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Photo: Harlee Ria DeMeerleer

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CHRIS BROWN Publisher / Creative Director

GUSTAV SCHMIEGE Senior Photographer

CICERO DEGUZMAN JR., CARI WAYMAN Editors-at-Large

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Alexandra Valenti, Mathew Foster, Fritz Mesenbrick, Jeremy Pelley

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Cicero DeGuzman Jr., Cari Wayman, Alexandra Valenti, Robert Kinmont, Patrick Wright, Ginger Broderick, Tyler Manson, Harlee Ria DeMeerleer

ART DIRECTION + DESIGN Chris Brown

Copyright © 2010-2011 by Refueled Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Refueled® is a registered trademark of Refueled Inc. Produced in the U.S.A.

Cover Photo/Spreads: Gustav Schmiege

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09 LETTER. 10 EXPLORE MY FAVORITE DIRT ROADS 1969. 14 IMAGES ALEXANDRA VALENTI. 44 DESIGN OFFICIAL MANUFACTURING CO. 56 STYLE HIGH DESERT. 71 STYLE DENIM & BANGS. 86 ART WES LANG. 96 MUSIC ERIKA WENNERSTROM. 110 VISIONARY LIZ LAMBERT. 116 AMERICA CARI WAYMAN. 137 RIDE SCOTT G TOEPFER. 142 LYRICS BOB DYLAN.

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sanjosehotel.com


One that has included beautiful new friends, cool adventures, amazing oppitunities and new discoveries. In a way this issue acts as a continuation of the 2010 Spring/Summer issue - part two if you will. The Refueled team once again traveled West to the tiny town of Marfa, Texas - a artist community that has become our home away from home. We are constantly inspired by the high desert, the beautiful colors of the sky and the people that surround the area. The issue contains incrediable contributors, photographers, artists, stylemakers and musicians. It’s always been my goal to present the “underbelly” of America. Hope you enjoy the ride.

Chris Brown Editor-in-Chief / Creative Director

Photo: Gustav Schmiege

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And that’s a weird feeling to be judged soley on that criteria. The photographer I worked for, Sante D’Orazio became my dear friend and mentor. He taught me so much about light. I was the worst assistant he ever had, i’m sure of it. But he liked having me around, we had a lot to talk about. And I was paying attention, given that I had no idea what I was doing when I first got hired. In fact, I lied my way into the job. Saying I knew way more than I did about the cameras we were using and a week later we were in Rome shooting for Italian Vogue and I felt so fucked and in over my head. Still to this day, I’m not a technical photographer, I really do wing it most of the time. I make a ton of mistakes and just make those mistakes work somehow. Story of my life actually. Some call it “living”, some would call it “ a shit show”.... whatever. it makes for good stories later on I guess. I left that world and came back in my own subtle way after 6 or 7 years, after II figured

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out what my own voice was in photography and fashion. Although, I still don’t feel as though i’ve found it. I hope to keep evolving until I can’t press the shutter one more time. It’s hard to say what I hope to capture, other than that moment, when you look through the camera and you just go, ‘ahhhh, that’s it’. You know in your heart, that you just got it. You feel that pulse in your chest, your adrenalin rises. Energy courses through you... it sounds so dramatic, but I really do feel it. I’m not longer me, I’m just a conduit to capture a moment in time. What makes shooting fashion satisfying, is that fashion by it’s very nature is progressive. So creating images to represent what the designer has created is full of possibilities, and it’s way to subvert in any way you choose. Because there really are no rules. Fashion is theatre. It’s entertainment. Shooting fashion for me is kind of like The Exquisite Corpse. You create where the designer left off and it’s melded together

to create another separate art piece. It’s collaborative... And that’s exciting. I make lots of mistakes and try to step outside my comfort zone all the time. I have to force myself to do something different each time, because each person is different. And sometimes I get stuck in a phase of what I like and want to see or create... As for the relationship between me and the subject, the best is when 2 things happen, either they forget you’re there and they’re in their own space or when they’re completely with you, locked in with you... it’s too extremes and both seem to work perfectly. I feel a little pretentious for sounding like I know what I’m doing, because really I don’t at all. I know what I like and i just try to get there.


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As for a shoot, the inspiration comes from the musicians themselves as people. Not so much their music. I’ve been pretty lucky to know a lot of insanely talented musicians in my life...they’re my friends as and the upshot is that I’m inspired by what they create... there are a few that haven’t moved me at all, and I just got hired to shoot them, I needed the money... but that doesn’t happen too often... and sometimes I was just at the right place at the right time... like years ago when I was with good friends who knew U2... we were all in Italy at the same time, while they were on tour. I had my 35mm point and shoot with me... we were all in a hotel room, and I snapped away. Snapped The Edge on the edge of a balcony. And it was 6 in the morning. It was a pretty sweet moment. Probably never to happen again. I have to say my favorite moment was when I

was living in NYC and I was working as a graphic designer for a music magazine. (the job I got after working for D’Orazio) I was asked to go shoot a few pictures of Beck at Lalapalooza. It was right after Odelay came out I think. The one with Loser. Beck had just become huge. We went down there with Hal Wilner, legendary producer and music supervisor for Saturday Night Live. Hal was friends with Allen Ginsberg (had produced a spoken word record of his and also William Buroughs) and had asked Ginsberg to interview Beck for the article. I don’t get that star struck. But when I was at Berkeley going to school, I read Howl and had my whole Beats phase (that you kinda have to go through when you’re trying to be an intellectual and need a guide book on how to be cool)... so this was an EPIC moment for me.... Turns out he lived right around the corner from me

in the East Village. We picked him up in Hal’s station wagon and drove to the festival. I fell in love with him on the spot. He was the most gentle, generous, curious man. Ginsberg knew Beck’s grandfather, who was a great Fluxus artist. So after Beck’s set, we all went into this tiny trailer, about 5 of us. And I took pictures of them talking. Ginsberg, who was an incredible photographer, gave me great photographic advice that day that I’ll never forget: always include the hands. They tell you everything you need to know about a person. Basically, I got to spend the day with Allen Ginsberg. And it blew my mind to bits. It still does. I still can’t believe it happened. A year later he died.

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And we did. The first script we wrote, we sold. To Miramax. I remember Harvey Weinstien (then head of Miramax) telling me at a party after we sold it, “We’re gonna turn this into a franchise!” It never got made. Surprise, Surprise! Looking back I feel like such a chump... cuz I ate it up with a spoon. The best part (after getting a sizable check) was the actual writing part. After work, we go home, get stoned and write scenes and see who could crack the other person up more. We knew nothing about screenplay structure but we wrote some pretty funny stuff, at least we thought it was funny. After writing 100 drafts of that script, it turned into an actual job and it was no longer fun. The studio wanted us to edit out all the subversive parts of our script and dumb down an already ridiculous premise. In the

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hopes of chasing the rainbow and furthering my career, I went on endless and pointless meetings with studio executives to get hired for other screenwriting jobs... I became incredibly disheartened out there... basically I realized I was turning into a watered down version of myself and plummeted into a deep vortex of depression.... that seems to happen to a lot of people who are far too sensitive for a pretty vacuous and materialistic lifestyle....so I high-tailed it out of there and moved to Austin, Texas The best move I ever made. Austin is relaxed and creative.. There doesn’t seem to be an air of the have and have-nots like it is in Los Angeles. No one really cares what you do for a living. And it’s so refreshing. But while I was in LA, I made so many great friends and a lot of them were actors. I took

pictures of them all the time, not because they were actors but because that’s who was around me and they just happened to become pretty successful. After my father passed away, I stopped watching movies. Literally. I just didn’t see the point in it. And Ipicked up my camera in a more serious way. I didn’t decide to become a photographer full time, it just happened very organically... and plus it doesn’t take a year to take a picture, like it does to make a film. I’m too ADD for filmmaking. There are friends of mine who are, 5 years later, still working on the same movie! What a drag, man! Yeah, not for me. I want to see the results right away. And I want to move on to the next thing. Photographing actors and being on set is pretty fun though. They’re goofy and animated. Which makes for great photos.


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I love the design process because I can have control over the final product, or at least how my pictures are being presented. That led to making more art, painting, collage and set design... I wanted to push myself and not just be a known as a photographer... I have

always made a lot of art but never showed too many people. usually it’s paintings on wood, or sewing or collage or knitting... and I started to incorporate that in the CD designs, it was a place for me to showcase what I’d do anyway in my living room late at night. I feel

so new to design still, not really my forte quite yet, I’m still learning... still investigating what good design means.. But like any craft, it just takes time, you educate yourself and you just have to keep doing it....

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And the people i gravitate towards are other fellow artists... They inspire me, they push me, they open my eyes to things I may not have seen... and I hope I do the same for them. So who’s ever around my, that’s who i’m gonna be shooting and I shoot my friends all the time... at BBQs, at the river, at home,

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etc... Just ask my boyfriend. I’m sure he’s never been so well documented since he was a baby! But he’s just so damn good looking, I can’t help it! Shooting my friends... it’s a nostalgic thing for me. I love them and want to capture that moment, like everyone else in the world.. but it becomes romantic after-

wards, the moment becomes dreamy and elevated, almost visually a better representation of what actually happened... I just like that it’s not planned like a regular shoot, I love documentary photography and I especially love family polaroids... from way back when..


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But since I’m asked this question so much I guess the simplest answer is, Golden Light is the most beautiful light there is, in my opinion. it reminds me of summer, of my childhood, of an analogue universe, of all things organic and pure. What’s more pure and organic than the Sun? And everyone, and I mean everyone, looks beautiful in golden light behind them. All of a sudden, you’re glowing, you’re apart of that celestial ray of light, as new agey as that sounds.... I’m a nostalgic person however, I don’t like to talk about the past, but I like to make my present look warm and inviting, as if it were from a time when things “seemed” simpler and stripped down. And I like to live my life that way. Most people when they walk into my house, the first thing they say is how much they love the feeling of the space. They feel at home and welcome there. it’s peaceful and warm. Wood walls, sage burning, lots of dogs and chickens and and the smell of yogi tea in the air. I do remember the first time I realized I loved photography. I was about 9 or 10 years old. I

spent a lot of time with My sister’s best friend, who was 9 years older than me. She was like my other sister. She gave me a book of photographs by Henri Cartier Bresson, the famous french photographer. I had never seen anything like it before. He’s famous for capturing “the moment”... and man, He really nailed it and even at that tender age, I aligned with it. And I aspire to create images like that. In my own way, in my own world. Sometimes, most of the time, I fail miserably (but whatever!). There’s this fine line I want to create of capturing that moment and completely orchestrating it. Inspiration is all around me, all the time. And most of the time it’s not photography that inspires me. it’s outsider art, Gee’s Bend Quilts, train stations, tibetan and moroccan textiles, antique shops, flea markets, and Banyon Trees. Every seen a Banyon Tree? Good lord. My favorite word is wonderment. Childlike wonderment. When you no longer can see the beauty and wonderment around you, the everyday things, you’re no longer living. And believe me, I’m prone to not “see-

ing” my everyday environment, when i’m stuck in a rut. And that’s where alignment with your energy and those around you comes in. I believe in the Tao. I study Buddhism. I have an alter in my house with images and objects that bring me back to the truth of what is. The truth of who i am. And I also have a lot of love in my life. I have a boyfriend who blows my mind daily with his creativity and honesty, drive and Lust for life. And who challenges me when i don’t want to be challenged. And opens my eyes to things I hadn’t even thought of yet... I think inspiration comes from being humble. Having an open heart, having compassion, having willingness to grow... And see things in a new light all the time. And when you’re inspired you feel it in your gut, your skin starts to tingle and you just wanna make stuff all the time. At least I do.

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Fritz Mesenbrink: Is this thing on? Jeremy Pelley: Testies, Testies 1, 2, 3. Mornin’ fellas. Fritz Mesenbrink: Starting it off with a ball joke, the usual. Mathew Foster: So Chris, inlight of us needing to send you an interview in the next hour (we’ve been busy!) We are IM’ing the thing and then sending you the transcript. Jeremy Pelley: God, I don’t know what we would do without balls.

Fritz Mesenbrink: I think he wanted us to talk about brands not balls. Jeremy Pelley: Ah interviewing is hard.

printing the damn thing. Fritz Mesenbrink: And yes with tits. Print is dead. Mathew Foster: Long live print.

Fritz Mesenbrink: Have you guys ever heard of a flash magazine?

Jeremy Pelley: But tits live forever.

Mathew Foster: Like with tits?

Fritz Mesenbrink: God save the print.

Fritz Mesenbrink: I’m almost out of coffee, I need to get… Refueled. Mathew Foster: It makes sense, right? It sounds a LOT cheaper than

Mathew Foster: Anyway, This makes me think of our AIGA “lecture”, Dumb+insightful.


Jeremy Pelley: And talking with each other while drinking whiskey.

Mathew Foster: Like our company! We’re waiting for the pay off.

Fritz Mesenbrink: Finally Jeremy’s typing style of no caps comes in handy for this chat interview.

Fritz Mesenbrink: I like the delayed responses. Especially with typos. Extra caps to make up for Jeremy.

Mathew Foster: Still drives me fucking crazy.

Jeremy Pelley: Typos keep you honest.

Jeremy Pelley: Laziness pays off eventually.

Mathew Foster: (Note: please leave typos and Jeremy’s un-punctuation intact).

Jeremy Pelley: Might not make too much sense regardless, but might as well aim high. Fritz Mesenbrink: IDK. Jeremy Pelley: Let’s tell it!

Fritz Mesenbrink: When do we get insightful? Mathew Foster: That comes later. Let’s stick to dumb. Fritz Mesenbrink: You’ve just got to wait around for it to pay off.

Fritz Mesenbrink: Otherwise this won’t make any sense. Mathew Foster: Did we ever tell anyone the story about how Jeremy’s brother wrote the “interview” text for that story that ran in the UK?

Fritz Mesenbrink: Yeah! Triumvirate! Mathew Foster: We were sent those questions, which were pretty stock and boring. From this design blog from the UK- The Import. Jeremy Pelley: And there were wayyyy too many of them, and we were busy Fritz Mesenbrink: Like, “what are your favorite colours?” I mean, “what are your favourite colours?”

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Mathew Foster: “What do you pay for petrol in your lorries?”.

Fritz Mesenbrink: “Let’s take the piss out of this guy!”.

Jeremy Pelley: (Note: the brit spelling and the typo).

Jeremy Pelley: But he is a talented writer and has a lot of free time on his hands.

Mathew Foster: OK. Next thing. Fritz Mesenbrink: Word.

Mathew Foster: And we were like “bullocks”. Jeremy’s brother Jason hasn’t lived in the US for many years now. Jeremy Pelley: And he has never met fritz or mathew. Mathew Foster: He’s off the radar, so to speak.

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Mathew Foster: A great writer- and he just tooted out this amazing chunk of text about us. (insert said text, attached). Jeremy Pelley: One of the funniest things we had ever read regarding the company.

Jeremy Pelley: Um, we just opened a bar. That’s kinda relevant. Mathew Foster: Should we talk about our city? Or the bar? There you go. the bar. Fritz Mesenbrink: So Mathew showed up to work with an amazing mustache yesterday, let’s talk about that!


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Jeremy Pelley: Like your photo.

Mathew Foster: This is so fucking bad.

Fritz Mesenbrink: And yours! Jeremy Pelley: Keep it rolling!

Fritz Mesenbrink: M.A.D.D. Mathew Foster: Work hard and be nice to people.

Jeremy Pelley: Damn right. Mathew Foster: …Let’s talk about the bar. Fritz Mesenbrink: So yeah, Spirit of ’77!!! Mathew Foster: Spiritof77bar.com. It’s a “Portland-centric bar for the sporting enthusiast.” Jeremy Pelley: Free handmade basketball arcade, called “th buzzer beater”. Mathew Foster: Reminding you to be the ball.

Fritz Mesenbrink: We’re in the same room and not talking to each other. Jeremy Pelley: Thanks, technology! Mathew Foster: We’re in the same room, on our laptops, typing this bullshit out. Fritz Mesenbrink: This would be good as a video chat. Mathew Foster: It’d be less dumb to read, that’s for sure. Jeremy Pelley: It’s a good thing we don’t do interviews for a living.

Fritz Mesenbrink: ))<>(( forever. Jeremy Pelley: Tasty food, great drinks, huge 16’x9’ screen. Significant lack of douchebaggery.

Mathew Foster: Let’s wrap it up with something good. Let’s get our ethos in here.

Jeremy Pelley: Tell your mother you love her. Fritz Mesenbrink: Two in the hand, eye for an eye. Jeremy Pelley: (I just told yours). Mathew Foster: I love your mom, Jeremy. Fritz Mesenbrink: Any port in the storm. I love you guys. Mathew Foster: Love you too. Jeremy Pelley: Triple kiss! Mathew Foster: Shit, our intern is here. Fritz Mesenbrink: This is the part where it gets gay.

Fritz Mesenbrink: Stay in school! Mathew Foster: So far. Jeremy Pelley: Floss!

Mathew Foster: Equal rights to all people. Even interns. OK, goodbye!

Fritz Mesenbrink: Both literally and metaphorically.

Fritz Mesenbrink: Shit, that sounded bad when out of order.

Jeremy Pelley: Don’t do it for the money.

Jeremy Pelley: Goodbye, world. Apologies that we are so stupid. Didn’t mean to waste your time. (Jeremy logging out)

Fritz Mesenbrink: Mostly. Mathew Foster: We’ll see how long that lasts. (insert photos of bar). Fritz Mesenbrink: Home of the Buzzer Beater. Jeremy Pelley: Not with that atttude we won’t.

Mathew Foster: Moustaches are not ironic when I’ll shoot you. Fritz Mesenbrink: Say no to droids!

Fritz Mesenbrink: It’s lonely in here.

Fritz Mesenbrink: This is stupid. Jeremy Pelley: Yep, next thing!

Mathew Foster: Do drugs responsibly.

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When's your next show? November, but it's all stuff I had or stuff that's getting made by other people so I don't really have to worry about it. Then not till the spring after that. I'll be fine by then. I was planning on sitting around and drawing for a couple months anyway, so it's okay. When you do those collage style drawings, do you make those with things you've collected for awhile, or do you draw specifically for the new piece? Anything that's drawn on them is specific for that piece, but the collage stuff could be stuff I've had laying around for fifteen years -no real rules to it. That big one I just did, I had a couple pictures on another giant sheet of paper... and the piece of paper... I just didn't like it, so I cut those out, but it was literally like 10 things out of the 200 that were on it. I sat down and made that drawing in 10 days. It was 4 x 6 1/2 feet. I can get going on it pretty quickly. I stopped doing the collages for awhile because it was kind of getting

boring, you know? Like, I knew how to do it. Then I painted for a long time, and then I decided to do this big drawing for a gallery I work with in Denmark. They wanted a piece for this art fair in Copenhagen and I only had 10 days to work on it, and I made it and literally stuck it in the tube and shipped it over there. How long have you been showing? First solo show was March of 2000. So ten years. I'm usually doing like two solos a year, maybe sometimes three. I've done a lot of two man shows over the last couple of years, but I still make as much as I would if it were just me, you know what I mean? Yeah... What was your work like in 2000? It wasn't so different really. Back then, I felt like after they were done they were a little naive, and not so good, but then I see them now and I see exactly why I was doing them and how they translate into exactly what I'm doing now. It's not that much different, I just

got really good at getting really tight and being able to draw fucking anything. Did you do the collage stuff back then? I would do drawings that were like a bunch of little bits. That happened from looking at Basquiat drawings and how he did shit. He was a rad draftsman in a certain way, but I just knew I wanted to make things that were more rendered, with finer details. Also, tattoo flash was a big influence on how those came out, but in tattoo flash, the placement is usually very much the same. There's just the same amount of space around everything, it's kind of boring, so it's fun to do the clusters and have some open areas instead. I just bought a bunch of new sheets of paper the day before I busted my foot. I hung those up and I think those are gonna have alot more negative space going on with them. There's one piece... I just wanted to get all the dead people out of my fucking head and be done with it.


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When did you start making stuff and how long did it take before people noticed? Not that long, man. When I was 26, I was working weird jobs. I had a sign painting business. I owned a furniture refinishing business. I just made stuff but not for that. Then there was just this one day... I don't even remember what happened, but I had this house in New Jersey with all this old wood and shit in the backyard and I just went outside and started grabbing stuff and I made a bunch of paintings and drawings in my kitchen. Later, I moved to New York and got a job at the Guggenheim doing installations. That was 97. I went on my lunch break to see a Francis Bacon show at Shafrazi when it was down on Wooster Street and when I was walking out the door I asked the guy at the desk if they needed any help and he was like "Yeah, just give me your number, maybe we can use you." So a couple days later... I remember I still

had a pager, I got beeped, and I called the guy back and he was like "Can you start tomorrow?" I quit my job at the Guggenheim on the spot and started working at Shafrazi. See, I didn't go to art school, and I didn't really give a fuck about going to galleries... it wasn't a big thing to me, but at Shafrazi I started being introduced to like Donald Bachelor and Ed Rusha and people that I hadn't heard of yet. I would just go in the basement and look at all their shit that they had in storage, and I would go home and make stuff heavily influcenced by what I was looking at. Then I made this one painting that just felt really right. My direct boss was the art installation guy. I had him over to my house and showed him this painting. He was like "Wow, that's fucking really good. I've been thinking about opening a gallery, would you wanna do something with me?" I was like, fuck yeah! So he literally went and found this space on the corner of Suffolk and

Rivington, rented it, gave me the keys, $5000, a bunch of weed, and two months to just fucking work... and then I had my first show at Mark Patchett Gallery. So I sold a couple things out of that. Edward Albee the playwright bought one of my paintings and he had this residency program out in the hamptons that I got into because of that. I met Donald Bachelor at that time and I got to know him and he started buying some of my drawings. Shit just kinda happened. I didn't really try, I just wanted to do it, so I did it. I put myself in a situation where I was at least around the work and around the people. That seems key to the story. Not just as far as the business of making art, but even in driving you to make the art... like the part about you hanging out in Shafrazi's basement and being inspired each day...

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That seems key to the story. Not just as far as the business of making art, but even in driving you to make the art... like the part about you hanging out in Shafrazi's basement and being inspired each day... Yeah, I got to see cool stuff because of that. The collectors would come in and they would always ask me what I did, and now some of those same people own my work. I just put myself where I needed to be, but without a plan either. It wasn't like, "I'm going to work there so I can meet this person." There was no plan, I didn't know what the fuck I was doing... I just liked making stuff. I always have, since I was a kid. Since that first show, how has the work evolved?

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I don't know, I guess my style is a little more distinct. My influences are still there, but they don't show through. When I tell people that I stole a composition from Martin Kippenburger they look at it and say "That's cool" instead of walking up to it and immediately saying "That's a Kippenburger ripoff." So... that feels good. I've been showing long enough that I guess people know what I do... I'm suprised by it all the time, to be honest with you. So where do you think you are in your career right now? I'm 38 years old. For art that's pretty young, you know? I just wanna keep doing it forever. I don't see myself in any stage... I am where I am.

I really like that you're doing well, and being positive and healthy... You know, just appreciating your shit. There's been points in my life where I was alot crazier. I've always had shows to do. I have to turn them down, and that's a great position to be in. I've got a cool chick now that I like alot. I've got good friends. Good shit. I'm comfortable and happy with what I'm doing. It can only get better. The ideas I have can go forever. I'm in a good place.


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What were you listening to growing up and when did you know you wanted to be a musician? Well I started out listening to music my mom listened to. My dad didn’t really listen to music. I’m not really sure if he even owns any records other than mine. My mom would listen to Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, lots of jazz, and lots of random things. When I started school I would listen to what ever everybody was listening to. I went to school in an area that was primarily African American so a lot of pop R n B, and rap like En Vogue, NWA, New Edition. I discovered rock in high school. I got really in to Joplin and Hendrix. Midway thru high school I started going to a lot of all ages punk rock shows. Seeing live bands motivated me to try to form one. I have wanted to be a singer since I was old enough to think about doing anything. Thru the years my ideas of the kind of music I would sing morphed with my changing musical tastes, but the desire to sing was always there. What were some of the early song about? Their inspiration? I just sing about my life, how I feel, and my hopes. Because of the personal nature of my songs I don’t like to explain any further than that. Bring us through some of Heartless Bastards first gigs. Our 1st show was at a bar called the Comet in Cincinnati. We opened for The Legendary Shack Shakers, and The Hentchmen. We had a pretty good crowd in town right off the bat. I bartended, and would give a copy of the demo I recorded to anybody that walked in the bar that I thought looked like they would even be remotely interested in the music. I went thru 4 cd burners. I wanted to go out of town right away so we wouldn’t over play our town. I think a lot of people make that mistake, and people begin to take a good local band for granted. We’d play anywhere I could get us into. Lot’s of dive bars.

Your chance meeting with Black Key’s Patrick Carney in a Akron bar led to your label Fat Possum Records and the release of your debut Stairs and Elevators. A lot of that album was described as sad & angry. Where did that come from? I have some depression from time to time. It might come out in a song. I don’t know if I would say I’m angry though. I might sing in an aggressive tone here and there, but there are very few songs I have that express any anger. I’m definitely not an Ohio version of Alanis Morrisette. Having come from Dayton, Ohio - what brought on the move to Austin, Texas? I actually moved to Cincinnati when I was around 21, and spent 9 years there before I moved to Austin. Cincinnati is where the band formed. I moved there to live with my boyfriend, and we split up 9 years later. I thought a move might help me deal with the break up better. That is what brought on the move to Austin. I had some family there, and my manager lived there also. Mike McCarthy’s studio was in Austin as well, and I had already made the decision to work with him on the album I was working on. Has the change of scenery changed the vibe of your songwriting? I already had the majority of my ideas before I moved. I just had to finish them in Austin. I’m sure living in Texas will have influenced my songwriting a bit for the next album I’m working on. I’ve been turned on to a lot of music I was unfamiliar with before I moved here. I’ve gotten in to Doug Sahm, Ray Price to name a few, and I have developed an extra fondness for Townes Van Zandt who I was familiar with before I moved.

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For the latest release, The Mountain, you worked with producer Mike McCarthy. Walk us through the recording of the album. Well after the break up I moved to Austin and started over. My boyfriend Mike Lamping of 9 years had played bass in the band. We tried to make it work, but it was too painful to continue working together for the both of us. So I didn’t have a band when I got down there. I tried looking for one, but nothing quite felt right. McCarthy had said I should concentrate on finishing the songs. He had some people in mind, and he said if I didn’t think we were clicking, then we would cross that bridge when got to it. I ended up really liking the guys so it all worked out. We didn’t really do any preproduction. He liked my arrangements so we just went right in and I started recording the 1st day. We started with “Early In The Morning”, and ended with “The Mountain”. I brought a friend of mine from Portland who I had known in Cincinnati to play the violin on the album. I thought he’d be perfect for the parts. It’s hard to find classic string players who freestyle. My experience with making “All This Time” the previous album when I brought string players in was that they were only accustomed to sheet music, and it became a difficult process. Mike suggested putting pedal steel on “The Mountain” instead of guitar. I wasn’t sure at first, but I ended up loving it. It really makes that song. The album includes mandolins, banjos & strings Americana with a definite edge. How are the arrangements worked out? Do you hear those kinds of instruments while writing the tunes?

ing to always make an exact picture of what’s in your head can limit the possibilities of where a song can go. Let’s talk a little about the tiny West, Texas town of Marfa and the El Cosmico Trans-Pecos Festival of Music & Love. This is the Heartless Bastards second year to play the festival, and you all have kind of become the official “house” band. How did you become involved? Well I had known Liz Lambert from Austin, and she had invited us down last year for the fest. We had such a great time playing it. There was such a great vibe all around. We had asked if we could be a part of it again this year. We had all planned on coming to the fest this year whether we had played it or not. We talked to Liz about it and presented the idea of doing something different with it so it wouldn’t be the same kind of set we did last year. Like maybe doing the whole show acoustic or something. Jesse Ebaugh from the HB’s came up with the idea of being a house band. And we all liked it and went with it. What’s your impression of Marfa and El Cosmico? Does it inspire you? Oh definitely. I really think there is something special out here. There is a calm feeling I have when I’m here so far removed from the city. I think there is so much creativity in every form out here. El Cosmico itself is a work of art. It’s such a creative way to do a hotel. Liz has put so much care and thought into it’s creation. What’s in the works for you and Heartless Bastards?

Well I usually set an arrangement fully ahead of time, but with “Had To Go” it was a free form, or at least the ending instrumental part. We recorded the song live all together in the room. We never knew exactly when we were going to end it, and each take we did was different. We just kind of mutually knew when we had the best take. I usually have a picture of where I want a song to go, and what instrumentation I want on a song. I never set that in stone for myself. I’m always open to suggestions. I think try-

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Well I’m working on a new album. I’ve actually been out here in Marfa writing. It seems easier to focus out here. We are going to start recording some of the songs in a couple of weeks. I don’t have any definite dates, but hopefully it will be finished sooner than later. I’m just truing to make the best album I can, so only time will tell when it done.


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Made Out West, USA

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Above: Family snapshots from Lizâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s youth in Odessa, Texas. REFUELED FALL 2010


Liz, what is it that harkens you back to the vibe of the 60’s and 70’s with your designs and lifestyle? I don’t really know – I’m interested in handmade and hand drawn things, in things that are crafted instead of mass marketed . . . Having grown up in the desert in West Texas, what was the music that you were first exposed to? And by who? The first record I remember buying was Neil Young’s Decade – I was directly influenced by my oldest brother who played guitar in the bedroom across from mine late at night. Of course, I listened to a lot of country music. It was just part of the culture. What was your first glimpse at rock n’ roll? I actually saw Elvis in concert at the Odessa Coliseum when I was twelve or thirteen, not too long before he died. How has music influenced your life, your hotel designs & your creative thought in general? The same way it influences everyone, I think. It just becomes part of you and your sensibility. You are always surrounded my musicians, actors, designers & creatives. They hang at your house and your hotels, soaking up this atmosphere you have created. How cool is that?

What was your vision for El Cosmico? Let’s see. I wanted to do a combination of a campground and a hotel and a traveling circus, something that would evolve over time, become more and more. Something where you could sleep under the stars, something in the landscape. How did the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music & Love come about? We wanted to have a party, invite everybody out to El Cosmico. The past couple of years there has been an “official” house band develop. Members of Heartless Bastards. Do you see that continuing? Yes. Bands that have played there before often want to come back and play again. So we just decided that we should combine them all – make one big band every year on Saturday night. This year we had the Heartless Bastards, Amy, Ross Cashiola and Adam Bork all sitting in. The only rule about it is that you have played El Cosmico before. The Garuda, a creature from Hidu & Buddhist mythology, acts as the “deity” of not only El Cosmico but seems to appear throughout most of your creative spaces. Do you feel a connection with the creature?

Pretty cool.

Well, most especially for El Cosmico. He’s an image that got me going down a certain path in imagining El Cosmico, that informed things as varied as the saturated color on the trailers.

Let’s talk about Marfa, Texas. What is it that attracts you to the area?

What are you thoughts and ideas for keeping the creative process of El Cosmico alive and growing?

Well, my family ranches in the area, and I have been going out to that part of the country as long as I can remember. Big sky, secret pastures.

We’re trying to do some serious building and adding out there in the next year – we’d like to add a number of creative spaces like a ceramic studio and a permanent stage.

A perfect place for a creative commune like El Cosmico, right? Of course. There are a lot of creative people in Marfa and a lot of creative folks that travel there.

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Spread Photos: Harlee Demeerleer


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This day came together perfectly. I called a recent acquaintance, asked about the car tip sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d given me a few nights earlier, and soon enough I was standing in a dirty alley of Venice Beach, pulling polaroids in front of it. Days like that remind me of why I deserted my college degree in some filing cabinet years ago.

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As a professional photographer, it’s quite challenging to write about a recent project and describe it as ‘fun.’ To say this project was a perfect excuse to sit passenger in that car, or to photograph a 40 year old Harley Davidson in the foothills of Ventura County, could be perceived as joy-riding in my career. But in all honesty, we all need it from time to time. Fun. Having just finished the book publishing and promotions for my most recent project, It’s Better in the Wind, I felt like I needed to take a deep breath and have a

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creative holiday. I started in on this project thinking I was just going to try to fill up some wall space in my home with new polaroids. I had been restricted during the work for It’s Better In The Wind, and wanted to get back to exploring creatively. It all started out very loose, with mixed results, and quickly I began to challenge myself to make the compositions more dynamic by playing with scale and multiple prints.


Once I started adding people and organizing specific shoots in detailed orientations, I realized that I was ‘working’ again. Some holiday this project was going to be. The subjects of these images carry their own aesthetic weight, and a certain challenge involved with these compositions was to find a happy medium between the creative imagery, and the viewer’s psychological acceptance of how the subject should look. Everybody has a precon-

ceived notion of what a vintage Mustang looks like, but my job was to author a photograph that makes the viewer second guess the puzzle before him or her. By using a near standard lens, and moving side to side on a line (rather than in a curve) I could minimize the spacial distortions involved in photographing with a wide lens, but still use perspective to exaggerate certain dimensions of the subject.

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