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ron gallo + carlie hanson + potty MOUTH + deeper




the team editor in chief gabi yost creative director jared elliott public relations caleigh wells & ashleigh haddock photography coordinator heather zalabak production jiselle santos social media madi mize editor ava butera

the contributors writers

alex hopkins, amelia zollner, amy paine, carissa mathena, carly tagen-dye, caroline rohnstock chelsea holecek, emily usallan, emma schoors, erin christie, hailey hale, katherine stallard, livie augustine, mallory haynes, maria kornacki, mckayla dyk


allison barr, athena merry, charlie spadone, lilly duran, liz rogers, megan briggs, sydney wisner


georgia moore, becca burroughs, sydney wisner, kendall wisniewski

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Welcome to Issue 12, Our Valentine’s Day Issue! We are 2 months into 2019 and we are so excited to have The Regrettes as our cover featuring Ron Gallo, Carlie Hanson, and Potty Mouth! Coming up in March we have a very exciting event that we will be sponsoring. At SXSW this year you will be able to find us at the Biker Gang Showcase on March 15th. This showcases features some very amazing and talented artists! Make sure you stop by for this free event (if you are in the Austin area) and say “Hey!” to any of the Heart Eyes Magazine members in attendance! We love you all so much and it may be repetitive, but I would like to also thank you all for being such dedicated readers. You’re making my dreams come true! Best,

gabi yost, editor in chief


interviews potty mouth the regrettes ron gallo carlie hanson deeper

16 30 50 56 68

reads history of anti-love songs king of the dudes review who is queen of the jeans? hunny show review

anti-valentines day party why the smiths are the perfect breakup band maggie rogers album review polyester zine and importance of zines

8 10 11 14 22 26 28 36

pop celebrating singleness kasey musgraves show review a short story celebrating v-day alone history of concert culture bad-ass bassists how headphones changed music self care playlist ariana grande teaching self love

photography 8123 fest maggie rogers the interrupers remember sports mitski boygenius

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40 41 42 43 46 48 54 60 66

Love Sucks: The History of Anti-Love Songs Amy Paine


Love songs have always been an incredibly popular part of music. Despite how ubiquitous romantic relationships are, we all think love sucks at times. If you’re single, if you’ve recently broken up with someone, or if you’re just not in the mood for romance, you’re not alone. A classic contrast to music’s focus on passion and love is the anti-love song trope in popular music. These songs present love and romance in a negative light. They can be empowering or miserable; either way, they’re perfect for Anti-Valentine’s Day. The 1960’s were a decade filled with love songs. Rather than the in-your-face breakup songs of later decades, songs from this time period tended to focus on the pain of losing a lover. If you’re going through a harsh breakup, consider listening to “My World is Empty Without You” by The Supremes (1966) or “Rhythm of the Falling Rain” by The Cascades (1963). There’s plenty of vintage tracks about getting your heart broken to choose from, though. Moving to the 1970’s, anti-love songs became more about empowerment and far less sappy. For example, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” (1978) doesn’t waste time mourning what’s past. Neither does “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon (1972), which, while not exactly an anti-love song, is definitely a good song for anyone dealing with a self-obsessed ex. However, songs like Nazareth’s “Love Hurts” (1975) bring a more emotional side to the decade’s complaints about romance. If you want something slightly less serious, try “Knowing Me, Knowing You” by ABBA (1975). 70’s music has something for everyone, and anti-love songs are no exception. Anti-love songs truly hit their peak in the 1980’s. Of course, none are more iconic than “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell (1981). “I Hate Myself for Loving You” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (1988) and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division (1980) come close, though. There’s also “Love Stinks” by The J. Geils Band (1980), which is perfect if

you’re just plain fed up with the Valentine’s Day season. A few more dramatic interpretations of the genre include “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League (1981), which is more about stalking someone than anything else, and “Careless Whisper”by George Michael (1984), which I’m not sure anyone can take seriously. Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” (1985) is another empowering song about getting over a heartbreak. The 80’s were a glorious era for anti-love songs and truly popularized the genre. The 1990s’ take on breakup songs started off with Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2U” (1990). Warning: this is another sad one. Bob Dylan’s “Love Sick” (1997) serves as the introduction to his award-winning album Time Out Of Mind, but stands just fine on its own. “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette (1995) has a “screw you” attitude that feels good to sing along with. If you simply don’t have time for love, “No Scrubs” by TLC (1999) is the song for you. Anti-love songs have a long history, but they’re still going strong well into the 21st century. The downside of love has become almost as popular a musical subject as the good side. Whether you’re into classic rock, country, or indie pop, there are songs out there that will fit the way you feel. Sometimes love sucks, but music, as usual, will be there for you.




by Carly Tagen-Dye

There is a revival of rock and roll in New York City, and Sunflower Bean is to blame. The trio has been a group to watch ever since they first appeared on the scene with their gritty, postpunk songs in 2013. King of the Dudes, their latest EP, is continuing to stir up the alternative charts since its release on January 25. Beneath its aggressive and angst ridden surface, however, this album reveals itself as so much more than rock music. The aftermath of the 2016 presidential election left many vulnerable and demoralized. Sunflower Bean is aware of that. Lead singer/bassist Julia Cumming stated in a Rolling Stone interview, “Women are fed up. The public is fed up. Shit’s really bad, and we needed a way to express that.” The band has been adamant in their activism, encouraging fans to vote and use their voices for good - that attitude is present and ingrained within every beat. Though only twelve minutes long, King of the Dudes still provides songs that hit hard. In the title track, Cumming unapologetically takes charge, repeating, “I know what I want and I know how to get it. I won’t let you stand in my way.” The sharp beat of drummer Jacob Faber and the scratchy buzz by guitarist Nick Kivlen only solidifies that “no-bullshit” attitude even more. In contrast, the taunting tone of “Come For Me’ lets you know that Cumming can stand just fine on her own. This track is the defying anthem of the record. As she sings, 10

“Do you really wanna waste my time/If you do, then to it right”, Cumming will make you think twice about messing with her, or any other woman, for that matter. “Fear City”, with its upbeat bass and riffs, is a liberating anthem of freedom. Reminiscent of early Blondie, it speaks to breaking loose from the shackles that hold us down. Fearlessness is needed to survive in a world that enjoys knocking you down - Sunflower Bean provides that feeling well. The gritty lo-fi of “The Big One” is similar to the kind once played at the back of CBGB’s. Cumming closes out the album with a raw and fiery scream that you can feel deep within. It is a declaration of power - an acceptance to the challenge of standing one’s ground in a corrupt and chaotic environment where resistance seems impossible. King of the Dudes is everything that we need right now. Each song drips with energy and angst, simultaneously bringing us back to the golden age of New York City music and amplifying Sunflower Bean’s own, individual sound. Most importantly, it serves as a microphone for the voiceless. Now more than ever, there is a need for music that empowers and reminds us of what we are capable of. Sunflower Bean not only provides hope for the future of rock, but for the future of all of us as well.



Written by Livie Augustine Out of Philly rises a four-piece band, radiating with talent. Queen of Jeans—consisting of Miriam Devora (Lead Vocals), Nina Scotto (Bassist), Matheson Glass (Lead Guitar), and Patrick Wall (Percussion)—is a band that rises out of the desire for female-centered music. After being tossed aside as an “extra” in their old bands, Devora, Scotto, and Glass decided to form a band centered around them. Born out of the taking down of Philly’s iconic King of Jeans sign, they introduce themselves as the perfect replacement: the Queen of Jeans. Titling their style as “Crockpot Pop”, Queen of Jeans is a perfect fusion of poeticism and rock. With their Cranberries-like vibes, they seem to be the perfect band to revive the iconic style of a 90’s hit. In addition, they bring a modern energy to fit the formula of a quality, 21st century band. Their first EP, self-titled and released in 2016, can be treated as a match to ignite Queen of Jeans’ flame. The EP is comprised of six songs, their sounds ranging from soft notes to rockheavy hits. It’s quite a relaxing compilation, the soothing voice of Devora can quiet a busy mind in mere minutes. Devora’s vocals are soft and pair perfectly with the jazz/rock-and-roll blend of their slow-moving style. It’s a perfect start to a discography—drawing listeners in with its style, and making listeners stay with its meaning.

Queen of Jeans is a ballad and bop machine. Covering emotions all across the board, they have something for everyone. The lyrics are captivating in each song. Specifically, the romance in lyrics like “‘Cause I know you pride / over some thoughts but keep in mind / they are your truth / and it attracts me in” from “More to Love” and “The purse of your lips as they break into a smile / can hit me in my spine, set my nerves so wild” in “Moody”. Queen of Jeans’ specialty is infatuation and sentiment, clawing at the hearts of hopeless romantics. The entirety of their debut album, Dig Yourself, is both dynamic and entertaining. Each song is uniquely intriguing and, as impossible as it sounds, they continuously top themselves. The simple, yet perfectly composed, guitar on Glass’s part couples with the steady bass and percussion held by Scotto and Wall respectively throughout the LP. This unity creates a calming sound to juxtapose the chaos of a human mind. Thankfully, the serenity of their style doesn’t affect their upbeat rhythm. Queen of Jeans has mastered creating art that simultaneously touches both the highs and lows. It would be a crime not to listen to Queen of Jeans. Not only do they deserve it, but any right-minded music fan deserves it as well. To discover music that can hit heartstrings and brighten smiles is a rare feat, so everyone should take advantage of having this wonderful band’s work at their fingertips. 11

8123 fest photos by liz rogers

It’s Not Not ‘Hard to to Believe’ Believe’ That HUNNY HUNNY Puts on on aa Fantastic Fantastic Show Show Hailey Hale


Winter chills can deter most people, but

try as it might, the cold can’t stop HUNNY fans. It was a particularly chilly January day when the band played at the Barracuda in Austin, TX, so when my friend and I showed up to the venue around noon we expected to be the only people there for a while. Shockingly enough though, fans soon began arriving only minutes after us despite the frigid temperatures! We were surprised at how many people were showing up early but it made sense, mainly due to the fact that Austin loves HUNNY and it seems that the band loves the city just as equally -- as guitarist Jake Goldstein stated “we play in Austin almost as much as we play at home, and it feels like it”. Standing in line surrounded by fellow fans, it almost felt like the cold didn’t exist. Everyone was excited for the night ahead, and there was a constant flow of conversation about what songs they might play or wondering how rowdy the crowd was going to get. The day was surrounded with the companionship that could only be brought about by people with a love for the same music. I asked drummer Joey Anderson how he felt about the queue and he stated “yeehaw, love our fans”. So with spirits high, and lots and lots of blankets, we all impatiently waited the remaining eight hours until the doors opened.

active with the crowd. Lead vocalist Jason Yarger is very notorious for including the crowd in all parts of the show but this night was next level -- he was letting people sing into the mic, passing his guitar around the audience, and dancing in the middle of the pit. When I asked him about how he felt about the show he said that he “fu*king loves Austin.” Overall the night was a wonderful mix of energy and passion, shared by both the band and the fans. It was everything you would expect from a memorable concert, and proves that although they are small, HUNNY is one of the greatest live acts of the 21st century.

When we were finally let into the venue, you could practically feel the excitement crackling in the air. Everyone was finally warm and ready to rock out with one of alternative’s coolest bands. The whole night was filled with amazing acts and great music, but nothing compared to the moment when HUNNY finally took the stage. As soon as they hit the opening chords of “Rebel Red,” the whole crowd was on their feet and dancing. Throughout the whole set there was an epic mosh pit, people screaming the lyrics, and generally just having a great time. When I asked keyboard/vocalist Kevin Grimmett how he felt about the crowd he called it “rowdy, but great.” As with all HUNNY shows, they put their entire beings into the performance, and it showed. They sounded amazing and were never off beat or out of tune, and as usual they were very inter-


POTTY MOUTH interview + review by amelia zollner | photos by lilly duran



ver the past few years, the Massachusetts-based punk band, Potty Mouth has had a concrete impact on the punk scene. The band released their debut album, Hell Bent in 2013 to widely appreciative reviews. Now, they’re back and better than ever with a new single “22”, the first from their upcoming album SNAFU, which is set to be released on March 1. A few weeks ago, I had the chance to chat with the band about the new single, their inspirations, and being labeled as a “female-fronted” band. Congratulations on your new single “22”! What is this song about and what was your inspiration behind the track? Abby: I wrote this song on my 22nd birthday. I was having a lot of feelings around 22 sounding like such an “adult” age because when we first started the band I was only 17. I felt like I had a reputation for being the “kid” in our band. I know it sounds ridiculous, but at the time I was worried that by turning 22 I would lose this novelty factor I had and would be seen as just another college-age young-adult in a punk band. Potty Mouth has always been so much more than that though, and it’s funny to think about now because people always assume we’re younger than we are anyway haha! Is there a story behind your band name? Victoria: Our old bandmate, Phoebe, thought of it while she was sitting on the toilet.

I know there have been a lot of people speaking out against the use of the label “female-fronted” because it seems to box females into an entirely different genre. Have people used this label to describe your band and how do you feel about the use of it? Ally: “Female-fronted,” “all female band,” “girl band,” etc. are all useless categories, as they tell you nothing about the actual sound of the music. Adding the gender qualifier as a prefix only serves to perpetuate the idea that men are the assumed norm in rock music and that there is something unusual or novel about women who play in bands. That said, I am not entirely against using the phrase “all female” as a descriptor of our band as long as it is accompanied by an actual attempt to describe the sound of our music using non-gendered language. What drew you guys to play punk music instead of any other genre? Ally: It just seemed easier than anything else. It’s a subculture that explicitly stands against technical conventions of mainstream music, so there’s no need to be a trained “musician” to be in a band - anyone can be in a band, and anyone can be a musician. Also, shows can happen anywhere - basements, houses, wherever. It’s DIY, man. We all met while we were in Western Massachusetts and the punk scene there was small enough any new band that sprung up was pretty much immediately booked on shows. It was the most accessible means to get our band in front of an audience from the very start of our formation.

Are there any particular bands you take inspiration from? Abby: I personally got a lot of inspiration from artists like Veruca Salt, Juliana Hatfield, Green Day, That Dog, Hole, Weezer, and Liz Phair. They’re all great examples that rock music can be weird and still catchy. They made me feel like it wasn’t totally impossible for someone like me to also write music. What’s your songwriting process like? Abby: I usually come up with a general idea for a song and demo it out at home, then send it to Ally and Victoria to see what they think before we jam it out at practice. What has been your favorite show you’ve played and what made it stand out to you? Abby: One of my favorite shows that I know was a huge highlight for all of us, was opening for the Go-Go’s in San Francisco. We played at the Fox Theater to a really great, positive, full house, and had so much fun during our set. Opening for the GoGo’s was a huge deal for us! I remember Victoria saying after the show, “that’s the most I’ve ever felt like a rock star,” and that was exactly how I felt too.


What advice would you give to anyone (especially girls) hoping to start a punk band? Ally: Never assume any man knows more than you. There is no “right� way to approach your instrument. Detach yourself from the voice in your head that second guesses your ability. Think of challenges as fun rather than daunting. The best part about playing music is there is always more to learn. Abby: Get some fun pedals and go for it!


After a few years without releasing music, the Massachusetts-based punk band, Potty Mouth is back on the map with a stunning new single, “22”. Potty Mouth released their first LP, Hell Bent, in 2013. Well-received by critics, it helped the band become a favorite of many punk music fans. Since then, they’ve released singles and EPs, however “22” is the first glimpse of their upcoming album SNAFU, as well as the new direction the band is veering into. “22” is a well-produced track that dives into the band’s uneasiness towards growing up. In an interview with the band, lead vocalist and guitarist Abby Weems attributed the song to her own fears about losing her individuality as she grew older. “I know it sounds ridiculous,” Weems pondered, “but at the time I was worried that by turning 22 I would lose this novelty factor I had and would be seen as just another college-age young-adult in a punk band.” The song is filled with growing pains, conveyed by insightful lyrics like “Don’t you think it’s strange? That number’s just an age but it changes you.” Throughout the song, Weems passionately repeats the line, “Don’t wanna wake up, don’t wanna wake up 22,” taking no detour to get to the song’s point: she really, really doesn’t want to turn 22. “22” seems much more polished than the DIY sound of the band’s earlier work, as it showcases cleaner sounding drums, as well as a catchy guitar part. The track is affectionately crafted, showing off every band member’s ability on their instruments. Drummer Victoria Mandanas decorates the song with punchy drum fills and a clever breakdown, while bassist Ally Einbinder italicizes it with a solid bass line that closely follows Weem’s upbeat guitar riffs. Weem’s vocals are the song’s centerpiece, though, and every lyric is sure to be sung back by eager audiences at their upcoming shows. “22” is a song that’s filled with angst and doubt. Providing a promising look into the sound of the band’s sophomore album, it’s catchy, yet powerful and excellently produced, and it gets its message across without getting lost in subtleties.



How to Throw an anti-Valentine’s Day Party Carissa Mathena

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and with

about making a statement about a holiday that un-

the holiday hot on our heels it is important to have

fairly sheds light on the single people of the world.

the know how to throw an anti-valentines day par-

So why not come together with all your single friends

ty for all of your rebellious needs. This party caters

and make a mockery of it all.

to the people who are single, the girls who want to just have fun with their friends, and the people who think the holiday is made up and that love should be celebrated every day. Whatever your stance is on the holiday, an anti-valentines day party is for everyone. Tip one: There can be no decorations with the colors red, pink, or white. This is a strictly black decor party. Black balloons, black streamers, and any and all things with skulls on them. That also goes for the dress code, drinks, and food. Some snacks include but are not limited to: dark sodas, sweets covered in dark chocolate, chocolate cupcakes, decorated sugar cookies with your own personal hatred for the holiday (my personal favorites being “You Suck” and “You Wish”) and cookies in the shape of broken hearts are all very solid choices. Tip two: It is incredibly essential to have a rocking playlist to set the mood. Your playlist can feature classics like “FU” by Miley Cyrus, “Breaking Up” by Charlie XCX, and a new modern favorite “Thank you, Next by Ariana Grande. This is your time to shine. I know you all have that breaking up playlist you have been waiting to play. So hook it up to your aux cord and let it shine. We want to hear all of the angst of women scorned. Tip three: A good source of entertainment for your party is scary movies. Nothing says “I Hate Love” more than watching numerous people die. The darker the movie the better. You could also try getting a pinata in the shape of a heart and take turns swinging. You will feel satisfied watching it break, and who doesn’t love getting some of the candy from inside. An anti-valentines day part is about having fun with your friends and celebrating that platonic love. It’s


r e i o g g e g r a s m

photos by caleigh wells

The Morrissey You,

The Less I Like You

Why The Smiths Are The Perfect Breakup Band Written by Emma Schoors


Debates around the relevancy and uniqueness of The Smiths won’t subside anytime soon, but there’s one thing a lot of Smiths listeners can agree on. The haunting vocals and seemingly endless amount of guitars playing at once should sound heavy or overdone. Even describing this sound makes anybody’s head hurt. The resulting sound isn’t abrasive, though. It’s almost light. Calling The Smiths’ music sad doesn’t sit quite right. There’s bands like The Cure who dive deep into black water when it comes to sad songs, but recreating the aroma that The Smiths had is near impossible because they’re not a sad band. They sound like laying on the grass, the sun beating endlessly down on your beaming face. The only catch is that it’s starting to rain and you have somewhere else to be. Select “new wave” listeners might call The Smiths boring or unoriginal, but it’s hard to argue against the fact that they changed multiple genres of music forever. Morrissey’s voice is either hailed as the voice of a generation or torn down as a toneless drag. The lyrics that adorn their tunes are usually admired and replicated, but sometimes even seen as cheesy and unauthentic. Whatever you might think of the band, they’re not your average “I care more than you do!” band with squeaky clean riffs and lyrics to put Shakespeare to shame. Sometimes the guitars ramble on, and so does Morrissey. Though no one ever really believed The Smiths weren’t a band that cared about anything. Just watch any Morrissey interview, ever. The man is a care machine.

Laying depressing lyrics atop airy instruments isn’t a new practice, but it’s not an adherence to the norm either. This is what makes for a perfect background for anyone going through something. Heartache might not be the right word, though. It’s more along the lines of “I know I’m not the only one hurting right now, but it sure does hurt a lot and I can’t decide whether I’d wish it on anyone else.” The entry songs that greet listeners with semi-open arms include “This Charming Man”, which is a confusing first listen. It’s like a beach casino that’s just gone bankrupt but still has the lights on and flashing. “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” is another one of these first listens. This one is more blatantly sad, but it still has the contrast of the ghost-like vocals and bright guitars. “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” is a beautiful, melodic song that blasts any irony that the previous songs showed. Though it’s easy to drown out the lyrics in summer-esque sounds, it’s easier to drown them in depressing acoustics. One thing for sure is that sometimes the best sad songs are the ones that sound like the calm before (or after) the storm, and The Smiths are that calm. Bands have definitely come a long way since the emergence of post-punk, and The Smiths execute the genre perfectly.


Maggie Rogers

Heard It in a Past Life: The voice we needed at just the right time Caroline Rohnstock 28

Maggie Rogers seems to have appeared out of nowhere, with songs that strike a chord in many of us with their relatable topics and catchy beats. After the release and immense popularity of her single “Light On”, I found myself anxiously awaiting a full length album with her hauntingly beautiful voice. Truth is, I found myself at 11:59 waiting for her album to drop and from the first verse of the first track, I realized I haven’t felt this connected to music in a while. The thing about Maggie is that she’s so real, so relatable, that her songs hit so close to home. wHer lyrics seem to hold a real, raw truth, one that the younger people of our generation can feel in their bones. It’s lyrics like, “people change overnight, things get strange, but I’m alright”, and “I’m still dancing at the end of the day”, that manage to give insight to her emotions, that many of us have felt before. She succeeds in addressing in a way how we all feel: stuck in between where we are and where we feel like we’re supposed to be, going through major changes in life, falling apart and picking yourself up, falling in love, and even the fact that people can change and hurt you when you least expect it. I’ve found myself with this album on repeat, each time finding something new that strikes me. The track list seems to be expertly put together, a flow of stories to take off shuffle and listen to one by one. Her sudden rise to fame, and also simplicity of just loving music and writing can be heard through every song. Maggie Rogers is a powerhouse, a threat to any young artist in the industry in regards to her pure talent, and humble attitude. She is someone that is going through emotions that so many people have experienced, and is able to convey that in a beautiful melodic way. She is a stunning, talented artist who is true to her sound. Streaming services label the album “alternative”, but folk and acoustic sounds creep their way in here and there. Maggie has been vocal about her folk influences, and that is definitely apparent in songs like, “Burning” and “On + Off”. Her voice is astounding, able to cover a wide range along with those airy high notes that sends chills down one’s spine. The title of the album refers to her vision and feeling of her past life slipping away during her sudden, overwhelming rise to a viral sensation.

This did not seem to be in her plans, but with the way she’s writing and performing these songs, Maggie Rogers is definitely going to be around for a while.





r g e e t r te e h


nlike most rock bands that are coming up at the moment, The Regrettes bring a different flair and opinion to the table. The band, which is comprised of Lydia Night (vocals + guitar), Genessa Gariano (guitar), Drew Thomsen (drums), and Brooke Dickson (bass), writes music detailing the state of our current world, insecurities about oneself, not feeling like having a platform or voice, and even just about having a good time with friends. Though the lyrical content seems simple enough, it’s perceived as uniquely them because of their infectious melodies and chemistry between one another. It’s like a breath of fresh air seeing them bounce off of each other’s energies in a live setting. They make fun music, which can be seen on “California Friends” and “Hey Now,” they draw influence from the riot grrrl and punk genres which appear obvious on “You Won’t Do”, and write meaningful material on tracks like “Poor Boy.” If you haven’t listened to The Regrettes prior to reading this interview, I suggest you do so after. The Regrettes have immense potential and I am certain they have a long and successful musical career ahead of them.

I had the opportunity to catch up with them before their Chicago date of their headlining Advanced Placement Tour to discuss activism, inspirations, and music!

Interview + Photos by Ava Butera You’ve only been on tour for a few days, but how does it feel to be headlining the Advanced Placement tour? How have the crowds these past few nights been receiving you? Drew: Really good. Lydia: So good! We’ve only had two shows so far and both have been amazing. I know that “Poor Boy” was inspired by the recent events of sexual assault and people getting away with it, like Kavanaugh and Brock Turner. When did you start writing this song, in response the the events? It’s so powerful. Lydia: I started writing it right after I heard about the Kavanaugh stuff. I mean it had been a thing for a bit, in my brain. I had always wanted to kind of put my energy towards. That was definitely the final straw where we were all like, ‘what the fuck?’ and it all just happened really naturally. We weren’t looking to write a song about this. Genessa was just playing a riff and I walked in the room and immediately started singing the song. Genessa: It happened within like less than 10 minutes. Drew: Almost. Who/what inspires you guys to be activists? Could be events or other activists! Genessa: I honestly think it’s our own personal frustrations I mean, that’s just me personally. I think it’s just seeing other people’s frustrations as well. Lydia: Yeah. It’s just a natural thing. I think that it’s also that we’re surrounded by a lot of powerful people. I think we all can agree that our moms are really inspirational for us.

Drew: My sister is a big one. Lydia: Yeah! Drew: She’s a young woman. HEM: How old is she? Drew: She’s 16. That’s a big one for me. Genessa: My whole family, they’re all women so I look at all of them and I’m like ‘oh my gosh, there’s something going on.’ Because between everyone’s stories and things they deal with just in life and just the topic of being a female or morso not identifying as a male and hearing those frustrations growing up really inspired me. Brooke: I think it helps to hear friends’ stories or just other people you meet because sometimes it’s easier to not recognize your privilege. Like yeah, I’m a female, my family consists of mostly females but I still recognize that we’re privileged in certain ways. And just hearing the experiences of people that I know, it’s eye-opening because this is a real person that I know and they’re experiencing something that I have never had to or may not ever have to face myself.


How has it felt to play so many cool festivals? I saw you guys at Lolla and it was great! Your set Tropicalia looked insane from what I saw! Lydia: There have been so many! But they’ve all been amazing. Genessa: We really haven’t had any bad experiences with this touring run. How do you feel both your sound and you as people have evolved since the release of Feel Your Feelings Fool!? All: Oh my god! Lydia: It feels like an eternity ago! I think that there’s a lot of you know, pieces and things about the writing and the music that will kind of exist, I think? But overall we’ve just changed so much, as human beings. Genessa: We’re at such a good point in our lives where every year we evolve because we’re still relatively young and in the scheme of life. So like every month, I feel like we’re evolving like two years! Lydia: It’s crazy. Genessa: I think it’s made me much more confident. Lydia: Yeah and touring ages and changes you. Drew: Yeah it does, a lot. HEM: How so? Lydia: Well, when you’re constantly-HEM: I mean you’re not home.

Lydia: Yeah, you’re not home and you’re very isolated from certain things and you learn what’s important to you and I think it keeps you really grounded. Like meeting people and talking to people puts a lot of things into perspective. I’ve just grown so much as a human.


Genessa: You just have to know how to have a relationship without having any kind of clinginess at all. This goes for any relationship with any person, not just romantic. Like friendships and my relationship with my parents. Lydia: You see the world too. Drew: It [touring] just speeds up normal life too. Like, in normal life, you don’t go to a show every night. But on tour you do. So every lesson that you learn at a show that you play over the weekend, you learn like five times faster. Genssa: You have to take things as they come. Lydia: And constant problem solving! HEM: What happened in particular? That problem solving came up? *Laughs* All: *Laughs* Lydia: I mean for one, our van being stolen. Like someone hopped in the driver’s seat and drove off. HEM: Where was that? Genessa: In the UK! In Birmingham. Lydia: But that’s just like one thing. I can think of so many others. HEM: What did you guys do in that situation? Lydia: We fucking dealt with it! We got a new van and kept going. Genessa: We didn’t miss a show. We played that night. Drew: We loaded in prior to our van being stolen too. Lydia: We got a new driver. Genessa: We had our gear but we had to get all new personal belongings. Lydia: All new clothes. Drew: They took our suitcases. Lydia: But that’s what you do and I feel like I’m a better person because of it.

Drew: We went home and got rid of shit! Lydia: We purged everything. Genessa: I was like, ‘I don’t have anything! But let me get rid of everything else!” Brooke: I mean I’m brand new to this, I’ve never toured before and already I’ve realized that this is helping me to be more present. Because with the work that I do, I teach and stuff. I teach music! But I have a lot of people that I communicate with and places that I have to be and I have to juggle a million things and it’s stressful to have that many things depending on you. So I was realizing today that I’m not caught up my typical like thinking about the future and getting anxious. I’m not anxious because I’m living moment to moment. Lydia: You have a tour manager that’s guiding you through. That’s why when people are like ‘have you been to this city or that city?’ I don’t know because I’m so in the moment that I go somewhere and play the show -- and playing, I’m never more in the moment than during a show. Brooke: If you’re not present when you’re playing on stage, you’ll mess up. You have to be present, but I think that’s such a cool thing. What musicians originally inspired you to want to pursue music full-time? Lydia: The Ramones were my first favorite band, I mean we’re talking like two or three years old. Then The Donnas concert that I went to was what really set it off for me. Joan Jett too, was huge. I’m talking like toddler Lydia.


Brooke: My dad is a big musician. He plays guitar and sings. So he was really into Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan all that kind of stuff. He would like get little groups of his friends together and play the songs and harmonize with them. And he said that when I was a baby I’d just sit there and stare at them wideeyed the entire time. So I think that’s what first got me into it. He taught my sister and I how to play guitar. Then my mom played piano, so she taught me that when I was young. She still plays. We always had lessons. But I started getting into Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, and Avril Lavigne-Genssa: Oh my god she’s [Avril Lavigne] a big one for me as well! Brooke: Also, when I saw School of Rock and saw the girl bass-player, I was like ‘I want to play bass!’ and it’s all history! Genessa: My mom actually has similar influences to Brooke’s dad. Like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Band, so I totally grew up on that. My first favorite song was “Walk On the Wild Side!” I forced my mom to replay that song over and over again. I liked the ‘doo doo doo doo doo’. It was just the best! All that music. Classic rock was the first type of music that I found and listened to because that’s just such an easy intro. It’s easy to find and everyone’s parents likes it! I loved it. Drew: Probably Led Zeppelin. The drumming thing that I got into. My parents both did marching band, so that’s probably where the drumming came from. I liked pretty much whatever my parents listened to like Led Zeppelin, my mom was really into Neil Diamond and that stuff.

When you were first starting out as The Regrettes, I know you guys were young, Lydia especially. Did you guys ever receive criticism based on that, or age discrimination? Or were you positively accepted off the bat? Lydia: Less criticism and more just focus on that [age]. I guess a little bit of judgement. A lot of people have a hard time going to see a band that has been so publicly talked about as teen band, teen singer, whatever. Genessa: People ostracized us for a little bit. Lydia: Yeah, people kind of thought of us as a novelty but most times their minds were changed afterwards. But going into it, I feel like people had this preconceived opinion on which was fucking annoying. Now, that we’re all technically adults, it’s better! When and where did you film the music video for “California Friends”? I love the vibe the video evokes. Genessa: Nashville!! Lydia: Yep, Nashville, not even in California. Genessa: It was the timeline. We had to be in Nashville when we were going to film it and we were there, so it was perfect! HEM: Who filmed that for you? Lydia: Claire! Claire does a lot of our stuff, she’s the best. HEM: Where was that runway in the video? Genessa: It’s an abandoned airstrip. Drew: It’s a park now. Genessa: People kept roller-skating past us and we had to pause. Drew: There were a ton of people there watching us. HEM: Was that filmed on a camcorder? It looked like it!

Drew: It was filmed on a Handycam, which is like a smaller VHS. It’s from like the late 80’s-early 90’s. Genessa: It’s what all my home videos were filmed on. Drew: Same! Like I have that camera in my house Which band would you want to release a Split EP with? Drew: Oh man! Wow. Wallows! Genessa: Yeah that would be a cool band to do a split EP with! HEM: You guys should do it! Genessa: I’ve never heard of a split EP before. HEM: Really? Drew: No, me either! HEM: Split EPs kind of became a thing and were popular when punk music started coming out. Like Green Day has a bunch of Split EPs with other punk bands, Fall Out Boy, Blink-182. Lydia: So is it like one song on each side? HEM: No, it would be like two on each on a 7in and then the bands would sell it at DIY shows. Genessa: We did a side-by-side with Tegan and Sara. Lydia: That was just us covering it though. Genessa: Kind of a similar concept! Genessa: I do think SWMRS would be cool. Drew: I think sonically that would work better. Should we expect any new music from you guys any time soon? I mean, you’ve released “Poor Boy” and “California Friends” pretty recently! All: Yes! Lydia: Be patient! Stuff will come really soon though.

Polyester Zine Tackling the Unknown & The Importance of Zines Erin Christie


Polyester Zine first came to my attention via

the release of their eighth issue late last year, featuring CupcakKe and Polly Nor, among other individuals defining and re-cultivating the art sphere. Upon reading, I was introduced to the world of Polyester: combining stunning visuals, top-of-the-line fashion, and intriguing entries skewed through a feminist lens, I was immediately hooked. “Polyester is a self-published, intersectional feminist fashion and culture publication aiming to bridge the gap of URL cyber-feminism with the IRL world,” their website describes. Through their articles via their blog—ranging from “A Queer Anthology of Rage,” which explores a spectrum of emotions from a queer perspective, to “Pigtails & Pink,” an article about how Baby Spice’s girly image “inspired a fight back against the male gaze”— Polyester’s contributors make an effort to not tread lightly on important but also topically relevant issues and trends. The girl zine encapsulates the parts of the underground that are often kept in the dark— the marginalized, the misrepresented, and the misunderstood—in a neat, aesthetically-appealing package, and that’s what tends to draw readers in. Aside from the more commercial sphere of print publishing that might only focus on the tip of the iceberg in terms of popular culture and what matters in today’s world, Polyester scrapes the bottom of the barrel, uncovering projects, ideas, movements, and people that deserve recognition and their own two cents. A key example arises in their feature on indie-shoegaze band, Dreamwife in Issue 4: “As women, we aspire to show all sides of ourselves, females aren’t supposed to be super photoshopped and flawless, because who wants another perfect little pop star?” they argued. Many popular publications would want you to believe otherwise, and wouldn’t blatantly express the contrary.

the pattern couldn’t be changed, she could at least interrupt it and combat the problems clearly present. Zine culture is rising as a prominent practice as of late, Heart Eyes being a perfect example. Like Polyester, zines create a sense of community and a platform where voices that are ignored in popular culture can be showcased in full. Aside from exhibiting key understated minds, zines also allow young creatives to realize their aspirations to contribute to print in terms of the zine’s construction. In an article written by Kristian Porter of Northern Kentucky University entitled “Praise the Zine,” he notes that because of censorship running rampant throughout the media sphere, creatives might feel trapped within a box that doesn’t allow them to pursue their total artistic potential. With zines, though, “it’s not about the money, it’s about the message”— they’re made with the intent of spreading a message that might not be popularized, but needs to be heard. In the case of Polyester, in straying from the “norm” and pursuing ideas about feminism, femmehood, and more, they create an outlet for creators who want to express such, and readers who haven’t been able to see such in other media. Whether in regards to Polyester and their niche outlook on the world or Heart Eyes and our mission to discuss music, for fans by fans, zines are an incredibly important part of content creation and distribution from an artistic lens.

“We read a lot of other zines that inspired us to remain in print as a zine, as opposed to turning into a magazine,” Polyester creator, Ione Gamble said in a 2016 interview with Stack. She cited publications such as Bitchcraft by Lu Williams, Skinny Girl Diet’s zine, Babes With the Power, and “back issues” of Cheap Date as reminders of how “powerful self-publishing can be.” Noting how mainstream channels of publication oftentimes ignored the creative works of people inspired by “online culture,” Gamble figured that if


THE INTERRUPTERS photos by megan briggs

POP’S NEW TREND: CELEBRATING SINGLENESS It’s the 21st century and we have no more tears left to cry By McKayla Dyk To be sure, the past is peppered with a few loveless anthems like one of the best bops of the 90s - NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye.” But now, unlike ever before, we hear men and women alike (mostly women) proclaiming their singleness from the rooftops. Although singleness tends to be pitied in social circles, not so in the music scene. Modern pop culture is increasingly exalting the individual. Celebrities and artists encourage us to cut all the “toxic” people out of our lives for the sake of our mental health and satisfaction. Of course we still acknowledge the pain of losing love. Ed Sheeran’s “Happier” will always be a tearjerker. But modern music is changing the game. New lyrics dive deeper into heartbreak and explore different stages of grief and loss. Artists like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato move past the tears into a new sense of self. Some tracks from these pop powerhouses wail with devastation. Some seethe with anger. But more recently, they boldly proclaim a never-before-seen confidence -- whether real or fabricated, we may never know. Bold and bad has replaced sweet and sensitive at the top of the charts. Artists no longer beg for the adoration of another - they love themselves. Could this be linked to the third and fourth waves of the feminist movement? This would explain the predominantly female demographic of the antilove/pro-single subgenre. Songs like Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” and Grande’s “7 Rings” step out of the female heartbreak trope and fully embrace a me-first attitude. Whether you agree with the messages of these hits or not, you can’t deny their success. Although tracks like these glorify revenge and plunge over the edge of narcissism, our culture is loving them. Music no longer singles us out (pun intended) - it celebrates us in all of our single glory. And it feels good. The singles of the world aren’t all teardrops on guitars and smeared mascara. They’re working and having a pretty good time on their own. And they’re not arguing with someone over where to go for dinner. Today’s music recognizes that. And it slaps.



Puts on Memorable Performance at Royal Oak Music Theatre By: Maria Kornacki

This show took place on Thursday, January 10th 2019 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Seeing Kacey Musgraves live on her “Oh What a World Tour” for her second show of the new year left me humming “High Horse” on the way home.

Let’s face it, in the 21st century, country music gets a bad rep. The genre is pretty polarizing when it comes to who listens to stereotypes surrounding its typical southern sound and lyrics, contributing to the hesitancy to give modern country a chance. Even some people that listen to country don’t always want to admit it. However, there are some songs you can’t deny listening to. For example, “Chicken Fried” by the Zac Brown Band. I know the words. I know several Zac Brown Band songs, actually. Along with a few other songs from the genre. However, I’ve grown to realize that at the root of most country songs is storytelling.

The giant fan backdrop on stage lit up magentas, purples, blues, oranges, and a rainbow of colors to match the tone of each song. ‘Rainbow’ is also a good metaphor for the different styles of music she entertained the crowd with. Ranging from those well older than me to people my own age, I noticed how diverse the crowd was – proving how broad Kacey’s message can be conveyed.

You can call her country, you can call her pop, but I call her talented. It takes a true artist to experiment with their own style. Kacey Musgraves’ fourth studio album Golden Hour was a new musical direction for Kacey as she found a sonic balance between classic and contemporary country. Perhaps this is where the eclectic fan base comes from. However, she certainly didn’t let go her of her country roots on this effort. She just added a little more groove and modern pop sounds such as, synth pads. If you were keeping up with the 2019 Grammy Awards, you’d know she took home four awards for Golden Hour, including Best Country Album and the prestigious Album of the Year. Musgraves’ glimmering voice and free-spiritedness is what initially drew me to her. The glimmer quickly turned into a glamorous ball of confidence radiating from an artist I hadn’t paid much attention to prior. A noticeable glow in Kacey’s new sounds and lyricism was a reinvention I didn’t see coming. Inventiveness appears to be where Kacey Musgraves earns most of her respect. Seeing any artist in concert brings the music to life.

Kacey Musgraves started out as pure country on her first two albums, meaning we got to hear several string instruments and acoustic guitars during her live performance as well as new vocal sounds like the waviness from a vocoder. She even threw in a more tropical sounding song to keep us all on our feet. Most people seemed to be into all of her older songs as well as her current. Stripped-down piano ballads like “Mother” and “Rainbow” sounded powerful live. Especially, the heart-wrenching “Space Cowboy”. During the show, Kacey took a moment to move closer to everyone by standing towards the front end of the stage with her band in a half-circle around her. She introduced each one by stating where they’re from and a little fun fact about them. They then played a couple more string-heavy songs. This part of the show made the performance feel even more intimate. One of the Highlights of the concert included a lively cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”, accompanied by Musgraves’ opening act, Natalie Prass. The concert ended with a high energy performance of “High Horse”, a fan favorite and a perfect way to end a night of strongly sung songs. 41

a story with a terrible ending by Carissa Mathena

as we hold hands walking in town i can’t help but marvel at everything you are. the soft wisps of hair that slightly curls at the nap of your neck. the way the sun hits your eyes so perfectly that they almost seem clear. the way your mouth quirks to the right when i can say something even remotely funny through all of my nerves. you happen to be one of the best things to walk into my life. or maybe i should say crash seeing as you tripped over my chair leg in the library. seeing that wide smile paired with those unfairly pink lips made me understand just how much trouble i was in.. now looking back at it, i still hadn’t known i’d find a home in your arms and a soundtrack within each heart beat. today, we’ve decided to wander meaninglessly around the art museum downtown to find stories within the stories. what could those swirls mean? what could those two colors paired together say? this was a favorite past time of ours, and just like the gentleman you are, you held the door open for me as the fresh warm air brought life back into my frozen limbs. “you know it’s my turn to pay right?” I whisper finding the museum silent today. you shook your head as i already had known your reply, and just as i thought you whisper “i will never let you pay


for our dates” in reply. As we wander i come to a particularly eye catching piece. it’s almost as if the artist used every beautiful color they could find and pieced them together on one canvas. i cock my head to the side trying to envision a story worthy of such a masterpiece when i feel your body come up behind me. “you know i always thought of you like this. so breathtaking and yet so mysterious. I knew when i saw you that day in the library whatever story you had, i wanted to be a part of it. even if it was fleeting, even if i lost you. i just wanted to be in your light just for a second.” with tears running down my cheeks i turn to find you already staring at me. “why do you love me” you ask taking a deeper breath than normal to hold back the tears. “because air had never felt so light as when i first held you in my arms.” you reach out to hug him but find the air suddenly empty. with a fright, you open your eyes again to find yourself in your bed, alone. you finally remember it had been almost a year to the day when you had experienced that piece of art together. the one he bought you that hangs in the living room. he had drifted like the wind in winter. cold and unforgiving, but not as surprising as you once had thought it would be.

Valentines Day


The grand charade of picking up flowers, chocolates and bears bigger than life has become a main part of February 14th. Schools that celebrate often sell “Valentines” anonymously; you know, like the ever so isolating candy canes that are distributed to everybody but you during Christmas. Valentines themselves are paper disappointments with heavy candies attached. So what’s the point? What’s the scheme of things? I’d love to ramble about corporations benefiting off the relationships hanging by a thread in early February, but that’s besides the point. Buying pink and red merchandise is just a common denominator during the Valentine’s season, just like pretending to be Irish is the denominator during St. Patrick’s Day. It’s stupid, but so is the Electoral College, and that’s still there for some reason.

Being single is the best possible way to spend a Valentine’s Day. Without the stigma surrounding it, what sounds better than drowning in chocolate and watching romantic comedies until the break of dawn? This might be your Saturday night, but it can be the official spokes-experience for the dreaded V-day. The pressure that surrounds Valentine’s Day is ridiculous, and so is the holiday. Expecting your significant other to suddenly stop cheating because of all the decorative hearts around is usual, though not backed up by literally any evidence. “I love you! Show you love me back by spending February 14th with me.” What kind of cult is that? Spend your February 14th surrounded by pizza. Or kale, if you’re into that as a comfort food. Watch all your favorite movies and blast the music your partner used to make fun of you for. You know, because he listened to Mac Demarco like it was life support. Bottom line, make it your day. Be your own paper disappointment with a heavy candy attached.



photos by athena merry




Since the dawn of the human race, music has played a very important part in our everyday lives, whether it be the earliest form that was used to communicate or to the present where we listen for leisure and enjoyment. Music has and always will play a huge part in the progression of history and civilization, but have you ever wondered how we have progressed from cavemen singing stories to huge organized events where thousands of people gather in one place to watch a show? The history of live music is a long, meticulous journey, but it shows how we as people have progressed while also showing what we need to improve on to make a better tomorrow.

music events that people could access, but that all changed with the creation of jazz. Jazz music was popularized in the 1920’s and was known for its African American roots, and because of this connection, the concerts were nowhere near as prestigious due to the turbulent race issues occurring in America at the time. Jazz concerts were for everybody in the early years, and it unequivocally changed the way that live music was perceived. People now saw that concerts could and should be for everybody, so by the time rock music came into the world in the late 50’s tickets were affordable, and with that came a large community of people who could come together in support of an artist.

While some people may think live music and concert culture have no effect on history, it actually gives an in-depth look into the way a society works and how the people within that society interact with trends. When you think of specific years in history, most likely you’ll think of a song or festival or something monumental that happened in the music world. While pivotal events like that are very important, I want to look at the smaller details that make up concert culture; ticket prices, fans, acceptance, for these small components are what people think about when they think of concerts, maybe more so than the music itself.

It’s no secret that rock ‘n’ roll changed the world forever, but it was only until the “creation” of rock that concerts started becoming what they are today. Elvis Presley was the one who kicked off the ‘for the fans’ mindset in the music industry by playing smaller venues, performing the fan favorite hits, and meeting fans regularly after performances. This strengthened the relationship between artist and viewer which caused the creation of the ‘fangirl’ term, and popularized fandoms. This was due to the fact that concerts were now a love shared by everyone around the world. People now felt like they could create a community in which the one driving force was music; they made friends with others at shows and bonded with their peers over musicians. Live music was now becoming a culture for everyone, and while this was a great step toward inclusivity in the music world it also brought about some big issues.

Civilized shows started in the 1800’s, with symphonies so great that people would travel from all across the globe just to be in attendance. These symphonic shows were an indicator of class and wealth. Meaning not just anyone could access these events, and there were so few a year that it was more of a socialite gathering than anything else. You either had to have a high enough ranking to be invited or shell out huge sums of money to be able to attend, and while that is a far cry from how concerts are today, this was what popularized live music. For a long time, symphonies were the only live

By this time, concert culture was becoming a huge deal, and was continuously growing throughout the late 60’s-80’s, but what people didn’t account for with the rapid growth was safety -- mainly for the fans. After The Beatles played the first stadium show in the 60’s, attendees started to question how safe they truly were at these events. With thousands of people packed into one room and tons of heavy equipments, it is a feat that there were little to no injuries at that first show,

but it didn’t always stay that way. Safety started to be called to the forefront of concert organizers minds when The Rolling Stones played a free show at the Altamont on Dec. 6, 1969, where thousands of people were injured and a young girl was killed due to the riotous crowd and lack of formal security. This event changed the way venues and festivals looked at security forever, and while there are some freak accidents that happen today, they aren’t as easily avoidable as those that happened in the past. Today things are looking pretty good for concert culture, the community is close and very accepting, tickets are relatively cheap, and safety is something most people don’t even worry about when attending a show -- however, these are just my assumptions of the present day, and I wanted to hear from my peers to get their feedback, so I conducted a poll that was open to concert-goers to ask their thoughts on important issues within the concert world. Based on my findings in the survey, I was shocked to discover that many of the younger concert attendees that participated began attending shows as children and often felt safe at shows. Whereas the older demographic of the poll didn’t begin attending shows until they were well into their 20’s, mainly due to the lack of security at rock shows in the 70’s and 80’s. An important factor that I wanted to include and touch upon was regarding the pro’s and con’s of how the internet has affected live music. Although the internet has allowed artists to increase their interaction between fans online, by providing a platform for them to announce tour dates and places to buy tickets online, the internet does come with some negatives. A huge idiosyncrasy of all ticket purchasers is hands-down ticket resellers. With the ease of buying tickets at home, resellers have had no trouble buying copious amounts of

tickets and selling them for ungodly prices, and with the extraordinary fees that these sites slap on at the end, once a show has sold out, the resale tickets are almost unaffordable. Though not everyone deals with resellers and scalpers, fans have also begun to face a pricey new trend amongst bands, skip the line passes. Artists are starting to favor selling add ons with their tickets which allows attendees to show up right before doors and get in first, despite the fans that had been waiting all day. This has not sat well with concert-goers, as most cannot afford the passes and feel as if they are missing out on opportunities that should be free, and it’s making me question if this is all going full circle and if concerts are going back to being a show of class and wealth. While most things have changed for the better, and many people enjoy concerts and the experience that it allows, we still have a long way to go with ticket pricing and inclusivity in experiences with bands. Although, most factors that go hand-in-hand with concert culture such as the friends that people make at shows, and the explosive yet safe energy of the crowd are the glowing outliers. We have a long way to go until reaching perfection, and we may never get there, but concerts are more enjoyable than ever and I can only hope that it continues to change for the better.




2018 was the year that I finally gave in to my

musical yearnings and picked up a bass guitar. While teaching myself how to play, I sought out female bass players to learn technique and gain inspiration from. Although it was expected, I was still rather disappointed by the lack of representation. Though lead singers are often the members receiving the most attention, bass players are the glue holding a band together. Despite keeping the rhythm, they tend to go under the radar - female bass players even moreso. We have the legends, like Talking Heads’ Tina Weymouth and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, who will forever be top tier and notable within the alternative music scene. However, there are a ton of kick ass female bass players today who are quickly becoming ones to pay attention to. Holding their own in a male-dominated group, or breaking new grounds with their own projects, these ladies prove that they have the skill and willpower to stand their ground. They exhibit incredible showmanship and natural musical talent, stepping away from any past conceptions people may have had. Nowadays, that is all the more important to see. While it is definitely not a complete list, here are seven incredible bassists to keep an eye out for. With their playing and attitude, they are sure to impress, as well as keep you rocking out for a long time to come. JULIA CUMMING There’s no one quite like Julia Cumming - bassist and lead singer of New York City’s Sunflower Bean. Being the backbone of the group, she adds a deep pulse to songs like “Wall Watcher” and “Twentytwo”, all while singing in her signature rasp. As she sways and plucks her strings, one thing always comes across clearly in her performances: Cumming loves what she does, and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about that. Watching her jump into a sold out crowd, clad in a prom dress and heels, to mosh was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life. ESTE HAIM The eldest member of sister trio HAIM, Este is one who can hold her own. Inspired by the great ladies of bass, she’s developed her own unique style, keeping the beat of the group’s catchy pop rock anthems. One of the best things about Este, however, is her signature “bass face”- a visual portrayal of just how passionately she gets into her music. She is unafraid to be her true self onstage, letting loose and going as hard as she possibly can. With her grace and skill, watching Este play is truly an experience in itself. NICOLE ROW Row is one of the newest editions to Panic! At the Disco’s live band, taking over for Dallon Weekes, and is doing just fine. It takes some serious skill to be able to handle the breakneck basslines of songs like “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” and “Dancing’s Not A Crime”, yet she tackles them like a pro. It’s hard not to be infatu-

ated as she struts around the stage in heels every night, shredding like no tomorrow. Aside from playing in Panic!, Nicole is also a proficient jazz bassist, playing alongside names like Miley Cyrus and Kaya Stewart. Is there anything that she can’t do? ADÉ MARTIN Hinds is an old favorite here at Heart Eyes, and their bassist Adé Martin is the icing on their lo-pop, Strokes-inspired cake. She keeps the group steady and bouncing, the beat to songs like “San Diego” and “The Club” enough to make anyone want to dance. Martin plays with both flair and a sullen sort of quietness. She is intriguing to watch play, moving through the group’s setlist with ease. Paired with Hinds’ classic garage rock feel, Martin’s basslines pay tribute to those groups of the past, while tying in her own modern twist as well. PENNY PITCHLYNN Since the release of their fourth album Bad Behavior last year, Oklahoma band Broncho has been back on the rise. Their bassist Penny Pitchlynn, however, is one to watch on her own. Describing herself in a She Shreds interview as “rough around the edges”, Pitchlynn does not shy away from a lo-fi, rock and roll sound. Her gritty, yet intricate, pickwork is balanced out by the buzz of her amps. I speak from experience that one can feel her basslines pulsating with every fibre in them. Penny’s playing pops out in the band’s indie-fused songs, keeping everyone in line (no pun intended). EVA CHAMBERS No list would be complete without the fantastic Eva Chambers of LA’s power trio Pinky Pinky. Starting in the group as a teenager, Chambers has a type of control over her instrument that is far beyond her years. Her fingers move fast on songs like “Ram Jam” and “Margaret”, yet steady the rest of the band on slower tracks, like “Hot Tears”. Chambers plays with ease, cool and calm onstage, making her complex parts look a lot easier than they actually are. Combined with the rest of the group’s unarguable skill, Pinky Pinky is a band that everyone needs to see at some point in their life. HATCHIE Australian singer-songwriter Harriette Pilbeam, better known by her stage name Hatchie, stole my heart last year in Brooklyn. With her dreamy, early 2000’s pop songs, kept steady with her soothing playing, it was near impossible not to be swept away. Hatchie plays and sways with confidence and flair. Paired with her gentle voice, it’s a combination sure to have you falling in love as well. Hatchie is currently in the process of recording her first full length LP - one that I know I’m anxiously awaiting.


Ron Gallo is Here to Revive Rock ‘n’ Roll Interview by Ava Butera Photos by Sydney Wisner Though it seems to have been dying down for a bit on the outside, the garage rock and even punk-influenced scene is very much alive. Notorious names like Cage the Elephant, The Black Keys, and The White Stripes, to name a few are all trailblazers in this scene. And more recently, newer names have begun to pop up such as Twin Peaks and The Frights. However, I believe that one of the most unique names in, not only this genre, but in rock music in general at the moment is Ron Gallo. Previously known for his short stint fronting the garage rock band, Toy Soldiers, Gallo quickly moved on to release his stellar and infectious solo debut, Heavy Meta. Currently, he’s riding out his touring cycle for his sophomore effort, Stardust Birthday Party, yet another superb collection of music. Although many claim to believe that the genre of rock ‘n’ roll is dead, this can’t be true as long as artists like Ron Gallo are consistently producing genuinely good rock music.

HEM: I’ve been a huge fan of Heavy Meta and the styles on that album. Though the sound has changed a bit, I also am particularly keen on Stardust Birthday Party too. Was the shift from that garage-rock, southern-influenced sound to the punk/post-punk tendencies intentional? Or is this just showing how you’ve matured as a musician? Ron Gallo: First, thank you. Second, the only real intention is to always make what I like, and that is constantly changing. If I keep making the same record or even same style of music I’m lying to myself, because I know I am all over the place and always evolving, so moving with that is best way to stay honest. I have been seeing that along with the pink and yellow themes on Stardust Birthday Party, you’ve been incorporating those colors often into your outfits and even social media. Do you think it’s important or even beneficial to have an aesthetic that accompanies the album you’re touring with? RG: It’s beneficial in the way that I love those colors, especially together, so I made the record and my whole life those colors. Who are some artists that you were listening to when writing and recording the album? Did they impact how the sound ultimately turned out? RG: John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, Talking Heads and a lot of my friends bands and bands we have played with over the years. Things always seep in, so I’m sure they all impacted it in some way but not always in an obvious way. The song “Love Supreme (Work Together!)” is a more direct homage to Coltrane. Do you prefer working as a solo artist or being in a band? Do you feel like being solo enables you to have more creative freedom in a sense? RG: I think a good mix. Being a solo artist gives total freedom in the major creative aspects - vision, songs, how things look, sound, are presented to the world - and I think that should come from one mind. It starts there and then you bring that to life with other people. But when it comes to touring, which we do a lot, it becomes a band - they have total freedom to write and play the parts they want and we work on the show together and share everything.

I know you’re a recent(ish) Nashville transplant. Do you feel like living here has given you more musical opportunities? Different inspirations? RG: I wouldn’t say I’m inspired musically by being here at all. But I enjoy my life here so that helps. I also work with a label here and it probably would have been a different thing if I didn’t live here so that helps too. Any Nashville musicians we should be keeping our eye on? RG: The Minks, Concurrence, Microwave Mountain, Kat Milk Blu, Ian Ferguson, TWEN, Erin Rae, Coco Reilly. I probably forgot a bunch of things I will remember as soon as I send these answers over and to all of them, sorry, I O U. You’ve booked slots at festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, ACL, and Gov Ball just to name a few. But when you’re not playing to thousands of people, it also seems like you’re always touring clubs too. Which setting do you prefer? RG: Clubs. I think being somewhere between one and five feet from peoples faces is better than 50. A bit of a fun one: what would be your dream festival lineup, if you had to create one yourself. What would you call it and where would it be! RG: Torn between two ideas, leaning towards the second one: I’d have one main stage - Noname, Yellow Days, Parquet Courts, Caroline Rose, Tyler, the Creator. Then an all jazz stage with Henry Rollins doing spoken word between. And then a third stage of all my other friends’ bands. No two bands playing at same time, just a constant rotation. There would be three 25 minute periods of silent meditation throughout the day and then close it out with tibetan singing bowls/chanting from midnight to 2am. It would be in my backyard so I could hide whenever and sleep in my own bed and would have like these high tech flying Japanese sleeping pods that each guest could summon when ready for bed. Also it would only be limited to 100 guests. I would probably call it “Really Nice Festival”. Lastly, what should we expect from you in 2019? I mean, besides this killer tour with Post Animal! RG: Constant breathing. West coast with Post Animal. Then over to Europe for 2 months. Then we’ll be home all summer writing and recording a new record and see what happens.




For most music lovers, it’s hard to go even a second without music pumping through their ears. The monotony of silence is painfully drab and long walks to class or drives in the car, are impossible to get through without the powerful punch of their own personal soundtrack flowing. If you’re one of these people, you are not alone. As of 2017, 87% of people cite headphones as their main way of listening to music and if you’re a college student like me, it’s hard to imagine a walk on a college campus without them. Since the development of the 'Walkman’ — a portable music player with headphones — in 1979, headphones have become a staple in the bags and pockets of music listeners all over the globe. Headphones and earphones are hailed for their convenience and the privacy they allow music listeners, in contrast to the portable transistor radio that reinvented music in 1954. While headphones serve an important purpose in personal music-listening, headphones also alter the sound of the music, unlocking a whole new layer to the music we love.

Music goes through many layers of production to wind up in our phone libraries and on our playlists. Whether that be in the planning of preproduction or in the mixing of post-production, the music we listen to is complexly constructed and layered to achieve the desired sound. This means that the medium at which the listener listens to music affects the way the music is received. Unlike standard Bluetooth speakers or all-encompassing speakers that echo out at concerts, headphones do something to music that traditional music listening platform like radios, can’t do. The proximity headphones have to the eardrums allows the music to be more amplified, showcasing the highly detailed layers of a track. Using headphones grants the listener access to more intricacies in the music, enhancing and deepening the listening experience.

Sometimes when music is played through a standard speaker, the volume can affect the clarity of the track. When the listener uses headphones, however, this creates opportunities to take more liberties in a song, crafting an immersive world for the listener to enjoy. Not only does this amplify the layers of sound in the tracks, like hearing a twinkle in the back of the chorus or a record crackle sprinkled behind the bass, but the use of headphones also changes the sound and the feel of the music. Creating a formidable wall of sound in the listener's ears, the effect isolates the parts of the track, constructing a new world of listening all in its own. In my own experience, I typically prefer listening to music without headphones when I don’t have to. I like my music loud and proud without fear of hearing damage. But on some days, Iâ’ll want to feel a song in my ears and make an event out of musiclistening that can sometimes feel so typical. Headphones can mold a mood, an attitude, and even a moment. Headphones also affect our perception of sound location. Playing with left and right ear volume, headphones heighten sensitivity to location of certain sounds like guitar riffs, backtracks, pop sounds, and the like. The balance between the left and right ear of headphones affects where we place sound in our ears, intensifying the localization and sharpness in the aspects of a song. By using headphones, each ear bounces the sound of the track, altering the the harmony between the left and the right earphones. This tactic enhances the sensory experience of listening, evolving the sound to a certain mood or tone, critical to the track. Whether you reach for your earphones or a pair of standard headphones when you want to relish in the sounds of your superbly curated music taste, remember that headphones aren’t just a vehicle to hear your favorite tunes. They’re a musical enhancer and a important tool in your music-listening arsenal that has revolutionized music as we know it. 55

Carlie Hanson Interview and photos by allison barr

18-year-old Carlie Hanson dominates the stage when performing her pop, hip-hop inspired tunes. The unexpected teen hit from Wisconsin opened for Troye Sivan on his latest North American Bloom Tour, hyping the crowd up with her energetic performances and instantly gaining new fans nightly with her catchy songs. You can listen to her latest single, “Numb” now. I had the chance to sit down and chat with her during her recent run with Troye Sivan and Kim Petras. You’re an 18 year old female artist. I’m 20, so I really understand the young, female artist thing. In what ways do you feel like your age or being a girl has helped your career? Do you feel like it gives you an advantage? In what ways has it been frustrating? Carlie: I’m an 18 year old girl, fresh out of high school, and from a small town in Wisconsin. I think being young definitely has its advantages when it comes to my career. It’s so easy for me to connect with my fans..they’re just like me. It feels like they’re more my friends than fans because we’re so similar. I know you’re from Wisconsin, a state you don’t normally hear of pop stars arising from. What was it like growing up as a musician in Wisconsin? Do you think it was harder to breakthrough the scene with where you grew up? I often feel this as being from Portland, Oregon, and not New York per say. Carlie: I grew up in a town called Onalaska, which has about 16,000 people. There wasn’t really any type of music scene where I grew up. The only performing I ever did back home was some open mic at a coffee shop, and then a few talent shows when I was younger. It was very hard trying to get known as a musician, but thankfully social media made up for that. It’s only been a little over a year since really started the professional side of your career. What has been the most surreal thing that has happened to you in that time? Carlie: The most surreal thing that’s happened to me in my career so far was probably playing at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Right when I got to the venue, I went up to the green room and saw “Kurdt, ‘91” written on the wall. That’s when I found out that Nirvana, one of my all time favorite bands, had played at the same venue I was about to play. That was a very special moment for me.

One of your songs was in the recent Netflix hit, Sierra Burgess is a Loser’. I think it’s such a special movie with a great message. How did this happen? What drew you to this project? Was there any personal connections to it? Carlie: I write songs with Leland (who scored the movie and executive produced the soundtrack) a ton and, outside of that, he’s one of my really good friends. As soon as I heard the music going in the movie, and saw the film, I knew it was something I wanted to be part of! What was the first thing you did when you found out you were touring with Troye Sivan? Carlie: I think the first thing I did when I found out I was touring with Troye, was scream and then I told my mom and then we screamed together! Is this your first tour? What is something you’ve learned on tour that no one told you about ahead of time? Carlie: I’ve learned a few things on tour. 1) get lots of rest 2) drink lots of water and tea 3) don’t get sick 4) don’t get sick 5) don’t get sick What has been your favorite city so far on tour? Carlie: I loved every city for different reasons, but I think I enjoyed San Francisco the most. What do you think of Portland? We’re known for being such a weird city, is it the weirdest you’ve seen on tour so far? Carlie: Portland wasn’t weird to me at all! Lol. It actually reminded me a lot of home and I loved it. What can we expect to see from you next? Carlie: You can expect an EP coming out soon for sure :) Can’t wait to announce it!



A Collaborative Playlist by Alex Hopkins

Ah, Valentine’s Day! For us loners or single folk out here, it can seem like the worst time to be alive. In the more conventional sense of the day, where platonic relationships are the main focus, it can be easy to feel alone, without anyone besides friends or family to truly call our own. And while others are out to the town, dining in restaurants, or slow dancing next to a heated fireplace with Mazzy Star or Ella Fitzgerald playing in the background, the idea is that we are stuck alone with a bottle of champagne and boxed chocolate from Walgreens. However, times have changed, and the conventional way we see Valentine’s Day has changed significantly. In a time where people value themselves and self-care run rampant more than ever, days such as this all-valuable holiday can feel like Cupid themselves striking your own self and gifting the all-important face-masks or bath bombs: and of course, there’s always a soundtrack to those kinds of nights. With this in mind, I asked fellow Heart Eyes writers, friends, and others the songs or albums that make them feel loved, the kind appreciable for days of lightness as such as this.

An Awesome Wave by Alt-J /

Amelia Zollner [Writer for Heart Eyes Magazine] “I would pick An Awesome Wave because Alt-J has been my favorite band for years! I always go back to that album whenever I’m up really late writing. It’s so nostalgic and I never get tired of it!”

Misguided Ghosts by Paramore /

Hailey Hale [Writer for Heart Eyes Magazine] “[This] song has helped me through some shit and every time I listen to it I get overwhelmed by emotions in the best way possible.” 60

Heart Eyes by COIN / Jiselle Santos [Production Manager for Heart Eyes Magazine]

“I say that [“Heart Eyes”] because that “cool sounding” song became to what this magazine is today. I created the magazine with a bunch of friends that I’ve met at concerts then formed it into a creative outlet to show our love and appreciation for music! And each time I’ve heard this song live, I have always been with one of my best friends that I’ve made because of COIN. For example, the last time I saw COIN was March 2018, and Gabi Yost [Founder of HEM] flew down to see COIN with the Heart Eyes Magazine staff. Another time would be when I heard “Heart Eyes” at ACL and I was with Ashleigh Haddock and Caleigh Wells [Public Relations Coordinator of HEM and Co-Head of Photography HEM, respectively], literally holding their hands and singing the song as they performed it. However, that day was the first day I realized that I wanted to do something in music.

Rivers and Roads by The Head and the Heart / McKayla Dyk [Writer for Heart Eyes Magazine]

“I started listening to them in college when I first heard “Rivers and Roads.” It really hit home because of the lyric “My family lives in a different state.” I was 14 hours from home and it just hit the nail on the head for me. But as I got older and made so many great memories in college, that became home for me. After graduating and moving back to my original home state, I now hear the lyrics and think about how I have two places full of wonderful people I call home.”

Hard Times by Paramore /

Logan MacKinnon [Co-founder, Head of Social Media for CHERRY FUNK MAGAZINE]

“For me personally, seeing Hayley [Williams] deal with things in her life that are much more difficult than what I deal with reminds me that I can handle what I’m dealing with too.”

I Know A Place by MUNA /

Ky Kasselman [Photographer for Heart Eyes Magazine]

“I Know A Place” is a song with such an intense and heartbreaking origin story, but the song always puts a smile on my face and gives me hope that not only will I get better, but our world would get better and that there are always safe people and safe spaces.” 61

Appointments by Julien Baker /

Bella Peterson [Photographer for Heart Eyes Magazine]

“The first time I listened to “Appointments,” I had just lost a lot of friends and slipped back into a really dark mental state that I hadn’t been in in a long time. I basically adopted the lyric “maybe it’s all gonna turn out alright and I know that it’s not but I have to believe that it is” as a personal mantra and it became such a safe song for me and gave me back a lot of the hope that I had completely lost. Thank you Julien Baker for my life.”

Dakota by Steel Train /

Camryn Montebruno [Photographer at CHERRY FUNK MAGAZINE]

“I listened to that song [“Dakota”] walking to the bus stop every single day for a while when I was 16. The idea of things completely falling apart, but when you get to the other side of it all everything is fine and some of the things that made your life difficult will be a good thing has really resonated with me.”

Cheez/Declutter by Illuminati Hotties / Justin Matthews [Writer at CHERRY FUNK MAGAZINE]

“They just remind me that things will be okay if you take care of yourself, and also the simplicity of their melodies feel like a warm hug!”

Marry Me Archie by Alvvays /

Georgia Moore [Writer at CHERRY FUNK MAGAZINE]

“Mine is corny, but also, it’s such a happy song and I feel like that’s something we miss sometimes. Just... truly happy music about being around someone you care about and everything is good. Also, it’s a very warm song for me because I listen to it on the bus to my studio a lot.”

Let us know what are your own self-care love songs! Happy Valentine’s Day! 62


erhaps one of the biggest controversies among music fans of all genres occurs when an artist changes up their overall sound with a new project. Whether the change is drastic or subtle, issues are bound to arise. Some fans dig the new sound, while others boycott it, making accusations that the artist is “selling out” to appeal to the general public. However, the latter could not be further from the truth for the majority of musicians who alter their sounds with each era. Without change, there is no growth. This applies to everything - especially music. If artists never adapt to new styles and techniques that emerge within the creative processes of producing music, they will never evolve. Without evolving, artists stay stagnant and may have a hard time keeping their audiences engaged in their music for years to come. “I think change is success. If you don’t adapt to new trends or your personal growth then there’s no way to contribute to the career that you’re in,” said Heart Eyes Magazine writer, Carissa Mathena. “Change is consistently positive even if it may not seem that way at first, but without changing you get stagnant in your creativity.” Though it may be hard for some music fans to grasp, artists are people, too. Like their listeners, they will endure life’s joys and hardships; consequently changing, learning and growing as individuals. These changes will ultimately reflect into their music. “I think it’s a natural thing. Especially when bands and artists start out young, their sounds will age with them and their audience. They start to experience more of life and interpret it differently as they age both musically and mentally,” said Heart Eyes Magazine writer, McKayla Dyk.

The maturing of an artist’s sound not only allows them to grow, but allows their fans to change their own tastes by opening their ears to new production and lyrical styles. It’s a mutual partnership; fans grow older and evolve along with their favorite artists. Listeners should recognize this and appreciate rather than reject the change in sound. One main reason select fans become irritated when artists switch up their sound is their fear that the artist is turning into something that they’re not. Some may argue that certain artists have drastically changed sounds to distance themselves from their past work. Though this has been the case for a select few artists in the past, most change in attempt to break free of traditional music styles; trying their hardest to stay true to themselves while doing so. Music is about taking risks. If a certain artist releases two or more consecutive albums that sound exactly the same, what are they really contributing to music as a whole? Anyone with the ability to create multiple albums that are cohesive yet sonically different from one another is an immensely talented artist who strives for their specific genre to evolve as a whole. Change is natural and inevitable. Without artists taking risks by changing up their sound as their careers progress, music as a whole would never have grown to be where it is today. Whether you’re a listener who appreciates it or one who rejects it, be sure to recognize when an artist changes sonically. Keep an open mind when listening to new projects and take into account just how big of a risk your favorite artist made to produce something different and exciting. Like the rest of us, artists require room to grow - and we all know that growth is a result of change. Support artists through the evolution of their sound and allow them to authentically be themselves. 63


photos by Charlie Spadone

How Ariana Grande Taught Us to Love Ourselves Written by Chelsea Holecek


hen we get knocked down, we’re taught to get right back up without any question otherwise we’re considered needy, overemotional, and irritating. We’re used to the stereotypes being hurled at us whether or not we ask for it. Ariana Grande can attest to that. The 25-year-old pop star has endured a rough past few years. Twenty-two of her fans tragically lost their lives in the Manchester bombing during her Dangerous Woman Tour in 2017, her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, whom she dated for almost three years, died last year, she ended a whirlwind engagement with ex-fiance SNL’s Pete Davidson, and most recently she turned down an appearance at the Grammys due to conflicts where she claims to have had her “creativity and self-expression stifled” by Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich—he accused Grande of last minute preparations that led to her being unable to pull together a performance. On top of that, Grande has dealt with a never-ending struggle with anxiety that she’s been openly vocal about. The added amount of pressure on the singer has been taxing but somehow she manages to find the silver lining in the most difficult of situations. Even though Grande just experienced one of her best professional years yet, the topic of her love life seemed to always be at the forefront. After her and Davidson became Instagram official, the privacy Grande held in high regard, slowly withered away. For some onlookers, their romance might have been a bit too intense but from any average perspective you saw two people who cared for each other, entering into the honeymoon stage. People laughed when they broke up—the ‘I told you so’s’ lining up one after one, ready to state their case on how they knew it was over before it even began. But no one seemed to consider the pain that possibly hid underneath the jokes. Soon after, Mac Miller passed away in a tragic drug overdose that left many questioning how Grande was faring. Then suddenly, it turned into her cross to

Grande’s biggest hit to date “thank u, next” showcases a strength that’s so palpable, it inspires a drive in us to be as carefree as she seems. It’s an ode to her exes, thanking them for the lessons they’ve taught her. She searches deep within herself to capture a light that brightens the road home. It’s easy to feel inferior when your love life struggles. The self-loathing begins and you’re well on your way to another crying session. But Grande is the ideal reminder that you don’t need the formation of a relationship to determine your worth. Self-love is an endless journey—we grapple with body image issues and being vulnerable. It’s a path we uniquely grow from and Grande is the perfect role model for it. She wants us all to make it to the end of the tunnel even if we’re crawling there. After going through every hardship imaginable, Grande maintains a certainty about her that fans strive for. Of course, she’s like every twenty-something trying to figure out where she’s headed—it’s a tumultuous cycle only early adulthood beings could understand. But she’s traveling down a road that’s bursting with a warm comfort, reassuring her and all her fans, we’re going to make it. One of Grande’s latest singles “7 Rings,” is outrageous—she brags about her wealth, something she’s earned all on her own. She reminisces about the hardships she’s suffered through but notes it hasn’t made her bitter—a true testament to Grande as a whole. She’s dominating the music world but also allowing her personal growth to shine. While most listeners can’t quite possibly relate to a millionaire boasting about the many luxuries they possess, they can find comfort in feeling redeemed after withstanding life’s hardest qualities. Breakups or lack of relationships don’t define us—we realize our self-worth on our own accord. Grande instills that idea in us without even trying.

bare, with diehard Twitter stans calling out her breakup as the reason behind the late rapper’s death. She gave herself some time to regroup and then she was back at it again, releasing a string of singles that revealed a powerfully independent woman who found hope despite her worst nightmares.


an interview with


Photos + interview by Carly Tagen-Dye

I recently had the chance to catch up with Deeper, a four piece alternative rock band from Chicago, before their last show of tour with The Districts. Comprised of Nic Gohl (guitar/vocals), Mike Clawson (guitar), Drew McBride (bass), and Shiraz Bhatti (drums), Deeper is a group to keep an eye on. Their debut, self-titled LP, released last year, has received great reviews, and helped the group build a loyal following around the country. If you’re a fan of gritty and intricate tunes you can really dance around to, you’re sure to fall in love. Aside from their extraordinary musicianship, the guys of Deeper are down to earth, and just plain fun to hang out with. 2019 is sure to bring only great things for them. 68

It’s really nice to meet you guys! How has tour been so far? Any especially memorable moments? Nic: I had a guy have me sign his arm so he could get it tattooed. Really? That’s a milestone - you know, having somebody get your name tattooed on them. Nic: Yeah, but he had no idea who we were. I just met him at the Pike Place Market in Seattle. I started talking to him because he was giving out free samples, and he asked me what I was doing in Seattle and I said, “I’m playing a show.” And he says, “Oh man, can you sign an autograph for me?” And I’m like, “Sure.” So he brings out a piece of paper and makes me sign it and then he’s like, “You know John Fogerty?” and I’m like, “Yeah, I know John Fogerty!” and he’s like, “Well, I met him. And I had him autograph my arm and I got it tattooed. So I wanna do you one better. I’m gonna have you sign your name above John Fogerty’s signature, and I’m gonna get it tattooed tonight.” Does he just collect people’s signatures? Nic: He’s obsessed with autographs, yeah. So there’s a Nic Gohl tattoo somewhere out there. That was pretty memorable. Shiraz also got a bottle thrown at him. Shiraz: Oh yeah, I forgot about that. It happened in Seattle. I was leaving our friend’s apartment and these junkies were trying to go in to do junkie things. I wouldn’t let them in, and he was like, “Well, fuck you man!” and he took his bottle and chucked it as hard as he could. It shattered against the wall next to me and we were like,

“Oh my god!” Then, he just looked at me and ran away. But yeah, watch out in Seattle. There’s a lot of junkies throwing bottles. I’m glad you’re okay! So, congratulations on the debut album. It’s definitely one of my favorite releases of last year. I know it was a long and tiring process trying to get the thing out into the world. How do you feel your music has evolved since then? Nic: Thank you! I think it felt more treacherous during the process, but now that it’s over, it feels good to finally have something out. I’m glad the way that we did it is the way that we chose, because it makes the record sound different. The evolving sound that we tried to make during the duration of the record wouldn’t have happened if we went in and did it in one session. It was through recording and figuring out what we wanted to do as we went, so it made it a lot more interesting that way. Drew: I think the next record will sound more complete. Not that the first record doesn’t, but it will sound a lot more unified. Nic: We figured out what we wanted to do. Drew: Yeah, we know much more what we want to get out of recording the second record versus the first one. One thing that I loved about the record was how driven it was by these intense, yet relatable, feelings of anxiety and disconnection. Is that something that you feel has become a staple of your music, or was it just a theme of that record in particular? Nic: I think it’s definitely a staple of a lot of the lyrics and stuff. I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be continuous into our next record.

Some of us have pretty bad anxiety, and you don’t just get over it overnight, you know? So it’s a good way to release that kind of stuff. I’d say it drives it. Shiraz: Yeah, it’s a repeating theme in our new stuff as well. I feel like we’re learning how to show anxiety through our instruments and our sounds too. Speaking of sounds - it’s really cool that there’s not really a definitive one for Deeper. You’re kind of all over the place, which makes for a really interesting tracklist. When you go about writing a song, do you find yourselves driven by certain influences or do you just go with the flow and see what happens? Drew: It’s very much go with the flow. The process is driven by throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks, and then throwing other things at the wall, and by the end, we have some songs. Mike: All of our songs are just like us - a freaking stunt project of patchwork. Nic: We also share a lot of the same influences, but at the same time. we also listen to different things. Like, Shiraz is really into world music, and I’m more into hardcore stuff. We all kind of mix it up a little bit. That’s so cool to hear. Your lyrics are also extremely perceptive, both about the world and your relationship to it. Has putting those feelings into your songs been a challenge? Nic: When I write lyrics, I just go off the top of my head. So it’s basically whatever comes first. I’ve never really been a person who write things down, so sometimes in our live set, I change it. I think it’s kind of like going with the flow, like how we write everything else.


Usually it’s like we’re writing a riff and then I figure out some sort of rhythmic thing to do with the vocals, and just base it around that and start filling in things until I think it sounds right. Mike: For, like, two years, he just wrote songs about his girlfriend, so we told him to stop doing that eventually. Drew: It probably opened up his perspective. Shiraz: Haha, yeah. The anxiety after that! So, stepping away from the heavy-hearted questions - you guys have a pretty big year coming up. Congrats on SXSW, by the way! What else can fans expect from the future? Drew: Thank you! Next week, we’re playing a benefit show for Planned Parenthood in Chicago with Jeff Tweedy and a bunch of other really cool Chicago acts. Nic: Yeah, I could see more touring and some more music. Shiraz: We’re working on our record right now and have seven songs tracked. Our goal is to finish it up by the spring, but we don’t know. We’re just working hard at it. Nic: Hopefully, this one won’t take two years this time. We’re also trying to get sponsored by as many things as possible. So, if you’ve got any soda companies you know, or Taki’s - we’re trying to get all that. Drew: Taki’s would be tight. You could definitely get your name out there with that. Do you guys have a dream festival line-up? All: Oooh, that’s a really good question. Mike: Alive or dead? Can they be any musician? HEM: Yeah!

Nic: I have one thing that’s not about a band. The festival would need to be in the fall, so it’s not fucking hot out. I want it to be cool - maybe seventy during the day, and then it drops down to sixty five, and people can get their jackets on. Shiraz: Sunny. It has to be sunny. Nic: And maybe only, like, ten bands per day. It’d be, like, three days. Drew: Ten weeks! Nic: Haha, yeah - a month long festival. Ten bands every day. HEM: Yeah? Who would you guys like to play with? Shiraz/Mike: Fela Kuti. Nic: This new band that we’ve been listening to - Crack Cloud, which are sick as fuck. Mike: Bad Brains. Drew: Talking Heads. Mike: Neil Young. Nic: Sonic Youth. Mike: Television. Nic: Joy Division would be preferred to be a headliner. Mike: Death Grips. Nic: Devo. Robyn has to be there. Drew: Oh yeah. Nic: I love Robyn so much, so Robyn. Probably Kendrick Lamar too. Mike: Yeah, definitely. The Hecks. Nic: The Hecks would play, yeah. Drew: That’s a pretty good fest so far! Sounds like a solid line-up. Kind of bouncing off of that - do you have a favorite city to play? Nic: We really like New York. I like Philly a lot, and Seattle was super cool. Drew: Seattle’s great. San Francisco was really cool. Nic: Chicago’s our home, so obviously we love playing there.

Do you have a favorite venue in Chicago? Mike: The Empty Bottle! Nic: Yeah, the Empty Bottle for sure. When we were starting this band, we would play there. Shiraz: It’s a nice dive bar with a lot history to it. They took us under their wing and really helped us out. Since then, we’ve been there probably at least once a year. Nic: Yeah. One year we did at least six shows there. Mike: I feel like we’re there every other week. Nic: Yeah. It’s a cool fucking place - you should go. Haha, I’m in school right now, but hopefully one day! Kind of a weird question, but if you could write the score for any movie, what movie would it be? Nic: Mike, you can take this one. Mike actually does a scoring kind of thing with another friend of ours. Mike: I’d really like to soundtrack El Topo. Predator 2 would be sick. Nic: Jodorowsky’s Dune, if it ever came out, would be really cool too. Mike: I’m really influenced just by like horror scores in general. I’m a big John Carpenter fan. Awesome. Lastly, is there anything else you would like us to know? Nic: It’s Drew and Shiraz’s birthday in March, so buy them a drink at South By. Drew: Haha, yeah. Shiraz: Buy me a drink! Mike: We’re very poor. We have no money. Shiraz: Yeah, get us a sponsorship! Nic: Buy our records please!

Profile for Heart Eyes Magazine

Heart Eyes Magazine / Issue 12