editor-in-chief winnie surya assistant editor abbey toomey-fisk copy editor karmin yu & lauren lyford photo editor winnie surya & tiffany lam online editor courtney luzarraga social media & public relations manager tiffany lam art directors winnie surya & jessie moore marketing team toni-rose castillo & jenny nguyen contributing writers chloe hoy, nathan cornell, karmin yu, paula mirando, shelby kreiger, seanzha kemal, zoe harrison contibuting photographers jennie tan, dana amrami, kelsey hall, lilly nguyen, marisa martel, pauline nguyen, savana ogburn
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a Toronto and Seattle central online music magazine dedicate to showcasing the world of music, media, and pop culture.. social media www.intothecrowdmagazine.com www.facebook.com/intothecrowdmagazine www.twitter.com/intothecrowdmag www.issuu.com/intothecrowd instagram - @intothecrowdmag contact firstname.lastname@example.org cover aaron carter september 2013 kingston, on by tiffany lam
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ISSUE 15 - DECEMBER 2013
letter from editor.
Favourite photo of 2013 Hello everyone! Happy holidays! 2014 is around the corner and our Nov-Dec issue is here! Speaking of holidays, how are your holidays so far? I’ve been home and watching a bunch of Christmas movies for this past week. I still can’t get over the movie The Holiday (great plot and scores, btw!) and I’m excited for what’s in store for us next year.
13 Most Listened Songs in 2013
1. Diane Young - Vampire Weekend 2. 24 Hours - Sky Ferreira 3. Rage Flows - Born Ruffians\ 4. Luv, Hold Me Down - Drowners 5. Bad Habit - Foals This month so far, I got to hang out with the people at 6. I Am A God - Kanye West the Up Close and Personal Tour and got a little bit up 7. Slipped - The National close and personal with them. I also got to see Fall 8. Binary Mind - Ra Ra Riot Out Boy for the fourth time this year. They were great 9. Hannah Hunt - Vampire Weekend 10. Changing of the Seasons - Two Door Cinema as always! Club I hope everyone is having a great holiday. Here are 11. Pick Me Up - Hollerado a few songs that I’ve been listening to and putting on 12. Will Calls - Grizzly Bear 13. Biography of Heartbreak - This Century hold this year that I’ve been dying to share! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
- Winnie “Into The Crowd Mom” Surya
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Forever Halloween The Maine
albums OF THE YEAR
“They did the whole thing independently and it’s pretty much genius. I’m super proud of them.” - @jackiescurse “The band was able to delve deeper into their gritty, rock and roll sounds and produce more raw, heartfelt tunes.” – Zoe Harrison “It’s just raw The Maine. Nothing fake about it.” – Abbey Toomey-Fisk
Modern Vampires of the City Vampire Weekend “The production on this album is really awesome.” – Taylor Rice, Local Natives “When most bands writes album about their relationship with the people they love or fame, Vampire Weekend did it differently with their religion and political believes. After six-seven years being a band, they finally create the most beautiful album I’ve ever heard in my life.” – Winnie Surya “I was excited for this album right from the get-go and Vampire Weekend did not disappoint. Modern Vampires of the City gets better track after track both melodically and lyrically.” – Jennie Tan “It’s great. It’s awesome and we’ve been listening to it.” – Nick Hamm, Citizen
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Random Access Memories Daft Punk “It’s so good. The song with Julian Casablancas, it is what is should be. The Strokes and Daft Punk are exactly how it should be.” – Mark Prendergast, Kodaline
AM Arctic Monkeys “It’s refreshing new sound for them while still keeping their classic vibe that only Arctic Monkeys can pull off.” - Lilly Nguyen
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New Paul McCartney “It really exemplifies his roots from The Beatles with a great modern twist. It’s so danceable and fun, and you can’t help but love it.” – Shelby Kreiger
No Place A Lot Like Birds “I love No Place because it is on a completely different level than almost any album I’ve ever heard- the concept, the instrumentation, the execution- it’s all impossibly perfect.” – Nathan Cornell
Biography of Heartbreak This Century Paramore Paramore “Despite the sad sounding title, the music is pretty upbeat and makes me feel giddy.” - @ReachForTheSunn
“Easily my favorite release of the year because of the different genres, like R&B and electronic, that they blended in with their usual pop rock sound.” – Savana Ogburn
Monster in the Closet Mayday Parade Young and Free Hillsong “It’s so beautifully put. It’s got catchy upbeat songs but it also has slow ballots. It’s very satisfying album to listen to.” – Abbey Toomey-Fisk
I Love You The Neighbourhood “Simply put, it’s an amazing album. There is a song on that album for everyone and I believe this is just the beginning for them.” – Lauren
“It’s really well written album and it’s fun and always put me in positive mood.” –Joel Kanitz, This Century
In a Perfect World Kodaline “I could play their album on repeat and not get tired – it’s relaxing and sad, but really, really good on the ears! Cue “All I Want” for my favorite track.” – Chloe Hoy
Night Time, My Time Sky Ferreira “It’s awesome. That’s all.” - @seanzhaKR “Took her this long to finally released her debut album but it’s worth the time because it’s a great album.” – Winnie Surya
Paradise Valley John Mayer “It’s a good record.” – Nick Santino
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december Artist Spotlight: Aaron Carter 22 Kodaline 16 Interviews: the rubens 8 St. Lucia 10 Tom Odell 14 Peace 28 From Indian Lakes 30 Rich Aucoin 34 You Me At Six 36 Title Fight 38 lOCAL aRTIST cORNER: kATIE mOORE 44 iNGRID gATIN 46 Into The Lens: mAYSA aSKAR 42 Album Reviews 48
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ISSUE 15 - DECEMBER 2013 by abbey toomey-fisk editted by zoe harrison Who formed your band? Sam: The band was formed originally by, I believe it was Zack and I. There are three brothers in the band, so there’s me, Zaac and Elliot and two other dudes who are friends of ours. The band was started by me and Zaac because we had finished high school and there was nothing much going on in our lives. We were working. I was working in a bar and he was working in a kitchen somewhere. I think we had just been playing music separately for a few years and hadn’t actually done anything together…and I don’t know, one day we just got out my laptop and decided to do a few songs and then Elliot, who was still in high school, came back from each day of high school and put down some keys for us. We wanted to play live, so we got a drummer and The Rubens were formed. How is touring in the states different from touring in Australia? Sam: Touring in the states is really different: one because we don’t really have like any following over here at this point. In Australia we’re doing different sized venues and there’s the fan thing so we don’t really get that in the states. The other one is that in Australia because the cities are so far apart, you can’t tour there for very long. There are only so many major cities and then you can do regional tours which we do and also areas outside of the cities. There’s only so many dates that you can do so we don’t do tour buses like over here. Over here you have to have a bus. You basically play the show and then drive to the next city over night. That’s not how it works in Australia; we fly everywhere. What makes The Rubens different from any other band out there? Sam: I don’t know how different we are from other bands. I know that when we first started in Australia, there weren’t that many other bands doing what we were doing. The style of music isn’t being done so much. I guess it’s not such a saturated market with the soul, blues rock thing we’re trying to do. There’s The Black Keys and a few of the bands that do a similar thing that we may be compared to. I don’t know. We’re less about the heavy guitars and more about melodies. Is there a message you want your fans to take away from your music?
Sam: Overall, this record is pretty negative lyrically. It’s all about breakups and stuff. I didn’t realize I was writing about that kind of stuff; I have no reason to be bitter. It’s not about me, it’s mostly fictional. I enjoy writing stories. If there’s anything I think people can take away from it, it’s just that as a band we’re just a bunch of normal dudes. I want people to hear the music and see that we’re approachable, normal dudes from Australia. How did The Rubens become popular so quickly in Australia? Sam: Our song just got played on Triple J. It’s the only station that’s Australia-wide and that is cool and the kids basically listen to whatever they play. The station really helped. We were able to get a lot of support and play big shows. The records started selling really well and we were actually able to do three headlining tours. What did you families about you starting a band? Sam: I think they were pretty supportive but I think as parent, you can only be so supportive for so long when you’ve got a kid who’s worried about being a rock star. They were always really supportive and I think it paid off. I think crushing anyone’s dreams is going to be good for anyone but we were lucky enough to have supportive parents. Is there one particular statement that your parents have said that sticks out in your mind? Sam: I don’t think there’s a statement but all I know is that when The Rubens first started playing clubs in Sydney, me, Elliot and Zaac’s dad would drive us to the gigs and sit in the car until 4 am until we were done. That’s one thing that sticks out in my mind; them being supportive of what we’re doing and taking a lot of their own time to invest in the band. If you weren’t in a band now, do you think that you would still be involved in music? Sam: I would still be playing but I guess as you get older and you’re not making it, it just becomes more of a hobby. I guess it would have slowly become more of a hobby for me. How long do you plan on playing music? Sam: For as long as possible. We’re just going to keep going. We’ll keep releasing albums in America until we break. That’s just how it’s going to happen.
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interview & photos by winnie surya words & live photo by jennie tan
ed by Jean-Philip Grobler, Brooklynbased St. Lucia embarked on a North American tour with Two Door Cinema Club in promotion of their latest record When The Night. With their dance-heavy tracks and ability to hype up a crowd, St. Lucia’s stage presence is quite compelling. It’s clear that the crowds are having just as much fun as the band is having on stage. We met up with Grobler to chat about touring, his songwriting process, and what to look forward to from this up and coming electro-pop band. You guys have played in Toronto a few times, correct? Jean-Philip: Yeah! I think this is our fourth show in Toronto. Is the crowd different in New York or in America in general? Jean-Philip: We always have a really good time in Toronto. For whatever reason, every time we come here, the audience is super receptive and really really nice to us. I think if the audience is different to America, it depends on where we go in America that the audience changes from place to place, but Toronto has always been a really really huge highlight for us whenever we come here for whatever reason. Last night was no exception. How is your tour so far with Two Door Cinema Club? Jean-Philip: It’s been great! We’ve already been on the road with them for a week and a half. They’re super nice guys; we get along with them really well. They treat us super well and there haven’t been any huge hiccups [knocks on wood] compared to our tour with Ellie Goulding. We had some really crazy things happen, like van breakdowns and trailers breaking down. But this tour has been really good so far! What should fans expect on this tour? Will you be doing anything different? Jean-Philip: We’ve changed a couple of the things on stage: we’ve added a few instruments. We like to have the focus on playing, so we don’t have any huge production yet or anything. We’re also playing a bunch of the new songs that we’ve never really played before on tour from the new album. Yeah, that’s about it, but we’re always having a lot fun on stage and it’s good.
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You guys are from different countries, how did you manage to form St. Lucia? Jean-Philip: I’ve been living in New York now for seven years with Patty, the keyboard player who’s my wife. I was a jingle writer for a few years and that’s why I moved to the States cause I got off a bad job. I left that job and I started developing St Lucia. When it came to the point when it was the right time to start thinking about doing it live, I just magically started meeting the right people. So, I met Nick the drummer first. And then he introduced me to Ross the bass and guitar player and then he introduced me to Nicky the keyboard player. So, it kind of just happened when it needed to happen and when the right time was and everyone was living in New York and still is. Even though it seems very diverse and we’re all from different places, we all live in the same place. That’s what makes it easy. You recently just released your album, can you tell us a bit about it? Jean-Philip: It’s a combination of songs from the EP that we released about a year and half ago and a bunch of new stuff. The album itself is structured like a journey from late afternoon into early evening and into the night. It starts very bright and triumphant, happy and nostalgic. Towards the end, it becomes “dancier” and “clubbier”. The last two songs are sort of darker and more introspective, yet dance-able in a way. That’s what’s on the surface and there’s a lot of stuff going on underneath. I like the songs to be very multi-layered and to have a lot of interesting things going on; to be able to stand up to multiple listens and for a few to be able to listen to the whole thing and to feel like you’re kind of being led along and part of the story. I can keep on talking about this forever, but I’ll stop! And your album art? Jean-Philip: I think the artwork is very important because if I think of all of my favourite albums or any albums that I listen to and I see the artwork, that image is always in my head when I listen to the music. And all the images that I have from my music all stem from that artwork. So, I think it’s important. How was the recording process of the album? Jean-Philip: Most of my songs are written in a similar way in a sense that I don’t necessarily go to the studio and say “I’m going to write a song now!” I’ll totally be doing something unrelated to music, like I might just be walking down the street or I might be eating breakfast or having coffee or something and an idea will pop into my head. Normally, it’s a melody, some chords and a rhythm – it’s normally something. Sometimes,
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it’s more fully formed immediately and sometimes, there are less pieces in place. If I’m not close to the studio, then I’ll just record it on my voice recorder. If I am, I’ll go into the studio and start working on it. In the beginning, I try not to think about it too much or judge what I’m doing. I just let whatever comes into my head flow out of me and I just record different parts, like if a guitar part comes then I’ll record that or if a piano part comes, I’ll record that. Then, I’ll get each song to a point where it feels like I sort of don’t have any more ideas and then I’ll work on something else. Over time, each idea will get a bit more added to it and certain ideas will start to rise out as the more fully formed ones and as the ones that feel more complete. So, a more clear image of what the album is like comes together. So, it’s a very scattery thought and train-of-thought process to me; it’s not super planned out, I just go with it. Will you be releasing any B-Sides or any EPs? Jean-Philip: Yeah! We have these three B-Sides actually that I’m not really sure how or when they will be released yet. But I’m sure at some point it’ll come out when the next single is released whenever that ends up being. So, there’s three B-Sides coming out and I’ll definitely be doing more remixes. I’m already working on a bunch of new stuff for the next album. What’s in store for you guys? Jean-Philip: We’re going to have a month-ish long headline tour at the beginning of next year. We just announced two New York shows and there’s more coming up. We’ll definitely be touring. We want to go to Australia because our songs are doing really well over there at the moment. Hopefully Europe and various other places.
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by chloe hoy om Odell seems relatively normal for a twenty-two year old who has a BRIT Award under his belt. The singersongwriter politely introduces himself upon my arrival at the venue’s dim lit booth, and we begin chatting about his musical beginnings. He cites his grandmother’s piano as an instrument he played for a few years (his skills continue to show in his melodic, piano-driven songs), that is, before he discovered song writing around age thirteen.
“As a teenager, I was anxious, and you know what it’s like being a teenager, it can be difficult,” he shares. “Discovering song writing really was like a release, it was a place where I could be free, and do what I want.”
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And he hasn’t looked back since, releasing his debut EP, Songs from Another Love, in October of 2012 – an extended play which garnered comparisons to Ben Howard and Chris Martin of Coldplay. His single, Another Love, was used to advertise BBC’s 2013 schedule, and the young musician was soon being labelled as a raw talent. In February, he was named the BRIT Awards’ Critic’s Choice winner, an accomplishment he “knew was going to change things a lot,” which included his music being listened to by fans worldwide. “I was pretty excited about it,” Odell admits. Long Way Down, Odell’s debut album, was released in June. When asked about the inspirations behind the music, he acknowledges artists including Arcade Fire, Bob Dylan, and Elton John, as well as his interest in Americana films. “With the album, I really tried to produce this unguardedness in my lyrics, in the songs. I wanted people to really feel some honesty there.” He is unable to choose a favourite track off his album, comparing the songs to children; “you can’t pick one over the other.”
ISSUE 15 - DECEMBER 2013 Now that we have gotten a chance to talk about his music, I shift to touring-related questions. Which North American cities does he most enjoy visiting? New York, Chicago (“that was lovely, we spent a couple of days there, and it’s a wonderful town”), and Montreal. When he is on tour, he likes to find a good pub, and get in some exercise. “I like to jog. I mean, I don’t do as much as I’d like, but to jog around a city or town; you just get a little bit lost, and that’s when you discover cool things.” The London-based musician also shared his recommendations, calling his live-in city of East London, “very cool,” with great night life and pubs. “I live near Victoria Park, and if you walk around there, it’s a lovely, lovely place to be.” Now comes the odd question of the day: what is your best pick-up line? He offers a small chuckle, “I haven’t used a pick-up line in years!” After asking his touring companions for their input, he still looks unsure of an answer. “Would you like to come and see my rose garden?” Odell laughs, “Would you like to come and play on my piano?”
A lot of things, really. A lot of music; artists like Arcade Fire, Bob Dylan, and Elton John. Then, a lot of films I grew up watching, Americana films I was always interested in. With the album, I really tried to produce this unguardness in my lyrics, in the songs. I wanted people to really feel some honesty there. Could you pick a favourite track off of your album? That’s very difficult to do. I feel like once you write a song, it no longer becomes yours. It’s like having children, you can’t pick one over the other. When you get the opportunity to tour North America, what are some things you like to do? Any city in particular you enjoy visiting? I’ve spent quite a lot of time in New York, I really like visiting there. I really enjoyed Chicago; that was lovely, we spent a couple of days there, and it’s a wonderful town. Montreal was beautiful, so that was pretty cool. I like to find a good pub [laughs]. I like to jog. I mean, I don’t do as much as I’d like, but to jog around a city or town; you just get a little bit lost, and that’s when you discover cool things. For someone that hasn’t been to London before, what are a couple of recommendations to see or do?
As our interview comes to an end, I ask about his plans for the next year, to which he replies with no definite answer. “I feel like I want to carry on touring, keep building the live shows up, and I want to make another album.” As for when fans can expect some new music, only time will tell, “there’s a few songs,” he divulges.
East London is very cool, it’s where I live. I’d say, they’ve got great night life, and some great pubs. I live near Victoria Park, and if you walk around there, it’s a lovely, lovely place to be.
Did you imagine having a career as a musician?
If you had to describe yourself as a colour, which would it be?
I dreamed of it, I didn’t totally believe that it ever could become a reality. It’s not something you really feel like you can do, until you actually do it. Congratulations on winning a BRIT Award earlier this year for Critic’s Choice. What was the first thought that came to your head when you’d realized you won? Yeah, I knew it was going to change things a lot, and bring my music to a lot more people. I was pretty excited about it. Your debut album, Long Way Down, was released in June. What were the main inspirations behind the music?
What is your best pick up line? I haven’t used a pick up line in years. Would you like to come and see my rose garden [laughs]? Would you like to come and play on my piano?
I’d be blue, just because I feel very blue a lot of the time. What do you hope to accomplish career-wise within the next year? I don’t know, actually. I feel like I want to carry on touring, keep building the live show up, and I want to make another album. Have you started writing new music? Kind of, yeah, there’s a few songs.
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photos & interview by winnie surya words by karmin yu
aving released their most recent album In A Perfect World just this past summer, Kodaline has been traveling and performing both in the States and Europe. We managed to catch up with them in Toronto to find out more about their tour, new album, the holidays and much more. How was performing here at the Mod Club last night? Steve: It was really cool, it’s great to come to Toronto; it’s our second time here and the last time we were here was to support a band called The Airborne Toxic Event and that was at the Danforth Music Hall. It’s good to come back and play our own show and we sold out, it’s pretty cool. How has the tour been so far? Mark: It’s been a lot of fun. We’ve been on tour for about 12 days and we’ve spend quite a lot of time in New York. We started off in Austin for Austin City Limits and now all we have left is our own shows. After today, we drive to Chicago and then Minneapolis and then the West Coast. We love driving around America. The shows have been amazing and our first headline shows have been in America. Steve: Before this American tour, we’ve been touring pretty much all year around Europe, Japan, Australia, the UK and Ireland. To come here, as Mark said, it’s our first headline tour in America, so it’s really exciting and they’re most of the places that we haven’t been before, so we’re really looking forward to it; so far, so good.
name for ourselves and we just grew out of it. Two years ago, we continued writing songs and we fell into being a band; we never actually planned on being a band, we just wrote on about stuff that’s happened to us and that’s what we still do. Eventually, people got interested and then we were like, “Okay, I suppose we should get out of our bedrooms and play these songs in front of people.” The songs were also more meaningful to us, so we felt like we might as well play them. It was a night out in London and we were like, “We need a name!” We were trying to think of words that we can take on, and that’s how we became Kodaline. Can you tell us about your most recent album? Mark: It’s called In A Perfect World and it’s just songs that we’ve had for the last two years. We just finished before Christmas and recorded a bit with a dude called Steve Harris, a producer. So yeah, it’s finally out and it’s nice to have it out after having it for so long on the wraps. It’s the reactions that we get from people that’s amazing. We didn’t think we’d be able to come to Toronto and do a sold out show. It’s taking off quicker than I would’ve hoped. What’s the meaning of the title of your album? Steve: There’s no such thing as a perfect world, so that’s why the title is kind of like a total cheat. You can only strive to be happy and that’s kind of the underlying theme of the album. Life doesn’t always go as you plan it to go. If you think positive, it’s the best you can do; if you’re happy, you’re happy. So, In A Perfect World is ironic if you get what I mean because nothing is perfect. What would YOUR perfect world be like? Steve: Playing music for the rest of our lives.
Are you planning to go on a Canadian tour anytime soon?
Mark: If we got to do like five albums, bigger venues – that would be pretty perfect.
Mark: We really want to see Montreal and Vancouver! I think, possibly February?
Steve: It’s the people that we meet when we go on tour, like other bands and fans and local crew and venues. When you go home from being on tour, you’re just all by yourself and you’re not meeting new people and you miss that. I’m not going to grow tired of that soon, I want to keep that going for as long as possible.
Steve: Yeah, that’s the plan. I think we’re going to come back for another North American tour, hopefully Montreal and Vancouver as well. You guys used to be known as 21 Demands, why was there a name change? Steve: When we were kids, we were in school together as mates. We were friends before and we actually played music together. So, when we were in high school and when we were 15, we just started a band and called it 21 Demands and we did battle of the bands and stuff. Then, we ended up getting a
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Mark: What’s really interesting is people coming to shows and telling us how much our music means to them and how different songs connect to them. It keeps it really interesting. At one point, there was a wedding proposal at our show; last night, someone told us: “This song is going to be our wedding song”; it’s moments like that that really make us feel like we have a purpose.
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Your guys actually made a sequel to “All I Want” music video. Why is that? Mark: Last year, we released our first EP and “All I Want” was on it. We just kind of did that video in Dublin and it was such a cool story; it worked well with the song and we really loved the characters in it. A lot of fans were asking, “Please do it! What happens? I want to know what happens!” It’s more for the fun of it and also, we just really loved those characters. So you’ll be going on a European tour after this one? Steve: Well, we get home and we get two days in Dublin. Then, we go into our UK tour and Ireland up until Christmas. Do you have any plans for the holiday? Mark: I think we’ll just chill with our family and friends in Dublin, Ireland. It’s been a busy year so far and it’s been great. Then, we’re going to go into the studio for a bit and then I think we’ll go to China, Brazil and back here – tour and tour. I think next year we’ll be doing fests here, which is the first time we’ve done American fests and apparently they’re very different to European ones. So, we’re really excited for that. Do you have any favourite holiday memories? Mark: I always get socks, which works out really well because when I’m touring, I just need socks, an abundance of socks. Steve: Every Christmas, I get socks, a toothbrush and a book that I’ll never read. I’m looking forward to Christmas because it’s been a crazy and busy year – busy and we love it! It’s not like we need a break.
holiday. For Halloween, we have a show in Orange County and we’ll all dress up as zombies and stuff and we’ll get friends to dress up as well. Steve: When’s Thanksgiving? American Thanksgiving? It’s the last Thursday of November. Mark: Is that a big thing in Canada? We had Thanksgiving last week actually. Steve: We should have a Thanksgiving in Ireland. My favourite, actually, is the holiday dinner. So many people from Ireland have moved away to Australia and America. At Christmas, a lot of them go home and everyone’s home for Christmas. Mark: We come from a pretty small town in Dublin and right now, a lot of people are leaving the country to go to Australia and America because there are no jobs around. So, at Christmas, everyone comes back and you see friends that you haven’t seen for a couple years – it’s pretty cool! That’s the best thing about Christmas: friends, family and food! What’s your favourite album release of the year? Steve: David Byrne from Talking Heads, he released an album; Kings of Leon is also pretty cool; this dude from Ireland, named Gavin James, is really good; I like James Blake’s new album. Mark: Ben Howard’s new album is pretty cool. There are so many! We can’t think of any favourites! I think Daft Punk’s album is so good. The song with Julian Casablancas – it is what it should be : The Strokes and Daft Punk, and it’s exactly how it should be.
Mark: I think it’s really important to celebrate every
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Aaron’s Party On the road with
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“People started seeing my work ethic and they helped me put together a tour.”
ARON CARTER, best known as the teen hearthrob of the 1990s who sang the story about his party, his candy or how he beat Shaq. “I Want Candy”, “Come Get It (Aaron’s Party)”, and “That’s How I Beat Shaq”, are back. Twelve years later, Carter is now back on a non-stop 11-month North American tour as a new young man ready to prove everyone he’s still got it. With a show and meet & greet nearly every night, we managed to score some time to get to know a little bit more about his recent endeavours.
Carter tells us he still loves performing all his classic 1990s hits even today. “It’s amazing. They lose their mind and sing all the lyrics; it’s been a really cool experience to see the fans reactions to me singing the songs they grew up [listening to]”, he adds.
Carter has been recently on the road for “The After Party Tour” where he headlined 33 shows across North America, followed by later announcing 133 more to total 166 shows in 11-months. Dubbed his comeback tour, the first big tour since 2005, he performs songs from “Aaron’s Party” all the way up to his newest songs. Carter opens up to us, starting with his first show of the tour.
“I wanted to reconnect with everyone first and show the fans that I’m back”, before releasing any new music, he explained, adding that making new music is still very much a priority. Step by step, starting with the comeback tour, Carter seems to be making smart decisions. While he mostly performs old songs and covers, he promises that more new music is on the way.
“[It was] surreal, I never thought “I play the songs from my past I would still have all of my fans and I just want them to see the performer I am now.” when I got back, but I did, so it was a dream come true.” Carter has some exciting goals and plans for himself hopefully happening in the very near future. With his recent comeback tour and sixteen years of experience, he has been working on showing everyone he’s back with much more to offer. Coming back after an eight-year touring hiatus, Carter has proven himself to be back as a new better person, yet still the same young playful boy at heart we had all seemingly forgotten. Much to Carter’s surprise, his fans—though all grown up—were still there. To most, a delightful revisit to exciting childhood days. Before this huge 2013 headlining tour, Aaron had recently been on an off-Broadway play called The Fantastics, performing in over 400 shows — touring as himself here and there on the side. What he gathers the most from this experience was being able to meet a few people and make his way back into the swing of things again.
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He says his new music is going to be different, with a sound direction more towards Bruno Mars. When asked about any collaborations, he mentions hopefully working with Big Time Rush soon. Getting back into the hang of things can be hard, especially with how much word there’s been about Carter over the past years, but there is no doubt he still holds a strong determination and passion for music and is headed in the right direction towards a brighter future. He aims to translate to his fans how he has grown, what he has become today, and what he has still to offer. With an optional meet & greet after every show and a strong online presence, he admirably devotes the extra time to interact and rekindle his relationship with his fans no matter where he is. Regardless of how tired he is or how early he has to be up the next day, Carter was ready to trade an hour of extra sleep to meet his fans outside the venue.
ISSUE 15 - DECEMBER 2013
interview by kelsey hall words & photos by tiffany lam
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For more photos, check out the gallery at www.intothecrowdmagazine.com
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“I feel like I just needed a chance to be able to be more intimate with them, connect with them on a more personal level. It’s giving them the chance to get that one on one.” Attending a show, his new act was mighty impressive. Admittedly, coming to the show I didn’t have high expectations; I simply thought it would be amusing to hear some of the fun pop songs I grew up listening to. Instead, my expectations were far surpassed. It was enjoyable and inspiring, and I was completely blown away. A true performer. There was just so much emotion, and with his playful interaction with the crowd, I could see and feel his passion and joy of performing. It was honest and genuine. He was back in his zone and doing what he loved most. It seems with Carter’s comeback it’s more than just about his music, it’s his whole story. It’s about getting people to discover the grown-up Carter of 2013.
In spite of what judgemental haters may say about the past, Aaron Carter today is no joke — and pulling a Celine Dion with nearly a performance every night for 11 straight months, he’s as real as it gets. He can sing well. He can perform well. He may be considered a has-been, but no one can say the man does not still have talent. Period. While he may not be Beyoncé or Bruno Mars, he can definitely still make a career for himself performing.
From Lou Pearlman to losing his sister to other family feuds and much word on the street, the 26year old has undeniably been through a lot — and for someone to make such a positive return is nearly unheard of. But Aaron did it. With Carter back on the road with new goals and aspirations, he seems a lot more driven than I may have preconceived, and his many years of performing experience was easily evident within that single show I experienced.
“It’s really nice to see the support [given to] me and it’s been an amazing feeling to see [the fans’] reactions. It’s been a lot of work with all the non-stop touring but it’s all worth it.”
What captivated me was his impressive performances covering Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”. Anyone can seemingly do this, but he knew exactly what he was doing and exactly how to captivate a crowd.
Despite having once been a teen pop star with the high life, he was not at all arrogant or rude in person like diva-stars Justin Bieber, Kanye West or K-OS may have been. He seemed mature, down-to-earth, and constantly thankful for everything thus far. After meeting Aaron Carter, seeing him perform from the sidelines and hearing out what he has to say, I could finally understand and see he’s just a happy, genuine and young-hearted man with a rocky past searching to recreate himself. All he’s asking for is another chance.
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ISSUE 15 - DECEMBER 2013 photos & interview by winnie surya words by nathan cornell
eace is an indie rock band from Worcester, England made up of Harry Koisser (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Douglas Castle (guitar), Dom Boyce (drums, vocals) and Samuel Koisser (bass, vocals). They formed in 2009 under the name November and the Criminal, but shortly thereafter changed their name to Peace. Peace released their first EP titled Delicious in September of 2012 and their first album, In Love, March of this year. Some of their first major support came from Andrew Marston of BBC Introducing- he gave the band a primetime spot on the BBC Hereford and Worcester stage at Nozstock Festival in July 2010. In 2012, they released their first song, “Bblood,” which garnered the attention of NME. This led to band being featured in the magazine’s Ones to Watch section. Their popularity just continues to grow. We were recently able to catch up with them on their tour with Two Door Cinema Club. You were supposed to play at Mod Club last night, but you didn’t; what happened? Harry: We weren’t supposed to play… I don’t know why we were on the thing… Really?! On the website, it said you guys were supposed to play! Harry: Yeah, no…It was mixed communications. We were here in town in the hotel and couldn’t play, but we weren’t actually supposed to. I found that out when we were here and I asked: “What’s going on?” and they were like: “No, you’re not playing the show tonight.” Can you tell us a bit about your new album In Love? Harry: It’s quite weird. Everyone’s record is like you’ve had your whole life to write it. I guess that it’s kind of a mixed pack. So quiet and so straightforward, I guess. It’s just a collection of songs of what our favourite songs were from the three year period that we were a band. I don’t think it properly defines us though. I think we need to do another record and the two of them together will be a one big record. It feels like the first half of something. But other than that, I think it’s good. How was the recording process of the album? Harry: It was fairly simple: we just played it in the room together and most of it was done playing together. So, we didn’t think about it too much. Dominic: Pretty fluid, wasn’t it? Harry: Yeah, that was the thing because we could
all play together as a band because we were a good live band, but we’ve never recorded before. So, rather than going into the studio and doing too much, we just did what we did live and recorded it. The album artwork is very unique! Is there any meaning behind it? Harry: We got left to do the album artwork, didn’t we? Dominic: Yeah, very last minute as well. Harry: Yeah, very last minute so we had to just do something. For us, the place it was was somewhere where we used to play quite a lot. We just bought a load of red velvet and feminized the look. Dominic: The colour is quite appropriate for whatever way you want it to be. Harry: It was just like we were thinking how to visually represent the record. And we were like: “Let’s all just wrap us up ourselves in red velvet.” And we got a mate to photograph it. We went with feeling rather than an intellectual concept. Its got kind of a cool vibe to it! What’s in store for you guys? Harry: We’re going to go back to the UK and do a tour there because we’ve been to America more than the UK this year. We’ve also been to Japan more than the UK; we’ve been to Europe more and we kind of neglected our home, but it wasn’t a choice of our own. So, I think we’re going to do a big UK tour. We’re also going to try and record a second record before that. In fact, the day we get back, we’re going to the studio. How are the overseas crowds different from the UK crowd? Harry: Everyone has its individual characters. Dominic: Everyone is a Peace fan. Harry: We don’t have one specific genre or one specific vibe to our live set; it’s kind of all over the place. So, our fans are very passionate and it seems to be like that everywhere. What should fans expect from this tour? Harry: We’ve kind of played the songs loads now and it sounded quite good. Dominic: If we’re not doing it right now, then I’m seriously concerned. Harry: It’s kind of bringing what we’ve been doing, so we’re not going to change anything; it’s just us, expect us and you’ll get it.
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photo & interview by kelsey hall words by karmin yu live photos by dana amrami
f you’re a fan of The Maine, Lydia and/or Anberlin, then you probably also fell in love with the Californian quintet, From Indian Lakes, when they were featured in The Maine and Anberlin’s co-headlining fall tour. Lucky enough for us, we had the chance to see all four bands and even get to know the Californian band better. Post Able Bodies If you’ve been playing the indie rock band’s album, Able Bodies, on repeat for the past year and have been craving for something new, you won’t have to wait any longer! The band has confirmed that something new is on the horizon. So keep your eyes peeled when early 2014 comes along! Collaboration wish list The Maine, Lydia and Anberlin appeared in the band’s answer when asked who they would like to collaborate with.
the band’s name is actually from their actual town in Indian Lakes. Originally, the original members wanted to name the group “Songs From Indian Lakes,” but then decided to shorten it instead. Difficulties in the music industry Like we can imagine, the music industry is a tough one when you’re not making something they’re asking for or when it’s not radio-suitable. From Indian Lakes has also been facing this tough challenge that lead to their vinyl getting postponed. They tell us that they had a couple of issues with the companies they were trying to go through and that it’s difficult to get stuff done when the industry wants someone to be popular. Now, the band the just sends their music through Bandcamp. When will we see them again? What’s on the band’s agenda? More tours. They say that they will never stop touring.
Second time’s the charm
Even though it’s only the first time that the guys get to share the stage with the Maine and Anberlin, it’s not their first with Lydia. They say that it feels good to tour with the Arizonian band again and that it reminds them of all the great memories they shared.
The band likes to munch on some veggie chips, some Slim Jims, some honey and salt and vinegar flavoured Fritos and some gummy worms when they’re on tour
Town inspiration To those of you who don’t live in the California area,
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If the band could go back in time, Rick says that his 16 year old self would be pretty stoked, whereas if Joey’s teenager self would be confused, angry and wondering why he didn’t have long dreadlocks.
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photos & interview by tiffany lam
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rich aucoin How would you describe your music and your show? Music - just on the side of experimental pop music. I like trying a lot of different instruments and make new sounds I haven’t heard before, and make songs with those elements, but right now music I’m really interested in is very pop oriented. And the show - A sensory overload multimedia show with a lot of spectacle elements and a communal singalong... A group dynamic with a lot of sweaty hugs and dancing together. Tell us about the YouTube videos projected at the beginning of the show and throughout, and how you came about the idea. Usually, just videos I think are fun. I usually try to pick things that are funny and not mean spirited, and then things that I think are really encouraging and worth showing. There’s the nice element too of taking something that’s usually a solitary thing like watching YouTube by yourself, to watching it in a big performance setting. It’s the kind of phenomena that a lot of friend groups have, you know, with the “YouTube parties” where you’re just having a party and then all of a sudden people start wanting to show each other things they found. YouTube’s kind of like a show-and-tell “check out what I’ve seen” to your friends when you want them to experience that same thing that usually you watch alone the first time. It’s fun, I really like those nights sitting in the living room with a bunch of friends sharing YouTube videos. Your shows have a lot of confetti and a parachute. Where did this parachute idea come from? I forget what thing I was buying on Ebay, but it was like “You may also like this childhood memory” and I was like, “I do like that childhood memory...” so I thought about it just being really cool to do, and then I remembered “Oh I have a job that I could do that”. So then I kind of made it part of the show. It’s a great thing to do. Has anything ever gone wrong with the parachute, i.e. not being able to get it back?
Umm, nothing’s ever gone wrong really, knock on wood, but one time I was playing in France and somebody was really drunk. They jumped into it thinking it was inflated when it was actually just nylon over concrete, and they jumped into it like you would if you were jumping into a big crash mat. Then they were reminded by the concrete. Do you have any future plans? More touring? I’m working on my next record right now. It syncs up to an old clay animation version of The Little Price, and it’s called Ephemeral. I play almost every weekend, so kind of just doing that and staying at home working, but nothing longterm. Where has been your favourite place to perform so far? Iceland was really rad. I played Iceland Airwaves which was a really fun festival. I love all the Canadian hometown—or rather home-country— shows. Hometown shows in Halifax... it’s hard to pick one. And you kind of want to say some exotic place that have been rad but like, I definitely had an amazing time playing ALL CAPS! [Wavelength Festival] two years ago here indoors. It was raining so they had to move everything inside; it was really sweaty and fun. With all your crazy jumping off stage, on stage, running through the crowds, how do you manage to always stay energized? You kind of dip down but then you get it back from people, so that’s the secret. I don’t think I could do the show for no one, haha. But people give and get energy in a great way. Nowadays with people going to shows and standing still staring at performers through their camera phones, do you ever have a hard time getting people energized and into the show? Oh, there’s been tons of shows like that. I usually start those shows a little slower, kind of like warming them up to the idea of a singalong. It’s fun doing those shows too, but yeah it’s nice when you have people that know the music so you can start off with a little more energy.
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ISSUE 15 - DECEMBER 2013 interview by cara friedman words by paula mirando photos by winnie surya
his summer, You Me At Six left their home in England to record their new record in sunny Los Angeles. After their less than desirable experience recording their last album, Sinners Never Sleep, in the city, they were somewhat skeptical about returning, but set aside their worries when they found they got the opportunity to work with producer Neal Avron (Fall Out Boy, Say Anything, Linkin Park). “The experience of working with Neal was great, it wasn’t stressful,” they commented. “He made us work hard and pushed our musical abilities to the next step.” Though the band worked hard and played hard on their new record, spending six-day weeks and twelvehour days in holed up in the studio, they added that this time around, working in Los Angeles offered a much more pleasant experience. “We have some of our best friends that we have known for a few years now in LA. To be here with them in the summer for two months we had fun with an outside life as well,” the two stated. “So we were able to focus on the record but when we came out of work we were able to hang out with friends and do cool things which made it exciting.” The album, Cavalier Youth, had faithful You Me At Six fans attention since the debut of its first single, “Lived a Lie.” After going two years without releasing any new music, Matt and Dan explained that the band just wanted to share something to let people know that the band was back. To their surprise, the song made it to the top ten singles chart in the UK. “For us it sort of means the past of You Me At Six, we sort of backed it as a band. Like some guy told us, ‘you won’t do Wembley’ but we played Wembley, like, fuck you we did that,” they explained when asked about what the first single means to them.
“It’s sort of like if we lived a lie we’d be here. It’s a bit like we’ve done this the hard way, worked for it ourselves. We are not really going to let people tell us what to do. We’ve worked really hard and are happy about it and it’s kind of just like a massive ‘fuck you’ to the people who said we wouldn’t do it.” Matt and Dan also promised us a theatrical new single that would be out before the end of this year. The boys of You Me At Six have delivered and have just recently released “Fresh Start Fever.” When asked about their favorite songs on the record, they cited a song they wrote that they never expected to be good enough to make the cut for the album and ended up being the first track, adding that the song shows a bit of a different side of You Me At Six. The band recently wrapped up their first headlining tour in North America, enjoying their freedom to play longer sets featuring the songs their fans have asked them to play. Matt and Dan mention Vegas as one of their favorite cities to play, but also rattle off a short list of east coast cities—New York, Boston, and Philadelphia—as well as Denver back on the west coast where they love to tour. They also miss Seattle, since the band hasn’t made it back up there in a while. As much as they love all of these great places in North America, You Me At Six already has a busy schedule for the upcoming months. Just after their tour of Europe and the UK with 30 Seconds to Mars, the band hardly gets to catch their breath as they spend Christmas at home before heading out to Australia at the start of the new year and debuting the new record. Cavalier Youth is slated to hit stores on January 27.
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ISSUE 15 - DECEMBER 2013 interview & photos by pauline nguyen words by nathan cornell polaroid by winnie surya
itle Fight is a band from Kingston, Pennsylvania. They formed in 2003 and since have put out ten EPs and two full length albums- “Shed” in 2011 and “Floral Green” in 2013. The band was originally a trio compiled of James Rhoden (guitar, vocals), Ned Russin (bass, vocals) and Ben Russin (drums). They added Shane Moran to second guitar in 2005. In 2009 the band released The Last Thing You Forget on Run For Cover Records which was compilation of older EPs and an unreleased bonus track. In January of 2011, Title Fight signed to SideOneDummy Records and announced their debut album, “Shed,” which was produced by Walter Schreifels and engineered by Will Yip. After that, they went on their first headlining tour The Menzingers, Touché Amore, Dead End Patch and Shook Ones. They kept touring heavily through the release of the album including an Australian tour with Touché Amore, the AP Fall Tour, a full European tour with Transit and Balance & Composure, a tour with Rise Against and Warped Tour. Their second album, “Floral Green,” was released September, 18, 2012. In the same fashion as “Shed,” they put out a free single before they released the album. “Floral Green” debuted at number 69 on the Billboard Top 200. As you’d expect, they did a lot more touring with the release of the new album. Recently, Title Fight just finished a North American tour and put out the EP “Spring Songs.” We had the chance to interview them and you can read all about the tour, EP and plans for the future. How does it feel to be back in Canada? Ned: It’s great! We’ve always been excited to come to Canada – Toronto especially. It’s always been really great to us; the shows have been really fun and we’ve made a lot of good friends up here. So, it’s always a pleasure to come back. Will you guys be coming back any time soon after this tour? Ned: We don’t have any plans yet. Maybe, but probably not. We’re trying to take it easy after this. The band has gained a lot of popularity after the release of Floral Green. How has it been ever since then?
Pennsylvania, which is about a hundred miles south of where we were from in Kingston, Pennsylvania. We went it and had a lot of time – that was actually the longest time we’ve ever had for any recording process. So, we really used the time the way we wanted to: we really dissected every part and we tried to look for a lot of different things sonically with different amps, different guitars, different pedals, cymbals, etc. Whatever we could try, we tried. We spent a lot of time really getting every detail that we wanted to be at and then we spent a couple weeks recording. It was an easygoing process. It was fun even though it was definitely stressful at times. Like anything, when you have a strict deadline, sometimes it wears on you, but all that energy going into it made the record what it is. It was a lot of fun!
Ned: It’s been really cool! It’s very flattering, to say the least. We put a lot of hard work into the record and we’ve been playing a lot of shows since then. To see our hard work pay off is really flattering and humbling at the same time. So, it’s really cool! We get to play to a lot of people and we get to do what we like to do and we get to meet new people along the way. Like anything, there’s some stuff that gets annoying at times, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a lot of fun!
What is the meaning behind Spring Songs?
How was the recording process of Floral Green?
Ned: I really don’t have anything to say about their hiatus, but I really don’t know too much about it. They’re still playing shows, so it seems like not much know about it.
Ned: We recorded for about a month last summer. We recorded the same place where we were recording our stuff for a while now, called Studio 4 in Conshohocken,
Ned: The name is a reference to a poem by William Carlos Williams who is an early 20th century American author. We were looking for a title and it fit on a lot of different levels. I don’t know, it just really worked on a lot of levels thematically. Everything came together and everything made sense and it just stuck. You guys are friends with Tigers Jaw. Do you have anything to say about their hiatus?
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You guys toured with them for the Floral Green tour, right? Ned: They played a couple shows. At the time, most of them were busy with school. So, they were only able to do a couple shows. But the first tour we ever really did was with Tigers Jaw. So it’s cool to tour with people you know? Ned: On this tour, we’ve known Cruel Hand and Balance and Composure for probably close to ten years. We’ve toured with Balance before, actually, but never really on our own. So, this is a really cool tour for us. If you could write a song with someone, who would it be? Ned: I don’t know, that’s a hard question! Anyone who are our friends. It doesn’t really matter; just to be able to write and record music with your friends is really cool. Even the Balance guys, we’ve known each other for such a long time and we’ve always talked about doing something together. I don’t really have any aspirations to start this famous thing to meet famous people. So, just the people we really know, they’re the people we look up to the most. Are you planning to do another split for next year? Ned: I don’t know. We haven’t really talked about it. But maybe! I really enjoy doing special stuff for records, so I think that’s always fun and exciting. Maybe we’ll get something together. But if not, we’ll celebrate the day otherwise. Where do you see yourself/the band in two years?
What do you have planned for after this tour and the EP?
Ned: I don’t know. We’re just playing shows and writing music. So, wherever that takes us, it’ll take us. Maybe we’ll be at home or on the road, I don’t know.
Ned: We have a couple shows near the end of the year. We’re planning some stuff for next year and we’re just going to do the same stuff we do every year, which is write and record and hopefully play some shows.
What’s the difference between playing a hometown show and playing different places?
What are your top 3 favourite albums of this year?
Ned: Playing at home is a lot less stressful. Sometimes, it’s more stressful because all of your friends are calling you and saying: “Hey can you get me whatever,” and that gets annoying when you’re trying to run a show. For the most part, when you’re on tour, it’s like a job: you wake up, you drive, you get to the show and you have your duties there. When you’re at home, it’s a fun thing for the day. I’m not saying that it’s not a fun thing for the day when you’re on tour, but there’s a lot more obligations when you’re on the road.
Ned: That’s a hard question since I like a lot of records that came out. In no particular order: Demolition from Canada put out a record called World Gone Mad that I really like; Balance and Composure put out The Things We Think We’re Missing; Merchandise put out Cruise Your Illusion which I really like. Right now, they’re all my top 3: they’re all different and they’re all cool. They’re just a tip of the iceberg of good records that came out this year.
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by gabby mendoza
What does photography means to you? What photography means to me is capturing moments that bring some sort of happiness or inspiration to others. In my case, when I’m photographing concerts, I feel that I’m making some boy or girl happy by capturing their once in a lifetime favorite moment. It also influences me to constantly create new art that hopefully inspires someone else to do the same.
At what moment did you realize that you wanted to make a career out of photography? Probably when I photographed one of the last hometown shows of VersaEmerge before they blew up in May 2010. They played at this beat up local venue called Ground Control and a friend of mine snuck me backstage to photograph the show. I’ve always been in front of the stage at every show I attended but I feel like if you’re watching from the back of the stage, you get to see everything; the crowd’s facial expressions when the band steps onto the stage, interaction between the members and the fans, how the whole room transitions from patiently waiting in silence to moving on their feet within a second. This show was also during the last month of high school for me and it kind of hit me that I needed to grow up and figure out what I wanted to do. This was one of the many shows that made me decide that I needed to make photography permanent in my life. What motivates you to keep taking photographs? I actually keep a book filled with images by other photographers that I find really inspiring and I’ll just flip through it for any new editing techniques or ideas. Before when photography was more of a hobby and I was just starting out, I’d have days where I found my work to be nothing special and just stop shooting for a bit. I can’t do that now since I’m trying to make it my full time career. So when I’m not motivated enough to pick up my camera, I’ll do small things that will spark inspiration for me again. For example, instead of shooting every show that comes to town, I’ll skip photographing one and actually just watch the show. I started (music) photography for the love I have for music so I’ll go back to the start of it all to feel motivated again. I’ll also just flip through my inspirational book and think about how I’m wasting time looking at images when I can be making them myself. Who are some photographers you admire? Have they influenced your work?
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Tom Barnes, Levi Macdonald, Adam Elmakias, Jered Scott. I’ve also become great friends with a few which is always awesome: Brittni Willie, Joe Lemke, Tanya Gelman, Jenna Ross, Cara Bahniuk, Jay Obyrne, Lexie Alley, Matt Vogel, Matt Burke, the list goes on. They’ve all definitely influenced my work in some way. They’ve inspired me to not be afraid of contrast, play around with color, discover new angles, and just make images that are completely different from the norm. What did you study when you were in college? Photography! I actually have my AS degree in it. I studied a lot about lighting and tons about editing. I would complete my Bachelor’s but after being out of college for about 5 or 6 months and traveling quite a bit, you almost learn as much on the road than you do in school. What music festival do you look forward to every year and why? I would definitely say Warped Tour but I attended Riot Fest this year for the first time ever and it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had at a festival in my whole life. I was surrounded by friends from all over the country, so many incredible bands from different genres were playing, the location was beautiful, and overall it was just an amazing experience. Warped Tour would definitely be my number one favorite if I attended more than just a couple of dates. (hint hint) What is in your camera bag? Canon 5d Mark ii, 50mm f/1.4, 35L f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, and a 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye. (Canon 40d as a backup) On your tumblr you said “I just wanna photograph all over the world, yo.” So, if you could photograph anywhere you wanted where would you go and why? So maaaany places. The UK for the gloomy weather (best natural lighting), Colorado for the mountains, and after doing a bit of research on this place (thanks to Tumblr), Aokigahara. It’s located in Japan and it’s known to be the “sea of trees”. Do you have any advice to give out to photographers just starting out? Keep this in mind when you’re starting out and growing as a photographer: have a good attitude, have fun, take advice from others, avoid bad blood between other photographers, and most importantly: practice, practice, practice.
ISSUE 15 - DECEMBER 2013 website maysaaskar.com twitter @mamamaysa tumblr Â mamamaysa.tumblr.com
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local artist corner:
photos & interview by karmin yu
When and how did you start getting into music? When I was a kid, I really liked listening to music and I picked up the guitar when I was 12 (I got one for Christmas). I really liked singing and I didn’t want to just sing acapella, so I learned the guitar. I had a few guitar lessons with my grade 8 teacher in high school. Which artist do you look up to? Well, there are the regulars for Canadian musicians like Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, k.d. lang, Leonard Cohen, Gillian Welch and Nina Simone. I like Bruce Springsteen, he’s awesome! What did you write about when you were younger? I started with the haiku. It’s pretty easy because you just have to get the form. My dad lived in Germany and I missed him, so I wrote some poems about that. I also rewrote some songs when I was a kid; I rewrote a Leonard Cohen song and turned it into a jokes song. So, it sort of just developed. Usually, writing songs is therapeutic: there’s a thought in my head, I try to work it out, I write a song about it and then it’s gone! Describe your music with one fruit? I’d say an apple because it’s kind of basic and you can just eat it like it is. You don’t have to take the peel off and it’s not hard to digest. How will your new album be different from your previous ones, Only Thing Worse and Montebello? Well, there’d be new songs! It’s a bit more rock. I have the same producer, the same band and it’s the same writing process. This time on Montebello, I wrote the songs and worked them with a producer, Warren Spicer. He tweaks them and then we go into the studio and show them to the rest of the band. How long does it take for you to come up with an album? It depends really. This one’s taken two years, but the
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recording process was pretty quick, but writing the songs and working on them with Warren take a while. In the studio, some of the songs just take one take because we like to record it all together at the same time in the same room. Which song can you relate to the most? I think the most recent songs are probably the ones that I connect to the most right now. I feel connected to them all because they’re all personal. I like “Montebello,” the song that I wrote. It’s about this summit in Montebello, Quebec. There were these police officers that went undercover as protestors and tried to get these protestors to be violent so that they would be arrested. I feel like this song is still relevant because we have agents provocateurs in protest all the time. How was your first performance? It was a long time ago in this bar in Montreal called Purple Haze, I think. I was in a rock band with original songs that I didn’t write and it was very scary! I thought I was going to puke! For my first experience, I just had no idea what was going to happen. It was scary, I couldn’t hear myself and I didn’t even notice that anyone was in the crowd. Now, it’s more fun; I can just be in the moment and have fun playing with the people I play with. If it was still like what it was before, I wouldn’t do it. We know that you’ve collaborated with many artists and we were wondering, which experience was your favourite? They’re all different! It was fun playing in the Gonzales band because he’s just really fun to hang out with. My biggest collaboration was with Socalled and I’m really close to him; it’s like being on tour with my brother. So yeah, I would say that he was my favourite and he’d probably kill me if I didn’t say so! Who would you like to perform with one day? I think it’d be really awesome to perform with k.d. lang and Tina Turner.
ISSUE 15 - DECEMBER 2013
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photos & interview by karmin yu What sparked your interest in music? I’ve played music all my life. So, I loved it since I was very little. I remember learning how to sing when I was about four and also taking piano lessons. It’s just something my family always did. What other instruments do you play? The accordion and the mandolin. You’ve been through many crazy travel experiences, how have these experiences shaped your music? What I write about is from travelling, from having met different people and having different experiences along the way that have shaped my life. What is the craziest experience you’ve been through? I don’t know! There have been a million crazy things that have happened. You expect one thing to happen when you’re on a music tour and then you get to a place and it’s nothing like what you expected! Nothing is in place and the beautiful thing about playing music is that you just need to accept what it is, instead of being like “I don’t like this because it isn’t what I thought it was,” you just have to be like “Okay, let’s do it!”
local artist corner
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ISSUE 15 - DECEMBER 2013
How have your performances changed over the years? So much! When I started playing music as a solo performer, I was only playing the piano, but around that time I wanted to start busking. So, I picked up the accordion so I can busk. I also started writing music on the accordion. My music changed a lot just from having an accordion. Also, after having played so many shows and toured so much, I’ve learned to be the musician that I am. It changes still, but when you’re first starting out, you want to try different things, but I’m definitely more into what I am doing now.
have such a big list of bands that I absolutely adore. Right now, I’m so into James Blake from England, Father John Misty from the States and Fever Ray. Can you tell us about your most recent album?
I was really young; I was five and did piano recitals!
The album for me is really cool because I did it with a guy named Howard Bilerman, who is a very talented engineer producer from Montreal. He has a studio here called Hotel2Tango that a lot of amazing bands have recorded at. It’s beautiful and so much fun! He came to Winnipeg to record part of the album and then I came to Montreal to record part of the album. So, it’s a mix of having recorded in two different places, so that’s really cool. Howard used to be the drummer of Arcade Fire, so he played the drums for a couple tracks on the album.
How are your Montreal shows different from the ones in Saskatchewan?
How is your new album different from your first one?
The crowds are so different and it really depends on where you play. I’ve always had awesome shows in Montreal even if they’re a bit smaller; there’s always amazing people out. I find great bands that I play with and love. I’m just really happy playing music in Montreal, but in Winnipeg too! It’s a really cool place for music. I think sometimes, there’s an older demographic that comes out to shows, which is really cool too.
There’s more space in the sound. On this album, my voice was recorded and changed in several different ways just to make a bigger sound and to make it a bit more soul focused.
When did you start performing?
Describe your music with one item of clothing? For some reason, the first thing that came to my head was a boot because I like boots. They have attitude and character; and they hold you up and support you. What kind of themes do you like to write about? I find myself being a bit of a romantic; I love to write on romantic tones. I also think a certain amount of nostalgia, something like that. I don’t want to say that I’m nostalgic, but I love to take pieces of my memory, especially of my childhood, and work that into music because when I’m performing, it brings so much feeling. Who are your musical inspirations? Originally, I was very into the music of Beirut and other bands that are influenced by European musical styles, which was an inspiration for me to pick up the accordion. Also, modern music is huge for me! I just
What is your single “Slow Dancing” about? “Slow Dancing” for me really represents a collection of moments from living and experiencing life in Winnipeg. In my mind, when I’m singing this song, it’s all of the images that I see when I’m in Winnipeg. What do you do if you’re not working on music? Usually, generally running around, having fun, listening to music, playing cards, going for hikes and swimming! Any comments on the music industry today? It’s impossible to say almost anything about it one way or another. It’s like trying to describe a person’s life; sometimes there’s terrible things and sometimes there’s great things; sometimes people are totally shitty and the worst and make your day hell and sometimes people are your saviour and you love them so much; sometimes you have working relationships that last forever and you can count on them. It’s just a total roller coaster ride and the music industry represents that. Some people are only in it for the money and that is what they get from it; some people try to create a balance and be good people. You just hope to end up with the right match.
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The Maine - Imaginary Numbers created 8123 and have done a crazy amount of touring. Earlier this year, they released Forever Halloween and are now back with their new acoustic EP, Imaginary Numbers which they funded, recorded and released on their own.
By now, you’ve probably at least heard of The Maine. In their six years of being a band, they’ve released four full length albums, seven EPs, a few Daytrotter sessions, have been featured on many compilation albums, signed to a major label, left the label,
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Many bands release acoustic EPs. They’re usually reworked versions of old songs and sometimes seem cliché and lazy at this point. The Maine doesn’t fall into any of those categories though. Imaginary Numbers is made up of all new original songs. As with every release The Maine has done, it shows a new/different side of the band’s sound.
“Raining in Paris” begins the EP. It’s a song that is very reminiscent of Ryan Adams. O’Callaghan’s honest and raspy voice is as good as ever- when he hits the high notes, it sounds like a heart breaking. The light organ and percussion are a great touch to the song. The song sounds just like the title. Up next is “Room With No Windows” which has a very jazzy, lounge, coffeeshop vibe to it. O’Callaghan sings about wanting change because nothing’s going to get better if he’s just sitting around letting his thoughts consume him. Monaco throws some nice little guitar licks over it and the bass line is great.
ISSUE 15 - DECEMBER 2013 “Perfectly Out of Key,” is a piano ballad that reminds me of “These Four Words” from Forever Halloween. This song was recorded in one take with O’Callaghan singing and playing piano. “Perfectly Out of Key” has my favorite set of lyrics on the entire EP, especially this line- “I’m not allowed to be anyone else but me, so I try to take apart my head from time to time.” There’s a little bit of electric guitar at the end and possibly pedal steel or feedbackI’m not sure- that add a nice swelling dynamic to the song. In between this and “Visions,” there is a small piece of “These Four Words” that plays muffled where you can hear O’Callaghan sing, “I don’t love you.” I love that they threw that in there.
verse of this song that goes, “Imaginary numbers control the ones we love.” It’s a sad song, but also a very calming song and that fits very well with O’Callaghan singing about lovely sadness. The Maine did a really good job matching the mood of this song with every part of it. The great thing about The Maine is that they always come back with something new that will bring them new fans, but their progression is so natural and honest that it doesn’t alienate longtime fans. Imaginary Numbers is a mostly sad album (sad is a completely relative term), but John O’Callaghan wears the sad song very well. If you’re into stripped down rock ‘n’ roll, you need to listen to this. (by Nathan Cornell)
“I’m not allowed to be anyone else but me, so I try to take apart my head from time to time.” Second to last is “Visions.” It’s another song with a Ryan Adams feel to it- it sounds like it could be an outtake from Heartbreaker, but still obviously The Maine. Notable parts of this song include Brock’s high harmonies in the chorus- they sound amazing- and the harmonica which, I believe was played by Monaco, that keeps the song from feeling droney and long. Imaginary Numbers finishes off with the longest song The Maine has ever recorded and released, “Lovely Sad.” Imaginary Numbers takes its name from the second
and becoming a new person than you were in the past, hopefully for the better because you’ve had new experiences and know more than you did before. Koji has a lot of beautiful harmonies in this. Songs like this are what make me love Koji so much as a musician. The follow up, “Like We Do,” is a song that was first released on Koji’s live album Spring Song Vol. I in 2010, so old fans may already familiar with this song. As always, Koji’s lyrical talent shines through. He sings about acceptance and realizing that, sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to change a situation and you always have to make the most of what you are given, live in the moment and keep moving forward because “time rolls on like we do.” Next comes “Placeholders.” This song is a pretty heavy hearted song about a very serious relationship that fell apart. He’s trying to move on and stop always thinking of the past, but he can’t help it and maybe a part of him doesn’t want to move on. I sure hope he’s gotten better and moved on from their life that was “done and undone” in the years since he wrote this song.
Koji - Matters Matters is the most recent release from musician and activist, Andrew Koji Shikari. While this album was released just a few weeks ago, it was recorded with Will Yip at the legendary Studio 4 all the way back in August of 2011. These four songs are all stripped down acoustic songs akin to Koji’s early material which makes sense considering this is a very old recording.
The final song title track, “Matters (of the Heart and Mind),” encompasses the EP. Koji questions who decides the matters of the heart and mind, but ultimately decided he’d rather leave it up to mystery. The use of strings in this song is brilliant and gives it a lot of great dynamic contrast. This is an EP I think all Koji fans will like, especially the old ones. If you like acoustic, indie, folk stuff, you’ll love Koji. (by Nathan Cornell)
“Hemlock” is the first song on the EP and the lyrics talk about changes
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Featuring Aaron Carter, Tom Odell, Kodaline, You Me At Six, Title Fight, Peace, St. Lucia, From Indian Lakes, Rich Aucoin, The Rubens, Katie...
Published on Dec 18, 2013
Featuring Aaron Carter, Tom Odell, Kodaline, You Me At Six, Title Fight, Peace, St. Lucia, From Indian Lakes, Rich Aucoin, The Rubens, Katie...