IGLU & HARTLY +
Copeland Yacht Hisham Akira Bharoocha Evi Lemberger Wood Wood Mjรถlk
no3 / September
FEATURES Iglu & Hartly......................................................................118 Copeland..............................................................................98 Mjolk...................................................................................12 Hisham Akira Bharoocha....................................................50
CRESCENDO Yacht....................................................................................90 Anchor & Braille..............................................................112 The Rodeo...........................................................................84 Schuyler Fisk......................................................................86 The Lovely Feathers............................................................88 Cover Photography By Nick Asokan
MODUS VIVENDI Sophie Hulme........................................................................8 Wood Wood.........................................................................22 Julie Eilenberger..................................................................18 Complex Geometries..........................................................34
CONCEVOIR Nancy Chan.........................................................................44 Sketchy People....................................................................40
PICTURESQUE Back Cover By Hisham Akira Bharoocha
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Evi Lemberger.....................................................................68 Hisham Akira Bharoocha....................................................60
Sophie Hulme • 8
Mjolk • 12
Wood Wood • 22
Hisham Akira Bharoocha • 50
Nancy Chan • 44
Yacht • 90
Schuyler Fisk • 86
Copeland • 98
Iglu & Hartly • 118
Writer At Large Art Director
Tiara Chiaramonte Brian Vu
Director Of Photography
Lisa Bielsik Katie Thorpe Elizabeth Field Chris Bernal Parham Moini Yves Borgwardt Alexandre de Brabant
Inquiries email@example.com Advertising firstname.lastname@example.org Submissions email@example.com www.fittheniche.com
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Autumn / Winter 09
SOPHIE HULME UTILITY AND SEQUINS By Elizabeth Field
In a world where fashion designers define the word “unique,” British designer Sophie Hulme supercharges its meaning. Intertwining the utility and angles of menswear with feminine details like sequins and bows, her creations transcend gender and style, and the aesthetics in her upcoming Autumn collection are unmatched. Her off-trend designs, inspired by military jackets and men’s pieces, feature harsh angles that contrast and compliment the feminine form. “I like the act of putting two things together that don’t necessarily sit with each other naturally. It gives things a new angle... I think it sort of reflects how people feel,” said Hulme. As a native Londoner, Hulme finds creativity in her hometown: “I gain a lot of inspiration from ‘Britishness’ and the diversity of Londoners. I always start by collecting stuff—I’ll find old clothes, objects, and pictures and start to build what I feel is right.” Included on the list of her flea market findings are Airfix planes, glitter balls, crockery, and antique charms.
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Autumn / Winter 09 Cameras For Eyes and Horses for Hearts
THE RECONCILIATION OF OPPOSITES By Brian Vu
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At last, the anticipated Mjolk Autumn - Winter collection is here. Entitled “Cameras For Eyes and Horses for Heart.” The collection can be described as classic tailoring with a twist. Mjolk began in southern Sweden in 2003, but was moved to Australia a few years after. It is composed of two designers Lars Stoten and John Clarke that make for a brilliant partnership. Stoten graduated from the Denmark Designskole or DKDS for fashion, while Clarke graduated from St Martins. The collection is focused on delicate traditional menswear and tailoring, fused with unique colors and fabrics. The designers only use the top of the line Egyptian cotton, Italian and British Worsted wools, and Italian ‘Malfilato’ ring spun denim in their collection. Clarke and Stoten call this label the reconciliation of opposites. “Masculine and feminine, ugly and beautiful, sculptured tailoring and rebel delinquency.” Stoten doesn’t depend on trends, he believes that he can make a piece last forever. “I am not caught up in the prettiness of a trend; trends usually grow obsolete before they come to fruition.” The resistance in trends lead to quite a loyal following including David Bowie, Pete Doherty, The Knife and many more. The success of Mjolk is not only limited to menswear. In 2006 Mjolk also introduced a highly acclaimed women’s line. Mjolk personally selected boutiques that he sees fit for his label. Luckily for the avid shopper and fans of Mjolk, these boutiques can be found worldwide. Stores such as Loveless Tokyo, Les Belle Images Paris, Wood Wood Copenhagen, Bblessing NYC, American Rag Los Angeles, Apartment Berlin, Chocolate Cube Sao Paulo, Sportivo Madrid carry the clothing line. Stay tuned for the new Spring - Summer 2010 collection. 17
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JULIE EILENBERGER NATURAL CREATIVITY
By Lisa Bielsik Photography By Yves Borgwardt
From crystal combos to science fiction getups, Danish designer Julie Eilenberger’s style cannot be pinned down. Still having two more years left at design school, Eilenberger is already making a name for herself, and her designs have been shown at Berlin’s Fashion Week. Eilenberger says she is inspired by music and movies from the eighties and writers from the fifties. These two eras may strike you as clashing, but Eilenberger is successful at combining the two to create her designs. Wise beyond her years, she is currently featuring a very mature, yet funky look, which combines science fiction with fashion. The collection also includes jewelry, and her remarkable use of Swarovski crystals has heads turning almost as much as her creative garments. Eilenberger, says that fashion has always come naturally for her. She started off sewing her own party outfits when she was a teenager, and chose to continue to explore her hobby by attending fashion school for a year when she moved to Florence. At first, Eilenberger found the amount of designers in the business frightening, but she eventually determined that she has to always remember to do things her own way. Still, she does not feel that her personal style is fully established. Eilenberger always makes an effort to vary her theme and style to avoid feeling like she is being imprisoned. “For me, fashion has to be a fun and spontaneous ride,” states Eilenberger, continuing that without the excitement, it would be impossible for her to be a designer. But, like most in her field will admit, designing also has its fair share of sweat and tears. Eilenberger believes that creativity is a natural gift that you cannot force or tame, stating, “You have to give it space and breaks when it asks for it.” 19
Autumn / Winter 09 The Ninth
STREETWEAR MEETS HIGH FASHION
By Brian Vu
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Danish Label, Wood Wood, expands past the label of street wear and creates a bridge between high fashion. The designer’s of the brand refer to the label as “underground and avant-garde.” T Karl-Oskar Olsen and Brian SS Jensen are the masterminds’ behind Wood Wood. In 2002, the Copenhagen store was born. The store gave Olsen and Jensen the opportunity to introduce their collection of t-shirts, sweaters, and hoodies. For the designers, Wood Wood is something that is natural and comfortable. “Wood Wood is a way of life - “It’s not about anything special, it’s just about doing stuff that comes to our minds. We try to make clothes that make the wearer feel special and reflect everything we do and a tribute to the things we love. We have an open mind; there are no rules, our spirit is free so we can move in any direction and work intuitively ”says Karl-Oskar Olsen, Wood Wood menswear designer. “The combination of our graphics with re-designed basic styles and traditional elements really reflects a connected whole.” Wood Wood’s collection entitled “The Ninth” is remarkable in a new way. Beige and Brown shades give the collection a classic look. But their use of bolder colors like saturated violet, green, and blues is what truly spark buyers into yearning for their product. Flip a few pages ahead to see images from the intimate fashion show. We can’t wait to see what they have to offer next season. For now, you can purchase their clothes at shops such as Oak New York, Barneys Tokyo, Collette Paris, Goodhood London, and much much more.
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Autumn / Winter 09 ...Between Good and Evil
COMPLEX GEOMETRIES REVERSIBILITY MEETS FLEXIBILITY By Brian Vu Photography By Alexandre de Brabant
Evan’s creativity began as a passion in the world of fine arts but his appreciation for fashion grew while he was studying at the Alberta College of Arts and Design. There he learned fashion’s critical process. He also self taught himself the technical skills necessary to become a designer. The autumn/winter collection is titled “ ... Between Good and Evil.” The collection is focused on the coexistence of moral ideals and is formed around the inherent struggle between good and evil. He makes references in his line to these notions with references to vigilantes, religious icons, toreadors, and ghostly apparitions. He decided to keep the color palette strict and simple, including black, white, gray, and muted purple and pink. Contrast is used through opposites of materials; durable fabrics interplay with fragile ones. The pieces can either be worn front or back. Complex Geometries is sold in: Barney’s New York, OAK New York, Browns London, Henrik Vibskov Copenhagen, and Reborn Montreal.
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SARA HAASE 20, Yorba Linda
What’s your number one piece of advice for beginning artists? Draw all the damn time. Practice drawing technical stuff like still-lifes, even if you think you have your own style down. Also, when I was a kid, people would tell me to never take art classes because they didn’t want someone telling me what my art should look like. That was horrible, horrible advice. If I had gotten myself involved in art classes and gotten the fundamentals down earlier, I bet you I’d be a lot better right now. Also, I notice that when I’m enrolled in “boring” Where did the name wipsy gypsy come from? And why gypsies? art classes, my random sketches at home are much A few years back, I used to sell a lot of belly dancer more solid. paintings, and for some reason felt the need to come up with a sort of moniker. I used to spend a lot of Who are your favorite artists? How have they energy idolizing gypsies for their awesome vagabond influenced you? Nomi Chi, who is only 19, is this incredible artist from ways and whatnot, so I wanted that in the name. The “wispy” comes from how the figures of the dancers Canada. I’ve seen people call her talented – and she turns around and says that it was hard work, not talent, were stylized. that got her art to where it is. She deserves success – How can people purchase your art? her work is so solid. [nomi-chi.com] I show at various galleries in LA, mostly Cannibal Flower – but I have all of my art posted at www. What do you find most challenging about being a traditional artist in a time where computer graph- myspace.com/wispygypsy where you can contact me. ics seem to rule? What’s your favorite medium to draw or paint in? If I end up with a career in tattoos or gallery work, I assume there won’t be much competition with digital Anything flowing and blend-able like watercolors or watered down acrylics are where I have most fun. But artists. But, I do envy how Photoshop can create the illusion of whatever medium, without the cost of sup- I so badly want to learn how to work with screen printing and oils and so many other things. plies, among other things.
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WILLIAM EDMONDS 26, Leeds United Kingdom
Materials: Pencil, ink, watercolour and occasionally collage.
workshop, I used to copy pictures of Marvin the Martian and Batman almost religously.
Inspiration: Mountains, books on myths and folklore, A brief summary of what this piece is about... The Super print is taken from an interview with Chris anthropology and ethnography, and Nicolas and Jay, Johanson and Jo Jackson, they seem like lovely people who I share a studio with as Nous Vous. and have such a beautiful outlook on life and art, in their eyes everything seems super. The Drawing drawHow did you get into drawing? ing is just a drawing of people drawing. I have always drawn things, I can remember really concentrating on it after going to a comic drawing
MITCHELL SPIDER 21, Sydney Australia
What got you into drawing? Ghostpatrol/Miso/Oliverofthesky - Both separately and their collaborative corpses. Goyas’ disasters. Klimts’ ladies. Bacons’ 1980’s TV interviews My younger brother Coopers’ lines, shapes and sculptures. When did you establish your style? I remember in a Pollock documentary, there was a line from a friend of his that described technique as “a trap.” Since then I’ve been scared to establish anything
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at all really. I think what links the drawings together is that they are all searching rather than illustrating. That’s what i’m interested in. What were you like as a child? Far more extroverted than I am now. Bands/musicians that you’ve been listening to? Takagi Murakatsu, Battles, Don Caballero, Hella, Pavement, Tom Waits, BSS, Sparklehorse, Madvillain, Maps and Atlases, Ry Cooder, Do Make Say Think, Atlas Sound, Dirty Projectors, Name Dropping Whore, MEGASTICK FANFARE, GHOUL, SEEKAE.
JAAKKO PALLASVUO Between 15 and 35, Helsinki Finland What are your favorite materials to work with? At the moment: white paint, pencil, tracing paper. What were you like in high school? A difficult question, I don’t think I’m objective enough to answer this well. I went to a visual arts high school where I met a lot of my current friends. I was awkward and probably quite annoying. I was on the debate team. I wanted to become a painter and be unemployed and go to jail instead of serving in the armed forces. I wanted to think that I wasn’t a typical teenager, but in retrospect that’s kind of what I was. When did you establish your style? During the summer of 2007 there was a change in my approach, that’s when I started making images that have something to do with what I’m doing now. But I’m against having a set style, which is why I’m not necessarily that enthusiastic about illustration right now. My goal is to be multidisciplinary, to use whatev-
er materials and skills I need to make a project work. But I also really respect the craft of drawing and want to become better at it. What inspires/uninspires you? I draw inspiration from different sources that change quite often. I’m mostly inspired by popular culture and by what my friends are doing. Right now I’m inspired by movies: Blade Runner, Pret-A-Porter, Persona, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Starship Troopers, The Fly, Eyes Wide Shut, All About Eve and Twilight. I draw people a lot and atypical faces inspire me in that regard. Timothy Omundson - who played Amy’s mother’s boss in Judging Amy - Adam Goldberg and Lydia Hearst have faces that I’ve found inspiring recently. Fashion and architecture are also inspiring, especially 90’s YSL and wooden Orthodox churches. I think irony, cruelty and condescension are uninspiring.
INK ON PAPER NANCY CHAN IS NOT THE KIND TO USE WATERCOLORS By Lisa Bielsik
Nancy Chan knows how to get high—without using drugs, of course. The 27-year-old artist is featured in Get High Now (Without Drugs), a book that contains illustrations of meditative poses and other activities that may lead to hallucinatory trances. These poses are not Chan’s main focus however most of her illustrations pertain to the human form. Chan goes against the norm and leaves us with artwork that focuses specifically on the subject and their various relationships—without any environment. While at first thought this may be a hard concept to grasp, when viewing her work it makes perfect sense.
around her, Chan is has a better idea of how she can depict the relationships in her illustrations. Friends make perfect models for Chan. “A lot of time is spent studying my relationship with them, their relationships with each other, and considering how to bring that out on paper,” she stated. When drawing, Chan loves to capture poses that are completely natural and unique to the model. She believes the tiniest facets make for really satisfying drawings, and it shows through her detailed work.
The lack of environment allows viewers to focus only on what the subjects are portraying. “Defining the surroundings could create a false context and distraction. I find that there are endless things to consider with the figure—I want people to know that’s the primary focus,” Chan said.
Chan chooses to use Sumi ink for her illustrations because it adds a quiet and timeless feel. The Asian calligraphy ink was first introduced to Chan while she was in school. “Sumi ink produces a warmer black that I hope prevents the drawing from feeling too cold,” Chan explains. Chan enjoys the simplicity of sticking to solely the Sumi ink and water technique.
Her hometown of Oakland, Calif., provides the perfect atmosphere to breed inspiration for her work. There it is easier to walk or use public transportation, so Chan chooses not drive. The time she spends getting around in the city exposes her to many people in their natural state of activity. After taking in the environment and the people
So what’s next for Chan? She will continue to make and exhibit more art, and you might even catch her wandering around Oakland looking for her next subject. And if you want to know more about less expensive, less illegal ways to get high, check out the book when it comes out this Fall.
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ORGANIC ARTWORK HISHAM AKIRA BHAROOCHA TAKES US THROUGH HIS NATURAL PROCESS By Brian Vu
The word organic perfectly encompasses Hisham Akira Bharoocha’s artwork. Bharoocha’s use of vibrant colors, organic shapes, cut outs of people, and different textures are fluidly put together to create a phenomenal collage. Bharoocha’s artwork expands past collages. He also participates in installations, a bit of sculpturing, and video. Hisham went to the Rhode Island School of Design where he got his BFA for Photography. Going to RISD gave him the chance to work with different mediums such as video and print making. Hisham balances his busy schedule to make time for his artwork, new sunglasses collection, and what Bharoocha says is highest priority - music. During concerts, usually Bharoocha collaborates with the experimental noise rock band Boredoms, who are originally from Osaka Japan. Recently, he played with Boredoms during a solar eclipse visible in southern Japan. Also Hisham has a project named Soft Circle and had recently recruited Ben Vida. Hisham informs us that he is working hard to finish the much anticipated new album. I recently got the chance to interview Bharoocha for Niche. Hisham lets us in on his childhood, his craving for Beyonce, his home town Japan, and much more. 50 NICHE • SEPTEMBER 2009
“Sometimes I’m in the mood for pop and I’ll just listen to Beyonce or something, or I’ll listen to some heavy ambient jams, or metal, techno etc.”
Did you start doing photography or visual arts? When I was a kid I was really into drawing and painting. I kept that casual practice up all through high school in Japan, then started to take photos, mostly at punk rock shows, but didn’t know photography was considered art until I got to art school in the States. Where did you study? Did you get any training? I went to RISD and graduated with a BFA in photography. I learned a lot of technical stuff in that department, as well as taking a lot of video and print making classes. I am trying to keep up with the changes in these mediums when it comes to digital work. I like using both depending on the project. Describe the process of creating a new piece... Creating work is often organic. If I’m working on a collage I’ll try to find images that inspire me, or create a base for a vision I may have in my mind. Then I just keep placing things, taking things away, until I feel a balance within the piece, or when the piece seems to communicate the way I want it to. With painting or drawing it’s about creating a system and working with that system to see what works and what does not to create a finished product. I like combining patterns which I use regularly and consider each pattern a part of my own visual language or vocabulary. Depending on the piece, the patterns will interact with each other in different ways, symbolizing anything from movement within the mind to a sensation that could remind me of experiencing a certain type of light etc. How would you explain your work to a stranger? That’s a good question. I always say I do a lot of collage work and do installation drawings as well as a bit of sculpture and video. I also say it’s kind of ‘trippy’ looking, even though I hate calling it psychedelic
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knowing that it feels that way for most viewers. When are you the most productive? Why? It depends but I’m usually most productive in the morning and late night. My mind is clearer in the morning so I do emails and communication stuff then, and work on visual and music stuff mid day, then work more in the evening before I go to bed. I mostly do visual stuff then because I can still work even if I’m kind of tired, sometimes it helps to not be able to think so much about what I’m working on, over-analyzation can slow you down. How does playing with bands such as Boredoms, or making music with your current solo project Soft Circle give you the time to do such tedious artwork? I do a lot of projects with them; for example I’m leaving for Japan tomorrow to perform with them during a solar eclipse that will be highly visible from southern Japan, so we will perform on a ship that will be going close to the Tokara Islands between Amamioshima and Kyushu. I am also helping organize the next Boredoms performances in the States, which will be in New York (09/09/09 Terminal 5, 9/11 Troy NY, 9/13 ATP). I’m close to them and we work well together but I am not a member of Boredoms, although they always say if I lived in Japan that I’d have to be in the band, which I would like to be that would be so fun. Soft Circle is my project and I just added a member, Ben Vida (of Town and Country, Singer, For Carnation, has played on a few Joan of Arc records). We have a split 12 inch that just came out on PPM with High Places so check that out, new album coming sometime next year still in the works. More releases to come keep your eyes peeled. In terms of making time I have tried having serious
schedules that I stick to but it just doesn’t work for me, as I have so many projects I am juggling that sometimes have last minute deadlines, schedule changes, so I have to be able to roll with the punches. I just work on whatever I need to in terms of deadlines, and try to clear my mind before I get into another creative mind set. All art making takes time and you can’t rush it. It just comes out when it’s meant to come out. I basically work all the time and that’s the only way I can survive these bad economic times, the more I work the more I make, so I try to work all the time. You just told me that you are going to Japan soon... Have you ever been? If so, What do you like most about being there? I was born in Japan. I’m half Japanese and Burmese, my parents met in Tokyo. I moved around all my life; moved to Toronto Canada when I was two, then to LA when I was six, then to San Diego when I was 7 till the beginning of Junior High school then moved back to Tokyo, where I went to Junior High and High school. I moved back to the States for art school as I didn’t want to go to a Japanese art school, which are very rigid. Like I said earlier I’m going to Japan to play with the Boredoms for this special event. I come back and leave again for most of August because I have a solo show at Beams gallery in Shinjuku (Opening on 08/13) and I also curated a show at a new space in Tokyo called Vacant which opens on 08/11. There are all kinds of friends in that show such as Eye (Boredoms), Bjorn Copeland (Black Dice), Ara Peterson, Brian Degraw (Gang Gang Dance) Sadie Laska (Growing), Joe Denardo (Growing), Mark Borthwick, Dave Aron, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Misaki Kawai, Yukinori Maeda, Whitney Bedford among others. Should be a great show. What bands / musicians have you currently listening to? I’ve been into this group Buraka Som Sistema, that stuff rules, heavy party jams. I’ve been pretty into Omar-S specifically the Detroit Fabric 45 album as well, the new Au Revoir Simone album has some jams, there are a couple jams on the new Field album, I listen to a decent amount of death metal, love Cannibal Corpse, have been really into Meshuggah recently, old Pestilence, Metallica again, whatever gets
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me amped. Old Basic Channel stuff, Maurizio, Ragga Twins, the new Phoenix album, old Houston Hip Hop stuff, I love it all. Do you work with music on or off? If on, what genre of music? I always have music on unless I’m writing. I can’t write with music on. I listen to absolutely everything, sometimes I’m in the mood for pop and I’ll just listen to Beyonce or something, or I’ll listen to some heavy ambient jams, or metal, techno etc. Sometimes I can’t do lyrics but sometimes I can, depends on if I need to think hard or not. What were you like as a child? Shy until I got to know you (we call that ‘Hito Mishiri’ in Japan) but often overcompensating by projecting though playing music, making art and skateboarding. Are there any upcoming shows that we should be looking forward to? I mentioned a few questions ago in Tokyo, but I’m in a group show at Ebersb9 in Chicago opening July 17th, another one at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago which opens July 19th. What have you got planned for the rest 2009? I have to finish the new Soft Circle album, that’s high priority on my list. I need to figure out if I can do some residencies I’ve been invited to as well as other exhibitions. Weirdly enough I started a eye wear / sunglass company called Phosphorescence that will debut some designs in September (won’t be available to buy until the Spring), so keep your eyes peeled for that. We have great designers such as Erin Wasson, United Bamboo, Kim Gordon, No Age, Rockers NYC, Zero by Maria Cornejo among others.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS PHOTOGRAPHY BY HISHAM AKIRA BHAROOCHA
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A STRUCTURED PERSPECTIVE EVI LEMBERGER COMMUNICATES THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY By Tiara Chiaramonte
Scenic landscapes, kind hearted locals, and sprawling forest are some of the picturesque scenes in Evi Lemberger’s photography. Each picture she takes is not only beautiful, but thought provoking. Lemberger has won numerous awards including the “Project Assistance Award’ in the British Jouranl of Photography, “Still Life” in London Photography and many more. And we recently had the pleasure of interviewing her. Did you go to school for photography or were you self taught? I taught myself everything about mirror reflex cameras with an very old a1 canon, but also went to London College of Communication from 2005 till 2008. I did a BA in Photography there, which was based of Conceptual Art but was quite open for different genres and approaches. Also I spend within that half a year in Leipzig under the teaching of Helfried Strauss, who is a specialist in traditional Documentary photography. What camera(s) do you use? Canon a1 35 mm, medium format Mamia 330, Yoshika, large format field camera (handmade), Canon d50 sometimes, and an underwater camera. I mostly use the Mamia. Are your photos planned out or are they spontaneous? I guess there are both of them. I know and also trained my way of looking. Also when I take the pictures I am already, at least mostly, aware how it should look like as a print, but when I actually go to the place and meet the people everything is spontaneous, purely because you do not have that much time, or at least within my projects… Mostly my portraits are very spontaneous and roughly planned, e.g. choosing the location etc. but for the most part I leave them where they are, because I actually pick them because the surrounding and the moment fits. In terms of their presentation I am also very unplanned and leave it up to them how they behave. I think that I am a photographer and I do not have the right of changing their personality because of my personal ideas, what I want see. I am more the observer and I am interested in what I receive. The only thing which is actually planned is the distance of the portrait to the person. Mostly it is
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far away, just purely because I want to see them in their surrounding, but also giving them space to relax. But also the distant depends on the project. Depending on the interest I have in the portraits I am choosing the distance. I guess the same it is with all my work. It is a change in reaction of planning and being spontaneous. Sometimes I would wish I would be more spontaneous, sometimes I would wish I was more playful. So I guess you also want what you can’t get. How did you get into photography? What made you want to do it? Hm, I’m not sure. I got my first cameras when I was ten and I can still remember how it looked like and the first pictures I developed. Actually I’m not sure why I got it, but kind of got sucked in. And while I was a teenager I was the photographer of friends and familyfunny to remember that I was always arguing because I didn’t want to give any other family member our camera. Why? I don’t know. I am not shy and I like to be around people and talk with them, so the observer theory doesn’t work. Hm, I really don’t know. I am really bad at hearing, I am really bad at telling stories but I like to tell stories and communicate and I love to look around me. Also I see so many things which are interesting and they are even more interesting when you see them on paper, excluded from the rest of it. So maybe that’s the reason. What are you trying to accomplish through your photos? I would like to communicate, communicate things I see in the world, stories, issues and what I think about it. Seeing so many people, and the media media not telling my point of view. I want to be a part of giving a diverse way of looking at things or enabling a different way of looking at things. Thereby I think I want make people think, more than purely passive looking but starting a dialogue, a story. It great would be if a lot of people from different backgrounds would be able to access my work and the issues I am talking about. That would be great, but I guess that’s too much to ask for. Anyway not sure if I can reach that or even aim for that, but you never know... So at least I can dream about it.
What is your favorite location to shoot? Hm, I don’t really have one, because my pictures are driven by the people and issues, but guess at the moment it is the Carpathian Mountains, just simple because the life of the people there is so fascinating and the landscape is mysterious and dark- but my next projects are not going to be there. If you were to choose any place to travel and take photos, where would that be? I guess it is Israel and in the Gaza strip. Simply because there is so much written about this area and the people and I would like to see it on my own, talk with the people and capture their life and the situation in a way I see it. But of course it would also be great to go to Uruquai, Chile and Peru. Fantastic places in terms of landscape. Where do you see yourself with photography in 5 years? Hopefully I’ll get to know more about these issues and know more people and take more photographs. Hopefully in such a way people like to look at it and maybe hopefully earning enough money with that so I do not have to worry about it. So that money doesn’t lead my way of working. What do you have planned for the fall? I will be going to Hungary and Budapest in September. Hopefully to do a project with young adults. Then I would have to do a bit of magazine and gallery tour, have some exhibitions in London and I also I hope I get later on a residential place in Tel Aviiv. All of your photos are vibrant with color, what does color mean to you? Color first of all is a formal language for me, which is leading the structure of the picture. But what I like about i… I don’t know. I don’t like black and white images. Hm... but why color then? It moves me, the transfers of emotions, it tells stories and most important it makes something alive. Also there are so many colors outside the world, to be able to see it, point it and show how beautiful the world is. But I do not think my pictures are always so colorful- just some of them... I think....
How would you describe your photographic style? And How has it developed over the years? If I look at it from a purely technical and formal perspective: Very structured, a still and quiet picture. That are slow and quite conceptual in terms of approach. Very contemporary but also very German. But within that it’s very emotional and atmospheric, hopefully. And within all of that structure and quietness hopefully still of lightness and maybe playfulness. How it developed? Not sure, I guess looking at your picture and deciding if you like them. In the past and still now I look at a lot of pictures from a diverse range of areas. I can remember that I cut pages out of magazines that I liked, no matters which genre. I also remember when I was in my exchange term in Leipzig and my documentary teacher said to me, “every picture you should take should make sense, there shouldn’t be a useless picture. And this picture should contain all the information you want it to have. Not more and not less.” Also I think I made the experience through the year of the discrepancy of what I have seen and what I saw in the picture. To actually narrow it down and see on the picture what I have seen in real life was a good way of developing my visual style. In terms of content: Getting to know ideas, theories, agreeing, disagreeing,and making up an opinion. Also being interested, open minded, Do you have any advice you would like to share for aspiring photographers? I guess this depends on what the photographer wants, but I guess if you would like to be a good photographer. Work hard, at whatever you want to be, where ever you want be. Just work hard, sleep less, and do what you want need to do. This business is fast and hard and it doesn’t matter what you do within it. And also think about what you are really interested in and what you want do, because at least you should do what you really like to do. Lastly, some of your favorite photographers are... Alec Soth, William Eggleston, Joel Sternfeld, and Robert Frank.
You can’t teach a new dog old tricks. These old tricks that had led the old astray: ‘knick-knack paddy whack’ give him a bone, he’ll give you a wag, but he’s chasing his tail. Time will have him search under every stone, but he will find that bone. Age will catch him up; those tricks stay old, and they will tire out again. Even still, we will all grow old and Time ages whatever follows it. His tail would not keep up nor his sense of smell. Memories that stick like acupuncture can prick past your nerves but what lies can your nerves tell?
78 NICHE • AUGUST 2009
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOUGLAS JACKSON
GRAMMAR EXERCISE I lived (the past is simple) I have lived (the present is perfect) I have been living (the present is perfect and continuous) I had lived (‘pluperfect’ the past is perfect) I had beed living (the past is perfect and continuous) - To live (is infinite)
WHEN I CLOSE MY EYES There is no darkness; just streetlight orange glow, bespeckled by white headlights as they pass.
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DEADLINE The clock is ticking, and you realize you forgot what you were looking for. Temporary fixes and natural boundaries are part of the process. Both those come with time, after you figure out it’s going to take more than quantitative logic to get you restarted. About 600 milligrams more. Salvation, Euphoria, and Disregard are just a phone call away. Though really, your true interest lies in those blue eyes that once made chaos feel like home. The train wreck that put everything in it’s place. If my time runs out, know that I played half-heartedly and loved every minute.
TEMPORARY FILES It’s time to run like hell Please, women & children first Every man for himself You’ll never get out if you keep talking like that, Cut out your tongue & save yourself some time It’ll be useless in the end If we ever make it through this, We’ll end up eating ourselves alive Grinding teeth & breaking bones Heart attacks & setbacks Head for the hills I’ll meet you there if I don’t kill you first It’s survival of the fittest The best liars are always alive in the end
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THE RODEO OR IS IT DOROTHEE?
By Elizabeth Field
Self-described as a mix between “sailing/children’s/love/drinking songs,” Dorothee of The Rodeo has recorded a wide range of songs from quirky folk tunes to a cover of Kanye West’s “Amazing.” Following suit of her favorite bands Coconut Records, La Roux, Cass McCombs, M. Ward, and Chad VanGaalen, The Rodeo draws from an eclectic variety of instruments, emotions, and even muses. “I can find inspiration in everything: in a book, a movie, a city I’ve visited, a story a friend told me…” said Dorothee. Although born and still residing in Paris, France, Dorothee is more faithful to traditional American folk music. And with good reason: “I only recorded a song in French once for a very bad movie with Brittany Murphy called ‘Love and Other Disasters.’” You’ll be able to catch The Rodeo on her upcoming U.S. tour pending the release of her debut album in January of 2010. But don’t expect her to stay long; “I’ve always been attracted by the U.S.A. The landscapes, the space, the people…but I must admit that food isn’t their strong point!”
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SCHUYLER FISK By Katie Thorpe
It is no matter if you are a folk fan or not—Schuyler Fisk is one artist that charms all listeners. Many first fell in love with Fisk’s voice when they heard her on the soundtrack to Zach Braff’s film The Last Kiss singing “Paperweight” with Joshua Radin. However, it is her latest album, The Good Stuff, which has drawn in a loyal fan base and earned her the number one spot on the iTunes Folk Charts.
What liberties did you have in self-producing your album that you may not have had in your previous recordings? Well, it’s really nice not to have so many cooks in the kitchen when you’re trying to be creative. Self-producing my album allowed me to focus more on what I liked and what my own instincts were. Of course I had people that I went to for their ideas and input, but for the most part, it felt like the pressure was off since I had to do the freedom to do what I wanted and could really focus on pleasing myself and not a record label.
Fisk, 27, has a smooth, soulful tone that sets her apart from other artists her age. Her playful melodies and relatable lyrics bring a new generation of fans to folk The songs on your album are rich, honest and music and cause us at Niche to keep her record playing sassy. From where do you draw your inspirations? on repeat. Thank you. I tend to write what I know. I like to write songs and lyrics that are real to me and that are not too How did you find your niche? over-thought. Whether I’m writing about a friend or I didn’t find my niche so much as my niche found me. a boyfriend or my dog, I have to feel the connection I just played and wrote the music that came natural to what I’m writing. It’s hard for me to just make up to me and music I enjoyed listening to. I think my a random story to write a song about. It has to come writing style continues to grow and will change as I from a place of truth. change, but I doubt you will ever see me making a disco-pop record any time soon! You were raised in a small town in Virginia but later moved to Hollywood to pursue your career. 86 NICHE • SEPTEMBER 2009
Where do the muses of your lyrics reside, and do they know that you wrote them into your songs? (laughs) Well, the muse for a couple of my songs is still back in Virgina, but since I’ve been living out here in LA for so many years now, most of my muses are now out here. Many first experienced your music on The Last Kiss Soundtrack with Joshua Radin. How did the collaboration take place? Josh had come to me with this guitar part for a song. We had been talking about collaborating together at some point and when he played me the music (which later became “Paperweight”), tons of ideas popped in my head. I recorded him playing on GarageBand on my computer, then he left to meet up with buddies at the Hotel Café while I stayed home and wrote the lyrics to the song and recorded them over his guitar parts. The lyrics and overall vibe of the song came out really quick. I emailed the whole finished song to Josh. I was really, really nervous of what he would think, but he loved it and that’s how the song was born. What do your fans have to look forward to with your music? So much! I’m working on a Holiday EP at the moment, which is exciting. I have a “B-sides” to my record “The Good Stuff” that will be released in a few months, and a fall tour to be announced soon! Any tips for beginning artists? Write write write! Writing your own music is what sets you apart. There are millions of talented singers out there, so focus on your writing skills and don’t be afraid to be different. Finally, list 5 random things about you that we may not already know. • I’m obsessed with the recipes in the back of Real Simple Magazine. • I can juggle. • My dog is my life. • My new favorite activity is playing tennis (I’m super competitive). • I just got my tonsils out!
By Brian Vu
Making a comeback is difficult in these times, but the Lovely Feathers have accomplished this feat with a strong sophomore album entitled Fantasy of the Lot. It has been a three year break from their last album, Hind, Hind, Leg and in this time the Canadian band experienced good jobs, crappy jobs, healthy relationships and horrible ones. But, despite these challenges in their personal lives, ‘Fantasy of the Lot’ is exactly what fans were yearning for. Mark Kupfert’s powerful energy is expressed through his vocals and lyrics while the band counterbalances with an aggressive sound. I recently got the chance to interview the vocalist about The Lovely Feathers and their latest release. It’s been a while since you guys put out an album... Why was this? Our label imploded. and after a year of touring, we were tired. We decided to resume our ‘normal’ lives and pursue other avenues that interested us. when the music came back, we decided to indulge. What was the inspiration behind the design of your latest album Fantasy of the Lot? Why did you choose this title? The liner notes have pictures of 1950’s motel architecture. At that period there was a general excitement regarding the possibilities of the car in relation to hotel accommodation and ultimately the generalized ‘suburb’. 50 years later, we’re realizing the formation of the ‘suburb’ was a horrible, unsustainable idea. And now our generation has to deal with its infrastructure, and environmental consequences. ‘Fantasy of the Lot’ refers to these fantasies, in which we humans get so excited/wrapped up in these new possibilities that we forget the obvious ensuing consequences. cell phones will probably be one. 88 NICHE • SEPTEMBER 2009
Our music project is definitely one. What do you think music nowadays is missing/ needs more of? Music needs more Honesty. With our current record, instead of escaping our lives and being ironic, we tried to indulge into our sometimes painful realties. It leads to a polarizing listen; some moments are exciting and other are depressing, but hopefully its a more fulfilling listen. What do you think has changed from Hind Hind Legs to Fantasy of the Lot? Hind Hind Legs was made at a very exciting time. We were a small time band from Montreal, who all of sudden got a record deal and a massive tour with Metric. The Music’s energy captures that excitement. Fantasy of the Lot was a made a very different time. Instead of being excited, wet-behind-the-ears 23 year olds, we were now seasoned, experienced (jaded) 27 year olds. We had a quick rise and quick fall. When our label imploded, we lost all support, money, distribution etc.... During the last 3 years, we returned to our ‘normal’ lives, experiencing good jobs, crappy jobs, healthy relationships, horrible ones. Though there were some exciting moments, there were many low ones. With ‘Fantasy of Lot’ were trying to honestly capture this dichotomy. If you got to choose five different songs to listen to before you die, which songs would they be? Suffragette City - David Bowie Wah Wah - George Harrison Notorious Thugs - Notorious BIG and Bones thugs n Harmoney Summertime Clothes- Animal Collective Pigs - Pink Floyd
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THE GREAT COMEBACK
THE LOVELY FEATHERS
90 NICHE • SEPTEMBER 2009
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YACHT By Lisa Bielsik Photography By Sarah Meadows
92 NICHE • SEPTEMBER 2009
Portland, Oregon based duo, YACHT, most definitely has a mind of their own. In their upcoming release, See Mystery Lights, you will hear the result of their “divine” inspiration. By listening to them, reading their vision online, or noticing their symbolic use of the triangle; it becomes clear that YACHT has taken creativity and originality to a whole new level. How did you meet Claire? Claire and I met two days after the first time I saw the Mystery Lights in Marfa, Texas. I wasn’t familiar with Marfa in 2004 and friends in Austin, Texas had assured me that I needed to see them on my way to Los Angeles. Meeting Claire almost immediately after this experience feels very serendipitous in hindsight, but at the time our bands (I was solo as YACHT, she was in a band called Weirdo/Begeirdo) were randomly paired together at small gallery show with our mutual friend Bobby Birdman. It was like at first sight that slowly bloomed into love over the following year. Since then we’ve been inseparable both physically and in our creative output. Why the triangle? The triangle is possibly the most iconic shape in the human cultural lexicon. It’s had relevance in every society, cultural movement, and religious organization throughout history, and as such is open-ended enough to have a specific meaning for every individual. It is, in a sense, a blank symbolic slate by virtue of its ubiquity. Since we consider ourselves to be more than just a musical project, we saw the need for an iconic or symbolic “anchor” that people could use to affiliate
themselves with us. Bands have identity, but cultures have symbols. We looked to the profound cultural significance of punk music and found tribal symbols which people use as markers of their affiliation with it: the Black Flag, the fist, the Anarchy symbol, the Misfits skull, the Crass logo, the Dead Kennedys glyph, the blue circle of the Germs. These symbols have so much symbolic potency that they no longer have a clear referential relationship to one individual band or another. We see the Triangle in this way, and we hope that it will become shorthand for what YACHT stands for. The list of influences on your myspace page is very diverse (which I like!), but which artists are the most influential to you? Our influences are largely non-musical and range from visual artists like Yayoi Kusama to author and neurologist Oliver Sacks. After witnessing the Mystery Lights in Marfa, Texas, we felt that we were able to better channel, filter, and reinterpret not only past and present music, but the spirit behind all creative human output. That’s not to say we’re consciously mining others’ work to make our own; we’re just able to truly listen to that spirit for the first time as a musical entity and let it guide us through direct revelation. It’s a freedom we never thought we could experience. Let’s take a turn for a second and talk about music writing in general. We consider the “mash-up description,” i.e. “they sound like a trilled-out Rubber Soulera Beatles drunk on dirty-Tang playing Major Lazer MP3s underwater,” to be a pitfall in music writing, and damaging to the musical vocabulary of everyday citizens of the world. We disapprove of using “influences” 93
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to display musical merit badges and build brownie points with DJs and music writers (which can be both boring and fraternal), and believe that pop music is making such complicated referential mazes that the endpoint (the output) has become less interesting than the path taken to get there. At the same time, the idea that an artist’s musical influences no longer make a relevant reference point for those unfamiliar with the artist’s work is wrong. This could certainly be said of our new album, which upon a careful introspective revisit post-completion, produced its own musical roadmap that we’ve released and named “The Anthem of the Trinity.” When we made the record we felt more like lightning rods than right-thinking humans able to reflect and process what was going into the computer. Only after it was completed and arranged in its entirety were we able to go back with a fine-toohed comb and try to draw influences for the “Anthem” mixtape. What sets your new album apart from the other albums you’ve released? “Divine” inspiration. All other YACHT releases came from personal places, whereas See Mystery Lights came directly from the Mystery Lights themselves. Triangles have been seen in the lights as well, and played a big part of the recording process, from waveform visualization, to repeating patterns in threes, to choosing power chords made up of three notes. Essentially this album is fully dedicated and focused on the Mystery Lights. What do you like to do on your free time? YACHT doesn’t really have “free time” due to the nature of it being an all-encompassing life project. We consider all of our actions to be YACHT, not just our musical output, so when we’re making pancakes or drinking coffee, that is also YACHT. YACHT is and always will be what YACHT is when YACHT is standing before you. Where is your favorite place to perform and why? We like to perform anywhere that allows the audience to leave themselves and their predetermined roles as an audience member at the door. We aim to provide a fully immersive and healing environment for pure joy and entertainment. We’ve found that our rituals can take place in traditional spaces like rock clubs as well as places like museums, caves, bathrooms, and the
spaces of fringe religious movements. How would you describe your music to others? When we’re in airports, introduced to friends of family, or are asked this question in interviews, we saw something along the lines of “mildly-psychedelic damaged dance pop.” Sometimes “grunge” is slipped in to reference our geography and undying love of Pacific Northwest punk music, sometimes we say “contemporary mantras for a new spirit.” Any word on an upcoming tour? We will be focusing on special album release and nonmusical companion events through the summer before touring worldwide throughout the rest of the year and nonstop until 2012. What are the three songs that you would listen to before you die? #1. Radha Krsna Temple - “Hare Krishna Mantra” A not-so-secret-thing about YACHT is that when we see Hare Krishna monks dancing down the street in their orange robes and shaved heads, it takes a great deal of self-control for us not to run after them. This is not to say that we want to stop them or join them. We just want to see what happens at the end of the chase. #2. John Davis & The Monster Orchestra - “Up Jumped the Devil” It’s 1977. You’re out dancing. It’s a Friday night in the city. Your shirt is too tight. You’re feeling good, young, unstoppable. And unbeknownst to you, in the dank basement of a church community center across the country, someone has just gotten the Devil pulled out of them through their eyeballs for doing much less. #3. Cliff Richard - “Jesus” If this is the way it will feel when Jesus Christ comes back to the Earth in a full blaze of glory, then we are READY. The highlight the lowlight of your career so far? Highlight: The New York Times reviewed See Mystery Lights. Lowlight: We sold our souls on Craigslist for a considerably low amount of money.
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THE GREY MAN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH AARON MARSH OF COPELAND
By Tiara Chiaramonte Photography By Nick Asokan and Chris Bernal
98 NICHE • SEPTEMBER 2009
Hypnotic and beautiful can barely begin to describe Copeland’s latest album You are my Sunshine. Each song on this album is introspective and melodic.
wanted to make the record we want to make and not worry about changing our opinions for other people like our manager. So it was fun.
Copeland’s performance at the House of Blues in Anaheim was simply amazing. The crowd watched in awe as the lead singer Aaron Marsh’s voice reverberated throughout the room.
If you could listen to three last songs before you die what would they be? Three lasts songs alright. Umm... damn… it has to be songs can it be artists?
Before the show I was anxiously waiting in front of Copeland’s backstage room to interview Marsh. It felt like hours passed until suddenly the door began to creak open and a willowy figure that appeared to be Marsh stood before me nervously shaking my hand.
Sure artists are fine. The Sundays, Radiohead, the Beatles. I want to say the Cardigans but, I have to say the Beatles.
As my interview progressed I learned a new side to Marsh a deeply passionate man that had seemed to become jaded by the music business. As I left the interview I had new respect for Aaron Marsh: performer, musician, and producer. I loved “The Day I Lost my Voice (I’ve Got my Life in a Suitcase).” The idea of being able to pick up and leave your frivolous life behind is just beautiful. Does this have some kind of bigger theme relating back to religion? Aaron: It’s poetic image of someone running off and leaving you behind. It’s a general unrest a discontented kind of life. Actually musically I recorded the music on a day I thought I lost my v oice. I got back from a tour I couldn’t talk… couldn’t sing. My voice has become my identity somewhat and I felt like I was losing a little bit of myself the doctor said he could operate but my voice would never be the same. So it’s a sad sweet melody and then latter the lyrics had nothing to do with that so that’s what the parenthesis and alternative name are for. I’ve been following you guys since 2002 your sound matured from every album, eat sleep repeat. Was this intentional was this your music growing? As natural as it can be the only time I felt any change was unnatural was the second record. We made it at this time when there was a lot success for us. We grew 10,000 times then we thought we’d ever be. We had all these pressures. We needed to make a song that our manager, label, and fans would like but we wanted to give a hint as to where we’d like to go. We thinking about others rather then what we wanted. So that record feels really disjointed for that reason because we were working towards what everyone else wanted that’s the only record we did that for the rest are what we’re feeling and thinking. My favorite is eat sleep repeat... That was a pretty thrilling record to make. We were throwing out everything we had thought about recording, we had thrown out songs that were too pop in the past. So we
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Describe your process of writing a song? Umm. The lyrics are completely an afterthought as much I’m sure it bums people out because that’s what people gravitate towards. The music comes from the smallest little idea of bass line drum pattern from that chord progression. I record everything as I’m writing. The demo-ing process are like totally congealed and one thing. It’s not like I sit down with an acoustic guitar and demo it it’s all done at once as I record it. Then the lyrics are a dreadful time it takes me so long I just kind of sit for hours with pen and paper listening to a song after about four hours of listening something will come out. What do you find to be your biggest challenge of being in the music industry? Umm I think the most difficult thing to us over this journey we’ve had. It’s seeing our sound change and trying to figure out if people were going to accept what we did next. Going from really pop records to really atmospheric records, caused so many problems touring life so just the idea of re-branding of our band has been the most difficult thing. In hindsight I should have started a new band it’s hard to change for the fans who want you to make what their perfect version of you is. And the industry vision of us trying to steer the Titanic. It’s a little bit hard and overwhelming it’s almost not worth it. I’m glad we did it but it’s almost not worth it. So we read online that you like to separate your music and religion. Why is that? I just feel like there are some people who lace a lot of their personal beliefs into their music and some people just want to make music for expressing themselves. I don’t want to write music to change peoples mind about the universe. I’m not in it to change the world. I’m not in it to change anyone’s mind I’m in to create something that people can really appreciate that can. Something that can really move someone not to change anyone’s mind about anything generally there’s no reason for me to force any god topics into the lyrics.
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ANCHOR & BRAILLE
By Tiara Chiaramonte Photography By Nick Asokan
Anchor & Braille, the sensational side project of Anberlin’s head man Stephen Christian has released a new album, Felt that is a refreshing, thoughtful, and upbeat debut. Their live performance of their newest album at the House of Blues in Anaheim was a passionate more personal look into Christian’s music and the new album. Before the show I had the pleasure to meet with the very genuine, talented, and compassionate Christian and his band mate Micah Tawlks. We shared thoughts on his newest album with Anchor & Braille, his volunteer work in human trafficking, and the start of his new record label, to name a few. If you could listen to three last songs before you die what would they be? Stephen • Bitter sweet Symphony by the Verve • Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley • Asleep by the Smiths Micah • Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen • Dream by Roy Orbison • Stardust by Nat King Cole 122 NICHE • SEPTEMBER 2009
Describe your process of writing a song? Stephen: I sit down to a piano or guitar and write out a few chords, since I’m a singer I search for the right melody line and I leave most of the music for a more talented musician. What’s the difference between writing between writing for Anchor & Braille and Anberlin? Stephen: There isn’t a difference by the end of the song I know where it’s going to go. Basically there’s a lot lyrically if it’s right for Anberlin or Anchor & Braille most of the time I’m right. The song “Haunting” was for Anchor & Braille but, Anberlin really wanted it. But, they didn’t end up using it, so I guess I was right, it was meant for Anchor & Braille? The song “Blur,” is an introspective look to religiosity in a modern context. What exactly do the lines, “Blurring lines between love and sin.” Mean to you? Is it personal? Is it society as a whole? Stephen: For me it was personal, but I don’t think it was grand scale. I think people start to justify and tell themselves, “oh that’s fine, I can smoke one cigarette” but it turns into five. And then you start drinking and think I can handle this. A lot of people start blurring the lines of where they should be and where they are.
I think it’s easy to do that… Stephen: That’s why there are so many self help books, because people can’t be honest with themselves I love the sound and catchy melody of the song, “Like Steps in a Dance.” The title of the song really captures how relationships and the dealings between men and women are planned out like dancing. Is there any personal references behind this song? What were your intentions behind the song? Stephen: The song is actually about a South American prostitute. A fictional character in a book called Eleven Minutes. Through the book you see she is so cold to love and then she meets a man but she doesn’t want to tell him she’s a prostitute. She’s trying to find love despite living through the bitter low life of the earth. It’s about all your love blurring the lines, she says something about a galactic dance, you are the movements of this dance, it’s like steps in a dance it’s a galactic dance. From what I understand Christian, “Felt” is your first release on your new record label, Wood Water Records. How are you feeling about the new label? How has the process of starting your own label been? What have you learned? Do you have any advice? Stephen: I’m just pioneering into the label side of things pushing my own project is a good way of getting out there. I know both sides of the project I’m not the guy sitting in a suit, it’s interested to see both sides. Sometimes the bands get so discouraged because they said, “I thought you could do this.” We’re trying out best if we win the lottery we will. Micah: I mean it sounds awesome, we got to work with a great producer Aaron Marsh from Copeland, I love it, I love everything about it. I love that there were different instruments different then what you would expect to hear. It’s just some different elements to add to his song writing and song structure I loved the song Wedding/ Funeral, it really drew some strong parallels between the two events as distant as they may seem. Is the song about any person in particular? What were your intentions behind the song? Stephen: Well, when I wrote this song I was in a
relationship and I knew I was leaving it. It was bad for me. I was leaving not because I hated her. We had two different paths, I had the humanitarian thing and she wanted the New York life. I wrote in two perspectives, from the funeral and the wedding. There was part of me that wanted to stay with her as I wrote the song. I wanted to kind of make a song that could be taken both ways. Listen to it this is for your funeral for your parents or your mom. And on the other hand there’s her wedding and I was trying to take that aspect watching her leave down the aisle and knowing that I’ll never be apart of her life So what is your interest in humanitarianism? Stephen: I started an organization called Faceless International we try to fight human trafficking, this summer we’re heading to India. We were working in Calcutta, and now we’re going south. I’m going to butcher the name, it’s in the red light district. It’s this December we’re heading off we’re doing a clean water project. Bringing clean water to the orphanage that’s housing the girls, charging water for the town but it goes back to the girls so they don’t go back to the street. If someone is interested in participating in this who could they contact? Stephen: Facelessinternatoinal.com or firstname.lastname@example.org you can come on a trip. There’s benefit shows all over. I’ve never taken a dollar it goes straight to these little girls. What is your biggest challenge? Stephen: I don’t think there’s competition it’s not me versus another band. Life is way too short to make enemies. It’s basically Anberlin or Anchor & Braille versus itself. The biggest challenge is not the road or band, it’s the fact we miss our families and our homes. We don’t get to do the mundane things like birthdays and graduations. Everything most people complain about. Like my brother had two children and I didn’t see their first steps, birthdays, I don’t think I’ve been to any of my nephew birthdays. The good far outweighs the bad in this business but it’s not about competition it’s about the bands being your friends and family
Crescendo M C SI U
IN THIS CITY AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH IGLU & HARTLY
By Nick Asokan and Tiara Chiaramonte Photography By Nick Asokan and Parham Moini
It was a warm, inspiring evening when we sat down and talked with the five bright, talented, and genuinely friendly members of the band Iglu & Hartly. We had been aware of their sound and talent but had yet to understand their depth and passion until we delved into conversation with them. Our experience with them was uplifting in that it reassured us once again that the music industry is not as petty as it seems. Iglu & Hartly are proof that if you truly search, you’ll find genuine talent that exhibits passion and ambition, and witnessing this reminded us at Niche why we love music as much as we do. Niche: What city is “In This City” about? And why? I & H: It is about LA in some senses but not entirely. It is mostly a song about growing up, maturing, and figuring out what you want to do with your life. For me and the band it was basically about wanting to be a band, make music, play live, and meet a lot of people. The core of the song is basically that you feel like you’re doing alright and relieved from all of life’s petty problems and just being happy. If you could listen to three last songs before you die what would they be? Jarvis: Pachelbel’s Canon, Montel Jordan – “This is how we do it”, Tom Petty – “I Won’t Back Down Sam: Celilo- “Bush Pilot”, Bob Dylan – “Sarah”, Van Morrsion – “Wild Nights” 11 NICHE • SEPTEMBER 2009
Simon: George Harrison – “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, Jimi Hendrix (in general, no particular song), and Cyndi Lauper – “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (Chosen by Sam for Simon) Michael: It may sound weird but I would spend a little time making my own music if that sounds weird, Miles Davis - “Kind of Blue”, and Paul Simon – “Graceland”. Louis: Chaka Khan – “Through the Fire”, Michael Jackson – “Billy Jean”, The Beatles – “Let it be” Describe your process of writing a song? Jarvis: I mostly start at weird points. I find a chord progression and then write a lyric to it or vice versa. It’s usually just very organic and comes together. The minute that it feels forced, I move on. I also use a drum programming and make a cool sound and then lyrics come next. How did you all meet at University of Colorado in Boulder? I & H: Simon and Jarvis dormed together which is where they met. They recorded a ton of music in their dorm room freshman year. Simon had to leave school that following semester. I [Sam] met Jarvis and then he and I started working together musically just goofing and having fun at first. Simon then came back to school and we told him that we started this two person band and needed more members. From there we started playing shows with Simon on guitar. We were rolling around in Simon’s shitty Suburban playing at bars and small venues. And then over the next year and a half school became less time consuming and music became more time consuming and in the battle between school and music, school lost. We came to L.A. and played at venues like the Viper Room and realized that this was the place where we could expand as a band and try out new ideas. L.A. gave us an ability to pretty much start from scratch and hone our sound. In the chorus of “Day Glo,” you say, “They call me,
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Day glo, in the day I glo” why do they call you Day Glo? Jarvis: Because of the day I glow How come you (Jarvis) never wear a shirt? Jarvis: Right now its fucking hot … most of the time it’s because its hot. Who are your major influences? Jarvis: Lots of R & B and Soul such as Marvin Gaye and Lionel Richie. Then deeper stuff, nothing specific, basically anything that I hear and like. What does the song, “Violent and Young” mean to you? I & H: It’s basically a song that deals with the characteristics of human beings when they become violent when they are perturbed or defensive. And at the same time how people have this sense that tells us not to become violent and it’s that dichotomy that says to us “Should I go with this route...? I feel like it… but is it the answer?” It’s about how we manage to keep it under control. What does the song, “People,” which I feel has a similar connotation to “Violent and Young” mean to you it has some really thought provoking lyrics like, “Everybody’s got a gun, To protect from what? I & H: Yeah it has a similar connotation to “Violent and Young”, it was written after we went to this night club which we played at and this fucking kid punched Simon in the face. Basically I was sitting down and I get tapped on the shoulder, when I turned around this kid slugs me in the face so this event pretty much spawned the message of the song. Aside from that the song also pertains to us moving to L.A., The voices inside our heads, and staying positive.
A DO IT YOURSELF SECTION By Tiara Chiaramonte Photography By Nick Asokan
Growing up I was always surrounded by so many amazing cooks because my father was in the food industry. I turned into a very lazy person in the department of cooking because of all the talented chefs around me. But, out of necessity from living on my own in college I taught myself how to cook. As time passed my love for food and the culinary arts grew. Now, I want to share my favorite recipes and short cuts I’ve used to not only save time but, money.
BLACK BOTTOMLESS CUPCAKES WITH A SWEET CREAM CHEESE FILLING I first found this recipe submitted by David Lebovitz in his Great Book of Chocolate. It is a great recipe for making for peoples birthdays or just saving for that late night sweet snack. The recipe seemed simple enough, but, there was one thing that seemed expensive and time consuming. The recipe called for making your own cupcake batter which seemed like a lot of money and time so I shortened it by using a store bought box of cake batter. With my adjustment the total cost of all the ingredients should cost between $8-$15 depending on what you already have at home. It should yield you a little under two dozen cupcakes. INGREDIENTS 1 package of chocolate Devils Food Cake mixture 1 egg 1/3 cup of white sugar 1/8 teaspoon of salt 1 package of cream cheese 1 ½ cups of semi sweet chocolate chips Paper cupcake cups DIRECTIONS 1. Before you start any baking project don’t forget to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C. Then line the cup cake pan with the paper cupcake cups. (If you don’t have a cupcake pan you can always make this recipe as a cake in a round cake pan.) 2. Then prepare your package of Devils Food Cake according to the directions. When you’re done mix in 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips. (You can chop the chocolate if you want them to be more delicate and small in the cupcake) 3. Take the 1 egg, sugar, salt, and cream cheese and beat them together until smooth. 4. Fill the muffin tin 1/3 with your Devils Food Cake mixture and then follow with a spoon full of your cream cheese filling in the middle of each cupcake tin. 5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
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ANCHOR & BRAILLE
ANTHONY COLCLOUGH email@example.com
DOUGLAS JACKSON firstname.lastname@example.org
EVI LEMBERGER email@example.com
IGLU & HARTLY
JAAKKO PALLASVUO www.jaakkopallasvuo.com
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WOOD WOOD www.woodwood.dk
THE LOVELY FEATHERS
HISHAM AKIRA BHAROOCHA www.hishamb.net
Hey readers, Yes. The Sepetember issue is here, and so is my birthday. I’m gratified to bring you a more refined issue three. A huge thank you to all of the artists that have participated in this issue. A special thanks to Hisham, Mjolk, Sophie Hulme, and Nancy Chan. I’m looking forward to many many more. Issue four, here we come. This Month’s Playlist Why? - Eskimo Snow Ben Gibbard and Feist - Train Song Ratatat - Shempi Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Sealings Peter Bjorn and John - Big Black Coffin The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Everything With You - Brian
Hello readers! I’m extremely pleased and proud to bring you issue 3 of Niche Magazine. It’s been a whirlwind of fun working with so many amazing bands like Iglu & Hartly, Anchor & Braille, and Copeland. Each band had such different and unique interviews but, they all shared two things, a sincere love for music and amazing performances. I’d suggest anyone to go see any of their tours if they’re coming to your town. This Month’s Playlist The Smiths - Ask Regina Spektor - The Consequence of Sounds The Magnetic Fields - All the Umbrellas in London Francoise Hardy and Iggy Pop - I’ll be Seeing You - Tiara
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Hey everyone, It’s been a pleasure working with Niche for three issues. It’s given me the oppurtunity to meet and photograph some of my favorite bands. Ever since I was in high school I’ve been following Copeland and have looked up to Aaron Marsh. I only hope that my pictures and the interview gives our readers an idea of the people behind the music. This Month’s Playlist Iglu & Hartly – In this City Anchor & Braille – Blur Copeland - The Day I Lost my Voice Circa Survive - Wish You Were Here (cover) - Nick
Hey guys, It’s been really exciting working with Niche on their new website design. I tried to make it as user friendly as possible. Be sure to check out the new gallery section with pictures that weren’t featured in the magazine. This Month’s Playlist As Tall as Lions - A Song for Lunath Bright Eyes - Make a Plan to Love Me The Bloody Beetroots feat. Steve Aoki - Warp 1.9 Copeland - Chin Up - Chris
Myspace www.myspace.com/fittheniche Twitter www.twitter.com/nichemag Tiara Chiaramonte firstname.lastname@example.org Brian Vu email@example.com Nick Asokan firstname.lastname@example.org www.fittheniche.com
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DRAWING BY JAAKKO PALLASVUO
NICHE HISHAM AKIRA BHAROOCHA +
IGLU & HARTLY COPELAND YACHT EVI LEMBERGER WOOD WOOD MJÖLK