Pomegranates Auxes workspace Invaders Now,Now every children Horsebites Randy Laybourne - 20x20 Robindale330
Editors Adam Sever Chris Pernula
Memo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Variance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Change is Sound . . . . . . . . .6
Nick Wosika letter3photography.com
Pomegranates . . . . . . . . . . .13
Auxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Michael Stenerson michaelstenerson.blogspot.com
workspace Invaders . . . . .22
Jamie Maldonado www.jcm-photo.com/
Now,Now every children . .28
Cover Photo nick*L3p Rider - Nate Reimnitz Contents Photo Michael Stenerson Rider - Matt Sterbenz
Horsebites . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 20x20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Robindale330 . . . . . . . . . . .43 photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Contact Swimmer’s Ear P.O. Box 1616 • Monticello, MN 55362 firstname.lastname@example.org • myspace.com/swimmersear
MEMO It’s Last Call In November of 2008, Chris and I had a discussion as to how we wanted the future of Swimmer’s Ear to play out. We’ve both become increasingly busy with our lives outside of Swimmer’s Ear, and with each issue of SE coming out farther apart from the ones before it coupled with the ever rising printing costs, we decided to discontinue Swimmer’s Ear after issue #25. Chris explains in his own words that he “would be content at doing 25 issues, most people can't say that about a self-published zine” and I completely agree with him. June of this year will mark ten years since we released our first issue, and to think we’ve been doing this magazine for ten years kind of blows my mind when I think that I’ve been doing this magazine more that a third of my life. How many of you can say you’ve done something for ten years? We’ve met a ton of amazing people, done a ton of amazing things, and heard a bunch of stories of people seeing our magazine under a rock near Duluth or on the back seat of Rob Sissi’s car. The experiences alone have made making this magazine worthwhile. While I am going to try and list everyone that I want to thank, don’t be mad if you’re not listed, you are special too. First off I gotta thank Chris for his amazing ideas and passion for SE, this magazine would’ve been dead long ago had you not helped. A second thanks goes to my wife and kids for their imagination, understanding, and love. And in no particular order: Linda and Josh at the Hot Spot, Fobia, Brian Perry, Luke Hunt, Jack Boyd, Skunk Magazine, Ricki from Board to Death Sports, Evan Nagan, Brian Nagan, Paul Pernula, Casey Copenhaver + everyone else in the SE videos. Chris Patnaude, Mike Carlson, Mark and Steve at 3rd Lair, Steve Nesser, Tucker Gerrick, Familia Skateshop, Dennis Swearingen, Jamiel Nowparvar, Mike Guy, Brian Godfrey, Michael Stenerson, Sam McGuire, Mike Munzenrider, Matt Roesch, Thurman Lewis, Jesse Reed, Dom Hess, Rob Norland, Emeric Pratt, Neil at Roots Skateboards, Todd Brown, Anthony Nollen, SPRNTRL, Rob Sissi, Elijah Collard, True Ride, Medium Control, Jeff Meyer, Matt Peterson at Academy Snowboards, Youth Shelter Supply, Mike Theines, Randy Laybourne, Ricky Oyola, Bob Kronbauer, Chuck & Will at Beartrap PR, Nasty Little Man, Sheila Breen Kenny, Jessica Hopper, Carrie Klein, David Lewis, Fanatic Promotion, Riot Act PR, Jamie Sellers, Regan from In the Works, Joe Blum, Dan Monick, Colin Simmons, Seth McCallum, Zach Windahl, Todd Bratrud, Neal Shipe, Chris Dietz, November Snowboards, Vern at Listen, Powell, Lakai, DVS, Dekline, Tumyeto, Crimson, Craig at Satori, Jason Rothmeyer, Ashton at Etnies, Robb at Bones Wheels, Erik Olsen at SLAP, Pat Milbery, Russ Pope, Shad Lambert, Chris Strong, Tom Loftus, Jeff Bauman, Cal Surf, Volume Skateboards, Zombie Boardshop, FL Project, Benji Meyer, Sheldon Sabatini, Nick Wosika, Stencil Steve, Erich Dummer, Anthem Boy Skateboards, Indy Trucks, Handjob, Jimi Nguyen, Charlie Allen Kraft, Laura Austin, The Hut, and Damage. All the bands, skaters, artists and photographers we’ve interviewed. Anyone who has contributed. All the readers of this magazine. Thank You! -Adam
POST - A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007
Written by a former Punk Planet writer Eric Grubbs, POST, is a fantastic look into the evolution of post-hardcore/emo from its birth in the mid-1980s. POST picks up where Michael Azzerad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life leaves off and follows a similar narrative style. This book features sections on Dischord, Jawbox, Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbreaker, Braid, The Promise Ring, How Water Music, The Get Up Kids, At the Drive-in and Jimmy Eat World. Grubbs does a great job of giving detailed information on each band and also including a deeper look into bands and labels related to the bands featured, like for instance detailing the rise of Sub Pop and Foo Fighters in the Sunny Day Real Estate section. If you are a fan of any of the bands mentioned above, do yourself a favor and buy this book.
Reasons Why I never get sick of Randy Laybourne's zines. Each one is unique and an interesting read. Reasons Why is no different. It’s 40 pages of graphic goodness. Unlike past zines, Reasons Why doesn’t have any outside contributors, but it does give you a peek into Randy’s amazing 20x20 project. Check out more information at lookforwardtothepast.com.
Paper Egg Books
In early 2007 BobK. launched Mumblemagazine.com, an online magazine that included comics, reviews, interviews, videos, and tons more. In 2009, the 2nd version of Mumble launched as ClubMumble.com. Bob got 120+ of his closest friends to join and have them contribute as often as they can. The result is an eclectic blend of “blogs” from the industry’s writers, photographers, artists, company owners, and skateboarders as well as interviews with Club Mumble participants. The amount of information uploaded is astounding. The odds are you can refresh the page during your visit and get new content. Clubmumble.com is definitely worth a daily visit.
Chicago’s illustrious indie publishers, Featherproof, have cracked the shell on their new project, Paper Egg Books. Paper Egg is a subscription-only series of books. For $20 a year they will send you two limited edition books that are written in the novella and short story disciplines. If you sign up soon, they will throw in a
copy of Amelia Gray’s AM/PM, and it wont count against your subscription. Featherproof has always been pushing the envelope with their designs, books and ideas, and Paper Egg is a great example of a forward-looking publisher.
CHANGEINSOUND Air Above City Thunderballoon Air Above City is a New Jersey band that mixes elements of Minus the Bear, Maps a n d Atlases, Get Him Eat Him, and Glassjaw. Thunderballoon, their first release, is an album overflowing with creativity and originality that you can scream and dance too. (Self-Released) Algernon Cadwallader Some Kind of Cadwallader I believe Algernon Cadwallader’s popularity is somewhat due to their uncanny likeness to the musical stylings of American Football, Cap’n Jazz and Tim Kinsella’s vocals. For years people have ached for someone to replicate Cap’n Jazz’s youthfulness and offkilter music and Algernon Cadwallader has hit the mark dead on with Some Kind of Cadwallader. Some Kind of Cadwallader is not a complete Cap’n Jazz rip-off, these guys have plenty of musical talent and have added their own twist which can be heard on “Motivational Song” and the title track. (Be Happy)
Andy Shauf Darker Days This young Canadian folk songwriter can sure pen a tune. Each song is elegant and craftily arranged. Shauf show off his abilities by playing every instrument on the album and he doesn’t disappoint. (P is For Panda) Annabel Each and Everyone Kent, Ohio’s Annabel is back following a impressive debut EP. Each and Everyone is a quick blend indie pop, catchy melodies and post-punk. One listen of the opener “Sleeping Lions” will have you hooked. (Count Your Lucky Stars) The Appleseed Cast Sagarmatha The Appleseed Cast said that their next album would have less vocals and they weren’t kidding. The opening eight-minute track features vocals for only the last 2 minutes and even then they are sparse. Sagarmatha is a quite good album with a few hits and misses, but sure to please any fan of the band. (The Militia Group) Auxes Sunshine Auxes is the current project of Milemarker/ Challenger ringleader Dave Laney. On Sunshine, Laney played all the instruments and wrote all the music. The sound on Sunshine is similar to the lighter material found on Milemarker’s album Ominosity but shows Laney's wide range as a songwriter. (Lovitt Records)
Banner Pilot Resignation Day Featuring Members of Off With Their Heads and Pyongyang Metro, Banner Pilot’s latest release, Resignation Day, is a testament that good punk is still alive and kicking. With influences like The Lawrence Arms, Jawbreaker and Dillinger Four, Banner Pilot has the skill to continue releasing great punk. (Go-Kart Records) Bears Simple Machinery At an instant, Cleveland Bears can be grouped together with indie pop bands like The Shins. The opening track, “Please Don’t” is the standout on the album with its driving organ. For a genre that has lasted longer than it should, Bears have put their own spin on it with Simple Machinery. (Self-Released) Beep Beep Enchanted Islands Beep Beep, what happened!?! Your previous album Business Casual was a sex orgy of wailing guitars, angular lines and it was in your face. It’s hard to believe Enchanted Islands was made by the same band that made Business Casual. This album isn’t all bad, there are a few bright moments here and there. (Saddle Creek)
CHANGEINSOUND Beware of Safety Dogs Beware of Safety is an instrumental band that mixed rock with ambient to make an interesting sound similar to what The Appleseed cast has done. Dogs in good in many ways but at over an hour long, it was hard to listen to the album all the way through. (The Mylene Sheath) The Blackbelt Band A New Community The members This New Orleans band have been playing together for more than ten years and the chemistry shows on A New Community. At times, the singer’s voice gets a bit annoying but the music somewhat makes up for it. (Sickroom Records) Boris Smile Beartooth EP Sounding sort of like Say Hi, with less computers and better instrumentation, Boris Smile’s Beartooth is dark, moody and clever. This band’s full length is definitely being anticipated. (Count Your Lucky Stars) Bound Stems The Family Afloat I don’t know what Bound Stems did with their sophomore album, The Family Afloat, but whatever it was it worked. They have grown musically ten-fold since their last album, Appreciation Night and it shows with every song on the album. Highly double recommended! (Flameshovel Records)
Brighton, MA Amateur Lovers Featuring ex-members of The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, Brighton, MA’s Amateur Lovers is adventurous as it is dour. Some songs have you down in the gutter, while other have you skipping in the sunshine. (Loose Tooth Records) Call it Arson Mothwash: The Old Flames 7” This two-song 7” is a good introduction to Call it Arson. “There’s a Way To Be On” shows off their heavier side with its crashing cymbals while “Sharpie” shows off their soft, sensual side with its quivering vocals. (Kill Normal) City of Ships Live Free or Don’t EP Live Free or Don’t compiles City of Ships’ 2008 Tour EP on Side A and the "Live Free or Don't" EP on Side B. Both EPs are raw heavy rock with crunching guitars that any metal head would enjoy. (Forcefield Records) The Color Wheels The Color Wheels The Color Wheels are a husband and wife duo that play sugary sweet indie pop rock music. “Green Means Go” is the kind of song that record execs ears perk up to based on its simplistic sing-a-long style that everyone would enjoy. (Viper Bite Records)
Cursive Mama, I’m Swollen Cursive’s Ugly Organ was the first material I was exposed to by this Nebraskan band and I think that because of that, I have a hard time getting into their later releases. Mama, I’m Swollen is Cursive at their finest and this release will push them further into the limelight. (Saddle Creek) Daemon Familiar Dawn of the Albatross Daemon Familiar play an intense mix of power pop garage rock with fuzzed out guitars. Daemon Familiar show a lot of potential and would benefit with working with an experienced producer on their next release. (Self Released) Driving on City Sidewalks Where Angels Crowd to Listen This Canadian duo plays the type of emo that is quiet then loud kind of like Hum. The vocals tend to get lost in the instrumentation at times but works nonetheless. The title track on this EP is the definite stand out. Unfortunately, the other four songs can’t compare. (Count Your Lucky Stars) Edie Sedgwick Things are Getting Sinister and Sinister Justin Moyer aka Edie Sedgwick creates some very interesting pop jams that can only be described as Rah Bras meets Barr. It’s arty, complex and damn original. (Dischord)
CHANGEINSOUND The Evening Rig Is Doin’ Stuff If Never Been’r was their album about breaking up with the girl, then Is Doin’ Stuff is about the new girl. This album is bright, upfront and shows the band doing their best. Jason Miller has a knack for writing great timeless music. (Heart of a Champion) The Everyday Visuals S/T From New Hampshire, The Everyday Visuals are an infectious pop band with a sound reminiscent of Wilco and The Beach Boys, this band is sure to start turning heads all over the country. (Self Released) FIRS I Will Come Back As a Volcano You may know Joey Cook as one of the members of Cincinnati's Pomegranates. FIRS is a lot like Pomegranates sound wise, almost like these songs could be from a Pom B-sides album, but they are A-side quality. If you’re a fan of Pomegranates, then you’ll enjoy this too. (Self-Released) Gatorface Sick and Stupid EP Gatorface has risen from the ashes of New Mexican Disaster Squad with a sound similar to NMDS but totally their own. Sick and Stupid is a great EP that shows tons of promise from this band. (Paper + Plastick)
Good Old War Good Old War Who would’ve known that a band of acoustic jams and three part harmonies would be so good. This is an excellent album to unwind with that’s perfect for summer. (Sargent House) I Am Alaska A Day in A Life On A Day in A Life, I Am Alaska poorly attempts to be the next Thursday/At The Drive In. Influences from both bands can be heard and rather than create something original, I Am Alaska butcher any credibility those two bands had. If I were the state of Alaska, I would be embarrassed that this band claims to be me. (No Sleep Records) Joan of Arc Flowers While Joan of Arc’s two previous albums, Eventually, All at Once and Boo Human, were more straightforward indie rock albums, Tim Kinsella and crew’s latest, Flowers, throws the listener a curveball. Opening with a slow electronic pop song, similar to early Askeleton recordings, the album skips onto a piano driven number with chant like background vocals. There are glimpses of past JOA recordings throughout Flowers, which hardcore JOA fans will recognize, but even those fans will have to listen to Flowers a few times before it’s completely grasped. (Polyvinyl)
Joie De Vivre Summer Months Sounding like a midwestern emo band, circa 1997, Joie De Vivre sound like early Promise Ring, pulling influences from Mineral, Pavement and American Football. This is emo before it got all mainstream and taken over by mall stores. Summer Months is an excellent debut album. (Count Your Lucky Stars) Jumpercable EP In just over nine minutes, Jumpercable blaze through all nine of their songs with such ferocity and urgency it would make Gorilla Biscuits and Kid Dynamite proud. It is solid hardcore with old school roots. (Monkey Wrench Records) Junebug Share Share is a well written and perfectly played album of summer jams. Junebug blend influences ranging from classic rock to grunge, with a little bit of funk groove and do it extremely well. The singer has an interesting vocal delivery that fits well with the music. Definitely worth checking out. (Self Released) La Dispute Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair Twelve remarkable songs is what you will find on Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair. Jordan Dreyer’s quick, almost beat poet like deliv-
CHANGEINSOUND ery, combined with his ability to weave stories with emotion, along with the inventive musicianship of his bandmates makes Somewhere at the Bottom... one of the most engaging albums I’ve ever heard. Do not sleep on this album, pick one up now! (No Sleep records)
Living With Lions Dude Manor Sounding like a heavier version of Broadway Calls mixed Polar Bear Club, Living with Lions’ Dude Manor is a great short EP. One can only hope that they have a full length on the way. (Adeline Records)
Lady Dottie and the Diamonds S/T I’m not a fan of blues rock, but Lady Dottie has got me clapping my hand and shaking my ass on the dancefloor. The songs are piano and guitar driven soon-to-be party classics led by the sultry vocals of Dorothy Mae "Lady Dottie" Whitsett. Nine of the songs are originals and three are covers including The Jefferson’s theme song “Moving On Up” (Hi Speed Soul)
Longwave Secrets are Sinister This Brooklyn band is like a more straightforward rock version of The Strokes. Secrets are Sinister is Longwave’s fourth album and it shows that they still have the creativity to write radio friendly pop rock tunes. (Original Signal Recordings)
Lanterns Apocalypse Youth Lanterns five song EP is an interesting mix of pop rock jams and indie attitude. Like a combo of Weezer and Jimmy Eat World. The result being clever songs, loud distortion and solid melodies. (Self-Released) Lipona Atlas Rooted in melodic hardcore and skate punk, Lipona, have written a quite impressive full length. I was pleasantly surprised by this album after a couple listens. At first I thought of it as generic, but after frequent listens, the layers start to be exposed and you’re left with a innovative and thoughtful album. (Self-Released)
Look Mexico Gasp Asp 7” Gasp Asp shows so much growth from their previous album This is Animal Music. If these three songs are any indication what Look Mexico’s next full length will sound like, than I am giddy with anticipation. (Tiny Engines) The Makeout Party! Lengths and Limits Lengths and Limits takes you back to a time when emo wasn’t a household name and was still fresh. The Makeout Party’s sound isn’t original but they still have created a listenable release. (Make Music Collective) The Marked Men Ghosts The Marked Men are kings when in it comes to writing excellent short pop rock tunes.
The sound on Ghosts doesn’t vary much from their last release Fix My Brain, but fans will still surely be pleased with the output. (Dirtnap Records) Memorial The Creative Process/Berlin LP Former Renee Heartfelt members make up Memorial and this vinyl LP contains 8 songs that was to be two separately released 7”s. With Heavy guitar riffs and atmospheric tones, this album would interest any fan of Quicksand or Texas is the Reason. (Flight Plan) Merit Arson is for Lovers Merit is a female fronted punk rock band that is like a faster, heavier version of Rainer Maria. I’d think this album would be boring if it weren’t for lead singer Brenna Merritt. Her voice adds a totally new and fresh dimension to the music. Totally worth checking out. You can download a free copy at www.gomeritgo.com. (Self Released) mewithoutYou It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright Over their past four albums, mewithoutYou has slowly evolved from a heavy intense band to a laid back, feel good band. It’s All Crazy!... is by far the biggest departure in mwY’s discography and is sure to leave fans puzzled. Singer Aaron Wiess has traded in his intensity for preachy intimately sung vocals. It’s All Crazy!... isn’t bad by any means, it shows the band adding numerous
CHANGEINSOUND instruments; tubas, accordions, violins, and creating beautifully arranged songs in the process. The religious references are more pronounced on It’s All Crazy!... which might turn away their secular fans. While somewhat of a disappointment, It’s All Crazy!... is a really good album that shows band inventing a new sound for themselves. (Tooth and Nail) The Modern Society The Beat Goes On Atlanta’s The Modern Society sounds like Connecticut’s Hot Rod Circuit if they were from New York. The Beat Goes On, their sophomore release is quite good and is filled with many rocking songs. (Original Signal Recordings) Now, Now Every Children Cars Cars is one of the best releases of 2008. Cacie Dalager’s innocently haunting vocals backed with Brad Hale’s exact drumming create such mood and emotion throughout the entire album. This duo knows how to write meaningful songs and will assuredly be known by all soon. (Afternoon Records) Oceans Nothing Collapses Listen close to Nothing Collapses and you will faintly hear the sounds of gang vocals delicately complementing the post rock instrumentals. Oceans’ instrumental sound close to Explosions in the Sky, but blend in their native Chicago/Urbana into the mix. (Copper Lung Records)
Off With Their Heads From the Bottom It took me a couple of listens to get into Off With Their Heads. Something about the vocals kept putting me off, until during one listen it finally clicked. From the Bottom is a great punk album that stands out on every track. (No Idea) Olehole Hole Mole Featuring ex-members of The Ghost, Hanalei, and Burial Year, Olehole harkens back to the sound of The Ghost, but moves much farther past. Each song oozes with thick bass lines and heavy guitars, complimented by Brian Moss’s sing/scream vocals. (Underground Communique) One Win Choice Define/Redefine One Win Choice aren’t redefining hardcore with their releases, they are contribution to it and so far, those contributions have sounded good. The same intense sound can be heard on Define/Redefine. (Jump Start Records) Only Thunder Lower Bounds Featuring former members of the Blackout Pact, Ghost Buffalo, Cost of Living, and the Mediks, Lower Bounds fails to impress. Sure the music is good, but many of the songs are easily forgettable, save for the standout track “Splatterhouse”. They got it right on that song. (Bermuda Mohawk)
Outclassed This Might Be Coincidence 12” This Might Be Coincidence is 15 minutes of shouted vocals and screeching guitars which translates into pure raw fury throughout all five songs. (Forcefield Records) Paper The Operator Solemn Boyz EP In addition to recording solo material and playing in The Color Wheels with his wife, Jon Sebastian also mans the full band indie rock goodness that is Paper the Operator. The Solemn Boyz EP has a sound of catchy, melodic pop similar to Jimmy Eat World or The Stereo. (Viper Bite Records) Pele A Scuttled Bender in a Watery Closet Existing form 1997-2004, Pele was a staple in the indie instrumental scene. Their creativity was unparalled and has since carried on with Collections of Colonies of Bees. A Scuttled Bender in a Watery Closet is a collection of songs that spans the entire Pele discography and includes rare, b-side and vinyl only tracks that combined is over two hours of music. This is a definite must own for any fan of Pele or instrumental music. (Polyvinyl) Pomegranates Everybody, Come Outside! Cincinnati’s Pomegranates make music that is fun to listen to. They play an upbeat indie with jangly guitars and sing with joy in their voices. Everybody, Come Outside! shows the band growing into their sound and honing their skill. (Lujo Records)
CHANGEINSOUND Push-Pull Hello Soldier This is re-issue of their debut by the same name from 2005. The album is thick distorted post rock that at times is quite clever and inventive. (Sickroom Records) Quatre Tête Art of the State Quatre Tête play mathy post rock with a prog influence that is similar to another Chicago band, Shellac. (Sickroom Records) Quieting Syrup Songs About a Sick Boy Quieting Syrup is the solo output from Pinebender’s Stephen Howard. There are twelve songs on Songs About a Sick Boy that were written in a span of twelve years and it focuses mostly on the heath battles he has endured. The songs are filled with desperation and hope and are played with heartfelt emotion from someone who has experienced a lot. (Lovitt) The Reptilian Boy’s Life EP The Reptilian instantly reminded me of Iowa City’s Ten Grand, right down to the vocals and music. There is a lot of influences from the midwest heard on this EP, but it is one of the better ones released so far this year. (Count Your Lucky Stars)
Rise Against Appeal To Reason At the dusk of a lengthy presidential election, Rise Against has released a powerful politically charged punk album. Not much has changed in their sound from their previous releases, except for maybe the acoustic tear-jerker “Hero of War”. As with any Rise Against release, there are plenty of punk anthems to pump your fist to. (Interscope Records) Say Hi Oohs & Aahs I was a bit surprised to see a new Say Hi album when they released one just over a year prior. I was a even more surprised when I saw that it was being released on Barsuk. For the history of Say Hi, leader Eric Elbogen has released all of Say Hi’s material through his own Euphobia Records. Oohs & Aahs is no stretch from their previous material, just a bunch of good pop rock gems. (Barsuk) Scream Hello Everything is Always Still Happening With Everything is Always Still Happening, Scream Hello has crafted a well-rounded working-man’s feel good rock album that won't bore the listener. They keep getting better and better with each release. (Red Leader Records) Sharks and Sailors Builds Brand New With rotating male/female vocals, Sharks and Sailors sound like 90s grunge. Three of
the songs on Builds Brand New are instrumental. Builds Brand New at time gets a bit monotonous at times and may not be for everyone. (Self-Released) Sonny Gypsyhook EP Featuring former From First to Last vocalist, Sonny Moore, the Gypsyhook EP sounds like sugary dance music that the Disney Channel would produce. I can only imagine that this project was greenlit due to From First to Last’s popularity, cause it certainly wasn’t due to the music on this album. If this is the future of music, then the future looks bleak! (OWSLA/Atlantic) Starflyer 59 Dial M for Martin Jason Martin has been releasing music under his Starflyer 59 monikor for over 15 years and with his latest release, Dial M for Martin, he shows no signs of letting up. Dial M continues Martin’s ritual of writing well crafted pop rock songs. (Tooth and Nail) Stay Sharp Four Songs You’d never guess it but Four Songs only has four songs on it and it lasts just over six minutes. This Philadelphia's band brand of east coast hardcore is a bit refreshing and it’ll be interesting if they can convey the same feel on a full length. (Monkey Wrench Records)
CHANGEINSOUND UltraChorus Words Keep Talking 7” Single UltraChorus is a Minneapolis production duo who create electro pop Postal Serviceesqe jams that are quite awesome. This two song release is a great intro to the duo and if they keep making songs like these, they’re gonna be huge. (Self Released) Take No Damage The Shambles EP Coming off the heels of their Mushroom Clouds and Silver Linings full length, Take No Damage is back with their computer effected Rentals-esque sound. They use an abundance of audio clips and fuzzed out synths in their music that adds an interesting element to their noise pop recordings. (All Hail Records) These Arms are Snakes Tail Swallower and Dove With every release, These Arms are Snakes re-invent themselves slightly so each album has its own sound and the same applies for their Suicide Squeeze debut Tail Swallower and Dove. It really seems that they have found their groove with this release, as it is the best they’ve done yet. (Suicide Squeeze Records) Three Second Kiss Long Distance For me, saying your album was produced by Steve Albini is like telling me your album has songs on it. It doesn’t sell me on the album any more than it would if somebody else produced it. Long Distance though,
sounds like it could have come from Albini’s personal discography. I do enjoy the mathy guitars on Long Distance, but I can’t see myself playing this constantly. (Sickroom Records) Tigers Jaw Tigers Jaw When I first listened to Tigers Jaw, I had the same feeling as I did when I first heard The Promise Ring. It was the feeling of a bunch of kids playing music, just to play music. No pretensions, no motives, just raw production and an upbeat tone. You can tell from this album the guys and lady of Tigers Jaw are having the time of their lives. (Prison Jazz Records) Vacations I was a Bikini / But Rain Afraid Featuring Jeremy Bolen and Bobby Burg of Chin Up Chin Up and Love of Everything, Vacations music is a blend of both bands but leans more towards the Chin Up side. I’d imagine this is what Chin Up Chin Up would sound like if they were more abstract. (RecordLabel RecordLabel) Virgins Miscarriage Virgins, like Gatorface, feature ex-members of New Mexican Disaster Squad. Virgins sounds like an 80’s hardcore version NMDS, due to Sam Johnson’s vocals. Just like NMDS, Virgins triumphs on Miscarriage (Kiss of Death)
The Wooden Birds Magnolia For quite a while now I’ve been wondering what American Analog Set frontman Andrew Kenny has been up to. I was hoping for more AnAmSet music but instead Andrew got a band together to create beautiful simple music. Relying mostly on his acoustic guitar and his voice, Kenny and band create twelve wonderful folksy songs. (Barsuk)
pomegranates cincinnati, ohioâ€™s
interview with joey cook
Everything is Alive was well received by critics and fans, was there any pressure to out do it when writing and recording your new album Everybody, Come Outside!? Everything is Alive was really just a continuation of our first batch of songs, like an extended sequel to Two Eyes, so when people really seemed to like it it was a surprise to us. With Everybody Come Outside!, we felt pretty confident with the songs from the beginning and we actually wrote it intentionally as an album. Depending on how people feel about this one, the real pressure will come for the third album, I think. Did you use the same approach to writing and recording with the Everybody, Come Outside! as you did with Everything is Alive? Not at all. We recorded "Everything is Alive" totally live at Sound of Music in Richmond, VA with the wonderful Miguel Urbiztondo and went back to do overdubs and vocals and stuff. Also, like I said, the songs on Everything is Alive were written randomly and sequenced in a way that we thought made most sense after we recorded them. Whereas with Everybody Come Outside! we nearly wrote the songs in sequential order, and knew how we wanted everything to flow before we even went into the studio. And the "studio" was the other big difference. We tracked 9 of the 12 tracks at our friend Steven Howell's home studio in Newport, KY, which was also a great time. We got to do 2 of the 12 at Inner Ear with T.J. Lipple, which was incredible. The remaining song, “Sleepover”, which ended up being the b-side for “Corriander”, we got to record right here in Cincinnati with our good friend Cameron Cochran and the sweet Mike Montgomery at Candyland Recording Studio. So far we've had nothing but good experiences with recording. Very nice. What can be expected of Everybody, Come Outside!? Three things: Time Travel, Ocean Swimming, and Wormhole Cruising You'll be releasing Everybody, Come Outside! on CD and vinyl, how do you feel about releasing the album on vinyl and what do you think the importance of vinyl is? Actually the vinyl release isn't working out anymore. At least not right now. However, my opinion on the importance of vinyl is as follows: I think CDs are on their way out, fast, making way for a quickly growing digital world - perhaps a very basic observation by now. I've just been afraid that no one will care about holding a tangible piece of art that accompanies the music. Album art, and liner notes, and whatever else are a big part of why I love buying albums. I know these things are still available with a lot of digital media, but it's just never the same as being able to hold something, and smell it. You know? How's it been working with Lujo Records? Lujo is amazing. From the time we got on board with them in June, I think, of 2007 to this very moment, in February of 09, we've been counting our blessings with them. A huge "thank you" is owed to our friends/label-mates Look Mexico, who saw us play a pretty rough set when we played with them once back then. They liked it somehow, and passed word along to Lujo. I feel like it was really lucky how it worked out. But they've been incredibly helpful, and patient, and encouraging - oh boy, encouraging like you wouldn't believe! Amazing people, Erik and Jocelyn, they are. After reading through some of the blog posts on the Everyone Outside blog, one would assume that religion is a part of your lives? Do the members of Pomegranates share similar beliefs? Well, I'm pretty sure that we were all raised going to church. It was definitely a talk we had when we started the band. I think we don't necessarily see eye to eye on every smallest detail of everything, but religion was something that Jesus was pretty into, and I know we all value what He taught.
Do your spiritual beliefs play any part in the lyrics? I think that whatever someone focuses their thoughts on will be reflected in their lyrics. We're all definitely influenced by Jesus' life, and beauty in our lives that we feel He is responsible for. Are the lyrics a collaborative effort or do they come from one member? How does the song-writing work? Our lyrics and song-writing are extremely collaborative. Someone might have five seconds worth of an idea, and we'll maybe just jam on it for a while, and start asking, "Oh, what if it did this next? or What if we tried this here?" So much fun. You also release music under the moniker of FIRS. How is is different writing music for FIRS than with Pomegranates? You're also releasing FIRS music for free on the Bandcamp.mu website, what's your reasoning behind this? I wonder how you found out about this? Oh well, I'm glad you did. The biggest difference in writing for FIRS is that I'm doing it alone mostly. Sophia Cunningham has been a lot more involved on the newer stuff, but it's still so much different from writing with three other guys who will all be calling it their own. It's really just been a lot of fun trying to get better at recording with extremely limited gear and trying to write mostly on my own. I just really want as many people to hear it as possible, and knowing that people don't generally like paying for things, why would I charge anything? Besides I made it for free. I've heard people say that Pomegranates are a Cincinnati band that sound like theyâ€™re from the east coast, can you expand on that? What do east coast bands sound like? I think Cincinnati probably has more of a punk and noise background, so maybe, because of all the reverb and groove, it's harder to say we're a Cincinnati band and then just leave it at that. That's my guess. Most people wouldn't think that Cincinnati has a large music scene, describe the music scene in Cincinnati and it's benefits and drawbacks? The Cincinnati music scene: Matthew Shelton,The Seedy Seeds, The Sheds, The Read, Bad Veins, Peter Adams, The Greenhornes, Buffalo Killers, Eat Sugar, Daniel Martin Moore.. the list goes on, literally, for one entire eternity. There are definitely awesome things coming out of this city. And the best part is, it's like a big family, as cheesy as that sounds. All these people are just great, as humans and as artists. Drawbacks? No. Would you consider what you do with Pomegranates art? Oh my yes. I think anyone could just sit around writing songs. In fact, people do that.. and I think you can tell. Even so, I believe music is art, and we're really trying to do something more purposeful. I know not every song is going to be the best, but hopefully at some point in what we have to offer, someone is moved or changed by something they've heard from us. I'm sure not everyone will get it, but even if one single person does, I'll die feeling pretty good. What experiences did you gain from touring with Islands? We got to experience some of the most fun shows we've ever played, with some of the nicest guys we've ever played with. I remember learning how to be comfortable playing in front of (relatively) a lot of people. It doesn't have to be scary like I always thought it would be! How freeing. Thanks, Islands. What plans do you have for touring in 2009? 2009 = busy busy busy. We've already done really fun shows with Bear Hands, who were great. We leave in less than a week for the rest of February which I'm very excited for. March holds six shows with Headlights (Polyvinyl) on the way to SXSW and then most of April 13 to May 16 will be with Wye Oak (Merge) to support Everybody, Come Outside!, which will be released April 14 on Lujo. I can't wait to see what the rest of the year holds. I love playing music and this is awesome and fun!
Is Auxes a side project for now or a full time band? It's the main band that I am involved in. I suppose that makes it more "full time," but we also make time for lots of other things!
Was Auxes started after you moved to NC or before? It was conceived of and began post-NC move, largely as a product of having left long-term band mates in Chicago. What prompted the move from Chicago back to NC? Do you have any plans to move back to Chicago? A combination of factors triggered the move from Chicago to NC. My family lives in NC and there were things happening in my family that demanded I be closer to them. After years of having a train going through my backyard in Chicago, I also had the bright idea that I would like to live in the woods - an idea that quickly retreated into fear of silence and bugs. My family situation seems to have stabilized and (though I do love NC) I am currently living back in Chicago.
I know people that would like to hear more from both bands, so what is the status of Milemarker and Challenger? Both bands have always been extremely free form in terms of lineup and playing habits, and both were difficult to maintain due to my living in NC while Al was in Chicago. With my move back to Chicago we'll see what happens. Milemarker recently did a short European tour (summer 2008) and have a Chicago show booked for March 2009. Hopefully both bands will become more active then they have been over the past couple years. Has writing music with Auxes been different than writing for Milemarker or Challenger? Much different. Holding both the aforementioned as comparison points, it was most similar to Challenger, for which most of the songs were written by Al and myself outside of a traditional rehearsal space setting. Milemarker usually writes songs together in a practice space. The Auxes album was just me, so it was piles of layers and trial and error. Hopefully fewer of the errors ended up on the finished product than once existed.
How long did it take to write and record Sunshine? Delays and all considered, it was roughly two years between the first song being written and the album being released. What were the advantages and disadvantaged to playing all the instruments on Sunshine? One in the same actually: playing all the instruments. It was an interesting experience full of driving myself mad - but it was something I had wanted to do since I learned how to play music. So in that sense it is a token of completion. But I don't think it will happen again. There's a lot to be said about collaboration on a song... like someone saying "Dave - do you really think that 23rd guitar track is necessary?". So in that sense, deadlines were the only factor in completing songs for Sunshine. Otherwise I'd probably still be screwing around with it, trying out slide flutes and other instruments that don't need to be there. When other people are involved, things tend to get done much quicker as band mates can edit ideas before they turn into tracks. I seem to have a hard time with that.
What bands/musicians influenced the way Auxes would sound? From a musical perspective that would be my entire record collection which is relatively all over the place. There's a lot of stylistic play in terms of albums. But I think music is a product of your environment as much as it is a synthesis of musical influences. Where people are in life - both physically and mentally - can have an enormous effect of what mood or feelings they produce with instruments and words. In terms of other bands and musicians, the pile slims substantially when I consider what is behind the band: the way they conduct themselves, their politics, the way they treat other people around them, their intentions for being involved with a specific scene. Does their merch table look like wal-mart? If so, what is the underlying importance of or rational for that? These are questions that have shaped this band as much as any assortment of albums have.
Compared to other projects you've worked on, where does Auxes rank? It's impossible for me to really rank anything that I've done. All the projects and songs - good and bad - have been important to me in terms of paving the path to wherever I currently am in life - both personally and musically. Auxes is the main focus at this moment, so in terms of that I suppose it's top of the list. You've worked with numerous labels in the past, what attracted you to releasing Auxes material on Lovitt? Brian has been a long time friend and I have always respected his intentions with and operation of Lovitt. I wanted to work with a label that feels like it's part of my family and I have a long term relationship with. Additionally, his smiling record logo is top shelf (very important). Furthermore, Lovitt is dedicated to releasing albums in the way that I understand an album - which is in physical formats. With many smallish labels in the US, we're starting to see a diminished amount of bands seeing their albums on vinyl, and even CD. Labels are being forced to "develop" bands in the digital domain with download-only "albums". While my heart goes out to these labels for attempting to keep up with a bastardized ratio of new bands vs. drowning record sales and record store closings, this isn't the format in which I understand an album. Lovitt began with and continues to operate in very simple terms that begin with Brian's personal relationships with his artists. I respect this approach. It's more about the music then the business of music. In your opinion, how has touring changed since you started over 10 years ago? Is it easier now or more difficult? Well touring in the DIY scene has never been "easy" per se. That archetypical band scenario portrayed in movies where a band packs their bags and hops on the bus to be driven around to the next town helmed by their tour manager is a reality never seen by any DIY band. We always know where we're going because someone in the van has been emailing or calling the next venue (be it a club, house, art space, etc) for the last few months. Then you're scrambling to figure out plan B when the venue gets shut down or someone flakes out. That is the common tour experience to me. So in that way touring seems largely the same. Of course many things have changed since my involvement with this community. Some things for the better, some for the worse. There are realities of touring that have come into sharper focus for me personally - mass consumption of gas, unethical treatment of t-shirt factory employees, being surrounded by endless hours of gas station food, the balance of the involved people's personal lives vs. being away on
tour. In essence, the global and personal impact of touring. These are things that have always existed but have become more important for me personally. What musicians have been playing with you on tour? Quite a few actually. On the last tour, we had Pete Wagner on bass, John Crouch on drums (plug for his other bands: Caltrop, Hazerai), and Adam Kish on guitar (plug: Hazerai). Previously, the band has included Ben Davis (plug: Ben Davis and the Jettz, Bats & Mice, Milemarker, Sleepytime Trio), Mike Triplett (plug: Fin Fang Foom), and Noah Leger (plug: Head of Skulls!, Milemarker, Tight Phantomz, Hurl, Taking Pictures). For someone who has toured the U.S. and Europe many times, which one do you prefer to tour most? How would you compare touring in the U.S. to touring in Europe? That's a tricky question. I think the typical answer is that touring Europe is generally a more hospitable experience. There are most often places to stay, most often there is some sort of dinner and breakfast provided, most often drinks are provided by the venue, and drives are often under the 5 hour mark. For smallish bands touring the US, these things are often non-existent. I've had an increased pull towards Europe for sometime. There are social and political conventions and ideas here (hmmm... currently spending the month in Hamburg) that make sense to me. Without going into some sort of comparative analysis, it slims down to me liking both of them very much. And while I do think that every single place I've been in Europe is more exciting than the Ohio Turnpike, there's also something untouchable about driving through the desert of Arizona. It's easy for me to navigate the states, to read people's sarcasm, their aggression... ingredients at the grocery store are easy to find. Both continents resonate dearly and both have their own pros and cons. Are you still doing the MediaReader zine? Unfortunately it has been inactive for 3-4 years. I'm always thinking it may be time to roll out another issue but then create other projects that occupy my time. I hope that one day a new issue will see the light of day and the darkness of night.
How are you feeling about this year's Presidential election and what do you hope for the future? Wow. I hope for lots of things. In terms of Obama's election, it seemed to be the only sane choice in terms of this country maintaining itself in any realistic manor. So the first check is for some resemblance of self-preservation. It also represents something the media is calling a changing american mentality. I hope they're right. We've entered a curious time - the Republican party has devalued itself even in the eyes of long time Republicans while the Democrats have become even more moderate. The economy is a total wreck and is being felt by the general population - from the mega-rich CEOs to the DIY punk labels. I have friends being laid off from their jobs, friends foreclosing on their houses... Obama is walking into a nightmare but has managed to stimulate people into caring. Hopefully his presidency will continue to be grass roots based and he will continue his promise of letting the government be run by the people instead of the leaders. So in terms of the first question - yea - I feel incredibly excited and am looking forward to an Obama-led America. In terms of what I hope for, there's a big list! I hope for the end of a two party system. I don't think it works for anyone, Republicans and Democrats alike (and most definitely anyone who doesn't identify outside of those two labels). I've never understood how there can exist an intelligent political discourse when an entire "side" is represented by a single party. The idea of "sides" in politics is of course also twodimensional and likewise a discouraging concept. I think communities should be run by their people, not by politicians. I think healthcare is a non-negotiable right that should be given to everyone free of charge with no questions asked. I hope that teachers will someday be paid what they deserve and that we can switch our focus to being a country who emphasizes education and rehabilitation instead of punishment. The list goes on and on. There's an interesting letter that Jello Biafra wrote to Obama (http://www.alternativetentacles.com/page.php?page=jello_openletter) that I recently read and think is pretty good. To keep the answer a bit more in focus, I hope that Obama can stick to his promises and do the things he platformed on - including keeping his supporters involved. If he can do this, we're putting a tremendous foot forward into the arena of treating people in a more respectful and globally conscious way. I think this is a very good place to start at!
The majority of my home workspaces have been small storage rooms or walk-in closets, both of which were not very conducive for inspiration when designing. There is nothing like being in a ventless, windowless, outletless room while trying to generate ideas with the feeling claustrophobia looming over your shoulder. Because of this Iâ€™ve found an interest in other peopleâ€™s workspaces. I wondered if their spaces were as cluttered as mine and what surrounds them to give them some inspiration. We talked to four skateboard artists, Andy Jenkins, Patrick Jilbert, Mark Fos, and Michael Sieben, and asked them to give us some insight into their workspaces. Work Workspace (top) I'm at this workspace exactly 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. It's called a 9 to 5 job kids. Since I'm here all day, 99% of Swimmer's Ear and Manual Dexterity Music Zine are done here. I stay pretty busy with work "work" but it's fairly easy to squeeze in personal design during downtimes and lunch breaks. The cork board behind the computer features some artwork done by my daughters, who seem to have more artistic talent than I do. There are 2 broken skate decks painted by Chris Pernula, that you may remember from SE21. Home Workspace (right) My home workspace also doubles as a walk-in closet or vice versa. Its cramped and it feels a little claustrophobic when the door is closed. The size is about 9ft x 6ft, similar to a prison cell, and has no windows, outlets or vents. Since the I blew out the sound on the computer and the fact that it is a little slow, the computer is now mostly used for internet usage and the occasional design idea. Any serious work is usually done on my work computer. On the wall behind the computer are some posters for Braid, The Summery Execution, and a couple posters by Adam Turman and Sharon Werner, that I picked up at the Poster Offensive in 2004. One thing of note is the enlargement of the review Swimmer's Ear had in Transworld Snowboarding in 2003. That's about the highest point of recognition we ever received.
Patrick Jilbert Garage: Presently I live at home with my father. The garage is where I do all of my painting. The kerosene heater on the bottom right keeps it warm during the cold winter months, while the bike on the right (1968 CL350) bums me out when it's too cold to ride.
Desk: Here is the desk where most of the drawing is done. Nothing too fancy here. Just a wobbly fold-up table and some supplies.
Home Workspace: The trail through my workspace to the back yard. The board on the right is a makeshift wall I've been using to work on. There's always a bunch of extra crap in the studio that shouldn't be there. Like that scanner/copier that doesn't even work. 9/20/08. 1. This is the cast from Emmet's broken elbow earlier this year... trying to figure out what to do with it. Certainly can't part with it. 2. This is a Tobin Yelland poster that I ruined on the way home after getting it. It's the spraymount backdrop now. Sorry, Tobin!
Girl Skateboards Office: This was my office in the midst of work on the Freestylin' book with Lew and Spike. All the boxes are FedExed contributions from a bunch of the old school freestyle and BMX guys. 4/30/08. 1. An Andy Schansberg wooden OG doll. 2. This box is filled with my zine collection from the '80s and early '90s. 3. This is Sean Cliver's original ink drawing for the OG Shiffer/Mariano board. Got to get it back to him... 4. My original copies of Freestylin' magazine in their original binders. 5. The Skateboard Mag.
Mark Fos When I told my girlfriend that I was taking some photos of my workspace for a magazine. "ARE YOU KIDDING ME??" She yelled at me, "That's not a workspace, that's a shed" She hates it. HATES IT. It really winds her up, a mass of unopened bills, receipts, candy, Skate mags, CD's, DVD's, Mini DV tapes, stickers, skate tools, train tickets, contact lenses, vouchers for the local curry house, pens, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Sure, it's a little untidy, but I like it, and I can always find what I need. Well, usually. Main things I need are my crap computer, monitor and scanner, pantone book, sketchbooks, video camera, and loads of Popstar pens that I buy in Japan.
Michael Sieben Workstation1 I have two work stations in my house - one for commercial/computery type of stuff and one for painting and drawing for my personal work. This is a photo of my personal work space. It has really good natural light in the mornings. I've been trying to get up early and sit here and drink coffee, listen to NPR, and paint for a few hours every morning before getting on my computer and losing the rest of the day to emails and "work" work.
Workstation2 This is the drawing table in my commercial workspace. I've been trying to make mental separations between my commercial work and my private work and having two separate spaces to make the work in has helped on some level. This drawing table is usually completely covered with sketches, scanned ink drawings, and random bits of reference materials. I need to buy a better table for this room because this one is really wobbly. I have tons of art hanging in my commercial studio room. Inspiration from friends reminding me to always try hard.
You two met in the high school marching band. How long after meeting did you start writing songs together? Was starting a band something that either of you had planned before meeting each other? Brad and I started writing together probably about 10 months or so after we first met. We had both messed around with writing and recording before we knew each other. But I don't think we really knew where to go from there until we started playing together. How long after you started writing music together did you play your first show? How did it go? We had been recording together for probably a little over four years before we actually started playing shows. We were suuuuper nervous! We had just started added our other two members a couple
weeks prior to that show so we had no idea what we were doing. Haha, we only ended up playing four songs. But the other band was super sweet to us and we're still friends with them. So it was a really good experience for us. How has the marching band experience helped with songwriting? Well, they are two totally different kinds of music. So I don't think they really had that great of effect on each other. It might have influenced Brad's drumming brain a little bit though. How does the songwriting work? Do the lyrics or music come first? It kind of depends on the song. Sometimes I will have a few lyrics written down for months and months that I won't ever do anything
the need to get it out of my system. I basically write about whatever is making my head explode at the time. And yes! That is one of my main goals actually. I like listening to bands where you can interpret what they're talking about in different ways. Or where you kind of wonder what it is specifically they're referring to. I tend to like less literal lyrics. With both previously released EPs getting a fair amount of praise, was there any pressure to do better when writing Cars? Oh of course! There's pressure to do better with every release, but there was a significant amount more for Cars since it was our first full length. When people already have a little bit of an idea of your music and like what they've heard so far but haven't heard enough to really figure out how they feel about you, you don't want to disappoint them. Also you just want to be able to be happy with what you're doing and hopefully improve as much as you can with every new thing you do. Why did you decide to re-record songs a couple songs off your EPs for Cars? Everything we'd worked on since we started working with AR has been leading up to the release of our first LP. So the EPs were to get our feet wet a little and hopefully get our name out there as much as we could but also for the promotion of Cars. They served as singles kind of for the full length. You've had Bradâ€™s sister, Britty, and a bass player perform with you on stage, do either contribute to the song-writing as well? Brad and I write our music since we have worked with each other for years and we know each other's brains the best.
with and then one day I'll play guitar and realize they fit with what I'm playing. Or sometimes I will have a guitar or keyboard idea that I will be messing around with and eventually add words. It's pretty varied. What influences the lyrics you write? Some of the lyrics can be interpreted differently from listener to listener, was it your intention to write lyrics that listeners can put their own experiences behind? I guess I'm just influenced by things that are happening in my life or the lives of people around me. Not always people I know or situations I am a part of but anything that affects me enough to feel
Did the final output of Cars come out as it was imagined when you started? I honestly had no idea how our record would turn out. I had a general idea of what I was expecting but it was a pretty vague expectation. I mean obviously there was a direction we wanted to go in, but I didn't want to limit anything too much. But I am really proud of our record and I'm happy with how it turned out. Are you surprised by the attention your band has received so far? YES. I am totally shocked. I never thought any of this would happen. It's been so weird and awesome.
Were you actively looking to get signed to a record label before you signed with Afternoon Records? We weren't all that active at hunting down a label. We didn't really have a clue as to go about making things happen. We have been unbelievably lucky so far with things just kind of falling into place. We had our sights set on AR and they were the only label we had any interest in working with. So we almost peed ourselves when it came together.
Bradâ€™s sister, Britty, plays keyboards during the bands live shows, do they come from a musical family? Has your families been supportive of the band? Playing with Britty has been way too much fun. They get along really well and have a pretty hilarious brother/sister relationship. Britty's one of our best friends so it's seriously been the most fun I've ever had. Their family is pretty musical so they've been pretty cool about it.
I basically write about whatever is making my head explode at the time. Ian Anderson, the owner of Afternoon Records also produced your album. How has it been working with him on the album and his label? Ian has been the best thing that has ever happened to us. Hands down. For our band but also just us as people. He's become one of our best friends. Working with him has been so awesome. He does so much for us it's out of control. I have no idea where we would be without that dude.
What kind of experience have you gained opening for Mates of State and Rosebuds? Are these bands that are influential to you? Mates of State is to date the best show we've ever played. It was one of those surreal moments when you're like "Oh my god. Is this seriously happening." There have been a lot of little moments like that, but I STILL can't believe that happened. Everything about that experience was perfect. I respect both of those bands and love their music, but I don't think they are necessarily influential to us.
The chemistry between two performers can often been seen on stage and heard in their music. What makes it easy to work with each other? Do you spend a lot of time together outside of the band? I'm not really sure what it is. I can't even call Brad my best friend because it's more than that. Haha, he is like my soulmate. I feel like we're to a point where we know what we want out of each other musically so it makes working together super easy. Since we are such good friends we know how the other operates, and that is super important when you're creatively involved with people. Yes we are around each other quite a bit. Haha we live together so I'm around him more than probably anyone else.
Your "Upcoming Shows" list on your MySpace page shows a "work in progress" Euro/UK tour planned. How is the scheduling coming along with that? Are there any countries that you are particularly interested in touring? It's been kind of up and down, but everything has come together super nicely. We are just happy to be going at all, so I'll be totally delighted wherever we end up.
EBITES INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD MININO Did drawing come easy to you as a kid? When did you notice that you had a talent for drawing? Ever since I could remember I started drawing. My parents always put art stuff in front of my face. My mom painted and my sister was really good too so I just thought it was normal to draw all the time. I noticed that I was a little ahead in elementary school when all my friends would ask me to draw stuff for them like the designs on their skate decks or shirts like T&C surf and skate because they always had rad illustrations on them.
Your art has a pretty distinct style, was this something that was developed over a period of time or how you've always done it? It's definitely influenced by everything I loved as a kid such as Garbage Pail Kids, Santa Cruz skate decks (Jim Phillips), movies and anything bright colored and gross. I just drew those things for a long time and it kind of came back in the style that I'm doing now. It's more natural and things that I would like to see in a design or painting. My style changes a little over periods of time so I'm sure it will evolve into something different soon.
Did you have any formal education in drawing/illustration or are you self taught? I guess I'm self taught to a degree. I always loved taking art classes when I was younger but it was my teachers in community college that inspired me to paint more and practice that. That helped incredibly. They gave me confidence and helped define my style more. After I learned what I felt I need I dropped out so I could tour more with the band I was in and to start doing designs for bands.
Did you ever imagine being able to make a living doing art? Never. I delivered pizza for almost 10 years and thought that I was stuck doing that forever. I didn't really have much confidence in my art until a couple art teachers inspired me and some people in the punk rock world pushed me into doing design full time. I didn't really want to do it at first because I was nervous and let people step all over me in the beginning.
What's it like growing up in Orlando? Amazing. I love it. Luckily I got see almost all of the states in the US and got to see 10 other countries so far because of touring so I have a good feeling of what other places are like and there are a ton of other places a lot shittier than Orlando. I like the feeling of this concrete paradise. It's fake in a good way. Besides I love the sun and living close to a beach and freezing my nards off in the winter. How does living in Orlando influence your artwork? Do you think that if you had grown up in a different geographic location besides Orlando, that your art would be different? I think it would be very different. Like I said Orlando can be very fake because we are known for our attractions and tourism. It goes way deeper than that. When you have a place like this natives tend to reject what is seen to everyone else and just like any normal city we have our cliques and hangouts that aren't tourist driven. My work resembles Orlando a lot because it can look inviting at first with bright colors and bold imagery but when you look closer there are gross things like guts and grime. Just how Orlando is seen. Do you do all your drawings on the computer first, or pencil and paper, then to computer? Everything I draw is on paper with pen first. I can't shake that. I don't care how clean or perfect it can be if I drew it on the computer. It just doesn't feel right to me. I just color everything in the computer and texture in there. Besides, it's way cooler to see black and white drawings from years ago and look either how my style or performance has changed. With the projects you do for other people, do they come to you with an idea or do you have an idea all ready in mind? It depends, it's usually either or. I like it if they have an idea because I can't tell what they're thinking so I don't want to waste my time drawing something that I won't know if they're gonna like or not. I like people to be specific because I hate doing revisions. Is there a certain time of the day when you feel most creative? What inspires you or gets your creative thoughts flowing? I feel creative when I look at the bills I need to pay. I usually get inspired from art magazines and watching movies. Also looking at old punk records helps me a ton.
What people, places, or things influence your illustrations and paintings? I love hanging out with my friends so I guess subconsciously I'm influenced by what they like too. I want to impress myself and my friends at the same time so I just create what I think would be cool or they would wear. I love to travel too, that probably has a big influence on my creative process. I actually try not to think of it that much because I feel like it would become a process to be creative and natural. What do you want people to take away from your art? I don't really care. If they like it then that's good enough for me, If they don't like it then I also feel like I've done my job. I'm definitely not trying to impress a mass of people, just people close to me or myself. What came first for you drawing or music? Definitely drawing. I had no clue what I liked musically when I was younger. I just listened to oldies and Weird Al Yankovic. Playing in bands New Mexican Disaster Squad and Gatorface, what are some benefits of having a designer in the band? Amazing benefits. The obvious is the band gets all of the art done for free but more importantly I get meet a ton of other bands that need art and are super cool people. I hate to call it networking but it is. As you get busier with Horsebites, do you find you have less time to do personal projects? How do you balance it out? I do struggle sometimes with projects getting turned in on time because of my bands and doing other stuff but you have to have balance in your life. No matter how much I love drawing it can still become work sometimes and I have to lay off for a bit or I get way burnt out. I just got a new moped so I've been riding that around a bunch. How are you balancing your time between design and music? I don't really tour anymore so it's a lot easier to balance those things. I just play shows every now and then and it's amazing to be able to do that. Now I don't go broke from going on tour and I actually get to make money doing what I love. I'm also in another band because NMDS just broke up and played our last show(s) at the Fest 7 in Gainesville. The new band is called No Friends and it's most of the guys from NMDS except the singer is Tony from Municipal Waste. It's really raging and fun as hell!
How did you get involved with doing the artwork for Fest 6 and 7? Will you be doing future Fest's artwork? Tony Weinbender is the head dude for the Fest and we've been friends for a while. I was still pretty fresh in the design world and he asked me to do stuff for Fest 6 and I was way nervous because so many people were going to see my art. It was an amazing opportunity and I'm so grateful for it. I always have a blast at Fest and it's surreal to see my art everywhere. You've done art for skateboards and snowboards, do you have any limits as to what you won't put your art on? Not really. I love seeing my art printed on different things. The weirder the better. Hell, I would design a burrito wrapper if someone asked me to. What are some projects that you've done or bands that you've done designs for, that people might not think would be associated with Horsebites? I've done a few things stepping outside of my style. I like doing cut and paste collage stuff. I did a shirt design for a local Orlando band called VIRGINS and it was just photocopied images pasted together. Some people can still tell it's me which is a good thing but I love people didn't know I did something because the style looks different but still tasteful. What projects have been the most rewarding for you to have done? I really enjoyed doing the Less Than Jake Deluxe Box Set. The package included three 7inch records with covers that you have to line up to see the whole image, a poster with a pic of the band covered with my illustrations, a CD sleeve and a DVD sleeve. All of this comes in a special box with the cover wrapping around the sides and the back. It turned out really cool. I also had a blast doing the GATORFACE 10" record because I got to do an etching on one side and it turned out incredible!! You recently had your first solo show in Chicago, how did it go? That was incredible, the people over at Threadless are some of the nicest people I've ever met! The show went over really well and they told me that it was the most people that ever showed up to one of their gallery openings. That was a good feeling and I got to hang with my friends and meet a ton of new people.
What's your opinion on doing art shows? Do you enjoy doing them? I love doing them. It's a totally different experience. The one thing is talking to new people always gets me a little nervous and I get wicked pit stains but hey that's the price you pay. And I don't mean small pit stains I mean gnarly pit stains. Woooo!! What's the future of Horsebites look like? It's looking pretty bright, in fact so bright that I gotta wear shades. I'm actually starting a new company that's top secret right now but it's gonna be great. I'm really excited about it and it should open up a lot of doors for opportunity in my art career. Stay tuned and here's a hint, don't "AXE" me any questions about it if you see me in person. Ok, that was lame.
Sometimes when making art it feels like I work in a small cave, drawing with charcoal on the walls. Even if the cave is a website. For a few years I've been doing some larger work (drawing/painting) that very few people have seen. It started off as a vague idea of something fun to do but as time went on, a world of its own was developed. The characters have come to life and the environment has been made real. The process of creating the 20x20 work has pushed me to go further with what my art could be. Small sketches and drawings are great and fun to do but spending months and years on a project gives me a broader understanding of the world and its meaning. Along with the 20 main pieces in the show, there will be a zine (in the same size and format as my past zines) with a narrative story that incorporates characters featured in the 20X20 art work. -Randy Laybourne
20X20 Show Pieces Nothing For Granted, 2005 Go Along, 2005 Everything Done, 2005 Thing Canâ€™t Undo, 2005 Long Way, 2005 What You Have, 2005 Real Results, 2005 All Right, 2005 Could Have, 2006 Try Again, 2006
We Spend Our Time, 2006 True Vision, 2006 Going Forward, 2006 This Time, 2006 Days Are Few, 2006 Mind Your Busyness, 2006 On With, 2007 Matter Of Facts, 2007 Almost There, 2007 Done For Good, 2007
John Straub aka Robindale330 is an Akron, Ohio based graphic designer, photographer, and screenprinter. He’s done posters for numerous bands and most recently worked on materials for The Pretenders world tour. His latest collaborative project, 10xyourcity.com, will function in designing and producing "local-centric" merchandise (shirts, buttons, magnets, and other accessories) for his hometown of Akron. Their facebook exclaims “If you’re proud of your stomping grounds, let everyone know. From the subtle “I Love Akron” to the not-so-subtle “Fuck You, I’m From Akron,” our merchandise provides a creative outlet for expressing local pride.”
Sofa King Killer
Tyler Benson Crooked Grind P: Nick*L3P
Matthew Stanek Front Board - Buck hill P: Nick*L3P 53
Dan Narloch Wall ride P: Neal Shipe 54
Jackson Roman, pivot to frontside flip out P: Michael Stenerson 55
Donny Gabes Wall Ride P: Michael Stenerson 56
Nick P., nollie flip P: Michael Stenerson 57
Davis Torgerson Fakie 360 Flip P: Neal Shipe 59
Luke Boehne Front Board P: Nick*L3P 60
John Armendariz kickflip P: Nick*L3P 61
Jake Perrizzo boardslide P: Nick*L3P 62
Dan Narloch blunt P: Neal Shipe 63
the end is near...
A long time in the works, Swimmer's Ear Magazine #24 finally hits the streets. This issue features interviews with bands; Pomegranates, Auxe...
Published on May 22, 2009
A long time in the works, Swimmer's Ear Magazine #24 finally hits the streets. This issue features interviews with bands; Pomegranates, Auxe...