Tuxedo Gleam is a cold wave/ minimal synth duo coming from California. They are one of those well hidden acts that are ready to be exposed, -hopefully-, to more people pretty soon, judging by their sound and the acceptance from labels like the great Aussie Detonic recordings, which have already included two tunes from them. Do yourself a favour and listen to these “creatures of the night”. They are worth it!
Angel Marie had a go with our questions…
Nice band name have to admit! Please introduce yourselves to our readers…
Angel: Hello, thank you! We are an electronic duo based out of Modesto, Ca. Aunt Gleam handles the synthesizers and drum programming and I do vocals.
How did the collaboration with Aussie label Detonic Recordings come about for the ‘Normalised : The Detonic Collection LP’ and your excellent ‘Fiction’ come about? Same applies for the mid-tempo killer ‘Musique’…
After joining Bandcamp we started getting a little bit of recognition from their community of other artists, labels, and underground music lovers. We always believed that was the initial start to getting attention from labels like Detonic Recordings.
So far you have chosen to release songs in compilations! Why this, and do you intend to release any single, EP or even album sometime soon? In addition, feel free to discuss about your previous releases ‘POUR FERRARI’ & ‘Darkened Corners‘.
Releasing songs on compilations just sort of happened. Once we did one, we started being contacted by various others asking if we would be contributors to their compilation albums. We are both huge fans of other artists so this type of collaboration always felt right and exciting. It also helped satisfy our cravings to release new music while working on what has become our new album. We both come from small communities where all the artists support and work together, so in a way it was a natural expansion to that. It wasn’t a conscious choice, but when the opportunity presented itself to work with others whom we admire there wasn’t any way we would say no. We have just finished recording the next collection of songs we’ve been working on. 10 tracks in total that we plan to release very soon. It’s been some time for us since we have released anything besides our contributions to compilations, and we are ready to share. Our previous album releases feel very different from our current songs, but to us it’s all Tuxedo Gleam, and our sound has transitioned along side of us. We experimented with different sounds and line ups, and through that we got to know ourselves better. Everything feels very right at the moment. We took our time recording while going through ups and downs in our personal lives, and I think because of that we feel better than ever about what we are about to release.
‘Minimal synth grime experimental pop’, this is how you describe your sound on your Fsacebook page! True?
The description minimal synth grime was something we just sort of slapped up on Facebook, but I feel it is an accurate description none the less. We don’t narrow ourselves to one sound, and we tend to go with whatever happens organically which I think lends to the experimental aspect. Everything we have recorded has been done in our bedroom and I suppose that’s where some of the grime comes from. Pop is very repetitive and I think we play around with that a lot in our writing style.
Hailing form California, I bet there should be a rich underground scene regarding your sound. Any bands/acts we should take notice of (before it’s too late)?
There are many and I feel like we are constantly discovering more artists. Many of the groups we have played with are our favorites such as: REDREDRED, Zanna Nera, All Your Sisters, Void Vision, Black Marble, to name a few.
How would you describe the Tuxedo Gleam’s live experience?
Dark, playful, anxious.
Which are your musical influences?
Our musical influences are our friends. Everyone we have played with. It’s the entire dark/minimal/cold/goth/
Can you recall your first ever gig?
Aunt played a couple Halloween house parties on his own before I joined, but our first gig as a group was in Modesto with Black Marble, REDREDRED, and Zanna Nera. Black Marble was touring and Aunt noticed a gap in dates, so he contacted them to see if they wanted a filler show in our small town. After they accepted we asked our friend Beca, who has a project called Zanna Nera and is based out of Oakland, if she would join. She then recommended fellow Oakland artist REDREDRED for the line-up, and he accepted as well. Aunt was an experienced performer, but not only was it my first show in Tuxedo Gleam, it was also my first time performing in a band, ever. It was an incredible life changing night.
What are your Tuxedo Gleam’s “working” conditions? Silence? Or maybe having people all around you?
Its very much a free flowing/stream of conscious style of writing and working. The ideas for the songs have come from many different conditions. A jam session with friends, an idea that came into mind while driving, sitting at the desk with the purpose of writing a Tuxedo Gleam song, or just a quick series of notes recorded on our phones in a moment. all songs came to fruition in our bedroom with ideas taken from those moments.
What do you think about webzines who support you?
We are forever grateful to the webzines who have supported us. Without them I don’t believe our name would have made it around to many of the people who have given us our first opportunities. They are a huge part of what brings underground musicians to light, and gives a platform to musicians who otherwise wouldn’t have been noticed or given recognition. We love them because they have shown us our favorite bands, and the idea someone who otherwise wouldn’t hear us getting that opportunity is both incredibly uplifting and humbling.
It’s a bit too early, we suppose…But what are thoughts about the tragic Oakland event featuring artists by the L.A. dance label 100% Silk? How could we avoid this in the future?
The Oakland fire was a huge tragedy. We have admired many of those people from afar and up close. It was a huge blow to the community that gave us our first chance outside of our home town. The artists of Oakland are resilient and strong and beautiful and they will continue the legacy and honor those who passed forever. I hope more people can be inspired and touched by their community in the way that we have been. Our hearts forever go out to Oakland and the ones who were lost that night. Many of the artists in that community have already started holding meetings, and workshops open to anyone who would like to learn about building the safest warehomes possible and ways to keep the venues safe for guests. I believe all artist communities could benefit from doing the same, and can only add to the strength of those communities.
Hopes and plans for 2017?
Our plans for 2017 are to release the album we have just finished, and hopefully play a ton of shows. We would love to make it to the east coast in the new year, but mostly we are just looking forward to the opportunity to play to anyone who wants to listen in areas we haven’t been in before.
Julie Aras – Christos Doukakis