Category Archives: Interview

Bridgit Mendler (Interview)

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Bridgit Mendler is a young popster who recently pivoted her sound by releasing a new single, “Atlantis,” off her forthcoming EP, Nemesis, which drops November 4th. Photog Mallory Turner recently hung out with her to shoot some pics while FBV asked some questions.

Your new single, “Atlantis,” is a sonic departure from your debut album Hello My Name Is… What was the catalyst that inspired the direction of your new sound?

“I wanted to be fearless about making something different. There were things I’d been afraid to try before and for this EP I wanted to explore them. Some sonic influences were Nelly Furtado, J Dilla, and The Animals. But the most defining thing about this EP’s sound is the mind meld between Spencer, Book, and I. This project is just the intermingling of our ideas. And to me, the depth of the creative collaboration has been the most exciting part of the whole process.”

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How did you recruit the song’s co-producers Book and Spencer Bastian?

“I met Spencer last summer through our managers. I was determined to do try something new in our first session and not go safe. We had great chats about music even though the sound we first made wasn’t anything like the music now. Book came on board a couple sessions later and then never left. He was the missing piece.”

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How did you recruit Kaiydo to be featured on the track?

“[Through] my A&R at Black Box. Dylan [Bourne] knows his peeps and as we were thinking of features for “Atlantis” his name came up and was really exciting because I had already been following his music for a while. Kaiydo agreed, sent us a great verse, and ‘Atlantis’ was finally whole.”

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What’s the story behind the title of your forthcoming EP Nemesis?

“For this project I have asked myself a lot of scary questions: ‘What do I honestly feel? What sounds do I honestly like if I’m not afraid of people disliking them? What does it feel like to work really hard on something without anything guiding my steps at all?’ Nemesis was at one point going to be my new artist name. But it felt right to have this EP represent the idea. Nemesis is about, as corny as it is, confronting fear. Even superheroes have a nemesis who won’t go away. It keeps popping up again and threatening to defeat you. Every time I perform these songs I want to remember that I was scared, but for some reason the music was worth fighting for.”

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You said you wrote a lot of this EP at Silver Lake coffee shops and gas stations along the I-5. Which do you prefer?

“I don’t like spending time at home alone but I love being alone and amongst people at coffee shops and alone in the car. There is space to think and both have a constantly stimulating change of scenery. If I had to choose, I’d choose driving because I’m an L.A. girl like that. Nowhere else do people like spending that much time in their car.”

What can we expect from you next?

“Coming up next is the music video. Stay tuned!”

Mallory Turner: Website, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr

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Luna Shadows (Interview)

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Luna Shadows is a dark popstress obsessed with The Golden State and its infinite inspirations.
Photog Anna Maria Lopez recently hung out with her at the Santa Monica Pier to ask some questions and shoot some pics.
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What’s the story behind the title of your recently released debut EP Summertime?

“I went through a number of titles but Summertime was always the one that I came back to for a number of reasons. The project started in Summer 2014 and it was released in Summer 2016. The word ‘summertime’ appears as a lyric in a few different songs and the entire EP revolves around endless summer and Californian imagery. In a broader sense, Summertime represents nostalgia, longing, hopefulness, readiness, love, loss, youth, and freedom. Growing up in New York City, I would wait all year for the sun and the freedom that summer implied. It is both literally the season and also metaphorically what it represents: the arrival of something long anticipated. It is a simple word that means so much to me and so perfectly encapsulates how I felt during the writing of this record.”

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Some of your lyrics mention life in Los Angeles and California. How has living here influenced your music?

“Speaking of summer, it was always a dream of mine to live in California from the time I was a small child. I moved out here as soon as I was old enough to come on my own. I knew no one at all when I got here and now I can’t imagine ever leaving. It was both lonely and liberating at the same time which has also been my lasting impression of L.A. I was drawn here for the same reasons as most: the palm trees, the weather, the beach, the blue skies. But I’ve come to love the small underappreciated details about L.A. too. Being here has heavily influenced my music. It feels like the summer I would always wait for except it’s all the time.”

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How did you recruit Brad Hale to be your co-producer?

“I met Brad back in 2012 at one of his shows because I was a big fan of his band Now, Now. I approached him and his bandmates after the gig –we had lots of mutual friends– and offered them a place to stay next time they returned to L.A. Thinking they’d never take me up on it, I was wrong. Next time they came back they stayed with me. I baked them strawberry cupcakes before we all bonded over our love of cats and our collective social anxiety. We’ve been best friends ever since. At some point, I asked Brad if he would try working on a song with me. We sat down in Summer of 2014 and wrote most of ‘Waves’ in about fifteen minutes.”

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How about Thom Powers?

“In the summer of 2014, Brad was staying with me in L.A. –he’s from Minneapolis– and working on his music. He invited me out to tacos with his friend Thom of the band The Naked and Famous –of whom I was also a big fan. I almost didn’t go because I was too tired but I pulled it together. The three of us sat and ate tacos and drank margaritas for hours. It was a right-place right-time situation. Thom had just returned home from a tour and was interested in producing a project outside of his band. So we started working together. Sometimes it would be all three of us [‘Cry Wolf’], sometimes just Brad and I [‘Waves’], and sometimes just Thom and I [‘Hallelujah California’]. We all checked in with each other and bounced ideas around regardless. The two of them are my dream team.”

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Where all was the EP recorded?

“Every instrument on my EP is digital. The entire thing was created on a computer with the exception being guitar. We worked in Thom’s home studio in Echo Park for most of the demo process. I record and edit my own vocals either in my bedroom or in my friend’s closet in Mount Washington. This involves me standing in a soundproof closet in the heat of L.A. summer, with no AC or a fan –because it makes too much noise, for four to eight hours at a time. My computer would overheat and start making electrical noises so I would occasionally run into the kitchen and put it in the fridge to cool it down quickly. The things you do for love.”

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What can you tell us about your collaborations with Kamtin Mohager of The Chain Gang of 1974?

“Kam was a co-writer on ‘Cherry.’ We have written a few songs together but so far this is the only one we finished. Thom is also producing Kam’s record which comes out very soon so the three of us thought it would be fun to try something together one day. The day we wrote this song I walked in and started dancing to a few trap songs that I brought in for reference. I suggested that we write something with a dark hip-hop or trap beat juxtaposed with a melancholy chord progression that would tug at the heart strings. I had written the word ‘cherry’ in my iPhone notes around that time and I didn’t yet know what I meant yet but it all came together as the melody fell into place. Kam improvised the initial idea for the verse melody. Then I reorganized that idea, wrote the chorus, added my lyrics and harmonies, structured it out, and ran home to demo vocals for what is now ‘Cherry’ –my favorite track on the EP.”

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You just released a stunning music video for “Hallelujah California.” Where all was it shot?

“We shot all around L.A. but primarily in Silver Lake and Echo Park because that’s where I spend most of my time and where the EP was created. I also wanted to do something at the beach but present it in a darker fashion which most people don’t usually imagine when they think of L.A. So it was my idea to shoot a sequence at the beach where I wear all black and walk into the water at the very end.”

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Who are the tattooed twins featured in the video?

“The twins are Adam and Keith Brierley. In real life, they are two amazing guys who run a thrift store and have the coolest Instagrams ever. Morgan Freed, the video’s director, found them on Facebook. We saw a picture of them and we refused to even consider anyone else. They were so perfect. In the video, their role is supposed to be left open to interpretation. I want fans to interpret for themselves who they are and what they represent. I may never tell!”

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Why did you choose to shoot it in black and white? California is so sunny!

“For that exact reason. Everyone typically captures L.A.’s dreaminess and all its colors so I wanted to counter that classic image with something more modern and raw that exposed the darker parts. You can still tell it’s sunny and we’ve incorporated these prisms of paradise but then there’s this other element present where you can tell there’s something darker. It is the mission statement of my art as a whole to place dark and light things side by side.”

Anna Maria Lopez: Website, Facebook, Instagram

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PAPA (Interview)

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PAPA will release their sophomore album, Kick at the Dust, on September 16th via Hit City U.S.A. The album continues the duo’s epic, heartland-channeling indie rock but this time comes with a more riveting, spunkier edge. Here, we ask vocalist/drummer Darren Weiss some questions about the new album.

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What’s the biggest difference between your debut album, Tender Madness, and your new album Kick At The Dust?

Kick At The Dust is way more savage all the way around. We wanted it to sound and feel more like the live experience while at the same time experimenting with a completely new soundscape and textural palette. It’s raw as hell but still classy and highly sexual. Like a wolf in a tuxedo during mating season.”

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How about lyrically?

“Between the release of the last album and now, the band has gone through a lot. We’ve been all over the world, been in and out of relationships, and all of that has added up to a firmer sense of where we want to stand artistically and in relation to many of the things that don’t represent us within in our culture. It’s not a concept album, but these songs seem to hover around self-empowerment. [And] about immersing yourself in yourself and coming out of your beliefs and experiences to shape your culture and standing behind the codes you build.”

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What’s the story behind the album’s title?

“The album title is a little chip off of a poem from a collection of my poetry that was published around the time of our last album. The poem goes:

Swing high
Old hammer
Kick at the dust, wildly

That opening line is a little reference to ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,’ because in our time, in our line of work, nobody is ‘coming for to carry me home.’ It’s about making the world you want your art. Or your breath to live in. And pushing through barriers and restrictions. Often enough, letting the dust settle on your work or your vision is the greatest barrier of all.”

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How did you recruit the album’s producer Shawn Everett?

“I’ve actually known Shawn since high school when he was more or less beginning his work as an engineer. We’d worked on several projects since then and he even mixed a handful of tracks on our last album. I don’t use this term often, or lightly, but that man is a musical genius. He doesn’t care about anything but the artistic and creative merit of a sound recording. There are so many layers to this new album that people will probably never even recognize, but without which, would leave the album sounding so completely different. He’s a cultural archaeologist and [he] helped us push harder and dig deeper to find a more realized version of our vision.”

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What can you tell us about your live band?

“The live band has a tendency to shift and sway often with our band. We are lucky that we have so many talented and willing friends to help us share our work and our message to the people.”

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PAPA will continue their September residency at The Bootleg Theater on September 9th and soon after go on tour.

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PAPA: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Soundcloud

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Molly Marlette (Interview)


Molly Marlette is a former “show-biz kid” who is now a vibrant popster with a captivating new single: “Do Me A Favor.” Photog Anna Maria Lopez recently hung out with her to ask some questions and shoot some fun pics.

You’ve lived in Hollywood your whole life. How has the neighborhood changed over the years?

“I have a somewhat delusional view of Los Angeles so it’s hard for me to say. I pretend the sign on the hill still says ‘Hollywoodland.’ It’s like, to me L.A. is still the place where people go to dream. You know? Where stars are born. I’ll walk past the Chase Bank parking lot across from Chateau Marmont and picture the old Garden of Allah Hotel that used to be there with Charlie Chaplin and William Faulkner hanging out.”

You’ve been a trained tap dancer since childhood. Do you ever incorporate this into your live shows?

“I have actually! We put a mic in a box that I stood on and I looped some things. I also did for the intro of ‘Cause for Concern’ on my last album.”

You have a very fun aesthetic filled with color. Where does your inspiration for this come from?

“My inspiration comes from old MGM musicals, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe, and also David Bowie. I would love to work with someone who aspires to be the next Edith Head.”

Your pet Pomeranian, Theodore, is rather famous for his aqua blue fur. How did he end up this way?

“Theodore is groomed by the fabulous Jess Rona. I had seen her work before and told her to do whatever inspired her. He’s actually pink now! It’s completely organic, non-toxic, vegan, and pet-friendly.”

Your latest single, “Do Me A Favor,” is a synth-laden pop blast and a departure from your debut album The Robber and the Boy. What inspired your new sound?

“I’ve always wanted to do something like that and it felt right at the time. I grew up listening to [George] Gershwin and [Henry] Mancini and those are my biggest influences in terms of writing. But I remember when I was twelve getting a Happy Meal from McDonald’s that had a little MP3 player with ‘Stronger’ by Britney Spears. I think they were called HitClips. My twelve-year-old mind was blown. I remember being really confused because I wanted to do something like that but it didn’t fit in my Judy Garland box of goals. More recently I decided to mix them.”

Your music video for “Do Me A Favor” shot scenes at Vincent Lamouroux’s “Projection” installation, the “Bates Motel,” in Silver Lake. How did this come about?

“I was driving by on Sunset [Boulevard] and I saw this completely whitewashed motel –the palm trees and the sign and everything– and I knew that had to be the location. It was perfect. We got permission from the artist and the gallery but I still had to climb the fence in a white mini skirt to get in.”

What can you tell us about your forthcoming album?

“I’m working on more music. It won’t be too long this time.”

Anna Maria Lopez: Website, Facebook, Instagram

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Cocovan (Interview)

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We recently became obsessed with the glam popstress Cocovan and her femme-pop anthem “Mirage of Us.” And we wanted to know more about the repetitive LA transplant, so we interviewed her as photographer Kristin Cofer shot some pics.

You’re a native Parisian, but you love to spend time in LA. What keeps bringing you back?

“I like Paris a lot, but like every place it can get repetitive and I like the major contrast that LA can provide. The two cities are very different yet complementary. The first time I came here was ten years ago and I’ve been coming back every time I need a little sunshine, palm tree, and a kale smoothie.”

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Do you believe what city you’re in affects your music?

“Absolutely. I love absorbing the aesthetics of a city and its musical background. And it definitely taints my work musically and visually. The part of LA that inspires me the most is Hollywood, the David Lynch atmosphere, as well as the ’80s neons and vintage cars in a glorious sunset.”

What’s the biggest difference between the music scene in LA versus Paris?

“The LA music scene is more active than the Paris one at the moment. There have been a lot of interesting scenes in Paris at different periods but I feel like right now is a down moment. LA is where it’s happening right now. All of my New York musician friends moved here too.”

Your latest single, “Mirage of Us,” is a retro-pop power hit. What influenced its creation?

“I was craving organic sounds and groove so I exclusively listened to ’70s and ’80s jams for months: Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Shalamar, the Bee Gees. And I started adding more reverb everywhere in my music. I guess that’s how the overall sound for the song happened but I wasn’t over thinking it much.”

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You also produced the song yourself. Was this really challenging?

“It was definitely a bit challenging even though I’ve actually been into producing for a while. My approach to producing is more old school –more spending a lot of time perfecting every sound. I feel like that’s not always the case anymore nowadays. My ex-boyfriend is a music producer and guitarist and he is the one that got me into it. I use Ableton mostly, a zillion plug-ins, and some analog synths depending on what I have at hand or where I’m recording.”

What can you tell us about your next single, “Chic,” and its music video?

“‘Chic’ is my favorite song I’ve ever done. It is really optimistic and fun and empowering. It is about letting go of your bad past relationships and being confident that you’re going to meet the right person one day. My friends and our broken hearts inspired the song. I shot the music video in London. I directed it and had the best team of friends to help me make it come to life.”

What can you tell us about your forthcoming EP?

“The EP is still untitled for now and I think it will come out in the beginning of next year. The general vibe is definitely positive and hopeful. It has a smooth and dreamy vibe to it yet a lot of strength I think. And slap bass.”

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What do you hope to achieve while you’re still in LA?

“Well… to get my driver’s license.”

Kristin Cofer: Website, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr

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Ofelia K. (Interview)

IMG_9164Popstress Ofelia K. has only leaked two tracks off her forthcoming debut EP (dropping August 25th via South By Sea), but she’s already wooed the blogosphere’s colletive heart by having an uncanny ability to play with blatant pop without getting stuck in bubblegum kitsch.

We wanted to learn more about the indie pop darling so we teamed up with David Evanko of MINIVAN Photography to shoot some pics and ask some questions in and around her Box Canyon hood and the Malibu Lagoon.

Out of all the places to live in L.A., how did you end up in beautiful Box Canyon?

“One day I was just looking at all of the green, nature areas on the map around L.A. and there it was. I’ve lived in other areas of the city but really like Box Canyon because it’s peaceful and has a southwestern vibe. They used to shoot old westerns like The Lone Ranger and Zorro here. It’s kind of a secret hideaway canyon –which is nice.”

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What’s your favorite thing to do around here?

“Probably running and hiking with my dog in the hills. My house is a little oasis with a big garden. It’s a great place for creativity and writing music.”

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How did your previous music project, wanderhouse, come to an end?

Doctor Rosen Rosen and I started wanderhouse together and we released three songs. They were atmospheric and had a melancholy feel. I started my solo project because I was itching to make more music and liked the idea of doing something in the pop realm. He worked on my EP with me: co-writing two of the songs and producing three of them.”

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Your debut single, “White T-Shirt,” went viral. What do you think is its magic formula?

“Maybe it’s the combination of players involved? Ben Cassorla, Patrick Lynch, and I co-wrote it together –all bringing our different styles to the table. Ben started the production and added a lot of the organic elements. Then I took it to Mighty Mike [of KOLAJ] who worked his magic and gave it a nice pop glaze.”

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Is there a story behind its title and lyrics?

“To me, this is a song about memories and time passing and the strange, sad, beautiful feeling of nostalgia. The white t-shirt part is a memory in my head from when I was younger.”

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What can we expect from your debut EP dropping August 25th via South By Sea?

“We’re going to release each song as a single which will form the EP. So there will be four songs in all plus a rad remix of ‘White T-Shirt!'”

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How did you originally meet your EP’s other producers: Ben Cassorla and Mighty Mike?

“They were both friends of Doctor Rosen Rosen so he introduced me. Mighty Mike was in the studio next to DRR and I used to see him there a lot. I did a lot of writing with Ben for this EP. We also consumed a lot of smoothies and peanuts.”

Have you started working on your debut LP yet?

“I’m always writing and making demos but haven’t actually started the process of working with a producer or anything yet.”

MINIVAN Photography: FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblr

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Nightjacket (Interview)

Nightjacket_061415-467Nightjacket releases their debut EP, Eternal Phase, tomorrow (June 23rd) which includes the swaying dream pop single “It’s Alright”:

So Free Bike Valet and photographer Jessica Chanen met the band in Beachwood Canyon to shoot some pics and ask guitarist Jordan Wiggins some questions.

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You met frontwoman Holland Belle when she performed at a backyard party in Atwater Village. What made you want to collaborate with her?

“Holland was singing some of her songs solo on an electric guitar and her voice and presence just struck me. Come to find out later that she’s classically trained –she used to sing opera all across Europe– which makes complete sense but I didn’t know when I first heard her. It was great timing though, because I was writing these dark, dreamy pop songs. As I continued to develop new songs I think I had her voice in mind –consciously or not. The next time we ran into each other I asked her if she wanted to collaborate and I sent her a couple demos. We started working on new songs every couple weeks and eventually the record came out of our favorite songs from those sessions. That’s how Nightjacket was born.”

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How did you recruit the rest of your lineup?

“[Bassist] Steve Lucarelli, [guitarist] Louie Schultz, and [drummer] Diego Guerrero were all friends of ours already. Luckily it’s worked out that they dug the music and wanted to join. Steve actually played some bass parts on the record but was in another band at the time so I didn’t know if he’d be able to join. But it’s worked out.”
Is the band’s moniker an intended reference to the band’s sonic ambience?

“Yeah. We’ve always thought of the music as having a lot of nocturnal imagery and most of the songs or key melodies were written at night. The origins of the name though grew out of a term I’d been using since I moved from the hot summer nights of Virginia to the cooler nights of Los Angeles. I couldn’t get over how, even on a hot day here, you knew you’d still need to bring a jacket for the evening. Nightjacket was the term and it seemed like a good fit for the music as well.”

Where does the title of your debut EP, Eternal Phase, come from?

“‘Eternal Phase’ is the title of the fourth track on the EP and it’s kind of the climax of the record if you will. I guess at its core the song is about time and growing up and how things seem to flash by and change without you noticing at first. It’s kind of a reminder –perhaps to myself especially– to take the time to appreciate things while they’re here. Near the end of the song you can faintly hear the backing vocal singing ‘You’ve got the time.’ Also, the initials of Eternal Phase are EP so there was really only one logical choice regarding what to name the EP.”

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What do all the songs on your EP all have in common?
“The strongest commonality between the songs on the EP –other than the stylistic similarities– is that they all convey an honest feeling or emotion. I think that’s why we write songs: to convey something that we might not otherwise be able to convey and those things come through to the listener if they’re done right.”
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Do you have plans for an full-length?

“Yeah. We’re writing for our next release and we’re playing one of the songs out live already. We’ve got some dream producers in mind but who knows. Maybe we’ll do it ourselves again as we did with this one? We’re aiming to have a full album ready to release around spring of next year.”

Nightjacket: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bandcamp, Soundcloud

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Beach Party booked for July residency at The Echo (Interview)

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Garage surf rawkers Beach Party recently booked July’s Monday night residency at The Echo (RSVP via DoLA).

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So Free Bike Valet and photographer Sheva Kafai (House After House) hung out with the band throughout Echo Park to shoot some 120mm pics and ask bassist Adam Arcos some questions.

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What made you decide to do a residency?

“We just finished recording a new EP, Ripper, which we will be releasing at the end of this month. It’s been awhile since we’ve released any new material and we’ve held back on playing shows lately so the residency is a good chance for people to come out and see us and hear our new stuff.”

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Why did you choose The Echo?

“I think The Echo is a milestone for any kid growing up in L.A. to want to play a show at. Everyone passing through L.A. on tour played on that stage at one point in their career. It’s the biggest small venue if that makes any sense.”

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Who are your opening bands?

“Still ironing out some of this but right now our friends The Buttertones featuring Sean [Redman] from Cherry Glazerr, Wild Wing, The Pesos, and Cg Roxanne and the Nightmares which is Marlon [Rabenreither] from Gold Stars new band.”

What other Los Angeles-based bands do you admire?

Ty Segall is an insane machine putting out so much good music it blows my mind. Chad who plays with Ty in Fuzz is amazing as well as his main project Meatbodies. Also FIDLAR, Bleached, Tijuana Panthers –but I think they’re actually from Long Beach, Cherry Glazerr, Together Pangea, No Parents… there’s so much good music coming out of L.A. right now it’s hard to keep up. Oh and technically X are still active. So X.”

Do you have a pre-show ritual?

“Just finding one another before a show is difficult enough. I don’t think we’d ever have time for a ritual.”

What can we expect from your set every week? 

“It’s gonna be loud and it’s gonna be fun. We’re playing a bunch of new songs we haven’t played for anyone yet so we’re pretty excited about that.”

What do you hope to gain by doing a residency at The Echo?

“Just to have a good time.”

What are you looking forward to the most? 

“Playing with a bunch of rad bands and friends.”

Sheva Kafai: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

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Northern American (Interview)

Untitled-1Northern American recently released their debut album, Modern Phenomena, via Heist or Hit Records. So MINIVAN Photography and Free Bike Valet visited the band at The Continental Room to shoot some pics and ask frontman Nate Paul some questions.

How does it feel to finally have your debut full-length out?
“It feels like we’ve got a huge weight off our chests. Once you put it out there, it does it’s thing. It’s totally unpredictable where it will go and that is something that excites us.”
How did you choose the album’s title Modern Phenomena?
“We couldn’t help but look around and realize we’re in some sort of surreal virtual reality. What you see is all.”
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How did you come to work with producer Raymond Richards?
“He was introduced to us through Jacob [Summers] of Avid Dancer. We had just played The Echo and were all hanging backstage talking about recording and the universe. Jacob subsequently introduced us the next day via email to Raymond and the next thing we knew we were cutting tracks.”
How do you collaborate as a band?
“We write together in a way that we would paint collectively on a canvas. We each have our own colors and we paint on the canvas with mindfulness toward the bigger picture. We try to bring out the best in each other.”
Does this make the recording process arduous?
“The recording process is very chill. The only arduous part of recording is in regards to getting the right tones. Raymond usually got the tones fairly quickly on the record which generally made for smooth sailing.”
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Did SoCal living have an influence on this album?
“Yes, absolutely. Driving on the PCH with the windows down feels just as good today as it did when we were sixteen years old. It’s a timeless feeling that never loses it’s effect. That feeling, indirectly, is what we hope to convey through the music.”
You’re signed to Heist Or Hit Records based in the UK. Why are you so big in England?
“Heist or Hit Records has been the best thing to happen to us. Their support and hard work has really put us on the map. Our dream was to always get out of L.A. as fast as possible and Heist coming along was a dream come true.”
What can we expect from Northern American next?
“We’ve got a west coast tour planned in late July. We’re hoping to fly over to the UK soon after. We’ve got another music video thats on the way. And in the time in between, we’re always working on new material.”
MINIVAN Photography: FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblr
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“Gearin’ up for Desert Daze” w/ L.A. WITCH

IMG_7840-1Psychedelic surf rockers L.A. WITCH will perform at the 4th annual Desert Daze on May 2nd…

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…so Free Bike Valet and MINIVAN Photography recently visited the band to shoot some pics and ask some questions about the upcoming music fest as they recorded a new single with producer Joel Jerome.

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What can you tell us about this studio?
Ellie English (drums): “The studio is called Abbey Road West. We met Joel [Jerome] through Lucy [Miyaki] from Tashaki Miyaki. They recorded our first EP with our original drummer. This is our third recording session with Joel for our first full-length cassette which is coming out this year. Joel is a talented musician, producer, and engineer. He records a lot of rad L.A. bands.”
You performed at last year’s Desert Daze. How was that?
Ellie: “We were really excited.”
Irita Pai (bass): “We’d never been a part of any Moon Block Party event so when Phil [Pirrone] invited us to play we were super stoked. We played really early in the day. It was super hot but the sound was amazing and there was a great crowd there.”
Sade Sanchez (guitar, vocals): “We got the chance to play with bands we grew up listening to which was cool.”
To you, what has Desert Daze grown to become?
Sade: “It’s inspiring to see a small group of people with not a lot of funds create and put together a festival of that scale. And bringing bigger bands and smaller bands together on the same stage.”
Ellie: “People get introduced to new music and get to see really big bands they’ve listened to before.”
How do you feel about playing again this year?
Sade: “We’re excited to be a part of it again. It’s gonna be a cool way to kick off our May tour.”
Ellie: “I’m looking forward to playing again this year. Camping and hanging out with friends is a lot of fun too.”
Irita: “It’s always a good time.”
How are you preparing yourself?
Ellie: “Last year we packed my ’95 Honda Odyssey with six people, camping gear, band equipment, and overnight bags. This year we upgraded to a bigger van and we finally have t-shirts!”
Sade: “They were designed by our friend Clay Cavender who we met at one of our shows.”
What can we expect from your set on May 2nd?

Irita: “We will be playing new songs at Desert Daze for our month long tour revolving around the Midwest, the South, and Austin Psych Fest!”

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