from their plates piled high with fried chicken, cornbread and collard greens. “You feelin’ good? Let me hear you say, ‘Awwww yeah,’” Jordan says, and the crowd responds accordingly. Warmdaddy’s, located on Christopher Columbus

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Boulevard at Reed Street, is a feelin’ good triple threat. The soul food eatery and live music venue boasts the ultimate in comfort cuisine, the ultimate in smooth, easy listening, and the ultimate in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and staff. “It’s a lot to do with the food,” Jordan says during the band’s set break about why people keep coming back to Warmdaddy’s. “People love the food here, and the waitstaff and the whole m a n a ge m e n t . Everybody is very approachable, and very nice people, so that helps a lot.” Warmdaddy’s has been a staple in the Philadelphia music scene for the last 23 years, having been located on Front Street near Market for the first 10 years of its existence. Harry Hayman, director of operations for Warmdaddy’s, says that time is what helped them learn what food people want and what kind of music works for their crowd. “The fried chicken is second to none, as far as I’m concerned, in the city,” he says. “I go to all those

hot places that Thrillist talks about, just because I’m always curious. Not that they’re not good but, you know, sometimes we don’t get the credit for what we do from a culinary standpoint.” Warmdaddy’s and its sister establishments — North Philadelphia’s South and West Oak Lane’s Relish — follow the Southern traditions of the family of its creators, Robert and Benjamin Bynum. Their m o t h e r , Ruth, cooked honey-dipped fried chicken and other Southern fare for the family growing up, and Hayman says Warmdaddy’s still uses her friend chicken recipe today. “Comfort food sells,” he says matter-of-factly. “That’s really what Warmdaddy’s is at its heart. It is Southern cuisine, it is soul food, but at its core, it’s just comfort food.” Edward Fisher, who has been head chef at Warmdaddy’s for more than five years, says he’s also been encouraged to make his mark on the menu despite tradition, adding things like a shrimp dinner and a barbeque platter as well facebook.com/JUMPphilly

Photos by Harrison Brink.

Food That Rocks

as making various sandwich changes. He does confirm, however, that the fried chicken is the number one, best seller by far in terms of entrees. “The menu is always in flux,” says Fisher. “We try to change it at least once a year. We’re trying to do it more often than that.” Where some places are live music venues that offer food and others are restaurants that happen to have music, Fisher says that Warmdaddy’s has the best of both. He calls the food “part of the whole experience.” “It’s down-home cooking,” he says. “You get large portions. It’s that vibe of going to get your grandmother’s cooking - a good, filling meal. You leave happy, with a full stomach. People are always leave Warmdaddy’s happy.” Richard Tucker, who has been performing at Bynum brothers’ establishments since the ’90s and plays regularly at Warmdaddy’s with his band, Richard Tucker and The Universal Koncept, agrees that this marriage of great food and great music is what keeps bringing patrons back to Warmdaddy’s. For performing musicians, it’s the

fact that the venue has access to parking for an easy load-in, as well as its own sound system and backline equipment. “It’s really an easy gig for musicians. When we play there on the weekends, we eat free, so that’s good,” he says with a laugh. Tucker appreciates that Warmdaddy’s supports local musicians as well as hosts some of the bigger acts that come through town. He and his band were welcomed to create an event hosted every Tuesday night called Artist House, where the band plays R&B, soul and jazz, usually with a featured vocalist. “It’s a pretty unique venue in Philly because it covers all genres of music really, and they have music almost every night of the week,” Tucker says. “Warmdaddy’s has really been supportive of me as a musician over the years. They really JUMPphilly.com

supported my career.” Hayman says they usually reserve a weekend or two per month to feature out-of-town acts, but on most nights, the talent on stage at Warmdaddy’s is homegrown. He adds that it’s important to create these opportunities for local artists so that all of Philadelphia’s talent, especially in the jazz scene, doesn’t run off to other cities. “That’s a larger initiative we’re dealing with in

the world of jazz,” he says. “You’re making sure there’s studios here, chances to get recorded, chances to gig, chances to hook up, chances to collaborate [or] just pay your bills, just being a living, working musician in Philadelphia. So that’s what Warmdaddy’s and the R&B and soul world provide.” - Beth Ann Downey




Photo by G.W. Miller III.

Inside Voices

Growing Up Punk in Philly The Menzingers' Tom May writes about moving to Philly and watching everything change. I spent a hell of a lot of time in the woods across the street from my parents’ house in Scranton. My friends and I would wander a few hundred feet in to smash Zima bottles and ride bikes. Back then it was the time of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” “Goosebumps” and devil worshippers on “20/20.” Everybody had sworn they saw one, saying they must have come up out of the mines. You knew you went too far in when you could see the highway. It cut through the woods like a tunnel, pushed up by some kind of monster from the hollows of the earth. The sound of jake brakes used to sneak down into the neighborhood. That highway is 476, the Blue Route. It starts just north of Scranton and slithers 115 miles down through the mountains to where it meets up with 76 and dumps you into Philly. In some ways, transplanting to South Philadelphia was our grown-up trip into the woods. It involved plenty of beer bottles and a whole lot of bike riding. The jake brakes are still there, shooting off of I-95. Now, they’re mixed with couples arguing in different languages, cats fucking, sirens, construction, planes, kids playing, people laughing and of course - that god damned ice cream truck that plays Beethoven’s 9th with a hip-hop breakbeat. We couldn’t have picked a better time to move to Philadelphia. Well, at least, for a group of punk kids from Scranton, completely content with being broke forever and spending all of our time in glorious basement shows. It was 2008. The housing bubble had burst. Banks were changing owners along with their jackets. News anchors talked of bailouts while presidential candidates piggy-backed on our hope for change. Everyone was broke. We dove in headfirst. The four of us scrounged up and borrowed enough for the first, last and security deposit for a rowhome on a side street in South Philly. There was a show somewhere every night. Not only was there a show every night but it was a free show, in someone’s basement or living room. So, really, there was a house party every night. Who could afford the bar scene? Looking back, I suppose it was a bunch of weird, loosely organized, filthy, angry jam sessions. An angsty drunken hootenanny where everyone thought JUMPphilly.com

they had it figured out. Looking at Philadelphia today, it’s hard to say we didn’t have something figured out. Their bathrooms were always broken. When they didn’t smell like smoke, they smelled like wet humans and beer. But they usually smelled like smoke. Between sets, you could hear the drunken chatter peppered with the unique sound of empty aluminum cans hitting the floor. Sometimes the cops showed up but they didn’t care. The show was usually over by then. When they did care and a house spot got shut down, a new one would just take its place. There was Titan House, Breakfast and Dessert, Terrordome, Cracker Factory, The Ox, Crystal Palace, The Banana Stand, Golden Tea House and of course the Scrantonian-run mecca that was Ava House. Just as we made our way out of the woods, a lot of the faces and names from these places have gone on to foster and fortify this city we now call home. Danielle Dubois and Tony Godino from Ava House have gone on to manage national tours. Nick Fanelli and The Guild have built a formidable promotion company of their own, not to mention running shows at venues like The Trocadero and Kung Fu Necktie. Others have started record labels and recording studios. And still more have taken their own bands and projects around the country and across the seas, giving a little bit of what we have here to the rest of the world.

What do we have here? What is “it?” Am I creating a cult of personality around what is essentially geographic coincidence? I think not. Sometimes you need to take a step outside to see what’s going on inside. In conversations over drinks with friends in the Midwest, to Italian radio interviews and magazine articles from the UK, the same theme comes up. “What’s it like to live in a city like Philadelphia?” everyone asks. “Where are these bands coming from?” You can’t know everything about something in the present without an idea of where it came from, and where it’s going. The legendary bands that paved a way for us in Philadelphia may not all still be around, but everything they did still curates the sound and scene. Meanwhile, hardly a day goes by that I don’t see a news article or hear about a new band from Philadelphia. Some are familiar names and faces with a brooding Philly music lexicon and some are college kids and transplants like us. As the highway in the woods at the edge of Scranton once served as a border checkpoint on my journey to today, it’s appropriate that the southern border of Philadelphia lies the airport. From there, the bands and people that have made this city such a unique mainstay of alternative music might start their journey to bring whatever it is we have to the rest of the world.


Photo by Jennifer Costo.

Inside Voices

"Do What You Love." Kississippi and Queen of Jeans are both having monumental years.

everyday for the last month.”

Kississippi’s sophomore album, Sunset Blush, was released in April in the midst of their tour with Beach Slang and Dashboard Confessional. The dreamy, emo-pop band has an all-new lineup with a louder, refined sound to match.

Nina Scotto (Queen of Jeans): I mean we are all super best friends, so we are always hanging out anyway. Even when we are not practicing, or you know working on band stuff, we are still just hanging out.

Similarly, Queen of Jeans just released Dig Yourself with Topshelf Records in March. The ‘60s-inspired, garage-pop quartet embarked on their own tour starting in late April, with Pianos Become the Teeth and The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die, before joining Oso Oso in late June. The two bands met for the first time and discussed everything from touring, new songs and their creative processes, to astrological signs, awkward Tinder stories, their dream band to be in and the best ways to get free food - Jennifer Costo while on the road. Allegra Eidinger (Kississippi): In the “More to Love” music video that you made, it seems almost like you’re a big polyamorous group. Would you say that being in a band is like being in one big partnership. And if so, how? Miri Devora (Queen of Jeans): Yeah. On our first tour, I remember waking up one morning and being like, “Oh, my god. I have been with these people

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So, I feel like we are all just in each other’s business all the time. It’s kind of like being in a relationship in some way. Miri Devora (Queen of Jeans): I mean, you pick up on all of their gestures. Nina Scotto (Queen of Jeans): And me and Mattie used to live together. We know each other’s little weird quirks and idiosyncrasies. Patrick Wall (Queen of Jeans): You have your moments when you aren’t really doing much, or you are recording or practicing sometimes, and then you are on tour and you are in each other’s space 24/7 for weeks on end. It can be this weird case of extremes. It's like any relationship with a person or people you care about, where you try to listen and you try to make it work. Things aren’t always easy. There's good and there’s bad, and you rely on the love you have for each other. Miri Devora (Queen of Jeans): We’re very romantic.


Adam DaSilva (Kississippi): This is extremely cute. What the hell. We need to be more cute. Patrick Wall (Queen of Jeans): Do you feel like you almost have a mission statement or a thesis in mind as you are writing songs or do you find that an arc happens as you are writing songs? Or like a theme?

Allegra Eidinger (Kississippi): So, do what you love to do. Nina Scotto (Queen of Jeans): There's a Star Trek quote in there. Captain Picard says it's possible to make no mistakes and still lose. So, even if you do everything right — have a plan, follow that plan — you could still end up in the red. I mean, you could take a risk and win, you know?

Zoe Reynolds (Kississippi): I feel like there is a theme throughout the new record, but it was kind of an accident. I think I just wrote it all in a period of time when I was having a shit time, and just kind of blabbed.

Zoe Reynolds (Kississippi): That’s what I’m trying to do.

And then it was like “Okay, we get it. You’re mad about something.”

Adam DaSilva (Kississippi): Sun, moon, rising please. Sun, moon, rising please.

Oh, we wanted to ask you what your signs are!

So, I think it just created itself more than me having a goal for it, you know? Jennifer Costo (JUMP): Do you - Queen of Jeans - have a different approach? Miri Devora (Queen of Jeans): I’d say it’s the same. You write songs and maybe you are kind of subconsciously trying to tell yourself something, but it's not really there as you are doing it. It’s more like “Oh, this sounds really fucking cool.” Zoe Reynolds (Kississippi): Sometimes I don't know what I am writing about until after everything's written. Miri Devora (Queen of Jeans): Just like, "Oh, there's a cool phrase there maybe.” That’s how this album was for me. I was also having a shit time, and then you just look back at what you wrote and it kind of makes sense and is cohesive. Jennifer Costo (JUMP): Speaking of, you both have new releases. Was there one specific part you are most looking forward to sharing?

Miri Devora (Queen of Jeans): I’m a Taurus. I think Tauruses are the fucking best but we can be really stubborn. Zoe Reynolds (Kississippi): We’re bitches. Miri Devora (Queen of Jeans): We're impatient, but we have really good style. And I think that I contribute all of those things to the group and my friendships. I’m a hard-ass person but I look good. Zoe Reynolds (Kississippi): Hell, yeah. That's what I'm saying. Patrick Wall (Queen of Jeans): You need that on your tombstone. Zoe Reynolds (Kississippi): I’m equal parts sensitive and bitchy. Mattie Glass (Queen of Jeans): I feel like I simultaneously understand you now because I understand her so much. And Tauruses, yeah. Love ‘em. Difficult to understand, but great.

Mattie Glass (Queen of Jeans): So, Miri wrote this album. I don’t know if it was intentional but the whole thing takes kind of the arc of a relationship. The last song is called “Space” and it's just her with her guitar doing like crazy swells, and there's a moment at the end where she says, "Maybe it just takes space,” and the whole thing just explodes.

Nina Scotto (Queen of Jeans): What’s a question that you guys as a band hate getting?

And I don’t know if it’s because we are dating or because I love everything you do, but that just resonates with me so much. We’re not breaking up, by the way. I think it’s just so relatable. I just feel it on a visceral level and I’m so excited for people to hear that song.

Nina Scotto (Queen of Jeans): How do you answer that?

Jennifer Costo (JUMP): What risks have you taken to get to this point in your bands’ careers?

Zoe Reynolds (Kississippi): What's it like being a woman in the music industry? That's my least fucking favorite question.

Zoe Reynolds (Kississippi): Everyone is going to tell you the same thing. It fucking sucks a lot of the time. I have to work harder than my male counterparts. Like, what else do you want me to say? People want to hear you talk about your shitty times, you know what I mean?

Adam DaSilva (Kississippi): I moved to Philadelphia to be in this band and I think that Jeremy did too.

I don't want to talk about the bad stuff. I want to talk about the good stuff. It’s like people want to hear you get upset. They want to hear something that you are angry about. And I don't want to talk about shit that I'm mad about.

Jeremy Probst (Kississippi): I did too.

Adam DaSilva (Kississippi): Just say it’s actually normal.

Allegra Eidinger (Kississippi): I can say that I did too in a certain way, even though it was sort of moving home. But it gave me more of a reason to come home for sure.

Zoe Reynolds (Kississippi): It's, like, so how often do you ask dudes in bands what’s it like being a guy in a band.

Nina Scotto (Queen of Jeans): I quit a full-time job with benefits to do this. I told my boss I want to go on tour, and they were like, “We’re not going to accommodate that.” And I said, “Okay, bye." They didn’t try to stop me, so I kind of figured there was no reason for me to stay anyway.

Mattie Glass (Queen of Jeans): We had one recently, which was from a female who had left a corporate job. [...] One of her questions after leaving a big job, because she was controlled by men, to do her own thing was, “So, you all seem like badass females. How would you respond to someone saying that you are vulnerable in your songs and your lyrics but you’re strong women?” And I was like, “As anyone would.”

Zoe Reynolds (Kississippi): Yeah, I have risked the rest of my life with financial safety, you know?

Like, anyone has vulnerability. It doesn’t make you weak.

Nina Scotto (Queen of Jeans): Yeah, I don't even know if that's guaranteed, no matter what path you take these days.

Allegra Eidinger (Kississippi): Vulnerability does not make you weak. It makes you stronger.







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