What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation?
I saw KISS when I was six years old and I remember asking my mom what they did for a living and she said, “just this” and I was like holy shit, what a great idea. I’ve pretty much been at it ever since in some weird way. I have cassettes of me singing along to any instrumentals I could find. It’s hard getting a band together when your six. Ryan has a long musical history of his own, but initially he played some bass and keys with one of my projects. Later we got together and started writing our own stuff. We hit it off right away. We have convergent tastes musically for sure, which really helps with the fourplay. I almost always like anything he plays me.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Our single Slogans has taken on a life of its own. It’s weird, you know as a songwriter I’m never really sure what we’ve got going on musically until I watch people react, not with their mouths of course, but with their bodies. Slogans is really about a feeling more than anything specific and I sense people are getting that. A critic of John Lennon once said, “his lyrics make great slogans, nothing more.” That seemed sort of unfair, so I was channeling some of that in the lyrics, sort of mocking the idea that slogans are inherently negative.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
We were really inspired by the music of our teen years like most people. The level of sentimentality is ridiculous, but I genuinely love bands like Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Hall and Oates. We share a much harder side as well. Early Nirvana is something both Ryan and I agree on. The Cure is another. Johnny Cash. Chet Baker. The Foals. Are we moving too fast here? We like a lot of music.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
I’m not sure we are consciously trying to sound like anyone, or not sound like anyone. We’re probably not that well studied in imitation. Still, we use reference points all the time. Sade is mentioned with shocking frequency considering our sound, which is clearly something else entirely. Prince even. I would like to think our belief that we shouldn’t be afraid to explore any style has influenced our work to be somewhat unpredictable. We do have a certain sensitivity to mood, message and melody, but absolutely no attachment to any particular genre or style. We sound like us and we hope that’s why people listen.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Albums: Frank Sinatra’s Songs for Swinging Lovers, The Cure’s Disintegration, and Jeff Buckley’s To My Sweetheart the Drunk
Movies: 24 Hour Party People, Swingers, Young Frankenstein
Books: Parallel Lives by Plutarch, Dr. Sax by Jack Kerouac, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Both please. We have started inviting our most loyal fans into the studio for recorded performances. The energy is amazing and really it’s what playing live is all about. Connection. The moment. The possibilities for success and failure when you are doing it in real time. There’s some danger. It’s the best feeling though and it brings out hidden things in us as musicians. We don’t charge for beer either. Good beer.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
We drove to our studio together and realized neither of us brought the studio keys. Drove home, got keys, went back to studio. Then realized Ryan forgot the laptop charger. Drive home again while running through the checklist of requirements for a genuine effort to avoid a third trip. It’s amazing we get anything done sometimes.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Maybe “I can’t Protect you.” I love Ryan’s bass playing and the mix is really spacious and eerie. The funny thing is I barely remember recording it. It was the last thing we did at the end of a long day in the studio is all I can recall. The vocals are about tech rage though, that feeling of hopelessness you get when you reach a tech support agent and you realize they just have no fucking clue what you’re trying to explain.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
We are planning a couple of intimate shows at our favorite studios in the New Year. We’re big fans of 91X in San Diego, so you can request us (catch us) there on the local show. We are always recording it seems, so look for more material in 2019.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity.
If you could spend an afternoon with any musician living or dead who would it be and why?
Answer: Prince. I get the feeling we would just be sitting there staring at him and he’d be like, “What, you guys like mustard?” Maybe we could watch some Dynasty or something.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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