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THE TEAM

No. 16.5

STACHE Editor in Chief M a i n e M a n a l a n s a n Creative Director J a r e d C a r l M i l l a n Marketing Director E l l i e C e n t e n o Marketing Associate C o c o M a c e r e n Music Editor L a m b e r t C r u z Fashion Editor Ec k s A b i t o n a Web Developer M a r y n y r i e n e S i l v e s t r e W r i t e r s Alfonso Bassig, Karla Bernardo, Alvin Greg Molina P h o t o g r a p h e r s Christienne Berona, Mayee Gonzales, Mariah

Photo from Goldroom

Reodica S u b m i s s i o n s getcreative@stachemagazine.com

I l l u s t r a t o r s Mica Agregado, Tzaddi Esguerra, Angela

i n q u i r i e s info@stachemagazine.com

Espinosa, Ches Gatpayat, Daniela Go, Jessan Miramon, Vince

a d v e r t i s i n g advertising@stachemagazine.com

Puerto, Marella Ricketts, Ina Datuin

t w i t t e r http://twitter.com/stachemagazine Sp e c i a l t h a n k s to Garr y Pickford of The Breeze Studios and,

f a c e b o o k http://facebook.com/stachemagazineonline

Toti Dalmacion of Terno Recordings. This issue would not have been possible without their help.

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CONTENTS: CONTENTS

COVER STORY

“STAY ING GOLDEN”

W RITTEN BY ELLIE C ENTENO

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CONTENTS

POGO

BUWAN BUWAN COLLECTIVE

p. 2 4

p. 1 2

FEMINIST TAYLOR SWIFT

YOUNGLIQUID GANG

p. 8

p. 1 9

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SECTION

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STACHE COVERS ALBUM

The Stache Covers Album is a project that I’ve been working on the past month-- collecting covers sent in by a great number of young Filipino musicians, carefully selecting and producing each song to come up with this 15-track album.

Not only does the album showcase the seemingly innate

passion for music that Filipinos have, it also gives the listener a peek into the heart of each musician and a slice of the raw soul that comes naturally in making music.

Downloading the album and let the songs grow on you.

I hope you enjoy listening to this as much as we did in making this album happen.

Always believe in the power of good music!

Ellie Centeno

Download Stache Covers Album here.

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SECTION

FEMINIST TAYLOR SWIFT WRITTEN BY EC KS ABITONA

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FEMINIST TAYLOR SWIFT

Brainchild Clara Beyer with the help of Kevin Carty, senior students of Brown University didn’t anticipate for their Twitter operation going viral. From only 20 followers on June 12, 2013, the feminist parody account reached over 50, 000 in the span of three days. The account resonated largely because of Swift’s vast popularity. According to Beyer, “People know Taylor Swift lyrics. Even if they don’t want to, they know them.” Like many humans, Beyer is not immune to Swift’s regrettably relatable sentiments nor is she ashamed of it. “I consider myself a feminist, and I blog about that kind of thing all the time, but I also LOVE Taylor Swift,” Beyer told Buzzfeed. “Being a feminist Taylor Swift fan isn’t always easy, but it led to @FeministTSwift, so I’m not really complaining.”

Feminist Taylor Swift amusingly took a spin on the pop star’s lyrics with a feminine perspective,

focusing on issues such as sexism, gender roles and female rights. The facetious banter of feminist theory and Swift’s smitten and catchy lyrics provides a susceptible means of engaging the society to important matters with things that are already part of their day-to-day lives like pop culture and the Internet. Astonishingly, it turns out Taylor Swift may be the voice of our generation; someone we don’t desire but need. Her values aren’t exactly straightened out with issues from past boyfriends and their current girlfriends and this is what makes this parody account so wonderful—we are all lonely, free, confused, and oppressed by the patriarchy at the same time.

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MUSIC

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FEMINIST TAYLOR SWIFT

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MUSIC

BUWAN BUWAN COLLECTIVE A quick roundup of some of the artists from one of the most versatile music collectives in the countr y. Edited by ellie centeno and lambert cruz, photos from buwan buwan collective

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MUSIC

WHAT IS BUWAN BUWAN COLLECTIVE?

Realigned for purposes of fair and equal humanity gathering splatters of ideas to

Buwan-Buwan is a traditional Filipino game that enacts the lunar eclipse. Play-

vibrations communicated by these futuristic sounds that restores ancient secrets

ers draw a circle on the ground representing the moon, and must stay inside

and human dignity formed and built through these structurally unsound tracks.

this circle. Meanwhile, one player acts as the Bakunawa, the mythical giant sea serpent who would eat the moon: he may not enter the circle, but must touch

binspants

another player who is inside it in order to switch places.

Music is his repository for all the bleeps and bloops in his head.

Buwan-Buwan has been all but forgotten by a generation

of young, Filipino urbanites weaned on gadgets and mass media, but Buwan-

a y/n

Buwan, a Pinoy beatmakers and electronic musicians collective, appropriate the

a y/n explores subconscious perceptions, abstractions and emotions through

concept of a game they in fact never played as children, transforming it into a

decisive sonic process. The result is a stimulus of recurring choice, a sum of the

framework for their perpetual creative exchanges, a take-off point for defining

present and absent, the ideal and tangible, seeding deeper resonances within

their identity as Filipino artists, and above all, a common ground where they can

our own recesses.

all play. Sloj WHO IS BUWAN BUWAN COLLECTIVE?

Sloj is a creator of other atmospheres. A soundscape scientist specializing in

similarobjects

subterranean hip-hop production squatting in blunted tempo camps and lethal

“The spiritual “I” that is one with the Universal mind. Manifesting truth

headnod grooves.

through vibrations and ripples through reality.” Spazzkid likeanimals

Stowed away in the sprawling corner of Los Angeles, Spazzkid aka Mark Redito

LikeAnimals is a drummer and beatmaker from the Philippine Islands. LikeAni-

quietly constructs his map of seemingly disparate beats and melodies into per-

mals’ music is centered around the idea that we as people are all interconnected,

fect harmony. With influences that span from punk to j-pop to video game

and to strengthen that connection and allow peace to manifest, we need to drop

music and everything in between, Spazzkid’s sonic fancies are evident in his

the notion that superficial things like money and social approval will solve our

tracks as they find the listener riding high on percussive waves of jazzy synthpop

problems. We can only solve our problems through love. Drop the ego and fancy

or feverishly gnawing on crafted candy electro pop.

words, speak like animals. Nights of Rizal Projectile Projections

Electronic music project Nights of Rizal began as singer-songwriter Migi de

A system of sounds exploring through different forms of frequencies delivering

Belen’s means to communicate mixed feelings of longing, regret, bitterness,

the unheard to life and delicately mixed with organic components distributing

remorse, hope, and affection across continents wordlessly. He imagined the

life to the nonexistent. Mythical and scientific, based on objective realizations.

wealthy ilustrado Jose Rizal puffing smoke from cigar stubs tossed away by

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BUWAN BUWAN COLLECTIVE

Europeans onto their cold, lamp-lit cobblestone streets. Like Jose Rizal, Migi

Kaiju

couldn’t keep his words to himself. Unlike the famous novelist though, Migi

Originating from the tropical heat of the Philippines, Kyle Quismundo, a

considers himself a hero only in the Super Mario sense, sucked into the dark

20-year-old college student, keeps cool as he is not your average musician.

and winding pipework of his own nostalgia. Nights of Rizal is the low-res, pix-

Introducing his audience to a world of soundscapes, industrial, ambient, and

elated soundtrack to Migi’s endless 2D side-scrolling: where the princess is not

experimental music, Kyle evokes an atmospheric quality; fresh and invigorating,

a princess, but is a concept, and is always in another castle.

while capturing a contemporary feel that most new artists lack today. Though his sounds are futuristic, evidently different from what is currently heard in the

August Wahh

music industry, his music is versatile as his pieces come off as rich and strong in

“We are born only half ourselves. The other half is our expression.” Best known

timbre but shy of unobtrusive tones and quality. Continuously evolving from

for her track Hermano featuring RBTO.

deviating harmonies of metallic drones and resonance, Kyle effortlessly lures avid musicians and listeners alike into a contemplative spaciousness, creating a new realm of sounds and impressions.

Nick Payumo 24 year old who started releasing his ambient creation through Bandcamp in November of 2012. His latest release is a four track called “he completed a

We Talk In Codes

particularly difficult scene in two takes”

When he is not out annoying the rest of the universe, Eugene Niles Salenga sits in front of his laptop then rewires Ableton and Reason to craft beats & tunes. After which, he goes to the kitchen & prepares a warm bowl of oatmeal.

Zomtendo The first 8-bit gentleman of the Philippines. Armed with a wide array of DMG’s and a Gameboy Color, this chiptune warrior serves his sonic palette of raw

The 500

sound waves in ways you’ve never expected. I guess big sounds do sometimes

Hailing from the underground beat scene of Manila, The 500 throws beats,

come in small packages.

beeps and blips across the universe with no remorse.

The After-School Special

SPNZ1991

The After-School Special is the solo project of Anton Salvador that started in

Neil Raymundo spills his sick hiphop/soul beats onto Soundcloud and for sure

2006 that served as an alternative music outlet compared to the bands he’s

you’re gonna get with it.

played in. He chose the name “The After School Special” because he often found himself crafting beats after coming home from class. In the early years of

FloatingSoundNation

his project he dabbled in a wide range of genres (house, trance, dubstep, etc).

Apex Chuidian writes about the creators within him. Better known as Floating

Only in 2012 did he decide to actually sit down and take this project seriously.

Sound Nation or sometimes Vishuddha AhnDahWata, he resides in the Philip-

The After-School Special combines long drawn out synths, clicks and cuts in an

pines Islands, yet he has travelled the world looking for the himself that resides

effort to create textured electronic soundscapes.

in “we”. Everything is pure thought and frequency manifested, all frequencies

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BUWAN BUWAN SECTION COLLECTIVE

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BUWAN BUWAN COLLECTIVE

are vibrations and all vibrations make a sound.

CONCLΔVE A beatsmith from the land of the thousand islands.

TheBGNR A Music Production student at De La Salle - College of St. Benilde, Andrew

invisible ants

Florentino has had his share of experience creating and performing music. He

Gelo cruz, a Music Production student at De La Salle - College Of St. Benilde.

played the role of vocalist and guitarist for his high school project MakeShift,

He is the vocalist and guitarist of the band @harlequincarnivale. Skrillex watch

and is doing the same for his current band, Actually Not Here. Wanting to try

your back.

new things musically, he took up producing electronic music as TheBGNR. He is currently enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and a couple of cigarettes.

| | A SY L U M I N I C A/Pei-hraack! | | A student from De La Salle – College Of St. Benilde. Be careful where your

Jim P

mind goes with Jenica Mendoza’s short of 2 minute tracks. Also owns Needle

Weapon of choice: Logic Pro and Propellerhead Reason. Making Hip Hop

Trade Shop which offers a variety of brand new, pre-loved and thrifted clothing

tracks is his forte.

as well as shoes.

Techiyaki

Impulse Project

Patrick Santa Maria, better known as TECHIYAKI started making remixes for

IMPULSE aka Wilbryan Era is a DJ/producer and Electronic Live Act coming

different artists and started making his own music in the latter part of 2011.

from the south.

His first EP was made mainly through experimenting electronic music and was released last February 2012. His second EP concentrates in Drum N Bass and was released on July 2012. On April 2013, he released his third EP, Good Morning Beautifool, a five track fusion of different genres. James Ussher 18 years old Carlo James Maaliw from Lucban, Quezon is equipped with his laptop and lots of crazy ideas. This new kid on the block has been doing his IDM / EDM homework 3 years before diving in production. Admittedly a big fan of the concept of alternate universes and the sampling culture; grinding bits of musical elements and re-assembling them in different form. Undecided to which genre he would stick to but all in for breaking boundaries and fusing different worlds.

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SECTION

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YOUNGLIQUIDGANG A quick look at YoungLiquidGang’s members and philosophy words by ellie centeno, photo from youngliquidgand

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MUSIC

The Youngliquidgang (“YLG” for short) is a community of musicians and artists

4. Hana

that shares its music and art through time and Internet space. From electronic

A solo project of the other half of Spirit Ocean. Hana’s music revolves around

homegrown music projects to underrated visual artists, YLG strives hard to offer

RnB, Trip-Hop and Trap fused with gentle vocals, creating a calming atmos-

its diverse talents online, to spread its message and to simply just make new

phere for listeners to enjoy.

friends to hang out with.

The collective was formed last September 2012 by Rome

5. Soul_brk

Gomez, Zeon Gomez and Ethan Namoch; with the sole purpose of “germinat-

SOUL_BRK is a bedroom project by beat alchemist Leon Esquillon. He ven-

ing” their crafts along with like-minded people to spread their very own culture,

tures the realm of sadness and serenity to gather ideas and funnel them into a

causing an artistic epidemic.

resonating entity called SOUL_BRK. His music can be classified as ambient,

glitch-hop, and “sadwave.”

As a collective, not only do they want to gain more members

but they also want to make friends along the way. In the end, it’s all about enjoying the moments, the love that they put into the gang, and the love that

6. Sczintillation

the youth has given to music and art.”

The inventor of visual vaporwave genre. A visual vaporwave project of Hitori Takane inspired by Electronic and Visual kei music. Sczintillation’s main goal is to take his listeners to the next level of visual electronic music.

MUSIC 1. Spirit Ocean

7. //C:

Spirit Ocean is an Indie Pop Duo, consisting of Zeon Gomez and Hana Acbd.

The sequences of :C// is an auditory embodiment of an 80’s arcade game ac-

Inspired by the vastness of the ocean, which is like the human emotion the duo

companied by old-fashioned virtues of production. He attempts to personify

sings about Love, Sadness and everything in between.

the complexities of a computer mainframe: programs breathe within a surreal, geometric gridscape. His music is predicated on the sentience of computer pro-

2. No Rome

grams that exist in a blue-gray scheme filled with lights, speeding objects and

No Rome aka Rome Gomez is a dreampop/chillwave/internetwave/floralwave/

blurry motion.

genrewave artist. He makes introverted electronic and experimental music. He gets most of his inspirations from pictures and visuals of gardens, seas, and

8. What is Andromeda?

Japanese art. tumblr is his haven.

A side project founded by Mao Alducente and Ethan Namoch. They started the venture of producing Ambient tracks based on their wildest dreams and the

3. The Valiant Vermin

discovery of the genre itself, to where it had taken them. What is Andromeda

Bettina: “Last November, people suggested that I should make my own music.

is inspired on their daily lives, from underrated movie marathons, to countless

I was like ‘sure.’ lololol”

shares on music, and of course, name-calling.

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tions are rich in surrealism and is basically inspired by drawings of children.

9. COEXIST Ethan Namoch had four months of soul-searching before he started COEXIST. From chillwave-influenced tracks to heavy-reverbed hard analog synths, he con-

3. Leon Esquillon

tinues to share his vibrations amplified by people around him.

Leon Esquillon started of as a visual artist in Youngliquidgang. He created several art pieces for the Youngliquidgand collective and its members early this year

VISUAL

and finally ventured off in the beat scene after a midnight revelation.

1. Joreen Navarro A purveyor of illustrative creativity, Joreen, or Jors for short, likes spending

4. Mikki Castro

her time drawing for people, conceptualizing stories, and experimenting with

You’ll mostly find Mikki safe behind her sketchbook, quietly sketching stran-

different styles and mediums as her way of pursuing the profound. Her passion

gers or drawing comics. Animation student, midnight music lurker, movie

for art is fueled by her love of the Big Guy, her family and friends, YLG family’s

marathoner, resident of the Internet, harasser of small dogs; Mikki Castro is an

music, and mostly Mcdonald’s french fries.

illustrator-dreamer who hopes to be a successfully published one in the future. She seeks inspiration from the strange, the unusual, the weird and wonderful,

2. Wander Wonderland

and finds that music communicates with her best late at night. She is a shy girl,

Before there was music, there was Wander Wonderland. It is the brainchild of

so approach with caution.

Hana Acbd, who is an illustrator by profession. Wander Wonderland’s illustra-

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MUSIC

21 ARTISTS YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING OUT FOR Here are 21 artists to add to your iTunes librar y LIST BY E LLI E C E NT E NO , PHOTO FROM YOUNG R E AD E RS

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There is no point in denying that we experience a sense of accomplishment, of

1. A Great Big Pile of Leaves

12. Maxine Jarantilla

fulfillment, when we discover an artist we like for the first time. It’s a lot like

2. And the Giraffe

13. Neala Medina

falling in love at first sight but with a lot less pain that comes with heartbreak

3. Crystal Fighters

14. Nicolas Jaar

involved, because you know music will always be there for you.

4. Daley

15. Nouvul

5. Denitia Odigie

16. Phlo Finister

list because I’d very much rather let their music speak for itself. I highly advise

6. Escondido

17. Phox

you to stop whatever it is you’re doing right now and listen to these twenty-

7. Hey Ocean!

18. Riley and the Roxies

one artists, old and new, because it never hurts to add a little more to your

8. Hunter Hunted

19. Robert DeLong

music library every now and then, right?

9. King Krule

20. Selah Sue

10. Knox Hamilton

21. Young Readers

I didn’t think to write about the artists I’ve included in this

11. Library Kids

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MUSIC

MUSICAL WONDERLAND Nick Bertke talks to Stachecabout plunderphonics, video games, North America, and the Filipino talent. writ ten by ellie centeno, photo by m ari ah reodica S p e c i a l t h a n k s t o G a r r y P i c k f o r d o f T h e B r ee z e S t u d i o s

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MUSIC

WHEN music-slash-social-media website last.fm was in its heyday back in

by taking existing sounds and recordings and reworking them into a new com-

2008, a website numerous musically-adventurous people name as one of their

position. He also named his influences in the likes of Theo Parrish, Moomin,

ultimate sources of new sounds, I stumbled upon Australian artist Nick Bertke

“and a lot of artists not many people have heard of,” he quips. Although greatly

who humbly goes by the name ‘Pogo’. I lingered on his profile for some time,

influenced by different electronic musicians and being likened to Skrillex, one

downloading every free track that’s available. His music, mostly composed of

can argue that Pogo’s style is extremely unique.

sound clips usually taken from movies, TV shows and video games, carefully

and beautifully weaved into an intricate musical jigsaw puzzle, is the work of

Terminator, Alice in Wonderland, Pulp Fiction, Up to Monsters, Inc., Nick

a genius.

mentioned that when picking them out, they have to resonate to him on some

Having made mash-ups with sound clips from Harry Potter,

So that one afternoon last July when I saw Nick’s tweet on my

level. Naming Alice in Wonderland as his favorite, he thought nothing has man-

Twitter feed that went along the lines of, “Just finished recording a song with an

aged to captivate him more than the 1951 film. He decided when he started

amazing singer from the Philippines,” I couldn’t help but tweet him back and

piecing sound clips together, he’d release this track as his first, which was aptly

ask if he was in Manila because more than wanting to feature him on Stache,

entitled, “Alice”. As he started making more songs and posting them all over

I wanted to meet him, so although thinking it was a long shot, I went for it.

YouTube, his audience started getting bigger and bigger, and at some point

When he tweeted me back the next day to say he was indeed in the country for

during the build-up of his music career, Disney took notice of what he was

a few days, all the fan girl feelings I had for him in high school started rushing

doing. Contrary to his belief that Disney would react violently to what he does

back and after tweets were exchanged, we arranged a meeting and sat down

and possibly chase him with lawsuits, they thought what he was doing was neat

and talked over drinks that evening in one of the little hole-in-the-wall bars in

and asked they could commission him to do a few tracks for them and this is

Manila.

how the collaboration of the century came about. Disney sent him to the US

In the few days Nick stayed in the Philippines, he managed to

to tour the Pixar Animation Studios in California, which, interestingly enough,

record a song with an eleven-year-old Filipino named John Sean about young

was the first and only time Disney ever let anyone outside of Disney go on such

love, which was released mid-July on YouTube under the title “Mi Angel”. Other

a tour. Since then, Nick has been making tracks for Disney films such as Up,

than being a mash-up artist, he has become successful in making YouTube viral

with a song called ‘Upular’, and Toy Story, with songs ‘Buzzwing’ and ‘Toyz

videos, with his videos averaging hundreds of thousands (more often than not,

Noize’. He also remixed songs for The Little Mermaid, which until now is an

reaching millions) of views. Nick, being the modest man that he is, attributes

unreleased track, and Pirates of the Carribean that was anonymously leaked

his fame to sheer luck, but I, along with his multitudes of fans, beg to differ.

through YouTube.

Tracing his little beginnings from making music with a game

In 2010, Nick’s video ‘Gardyn’ got into the Top 25 (out of the

on the PlayStation called Music 2000 when he was younger and on the com-

23,000 submitted videos) of YouTube Play, a project they developed with the

puter when he was thirteen through programs Cakewalk and FL Studio, and

Guggenheim Museum and in partnership with HP. His video, along with 24

although he learned how to play the drums, Nick said he’s always thought he

others, were projected onto the walls of the Guggenheim Museum in New York

found his niche in electronic music. When asked about his influences, he said

for an event.

Akufen was instrumental in his discovery of plunderphonics, a music style made

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Nick openly admits that North America has been significantly


MUSICAL WONDERLAND

more open to his kind of music than in Australia, where the general music taste of the people are geared towards the rock and alternative genres. Although his dream show – which consists mainly of his videos being projected all over every flat surface of a venue and his tracks reverberating through people’s ears, “I just want to fill people with graphics and sounds,” he says – hasn’t quite happened yet, his shows in North America were unbelievable. He wishes to get more shows around the globe and get them further off the ground because according to him, “remixing still has so much untapped potential when it comes to live performances.”

Currently, Nick is continuously producing songs of a certain

unmatchable quality that only he can deliver and they inevitably go viral, thanks to his immense amount of talent and massive following. He is also planning on venturing out into a recording and animation business with Breeze Studios in the Philippines.

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COVER STORY

STAYING GOLDEN Josh Legg talks about touring with his band and creating good, honest music. interview by ellie centeno, photos from goldroom

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MUSIC

Los Angeles has long been the breeding ground of talented musicians; with its

How did everything come to be?

energy, the people, the places, and the iconic palm trees that seem to hold so

I’ve been writing songs for as long as I can remember. By the time I was 15 or

much promise and romance for them. Amongst artists such as Devendra Ban-

so, I started to become very interested in recording the songs I was writing. I was

hart, Haim, The Doors, OFWGKTA, Frank Zappa, Black Flag, Cypress Hill,

lucky enough to be given a 4-track tape recorder by my cousin, which became

Cold War Kids and The Deadly Syndome, Goldroom’s Josh Legg is proud to call

my first ‘studio’. From that day, I’ve been obsessed with recorded sound and

the City of Dreams home.

translating a song as well as possible into recorded sound. I’ve been in too many

Having been producing electronic music for six years and be-

musical projects to really mention, but of particular note is the other band I’m

ing influenced by 80’s French music and synth-based film score, Josh traces

a part of, NightWaves. I think I really got my electronic and dance production

Goldroom’s roots from his synth-pop trio called NightWaves, when he decided

chops while making NightWaves’ songs in the late 2000s. It also led me to

to branch out to a solo project for his songs “that had no home, songs influenced

a fairly prolific period in 2010/2011 when I wrote some of the material that

by summer, by LA”. With synths that sound as if they’ve been pulled out of your

would become the early Goldroom songs. Fast forward a couple years and I’m

dreams, groovy vocals and beats simulating the tropics, if the Los Angeles sum-

putting the band together and touring around.

mer ever had to be experienced in sound, Goldroom’s music is nothing short of perfect.

Tell us about your musical beginnings. Who were your influences? What STACHE sat down with Josh and talked about music, LA,

were your first instruments? Did you have any formal training?

summer and all things Goldroom.

I had a bit of a lonely childhood up through high school. I had a hard time finding a group of friends and I ended up retreating to music to find an escape. Some people seem to think that escapism is a cop out in music, but for me music

Who is Goldroom? Where did the name ‘Goldroom’ originate?

has always been a huge way to improve my mood or take me somewhere more

I’m Josh Legg, and I started Goldroom in 2012 as my solo production project.

enjoyable than where I actually am. Music is so powerful that way!

I’ve been in a number of bands and musical projects over the years and I wanted

something that would give me the freedom to write songs and collaborate with a

on repeat... really anything I could get my hands on. I remember absolutely

number of different people. These days, my focus is really heavily on Goldroom

destroying my parents’ cassettes of the Beach Boys and also some Billy Joel

as a band, which has two other very important members: Mereki Beach who

album. Those guys never really became huge influences, but the experience of

sings, and Nick Sandler, our drummer.

losing myself in the music was something that would become a recurring theme

in my life from then on.

The name Goldroom is a bit of an homage to Los Angeles and

Anyway, from a very early age I remember listening to music

the entire Southwestern USA. I didn’t grow up here, so the area still holds a lot

of romantic notions to me and has been a big influence on the music I make. In

I played the cello for 10 years, I think. At some point my friend Mike and I

a lot of ways I view Southern California as one giant golden room. It also hap-

started to get into rock music and I quickly fell in love with the guitar. I started

pens to be that one of my favorite drinking spots in LA is this tiny dive bar in

writing songs on this crappy Squier Strat and never looked back. The guitar is

Echo Park called the Gold Room. It sort of all came together one fateful night!

still my primary songwriting instrument.

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I did start to formally learn music from a pretty early age.


STAYING GOLDEN

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MUSIC

How big of a part has the LA music scene - or even the LA culture in its

use a computer as a brain to help sync everything together, which Nick runs

entirety - play in shaping how your music sounds like? And how is the LA

from the drum kit.

music scene? Where do you usually hang out in LA after playing a show? I’m not sure the music scene has really influenced my music. I’ve always felt

What was the first live show that you went to? Tell us about that experience.

pretty alienated by it to be honest! I was making this kind of music for years,

Actually my dad took me to see Aerosmith when I was 8 or 9. That’s the earliest

mostly dropping it on deaf ears. It’s been amazing over the last couple of years

concert experience I can remember. It was a huge stage production with pyro

to have so many people come around to the music we’re making, but I always

and stuff. I remember enjoying it, but I don’t think I really had a meaningful live

feel like the ‘coolness’ of it is fleeting. I’m always expecting it to go away. It

music experience until I saw Tom Petty when I was around 15.

won’t change how I approach making music though. What else can you do but be yourself?

Does excessive touring bother you at all? I can imagine being on tour can As for LA in its entirety, I’m not sure I can overstate its im-

get tiring sometimes, but getting to travel ever so often sounds like such

portance. I’ve fallen in love with Southern California over the 10 years since I

a dream!

moved here. It constantly surprises me, and I never grow tired of the things I

It definitely has its positives and negatives. I really love being on the move and

loved most when I first came here. There is just so much promise and energy and

traveling, so that part is a pleasure. Sometimes, especially when I’m really far

romance tied up in the city. I can’t help but be inspired by it.

from home, it can be tough. On the whole I always really look forward to tour, and really love it while I’m doing it. I’m also really good at sleeping in ANY situation, so that’s a plus [laughs].

Do you have any rituals that you follow before starting a song? Or do you indulge in a certain thought process before going onstage for a show? I think I’m a pretty ritualistic guy sometimes. When I know I have a long studio

When you’re not busy recording or touring, what is a typical day like for

session ahead, I’ll generally get a strong coffee and do my best to have a clear

you?

head going into the process. I’ve always been pretty open to trying to altering

Well, there aren’t many of those days [laughs]. I really like being outdoors,

my state of consciousness to keep the creative flow going, even if that just means

especially on the water. During the summer on Wednesdays I’m sailing in Long

a coffee, or a big glass of wine, or maybe something else.

Beach all afternoon/evening. Get me outside with my lady and some friends

and I’ll be happy.

As for shows, I always take the time to warm up my voice and

visualize what will happen during the show. DJ sets not as much, but when we play live, I take it pretty seriously. I usually need about 45 minutes to myself to

What, to you, is good music?

really focus on what is about to happen.

Anything honest. Anything that makes you feel something emotional. It could be any emotion, positive or negative, but I think good music makes you feel

What kind of equipment do you use during live shows?

something. For me, music is an escape from life... so I think sometimes I listen

Well, I play guitar, which is a 68 Fender Stratocaster Reissue. I’m playing guitar

to music a little differently than other people because of that.

for most of the show. On stage we also have synthesizers and a drum kit. We

32


STAYING GOLDEN

I hear lately you’ve been touring around, which city has the best ‘Goldroom’ crowd? Would you ever want to play a show in the Philippines? Getting the chance to see a lot of the world has been the biggest unexpected benefit to starting Goldroom. I love the routine and structure of being on the road. Sometimes that structure is chaos, but it all fits within this amazing framework. Its so hard to say where the best crowds are though! I guess if I had to pick, I’d say that in general, the South American crowds have been amazing in the pure amount of love they give off during a show. Its electric. They also know how to bring the party (blow up palm tress in particular!)

Of all of the places I haven’t been that I’d love to go, the

Philippines is at the top of the list! I would love to come and play there. I have a pretty specific vision for what it would be like, so I hope one day I’ll get to come and see for myself.

In previous interviews, Josh has always expressed in always looking to improve himself as a songwriter, naming a few musicians (dead or alive) as his dream collaborations such as Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Ryan Adams. He’s also said that performing live is something important to him, “DJ-ing is about taking chances,” he quips. To him, live music has so much more energy, and different nights always have different vibes.

Josh is currently working on the Goldroom album, saying,

“I’ve been writing a lot, I have an iTunes folder with 25 songs. It’s important to me that the album is perfect, and it’s pretty close to being done.”

Now that Christmas is just around the corner, which means

our evenings are getting colder, I think it’s very timely to get yourself acquainted with Goldroom – to keep those cold nights warm with the sounds of an LA summer.

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SECTION

ENEMIES LIV

PHOTOS BY MAY

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E IN MANILA

MAY E E GONZAL E S

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stachemagazine.com

Stache September 2013 Mini Mag  

September mini magazine featuring Goldroom, Pogo, Buwan Buwan Collective, YoungLiquidGang and 21 Artists You Should Know About. Also include...

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