Problem Daughter, Foster Body, Chalk | Buzz Blog

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Problem Daughter, Foster Body, Chalk

Posted By on November 5, 2014, 2:00 PM

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Most of you reading this were probably spending the weekend doing your traditional trick-or-treat festivities. Or perhaps you kicked it up a few levels to getting blasted in your friend's backyard while you drank every pumpkin-flavored beer you could snag. For me, I was sitting in Diabolical Records being swarmed by more than 300 people in what was one of the most attended and successful Punk Rock Halloween shows I've ever been to. In what's slowly becoming a downtown tradition, local punk bands dress up like their favorite bands from the past and play covers, totally free of charge. This year, the headlining acts were Problem Daughter as The Clash, Foster Body as Devo, and Chalk as Nirvana, and we chat with all three today. 

Problem Daughter (Shane, Trey, Tyler & Regan)

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Problem Daughter on Facebook

Gavin: Hey guys, first thing, tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Trey: We're the oldest punk band in Utah that you've never heard of! Haha! Just kidding. We're just a bunch of 20-somethings having fun playing music with our best friends. The band consists of myself on drums, Regan on bass and vocals, Tyler on guitar and vocals, and Shane on guitar and vocals.

Gavin: What got each of you interested in music and what were your favorite acts growing up?

Trey: I think music, especially punk rock, was all very important to us since we were young. My favorite band growing up were the Suicide Machines, The Vandals, Blink 182 and stuff like that.

Tyler: I would have to say NOFX, Bad Religion, Iron Maiden, TSOL, Operation Ivy—stuff like that.

Regan: Hot Water Music and Rancid. Later on, I would say Woody Guthrie, One Man Army and Dead to Me.

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Gavin: When and how did all of you first come together to form Problem Daughter?

Trey: My old band Vanzetti Crime was breaking up because our guitarist was leaving on a mission, so I was in search for a new project. Regan and I had been friends for a few years, and I always liked his band the Playdead Movement. Shortly after his band ended, Regan and I started jamming, and then we got Shane who was also in the Playdead Movement to play guitar, and we just started writing songs. Within a month or so, we had eight songs we really liked, so we decided to get in the studio and crank them out. We did two eight-song albums just like that over the first two years. It wasn't until Tyler joined the band that things really started feeling right. After he joined the band, we started working on the third album and the rest is history!

Gavin: What influenced the pop-punk sound that you've created?

Shane: I think we all like the same kind of punk rock, so that mixed with all of our other loves like folk, pop, rock & roll—it just kind of worked itself out.

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Gavin: You formed in 2008 and released a couple albums on your own. What was that time like and what kind of challenge was it building up an audience?

Shane: I think our thought process was "Make an album, play as many shows as possible and people will hear about us," and I think it worked to some extent.

Gavin: Shortly after 2010, there were a couple of years where you guys were barely playing shows and not working on much. What was going on during that time?

Trey: We never really stopped playing shows, it was just a little difficult for us to find shows around that time. I think we took a few months off, but nothing too substantial.

Regan: It was a hard time for me, I was struggling with addiction. If it wasn't for the small little hiatus of these guys helping me out, I'm not sure how things would be. But I came out of it and I've been great ever since.

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Gavin: What sparked the interest to write again and work on the self-titled album?

Trey: We definitely have never stopped writing. I think we have at least a dozen songs that never made it to a record between the second and third album. We did end up recording three of those songs in our basement and just ended up putting them on Bandcamp for free.

Gavin: What was it like working with Joel Pack from Rigby Road Studios on that one?

Shane: Joel is the man! Our experience working with him on that album couldn't have been better. He'd always have suggestions on how to make something sound even cooler. We love Joel. And we will be recording with him in the near future.

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Gavin: How did you feel about the way your album was received?

Tyler: That's when I think we all felt things were coming together. We played a lot of really great shows around that time. I remember shortly after the album came out we started noticing people singing along at shows, which had never really happened before. That was really cool to see.

Gavin: At this point, are you working on any new material or just taking some time off again?

Regan: We have a whole bunch of songs ready to record. We plan on hitting the studio with Joel Pack as soon as we get a few things in order. Our plan is to release a 12-song album.

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Gavin: What can we expect from all of you over the rest of the year and going into the next?

Shane: If everything goes to plan, by early next year we will have a new album out and planning a tour.

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

Tyler: We are playing at The Shred Shed on Nov. 8 with Lee Corey Oswald, No Sun and Chalk. Also, we're playing with Hard Girls, which is one of our favorite bands going right now, at Diabolical Records on Nov. 21. Hope to see you there!

Foster Body (Korey, Robin, Dyana & Jeremy)

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Foster Body on Facebook

Gavin: Hey gang, first thing, tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Korey: I am Korey Daniel Martin, and I spend a lot of time thinking about the perfect pant cut, arguing for the Internet and drawing sometimes.

Dyana: I am Dyana Durfee. I play bass in this band and The Circulars. I like to take cell-phone pictures of my cats and have involved, validating, encouraging conversations with my friends.

Robin: Hi, I'm Robin Banks. I sit in my room and draw mostly. Other times, you can see me walking around thinking or trying not to think so much. I'm trying to be a nicer, less selfish person.

Jeremy: I am Jeremy Devine. I play drums in Foster Body and Chalk.

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Gavin: What got each of you interested in music, and what were your favorite acts growing up?

Robin: I got a Beach Boys tape for my sixth birthday, along with a Walkman to play it on. I would hide behind the Lay-Z-Boy and air drum to it or make my sister watch me sing and mime to the songs over and over. I remember hearing "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper on a car ride home after a blackout in L.A. when I was 4. I felt such intense emotions during that moment that I couldn't place name or reason to. I always wanted to have a band and play live and be able to communicate on such an intense level with people. I'm so lucky to be able to have that opportunity with such an incredible group of people!

Dyana: I started upright bass in elementary school for my stay-at-home dad's Western swing band and stuck with it through jazz combos and orchestral music. I didn't see a whole lot of representation of a role I could play in a music scene until I moved to Salt Lake, and also figured out how to use the Internet.

Jeremy: I was taught piano at a really young age. Then picked up guitar in middle school, then drums recently.

Korey: I grew up doing theater and choral performances throughout grade school, but I never considered starting a band until I moved here and met people like these. They encouraged me to make sounds, any sounds at all, and I guess that's what I'm doing now. It's something I spend quite a bit of my time inspecting.

Gavin: What was it like for each of you to become involved with the local music scene?

For me, easy; nice people are supporting nice bands. Everyone reading this should start a band and also be nice.

Korey: Demystifying? Initially, I was highly uncertain of myself and my involvement—suspect even. As time progressed, I learned how to apply myself, and continue to in what I hope are authentic manners.

Robin: It used to feel like a fight. I used to feel like there was so much lacking, that it was all so vapid and detached. Like everyone was just trying to play out what they thought a music scene was like elsewhere, completely disconnected from what we need here, in Salt Lake, at this time. In the past few years, something has changed. Salt Lake is forming an identity and so many people I am so lucky to know are the voices of and the driving force behind these communities. And I feel like so many of us are finally understanding how intertwined our little niches are and how we can work together to make this an incredible place to be. 

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Gavin: How did you meet each other and become friends?

Dyana: Korey and I met in the dorm cafeteria at the U, both spending hours long sessions in the dining hall letting our prepaid meals overlap to save on vouchers. I met Robin when I was asked to join Foster Body after the original bassist, McKenna Winterholler, left for an extensive cross-country trip. The original drummer, Madison Donnelly, only just left to focus on her degree with the sculpture program at the U, so I've only gotten to know our current drummer, Jeremy, through Foster Body. He seems cool so far.

Korey: I met Robin in the previously mentioned scenario when they and Madison invited me to play guitar for a project that was just starting. I think I met Jeremy in a peripheral way because of Chalk.

Jeremy: I met Robin through playing shows and mutual friends. And Korey and Dyana through Foster Body.

Robin: I always wanted to start a band with Madison because she is such an inspiring, motivated person. I wanted to be a part of the energy she brings to everything she does. She said Korey was cool, and I would see him walk down the street to the library with his skateboard and goofy baseball hats. I figured she must be right, so I talked to him and found out we had almost nothing in common. I liked the way we talked though. I liked his views on things. Korey looks at things in ways no other person I've met does. It's annoying. Until we both come to a conclusion neither of us had seen before our arduous conversation began. I think that's something people don't find often. What could be more important than finding out your original thought can be improved upon and loving that? Not much. Anyways, Dyana and Jeremy are really good at helping us all communicate. Everyone in Foster Body is 100 percent integral. We always talk about how each other (not other bands) are our biggest influence in this project. It's completely true.

Gavin: What made you decide to come together to form Foster Body, and where did the name come from?

Dyana: Korey and I came up with the term once when over eating at Blue Nile on State Street, wishing we had extra storage space for all the food we wanted to keep eating. The original name of the band was Cock Block and the band had been wanting to go with something a little more inclusive.

Korey: Yeah, a Foster Body eats for you. The current evolving manifestation of Foster Body kind of solidified once we realized that this project (intended to last for one cathartic evening) had quite a bit more longevity to it—that the thoughts and concepts we possessed far surpassed the duration we had initially given it. That first name was originally something which fit a specific directive with a reactionary, short-lived approach, but after some consideration we decided on a new one.

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Gavin: What was the influence behind the quick, post-punk sound you've cultivated?

Dyana: Initially, inability? We were all new at these roles. Korey barely knew guitar, Robin had never fronted a band, I'd never played punk.

Korey: Plus, maybe the function of the band? Our individual capacities? We play and then we're always surprised by the form that somehow comes together afterward. That might be true for most bands. We respond to one another using an increasingly specific language and ask lots of questions, because, as Dyana said, we've never been in Foster Body before. So, the answers are always deeply unexpected, but never seem to be unrelated.

Robin: We build a song that sounds like what it's trying to say. I'm not going to scream "It's a bit chilly today" and I'm not going to use a decorative typeface to write a book. "Waiting" is a slow, drudging song because that's how it feels. "Ill Fit" is too quick to think because that is what the song evokes in us.

Gavin: Earlier this year, you released your debut album, Landscapes. What was it like writing and putting that album together?

Robin: Korey and I were in pretty shitty mental states at that time, so a lot of the album is pretty dark, I guess. We also wrote a couple songs ("Landscape" and "Portrait") inspired by Gaston Bachelard's book The Poetics of Space—specifically, the chapter on nests. It was a weird album to make because we were all going through a lot of changes and uncertainty, in and outside of the band.

Dyana: Hopefully, it blended together well enough, but half of the songs were written when the band had one lineup and the other half with another. The final renditions of the songs were all recorded and interpreted by the same four people, though.

Korey: It was also the first time we had heard what we'd been doing for about a year. "Interpretations" is probably a great way of describing how we perform each piece each time. A lot of what happens is an interrogation of space—whether a literal one or a compositional representation of it. Now, I want to hear what we've been doing since then.

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Gavin: What did you think of the reception Landscapes received when it finally came out?

Korey: When it came out, I was too concerned with what everyone would think of my loose shower hair on the cover to pay attention. No one noticed. (The hair, not the album. I think people liked it—the album, not the hair.)

Robin: I was surprised how much so many people liked it. It's a pretty odd album. But it came from a place of complete honesty, and I think that's why it resonated with so many people. It's sort of detached and awkward, but I think we all are in some way. I think that makes the sentiment relatable.

Gavin: Do you have any plans for a new EP or another release yet, or are you just playing gigs for now?

Dyana: We will be recording a full-length with Michael Fuchs, who recorded Landscapes, as soon as he thinks we are good enough.

Korey: Will we ever be? We have lots of new questions, so new answers are required.

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Gavin: You guys have been one of the leading bands in what's been a resurgence of local punk in the past two years. What are your thoughts on how it's grown in 2014?

Jeremy: I hope more people make more and different bands.

Dyana: I hope people find it more welcoming. I mean punk and societal critiquing is a great message, and I don't want it to be limited to only the people who can and want to hold their own in a mosh pit.

Korey: That is a big concern. No matter how our local scene grows, I hope people remember that for whatever punk may be, there are lots of things it certainly is not, and that it resembles a highly present perspective far before a distant context and any aesthetic adopted from it. I just hope that our community continues to become safer for those who feel they may benefit from it in ways they struggle to elsewhere. I encourage people to start all kinds of bands. More jazz maybe.

Robin: Undefining punk is important to me. I hope we're helping blur the lines a bit and making people feel like they can do anything, not like they have to do something.

Gavin: Do you guys take any credit for helping build the scene up or do you just not care about that kind of stuff?

Dyana: I'd care only in the sense that it's important to acknowledge responsibility. If people are coming out to our shows because they are expecting the same inclusive experience they've had before, it should be our responsibility to maintain that safe space as consistently as we're able.

Korey: We are surrounded by wonderful people doing incredible things. It'll all be better for every new person contributing something to what is happening in Salt Lake City right now. The credit goes to this environment of growing mutual appreciation which I hope to maintain a sentiment which people feel safe and comfortable engaging.

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Gavin: Do you guys have any plans to possibly tour?

Dyana: ASAP! But my van doesn't handle the snow.

Korey: I know we at least want to visit all of the friends we made on our last tour through the West Coast.

Gavin: What can we expect from all of you over the rest of the year and going into next?

Korey: Lots of primaries. Inquiries.

Robin: I just want to feel like a complete person. I want to feel fulfilled and I want to help others (or at least not hinder others) feeling fulfilled.

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

Korey: Diabolical Records for being such a crucial platform for all of this lately. Adam and Alana have both been really supportive.

Chalk (Jeremy, Skyler, Luigi & Sally)

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Chalk on Facebook

Gavin: Hey guys, first thing, tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Sally: I play bass and sing a couple of songs.

Jeremy: I play drums.

Skyler: I play the guitar and sing.

Luigi: I also play the guitar and sing.

Gavin: What got each of you interested in music, and what were your favorite acts growing up?

Sally: In high school, I was really into Elliott Smith, Cat Power, Belle & Sebastian, Neko Case, and Thao Nguyen with the Get Down Stay Down. Listening to their music influenced me to write songs with interesting lyrics.

Jeremy: Seeing friends play shows in high school and realizing I could do it as well. Eddie Van Halen.

Skyler: I grew up in a very music-oriented family, so playing was more or less inevitable, though I didn't ever take any of it seriously until I moved to the city from the suburbs and started my first bands with my friends.

Luigi: I always had the idea that I should pick up an instrument since the school that I used to attend in Peru was very pushy about having the students play music, but it was metal bands like Slayer and Pantera that gave the determination to practice guitar in the first place.

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Gavin: How did each of you get involved with the local music scene?

Sally: Mostly through my friends who were into music; I started by opening for their bands when I was a solo act.

Jeremy: Mostly just seeing my friends bands play and getting them to join bands with me.

Skyler: My friends in high school introduced me to all of it. I found all of the great spaces I'd been hoping for in Salt Lake and moved out as soon as possible to try to connect with it more.

Luigi: I went to high school with people that got me into the local music and also played in bands.

Gavin: How did each of you end up meeting each other?

Sally: I met Jeremy and Skyler through Luigi, who I met through Matt Gray, a former Chalk member.

Jeremy: I met Luigi at a party and we talked about metal bands and decided to start jamming. Sally and I met through Luigi. And Skyler I met later through the two of them.

Skyler: I knew Luigi and Sally from going to and playing shows. I didn't meet Jeremy until he was in Chalk.

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Gavin: What made you go for an alt/punk vibe with your music?

Sally: I don't think we've intentionally planned to sound any which way, but rather we chose to play songs that we liked. I guess we all like alt-punk music.

Jeremy: Everybody bringing their own styles and ideas. It's not any one thing. We've got punk songs and pop songs. Alt-punk's good though.

Skyler: There are goals I try to achieve with songwriting, but there's never a specific sound in mind. There are some old Chalk demos of mine that sound entirely different from the finished version.

Gavin: Last year you released your self-titled album. How was it putting that album together?

Jeremy: Very simple! We recorded it in a couple of days.

Gavin: What was it like working with Abraham Chapman and working on it at Black Pyramid?

Jeremy: Abe was really open to hearing our ideas and implementing them. We were really happy to work with Black Pyramid because so much music we like had come out of there.

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Gavin: How was it watching the self-titled album takeoff after you put it on Bandcamp?

Jeremy: Great! I'm glad people like it!

Gavin: You've also been one of the leading bands in what's been a resurgence of local punk in the past two years. What are your thoughts on how its grown in 2014?

Sally: We are very grateful for the support our band has been receiving from the scene.

Jeremy: It's great to see it grow. I hope that more people are feeling like they can try different things.

Skyler: Salt Lake has consistently been a supportive and awesome place to be an independent musician in the time that I've been around. I think it's always been this way to some extent. Dave Payne definitely deserves credit for keeping shows awesome in his arduous tenure here.

Gavin: Do you have any plans on touring or are you just sticking to home for now?

Sally: We want to tour, definitely!

Jeremy: Soon! Probably spring or summer of next year.

Skyler: The sooner, the better. A van donation would be much appreciated.

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Gavin: Are there any new recordings in the works at this time?

Sally: Yes, we have an album coming up.

Skyler: Our album we recorded with Matt Mateus is being mixed and should be out shortly!

Gavin: What can we expect from all of you over the rest of the year and going into the next?

Sally: An album, maybe a tour, and more cool T-shirts.

Skyler: Changes and growth, expanding on sounds we've hinted at. Definitely more hair.

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

Skyler: Diabolical Records, for being so kind and putting up with us so often. Adam owes me a GBV record, though.

Sally: We would like for reclusive, rich relatives or benefactors to appear and give us a big van. 

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