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ISSUE 9 winter 2009 $15
WHO WE ARE
AARON FALLON Based in Venice Beach, z, Aaron Fallon is a freelance photographer, surfer, and beach volleyball enthusiast. He prefers a bicycle as his primary mode of transportation and enjoys shooting his Holga when the opportunity presents itself. His images have appeared in Forbes, Popular Mechanics, Elle, and The Los Angeles Times Magazine among others.
Erik Schultz Editor-In-Chief Emily Peterson Lead Designer Teresa Sickels Richard S. Advertising Sales Richard S. Marketing/Promotions Jesse Weed Website Dude
ANDY FORTSON Andy Fortson has spent the last 4 years living in 5 places in 3 cities on 2 coasts. Originially from the mountains of Pennsylvania, he calls Los Angeles “home”, for now at least. After attending art school in Philadelphia, Andy spent a couple years as a printer and retoucher. Instead of putting the finishing touching on other photographers’ photographs, he now finds himself shooting for several record labels and magazines. Apart from taking pictures, he enjoys running a record label, drinking Coronas, and watching The Office.
JANNET SANDERS Too indecisive to complete this sente--.
JIMMY HALL Currently going to the Art Institute of Portland, Jimmy Hall is a portrait artist at heart. He’s been drawing since elementary school, doing portraits since junior high and not planning on stopping from there. His plans on having graphic design being his career while having fun with drawing portraits on the side, he is planning on getting his name recognized in the art world to come. SARAH GIFFROW (ENKO PHOTOGRAPHY) Sarah Giffrow is one half of the awesome creative team at Enko Photography. She’s been taking random photos since before she started liking boys, and she really loves capturing people, both in painstakingly constructed and in completely spontaneous situations. If there is strength, humor, beauty, or surprise to be found, chances are she won’t be far away. STAR NOOR With an intense love for all things artistic, especially fashion and film, Star Noor has spent the past decade becoming immersed in the fashion industry. Her deep affection for the art of fashion design began in her childhood years while watching her Mum create one of a kind pieces as a hobby. Since those days the ex-Jersey girl has worked hard to craft a broad resume that includes an AA in Fashion Marketing, Indie fashion design, working in the marketing, advertising, and promotions arenas; modeling, working as a talent agent for Ellite, working as a fashion event coordinator, owning an online boutique, and Executive Editor of Miasma Mag.
BriAnne Wills (brianne-wills.com) Enko Photography (enkophoto.com) Fashion Photographers Crystal Kash, Michelle Nelson, Laura Granlund, Laura Pieroni, Jessica Padykula, Aaron Fallon, Dean Bryant, Gina Lopez, Janet Sanders, Lauren Weigle, Star Noor, Emilie Yount, Jimmy Hall, Sarah Collins, Emilie Demun, Jeronimo Alvarez, Karla Ortiz, BriAnne Wills, Jason Schell, Jason McDonald, SE Haas, Enko Photography, Kira Pinski, Anna Webber, Matthew P. Gonzalez , Misha Vladimirskiy, Ashley Bennett, Shelby Duncan, Sylvie Blum, Tina Schiro, 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, Vorpal Images, Antiorder Allure, Kacey Jones, Dana Goldstein, Charlene M. Epple, Monica Alvarez, Richard S., Carey Trejo, Alena Florie, Nate Manning, Ron Hope, Jason Lee Perry, Corey Hayes, Ariel Lieberman, Danielle Ezzo, Larissa Underwood, Daisy Rast, Melissa Schenk, Julia Pogodina, Andrea Wilhelm, Andy Fortson Contributors Reach out and virtually touch us at
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Cover Paul Scheer Image by Tyler Shields
mf Stickers in Boston
Photo of Amber Renee by Daniel Hoyt for Danger Ninja Productions
Image by Jimmy
image by Amber Renee
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LETTERS/ART TO THE EDITOR
Image by Claire Brewis
Image by Hilda
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
8 18 24 33 34 46 50 42 54 68 74
A "Granite" 1. -anPendulum This song will rip your face off and replace it with iron mask. Complete with piercing electric blue eyes and a matching silver surfer board.
‘What Those Who You Listen To, Listen To.’
Route "Are We All Forgotten" 2. Paper -All of you will love this band, if not now, absolutely later. This is the soundtrack of 2009, and this song
P-p-p-p-porky the Pig's St-st-st-stutter mix
B Sleeping in the Aviary’s BY -
. mixtape .
Destroyers "Bad to the Bone"
tour bus. Our lead singer Chad won't sleep unless he listens to this on repeat for half an hour. And no I'm not kidding in any way.
Ting Tings "Great DJ" 5. The -I have been pissed off for 9 months that I didn't
write this song. It haunts me. And it will rub off the play button on your ipod. You automatically become 10 years younger per spin.
The Death Set "Distressed"
-Killer punky tune. Death Set kicks ass on the
dance floor and its perfect driving music, whether you are going to grandmas or running her over.
Air "Run” -This is the song of the month on our
The Eels "Railroad Man"
-It you ever sit in a recording studio in Oklahoma and drink a case of cheap beer and are completely burned out from recording, you will sit with your head in your hands and cry by 1:56.
-We have tipped our hats to these "kids". since day one MGMT has been carrying the same color torch as a few of us, and they deserve the world around.
"Done Done" 9. Frankmusic -Good luck finding this one. Its a b-side that is hypnoti-
cally something all its own. If only America was ready for music like this.....but we all hope and never give up.
Jones "Idiot Stare" 10. Jesus -A gem lost in the Great Music Fire of the 90's ... when poorly produced pop and bad grunge bands burned all things electronic and unique. Like this song...
Elton John "Benny and the Jets"
11. The Beatles
"Why don't we do it in the Road?" Technotronic "Pump the Jam"
13. The Kinks "Lola" 14. Phil Collins "Sussudio"
15. Junior Senior "Don't Stop the Beat" music+ 16. Aerosmith "Jaded" fashion
Brooke Fraser mixtape
A Donny Hathaway 1.“You've Got a Friend (Live)”
about Donny and is the perfect antidote to a bout of musical cynicism
10. The Knack "My Sharona" 12.
-This track is as much about the people as it is
epic as it comes. The album is unhuman.
. mixtape . music+ fashion
Turner Overdrive 1. Bachman “Ain't Seen Nothin Yet” 2. The Who "My Generation" 3. David Bowie "Changes" 4. Mueller "Chip 'n Dales Rescue Rangers Theme" 5. Talking Heads "Psycho Killer" 6. Billy Joel "Movin' Out" 7.Jerry Lee Lewis "Great Balls of Fire" 8. George Thorogood & The
Party "Ion Square" -Define change, and define what the sound of progression is and 3. Bloc Bloc Party has written this code. Ion Square is an
Shiny Toy Guns - 10 Songs
Sleeping in the Aviary’s
Shiny Toy Guns
Shiny Toy Guns
. mixtape .
will fall in love with you.
B Joni Mitchell “ A Case of You” 6. -It's Joni.
7. The National “Green Gloves”
-This was part of our soundtrack to summer home in Sydney.
2.-I sort of ran away from home and kept listening
James Taylor “You Can Close Your Eyes” to this song in my walkman on the bus.
3. -I have a girl crush on Jessie Baylin. She is Jessie Baylin “Contradicting Words” amazing.
Mark McMillan “Kiss Your Feet” 4. John -I like how this feels through headphones in the back seat at the end of a long drive.
5. -Jon Foreman “ Equally Skilled”
My husband got me onto the Jon Foreman seasons EPs... this is my favourite track off the Fall/Winter offering.
Simon 8. Paul -It's Paul.
“Hearts & Bones”
-Gets you pumped.
Fitzsimmons 10. William “Everything Has Changed”
-I hope everyone discovers William. He's like a mythical creature in the form of a sensitive lumberjack.
Ê Ê Ê Ê Ê Ê WhileÊ theÊ Ò realÓ Ê worldÊ isÊ alwaysÊ goingÊ toÊ beÊ outÊ there,Ê sometimesÊ youÊ needÊ toÊ takeÊ aÊ break.Ê NotÊ toÊ runÊ andÊ hideÊ fromÊ yourÊ problems.Ê TheyÊ haveÊ aÊ sneakyÊ wayÊ ofÊ alwaysÊ finding you. But to lose yourself. Lose yourself inÊ aÊ captivatingÊ book.Ê LoseÊ yourselfÊ forÊ aÊ coupleÊ of hours in a film. Sit in your room, put on your headphonesÊ andÊ loseÊ yourselfÊ inÊ theÊ music.Ê EverybodyÊ hasÊ theirÊ ownÊ outlet.Ê WeÊ workÊ tirelesslyÊ toÊ improveÊ eachÊ issueÕ sÊ contentÊ toÊ helpÊ youÊ makeÊ thisÊ decision.Ê WeÊ valueÊ theÊ limitedÊ timeÊ youÊ haveÊ toÊ spendÊ withÊ us.Ê ThisÊ isÊ yourÊ time.Ê MakeÊ theÊ mostÊ ofÊ it.Ê Ê WeÊ are not here to tell you who you should listen to, what films to watch or whatÊ fashionÊ labelÊ youÊ shouldÊ beÊ wearing.Ê No,Ê weÊ areÊ hereÊ asÊ aÊ friendÊ toÊ recommendÊ whatÊ weÊ areÊ diggingÊ andÊ weÊ thinkÊ youÊ mightÊ dig. Ê Ê Ê Ê Ê Ê DonÕ tÊ worryÊ aboutÊ tomorrow.Ê TomorrowÊ willÊ comeÊ soonÊ enough.Ê TakeÊ a moment to relax. Reflect on the past and hope for the future. I hope you find what you are looking for. Ê Ê Ê Ê Ê Ê erikÊ schultz
LETTERÊ FROMÊ Ê THEÊ EDITOR
Ê Ê TheseÊ areÊ uniqueÊ timesÊ weÊ liveÊ in.Ê WeÊ areÊ inÊ theÊ midstÊ ofÊ change.Ê InÊ theÊ midstÊ ofÊ history.Ê ItÊ meansÊ differentÊ thingsÊ toÊ differentÊ people.Ê SomeÊ fearÊ changeÊ whileÊ othersÊ welcomeÊ it.Ê TheÊ chanceÊ toÊ expressÊ yourselfÊ asÊ youÊ like.Ê StandÊ upÊ andÊ shout.Ê WhisperÊ quietly.Ê ItÊ isÊ upÊ toÊ you.Ê ThatÊ isÊ yourÊ choiceÊ toÊ make.
CoheedandCambria By Crystal Kash
ink Floyd had “Dark Side of the Moon”, The Beatles did it with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and David Bowie lived it with “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”. Concept albums P have been a popular musical tangent for bands since the 1960’s, but rarely has a band based their entire musi-
cal library around a concept. Cue: Coheed and Cambria. Lyrically, the music is based around the plot of The Amory Wars, a comic book series written by the lead singer. But musically, they’re just a kick ass rock band. Guitarist Travis Stever explained the concept, their fans and why you may need a good book while you’re on tour.
So take me back to the beginnings of the band. I heard that you were actually the original singer? Yeah, actually. For a little while I was. I like to sing and I still do with the other projects I do, but the band that [Coheed and Cambria] evolved from kinda disbanded and everyone did their own thing. It’s funny because a lot of the people that you end up playing with are all the same, either way. You just switch instruments. Eventually, Claudio was in a band with Mike and a drummer from Woodstock and when I rejoined it was a couple years later and by then he was singing. He has such a great and interesting voice that it was just like “Cool. I want to be a part of that” and just play guitar. Can you walk me through the song writing process? I know it’s structured around the graphic novels that Claudio writes. The lyrics are structured around them. They definitely tell the story of the concept. Usually in the past, what it was, was Claudio would have the skeleton of the song on acoustic and we would all write around that. But there’s always differences. Sometimes I have an idea for a riff or a few riffs and we’ll put ‘em together and he’ll write his parts and vocals over it. There was a lot more collaboration like that on our past album because we were left as just the two of us for a little while. We had to kinda strap down and put our heads together and come up with some cool stuff and I’m pretty proud of what we came up with on this album. But, to go back to the main question… It differs. There’s been a lot of cases where it started as an acoustic demo that Claudio brought to the band and we all put stuff together, but there have been numerous occasions where it
was a couple collaborations between the two of us. What starts with a riff, ends up being a song. I think it’s just a natural process for us the way the music evolves. With us, our sound, it just happens. It’s not a conscious effort, it’s just all our styles combined. In a lot of ways, it’s what WE would enjoy listening to. On that note, what do you enjoy listening to? Oh, a lot of different stuff. I am one of those people who has an 80 gig IPOD that’s full and I have 150 gigs at home that is full and I have another hard drive and another [laughing]… And it all different kinds of music. It could be funkadelic to some jazz fusion to Hank Williams. I like my fair share of every kind of music. Do you think that your albums being considered ‘concept albums’, give you a little more freedom to go outside of a specific genre? Oh yeah, musically definitely. And even lyrically for Claudio. A lot of things are based on real life events and I can tell that, because I’ve been around for a lot of ‘em. So for him to [write] within this story is kind of an interesting way to watch real things that he’s been through come out in lyrics that are about something completely different. It’s cool. Your fans seem to run the gamete, from 15 year old Emo chicks to 40 year old truckers. They’re dedicated when they’re into it. And they don’t have to be into the concept because first and foremost, we’re a rock band. But I find that most people who are into the band and become a fan, eventually they are going to get into the concept. Once they get into that, they’re dedicated through the whole system.
It’s pretty amazing to see all the people who are hanging on all the different things that are going on in this band and with the story. I noticed you guys don’t take yourselves too seriously, like with the alternate version of the video for “Devil In Jersey City”. (Where the band dressed up as caricatures of themselves and performed in a barn with banjos and buckets for instruments.) Actually, that was the original version, but we didn’t use it because they wanted a serious video. So we did the serious video which I didn’t think was as good. A lot of people would think we’re all serious, comic book dudes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but Claudio has his really serious side with the concept and all that, but when it breaks down to it, we’re all just a bunch of dudes riding around, playing rock music. It’s not that serious in the end. I know you were teenagers when you started playing together, so any words of wisdom for young musicians out there? Well, we didn’t start really heavy touring until we were older like 21 or 22. It is young, but there are bands out there that started when they were 18. But I’d say if you really want to do it, that’s the way to test the water. You got to get out there and sleep on some amps and really put your time in. That’s the only way now with the music industry; you gotta get out there and hit it hard. If it happens, it happens. There’s a luck factor in it too. I’m proud of our band, I think it’s great but I know that we’re lucky in a lot of ways because I know there are people out there who are amazing musicians who’ve busted their asses and they’re not in the same position. We’re lucky.
TheVoomBlooms By Michelle Nelson Illustration by Laura Granlund
he Voom Blooms are that kind of band that you first hear and know that they are destined for greatness. Their ability to write catchy, unique, well-crafted indie rock/pop songs has earned them extremely early success. After only being together for about three months they released their first single in the UK, Politics and Cigarettes, which sold out in a week. They have only been together for two years and have been named by MTV as ‘Ones to look out for in 2008’ and Rolling Stone as one of the ‘Top 25 Best Bands on Myspace.’ They have supported bands such as the Horrors, Babyshambles and Boy Kill Boy. The best part about it is that all of these accolades and opportunities have come to them through the good old fashioned way of “word of mouth.” Once people hear how great they sound they pass their music along to friends and some of those friends have been members of great bands and influential radio DJs from around the world.
This is your first tour in the States. How has it been so far? It was really good and kind of overwhelming going to Vegas. We were at the Revolution Lounge and it was amazing. It’s insane. There are these shiny little curtains where they can show off the VIP room and it costs like $20,000 for one curtain and the fucking tables cost like $160,000. It was like, “What are we doing here?” It got quite messy that night. There’s been a lot of, “What the fuck are we doing
here moments.” Not in a bad way, but in an overwhelming way. We’ve been really looking forward to playing here. The best part about being here has been that everyone is so nice and so friendly. If that was England there would be at least three fights down this queue. Everyone would be checking each other out and checking out what each other was wearing to see if there was anyone cooler than them. And everyone wants to be better than one another. Every band doesn’t like it if you do well. Over here it seems like bands support each other. The bands we’ve met are really good to sit down and have a few drinks with and relax. Can you tell me about the music you have released so far and what that experience has been like? We’ve released two singles on vinyl and we released them on CDs in Japan. The first single came out when we had only been together for three months as a band and they were the first two things we recorded in the studio. We sent it to Radio One and also Universal said that they would release 1,000 copies, limited edition vinyl and they did and it sold out in a week. Then they said, ‘What else do you have?”….and we were like, as a band we haven’t got anything else….and they were like, “OK, go away then.” And then that was it. We were thrown into the deep end. As soon as we released those first songs we started getting calls. Our fourth gig was playing with Babyshambles. KEXP in Seattle has been a large supporter of yours. Did you listen to KEXP before they started playing your music? No. We didn’t even know it existed. John [Richards] just heard the track. Again, it’s just word of mouth and that’s how this tour has happened. It’s basically been word of mouth for the past two years. We look forward to
meeting him. He started playing Thoughts of Rena and Politics and Cigarettes on KEXP when we had only been a band for about three or four months…and we were like, “OK, so now American radio is playing us. What the hell is going on?” Why have you waited so long to release your music in the States? We haven’t released anything in the States yet because we haven’t got a record label. Everything that you have heard here has been through the Internet. KEXP picked it up. There have been a lot of things like that in England and America and in Japan and it’s just gone from there. Obviously there was a bit of interest and certain people liked it. Having said that, you don’t really need a record label to make an album. The reason we haven’t released an album yet is because we have not been ready. We’ve only been together for like two years and we are still finding our feet. We still are probably another year off before there is going to be an album. You only get one chance to make your first album and we want to make it the best possible. The sound of the songs released on your second single has completely changed from the sound of the songs on your first single. Were there any specific influences behind this change? I’m not saying that we get bored too quickly, but, especially in our set, every song has a different vibe. There has been a transition from Politics and Cigarettes compared to Nine Ships. I still think they are two great songs even if they are a little bit different. It’s just progression. We don’t plan everything we write, but then again we’ll say we don’t want to make another Politics and Cigarettes or something like that. It just happens. I think that when you write things,
you are being influenced by something one day and then something else the week after and that’s where different things come from. When we did Politics, that was two years ago, and when we did Nine Ships, that was six months ago…. so there was quite a big gap between them. We wrote a lot of songs that we decided to get rid of. We did a headliner at a festival in England about a year ago. We played about twelve songs or so there and about eight of them, I can’t even remember. I don’t even remember what half of them sound like. We wrote them like two weeks leading up to the gig. We just keep widdling things down and trying to get them perfect. It’s like, write ten – keep one. Is there a certain person in your band who writes the lyrics to your songs? Yeah, I write the lyrics (George). I write stories and then I take the music and write the story in a musical sort of way. Songs like Politics and Cigarettes and Nine Ships are taken from a bigger story. Politics and Cigarettes was inspired by a film from the 70’s by a Scottish director called
Bill Douglas. It was an autobiographical film about when he was younger and he went off to war and he didn’t have any friends, he didn’t have any family or anything and he just met this one guy. There is a line in the film where he says, “All I’ve got in the whole world is just politics and cigarettes,” and by that he kind of meant talking about politics to his friend with his cigarette in his hand and he had nothing else. He said that’s all he ever needed. So, that inspired me to write that song. And Nine Ships… .I wrote a story called All Aboard the Albert when we were in Germany on tour with the Horrors and that kind of spawned nine ships by the seashore. We have a new song called Lucille and that was another story that I wrote. I wrote something about BB King in the 50’s. He was playing a gig when two people were fighting in a club and it was cold and they didn’t have heating, so they just put fires in barrels. There were two people fighting over a girl called Lucille and they ended up knocking the barrels down and burnt down the whole building. BB King named his guitar Lucille after the girl they were fighting about.
ThrivingIvory By Laura Pieroni Photo by Erik Schultz
n their music they tackle lofty concepts, such as death and love, but it’s hard to find more down-to-earth guys. Thriving Ivory, from the San Francisco Bay Area, is an alternative rock band recently signed to Wind-Up Records. Their hit, “Angels on the Moon”, has been receiving serious airplay in the bay area and across the U.S. I sat down with Clayton Stroope (vocals), Scott Jason (piano and keys), Drew Cribley (guitar, back up vocals), Bret Cohune (bass), and Paul Niedermier (drums) to discuss touring, crazy stalker fans, and how they are not a Christian rock band.
So a lot of your lyrics have death in them. Angels, ghosts, where does that come from? What influences the death imagery that goes into your lyrics? Scott: Death is something we all think about a lot. You know, I try not to, or try to rationalize it in a way that makes it not seem so scary. Clayton: We’re not writing depressing lyrics, or death songs. In fact the chorus is “don’t tell me if I’m dying”, so there’s a lot of hope too. So if you weren’t all busy being rockstars right now, what would you be doing? Drew: Probably something we didn’t want to do. Waiting tables. Paul: If we weren’t doing this, I think we’d find ourselves involved in music in some way. Whether it be writing, producing, or just out on the road with another band. Clayton: Telemarketing. Scott: I’d probably be a psychiatrist. What’s the craziest thing that’s happened on tour? Drew: We drive with a trailer, our trailer doors have flown open on the freeway, but nothings ever fallen out, we have like a stroke of luck. Twice this has happened already. . Paul: One time the whole trailer just came off while we were driving and we slammed on the brakes and the
trailer went crashing into the car. Drew: Oh, I’ve fallen off stage before and took a PA speaker with me. I wasn’t even drunk or anything, I just kinda tripped and fell into a bunch of people. Paul: One of our friends passed out drunk in the trailer and we drove all the way back, it was like a six and a half hour drive. And we found him in the trailer, on top of drum hardware. Drew: As soon as we opened up the door of the trailer he just asked for a cigarette, he didn’t complain at all. Do you have any crazy stalker fans? Clayton: This woman used to come to our shows and bring us these really strange, personal gifts. Scott: Like Christmas mix tapes, and bibles, and hot wheels. Paul: And oranges. Scott: And pictures of ourselves. Drew: And she’d get us these little articles with “Scott Soap” cuz his name is Scott. Or something, products with people’s names on them. Scott: Yeah, creepy. Clayton: We’d be playing miles and miles away and she’d still be there. Drew: One time she brought us some beer and that was the only thing we ever used. Does anyone ever mistake you for a Christian rock band? Scott: Very rarely. Every once and a while someone asks us, but not really. Drew: Did you think that? I wondered. Scott: It’s fascinating, the fundamentals of religions. Clayton: We’re not out to promote religion. Scott: I don’t think any of us are practicing religious people or anything. And I mean, we all have different religions if we did have them. So the answer is a big fat no.
Scott: It depends. Sometimes a really good lyric will blossom into a full song. Or a concept for a song. Or it could be a melody that is so good you want to crank out the right lyrics to it. And then that ends up but it’s really about the lyrics because they are what formulate a song conceptually. As far as the story of the song, rather than just a bunch of random words put together. It’s a cohesive kind of concept, or theme or something. So I would say lyrics first, but often the music is the blossom, or the seed for the song too, we go both ways. So image, unfortunately, has a lot to do with bands these days and always has. What image would you say the image you all have been cultivating? Clayton: Nothing specific. I don’t know if you have an image that’s so specific then you kinda get stuck looking like that and have a hard time snapping out of that. I mean, we want to look cool. Drew: I think we just wear what we feel looks good and is comfortable. We want to look aesthetically pleasing, but we’re not going after something- like we want to be this, so that means we wear this. We don’t do that. Scott: Yeah, it’s not like these kinds of bands are wearing this, so we should probably be doing that too. Paul: I think we come across that problem a lot when we’re touring. It’s kind of hard to fit us into a genre. Drew: After touring together, or just being around each other, a lot of the time we’ll end up borrowing clothes from each other. You end up looking the same. You end up having a look about you just because you’ve been around each other so much. Scott: We really just want to have the music speak for itself and not have it be like, ok check out our clothes now, the music is really good. It is a factor but it has nothing to do with the music at all.
So when writing songs, is it lyrics first, music second, vice versa, or some combination?
By Lauren Weigle Photo by Erik Schultz
together a literary and photography magazine. I’m really just flirting with the idea. There are so many things I pursue all the time on tour. Can you name any of your favorite bands and musicians when you were growing up? When I was growing up, I was into a ton of Motown. My dad had this old jukebox in the basement, which we still have, and he filled it with Motown, all the good old folk music, and some older rock and roll like Steve Nicks. I listened to a lot of Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and then some Broadway. My dad was really into Broadway, so at a very young age I could sing the entire Les Miserables play and The Phantom of the Opera. Do you think any of them have influenced you in pursuing music? I guess so. To me, the more voices there are singing on something, the more it feels like a party you want to be a part of in a way. So, I think I opted to be in a band, not only with two singers, but with two back-up vocalists who really fill it out. I think I’d prefer that, rather than being a solo vocalist. It’s more fun for me. If you weren’t playing music, what do you think you would be doing now? I’d probably be in school studying music, English, psychology, and photography. I just have so many interests. My main interest is people and music is just how I serve people right now.
hicago native Greta Salpeter and her band The Hush Sound have brought sincerity and imagination to the world of indie pop music. With the help of C Purevolume.com, their first album So Sudden was introduced to Fall Out Boy’s Pete
Wentz, who then signed them to his label Decaydance Records. From there, they have toured with bands including The All-American Rejects, Boys Like Girls, Plain White T’s, and Hellogoodbye. Nonetheless, what separates The Hush Sound from other bands is its conscientious effort to maintain equality within the group in terms of song-writing. Above all else, this indie pop quartet is all about having fun and loving what they do, bringing nothing short of heart-felt entertainment to their fans. Is there a personal credo or philosophy that you like to personally live by or follow? In general, I’m just a big believer in being just a good and ethical person out of a desire to love, not just out of fear. And, just showing that in all levels of your life, never living out of fear. I guess just always being a loving, good, contentious, giving, would be my philosophical credo. Also, always be imaginative and fun. Be a daydreamer. Well, I understand that you also have interests in other things like photography and short stories. Can you tell me a little about
that or any other interests you may have? Yeah! Well, when we’re on tour or working… actually, I don’t mean to say working because it doesn’t feel like a job….we really only play about a half hour a day and then maybe meet the kids for an hour or so. You have the other 16 or 17 waking hours of the day to really work on whatever you want. On this tour I’ve been doing a lot of fun photography stuff, writing a lot of short stories, and I’ve been reading a ton of literary magazines and a ton of new poetry. Ya know, I have so many friends who are really great writers, so I’ve been daydreaming with the idea of how fun it would be to put
Well, I hear you’ve been doing some writing while on tour even though your latest album “Goodbye Blues” is relatively new. Any thoughts for your next album? My feel for the next record is I want it to be what everyone who likes our band has anticipated but never really gotten, which is Bob and I singing together a lot. I’m thinking a huge, hopeful, big fun, celebratory pop song. I just want it to be fun. I don’t want it to be so precious and so serious. We don’t have to tear all these songs apart. To a new listener, how would you describe your music? I’d say it’s very fun, imaginative, whimsical, with a 20’s-30’s swing and flare to it. What does the word “success” mean to you? Success in music is writing songs that make people feel like for a minute they can step outside of their body and be anything, writing songs that people can relate to, writing songs that give people imagination, and, beyond that, writing songs that people will still be humming in twenty or thirty years. It’s writing songs that people will listen to in ten years and it will remind them exactly of that moment when they got their drivers’ license. They remember how they were driving around with their friends, how free and young they feel. Just being able to be a part of somebody’s life in that way…that’s success for me in music.
MagneticMorning agnetic Morning, formed in late 2006, is the duo of Swervedriver singer/guitarist Adam M Franklin and Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino.
These are two intelligent, busy dudes with a world of experience and a knack for giving the people what they want: quality experimental indie music.
What was the driving force behind creating Magnetic Morning? The need to write and give life to some music outside of a “democratic collective.” At the same time creating a mutual endeavor for Adam and I to explore. Then, when I re-enter the ‘collective’, I’m happy to work on and play Daniel’s songs from behind a drum kit. What is your favorite gear to use when you play? Well, as for drums, I have a big fuck-off stainless steel set of Ludwigs. Not big in quantity, but in diameter. They’re loud when hit hard and super resonate when played dynamically, and man, they’re real pretty. When writing, I play a Les Paul custom through an ampeg J20, dozens of stomp boxes, the Zevex ones are dirty, nasty, simply beautiful. I use a Moog Voyager quite a bit, ableton live, logic, and an old out-of-tune upright piano. Having spoken with several of your self-proclaimed ‘biggest’ fans, a question that came up was regarding the song Every Day Is Exactly The Same and The Good Soldier by NIN. How did you happen to remix those songs and get involved in that project? Trent’s former A&R man, Mark Williams, suggested that Carlos and I remix “Everyday...” and Trent simply liked the remix we did. Then for The Good Soldier, I was asked to pick one from the record. I remixed it, and once again Trent was pleased, as was I.
By Emilie Yount Illustration by Jimmy Hall
Playing with Swervedriver and Toshack Highway, being a solo artist: what gives you the most satisfaction? Do you like the fact that you’re part of a duo now and does that change the way you think about writing and releasing music? There are different aspects of each project that satisfy. One of the most satisfying things right now is having a number of different projects on the go as it probably makes you less precious about certain ideas because you know that if they don’t float with one outfit they might float with another. Being part of this duo is quite unique for me as I’m usually either doing my own thing or being someone else’s right hand man. In this project with Sam I’m almost like the right hand man that gets to sing the songs in the end as well. You’ve mentioned in the past Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. as influences on your music. Are there any current acts you admire or that you might like to work with? I would list Broadcast and the Clientele as amongst my favourite bands. I actually really like the [last] Radiohead album and I’d never been a massive fan of them before. I’m working on a project with Dan Boeckner, the singer from Wolf Parade- a great band. Another great band from Canada is the Besnard Lakes, who released the best album of last year in my opinion. I probably still consider Sonic Youth to be my favourite band though. How did you get involved with the Eric Green ‘Beautiful Noise’ film? Looking back, do you see the shoegaze genre differently than you did at the time? Eric Green just contacted me about the film and I spoke to him a couple of times, once in San Diego and again in New York. I don’t really think about the ‘shoegaze genre’ in that sense. There were some really great bands that are considered shoegaze and there were some bands in that genre that weren’t so good. The perception is different now because the music lives on in the recordings only and some of those bands were actually fantastic live acts. Public perception of Slowdive for example might be through their recordings and journalists would talk about ‘sonic cathedrals of sound, etc., etc.’, but they were better live. There wasn’t really that much studio trickery either. That was exactly how they sounded live, except louder.
By Jessica Padykula Photo by Ariel Lieberman
t’s probably a pretty safe guess that most bands would like to one day have a record deal. Many bands do eventually make this happen, but not all of them end up signed to Neil IYoung’s Vapor Records. That’s something a little more special, and exactly what happened
to California quintet, Everest. They recorded their first record, Ghost Notes for Vapor Records in Elliott Smith’s former digs, New Monkey Studio. Laid back frontman Russell Pollard spoke about what makes the band tick and what it’s like having Neil Young on your side.
How did Everest come together? I’ve read a lot about a kind of natural progression that brought the band together – what happened? We were a bunch of guys who knew each other in LA. At the time we formed Everest we were all scattered, doing our own projects. We decided we should put our resources together to work on one, common goal. What do you think it is about your music that attracted Neil Young? He could relate to what we were doing musically and where we were coming from as a band and how we play live. We are pretty tight as a band, we communicate, and we play to each other. We are on a path he recognizes and has been on. Neil Young is thought of as a very prolific, iconic musician and performer – what are some of the qualities that you think make for an iconic musician? He is completely devoted to the craft at all costs. Something I really see in Neil is his integrity. He does what he wants, you can’t challenge him. But he’s also like a big kid. He has so much energy he’s blowing our minds. How did Everest end up being signed to Vapor Records? I was writing a bunch of songs and had wanted to be on Vapor Records. We got our demos to Vapor and Neil’s manager liked what he heard. He came down to our studio to listen to some rough mixes and offered to put out the record. He brought Neil to see us play at Sundance when we were in a 100-seat club. He stood at the back and watched the show. It was pretty amazing. The whole process was pretty quick and dream-like.
What goes through your head when you think about where the band is now? Oh man, this is one of the greatest things that has ever happened to us. I almost feel like this was supposed to happen. These types of things in life rarely happen. This is like a dream come true. What’s one piece of advice Neil has given you since being signed to Vapor? Sing to the audience. But when you’re playing instrumentals you turn in and play to each other. We’re used to practicing in tight quarters and if the drummer does something cool; you turn around and look at him. We try to bring that intimate element to the stage. I’ve read the songs were cut live to tape with no computers used – this comes across on the record and is very refreshing, especially in today’s often over-produced musical times. Why did this seem like the way to go? Some of us had been in studio situations when there was an overabused use of computers. That doesn’t work for me. I like pressing buttons that make a tape move. I like relying on a human being. I want to look up and see a big ol’ console. I like mixing when there’s an element of human error. We wanted to have that experience together. What does recording mostly live do for the energy and momentum of the recording process? When you’re in a circle in the studio, magic happens. You get really cool takes you don’t get when you all record separately. What was it like to record at New Monkey Studio?
It was inspiring. The gear there was handpicked by Elliot Smith. He had really good taste. The studio had a really good vibe, a good energy. We were really happy there. What are some of the things Mike Terry brought to Ghost Notes through his production and mixing? He’s a surgeon, a very good engineer. He really helped me in my confidence. He is supportive and hardworking. When you compare the songs you were writing when you first started out as a musician to what you’re writing now, what are the biggest differences? Maybe I’ve grown up. I’m not living in the same reality anymore. I’ve learned how to write songs. Now I can write a song and say “Yeah – that can go on an album.” That’s a big step. What do you do on your (probably minimal) down time? I try to remain calm. I hang out with my wife a lot because she’s amazing. The funny thing is, the band actually spends a lot of downtime together. Yoga is something that’s been really helpful to me. Also, where we live in LA there are lots of places to go hiking. How do your surroundings affect your music? We are definitely affected by our surroundings. LA can be a very tense city, which can be overwhelming. But I’ve been here for at least 10 years and there a lot of great bands here. It’s a very supportive atmosphere rather than being competitive. Here, there are a lot of great musicians, great people and great resources.
By Jessica Padykula Photo by Aaron Fallo
Make Up by Dean Bryant Hair by Gina Lopez
op music of late has been full of glossy, manufactured girl groups, canned beats and surface over substance, so it’s refreshing when someone manages to break out of the mold and change the game. Lady GaGa is playing a game all her own and people are starting to take notice. She’s got the look, she’s got the style, but she also has the skill to back it up. No one is telling this born and bred New Yorker what to do or how to do it, and that’s the way she likes it. She is the mastermind behind her own success and her album, The Fame, is poised to change the world of pop music as we know it. How has growing up in New York helped influence your music? What kind of creative edge do you think that has given you? New York is my life. I grew up there. It’s always going to be my home and it’s the center of my creativity. Everything is so potent there – the art, the architecture. New York is the reason I became an artist. Living there is so inspiring. What kind of role does fashion play in the music you’re making? It’s everything. I design the clothes I wear on stage and the props for shows. When I write music I think about what I want to be wearing on stage. In what ways do you differ from your onstage persona? I don’t. That’s me. It’s funny because it’s so hard to explain the creative process I have. I don’t exist without the work. My life is not balanced. It’s a tipped see-saw. What you see on stage is a vision and I am the vehicle for my own vision. Everything that inspires me changes the way I present myself.
What’s the best decision you’ve made so far in your career? To stop being cool. I’m way better at making art than the cool girl inside of me. I had to stop trying to be someone else. You have to strip yourself and become a canvas, look inside to find yourself. It’s a scary thing to do, but it’s so important if you want to succeed.I definitely know who I am. I was having dinner with Perez Hilton the other night and he asked me if I could sum up who I am as an artist in one sentence. I told him I’m the first artist in a long time who is a true do-it-yourselfer. I want to be involved in every aspect of my career, from what I wear on stage to the type of plastic they use to wrap my CDs. What’s your idea of success? Being appy and just getting to do what I love every day. What separates you and your music from other dance/pop acts out there today? I’m a do-it-yourselfer. I have a different kind of soul in my approach to my work. My songs are close to the heartbeat. They’re my way of fulfilling what I think is real. I want my fans to come to see me. I want them to live for me. Of course I want to sell 10 million records, but I want my fans to really want to come see me. There’s only one kind of show I know how to put on and that’s the dope shit! There aren’t a lot of white girls who can really hold it down right now. Amy Winehouse is one, but she’s going through it right now and the world needs to let her do her thing. I want to see more really ballsy chicks, girls who really bring it. Your music is very energizing and uplifting. How does it make you feel knowing what you do inspires people and gives them energy? I love it that my album is full of joy. There are a couple darker songs on it, but there really is a lot of joy and swagger on it.
It sounds like you’re really driven and have been for a while. What do you do to unwind and give yourself a break? I sleep. I don’t actually like to wind down because then I have to wind back up again. Whenever I’m winding down I always feel sad. The work is such a huge part of me that I feel a void when I’m not doing it. I’m insatiable. I’m milking it for every moment. When people talk about taking breaks I don’t get it. I don’t need breaks. But I’m crazy. I don’t advocate this kind of pace for everyone, but for me it works. Where do you get ideas for your stage shows? I’m mostly inspired by the dance and fashion world. The idea for this show we’re doing now came from one photograph. I won’t say what it is and no one will ever see it. But the inspiration for the show stemmed from that one photo. What are the top three personality traits or attributes you need in order to survive the music industry? You need work ethic, creativity and strength. But you also need to be smart, so there are actually four things you need. Being smart in this industry is really important. You need to be able to make good decisions and also make smart work. If’ there’s one thing you could make sure people take away from listening to your music, what would it be? I would want them to just have a really good feeling, forget about their day and just live in the song. I would want them to live in my world. I had someone tell me about my song “Brown eyes” that somebody is going to listen to that song and it’s going to help them get over their first break-up. If I can inspire someone to feel something then I’ve done my job. I want people to think this work is important. I’m not going to change the world with sequins. I’m going to change it with ideas.
TheMorningBenders By Jessica Padykula Photo by Jason McDonald
usic, like fashion, is all about trends. Trends ebb and they flow and they twist around to pick up where they left M off. It can be fun to keep up, flitting from one to the next, but sometimes it’s better to stick to something simple, something timeless. The Morning Benders may be on several “next big thing” lists (and rightly so) but really,
they’re just a bunch of regular guys who know a thing or two about good music. They wear regular clothes, do regular things and even have regular jobs when they’re not on tour. But there’s no gimmick. Their new album, Talking Through Tin Cans, is just good old fashioned rock and roll from four guys who really love being in a band. I spoke with Singer and guitarist, Chris Chu, about the band and why it’s so important to just do what you love The Morning Benders have toured with a lot of cool bands. What have you learned from those experiences? You learn something every show. At the end of the day you learn how different every show is and how different every band is. We learned that you really can’t judge a show. It’s best to take each show as a unique experience. What is the best and worst thing about being on tour? The best thing is just playing shows every night and doing what you love. I’d have to say the worst thing is trying to stay healthy. It’s really hard to stay healthy on the road. How has the web changed how bands today get noticed? Major radio is still really huge but that’s slowly changing. More and more people are looking for different types of music that they may not find on the radio. This is good for bands who might not get a lot of airplay but there are definitely some downsides. People have a tendency to download songs for free. One
song here and there is fine, but it’s pushing it if you download the whole album. Lots of people are content to just download music and not pay for it. The exposure is great – tons of people might be downloading your music online, but if they’re not paying for it, you’re not making any money. What do you do when you’re not on tour? When I get home from a tour I like to eat good meals,exercise,andputgoodthingsintomybody. What’s the most overrated aspect of being in a band? The idea of being famous is not overrated, but it is misjudged. People don’t seem to realize how hard it is or how much work goes into being in a band and how little money is involved. What do you think about bands with buzz – especially since you seem to be in one? I have thought about it. Basically, it’s hard to tell when you hear a band for the first time how long they’ll last. We just hope we can keep doing what we’d be doing anyway.
If you could give career advice to your younger self, what would it be? I would have tried to get all of us to start even earlier. We finished high school and then the thing to do is go to college, but I don’t think the four of us really got anything from it. If I could do it again I would spend even more time focusing on what I love. It’s also important to remember you can only rely on yourself. Everything is up in the air and subjective when you’re playing music. Luckily, the four of us are pretty good at keeping each other grounded. What do you hope listeners get from the new album? I’m hoping they listen to it and take it for something on their own terms. There is a tendency for people to like things based on press quotes. I’d prefer them to interpret the album on a personal level. Where does the band’s name come from? It’s a Tolstoy reference. We haven’t told anyone where it can be found. It’s something of a riddle. We like to keep people guessing.
ColbieCallait By Star Noor Illustration by Sierra Dufault
uch like a beach party full of organic melody and bonM fire warmth Colbie Callait’s debut album Coco reflects breezy acoustic pop with island-esque undertones and twee lyrics.
Intrinsically Colbie is much like the tunes on her album with a laid back down to earth sort of sweetness wrought with contradictory exclamation points. This afternoon, which is really morning in Colbie’s Malibu time zone, as we chat on the phone the antipodean songstress prescribes in a voice that drifts from strong to shy, “I can be really silly and sarcastic, but, not a lot of people know that about me.” This revealing statement is dotted with the exact comfortable un-assurance which is tonal through out our time on the line. As if Colbie’s squeaky clean image weren’t enough to lend her suspect for some, she also spent her childhood years surrounded by A-list musicians most of us don’t even get to dream about. Colbie’s not the only Callait in the music biz. In fact she’s just following in Daddy’ (producer/ sound engineer Ken Callait’s footsteps), but it’s not just something you’d know about her because she’s not banking off her father’ coat tails. It’s true she had members of Fleetwood Mac hanging around the house offering advice and has met the likes of Sting, but her moment of epiphany wasn’t at some all-star jam out session. It was listening to Lauren Hill’s ‘Killing Me Softly’ that had her feeling like ‘Since I found a new love’ ‘Nothing else matters’. Ironically enough it’s her wholesomeness that feeds her music and sets it apart. First, we all want to know how the John Mayor tour went, any interesting moments? Really fun tour, on my last night on he came out and sang with me on my song Realize, and I sang with him on Gravity.
You’re set to start recording your new album, what can you tell us about that? We have 18 songs to choose from and we’ll record them, rework them, and go from there. Mikal Blue, my producer on Cocoa, will be producing [again].
Your singles have been largely successful, how did you come up with the idea to let your Myspace fans decide which songs should be released? We couldn’t decide, and we knew that my Myspace fans were the reason I was becoming so popular, and they were the ones listening to the songs so they knew which ones they liked.
Out of the other Myspace artists that have been coming up within the past couple of years, who is your favorite? Engrid Michaelson. I don’t really know of any other ones. What do you do on your tour bus to pass the time?
It depends; I have my guitar with me so sometimes I write songs. I’ve been really into painting lately and I have my camera so sometimes I’ll take pictures, or hang out with my band. Out of all the people your dad’s worked with which one have you met, and who sticks out in your mind the most now that you’re in the business? I’ve met all of them. I met Gwen Stephani when she was still in No Doubt and I got to watch the shooting of her video, I think it was Spider Webs, and when I do my own videos now I think back to that time; it’s kind of funny.
Disciple By Janet Sanders Photo by Erik Schultz
hey call themselves Disciple, one band on a mission to change lives through the head slinging, yet inspirational anthems they have produced- and I can guarantee that these guys are unlike anything you have ever and will T ever hear. Before you pull out the one two punch and slap a brand onto this southern fried instrumental concoction;
take a listen. I talked with Disciple front man, Kevin Young, about how it all started if it was time to hang it all up.
How did Disciple get together? We’ve been together so long it’s ridiculous. Yeah, like when teenagers first start getting like, “Man, let’s be in a band!” That’s literally how long we’ve been together. I met Tim (Barrett) when I was twelve and we’ve been playing in Disciple since then. Tim, Brad (Noah) and I started it when we were sixteen years old. We went to church together and well, we were twelve, you have to keep this in mind…We were going through the Bible, trying to look for something that we had no idea what it meant, something that sounded cool. We just couldn’t find anything. So we’re like, ‘Alright, we’ll just call ourselves Disciple until we find something better.’ We had been trying to change our name forever and just never found anything better, so we’re Disciple. You guys won a Dove Award. How was that- winning the Christian music industry’s equivalent to a Grammy? Yeah, we were nominated for 8, but only won 1 of them. I never thought it would mean as much to me as it does, I guess it’s because we lost so many Doves that actually winning one really means something. A lot of my friends have won one and we had never won one, so it kind of felt great for a little bit. How’s the writing process? I do all of the lyrics, and everybody helps out with the music. And Brad Noah helps, but he just retired from the road. What was the reason for his retirement? I use the word retired, but I don’t really want to because he’s going to come back eventually. [Haha] He just needed to take a break and get off the road a while since we’ve been doing this for fifteen years. But we’re recording a new CD right now and he’s going to be playing guitar for it. As far as touring goes what are some of the coolest places you’ve played? We started going overseas back in ’98 and somehow we got this following in Germany. I don’t know how it happened, I can’t even explain it to you, but for
some reason we’re like ten times bigger in Germany than we are in the U.S. I don’t how it happened; I just know that every time we go over there it’s crazy. You have had some success in the commercial area as well. Are you ready for me cause I’m ready for you? has been on CSI Miami commercials, WWE Wrestling used it for one of their pay-per-view programs as a theme song along with the DVD’s they have. It’s on the main menu. Then it’s been on sports stations like NFL Live and The Best Damn Sports Show Period. How would you describe Disciple‘s sound? You could say whatever you wanted about the music and I would probably agree with you. You could say we were southern rock, “yeah.” You could say we were heavy metal, “yeah.” Some people call it rap metal but…there are moments. Rap metal? Yeah, I mean, there are moments, I gotta be honest. I wouldn’t push it to the corner of just that. You know, I think we have so many influences, me and the guys like so many different things. It’s one of the blessings I think, because none of the guys in the band have anything in common musically. How big of a part does your faith play in the making of the music? Number one, we’re not ashamed of our faith. I’m not ashamed of Christ, I’ve given him my life. At the same time, I hate that we have to be called a Christian band. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed of Jesus in any way at all. If someone wanted to write a song about how they hate the war in Iraq would they be a political band now? If someone wanted to write about what it’s like to be gay, would they be a gay band now? “No.” Just because we have this faith and sing about Jesus, we’re a Christian band. And it’s like no, dude…we’re a band. We’re a Christian band and we’ve opened up for Saliva and other bands. We take our approach especially with other people
that are in the industry as… they’re an artist and they’re sharing their life and faith with their audience. We share our life and our faith with our audience too. We may all talk and speak different, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean we can’t play shows together or write songs together. You mentioned recording earlier, how’s that album coming along? It’s going really great. The name of the new album is Southern Hospitality. We grew up in the late eighties and there were all of these hair bands. The music we grew up on. We thought it was great. I think a lot of things like Guitar Hero have come out and reawakened that style of music. So this is going to be sort of a flashback album? Yeah, we just kind of said, ‘we love this stuff. Let’s write an album on that.’ So it’s just like…a guitar album. It sounds like anything you would hear in the mid-eighties. It’s just really…awesome. For you it’s all about the music, there’s definitely passion there. How has this passion of yours affected others? Basically, I was praying and asking God if this was my time to stop. Should I go home and do something else? And literally, within days of praying, this girl came up to me at a concert. It really touched my heart. She said that she was going to take her life; she had prayed and asked God “If you’re real, if you really love me- just tell me.” She said that after she finished praying, she turned on the radio and the very next song she heard was one of my songs, After the World. She heard that and just fell down and cried.
By Star Noor
ate is passionate about life. The 21 years old singer songwriter is on K her way to stardom and she did it all
with a little help from her friends on the engine-that-could we all know as Myspace. Chances are you’ve seen Kate on One Tree Hill playing the musical part of timid Mia, or heard her on various other CBS and MTV shows. Despite her youth, her music is raw soulful acoustic poetry that gets in your head. But, being a Myspace muse isn’t what’s got us buzzing about Kate. So who’s the girl behind the catchy award winning pop tunes and deeply honest emotional ballades which landed her on the Billboard 2008 watch list? The real Kate is uninhibited and sweet. The self prescribed “extrovert” with loud vocals both on and off stage is anything but shy, loving every minute in the limelight. She’s honest with her music and knows it’s the only thing that matters in her work as an artist. She thinks her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio is “awesome,” is a die hard Indians fan, is obsessed with dark chocolate, roller coasters, CS Lewis, and the color red. She paints for a hobby, loves awkward humor, and can lick her elbow; “seriously!” Okay, so the last one was a little on the need to know basis but that’s how it goes with Kate.
Ever since she learned how to play the guitar from her dad and musical confidant on a family vacation, Kate has grown into an assertive musician. In high school she struggled with her self-image, scared of being the girl with the guitar, a feeling that plagued her for “like five minutes, and then I realized that I never wanted to live another day where I didn’t play guitar or write and sing music.” This revelation led to her eventual stage sharing with industry heavy hitters the Counting Crows, John Mayer, The Dave Matthews Band, The Wreckers, Howie Day, John Mellancamp, Neil Young, Patty Griffin, Aimee Mann, and Mindy Smith. And, she did all of this before ever signing that infamous record deal. Since her amalgamation with Myspace Interscope Records in 2006 as the label’s first artist Kate has seen a massive addition to her fan base, has re-released her debut album with the re-mastering help of Marshall Altman, and began her nationwide headlining tour. Your dad is the one that got you started; tell us about your relationship with him. My dad’s a huge influence in so many ways. He’s a great guitarist and songwriter, so he taught me pretty much everything I know about how to play and structure a song. Anytime I have a new idea, I play it for him and we’ll rough out the demo together.
Tell us about your record. “Don’t Look Away” is my way of saying that I’ve learned that the best way to go about life in general is to rise above the desire to hide from things that scare you. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be vulnerable and show it.
Any cool stories about your first performances? It was pretty crazy meeting Dave Matthews backstage at farm aid ‘04. I’d been at a show 6 months prior standing in the rain with my friends and he was a tiny speck on the stage. Then all of a sudden I’m making small talk with him in line for a press conference. Nuts.
What do you believe constitutes a good record? CS Lewis wrote that “no one who ever bothers about originality will ever be original. Whereas if you just try to tell the truth without caring how many times it’s been told before, you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” I think that’s what every artist should do.
How has signing with Myspace Interscope Records panned out for you so far? Been amazing! They’re concerned with my artistic opinion and there’s no attempt to tell me how I should write my songs or anything. I can’t think of a better place to be.
What’s the hardest thing for you as a musician coming into an acting role? I’m very expressive and kind of all over the place sometimes so I had to learn to slow down and be aware of the camera because in the studio you can make an idiot of yourself while you’re
singing, as long as it sounds good, doesn’t matter if you look ridiculous. Let’s talk about touring. You just came off your first headliner. What was that like? Headlining shows is such an awesome experience because it finally feels like I have ownership. Playing all the songs off the record at the show with a full band is a great feeling because it really brings the music to the people. It’s also been amazing to see my fans singing along with the music. What do you have planned now? Future projects are undecided at this point, but that’s what’s great about this industry, things come out of nowhere. If the right role comes along I’d love to do more acting, but I’ll always primarily be a musician and a songwriter. Eventually I’ll go in the studio to do a sophomore record.
By Jessica Padykula Photo by Gaby Duong
t’s been a long time since Brian Welch played with his former band, Korn. He’s a different person now with totally different goals and attitudes about making music. He’s still passionate about music, but his priorities have shifted. His faith and his family take precedence over money and a rock and roll lifestyle. Welch spoke about getting back on track, getting back out on tour and how making music is a completely different experience when you’re clean.
How did being addicted to drugs affect your relationship with music? It took it away. It totally confused everything in my life, especially my music. I couldn’t write anything, I couldn’t come up with any good music. Nothing on the last two records with Korn. Some people might disagree, but I thought what I was doing was terrible at that time. The faucet of the gift of music I had was turned off. Nothing was coming out. How has your relationship with God affected your music? I believe every good gift comes from Him. I really believe I’m doing everything for Him now. My relationship with music is pure now. It’s clean and clear. Everything is set in place now. Not always, and it’s not always perfect, but it’s just cool to have that faith in what you’re doing. I’m talking about the creative process here though. Playing live is whole different story. How do you feel about playing live? Being on the road with Korn those last two years was awful. I was so depressed and felt like there was this dark, heavy cloud hanging over me. It became a grind, too. It’s like going to the same job
every day and doing the same things. Being a rock star becomes that way, too. You’re away from home, playing the same sets, the same songs every night. It gets boring. I just have to get over that. I’m not worried I’ll go back to drinking or drugs. I know I’ll never do that again. But getting out and playing live is the next hurdle I have to get over. When do you think you will feel ready to get out on the road? We’re in the process of getting a band together, that’s the first step. Once we have people locked in, then we’ll start slow and just take it one song at a time. The biggest thing Ia’m battling right now is these waves of lethargy. I feel like I’m 90 years old and all I want to do is sleep. That’s got to stop. I hate sleeping during the day. We’ll be playing some shows the first half of next year - mostly small venues and some bigger Christian festivals. I want to start off with the Christian stuff because Christians are kind. I know some people out there are still haters and I want to be ready before I expose myself to that. I expected people to hate and I accept it, I just don’t want to face it right off the bat. What does your faith give you that you didn’t have before you found it? It’s everything. I’m so content with life now, even on hard days. We’re all born blind but when you come to Christ those blinders are taken off and you know for sure that everything you see comes from Him and that everything is going to be OK. The key word for me is contentment with life. I still have a lot of shitty days, but now I don’t let them get me down. How has your definition of happiness changed since embracing spirituality and getting off drugs? Before it was get as much money as you can so you can stop working and just be with your family and that’s what I did but I wasn’t happy.
Even when I was sober for a little while it didn’t matter. I was still unhappy. But now my faith gives me contentment, my daughter, my parents. I’m closer to my parents now that I ever have been. And I’m broker now than I have been in a while. When I had millions of dollars I was all jacked up but I wasn’t happy. I couldn’t buy happiness. I bought cars, killer backyards with big pools, but it didn’t make me happy. You have been through a lot – more than most people experience their whole lives. But what were the biggest influences on the making of Save me From Myself? My pain and my experience with addiction, my spiritual awakening, just being real. Talking about my past, talking about my life to a soundtrack. The lyrics are all about my life so it was therapy in a way. The book Save me From Myself was especially cleansing. I really emptied myself onto those pages. It was easy to write once I got going, but it was a crazy, gruelling process. I had to read it over and over again and revise it so many times so it kept on taking me back to all those dark times. It was so hard but it was also purifying. What do you think about when you listen to tracks from Save me From Myself? How does it make you feel to have created something so true to yourself, but that has come from so many years of pain? It makes me feel good that I’m past it and I’m so pleased with what I hear. And the fact that I’m touching lives with it, that’s the main thing. How has being a dad changed your life and your priorities? It has changed my life in every way possible. Having a daughter is the tool I believe God used to take my eyes off myself and onto her, and also to get my eyes off myself and onto Him. It’s hard being a single dad. I do my best but I’m far from perfect. But she knows I’m not perfect.
hromeo’s music has been taking the club scene by storm over the last 3 years. Made of band members P-Thugg and C Dave 1, no one seems to codify slick Quincy Jones type melodies, 80’s electro beats, and Zapp-like voicebox better. Top that off with some hilariously direct “I’m a man, you’re woman, ditch your boyfriend and let’s get it on…” type
lyrics and you can see why the folks that don’t get into their concerts end up dancing on nearby rooftops. You can try to just listen to Chromeo, but even after a 14 hour work shift you can’t help but move your ass to those beats. P-Thugg took some time out of his day to tell me about how it all started, mullets, and where to get a good hotdog in Canada.
By Jason Schell Illustration by Marissa Czerniejewski
For those folks that aren’t totally familiar with you, how did Chromeo get started? Well, we’ve been friends since we were 15 so at least 15 years we’ve known each other. Went to high school together in Montreal. I started a band, played bass then, and Dave played guitar. We’ve been working on music one way or another since then. What typically do you guys look for in a great show? Do you dig bigger venues or smaller ones? Smaller ones, definitely smaller ones. If it’s too big you miss the whole fun of the show, high fives, seeing them, sometimes the crowd gets rowdy. Playing for a big show...you’re here, they’re way over there, security is in-between…there’s no emotion; it’s like playing in front of a TV. Have you always liked 80s style tunes or did you have the idea for the band first and then have to research the music some? We’ve always been into it. In ‘94 we already started making fun of mullets you know… we were into the 80s. We started producing hip hop and all these 80s records were on the side for a while, but then we began to use all those great beats. 80s music has really become apart of the culture again. What are some of the pass times you enjoy when you’re not doing music? You know I’m an accountant right? Well, I’m really into music but I also enjoy crunching numbers. I do Chromeo’s accounting. Are there some contemporary groups you admire? Hell yeah, there’s plenty…man…Vampire Weekend, A-Trak, plenty of stuff. Your lyrics are awesome, who writes them? Mostly Dave. What about your music, how do you get new songs started? It depends, every song is different you know. I’ll get an idea and e-mail it over to Dave and we’ll start from there, or sometimes he’ll have something and send it to me and be like “can you work with this”. Other times we just get together and a song comes right out. What are the top five tracks you would recommend a new DJ? Oh, there’s so many good ones. Just five, really? Well, first I’d say it depends on the night and the people, but five of my favorite
tracks are Zapp: More Bounce to the Ounce, Thriller, everyone knows who did that one, Midnight Star: No Parking On The Dance Floor, Cool it Now by New Edition, and…I Want to be Your Lover, Prince. Nice picks, do you have any recommendations for Montreal in general?
Sure, I want to recommend to you a local deli called Willenski’s. It’s a really old one, they have cherry soda from the fountain and if you don’t want mustard on your hotdog, they charge you extra.
AmyKuney By Star Noor Photo by Shawna Amini
Amy Kuney’s life reads like a dramatic coming-of-age film where tragedy empowers the heroine to overcome and be triumphant. Most of us will never have stories like hers to tell, and we might even be grateful for that, but Amy’s thankful for all the events and sacrifices which have led her to where she is at this moment. Like the Janis Joplin of the 21st century she brings a raw style of acoustic keyboard intervened with a soul scratching voice and the kind of powerful lyrics that have a Bluesy homespun warmth as real life to Amy as they are for any of us. She’s living proof that music can save your soul: One of five children growing up in a traditional religious family in Tulsa, Oklahoma she led a protected yet comfortable existence even being home schooled with the likes of the Hanson brothers. “My mother cooked meals and cleaned the house while my dad worked from 9 to 5 and wore a suit and tie. On Sundays we went to church twice and on Wednesdays we had Bible study. We drove a forest green mini van and watched the “Lawrence Welk Show” on the weekends.” Contented with her preordained small town existence Amy had no idea that in March of 1998 her cosseted life would be traded in for a new life as missionaries in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. “We moved from our comfortable suburbia to basically an issue of National Geographic,” recalls Amy. As fate would have it Hurricane Mitch would not only leave Honduras in a tragic state desperately in need of aide but it would also turn Amy’s life on its head. With a new country to call home, The Kuney’s moved into a house surrounded by an eight-foot cement wall topped with razor wire. They learnt Spanish, put up with 100% humidity and embraced a staple diet of beans and rice, coffee, and bananas. Her neighbors were Spanish ambassadors and drug dealers from Miami. It was here where Amy continued her music taking lessons from a Cuban woman name Amalia who was rumored to have been so beloved by Fedal Castro that he gave her a car and free passage to and from Cuba, and it was here that Amy formed a friendship with music which became a “shock absorber for the poverty, the ugliness and hard surface of reality,” as she explains it, “I became a rebel and song writing became my quite but strong protest.” Her strange high school years were to her a defining span but perhaps no other experience will ring out as the school trip she took at 17 to Guatemala with some missionary friends. “Our car was hijacked and we were taken to a remote area and held there for some time and they, you know, threatened us to do all kinds of things. And, they didn’t really do much of what they said they were going to do. Um, we’re not really sure what happened, but we think that they were very disorganized and they got scarred and panicky. They actually wrecked the car. They were taking us to this other place and the guy, the driver, lost control and wrecked the car so they kinda took what they could and they tied us up into the car and took off,” Amy remembers, “One of my friends was actually killed in the whole process. His family is devastated and it’s been a tough thing since then to move on. But, he did die as a hero, he died protecting us and so kinda my goal in life has been to do anything to make it worth him risking his life for that.” At 24 Amy’s first record, a homage in parts to those years of adventure, self exploration, and tragedy has received great response. Today, she returns the favor fending for those who may need help fending for themselves and helping save lives. On stage it’s easy to see her genuine love for the audience and her music. She is funny and charismatic which makes the whole experience interactive. Her voice will knock you out of your seat and her lyrics will take you on a journey all your own.
By Michelle Nelson
he Republic Tigers are a great example of when timing is just right. Although the members of The Republic Tigers weren’t personal friends before coming together as a band, they all shared their love for music and the drive to form a successful band that shared a common vision. There were no ads posted on the internet or in the paper when seeking members for the band – The Republic Tigers all met naturally at various “get togethers” in Kansas City where their similar goals and vision became the basis of their decision to work together. The band’s lead singer, Kenn Jankowski, has been playing music for years and has previous experience playing in a band called The Golden Republic. He delivered pizzas for most of his professional life while pursuing his dream of finding a successful band that would allow him to do music full-time. The Golden Republic broke up, and since then, Jankowski ended up randomly meeting each member of The Republic Tigers, and everything seemed ideal. The Republic Tigers became the first band on Alexandra Patsavas’ new label, Chop Shop Records. Patsavas is famous for her music supervision on shows such as The O.C., Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Gossip Girl. Sometimes things just come together in life, and right now, the timing is perfect for The Republic Tigers.
Can you give some background on how The Republic Tigers got together? We’ve been together for about a year and a half I think. Possibly two years. I was in a different band called The Golden Republic. We were signed to Astralwerks Records and we got dropped and broke up and I had a bunch of demos. A friend named Adam McGill [who is now in The Republic Tigers] and I had been wanting to work on music together for a long time and the opportunity was there when The Golden Republic broke up. We started sharing more and more demos and then we kind of decided on a direction for the sound of the band and found other guys in Kansas City who were very similar in taste and ability and that’s kind of how the band was formed. Ryan Pinkston was the third addition after Adam and I had established things. He happened to be at Adam’s apartment for a little get together and I was actually playing Adam my demos when Ryan was sitting in the room and he liked what he heard and that’s where he came in. Marc Pepperman heard the demos as well
and we talked a lot. The same thing with Justin Tricomi…he was at a get together…it was just kind of random and just happened to be ideal, I suppose. How did the idea for the Buildings and Mountains video come about? Is that a reflection of how the band came together? I mean it’s not perfectly accurate as far as the chronology goes. It kind of is a shadow of that a little bit. Mainly it kind of ties together the lyrics and adds to them. It was Brian Savelson’s idea [the Buildings and Mountains video director, who has also directed videos for Band of Horses]. He had studied the lyrics and everything and we loved his idea. Is there a reason that “Republic” is in the name of your former band and your present band? Yeah. Actually, The Golden Republic…we were called The People and when we signed to Astralwerks we found out that we had to change the name and I personally wanted to call it The Republic Tigers because that’s where I went to school…Republic, and our
mascot was the Tigers and I really liked the sound of it and we had a disagreement in the band and so we combined a few different names. It ended up being a combination of The Golden Band and The Republic Tigers and that’s how we came up with The Golden Republic. And then I was like, now that we’re done with The Golden Republic I get to have the band name that I wanted and so it’s going to be The Republic Tigers. I was told that it was too hipster for its time. I agree with that, but it came from a timeless source and it has nothing to do with any trends. How did you decide that you wanted to work with your label, Chop Shop Records? We chose to work with them because of our love for Alexandra Patsavas’ work through all her TV shows. And then, when we met them they were amazing people, unlike the music industry is sometimes. It was easy. They were a lot like us. It was their idea for us to track and produce our own record, which is what we wanted, but we hadn’t even told them that. Are you comfortable with getting exposure for your songs through TV shows like Gray’s Anatomy and The O.C.? Very much so. I think it’s more magical in some ways to have something visual, like a dramatic scene to play out with the music. It can be more powerful than a stage performance visually, but the two of them combined are more powerful I think than either of them separately. How long had you guys been writing the album? Did you have a lot of songs to choose from when you were picking which songs went on the album? We made it a point before we signed to have 20 songs that were finished that we loved… and I think we made it to 20. We have, I would say, 100 or more unfinished songs so I think we’re gonna be safe when it comes to the second, third and fourth record if we happen to hit writer’s block, which I don’t think is going to happen since every member in the band writes. We were covering our bases and learned from past mistakes and things like that. mf 31
By Lauren Weigle Photo by Tommy Kabat Doll by Laura Granlund
ussie native Lenka has expanded her artistic horizons once again. Having moved across the world to A California in 2007, Lenka has set out to express herself as a solo artist under the Epic Records label. Epic Records captured her with its free-spirited indie philosophy, believing in letting the artist follow his/her own path,
rather than conforming to a specific image or concept created by the label. After starting out as a member of the band Decoder Ring and evolving into a solo performer, Lenka has had much success. Nonetheless, she remains a kid at heart and determined to shine through her dreams. This is only the beginning of a prosperous solo career for her here in the U.S. And, although she sometimes misses the Australian beaches, food, and “laid-back nature of life”, she is loving her time here and living her dream of becoming a solo musician. Having success in the critically-acclaimed band Decoder Ring, what inspired you to break away and pursue a career as a solo artist? I was writing songs that were way more vocally-driven and "poppy" than Decoder Ring’s style, so it was a natural progression. I had actually always wanted to make a solo album. Decoder Ring was kind of a happy distraction. In addition to music, you have also acted quite a bit on television, stage, and in indie films. Do you ever think about reverting back to your theatrical ways and venturing out into the acting world? Yes I do think about it sometimes. I kinda miss the feeling of disappearing into a character. Is there a particular character or role you would love to play if given the opportunity? A super bitch. They get all the best lines! While we are on the topic of theater and television, various songs of yours have been heard on several popular television series’ including the new 90210 and Dirt. Can we expect to hear more Lenka on other television shows or even on the big screen? Yes! Hopefully a lot. I love that aspect of music and think it’s a great way to reach new audiences. Are there other avenues you would like to explore in order to reach out to new fans? Hmm, I don’t know, but I’m sure whatever it is the internet will be involved. What types of music are you drawn to as a listener? Mostly I listen to relaxed music like alt-country, folk, old stuff like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Nick Drake. I also listen to a lot of Bjork, Cat Power, and Goldfrapp too. Where is inspiration derived from when you write your music? What do you most enjoy writing about or what
do you try to stay away from in terms of themes for your songs? I try to write about personal feelings but not get too personal. Keep it universal so that the listener can relate their own life to the song. I use my songs to help me work stuff out in my own head. How would you classify your style of music to a new listener? Broadly: Pop. Specifically: sweet, melodic, and indie pop with an up-beat, cheerful energy. Some artists and bands are somewhat superstitious or have special routines they complete before they can perform. Do you have any rituals or habits you like to carry out before live performances? I started doing a vocal warm up, which doesn’t make much difference to how I sound, but now that I’ve started doing it, I feel that I’m kinda jinxed in that if I don’t get time to do it before going up on stage I’m way more likely to
make a mistake or choke or eat the microphone or something. When you look back on all of your past performances, is there any show in particular that stands out in your mind and why? At a little radio gig in Corpus Christi recently there were a bunch of Banditos in the audience. They were such softies, really loving it, singing along, and getting autographs. So funny. Amidst your many live shows, you’ve managed to record an eclectic selection of cover songs, one of which is “My Favorite Things” from the classic film The Sound of Music. How did you come to choose this song for a cover piece? I just love that song; the chords, the melody, so moody. When we recorded it, it was actually raining with thunder and lightning outside! I used to watch The Sound Of Music every day when I was a kid. Are there any other movies or tunes from your childhood that you would like to incorporate in future albums? Sure, I love the song “Inchworm”. It was in Hans Christian Anderson. I love a lot of musicals, especially Rocky Horror Picture Show, Crybaby, and A Chorus Line. I don’t think I’ll be doing any of those songs exactly but they may creep in somehow. Your cover of Modest Mouse’s “Gravity Rides Everything” is so smooth and a pleasant one to listen to as well. Are there any other great covers you may have in store for us? There are a couple more we’ve recorded, one by M.Ward, who I adore. I’d like to do more in the future too. There are so many songs I’d like to appropriate...we’ll see. In terms of the “big picture”, what do you hope to achieve or express through your music? I’d like to cheer people up, to put their lives into perspective for a brief moment, and to provide a soundtrack for them in the way that so much of the music I love has provided a soundtrack for my life and memories.
By Star Noor Photo by Corey Hayes
ith their EP released months ago to rave reviews and gloating attention, and their album set to be released early this year, W White Lies seems recorded for success. The three man band contrived of bassist Charles Cave, drummer Jack Brown, and singer Harry McViegh are schoolboy buddies whose friendship was forged in music. Before they were pragmatic White
Lies they were the chipper Fear of Flying. A transition between two bands who couldn’t be more apart from each other in sound, formulated still with the same members, which some say happened in a blink of an eye. I caught up with Charles to get a handle on the daunting Brits and, amongst other things, figure where the grandiose sound that defines White Lies comes from. What’s the philosophy behind your music? Our music is romantic in the artistic sense of the word. Not only the lyrics but also the music and the way we create the songs is done with this in mind. There is always a sense of loneliness set against a backdrop of colossal open space. The songs make you think of huge mountains set against stormy skies. We are romantic people and don’t care for trivial song subject matter so White Lies philosophy is to make music about what matters not only to us, but what we think matters to everyone deep down. How did you ultimately come up with the defining sound? Since the first time we each picked up an instrument, from the first piece of writing I ever did, we were developing the sound that we as White Lies have now reached. Our music is so deeply rooted and connected to our individual personalities that a lot of the musical development came from waiting for us to grow up. Waiting until we were mature enough to make the music we wanted to. In terms of instrumentation there are a few things people may pick up on that give White Lies our signature sound but the main key to our music is we let every instrument have its own area in the songs and try and have as little going on at one time as possible, to enhance each part all the better. Your lyrics have a lot of dark undertones, why? I feel like my life and everyone’s life has a lot
of dark undertones and what is beneath the water is a lot more interesting than the surface. Everything in the emotional world is relative and I don’t feel self indulgent singing about my fears and the things that connect with me on a negative level just because I am not a victim of abuse or a clinically depressed person. In some cases the saddest part of writing those songs is reading them back in the moments after I have finished scribbling because it is almost like a dream sometimes where you worry why you have dreamt something. I sometimes worry why I’ve written something. I just think people remember the sad parts of their life much more vividly than the happy times. Despite this, White Lies’ music has a huge uplifting quality and I think the whole experience of listening to our music reassures people in some way.
should really be about inspiring each other and there is no reason why one of our songs, or another young band’ songs, couldn’t inspire Nick Cave just as much as he might inspire me to write a song. Experience does help a lot in music but there is also something thoroughly magical about being thrown in the deep end as a musician and beginning again. Worrying about if you will ever write a song as good as the last one you wrote. These older musicians might lose that buzz by their age and I think it does them no harm to look at younger bands and get excited about music again in that very chaotic and unplanned way. We appreciate ‘older’ bands and musicians but look up to them as musicians not celebrities. I think that is something that everyone should remember to do.
Why did you write a song about Electric Shock therapy? That song is based on a true story about an old relative of mine who was clinically depressed and was so terrified of the electric shock therapy treatment she had been told to participate it that she took her own life instead.
You come from a religious background. Do you derive tonal inspiration from that? Not hugely. It is something I do derive inspiration from however. I find all religions fascinating and I mean that in the least patronizing way possible. It is something that is always on my mind and I should be more proactive in coming to terms with my own beliefs and faith to be honest. I have nothing but respect for people’s different faiths in that side of life. I think gospel music is really exciting. Any kind of music that can affect people like that is really special in my eyes. I am not saying White Lies music is a religious experience. But we have seen some emotional responses from audiences at shows and that means a lot to us.
You’ve had a tremendous following of musical figures like Morrissey and Nick Cave, what is it like to know that even at your young age people who stylized genres of music are looking at you kids? I think they would be ignorant to not look at young bands and contemporary music in some ways. Music shouldn’t be about hierarchy, it
Otep Shamaya by Matthew Sandmeier Photos by Pamela Lopez Grant
modern world, it can sometimes be difficult to pin point certain individuals who you know for a fact spend every single IForndayour living to ensure that a tiny difference is made by the time the clock strikes midnight. Otep Shamaya is just that individual. anyone not aware of Otep’s contributions to the world, I will vaguely attempt to name them all in a short sketch. Otep is, for
obvious reasons, best known for being the distinguishable vocalist of the metal band Otep. Aside from that she works closely in politics, including her own moment at last year’s Democratic Convention. Her constant contributions are endless, all of which have made an irrevocable impact on the lives of many, especially soldiers in Iraq and citizens of New Orleans. When the curtain is called, Otep undoubtedly stands alone in her unique way for having shown her passion in both music and global affairs. What feedback have been receiving regarding your social networking site (www. allshapesandsizes.org) and how much has it evolved and grown since first putting it out there? The outpouring of support we have received has overwhelmed us. Membership keeps growing and flourishing. It began as just a simple social networking site with an aim to connect people through a network of likeminded friends to foster self-confidence. It is slowly transforming into real world applications, for instance, we now have a pledge that suggests good deeds for people to do: such as "being nice to someone who you know has trouble making friends or is victimized by bullies at school, work, in your neighborhood, etc." Our quota of 100 people accepting this pledge was reached within a matter of hours. We hope to continue expanding and offering new ways of helping people reach their full potential.
Your band remains a bright, burning beacon for all your dedicated fans after many years together. What is the atmosphere like when
you go in a studio to record a new album and how, as musicians, have you all grown since the first album, and how special was it to film your first live DVD?
Thank you for your kind words. We take what we do very seriously so when we enter the studio it’s like entering a sanctuary. All of our mental, spiritual, and creative energies are focused on writing and recording the best possible work we can conjure. I believe we’ve definitely grown since we started this journey. Remember, we were signed after only 4 shows to a major label deal - without a demo - strictly on the power of our live performance. The mantra for this band is "always evolve" - we must endeavor to be better. And yes, recording our first DVD was an incredible experience. I somehow broke a bone in my foot during the show and was so captured in the moment that I didn’t even realize it until after. It was an intensely beautiful and brutal experience. I loved it. mf 35
What figures have helped shaped your foundation of life and how have you been able to mold and build around that foundation as the years have past? I believe my mother has had the biggest influence on my life. She is an incredibly strong person, vastly intelligent, and taught me to always believe in myself and if I can’t be the best, be the best I can be. I have tried to apply those teaching to my life and return the inspiration that she gave to me to everyone that I encounter. Being involved with the world of politics, why is change so vitally important to the future of our nation? It is my fundamental belief that the last 8 years
have put our economic, national security, and Constitutional health in peril. If we do not take steps to mend the wounds and stop the bleeding, this great nation will cease its journey to its promised capacity. It is time for citizens to take control of their destiny and take ownership of this land and say "no more". I see in Obama the potential to be a philosopher President: thoughtful, insightful, and proactive. I hope to see us moving towards alternative fuels, more jobs, more money, a stronger military, a healthier nation led by intelligence and fairness. What are some of your fondest and most emotionally moving memories and moments as an activist for the many organizations you have been a part of and continue to be? The many messages I have and continue to receive from soldiers in Iraq are some of the most meaningful messages and I will remember them forever. These are true American heroes, doing a job they may not agree with, but still put their lives on the line. They thank me for speaking out; they implore me to continue because they can’t. Also, when I was in New
Orleans after Katrina, so many residents begged us to not let America forget about their fight and plight. It was overwhelming and I will never forget what I experienced there. Had you ever imagined seeing and experiencing what you did in New Orleans after the disaster of Katrina? It looked like a disaster movie but it was real: boats under houses, entire blocks wiped out. I didn’t see one bulldozer moving, no clean up or restoration, everything was empty. It was unbelievable. Are people in our country too cautious when it comes to certain things and issues? Absolutely. And it’s nothing new. Even Martin
It’s not that important to me. I actually enjoy being alone and filling my head and soul with knowledge, poetry, and spending my time trying to become a better artist. This is an amazing opportunity (to live life as an artist) and I don’t want to waste one second of it. How do you maintain your continuous passion and love for making music day after day, night after night, and how did you use music when you were a young girl growing up trying to find your way in life and where you wanted to take yourself? I never really think about it. In fact, I can’t think of doing anything else. Someone might well ask why the nuclear fusion of hydrogen and helium fuels the sun. It is the nature of things.
When I was but a wee lass, my main outlet for creativity was illustrating and writing short stories. Music came later. Do you find it true that making a difference in someone’s life provides for the greatest feelings one can ever experience in life? Indeed I do. It’s hard to describe. It’s like getting your favorite gift at Christmas.
Luther King decried those that saw injustice and did nothing. However, though I can’t base this on any real data, the feeling I get from being involved in the political scene this past year is that something is changing. People are inspired, they are angry, and they are scared. All three of these things are great motivators. I hope this spirit doesn’t die. I hope it becomes a mainstay in our nation - like baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet. How imperative is it to have people around to support you and care for you and constantly show you love and admiration on a daily basis and how big of an impact does this have on one’s life?
What is a day in the life of Otep Shamaya like and what does it consist of? I wake early, read the news, research political blogs, answer fan mail, go to the gym, and the rest of the day is spent on finding that next piece that will turn the cog of inspiration. Sometimes I just drive the wild roads of the outlaw empire of Los Angeles. Sometimes I take long walks and imbibe the natural beauty of this strange city. Sometimes I hide away at my special spot that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes I bury my soul in the fires of another wandering spirit, hoping to unleash each other in the secret arts of this and/or that.
EricVictorino By Michelle Nelson Photo by Sarah Collins
ric Victorino is a true artist who doesn’t like formality, constraints, Estructure and rules to affect his art.
He prefers to do his work independently so that he can freely create from his heart on his own terms. His current band, The Limousines, is unsigned and both of his books are published, printed, promoted, written and distributed by him. Victorino, the former lead singer of Strata, doesn’t consider himself a musician or an author. “I don’t know what I really do. I’m just trying to make shit,” he humbly states in regard to his career. Victorino creates art with the goal of having it positively affect the lives of others - even if that just means provoking thought and questions. I spoke to Eric Victorino before his first show with The Limousines about his new band, his new book Trading Shadows for Sunshine and forbidden dinner table topics like evolution, religion and politics.
Tell me about the background of The Limousines and how this project got started? The only official members of the band are me and Nosebleed and that’s it. He’s made beats for Sage Francis and all those underground hip hop guys and that’s kind of where I became a fan of his. Before I knew him, I just liked his beats and stuff. A couple of years ago, I was recording an album with my old band and I was in England and he was at home in California and we kind of met over instant messenger and we were telling each other how much we respected each other’s work and everything. I had songs that my band was vetoing because for whatever reason they didn’t like them. I had songs that I needed to find homes for and that’s where the necessity for the project came about. Every show we’ll be getting different friends to play instruments. You mentioned that during the writing process you and Nosebleed would email tracks back and forth. Can you describe that process? When I left Strata, I didn’t want to make music at all and the idea of not doing anything for a little while sounded really good. One day I woke up and felt super energized to keep doing it and the project started getting more serious. He uses different computer programs and different old synths and keyboards and stuff and then he just emails me tracks and I usually don’t even change them. I just sing on top of them and I don’t even change the structure. Actually, every song that we have right now I didn’t touch the music track. I just took it, put it in my iPod, walked around, wrote and then come home and record it. How long have you been working on your current book Trading Shadows for Sunshine?
I’ve been working on it since my last book came out. The first one I did because I felt like I had to focus on something other than music. My mom was sick. She had cancer and I kind of needed to focus on something. So, I turned my phone off for a month and just wrote every single day until I finished a book and then realized after people started reading it that there were going to be some people that were going to pay attention. That’s a new pressure that I didn’t have before. So now I’m thinking about the next book. Did you work with a publisher or did you put out your book independently? No. Publishers do the same thing to artists that record labels do. A writer who signed a publishing deal is going to be the hardest working with the most to lose, the last to get paid and the last to get any sort of respect or consideration…and that’s how artists are treated on record labels. Everyone I know that is signed is kind of miserable. I put the risk in money-wise. I had to pay to print all the books and I pay to ship them out and I do everything from start to finish and that’s more satisfying…. selling a few thousand copies of the book and getting everything from that. I’m thinking of trying to get it into some kind of a store so people can buy it because all I’ve been doing is selling it off of Myspace. It’s been great. You have mentioned that some of the parents of the kids who have your book have taken it away from them. Why do you think that is and what are your thoughts about it? I think that there is this habit that people in this country are forming right now….Not so much in California, I don’t think…but all over the place, where people think that ignorance is a virtue and that ignorance is in the form of faith.
It doesn’t matter how much science and facts can back something up. It’s like the more you promise never to educate yourself, the closer to God you are. I kind of try to challenge that in kids. I’m not saying I know everything about what’s going on. Obviously, I don’t. But I just felt so lost from the age of ten until pretty recently. I just felt like something was wrong with me because I couldn’t buy into the whole God thing. No matter how hard I tried and how many churches I went to or religions I tried out and people I spoke with, I just couldn’t buy it. It just didn’t fit and I felt like there was something wrong with me. It was like, “How come everyone else can do it and I can’t believe it?” It wasn’t until I read a book by Richard Dawkins and it made me feel really comfortable with my beliefs or my nonbeliefs and not feel like the world is this cold, desolate place just because I don’t believe in God. I want to entertain kids with poetry and stuff and show them that a book can be important. You don’t plug it in; it doesn’t have electricity; it doesn’t make any noise, but it can be a lot of fun to read somebody’s writing. I’ve had so many 15 year old kids who were like, “I never read. I hate reading, but I love your book and I’m going to start reading this and this and this now.” And to have that kind of an impact…that isn’t something that you can do in a band. So if I’m able to challenge their beliefs and make them think about something, maybe they won’t agree with me, but at least they will be thinking about something other than Myspace and whatever they think about. You describe yourself as “an open book” and you seem to be very open and connected with your fans. Why do you choose to be so open and has it ever gotten you into any trouble or backfired on you?
It backfires when people want to be mean. I’ve already given them all the ammunition they need to be very cruel. I think that I try to be as open as I can because when you try to hide the bad parts of yourself, then I think that you’re almost asking to get hurt even worse. If somebody came at me and said something to me that wasn’t something that I put on the internet or put in my book, but they actually went through the trouble of finding out and tried to embarrass me or something, then I’m sure that would hurt worse. People say some strange things. The internet has changed things so much. When I was a kid, if I had the opportunity to talk to Eddie Vedder or something, I would have said weird shit to him, ya know what I mean? So, it doesn’t freak me out. I don’t even know what I’m doing. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life, and to feel like people care what I do next…I don’t want to let them down. I want to keep trying to make stuff and get a real job, work my ass off…maybe start some sort of a real life and have a home. That’s why I always try to keep making things like books and music and stuff. I’m putting out a lot of stuff, but there’s ten times more that I’m withholding. I’ll never lose myself because I’ll always have my own secrets and my own stuff about myself that I won’t tell other people. You seem very comfortable with expressing yourself. How were you as a child or as a teenager? I was unpopular. I wasn’t beat up…well, actually, I was a little bit. I got hung upside down by my feet one time in middle school because I was always really small. But I was always drawing and writing and things like that. When I was a kid, I won a writing contest and I won a $50 gift certificate to a bookstore. My aunt said that I learned how to whistle
before I could talk. If my family was looking for me they would just listen and hear like a whistly little bird and they would find me. You say, “I am getting younger every day and I am full of wonder and hope,” in one of your writings, which is very inspirational. Can you elaborate on what you meant by that? I smoked cigarettes for fourteen years. You know how people say, “I feel like I’m 15 again.” When I was that age, I was covered in bruises from skateboarding, my stomach hurt from McDonald’s, I was probably hung over and I smoked cigarettes. I felt like shit from like 14 to 28 and in the two years since I quit drinking and smoking, I feel physically like I have never felt before. I feel like superman now. I feel perfect. Physically, I feel younger every day and mentally, since reading The God Delusion, that was the whole thing that I got that “full of wonder and hope” idea, because Richard Dawkins whole thing is all about the fact that being inquisitive is the wonder that you need. When you have religion, it’s this weird static answer that you can give for everything. It’s easier to say God made this perfect looking environment than when you open it up and you say it’s perfect because the bad parts have fallen off and dried up and shriveled. That’s the wonder. Even if we try our hardest, we’re never going to figure it all out. It’s sad that people think that you need mysticism to keep things interesting. It’s about biology and it’s about politics and it’s about striving for knowledge because it keeps the world interesting. If you ever had children, what would be the main pieces of advice you would give them about life? We’ve [my wife and I] have been discussing it for years. Every day there’s a new, what are
we going to teach our kids about this and that. I think we have the advantage that probably by the time we do have kids we will have been married for five years and we’ll discuss everything and know how we want to handle it. I would not push atheism on my kids. I would let them come to their own conclusions because ultimately, all that matters is what you decide. That would be hypocritical of me to start them off with the “God doesn’t exist” thing. [I would want to] let them see everything and decide what they want. You wrote, “It’s not politics, it’s life.” Can you elaborate on this statement? It’s like we were talking about before with evolution, with abortion and with holy wars, like what we’re doing right now….That falls under politics and people try to use that word as an umbrella term and say they don’t talk politics. So, what does that mean? Does that mean that you don’t talk important shit, because that’s what you’re refusing to pay attention to because it’s very important stuff. It seems like it’s acceptable to talk about what happened on American Idol last night, but not whether or not we’re going to die at the hands of religious extremists that are ruling our country. John Stuart showed a picture of the Pope and George Bush together and he said something like the leaders of the two largest theocracies, and I think it’s completely true. We left England to start America to get away from dictators who wanted to push religion and I think that we really need to think about that. The only reason there are so few atheist out there is because a lot of them feel pressured to say Agnostic or to say undecided and to not step forward and just say, “I don’t believe this.” I’m sure I’ll get mine in the end if that’s not true.
.PROJECT.MY.WAY. what they wear
Metronomy . Photo by Kevin Fry
Jacket: North Face Pants: Uniqlo Shoes: Lacoste
Sweater: Harrods Jacket: Barbour Pants: Karl Lagerfeld Shoes : Shoe Warehouse
Gloves: George, by Asda Cardigan and Sweater: Uniqlo Pants: Karl Lagerfeld Shoes: Nike iD
in New Zealand
Air Traffic . Photo by Nate Manning
Shoes: Fred Perry Jeans: Urban Outfitters Shirt: Topman Belt: Spittlefields Sunglasses: Ray Ban
Sunglasses: Ray Ban Sweater: American Apparel T-Shirt: Gap Jeans: Levi’s Shoes: Converse
Jeans: Gap Shoes: Addidas (Stan Smith model) Shirt: Vintage T from Charity Shop Jacket: Religion by All Saints
Hat: Soho Market cv Scarf: Camden Market in London Belt: Camden Market in London T-shirt: American Apparel Jacket: All Saints Jeans: Levi’s Shoes: Hudson
Blind Pilot. Photo by Lucas Cook
Shirt: Harley Davidson Jeans: Levis Belt: Thrift Store Shoes: Converse
Shirt: BDG Pants: Mossimo Shoes: Converse Bracelet: handmade
kudu . Photo by victoria jacob
Jacket: United Bamboo Jeans: Levi’s Shoes: Jordans 4’s Hat: Mitchell & Ness
Top: Vintage acid-washed Vittadini Leggings: Pretty Shitty by Imba Jewelry: Panamanian bullhorn ring, grandma’s necklace and wrist wrap Shoes: Vintage 80’s Proxy
Top: Doron Braunstein (aka Apollo Braunstein) Shorts: Ralph Lauren Shoes: LaCoste
Danica Novgorodoff By Star Noor
Illustration by Danica Novgorodoff
Life is art. And, as far as Danica Novgorodoff is concerned the best source of art is from real life aesthetics rather than pure imagination. Often using her photographic talents to capture source material, Danica, combines what’s out in the world and what’s created at the desk in her studio to create capriciously mystifying illustrations that help bring out the inward. The graphic novelist, illustrator, photographer, and designer for First Second Books says she finds the two mediums very different but admits, “I get a similar feeling when I’m really on a roll with either photography or drawing – both make me look at the world more ravenously, like I’m more aware of the details around me and want to save it all in images on paper.” Her newly released graphic novel Slow Storm is a beautifully pictured, intensely emotional, story of two strangers brought together by a chance encounter who unexpectedly find fulfillment in one another. Following the heartrending relationship between Ursa Crain, an out of place firefighter struggling to find her place in a sleepy town, and Rafi, a Mexican immigrant both beguiled and let down by the American dream - brought together on the eve of tornado season in Oldham County, Kentucky when a strike of lightning sets a barn ablaze. The illustrious pages, poetic in their delivery, impose a fleeting passage in time during the lives of two troubled characters that leave us assessing our own values of homeland and family in this “emotionally-charged tale of homesickness and horses, storms and saints.” Danica’s beautiful watercolor stains and masterful line work makes the landscape as much a character as the people are. “The characters in Slow Storm have been with me for a long time,” says Danica, “and the story slowly formed around them over the past few years. I’m from Kentucky, and have a friend who is a firefighter in Oldham County, which is a pretty rural area. So Ursa Crain was inspired by my friend’s experiences and stories, and the time I spent hanging around the fire station. I also worked on a horse farm for a while, and the other main character, Rafi, an immigrant from Chiapas, Mexico, was based on the guys I knew at the barn. Sometimes I’d go out for Mexican food or go Cumbia dancing with them. They’re good guys, and work really hard.” Finding the works of French graphic novelist Emmanuel Guibert inspirational and artists like Anthony Goicolea, Peter Doig, Cai Guo-Qiang, Neo Rauch, and Swoon praise worthy, Danica, is as much a fan as she is a creator. Her admirations also extends to great works in literature and it is a love affair on which she draws upon in her own comic books aiming to create graphic novels that are in the vein of a good read.
By Star Noor Image by Shawna Amini and Nelson Auge
t’s funny cause being Iranian I watch the news from a different perspective like there was that recent plot to blow IAnd up JFK airport and I was watching and I was like, “please don’t be Middle Eastern, please don’t be Middle Eastern.” then it came out that they’re Guyanese and I was like, “Yes!” I don’t even know what that means. But, then
they said that they’re Muslim and I was like, “Damn!” I said, “Just once can’t it be another religion? Just once can’t it be like a Buddhist or something, just once? But, then I thought well, it’s never going to be a Buddhist because the Buddhists, they live in the moment. A Buddhist would be like, “I was going to blow myself up, but that moment’s gone.” In his skit on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Maz Jobrani, part-time actor, full time comic extraordinaire, belts out one punch line after another. Maz, who’s just coming off a long run describes as: “kinda like the Blue Collar Comedy Tour but with Middle Eastern comics. They have like, “Get er done!” and we say “Get it done my friend;” that’s pretty much it.” The group contrived of an Egyptian- Ahmed Ahmed, a Palestinian with a Mormon father- Aron Kader, and Maz the Iranian first began their tour as the Arabian Knights gathered in valiance by Mitzy Shore, the brilliant Jewish gal and owner of the legendary Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard. Cracking at everything from stereotypes to married life and politics the group wanted to bring to the forefront the existence of Middle Eastern Americans as well as poke in good fun at other American issues. Before President George W. Bush inadvertently dubbed them the Axis of Evil in his infamous statement about Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, Maz got a lot of slack from audiences for not really being Arabic. As it turned out one mans’ tragedy was another’ comedy. Maz jokes, “Bush doesn’t say stupid stuff as much as he says stuff stupidly.” Suddenly, another presidential yarn was born which ironically works to bridge the great divide. Although Maz was born in Tehran, Iran he’s probably more American then not. When you watch him on stage he points to himself when he’s referring to Iranians, and he points to himself when talking about Americans which about sums it all up
In recent years he’s played opposite side some of Hollywood’ biggest stars like his role as “Moly” in Ice Cube’s “Friday After Next”, Secret Service Agent “Mo” in Sydney Pollack’s thriller “The Interpreter” opposite Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman as well as Jennifer Garner’s colleague “Glenn” in “13 going on 30”. He was also seen in the critically acclaimed film “Maryam” and the Kevin Costner drama “Dragonfly” as well as a slew of Indie films and sitcoms like “24”, “Life on a Stick”, “ER”, “Law and Order” and HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. Most recently he’s been doing stand up on a variety of the late night comedy shows as well as portraying Gourishankar P.V. Subramaniam in the ABC Sitcom “The Knights of Prosperity.” I chatted with Maz to catch his drift on where he’s been, what he thinks about it all today, his feelings about becoming a new babba (dad in Farsi), and where he’s going now that the Axis of Evil has gone their separate ways. What’s your relationship with Mitzy Shore? I love her. She gave me the Comedy Store to grow at. It’s like the Gold’s Gym of the comedy world. [She’s] an amazing woman that’s been integral in the careers of some of the best comics of the past 30 years. How did she approach you about the Arabian Knights act? I was a regular at the club. She saw Ahmed performing there one night and liked him. Then the club asked me if I knew any other Middle Eastern/American comics. I recommended Aron Kader and Sam Tripoli. She then put us and a bunch of other comics together on the first Arabian Knights show
a kid who didn’t support what was happening, but I guess he was just a bully and had to do it. What do you think about Iran’s controversial state in the world? It can get frustrating reading about your Mother Country always in some sort of tiff with the West. I know that many Iranians often wish we could be in a less controversial situation and just lay low. I often joke, why can’t we be like Brazil? They’re just known for their soccer and carnival - would be nice. What’s the funniest thing a person has said to you when you’ve told them you’re of Iranian descent?
at the Comedy Store main room. She told us that she thought there was going to be a need for a positive voice of Middle Easterners in the near future. This was before 9/11.
The funniest is when you tell someone you’re Iranian and they tell you about their one Iranian friend thinking you know them. “Do you know a guy named Reza?”
Do you think that Middle Easterners are received well in Hollywood? There are a lot of writers and producers who are thinking outside the box and writing parts that present us in a better light. Unfortunately, old habits are hard to break, so there are still a lot of “Bad Guy” roles. I think as we have more writers and producers of Middle Eastern descent in the industry we will see more diverse roles.
How were you received in the Middle East? The Middle East has received us very well. There is a lack of stand-ups coming from the U.S. to perform for the people of the Middle East. Also, there’s a lack of performers in the west who are presenting Middle Easterners in a positive light. I think that has caused the fans in the Middle East to be very supportive of comedy. Any funny stories being on tour? I think something that was funny to me was when we landed in Jordan and all our shows were already sold out. I asked the promoter how so many people knew of us- was it Youtube? And he told me, “No my friend, we’ve seen your DVD.” So I told him that was funny because I didn’t know we had a distribution deal in Jordan. He said, “You don’t. One person brought it. Everybody saw it. It’s called a Jordanian distribution deal- a boot leg.” Later that night we were at the store that sold the bootleg buying our own DVDs for about a dollar fifty. The store owner was
Where do you believe comedy comes from? I think the best comedy comes from people’ experiences. It’s all around us every day. It’s about knowing how to present it to the world so that they can experience what we found funny about it. Did you ever experience racism growing up in the U.S.? When I was in the 4th grade there was a 6th grader who called me an “F’In I-Ranian.” This was during the hostage crises. I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about as I was just
ecstatic we were there, but he didn’t even offer the DVDs to us for free. We actually had to buy them. At least people are watching. Do you believe that since 9/11 Middle Eastern American comics have in fact helped in some way to offset the misconception and hatred? Yes. If people can come to a show and see a Middle Eastern American comedy and laugh I think that changes their image of Middle Easterners a little bit. If you could say one thing to Osama Bin Laden, what would it be? Where you been?
What’s next for you now that you’ve broken apart the Axis to go your own way? I’m working on a film this summer called “Overnight”; I’m guessing it will come out some time in ’09. Also, hoping to shoot a script I co-wrote with Amir Ohebsion called “Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero” soon. I’m shooting a one hour stand-up comedy special. Spike Feresten-who was a writer on Seinfeld, and has his own show on FOX, and Chuck Martin – who was a writer on Arrested Development, and myself have sold a sitcom to CBS…called the “Evildoers” and it’s [loosely] based on my [childhood]. Tell us something about yourself. I pee a lot. What irks you the most? Selfishness and violence. What’s it like being a new father? I love it. Every parent has a dream for their child, what’s yours? To stop crying.
LeonorWatling By Jason Schell
Illustration by Emilie Demun based on a photo by Jeronimo Alvarez
0% Spanish, 50% British, 100% Knockout; if you haven’t heard of Leonor Watling yet you will soon—very soon. Her name’s popping up everywhere. Among her extensive list of foreign films, she starred (albeit 5 silently at times) in the Oscar award winning “Talk to Her” (Habla Con Ella) and has recently appeared in two English language releases: “My Life Without Me” and the upcoming “Oxford Murders”. Like a lot of famous actresses, she also has an album out too (actually three albums to be exact). But the difference I quickly noticed is that unlike most crossovers between the film and music industries, she shows little to no weakness in either genre; balancing well talent, creativity, and fame. Her band Marlango, comprised of her, Alejandro Pelayo, and Oscar Ybarra, is surprisingly dense, original, complex, and artistic. In fact, when she recommended her favorite bottle of wine to me (which I had to look up to see what she talking about), the description of the Castile/ Leon based Spanish wine was “purple in color with aromas of leather, oak, and smoke”; an apt description of her band’s music ironically. Their latest release, the suitably named “Electrical Morning” attempts to capture the energy of the moment the night is just ending and the light of dawn starts to show; when nightlife ends and the world wakes up. The simultaneous darkness and warmth of the music on the album does that well.
How was Marlango formed? I was living in Chicago and I kept meeting with my friends all the time to play music, and eventually we just had put together some music and make an album, you know, like are we really going to do this or not? I eventually moved back to Madrid where we write most of our music now. You started off with acting and then got into music, right? When did you start considering yourself a musician, and do you keep these two parts of your life as separate components or do they get intertwined? Yeah, first there was acting, but I’ve always loved singing, I’ve been singing since I was a little girl. When you really love something, you’ll find ways to do. That’s just what you do when something is inside you. So I sang all the time, at home, with friends, in choirs…The schedule (of doing both) actually works out really well for me right now too; doing movies, then taking to the road, touring. Who were some of the artists you listened to growing up? I grew up listening to all different types of things because of all of the people I was around.
Personally, I listened to a lot of classical, jazz, sometimes artists like James Taylor, Suzanne Vega. My sister was really into Brazilian stuff; my brother liked bee- bop. So I had all this stuff, these influences, going on around me. How did the name Marlango come about? Well Alejandro, was really into Tom Waits. Our band name actually comes from this live Tom Waits tape we used to listen to all the time where he starts talking about this girl Susie Marlango. It was a surname he invented at this show. What bottle of Spanish wine would you recommend to our American audience? Ah, there’s sooo many good ones. Well I guess I would say this one called Protos. If Marlango could open up a show for any band, who would you choose? (With out pausing a second to think) Radiohead I saw that you’ve started to appear the US films. What are some of the differences working with music and movie production from the US versus working in Europe?
With music, I don’t see a big difference. They’re really similar but in when you do film in the US, things seem, well, much more organized. You have a role and everyone knows what they’re doing, and that’s what you do— maybe it’s the unions or something. But in Spain you’re acting and then you get asked to do all sorts of other things, can you change the lights, can you help with the camera for a minute. I guess a big difference is one of budget too. There’s a lot more money put into American films and when there’s more money and more people, things run differently. Even a small film budget in America is a big one for Europe. What have been some of your biggest obstacles? Well, if you really love something, you’ll find ways to do it so I don’t really see them as obstacles. The real obstacles in life are personal ones, day to day stuff. Getting through each day, trying to outdo yourself with each new project. Keeping faith in yourself.
Mercedes Helnwein mf 50
By Star Noor Photo by Shawna Amini Illustrations by Mercedes Helnwein
is in possession of a sanity that is more potent than most places. Everything that is so painstakingly important in other places seems to brake there, and you’re left more or less with Ijustreland yourself. And although you might feel slightly naked for the first few hours or days, wanting to
know where to put your hands, what to worry about, whom to exchange arrogant glances with, you can’t really help but feel some kind of massive, benevolent relief.” -Mercedes Helnwein.
“What Mercedes accomplishes in her drawings, time and time again, can really only be described in one word: extraordinary. Her technical skill is beyond impressive, and her voice let’s us all know, and very clearly, that she has the kind of artistic identity that can often take a lifetime to find.” -Jason Lee
The musings of Mercedes Helnwein, artist and writer, are mollifications of ordinary topics somehow mystified and transformed into snapshots of andante beauty and truth. Her drawings of porcelain like women, ordinary in every other way, always give a sense of something missing-something yet to come, but with a type of restraint that is somehow characteristic of the artist herself. Mercedes defies traditional portraiture art by posing her subjects with various bizarre objects like plastic figures, toy trucks, and an array of tools in questionable poses and suggestive stares yet relying on classical styles of perfectly lit photographic renditions of bold, rebellious intrigue. If you can’t figure out what is going on in these images it’s because you’re not supposed to. It’s that lurking question which juxtaposes splendid fracas with atonement capturing the viewers psyche in a sort of quite riot. Surprisingly enough Mercedes is not concerned with the ultimate meaning of each piece either, only wanting to create images that cause motion, “I see something and it amuses me or intrigues me, or gives me a rush. For me it’s on a different level than thinking. The effect is more instant. Almost like the thinking can be skipped, and I can go straight into the core of something.”
Mercedes is in hot pursuit of art. Like a mad scientist with disturbing genius and a strange approach she is tireless in her work, and what the end result might be no one knows-not even her. The daughter of the Austrian-Irish painter-performance artist- and photographer Gottfried Helnwein, Mercedes grew up surrounded by every medium of creativity having been brought up around some of the master minds of the past century-Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Muhammad Ali, and Bukowski being amongst them. Moving to the German countryside in 1984 with her family into an old run down 14th century castle filled her life with ghosts and fairies, playing in the gardens with her three brothers Cyril, Ali and Amadeus, sleeping in tents on their estate, posing for her fathers’ shock imagery and perpetually drawing herself. As she got older she began piecing together comic books of her own devise, making short films, reading endless books and writing a few discarded novels of her own. Mercedes grew up in a world apart in many ways, going off to boarding school in England with her brother Ali for several years and then attending high school in Florida, she got to experience a sort of global upbringing so she never was a candidate to become a teenage backpacker thrust in the obscurities of Europe in a quest to gain a worldly perspective. But, that never stopped her with packing her trunk with canned goods and driving through the Heartland of America in the hopes of discovering remnants of a bygone era. You’ve been noted as saying that you had a very exciting childhood which you now realize not very many people have had; do you believe that your intrigue for Middle America and its simple life beauties can be a result of that a-typical childhood? The fact that I’m drawn to America for inspiration probably runs deeper than that. Ever since reading Mark Twain’s works, especially “Huck Finn” I’ve been fascinated with a bygone America. That was when I started day-dreaming about marrying Robert Johnson and Bob Dylan alternately. I also got into old folk music, the banjo, Steinbeck and so on. I think it just added up. I get carried away by old-fashioned ideals and times when people played instruments on porches, courted properly, let pies cool in windows, and where everything from chairs to telephones were aesthetic. Then there is also that other part of America that inspires me-the tragic, despicable and of course the bizarre. I particularly love how utterly weird America can get. Like “Robert’s Christmas Wonderland,” a store in Florida that sells Christmas gear all year round. It’ll be in the middle of sweltering, humid summer, but when you open those doors you’re flooded with air-conditioning, pine scents and “Jingle-Bells”.
What type of teenage angst did you harbor growing up this way? I did feel a little set-aside from what everyone else my age was doing. The teenage culture that I was supposed to have been a part of didn’t appeal to me. Not that I was avidly fighting against it or condemning it, it just didn’t make sense to me personally. So there was that rift and it was a little disheartening at times that no one my age really knew what I was talking about when I wanted to discuss Leadbelly or Tom Waits. I would have killed at the time to be able to find someone, besides my parents, who felt the same way I did about Blues music. But I wasn’t a very dramatic kid. So I didn’t have any suicidal thoughts or lie around my bedroom planning revenge on the popular kids. ≠ ≠ ≠ I’m not sure if there was ever a conscious decision to make this my career. I have been drawing and writing and making weird home movies through my entire childhood, and I had a feeling that there would never be a time where I would be doing anything else. I didn’t need to decide to do this stuff, because I was always doing it anyway. But, there did come that point when somebody handed me a check for artwork. Jason Lee was actually one of the first to buy-he bought 5 drawings one night, before I had ever exhibited any work. Money was almost a completely strange concept to me in terms of artwork. It was to realize that people would buy my drawings and I could consequently go out and buy expensive shoes. Can you recall something that has been said to you in the past which brought on a moment of clarity in your artistic life, or perhaps inspired you to be better? The Blues changed my life. It’s hard to explain, but everything suddenly made sense when I came across this music for the first time. I was about fifteen or sixteen and felt I could finally breathe in relief-I felt like I’d found a cultural home of some sort. This stuff made sense to me. It was the most honest music I had ever come across, and it shook me down to the marrow of my bones. This music is what is in my medicine cabinet. I’ve strived to keep everything I do as clean, honest, and stripped as the Blues. That’s a standard of quality I will always fight to achieve.
You’re working on a new novel, what can you tell me about that? Well, it takes place in L.A. That’s the most definite thing I can say about it. With the “The Potential Hazards of Hester Day” I wanted specifically to avoid a love story. However, my initial intensions for a book are sometimes ignored by the process, and so “Hester Day” ended up with weird love story of sorts running through it. With this new one I’ve decided right from the start to give it the backbone of a love story. Maybe that means it’ll turn out a psychological thriller. We’ll see, although I could actually see a love story being a psychological thriller. mf 52
Tops by: Nick Alan International (nickalan.com) Shoes by: Myster E-Man Designs (mystere-man.com) Necklace and Bracelet by: Belle Pour La Vie (bellepourlavie.com) Ivory necklace by: Ivory Jackâ€™s Trading Company (ivoryjacks.com) Doll by:
Photo by Phade
Intimidnation (intimidnation.com) Jeans by: Z2 Jeans (z2jeansco.com)
By Jessica Padykula Photos by Tyler Shields
ith two big-budget Hollywood films under his belt, a hit MTV show and a successful improv career, Paul Scheer is poised to W break away from the middle of the pack and make a move for the
head of the class. But it’s not all about smoothies on set or fraternizing with famous faces. Scheer knows what he wants and he`s been steadily making a name for himself as a comedian, actor and writer. In a world where being a celebrity has become less about talent and more about having a pretty face and a reality TV show, Scheer is the refreshing opposite. He`s getting noticed for his creativity and genuinely being good at what he does. And it helps that he clearly doesn`t himself too seriously. Between TV, movies, sketch comedy and improv, what gives you the most satisfaction and why? They all are totally different and equally fulfilling. I wouldn’t want to do any of them exclusively. I’d say improv is the most unique because it’s a one-time experience, you are in that moment with the audience and it can’t be recreated. That’s really rare. It’s funny because when you try to tell your friends about a funny improv scene it will never seem as funny, because it’s so much about the spontaneity and the chemistry in the room. Improv is truly disposable comedy. It also works in the reverse, if you don’t like something you can be like, ‘Well it’s improve. At least they didn’t write it.’
What were the biggest adjustments to being on a movie set versus writing your own material or being on stage and doing improv? The food. If you work on a Kate Hudson movie there is a great chance there will be sushi on set and maybe even a guy who makes smoothies. I’ve been doing improv and sketch for 10 years in a blackbox theatre and no one has ever made me a smoothie. Ultimately, the biggest difference is that when you do a movie that you`re just acting in, you don’t have any control over anything but your performance. Hopefully you’ll get to work with great directors who will let you try
the scene a bunch of different ways, but at the end of the day, they can edit it anyway they want. When you write and perform your own stuff, you are involved every step of the way. What was it like working on Bride Wars and Year One, two higher profile, bigger budget projects? The only big difference between basic cable and indie movies and big budget ones is that there are a lot more people. And like I said
the food is insane. When I was working on Year One, I had one person who would come to my trailer to tell me they were ready for me, another person to drive me to set, then another person to walk me from where the car stopped to the actual set, and finally when I got on set I had a final person who basically kept me in their eyesight ‘till the scene was ready to be rehearsed. Now on Human Giant, take away everything I just mentioned. Working on a big movie is incredibly fun, because everything is taken care of for you. I feel like a poor kid walking into a mansion. I’m like ‘Wow! The guy who does the sound doesn’t operate a camera and do sound? That’s amazing!’ How did Human Giant come to be? How did it wind up as a show on MTV?
The long story short is that Rob, Aziz, Jason (our director) and I were all doing comedy in NYC, primarily at Upright Citizen`s Brigade Theatre and we made a few short films (Shutterbugs and Illusionators) that we showed around town. Those shorts piqued the interest of an MTV executive who showed it to his boss who in turn offered us a pilot to make the show. Now the one thing you may not know is that the entire show is completely autobiographical. We just found that writing sketches is too hard, so instead we just focused on the times in our friendship that we thought might be good fodder for short films, like the time we went camping and we all killed each other. We wrote that up and boom. Done, time for lunch. Human Giant is really the Sea Biscuit of comedy shows in that everything you see if based on a true story.
If you could take any dramatic movie released in the past decade and remake it with a comedic spin, what would that movie be and how would you change it? Terminator 2. I’d make it about one of the mall shop owners whose store was destroyed during the T-800 and T-1000 fight scene. He’d try to explain what happened to the cops but they wouldn’t believe him. He’d keep trying to tell everyone about “the robots” but everyone thinks he’s crazy. Eventually his wife would leave him, he’d start drinking and then one night he’d decide to hunt down these robots and try to capture one. Then I’d make the ending like a movie version of Clue. In one version he’d kill the robots and in another the robots would kill him and in the real ending it would be revealed that he isn’t a shop
owner at all, he’s just a kid in a coma and this is all in his dream. In your opinion, what are the best comedy shows on television today and why? I love 30 Rock, The Office, Tim and Eric, The Sarah Silverman Program and South Park. Each one of those shows is so unique and different than anything that came before it and manages to be wholly original every week. South Park really blows my mind, they do so much hilarious stuff on there and they keep getting better every season. Who are the two comedians you admire most and why? Bill Murray and Steve Martin are amazing. They have probably had the most lasting impact on me. They have both created such amazing careers for themselves, it’s actually
gotten to the point where you don’t know what they are going to do next, but you’re excited to see it, and you can be positive it will be interesting and different. But I feel so weird narrowing it down to just two because there are so many people that I admire. So let’s just say for today it’s those two. Why do you think comedians are so good at telling it like it is and getting to the heart of certain issues and events? So many of my favorite stand ups are just truthful and that’s amazing to see. They basically say the stuff that you might think but never dare to say. I think it stems from the same reason you get really solid laughs from certain moments in a dramatic movie because when it’s real it’s funnier than any absurd convention you can create.
What is your idea of success? And have you achieved it? My idea of success is somewhere between having the ability to build my own petting zoo in my backyard and being able to build a lair in a volcano. But asides from that I really think success is being able to collaborate with your friends and work with people that you admire on projects that you are proud of. I always want to be challenging myself to do things differently and look at things in a new way. I think if you can do that you have achieved success. If you could start a rumour about yourself that appeared on the covers of US Weekly or Star, what would it be? Did you hear that Paul Scheer made a citizen’s arrest after seeing Keira Knightly murder a hobo?
charming. Fashion Designer: Kristin Beery Makeup artist: Stacey Myers Hairstylist: Madeline Roosevelt Model: Eve Jakabosky Photographer: BriAnne Wills
By Karla Ortiz
reaming about a story book or a red carpet entrance? Dalia MacPhee is the designer and owner of her own line of evening dresses named Dalia, where sophistication meets high-fashion. Growing D up in the fashion industry with parents who had a chain of retail stores across Canada, Dalia started
working at an early age, “This was before the time of child labor laws so no one questioned a five year old working all day merchandising in a retail store,” said Dalia. Being sent to a school where fashion was a crime Dalia realized her passion for designing at the age of 11 because of a Home Economics class. She said she would come back as a big designer to disappear those hideous outfits and that economics teacher which she thanks. Dalia admits she is still raising herself. Being a young women in this business has her busy traveling all over the world, Hong Kong, New York, Europe, you name it, she is there either looking for inspiration and glam or making sure her correct order of shade was requested. Favorite childhood moment? The day I got my first horse.
passion in the rawest sense.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? 10 years? Wow-- I don’t know where I’m going to be in 10 days! Ideally, I’d like to be in a position where money is of no concern and I can really concentrate on inventing as many things to help the world as I can.
Any kids? God, no! I’m still raising myself.
Where is your heart? Usually in whatever I am passionate about at the moment.
There have been several--I mean being a young woman in any business has its challenges, and I deal in a particular area where it is mostly male dominated. But I take what some may consider my weaknesses and use them to prevail, because they are also my strengths.
What is it that inspires you the most? Love
Other than yourself who is your favorite designer? Versace.
Have you always had the passion for designing? I didn’t have a passion for designing until I was 11 and got sent to a school where we had to wear these horrid ugly green uniforms every day. I was forced to take this home economics class and almost failed because my teacher said I had some “issues” with the sewing of a blouse that was required pass the class. Actually- I had no issues with the sewing-- just issues with the fact that she picked an ugly blouse to make that I would never wear. That’s when I swore I would become a big designer and come back and save all the girls from those horrible outfits and our terrible home economics teacher. This is for you, Mrs. Stewart.
If you could come back as a dress which would it be? Probably Dalia style 0076 of last year which was a dress that failed miserably. I’d explain my side of the story.
What celebrities have you worked with? Hillary Duff, Scarlett Johanson, Heidi Klum, Samantha Harris, Ledisi and several more.
When you hear the phrase “fashion for passion” what comes to mind? That fashion is a form of art which is
Have there been any rough bumps in your career that have made you a stronger woman to keep on going?
What kind of music inspires you the most? Purely honest and intense music. It doesn’t matter if it’s Classical or Metal. You can tell when it’s from the heart. What’s your favorite color? Red. What materials do you like to experiment with? Gold but I’ve yet to find a cheap easy to incorporate it into my gowns.
If you could pick one person to wear one of your dresses who would it be? Hillary Clinton-- I think it would cheer her up. What did you eat for breakfast? Scrambled eggs with onions and bell peppers, cucumber salad, smoked salmon, brie cheese, hamburger, sunny side up eggs, toast and coffee and I’m still hungry.
Shoe cultura’s newest additions place forward thinking on your feet. From Copenhagen to New York here are two footwear companies with all the kicks for your sole.
By Star Noor
Waiting for the other shoe to drop. A holiday in luxury footwear, Carolina Sadowski takes your feet down to Brazil. A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil herself- Carolina wanted her new line to keep her native flair and translate it into footwear for contemporary women. While the company has been around since 2006 Carolina has just recently debuted her first collection for Spring Summer 2009. Her idea of capturing her home and putting it on peoples feet has much to do with the natural beauty she so admires such as forests and waterfalls, woods and precious stones. The eclectic shapes and broad range of materials used from satin and linen to calf leather and suede are a parable to her inspiration and every detail down to the contrasting soles and bone bead embellishments have been carefully thought out. For the fall collection Carolina explains, “To each pair, I added details like trims made of bronze leather, semiprecious stones and specially made leathers. Something that makes a woman look at her feet and simply smile, the way you admire a beautiful piece of jewelry.” The shoes are made in Brazil. Hey, you can’t blame a girl for being in love with her homeland.
Heutchy The simplicity of knowing what you want. A no fuss no muss men’s line of comfortably fashionable footwear, is an exciting concept for guys who are just looking for shoes they can wear for a long time, is going into its second season. Designer Wells Stellberger’s notion for the small line is as easy as the products themselves, “Just create a shoe that you know people will like.” Targeting men who are not by definition fashnophiles but know how to put themselves together, Heutchy, conjures styles that are both formal and insouciant mixing class and quality with results that are, as Stellberger explains, “forward in design and concept but lacking pretense.” Using Italian leather, Japanese canvas, and Fuchsia Denim that Wells found in a flea market in Bangkok the collection is unabashedly clean and affordable but doesn’t take itself quite as seriously as the inaugural collection of season past. “It’s important to me to find rare and distinct materials that no one else is using,” Wells points out. Hoping to be a purveyor for a market that has no medium Stellsberger looks to the future with such possibilities as men’s bags and small leather goods as an extension to what already reflects a good start for the Renaissance man and his tout ensemble of beautifully designed footwear.
very year we view summer with a sort of mock E sentimentality somehow
pre-programmed in most of us. While summer means lots of different things to different people the short list usually consists of lounging in the warm sunlight while drinking lemonade and enjoying the eloquence of nature. Translation: melting burning hell made bearable by a little “spikage” of the le-mon-ade while fighting off terradactyl sized mosquitoes. Okay, so not everything about the upcoming season is nostalgic but as the old adage goes: you can’t have the yin without the yang.
Brazilian Summertime Luli Fama
By Star Noor
Brazil is synonymous with hot sun, sensual colors, and sweltering nights. So, it’s no wonder that when designers Lourdes and Gregorio Hanniman wanted to seek inspiration for their newest collection they didn’t have far to go. An instillation of lipstick reds, golden sun yellow, cool aqua, and natural green lend to the exotic patterns and special touches of embroidery and beading. The sexy collection aims to infuse the modern with the classic as apparent in the shapes and cuts the designers have chosen for this season. The line-up is a celebration of female innocence and eroticism. “The beautiful star, seductive yet soulful,” say the designers.
Bringing Bossa Nova to the States, designer Paola Robba remixed the vibrant music of 1950’s Brazil with modern flair, deftly drawing from movement and architectural geometries of the time to envision the retro into a decidedly current collection. Completing a dance of luxury the line twists microfiber LYCRA® and exquisite embroidery with a color palette which encompasses a broad range: pink, white, black, turquoise, green, red, and brown premised for pop digital prints and bold geometry and topped off with organic elements. Just as the musical movement in an era when Somba melodies weren’t quite enough this bold collection aims to bring something new to the sand, much like “the memories of Bosa Nova,” Paola Roba affirms
Brazil’s smoking beachwear brand, set to debut in the U.S. this year, paraded it’s collection on the bods of some of Brazil’s hottest models. Designer Benny Rosset took a little love from the 60’s and 70’s Hippie and Bohemian movements. Mixing rock and roll with the sexy and feminine Benny resourced the distinctive styles of British divas from that era. Evocative hand crafted tie-dye, glamorous animal prints, and wistful color influences of lavender and coral mixed with coffee, olive, and graphite; brazen yellow, neon pink, and nude and lower tones blend together in an urbane psychedelic range. The collection also pioneered a new style of bottoms dubbed the Saint-Tropez which features a lower cut in front with more bum coverage in the back optioned with tie sides, rings, and chains for fine detailing. To finish it all off Benny opted to add a range of cover-ups including dresses, tunics, shorts, and shirt that easily take a gal from the beach to the street.
1 - Isabella Zocchi
Eva Dangle earrings from In the Desert Collection Seen directly right in gold. - (AVA @ isabellazochhi.com $1,100)
2 - CC Skye
Deco Baguette Bangles
seen directly left in Capri, St. Tropez, Monaco, & Soho. (AVA @ Nordstrom.com $60)
3 - Patricia Nicolas
Coral Bead Necklace
Seen directly left (AVA @ patricianicolas.com 140 pounds)
4 - Isharya
Black Square Mop Ring.
seen directly right- (AVA @ isharya.com $120)
5 - Danielle Stevens
Gold Monogram Quartz Drop Necklace
Seen directly right - (AVA @ daniellestevens.com $85)
6 - Linea Pelle
Skinny Enamel Bangle with Domed Studs
Seen directly right (AVA @ lpcollection.com $42)
7 - Jennifer Stevens Black Onyx Branch Ring
Seen directly left (AVA @ jenniferfisherjewelry.com $3,250.00)
2 - Bliss Labs
Baggage Handler The anti-party girl puff serum with firming wheat & amino acids.
seen directly right (AVA @ Sephora and blissworld.com $28)
3 - Kinara
African Red Tea Self Heating Body Soufflé Delivers powerful antioxidants and vitamins in a luxurious crème.
seen directly right
- (AVA @ Sephora and Olehenriksen.com $65)
Natural healing ingredients make your puckers candilicious. Seen directly left in Cat Club (AVA @ armourbeauty.com $19)
Lemon Eucalyptus Hydrator
Boosts skin’s own self-repair & free radical resistance with Vitamin A melissa, lemon, and eucalyptus extracts seen directly left - (AVA @ kinara.com $40)
4 5 - Ole Henriksen
1 - Armour Beauty
4 - Susan Posnick
Brighten with the highlighter & undue with the camouflage.
seen directly left (AVA @ susanposnick.com $22)
1- One October Joanna Clutch
seen directly leftt in green. (AVA @ bleuclothing.com $242)
2 - Botkier
Gladiator Continental Wallet seen directly right in snake
4 (AVA @ botkier.com $275)
3 - Kale
seen directly left in washed Seal and Port. (AVA @ 1gcollection.com $450)
4 - Jenna Rose Porter Bag
seen directly right in stone w/ blue bicycles.
(AVA @ jennarose.com $70 Canadian)
5 - CC Skye
seen directly left in black (AVA @ Bloomingdales $725)
6 - Claw Money
X Boosted Duffle Bag seen directly right.
(AVA @ clawmoney.com $76)
7 - Teich Designs Deerskin leather clutch
seen directly leftt in yellow (AVA @ teichdesigns.com $96)
8 - Canopy Verde Cassia Weekender
seen directly left in mint Organic cotton and bamboo blend fabric
(AVA @ canopyverde.com $279)
B ag . g ag e
ONTFRONT By Tina Marie Schiro Photo by Lucas Cook
They say when great minds think alike...genius is born...in this case, ONTFRONT is proven to be just that. The men’s clothing line created by Liza Koifman, and Tomas Overtoom is a name that is half English half Dutch meaning Don’t Front, be positive. They’re line is “Prodigy” in every sense of the word. Liza & Tomas used to produce events in Amsterdam. The most successful one was called OntFront. It’s a masked hiphop party. Both designers share the same passion to design Men’s clothing because they feel that in today’s Fashion Industry Women have much more access to diversity, trend, and an abundance of designer’s to choose from. Tomas mentions, “Together Liza and myself raise the bar of quality and concepts, both very critical and picky, we are the perfect match. Men finally pay more attention to their appearance, this is where we come in. Liza says that, “I like to be a woman that creates a men’s clothing line, I urge men to get out there. Discover new styles, this does not mean you have to lose your masculinity.” Liza is a big fan of travel, which allows her creativity to soar, she is influenced by big cities and diverse cultures of the world. Tomas is inspired by the designers we all know and love because of their distinct look and ability to keep things fresh each season, their knack for innovation and yet keeping their identity is admirable. Familiar names such as, John Galliano, Gareth Pugh, Alexander McQueen. When asked if their clothes could speak what would they say or do?” Liza laughs and says, “They would probably sing funky jazz songs or play the saxophone. They would definitely dance too.” ONTFRONT is originally a men’s clothing brand, with the intent of broadening it’s spectrum to shoes, accessories, gadgets, cosmetics. “Once this is achieved we may very well see a women’s line in the works”, declares Liza. Liza feels the market for women is quite saturated, therefor men deserve the same amount of possibilities as well as variety. This clothing line flows like liquid onto whomever wears it and blends very well with the chemistry of those who posses the attire. You may have seen ONFRONT on celebrities such as Musiq Soulchild, he rocked the line at a performance on his Birthday, as well as the likes of Pharell Williams.”This is an International life style brand and will be opening our Flagship stores in Tokyo, Moscow, Hong Kong, New York, London and Milan and we probably have a second business for women as well.”
TinkerBotGlamRock By Karla Ortiz
with a twist of beauty, spice and everything nice. Dartanya and Flo, designers, pioneers and visionaries Eotherdge share a dream to conquer it all. As little girls one danced and gave a show in her mother’s living room, while the wanted to work under water, but later realized her passion for fashion. Without knowing what was ahead of them, these two ladies introduced punk rock couture with an artistic view and style. Fashionably late to class they stumbled into each other and became inseparable showing the world their creation, TinkerBotGlamRock couture, the seasons most wanted style. Responsible for conquering Cleveland fashion week, Hoochie for the cure (breast cancer benefit), and lots of other wonderful partnerships with models, photographers and artist. Expect the unexpected with these ladies, “but it will be fabulous”. One thing you can expect is they will rock your wardrobe.
What is your Philosophy? Life is what you make it. What can we expect from your designs? Always expect the unexpected, but it will be fabulous. Something for everyone, but the faint of heart. Amazing pants, shirts with a lot of plaid and detail. Paired with shirts that have lots of hardware and toughness to them.
water. One thing I did know was that I was going to pursue my dream, not to make money but to create things with my mind.
What do you think makes you different from other designers? Dartanya: We make one of kind garments that are bright and fun. Being two different ladies with different ideas and backgrounds how does it work out when it’s time to decide on what is used. Dartanya: We meet and hash out the details of the collection and start having fun making the garment. There are days when it’s demanding and we probably want to kill each other over
If you had 2 words to describe yourself what would they be? Dartanya: Eccentric and Unique
Have there been any hardships along your way? Dartanya: One too many, losing my brother four years ago was the hardest. We were really close, however I think everything in life happens for a reason. Life is not easy, nor did anyone ever say it would be. You take the good, learn from the bad and you live life the way you feels right. How did you two ladies meet? Flo: We met in Kent State University for Fashion Design in 2004 both of us where lost and running late to the same class. I saw her in knee high combat boots and said this is the girl I want to hang out with!
What motivates you to get ahead through those hardships? Dartanya: I don’t think there’s one particular thing. I’ve been lucky to have a wonderful family. I am a very independent, hard working person that loves to sees things completed.
How did it all begin? Dartanya: Started going to concerts and people liked what we had made ourselves and was wearing, so we decided to start TBGR Couture...and one thing lead to another. Flo: I worked with an under grown horror film company that did concerts with fashion shows. I thought it was a good idea and well we started putting our minds together.
Favorite color or favorite color to use? Dartanya: Depends on what day it is. Black is terrific, however technically it’s not a color, so I’d have to say purple. Flo: Blue is my favorite color and I love using, teal, red, green and white.
When you were 7, what did you want to be? Dartanya: Not sure probably a little of everything. I loved playing dress up, and singing Madonna, ACDC, Beatles in my parents living room for whom ever would listen. So fashion must have always been in my heart. Flo: I don’t know someone who worked under
Where does your inspiration come from? Dartanya: I get ideas from everything, art, music, movies, family, friends, outside, etc. Flo: From music and a novel I wrote. Flo, you’re also a writer? Flo: Writer and designer. My book is too radical for anyone to read, I don’t want attention. I just want it to be appreciated for what it is.
trying to reach a conclusion. But in the end it works out. Other than yourself who is your favorite designer? Dartanya: I love Vivienne Westwood; I also enjoy Betsy Johnson, Galliano along with a few hundred more. Flo: Honestly my favorite designers are Anna Soi and Stephen Sprause; I love Stephen and his Eastern Culture. Playlist to design to? Dartanya: MIA, Kill Hannah, Disturbed, Nirvana, Janis Joplin...hard to tell what else might rock off my iPod. What do you ladies want someone to remember your designs as? Edgy, with a twist on beauty and spice that makes the person wearing them feel amazing, real, and dangerously stunning.
WIN ALL THE CLOTHES SEEN HERE. . . JUST TURN TO PG. 78
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GIVE AWAY FASHION CREDITS Compare previous pages with BandW image below.
1. Jacket :OntFront (ontfront.com) . Shirt :Erhart (erhartdesign.com) 2. Hoodie:Birdwhere (birdwhere.com) . Shirt:Velicious Equenzi (vebrand.com) . Belt:Refinding (refinding.com) .
Necklace:Bleu-Lulu (bleu-lulu.com) . Earrings:Clever Castle (clevercastle.etsy.com)
3. Shirt:DTA 4. Shirt:Elleira Couture (elleiracouture.com) . Jacket:Elleira Couture (elleiracouture.com) . Necklace:Elevated (elevatedcreations.com) . Earrings:Elevated (elevatedcreations.com) . Hairband:Sumomo Suki (sumomo-suki.com)
Jacket:Velicious Equenzi (vebrand.com) . Shirt:Cloud N9ne Clothing (cloudn9neonline.com) . Dress:Ottilie (ottiliebrodmann.com)
Shirt:Caleb Clothing Co. (calebclothing.com) . Hairband:Sumomo Suki (sumomo-suki.com) . Jeans:Z2 Jeans (z2jeansco.com)
buffalo carp is literary
Photographer: Shawna Amini Assisted by Anthony Amadeo and Nelson Make Up: Shelly Samia Stylist: Claudia Kaye Creative Director: Star Noor Clothing Leather jumpsuit - Dena Burton Sterling silver Rocker and skull rings - Femme Metale Sterling word rings - Jessica Elliot Hammered brass ring -Amanda K. Lockrow Onyx ring-Amanda K. Lockrow Sterling â€œInspiredâ€? necklace - Jessica Elliot Shoes- Camilla Skovgaard
Maz Jobrani Image by Shawna Amini and Nelson Auge Assisted by: Anthony Amadeo Special thanks to Laugh Factory, Los Angeles CA Philadelphia Jewelry Designers Photographer: Yann Feron (www.yannferon.com) Models: Anja and Mary Beth from MAJOR NYC Make up: Vanessa Follano Hair: Leo Eley Styled: Rashad Webb Location: L GALLERYSTUDIO www.lgalllerystudio.net Mercedes Helnwein
White shirt with Bow from: H&M Skirt Julianna Bass
Give-a-way Fashion Spread Photographer: Enko Photography (enkophoto.com) Hair: Kira Pinski (kirapinski.com) Make up: Anna Webber
Creative Director: Star Noor Photographer: Shawna Amini Graphics: Nelson Stylist: Sara Ellise Make Up: Rachel Dalton Assitant: Anthony Amadeo Clothing
Folklife festival Memorial Day Weekend May 22-25, 2009 n Seattle Center Free Admission $10 Suggested Donation
mf Magazine PO Box 1984 Gresham, OR 97030
Published on Feb 12, 2009
Featuring Paul Scheer,Coheed and Cambria, Thriving Ivory, The Hush Sound, Magnetic Morning, Everest, Lady Gaga, Colbie Callait, Kate Voegele...