Tag Archives: Bay Area

Artist Feature: Pat Messy

Pat Messy | Photo by Will Urbina

Pat Messy | Photo by Will Urbina

Reflection is that mental place where you try to put an answer to why things are the way they are, why things happen the way they do. Response is what you choose to do with that understanding, how you choose to react, what you choose to give back.

– Pat Messy

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

PM: I was born and grew up in Santa Cruz, CA, been up in Oakland for some years. Right now I am in a place called Elevation.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

PM: A lot haha. I think reflection is the process of trying to make sense of what’s going on all around us. It’s that mental place where you try to put an answer to why things are the way they are, why things happen the way they do. Response is what you choose to do with that understanding, how you choose to react, what you choose to give back.

How does your music fit in with that definition?

PM: My music is my response to the frequencies of life. I try to capture what I see in the world and in the people around me, reflect it off what I hear in my head and feel in my gut, then somehow translate it into rhythm and rhyme. As far as the musical side of things, I do a lot of sampling (not just loops tho). I like to listen to music, so I listen to records for timbres and tones, little musical chops that inspire me to create. For example, on Skeleton Key, the entire melody was taken from a single 1/16th note from an old funk record. The tone of the note they hit had me bugged so I chopped it, spread it out over my keyboard and played a brand new melody and progression. To the point that you can’t recognize the original sample. I try to do that with my sample work, reflect on the music before me and respond in a way that transforms it into something new and fresh.

With The Elevation LP, I really created from a reflective place, it’s pretty much the stories and experiences that I wanted to share from my formative years. The songs I like to write are usually conceptual. I don’t really sit around brainstorming things to write about. I just write, and then what I need to write about emerges in the process. I try to focus in on that subject, communicate my learning and understanding that I get through reflection and giving these thoughts attention. All my songs go thru a lot of editing and reworking to stay on topic. I have a song about being hungover. I have a song about chasing skirts. I have a song about losing my mother after a long battle with cancer. I’m all over the place!! I tried to create a personal record that is accessible, like hey, this is what I’ve been dealing with, this is what I’ve learned, if you can learn something about yourself or the world around you by listening to my records then I’ve done my job.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Artist Feature: Danny Lubin-Laden

Danny Lubin-Laden

I have always been fascinated by the power of having a [brass] band that is able to play on the street with no amplification and have such a moving effect on the audience.

– Danny Lubin-Laden

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

DLL: I grew up in Berkeley California, and I’m currently living in the Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland, California. I spent about 6 years living in New York, where I was studying music and working. In July I moved back to the Bay Area.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

DLL: I think Reflection and Response are very interrelated in the field of arts. Reflection as a musician and composer is super important to artistic growth. I look back frequently at songs and sketches of songs during my time with Brass Magic and really try to dissect the song, identifying my original voice and separating it from my attempt to recreate a sound that I had heard elsewhere. Both are super important to tap into. I’m always reflecting and analyzing and using those perspectives as a basis from which to respond by pushing forward. I’m always looking to hone my craft and achieve a more original sound. Luckily with Brass Magic, we function more as a collective, so we are able to bounce ideas off each other.

How does your piece Continuous Movements fit in with that definition?

DLL: Continuous Movements was one of the first songs I wrote for Brass Magic. I’ve revised it many, many times but I think it is a super solid example of the sound the band was developing. It is a prime example of how reflection and response has been important to what we do. When I first wrote the song it had somewhat of a New Orleans brass band feel. Over time I have tweaked it so much that it no longer sounds anything like that. It’s still definitely danceable, but the horn writing is completely different from something you would hear in New Orleans. I feel as though the most important thing in music for me is to try and build off the music I love and not to repeat or recreate it. This has been why Brass Magic continues to evolve.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

DLL: Brass Magic is currently working on putting out another EP. This will most likely be something we just put out online. We printed our first CD in September 2013 and since then we have really focused on writing a whole new songbook for the band. I feel as though the sound of the band is the strongest it’s ever been. We have really dissected what we are doing and what we want to be doing more of.

In addition to playing with Brass Magic I have also been working on music with Kaila McIntyre-Bader, the awesome singer in the band Big Tree. She is such a talented songwriter with such a terrific voice, that I’m having a great time writing songs with her. Hopefully we will be putting out songs this year. We are still trying to come up with a band name that fits the music we make.

Who or what inspires you?

DLL: I am inspired by a wide variety of things. I grew up studying jazz and that became my whole world. I was blown away by the power of improvisation and its ability to transform a song and take it to the next, highly idiosyncratic level. We are still trying to integrate the aspects of jazz that we value into Brass Magic. Although jazz was once dance music, some of its danceability has been lost over the years. We are trying to capture some of those powerful rhythms in our music.

I also love brass band music, whether it be all of my favorite New Orleans bands or the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. I have always been fascinated by the power of having a band that is able to play on the street with no amplification and have such a moving effect on the audience.

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Artist Feature: Erica Hellerstein

Erica Hellerstein is a Bay Area-based journalist who we’ve known since attending high school together back in the day in Berkeley. She has contributed to and published stories from around the globe, from Central California to Chile. She highlights the importance of Reflection in her craft as the ability to find universal themes within circumstantial details of a story. She exhibits this approach in a current piece on cervical cancer in South Texas, exploring central ideas of womanhood and resistance. Throughout our dialogue she discusses various other projects including an investigative narrative piece exploring the use of the abortion pill misoprostol, and a radio documentary about Curanderas in the Bay Area. We’re excited to have an engaging talk with this craftswoman tough on her grind! 

Erica Hellerstein

Reflection is the process of distillation. It’s the opposite of reflex, of the reactive tweet or the fiery text. Reflection forces me unpack my impulses. As a journalist, it’s probably one of the most important and satisfying muscles that I can exercise.

– Erica Hellerstein

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

EH: I was born and raised in the Bay Area, in a trendy, club-friendly corner of the East Bay called Kensington. After High School, I moved to the East Coast , where I stayed for several years. It was terrible. Everything was grey and frigid and even the wind howled more despairingly. Now, I’m happy to report that I’m finally back in California, wrapping up a graduate program at UC Berkeley.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

EH: I like this question because I’m sure I would have had answered it very differently had you thrown it my way a year and a half ago. I think that reflection and response will mean different things to me at different times. Right now, I am in a transitional period, and have genuinely no idea what I’ll be doing five months down the road — which makes the process of mindful reflection difficult. Sometimes it’s easy for me to get bogged down in the uncertainties and transience of my life, and this maddening tendency I have to beat myself up over matters I can’t control. When I’m constantly on the go, sometimes I forget to stop, look around, and relish the volatility of it all.

So for me, reflection is the process of distillation. It’s the opposite of reflex, of the reactive tweet or the fiery text. Reflection forces me unpack my impulses. As a journalist, it’s probably one of the most important and satisfying muscles that I can exercise. Without a process of reflection, my pieces wouldn’t have depth or universality. For me, it takes careful reflection and contemplation of the human spirit, to understand the stories that really pack punches. The ones that transcend time, place, identity, gender, nationalism, and religion — these are the pieces that endure and connect people across virtual bridges. Certainly it’s my aspiration as a writer and a journalist to tell universal stories. I think that reflection is the vantage point through which I can suspend my complicated identity and simply observe.

Now response, that’s easier for me. As you can probably tell, I’ve always been a talker. To me response feels natural, it’s what I do. Response means telling a story. It’s reflection digested — and I love to eat.

How does your writing fit in with that definition?

EH: Sometimes I view writing as a birthing process. I’ve created some deeply embarrassing babies — think angst-ridden college memoirs and romanticized articles about revolution in Latin America — so it’s hard for me to go back  to stories I’ve already produced and analyze them through the prism of reflection and response. Instead, I’m going to flip this question around and talk to you about a piece I’m working on that embodies this definition. Just to keep you on your toes, Peter.

So right now I’m writing a story about incredibly high cervical cancer rates in South Texas. It sounds like a terribly depressing story, and in some ways, it is. Or it would have been if I hadn’t reflected on the real story, which isn’t a doom-and-gloom piece about cancer. The real story is about women. And resistance. About a fascinating and inspiring group of of educators who are driving from slum to slum in South Texas, teaching women about their bodies and how to prevent cervical cancer and other reproductive health problems in spite of family planning clinic closures.

There are certainly elements of this story that are unsettling, raw, and unfair. There’s a community that has been forgotten by our health care system, and a group of women who are suffering because of that. There are children who are losing their mothers because they can’t afford to get regular check-ups, and there are families who are moving back to dangerous border towns in Mexico because they can’t get their health care needs met here.

But this is exactly where reaction and response came in. From afar, I thought it would be an incredibly sad and terrible story to work on. But when I got to South Texas and shadowed the health educators, driving from home to home on dusty, unpaved streets, I realized that my preconceived notions about the community and situation were completely wrong. It wasn’t depressing. The women couldn’t change the cards that they were dealt, but they were absolutely changing the ways that they played the hand. They were responding, reacting. The health situation there is still dire but they don’t think about it in a fatalistic way.  It was humbling to for  me realize just how wrong I was about the situation. Those are the moments that make me want to continue doing this work — when I realize how much I have left to learn. 

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

EH: I’m working on a lot of projects right now. First off is my master’s thesis, which is a long, investigative narrative piece about the use of the (in some countries, illegal) abortion pill, misoprostol, in South Texas, where all of the abortion clinics have shut down. In many states in the US, it’s not legal to take this pill to induce your own abortion. It’s really a profile of this pill — an exposition of its lifeline. It has a fascinating history, it was discovered by women in Brazil in the ’80s to induce abortions and became wildly popular. My story follows the pill around the world and is rooted in Texas, where there are these parts of the state without abortion clinics that have basically turned into these pro Roe v. Wade wastelands. It’s rumored that misoprostol is sold illegally in South Texas flea markets, and I went undercover at the markets in search of the pill. You’ll have to read the piece to see what ultimately ended up happening.

I’m also working on a 30-minute radio documentary about Mexican folk healers, or Curanderas, in the Bay Area. There’s a really vibrant movement of female healers in the Bay that have all coalesced together in recent years. Nobody quite knows how it happened, but my documentary explores this group of healers and how they integrate their ancient practices with the modern. It also follows the story of a young woman who recently found out that her grandmother was a Curandera in Mexico, and is sort of exploring her own past by learning more about this tradition.

Who or what inspires you?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Artist Feature: Marc Stretch

Marc Stretch is a renaissance man based in Oakland, California that we were fortunate enough to meet through producer Wax Roof, a recent Feature Series contributor. Marc has been an important player in the Bay Area music scene for some time, and he’s currently involved with several groups including Foreign Legion, Big Willie Dynamite, Handclap Technicians, and a bunch of other dope projects. In addition to being a masterful craftsman of the art of rhyming, Marc keeps the dance floor crackin’ as a video DJ throughout the Bay, and is expanding his repertoire with more video and photography projects in the future. Marc’s perspective on Reflection centers on the idea of returning equal energy that comes your way, while Response is a more developed and better articulated plan of action. Check below to see how he approaches R & R in his music and Reflects on the evolving nature of his work.

Marc Stretch

Marc Stretch | Photo by Leo Docuyanan

Reflection is returning the same energy to a situation that is aimed at you…Response is what happens when you take the energy of a situation, take a moment to think over the possible repercussions of options that you have, and articulate a plan and put it into action.

– Marc Stretch

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

MS: I’m originally from Ft. Dix, New Jersey (born in Huntsville, Alabama) but I’m currently resting my sneaker collection and bacon addiction in the lovely city of Oakland, California.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

MS: To me, they’re opposite sides of the same coin. Reflection is returning the same energy to a situation that is aimed at you. If somebody directs anger towards you, you respond with anger. If a situation directs peace towards you, you direct peace towards the situation. Response is the other side of that. Response is what happens when you take the energy of a situation, take a moment to think over the possible repercussions of options that you have, and articulate a plan and put it into action. That’s response to me.   

How does your music fit in with that definition?

MS: I feel like all the music I make is the result of inherited reflections and informed responses. I am a result of every thing that has happened to me, every person I’ve met and every word I’ve ever heard. Sometimes, that means that you’re going to get the instinctive Reflection side of me in a song. Those songs tend to speak to where we’ve been or where we are in the moment. Sometimes, I’ll make the Response which is usually focused on where I feel we need to go.

Traditionally I’m known as a goofy rap guy or a battle MC, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had the opportunity grow and express myself in a more mature and honest way. Not saying that the party MC wasn’t me, because I’ve torn down plenty of stages and wrecked plenty of hotel rooms. It’s just that the older I get, the more I realize that the “goofy rap” box is just way too small for me.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

MS: Man…. Quiet is kept, I’ve been pretty busy. I just released the 2nd album for my group, Big Willie Dynamite along with my brothers Mondo and raysthebar. It’s called Joes vs. Pros and we’ve been rocking shows to support it. We’re currently finishing up our next album (untitled at this time) and working on the visual side of that. I’m also working with Prozack Turner on our next release as Foreign Legion. We’re getting ready to shoot a video that I’ll be co-producing and co-directing. We’re considering releasing a limited edition 45, for all the vinyl heads. Next, I’m working on a solo record with production from myself, Rice4Ever, Unjust, Flight 27, raysthebar and a few other friends. I’ve got some guest appearances from people that I’m close to like Danjres Will Robinson, Ariane Mitchell, Mondo, and Lowbrow The Hypnotic. The record is tentatively being called Marc’d for Def.

Oh… Just for the record, I tend to only work with people I actually know and like. The way music is now, it’s not really to your advantage to work with somebody just cause they are hot. It doesn’t matter. Make good music. Speaking of good music, I’ve got an album done and waiting to be mastered with the indomitable G Koop called Instruction Manual. Together we’re known as Handclap Technicians. Most recently, I’ve started working on a project with my dude Wax Roof and I’m crazy excited to get that done and get that in the hands of the people. He’s a young dude that is super talented and hungry to make great music. He’s definitely one of the best kept secrets in the Bay. He doesn’t know but we’re gonna call the album Paisley Paint Job and the group is going to be called The Corduroy Boys.

In addition to all of the recording that I’ve been doing, I’m also rocking live monthly with the G Koop and O-man Band on the first Friday of every monthI’m also Video DJing for my night on Second Saturdays called #FUTURESHOCK along with Deejay Saurus and DJ Halo as well as some one-off gigs around the Bay. Both of these gigs happen at Prozack’s place, The Legionnaire Saloon.

I also caught the photo bug from my girls Adza Adrienne and Araya Diaz, which is kind of a return to my roots since my Dad was an amateur photographer and I used to work with him. I was in charge of developing the film, back when you actually had to develop film to make pictures. I’ve been refining that in my somewhat spare time.

On top of aaaaalllll that, I’ve been flexing my athletic prowess by playing adult Kickball for WAKA. Yes…. I said kickball. I’ve won more than a couple local championships and even went to the Nationals, in Las Vegas.

What am I working on next?  Well, along with the audio projects, I’m really excited to be working on more video projects. I’ve already done a comedy film with Prozack (shot by Tim Nolan and Dave Medina) called Night Moves and I’ve shot some music videos with the likes of Roy Miles and Behn Fanin. I recently shot my own video for a song called Ready2Fly and that was really when the video bug bit me. I’m working on videos for some songs for my solo record and starting treatments for a Foreign Legion joint and some of the Corduroy Boys songs too. I’ve also been talking to Nightclubber Lang from Boom Bap Project about a cooking variety show. We’re both culinary enthusiasts and feel like we can bring something to a younger generation of viewers.

Who or what inspires you?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Artist Feature: Zachary Baron

Our fam Zachary Baron is a pianist and accordion player straight out of Hyde Park, New York. Growing up around classic American showtunes and Broadway numbers, Zach continues to celebrate and play these tunes today with unique arrangements. He highlights the benefit and value of honest, unconscious response and warns against forced interference of the creative voice. He’s been working on original tunes and ill boogie-woogie piano stylings. Eclectic inspirations are a central part of Zach’s dialogue and he also reiterates the often-overlooked importance of simplicity. We’re grateful to break bread with a dedicated and informed creator. Peep the words and pics below!

Zach Baron

There is depth in simple things. It takes time and you have to dig in…

– Zach Baron

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

ZB: I grew up in Upstate New York in the Hudson River Valley in the town of Hyde Park. The Hudson River is one of the most beautiful rivers I have ever seen and I miss it all the time. Now I live in the San Francisco Bay Area–East Bay where all the good stuff happens.

Musically I grew up on classic American Broadway showtunes. Rogers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe etc. Since so many of those tunes became Big Band and jazz standards it was easy to follow them into those areas. I’m kind of an all-American sentimental, schmaltzy guy and I like all-American sentimental, schmaltzy music. I’ve never gotten too far away from that.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

ZB: I’m going to leave out ‘Response’ and just deal with ‘Reflection’. I think of reflection, from a creative standpoint, like the reflection of a mirror. A song, a painting, a performance is a reflection of the artist’s experience of the world. The hard part is to be an honest, spontaneous mirror–to get out of the way and not try to consciously influence the process. Keith Jarrett said, “Sometimes I play things I never heard before.” That’s the great place to be–creating in the moment and surprised at what’s coming out of you.

How does your work fit in with that definition?

ZB: I play a lot of old songs. I play a lot of music that I played when I was a kid. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve played it, it matters how I play it right now. Your mirror doesn’t say, “You again? We’ve done that already!” It just reflects, faithfully, instantly and with no extras. I’m not saying I’m alway there in that space or that there aren’t technical aspects, but the thing that takes a performance to the next level, whether it’s for myself or a crowd of people, is that honesty and purity.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

ZB: I have slowly but surely been working on my boogie-woogie piano–it’s way harder than it sounds. I would like to find the time and the nerve to sing some of my own songs at an open mic somewhere.

Who or what inspires you?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Artist Feature: Zach Mack

Zach Mack is a renaissance man from the Bay Area who currently lives in Oakland. Recently deciding to plunge full-time in pursuit of his goals in radio and media, Zach has been producing news stories for various local public radio stations, hosting/creating two standout original weekly podcasts — Dino Pants Radio and The Four Man Rotation — and performing with an improv troupe at the Magic Jester Theater. Throughout our dialogue, Zach drops gems of knowledge accrued through working hard to forward his creative medium. Zach is making moves out here in multiple realms of craft surrounding his interest in radio, and it’s dope that he took a moment to lend his voice to the Collective!

Dino Pants Radio - Zach & Josh

Sometimes its important to just STOP… clear your head, assess your feelings and then act accordingly. Trust your gut but don’t be afraid to seek out advice from people wiser than yourself.

– Zach Mack

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

ZM: Born and raised in the Bay Area. A California kid to the core, currently living in Oakland. Its a great city that apparently draws a lot of comparisons to Brooklyn. Would love to live in real Brooklyn at some point though.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

ZM: Sometimes its important to just stop… clear your head, assess your feelings and then act accordingly. Trust your gut but don’t be afraid to seek out advice from people wiser than yourself. Last year I made the decision to quit my job to pursue this radio-media thing full time. Its been scary, fun, soul crushing, and inspiring all in one; ultimately I know it was the right decision. That response came after much reflection.

I’m still figuring out what works for me but trying to avoid those safe decisions that you know are comfortable in the moment but that you’ll regret in the long term because they don’t challenge or forward you. I recently received some great creative advice; simply put “Always be making.”

mIY5obvPfuRpzXdTdg4lL_PSWu31WN56FkFlk7Hbd2E


PODCAST: Hella Oaklandish Scamming Grandmas (February 22, 2014)

“Our friend Mr. Todd stops by to showcase his new radio piece Hella Oaklandish and talk about everything from scamming grandmas to bad business proposals.”


What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

ZM: Right now I’m immersing myself into the world of radio by helping produce news stories for a couple public radio stations. While journalism is pretty new to me I realize it’s a necessary skill for making good radio, even when it’s not totally news based. Alongside that, I am hosting and creating two weekly podcasts. Dino Pants Radio, a fun show with music and banter, as well as a newly formed sports show for the everyday person titled The Four Man Rotation.

Print


PODCAST: The NFL and the N-word (March 19, 2014)

“The NFL looks to ban the N* word. Is this move progressive or misguided?”


Also, I recently began performing in an improv troupe through Magic Jester Theatre in Oakland. What started as a way to sharpen my wit for radio has turned into a full fledged interest. I find improv to be one of the most life applicable activities I’ve ever taken part in.

Who or what inspires you?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Artist Feature: Nick Nova

We welcome our friend Nick Nova (born Kwaku Boateng-Farrar) to the LIFESTYLE dialogue. Nova’s creative output operates on many different levels, including music/audio, design, and information distribution. The concept of power is one of the central themes in this artist’s piece as he touches on the re-appropriation of past experiences and memories. Nova provides a dope look at this empowering nature of Reflection and Response in addition to other aspects of his creative process. Check the interview below!

Nick Nova

The ability to reflect on personal experience, past innovations, and current affairs empowers one to respond to obstacles, criticisms and general stressors in a fashion that consciously assists their own progression, as well as that of culture and society at large.

– Nick Nova

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

NN: I’m definitely a West Coast kid. I was born and raised in Northern California, the Bay Area specifically. After high school I stuck around for a bit before moving to London, England for college. I’m now back in the U.S.and have settled in Brooklyn, NY.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

NN: Reflection and Response to me represents the two important, synergistic aspects of creating and succeeding. People often lose sight of self-importance when attempting to achieve greatness in a public space, but the willingness to consider one’s own objectives and mapping out personal checkpoints is vital to the success of projects bigger than its creator. Building on that, the ability to reflect on personal experience, past innovations, and current affairs empowers one to respond to obstacles, criticisms and general stressors in a fashion that consciously assists their own progression, as well as that of culture and society at large.

BC

How does your project BC fit in with that definition?

NN: My latest music project ‘BC’ represents this entirely because it is me reflecting on my past, both in the content, as well as the more technical aspect of the project. Recognizing my previous musical inhibitions and seeing how much it hindered my potential, ‘BC’ finds me embracing those flaws and making the appropriate changes to better position myself for achieving my musical goals.

From my observations, it’s common for creators to bury certain aspects of their lives as a defense mechanism, but one doesn’t have a true concept of power until you embrace the most difficult of memories and utilize past pain and/or frustration into something positive and empowering for others. A personal example would be on a record I have called “Tunnel” in which I mention my experience of being bullied. Up until this project I never wanted to share that vulnerability, but upon reflecting on the experience and seeing how much the experience aided my development, I recognized that it was imperative for me to share this so that younger listeners, or even people my age who may be bullied on the job or elsewhere and feel helpless, can recognize their own power through my story and they can stand up to their detractors and even if the results aren’t instantaneous, they’ll know it’s ok to fall down as long as you keep fighting to stand on your feet again, physically and or metaphorically depending on your situation.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Feature: The Know Nothings

It’s Feature time again here at the LIFESTYLE!!!! We are proud to present The Know Nothings, an acoustic duo made up of the homies Andrea Woodard and David Adams from our hometown of Berkeley, CA. The group is making moves in the Bay and continues to write and record great original music. We are extremely excited to showcase their new tune Sweet Pea.

(Original art by Max Nelson)

Check out the track and get to know more about the Know Nothings with an exclusive interview.

Sweet Pea

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

DA: Berkeley, then Santa Cruz, then Oakland, now Berkeley, soon Oakland.

AW: Local girl born in SF and raised in Berkeley. Now living in San Francisco.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

DA: Think then talk… preferably more thinking than talking.

AW: It means to take that extra moment, extra time, to stop and to think about what something means to  you. Then to take those emotions and understandings you have reached and actively react to them.

How does ‘Sweet Pea’ fit in with that definition?

DA: I don’t know how to answer this question. Am I addressing this song as a response to life and experience, or am I addressing the potential to reflect and respond to this song? In the first case, I think all songs and all art, are ways of pinning down and making concrete, our otherwise mercurial reflections on the state of our lives and the world as a whole.

AW: I am not quite sure if you mean one of our pieces or a piece of art for example. But in keeping with the theme of our interview as a band I will go ahead and pick the egotistical response :). The best I can do is equate it to our song writing process. While I credit David with almost all of our awesome lyrics, there are of course some collaborative efforts. It is tempting to make something just rhyme or to put in fillers,  but we take a step back, think about what we are trying to express or say through the song, or even that one line, and then react to that and put it in words. Corny? Little bit I guess.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

DA: We are just working on recording songs one by one, and mastering the recording process, which is for sure an uphill battle.

AW: Bandwise, working on writing more songs and looking to perform more. Lifewise, working on living the city life with great friends, and looking to work for my nursing degree.

Who or what inspires you?

DA: I get inspired by slow motion football highlights played with classical music in the background.

AW: I would have to say my bandmate David. He has an unwavering dedication to pursuing something that is important to him, no matter what (for example performing and playing music). I would also have  to say that generally speaking the friends and family in my life inspire me, and not necessarily direct though what they do, but by exhibiting incredible support in everything. It keeps me pursuing the best for  me, whether that is finding an awesome music playing hobby, or furthering my career and life ambitions.

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

DA: Come to our next gig at the Firehouse Art Collective Gallery North on Oct 14th at 7 P.M.

AW: That graduating college seemed like the most daunting, unappealing prospect, and it’s been so fun to  discover that this part of our lives is just as fun in different (and sometimes similar ways). I’m having a blast with everything and reconnecting to old friends!

Shout out to…?

DA: Peter and Vicken for following their dreams and putting this together. I remember when Vicken and  I forced some middle school kids into a rap battle, then hid in his dad’s car when the kids ran to their parents. And I remember Peter throwing his skateboard on the ground vowing never to skate again, over  and over and over again.

AW: All of our awesome friends and family for supporting us instead of laughing at us (it was a crapshoot).

Check the group out on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Reflection and Response

Tagged , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: