ISSUE 1 detailing music, fashion and culture through the eyes of twenteens
phantogram the quiet revolution
foster the people | dale earnhardt jr. jr. | the skints | to kill a king | james vincent mcmorrow | ruby goe
irst things in life are incredibly precious. Sacred perhaps. And with this we wrap, tape and bow tie this first issue of White Noise for your eager eyes. As you know we first sailed the White Noise ship via thewhitenoise.co.uk, however, we feel like our readers should also have the escapist experience with printed issues at hand. Something tangible and personal to each individual plays a large importance in what we stand for and this issue sure hopes to deliver everything and more! This issue’s front cover features one of my favourite new American indie bands, Phantogram. They’ve been on my top play list for a few years now and I was desperate for an interview with them. The band gave us insight into their rumoured collaboration with Big Boi (Outkast) and we find out how they really feel about hearing their songs being played on Jersey Shore (How would you feel?). Thomas Chatt came along and snapped plenty of vibrant photo booth moments with the duo for our epic interview and photo shoot. We also meet with James Vincent McMorrow in an upside down Noah’s Ark-shaped church in Brighton (it is massive) for an up close and personal talk that includes why he couldn’t drink Sainbury’s water on Jools Holland’s show. We give you our fashion A-Z list for this summer with clothes and accessories that you need or just desperately want. And of course, we have plenty of fun features from ‘What Would Jess Do?’ (well, Jess makes a bowl out of a vinyl record), ‘How to avoid a cougar attack’ (hot older women not the big cat), an interview with a real life superhero and a stepto-step guide on how to seduce someone with heavy metal music. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.
managing editor Jessica Venner
art director Louise Tse
production director Florence Pilkington
marketing director Lorna Pearce
reviews editor George Kaye
video producer Tommy Bruce
Alex Babahmadi, Samuel Conley, Sian Green, Emily Harris, Milly Yasmin,
Andre & Cuthbertson, Diana Broeders, Thomas Chatt, Ken Grand-Pierre, Wassim Jaber, Darren Orbell, Bredan Shanley
Chris Cuff, Family Ltd., Ellie Clark, Prescription PR, Jess’s Dad, Dim Sum Girls, Chuff Media, Warren, Ed Melech, London College of Communication, Outpost Media, Rob Dix, Partisan PR, Beyond Retro, Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridges, ASOS, Vans, Office, Cambridge, Rokit, Prints of PCKHM COVER PHOTOGRAPH BY THOMAS CHATT PRINTED AT LONDON COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATION
c o n t e n t s
8 10 12 14 16 23 26 28 36 44 46 big deal profiles
how to survive a cougar attack the skints
james vincent mcmorrow beyond retro era challenge the swedish invasion white ace
william breathes how to seduce your partner with heavy metal 6
48 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 70 72
real life superhero: urban avenger the top ten worst superheroes WWJD
dale earnhardt jr. jr. to kill a king
foster the people fashion a-z
hopeless love ruby goe reviews
w w w. t h e w h i t e n o i s e . c o . u k @ thewhitenoiseuk
irst off, yes we know the name is pretentious and could easily be snubbed off. Yes, we know it is another boy-girl duo and comparisons can definitely be made (Summer Camp, Tennis, Cults, Slow Club etc.), but there’s something slightly intriguing about Big Deal. I don’t know if it’s the careless attitude, musical laziness or rubbish band name, but for whatever reason, they have that certain edge to what they’re doing. The London/California duo comprises of Alice Costelloe and Kacey Underwood both sharing vocal and guitar duties. Their debut album titled ‘Lights Out’ was released on the 2 September 2011, which has received much praise and generally positive reviews highlighting the surprising sincerity in the record. They’ve been hyped by NME and have been one of the frontrunners in the ‘ones to watch out for’ category, but what do they see themselves as? To get to the bottom of their comings and goings, we chat about ‘Hard Cheese’, festivals and song writing. How’s the ‘Cloud Control’ tour been for you guys? Is this the first supporting tour you’ve done? KC: The ‘Cloud Control’ tour was a lot of fun. It is the first support tour we have done, which was a bit of a learning curve, but they have a really nice following and they are some of the nicest people we’ve ever met. A: We supported Grouplove and Anna Calvi on the NME Tour too, but this was our first proper support tour. We’ve been lucky to play so far with such talented and friendly bands that we’re happy to watch perform every night. Do you guys prefer performing in venues as opposed to a festival stage? KC: I like them both. We always feel exposed not having a full band, so whether it’s outside or in a smelly venue, we are very happy to be playing as long as there are nice people around. I love that at festivals once you are finished you get to walk around and find as much music as you like instead of heading back to a Travelodge. Which was your favourite festival to perform at this year? KC: Reading was great and so was Wireless festival. There were really great crowds and lots of amazing bands at both so we felt pretty lucky to be a part of it. Yeah, ‘End of the Road’ was pretty awesome too. We stood in the rain to watch Josh T Pearson, and snuck behind the stage for Joanna Newsom. I heard you guys initially called yourself Hard Cheese, what made you guys decide on Big Deal? A: As you can tell, we’re really great at choosing bad names. Big Deal was just the natural progression from ‘Hard Cheese’.
What kind of writers are you guys? Do you have to make time for writing or does it just come straight to you? KC: I feel like it’s something that just happens, or needs to happen, like eating and sleeping. If I try not to think about whether I am doing enough or not, it gets in the way. I just try to get out of the way and let it happen. A: We definitely have to be in the mood for it to work, it’s kind of impossible for us to force ourselves… to do anything. What’s up next for the band? Have you started writing for the next album? KC: We have. It took us a while to get back into the swing of it after making a record, as that record was written when we went in to record it, so we were in a very different mode. We like the fall and we have nothing to do now except for touring and writing, so I am really looking forward to it. A: Because we’ve been touring for a while, and it’s impossible to be inspired in a Travelodge, we hadn’t written together for a while. But we wrote some new songs today, for about half an hour, and were so pleased with ourselves we had to get burritos and a movie to celebrate. WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY JOJO KHOR IMAGE FROM PRESS
p r o f i l e s Melancholic Dance/ Hip Hop So, if you haven’t already, meet Obaro ‘Ghostpoet’ Ejimiwe. With a childhood spent bouncing between Coventry, London, Nigeria and Dominica, the selfdubbed ‘lad with a lisp and some stories to tell’ clearly has a range of cultures and experiences to draw from. This is apparent in his latest album Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam, which addresses issues ranging from severe hangovers to political anguish, to lovers against the world and to artistic anxiety. Though the album definitely promotes a certain mood, each song offers something different and unique. Ghostpoet’s lyrics are noticeably deep and self-expressive, with it often sounding as if his art is music put to words as opposed to words put to music. Another thing to bear in mind is the infancy of Ghostpoet’s career. Think of Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam as an Original Pirate Material of sorts, and perhaps you’ll get a glimpse into the potential of this artist and the possibilities that lay before him.
SAMUEL CONLEY \\
Indie Rock, Surf Pop Hailing from West Palm Beach comes Surfer Blood. The foursome probably don’t strike you as your typical surfers, which is fair enough as their band name was intended as being an ironic twist on the highly saturated culture of surfing which engulfs their hometown. The band produce a surf-pop sound with some thrilling choruses, and a lo-fi production quality which front man JP Pitts states wasn’t intentional. “We never intended to be lo-fi anyway, our songs are all quite big songs, and it’s just that they were recorded on shitty equipment, in my apartment. They were lo-fi by accident.” As the main songwriter of the band, Pitts states that he’s drawn influences from bands such as The Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, and Spoon. The Floridians released their debut album, ‘Astro Coast’ in mid 2010 in the UK. The 10-track album flows nicely from track to track, boasting some memorable choruses and more than enough twangy guitar riffs to go around. The album received positive reviews and followed up with the release of a 4-track EP, ‘Tarot Classics,’ which will serve us nicely until the release of their eagerly anticipated second album, which could surface at some point in 2012 // GEORGE KAYE
Electronica, Downtempo, Ambient Techno The San Francisco artist and producer Scott Hansen isn’t new on the scene but he is fast building international popularity. He began his journey into electronic music back in 2002 with ‘The Science of Patterns’ EP, which was followed by ‘Sunrise Projector’ in 2004. Tycho’s popularity grew and grew until 2006, when we saw the release of ‘Past Is Prologue’ on the now defunkt IDM label, Merck Records. You can definitely spot similarities to Boards of Canada, for it’s airy, dreamy vibe in his earlier projects. Yet, over the years you can hear just how much Tycho have progressed and developed. Hansen lays down lush soundscapes that help maintain an infectious mood that is as dreamy as it is energetic. Each song on the album is carefully layered with synthesizers, which of course are the main focus. But what I like most about this album is its diversity. Unlike other electronic bands, Hansen has almost seamlessly sewn synthesizers and acoustic guitars together, making the impossible, possible and creating the ultimate record. Their ambient/ chillout vibes mixed with swirling melodies that cross between stuttering beats and vocal samples are enough to get anyone’s juices flowing. SIAN GREEN \\
p r o f i l e s zowie
Electropop, New Wave, Synthpop The world of Zowie consists of J-pop culture, high fashion clothing and pop-art musical performances and hails from Auckland, New Zealand. She was formerly known as Bionic Pixie, back in the day before she ‘morphed’ into Zowie. She originally began playing drums at the age of 11 and is now a musical graduate, as well as a regular feature in the fashion scene, where she caught attention from the NZ and Australian cool scene. Her debut single ‘Broken Machine’ completely encompasses this teen-pop electro beat with shouty-girl-rap vocals and an underlying funk bass, but is so utterly addictive for easy-listening. The second single, ‘Bite Back’ shows an edgier side of Zowie with angsty lyrics and a newwave beat style you’d expect from Sweden, which proves she’s not all teen-pop. She hasn’t quite hit the U.K. yet but it’s only a matter of time. Her debut album, ‘Love Demolition’ is due for release on May 14 – we only expect out of the world things to come for this pixie! // JOJO KHOR
Grime, Reggae In a genre generally saturated with machismo, less than ambitious lyrics, backing tracks and youths attempting to look like 50 Cent, Buggsy’s perspective on things is a welcomed advancement. Proudly coming out of Bristol, Buggsy released his first full album in mid 2011: the massively underrated “The Great Escape.” His lyrics are socially aware, often talking of the ills of living in an inner city environment, without being moody or melancholic, or taking the listening pleasure from the tracks. I first came across Buggsy in Brixton early last year; he was a cool and self-assured character on stage, and his story telling paired with his quick and distinctive style caught everyone’s attention. He also appears to be modest, spending his time off stage in with the crowd, chatting with fans and paying respect to the other artists. 2012 looks to be a decisive and important year for this artist, with him via Twitter promising a flurry of tracks this year. Hopefully, this is only the beginning as Buggsy appears to have a lot to offer the British Rap and Grime scene with his music showcasing a certain maturity and depth that many of his contemporaries seem to lack - definitely one to watch out for this year.
SAMUEL CONLEY \\
Slacker Funk-Punk Watching Matthew Shultz prance around the stage like an ADHD chimpanzee on a sugar high, the source of the super-charged energy ruminating from Cage the Elephant is fairly obvious. Having just come off the festival round this year, including slots at Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds and Coachella, it is clear that their buzz is gaining some serious recognition. Hailing from Bowling Green, Kentucky, Matt Shultz (Frontman, lead singer) describes it as, “the kind of place where if you didn’t play football, or you were a little bit different, people thought you were gay.” The band formed as a backlash to the jock mentality that pervaded their town. Their rather alternative nature can be clearly seen in their choice of music videos and lyrics, an example from a popular song ‘In One Ear’ being, “They say the devil is my pal, I do a lotta drugs. The crowd will only like me if they’re really fucking drunk.” Though their energy-enhanced performances do lend the band a certain excitement, their music can be whiney and dramatic. Sort of like a socially insecure teenager having a tantrum, and funnily enough, it is socially insecure teenagers that I would recommend as their prime audience. // SAMUEL CONLEY
cage the elephant
Disclaimer: This guide cannot be deemed as fool proof and White Noise Magazine can be held in no way responsible if the advice provided in this article does not prevent a cougar attack in the event of real life situation.
how to avoid a cougar attack
The most obvious and successful way to prevent a dangerous situation with a cougar is to avoid entering the cougar’s natural habitat. Simply type ‘cougar hangouts’ in Google to find a list of bars where you’ll be most at risk. Avoid any of these establishments at all costs. There are other high-risk areas which may be a little more troublesome to avoid, such as supermarkets. Everyone needs to shop, and cougars love to wander around with trolleys eyeing up fresh, lean male meat. The trick is to avoid eye contact at all costs, and to look busy and determined at your task of shopping. There are certain aisles which are more of a hotspot than others (such as the wine and toiletries aisles) so skip these if you can help it.
You’re at a pub or club, and realise your pint’s run dry, so you slip off alone to the bar to pick up another. You’re already a little drunk so your guard is down, and before you have time to check yourself, wham! A cougar has pounced. ‘Oh, hello young man. Aren’t you handsome?’ You’re frozen in fear, feet unable to move. She interprets this as interest. ‘Fancy a drink, young man?’, and before you know it she hands you an ominous glass filled with a coke coloured liquid. This leads on to the second rule of never accept a drink from a cougar. There have been governmental campaigns warning young ladies to be aware of spiked drinks from predatory older men, but somehow young males were missed out. Cougars spike too. Be afraid.
“Man is cougar’s number one prey”
- As defined in the Urban Dictionary
In this day and age, attempting to survive as a young male in any urban jungle can be a daunting and highly perilous task. At every corner a young man turns, there may be any number of middle-aged predators waiting giddily for a chap to snatch. Yes, it is a troublesome area and an unsafe place for any lad trying to get by, but with the correct knowledge and know how, it is possible to avoid a dreary demise, rise above the pack, and perhaps even one day become an alpha male. Failure to prepare is preparation for failure, and as with any dangerous venture, the art of avoiding cougars requires keen and careful planning. Detailed here is a step-by-step walkthrough of how one might just be able to save themselves from a deadly cougar attack.
This rule is fairly simple, and is one every young guy should live by: if she’s pushing 30 and wearing a mini skirt with no tights, stay well away. Any excessive lipstick may also be used as a warning. Do not think that just because you have recently come out of a relationship you can use a cougar as a rebound. Some of the offers a cougar may make might seem enticing at the time, but think of the song of the siren. This is your most vulnerable hour and when you most need to be on point. Stay alert. Unfortunately, like all skills in life, it is only through experience that you can truly become a master. Use these short points as a reference, but you must travel your own path and experience much, the good and the bad, before you can understand and avoid the movements of the cougar. I ask you to pay attention to only two things. Keep your eyes open to danger and remember:
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul Stay safe. WORDS BY SAMUEL CONLEY
ougar | cou·gar | [koo-ger] | Noun. A 35+ year old female who is on the “hunt” for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male. The cougar can frequently be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, propped up against a swanky bar in San Francisco (or other cities) waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path.
he rarity of finding a decent reggae or ska band originating from London is so extreme that when you do come across one, there’s this overwhelming need to spread word like wildfire. If anything, this wildfire is gaining speed for The Skints with a daily increase of new appreciators, who are now standing at over 14,000 Facebook fans. The first track I had ever listened to from this reggae-rockdubbers was their one-off single, “Up Against The Wall” which showcased a Ska influence in their music with their attitude-fuelled rapping and a pulsating guitar/bass intro to build into the thumping offbeat bass line that we associate so well with reggae. This style of reggae they were producing was so refreshing and young; you could hear the energy in their songs. The Skints formed as school friends in 2005 hailing from areas of Northeast London; Leyton/Walthamstow and Woodford. They played their first gig in 2007 after months of perfecting their
final line up. Shortly after, the band were signed to the home of the most popular UK-based ska bands, Do The Dog records. And a couple months later were the main support for The King Blues on their first ever major tour. Their debut album, “Live. Breathe. Build. Believe.” was released in November 2009, following their first headline show being sold out. “Live. Breathe. Build. Believe.” received positive reviews from publications – particularly on stand out tracks ‘Murderer’ and ‘Roanna’s Song’, where the sole female of the band, Marcia, impressively takes the mic as the majority rapper in this track. We’re not talking Kreayshawn or Nicki Minaj rap; we mean fast-paced, real-talking lyrics and keeping that reggae flow smooth and steady. Live performances from this band are high energy and to my surprise, expect plenty of moshing. It’s been roughly a year since I attended my first Skint’s show; the one-off show at Nambucca. In which they use to be regular acts,
prior to their new popularity, curated by The Skints, with support from New Town Kings and a special solo acoustic performance from Bedouin Soundclash’s front man. The atmosphere was high. This tiny pub venue packed in with merry reggae lovers, and it was admittedly, a rather fond affair with mild mosh pits sparking here and there. The Skints arrived right on time at the right scene - when dubstep was high and mighty therefore reggae and dub music also became more apparent to generation Y. Undoubtedly, the band, nor their fans are anywhere near ready to cease the wildfire of The Skints. With a large number of festivals lined up for this summer including; Boomtown Festival, One Love, Reading & Leeds Festival and a headline tour at the end of this year, The Skints are sailing high whilst flying the East London reggae flag, ever more. WORDS BY JOJO KHOR PHOTO FROM PRESS
james vincent mcmorrow
ave you ever been silenced by one person? Without that person actually telling you to shut up but in fact, he’s just a guy playing his guitar and singing with the gentlest of voices. James Vincent McMorrow is one of those special performers for me, and I’m guessing for thousands of others too. You don’t even need to be that attentive to notice James. I reckon he could play on the London underground by Charing Cross platform to a hoard of bustling commuters and still catch thousands’ of attention just through his pure and heartfelt written songs. His first album Early in the Morning captured a lot of attention from press with positive reviews, and since then, he’s been busy touring the UK, Europe and he’s just got back from his very first headline tour of America! In addition to the US madness, he’s recently gained his first television debut on Later with Jools Holland performing with a full backing band and luckily we were able to catch him at his gig in Brighton at St. Bartholomew’s Church for a chat about his life before music, touring with your best friends and why you can’t drink Sainsbury’s water on TV. How was your first headline tour in America? It was great, couldn’t have gone better really. What do you look for when you play, people show up and the tour was sold out so that was a good start and I thought we played pretty well. It was nice the way it went because we arrived over there on tour we were playing a lot of big places like some places were 1000 seats so it was a bit of a gamble going over there not having done a headline tour there before. But we were doing our first show and the best thing about the shows and the way that they were set up was that there were a lot of press and bloggers and everybody went from the shows feeling they had spent their money well and that spread quite quickly, so by the time we got to New York all the shows were selling very quickly. And everything was really fun and there were lots of different places I’d never been before. Where was the most random place you went? The most random place we went to? Actually it was always between where we played because there were a lot of long drives. At one point we drove from Minneapolis to Seattle which is two thirds of the country, through four states, so you see a lot of strange places. A lot of places where you put your head down and don’t interact in case someone beats you up because we’d jump out of the van and people would know that we were outsiders. How do you think the American and Canadian audience took to your music? I don’t really know, I mean, I know the record is doing quite well over there but I don’t know numbers, I don’t really ask about shows, what we’re doing before I go to places; I
like to be surprised and plus its not anything that concerns me its not my job to sell records. Its my job to play shows and my goal was to go to America to play shows, and the fact that there were lots of people there was just a bonus, it makes you feel quite energised about the whole process then coming back here and being in this place, like this is sold out tonight.. Just those sorts of things, they make you feel valid.. No, not ‘validated’, that sounds really silly! But you know what I mean, there is a certain validation to it where like, you make music so that people can buy it and listen to and make people want to see it and when you come to places that you haven’t played a headline show before, it makes the whole thing even more worthwhile, it just feels
You’ve recently been backed up by a full band on your tour, was that a decision you wanted rather than to just play on your own with a guitar? Well the record isn’t a solo record so there was never a point where I thought it was always just going to be me. I always wanted there to be a full band, it was just the question of when do we get to a point where I can legitimise having 5 people in a band with me plus extra people that come on tour like tour managers and engineers. It costs a lot of money, I don’t get bogged down by the money stuff but it’s a simple thing. When I first started it was an easy thing to
get in a car and drive as many places as possible and play my guitar, plug out and go to the next town and it was just fluid but that was never the goal for me as a musician. I always wanted these people to play with me and as soon as I had the means to do it we did it and it just takes everything to a different place. I love playing by myself I think it can be a really.. I mean, the interaction between me and the audience when I’m solo is very different to how I am with the band, but I don’t prefer either because they’re so different but I like having the band with me and its nice to have people to share it with because they’re not just session musicians, they’re my friends who happen to be fantastic musicians, but we’re all very close we all know each other well. WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY JOJO KHOR // PHOTO BY BRENDAN SHANLEY
more substantial and that helps as a musician.
“i don’t find it tiring playing the same songs every night, its just the fact there’s new people every night means that i care the exact same about the record today as when i finished it”
PHOTO BY DIANA BROEDERS
So they were your friends before you asked them to join you on your tour? That’s brilliant! You performed on the Jools Holland show recently, were you nervous for your TV debut? I was absolutely cacking it! I get excited before gigs but for the show I was anxious and just wanted to get on stage and get started, but the Jools Holland thing I was terrified by, we all were and I could see it. I watched the performance and my teeth were chattering. Jools Holland is just such a huge deal and also Paul who plays drums with me, I had another drummer who played with me and then Paul came on and it was his first ever show and we had two rehearsals so it was literally very kind of , we were feeling each other out as musicians, we knew each other but we never played together before so it was a very new thing so we put that on national TV so that was a bit of a terrifying prospect. It was just such a huge deal to be on a show I’ve watched for so long. I remember being back in school and taking up the drums when I started watching Jools Holland with all these bands that I loved, so to be performing on there was so surreal, but terrifying at the same time! How did it differ from performing at a gig? Was it more hectic? Yeah, there’s a lot of fuss about two songs and they execute it like it is poetry. I’ve never seen anything like it. Honestly, the way they do it, for the live shows especially, they need to know the exact song length, they tape it five or six times and they take the average length and it was just so precise. They just have to know otherwise its all a shambles, and it all just adds to the terror. You’re far more aware of your hands than where you’re standing or when your queue is because there’s pieces of tape on the ground and you’re like ‘Am I supposed to stand on this? I don’t know!’. So you have to be almost quite robotic? No, you can do whatever you want but I even put a bottle of water in front of me on set and the crew noticed it ten seconds before I was about to start and he just dove in and grabbed it because yeah, product placement, I wouldn’t of even thought of that, its just water you know? So yeah, you have to be very on-your-toes.
You’ve been on tour a lot this year, all over the world, when do you get time to write new material? Well the first six months of the year were written off because it was all quite jarring and travelling and playing was all really hectic, and this was by myself as well. But with the band with me, there’s less pressure on me because obviously I don’t have to drive, I can sit in the back of the bus and do whatever.
PHOTO BY KEN GRAND-PIERRE
So you used to drive yourself around? Yeah, all the time. Me and Adrian, my engineer, we drove across America, we drove across Germany and France, we done all that stuff this year so there was no time in those days to write music or even think about it. But now I have a lot more time and I’m thinking about the second record and when to make it. It’s hard to write when you’re travelling though. I find I need to be in one place and plan time to write, it doesn’t spontaneously hit me. I have the ideas but it takes some time to form them, I need to have a block of time I guess. The record took a long block of time but now I’ve learned about how to perform songs, it’ll be different but the principle’s the same. Where do you get your inspiration from for writing? Where does anybody get inspiration? I get asked that question a lot and I don’t know how to answer it because inspiration is a universal thing, its not as if it hits musicians in a different way. I could be walking down the street and something occurs to me or I could read something, sometimes it could just be reading a book or watching a film but really I’ll just be sitting by myself and something will strike me and who knows where it came from or what triggered it. You can put yourself in positions where you read something inspiring or watch something or just staring at a beautiful painting and that will spark the synapses in your brain. You mentioned that you’ve kind of started your second record, do you know roughly when we can expect that? You released Early In The Morning quite a while ago… It’s been a year and a half since it’s been out in the world to me, in my mind. Over in the UK, it came out in March so it’s not that long ago and its only started to do its work now and there’s a lot more work to be done. I’m a musician, I love playing the songs and I don’t find it tiring playing the same songs every night, its just the fact there’s new people every night means that I care the exact same about the record today as when I finished it. I want to make something so I’m kind of thinking about it and I have it in my mind.. Next year maybe? No, definitely. I have no intention of resting for 4 or 5 years, I want to put the other record out even if I’m still touring behind the first record, I want to have the other one out in the world because that’s just the way I am. I have a plan and everybody’s involved with the plan, everyone knows where my mind is at, so we’re going to make it in FebruaryMarch and play up until August and released maybe October-ish.
I heard that you used to push trollies in Dublin airport? I did! You must have read that in the Irish Times or something. That was when I first came out of school, that was ten years ago,. It was the first proper job I had and it was the most soul-destroying job ever because it was just.. Pushing trollies, that was it. It was a terrible job. I mean it was a fine job, as in, it paid me money, but it was just mentally numbing and I just didn’t want to be part of anything like that anymore so I told myself I need to try and do something better. Did you just decide to pick up a guitar and go on? I was kind of toying with the idea, I was playing drums at the time, I was trying to figure out a way of getting in music by playing with other people and I just wasn’t clicking with any musicians and I still had this job, it just wasn’t fun for me. So I told myself if I really wanted to make music, I’d have to do it myself. I never gave up on the notion of finding a band but at the same time I was learning to play piano, guitar and sing, so it was a good job to have those in hindsight, which also made me not want to do anything else ever again! And that’s brought you to where you are now! Yeah, that was published in the Irish Times and everyone’s been mailing me. A job’s a job. Everyone has had a job they wish they’d never done!
beyond retro era challenge
ne rainy weekend, White Noise met up with two White Noise readers to take a trip to Beyond Retro off the side of Oxford Street. Our aim was simple: how easy is it to buy vintage on a budget and with a time limit? Would we get a better result when we restricted our guinea pigs?
Ele took the left, Richard took the right (and we took the middle towards the retro fighting game in the corner). Ele started fishing through the dresses, pulling out 1960’s sheath dresses and ‘tent’ pieces. ‘So many to choose from, so many colours, so little time!’ Ele insisted a 1950’s dress wouldn’t fit her, as they were all far too tiny, so something close to the era with a slight change would do. She settled on a below the knee, clinched-waist number (think Kitty Foyle but without the sleeves). ‘It needs puffing,’ she shouted to us. We borrowed an underskirt from the many hanging from the ceiling and she was on to the cardigans. 10 minutes to go.
Meanwhile, Richard had no clue. When I found him, he was deliberating slowly over Google images. ‘What does a 1950’s guy wear? I thought I knew, but I can’t find anything on Google!’ A leather jacket seemed a good idea, until he noticed the cheapest one matched the whole budget. Maybe not. A varsity style? No, it had Mickey Mouse for a badge. Did they have merchandise then? He settled on a denim jacket, deciding to turn up the collar. Now for a shirt. Chequered? It was obvious dressing as a lady in the 1950’s was as simple as the dress you chose. For the guys, so many components! 5 minutes left. Ele skims through the cardigan rail and in classic
feminine style, grabs her choice and some sunglasses on the way. She makes it to the changing room. We tie up the skirt at the back for her and settle it over the underskirt for a classic 1950’s flare. She was right: it now looks like a cocktail dress, nothing like the slim style before. The chosen cardigan looked wrong for the dress, so another quick search in the rails and Ele has found a cream sequined one of a more modern kind. This could be her twist! Richard had now made it to the changing rooms, with 1 minute to spare. Some trousers he had found looked dodgy, so he decided to opt for his own, those becoming the element of his own twist to the outfit. He whips some super cool braces out of his shopping pile and adds them to his chequered shirt, along with some teddy boy sunglasses to finish the look. He looks great. Ele, like Richard, kept her own shoes on, some black army ankle boots, Richard his brown leather brogues. They are the twist to her outfit. She pops her hair up and slides her chosen sunglasses on. Effortless. She too looks brilliant. Adding up the cost of each item, and taking into account the speed of shopping and dressing, our winner, by £3 and 2 minutes, is Ele. 23
Contestant number one is Eleanor Wood, 23, an English teacher from Upminster Bridge. Contestant number two is Richard Hobart, 24, a library assistant/archivist student from Hornchurch. They are both engaged to be married next year. Eleanor describes her style as ‘Eclectic, vintage and cheap’, likening herself to Zoey Deschanel, while Richard is proud to be an ambassador of the folk style, dressing along the lines of Bob Dylan or Charlie Fink. On a normal day of shopping, Ele can be found in Topshop, H&M, and charity shops, while Richard will ordinarily be found next door in Topman and Urban Outfitters. The brief? They had £50 and 15 minutes to find a 1950’s style outfit of their own twist. They were both up for the challenge, so at 10am, we let them loose.
Dress, £22, Cardigan, £22, Sunglasses, £6. Total: £50
Denim jacket, £16, Shirt, £20, Braces, £11, Sunglasses, £6. TOTAL: £53
What was the best thing about the challenge? R: Well, at first I thought it would be easy but when you think about it, there are so many different styles that make up the 50’s, what with rock n roll, prep school, American country, so I enjoyed the challenge of choosing a movement! E: Winning. I’m very competitive, even against Richard. I enjoyed using my knowledge and creativity to put an outfit together. Do you think having a time limit makes for a better end result? R: It did for me, I am so indecisive. I had nothing in my hands with two minutes left but the deadline made me grab some stuff, fast! E: I enjoyed the challenge, it focused me very quickly. Do you think a bigger budget would have made it better, or was it more of a challenge as it was? E: Originally, I thought that it would be quite difficult as vintage clothing can be quite expensive. However, I got round it because I only had to look for two items really (a dress and a cardigan) and these were both quite reasonable prices. R: It was definitely more of a challenge. I wanted a Danny Zuko style leather jacket but a leather jacket in that shop maxed out the budget on its own. Would you dress like this again? E: I already have elements of fifties clothing in my style, possibly not so it was quite so explicit, but yes. R: I pretty much do anyway! I guess I went for the Woody Guthrie, folk rock, bordering on a 50s American country kind of look. I should have brought in my Ukulele! Do you feel the style you chose suits you? R: I hope so! I nearly bought the shirt and the jacket actually. Not sure I could get away with the braces though… E: Not really, my waist is too big to pull it off successfully. Would you shop at Beyond Retro again? E: Yes! It’s much cheaper than other vintage places. R: Yeah, it’s great, it retains all the brilliant miss match feeling of an independent vintage shop whilst presenting its products in a neatly packaged and easily consumable way, just like any other well run business would. Do you think your own style showed in the outfit you chose? R: It did for me definitely. It was subconscious though, which is weird! It wasn’t the intention to go a bit folky/ country but sadly, there’s no way I could have pulled off a smooth greased back Danny Zuko look anyway! E: Yes, although I would still probably try and scour for something cheaper!
Do you think that music affects your fashion style? E: In general I think that people like to define themselves using clothes to express their identity and people always classify themselves into categories. Personally, my music taste is so broad that it would be impossible for it to directly influence the way I dress. If anything, the connection would be that I listen to what I enjoy and wear what I feel comfortable in. R: Yeah definitely, it does now for sure and it certainly did when I was growing up. I was massively into indie music when I was a teenager and of course dressed appropriately in skinny jeans, converse and cardigans. I guess when you’re young the music and the clothes you chose to wear are a massive part of learning to define yourself and I guess, it’s also a part of wanting to belong to something. I’m sure I thought I was being very original and unique but really it’s all about following and finding where you fit in. What do you think about ‘modern fashion’? R: Well, there is a brilliant diversity these days, a little more tongue in cheek than past decades. In the past, you belonged to a particular movement and you never stepped out of that; it was a fierce part of who you were. I guess modern fashion is all about mixing it up and putting on guises; being rock and roll one day and prep school another. I see people and they transcend eras and music tastes even in one outfit. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand I feel that it’s great to pay homage to some fantastic periods in our culture but on the other hand I do feel as if the political, social, philosophical passion and intentions of these movements have been ripped from their contexts and are now ultimately meaningless today. Let’s take the rolling stones lips as an extreme example, how many people that wear those t-shirts even know who the rolling stones are? E: Exactly. These days, it is all a repetition of what has already gone before. We live in a postmodern age so nothing is new anyway. I will say however, that fashion is directed towards thin people.
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESSICA VENNER
Do you think that fashion and music relate to each other? R: Absolutely. They have always been interrelated. The two combined have created some amazing movements in recent times, particularly in Britain. Obviously groups like The Jam and The Sex Pistols were born out of and defined by their own social, political and philosophical outlook as well, but the fashion and music is a huge, iconic part of it. E: It’s true, although I think that in some cases there are crossovers. It is easy to say that people who wear tracksuits must enjoy rap and RnB and people who wear skinny jeans, studded belts and hoodies must enjoy metal, EMO and indie music. However, there is room for cross over in the ‘pop’ category which is influenced by all genres in particular, whichever one is most popular at the time. I suppose they are connected in some way as they are both used to express identity.
the swedish invasion
he growing interest and fascination surrounding Scandinavian and Swedish design has taken our attention, and it seems their designers are becoming a growing force to be reckoned with. The culture of clean and functional design is gaining popularity in the UK high streets, all starting with the wonderful IKEA whose showroom is basically our flat. But what about the fashion world? Our high streets are becoming increasingly filled with it’s influence, and we hadn’t even really noticed. Many will be familiar with high-end brand COS, a brand with 11 stores in the UK offering a clean and sophisticated look, and whose bags one would usually see hanging off the arm of a posh stay-at-home Mum. But, for those of us who are restricted to a tighter budget (in fact, a lot tighter), they will be pleased to hear that the highly popular H&M are adding a brand new line in 2013, to be known as ‘& Other Stories’, giving us even more option alongside their long-loved collection Divided. And even better, if the current prices are anything to go by, the pieces from this new ‘luxury’ line are going to be sure wardrobe staples. Hurry up 2012. Another success story born from Eastern Europe is ACNE, a brand that rose to fame for its edgy styles and celebrity followers, including Alexa Chung and Blake Lively. If you’re lucky enough to have an extra couple of hundred quid rattling around in that purse of yours, you may have already visited one of their stores. Us on the other hand will stick to dreaming. Yasmin Sewell, a creative consultant and forecaster who has been instrumental in the brand’s UK success, confesses: ‘I never used to go but now I know I’ll always find brilliant things there.’ Wouldn’t that be nice? Carnaby Street neighbours Cheap Monday and Monki have opened their first UK stores, both exhibiting bold colours inspired by cool Tokyo kids, combined with the sleek sophisticated silhouettes synonymous with Swedish design. ‘The last 10 years have definitely seen a Scandinavian wave,’ says Henrik Aen Kastberg, CEO at Monki. ‘It might be because Scandinavians in general are not the most outspoken or loud – maybe we’re a bit more understated, and that’s in fashion right now.’ Happily, this shop is within our price range (i.e. reasonable). For two years now, Ann-Sofi Back, designer at Cheap Monday (a brand new to my ears) is responsible for pushing the label out of their largely denim comfort-zone. The Swedish designer, a graduate of Central St Martins College, began the main part of her career with ACNE, before starting her own eponymous brand, BACK, in 2001. With a fan-base of Robyn, Noomi Rapace and Rihanna, she can’t be doing too badly. While her expertise steers the wheel at Cheap Monday, alongside the brands’ offering of denim pieces (maybe more of a pay-day shop), we expect the store to be a moving success amongst Britons. These brands are all new to us now, but we can easily see them becoming as faithful to us as H&M. And not forgetting IKEA, of course. WORDS BY JESSICA VENNER IMAGE FROM MIKOLAJ D’ETOILES S/S12
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDRE&CUTHBERTSON STYLED BY ANDRE&CUTHBERTSON MODELS: GILA GREEN & JUSTIN CUTHBERTSON
ptly named, Phantogram is a band that inflicts an auditory illusion created with airy vocals, spacey keyboards, cut-up samples and only stands alongside a few within a unique sub-genre of American Indie music. The duo, from Saratoga Springs, New York, formed in 2007 consisting of; Sarah Barthel on vocals and keyboard, and Josh Carter on vocals and guitar. Upon first hearing Phantogram’s popular track ‘Mouthful Of Diamonds’, I could only find miniscule comparisons to any other band I’ve heard – they were that inimitable. Perhaps it was the tenderness of Barthel’s vocals or the pulsating yet offbeat tracks produced by Carter – I was genuinely hooked from the first twelve bars. Their second single - ‘When I’m Small’ can be heard on several television shows, such as; Skins US and Mob Wives, while also seeming to be in the background of a conversation on Jersey Shore. They’re one of those bands that you know their songs, but you don’t know their faces, so here is the enigmatic, Phantogram. Even though they haven’t been heavily publicized, their 100,000-strong Facebook posse has most likely been gained purely through word of mouth, in which admittedly I’m an assailant of too. In advertently, and by sure no surprise, their London show in Cargo last February had sold out two months prior to the show date. With making waves in Europe, and even more so in America, collecting hundreds of new fans each week, releasing exceptional records and the reputation of performing mind-blowing live shows, I still wonder why this band are playing in small venues in East London. The duo is still on the rise and has recently acquired a celebrity fan; Big Boi, one half of Outkast. This admiration has developed into a professional working relationship, with collaborations underway and way over due, budding ears are overtly excited to hear the end results. In addition, Carter and Barthel have also been in the studio collaborating with the larger-than-life alternative rock group, The Flaming Lips. Phantogram posted a short clip of their creative progress in the studio, smartly dubbing themselves ‘Phanto Lips’. As you can tell, there’s only elevation at this point for a band such as Phantogram, with their unique style of music that automatically catches eager ears. White Noise caught up with the duo in Cargo, post-sold-out-gig, post-television
performances and post-Big Boi collaboration. The band let us in on their very first gig performance, their music on reality television and the beauty of Detroit Hip-Hop. You guys seem like touring veterans now; do you tend to prefer performing at festivals or more intimate venues? Josh: They’re two different kind of beasts. I like playing in clubs more than festivals just because it’s more intimate. You have more of a connection to the audience, but then it’s a lot more fun to play in front of 10,000 people singing along to your music. It’s a pretty amazing experience. It’s just different, really. The thing about festivals is that you don’t really get a proper sound check unless you’re headlining or you’re Radiohead or Arcade Fire. Sarah: It’s a little stressful. You just check the lines and hire a really good sound engineer so he can just figure it out. There’s a sound guy at the festival, but you know he could completely slaughter our sound and we’re not kind of a traditional rock band so I don’t think it’s as easy as it is for other bands. Especially not with the mix we like and he’d probably fuck it up. [Laughs] What was your first gig like? And where was it? Sarah: Our first gig was in our hometown (Saratoga Springs, NY) in a place called King’s Tavern. We had decided to play the show about two weeks before it was going to happen. We were like, “Okay, let’s just do it. It’s going to happen. Let’s just do a show.” We only had two or three songs under our belt at that time. Josh: We only had two songs written so we wrote a halfhour set in two weeks. We just wrote whatever we could to perform. Sarah: It was really shitty sound. It was just us mixing the sound. Josh: There wasn’t even a sound engineer. That’s how shitty of a venue it was. About a hundred people came to the show! Wow! Were they fans that you already built up or new fans? Sarah: Yeah, it was fans from a collective record label we were working with called Sub-Bombin Records, and the bands that were signed to the label. They’re from our area in upstate New York. They helped us spread the word and we went around the town handing out CDs of three songs of ours and were like, “Hey, we’re playing next week or tonight. Come check us out, it’s a free show.” I think that was really helpful. 37
WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY JOJO KHOR PHOTOGRAPHY BY THOMAS CHATT
“it’s such an honour to say our very first collaboration was with big boi in stankonia studios”
You guys have performed on TV shows such as Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, how was that different from playing gigs to you guys? Was that more stressful than a festival set up? Josh: I wasn’t nervous, actually… Sarah: I was. Fallon was good because we got to play with Questlove (Drummer from The Roots) and we were extremely nervous for that. But when we ended being there doing sound check with him, he was so use to being on the stage on television that he made us feel a million times more comfortable. He’d be like, “Oh, yeah. What are you talking about? It’s so easy.” You know… And it was good. I was more nervous for Kimmel
than Fallon. I think Questlove soothed my soul. I think that made a lot of difference. Josh, are you disagreeing? [Laughing] Josh: [Shrugs] I wasn’t nervous for either for them, but I didn’t have to sing. I think if I was the one singing on these songs then I would’ve been more nervous. Your track ‘When I’m Small’ was played on the reality show, Mob Wives. How do you feel about your tracks being heard on reality TV shows? Sarah: Oh, ye-a-a-h! I’ve seen Mob Wives before and they actually have
decent music on it. When we first found out about it I didn’t really know what the television show was like. I was like “Oh, okay sure. People love god-damn reality television.” Yeah, I think if it was Jersey Shore or some other kind of shit then I’d be a bit more fazed about it. Josh: Our shit has been on the Jersey Shore. In the background… Sarah: Yeah, but it wasn’t ever announced and it was meant to be as the background music in the club during a conversation and my sister recognized it. She heard the beat and she was like, “What!” So I heard you guys are really into
Sarah: It’s so well known for it’s Motown and Soul, and I think what attracts me to the Detroit Hip Hop is the samples that they use to create that looseness. It’s not just unh-unhunh-unh [Replicates a four-to-the-floor House beat]. It’s just an organic sample that’s being used to keep a rhythm going, but it’s so off that the sample that’s coming from an old Motown record is so off because they’re just playing it live in a room. Josh: There’s a human element that’s so charming about it and not so digital and quantized. Sarah: It’s a bit more real. I kept reading that your guilty
pleasure song is Miley Cyrus’ Party In The USA. Is it still that track, or do you have a new guilty pleasure? [Both laugh and agree] Sarah: Oh, shit! Yeah, that new Chris Brown song that he played at the Grammy’s. I think might be my new guilty pleasure song [Turn Up The Music]. It’s really dancey too, and I’m not a huge techno-dancey person, and that’s kind of where he’s going or whatever. Josh: I don’t really feel guilty about music that I like… Maybe, like that Ginuwine song the other night. We were in Amsterdam and they played it. I liked it a lot, but I didn’t know who it was. 41
Detroit Hip Hop. What draws you to that sound and that whole music scene? Josh: For me, I think there’s something just loose and human, and just gritty about the Detroit sound. And, I think people who write and create in those surroundings don’t really have that much at their fingertips and are less privileged, so they tend to create art in general, you know? That’s what it seems like to me. It forces you to do what you can and what you have, rather than having everything available to you, and I think that’s what makes Detroit music so cool. It’s such a deprived city and so shitty, but great art comes from it.
I know you both like good food! Where’s your favourite place to eat in London? Sarah: Well we’ve only really experienced Brick Lane, and that’s the most memorable place we’ve eaten, but I guess it’s just Indian food in general. Last time we were here we had Indian food and it was amazing. And, we stopped off at an Indian restaurant on Brick Lane. We don’t really know of any thing else… Oh, there’s Fish and Chips, and the black pudding which I will never have again. Josh: Yeah, we tried it but it tasted like a scab. It looks like it too. What’s next for Phantogram? Are the rumors true that you’re collaborating with Big Boi (from Outkast)? Sarah: Yeah, we have! Well there might be some more happening. Is it just one track or more? Josh: We’ll see… Sarah: Well, we went down there in early January for a week, he had flown us out. We stayed at Stankonia Studios (Atlanta) for a week, which is where Outkast recorded, where Bobby Brown use to own, and TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’ so it’s very historical. There’s an amazing energy in the studio. It’s such an honour to say our very first collaboration was with Big Boi in Stankonia studios. Josh: Whitney Houston probably recorded there. So would you say you’re going down a more Hip Hop route for the next record? Josh: No, not really. We’re also working on a track with The Flaming Lips. We like Hip Hop and we like Rock ‘N’ Roll, and all types of music really. Do you know when the Big Boi collaboration will come out? Josh: We’ll see. It’s hard to tell when you collaborate with people what the end result will be, considering these are our first collaborations, you know. Sarah: The reasoning behind this is to have a record or a couple of songs to have on Big Boi’s next release in June. He has a million different options and different songs that all producers come in and make for him, so he has a lot to pick from. So if it doesn’t go on there, there’s potential to have it on a Big Boi/ Phantogram record. We’ll see. He really loves Josh’s beats, so he wants to collaborate. Do you guys write on tour? Josh: Yeah, we do, but it’s so tough. When you play a show then you get to your hotel at like 1, 2, 3, 4 AM and you have to wake up early… It gets really difficult to write. Sarah: It happened last night, Josh was tuning his guitar and he was playing just to stretch it out, and he came up with an idea so I grabbed my iPhone and recorded it, so we’ve got ideas to bring back to New York. Will you be touring more after Europe? Josh: It’s going to be our first time really being able to settle, we’re going to work on the next record. We’ve basically been on tour for two and half years, so I’m looking forward to going back to New York City and working on this record. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun getting back into writing.
the marijuana critic
Hey William. How are you on this fine day? As the Jamaicans say, I’m irie. Thanks. So let’s get down to business; how did you fall into the job you’re at now? Ass-backwards. Seriously though, the newspaper I work for, Denver Westword, put an ad up on Craigslist in the Fall of 2009 looking for a medical marijuana dispensary critic. We had been running reviews for a few weeks, but the staff writer who was doing them didn’t smoke marijuana and it wasn’t really his gig. I applied for the job, along with roughly 350 other potheads and somehow came out on top. What are your working hours like? They change from day to day, but I try and put most work away by about 4:19 every day, for obvious reasons. What’s a day in the life of William Breathes like? Could you outline your daily routine for us? Well, lately I’ve been doing more than just reviews and have been trying to keep on top of medical marijuana news in the community as well. So, I’m usually in the office most mornings just doing the regular reporter thing until the mid-afternoon. I also write a few things for our weekly cannabis newsletter, on Tuesdays.
For my reviews, I usually visit the shops on Thursdays and Fridays. I always go in unannounced and never let on that I’m there as a critic. Because we have to show our state marijuana card (called a Red Card due to the crimson hue) and our driver’s license at the door, I write under a pen name to make sure that I’m not treated any differently when I’m in the shop. Sort of like what restaurant critics have been doing for decades, only in reverse. I always walk out with at least two strains of herb and often some type of hash, THC-infused food, or other marijuana-related goodie. Reviews run at 4:20 p.m. every Thursday at Westword.com. Aside from the strain reviews, which I work on throughout the week prior, I tend to write them last minute, late Wednesday night from my office at home. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t get to smoke copious amounts of ganja at the Westword offices. I guess that’s more like a few days in the life of William Breathes. Sorry. When I’m stoned I tend to ramble. We can only imagine the positive side to the job you have but what would you say are the negatives to it? Aside from the occasional deadline crunch and pissed off phone call from a dispensary owner who didn’t like their review, no. Maybe having to clean my pipes all the time -- but that’s one of those first-world, one-percenter problems I probably shouldn’t bitch about. Do you have a favorite bong, and do you name them? I don’t have a huge glass collection. Maybe six or seven water pieces, three dry spoon-shaped pipes for reviewing and a dozen or so one-hitter scattered around my house in various unintentional hiding spots. I don’t really name them anymore either, but I do have a go-to piece. It’s a simple glass-on-glass joint combination bubbler and hash oil pipe that was made for me by a local artist, Ben Crowley, at Heady Glass Studios here in Denver. It’s less than a foot tall, and nothing intricate, but it’s got this hand-
blown asymmetrical elegance that I like. Plus, it fits perfectly in my hand. On average, how many different types of marijuana do you smoke in a day or week? Probably four or five strains each week. I’ve got the stuff I review, which varies a lot. But I tend to smoke just a few strains and varieties when I have the choice. Lately I’ve been smoking a lot of hash – both water extracted and butane extracted. Where do you think you’d end up working if you didn’t land this job? Right now? In Denver? I’d probably be working in a dispensary, and not just in some ancillary industry reliant on the dispensaries. What was your first high like? Life changing. Sounds corny, but it’s true. I was young -- late junior high -- and like a lot of kids, trying to figure out the world around me for the first time. I didn’t know it until after I got stoned, but it was exactly what I was looking for and exactly what I needed to find some clarity. Honestly, would you say you’ve landed your dream job? If not, what is your dream job? It’s definitely a dream job, and I think I’m on my way to making a dream career out of it. What kid growing up with a love for marijuana and writing wouldn’t one day want to pair the two together? Lastly, any future plans? Is there a chance that you’d open up your own marijuana store in the near future? No plans for that right now, I’m enjoying writing, with the objectivity of not really being a part of this industry. With the Feds still not budging on rescheduling marijuana so that it legally can have some medical uses, it’s still a shaky business to get into (no pun intended). I give big props to all of these caregivers, shop owners, managers, growers and employees out there putting their livelihood and lives on the line for this plant.
WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY JOJO KHOR
ust when you thought being a waterslide tester was pretty cool, here comes a new-age generation profession that truly hits the pinnacle of something you never thought would be possible. Honestly, how cool is the coolest job in the world? I found this gentleman who goes only by the alias, William Breathes, who writes for the online publication, Westword, based in Denver, US. He’s not just your standard journalist, but his job title is in fact a ‘Medical Marijuana Reviewer.’ Seriously. This guy gets to smoke a shit load of pot, write a review about it and get paid for it. It’s the ultimate stoner’s dream, right? I managed to have a catch up with Mr. Breathes via the cyber world to find out more about his job responsibilities and his daily routines as America’s first ever marijuana critic. Is this the ultimate high?
how to seduce your partner with heavy metal Seduction is an art. The art of being alluring and enticing in sexual activity. Naturally, we associate the art of seduction with colours such as crimson red or sensual shades of pink, jazz music, rose petals, lace and pretty much anything that Victoria Secrets’ has designed. Music plays a mind game with people and when you hear a saxophone behind Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, you know what it’s insinuating. It effortlessly sets the
sexual atmosphere for what’s going on, or going to happen... Now, let’s flip reverse that whole media-created aesthetic by taking a genre of music that isn’t seen as particularly sexually arousing and we’ll show you how it most certainly could be. We’ve trawled the four corners of the universe to find the most original and adventurous ways to seduce your partner, and we struck gold. The answer? Heavy Metal.
If we’re going to do this right, we better get back to basics. Despite what you might have heard, heavy metal is sexy. Muscles, sweat, booze, what more could you want? The first move to get you in the mood: head banging. This is essentially, violently shaking your head up and down in time to the music, and is
The Wall of Death. This is a group activity, but can be utilized when you want to get down and dirty. If you’re not familiar with this one, it involves the band directing the audience to part down the middle and spread apart to make a huge space during a breakdown. And when the song kicks in again, the crowd sprints forward to collide or beat the shit out of each other. But you’re not at a gig, you’re in the bedroom. Listen to the music. Make sure it’s loud. Got a breakdown or lull in the beat? Back away from your other half and wait in anticipation. Feel the adrenaline. When it kicks in, I’m pretty sure you’ll know what to do.
You don’t have to be a metal fan to know how to air guitar, anyone can do it. We’ve been in a few shady bars where even the most un-metal song can incite and drunken riff or two. Air Guitar is exactly what it says on the tin, playing the guitar, without actually having one. This is one of the sexiest moves you can pull. Lets face it, drummers beat it hard, but guitarists finger harder. If you want her screaming in ecstasy and breathless in awe of your mad soloing skills, let your soundtrack guide you. We recommend Dragon force or something similar (legend has it that the guitarist’s solos are so fast they have to slow the track down after recording so you can hear the individual notes, like Bruce Lee.) You’ll be working muscles in your hand you never knew you even had, and she’ll be reaching notes she never thought possible.
MOSH. This basically involves throwing yourself into each other as hard as you can. The aim isn’t to injure (although if that’s what you’re into then don’t let us stop you) so just mosh at your own pace. Normal moshpits don’t condone copping a cheeky feel, but forget about that, sex it up with lots of grabbing and
whatever else gets you going. Bump and Grind? We prefer Mosh and Crush.
Screaming. This one might seem a little obvious. A lot of metal music employs nothing but screaming on the vocalist’s part, and this can work to your advantage. As well as providing suitable soundproofing (just in case mum and dad are in), it also means that you can get involved and let go of every inhibition. There’s nothing hotter than wild, passionate sex. Now you can make as much noise as you like and just let it all go. If you’re really dedicated, spin some Iron Maiden-Bruce Dickinson sounds so womanly that you could give her multiple orgasms for an hour and it’d still sound like “Run To The Hills” from downstairs. Give each other an excuse to scream along. That concludes our Heavy Metal HowTo in seduction and all things sexy, guaranteed to give you the most sexual night you’ve ever had. Why do you think rock bands are always covered in hot women and idolized as sex Gods? Chances are, they’ve followed our tips and are now reaping the sexy rewards. Now go rock their world.
WORDS BY MILLY YASMIN PHOTO BY OLD BLUE LAST
especially effective with long hair. If you’re a girl, this is definitely one for you. Arch your back, swing your hair around in a circular movement (circle head banging is a popular variation) in time to the beat, and when you swing your head back up, lean back and slide your hand up your neck to move your hair out your face. If he’s not already salivating, try ending your head bang by grabbing another extremity of choice.
real life superhero: urban avenger
Started by James Philips, AKA The Fox, in the 1970’s (those hippies and their drugs), who used flamboyant tactics to fight against companies he claimed were ruining the environment. In the 1990’s, he published his exploits in ‘Raising Kane: The Fox Chronicles’. The rest is history (or a mystery if you have no clue this even went on). Enter… the ‘Urban Avenger’, a real life superhero fighting crime to protect humanity. And before you dismiss the whole thing as crazy, he has done some pretty commendable things we can all be impressed by.
I wanted to avoid the Batman/ Ninja-look. My first outfit was an olive drab jumpsuit and a balaclava. I looked more like a terrorist than anything. What made you decide to become a RLSH? Was there a particular reason or person? I think deep down inside I always wanted to be a superhero. When I was 18-20 years old, I wore a utility belt (it’s actually the same one I wear now, with more weapons on it) and I always tried to do the right thing. Long before I ever gleamed of being a RLSH I’d stopped a couple of robberies where I worked, and even helped some people get out of their house that was on fire. I think it was in my blood. Then I saw Kick Ass and the main character asks, “Why don’t people dress up in costumes and help other people?” I had an epiphany. After I got out of the cinema, I had to go online and look up real life superheroes, and that was when things got set in motion.
Where are you based? I’m based in San Diego. I patrol all over San Diego County. When did you become a RLSH? In July 2010. How did you choose your name? It was pretty logical actually. I knew I would be patrolling in urban environments, so I wanted that to reflect in my name. At first I’d thought of ‘Urban Ninja’, but I didn’t want to actually be mistaken for a ninja, and it just didn’t sound right. Then I thought of some “heroic” characters I always liked, who stood up for what was right, like Captain America, who was an avenger so thats how I came up with ‘Urban Avenger.’ What sort of crimes have you come across? I guess it depends on what you call ‘crime.’ It’s mostly assaults from drunken people in the club district of Downtown San Diego or just people getting beaten up from verbal disagreements. I’ve probably come across more than two-dozen of those since I started doing this. Do you feel like you are making a difference? Why? It’s difficult to quantify if I am making a difference. Where I’ve physically stepped in and helped people, yes. I’ve had people thank me for saving their life before. As for stopping other things like rapes, break-ins and muggings, it’s very hard to tell because I’ve never come across any such crimes. So you can attribute it to me having a “presence” in an area I suppose but I honestly don’t know sometimes.
urban avenger (middle) and friends ready to kick ass 49
s children, we all had an alter ego (I was ‘Vet Girl’, saving animals in the garden), but have you ever heard of those guys that carry it on into adulthood and actually fight crime? Yes, exactly like Kick Ass the film. They are known as RSLH (or Real Life Superheroes to you and me). Where we might leave our day job and sit down with a cup of tea on the sofa, these guys change into their gear and are off to fight crime and be all around good guys. The Dark Spartan, with his sidekick The Black Void and the lone hero The Knight Warrior are among those patrolling our UK streets for the greater good. But where exactly did this all come from? The answer, of course, is America.
If you could have a theme tune, what would it be? Holding Out For A Hero, by Bonnie Tyler If you were in a comic, which one would it be and who would be your archenemy? I don’t know. Most comics have super villians that I would not be able to handle simply because I either don’t have superpowers, or I don’t have the kind of gear or training that Batman does. Which comic book hero do you relate to the most? While Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Bruce Wayne (Batman) are the most famous non-powered superheroes, they are also billionaires and I can’t really connect with them. But of all the comics I’ve read, I think I relate to Spiderman about 90%. The other 10% is his ‘spider powers’, which I can’t relate to, Do your friends know what you do, who you are? A few do. They are pretty supportive of what I do. Some even want to sign up with me and patrol. How did you choose your outfit? I wanted to avoid the Batman/Ninja-look. My first outfit was an olive drab jumpsuit and a balaclava with some knee and elbow pads. I looked more like a terrorist than anything. On my first night out I met some of the most famous RLSH in the community and I saw their colorful outfits. I decided to go with red because blue and green still looked too dark at night, and I wanted to really stand out. I’m not sure exactly why I went with a hoodie but I think I was playing assassins creed at the time so that’s usually what I attribute the hoodie to. But my outfit has just kind of been thrown together based on more or less a whim of whatever I happen to come across in my daily life and I think, “Oh, that could be used for an outfit.” Some stuff I already had lying around that could work as well. I didn’t just sit there cooking up an outfit one day; it evolves and changes, as I feel necessary. Now I have spikes on my shoulders and steel bracers because I want to be more armored up and look more intimidating. What is your aim/mission? I don’t really have one. That would imply there is a goal in mind. As a crime fighter, or even doing homeless outreach, it’s a never-ending struggle that you can really only do your best to help make things better but if there was a goal, that would mean I would stop at some point because I reached my goal, and that’s not happening. WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY JESSICA VENNER PHOTOS FROM URBAN AVENGER
top 10 worst superheroes
Comic books have sparked the existence of hundreds of superheroes, mutated or non-mutated men and women that have been created to save the world. From outer space to the crust of the earth, they have been flying around protecting us for many years now. With this said, I have to mention the most important of the superhero pack, The Avengers. A group of superheroes created by S.H.I.E.L.D., a secret organization of eye patch wearers, and the new 2012 feature film sure does not disappoint! The Avengers is a supergroup of superheroes designed to protect humanity from anything. But the most important aspect is that we must recognize how effective each superhero is, because if a superhero were useless then I would rather die, than be partially saved. Superheroes are awesome, and the idea of being superhuman or just the mystery of being saved by a person with a hidden identity is incredibly alluring and insanely rad. But what if superheroes were crap? Who has the most ridiculous name? The most useless ‘super power’? We’ve managed to bring together the top ten socalled ‘Worst Superheroes.’
the red bee
Are you kidding me? It is a man named Michael whose superhero power is a bee that lives in his super belt. This guy goes around ‘flying’ and ‘stinging’ his enemies with allergic reactions. Funny thing to note is that male bumblebees don’t actually sting.
The Night Thrasher is technically not a superhero. He’s just a man that learned how to do martial arts. Rumor says, he watched his parents die in front of him and from then on he went around kicking thugs’ asses. What a good guy I must say; boring, but good.
What? Do they feel that inadequate compared to America? Well, there’s nothing unique here. He’s like a poly-superhero with a copycat name and unoriginal attributes that are similar to Captain America and Superman. Someone clearly ran out of creativity juice.
Okay, I know he isn’t a superhero. In fact he is a supervillian! I chose him as number 7 because it just pains me to know that he attacked Batman using a kite and has kite related weaponry. Really? Are these creators that lazy?
Section 8 is a group of superheroes. Now this is the epitome of laziness, the grandest of not caring, the biggest of flops! Sixpack: gets drunk and beats villains. Dogwelder: silent, sits in a welder’s mask, and throws dogs. Bueno Excellente: an obese Latino that chuckles and says ‘bueno’ all the time. Are you kidding me?
arm fall off boy
What made the creators think this was a good name for a superhero? His ‘special power’ is that he can detach his arms and use them as blunt objects… That’s not even a superpower, that’s just a disability he took advantage of. In the real world, I think people would just stare and feel bad for the guy. I do. He’s pretty useless.
As much as I don’t want to insult any Batman-related topics, but Robin is a must. He’s just so helpless. He never really needs to be there and when he is there, he’s dressed in tights and his only defense is running away. Robin’s earned himself fourth place because in order to be that useless and still get people’s attention for this long, you must be that badly entertaining.
Here we go. We are now on the final stretch. 3 More to go and you better be ready, these will be bad...
the wonder twins
The Wonder Twins are brother and sister, Zan and Jayna, that both have different super powers and when both work together, they are invincible. The Wonder Twins power activates when they touch each other and speak the phrase “Wonder Twins power activates!” The phrase is actually unnecessary and just a habit of theirs. Jayna can transform into any animal, whether real, mythological, indigenous to Earth or not on the planet. Whilst Zan can turn to water form, however, I don’t see any use in being able to turn into water. What happens when he’s thirsty? Does he drink himself? It’s just weird.
Created during the height of the dance club years in America. Vibe was a Spanish-American superhero that could create shockwaves similar to earthquakes, but spent most of his time hitting on women as well as dancing and drinking the night away. He no longer seems like a superhero to me but more like Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino from Jersey Shore.
This is a superhero that had potential, but was never given a chance. A man that was strong enough to take anyone at sea. A man that was capable of unspeakable things under water. A man so strong under water but was literally powerless on land. He’ll maybe throw a fish at you.
WWJD (what would jess do)
ou know those ‘what-were-they-thinking’ vinyl records your parents thought were brilliant in the 80’s, like ‘Whip it’ (whip it good) and ‘Snooker Loopy’, all now banned to the shed from shame? Maybe you were one of those who ducked for cover when your Dad’s yell of disdain meant that he definitely would mind that you scratched his prized (and collectable) Sex Pistols record, and yes he definitely did notice it. Whether you feel you should out of guilt, or you realise it is finally time to help your Mum take the last step in her therapy for getting over the disbanding of Wham, it’s time to give those dishonourable records a new lease of life as a practical addition to your digs. WORDS BY JESSICA VENNER PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE DIM SUM GIRLS
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Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Get a bowl, glass or metal, a bit smaller than your record. The shape of your bowl will be roughly the shape of your vinyl bowl when it’s finished warping. If you’re a regular baker, you might have some baking beads hanging around, which would be perfect. If not, a can of food would do fine (or, if you’re like us, some decorative stones in baking paper for lack of the other options). Place your record on top of the bowl; centre it so that the label is in the middle for the base. Place the weight (can, baking beads, stones) onto the record, pop it all in the oven on the bottom shelf and put the timer on for 5-8 minutes. Keep checking in on your creation. The vinyl will start to sink into the bowl. If you’re unhappy with the shape it’s taking, poke it a bit with a metal spatula (or something like that). Then the timer pings, oven mits on! Be careful taking it out, it’s really hot. The vinyl cools pretty quickly, so once it’s out of the oven, the shape is pretty much set. However, if you’re unhappy with your shape you can easily just put it back in the oven (but we recommend letting the bowl cool down first) and try again. Hoorah! A great new bowl.
Warning: Do not use your bowl for food, however tempting! Not even popcorn (sad face). Also, if possible, when you’re doing your thang, keep the windows open, or the fumes might make you funky.
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Find your record. Bonus points if you can score a clear or coloured record. A cool label is even better.
PHOTO BY JEFF SNOW
jr. jr. 56
The two met each other while playing in other Detroit music projects and began recording in Zott’s basement back in 2009. Fusing a swirling sound of indie pop, folk, electronic elements into one catchy package, the band worked hard in 2010 to produce their debut EP, Horse Power, on Quite Scientific. The duo have since produced their first fulllength EP, It’s a Corporate World that will be released in the UK on 21 May 2012. Gaining international popularity fast and being listed on HMV’s Next Big Thing has put Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. on the forefront of new music. With worldwide tours ensue, the band have expanded with the addition of full-time touring drummer, Mike Higgins who jokingly self-proclaimed himself as the heartthrob of the band. We caught up with them during their three-day venture in London to promote their new EP, ‘Nothing But Our Love.’ Just before their electric performance in Rough Trade East, we find out why they like us Brits and how their friendship blossomed. ‘Its a Corporate World’ is out 25 June.
Is this your first time in the UK? Daniel As a band, yes. Josh It’s kind of like New York City but bigger. But what I love most is that I think people speak a more beautiful form of English in Britain. British English is a more beautiful dialect of our language than American English, which is more nasal and more, I don’t know, less informed. They use the word ‘naïve’ here very loosely and I like that. So you guys named yourselves after a racecar driver, right? Daniel No…Yeah, we’re just kidding. Oh, thank god. What’s the story behind that then? Daniel I think it just sounds cool. I mean, we were going to be Counting Crows Part II… Josh But then I told that to one of my friends and he said ‘that’s the dumbest idea I have ever heard, why not just call your band Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr if you’re going to do that.’ And I just thought yeah, and then I called Daniel and he was like ‘pff yeah, perfect!’ And there it was. How did you guys meet? Daniel Well we kind of knew each other in the Detroit music scene, we were in different bands for a while but one day he just called me up asking do you wanna make a song so he came over and we made a song and that was the beginning of our friendship and the beginning of our writing together, so that was good. Josh And then we just kept on making songs and then that became an album. So you talked about the Detroit music scene, what is it like now? Daniel Kind of like the city it’s all spread out, very diverse, different pockets of different genres. Josh Yeah, there is a fantastic Hip Hop scene out there. Black Milk and Danny Brown are awesome; they just did a song together actually. We’ve got good stuff in Detroit.
How did you guys feel when the band got popular so quickly? Mike (drummer) When I joined the band? So like, early May… Josh What are you talking about? Mike I’m just kidding! Josh Well like, I think it’s hard to have a grasp whether it’s popular or not because we’re just in the middle of it. Its like when you look at yourself in the mirror everyday you can’t see if you’re aging, I think its kind of like that with our band. Sometimes every now and again we have this moment. For me it was at Lollapalooza where we played to 10,000 people and all of a sudden I had this moment and it was almost as if I had stepped on this escalator and I hadn’t been walking and I just looked down and was like ‘holy sh*t, we’re a little bit higher!’ I had no idea. As you said before you made music separately before forming the band, is it easier working together as a pair? Daniel I think the reason that we kept on doing it was because it was easier. At least we worked well together; it’s not always like that. Especially if two people are confident in what they do, sometimes that can clash but we ended up dissolving each other’s egos because we had a lot of respect for one another. Josh The thing that I love is that if I’m having an off day there’s another lead singer. Sometimes I think if a band with only one frontman and he’s having a bad day, the whole band comes off as bad. But if I’m having a bad day we’re still good because… because he’s great. Awh, that’s really sweet! What is next for the band? Josh Well we’ve got an EP out here and hopefully we’ll be coming back soon. Daniel Maybe some festivals in the summer. That’s the goal. Josh We’re releasing a record out soon too. Well we very much look forward to it! WORDS BY JOJO KHOR INTERVIEW BY LOUISE TSE
confession to not showering for two weeks seems a bit forward but that’s what you would expect from a band like Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Their music is a mirror of their personalities blended together to export trademark high-energy performances and placing delicate harmonic vocals over electronic instruments. Their music is simply honest, organic to the ears and tender in words. Not to be confused with the racecar driver, who the band in fact named themselves after, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr are comprised of Detroit duo Daniel Zott and Josh Epstein. Zott and Epstein actually e-mailed Dale Earnhardt Jr. to assure him that the two weren’t mocking him through their band name and sent the racecar driver some songs. Ironically, Earnhardt Jr. is now a fan of the band.
to kill a king
he beauty of songwriting is found when you can take words or an image and paste it with melodies and a beat, to create something emotional and timeless. All of this can be found in To Kill A King’s music – their songs are backboned by front man and songwriter; Ralph Pelleymounter. While being creatively put together with Ian Dudfield, Josh Platman, Jonathan Willoughby and Ben Jackson. This indie folk-rock band based in London originally formed in 2009. They have spent most of 2010 and 2011 fine-tuning their sound in the studio. Towards the end of 2011, the band released their latest EP, titled ‘My Crooked Saint’. This new EP hailed positive reviews and drew comparisons to bands such as; The National, Grizzly Bear, Mumford & Sons and Frankie & The Heartstrings. We managed to catch up with Ben Jackson (Vocals/Keyboard) fresh off the acoustic set at St. Pancras station for a chat on songwriting, their debut album and that Lana Del Rey cover. How did you feel your acoustic set went? Good, yeah. We just played at King’s Cross St. Pancras station for The Station Sessions - they film it, and record it and that. There were only a handful of people who were there specifically to see us, but then there are so many people walking through and anybody who’s got five minutes to spare. Lots of people sort of stop and stare, and it works out quite well. Do you find it easier or more difficult performing to a bustling traveling audience? Probably, harder I reckon. I mean people aren’t as friendly I guess – well they just don’t have to make an effort because they haven’t paid to see you perform, but it’s nice when people say nice things afterwards.
What kind of writers are you guys? How do you put together your music or a song? So Ralph (Lead singer, Guitarist) normally comes to us with the songs. He’ll come with an acoustic guitar part, the melody, lyrics and that; he kind of writes a lot when he’s watching TV. He watches a lot of HBO series and I think that’s when he does most of his writing. He’ll sit with a guitar and I think he sometimes turns the sound down and then comes up with melodies and lyrics. He then comes to us with the song, and we’ll just work out our own parts and a little bit of arrangement – so from that point on it’s quite collaborative, but he starts it off. When you see us play an acoustic set, it’s pretty close to what he comes to us with, but we’ll add a bit of drums and keys. The thing with our acoustic sets is that Josy, who plays bass, will play cello or double bass, which is nice. You’ve gained a lot of attention from your recent EP, My Crooked Saint, do you guys feel the pressure to create an even better debut album? Yeah, I suppose so. I think it’s going to be a while before the album comes out, but we’re all pretty happy with what we’ve got so far. We’ve recorded a lot of it already and it should be good. It’s pretty much done, but it will be quite a while before it gets released because we spent most of last year recording it. We’ve got to work on building our fan base before we make a big release of it, and that’s what this year is all about really, for the next six months. For people that haven’t heard of your music before, how would you describe it in less than five words? Quiet, then loud… Indie Folk-Rock. You guys do some pretty cool covers with really well produced videos to go with it – how do you decide which songs to cover? Who chooses them? So far I guess it’s been Ralph who’s
Will you guys be playing at any festivals this year? Yeah, we just found out actually we’re doing quite a few. We knew we were doing a festival in London called Field Day, which is pretty good and also Rockness, which is up in Scotland. We just found out today that we’re doing Bestival and Camp Bestival, and then we’re doing a bunch of other ones. I think we’re doing about 13 festivals so far. They’re coming in now, which is nice. So we’ll be hearing about new ones soon.
What’s up next for the band? We did Q sessions at XOYO and I think there’ll just be a write up of the gig in the next issue. It was like a pick of bands that they reckon will pick up in 2012, and they’ll just be writing about the gig and saying what we’re like and stuff. We’ve also got a tour round the UK at the end of February and March. But before we go off, we’re doing a thing what we’re calling a ‘Market tour’. It’s kind of a warm up tour where we go round to each of the cities where we’re playing at and just play at as many little tiny shows or to as many people as we can with our acoustic set up. So we’re just doing 15 minutes here and we were just in Oxford yesterday where we played a set at the Truck Store. How did you come up with the name ‘Market tour’? I guess that was one of the original ideas, was for us to play in market places. Like busking basically, but it’s too cold to busk at the moment. Not only for us, but people aren’t up for standing around. Then the name just
stuck and instead we just booked little venues. There was an indie night in Manchester and we kind of just went on the front of the bill and played without any mics or anything and played to the first lot of people, and it went down really well. It’s good fun. Also we’ve been playing in people’s living rooms – we posted messages on Facebook saying, ‘Do you want us to come round to play for you and your mates?’ And so we’ve done a few of them and it’s been great. Last night this girl put on a party and there were probably 30 or 40 people there who wouldn’t have known about us and we got to meet them. It’s just a good way of getting people down to the show really, because people will want to see you play the full set up. We found that playing to people is a much better way to meet new fans. So we’re on the ‘Market tour’, main UK tour and then festival season, and hopefully we’ll be putting out a single or an EP or something. WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY JOJO KHOR PHOTO FROM PRESS
chosen those two (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s ‘Maps’ and Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games’) and now we’re just working on a new one, which is a song by Feist. It’s called ‘Let It Die’ and it’s from the second album. We all just fell in love with the song at a similar time and we all decided we’d try and cover it. I think Ralph likes to cover songs that have a female voice, so then you don’t feel the worry with it sounding like the original. It’s easier to steer it away from that. There’s not a lot of point making it sound like the original.
foster the people Q&A
Do you guys get much time to write on tour? Mark: Not much, we have a little bit in the last month or two but next year we’re not going to be on tour as much. We’ve been on tour for 11 months straight with maybe like 5 days to a week off inbetween tours, so that time is seriously just to turn of all the lights in your apartment and to sit on the couch and to just stare at the wall. Is it true you guys remixed Lady GaGa’s song? How did that come about? Mark: Yeah. I don’t know, their people contacted us and asked us if we wanted to do it. What was the process like? Mark: Just really to get the vocals to build off the track, you know to create a completely different track. We wanted to do something that was really left-of-centre and really free formed. I don’t know if you’ve heard the remix or not but its cool. We didn’t want to make it into a house love banger material because she already has that, so we just wanted to do something and have fun with it. I heard you guys played your very first show to thirty of your own friends, and now your playing to thousands of people every week. Do you guys prefer playing at a more intimate gig as apposed to an arena gig? What is the difference for you? Mark: I have fun playing arenas. Cubbie: Smaller gigs are a bit more nerve wracking to be honest. I feel like you’re almost a bit more under the microscope, because it is so intimate. Every person in the room sees everything you’re doing, whereas in a big place where there are thousands of people, in a sense you’re still on stage, but you can sort of blend in with the crowd. It’s a weird physiological thing. Mark: There’s just more freedom on the stage. So what’s next after your show in Jakarta? Are there any other countries that you guys would like to play in? Mark: Yeah, Turkey would be amazing. I really want to go to Turkey; I mean really it would just be an excuse to visit Turkey!
quick fire questions Favourite song right now? Mark P: Thong Song by Sisqo Mark F: Give Me Some Truth, John Lennon Cubbie: Odessa by Caribou Cereal you cant live without? Cubbie and Mark P: Cinnamon Toast Crunch (enthusiatic high five) Mark F: I can live without cereal… What is something you do every single day? Mark F: Drink water Mark P: Eat Cubbie: Eat hot-sauce Longest you’ve gone without a shower? Mark P: 2 weeks Cubbie: 2-3 weeks Mark F: Probably like 4 days Tea or Coffee? Mark P: Tea Mark F: Tea Cubbie: Tea Cookie jar or penny jar? Mark P: Cookie jar Cubbie: Penny jar Mark: Penny jar Batman or Superman? Mark P: Superman Mark F: Batman Cubbie: Batman Will Smith or Will Ferrel? Cubbie: Will Ferrel Mark F: Will Ferrel Mark P: Will Smith iPod or Vinyl? Cubbie: Vinyl Mark F: Vinyl Mark P: iPod Beat or melody? Mark F: Melody Cubbie: Beat Mark P: Beat WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY JOJO KHOR PHOTO FROM PRESS
I’ve noticed a lot of your songs are very upbeat, but I’ve also noticed that they’ve got a lot of meaning in the lyrics. Is that a typical style for the band, and what is your process of song writing? Mark: My favourite pop songs in the history of music all follow this kind of pattern. They have those two combinations. It’s always been really accessible when you’re just listening to music than when you dig deeper into the lyrics. Our favourite songs are talking like it’s more real something that’s heavy, or something that’s just expressed in a different way. There’s so much pop now, that it just means nothing. Cubbie: Yeah, that’s what makes music timeless, as long as it talks about stuff that will connect with the generation. Rather than if your just singing about an iPhone then there’s not really that much to talk about.
a-z BY EMILY HARRIS
Prints are everywhere, but in particular, Aztec is the print to be seen in and is great for being bold and bright too
Although not for everyone, the ‘bralet’ can make for a striking addition when worn the right way. Flash a bit of flesh – but not too much - by teaming with your favourite high-waisted shorts or bodycon skirt.
Chinos are a wardrobe staple, opt for them in stone for a neutral look or smart it up with a navy pair, like these from River Island. They’re great with flats or plimsolls; otherwise match it with killer heels for a summer evening.
Most would tell you to steer clear of double denim, but we’re game for it! With the varying shades of denim available – printed, pastels, acid and brights – it’s so easy to work the look.
Embroidery signals summer – floating, sheer fabrics with some added detailing and these dungarees are no exception. Add a cropped top with high top converses for a relaxed feel.
4Love&Money are a great brand with some fresh designs – the collection is limited but we hope to expect more from these guys.
Gilets are in huge demand and for all the right reasons. We’ve chosen this warming number to keep the chill off during summer evenings.
H I J K LM
Hellish Embellish specialise in ‘pimping out’ vintage shorts ranging from studs to fringing to bugs.
Here’s an East London-based brand that turns the simple to the stylish, whilst keeping their designs casual. What’s more, there’s something for everyone.
Jumpsuits are an easy-peasy outfit to wear, and one outfit means less planning.
Khaki is a colour everyone should have something in; it works with pretty much any other colour you’ve got.
As a design, lace is quite varied, with larger prints to more intricate floral prints. Either way, we love every kind and suggest you stock up!
Maxi, maxi, maxi! It’s the new mini! With so much choice in dresses and skirts it’s a case of whichever suits you the most.
Trending this summer is neon and it’s Optics - We all have a pair of geeky a perfect way to liven up your outfit. glasses in the dress up box but they Choose between an ‘it’ piece or build up actually make a cool accompaniment to an outfit with neon accessories. a checked shirt and jeans ensemble.
Add daytime glamour with some lightweight ‘leigh’ jeans from Topshop. Boasting an array of pastel colours, they’re great for hotter days when you aren’t wanting to flash some leg!
QR S T Satchels are usually associated with being smart, business bags but now you can pick up sharper designs as well as slouchy ones.
Toms are shoes dedicated to comfort, they’re so easy to wear and come in every colour and material imaginable.
U VW XYZ
Another comfortable must-have is The utility look is made up of sharper a pair of Vans. They look cool with styles in shades of khaki or beige, a leggings and jeans but also give an edge much needed addition to any wardrobe. to a shorts and tights combo.
Wedges come in all different styles, whether you want to glam up your outfit or out to lunch in an espadrilleesque pair.
X-Ray = Sheer. Sheer fabrics are a pretty outfit choice and can be worn day and night. A long-line, sheer, sleeveless blouse thrown over some black leggings with pumps will hit the spot on a summer’s day.
Zara is such a great place to pick up some gems as well as stocking up on wardrobe simples and staples.
All things yellow. Sunshine, golden, lemon or ochre, pick a shade and wear it.
Quilting is a look that will be timeless; any investments you make now will certainly carry you from season to season.
Rokit specialises in vintage clothing and has shops around London, as well as a vast selection online. We like the idea of items being recycled, especially their vintage shorts.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DARREN ORBELL STYLED BY ANDRE&CUTHBERTSON MODELS: DANIELLE KAYSER, EL SAID ELGAMAL
hrough the smoke of East London is a gem that has yet to be discovered by mainstream ears and national media corporations. Ruby Goe is a diamond in the rough, armed with retro futuristic beats and rapines to her voice that encapsulates any vulnerable listener. Her brand new single ‘Get On It’ was released through her own label, Goe Music, in February. This new single echoes a post M.I.A. - electro-pop sound with punchy offbeat snares and a simple chorus hook to reel you in. It’s just that perfect formula for a great pop song. “Pop should be quick, spontaneous and natural. I like to start with a concept, a chorus line and work around it. Everything grows from that initial idea,” says Ruby. The track has already had its share of airplay time on Radio 1 from Edith Bowman and Fearne Cotton, as well as on Xfm and Capital. Ruby’s live performances are exceptionally electrical with a recent live band joining her on stage, which seems to draw her songs to life. At her last show at Yoyo in Notting Hill Arts Club, I was particularly impressed with her backing band, as this was their first show that they had played altogether. The perspiration from the drummer when he was powering through the marching drums on ‘Get On It’ was impressive and admirable. I had expected to hear the synth drumbeat fed through the PA and some crap speakers. Although the set was lacking in length, Ruby definitely leaves you satisfied but yet eager, and I’m sure new fans are waiting to hear more from her. Her next single, “Badman” will be released in July, with release of the single’s video out very shortly. How did you get into singing? I used to be a session singer, I’ve always sung. In school, growing up, I’ve just been banging some music; I just made it - not even a decision. It’s just like I AM a singer, this is what I do, so it’s always been there. What inspired your new single ‘Get On It’? Just going out really, there was a period of my life where I was just going out and didn’t really have much focus on anything else. It actually sounds like a track that’s about the greatness of going out, but there’s a bit of a twist at the end of it, which is about how depressing it can be! Is it actually a true story then? Yes! You released your single on your own label Goe Music. What was the reason behind this decision? I like to do this my way, basically (laughs), I think I kind of have a plan, and I want to keep my full artistic control as much as possible at the moment. It just kind of went that way; things were ready to go, so we went. Who are your biggest musical influences? There are loads. I love Prince, mostly because he is an insanely good musician and lyricist, and he just keeps on giving. He’s a huge influence on my music. Vocally, I listen to Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston. They’re incredible!
Your music style is really unique, how did it come about? It’s just a mix of things I like and things I listen to. I’m into a lot of different things. I like a lot of dance music, hip-hop and pop, so it’s kind of a mix of all those things. How was it working with Stanton Warriors? Great. They’re really funny, funny people. We went on tour last year. They released their album, and I had three tracks on it! It’s doing really well. It was a really brilliant experience. You incorporate a lot of fashion into your music videos. Is this something that’s important to you? I don’t think it’s something that’s important to me, I think it’s just the way it is and it’s quite a natural thing. I have a very unique kind of style and I think it comes across in the videos because it is unique. It stands out. Fashion and music? I think it’s just about personality. If you have quite a strong personality, it usually comes out in one of those outlets if you’re artistic. It’s usually going to be very apparent. Why do you think fashion and music go hand in hand? It’s kind of a natural thing isn’t it? If you’re a unique person and you know how to express yourself, then fashion and music are very easy ways to express it. I definitely express myself by the way I dress! If you’re making a music video, it’s a perfect opportunity to display that kind of thing, just go for it! When the cameras are on I’m just like, yeah! So what’s next for Ruby? I’ve got gigs coming up and I’m in the studio every day. I’ve got more interviews and recordings, and I also just recorded BBC Introducing, at Maida Vale Studios the other day. I’m in the studio the whole of next week, so I just constantly write. I keep creating, basically. Wow you’re so busy! How do you find time to be Ruby? That is Ruby! Ruby’s busy, that’s what it is. The good thing is the reason I started doing music is because I love it so much. It’s not a chore to me, it’s not a job, It’s just what I do. I never really feel like I’m missing out on having a life because I’m working all the time. Work is my life, so it’s good! WORDS BY JOJO KHOR INTERVIEW AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY LOUISE TSE
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the temper trap // need your love Three years after the release of their debut album “Conditions”, The Temper Trap are back with Need Your Love, the leading single off of their self-titled follow up. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the Aussie rockers, a tenner says you’ll be highly acquainted with Sweet Disposition. Need Your Love is almost certainly fated to be less omnipresent than their successful breakout single, but is still a catchy and likeable tune, employing the fuzzy synths and and strong drums that shot them to the top at the beginning. A slight change in direction, Dougy Mandagi’s vocals seem clearer and stronger, making this romantic entreaty ultimately more believable. A deeper, more mature endeavour - but not one that every fan of their airy debut may appreciate, and not one that will overthrow their previous single as the peak of their success just yet. // MILLY YASMIN
japanroids // the house that heaven built Being completely new to Japandroids’ music but having previously seen them described as “piss-drenched garage at its best” means that I was certainly intrigued and hoping for something impressive; The House That Heaven Built absolutely does not disappoint. This is music for the Skins Season 1 generation, the kids now too old to be popping crappy pills at badly organised warehouse raves but young enough to still spend the weekend partying and waking up in someone else’s clothes. With crashing riffs and as many singalong “woahs” as you can pack in a song without it getting tiresome, the only way to describe this track is anthemic. With chorus lyrics like “And if they try to slow you down, tell them all to go to hell”, this song is a kick up the ass, a cold shower and a blow to the senses-a reminder to stop whatever it is you’re doing and have some fun. MILLY YASMIN \\
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santigold // master of my make-believe Returning from her four-year hiatus, the successful Santigold has hit back with a banging album. Not only featuring herself but fabulous collaborations from Karen O, Diplo and the Portuguese-Angolan kuduru masters, Buraka Som Sistema. Santigold takes a more laidback attitude and allows the listener to just fall into musical bliss. As a second album, it may be less frantic than her first but is a perfect follow-up. The collaborations, the mix of laidback and upbeat grooves truly allow the listener to enjoy a different cacophony of sounds. The military drums, reggae attitude and fun pop allow this album to be a perfect music festival companion. This album truly demonstrates Santigold’s ability to not only be musically pleasing, but lyrically beautiful. ALEX BABAHMADI \\
friends // mind control If you’ve ever thought of a group that could turn a gig around in a matter of seconds of playing, Friends must be on your mind. After taking over the scene in 2011, with their mind-blowing singles, the only thing that this Brooklyn based band seemed to be missing was a debut album of their unique sounds. Together with its upfront and bouncy feel, “Mind Control” has taken synth pop to the next level, introducing its audience to the new approach to synth. With its head-bobbing beat, Samantha Urbani’s mix of sweet and harsh tones, the smooth synth, group reciting lyrics and drum solo, there’s no second-guessing how big this track will become. Although this may not just be a guess, since Radio 1 has already named it the ‘Hottest Record in the World’. There’s no turning back now, Friend’s is determined to climb their way up the ladder.
// FLORENCE PILKINGTON