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the team founder gabi yost head of interviews caleigh wells head of graphic design jared elliott head of photography heather zalabak heads of production management jiselle santos & ky kasselman heads of social media ashleigh haddock & madi mize heads of writing victoria taglione & peyton rhodes music coordinator brandon quiroga

the contributors writers

carissa mathena, katherine stallard, hope boissoneault, ava butera, angela smith, emma schoors, ej jolly, quinn dycus, yasmin ettobi, erin christie


sydney king, samantha schraub


lindsey foust, jessica whelihan

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Two months into 2018, and a lot of things have happened in the music industry already. The Grammys, a lot of new albums, and the announcements of some upcoming tours and festivals. I am personally excited about the Arctic Monkeys coming back to the scene. This issue features Bad Suns, Jet Black Alley Cat, and many more bands. We hope your year is going great so far, and we look forward to the future.

gabi yost, editor in chief


culture call me by your name review diversity in indie culture how to guide: journaling the basics of music production self-made artists being an “idol� what to NOT where in the pit the influences of fleetwood mac breaking out of your comfort genre what music means to you pros and cons of streaming platforms new year new us

8 9 12 13 24 25 28 29 32 33 36 37

interviews bad suns 16 jet black alley cat 38 bad suns fans 48

photography milky chance the drums grouplove phoenix vesperteen the lemon twigs x ambassadors

10 14 26 30 34 44 46


CALL ME BY NAME YOUR a heart eyes review of

by quinn dycus


ne of the hottest independent films thus far, Call Me By Your Name has taken the industry by storm. Set in 1983 in Italy, this coming of age story beautifully articulates the romantic relationship that develops between young Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and his father’s intern, Oliver (Armie Hammer). The striking aesthetic shots in this film set it apart most noticeably, each and everyone complementing the emotion in the particular scene. With stunning visuals of the Italian countryside and fruit trees lining the grounds, a sense of old-timey romance engulfs the viewer. As for the performance from Timothée and Armie, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The electricity and tension between the two from their first encounter to the heart wrenching end makes every heartbreak and passionate look shared deeply felt. Every sensual scene is done with beauty and grace, portraying nothing but desire and affection.


Some might say Call Me By Your Name is limited to LGBTQ community audiences, but as Elio discovers himself through Oliver as his first love, I feel as though anyone can connect to the complete confusion and utter obsession he experiences throughout the film. Complementing the excellent performance, I have never come across a soundtrack that accompanied a film so undescribingly perfect. Mirroring Elio’s talent for piano, many tracks include pianist compositions, bringing out the romantic element in each feature. My personal favorite track and arguably the most iconic song from the film, “Love My Way,” perfectly synchronizes with the 80’s aesthetic. Being a fan of The Psychedelic Furs since their debut in the hit 80’s movie Pretty in Pink, I couldn’t have been happier to hear the familiar opening synths of their hit “Love My Way” twice in the film. Overall, this film was an absolute work of art, beautifully put together with each aspect only enriching the entire experience. The film is a must see; you won’t be disappointed in the least. Photos by Sony Pictures. All Rights Reserved

in the

DIVERSITY indie scene W

words by yasmin ettobi

hat’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an “indie” band? Chances are, the image of four or five fashionably dressed white guys with a couple guitars and maybe a synthesizer pops up before you can think of anything else. While there are, of course, many talented white, male musicians in the industry at the moment, it’s important to recognize that there are just as many minorities trying to make it at the same time but who aren’t being given the attention they deserve to be given. Pale Waves is a spectacular example of a female-fronted band that deserves far more recognition than they currently receive. The Manchester-based quartet only has a few songs out at the moment, but prepare yourself for big things from them in the near future. Featuring the unique, emotive vocals of Heather Baron-Gracie, an 80’s inspired indie pop sound, and infectious melodies, Pale Waves is the perfect musical fit for any fan of bands such as The 1975 or Bad Suns. Speaking of female-fronted groups, Atlanta’s Lunar Vacation is a band that you DON’T want to sleep on. Relatively new to the music scene, the dreamy vibes which emanate from the quartet is something bound to resonate with any listener. Grace Repasky’s vocals are sweet and sentimental, while the entire group’s overall sound shimmers with curiosity and excitement. Summer Salt, a three-piece group hailing from Austin, Texas, is another fantastic group that includes people of color. Artfully pulling influences from bands such as the Beach Boys,

Summer Salt’s sweet guitar riffs and tropical essence makes for music perfect to listen to while on a relaxing vacation. A musical project called boy pablo is creating charming lo-fi tracks which are just beginning to be recognized in countries all around the world. 19-year-old Pablo currently resides in Norway, and comes from Chilean descent. Writing and producing all his music by himself gives each song similarly loveable traits; including straightforward vocals and spacey guitar segments. To finish the list off, Seattle natives Chastity Belt embody the quirky, intriguing and glum mood that their home city is often known for. Their first album was released way back in 2013, and since then, the all-girl group has released tracks such as the fun feminist anthem “Cool Slut,” the hometown homage “Seattle Party,” and the reflective, nostalgic “Different Now.” So, what’s the point of listing off all of these minority-driven groups? It’s incredibly important to acknowledge the problem with the straight, white, heterosexual dominance that exists within the community of indie music, because if not addressed, nothing will ever change. Whether it be listening to artists that feature the talents of women, the LGBTQ+ community, or people of color, it is vital to pay attention to and support the works of minority musicians. If musical consumers such as ourselves can aid in popularizing diversity in the alternative music.


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You want me to journal?! ide -to a how


Words by Hope Delongchamp

It’s important to create. It’s important to breathe through what we make because that’s what art is there to do. No matter whether we live for the sciences, or if we live for sports, there’s still a part of us that adores the arts. That’s why we find ourselves in the music community. Music-listening is a constant for me and countless others. We listen to the melodies of our favourite songs and wait for our favourite fronting artists to begin singing; we inspire and expire to their voices and lyrics echoing in our ears. It’s how we find ourselves in tight and cramped venues, shouting along to every meaningful word. Music is beautiful, and for many of us, we use it as a catharsis. Life becomes a little more manageable when we put our headphones on and disconnect from what the world has thrown our way. We can breathe a little easier. Things seem apparent; they seem clearer. But when we take off our headphones, we are back to our own selves. Things look like they’re rooted back to the way that they were before, without any more clarity to help guide us than we did before hitting the play button. That is why we need to prove to ourselves that we are our own artists, and that’s why journaling, no matter how mundane it may seem, is so crucial. We have been writing down our woes on paper and whatever scrap material we could find our entire lives. We, as a species, have been releasing emotions in that way for centuries. When we were children, we would open our diaries and begin writing about all the dramatics that happened to us that day. As we mature, we forgo the journals and turn them into daily planners, allowing for the workload to pile up as we pick up our pens and etch them into our schedules. We lose the cathartic release that is our “embarrassing diaries entries,” and we allow for the stress of our daily lives to build up. There is no more peace to be found in our daily routine for many of us, and that’s why I, like many, turn to the joys of journaling. We can be journalists in our own right. We need a reconnection to our own selves, and we cannot keep brushing it off. That’s why, sometimes, you need a little how-to guide to find your path. Moreover, there is no time like the present to start! To start off, I typically like to find any journal at all -- the essential part is the content, so get a 99-cent journal at your local dollar store, or spend the money you want on a nice, leather journal… It’s up to you! I personally adore using glitter gel pens, as they glide smoothly and they look really fun, but use whatever you’re most comfortable with. Some days, I turn to a pencil or a plain old pen that was left lying around. Remember, it’s what you write down that’s important, nothing else. Many people have told me that couldn’t possibly start journaling. They come up with a bountiful of excuses: they cannot write, they’re just not good at it, or they don’t have the time. They don’t know where to start, nothing exciting


happens in their life... Those are just excuses. It’s important to remember that when writing a journal, it doesn’t matter how skilled you think or don’t think you are. What matters is materializing thoughts by putting it down on a page that only you will get to see, whether it is venting about what is troubling you that day or making a collage with pictures you found in leftover magazines. Journaling is developing a personal piece of self-reflection so that you can look at your day from another point of view. When you disconnect yourself from a situation, you better understand not only others but yourself. Journaling, in my opinion, is a great way to strengthen your interpersonal and extrapersonal skills. It allows you to associate yourself with a better version of who you want to be. It’s something that anyone and everyone can do, and it leads to your betterment. So far in 2018, there has been a trend of self-care, so why not actually make it happen? You can write about anything when it comes to journaling, and you can make anything as well. It doesn’t matter whether you write, paint, or glue together a collage from old National Geographic magazines, as mentioned previously. There will always be something to write about; that’s not an excuse. How do you feel? What’s going on in your life? What’s on your mind? What do you want to happen? List it, and the thoughts should come flowing. When no inspiration comes, I like to write based on quotes that are on my mind, such as ones by Dr. Wayne Dyer (“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours,” etc.). I adore quotes from important, inspirational and influential figures, such as Mary Oliver (“I simply do not distinguish between work and play,” “I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world,” etc.). Quotes, once properly read and dissected, seem to open up a flood of thoughts and opinions. Controversial, political ones can be good on a day when I just need to angrily rant but don’t want to negatively affect others surrounding me. It doesn’t have to be so academic and literary, however. Write about a lyric that really speaks to you (Paramore’s new album, After Laughter, seems to have a plethora of good lyrics. Ones I like to turn to are their songs, “Tell Me How” and “No Friend”, for inspiration). Everyone knows that they should be journaling, but they seem not to know how to start. Some people allow for their inner critics to get the better of them, but we can be stronger than that. Journaling can be heavy. It can be hard to do. But we can’t overcomplicate things because it is far better to reap the benefits than to wait for a beginning to come along. We are all creative artists if we let that opportunity come our way. Let your inner symphony be heard. Start creating.


Don’t play guitar? Can’t carry a tune? You don’t need any of that to get started with creating music. This past fall, I had the opportunity to take Music Production – a class never-before offered at my university. It was as much of an experiment for my department as it was for me and my classmates, and I walked away with a greater understanding of everything that goes into the music I love so much. I don’t want to continue with producing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t share what I learned with people who do. Getting started is daunting, so here’s some of the important takeaways I got from my experience. (Any technical advice will be in reference to the program Ableton Live, but can be applied to nearly any music production software on the market.)


Anything and everything can becOme music.

The sound of a busy street, dripping water, someone crying – these are classic examples of everyday sounds that show up time and time again in music. It can be the song’s foundation, or the final piece making it that much more unique. I didn’t learn this particular idea from my professor, but I think it’s one of the most important things to keep in mind when starting in music production: inspiration can come from anything, so don’t be afraid to make something with what you hear. Advice: If you want to record your own sounds, check out the resources available at your local public and college libraries. When searching for samples online, Google is your best friend, YouTube will give you pretty weird and amazing stuff, and Reddit can be where you find everything you didn’t know you needed (see: r/IsolatedVocals and r/foundfootage).


A beat is a fOundatiOn – sOmetimes simple and effective is all yOu need.


Drums can either make or break a song. In lo-fi hip hop, they’re the backdrop - taking a backseat to let all the other song elements shine through. In indie rock, they’re more complex; sometimes playing the roles of beat and melody. I felt like I had a lot of creative freedom when I was making drum beats, others not so much. Advice: The 808 drum kit is an industry favorite. Search around online for simple drum beats, and experiment on your own. “4 on the floor” is a great place to start.


Just make sOmething – and dOn’t stOp.

Music production is just like any other creative art form. You can get art block, face technical issues, or find yourself so self-critical you start to struggle with even putting something “on paper”. And the same kinds of advice apply: Don’t be worried about making something amazing. Just make anything at all.

Learning tO use a prOgram is like learning tO play a spOrt. Patience and practice are key.

I thought the developers of Ableton were out to get me personally on my first day of class. To me, the program was counter-intuitive and full of so many buttons / features / confusing terms that I left that day with a headache. Next week went a lot smoother, so did the week after that. My professor stressed the importance of going home and practicing, as if Ableton was an instrument itself. And it kind of is, though more along the lines of a one-man band. Advice: YouTube tutorials. Ableton’s Learn Live video series. I cannot stress enough the importance of patience.


YOu dOn’t need tO knOw the music theOry – yOu just need tO figure Out what sOunds gOOd.

Despite playing a musical instrument as I was growing up, I never had the opportunity to learn much about chords. Learning piano or guitar never appealed to me, and I was quite content to just be a cog in a bigband machine. I ended up struggling with them the most, regardless of my professor’s attempts to teach structure and progression. It might not be as difficult for everyone as I’m making it out to be. But if you find yourself stuck, just listen for what sounds right. Advice: Check out sites like UltimateGuitar – they have thousands of songs and their chords/tabs generated by users – and Hook Pad – a songwriting tool that lets you place chords together in any sequence. Making a cover can be great practice, so don’t feel pressured to make original music. Spend time figuring out what makes your favorite song so great.




SUNS Interview + Photos by Caleigh Wells


Bad Suns is an alt-rock band from Los Angeles, California, consisting of Christo Bowman, Miles Morris, Ray Libby, and Gavin Bennett. We got the chance to chat with Christo Bowman about new music, being on the road, and more.

Kind of throwing it back with “Cardiac Arrest” - it’s probably your most known song, but it was also your first single. How did you guys break onto the charts, and how do you feel about that being your first release and it doing so well? Christo: That’s a song that I think - I don’t know. I don’t know how else to put it, but it felt really good. I think we’re really proud of that song. I wrote it when I was 17, and I knew something was special about it. I don’t know if we could have had the foresight to expect it to do what it did for us. I think we were expecting it to after a certain point - we kind of got excited about it, and then we felt like we got our hopes up. Then it ended up taking off on its own. We basically just put the song on the Internet and kind of the rest just happened. It was one of those things that was out of our control. It feels good to be in this position to have people who want to hear our music, and that’s what that song did for us. We want to take advantage of that as much as possible. It’s allowed us to make two albums that we’re really proud of, and the growth we’ve been able to make without compromising.


That was a really successful single, and the first album was also really successful. Coming off of the first album, what was the attitude writing and then producing the second album? Christo: I think we felt like we won the lottery to an extent. We had finally broke. That was always the one thing we were constantly stressing about, was just getting in front of people. Once we broke our way into the music industry, we would feel like we could maneuver it from there and figure it out. We just have to get in. So that record was basically our in. Now we have an audience who want to listen to this music. I think we felt really excited and up for the challenge, because within that time, we had been a band for a couple of years before releasing those songs. As soon as we started touring, we started to grow and evolve. You’re on the road everyday and playing shows every day as opposed to just rehearsing in your garage. So we kind of felt like we were operating at a peak level of creativity which we hadn’t reached prior. We just felt really excited and tried not to let any kind of pressure get to us, because we felt like we had done the hardest part: getting our foot into the door. We just wanted to make an album that we felt was really special. That’s kind of what we got into this for, just making albums. That was a really successful single, and the first album was also really successful. Coming off of the first album, what was the attitude writing and then producing the second album? Christo: I think you have to be aware, but no, I don’t think we were afraid, to be honest. It was more a point of inspiration, we didn’t feel as if we were going to have any trouble. We were pretty confident.


Well, that’s good! There was no reason to fear the album, because it turned out super awesome! When you all are recording, how much are you thinking about how the songs will come out when you play them live? Are you thinking of the live shows while recording and writing? Or is it just the music first? Christo: I think for the songs on the first record when we were a bit younger, it was definitely that fantasy of playing songs live. We had seen millions of bands, we love music right, so if we were a band, what would we do if we had time on that big stage? What kind of songs would we play on that stage? That was definitely a big part of inspiration on the first album. Songs like “We Move Like The Ocean”, or any of the tracks really, I feel like we had this idea like, “it would be great to play this live.” I think this time around, we had a little bit more experience on the road. Rather than basing these types of things off of fantasy, we were able to use our own perspective and our own experiences as a point of inspiration. It allowed us to ask ourselves the questions like: what songs do I really want to play now that we’re touring and playing these shows? What do we feel like our set is missing? To some extent, we ask ourselves these questions but it’s not at the forefront of every decision you’re making.

I think at a certain point you have to ask those questions, especially when it comes to production, once the song is written and we’re getting our parts together. We like to shoot for urgency, and we definitely factor that stuff in. Do you guys have any signature gear or a certain sound that you call the “Bad Suns” sound? Something special to you that you hold in all your music that you put out in your shows? Yeah, I mean for us, for these first two records we’ve made, it’s kind of been as simple as we gave ourselves a pretty limited pallet to work with. We call it the Strat-Box combo - it’s a Fender Strat and a Box IC30, and that’s kind of the guitar sound for our entire band. That’s what we based it upon, I guess it’s our one signature thing, the Strat-Box combo. So you recently released your single, “This Was A Home Once,” which kind of goes with the nostalgic theme of leaving home and growing up. This was a song that was originally written for Disappear Here, but will that be a theme tied to new music, or was it just something you explored a little bit that could have gone on the old album? I don’t know why it didn’t make it onto the first album, we had a strong song with it. I guess it was just waiting for this moment. It was one of those gut instincts. It was something different from what we’ve done in the past - we haven’t had a song that’s dealt with this subject matter. I think we’re really proud of it, in that sense. At the same time, I think it’s kind of just a palate cleanse. I don’t know if it says much about what people will be hearing next. I’m not sure, you know what I mean? I think it’s fun now that people have all these questions, so we just like to take advantage of that. We ask ourselves, “alright, what would we expect?” and then, “what are we going to do instead of that?” We’re in that research period, I suppose. We’re just writing a lot. We’re really excited, that’s all I can say.


So if you’re writing music now, are you writing in the official “Bad Suns house?” How is it living and working there? Christo:It’s been great! It’s nice having a constant stream of creativity and work. It’s nice being able to wake up and everyone’s in the kitchen making coffee. We can go over whatever things need to be dealt with on the business side of things, we can go over music, listen to music. It’s kind of the Rob Dyrdek Fantasy Factory, but for music, and it’s much more casual than that, but that’s how nice it feels. It’s pretty surreal. Being on the road is kind of an extension of that, being with the guys-- we’re always together. At home, on the road, we’re so used to living with each other, so it pretty much is like being with a family. Is it easier finding inspiration for music now when you’re on the road, or at home? Or does it depend on the situation you’re in? Christo: Yeah, I mean, it comes when it comes. There are a lot of inspiring moments on the road, there are a lot of inspiring moments at home; it just depends when whatever that thing or that lyric gets you.

This is the last leg of the Disappear Here Tour. Is there any reasoning behind each leg of the tour being named after a song on the album, or was it just for the namesake? Christo: We felt like we had some good titles, therefore a lot of the work had been done for us. We didn’t need to work on coming up with new tour titles. I think it was as simple as that. We wanted to highlight those songs; they had good titles. Will there be any more music videos from Disappear Here before new music? You guys did come out with the “Disappear Here” music video, but i guess we’re wondering if there’s anything else coming out of that album, visually? Christo: I don’t really know. To be honest, we really wanted to, but things didn’t really work that way. I’m not really sure.




When attempting to “make it” in the music industry, there was a preconceived notion that in order to officially do so, the first step would be to sign with a major label and attach oneself to a hefty record-deal. Today, though, artists have the chance to self-produce and make a name for themselves without the help of industry “big-wigs,” making the process of gaining recognition and starting one’s career in the music biz that much easier

Of the countless artists to attempt to reach “the big time” while still without a label to back them up, Chancelor Bennett, known most by his stagename, Chance the Rapper, comes most readily to mind. Starting small in his hometown of Chicago, Chance has built a large empire, winning Grammys and various other awards for his spectacular, self- released mixtapes and records. His humble beginnings and sheer talent helped him to thrive, all while staying independent and gaining traction through working his way up - collaborating with notable artists such as Kanye West, working in his area to make a difference (there’s a reason why Chicago is so passionate about their love for Chance!), and more, all contributing to the fact that he is a household name today. Seeing someone like Chance succeed while being self-made and not having a label behind him has definitely inspired a new wave of independent artists within all corners of the music scene, each no longer afraid that they have to “be somebody” in order to make it: Brockhampton is a powerhouse collective originating from South Texas that has risen to prominence following the release of their most recent projects - the three albums that make up the Saturation trilogy (Saturation I, II, and III). With their quick fame and recognition considered, one would initially assume that they must be signed and that they have a record label helping them succeed in their craft. However, as noted by Ian (Kevin Abstract) during an Instagram Live session, the guys have their own label- Question Everything, Inc- and everything that they put out (independently and together) comes from within their own studio in terms of writing, recording, and producing, which is an amazing feat. Roy Blair, who has been known to work with the Brockhampton bunch in the past (Ian, most notably), has, too, embarked on his own path in music, having released his debut record, Cat Heaven, late last year. Like Brockhampton, Blair has been successful in doing so without aid from a record label. He has managed to produce a record that is worthy of a thousand listens with especially wonderful tracks such as “Happy,” “Kansas,” and “Alex.” An autobiography at heart, Blair is incredibly upfront about the inner-workings of his mind, heart, and soul, detailing the trials of heartbreak, the struggles that may come with reaching for your dreams, dealing with criticism, and facing whatever comes your way without faltering in your stride (even though that may be difficult at times).


Without a doubt, this is the age of the Internet and namely, social media, and this is far from a negative thing (though many would want you to believe otherwise). For artists attempting to start their own following and get their name out there, having access to various social media platforms becomes vital. I’m sure everyone has had countless encounters with smaller bands via twitter or Instagram, for example, who have followed you out of the blue– whether or not you followed back or found yourself interested in their page doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things but what does matter is the fact that you will most likely remember them. Networking is a HUGE part of any industry and in terms of music, simply having a large group of people know you on a first-name basis becomes incredibly important, especially when seeking to gain a substantial fanbase in the future. For Hawthrone, CA-based artist, Omar Banos, who produces and releases tracks under the alias Cuco, Twitter was what kick-started the bidding war between various labels that he has been in the midst of ever since he stepped onto the scene during the summer of 2016. Under the twitter handle @icryduringsex, he has effortlessly utilized his platform to release demos, videos of him playing in his messy bedroom back home, and other content, gathering a unique fanbase from all over the world that has led to him selling out a small club headliner for later this year. Utilizing twitter and other means of social media to interact with fans and share his content has allowed him to flourish more than if he had not had that ability. Christian Akridge, known most notably for his persona “christian leave,” has had a similar experience in terms of gaining traction via social media. It can definitely be said that Akridge is a “social media star,” having started small on platforms such as Vine and Twitter where he quickly gained a following due to his humor and quick wit, along with his undeniably talent-filled cover here and there. Especially now that the Vine platform has unfortunately fizzled out, Christian has begun to focus on his music in a more in-depth sense and he has an album coming out soon. Having utilized his social media standing effectively, this has allowed him to showcase his musical ability successfully as well, leading him to the recognition he deserves. 19-year-old Conan Gray, known most for his popular YouTube channel, has utilized his presence on social media to help him kick start his career in music as well. Premiering his original singles such as “Those Days,” “Lovesick Boys,” and “Idle Town” on his channel, this allowed the fans of his videos, as well as countless other viewers who may only know him for his music, to see this side of him and come to know his musical abilities in a similar way to Akridge. Claire Cottrill, known most notably by her pseudonym, Clairo, has recently taken the world by storm simply by being herself and doing what she loves, very similarly to Gray and Akridge alike. Beginning by posting mixes and simple beats that she made with no intention of gaining traction, she quickly did just that, only sky-rocketing forward ever since. Cottrill, a freshman at Syracuse University in upstate New York, has continued to branch out in terms of her craft, releasing the mind-blowingly wonderful singles “Flaming Hot Cheetos,” “Pretty Girl,” and more on her Spotify and Soundcloud, each gaining upwards of about 300,000- 600,000 plays each. This, being a major accomplishment for the rising starlet, can only give way to success within the industry in the future, one that is certainly bright.

For artists who have yet to be signed, even without the impact of social media, they can still gain traction through other means. All musicians begin somewhere- whether in a dorm room or a friend’s cousin’s basement in the suburbs- and those humble beginnings can be the most integral factor in their success. Even today, word of mouth goes a long way in terms of gaining attention and having other people know who you are and being well-known within the local scene (though house gigs, talent shows, open mics, etc) definitely helps during the early beginnings of an artist’s career and rise to stardom. “Hometown heroes,” indie-pop band Hardcastle- comprised of members Graham and Miles Laderman, Val Hoyt, Kaden Paulson, and Noah Christian- has risen into prominence as of recent, bringing a refreshingly wonderful splash of color to the scene. Hailing from humble Nashville, Tennessee, this band of misfits has steadily begun to make a major name for themselves, this past year alone allowing the band to cover some impressive milestones in their career such as the release of two majorly bop-worthy singles, “Paranoia” and “Millennial Attraction,” embarking on their first headlining tour all over the States, and gaining much more recognition within the scene, even whilst remaining independent from labels (which is massively impressive). Relying solely on themselves, they have done a spectacular job in terms of proving that your roots can be the key to your success. Being from Boston myself, the local music scene here is bustling with amazing acts who thrive on the DIY-industry and word of mouth primarily (in a similar regard to the scene in Tennessee, no doubt). Even with that considered, though, this in no way puts them at a disadvantage– instead, it allows them to them to gain a following in a local setting, one where they can start small with house shows and later grow to play larger and larger venues in the area until they can eventually venture out and tour on their own, leading to an even larger fanbase and a wider pool of listeners. Sidney Gish, a student here at Northeastern University in Boston, has gained a particularly great following in terms of her musical career, especially within this past year alone. Having recently self-released her sophomore record, No Dogs Allowed, it received fairly good reception, delving into the lo-fi, bedroom pop genre with ease. With charmingly clever verses galore, one cannot help but feel themselves falling in love with not only Gish’s sense of humor and personality, but also with her beautifully raw vocals and sheer instrumental talent. Following the release of her debut, she gained a bit of attention, being named one of Boston’s best new artists at the Boston Music Awards, allowing her to continue to thrive even now, hopefully leading to a record deal and a headlining tour in the near future. Until then, she continues to take the Boston music scene by storm. As the industry continues to grow, so do the ways that one can enter it. Whether through gaining a following on one of the various social media platforms out there, to performing at house gigs and obtaining a local reputation, no matter the means that one takes to get noticed, it goes without saying that fame is something that is a lot more accessible these days, especially if you make it happen on your own. If you’re searching for more self-made artists to check out, consider Hall Johnson, Inner Wave, Kid Runner, Phoebe Green, Cupcakke, TV Girl, Edgar Clinks, OroboO, Beverly Tender, Ozlo, Ultra Chapelle, and Squitch (to name a few).



Side of ”


Being an


By: Angela Smith

*Warning: This article mentions suicidal themes. “Idol,” a music genre and industry incredibly popular in East Asia, especially South Korea and Japan, generally consists of people being recruited either through auditions, street casting, or simply due to potential or looks in order to become pop stars. After being accepted by one of the major companies involved in the industry, these (usually teenaged) kids become trainees who live in dorms and train from anywhere between a few months and, in extreme cases, 15 years in order to debut. These trainees are almost manufactured in order to be role models and idols to young fans. While the intent seems harmless, there are quite a few issues with being a product of a large entertainment company as many of these stars are. In theory, female idols and girl groups are meant to be role models for young girls in whichever country their company is based in. Sadly, many of these companies realise that sex sells, and it is not uncommon for these usually young stars to become incredibly sexualized early in their careers. For example, the Japanese idol group Babymetal have a large following of middle aged men due to the way they are marketed to the public. I happened to work a show on Babymetal’s tour with the metal band Korn, and one of the major things I noticed about their costumes, and the way they were presented overall, was that they were not only based on a dark and very metal or gothic look, but they also had very innocent school-girl like outfits. Now, this wouldn’t be something that stood out to me as much if I hadn’t noticed that almost every Babymetal fan in the crowd was a middle aged man, usually there alone, who seemed to be enjoying the sexualization of these girls. Babymetal is definitely not the only group who is presented this way, most likely by their company. If you look up the term “korean girl groups,” many of the pictures that appear feature some of the most popular idol groups dressed either extremely innocently as if they are children, or in a very revealing manner that seems to be teasing or tempting in a sexual way. Of course, boy bands and solo artists of both genders also have this issue, but overt and early sexualization is far more prevalent in the way that girl groups and girl idols are marketed. Another large issue with idols is the way that companies force them to present themselves. Mental illness is a hot-button issue around the world. While there are some cultures that are very open to the topic and to encouraging people to seek help for mental illness, there are also a large number

that are not. Eastern Asian countries, especially Korea, are among these countries that are not incredibly accepting of these ideas, nor are they very supportive of those who seek help. In December of 2017, a member of the K-pop group SHINee, Kim Jong-hyun, whose stage name is Jonghyun, committed suicide. Fans of K-pop groups all over banded together to support SHINee, his family, and the fans known as Shawols. Some of the information that came out during the days following his death suggested that Jonghyun suffered from depression and may have been planning this suicide for a while. As more and more evidence came out, fans noticed that Jonghyun had actually been more open about his mental illness that many originally realized– it had gone unnoticed because of the stigmatization of mental illness in idol culture. Jonghyun’s death caused a lot of eyes to open and really made people think about how idol culture may affect the idols themselves. Even other idols commented that they had had similar thoughts during parts of their careers. This event was a major factor in causing people to think about how idols were being treated and being presented, and in being more conscious of mental health overall. As with most high profile stars, idols have to deal with overly obsessive fans, which are called Sasaeng fans in K-pop. Sasaeng fans are the fans who participate in stalking and other forms of privacy invasion of their idols. While many celebrities from all over have to deal with overly obsessive and fans with stalker tendencies, there have been reports of K-pop idols having hidden cameras installed in their dorms and fans breaking into and attempting to break into their homes. This has brought other fans together in what is sometimes an overcautious effort to make sure they are not invading the privacy of their favourite idols. Even though these stars have gone through training for various amounts of time and may have been prepared for situations such as these, idols are still people and should be treated as such. Hopefully, the downside and negative effects that idol culture may have on the idols themselves do not deter you from enjoying the music that they make. No matter the negative effects, many artists have stated that they are happy with their careers and are living their dreams out to fruition. What the new knowledge of idol culture should do is make sure that you are aware of the negative effects of this industry on the stars so that you can make the best decisions on who you are going to support and how.

ル ド イ ア


GROUPLOVE photos by Ky Kasselman


or many people, myself included, there is a confusion on what a Pit or general admission truly is. We were all first-time concert goers at one point in our lives, and I remember thinking I could wear whatever I wanted and be fine. But I was sadly mistaken. There are some very big “DON’T’S” when it comes to dressing and accessorizing for a show that has a pit. Let’s start at the bottom. In the pit you want to make sure to wear closed toed shoes. Sandals such as Birkenstocks and Chacos aren’t going to offer your toes enough support when everyone around you starts to dance and jump around. Anything heeled, even boots, can be both a pro and con. They add to your height and in a pit that is an important detail, but because you are standing the whole time, you may leave with less foot feeling than you walked in the venue with. Next, picking the right pants is a little more tough than picking the right footwear. Jeans are very practical, but in the summer, they can be a death trap. On the other hand, a skirt can also be dangerous in the pit. First, it has no pockets for your phone or for your money. Second, because it is loose material, it can be pulled and pushed up which can lead to you being uncomfortable. Shorts are a strong neutral especially in the summer. They have the pockets to keep all of your things, and they keep you cool enough throughout the entire show. Obviously, jeans are key for those cold winter shows where the temperature drops every hour you’re waiting in line. As for tops, its hard to go wrong but there is one thing that I advise against, tops where you have to wear a strapless bra. I have found out how tough this can be first hand. If you are a jumper like me in the pit, those kinds of tops are just not practical. You want to make sure the clothes you are wearing will be comfortable the whole show, but express your personality as well. 28

by Carissa Mathena

Accessorizing at a show can also be difficult. You have to be careful with any kind of piercings. Hoops in your ears, nose, eyebrows, and lips are prone to getting caught on other people’s clothing which can lead to a disaster. But small studs will be safe. Necklaces can also lead to accidents in the pit, so you also have to watch for how long they are and if they are able to get caught in other people’s hands and arms. Another thing that can be dangerous in the pit is glasses. They can slip off or even be knocked off which can lead to them being broken. If you have contacts, I would advise wearing them instead. The pit is an amazing place. It can be so magical seeing your favorite band for the first time in a huge group of people just as excited as you. But, you have to be careful in what you wear so that you and the people around you can be safe and everyone has a great time.

Influential Artists :

fleetwood mac


ne of the first records I purchased was one I discovered in a bargain bin at a small, local record store; it was Mirage by Fleetwood Mac. This album is definitely not one of their best, but at the time I didn’t know any better. I just knew that my mom would play Fleetwood Mac all the time when I was young. As my record collection grew and I mastered my guitar, I became more immersed into Fleetwood Mac’s work, both Peter Green and Stevie Nicks eras. For months on end, all I would listen to was Rumours on vinyl, alone in my room just taking in the beauty of Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham’s voices fusing together, the raw emotion of the lyrics, and the fine instrumentation. Thanks to Fleetwood Mac, I can no longer listen to and look at music the same way ever again. In a way, they ruined modern music for me, but in a good way. No other artist can compare to the superiority of Fleetwood Mac. Only few bands can reach a level stardom and influence that Fleetwood Mac has. A ton of modern bands and artists have claimed to have gained inspiration from the band. Bands such as Haim, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, The 1975, and Paramore have all cited Fleetwood Mac as huge influences in the evolution of their music. Paramore, Haim, and Harry Styles have all actually included Fleetwood Mac songs onto their setlists at recent shows. Whether it be later-era Fleetwood Mac songs such as “Everywhere” from Tango in the Night or Peter Green-era songs such as “Oh Well” from Then Play On, bands from different genres all cover these songs with ease; sometimes making fans not acquainted with Fleetwood Mac’s music thinking that it’s actually that artist’s own song. For those out there not familiar with iconic legends known as Fleetwood Mac, the band was created in late 1960’s London by four guys; yep, you heard that correctly, Fleetwood Mac was a thing before Stevie Nicks ever came around! During this era, known as The Peter Green Era, Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood composed the music and lyrics, however, many of the songs were heavily instrument driven and a lot contained no singing at all. During this time, long-lasting members John and Christine Mcvie shortly joined the band after its inception. Peter Green era was definitely a true rock and roll time and this is when the Fleetwood Mac became known. However, in 1974, after the rough departure of Green and the majority of the band members leaving, Fleetwood and the McVie’s tirelessly searched for a new lead vocalist, until they stumbled upon up-and-coming duo, Buckingham/Nicks. The rest is history and this is when the Fleetwood Mac everyone knows today became the real deal and constantly produced hit after hit. There’s no possible way that I can put my full love for Fleetwood Mac into words; my love for this band is purely ineffable! I’ll stop here before I give you the entire history of Mick Fleetwood’s life and how he never learned to play the drums, but instead played different patterns to each song every night on tour… oops I got carried away. Instead, check out our Fleetwood Mac playlist on our Spotify! written by Ava Butera


photos by Samantha Schraub

Breaking Out of your

Comfort Genre

Everyone has a staple genre. Whether you tend to stay within one genre or consider yourself all over the map, all of us have a musical groove we tend to fall into. Sometimes, that preference can shelter you from the vast world of music there truly is out there. With decades and decades of music to choose from, as well as extensive genres and subgenres available, branching out can seem daunting. Despite this, more often than not when you step out of your own musical sphere, you’ll discover you love something you’d never even thought of trying before. Breaking out of your comfort genre is about more than just the music; it’s about unearthing a key to a whole world you may have never even known existed.

Initially, it’s hard to get past the differences in music genres. Some people can even get violent or angry about certain genres, like when they hear the twang of an acoustic guitar leading up to a country song, or a pounding bang during the intro of a rap song. The fact of the matter is, genre is not important. The best music transcends genre and dabbles in a bit of everything, grabbing influences from every walk of life and every sound available. That’s the type of music that garners respect. It doesn’t matter what genre it’s lumped with or packaged as because often times, those artists and songs are complex, layered, limitless, and defy a strict categorization.

For a long time I found myself stuck in a musical loop. While I enjoyed my music, I was relatively sheltered and biased in my music taste. I stuck to where I felt comfortable: my rock/alternative roots. Although rock music is expansive, experimental, and what I would tell anyone is my favorite blanket genre, I was bored with hearing the same rock driven motifs and was striving for more variety in my music. At that point, I knew it was time to give music I had been for too long dismissing, a chance.

Since I decided to get rid of my self-imposed limits on what I was supposed to like or what I thought I liked, I discovered a whole new part of myself. For the longest time I was convinced what I “knew” about rap was the truth. After truly exploring the genre and similar musicians that fall under that rap/r&b umbrella, I can’t imagine how boring life would have felt without them. Now when I here I song I’ve never heard before, I can listen to it with an open mind. Once you judge the whole of a piece instead of just the components, it’s so much easier to gather a respect and deeper understanding in the music.

Whether we like or not, we’re all predisposed to bias. Our brains are programmed to have a natural default setting on most things and for me, I had a negative bias towards rap music. My family’s music listening since I was a little girl has always been extensive. Whether it be big band, new, or disco, I listened to a wide range of music. Music is subjective, however, and because of that I never really heard rap in my house. Although my family loves almost every genre of music, I really wasn’t exposed to that demographic of music. My dad has always harbored a secret enjoyment of the extensive genre, but because my mom wasn’t a huge fan, I, for the most part, lacked the exposure to current R&B music. With its growing prevalence in popularity with teenagers and the renewal of rap music and R&B in mainstream music, I still believed I didn’t like it and allowed myself to isolate from the music. When I found myself stuck in this musical funk, I turned to recommendations from friends and influencers. As I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and finally gave artists like Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, The Creator, Brockhampton and etc a chance, I quickly discovered that my perceptions were severely misguided.


You don’t have to like every single new song you listen to. I’m definitely don’t. It’s nearly impossible to be blown away every time you try something new, especially when it’s likely you already have expectations. The reality is that the world is only limited by your imagination and with a world of music out there and millions of way to explore it, there is simply no reason to limit yourself. Next time you’re feeling adventurous or even if you’re not, ask your friends what they’re listening to, check the Billboard and iTunes charts, or check Spotify’s newest playlists. Listening to random or different than your norm music is so cool especially because you could think you hate a genre or an artist, and end up loving them more than anything. When you forget your reservations, venture out, and cross genres, you’ll discover there’s some killer music out there to uncover and experience, and you might just find a part of yourself you didn’t even know you were missing.

writen by Katherine Stallard

means to

by Emma Schoors



“My name is Parker Hupf, vocalist and rhythm guitarist for The Antidote. My favorite bands are Mt. Eddy, Hunny, Bad Suns, PUP, Together Pangea, and J eff Rosenstock. The reason I like the bands I do is because they’re experimental and new, while also drawing some of their sounds from older bands from the 80s and 90s, like The Cure. If I had to choose a favorite venue I’d choose the Fonda Theater because it’s spacious enough to not be overcrowded and congested, but also small enough that you get a personal experience with the band you’re seeing, and I’d love to play there someday. Music for me has been a major creative outlet and a major part of my life, and I fell in love with the culture. I basically owe everything I am to music.”

My favorite venue is probably Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT. I’ve only been to two shows there, but it’s extremely cozy and intimate. Music has introduced me to so many people and many of my best friends, including people all over the country, allowing me to go places I never would have otherwise. Music has also always been a place of refuge and comfort for me, and I consider live music one of my favorite things in the whole world as a very shy person who has a hard time talking to people, music makes connecting with other people so much easier and more natural.”

“Hi! My name is Emma and I’m the bass player for The Antidote. Some of my favorite artists are Beware of Darkness, The Drums, Glen Phillips,Declan McKenna, The Cure and Wavves at the moment. I really enjoy music that is intricate enough to keep me coming back to it, but simple enough to enjoy without too much thought. My favorite venue is probably The Coach House. It’s really intimate yet it holds a unique family-style vibe. That is strangely what I like about it. Music has helped me to channel my emotions and live fully in them. I owe lots of my self-confidence and accomplishments to the emotions I’ve focused on while listening to music. I also owe lots of my personal connections to the relatable nature that songs tend to have. It’s intensified my experiences and overall made me a more interesting person.”



Music means something to everyone. Whether it be the songs that get you ready for the day ahead, the ones that calm you in your seemingly endless storms, or the lifeline you hold onto in all of your daily needs, it’s apparent in all of our lives. It intensifies everything we do. It mends our wounds when we need it the most. It brings us together, breaks us apart, and seems to always bring us back together again. Just as important is the venue we witness these songs being played out in. The lines we wait in to get a front row spot, the friendly faces we meet along the way and the barricade we all seem to strive to rest our arms on. We interviewed some fans and musicians about their favorite artists and venues that help them get by, plus how these things have influenced them in their daily lives.



“My favorite venue is called The Crocodile. I love it because it was the first show I went to where I was at the front of the stage and experienced the mosh pit. I got knocked over by a stage diver too, which is a memory that will always make me laugh! The size of the venue is perfect, they give you free water, and the whole atmosphere of the place makes me feel at peace. Music means everything to me. It’s gotten me through extremely difficult times in my life and has always been something I can rely on when I’m feeling lonely or angry or any other intense kind of emotions - music has given me a place to belong, and helped me to make friends with people around the world. I don’t know what I would do or who I would be without it!”



photos by Sydney King


m u s i c s t r e a m i n g p l a t f o r m s written by Carissa Mathena


t is now 2018 and music streaming has grown tremendously since it began. I can distinctly remember illegally downloading music onto my shared family computer in junior high and now I have all the music I can think of on an app downloaded on my smartphone. There are now so many options for music lovers, but there are pros and cons to each one. Spotify is the top music streaming platform at the moment. With 30 million plus songs available to you, Spotify has music that everyone who is fans of all genres wants. Spotify also offers a free option to its streamers that way they do not have to pay for music. They just recently added a deal for students that on top of their $4.99 a month price for premium, they also receive a subscription to Hulu for no extra cost. Otherwise Spotify is $9.99 for anyone who is not a student. Spotify allows you to keep up and follow your friends as well, which makes sharing music extremely easy. You can take your playlists, or an individual song, and make it a link to post in a message or on social media. Spotify also has a lot of opportunity for music discovery. With daily playlists and discover weeklys, Spotify is working hard to make sure we are never stagnant in the music we listen to.


Apple music does have some interesting features as well. Apple music for an individual is also $4.99 for students and $9.99 if not. This allows you to listen if you have your own iCloud and do not share it with anyone else. For a family, the cost per month is $14.99 per month. This may seem expensive, but it allows six people to listen to the same iCloud full of music at the same time. Apple music is convenient because it allows you to download music to your already downloaded iCloud library. This saves you time, so you do not have to re-download all of your music to one place like you would have to do with the other music streaming platforms. Apple music, much like Spotify, has a recommendation section called “For You” but the music and playlists there are not based off of the music you listen to daily like Spotify, but the artists and genres you picked when you first open your account, so they do not stay up to date. Apple music also doesn’t work with anything but I Phone’s and their related devices, so it is not as easily accessible as the other platforms. Pandora is another music streaming platform often used. Pandora is amazing because it allows for music discovery all of the time. You pick one artist or song to make a radio and it gives you similar music with the same sound for you to listen to. It gives you the free option with limited skips (5 per station) and it also gives you the option for premium for 4.99$ a month. Pandora does have a couple of cons though. You aren’t allowed to make playlists or search individual albums or songs and just listen to that, it is all based on a radio system. This can be inconvenient at times especially when you’re in the mood for something specific. YouTube is the final big music streaming platform to discuss. It gives you opportunities to make playlists of specific songs that you can listen to in an order. It also has videos of live performances. Artists sometimes put out live albums for their fans on the other platforms, but its very few that do. YouTube offers you multiple different live performances of your favorite songs that you can watch as well as listen to. Sometimes the live versions of songs can be better than the recorded version. It gives you the opportunity to learn lyrics as well. I like that it is both an auditory and visual platform allowing you to enjoy the music with two of your senses. You can listen to it on your phone, laptop, and smart TV giving you more opportunities to hear it. But YouTube doesn’t have the easy access that Spotify and Apple Music do. You aren’t able to download the videos to your phone to access them when you do not have data or Wifi giving you issues while listening to music in the car.

new year, new us a playlist

Freaks - Surf Curse N e w F o r Yo u - H i n d s Hand It Over - MGMT W h a t Yo u W a n t - H a r d c a s t l e Fake ID - The Academic C U Girl - Steve Lacy S m a l l Ta l k s - L i z a A n n e W ire -Omni Class Historian - BRONCHO M y M y M y ! - Tr o y e S i v a n Wa n d e r i n L u s t - T h e F o x i e s P D A - D a y Wa v e f t . H a z e l E n g l i s h Just For Us - Francis & The Lights Slow Down - Northern National Fake Nice - The Aces After the Storm - Kali Uchis C o n t r a s t i n g C o l o r s - S p e a k L o w I f Yo u Speak Love Love Is Just A Drug - Matt Jaffe and the Distractions



Black Alley Cat is a pop rock band hailing from Nashville, *Jet Tennessee. The band consists of 5 members: Zach Douglas

(guitar), Cristofer Johnson (bass), Christian Harrison (guitar), Bryant Lowry (drums) and Joe Wilkinson (vocals). We got the chance to sit down with them at their Houston show on their tour with fellow Nashville bands, Hardcastle and The Band CAMINO to chat about their unique vibe and sound, their influences, and the ups and downs of tour life.


Interview by Jiselle Santos and Caleigh Wells. Photos by Caleigh Wells.

How would you describe your genre? JW: We’re very like, a pop rock vibe. Very vintage style. We like to find inspiration in old movies and old artists. I don’t know, it’s fun; it’s rock and roll when you come see us. It’s a lot of fun. Has living and working in Nashville influenced the growth of your band? JW: It definitely influenced the growth of our band, because everyone around you is so talented. They’re all talented and push you to be better everyday, and actually, no one really cares whether you play music or not. You meet everybody. At some point, you pass on telling people on the street what you do, because everybody does the same thing. It definitely pushes you-- it’s more of a challenge, more than anything because everybody is talented, and everybody is working to get to the same place you are. You just gotta push yourself everyday. It’s a challenge, but it’s a fun city to be in.

Since the start of your band, what would you consider your biggest achievement so far? JW: I feel like putting out our first record, and then this tour we’re on right now has been a pretty big achievement for us just to be able to make the connections we’ve had and come out on our own and be successful for a band our size. BL: I would also say, no member changes. That’s a big deal for us. We’ve never switched anyone out. JW: We’ve worked really hard at keeping all of us together and actually finding ourselves on this trip. It’s been really good over this part of time. Has it been difficult at times, since you’re always together constantly? BL: Yeah! Even today, it’s like, you sit in the van with each other all day. It’s not like you’re mad at each other, you’re just bored out of your mind. Anybody that says something is going to trigger you. It doesn’t matter that it’s your bandmates and they’re not meaning

bad, but you’re already going to be mad. JW: There’s tough things all the time, but that’s what makes it fun. The good moments wouldn’t be as good without the bad ones. What would you say are your favorite moments so far on tour? JW: New Orleans last night was a blast. Miami was fun. Just interacting with the other band mates, bands we actually value, and that we are really excited to be on the road with. That’s been a plus for us. Just being able to interact and become friends with them. Everyone’s working toward the same goal. ZD: You never know when the highs are going to come around. It’ll be one night where you’d all just look at each other like, “I wanna have a fun night.” It starts from there and keeps going. You never know where the lows and highs go, so that’s one of the coolest things.


How would you guys describe your style and aesthetic? Does your style have a connection to your music?


JW: I definitely think it does. We try to be as flamboyant as possible. I think that’s in our personalities, but also in the way you hear our songs. Music’s going through this transition faze where people are finding what’s popular and figuring out how to make it their own. We’ve just been like, “Fuck it. Let’s just play our songs, let’s just write whatever it is, and the people that like it will like it, and the people that don’t will find something for them.” Our show is very flamboyant, it’s rock and roll, when you go on stage, it’s fun. We want everyone to be a part of it. I think our vibe and our style goes with that. You want people to just see it and be a part of it. I want people to feel as cool as possible when they walk in the room. That’s our goal.

I was looking at your pictures— do you guys shoot in film, or do you edit it that way? JW: Some stuff we shoot in film, but not all of it. A lot of the stuff we push edits a certain way. We’re big on edits. We’ve had the same girl take our pictures since day one. A lot of times we’ll shoot with polaroid and stuff like that.


What bands and artists have influenced you all growing up to become musicians? JW: My two big influences are Kanye West and Amy Winehouse, they’re big for me. Big Johnny Cash fan. Just a lot of old artists, and even stuff now like The Killers and Coldplay. BL: I’m a huge composition, orchestral guy so Hans Zimmer is a big dude for me. I’ve always been a metal kid at heart, so anything metal is my love.

finding her way through the music industry and her life kind of lead me to where I wanted to be. I just love music naturally, so I was kind of like, “What do I do with that in my life?” It helped me figure that out. She was an opera singer, so I would see all these random people come up to her like, “You’ve influenced me so much in my life.” I always thought that was a cool thing. What city or country would you all like to tour soon?

CH: I think the first record I ever bought was Usher, if that tells you anything. Then I also grew up listening to a lot of classic rock, and country, which is kind of weird. When I got into high school I was into metal, I mean you listen to everything.

BL: I would personally say LA.

CJ: Two artists off the top of my head: Fall Out Boy and Anderson Paak.

Are you signed?

ZD: This is going to sound terrible but, my mom

JW: The west coast, we have a lot of requests to come there. It’s just hard to get there. There and the UK.

JW: No, we do everything ourselves. BL: We’ve been looking for the right person, not necessarily the right business. JW: We’re big on keeping everything intact and homey. We’re looking for the right people. BL: We feel like we know what our value is. We’ve had people come up but it’s like, unless you’re the right person, we’re not going to commit to something. JW: Going back to your question earlier, I think that’s why we’re having such a good time on this tour. We go to each city and there’s people there every night. That’s been really cool to see the numbers and the jumps. It’s refreshing.

“It’s “It’s rock rock and and roll roll when when you you come come see see us. us. It’s It’s aa lot lot of of fun.“ fun.“


photos by Samantha Schraub

ambassadors photos by ky kasselman

an interview with


by Ashleigh Haddock

ndie rock band Bad Suns stole my heart in 2015 when one of my friends told me to listen to “Cardiac Arrest.” Ever since then, I’ve been a fan. I got to meet that friend and see Bad Suns perform for the first time later that year. Here in 2018, I’ve attended 5 Bad Suns shows and met so many more friends than I could ever imagine. I decided to chat with a few gals about their own experiences with Bad Suns. Here are their responses: What was the first song you listened to? Sonya: I believe the first song I listened to was “Cardiac Arrest.” Paula: “Cardiac Arrest.” Madison: “Salt (In The Open)” on Youtube. I was told to look them up and had no idea what I was looking for. Adrienne: “Cardiac Arrest!” I heard it on Spotify in 2014 and lost track of the song for several months before finding it hidden in my saved music. Makenzie: The first Bad Suns song I ever listened to was “Cardiac Arrest” right before Language and Perspective was released in full. Andrea: The first song I listened to was “Salt.” Selena: The first Bad Suns song I heard was “Cardiac Arrest” when it was the free single of the week on iTunes. It was a sound I was listening to and I was immediately hooked.


When did you become a fan? Sonya: Around April 2014, I saw that they were opening for The 1975 and decided to check them out. Paula: I became a fan of theirs around the beginning of last year. One of my friends was raving about seeing them live so I decided to check them out and was instantly hooked. Madison: A few days after first listening to them, which was about 3 years ago. Adrienne: Probably late 2014 to early 2015. Makenzie: The night I heard “Cardiac Arrest” for the first time in 2014 was the night I became a fan. I even remember that exact date oddly enough. I preordered the album, began watching videos, and saw them in concert for the first time early the next year. Andrea: October 2014. Selena: In 2014, when they toured with The 1975, but mostly because the single of the week on iTunes made me so into them. I was in love!

How many times have you seen them live? Sonya: I’ve seen them 10 times. Paula: I’ve only been able to see them once, but my fingers are crossed that I’ll get to see them again soon. Madison: Three times. Once on The Flood tour with HUNNY and The Neighbourhood, headlining with COIN, and again headlining with HUNNY. Adrienne: Once. Makenzie: I have seen Bad Suns five times. Three times in Detroit, once in Indianapolis, and once in San Diego. Andrea: I have seen them live four times. Selena: Wow, I’m so embarrassed, but also this band is my favorite and I would probably go anywhere in the world if it was the last time I would see them. I’m saying that it’s somewhere in the 30s. [amount of shows]

photo of christo bowman by andrea cianfarani

If you could pick a favorite song out of the two albums, what would it be? Sonya: My favorite song from them is “20 Years,” but out of the two albums I would say “Matthew James.” I have a lot of memories associated with this song and often, it’s the song I blast in the car. Everytime it plays, it takes me back to when I first heard Language & Perspective and always makes me really happy. Paula: After deliberating for a while I’ve narrowed it down, since they’re all my favorites. If I had to choose, it would be “20 Years.” Some honorable mentions though, because they’re all so dear to my heart, would be “Transpose,” “Learn To Trust,” and “Daft Pretty Boys.” But honestly and truly, I have favorites for different moods I’m in so it’s always changing. Madison: It’s really tough for me to choose, but I think I would have to go with “Transpose.” That song embodies a lot of different memories for me and seeing it live changed my life. Adrienne: “Pretend,” hands down. I had a phase where I would put “Pretend” on repeat and listen to it for hours and hours. Although “Swimming In The Moonlight” and “Learn To Trust” come pretty close. Makenzie: “Transpose” is the song that I vividly remember screaming my heart out to in the basement venue of my first Bad Suns show. I fell in love with live music to that song, so it means a lot to me. Andrea: If I could pick one favorite song out of both Language and Perspective and Disappear Here it would have to be “Rearview.” Selena: Oh man. A favorite song? Ugh I can’t.


Have you met any friends through this band? How did you meet them? Sonya: I have not officially met anyone at a show because I’m so shy. I do follow some of their fans on Twitter and Instagram and have talked to a few. Hopefully I will meet them at the next round of shows. Paula: Yes! I made quite a few friends from my area while being pushed together in the pit and waiting in the freezing cold after the show to meet them [Bad Suns]. I also have made countless friendships through Twitter who also listen to them [Bad Suns] and just bonding over our shared love of Bad Suns. Madison: The most direct friendship I’ve made through Bad Suns is when I met Cassie waiting in line for the fall headlining tour last year. She had flown out for the show, but her friend had missed her flight and she was basically alone. We started talking and ended up getting along really well, having a great time at the show, and I still keep in touch with her! I’ve also strengthened quite a few friendships over a love for Bad Suns. Adrienne: I’ve made most of my friends via Bad Suns from Twitter! I’m so glad to have gotten to know them. When I started really getting into them, I started following fans on Twitter and now, many months later they’ve become such a meaningful group of people to me. I’m so glad that we were lucky enough to be able to experience so many tour moments from the Disappear Here era together. Makenzie: My best friend of almost two years now became my best friend because of Bad Suns. She is, hands down, one of the most important people in my life, and it’s almost strange to believe what came out of our shared love for their music. We’ve traveled, met fans in other states, and even had the opportunity to meet some pretty amazing people online as well. Andrea: I have met my best friends through Bad Suns, thankfully. I met them through their fan base on Twitter. Selena: I made my best friends because of this band! Every out of state show is like a mini reunion with the friends I’ve made online or at shows. Some of the most loving and outgoing people I’ve ever met. Spending 12+ hours together then sweating our asses off dancing in the pit, I hope to keep y’all forever. 50

photos by makenzie shubnell

How has this band impacted or affected your life? Sonya: Without a doubt, Bad Suns changed my life. Their music has helped me through high school and now college. A piece of Bad Suns follows me everyday and not a day goes by where I’m not thinking about a past show or their music. They make each day a little easier and I don’t know where or who I’d be without them. Paula: I can’t even begin to describe how much they’ve impacted me. They, more than any other band, helped me find people all over the world who loved the same music as I did - they gave me a community. It’s always been interesting to me how a shared love of a band can unite people and in my case, they’ve allowed me to interact with people I would have never started a conversation with. I’ve always found it difficult to just randomly start a conversation with people, whether in person or online, but when you’re in line for the same band or you tweet about the same band, you already know you have something in common with those people so it becomes a lot easier to interact with them. That connection has allowed me to form countless friendships and for that, I will always be thankful to Bad Suns for giving me that. Madison: Aside from being my obsession, the music they have created has been there for me and has never failed to turn my mood around. It is so reassuring to know that I will always have this band and every memory and feeling I associate with them. Their musicality and genuine love for their work and fans is inspirational, and it is everything you want to see from the band you love. Adrienne: Bad Suns has been such cool band to get into. Not only have they given me hours and hours of good tunes, but they’ve even introduced me to bands like HUNNY that I would have never known about. I love the change that Bad Suns has gone through with regards to their sound from Language and Perspective to Disappear Here. I’m pretty sure that I’ve found a band to love for life. Makenzie: I’ve gone back and forth between hobbies, interests, friendships, and phases of my life in the past couple years and I am happy to say Bad Suns has stuck around for whether they know it or not. In the past four years, I’ve grown exponentially as a person and as an artist, and the music Bad Suns creates has been the soundtrack for every bit of it. Music really plays such an important role in my life, and having music that fits me so well and means so much to me is something that I’ll hold on to for a very long time. Andrea: Bad Suns have impacted my life to the point where literally all the friends I have with me now have come from my interest in my music taste - which is solely Bad Suns. Selena: Right before Disappear Here came out, they dropped some mini tour dates and the closest one to me was 9 hours and the second closest was 13 hours! We decided to go and from then on traveling has been a thing I want to continue doing that I never knew I would love. I can’t wait to visit another country! Maybe even study abroad! The possibilities are endless.


If you could say anything to Bad Suns, what would you say? Sonya: It’s been amazing to see you all grow as musicians and performers through the years. Each show feels like home, even though I’m hundreds of miles away from mine. Nothing makes me happier and I am extremely grateful to have you guys in my life. Thank you for everything and I hope to see you all soon. Paula: Thank you. Thank you a million times. You boys and your music will forever and always hold the biggest place in my heart. Thank you for creating art that has inspired me and shaped me into the person I am today. Thank you for the kindest words and the best hugs. Thank you for doing what you. You inspire me to live a life of creativity and that’s something I will always carry with me. Madison: After all this time, thank you so much. I am so thankful for you as people and as musicians. I hope you know how far and wide your impact spreads and I hope you never change. Adrienne: Hey! I can’t wait until you guys come back to Toronto. I can’t thank you enough for all the music and friends that you’ve given me. Love you and I hope you guys rise from the dead soon because I miss y’all. Makenzie: I would say thanks for all the stuff you do blah blah blah, but seriously I miss y’all and hope you’re having fun. See ya soon homies. Andrea: I would thank them for giving the world the best music anyone has ever heard. Selena: Wow. Thank you Christo and the rest of the boys for everything. Thank you for the friends I’ve made because of y’all. Thank you so much for taking the time to meet every single one of us after shows when you don’t have to and making each and everyone one of us feel special because somehow y’all can remember us. I don’t think y’all know how that makes us feel. Thanks for making music I’m proud to show my parents, co-workers, family, and honestly anyone because it’s so damn good. I can’t wait for what’s next! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Come back to ACL. Texas loves you! I truly am hopeful that Bad Suns has influenced you the way they’ve inspired me and the girls I interviewed. May these gals encourage you all to reflect on your own experiences and stories with your favorite band. Follow these lovely ladies on twitter: Sonya: @hospltalflowers Paula: @possiblypaula Madison: @defectivesuns Adrienne: @decentsuns Makenzie: @taiiestrose Andrea: @christobowmen Selena: @selenaazzz_


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Heart Eyes Magazine / Issue 6  

Featuring Bad Suns and Jet Black Alley Cat

Heart Eyes Magazine / Issue 6  

Featuring Bad Suns and Jet Black Alley Cat