The Almighty Sick & Twisted
Queen Of Fantasy
Rebels With Attitude B
Pixie Vision Photography Page 22
CONTENTS SHELLEY JOHNSON.......................6 RICARDO CISNEROS....................10 KARLA CORONADO.....................14 MIKAYLA LARKY...........................19 PIXIE VISION PHOTOGRAPHY......22
28...........................................FAUST 35.............................. REBEL HOTEL 41.........................KING CORDUROY 43..............................THE AVIATORS 48..............................AFTEREPTILES
Animator & Vintage Lady
“I have been told by my agent that my style is hard to market, which is a blessing and a curse. It makes me distinctive but usually sellable work is based upon how well you can adapt to what the market is selling.” Shelly Johnson is a creative and unique commercial artist with an affinity for 1940’s vintage clothing. She was initially interviewed by Vignette Obscura for the beautiful animations in her portfolio. The interview elaborated on her abilities and several avenues of her creativity. She is an animator, clothing designer and graphic artist. Johnson moved from Kentucky to California where she received a BFA in Graphic Design with an emphasis on Storyboarding from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Johnson discovered at an early age that art was to be her source of living. "I have been drawing as a young kid. I would draw on the walls, then I started drawing in books,” Johnson said. "There has been nothing else I could do or wanted to do.” Her animations are beautiful, the characters are reminiscent of Aesop's fables and fairy tales. On first seeing her work, it is captivating. Each character has expressive faces and human characteristics and each character is placed to tell a story. Johnson was influenced as a young child by Popeyes and Disney cartoons.
As a child, she remembers drawing Popeyes and she knew her career path was to draw animations. Animation is the main focus of her career. Due to the job market and the inconsistency of the nation’s economy, Johnson works primarily as freelance animator with several projects on the way.“The storybook characters are my personal takes on what I think will be marketable,” Johnson said. “ As a commercial artist you do something that relates to you, that other people will not see as personal.” As mentioned before, Johnson is an extremely talented and creative artist. Along with graphic design, Johnson is also a designer. As an admirer of 1940’s fashion, Johnson creates vintage patterns for curvaceous women called New Vintage Lady. “I primarily dress in 1940’s style. I started the patterns while trying to figure out how to make money, sort of draw and still be creative,” Johnson said. She began her line seven years ago and has produced 36 patterns. The patterns consists of day wear, outerwear, and formal wear prevalent of 1940’s postwar fashion.
Each design is primarily a flattering streamline and deco skirt, a blouse, trousers and dress.The cover of each pattern is based on a cartoon version of Johnson called “The Lady.” She is on the cover of every pattern as well as on the New Vintage Lady website. Lady is also the main character of a comic strip Johnson releases weekly called Vintageville. It is based on Lady living a vintage life in the modern world along with her best friend Memphis and their significant others. “The characters are not based on anyone in particular. I have been a part of the vintage culture for a long time. The characters are more like personifications of archetypes in that scene,” Johnson said. Vintageville is drawn in a traditional style. Each character is naturalistic and drawn normally with soft features rather than sharp jawlines and bulging muscles. The content itself is a pleasurable read. It is easy to go through 27 comic strips and relate to the adventures and relationships in Vintageville and its residents. Along with releasing a new issue of Vintageville every Tuesday, Johnson has partnered with a company to recreate old Hollywood monsters such as Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolf man and Nosferatu. The company will send the monsters to Johnson, where they
are dressed in clothing of the 1920s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, when the monsters first appeared on the silver screen. “I had the Thing from Another World from the Sci Fi movie. He was my favorite. He stood at 7ft tall, so he stayed at my house. I have had many monsters at my house. My dog is indifferent to them now, “ Johnson said with a laugh.
Shelley Johnson’s designs can be found on Etsy or NewVintageLady.com. Vintageville comics can be found on Pinterest at The Lady of NVL, a new issue is released every Tuesday. Johnson’s commercial work and animations can be found on Shelleyj.com.
Shelley Johnson is a very creative and intelligent artist, who not only can create a beautiful image but can also create a beautiful story to accompany her work. She has created a story for all aspects of her art.
Ricardo Cisneros Dive Into Fluxspace
With many artists out there, you wonder which of them you come across. We happen to meet many of them! Each one we come across have different styles and personalities. It sometimes overwhelms us. We can’t handle the awesomeness that many, and I mean many, talented artists portray. Ricardo Cisneros is one of those. He composes his work in a contemporary sense that deals with social and political topics. It may seem to be a strange topic to work with for some but we assure you, his approach is just incredibly awesome! His approach adds a touch of playfulness without losing it’s serious tone and power. Ricardo has expressed that his work is conceived through emotional experiences such as love, discrimination, heartbreak, and poverty. Each of his pieces portray these emotions and beautifully if I may add.
What attracted us about him were the delicate motions seen throughout his paintings. How everything is laid out so carefully and effectively to the color scheme. Even though there it has a dark mood to it, there seems to be a much deeper insight that we may or may be able to perceive. We can’t necessarily explain what his works are about, we are not him. We are grateful to feature Ricardo, whose portfolio can be seen under Fluxspace. Without further ado, let’s take a stroll into his exotic imagination. VO: Tell us about yourself, a brief background. RC: I grew up in South L.A., 1 out of a litter of 6 mexican cubs. I lived in the ghetto side of South Gate nearing the border side of what is considered the middle to upper class residents. Despite my view of the good life, our family was well within the poverty line. B
through me as the final touches bring a work to completion. On the opposite end of the spectrum, loathe starting a new piece, there is so much unknown in the composition at that point which makes the process exhausting. VO: What is your process like? RC: I relate my approach to art very similar to the raw style of the fauvre painters. I don't use expensive brushes or tools. All my equipment is weathered and unkept. I believe the artist will release the work into reality by will alone. So by pushing the bare essentials instead of relying on high end materials, you are able to extend your skills to their maximum potential. VO: As an artist, how would you overcome challenges that deal with subject matter? RC: I'm a libra, so everything is always balanced out to the best approach possible. Subject matter tends to come naturally to me. There is always something brewing, conceptually, in my head. I believe that subject and artist should correlate in a symbiotic nature, if you use what is special and specific to you then the subject matter should theoretically be abundant.
â€œArt was a refuge for me to express my ideas and escape the limitations of my environment.â€? VO: What lead to your interest in art, be it fine art or graphic design? RC: Being artistic has always come naturally to me. As a kid, I was very much an introvert and shy. That specific combination in personality traits doesn't transfer well into developing high social skills. Art was a refuge for me to express my ideas and escape the limitations of my environment. As I grew older, my work developed in tangent to the events and struggles in my life. It filled the role of mentor, friend and confidant. VO: Any big influences that play a huge role in your work? (Any outside of art?) RC: The greatest influences in my work A tend to come from my own personal
life events. I tend to develop surreal narratives that expand on the struggles in my life and enable me to achieve a sort of inner resolution. VO: Any artist(s) you relate to? Look up to? RC: I'm a big fan of artists that have a unique and well developed style with a sense of emotion, some include: Ron Mueck, Michael Hussar, Oscar Kokoschka, Edvard Munch, Odd Nerdrum. VO: What do you enjoy most when it comes to working on a piece? RC: I enjoy the embellishment phase of working on a piece. There is a rush of creative energy that tends to flow
VO: When it comes to your work, you have a unique approach and sense. Could you explain the ideas behind your American Sideshow series and Ghetto Gothic Works? Do you have a favorite piece, if so why? RC: The American Sideshow series started as a conceptual view of our U.S. government and the disdain I feel for the empowered 1%. In the series, I present presidential figures in a carnival sideshow setting. They are portrayed in a sub-human context to strip them from their ruling authority and display them as struggling minorities. The satirical nature of each character is meant to strip the power away from them and back to the common people or viewer. In the Ghetto Ghotic series, I explore a more stylized and lush view of my experience as a hispanic minority from the ghetto. The word "ghetto" connotes a rough and poor environment and the word "gothic", a state of dark, mysterious beauty. By combining the two, I get to represent an idealized reality that brings allure
to two stereotypes that are typically dismissed. VO: What message do you want people to take when observing your work? How would you feel if they interpret it differently? RC: The beauty of art is a subjective nature. It would be impossible for me to impose my views and the nature of my work to every viewer. I consider each piece to be a window into its own world and dominion. I can only open the window. The experience the individual has within that domain is their own and therefore pushed the work to evolve on its own.
VO: Anything else you would like to add? RC: Thank you for the opportunity!
You can find more of Ricardoâ€™s work at www.fluxspace.daportfolio.com
VO: Advice you would give to aspiring artists and those who admire you and your work? RC: Identify your own vision and goals. As artists, it is easy to get caught up in a current trend or the work of other artists. It is imperative that you develop the work that is important to you, the individual. Be persistent and strive to always be better, you will reach a level of success that is specific to your desire to be an artist. Do not get discouraged or give up, the world needs to see your voice. VO: What is the best thing about being an artist in your own opinion? The worst thing? RC: As a dedicated artist, you can explore any idea and see it become a reality. You have the freedom to express yourself in a way that can impact an entire civilization. Art can be that powerful. The worst thing is the lack of financial stability and certainty of success. It is difficult to come to terms with any lack of success, even more when its something that you are very passionate about. VO: Where would you love your art to take you? RC: Around the world! I want to spread my vision and views like the plague! VO: Anything that you enjoy on your down time? RC: I like taking long random drives to the desert and finding things that seem like they have a long history
Karla Coronado A
Karla Coronado is a one of a kind lady with an extraordinary personality. Not only does she have an amazing attitude, she is just as beautiful inside and out. Karla shares some insight as to who she is and what her work is all about. Her work carries a taste of rockabilly, psychobilly, and pin up influences. Don’t let it fool you though! Karla always has something up her sleeve. She is more than capable of proving her talent and portraying a piece of herself effectively.
“The canvas is who you are, whether you’re doing graphic design, writing a book, or an article.”
Being an artist can have its ups and downs but Karla tells us a story that may motivate just about anyone. Exhibiting a care-free, gentle, and badass attitude, she is not one to mess with. Through her work, you can see the potential that is not only in her as an outstanding lady, but the potential she evokes in others. Let’s dive right into her world and see what she awakens in you!
VO: Tell us about yourself. Karla: Well the basics my name is Karla. Done, that’s it. No I’m joking (laughing). I am from Simi Valley where it’s known to be a retirement city but because of families there it’s changed. I come from a small town, I have drawn since I was small, used to graffiti the house which cost a lot to repaint (giggling). I went to a school that was mainly focused on art. So that’s when I started really getting into it. VO: What was the name of the school? Karla: Santa Susanna Magnet School in Simi Valley. It’s an interesting school because there was no line to get into it. On the other side of Simi was another school, so depending where you lived you went to one school and if you lived on the other half you went to that school. At Santa Susanna the seniors interview the freshman coming and they would approve you. If they just tell you it’s close by you don’t get in. B
counselors I didn’t want to leave. I was kept there against my will, it was cool (Laughing). We did yearbooks, cereal boxes, and all this random stuff. I had a cool teacher. He would be there if you need help or he would be at his desk watching a movie. (Laughing) (Team double checks to see if recording is still going on) VO: Sorry just making sure it’s still recording. You are very deceitful! (Sevanny yells at her phone) Karla: I’ll answer any questions you have. I’ll talk but I’ll digress like into the bath and beyond but the beyond part, like it’ll just keep going. (Laughing) Like the episode on Family Guy likeVO: Like what’s going on right now? Karla: Yes. And you guys need to like keep me on track. VO: That’s ok, most of the times the rambling is good. Karla: What are you talking about Family Guy is really good. VO: No. Karla: Play an episode and there’s my interview. (Laughing)
They need to see actual interest. It was seen as a freak and geek school. I won most unique there which is a big deal considering everyone there is unique. The person who won the male counterpart wore a kilt every Friday and had a Mohawk. VO: Awesome. At what point did you begin to take art seriously? Karla: Um, when I was younger. I want to say when I was in fifth grade. That’s when NSYNC was out, there were a couple girls who would perform and I would make their posters. They would pay me, and when I mean pay I mean they would buy my lunch. So they would buy my chicken nuggets. (Laughing) VO: So you were hustling it at a young age. (laughing) Karla: I was doing it for the chicken A nuggets. Like when Pokemon was out
VO: How has your art evolved? Karla: It evolved a lot, like when I was younger I went through this elf-esteem thing where I was dealt with depression and bipolar. It took a lot from me to even try to handle because it’s not like I would make…counterfeit cards and when people think bipolar it’s someone sell them on the blacktop! gets angry and that’s it. It’s not! There are different types of being bipolar VO: Black market and mine is seen as Pokemon cards. my emotion comes Karla: Yea, and “The outline is who you out 10% more or then got to are and the color is what 50% more. So, it’s middle school not that I’m angry and helped out in you’re gonna do.” all the time when I year book. That’s go to a Kwiki Mart when I got my and ask for Doritos first commentary where I was told I was and they’re like we don’t have Doritos. good at it. Then high school is when I I don’t just go HOW DARE YOU NOT took the classes. We took Photoshop HAVE DORITOS!! (laughing) It just and InDesign in high school and it was means when I’m happy I’m really happy a big deal. I wanted to do photography or when im sad I’m really sad. There because it seemed fun and they would was also that depression so it was just go on field trips. They went every week. dumb. Like the world hated me and I I tried to go for that and there wasn’t played Hawthorne heights. So I would enough room so they put me in graphic draw depressing stuff due to what I was design. I had to wait a week to change feeling and the hormones of being a it so I learned all that in a week and the thirteen year old girl. (Whisper) No one teacher liked me and told the understands me (Laughing). It involved
what I wanted to do, what I liked. Artists normally draw what they feel, but not me. My brother was always into the hair colors, piercings, and tattoos. I was raised to not take his side, like my mom would say not to be like him or get tattoos. I liked my brother because he was so weird and out there. Like he would just come home with a tongue piercing and I would be like OK that’s cool. He was a big inspiration, and that’s when I started to like tattoos. There’s quite a bit of tattoo influences here and there. I also like ink work. I like cartoons too so one day I’ll so that and another day I’ll draw skulls. Just yesterday I drew a little girl eating a lollipop. If you were to look at my work you can tell it’s still the same person. There’s a lot of rockabilly, psychobilly, pin ups, and dia de los muertos inspiration. People who do pin up, they just have so much confidence to put their work on their body. They’re the ones who inspire me to do what I want. I know what I want to be. VO: So how would you describe your style then? Karla: Cooky. (Grinning) I describe it as cooky because it’s random. My life is not complete, it’s like an outline. I don’t believe your life is set out but I do believe you are who you are. Like when people say they could go back in time, that’s bullshit. I can say you’re just gonna make the same mistake. Your life isn’t determined but who you are is, so the actions you’re going to do, if that makes sense. Like the outline like this (showing us one of her sketches) it’s not colored in, the outline is who you are and the color is what you’re gonna do. Does that make sense? VO: It does. It’s what you do that makes you whole. Karla: The canvas is who you are, whether you’re doing graphic design, writing a book, or an article. It’s all in your head but when you look at a piece of paper you know what you’re going to do. That’s why I call bullshit when people say they don’t know how to draw. No, everyone knows how to draw. Everyone knows what they like. If you didn’t know how to draw, you don’t know what you like. Like you don’t know what art is. It’s not so much that
you don’t know how to draw, it’s not knowing how to use the tools. VO: What do you mainly use when creating your work? Karla: Um well I have tons of sketch books but they never get filled. Probably a couple pages done for each but that’s it. I will buy a sketch book because I love it and I fill it later. I use paper that has a nice surface to it. I tear sheets from the sketch book, doodle, and put it away. When I decide to ink something, I take a photo of it and do it on Photoshop. It would be easier to vector it in Illustrator but I like the effort to redraw it in Photoshop. Drawing the lines and filling it in. Everything I draw has a different method. I don’t sketch
work that is easily made as a vector. Like on the computer I start with basic shapes and take it from there. VO: What do you do now? Karla: I graduated school and work at a dinky little bakery. I don’t hate it but it pushed me from art. Like anyone who works in anything having to deal with food, whenever you work with people who are sad you realize how much it sucks. You assume you’re on a lower level than them. Like when I’m cleaning I’ve heard people say to their kids this is why you go to school. It’s like I have a bachelor’s, but thanks. I didn’t want to draw, I didn’t want anyone to see it or be happy. But then I started drawing at work and the regulars would come
in saying they didn’t know I could draw. They’d buy my prints and ask me to make them stuff. I realized that not all people are sucky. My grandma is another inspiration of mine and has been a person who influenced me to do what I wanted to do. Some kids would make fun of me because of my fair skin, even if I myself was Mexican. I hated playing outside, like I wouldn’t even play soccer. My ass didn’t want to move from point A to point B (laughing). My sister was darker than me so I was known as the white girl; I used to ask my grandma why they say that. She looked at me and said they’re just jealous because you’re Snow White. Your skin is so soft and white. That’s why I love Snow White, and because she beat those kids up (Team laughs in surprise). I’m also working on my own little zine. I’m not making money off it. It’s about people, well about writers and artist. Everyone is an artist, no matter what you’re doing. It’s for people to contribute their work, be it cakes or something.
You can find more of Karla’s work at www.ohkarlita.wix.com/portfolio
Mikayla Larkey Up & Coming Artist
Mikayla Larkey’s artwork are pieces of permanent displays of the human canvas. Her pieces have clean line work and vibrant colors, perfect when it comes to tattoos. Larkey is a determined and inspiring individual who is working her way to become a tattoo artist. While her career as a tattoo artist has not yet transpired, Larkey’s work and determination are the reason why Vignette Obscura approached her for an interview. Each of the pieces we have laid our eyes on portrays the hard work, the drive, and the passion many artists have to make their way to the top. You can feel the potential in Mikayla, it practically washes over you. “I have always been drawing. I consciously remember having insomnia when I was younger. I would just draw pokemon all night long,” Larkey said. “It was my private outlet and at school people would want to see by drawings but I wanted to keep it to myself. My mom helped me become open to it.” Among the aspiring tattoo artists, we feel that Mikayla’s work exhibits an amazing attention to detail down to the shading. Her shading is smooth, ethereal, and ever flowing; as though she breathes life in her drawings.
Her style ranges from portraiture to cartoon characters, letting her imagination flow as elegant as a cascading waterfall. “I am looking toward becoming a tattoo artist, it is a very health conscious profession. I still need to get my certification but that is what I am pursuing,” Larkey said. “I favor more of the traditional sort of art. Art school emphasizes in more modern art but I have a real love for traditional art.” Originally from Indiana, Larkey moved to California for a change of scenery and culture. She enrolled at Cal State Northridge in 2012. “I went to an art school in Indiana and I actually liked it
better than Northridge,” Larkey said. “But I wanted an authentic college experience. I wanted to meet people from other majors with other interests.” While she appreciated the experience, Cal State Northridge was not a good fit and she left the school in 2013. Mikayla favors a more free approach to art, much like a waterfall where the drops of water don’t always meet the river, she has chosen a different path to grow as an artist.“I realized you don’t really need an art degree.I felt like my art teachers did not get it, they primarily emphasis graphic work and I always favored drawing and sketching,” Lakey said.
“I’m not huge into graphic design though I feel it is important.” Currently Mikayla gains exposure through Model Mayhem, an avenue for models and photographer, where she begun to network with local photographers in the area. She came into modeling after booking a photo shoot with a favorite photographer traveling through Los Angeles. “It was a great experience, I knew that if I didn’t do it then I would have regret it,” Larkey said. “Modeling is a way of getting experience, kind of finding my identity, I feel like its another form of imagery.” When Mikayla is not modeling she is expanding her portfolio and developing her style. “I like realism and portraiture so i am really trying to perfect my craft,” Larkey said. “I do oil and acrylic painting as well but its a bit more time consuming. I have so many unfinished painting I need to go back and finish.” It is refreshing and exciting to see Mikayla Larkey’s journey unfold. She has an amazing talent, love, and openness for art. We look forward to see what kind of artist Mikayla will become. You can find more of Mikayla’s work on www.facebook. com/pages/Mikayla-LarkeyArt/336893359764292
Photo by Circle 23
Photography Queen Of Fantasy
We spoke to Pixie about how she discovered photography, her approach and inspiration on set and how her attention to artistry led to her success. We would like to thank Pixie for sharing with Vignette Obscura. VO: When did you get your start in photography? What were some of your first subjects? PV: I began my obsession with photography at the age of 6. My sisters were my first models. My parents bought me my own camera in my early teens and I carried it everywhere with my journal, always waiting for something to spark me. When I came to Los Angeles in 2003, I found my river. I met people that were open, creative, living their dreams and decided to take my obsession more seriously. For years I wanted to emancipate myself from the safety of my office job but fear was a reality. Questions arose like “Who would even pay me to do this?,” “I love it too much. What if I burn out?” I chose an auspicious date 5/5/05 to make it official, quit my job and started my own company. It was the best decision I ever made. Soon the dreamers came to make art with me; circus performers, belly dancers, and musicians, it pretty much took off from there.
Model: Susan Tooker’s Spinning Castle
Imagine living in a world of big dresses, mermaids, circus performers, belly dancers, fire dancers and your job is to immortalize their image with a camera. Los Angeles based photographer Pixie Spindel captures images of unique and fearless cultures, of whom ordinary people only hear of rumors and legends. A self trained, self made photographer, Pixie has an eye for beauty and imaginative imagery. She is able to identify with the subject and in turn creates a fantasy world through an image. Her imagery is translated in all aspects of her work including portraiture and event photography. She has travelled throughout the country capturing everything along the way from families, pets, pregnancy and musicians.
VO: Did you study photography in school? How did you gain experience? PV: I’ve never taken a photography class. I’ve just always known how to use a camera, a natural instinct, my chosen tool to remember moments, both for myself and others. One of my first memories is being 4 years old in the basement of my grandparent’s house in Brooklyn. My father and my uncle were talking by a door and I wandered away and into a room with a red light and wet photos of my aunt hanging on a clothesline. My uncle found me and switched on machines and showed me how magic happens there. That was my first memory in life; paper, water, red lights, that smell of chemicals and memories hanging on the line. When I was 21 years old living in Brooklyn, he gave me that enlarger and all that darkroom gear. Other memories are of sneaking into my father’s closet at 6 years old, going outside in the backyard, looking at the sun through the trees, looking back down at this
for what felt right with agreements, direction, and lighting. It’s all instinctive for me, all based on psychology and energy. VO: How did you discover your niche? PV: In 2005, two belly dancers walked into my studio. The jewelry, the music, the movement, the drama of it all… I was hooked. My love affair with the belly dancing community began then and continues to this day. Through working with over 11,000 dancers, I’ve found a way to empower women, which is a huge focus in my life… I love working with belly dancers. I’ve also worked in the circus community for many years, and have been on the road with various bands, shot a few steampunk catalogs & offbeat events/ weddings as well. I enjoy all of it! VO: Your work creates a different time and place in every image. What made you interested in incorporating a fantasy feel to your photography? PV: There is a playful, evocative realm of fantasy that I identify with. During photo shoots, I am guided intuitively into finding where my models hide, to see what is possible and bring it out. Shining is an emotion, as is hesitation, and I rely on fantasy energy to sift through it all, turn it into curiosity and wonder. The process continues in the post-processing. The emotions are now there in pixels and all that is left is to add how I feel about an image. I do this by way of Lightroom and Photoshop. VO: What are you currently working on? PV: My focus lately seems to be on the balancing of all aspects of my life, especially on the road. I’m trying to travel less and do more shoots at home in Los Angeles. Model: Anastassiya Le Fay
“Make things happen. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you.”
box with knobs and settings and I just pressed things and snapped photos, which actually came out. I didn’t want to hear of f-stops or anything technical. I just wanted to capture the sun. I’ve never taken a photography class. I know now about f-stops and things, but I still strive only to capture the sun, whether outdoors or within people. I gained experience by just doing it, shooting for free at the beginning, asking questions, searching within
VO: What is in your camera bag? What equipment do you use? PV: Currently I have a couple of Canon 5D Mark III camera bodies, various lenses including 24-105mm, 70-200mm, 50mm as well as Alien Bee studio lights and two Speedlite 600EX-RT flashes. VO: What advice would you give to photographers who are just getting started and want to pursue a career in photography? PV: I read something recently that said ‘Find what you love & let it kill you.’
That about sums it up, ha! But seriously, I think deciding to be a professional photographer means acting on a blazing passion, the scope of which might involve financial roller coasters and self-doubt. Having mentored many photographers throughout the years, there seem to be a predictable stages. The first stage is the ‘Like me! Like me!” social aspect to being a photographer... which eventually turns to twinges of resentment. My advice is to go through those stages quickly unscathed so you can figure out what your legacy is, what you truly have to say about the world you live in. Let life be your school. Carry your camera every day… Stay curious & share how you feel about what you see. And if you are blessed to have that turn into your sole income, be a good business person. Be resourceful and reliable. Always have a contract signed before you arrive to a shoot. Say ‘yes’ often. Make things happen. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Live with gratitude, reset often and constantly evolve.
Pixie Vision Photography www.PixieVision.com
Model: Eden Muse
The Almighty Sick & Twisted
Let me tell you this, I don’t think I’ve seen a joker painting that is so twisted and cynical but awesome. We completely went crazy over Faust’s paintings. The way Faust reimagines his characters as well as pre-existing characters left us wanting more. It’s as though they have been given a new, even darker personality yet they have a child-like aesthetic. This aesthetic being how playful his works are, how if you were to keep staring at a painting it would come to life and hack you up! Just kidding, but that is what it feels like. Another way I can describe it is a fun house of paintings. Whatever goes on in Faust’s mind may scare off a good amount of people but i want to know!! How can someone come up with such bizarre, outlandish pieces of art and make it thousands of times better than it already is? HOW!? The reason being the influences that play an important role in his life.
Welcome to the dark corners of this issue! Speaking of which, we all have issues that we face throughout our daily lives. Sometimes we talk to ourselves, sometimes our imaginations wonder in the deeper, dark crevices of our mind we freak ourselves out. However, there are some those who are inspired by that very darkness. Why, because they make use of it. Their imaginations are overloaded with crazy, in-yourface ideas that many can’t handle due to those ideas being out of this world. Now tell me this, whose mind do we dare wander into and face the psychotic, fun fears we dread the most? Faust! That’s who.
One of his biggest influences is his father, David Acosta who happened to be an artist himself. Faust is a family man at heart and you can see that when you meet him. He’s an incredibly fantastic man with a big heart. Coming from a family of artists, there’s bound to be competition of who is the best. Yet they look up to one another, Faust’s older brother being the most influential. Not only does family impact his art but work also plays another big role. I dare you to guess where he works, go on. I’ll give you a few minutes… Done? Well, you haven’t made a crazy enough guess. Shame on you! This kind-hearted man works at a mental hospital as a psychiatric nurse. Yes, you heard it here (Well, read it here. You know what I mean!). How else could he trek through the twisted thoughts within his warped mind to drag out his next big piece? By going to Chuck E. Cheese? Hell no. Faust has stated that the best ideas are ones no one has yet to see. I agree with all my soul, the very one I sold in hopes of being as talented as he is. How about I shut up so we can let this lord of all crazy and awesome ideas take over? I refuse to spoil anything else, except for his new project he’s working on. That one has us squealing with excitement because it’s that epic!! Are you brave enough to step into Faust’s mind and face the fears that manifest in the darkness? Let’s find out!
VO: Could you introduce yourself and share some background story please? Faust: First of all my name is Gerardo Acosta, that’s my legal name but nobody calls me that except for my mom. My family pretty much changed it to Gerry, shortened it on my own I guess just through school and friends. The name Faust is something I adopted I want to say in the last ten years. I took the name from one of my favorite movies which was Phantom of Paradise by Brian de Palma. There was a lot of reference to the Faust period, pertaining to the plot of the movie. The name always fascinated me and in many ways when I apply it to art it’s my own way of provoking the story of Faust. VO: Story of Faust? Faust: The story of Faust is a man who wanted to obtain knowledge; he was an academic professor and ended provoking the devil into selling his soul. So when you apply it to art it’s like you want to be the best to obtain that high level of art and I just started signing my work as Faust, which was about ten years go. My family and a lot of people began to familiarize it with my name and you know I was comfortable with it. VO: How did you first get started as an artist? Faust: I grew up in a family of artists. My biggest influence would be my dad. He’s been drawing, painting my whole life, started on his own and achieved a lot. As far as back I could remember his name is David Acosta, I’ve always known him painting, drawing, sketching in the kitchen or in his bedroom. If its not on the easel it’s on the table. Growing up I always just used to see him drawing and I thought it was natural to mimic their father, their inspiration. So me and my brother would always draw. My dad would come home with groceries and would tear up the bags. We would have drawing contests and my oldest brother was probably the one that clenched it and really started to create a lot of pieces. He did a lot of members of bands I liked, The Cure and Siouxsie & the Banshees. He would do portraits and I began to look up to him and I wanted his artwork. I wanted stuff he could draw. That was a way for me to grasp it, wanting to create these pieces. I kinda went from there; it’s always been that way.
VO: Did you attend art school? Faust: I didn’t. It was pretty much self-taught. I think I prefer it that way. I would like to get tips from artists I admire, but when it comes to formal training I feel that it pushes an artist in a uniform way of drawing. There are artists who don’t have formal training and have a unique style that people can’t imitate because it’s their own style. A lot of times when they do formal studies their own style starts to wash over because their mind set gets comfortable with the way an instructor teaches a class. I’ve been comfortable doing my own things. I don’t think as far as the rules of art like lighting and shading and all that. I may not be accurate but I developed my own style and I’m happy with it. VO: So you went through like many of my questions. Faust: (Chuckling) That’s what you get. VO: Could you tell us about your style? Faust: As far as style, I grew up with comic books and horror movies. I’ve always been a big fan of artists like
Salvador Dali and Robert Williams, Ryan English more recently. When I mean my style, I know a lot of artists do landscapes and portraits, they’re brilliant but it’s been preferable to draw things that people don’t copy from an image. I’d rather have an artist that creates something from their mind. Something they want other people to see. Like Dali was quoted saying “I see the world like others can’t see”, because everything was in his own way. Artists like Robert Williams do that. They create an image that’s of their own perspective. I don’t want to draw something that someone sees already. VO: Do you work on your pieces full time? Faust: Nooo (Wide grin). I’m actually a twelve year psychiatric nurse. I work at a mental hospital. (Chuckling) VO: Holy crap! (Team turns to him with a curious expression) Do Tell! And how does that influence your work? Faust: Um, it does. A lot is influenced by pop culture, my childhood, or my personal life. So some things can be influenced by- I spend eight hours at work or I’ll do a double shift and cover sixteen hours at work. There can be a lot of stuff there that can apply to my work and I had friends who have told me they see it. It’s an interesting.. an interesting side of life. You could only explain so much to people, it’s something that takes getting used to. After twelve years, some of it has significantly numbed the way I think. It definitely has a lot of impact on my work. VO: So why a psychiatric nurse? How did you get into it? Faust: When I was in high school I took a CNA course and I didn’t want to work with that license; in a convalescent scene. For me, it was something I found very depressing. So I had a friend who was already working in the mental health field and when I obtained my license he had an opening through his boss. He contacted me and got me in there. That was when I was nineteen. Not to date myself but it has been years since I’ve been doing it. About seventeen years.
VO: Really!? Faust: Yea, I’ve been doing it for a long time.
VO: Could you explain your process? Faust: With art I don’t really have one. Like I don’t really know what to do, because when I free hand or sketch it, I don’t really get a full idea of what I’m creating until it’s done. I was lucky enough to meet Robert Williams; he’s the one that told me not to throw away my sketches, to save it. That one day I would come back to it and it would spark an idea. And I never did. I keep things in a dirty old binder and when I would want to draw something I would look through it and pull out sketches I created years ago. As I started to mature and do things on canvas, I started to pull pieces from new and old and went from there. I usually start with ink and if I am happy with it, I go over it with paint. VO: How much time do you dedicate to your work? Faust: A lot, not because it’s a profession as much as I would love to do that, but it’s definitely an OCD. It’s just something I never stopped. I blame my dad; he just kind of didn’t stop. I’m guilty of sketching at work.
As a kid, my dad used to go to my parent conferences. Teachers would complain about drawing on my assignments. Once he tried to keep a stern face but when we would leave the room, he would look over grinning. He’s proud; he’s got a great deal of pride in art. He’s very proud his kids are carrying it on and I wish the same for my children. VO: How many siblings do you have? Faust: It’s a total of three boys and one girl. VO: And they’re all involved in some form of art? Faust: My oldest brother got into graphic design. He did so good he became the instructor’s assistant. My other brother is a tattoo artist. My sister who never did any drawings just recently started restoring furniture, and she’s really good at it. I think she got a lot of heat for the fact that all the boys were drawing and I told her there is something in her. Here she is and doing really well. Buying furniture at flea markets and restoring it.
VO: How did you come across the art walks and do you sell your work? Faust: I haven’t gone into the hole selling aspect yet. I have sold a few originals. A few years back I was doing work for a gallery in uptown Whittier, which is where I’m from now. They were really cool friends of mine and the owner of the gallery was also in the business of prints. When I was in one of the shows, a lot of people inquired about buying prints of my work. I think they started a catalogue of not to many. Another person wanted to buy an original, so there’s been a little bit of each. VO: How did you get involved at the Pomona art walk? Faust: Through a friend, he does a lot of shows. His name is Mikey Skulls. He’s been cool with me. We usually put a show together, and that’s how we met. That’s how you meet a lot of people. VO: I hope so (Laughing). So what are you working on now? Faust: I am working on a Nightmare Before Christmas painting. HopefullyB
getting it done by Halloween. It’s coming out pretty good. I’m redefining the characters. I’m not doing them the way Disney does it. I love Disney and I am a huge fan. I think the highlight of this piece is my daughter is making a first appearance in one of my paintings. Like a dork, I was looking through magazine photos and stuff and here I am with my daughter sitting right in front of me in the living room and I’m like you know what, you’re going to be my Sally. She modeled for me and it’s turning out great. VO: Is your daughter an artist as well? Faust: Oh yes. She is really talented. I’ve told her several times, you’re better than me. I don’t think she believes me. I really do think she is a great artist. My son is eight and he also loves to draw and sculpt. But she’s really into the entertainment industry. That’s a whole different story. She joined the yearbook staff and became the first high school student to be in the stars coverage for Twilight. I was proud of her for doing it on her own. VO: What do you want people to see in your art? Faust: I want people to look at my stuff and kind of make their own conclusion as to what it means. I don’t really like to talk about the work at shows because if people know who I am they’ll call me over and start asking questions and it’s hard for me to interpret it; especially when they’re in my face. I don’t have the best people skills. I want people to look at it and to tell me what they see. A lot of times they’re really accurate and a lot of times they just see their own thing and I’m happy about that. You know, it’s cool. They take something away from it, whether it’s something I created for. I’m happy with that.
Find FAUST on Facebook www.facebook.com/faust76 Instagram: faust176 A
Rebel Hotel Rebels With Attitude
Rebel Hotel is a hard rock band comprised of talented, free-going individuals who deliver an amazing sound as well as stage presence. Vocalist and leader of the band, Ricky Orhn, showcases a badass, yet genuine attitude on and off stage. Newest addition, guitarist Gabe the Great, has displayed his talent really well and despite being the youngest of the group, has proven how much potential he has. Bassist Satoshi Ichiyanagi drives so much soul into the band. His fingers waltz across his bass; a fierce, yet rhythmic movement of passion that he expresses with incredible force. Carl M. is the powerhouse drummer of the band and though having a bit more experience than the rest, has shown he can be just as energetic as his bandmates.
We were given permission to sit with them and ask how the formation came to be. Ricky was the first of the members to give us insight of the band’s origin and him forming it. VO: Tell me your full name please. RH_Ricky: I’m Ricky, Ricky Orhn. VO: Tell me a little about yourself. RB_Ricky: I am born and raised in Sweden. Then I ended up travelling around the world and then stayed in Australia for a while. And now I’m here, I ain’t going anywhere. LA is awesome. VO: There’s nothing like LA. RB_Ricky: No there’s not. I’ve been around quite a bit and it’s the coolest thing on the planet. There’s no doubt. If you like LA, you like anything.
VO: So tell me, I know I read your blog and that you’re the mind behind RB. How did you get to Rebel Hotel? RB_Ricky: Well I was playing in a bunch of different bands, playing guitar and back up. And every god damn lead singer broke up the band, left to jail, rehab, all that or vanished. And uh I just had enough on relying them. Started singing and writing my own songs, that’s when I had a plan. VO: How did your singer disappear? RB_Ricky: I don’t know. He uh just couldn’t hang, he wasn’t built for rock n roll I guess. We had a big show three days later playing the galaxy theater in Orange County, and uh he just bolted. I told the story many, many times but uh for obvious reasons I said fuck this I’m singing for now on. B
VO: Was it an easy transition to sing? RB_Ricky: Not really, I didn’t like it all and thought it was a pain in the ass. But now I kinda do, I like it, I like it a lot. VO: You look more comfortable. RB_Ricky: I know I’m not the greatest fuckin singer but you know I’m working on it. Trying to get better and be as good as I could be. VO: How did you come up with the name Rebel Hotel? RB_Ricky: Well I was bouncing a bunch of ideas and wanted something clean, the band to make their own name. Like the rolling stones, they made their own. I didn’t want anything sexual or violent. I’m sick and tired of this five word name. like Panic At The Disco. I’m not dissing the band, it’s just a long name, too long. Doesn’t fit the marquee either. I was in a band called Confederate Horse Power and it wasn’t on the marquee. So Rebel Hotel, always been a rebel and it just came together. VO: So tell us about the members who I believe are consisting of a Japanese bassist, Hispanic guitarist, and Swedish drummer. RB_Ricky: No, American drummer. We do have a Japanese bass player. And a new guitarist as of very recent. He’s American. Used to be another guitarist making us of four nationalities but now it’s three. VO: Could you tell us their names? RB_Ricky: It’s Carl on drums, Carl M., Satoshi Ichiyanagi. It took me six months to learn that (laughing) and we have Gabe on guitar and me on guitar.
“Bringing rock n roll back”
VO: And how has this line up been together RB_Ricky: It came together really quick and it’s a recent line up. Asked Gabe if he wanted to fill in the position and he jumped right in. VO: Do you write all the songs? RB_Ricky: We write together. Sato brings the really cool riffs and I bring unfinished songs to see what we can do. What do we do with this? I write the majority, the foundation of it. VO: Is that the process? RB_Ricky: Yea, we have a lot of new
songs in the making. A quarter of it is stuff we haven’t touched live yet. VO: Your influences are Motor Head, Guns N Roses and even covered Judas Priest. How did you define your sound? RB-Ricky: I haven’t decided anything. I have not been held by direction. I do what comes naturally and what I like. There’s no formula behind it. And it started as a three piece. Some people fell out. I met these guys and things have changed a little bit. My main influence is Guns N Roses. They’re the reason why I picked up a guitar in the first place. VO: How did you come to music? RB_Ricky: It started as a kid. I never had a guitar, wanted to do something that attracted me. But I got into serious trouble and with a couple friends decided to start a band. I played bass. My friend switched between singing and playing bass. But he sucked which I did too but I was a little bit better than him. It started with a jail visit. One of the songs is about that, called “Doing Time.” VO: Define your sound. RB_Ricky: Some people said I don’t sound like any other band and it’s a compliment. If we don’t sound like a band we have our own and I believe we do. We take things from the 80s, 70s, and modern times. We’re reminded of an old school band. We don’t mind, it was all original and there wasn’t any cheating. As in no pro-tools and what not. VO: You were on KLOS’ stay or go, how did that happen RH_Ricky: We didn’t mean to be in it, it just came up. We finished our last EP and sent it in. Didn’t think we would get through and all of sudden we get an email along with the shows we have been doing. Lots of good things are happening for the band. The band is on fire. We have a lot of songs in the making. VO: What happened after the actual event? RB_Ricky: They played our music and it’s like a voting process. See who likes the music.
VO: You don’t like pay to play RB_Ricky: Not really, there’s different places to play for free. Doesn’t matter what bar, we don’t mind. Small bar gigs are fun. We’re not paying to promote the club. We come to play for free. We have a lot of money in our gear. And they want money to play? They can fuck right off. I’m sorry if I offend people but hey man, we’re playing free places and there’s plenty of them VO: How did you come across Fixion Music? RB_Ricky: That’s through the studio. They did a lot of work here and we crossed paths. They have been super cool with us. They’ve helped us out and we have helped them. Next month and so on we have a lot planned. We’re gonna bring some cool new shit. VO: So, we know you guys got electrocuted? What happened? RB_Ricky: We sure did! We were fried turkey on stage! It was our own fault, too much equipment. We hear a ticking and didn’t sound right. We aren’t electricians and didn’t give a fuck. Our guitarists goes down in a panic mood like he’s dying. I reach and got sucked into the circuit. It felt like an eternity even though it was a few seconds. I got a few burn blisters on my left hand from the strings. We were shocked and it was the end of the set. Probably won’t end it that way again. But we did find the cable that wasn’t grounded well. VO: What’s going on, what are you working on? Rb_Ricky: We’re working on a lot of new songs and stage shows. We have a new guitar player; we’re working a lot with him and getting ready. (Yelling at band members) Get the fuck in here (Laughing in back) Rb_Sato: What’s going on here? Rb_Ricky: Sorry I lost concentration. VO: What are you guys working on? (laughing) RH_Ricky: Sato and I, we were here last night and working on a shoot for a show. Working on a lot of songs and doing studio work this and next month. VO: What are you doing when you’re A or playing? writing
Rb_Ricky: Nothing. Just kickin’ back, that’s it (chuckle) not much. Freakin lazy. VO: What do you want people to take from the shows? RB_Ricky: Have a good time, we are working hard to deliver the action. Go home and have lots of sex. (laughing) That’s what we want, everyone to get laid after the show. (Whole room laughs) VO: What’s your ultimate goal for Rebel Hotel? Rb_Ricky: Simply playing music and traveling the world. It’s the best thing. Every day is an adventure. I hate the 9-5 grind, fucking hate it. Nobody should be doing that. I like when every day is different. At the end of the day, start with a show and go all night and sleep during the day. That’s the ultimate goal. Play lots of music. VO: Any last message? RB_Ricky: Umm, sato do you have anything to add? RB_Sato: Hmm RB_Ricky: More love to the people! (posing) VO: Take a picture of that! His bandmates were curious as to what Ricky had stated and so we asked them to sit with us. These rockers were full of energy and enthusiasm about their responses. VO: Give us your names. RB_Carl: Carl M., drummer RB_Gabe: Am I still Gabe the Good or Gabe the Great? I’m on the verge of being Gabe the Great. RB_Sato: Satoshi Ichiyanagi, I’m the bassist. VO: Ok afterwards you have to spell out your name RB_Sato: My name? RB_Gabe: Tell her (leaning in awkwardly) RB_Sato: It also means philosophy?” That’s his name, what it means. VO: I meant spell it. (giggling) *Sato begins to spell out his name but the team stops him and asks to do it later, everyone laughs at some of our confused expressions*
VO: You all come from very different backgrounds, how did you come together? RB_Carl: How did we come together? I got a good story behind that. I was in a band, a version of this band. Saw RH and loved them. Saw Ricky at a Cinderalla Concert and told Ricky if they ever need a drummer to give me a call. A year went by, went on craigslist and saw an ad for RH and hooked up, started jamming. I’ve been in the band since last June. RB_Sato: I like the music a lot, especially Ricky’s voice. That’s why I’m here. RB_Ricky: Thanks man. RB_Gabe: I was in a band too, played a
show with rebel hotel. They were looking for a guitarist and I was looking for a band and wham bam here we are. VO: So I know Ricky has done most of the writing, what’s it like now that you are all together? RB_Ricky: Well it’s changing, like Sato brings cool riffs. RB_Sato: We jam sometimes. VO: What do you each bring to the table? RB_Sato: Riffs, cool music (Smirks) RB_Carl: From my experience, Ricky’s had an idea, he takes that idea B through the rest of us, and we’ll
adapt to make a song out of it. RB_Ricky: Yeah.
took me to a concert in New Years, and thought whoa this stuff is real.
VO: *Looking at Sato* I hear you were electrocuted too? RB_Sato: Huh? No, oh that was the other guitarist who left us. VO: Oh, sorry *Band comforts Sevanny*
VO: What do you want to accomplish as a band? RB_Carl: Be the biggest band in the world. RB_Ricky: Period. RB_Gabe: Bringing rock n roll back. RB_Carl: Do a great show and have people like us.*Dramatic clapping building climax in the back*
Band: Guy couldn’t handle it anymore, being a rock star. He was a great guitar player; he just didn’t want to do it anymore. No hard feelings, nothing negative. VO: When did each of you come to music? RB_Sato: Music? RB_Carl: My uncle played drums and I wanted to play drums. Started playing and I loved doing it from the beginning. RB_Sato: Through Guns N Roses. RB_Gabe: Yeah Guns N Roses were a turn on point for music. It actually started with guitar hero at a party, someone played it and I wasn’t sure what it was. From there, my brother
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The Cosmic King B
King Corduroy, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is a unique and outstanding musician, one who reaches deep into the confines of your soul. The type whose songs bring out emotions we thought to have sealed away and have broken out to make us feel whole once more. King’s songs are delicate in a way that evokes what our hearts want to want us to actually feel, what to truthfully hear. Having formal training in piano, harmonica, as well as being a part of his school choir, he takes no precaution when it comes to his compositions. His songs are composed smoothly but are intricate in a way that fits his personality so well no one could mimic it. King is overall an amazing guy, he’s kind-hearted and passionate about his work as well as life itself. He really gets to know everyone he meets, asking them to show him new things. This man is not afraid to get out there and live in the moment. King’s cosmic message is to follow life, acknowledge your higher being, whoever it may be. His style is defined as Cosmic Blues, an interesting concept don’t you think? However, it’s quite an original idea seeing as we have yet to come across anyone who’s on King’s level. An aura of peace envelops your soul when his voice caresses your ears. The moment the world around you fades, leaving King as your only focus; his words reaching your mind and soul, gently sending you into an alternate universe of nostalgia, sorrowful yet harmless. Hitting every fiber of your being with emotions you never knew existed; the cosmos guiding the unknowing unto a path delicate, treasured memories; old and new. A stroll through the past, into the future. Our thoughts slowly scattering, honing in on the now. Seizing the moment and never letting it go. King Corduroy’s power has us in his grasp, we are not defenseless. We are in great hands, the hands of a remarkable and cosmic individual. We can only want more, hungry for that soothing voice to watch over us. Thirsty for emotions we wish to awaken, the feelings we wish to soak in.
Find more on King Corduroy on Reverbnation www.reverbnation.com/kingcorduroy
The Aviators Rock Revivalists
Vignette Obscura has been waiting a long time to interview the Aviators. We met the Aviators after an Alicia G and AMC show at the Whisky A Go Go. The lead singer August Young joined Alicia G onstage for an amazing cover of the Rolling Stones, â€œBrown Sugar.â€? Since that January performance we have wanted an interview. It was not until the Aviators played at the Los Angeles marathon that we were able to sit down and talk to them. It was worth the wait. The Aviators are a premium rock n roll band. Their music is loud and fast and their performances are fantastic. Each member of the band is fully involved during their performances. Singer August Young and guitarist Will draw the attention of everyone around them while they are performing.
The band from Bakersfield drove two hours to play in the early morning at the LA Marathon 18 miles mark. It was a great morning to watch them play. Runners from all walks of life would slow down to listen to the band and
take pictures. At one point Will ran off the stage onto the course whilst playing guitar. The Aviators mostly played covers of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and other great rock n roll bands. Runners would recognize the music and sing along with the band. We caught up with the band after their performance. VO: Thanks for the interview I know you must be tired. Will: Anthony probably lost like three pounds this gig. The Aviators shared the stage with Alicia G an AMC, unfortunately their bassist was unable to make it and Anthony from the Aviators was asked to step in. As a result Anthony did not have a break throughout the entire event. As he stepped off the stage, Anthony was given a round of applause by his band members and a thank you from Alicia G and AMC. Anthony: Thank You, Thank you. I am so tired.
VO: When did you all begin to take music seriously? Will (guitarist): I think it was when we decided to take it to the next level. Sherwin (drummer): I think it was when we all got together. I took it seriously then. Anthony (bassist): I had two weeks to learn about 32 songs, i believe and so it got really serious, because i got really busy. VO: Do you write songs together, describe your writing process? Sherwin: Normally somebody had some kind of an idea and we all just go from their. It normally goes by really quick. If someone has an idea we’ll knock out a song in an hour or two. VO: Where do you get your inspiration from your songs? Sherwin: I do not know where Gus gets his inspiration for his lyrics. He just writes things. Will: We all just like to have a good time August (vocalist): I don’t know if this comes out in our original music but I am inspired by movie soundtracks, so I guess going to the movies and hearing that music is inspiring. The Aviators are gaining notoriety throughout Southern California. They were featured on Los Angeles World famous KROQ 106.7 on the Rodney Bingenheimer Show as well as several stations in Bakersfield and Fresno. They are also driving consistently to the Whisky A Go Go as they perform there quite often. They perform throughout the week and every weekend. VO: What do you each bring to the band? Will: Each Person serves a purpose Sherwin: Ya, not even musically, our relationship as a band is huge, I know a lot of bands that hate each other and their music kind of suffers because of it. We’re all kind of best friends so it kind of works out. VO: What are you currently working on? August: We are trying to get another CD done sometime this year. Daniel: We are trying to do a bunch of mini tours, that would be great. The band really thrives on adventure
the path less travelled seems bring us together more than anything else. VO: What kind of impact do you want your songs, you music to have? Sherwin: Me personally, I want people to say “WOW that is some good rock n’ roll. August: I want people to think our music is pretty cool. Will: I want people to think this is real, that they aren’t reminiscing from the past that its right here in your face. and you can take a ride on our train. August: Sherwin used a term that was “Rock Revivalists” its what we have been called. VO: How do you feel about your performance here? BAND: I think we did pretty good, it was really cool to see all the people who appreciated it. August: People were blowing kisses, giving thumbs up. It was really, really cool. Daniel: I think we used our 30 second windows quite effectively. VO: Final question what was your favorite moment? August: I thought this was a really cool moment I did not expect it to be like this. This is definitely memorable for me. Daniel: Camp Nelson and opening up for Fuel are up there. The Aviators are one of the most talented bands in Los Angeles. It was a pleasure to listen to them cover classic rock music under the blistering sun at the LA marathon. The band motivated so many people to continue on running. We cannot wait to see what the Aviators release next.
AFTEREPTILES Reptile’s Serenade
In the back of the Vault Martini Bar in Redlands, four men are about to play their set as they are setting up their enormous amount of equipment. The small space that is the Vault begins to fill up. Soon the crowd has surrounded the stage expectantly waiting on the band. Minutes later their set begins, a melodic sound begins to emerge from a guitar followed by drums and bass, and lastly the vocals. The singers voice does not overpower and take over the music, rather the vocals are another instrument, a flow in time with the instrumental. It was an unfamiliar sound and it was amazing. Aftereptiles are an experimental indie group from Fontana, an hour south of Los Angeles. The group is made up of Andy Zepeda(vocals, guitar), Travis Couch(guitar), JJ Chang(bass), and Alex(drums),
having played in different bands before but never with one another, Aftereptiles, began as a side project. “We just traded members we were never in the same band and then we just started jamming and we brought JJ into the mix,” Travis said. “We started as a side project because we were all in bands that were pretty serious at the time,” JJ said. “But they ended up falling through and this became our priority.” “Really I feel like all those band were holding us back. In this band everyone can show their full potential” Travis added. “I mean we do clash,” Alex said. “We clash because we are trying to develop and up our game all the time, things can get difficult but we push each other.”
As mentioned before, their sound is unfamiliar and different. The first song off their EP “Amarillo” has many intricate sounds in it. Beginning with a simple guitar then Andy’s echoing voice, too quickly does the song tempo change to keep up with the each instrument. The sound is a mix between psychedelia, indie and spanish rock. “We are not the first to play this type of music,” Andy said.“There are other band who have been playing this style of music longer than we have.” Aftereptiles has developed their sound from many outside influences. According to the band they play different styles together and it just works. Andy elaborated that the band comes up with material together.
â€œOur music is very open to interpretations, just like with anything you see in art, any paintingâ€?
“There isn’t a single song that only one person has written, we share everything when it comes to our music,” Travis said. “One of our biggest influences that we can agree on is Mars Volta,” JJ said. “ We love using effects as instruments themselves. We try to incorporate that into our music.” During their show, the effects were present as well. Travis had a pedal with several sounds set up and Andy used used one during their performance. Through out their set the reptiles had several of the effects going off at the same time. Each effect was timed perfectly and added dimension to the music. “We like having those layers, we like using them as a foundation,” JJ said. “I don’t want the guitar to sound like a guitar,” Travis said. “Just because it is a guitar doesn’t mean it has to sound like one.”
The band has already released an EP and is currently working on two music videos, as well as working on a full length album. As for touring, the reptiles hope to be on tour during the summer this will be their first tour together. When asked what they want people to take away from their music, the band asked for each person listen for themselves.
“We’re not gonna bite you,” Andy said. “We’re not going to bite you, we’re reptiles but we wont bite you.”
“I want people to interpret our music for themselves,” Alex said.
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“Our music is very open to interpretations, just like with anything you see in art, any painting” JJ added. “I am very humbled when people tell me they love our music.” “Our lyrics, they can be anything you want them to be. You can relate to them through any situation in your life,“ Travis said. “I just want to make friends with everyone. I love when people come up to us and talk with us.”
Aftereptiles are dedicated in creating their own multidimensional sound. It was a pleasure to listen to this band play. Check out their music on reverbnation.com/aftereptiles as well as their facebook and instagram.
Writer Felipe Sandoval Sevanny Campos Editor Felipe Sandoval Sevanny Campos Tammie Valer Photography Tammie Valer Nicole Padilla Art Director Tammie Valer Designer Felipe Sandoval Tammie Valer
Special Thanks AFTEREPTILES, Alicia G & AMC, Canter’s Deli, D’Meetri, FAUST, Fixion Music, Karla Coronado, King Corduroy, King’s Studio, Los Angeles Marathon, Mikayla Larkey, Pixie Vision Production, Pomona Art Walk, Rebel Hotel, Ricardo Cisneros, The Aviators, The Piano Bar, Troy Alcaraz, Samantha Pearl, Shelley Johnson, Skinny’s Lounge, Vault Martini Bar, Whiskey A Go Go