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Gavin's Underground

John Henry, Castor & Pollution, Muscle Hawk

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2009-01-29 -

Back to the concerts I go as the end of the month picks up steam and several shows make the next couple weeks some of the best in the state.

I popped into Urban Lounge this past Wednesday night for what was anticipated to be a knockout show. First u
p was Dave Chisholm and company's melodic jazz-rock group John Henry, followed up by the psychedelic Castor & Pollution, all ending with the electro-thrash sensation Muscle Hawk. I took some photos and got to chat with all the bands for this action-packed Wednesday show.

John Henry

http://www.myspace.com/j0hnh3nrymusic

Gavin:
Hello again, Dave. First off, tell us who you are and a little about yourself.

Dave: I am Dave Chisholm. I play trumpet. I'm currently a grad student in the jazz department at the U, and I also draw the comic Let's Go To UTAH!

Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Dave: It was probably my dad's love of music that got me into music in the first place. I loved the talking heads when I was 10, I loved Beck when I was 14, I loved Mingus & Miles when I was 17, I loved Radiohead when I was 20, I loved Elliott Smith and the Beatles when I was 24, I love Maria Schneider right now. I still love all of those artists, by the way.

Gavin: How did you get together and decide to form John Henry?

Dave: John Henry was actually a band from like 4 years ago that Joe, Will, Steve and I were in with guitarist Willis Clow (now in LA). When we all decided to do grad school at the same time, we figured we should start a band. I had a bunch of songs written, and Will knew Derek, Steve had just moved back from New York City, the chemistry was thick from the first time we played with this crowd.

Gavin: Not many bands in Utah make an effort to play jazz or even free form. What motivated you to bring that sound out into the scene?

Dave: We all love to play this music--and although we clearly play jazz music, it is jazz peppered with influences far and wide. AND, don't mean to be a jerk, but none of the music we played last night was really "free form." Every song had form, but we play WITH form to create something that is hopefully new and fresh, at least to the audience here.

Gavin:
Does it feel difficult taking that sound into bars and venues that mainly cater to rock, or do the crowds enjoy the change of pace?

Dave: Some of our best shows have been at Burt's. We connected well with the crowd last night at the Urban. I think we take more of an aggressive approach to playing this music--not necessarily by playing louder, but by playing music that demands more from the audience. People are so used to relegating jazz music to the background and we try to grab them by the ears and shake them until they listen! We toe a delicate line--hooky without being anywhere near smooth jazz, free without being unlistenable, aggressive without being a bad jazz-rock hybrid, and artful without creating a stuffy atmosphere. We want people to have fun being challenged by this music.

Gavin: I know you've barely started, but when can we expect to hear some tracks?

Dave: We actually recorded with Andy Patterson on Sunday--the group augmented by Willis. It was a pretty good session. We're planning on going in again. Also, Sherm Clow often records our shows and puts them up on
http://www.slajo.com. Just scroll to the bottom and click "side projects."

Gavin: Any plans to work on some kind of album yet, or mainly just playing shows for now?

Dave: Working on it!

Gavin: A little state-wide, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Dave: There is so much talent here--that's the good. Tons of different types of talent. Not enough audience--that's the bad. You tend to see the same faces everywhere... people need to be hungry for new music!

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it better?

Dave: If I knew how, I'd do it!

Gavin: Who would you say are the best acts in our scene now?

Dave: Hmm. I love the Band Of Annuals and also anything Mike Gross does. Tolchock Trio is rad. Any of the more weird stuff Gentry Densley does is great, but I'm sort of out of touch. I also have to give a shout to SLAJO, even though I'm in that band. It's crazy seeing that many people on stage.

Gavin: Moving to the music industry, tell us what your thoughts are on it in general and the current state it's in?

Dave: Meh. Talent and skill have nothing to do with who succeeds and who doesn't. It's more about who you know, luck, how much you are willing to sell out, and how you look. But whatever, it has always been that way, right?

Gavin: What do you think of the current trends in music that are getting radio play today?

Dave: I am out of touch. I don't have a radio in my car...

Gavin: What's your take on file sharing and how it affects you as a musician?

Dave: I could care less! I just want people to come see us play LIVE.

Gavin: What can we expect from you guys over the rest of the year?

Dave: A CD, maybe two. A bunch of shows. Next Christmas we'll bust out our Christmas set again. Steve's drums might end up in a pile on the stage by the end of some shows.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

Dave: Hmm. not really!


Castor & Pollution

http://www.myspace.com/castorandpollution

**Castor & Pollution decided to answer as a group**

Gavin: Hey guys, first off, tell us who you are and a little about yourselves.

C&P: We all met in Philadelphia and immediately started playing music. Then we all left Philadelphia individually and ended up meeting up again in SLC. We are: Mike Vitale, Luke Slocum, Paul Slocum

Gavin: Who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

C&P: Growing up, we listened to Tu Pac, Paul Simon, Nirvana, Radiohead, Bauhaus, The Cure, Joy Division, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Buzz Cocks, and various jazz artists.

Gavin: How did you get together and decide to form Castor & Pollution?

C&P: We have played music together over the years and we decided to pursue more of a serious project.

Gavin: What inspired you to head more toward the electronica sound?

C&P: We don’t play electronica necessarily. We find electronic mediums to be the best way to express ourselves and the most exciting and new way to experiment with a collage of sound.

Gavin: You recently put out the “Here Is No Weather..”. EP recently. What was it like recording it?

C&P: Much of the EP was recorded live. We recorded the songs on the fly, while we were writing them, not knowing they would collect into an EP. It was a learning experience doing the recording all on our own and with all of the equipment that is used in our current material. Mike, who did most of the mixing himself, said that the mixing process “was hell”.

Gavin: What was the public reaction to it like when it first came out?

C&P: We received an unexpectedly great review from the
City Weekly but other than that the EP hasn’t really received that much exposure.

Gavin: You're unsigned right now. Are you looking for a label, or will you continue to be independent?

C&P: We are not eagerly searching out record labels to pick us up, but we hope to make a living playing music. Any way that happens is fine with us.

Gavin: Are there any plans in the works for a full-length album, or just sticking to this release and playing shows at the moment?

C&P: We don’t have a plan but as much as we write, an album will eventually evolve. However, we predict our box set and greatest hits album will be released in conjunction with the Mayn Calendar’s end of the world in 2012 with our documentary, “Here Is No Weather, No Wind, No Water: The Castor & Pollution Story.” (Just kidding)

Gavin: A little state-wide, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

C&P: On the positive side, KRCL,
City Weekly and local venues have been very supportive. Coming from Philadelphia, however, the local show goers seem to be too comfortable with their regular band and standard sounds. We urge them to embrace a wider variety and support their local music, rather than the only ones they went to high school with or have been friends with over the years.

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it better?

C&P: We just keep playing new and different sounds and hopefully inspire others to do the same.

Gavin: Who would you say are the best acts in our scene now?

C&P: Utah Symphony, Kid Madussa, Calico, Palace Of Buddies, and Brian Oakley’s Experimental Project.

Gavin: Moving to the music industry, tell us what your thoughts are on it in general and the current state it's in?

C&P: Competitive, Derivative, internet and live show based… You have to be smart and play the political game... this is our best guess. We’re not really qualified to answer this question.

Gavin: What do you think of the current trends in music that are getting radio play today?

C&P: Local community radio always rocks. Go KRCL!!! But the mainstream radio is still playing the over produced stuff they’ve been always playing… for the most part.

Gavin: What's your take on file sharing and how it affects you as a musician?

C&P: We encourage the free flow of information. Let’s put art in the hands of everyone! Also, where we are as a band now, we benefit off file sharing. We need exposure not track sales.

Gavin: What can we expect from you guys over the rest of the year?

C&P: More psychedelic freak outs, tours, shows, new songs, and of course, sex, drugs, & rock & roll.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

C&P: Check out our MySpace page for live shows, blogs, pics, new songs, and we also want to promote tolerance and Paul’s Marilyn Monroe style beauty mark just above the left corner of his mouth.


Muscle Hawk (Greg Bower, Lindsay “Kid Madusa” Heath, Josh Holyoak)

http://www.myspace.com/musclehawk

Gavin: Hey guys, first off, tell us who you are and a little about yourselves.

Lindsay: Birth name: Lindsay Desirée Heath the first. Art names: Kid Madusa - A.K.A. iNFLUENZi . I am a multi-instrumentalist, in several musical projects, I'm bipolar, and I love pizza!! For further elaborations, check out my Pride 2008 interview, and the latest interview / article featuring yours truly in City Weekly.

Greg: I'm Greg Bower I produce and write music as a day job and a night job! whatever that means?

Josh: I'm Josh. I try to harness electricity. I'm a big fan of voltage control oscillators. Nikola Tesla has been a huge influence on what I do.


Gavin: Who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Greg: My musical influences are constantly changing. But I liked a lot of silly 80s pop music when I was real little. I'd say I really started paying attention to music in the early 90s when I heard acts like Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. I listened to a lot of electronic music from the late 90's to early '00s but it all got really stale and cookie cutter. All the genres were following a specific recipe and I just got really bored with it all. So it's kinda weird that I'm writing electronic/dance music now! But my range of taste and influence is far too wide of a palate to really pinpoint 1 or 2 particulars.

Lindsay: My influences are quite diverse and eclectic. I have been honored to meet personally with Tori Amos twice over the past five years. There has always been a deep recognition in my perception of her metaphoric language, along with her composition, as a person, philosopher, artist, and musician. She has been such a supportive example and mentor to me, urging me personally with apparent conviction and sincerity to focus entirely on the music I am making independently. In her quoted words to me (the last time we saw one another) she said, "you and I are of the same thread, the same dream... we speak the same language". Her exceptional aptness with the piano has always been deeply inspiring to me (also being a piano player) though our styles vary largely, but more so, the unique and expert rhythm in her fingers has actually served me as a greater percussive influence than a melodic one. There are countless other influences I am equally passionate about, in varying veins... Since the 1992 release of P.J. Harvey's debut album "Dry", she has been, and continues to be, one of my greatest artistic influences. I would estimate that I listen to more P.J. than any other artist. I very much treasure her entire documented history, and I feel that her art has always been extraordinarily strong. I traveled to New York in October of '07 to see her perform solo in Beacon Theater. I lack accurate words to describe how immensely I was inspired by her performance. I am very much anticipating the release of her next record, created with John Parish, due March 30th. This is the first time she and John Parish have worked together since 'Dance Hall At Louse Point' in 1996 - an album with has influenced me greatly.Last Spring during my solo tour in England, the first day I arrived for the first time ever in the country, I almost directly went from London Heathrow to Plymouth where I saw Bjork perform from the front row. I must say, I do believe that Bjork is perhaps the best electronic producer. Her entire configuration inspires me. I have always loved that Tori Amos, P.J. Harvey, and Bjork are such good friends. As perhaps the most successful unique female artists of their generations, each creating something of rare signature as artists. I long to convoy their wake. For the past fifteen years or more my greatest percussive influences have mostly been electronic. Off the top of my head, Richard D. James (Aphex Twin), Square Pusher, Autechre, Seefeel, Amon Tobin, Ulrich Schnauss, Trentemoller, Colleen, Tipper, Ceephax, DMX Krew, Sinewave, The Railway Raver, etc. with Boards Of Canada perhaps being the electronic music that most resonates for me in all aspects (though the artists listed above cannot be arguably compared in my opinion).

Lindsay: I think my favorite rock band of all time is Sonic Youth. Their art and influence on art culture is emphatic and markedly genius if you ask me. I have been a passionate listener my entire life. They formed in 1981 (the year of my birth). One time Thurston Moore himself emailed my old band "Redd Tape", inviting us to open for Sonic Youth the last time they played Salt Lake. Very unfortunately, I had severely broken my arm skateboarding weeks prior to that, and was just out of reconstructive surgery, having been told by doctors that I would never drum again. It was all devastating, we were unable to play as a result, but I managed to attend the show, drugged out on pain medications and fighting the crowd with my plastered arm. My biggest percussive influences and favorite drummers from childhood were of Led Zeppelin (John Bonham), The Police (Stewart Copeland). The Beatles (of course), Fleetwood Mac, and I found the back beat in all kinds of Motown... James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, etc. I think my biggest obvious influence as a drummer may be Dave Grohl. One of my favorite records of all time has always been "In Utero". Nirvana has always been significantly influential to me. I have so many influences, something from anything can influence me. I believe there is rhythm in all things, even the inaudible. Even beyond physical senses. I feel the beat in everything, and in nothingness. There is always an incessant beat and usually multiple rhythms happening simultaneously to anything and everything else inside of me. Math pulses, layered with competitive and imaginary percussion, incessantly looping and accelerating, deconstructing and composing constantly in my mind. It was nightmarish as a child, a certain hell in some ways. But I also find rapture in it, a meditation when embraced, despite the obvious obsessive compulsive neurosis of the characteristic. I make music as a meditation... I open myself to a very tangible, yet metaphysically sonic and spiritual intermediary source. Channeling as I play in a way which is not usually premeditated, or constructed logically. I don't count when I play, never have, I feel it. The "tribal" aspect of my drumming comes from that place. It is not explainable by way of any specific music influence per say. It is just an element and something mysteriously created in that enraptured wake, as I am in the act. The "tribal" sound in my music has often been notated as a key signature of mine in listeners feedback. When I am drumming, or making music of any kind, I always know I am in the right place, convicted that I am fulfilling my life's purpose. Other great musical influences include Rachel's, Beach House, Nels Cline, Deerhoof (with the pleasure of meeting all of them personally, and playing with some of them). I also love Erik Satie, My Bloody Valentine, Portishead, Radiohead (Thom Yorke),  TV on the Radio, etc. Just to name a few. Really, the list is endless.

Josh: Some of my biggest influences were and still are Refused, Michael Jackson, Skinny Puppy, Aphex Twin, and David Bowie. Freddie Mercury has a huge influence on me as well. My current favorite band right now is Heavy Heavy Low Low.

Gavin: How did you get together and decide to form Muscle Hawk?

Josh: Greg and I met in 2008. He was doing music for video games and I was doing sound effects for video games. Turns out that he was almost as big a fan of Michael Jackson's “Thriller” as I was. I had this vision of making music that people could move to that had an edge, but at the same time sounded like a miniature, painted, ceramic haunted house with tiny little ghosts flying around the top of it... or just music that sounds like a you might be in some dark castle on a summer night where someone might be playing harpsichords or organs in the basement and the curtains would be blowing in the windows such a way. Greg has a great ear and background for smooth dance oriented music. So we started coming up with some tracks. This was about mid 2008. We decided that it would be great to have some thrashy sounding drums to go along with these electronic pieces that we had written. I had done various projects and recordings with Lindsay, and she has been one of my closest, dearest friends for years now. Our musical vision, and aspirations are almost one and the same. I've never met someone that I have as much in common with musically as her. I knew instantly that she would be the perfect drummer for this project.

Greg: Josh and I work together and have a lot of similar and contrasting tastes in music. We had been discussing concepts for music we could produce together to combine our contrasting styles. I had a couple of 80's sounding cutup ideas lying around (early ideas of “FEVER” and “Cocaine”). So we decided to collaborate and see what would happen. Somewhere along the line Lindsay heard the early versions of some of the tracks (Josh and Linds were old friends already). She was really excited about them, and that's basically where the idea for Muscle Hawk as a band, rather than just a production project came from.

Lindsay: I first met Josh a few years ago. Immediately, we hit the studio- he began recording some Kid Madusa material that still has yet to surface in a form that meets our standards. Josh and I have always shared a passion for many of the same musical influences. He is my "music talk" buddy. We can go on endlessly together elaborating upon our individual and collaborative musical visions. When Josh began creating Muscle Hawk, I was immediately inspired by the concept, not to mention, I am invested in supporting his musical vision. He is a brilliant musician / artist, and I want to see his work bloom. It is a mutual dedication. Josh puts great energy toward assisting me in developing Kid Madusa. I hope to do the same in Muscle Hawk. Josh introduced me to Greg, and I was very impressed straight away by his extensive professional experience as a producer, engineer, and musician. We wasted no time after the initial introduction. Right to performing, recording and being more active than most local bands can be within the first couple weeks of forming as a band.

Gavin: What inspired you to go more toward the dance music sound?

Lindsay: Well, personally speaking- I love the local bands in SLC, and there are definitely some contagiously dance-able bands in this city. But the idea of putting together a live act in which the music never departs from continual dance music. Never leaves the crowd hanging, and guarantees a high energy atmosphere with universally accessible dance beats. We all felt that this town needs just that, and all of the material is created with dancing in mind. As a drummer, there is nothing quite like witnessing the reaction of a crowd inspired by the percussion I hone. It is a unique joy of being a drummer.

Josh: I was in the middle of recording two different albums. The first was a very loud, over-driven rock album with distorted electronic elements, where I was playing all instruments, singing, scream and recording it. The second was a drum and bass project called Birdhead, that I was also working on by myself. I have plans to finish that album by joining forces with my friend Tim Grant which I'm very excited about. After coming up with several tracks with Greg, we became very excited about Muscle Hawk and started putting all of our effort toward that.

Greg: Dance and Electronic music was always a core of my production and writing skills, so it wasn't really a decision. Just an opportunity to write something new.


Gavin: Do you feel like the club scene has started to catch onto your music, or has it caught more of a rock crowd's ear?

Greg: I think our music can appeal to both crowds. It's rockin', a lot of thanks to Lindsay for that, but still has a strong beat and obvious electronic sound to it!

Lindsay: Well, speaking from the perspective of  a new band.... (our first show was only two months ago) and we have had press involved in every performance thus far. W Lounge came knocking within days of our debut. So, in that respect, the club scene seemed to catch on right away. These days, many popular "rock bands" have moved into a dance oriented genre. We have received great feedback and support from people who claim to rarely venture away from strictly "rock" or "metal". I just think people want something to dance to. With Josh and I being so influenced by rock, and my drumming in Muscle Hawk being a heavy, thrashy, rock style. I think there's something for the rockers, and the clubbers in muscle hawk. Perhaps our music can serve as a place where the scenes can merge, and we can all be dancing friends. Come together, as it were.

Josh: I feel like the club scene in the U.S. is just barely starting to catch on to they style of music that we have decided to involve ourselves in. The club scenes in the U.K., France, and Canada and such have been bumpin' this style of music and fully embracing it for years now. The U.S. has a bit of learning curve when it comes to some of these styles of electronic music and is usually a couple years behind. As far as who's ear we catch out of clubbers and rockers... People from both crowds have showed a lot of love toward what we're doing. So that's great. I want us to have as wide of an audience as possible. A lot of parts in our songs get very loud, overdriven, and distorted. I want it to appeal to people who love to dance and people who may like loud abrasive rock. As far as Salt Lake goes, we're pushing as hard as we can to try and catch the club scene up to what is going on everywhere else around the world

Gavin: You got the attention of a lot of people very quickly. Were you surprised by the public demand once you became more publicly know?

Josh: I was very surprised about all the attention that we have had in such a short time. I didn't expect it at all. There have been countless days and weeks, working on music until the wee hours of the night, sleeping on a cold, hard studio floor next to a keyboard and some cords because I'm too tired to drive home. So to have people embrace it and give us so much attention and love has really been SO rewarding and appreciated.

Greg: Yeah it's all pretty strange. I was surprised at how well it's been received! I didn't know if people would get it. but I'm really excited and appreciative that they do!

Lindsay: No. Not me anyway. I have been in many local bands over the years. Having had the honor of playing in some well noted bands. I have made some friends in the local booking / publicity world. With all of the calls I get for booking inquiries regarding my own project, Kid Madusa, and with Kid Madusa currently being in the midst of a transformational vision. I knew that I could begin booking Muscle Hawk as much or as little as Josh and Greg wanted. They both seemed excited about it, so I began booking muscle hawk in place of Kid Madusa when I was approached to play shows. For me, the "attention" and "public demand" was just waiting, and Muscle Hawk was ready for it.

Gavin: You have The Speed Of Dark EP coming out. What was it like recording it?

Josh: It was very time consuming and draining, but also at the same time, the most positive project I've ever been involved in. It felt like there were no musical rules and that we could do whatever we wanted, however we wanted.

Greg: Exhausting! Many, many long sleepless nights! but I think it sounds killer!


Lindsay: Well, I came into this project well into the development of the material. I haven't had a chance to submit a great deal of creative input, aside from really changing the sound (in my opinion) as my contrasting style of drumming has been introduced. I am really hoping that I will have the opportunity to be more present in future recordings. For the sake of being true to our live sound, and because as a "band", I feel as though the music is entirely different with the addition of my drums. I feel that it sets our music apart from many similar artists- and is an aspect that can tie in that appeal for both rockers and clubbers. With the addition of my drums, I don't think people would compare us to say... "Justice", where, without the drums- it is an obvious influence, and really, not far from what is already happening in their music. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that, "Justice" is great... it's just that in my opinion, we have the opportunity to do something very unique here.... I intentionally have created drum beats, and a style that I feel contrasts in a complimentary way from the whole electronic side of things. I want a marriage of that incomparable raw energy that lives only in a human rocking out on an instrument, combined with the beauty of technically formatted music that cannot be performed on organic instruments by a human. Combined forces, can make for something twice as powerful in my opinion.

Gavin: The album is a DIY project. Did you wish you had some additional help or a label to put it out on, or do you prefer doing things that way for the creative control?

Greg: Everything's DIY nowadays, the more you can do yourself the better! With the capability of independent artists to distribute music and video through so many different forms of free media. If you don't take advantage of it your putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Josh: I personally love that this was a DIY project. Everything I've always worked on has been that way and that's kinda how I prefer it. I like trying to make all of this happen ourselves, from the music, to the production, to the mixing, to the artwork and photography and booking. I like it this way because we get to choose how to represent ourselves 100%.

Lindsay: I personally think that having that creative control is a highlight of creating something unique, which is important to me. Plus, Josh and Greg are extremely professional in the realm of production. I think part of the draw to our music will be the knowledge that this has been produced by talented and dedicated locals.

Gavin: Are there any plans in the works for a full-length album, or just sticking to this release and playing shows at the moment?

Lindsay: To my knowledge, we definitely plan to keep producing new tracks. Whether we make them into a series of EP's (which goes over well in the electronic world) or turn it into a full record, we will remain active in playing live all the while.

Greg: I'm of the opinion that it's better to constantly be releasing material, lots of EP's, remix EP's and what not rather than taking a year or so to write a full length. It keeps you in the audiences mind. Unfortunately, (and I'm just as guilty) people have short term memories when it comes to artists and music. Everything's very come and go. So you just gotta keep releasing material.

Josh: We really aren't to keen on releasing a full length album any time soon. We'd like to do several EP releases each year to keep fresh music pumping into the scene. With the style of music we're making, I feel it's used in clubs to dance to night after night, thus making it get sort of "worn out" quicker. The wait in-between releasing full length albums compared to releasing EP's is vastly different. Plus the style changes that happen from EP to EP is fun.

Gavin: A little state-wide, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Josh: The state-wide music scene. It's cute I guess.

Greg: I'm not really familiar with the local music scene. I'm sorry. I know there's a lot of great acts out there, but I'm kind of a musical hermit. I hear most of my new music on the internet.

Lindsay: In my experience- being in a few decent bands with a unique sound in SLC (such as my experience with "Redd Tape" for example) - we were able to open for bands in small and intimate venue's like Kilby Court or Urban Lounge with successful touring musical acts who would be playing in HUGE venues in other states.  If we lived in Seattle or New York for example, chances would have been very slim that we could have received so much notoriety - and the opportunity to open for some of our favorite musicians.  One time Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth (one of my favorite bands of all time) personally emailed my Redd Tape email account asking us to open for Sonic Youth in SLC the last time they performed here.  Unfortunately we were unable to- as I had just broken my arm and had reconstructive surgery- there was no way in hell I could have played the drums- though I was ready to try.

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it better?

Lindsay: Actually, I feel that the local music network here is pretty great. I personally feel that SLUG and City Weekly magazines, and the local venue's that I most frequently play are really awesome about supporting local artists. You get out of it what you put in - in my experience - I've been treated with great respect for the majority of my involvement in the local music network.

Josh: Yes. Everyone should jump and run and play and have fun.

Gavin: Who would you say are the best acts in our scene now?

Lindsay: Subrosa, Vile Blue Shades, Either / Either Orchestra, The Furrs, Twin Lull.

Josh: Are the Osmonds still going on here?

Gavin: Moving to the music industry, tell us what your thoughts are on it in general and the current state it's in?

Lindsay: Well it's mostly so corporate, ainit?! Mainstream music is like fast food musical MacDonald's.  It is easily accessible and satisfying to the majority of the population - those who naively eat up everything the media convinces them they should buy.  But every once in a while- there is an artist who actually makes music that is totally authentic and honest- and it is just universally and undeniably GOOD by all (or most) accounts. Such as the Beatles, etc.  But, as I mentioned earlier- I feel that everyone should be entitled to shamelessly allow themselves to freely enjoy the music they personally like. Without worrying about jeopardizing their reputation.  Honestly, I am comfortable admitting that I personally connect with bits of music all across the board. I don't care who the hell made the song- if I connect with it, I like it - and I don't care who cuts me from the cool club as a result. The music I really love is usually pretty obscure - experimental, underground, and independent.  I listen to very little radio- but I love some of the classics that are totally overplayed- "Led Zeppelin", "Cyndi Lauper", etc. I just prefer to avoid exposure to the corporate leeches and subliminal exploitation that drowns the authenticity of most mainstream artists. I will actually admit that for the first time ever, I actually went from claiming to HATE American Idol (having never even seen it before this season) to becoming quite engaged this year. I suppose I was initially drawn in by morbid curiosity, and being outraged by what I perceived to be a totally superficial rat race. Then I became intrigued by witnessing the politics infused in such an extravagant spectacle, and becoming more conscious of what seems to be the heart of mainstream music culture.

Lindsay: In the end I think I've decided that I continued tuning into the series despite my qualms because at some point I learned to respect the sincerity of the individual contestants. I feel sorry for them that they are now forever locked into churning out that generic musical MacDonald's fast food product- but it seems to me that anyone who dedicates themselves and invests their time and energy into making art of any kind - good or bad - is still a much more positive contribution in life than so many of the destructive alternatives in life. I mean, how many people sell their souls to working jobs of any kind that they hate? Maybe most people? Who am I to judge how sincere a person is in doing what they do? Plus, all of the mainstream music that is emotionless and talentless- performed by people who don't even write the songs, and sell it solely by having socially acceptable and popularly voted "attractive" bodies just makes the truly unique and sincere music all the more authentic in my opinion. So maybe I should write Paris Hilton a thank you letter for multitasking? Either way, we're all imperfect people- and while I personally choose to support independent and underground artists, I'm not going to waste my time hating the industry, or bash anyone for liking what they like. I'd rather use it as incentive to make music that I like- and support the music that I feel sparks higher consciousness, creates revolution, etc.

Josh: I feel like the current state of the music industry is kinda confused right now. Major recording labels are losing money. Many major artists like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails are started to release their albums on their own and even sometimes for free. Music is being copied more than ever. A lot of indie labels are having more success and stealing some of the "fire" from major labels. Maybe it's evolving into something and balancing it's self out in a sense. Maybe it's making music become less of a commercial product and more of an element of the world that floats beautifully and freely through the air.

Gavin: What do you think of the current trends in music that are getting radio play today?

Josh: I have no idea what is being played on the radio today at all as far as what is currently mainstream. I pretty much stopped listening to the radio and watching television at age seventeen when I got my first four-track tape recorder. Portia from X96 said that she was going to start playing our songs on Sundays, so that's cool. I really don't know what a lot of stations play these days. Lately I've been trying to listen to radio more. My friend Ebay DJ's the day show on KRCL and he plays pimp Stevie Wonder songs. Circus Brown had us play a live set on KRCL and since then I've been tuning into his show and he plays great tunes.

Lindsay: Well, times are always changing. It seems to me that if a musician devotes their life to writing and performing music professionally as their career- and especially if listeners value the art and respect the work of the artist, it should be therefore supported.

Gavin: What's your take on file sharing and how it affects you as a musician?

Lindsay: I once listened to an interview Tori Amos did in New York in which she was asked the same question, and I was really moved by her response- She compared it metaphorically to a winery, saying something to the effect of: "A consumer should be able to taste the wine to decide whether or not they enjoy it enough to purchase it." But at some point, you have to consider the families and independent vineyards who produce the wine. Those people are working hard to produce the wine- and the money they make by selling that wine is how their means of survival. She said, if someone really doesn't have any money, she would rather that they steal her record than never hear her music. But for the people who DO have the resources to support the art they are taking- she asks: do these people realize how disrespectful it truly is to steal from the artist who devotes their life to creating the product? I definitely agree with her response.

Greg: File sharing is tricky, but it comes down to artists and labels realizing that they're not gonna make any real money from album and digital sales. try as they might. The most dependable ways to make money are gonna be touring your ass off or finding other legit ways of making money off your tunes, such as licensing and air and internet radio play. besides, filesharing songs is just free promotion!

Josh: I think it's great! I think everyone should listen to everyone's music. Music is for everyone. If the fans truly love it, they'll buy a copy or some band merch to try and support the band.


Gavin: What can we expect from you guys over the rest of the year?

Josh: Tons of more music. Tons of more shows and festivals. Hopefully we can get into playing at Gallivan Center this summer because that's a beautiful atmosphere and I'd like to get all of those people to dance.

Lindsay: We will be very active. Watch our dates on MySpace. I want to start booking a West coast tour as soon as possible. I'm also hoping to begin booking Muscle Hawk in coordination with some of the gay pride festivals around the United State. Not that it matters, and it's nobody's business, but because that might raise some curiosity- I am the only gay member of Muscle Hawk... or rather... I am the only member who is not straight;. I just know that dance music like ours will be much appreciated in the gay pride festivals. Plus, nobody parties like us gays... what a fun way to play shows and get exposure!

Greg: We're gonna keep playing shows promoting and working on new material!

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

Greg: Make sure to check out our MySpace page for upcoming events and to listen to our EP! oh, and don't miss the EP release at W Lounge on Friday Jan 30th!!!

Josh: I'd like to help to promote people not littering and maybe planting more flowers and trees.


Lindsay: Sure! Request Muscle Hawk and Kid Madusa on KRCL 90.9 FM - Circus Brown is sure to play it during his Friday night / Saturday night shows.

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Posted // November 6,2010 at 01:33

Circus Brown is sure to play it during his Friday night / Saturday night shows.

 

 
 
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