DavidKoechner TheVeronicas TheWhip SkinGraft SheilaFrank MichaelCypress RachaelYamagata BandofSkulls issue 10 Summer 2009
Photo: © 2007 MPL Communications Ltd./Max Vadukul
Many years ago, I was fishing, and as I was reeling in the poor fish, I realized, “I am killing him—all for the passing pleasure it brings me.” And something inside me clicked. I realized, as I watched him fight for breath, that his life was as important to him as mine is to me.
WHO WE ARE
ANTHONY AMADEO He left Conneticut for Santa Barbara, CA and the Brooks Institute to pursue his life long dream of aphotographer. Now that he’s done, he’s back in NYC with big plans.
Emily Peterson Lead Designer
Website Dude KRISTY SPAROW Kristy Sparow, a California native, moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in promotional and editorial photography. She has been working tirelessly for many years and has recently decided to gather her ambitions and move to Paris for the summer of 2009. LA Times, Fudge, Performer, Grammy.com, Scratch Magazine and LA Weekly are just a few publications that her work has been seen in. Her body of work includes images that are poignant and poised, echoing the influences of some of her favorite photographers.
NOAH PATRICK PFARR Noah Patrick Pfarr has been a freelance illustrator and silk screener in Portland for the past three years. He has been in such publications as COSMOgirl! Magazine, Venus Zine, Portland Monthly Magazine, Portland Mercury, Seattle Stranger, Scoot Magazine. He recently moved his family from Portland to Oakland, CA in order to attend the Academy of Art University’s MFA Illustration Program in San Francisco.
Phade Braund Anthony Amadeo
Cover Photographer Lauren Weigle, Michelle Nelson, Phade Braund, Kevin Fry, Megan McIsaac, Monica Alvarez, Nate Manning, Tina M. Schiro, Helen Berkun, Kristy Sparow, Noah Patrick Pfarr, Erin Elyse Burns, Lucas Cook, Hidee Mangahas, SE Haas, Mark Johnston, Tina Tyrell, Jessica Origliass, Marcus Donates, Corey Hayes, Meg Urbani, Joel Henderson, Shawn Smith, Crystal Kash, Laura Granlund, Laura Pieroni, Jessica Padykula, Aaron Fallon, Dean Bryant, Gina Lopez, Janet Sanders, Star Noor, Emilie Yount, Jimmy Hall, Sarah Collins, Emilie Demun, Jeronimo Alvarez, Karla Ortiz, BriAnne Wills, Jason Schell, Jason McDonald, Enko Photography, Kira Pinski, Anna Webber, Matthew P. Gonzalez , Misha Vladimirskiy, Ashley Bennett, Shelby Duncan, Sylvie Blum, Matt Lawrence, Natalie Emery, Nicchi Battaglino, Mary Catherine Hamelin, Kaitlin Johnson, Alex Winn, Jon Hamblin, KG-Photography, Jeannine Ramadan, Sean Alan, Stefanie D’Castro, Alicia Elfving, Antiorder Allure, Kacey Jones, Dana Goldstein, Charlene M. Epple, Carey Trejo, Alena Florie, Ron Hope, Jason Lee Perry, Ariel Lieberman, Danielle Ezzo, Larissa Underwood, Daisy Rast, Melissa Schenk, Julia Pogodina, Andrea Wilhelm, Andy Fortson Contributors Reach out and virtually touch us at
view our hip internet site
Wanna be our friend?
LUCAS COOK My name is Luke, I’m 18, and I want to be a photographer when I grow up. I still have a whole bunch to learn, and I look forward to doing so.
PHADE BRAUND As a Portland based freelance Photographer I have many opportunities to interplay my portrait photography with my landscape photography. In every shot I aim to capture the emotion and magic of the moment. I am most interested in photographing perceived human flaws to show the beauty and sensuality in controversy and pain.
If you are looking to see your business become fruitfull then you should get your freakin’ ad in our magazine. Send us an email and we will work with you to make that happen. mf magazine is published about four times a year by Spec Media. All material in mf may not be printed without permission from the big chief. The views expressed in these pages are not the views of the magazine but those of the rad people we talk with.
cover DavidKoechner image by erik shultz
LETTERS/ART TO THE EDITOR
Ashley Griswold by
by Miss Miranda Alane taken by Wayne Thomas Crans
Rose Mae Turner in Chicago
by Claire Brewis
What those Who You Listen To, Listen To.
The International Noise Conspiracy Framing Hanley’s
.mixtape. 90 B A BY - Halloween, Alaska
This mix is our tribute to the great American engineer, Tchad Blake, who had a hand in all of these recordings...
Halloween, Alaska mixtape
illustrations by NOAH PATRICK PFARR
BRAZILIAN GIRLS, “JIQUE” Equally appropriate for banging your head or your significant other.
CIBO MATTO, “APPLE”
LATIN PLAYBOYS, “CRAYON SUN”
ELVIS COSTELLO, “CLOWN STRIKE”
It’s not fair that a band with no guitar player gets one of the best guitar entrances ever.
Strangely addictive tune that sounds ancient and totally futuristic at the same time. Not every band can be this wordy and still rock an incredible shuffle feel.
AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB, “WHAT GODZILLA SAID TO GOD WHEN HIS NAME WASN’T FOUND IN THE BOOK OF LIFE” Perfect marriage between a totally singular songwriter (Mark Eitzel) and equally unique production.
GIRL BROS., “I’VE GOT NO STRINGS”
CROWDED HOUSE, “KILL EYE”
SUZANNE VEGA, “99.9F”
If Pinocchio rolled in a Range Rover...
Scary groove, cracked keyboard sounds, creepy concept, still irresistible.
Remember that song “Luka”? This makes it look dumb.
RON SEXSMITH, “WHILE YOU’RE WAITING” The greatest use of a steel drum in the history of pop music (sorry, Jimmy Buffett).
TOM WAITS, “THE EARTH DIED SCREAMING” Every apocalypse deserves a beautiful closing blast of mellotron.
.mixtape. 90 B Murray Lightburn/The Dears
2DENNIS WILSON “Thoughts of you” (from “Pacific ocean blue”)
FLEET FOXES “He doesn’t know why” (from “Ragged wood”) NINA SIMONE “Baltimore” (from “Baltimore”)
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL “Sailor’s lament” (from “Pendulum”)
VAN DYKE PARKS “Palm desert” (from “Song cycle”)
-Dubby, hypnotic and beautiful, it just doesn’t let you go.
Sounds Like My Wedding Night by Pony Up! -I was working with the band in the studio and at one of the last sessions they busted this one out. Incredibly awesome. The vocals are especially beautiful. 21 Guns by World Provider -I’m also working with this nutcase. This guy can get away with murder. Fantastic songs.
DUNGEN “Det tar Tid” (from “4”)
CARIBOU “After Hours” (from “Andorra”)
FUNKADELIC “The Goose (that laid the golden egg)”
-Sweden’s finest, at their finest.
-Silver Apples for the 21st century.
-From the long awaited outtakes comp “Toys”. Too drunk to funk!!
10. AMADOU et MARIAM “Sabali” 11.
(From “Welcome to Mali”)
WOLF PEOPLE “Cotton Strands” 7” -U.K’s best kept secret.
12. THE HYGRADES“In the Jungle” (f
“Ain’t Going to Rehab”- Amy Winehouse Because you should probably think about going, if you haven’t already. “Folsom Prison Blues” - Johnny Cash Always sounds good on a bleak highway, road music of the highest order. “Nobody Loves Me” – Portishead Melancholy, with the sort of romantic pathos suitable to the anticipation of great things meeting the reality of a world of seeming perpetual darkness and club interiors. “First We Take Manhattan”- Leonard Cohen Any song that mentions Manhattan and Berlin in the same song. “Taking them” sounds like a good idea.
Black Wave/ Bad Vibrations by Arcade Fire -I blasted this tune in the car for days. With the windows and sunroof open. California by Jason Kent -For whatever reason, this song got stuck in my head. I think it’s the way he sings Oh, California the second time. And the harmonies. Doing Business by Kill The Lights -I really love the drums on this track. Steady. Solid. Fierce. Kick ass.
Threats by The Dears -I had to live the song for so long and never really got anywhere with it. Could be my torture tune.
Welcome to the psychadelic cabaret!
rom NIGERIA ROCKS)
-More Fuzz than you can handle.
TOP-TEN ROAD SONGS FOR ROCK BANDS
“Mountain Song” – Jane’s Addiction The lyrics, in particular, work in a road context: Seeing and meeting people from city after city “everybody has their own opinion, holding it back can hurt so bad.”
Calm Awaits by Black Diamond Bay (a.k.a. KRIEF) -This is the opening track off of this album. The way it builds up is pretty heavy. If I wrote this tune, I’d leave The Dears too.
Undertow by Stars -This track made me so nostalgic when I heard it. 939 is all I can say.
-Who said you needed a chorus to write a catchy song?
.mixtape. 90 Scott McCloud of Paramount Styles B
-The melodies, ah the melodies!
-Rolling with Charles Manson obviously made you fragile and schizophrenic.
7. 8. 9.
“Personal Jesus” – Depeche Mode I saw DM in Toronto once on tour. The sound of 25,000 people clapping in unison is impressive. And what else is touring really about? “Flesh Storm” – Slayer Sometimes you just need something on the brutal and yet slightly ridiculous side, for proper touring balance, with strong coffee in the morning. Actually we just listened to this other day outside of Seattle or I wouldn’t even know about it. “I’m Comin Out (So You Better Get The Party Started)”- Pink For humor alone, and its not half bad, well OK, maybe half bad. I forget the title but presume it these lines, as they’re basically the whole song.
“Crazy Train” – Ozzy Osbourne Uhm… My first concert. Where this idiocy all began.
“Innocent When You Dream” – Tom Waits As good and road-weary as it gets, as good as getting weepy during in-flight movies you normally couldn’t stand to watch.
Framing Hanley’s mixtape
The International Noise Conspiracy
-This year’s heaviest song about sex.
BY - Nixon
TV ON THE RADIO “Lover’s day” (from “Dear science,”)
Someone’s Rocking My Dreamboat by the Ink Spots -My daughter loves “Looney Tunes” and Bug Bunny sings this in one bit right before he ruins Elmer Fudd’s life. Couldn’t get the tune out of my head.
(Just Like) Starting Over by John Lennon -This is a really cheesy song. But I like it. And it suits where we’re at right now, I guess.
.mixtape. 90 B
.mixtape. 90 B
The Dears mixtape
90 music fashion
“All I See” by Lydia - perfection...this song is a masterpiece by an incredible band
“Broken Lungs” by Thrice - this band is a band that pushes the envelope and matures in their sound more and more with every record...I’ve seen them live before and it was the greatest live show I’ve ever seen. Love this song, and I love this band.
“Memphis Will Be Laid To Waste” by Norma Jean - this is a song that is great to listen to right before going onstage...it gets us pumped up and ready to throw down “The Kill” by 30 Seconds To Mars - I’ve been a fan of this band for years now, and this is my favorite song by them. “La De Da” by Evaline - one of my favorite bands that A LOT more people need to know about “Lollipop Remix” by Lil Wayne featuring Kanye West - the rhymes in this song are off the chain, and the hook is still there...what more can you ask for
“Swagger Like Us” by T.i., Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne - arguably the 4 greatest rappers in the game today...does anyone on the block have a swagger like them?...
“Sugar Skulls” by Envy On The Coast - the energy in this song is ridiculous. in my opinion this guy has one of the most unique voices in rock
“Sleepwalking” by Blindside - speaking of unique...everything about this band is original...this is a song for me that never gets old
“Gone Away” by Safetysuit - the harmonies in this song are unbelievable...a group of consummate songwriters from our hometown of Nashville, TN
“Cold Water” by Damien Rice - another of my favorite artists...in a trance when I listen to his records. This is the song I want played at my wedding one day.
RachaelYamagata TheVeronicas TheWhip BandofSkulls Sonicbids ProjectMyWay DavidKoechner Nocturnal MichaelCypress SkinGraft ShielaFrank Suno
10 16 18 20 21 24 32 38 40 46 48 54
Now, on to the magazine all these fine folks created. As always, I am proud of what we have produced. This issue is a little sneak peak into the fall issue, which will be our first comedy issue. Our cover man is David Koechner, most notable known for his role in Anchorman and reoccurring role in The Office. I had the pleasure of getting to know this comedic genius. During our shoot and conversations, his kids and wife were a main topic of discussion showing this is a true family first type of guy. With our Sonicbids feature, we searched through hundreds of bandâ€™s press kits to find the best new music. As with every issue of mf magazine, our goal is to expose you to new trendsetting individuals that will shape our future and shed some new light on folks you already know and love. erik schultz
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Welcome to another installment of mf magazine. As always this issue is packed with some amazing features. Before I get into that, I want to take a moment to thank our amazing staff. They work long, tough hours to produce an amazing experience for our rad readers. Our designer has worked through some enormous hurdles to create this issue. She is a rock star and I canâ€™t thank her enough for making this all happen. Our fashion editor searches the globe to find the best fashion houses that you need to know about. We have a new website that took hours upon hours of work to finish. I hope everyone enjoys it. We will be adding content and new features every week but the baseline is there. Our web guy is awesome. I love the mf crew. Without them, this magazine would cease to exist. There are so many folks to thank from our photographers, writers, illustrators, designers, marketing and sales folks. Thank you!
RachaelYamagata By Lauren Weigle Photo by erik schultz
he musical resume of Rachael Yamagata T is quite impressive. In the past, she has worked with many names including Jason
Mraz, Rhett Miller, Mandy Moore, Ray Lamontagne, Ryan Adams, and Jill Cunniff. Many of her songs have been featured on countless mainstream television shows such as Nip/Tuck, The City, One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C., and ER. Her music has also played in the background of films like Definitely Maybe, Prime, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, In Her Shoes, and Elizabethtown. Nonetheless, even with such an extensive repertoire under her belt already, Yamagata still remains motivated to continue making meaningful music to which people can relate and feel a connection. You’re known for your songs about heartbreak and break-ups. What inspires you to write songs so often about this subject? I don’t know. I guess the challenge of getting it right. I’m mystified and intrigued by how people treat one another whether it’s in a romantic relationship or on a daily basis. We have such a potential to understand one another and connect. I think romantic relationships interest me so much because the stakes are so high. There’s so much to gain and so much to lose. You could potentially be your most honest with someone you’re not afraid to be vulnerable in front of and wouldn’t it be great if we could all connect like that, regardless if we are romantic with them or not? What we inflict upon one another and how we break each other’s hearts or lift each other up is frustrating to me. It’s endlessly frustrating to me. Do you base any of these songs on life experiences? If I ever feel something on a personal level, my gut concerns articulate what I’m feeling. So, I can sit down and write ten songs about the same relationship just trying to understand the dynamics of it. For me, it’s just a way of processing things. I definitely feel like I learn a lot about myself, the world, and other people. It seems like an endless source of material. (laughs) Are there any other topics you haven’t touched on that you’d love to include in your song-writing? You know, I’ve written songs about a lot of things. I’ve written songs about my cats. I’ve written songs that were a bit more political. The subject matter goes all over the place, but they’re just not as powerful to me as the ones about human interaction. I think this is my forte. As far as the other stuff, I’d love to write a great political song that has a fabulous message. I haven’t been able to do it in a way that doesn’t sound forced, so we’ll see. For six years you were a song-writer and vocalist with the band Bumpus. Before joining the band,
however, your relationship with them began as a fan. How did you evolve into a member of the band? I think I just trailed them for so long. A friend of mine from voice class and I went to see the band. We were both mesmerized by this band, loved it. Then, I went on a trip and when I came back, she had joined the band as the female singer. So, I kind of knew everyone or got to know everyone in the band. I just trailed them. I brought them coffee and donuts. I’d go to rehearsal every now and then. I kind of just did whatever was needed. If they needed a third harmony, I was there. It just sort of happened and I eventually got into songwriting with them. Actually, I didn’t know them for too long before I became a part of the band, but I was just around enough. After six years with Bumpus, what motivated you to move on in order to explore a solo career? I hadn’t. I really never thought of being a solo artist. I did my solo material on the side and had done one open mic, which was terrible. I had so much stage fright I didn’t show anyone else the songs for another five years, but I just kept writing them because I loved it. I really just enjoyed Bumpus so much that I didn’t have any intentions of leaving it, but I got very fortunate to have a friend in Chicago to pass my music on. Before I knew it, it became this label showcasing thing. They really responded very quickly and it just became a timing issue. I’d only played one solo show before I did my first label showcase. It all happened very out of the blue and because of that, it became a solo career. I wasn’t looking for it. It was odd. In the past you have attended prestigious universities including Northwestern and Vassar to study French and Italian. What inspired you to choose a career in the music industry instead of pursuing a career in one of those areas? It was really just to try and scheme my way to go abroad without having to stay in college. (laughs) I loved languages, but I just really didn’t want to be in school, so I was trying to go abroad. I’ve always loved theater, so I came back to Northwestern to pursue straight up theater. I loved it, but in my junior year when I saw Bumpus, I just knew that I had to be on stage with them. I didn’t care if I was playing a tambourine. It seemed like the best thing in the world and it was really through that, that song-writing took over. I feel like I got the music bug the way people get the acting bug. I was hooked. It was, again, an organic discovery because it never occurred to me that you could do music as a profession. Your songs have appeared on many popular television shows such as Charmed, Taking the Stage, How I Met Your Mother, Private Practice, and Brothers & Sisters. Are there any other shows on which you would love to feature one of your songs? Yes! Lost! I’m obsessed with Lost…absolutely
obsessed. I tell everyone I would wash up on the beach, be a character, and my life would be complete. I love that show! Several of your pieces have also been featured in movies as well. How does it make you feel when you’re sitting in the movie theater or watching the TV at home on your couch and one of your songs begins to play in the background of the film? Hearing my own stuff is, most of the time, I think how people feel when they hear their own voice on the answering machine. “Oh my God! Is that really what I sound like?” Sometimes I have a not so nice reaction because I’ll hear things I want to change. Then there are a few placements that are done so well that it’s a real honor and treat. There was this movie called Bella that used a song of mine called Meet Me By The Water at the end of the movie and it was just beautiful. It was a beautiful film and I loved the storyline. It’s the very last song and it’s the perfect placement. I was very excited about that. Otherwise, it’s a really cool thing, but I have to take my own critical ego out of the way. When it’s done right, it can be this beautiful experience, but it’s hard for me to listen to myself. I listen to my banter on stage and I can’t believe I’m such a jerk. (laughs) It’s brutal. I don’t know why, but it’s totally brutal. What are your stylistic influences? They’re really across the board. I grew up on the 70’s classics. My parents were listening to a lot of the Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Chuck Stevens, and Roberta Flack. Then, when I went to college, I listened to people like Tom Waits and John Coltrane. Only recently I discovered some big bands that everyone already knows like Led Zeppelin or other great classic rock bands. I think I’m drawn to a little bit of everything. I have a wide spectrum of tastes in terms of music. Newer bands I’m listening to are My Morning Jacket, MGMT, and Kings of Leon. So, I think I pick bits and pieces from a variety. I don’t really have a specific style that I’m following. Any plans for any upcoming albums? No, I need to get some. That’s for sure. (laughs) I haven’t written a song in quite a while actually. I think it’s because it took so long to get this last record out. Part of me just shut down to new music because I was still so attached to these songs and getting the record out. Now it’s all about getting inspired again and being on the road. It’s really hard for me to write on tour, so I’m very curious to get settled for a couple weeks and see what happens.
mf _ 11
By Mark Johnston Photo by Marcus Donates
chat with Warren and Daniel from Aquick Cazals. What’s the band up to at the present? Warren: Having a bit of a rest before we go off to Paris next week. I saw that you've toured with Daft Punk; did you get to use their lighting guy? Did you see either member of Daft Punk trip or stumble from not being able to see in those helmets? W: We actually did get to use their lighting guy; unfortunately we weren't allowed to use their lights, lasers, pyramid or spangley star back drop. Never saw anyone trip in a helmet but they don't actually put the robot suits on until they are right behind the pyramid. It's not like they hang around backstage dressed like robots or anything. It'd be fucking cool if they did though! Any plans to tour the States? Are you going to do anything over the top to win over American crowds? Daniel: I think we'll hopefully have a full tour in [Summer] set up, we're looking at how much tour support we have so we can budget our pyrotechnics, there'll probably be just enough for us to wear sparklers tied to our heads and for a small Catherine Wheel to go off behind the drum kit at the end of the end of the set. Now that the album has been out about a year, how has the response been? Why did it take so long to get released in the country that the label is based out of? D: Well Kitsune is a very cool but small label and went for the release of the album in the UK first as there isn't the team or funds for a simultaneous worldwide release, they felt it was important to start in the UK. Now that there is some more weight behind the band the album is being released everywhere else. I think on the whole, everyone who has heard the album has been very impressed by it; I think many people’s pre-conceptions were dispelled. What's the funniest similarity that's been drawn to your group? W: Well, Phil's appearance has brought about many hilarious comparisons to many different 70's English sitcom stars [like] Micky Pierce [and] Blakey. Do you all still live together? Who's the Mother of the household that has to clean up after the rest? W: If there was a mother it would probably be Dan because he used to cook for everyone. As far as cleaning goes it didn't really get done very often, if ever. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that the house was a bit of a shit hole. If each member of the band could have a stage name, what would it be? Would you wear costumes to go along with them? W: I had a conversation similar to this with Dan the other day. We were talking about if we played snooker what our names would be. In keeping with Hurricane Higgins and Whirlwind White. Dan opted for Gale Force Gallagher. I was undecided between Whirlwind Warren or Tsunami Stubbs. Failing that, I like the idea of doing a James Jameson or Mitch Mitchell and being called Warren Warrens or something like that. D: I think the snooker names are the way forward; Martin - Drubber Dubka Dan - Gale Force Gallagher Luca - Chaos Ciampi Warren - Shotgun Stubbs Phil - Burning Bush
AnHorse By Monica Alvarez Photo by erik schultz
ate Cooper, half of Australian duo K An Horse, is a girl who feels things… lots of things. One thing she isn’t feeling
so much is fruit. No seriously – like the kind most of us enjoy eating. Don’t even come within 20 feet of her with any type of fruit. Kate, however, was nice enough to take some time from the pair’s busy tour schedule to let us know a little more about her, including which other Australian acts we should be checking out. I am really digging the cover for ‘Rearrange Beds’. Who did the illustrations for the album’s front and back cover? A friend of ours called Celeste Potter did the artwork. She’s an illustrator and an artist in Northern Australia and she basically does all our stuff. She does our CDs and our t-shirts. She’s amazing. Is there any particular inspiration or meaning behind the artwork? We give Celeste [the freedom to do what she wants]. I think the poor girl went mad listening to the record on repeat for 10 days [while] making the artwork. I think she drew her inspiration from what she heard in the music. Speaking of meanings and inspiration, have you and Damon been inspired to work on any new material yet? Yes. Damon and I have started writing again. We’ve started playing a couple of new songs. When we have downtime between touring we start writing. I can’t wait actually. I just want to put all the new songs down. What kind of sound do we have to look forward to with the new material that you guys are working on? We haven’t written that much so we’ll just have to wait and see. I think it’s more of Damon and I writing together and expanding on what we’ve done. Do you still wear the infamous An Horse sweatshirt? I actually gave that to a very dear friend of mine before I left for the states because I wear it too much and it’s terribly baggy. I had to give it to someone to stop from wearing it. But I do love it and I miss it terribly.
When you guys prepare to go on tour, do you guys put a lot of thought into what you wear on stage? Yea, I think so. I mean, my whole thing is “crisp” – I like to look “crisp”, you know what I’m saying? Damon’s been giving me a lot of grief about that lately, but I mean, of course we do. Any person going out to do their job puts thought into [what they wear] and so do we. That being said, I probably take about five minutes [to get ready]. In fact, Damon and I were discussing that we’ve packed too much. We both have too much. Do you guys have any favorite brands or shops that you like to shop for or at? Not really. No. I mean I like a good pair of jeans but nothing in particular.
If you could be a fruit, what would you be? You know what? I hate fruit. I hate it. I don’t eat it. I can’t even touch it. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t live. I couldn’t be a fruit. That scares me. (Laughing) Okay. If you could be anything other than a human what would you be? I think I’d be a shark or a giant squid fish. I know you guys have played in the states before. Of the cities and states that you have been able to visit and play in, which is your favorite? That’s a really tough question. I mean, I think the states that were our favorites were the states what we were actually able to get time off in because often it’s so in and out, you know? I mean, there are so many places that are kind of blowing my mind. We were in San Francisco and had a few days there and that was amazing. I have some family in [Los Angeles] so I always have a good time there. Salt Lake City. I wouldn’t have expected them to jump out the way they did. For example, Salt Lake City has the best coffee that I’ve had in America. And I know my coffee quite well. I guess I’ll have to pay more attention to the coffee next time I’m in Utah. So what are you and Damon listening to these days? I guess I’ve been listening to my friend back home called The Paper and The Plane and he has a side project called Chalkandcheese. It’s very Australian. He’s a very, very talented songwriter.
mf _ 13
So it’s seemed to level out now where I don’t feel like we’re living in the shadow of that album. It’s quite a hard thing for a band to overcome, to have this huge record particularly if it’s early on. On being an “Indie” band We’ve always been an indie band. We were on Sony/Epic in America, but at the core of it we were on an independent label, Independiente. It was independent on paper, but the owner is a multi-millionaire. But now, as a proper indie band, it’s hard and it’s great and as we move ahead I’m convinced it’s the way to go. My big problem when we had a record deal was the record company always saying, “We want more singles.” It’s not as if I don’t write singles—that’s how I write, I am “Mr. Single!” I try to write these pop-y sort of things but it was never enough. For instance, we wound up with The Boy with No Name, which has all these possible singles but no cohesive thread through the album. I can still hear echoes of our A&R man shouting, “Write more singles!” But now it’s not that way. It’s hard, you’re putting your own money in, and the funding for an album is less, but you aren’t gambling with someone else’s money. It’s exciting and hard all at once.
The next record Bands don’t make money selling records, not really. You try to cover your bases and then get out there and tour. That’s what we’re doing. But, I really feel like I’ve got a big record to write. I don’t know, it’s something, some feeling that it’s there and I have to write it. Some feeling that we aren’t finished that something is still left to do. Some days it’s not there and you have to write through those periods. But in the back of my head I know it’s there and it’s exciting. It’d be nice to be able to just write for 6 months and see what comes out of it.
Interview and photo by Nate Manning
ouring in support of their 6th album, T Ode to J. Smith, Travis frontman Fran Healy took time to share his thoughts on
such topics as being a “real” independent band, touring in America, and being out from under the shadow of The Man Who. Making new fans I think it’s great because I don’t know where peo-
ple hear us since we aren’t played on the radio. Maybe people that like other bands that are like us sort of look into the family tree and find us and go and see what we’re about. That’s one of the things I regret…well...not really regret, but we’ve never really had the song or the support of radio to get music out to new fans. I suppose we are relying on word of mouth. Which still is the best form of promotion. It’s slow, but still the best. Certainly the most genuine.
Touring On the last American tour which was for the last album, Boy with No Name, which is not my favorite album by the way. It’s sort of me learning
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to write songs again, sort of an exercise record. The tour for that record though, especially the tour in America, filled us all to the brim. Every night was amazing. We were filled with confidence after that tour, so much that we came straight off the tour and started writing the new album. We were so filled that we decided that we would write and record the album in a short space of time—between March and December. So we did it. But that’s touring America. I love touring America, it’s so vibrant. The Man Who It’s a funny thing that album. That album is sort of this thing, this big thing, that people refer to. What’s funny though, especially in America and Europe, The Invisible Band was a much bigger record. That’s the album that sort of broke us and people knew us from that album. It was definitely The Man Who though in the UK. As time goes on it sort of levels off. For instance Closer is such a massive song and it’s from the last album. Which as I mentioned before isn’t my favorite, but it has some great songs that are fun to perform live. Selfish Jean is another good example.
Competing for fans’ attention There are so many other things out there--so many labels, so much other music. In the end I think you just have to compete song for song. In the end you have to forget about marketing and business and just go head to head. Could I sit down with the best of the bunch with my latest stuff? If the answer is “I’m not sure” then I better write some more, write some better songs. I think we can, though. There’s always, for us at least, to write that better tune or make the next great song. So if it’s good, fans will find it, despite all the other things that are out there. Staying friends We’re exactly the same. Sure, we’re grown up a bit now. We have families of our own and when we come off the road we say our goodbyes and go do our own thing. We do check in on each other, but we spend so much time together we need the time away. But, this band is my family too. I have no brothers or sisters-I’m an only child- so they are the closest thing I could possibly get to it. We’ve been together for a long time. In the end we really like each other. When you see us play live you can see that we have an energy together, it’s not put together in any way. I can’t see a time when I won’t be playing music with them. Why would we stop? We’ve been friends for 17 years now and still get along and still make music that people will listen to, so we’ll keep on going.
By Monica Alvarez Photo by Kristy Sparow
hat do you get when you W combine myself, Kristy Sparow (photographer), the boys from Local Natives and a beer run before our interview? A near death experience! Kristy and I hung out with the boys in their rehearsal space in downtown Los Angeles to talk about the fashion and music we wouldn’t mind hearing while thinking about dying.
So did I scare the shit out of you when I almost killed you a minute ago? Matt: You did. You really did. [You] said you were going to buy us beers and that was pretty much code for “murder”. (Laughter) Tell me a little bit about how it is that you guys came together as a band. Ryan: Taylor and I met in high school and just started playing music together. I don’t know. We were serious and we were all living in Orange County. We got to meet Andy through a mutual friend and gradually met Matt. Then, we finally all moved in together. Where was your first show? Taylor: Oh man, we played at my dad’s house. And this was when Kelsey was playing drums in a hardcore band. It was awesome. There were so many people there. And the cops came. Ryan: Well, they were like in an emo band and I was like in the legit band. Taylor: Legit?! You were in a straight edge band. They didn’t even like you, dude.
Ryan: The liked me fine, Taylor. Thank you.
When you guys are preparing to do a show, do you put a lot of thought into what it is that you wear on stage? Matt: We used to think about it a lot before but we’ve never been that band that wears like matching suits and things. Now we just wear what we’re wearing. We just walk on [stage]. Kelsey: It’s not like, “Everyone look good?” Do you guys have places that you prefer to shop at? Taylor: Well, Andy used to work in the fashion industry, so a lot of what we wear is sort of like ‘hand me downs’ so we would look like chumps if it [weren’t] for this guy. Andy: I really like Fremont (fremontapparelco.com) and Henri Vibskov ( henrikvibskov.com). So if the band was a cast of a horror movie, who would die first? Everyone but Kelsey: Kelsey Kelsey: What? Why? I’d be the one killing people. So what, would you fake your death to get away with it or something? Kelsey: Probably, so that then I’d be the twist at the end. Ok, if there was a song of your choice playing on a merry go round, what would it be? Ryan: For me, it would be a Van Morrison track. It immediately popped into my head. ‘Domino’. I don’t know. As I’m, like, riding on that golden horse.
Taylor: I’m going to go with the first track off the
St. Vincent album, “The Strangers”. It’s my favorite lately. Kelsey: Have you heard Bon Iver? “Re: Stacks”. I’m a sucker for like really slow songs. I really like really slow songs and that song really gets me. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard in awhile. Andy: I guess mine would have to be a Beatles song, but a happy Beatles song – “Ob-La-Di, ObLa-Da”. Matt: Ok, I’ve been obsessed with the recent Department of Eagles album. “No One Does It Like You” – that song, if it’s a carousel for the moment, I think that song would be fitting. Do you guys have any side projects right now? Taylor: Yeah, I do a little, like, folksy thing with Amanda who plays violin with us and with a college buddy named Jesse. It’s like, a banjo, acoustic guitar, violin folk trio. We’re called The Payphones. What’s going on for you guys, as a band, for the remainder of the year? Taylor: Hopefully touring. We want to get to Europe. We just want to be on the road, touring as much as possible. Kelsey: And this will be the year where we release our first full-length album. This is a huge year for us. We’ve been working toward it for a while. What are you guys listening to these days? Andy: We all have the new Grizzly Bear. Matt: And the new Peter, Bjorn and John. Taylor: And the new Phoenix.
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By Star Noor Photos by Jessica Origliass
ecording studio therapy sessions- that’s what it was R like for The Veronicas as they recorded their second album Hook Me Up. “A lot of love, passion, tears,
obsession, and revenge went into making this record,” explains Jessica Origliasso. Already a major hit in their native Australia, Jessica and sister Lisa Origliasso found the U.S. not as inviting as their Aussie mates. But, with the release of their single “Untouched” co-written by producer Toby Gad, that seems all but a thing of the past. The song, which has sold over a million copies thanks to constant touring and some lip service from fans, is a direct extension of hours spent on the proverbial shrink’ couch- figuratively speaking-which the girls credit for their more grown up honest sound (electro pop shoegaze with down in the guts lyrics). But they admitto make it big in this country is “more of a process, I think, a journey. The hardest part is just the amount of artists trying to do the same thing, trying to get noticed in an oversaturated market.” Not much is known in the U.S. about the 24 year old twins and while press has been taking more and more notice, the band is still without a whole lotta pomp. This is not to say that the relatively young band (circa 2005) has not been successful since their unheard of 2 million dollar record deal with Sire. Recently having reached platinum status via digital sales, The Veronicas are far from stuck in the muck, but their successes seem to be a coyer version of their Australian stardom. Whether a shift will occur from their big U.S. television debut and hardcore trekking across the festival circuit this summer, still remains to be seen; but it should give The Veronicas some staying power. It’s all about the sister act. These chicks are close and they want the world to focus on their music and get over the whole “twins” thing which is apparently brought up in most interview, including this one (Oops!). After all, as they point out, there are differences between the two very independent fire starters- Lisa is love or hate and
Jessica is indecisive, and Jess’ recent dye job helps tell them apart a little bit better (another brunette bites the dust). They both love Michael Jackson; like a sort of pop Demi-God so much so that the only person they would want to collaborate with other than Michael would be, “Jesus I guess, but he is only second to Michael.” If they weren’t musicians Jessica would be a high fashion photographer (a damn good one too judging by the photos she did for us) and Lisa would be a criminologist. They love to listen to John Farnaham, Michael Jackson, Dallas Green, Skyhooks, and Chris Issak. And, oddly enough or perhaps appropriately enough, in regards to their killer style sense the only thing in their closet they could not live without are their black leggings. With the recent events in the lives of The Veronicas and their flashy in your face post-teenage angst pop songs, it’s only natural that the girls have had to deal with their share of controversy, speculation, and tabloid stardom. “Take Me on the Floor” which toys with sexuality (with a chorus “I want to kiss a girl, I want to kiss a boy”) spun rumors about Jessica’ sexual preferences while “This Love” inadvertently spotlighted Lisa’ recent breakup with fiancé and Australian Idol contestant Dean Geyer. Of course, as music lovers, these are not the things we care about. And even if Jess was seen making out at an Australian MTV party with Ruby Rose- who cares? They confess, “It’s a part of being known as a public figure, but of course it becomes frustrating when your privacy is preyed upon.” Considering their native successes and the lessons learnt thanks to the good folks in the press we can come to expect surprising, if not chatter worthy, things from the Origliasso sisters which just makes for better music in the end because as Jess exclaims, “Who wants to be making the same record over and over again? How boring!”
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TheWhip By Michelle Nelson Photo by erik schultz
hile watching The Whip’s Sister Siam W video, you can get a sense of what it’s like to hang out with the members of this
band. The video features a spaceship that was built by The Whip from random pieces of cardboard, plastic cups and bottles. The members of The Whip are flying this spaceship while simultaneously rocking out and having a battle with a pirate-like villain. The video ends with each member of the band suspended in space playing a constellation version of their respective instrument. The members of The Whip like to have fun, like to crack jokes and don’t take themselves too seriously.
A lot of the songs on X Marks Destination have a new wave sound and several of them have a more electronica sound. Does that have to do with Bruce’s taste in music versus Danny’s taste in music or is that just how it ended up turning out? Bruce: It’s funny because some of the songs were written over a period of time. Sometimes we were listening to our new wave stuff or whatever and
What do you think separates The Whip from other elecropop bands out there right now? Bruce: We’re just trying to do our own thing. We’ve liked dance music and indie music for a long time and all sorts of music. Everyone grows up with musical heritage and it’s good to have no rules. We just make sure that every song has a nice sound or groove to it. You know, there’s a lot of electronic acts out there that have more of a dance or a rock feel, but we just try to embed dance music with live instruments.
How did your band get started? Nathan: Basically, the band was formed from the music scene. We were all in bands and we met each other about 10 years ago. We used to all work in a guitar shop. Bruce: They used to go out, these two (Nathan and Fee). Fee: We dated for four and a half years. Fee, what has it been like touring with all the guys? Fee: It’s fun. Loads of fun. This is the longest I’ve been away from home and I was a bit nervous, but it’s been fun. You have been touring pretty heavy. How has that been going? Nathan: In Texas when we were there for SXSW, we were there for three days. We partied a lot there. As far as gigs go, I think Chicago was really good. Montreal was really good fun as well. And we’ve had a great time touring with the Late of the Pier guys. We’re kind of all friends with them now. We’ve toured with them a lot over the last two years, so it’s good to share the experience together. Bruce: We’ve been on the road for like four weeks and we’ve played hotel rooftops in Miami and big theaters in Chicago and stuff like that. We’ve been through the snow…when we woke up this morning we were all wrapped up warm and then we got down here and the sun is shining again, so we’ve gone all the way around. How long did you work on your album X Marks Destination? Bruce: Danny and I have been writing songs for a couple of years and then after that we were gigging them – all four of us – for another two years. Danny and I always get the song down together and then we’ll just vibe it live and see how it goes on the road. When the time came to go to the studio, most of those songs were nice and tight. We had been playing them for awhile.
What was it like working with producer, Jim Abbiss [Editors, The Back Room, Arctic Monkeys]? Bruce: It was cool. On a couple of songs, he really pushed us and made them a bit more exciting. It was really good to have him do that and breathe fresh life into our minds, which had become used to playing the songs a certain way. We got a wealth of experience. We learned a lot and it was good. We recorded it all in about two weeks.
then we’d go out clubbing on the weekend. So it just happened by not having any rules with our music and just throwing everything in together. You can do that these days. Do you have a favorite remix of one of your songs on your album? Bruce: I really like the Bloody Beetroots remix. Nathan: They are really good friends of ours and they did two remixes quite early on. They are doing quite well. Are you working on any remixes of music from other bands right now? Bruce: We’ve done a lot of remixes over the last year or so….like Editors, Asobi Seksu, Black Ghost. There’s this one Dragonettes that I think we’re gonna use on our new album. We stopped doing remixes because we want to get a new album done. Our album came out last year in the UK, so we’ve just been writing since then. A little more writing when we get back to England and then we’ll get back in the studio and there will be a second album by Fall or something like that.
I was watching your video for Sister Siam. It looked like you must have had a lot of fun making that. Can you talk about it a little bit? Danny: Basically, a friend of ours did the video of Dive Bomb. It was the first video we had done. We did that in the cellar of this pub and we liked it so much that we gave him an offer to do another one for Sister Siam. We did it in the cellar of a bar in Leeds. We disappeared for two days and we just started building this spaceship in the bar of bits of cardboard, plastic bottles, plastic cups. We got very, very drunk and ate loads of pizza and made this video. If you look carefully, you can see the stars moving the wrong way in the background of the windows. A little insider tip, there. Yeah that was fun and was a bit hilarious. It’s a slightly odd video, but it was fun to do. Have you ever had any serious problems with your electronic equipment when you have been on stage? Nathan: Basically, we have about two years of absolute nightmares. One time I broke a laptop by deciding it was a good idea to spit vodka all over Danny during a gig and it went all over and broke the laptop. Bruce: Technology is a friend and a foe. It’s a fickle mistress.
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By Sean Beszhak Photo by John Londono
and of Skulls, a trio from Southampton, B UK, have been drawing a stockpile of attention for their debut release, Baby
Darling Doll Face Honey, a dynamic, guitar-driven rock album, reminiscent of the Raconteurs, Kings of Leon, and Blondie. The band is comprised of guitarist Russell Marsden, bassist Emma Richardson, and drummer Matt Hayward. Vocals are shared by Russell and Emma and all three of the band members contribute to the songwriting process. The result is an infectious mix of individuality and group collaboration, which has their new album quickly rising alternative charts all around the world. How did you guys meet and what inspired you to start Band of Skulls? Emma: Russell and Matt have been friends since they were quite young. I met Russell in art college and we started talking about bands and it turned out that we got along quite well. I was in a band at the time and he asked me if I wanted to come by and play bass with him and Matt because they didn’t have a bass player. They sort of tricked me into playing bass. So I went and it worked really well. We really liked the atmosphere. And we started writing our own stuff and it just worked really well, it felt like we clicked. Baby Darling Doll Face Honey sounds very much like your live performances. How did you guys approach the recording process of your recently released debut? We’re really excited about it. We’re quite strict with how we write and record. We want to put something down on record that is pretty equal with what we can do live. We want to just capture the performance really. In putting a record together, we’re creating a piece of work. Nowadays people tend to listen to one or two tracks off an album. Which isn’t necessarily bad, it’s good to have your music spread around by releasing or giving away a few tracks. It’s important. In this day in age it can be difficult to get people to buy CDs. You and Russell both do lead vocals, do you guys also both write your songs? Yes, we both sing and we both write. All three of us write. Usually we start with a piece of a song—a verse or a chorus or a riff—and we get in the studio and play it out and try to push it forward and explore how it’s going to work.
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I’ve heard you’re also a painter. How does the creative process of songwriting relate to the creative process of painting? I’ve just recently discovered that it’s a really similar process, for me personally. With painting I lay down a few sketches and work from that. It’s quite organic. Sometimes I don’t have an intention when I start. And that’s the same as how I write in the band. We start off not having a clue about what it’s going to end up like and we all throw out ideas and slowly build it up.
The 4 You Need to Know By Lauren Weigle
After reviewing over 500 bands’ submitted press kits on Sonicbids and after listening to each one, we have picked the top 4 you need to add to your playlist. SHIROCK, Ivan Ives, Select Start, and Nive Nielsen are all making their way to the top in the music world. SHIROCK makes its powerful mark on the music scene with its uplifting messages in its songs. SHIROCK strives to make a difference in the world and to forever avoid getting caught up in the trivial things or unimportant matters of life. Similar to the beliefs of SHIROCK are those of the clever artist Ivan Ives, who also believes in looking at the “big picture” while keeping life simple. This classical pianist turned hip-hop performer has been deemed by Rolling Stone as an “artist to watch” and we agree. Another band that is rising daily in its popularity is the energetic Select Start. Their vivacious, electronic pop sound and their determination to stay connected with each individual fan is what keeps us enthralled. Lastly is the enchantingly downto-earth Nive Nielsen. Her only wishes for her fans are that when they leave her shows, they leave with happy thoughts, smiles, and a memory of a “really good time”. Though each artist is individual in their sound, the four are held together by one common thread in that they each have a genuine goal; for their songs to connect with people while they stand strong in enjoying the music they create.
One day, Tampa natives Joseph Guerra, Patrick Guyer, Adam Loper, Jason Polo, and Matt Reisinger were playing video games. They looked down at the Nintendo controller and that was it. Select Start was born. Characterizing their tunes as “powerpop indie synth rock”, it’s no wonder their stylistic influences stem from listening to bands like Motion City Soundtrack, Weezer, and Ozma. And so, their melodic blends come from the bands they grew up with and idolized. With wonderfully eccentric, tonguein-cheek song titles like Middle School Called, It Wants Its Mentality Back; Way to Ruin The Holiday; Stranded On A Desert Island W/3 Things. U, A Knife And A Reason To Use It; and A Playlist Killed The Mixtape, their focus is just to have fun and “jam out” to music they take pleasure in playing. “We play what we love and love doing what we do.” Above all, Select Start holds their fans dear and in high esteem. They spend hours upon hours online in order to answer every message, comment, friend request, etc. in order to connect with their fans. No fan is ever forgotten, especially those die-hard aficionados. In fact, Select Start would like to make a shout-out to Duda. “Duda is probably our craziest fan. He’s a 6’6” guy who loves dressing up in costumes such as penguins, elephants, and many others. He lives in Florida so we see him all the time. We love ya Duda!” So, for those Select Start followers who would like to communicate with the band they love, remember that they are just a mouse-click away.
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“Right before I go on stage, I clear my mind like a blank canvas. Then, while I’m on stage I don’t think about a single thing. I just let the music consume me. Right before I do my last song usually, I realize where I am again and then I think about where I’m going to go eat afterwards. Then I do the track and feel good about life.” As a hip-hop artist, Ives wishes to continue to bring “realness” to the music industry while eventually traveling globally to share his ideas and songs with the world. “Life is a game and you can be whatever you want to be; as long as you visualize it,” expresses Ives. Thus far, Ives has succeeded in becoming the artist he’s dreamed of, in that he simply makes music that he enjoys, without worrying about how it will be perceived. “If people feel it, they feel it.” This outlook may be attributed to Ives’ personal philosophy of keeping things simple and relaxed while maintaining a minimalist lifestyle. In turn, Ives keeps his possessions down to the bare essentials keeping only his computers, instruments, kitchen supplies, clothes, and car. “I’d like to know that if I ever have to leave, all I need can be packed up in one small car and I can go where I need to go. Also, with less clutter, my mind is more free to think clearly and I can focus on getting everything in my busy schedule done. Less is truly more.” For music lovers who have yet to experience the sound of Ives’ memorable beats, deep lyrics, and crisp flow, his most recent album NEWSPEAK is ideal. Ives believes that, “NEWSPEAK is perfect for first-time listeners because it’s my real introduction into the world. The dozen or so self-released albums/ mixtapes that preceded this release have all been leading up to this moment. NEWSPEAK has all my different styles and types of tracks on it. It’s a great intro into the diversity that I come with; from meaningful reflective songs to straight-up bangers.”
Nive Nielsen is a true Inuit, or more familiarly known as Eskimo. Having grown up in Nuuk, the tiny capital of Greenland, she describes the land as beautiful and quiet. The area acts as a safe haven for her, living in nature, being blissfully unaware of the outside world. Spending her early years in a place filled with laughter, family, telling ghost stories, kayaking, and staring at the many stars that float above the mountains has helped her to become the heart-felt songwriter she is today. However, Nielsen believes herself to be simply a musician from Greenland rather than a Greenlandic musician. “I’m the first Greenland Eskimo out here trying to do things the indie way and making songs that are not overtly mainstream yet accessible enough to be heard in different places,” says Nielsen. Nonetheless, Nielsen’s childhood has undoubtedly played a major role in shaping the path her musical career has taken. “When I was younger, I wanted to be an adventurer, an explorer. I thought that was a real job, something you could study for. I just dreamt of traveling, seeing the world, meeting people. So, I did, which is why I ended up playing with all these wonderful musicians all over the place,” relays Nielsen. As a result, she hopes to show that regardless of one’s upbringing or where they’re from, they can always try to follow their dreams.
“Success for us is seeing all of the time and energy we spend on this actually touch someone. I will never get tired of that. There is so much unseen work that goes into building any band – months and years of time; and energy spent touring, writing, rehearsing, creating…for us it’s all worth it when we get emails, or meet fans after shows that tell us about how a song has become a part of their life.” Pap and Chuck began creating music together shortly after they first met. While attending college, they decided to join forces with Derek Blank and Adam Gatchel who were studying music at the same school as well. A year or so later, they realized they wanted a fifth member to play guitar so that Chuck could alternate between playing and singing. This is where Jason Bynum found his niche with the group. Upon completion of the band, the five musicians began touring. Since then, SHIROCK has built a strong fan base with its music and many of the rock band’s songs have been featured on shows such as MTV’s The Hills and ER. Aside from being gifted song-writers and musicians, the group also has other talents that include creating their own clothing line. In the past, their fashion line Irock Clothing has merely consisted of wholesale items that had their own designs screen-printed on them. However, they have since decided to expand the line so that they are doing their own “cut and sew” for each item. In other words, all pieces will be designed from scratch. Irock Clothing will also be distributed to many new target markets in addition to many of the same markets to which the band tours. Another strong suit of this group is that they act as a catalyst of change and have started their own non-profit organization, called Everything Burns, in order to make a difference in the world. Titled after their most recent album, the organization was launched as a means to encourage fans to help those who are less fortunate. Chuck tells us that, “Everything Burns is built around the simple idea of ‘living for things that matter.’ Looking around us, we see how easy it is to get caught up chasing after trivial things. It isn’t that we think having nice things is wrong at all. It’s just that for so many people, this pursuit of things defines them. With Everything Burns we want to find ways that we can invest in things that will last and provide an opportunity for others to do the same. Whether it’s partnering with another charity in a city working with homelessness and poverty, or putting on our own program; we want to connect the people that want to make a difference with the people that need help.” To officially launch the organization, SHIROCK conducted an Everything Burns tour, where they partnered with local charities from each city in which they stopped. In the future, the band hopes to expand their organization so that it can hold its own programs and events in each of these cities. If you would like to submit your band to mf magazine for a possible feature head on over to sonicbids.com/mfmag
.Project.My.Way. P.O.S. .
what they wear
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Hat: HomeRoom Glasses: Vision World Shirt: The Hundreds Jeans: Levi’s Shoes: Supra Skytops
Kirsten Price .
Kirsten Blouse: Childrenâ€™s clearance at Old Navy Jeans: designed by a friend. Boots: Guess.
Or, The Whale .
Jesse Hat: Quicksilver Shirt: Volcom Jeans: Citizen
Tim Jacket: Dickies Pants: Carhart Sweatshirt: Gap T-shirt: Terrence McKenna
Julie Jeans: Dolce & B Mom Boots: Fun & Co. Sweatshirt: Mossimo Shirt: I love Pony Hairtie: Prada Underwear: Gucci
Alex Jeans: Levi’s Scarf: Old Navy Shirt: Youngbloods
Lindsay Shirt: Vintage Jeans: Mossimo Shoes: CL Laundrey
Justin Boots: Frye Jeans: Levi’s Watch: Swiss Army Shirt: JCrew
Matt Jeans: Citizen Jacket: Wrangler
Mumiy Troll’s Ilya Lagutenko .
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mummy Jacket: Russian naval formal wear Pants: Levi’s Scarf: Bolongaro Trevor (London) Shoes: P-Fly (China)
Great Northern .
Solon Shoes: Custom made in Italy Jeans: MAR Cooperative Shirt: One of a kind design from Rag & Bone Glasses: American Apparel
Rachel Shoes: Dolce Vita Head band: wrapping from a gift her parents gave her Rings: Vintage Antelope Necklace: Raised by Wolves Tights: vintage Dress: vintage Body suit: American Apparel
Sean Jacket: O’ hanlon Mill’s Shirt: Nordstrom’s Jeans: John Ver Shoes: Zig Zags
Nat Shirt: Rxmance Under Shirt: Fruit of a Loom Jeans: Levi Capital E Shoes: Vans
Serena Ryder . Photo by Hidee Mangahas
Serena Dress: La Rock Boots: Golden Goose Bracelet: Vintage
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ou may have seen this face before… SNL, The Office, Anchorman, The Y Comebacks, Thank You for Smoking, The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show, just to name a few. Ring a bell? Maybe you remember some of the comedy icons
he has played alongside…Chris Farley, Will Farrell, John C. Reilly, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Andy Richter, Jim Carrey, Molly Shannon, Jack Black, Tony Shalhoub, Dave Allen, Rainn Wilson, Mike Meyers, Woody Harrelson, and well, just about everyone. No? I don’t know what to say, then. Go check out David Koechner! Bright eyed and bushy tailed is the perfect way to describe my first encounter with David Koechner, I had food on my mind initially when I first spoke with him, so it was only fitting that I ask him how he likes his eggs? David responds with a chuckle and says, “over easy,” with not a hint of sarcasm.
By Tina M. Schiro Photos by erik schultz Make-up by Stacey Myers
I often wondered what goes through the mind of a man of this comical caliber. The depths of his own character delves deeper than all of his impersonations and characters put together. We touched on David Koechner the actor, the comedian, father, husband, and human being. I wanted to get to know David as a person, not a character.
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So, David, Since mf magazine is also a music and fashion publication; we are really interested in knowing what you have on your iPOD at the moment? Well, I actually am a very big fan of a group called Wilco and also The EEL’S. I also heard you are a very big fan of Credence Clearwater?” Oh , gosh, I remember saying that so long ago. If you say something once it sticks with you forever, I am a fan though. I’m also a fan of emo rock. So, than it’s safe to assume you like Pina Coladada’s and getting caught in the rain? Presumably. No one really likes getting caught in the rain. Getting caught in warm rain if you’re on a tropical island is ok, unless it’s a monsoon. (laughs) Do you have a romantic side as well as being hysterically funny? Yes, I am romantic. I love to surprise my wife with ‘lil things. My wife is an amazing woman. Like a lioness, strong, beautiful, willful. Her personality is charming. Who were some influences that shaped the comedian/actor that you are today? I have to say most importantly, Monty Python. I remembering watching Abbott and Costello with my Dad. They used to crack us both up. When I was 13 I watched the very first SNL show, I can remember how excited I was. Do you think that you were destined to go down the path of comedy? I am one of 6 children, so with that said, I was always the class clown at school. There is where I received most of my attention. I just seemed to always have a knack for making people laugh.
Speaking of children, you have four. Yes, I do and my children are such special, wonderful little people to be around. I’m guessing you don’t have very much time for yourself. It’s not like I can get up on a Saturday , and hear my wife say, ‘Oh, go ahead honey, go play golf for the whole day, while we sit here and rot! (laughs out loud) I want to be with my family if I’m not working, at this point I’m writing every single day. I read that you were quoted saying, “in the entertainment business you have to be like a shark, either swim, or you sink to the bottom. Correct, I do everything I do, for my family. Do you have any daily rituals? We have something my family and I call “funny face”, each night we sit around the dinner table, and each person has to make a funny face. We do it and then change what kind of face it is throughout the night, we get a good laugh out of it every time, my seven year old daughter is more conscious than my two young twins, so she’s more aware, but it’s still a great time. What movie do you think you will be remembered most by your fans? Anchorman…always Anchorman. There is something about that movie that no matter how many times you see it, something funny you didn’t catch the time before will be present the next.
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Creative Director Star Noor Stylist Sara Ellise Photographer Anthony Amadeo
Elizabeth Petal Plume Dress by
Guiseppi Zanotti stylist’ own
Daniela Piano Keys Silk dress by
Emma Tied Tucks Corset dress by
Peacock hair clip by
N i c o l a F i n e t t i
Skull wrap wedge by
Two Aussie Designers We Love.
DJ Mia Sheer Twisted Tank and Liquid Leather Shorts by
Bracelet Sapphires Necklace by
Orange Sapphires bracelet by
Raya sxNecklace stylist’ own.
Ricca One shoulder Tucks dress in lime by
Yellow Quartz Pink Sapphires Ring by
We shamelessly love the designer who believes in the shameless beauty of every woman. The Aussie based designer Nicola Finetti is not a natural-born-citizen but we think he’s one of the most influential designers in the land down under.
The relatively new designer is no way a novice. Her modern designs are both functional and elegantly sensual. The allure in this Aussie gem is in the thrill of the hunt as each season marks an unexpected turn in personal creativity.
MichaelCepress By Star Noor Photos by Erin Elyse Burns Hair by Henry Graham Makeup by David Kitsap
ith an intense fascination in men’s wardrobe W and tailoring traditions it would be safe to say that designer Michael Cepress is a man’s man.
Through his extensive studies in the role of fashion in gender identity and popular culture Michael found his niche. A traditionalist with era bending notions of dress he has used his style philosophy to create an exciting line of menswear, and the world is taking notice. Since the launch of his Seattle based clothing line in 2005 Michael has been nominated for numerous awards, presented his collections in sold out shows, and has been featured as a part of the international project “RRRIPP: Paper Fashion” alongside of John Galliano, Walter Van Beirendonck, Issey Miyake, Hussein Chalayan, and Andy Warhol. Michael may be pushing the lines and helping to define the directionality of men’s wardrobes, but he sees the moment in a more pragmatic light, “Creating garments that people can truly live with- wash, wear, sweat on, love and wash again is an amazingly exciting proposition to me, and it’s the one I plan to spend the rest of my life investigating.”
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Where does your interest in menswear come from? History. I don’t spend much time looking at contemporary designers. I enjoy seeing their work, and try to stay up to date, but would much rather invest the energy in delving into the potent and powerful history of menswear both in our western culture as well as in the other cultures of the world. The ways men have dressed around the world has changed and evolved in such interesting ways; I can’t help but be inspired by it all, and work to offer tastes of that to modern men. You’ve said that you’ve actively tried to bring out a sense of the American past with each piece. Is there a particular era you’re drawn to the most? I gravitate toward the turn of the last century as well as the 1950s. Elements of both eras will be seen in this new collection. For your 2009 collection you’ve taken a new approach to color. Can you elaborate? Up until now, my color palette for my menswear designs has been rather subdued and traditionalkeeping within the bounds of traditional menswear. The new collection will offer more play with color, serving up all of the freedom with bright colors that are otherwise usually only seen in women’s wear. Bright turquoise cigarette pants colorful doublecollared button down shirts are promised to be shown. You seem to have an experimental approach to fashion which expands beyond many designers. Where does that come from? I am trained as an artist, not as a designer. I approach my studio practice like an artist approaches their work. I think of all materials and ways of working as being equally valid. As a result, the end product often appears more experimental and even challenging. It’s a nice means for me to step outside the bounds of predictable solutions to the many design struggles a designer faces. Where would you like to take men’s fashion? I want to take men’s fashion to a place where gender boundaries and distinctions become meaningless. A place where men and women alike hold every right to dress in every way they want, with no threats or social pressures or dangers preventing that from happening. What was it like to be featured alongside the likes of Galliano, Chalyan, Miyake, and Beirendonck? An absolute thrill to see my work beside the people I admire and respect so deeply. Working with a curator that offered me that opportunity is a gift that I’ll always be grateful for, and I hope to continue to play with the big kids. Any new project this year? I’m currently paired with the industrial design team Teague for the beginning stages of a line of garments designed to make air travel more comfortable and fashionable.
s a woman, if I could change anything A about my “size” I would change just THAT. I wouldn’t want to categorize by my size or feel like I was less than because of my size. Erin Bleakley of Erin Kathleen Couture agrees. She designs one of a kind pieces for the every woman that wants to wear feminine dresses while she flirts with her beautiful life. And what woman doesn’t like that feeling?
If you could create a character for the woman that you design for, what/who would she be like? Would she have any special powers? Tell me a little story about her... This is a very tough question, because I am/the line is all about catering to the needs of the “every woman”. I don’t put sizes in any of the clothing I make, because who really need a size to label their body with? Most of the clothing I make has plenty of stretch (smocking, elastic gathered waists, etc.) in order to fit a wide range of styles. So I guess the woman I am designing for is the woman that the purchaser of the garment wants to be. My hope is that her innermost wants and desires come out when she wears my clothing. Where do you draw your inspiration from for the line? My inspiration comes from so many places. Recently I have been getting inspired by tribal prints and exotic fruits and flowers; and attempting to mix that with the casual cool of Blake Lively and Sky Ferreira. I think they are both beautiful and strong people. Who has influenced you and your line the most? My Grammy is an amazing artist, and she has always encouraged me to follow my dreams. As a child I remember wanting to learn everything about art so I too could one day create beautiful things like my Grammy does, and through my designing I am able to do just that.
ErinKathleenCouture By Monica Alvarez Photo by Lucas Cook
When/How did you know that you would be designing clothing? Since I was a little girl I have been interested in fashion. I remember coming home crying from “mother’s-day-out” because this other little girl had pretty dresses and bows. My mother, of course, horrified, took me out to “oomph” up my fashion, and the next day I returned with a pretty dress and bow. When I turned thirteen, I realized that my dream was to become a fashion designer, and when I was nineteen, I actually started designing/ revamping clothes. And now at the ripe old age of 20, I am finally doing what I set out to do. Design my own line of clothing. What’s your favorite piece of clothing that you’ve purchased? What’s your favorite piece of clothing that you’ve designed? My favorite piece of clothing that I have ever purchased has got to be the wonderful Betsey Johnson long maxi strapless dress with a vintage floral print. I literally (to steal Rachel Zoe’s phrase) look “bananas” in it. It is like wearing nothing because the chiffon just glides across your skin. Ahh I love it! My favorite piece of clothing that I have designed is probably this Sienna Miller-esque boho strapless mini. It had a great tribal print and these faux gold knot buttons at top. It was lovely, and very versatile. You could wear it alone with a brown belt and boots, or with a little teal sweater with a skinny belt over it and flats...really anything goes when it came to that dress. What type of fabrics do you like to use? Why? First and foremost, they have to be something [that] if I was stranded on a desert island with only one piece of clothing, I would be as comfortable as possible wearing that piece of fabric for months. So comfort is key. Having said that, however, if the fabric is not aesthetically pleasing (cute, flirty, of the season, and so on) I’m not for it. So in terms of the material, I don’t have a preference, but in terms of the comfort and look, I tend to overanalyze the fabric.
philanthropic missions Between and shopping for inspiration at her local Anthropologie, Sarah creates designs that not only make women look SarahSeven Seven and feel beautiful, but she By Monica Alvarez Photo by Lucas Cook
also makes the world a better place with each sale from her collections. From a young age, Sarah was been on a quest to spread awareness and beauty with her designs.
I love that you donate a portion of your sales to the charities listed on your site. I wish more people would do something like this. How did you decide on these charities? Well I have been sponsoring children since I was about 17. I have a few [sponsored children] through Compassion and World Vision; both [of which are] Christian based companies. As a follower of Christ it is very important to take care of widows and orphans as is stated in James 1:27. When I started my company I wanted it to be a non-profit. I am still working on that. Basically the most important thing for me is raising awareness for the issue. If a customer looks up International Justice Mission or Compassion even if they don’t purchase anything from me, I feel like I have done my job. International Justice Mission fights for the rights of people held as slaves and they also hold the slave keepers accountable for their actions. I don’t think many people realize that there are more slaves today than when slavery was legal. Compassion releases children from poverty and enables them to live a full life and break the cycle of poverty. What are you favorite trends for Fall 09? I love the style of sheath that is happening for 2009 as well as the use of plaids. Although as an independent designer I try to use as little of that as possible in my collection. I usually go with a color that will be trendy for the season. It is really important that my pieces have staying power especially since I am not a big
name. There needs to be something about them that is unique and unusual. That is where most of my sales come from; women who don’t want to wear the trend but still want something feminine and beautiful. When you design your clothing, who do you envision wearing the pieces? I am always designing with myself in mind. Other than that, it is for the women who would like to get back into the dress…. who isn’t afraid to be feminine. Where do you shop for inspiration? I shop at Anthropologie when I am feeling uninspired. Or just walking by their window display helps. The taste level of that store is very high and the style is so unique. Why do you design clothing? Designing clothing is all I ever wanted to do. So there are days where I am a little shocked that it is actually what I do. I really enjoy working with my hands as well as working for myself. Other than that, I always had a desire to make something beautiful. It gets tiring [seeing] all of the mass produced clothing that we have and between [that] and designer collections, there really isn’t much. Any plans to design pieces for men in the future? I don’t have any plans to do men’s wear in the future. It is something I would like to do but for now I need to master the ready to wear, special occasion and bridal [designs]. Maybe after that. Who are some of your favorite designers? Which past collections of theirs that have been unforgettable to you? Favorite Designers – Chanel, Lorick, Kate Towers. Marc Jacobs Fall 2004 collection is something that I never forgot. He had some things in there that still inspire me. I am really looking forward to Church and States’ Spring collection.
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By Star Noor Photo by Helen Berkun
Miller is a designer L2002ara on the rise. Since her student exhibition
What is the one trend that you just cannot stand? Labels, especially when it comes down to knock-offs. Unless you’re being paid billboard prices.
as a “Featured Artist” at the Chicago Boutique Lara has repeatedly been featured in Gen Arts’ “Fresh Faces,” been named “Top 40 Under 40” by Crain’s Chicago Business as well as “Indie Designer of the Year” by Chicago Magazine. Of course, that was just to kick things off. The Chicago native is playing an imperative role in the growing fashion scene in her home town even catching the eye of Mayor Richard M. Daley who personally invited her to serve on the Mayor’ Fashion Council helping to bring the CFDA to the Windy City in addition to being named Executive Director of the Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy’s on State Street. Regardless of the hustle and bustle Lara has never lost sight of her dedication to Eco sensitivity which is an achievement only second to her seemingly effortless designs comfortable enough for us to romp around in all day; everyday. How would you describe your design concept? My designs are based on architectural theory especially Greg Lynn’s ideas of animation versus motion, however, I do my best to keep my designs as fun as possible. While my process begins with exploring geometrical shapes, it really develops when I begin playing with these formal concepts, never taking any of them too seriously. I truly believe that we all look our best when we are comfortable and having fun. There is something to be said about that kind of ownership of style. I want to know a woman can approach her closet knowing that she can play and experiment if she’d like but also knowing that no matter which way she wears a piece of mine she’ll always be pulled together, that’s what I strive for when I design, fun and easy pieces that come to life when on the body. How important is sustainable design, in your opinion to the future of fashion?
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What draws you to a particular designer when shopping for your own wardrobe? Honestly, since 2005 I’ve only purchased running clothes and shoes because those are things that I cannot make myself, but in general when I’m at a store I’m drawn to garments that have a fashion forward and interesting edge to them. Something that may not look like much on the hanger but that has a wonderful texture or that I can imagine in my mind as being something fun to mix into my basics. If it is a basic, a great fit and a great fabric is crucial. A great opaque, tight jeans, and white tank tops are my building blocks all of which I purchase from environmentally friendly designers or thrift shops. What is the one thing in your closet you cannot live without? My hand loomed bamboo cardigans. I wear one every single day because summer or winter I’m always cold, they can always be taken off but are there when I need them, I’m kind of like Linus and his blanket in that way. Who is the one person you’re dying to dress? There is a bunch! If I had to just choose one it would be Michelle Williams. I think that her style is incredible and it seems like it would just be a lot of fun to hang out and play with clothes with her in general.
Honestly, it’s imperative. I don’t think we have a choice but to re-examine the way we grow, pro-
cess, and consume. Fashion is just one aspect of how we need to alter our current ways of living. I cannot wait for the day when “going green” sounds passé. When it is just assumed that if it is cotton, then it’s been grown organically; that if a garment was dyed, it was dyed using low-impact dyes in a closed loop process. I would like to think that in ten
years there won’t be a separate “sustainable design” category.
What would you like to see happen within the Chicago fashion scene? Exactly what is happening now; growth! We have 5 amazing design schools in the Chicagoland area and it is so exciting to see that all of these talented students want to stay here. Now we just need our independent companies to continue to grow so that we can hire from this great pool of talent.
What exactly is Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy’s on
State Street? It’s an unbelievable program that gives six designers in residence the tools that they need to launch or grow their apparel businesses.
I recently read an article on the disappearance of “good taste” with the death of Yves Saint Laurent and others like him over the years which made me wonder how “good taste” is defined from person to person. What does the concept of “good taste” mean to you? “Good taste” exudes class and style. When you approach each day understanding that what you wear tells everyone around you a story in a single glance. Most importantly, “good taste” means you know what you like and who you are. Understanding what is appropriate, but still having a bit of a sense of humor.
adj. 1 a: of, relating to, or caused by shoes b: containing of a closet stuffed with multitudes of footwear styles, some still unworn. 2: affected with a deep and uncontrollable love for all things footwear. see also - Velvet Angels , Esquivel. Velvet Angels
These are no shoes for the “average girl.” The fledgling footwear line which only began last spring is pioneered by a team of designers scribing to produce classand-sass street couture that’s sure to turn the heads of even the most snobbish shoe specialist- a.k.a. “Young women who prefer black to pink, seem hard on the outside yet are sweet on the inside, shun girlie things but like to feel feminine, and prefer bad boys to good.” But, the promise of attainable luxury with an edge is not forbearance on impeccable workmanship, say the Angels. As if shoes are not enough, au contraire mon fraire, the company is set to release a line of handbags, fragrances, and apparel for the female archetype as well. For now angels everywhere will have to be content on taking a walk on the wild side.
The classic-modern twist, hardly a new concept, but one that George Esquivel definitely interprets into fine shoemaking the process of which could be described as a pure love for the craft or a bit obsessed- depending on who’s judging. The men’s line of high quality footwear is made Stateside in southern Cali where each shoe is painstakingly produced using a meticulous 100 specialized step system to create what George has become known for the world over. Now employing skilled artisans with a combined experience of 120 years who help handcraft each and every pair in his workshop, the once hobbyist shoemaker who began 12 years ago under the tutelage of a retired master cobbler, has now been nominated alongside of the likes of Bruno Magli and Ralph Lauren for designer of the year and has been hired by Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles to design a series of shoes to match their million dollar cars on display. The shoe line which Esquivel describes as, “classic, individual, unique, and expressive” are masterpieces straight from the hands of the million dollar man straight to your feet. Shoes say a lot about the man wearing them.
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Photo of designers by Shawn Smith
t’s not every day that you see a Ionce collection by two designers who were circus performers and customers.
By Star Noor Photos by Joel Henderson
The emerging L.A. based label is quickly making a deliciously dark and brilliant name for themselves within the fashion world. Using unique visuals and raw interpretations of their days as a part of the traveling circus Skin Graft is one of those unmistakable labels doing their own thing and taking prisoners along the way.
Designers Jony Cotta and Cassidy Hayley formed the brand in 2005, first designing for a private list of clientele and eventually taking the label public in 2007. Since the first showing Skin Graft has gone from a duo to a trio with the addition of Katie Kay. The guys met Katie at their first photo shoot a couple months into the official launch of the label; she was one of the models. As fate would have it Katie became such an integral part of the team that Jony and Cassidy invited her to design in 2008. She “s t ylis t ic ally resonated with our evolved direction.” mf _ 46
The design aesthetic has evolved since their earlier days. Fusing eccentric design to invent an artistic vision truly their own
choreographed shows and also performed as wandering characters at events such as Coachella and Electric Picnic in Ireland. Katie Kay also traveled as a professional tribal belly dancer for over five years and went on tour with The Dresden Dolls and Panic at the Disco as a vaudeville dancer. If you had to describe your design style by comparing yourselves with another designer who would you name? Jony: That’s a difficult one. I can’t really think of another designer that Skin Graft is really comparable to. I would compare our design aesthetic more so with a few artists with oddly dark aesthetics such as Mark Ryden, Matthew Barney, Damien Hirst and Hundertwasser.
the designers have been successful in creating a stylish collection for both men and women, “and every sex in between,” as they like to point out. The Fall Winter 2009 collection has a rather exciting array of interesting conversation pieces everyone should have in their wardrobe. Up till now the label has been a secret of the L.A. underground fashion scene, a secret that they just weren‘t able to keep for very long. Sorry guys, but you’ll to be content in sharing. You’ve traveled the world as circus performers, what did you do? Jony: Cassidy and I traveled with a number of circus troupes as stilt walkers and fire performers. We had roles in elaborate
What are some of the “alternative techniques” you use in your design process? Jony: Our look is very distinctive. To achieve many of the visual effects on our fabrics and leathers we use everything from paints and dyes to sand paper and crushed metal bits. We antique our metals with acid to rust and age them and even go so far as to hand antique the seams of our garments w i t h diluted dye concoctions and stains. You transitioned from performer to customers and then designers, what made you want to make the move into the world of fashion? Jony: Our interest in costuming quickly transitioned into an interest in fashion for the simple reason that you cannot live in the circus all your life. We were driven to take our inspiration from the performance world and bring it into the fashion world where it could be enjoyed and attained by everyday people and artists. Tell me about your Fall Winter 2009 collection. Cassidy: The collection is inspired by Neo-Victorian royalty and overly tarnished motorcycles smashing into each other at high speeds. The designs nod to the classical and Victorian eras and equestrian silhouettes and culture, but it’s definitely modern and verges on futuristic. Who is your style icon? Jonny: Leigh Bowery Katie: Shelly Duval in the Shining Cassidy: Stevie Nicks
he music pumping through the room, the effortless strut of models on the runway, the layers T of flowing masterfully crafted and accentuated fabrics, and the eagerness of the audience in wait of being witness to the next big thing in the fashion world or watching the rise of a star- these are the things that make so many fashion lovers follow designers season after season clamoring to get into shows or glued to their TV sets for an insiders’ look.
In the wicked world of fashion where what’s “hot” one season can be so “not” the next, designers must stay ahead of some cut throat competition while forecasting trends, all the while creating or staying true to their artistic styles. Despite the illusion presented on the runway and the mass hysteria of the public, as with any other art form, to create fashion consists of a definite process varying from artist to artist. To be a designer is to be a connoisseur of all things beauty and to translate that beauty into pieces that not only will people appreciate aesthetically but also connect with on such a level of self expression that they are willing to spend their lives in them. Achieving this means grueling 365 days a year work. So, what goes on in the heads of designers when they set out to create their latest collection? What process do they employ and why? We set out to answer these questions sitting down with designer, Sheila Frank, to unravel her brain one thread at a time. I started speaking to Sheila Frank back in the May of 2008 about the debut of her Ready- toWear Collection which showed in NYC last September . Up till that point Sheila had been designing beautiful bathing suits reminiscent of the ultra sexy pinup girls of the 40’s and 50’s. Sheila is a young designer with a love for old fashion meshed with the modern, she’s an avid animal lover who refuses to use leathers or furs in her designs, and she works night and day to bring her designs to fruition employing a lot of skill, massive amounts of talent and a seemingly endless supply of determination. I followed her process questioning her along the way to see what she’s doing for Spring 09 and where it’s coming from. The first months were a mix of jubilation for her upcoming expansion and scrambling exhaustion to find a venue and put together the pieces. These were the months where Sheila’ inspiration, all of the sketching and color stories, were finally coming together. We spoke about that process:
July 2008 For a designer to get inspiration from a book or a painting, a sort of striking of a match has to take place. For this collection what was the eureka factor for you? In the painting Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by Jon Singer Sargent, for those who aren’t aware, the young woman in the painting is the artist’ wife- her raised eye brow and coy expression was intriguing. Her slouch liquid pose and the way her hand lays delicately on her lap and at her side is almost inviting. I just love this painting. The woman, Gertrude Vernon, seems calm and confident. Her essence is what inspired me most. Then came the actual look of the painting from brush strokes to color palette. And, there’s the Gibson Girls.
By Star Noor Black and white fitting photos by
Corey Hayes Color fashion photos by
What about the Gibson Girls did you find alluring? As described by Charles Dana Gibson, “She was taller than the other women currently seen in the pages of the magazines, infinitely more spirited and independent, yet altogether feminine.” Which of the images you’ve seen from Gibson’ collection impacted you the most? Gibson worked for Life Magazine for 30 years; I haven’t had the opportunity to view all of his works. However, I do admire the illustration titled The Debutante. What do you think stands relative about Gibson’ interpretation of women today?
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Confidence, independence, intelligence and a little sexiness. I believe most women want this. It feels fantastic to be empowered. The Victorian era was a time of over-the-top ornamentation and lavish detailing that is no longer deemed practical. How do you modernize a bygone era as it refers to cuts, detailing, and colors? There is a fine line between costume and interpretation to a wearable garment. I like to think of the young woman wearing my pieces. For this particular collection I thought of young Hollywood. Having the eye for design, knowing what is happening in fashion now and where you as a designer would want to take it. The work is meticulous. What was the hardest part about conceptualizing this collection? I was fighting with using rich colors and thick brocaded and lush fabrics. I wanted to keep the Victorian era alive. At first I wanted to use a deep color palette and accent with blacks. I also wanted to do a muted more airy color palette with lighter fabrics. I thought this would be the best for spring. I’m happy with my direction. Having a love for all eras of fashion, as many designers do, but being particularly drawn by the 40’s and 50’s and noticing the recurring popularity of those eras Sheila knew it had to be out with the old and in with the new, in her own postulation, of course. Coming up with a concept is much like a scientist coming up with a theory. To prove it works is a whole other story. As the days passed Shiela’s hues began to change into frantic seriousness and prescribed fortitude. As she said, the work is meticulous.
August 2008 What’s the most frustrating moment for you during the design process? I’m a draper, so sometimes when I’m draping the pattern pieces on my bust form; I change the look of a bodice, or a skirt. It’s like all in the moment. How do you choose corresponding colors for the season, do you pay attention to what’s going on with the Design Council? I should fib, but…no I do my own thing. It’s whatever inspired me. Like my last swimwear collection was bright and this coming collection is all muted neutrals. Tell me about your fabric choices and why you chose them. 100 % silk dupioni, taffeta, crinoline, plaid damask, sheer poly, sheer silk. The fabrics are a little crisp, to keep shape, but
they also lend themselves for a floaty whimsical feel. And, as for the swimwear, I like to incorporate the idea of using swimwear in a non-traditional way, wear it with a skirt and now it looks like a cocktail dress.
What’s different about creating full wardrobe pieces from creating bathing suit designs? Fit. Fit is everything. You could have an amazing garment but if it doesn’t fit, then what’s the point. Swimwear is more forgiving in that sense. You’ve casted and re-casted the show, had last minute changes in venue, and worked with a small team in order to coordinate this showing. Have you reached that moment when you’re like, “okay, this is really coming together”? The fittings! Seeing the actual muslins/ samples and final pieces on models.
Broadway Comedy Club, NYC September 11th, 2008 The day of reckoning has come. The show is set to begin at 2 p.m. The air is a surreal calm rarely seen backstage before the start of a show. The girls stand together in groups chatting, reading books, or taking in a light snack before the show begins as Sheila goes around doing last minute fittings. The band begins to play. The show is on. And, fifteen minutes later it’s all over. All of the months of work, designing, cutting, sewing, draping and re-draping; it’s all over in a fashno flash which defines the designer’ entire season. This was a successful flash, one that earned Sheila a nod from the Style Network, amongst others. After the show Sheila and I had our last chat about her SS09 collection. When the show was going on what was your most predominant thought? I hope no one trips. What about the show did you love?
The stress free atmosphere. I had help from my friends and family, it was very laid back. What would you do differently? Action Plan! I’m a non-schedule oriented person. I hate living by a schedule. But I realize that in this business you have to, in order to stay on top of your game. Next collection will have more of an action plan, to keep it moving forward. Now that the show is over, who would you love to see in your pieces? I adore Anne Hathaway, she is evolving into a little fashion icon. She is classic. She doesn’t take a lot of risks with fashion. This is why I’d like to dress her. I want her to experiment with fashion. She could wear anything.
Pink Lined Beach Bag @ heidiklein.com
Pavillion Helmet @ lesateliersruby.com
sunglasses @ Oakley.com
T-Shirt @ mone11.com
Board Shorts @ barneys.com
Surfboards @ islesurfboards.com
iPod Shuffle @ apple.com
Surf Sandals @ havaianasus.com
Les Ateliers Ruby
LX 150 in Dragon Red @ vespa.com
Wrap @ leighluca.com
Leigh and Luca
Vivien Westwood Sin Sandals @ melissaplasticdreams.com
Green Tea Sunlight Protection CrĂ¨me @ olehenriksen.com
Crochet Bikini @
Gentle Face Exfoliator @ lizearle.com
Stackable Lip Savers @ sephora.com
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Muse Lip Paint in Virtuoso @ smashbox.com
Washed Pique Cotton Yoked Skirt @ barneys.com
Butterfly Cuff @ jessicakagancushman.com
Jessica Kagan Cushman
Rose & Geranium Moisturizer @ hollybeth.net
Jasmine Top @ yumikim.com
HP Mini 1000 @ hp.com
Lara Sandals @ mechanteoflondon.com
White Rose Watch @ toywatchusa.com
Casablanca Bag @ farrah-delaunay.com
CORALista Blush @ benefitcosmetics. com
Sanskrit Necklace @ roseansammi.com
Sam @ marsuhomme.com
Tie @ saintaugustineacademy.com.au
Saint Augustine Academy
Trousers @ whyred.com
01 The One Kerala Trance Watch @ 01theone.com
Dagger Balzer @ elmerave.com
Custom Art Skins in Boombox and Cable Cranes @ gelaskins.com
Washington Sq.White button down top @ commonwealthproper.com
Common Wealth Proper
Club Infinity Bracelet @ keemee.com
Whirled Cheek Satin @ tartecosmetics.com
Tarte A Perfect
Daizy Dress @ keithlissner.com
Shadow Primer Potion @ urbandecay.com
Sexy Curves Mascara @ rimmellondon.com
Rose Body Wash @ renskincare.com
Snow Globe Ring @ evamartin.com
New York Shoes @ drunnewyork.com
Distressed Metallic Luxemburg Clutch @ andreabrueckner.com
Womens Pig Pusher @ sneakysteve.com
Gaspard Yurkievich Polo @
Figurehead Knuckle Ring @ digbyiona.com
Digby and Iona Lion
Only The Brave @ diesel.com
Shipley Halmos Trousers @
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By Star Noor Photo by Tina Tyrell
hen a clothing line is assembled W for the love of a culture you have to know it’s something special. Suno,
formed in 2008 by Max Osterweis, is an ode to Kenya and its many colors, textures, and heritages. Max had been traveling to Kenya for a decade collecting textiles and making good friends with the country who has been home to many an invisible artisan creating incredible works that sometimes become lost in translation outside of their homeland. In light of the recent post election political turmoil which rocked Kenyans, Max was afraid that foreigners would be kept out of “a country overflowing with natural resources, talent, and good will.” This was the catalyst for him to do something positive with the range of fabrics he had so passionately collected, hoping to ripple long lasting social and economic effects and employ Kenyan talent using fair business practices. Suno is a redemption song of sorts, but it is also a line of beautiful modern pieces that references both the strong spirited women of coastal East-Africa and the fashionable women of downtown New York City. The line is first created by Max and co-designer Erin Beatty and sampled by skilled pattern and sample makers in NYC, then brought to Kenya where the garments are artisinally produced in small workshops. The first collection consists of a 1,000 individually numbered one-off pieces incorporating vintage Kenyan kangas. Taking worlds apart and connecting them through art has always been the most beautiful tool of change. What is it that draws you to Kenyan textiles? When I got to coastal Kenya for the first time I was confronted by a wonderful riot of color different from anything I had ever seen, much different even from the textiles I had seen in West Africa. The colors, the amazing variety of prints, and the messages written on them were all exciting to me. I started collecting them the first time I went to Kenya and
every time I returned I would look for old and new ones with interesting or unusual designs. What do you wish everyone knew about Kenyan artisans? I hope that one day people around the world will hold Kenyan artisans in as high a regard as artisans from Italy, Japan, and the U.S. There is an eager and talented population here that is not often given the opportunity to show off their abilities. Since your first visit to the country in 1996, what changes have you witnessed? On the coast I have seen a lot of change, which may be subtle from the outside, but obvious to those who live there. The island which is roughly the size of Manhattan where I spend quite a bit of time did not have any cars the first time I visited and now there are three cars on the island, but thankfully, still no roads. There is also an island just across the way that did not have any visible buildings on it aside from a mosque and oddly enough, a bar. It now has about twenty houses right on the beach. Politically, the last 18 months have been rather extraordinary. The messy election which lead to an outburst of violence, hundreds of thousands of displaced people, and a new political structure. There was a lingering negative mood in the country that was miraculously replaced by a sense of hope inspired by the growing success of Obama in the U.S. How do you connect the women of Africa with the women of NYC? We create a connection by using textiles traditionally worn by the women of coastal East Africa in shapes traditionally worn by the women of New York; well, hopefully we’re also throwing some new shapes into the mix as well. Will you ever consider expanding to other countries and working with the locals there, and if so which countries would you consider and why? I use fabrics and trims from all over Europe, Asia, Africa and the U.S. I’m not working in Kenya or the U.S for that matter because it’s cheap, which it is not, but because I have a strong connection to both places and I wanted to do something that could possibly help in some way. It will take me some time to reach my goals in Kenya and maybe after that I might consider doing work elsewhere, or if I happen to want to do something that absolutely cannot be done [in Kenya] which is something I have yet to encounter- we’re making clothing, not building rockets.
WIN ALL THE CLOTHES SEEN HERE - TURN TO PAGE 58
mf _ 58
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SWAG fashion credits Image by Phade Braund
Dress: Erin Kathleen Couture (erinkathleencouture.com) Bracelet: Teryn Ashley (myspace.com/heavenmeetsglam) Earrings: Tangle (tanglepdx.com)
The Green Hill (greenhillclothes.com) 2- Shirt: Jacket: Someone Clothing (someoneclothing.com)
Record: Someone Clothing (someoneclothing.com)
Erin Kathleen Couture (erinkathleencouture.com) 3- Dress: Clutch: AO3 Designs (ao3designs.com) Earrings: Courtney Trip for Ivory Jacks (ivoryjacks.com) Hair pin: Gypsy Eye Studio (gypsyeye.etsy.com)
Someone Clothing (someoneclothing.com) 4- Shirt: Necklace: Shelley Loring (shellisxena.etsy.com) Hair pin: Gypsy Eye Studio (gypsyeye.etsy.com) Earrings: Ivy Thaide (theravingstitch.etsy.com
You want to win theSWAG from the give-away spread? Simply go to www.musicfashionmagazine.com; fill out the nice little survey; then each week we will draw a winner; you might just get hooked up with some rad clothing.
Featuring David Koechner,The International Noise Conspiracy,Halloween, Alaska,Framing Hanley's,Paramount Styles,The Dears,Rachael Yamagata,C...