Tag 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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Madeline Spooner (Interview)

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Madeline Spooner is a young songstress who just released her new EP, NAUTILUS, which conjures a swirl of ravishing mood pop within every track. Photog Anna Maria Lopez recently caught up with the singer to shoot some portraits and ask some questions.

You’re a native of the Midwest. How did you come to move to Los Angeles?

“I romanticized living on the West Coast all throughout my high school years. So many great bands that I was influenced by, like The Doors, came out of L.A. and I just knew this was where I needed to be. My parents insisted I go to college and with very little thought or research I set my sights on CalArts and got in. I came out in 2009 to study music and was shell-shocked when I realized The Valley was not the beach and 2009 was not 1969. There are so many redeeming qualities to the city but I do miss thunderstorms and that simple Midwestern lifestyle.”

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How did you choose the title of your new EP NAUTILUS?

“The name chose itself. I saw a spiral shape in a bunched up blanket on my couch in a sort of subconscious flash. I knew it was the title of the EP at the moment I saw it. The nautilus and its divine proportions is the mathematical formula that makes up creation. NAUTILUS revolves around themes of life, death, rebirth and transformation. At the time I was writing it I was having dreams in which I was dying of a terminal illness and was also present with my friend and CalArts music mentor who was dying of cancer. And all of that influenced the music. I also finished the record with the song that I started with before meeting my producer, Ethan Allen, which is titled ‘Into The Womb.’ So it really came full circle, just like a spiral.”

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Was there a catalyst which made you decide to incorporate electronic production into your acoustic songwriting?

“Yes. Absolutely, there was a catalyst. For most of my life I only listened to classic rock and then in my early teens I listened to various female folk-pop artists. When I discovered CocoRosie’s electronic freak folk album Grey Oceans, it turned my world upside down in a good way. I started hearing electronic music in my head before going to sleep at night. It was totally clairaudient because the sounds I was hearing were so visceral. It was as if I was an antenna picking up radio waves from some distant place or time. There is no way I could ever record or notate what I was hearing because it is far too complex. But from then on, I knew I wanted to incorporate more in my music.”

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How did you come to work with your producer Ethan Allen?

“I was working at a coffee shop in Silver Lake called Mornings Nights and Ethan was a customer. A coworker told me he was someone very special that I should know. It turned out to be very true. At that time I was still self-producing and about a year later I sought Ethan’s help. After just one meeting I knew he was the guy to work. NAUTILUS was a true collaboration and co-production. When I brought the songs to him it was as if he had been there from the beginning of the original idea. That’s when you know you’ve got a true collaborator because it feels like you don’t need to verbalize much.”

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What is the overall lyrical theme of this EP?

“There are a lot of deep, heady philosophical ideas but there is a fair amount of playfully facetious and provocative naïvete to the lyrics. Words like ‘let’s make a porn out in the corn’ and ‘I am the whore, lucky you are’ are covertly executed in the way they are sung and snuck into the rhythm of the melodies. They are lyrics that aren’t necessarily the focus of those songs but flavors of the human experience that can’t be ignored. I mean, you can’t have life or death without sex in the mix.”

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You use projections in your live shows. How do you curate the images?

“I have been leaning towards a more modern look with clean lines and shapes where the function of the projections should serve to heighten the experience and enhance a trans-like state. The projections are there to support the experience. I want people to get a feeling like they are lifting off the ground.”

Have you gotten your nautilus tattoo yet?

“Who said I was getting a nautilus tattoo?”

Anna Maria Lopez: Website, Facebook, Instagram

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Saint Motel at Bonnaroo (Interview)

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Saint Motel performed at Bonnaroo this year.

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So photographer Mallory Turner shot some pics while Free Bike Valet asked frontman A/J Jackson some questions.

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You’ve never played Bonnaroo before. What did you expect?

“We expected a good ole time and that’s exactly what we got.”

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What’s your go-to outfit for summer music festivals?

“Heat is definitely a factor. If we were on the outdoor Midwestern winter festival circuit we’d be wearing nothing but triple fat goose down jackets. Bonnaroo is all about the least amount of clothing you can wear.”

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What did you want your audience to take away from your set today?

“Take away some new lifelong friends. A smile. Maybe they met a lover. Maybe they met God. Or maybe they just grabbed the setlist.”

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As a band founded by two former film school students, do you mainly agree or disagree on your favorite movies?

“Mainly agree. Very different tastes though. So when we all agree it must be a damn good movie.”

Any plans to direct more music videos?

“I always have a good time directing for Saint Motel. Not sure what the cards hold for these next couple videos but we know where to find me.”

What can you tell us about your sophomore album?

“We will tell you everything super soon. Couldn’t be more excited!”

And will any of the songs feature more beer bottle percussion?

“We have upgraded to entire six and twelve packs. One song even features multiple kegs which have a steel drum sort of tone.”

Mallory Turner: Website, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr

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Marian Hill at Bonnaroo (Interview)

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Neo-soul jazzsters Marian Hill performed at Bonnaroo this year.

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So photographer Mallory Turner shot some pics while Free Bike Valet asked some questions.

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You’ve never played Bonnaroo before. What do you expect from the experience?

Samantha: “We expect it to be hot, dusty, and wild. We’ve heard great things about Bonnaroo from artists who’ve performed and people who’ve gone, so we’re super excited to play. It’s also awesome to play at night at these big festivals and we have a perfect set time. So that’s an added bonus.”

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What can we expect from your set?

Samantha: “You’re going to hear a mix of old songs from our Sway EP and new ones from ACT ONE –both released and unreleased. We want the audience to be transported. To forget about everything else and vibe and dance with us. One of the best things about writing music is getting to perform it for people. So we hope they love it.”

Jeremy: “We want them to lose themselves in the music –shoutout Eminem! We want them to see how live electronic music can be.

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What’s the story behind the title of your forthcoming album, ACT ONE, which drops on June 24th?

Jeremy: “The thing this album is, more than anything else, is the beginning of Marian Hill. We pushed ourselves to explore all the facets of our style and in doing so establish the first chapter of our sound. Our name is also derived from when we met doing theater in middle school and there is a theatricality to our songwriting style. This is its first act.”

Its first leaked single, “Mistaken,” features jazz musician Steve Davit who you frequently collaborate with. How did you find him?

Jeremy: “Steve is another friend that dates back to middle school. We’d already incorporated sax into our music but didn’t know how and if we would use it live. It just so happens that Steve is a damn sexy and talented sax fiend so for our first live show we asked if he would play with us. It was pretty clear after the first performance that he would become an integral part of our live show.”

You’re playing a slew of music festivals this summer. Any survival tips?

Samantha: “Always bring a change of clothes. I’ve now lost clothes to rain and dirt. Stay hydrated and take it all in. Not just the music, but the setting and the weather and the rides and the crowd. When it downpours at Governors Ball and water is collecting in your pockets and mascara is stinging your eyes: just lean into it and love it. That and bring a snack. Something candy-ish. I find I crave candy at like 2:00 AM only after shows. Very bizarre.”

Mallory Turner: Website, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr

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Judah & the Lion at Bonnaroo (Interview)

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Folk-hop rockers Judah & the Lion performed at Bonnaroo this year.

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So photographer Mallory Turner shot some live pics while Free Bike Valet asked drummer Spencer Cross some questions.

You’ve never played Bonnaroo before. What do you expect from the experience?

“Judah [Akers], Nate [Zuercher], and Brian [Macdonald] have all been before as volunteers and attendees and have talked to me nonstop about what an incredible experience it is –the sweat, the mud, the long hours, the new music you discover. It’s such a bonding experience. As a first-timer, I’m stoked to be able to experience both as an attendee: camping and seeing as many shows as possible. And as an artist, playing Bonnaroo is definitely on our band’s bucket list. So it’s incredibly humbling to see this dream come into fruition.”

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As a Nashville-based band, how does it feel to represent Tennessee at Bonnaroo?

“We’re always proud to represent Tennessee wherever we go and Bonnaroo is no exception. Knowing that there’s so many people here that have traveled far and wide to get a taste of Tennessee and hear some music that is influenced by living and growing up here, it’s an honor that we get to represent that to people.”

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What do you want your audience to experience during your set?

“We just want people to let go and have a blast. We feel like this is the perfect place to let loose so get ready to go crazy. We’re playing songs from our new album and older songs as well but all focused around the audience having the best time possible. Be ready for some surprises too!”

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What’s the story behind the title of your new album Folk Hop N’ Roll?

“The four of us have a myriad of influences. We draw inspiration from hip-hop, bluegrass, and punk rock. You name it, we listen to it. So we just didn’t want to hide our influences on this album. We wanted to break down any limitations and barriers we or anyone else had set on our music. We think the title does a good job of explaining this quest.”

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How did you find your producer Dave Cobb?

“We first met Dave when he mixed our Sweet Tennessee EP and then decided to do a whole album with him for our debut Kids These Days. We love the way Dave pushes us and his work flow. It can be challenging but he ultimately pushes to be our best possible self. We wanted to work with him again on FH&R because we knew he would be able to help us achieve the vision we had and we love working with him. He’s a beast.”

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You’ve toured with talented artists such as Mat Kearney and Parachute. What makes a good tourmate?

“Being able to hang well honestly. There’s only a short amount of time you’re actually on stage but there’s 23 other hours in the day so being able to get along with people is key. We’ve been fortunate to tour with not only talented artists but incredible people. People like Mat Kearney and Ben Rector who will take the time to get to know us, take us under their wing, and also attempt to take us on in a game of Spikeball!”

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What can you tell us about your next release?

“We’re in the very, very early stages right now. We have some down time this summer so we’ll spend some time writing and dreaming. I don’t know exactly what the next album holds but I can promise that we won’t ever stop pushing ourselves so we’re excited to see what songs arise as we continue on this journey.”

Mallory Turner: Website, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr

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POWERS at Bonnaroo (Interview)

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Popster duo POWERS performed at Bonnaroo this year.

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So photographer Mallory Turner shot some pics while Free Bike Valet asked some questions.

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You’ve never been to Bonnaroo before. What do you expect from the experience?

Mike: “Bonnaroo is one of those iconic festivals that we’ve always dreamed about playing. There’s this sense like it’s a reincarnation of Woodstock or at least the spirit of it in some way. We expect it to be hot, dirty, and kinda wild –a beacon of good vibes. What else could you ask for in a festival?”

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What’s your go-to outfit for music festivals?

Crista: “When it’s 90 plus degrees out the only suitable option for me is a bikini and a massive brimmed sun hat. I did however just pick up this glittery Donna Summer-esque kimono that I plan on rocking for the weekend.”

Mike: “I’ve been really into jumpsuits lately and have found them incredibly comfortable to play in. Maybe I’m just living out my childhood Ghostbusters fantasy but there’s something about putting them on that makes me feel like I’m wearing my superhero gear.”

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Do you make a special set list for music festivals?

Crista: “Absolutely! We’ve been finishing up our album in between playing these summer festivals so it’s been great to try out all this new material before it’s released in the fall. There is in fact a special guest collaboration on one of the new tracks and we’re hoping to perform it together in the very near future. Might have to wait till it’s out to tell you who it is or maybe not. We’ll see.”

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What can you tell us about your tour peeps?

Mike: “The two other people we tour with, Sarab and Luke, are like family to us. Luke is our road warrior, tour manager, and front of house wizard. Sarab, our drummer, is one of the most gifted and creative spirits we’ve ever met. We never wanted this band to be a revolving door of faces and energies so when we met them through a mutual friends it felt like the universe had meant it to happen. We adore them.”

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Your music is very energetic and danceable. What’s the secret to get a crowd moving?

Crista: “When the two of us are writing we’re always conscious of how a song is going to feel and translate live. We pay a lot of attention to different tempos and how they make us move. We have to love it before anyone else can. It’s been helpful to try out new material before it gets released to see how a crowd a reacts. There’s no better way to know.”

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You’ve been on tour with talented artists such as X Ambassadors and Seinabo Sey. What makes a good tourmate?

Mike: “A good hang, good vibes, and good music make for a great tour. It’s a lot of work without much sleep traveling around in a van for months so having everyone on the same positive wavelength is key. We’ve known the XA guys for years so it was just an amazing experience to be out with friends and to witness their success happening. We couldn’t be happier for them or more grateful to have been a part of it.”

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What made you decide to release a remix version of your recent EP Legendary?

Crista: “We always feel like a good song can stand on its own without relying on a production to define it. So with the prospect of a remix EP we were so excited at the idea of someone else’s take and perspective on what we had written.”

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How did you recruit the DJs?

Mike: “Some reached out to us and our A&R [representative] Jared at Republic [Records] –who has an amazing understanding of the DJ/remix universe– reached out to some of his favorites. We were fans of Lincoln Jesser and Lenno for a while.”

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You’ve helped write songs for pop stars such as Kylie Minogue and Selena Gomez. Are they fans? They better be!

Crista: “(Laughs) We haven’t asked! But we’d have to assume that some of the artists on our credit list would dig the band if they felt so compelled to sing other songs we’ve written.”

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Your music video for “Hot” is rad and rapturing. What can you tell us about the next one?

Mike: “That is a very secretive question. Can’t give you too much info but we have a lot of ideas in the works and aren’t sure which will come out first. We’re very excited to show people the visual counterparts in our heads that go with all the new music.”

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What can you tell us about your next release?

“We’re wrapping up our debut album that will be released in September and it’s shaping up to be what we believe is the best music we’ve ever made. For the most part it’s been self-produced in our studio in Hollywood but we recently started tracking with Rich Costey at the legendary Sunset Sound to finish it. It’s full of color and life. We couldn’t be more excited about it.”

Mallory Turner: Website, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr

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Cardiknox at Bonnaroo (Interview)

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Popster duo Cardiknox performed at Bonnaroo this year.

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So photographer Mallory Turner shot some pics while Free Bike Valet asked some questions.

You’ve never played Bonnaroo before. What do you expect from the experience?

Lonnie: “We’re incredibly excited to be here. Neither of us have been before and it has such an awesome history and is really known for being focused on the music rather than the “scene.” We’ve been told the people and audiences are amazing so we’re really excited to feel it in action.”

Do you make a special set list for music festivals?

Lonnie: “We switched up our normal set list for tonight based on the time we’ll hit the stage. We play at 12:30 AM so we figure anyone that’s out and about is looking to dance and party. We’ve frontloaded the set with some uptempo songs and we’ll also be playing two songs never before heard at a festival: ‘What Do I Do Now’ and ‘Supermodel.'”

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What can you tell us about your touring band?

Lonnie: “We have the pleasure of playing with two other great guys: Greg Garman on drums and Chris Castellino on keys. We’ve been playing with Chris since our first show in NYC and added Greg to the mix about a year ago. We met both through friends in the industry and love having them on board. We also travel with a kickass sound guy, John Troxell, who is the sweetest dude and best FOH in town.”

You’ve been on tour with amazing artists such as Betty Who, The Knocks, and Carly Rae Jepsen. What makes a good tourmate?

Lonnie: “Being nice and kind! Having good energy and fun people around is what makes touring so special. We’ve been really lucky to tour with lovely people and by the end of tour it always feels like a daily party with one big quirky family.”

Tomorrow, you go on the road with Phoebe Ryan, FRANKIE, and Secret Weapons for the Boyz n Poizn Tour. What can we expect?

Lonnie: “You can expect a killer dance party! We’re big fans of Phoebe’s music and when her management reached out about touring together, we were stoked! FRANKIE and Secret Weapons share the same management company as us so it was a natural fit to have them on board too. [The tour’s slogan] ‘Make America Dance Again’ is a play on Trump’s ridiculous campaign slogan. Who knows, maybe he’ll come out to a show. It should be an awesome tour. We can’t wait to get back on the road again.”

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You recently moved from NY to LA. What prompted the move?

Lonnie: “In terms of logistics for us, LA is really where most of our ‘work’ is. Our entire team is based in LA: management, label, publishing, booking, etcetera so it’s amazing to have face time with everyone regularly. It’s also where our producer is based and we recorded the entire album with him at Henson Recording Studios. As much as we hated leaving NYC –we’re actually still heartbroken about it– LA is a great home for us right now.”

What will you miss the most back home while on tour?

Lonnie: “My French bulldog Sumo.”

Thomas: “Playing soccer ever week. I’m on a team and I live for our weekly games.”

What’s the story behind the title of your debut album Portrait?

Lonnie: “We wrote songs that really paint a picture of who we are. These are our stories and our experiences so Portrait felt very appropriate. When we recruited Tristan Eaton to create the cover art –which is a portrait of Lonnie– the title felt even that much more perfect.”

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The album art is stellar. How did you recruit the artist Tristan Eaton?

Lonnie: “Thank you! We were both huge fans of Tristan for quite some time and would take breaks during the recording process to geek out on street art with our producer John Shanks. We introduced John to Tristan’s work –John’s quite an art collector– and the idea of having him paint our cover came about. It felt like a pipe dream but all of a sudden a couple phone calls were made and Tristan was in the studio with us listening to songs, hanging out, and totally on board to create our cover art. We totally flipped out.”

How did you find your producer John Shanks?

Lonnie: “Similarly, we’ve both been fans of John’s work forever –as is most of America, whether they know him by name or not (laughs)– and we got set up by our respective publishers to do a writing session. Two days turned into six months and he produced the entire album in addition to becoming a dear, dear friend.”

Your music videos are very creative and fun. What can you tell us about the next one?

Lonnie: “Thank you! We actually just shot the video a few days ago for ‘Wild Child’ and it was a fucking whirlwind. David Kalani directed and we shot in a large studio space at YouTube LA. Without giving it away, the video is about the making of music videos; four of them in one to be specific. It was a real labor of love and we’re so excited to see it and share it!”

Mallory Turner: Website, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr

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