The LC Pavillion | November 14, 2012 | Columbus, OH

photos by Erika Mugglin

For some reason or another (probably my dyslexia), I associate the name Oberhofer with images of a peaceful European field, filled with prancing deer and red windmills.  Named after frontman and founder Brad Oberhofer, the band crafts music that sounds more suited for a trampoline party, energetic, bouncy… However, I can’t help but notice subtle strains of somber isolation in some of their lyrics.  If you’re not familiar with them, you may recognize their song “o0Oo0Oo” from a recent rooftopT-Mobile commercial.

Erika, my fabulous friend, photographer for the evening, and close friend of the band, was already inside when I arrived. I was chronically late, frazzled after a long day at work, now dismayed there was already huge group of people shivering in line, waiting to get the best spot for the show with Matt & Kim.  I politely excused my way to the front of the crowd of pursed lipped teenaged girls who became even poutier when I explained to the doorman that I was on the list.  I smiled wryly to myself as I slipped past them and walked into the empty, huge venue.  

The band was still soundchecking, so Erika and I made good use of the time and tossed some possible interview questions around.  My brain felt utterly fried. But I was thrilled to see the Oberhofer crew again.  We had met at several of their Ohio shows a few times before, but I never had the opportunity to snag an interview.  The music stopped and guitarist Matthew Schneider came bounding out and gave me and Erika a huge hug.  We headed outside and climbed into their brand new tour bus (which was welcomingly warm) for the interview.  Brad, and drummer Pete Sustarsic were already on board, shortly followed by bassist Dylan Treleven and guitarist Ben Roth.  

JITP: I hear this is the first time you guys are touring in a bus. How’s that experience been?

Ben: It’s been nice. We have to worry about driving a lot less, you know, which is, uh, uh, something we, we’ve done a lot of up until this point. 

Matt: Particularly him. He was the DD.

Ben: Yeah. We can sleep on here at night which is very comfortable. It’s sort of a little bumpy but, you know. It’s been nice. Though it isn’t officially a bus. It’s more like a human box truck. 

JITP: Yeah, let’s talk about it since people can’t see the actual bus.  Describe the human-box-truck for the readers. 

Dylan: It’s basically a, uh… a box truck that’s been converted into an RV. So, it has bunks over here. There’s a flat screen TV. 

Ben: There’s a refrigerator. 

Dylan: Uh, you’ll notice it has a microwave and a built-in sound system. 

Ben: There’s a showering room in the back with a sink. 

JITP: Nice. 

Ben: And a toilet room. 

Matt: There’s a fridge. 

Dylan: No pooping in the toilet. 

JITP: No?  Is that an official rule? 

All: Yes!

Dylan: It’s a rule. 

Ben: It was the first rule actually.  Number one rule of Truckbus. 

Pete: Rule one, no number two. [Laughter]

Ben: That’s a good one. 

Brad: Gravy! 

JITP: I heard you guys got stuck in a ditch last night or this morning.

Pete: In my parents’ driveway. I mean we didn’t get, uh, actually stuck in the mud or in the ditch but we got stuck at the end of the driveway. It was hard to…we couldn’t go forward or backwards. But we weren’t up to our hubs in mud. It was just a thing…it was a maneuvering thing. It wasn’t that, uh, tragic. We got out of it. 

JITP: It sounded pretty epic but…well, I imagined it being quite epic. 

Pete: The pictures made it look a lot worse than it was. 

JITP: So, how has tour been so far other than getting stuck in the ditch? 

Pete: It’s been relatively smooth. Smooth going. 

Brad: Yeah, it’s been really fun. We’ve seen a lot of things, had a crazy year. 

JITP: How crazy? 

Pete: Just crazy. A lot of touring.  A lot of touring this year. 

Brad: Extremely crazy. 

Matt: Pretty much everything that I never thought was going to be on my radar, I’ve got to do this year… 

Brad: Yeah, he doesn’t even own a boat. [Grins sheepishly]


Matt: [Addressing Brad] Like, sonar? laughs Okay, I get it now. [Back to JITP] Like playing on the Late Show and playing at festivals like the big festivals. 

JITP: What were some of the festivals you guys played this year? From what I was seeing on fest line-ups and announcements, you played a ton

Matt: [sarcastically] Uh, there’s this one called Lollapoloza. You might have heard of it? 

JITP: [joking] Yeah? Yeah… I think I have. 

Matt: I think it’s new. I think… 

Pete: New-ish

Brad: We played Lollapoloza, Bonaroo, Coachella Festival, Austin City Limits. We played Oya Festival in Oslo. Way out West in Sweden. Um, Reading and Leeds. Pinkpop in the Netherlands, a few other small festivals in Europe…and North by Northeast in Canada. 

JITP: I heard good things about North by Northeast. 

Brad: Actually… It’s where [Erika (photographer) and I] met for the first time. 

JITP: Awww! Personal connections! 

Erika: Known each other so long now. 

Brad: It’s been a long time. 

JITP: This is the first time I’ve interviewed you guys, even though I’ve known you for a couple years and you’ve played in Columbus many times. So I have to ask, how did you all meet each other? I don’t think I ever got that story. Because, [Brad], this is originally your project, right? 

Brad: Yes, that’s right.

Pete: I met Brad in Brooklyn. He had a version of the band going for a couple shows, and the first drummer didn’t work out. And a friend of mine was talking to his manager and recommended me. Brad and I got together in Bushwick and started practicing together. 

Ben: Yeah, Brad and Dylan and I know each other from high school. 

JITP: Did you all grow up in New York? 

Brad: I grew up in Tacoma, Washington. 

JITP: Wow, opposite coast! What brought you over to New York?

Brad: I came to New York to go to school. 

Ben: I went over there earlier this year to go on tour with this band. 

Matt: And I - Brad called me, I got a somewhat unsolicited phone call from Brad, uh, in August of 2010, after I’d been away on a really long trip, and asked me if this is - the guitar slot was, uh, a gap, at that moment. 

JITP: I heard you [Brad] are known for your crazy dreams.  So, I think we should swap some dream stories, ‘cause we‘ve all had some crazy dreams… 

Dylan: The rest of us don’t dream at all, actually, ever.

Matt: Brad hogs all the dream space. [laughter]

Dylan: Suck it all right out of the room. 

Pete: I did have dream the other night, though, that our driver was dating Madonna. Our driver’s named Paul, and he was like, they were a couple. It was a split second of a dream, but they were obviously a couple, and were going to go do something, he was, “All right, see you guys.” 

JITP: Totally normal? No second guessing the oddity in your dream?

Pete: Yeah. I probably realized, like, that’s pretty cool. Paul and Madonna.

Ben: Can I share a friend’s dream, actually?  They’re just way more interesting than my recent dreams. Uh, my friend, she’s a drummer in sort of a stoner doom metal band called Orbweaver. And, uh, she had this dream that she was in a tree, with her legs spread open. She’s stuck up in a tree, and there’s this gigantic spider with like a bunch of teeth and like blood coming out of his mouth and one just gigantic eye, like hissing at her crotch and trying to crawl inside of her. 

JITP: Wow… (I was utterly horrified) 

Brad: That’s awesome! 

JITP: That is INSANE… (still horrified) 

Ben: It’s funny, because her band’s name is Orbweaver, which is a spider. 

Erika: That’s like the stuff of nightmares. Yeah, it’s…oh God. It’s awful. 

Ben: I think that’s the most interesting dream I’ve heard of recently. 

JITP: Now all I can think about is spiders crawling in my vagina. 


Ben: [smiling] You’re welcome!

Brad: My most recent dream was extremely vague, but also extremely pleasant. I think it was two nights ago that I had a dream that I was just with friends, sitting in a field around a waterfall.  Actually, yeah. And that was all I remember of the dream. It was really pleasant. 

JITP: Sounds pretty peaceful. Better than spiders, crawling up vaginas, or trying to. 

Ben: Vaginal spiders! Be on the lookout. Health class poster. 

JITP: Yeah. Should think of some health class PSAs.  Yeah…  Sorry, I can’t… I am getting super focused on that right now. 

Matt: Chlamydia is not a flower. [laughter] That’s actually a video on YouTube.

JITP: Really? 

Matt: It’s not a real PSA. It happens to be very funny, but… , somebody made it as a joke. [pauses] Chlamydia is not a flower.

Erika:  Words to live life by. 

JITP: Let’s talk about your upcoming album. When does it come out… what was the writing process…?

Brad: It’s going to come out sometime in January of 2013.  I basically demoed some songs at home, and then worked on,it with everyone else after, you know, after I’d done some ideas. Sort of reworked it with everyone. And we recorded everything together. 

Pete: In the studio, yeah, we kind of did our own parts. We would listen to Brad’s demo and then add our own parts in the studio. 

JITP: What would you say are the biggest differences between this album and the last? 

Brad: Well, this is five people on every song, the last record was me playing most of the parts. And Ben wasn’t even on the last record, and you know Dylan - Dylan and I played on about half the songs, and Pete played on a couple of the songs, And this is more, this is more collaborative than that. 

JITP: You play a lot shows here and around Ohio.

Pete: We’re coming to Ohio because of me. 

Dylan: Ohio comes to us, really. 

Ben: It’s true. Ohio brings it. 

Pete: Yeah, we’ve played Cleveland clubs a bunch of times, Cincinnati maybe twice. Played outdoors once, and then we played at the Motor Pub once. Maybe three times, I’m not really sure. 

JITP: What do you guys plan on doing with your time off after the tour? 

Ben: Thanksgiving, in Hawaii. 

JITP: That’s nice. 

Dylan: Find a job. 

JITP: What kind of work are you looking for? 

Dylan: Oh, bartending, or I’ve done some stagehand work, I’ll try to get in with the stagehand’s union in New York. I worked with the Seattle stagehand’s union. Coffee shop, or anything that I can kind of leave when I need to. 

Matthew: I’m going to take up archery. 

Brad: I’m probably going to spend some time - I don’t really have an apartment or anything, and I found a cabin in the woods in the Catskills for pretty cheap. So I’m just going to stay there for awhile. 

JITP: Any words to live life by? 

Brad: Oh yeah. 

It can sometimes be good 

to be misunderstood.

Ben: Uh, suck up. [laughter] 

Dylan: I’ve got a new EP coming out. The band is called Sun Signs

Brad: Oh, there’s a new Sun Signs EP? 

Dylan: Just now. I haven’t heard it, I mean it’s not finished. 

JITP: It’s coming? Cool. What kind of music is it?

Dylan: It’s electronic stuff, a lot of sampling. It’s kind of [noises] down tempo, like… 

Brad: It’s like - there’s a video on Sun Sign’s page. It’s really fucking cool. 

Dylan: It sounds a little bit different but it’ll be experimental.  

JITP: [Brad] I also heard that you have a side project that you’ve been working on? Traveling around with one of your friends, want to talk about that a little bit? 

Brad: Oh wow, that’s really recent. Um, yeah, my friend has a band called “Shadow Walker.” And, um, I’m playing guitar. I toured with them down the west coast, just for like the first week and a half of January. 

JITP: Mm-hmm. That’s very cool. What’s it like? What does it sound like?

Brad: Um…I don’t know. 

JITP: It’s a secret? 

Brad: Just look up “Shadow Walker.” 

Oberhofer's new album is slated for release this spring.  Keep an eye out for tour dates which should be announced soon.




Washed Out was in town.  WASHED OUT.  The countless hours I had spent in my apartment relaxing to his mysteriously mellow reverb laced tunes, pondering what this man was like in real life… well, I was about to find out.  I had worked out the interview after scouring the internet for his press contacts and ended up corresponding with his wife, who set everything up for me.  I met up with Jacob Corbin of Collective Crowd Records before the show; he had driven down from Akron, OH.  Ever faithful photographer, John Danner, was by my side once again, this time with a photo pass for The Newport, which gave him access to the space in-front of the stage to take some amazing photos during the live set.  I found Ernest’s wife, Blair, a beautiful, petite woman with sweet southern charm, working the merch table.  I introduced myself and we chatted for a few minutes.

I was surprised when Ernest walked out on stage with a full band behind him, and also impressed by how tall he was.  I didn’t get a sense of his stature at Pitchfork Music Festival a few months earlier.  

After the set, I met Ernest and his wife out front by the merch table.  I was immediately charmed by his Southern drawl and ease. He and Blair make such a cute couple.  We all chatted for a minute, and then John and I followed Ernest backstage.  We shimmied behind the heavy black curtain behind the crazy looking honeycombs that were set up for the Yeasayer show, using my phone as a makeshift flashlight.  Then, it was up a winding metal staircase held together by balls of electrical and duct tape.  Ah yes, this was the same greenroom where I interviewed Bear in Heaven.  Curved black walls, one light, one worn in couch, parts of it also held together by duct tape.  As we set everything up I learned that all of the new band members of Washed Out had just met each other the Friday before this show.  This was only their second time playing live together.  Pretty impressive, if you ask me.  Their set was tight, and sounded energetic and fuller than Ernest’s solo set in Chicago.

KPSo you’re from Perry, GA.  How did you create Washed Out?

Ernest Greene: Yes, I grew up in Perry.  When I created Washed Out, I was living in Columbia SC; I had graduated college and moved there.  I had been working on music for a couple years in my bedroom, and never really had any intentions of playing in a band or putting music out.  It was more of just a hobby.  The stuff I was working on at that time was really different than it is now but it has kind of progressed into the Washed Out Sound.  So I guess, early last year (2009) was when I kind of started really working on the style.  It was just time, right situation… I met Chaz Budnik of Toro Y Moi and we had similar interest, and started playing music together.   It was kind of his success that kind of led to me breaking out.  He got signed to Carpark records and got blog buzz and through that… He had me as one of his top friends on Myspace, so people just randomly stumbled across my page. I only had one or two songs up…

[door opens…]

EG:  This is Ray!


Ray:  Hola! 

EG:  And so anyway, a couple blogs emailed me about posting stuff.

KPWho were some of the first blogs, do you remember?

EG:  No Pain in Pop was the first one, yeah. So I was just, so psyched that someone was interested.  They are based in London and that was even more fantastic to me.  So as soon as it got posted the ball started rolling and the songs were passed around pretty quickly.  To the point where I was getting emailed from blogs asking for more songs.  I didn’t have any more songs at that time!  So for three days, all I did was record, the majority of which is on my EP.

KPFrom the blogging, it seemed like everything took off really fast.

EG: Super fast!

KPAnd from my understanding

[door opens…]

EG:  This is Phil!

KP: Hello!

EGPhil has a really cool project called Dog Bite.

[At this point my hearing abilities decide to get up and walk out the door so I asked Ernest about 5 times, “What’s it called? What?”  To a point where I got embarrassed just listening to myself during transcription.]

EG:  I heard his music online and was really into the fact that he’s from Atlanta because I spend a lot of time there, so I emailed him and that’s how we got in touch.  So he’s part of the band now.  I want to produce his stuff, because it’s really cool.

KPI’ll definitely have to check it out.

EG:  Yeah, it’s great!

KPLet’s talk about the first show you played as Washed Out, in New York.  It was sold out…

EG:  Yes, yes.  It was at Santo’s Party House… it was really bad. I had done a show, two or three days before in Atlanta.  I had no idea what I was doing.  It was generally a pretty positive experience; it was my first taste of what was to come.  I flew in on Sunday the show was the next night. It was the first time I met most of the guys from Mexican Summer.  They’re the record label that put out the EP. That was mostly done via email; I had talked to them on the phone a couple times.  So that first night, we got absolutely wasted. And the next day, they had scheduled press stuff from 10 in the morning until 6 in the afternoon; the show was shortly after that.  I was really hung-over and really late and it was just the worst experience, I was so tired.  

[Door opens…]

EG:  Oh! One by one!  This is Cameron.

Cameron:  Hi!

KPHiya!  We were watching you on stage, well, me and my friend Jacob who [Ernest] met downstairs. We were saying you look like John from Bear in Heaven.

EG:  It’s the mustache!

Cameron:  I get that a lot!  That and Steve from Prefontaine, Tom Selleck.


EG:  Cameron grew up with Chaz.  They played together in a band together growing up.

KPHe’s a nice guy.  I interviewed him at the Grog Shop when he was on tour with Caribou.

EG:  So it’s kind of a weird, close connection to those guys.

KPAlso Small Black!

EG:  They played as my backing band for a while.

KPJust posted that interview yesterday.

EG:  Cool!  I’ll check it out! They’re pretty good on Twitter about posting interviews and stuff. 

[Yeasayer starts blasting in the background from the show downstairs]

KP:  It’s about to get really loud.

EG:  It only gets louder too!  They’re super pro.  Really good playing with them.

KPThis is your second show playing with them?

EG:  Yeah, yeah.  We’re playing with them for about two weeks. Going to Miami, then New Orleans.  Then they’re playing Austin City Limits.

KP:  When you play big shows like this with bands like Yeasayer, do you have a certain goal for the show or… how do you approach your live show?

EG:  At this point it’s more like, not fucking up and just getting through the songs.  Luckily these guys are really good musicians.  I mean, I know the songs backwards and forwards because, you know, I did all the songs myself. I’m not that experienced playing with other people and being the person who is in charge.  So that’s like… that’s been a little tough.  I think it takes playing a couple shows before you’re really comfortable playing together.  So I could definitely feel that tonight.  I guess my main thing is, once they’re all comfortable and I’m comfortable together, I can be more open to being entertaining and speaking with the audience.  Last night was weird, because we were all just standing there doing our thing and didn’t say anything.  I can tell from here on out it’s only going to get better.

KP: What would you say is the biggest challenge playing solo vs. playing with a full band?

EG:  That’s tough.  I enjoy playing by myself.

KPIt seemed like you had a lot of fun at Pitchfork!

EG:  It’s kind of a weird thing, especially at PF.  It’s an outdoor show… At festivals the stages are so close together, if you’re doing more mellow material, you’ll have sound bleeding in from whoever is at the opposite stage.  When I play shows by myself its more ambient, I extend songs, really get in the zone of zoning out which is really cool.  Most of the stuff is completely improv with the vocals and everything which is super fun.  But I can tell, with the large crowd and it being outdoors in the middle of the day, people just want to have fun and have an upbeat set.  That’s kind of the tradeoff, like, with the band it’s much easier to go to that place and have it be more of a party vibe.  The entertaining factor is a little bit harder.

KPHow did you end up touring with Small Black?  

EG:  The relationship started with email and instant messaging, the same way it did with Phil and a lot of things have happened.   They emailed me to say they were into my stuff and asked if I would be into doing a remix for them. I heard the song probably a couple weeks before and was really into it and I’m not THAT into remixing at all unless it’s something that just works like, in my world.  Most of the stuff I’ve done, I’ll just cover the song and just kind of do it in my style.  Their song just worked perfectly, verse, chorus, verse, chorus.  So I did that for them, and then it was their idea to do the tour and it worked perfectly.  I’m really not good a planning things and at the time, I wasn’t planning on touring at all. I hadn’t done it before, and then I realized there were huge crowds that were going to be interested I thought it would be really bad. The little push I got from them was, “We already have this planned, you can ride with us, we’ll rehearse the songs before and it will be really easy.”  So I flew up to NY and we rehearsed for three days straight.  As soon as we started playing it was instant good vibes all around. We’ve probably done, 60 shows together now.  It’s kind of sad, we did a tour in Europe together in June and they were just wrapping up a record, which is about to come out on Jagjaguar. I guess we both realized… you know this is the end of the road because they have the record coming out and they kinda wanted to do their own thing.  But yeah, they’re definitely some of my best friends now.  They’re a little more experienced upfront than I was, but it was all still really new for both of us.  So it was a really special experience for the both of us. 

KP:  They are some of the nicest people I have ever met.

EG: They’re so funny!  So fun!  You met my wife, Blair.  She’s always the only girl on the road. I feel like I’ve been pretty lucky.  I mean, the guys I play with now are so cool with her.  It was such a fun tour with Small Black.  They have a really good mindset going on the road.  They totally embrace randomly crashing at people’s houses which always leads to totally unpredictable situations. (Interviewer’s note: Is the foreshadowing I hear? See concluding paragraph.) I’m kind of a shy guy. I’m not really comfortable just going around talking to people. But they’re so into that. Within five minutes they would have found a crazy party to go to.  Some couch to sleep on, it was that easy.

KPWe took them out for pizza with one of my friends who is friends with Travis of Pictureplane, and they ended up staying a t her house.

EG:  Ah yeah! Travis!  You know him?  Travis is THE MAN.  Talking about the right attitude on tour.  He is the most intriguing person I’ve ever met.  You should friend him on Facebook. He in his life is just, I mean, he could have a reality show about his life and just totally kill. He’s really good about posting about stuff he’s doing.  It’s really cool.  He is amazing and I feel like you have to experience his set at some really shitty club. That’s where he and his stuff really comes out.  The tour I did with him was really small clubs which was perfect.  I know he’s working on new material too.  Could be a new direction for Pictureplane.

KPMy last question for you was what was your high school experience like?

EG:  I went to a small private school, so it was pretty positive.  I would say at least half of the people I graduated with, I grew up with.  It was such a small school, I played sports, I sang in the chorus.  Just pretty positive.  I went to a pretty big college, University of Georgia.  About 40,000/50,000 students and high school was a little bubble.  Going off to Georgia was pretty weird experience.  I was definitely the weird kid [in High School] listening to all the weird shit.  I was really into jazz music which was not the norm for a kid. 

KPWhat sports did you play?

EG:  I played football and basketball.  I still play basketball all the time. 

Joel:  A stand out in all sports!

[Conversation turns to Yeasayer and their insane light show with honeycombs]

After the show, I had one of the absolute best, and worst nights of my life.  Everyone from Yeasayer and Washed Out and I went to a small hipster dive bar on the East side of Columbus, Carabar.  Many games of Pirate Madness were played, to the point where we achieved the high score.  To the best of my knowledge that high score still stands to this day. I offered Blair, Ernest and their crew a place to crash that night, so I left a little early to drop my friends off at their house just north of downtown.  I didn’t think much of the RIIIIIIIIPPPPP CRUUUNCH that sounded as I pulled my car out of the unpaved lot across the street from the bar.  Then my oil light turned on… then, one block away from my house, my car sputtered out and died.  Turns out, my oil pan had been ripped open and the oil gushed out of my car, which scorched and seized my engine.  I had to get towed back to my house (at 4 a.m.) But the night… er, should I say morning, turned out pretty great.  Washed Out and crew were great guests, and awesome to talk to. (I wasn’t geeking out at all… (lies)) Most traumatic/laid back night.

Washed Out's new album Within and Without dropped via Sub Pop last month. He’ll be returning to Ohio in September at Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati.  




Kesley, Danner and I piled into my car and headed 2 hours due north to Cleveland. Just a few months prior, I had interviewed Bear in Heaven in Columbus and they were back in Ohio.  This would be the first time reuniting with a band I had previously interviewed -- I was ecstatic.  Their tour mates, Twin Sister also happen to be my current musical obsession.  This show was their last stop before they returned home to NYC.  What luck! 

Twin Sister played an extraordinary set; lovely, soft, swaying with just the right dose of weird stirred in. Andrea has a sweet and yet slightly unnerving stage presence.  Her breathy voice  simultaneously sounded innocent and wise. Her big eyes opened, exposing the whites around her irises wide as the music rose and softened demurely as it fell. Dev masterfully layed out the synth lines, weaving them expertly with Brian's syncopated drumming, Eric's ethereal guitar and Gabe's driving bass.   
John, Adam and Joe from Bear in Heaven danced enthusiastically with every song, shouting declarations of undying love for the band.  Everyone felt the bittersweetness of the exchange, they didn't want their tour together to end.  These two groups regard eachother with such fondess. It was obvious a special bond had formed between them, the kind of bond that only months on the road together can create.

Eric, Andrea and I stepped out onto the streets after the show, the hot muggy night working against our desire to cool off. 

Andrea: Just to start, we are the two airheads of the band.  I am Airhead Andrea the singer.  

Eric:  And I am Airhead Eric.  I play guitar and I sing.

Andrea:  We usually go by… He’s Shmin.  And I am Shman.

KP:  [Laughs] That’s only a vowel difference!

Andrea:  Yeah people have a hard time understanding us when we are like, “SHMIN!”, “SHMAN!”  Yeah,  so that’s our introduction.

KP: So you’ve been on tour with Bear in Heaven for how many weeks now?

Andrea: Almost 3.

KP: They love you a lot!

Eric: And we love them.

KP: So hows the tour been going?

Andrea:  Wonderful. We’ve had a lot of fun we’ve been really lucky our van hasn’t broken down. it’s been a lot of driving but we’ve managed to have a couple of fun days with Bear in Heaven.

Eric: Yeah. It was definitely a good balance. This tour had some very intense drives, we drove from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City for a show.

KP: Oh wow!

Andrea: Yeah it was like 24 hours. We drove through the night.

Eric: That was a wild night.

KP: So did you have a show the next day and you played? Or was it a day off?

Eric: No we kind of arrived at the hotel at 9 in the morning, and then had a show that night.

KP: That’s pretty intense.

Andrea: It was a festival so it was actually pretty early.

Eric: Yeah, It was nice though it worked out as great as it could’ve been.

Andrea: We take shifts sleeping in the van.

KP: Everybody contributes equally to the driving?

Andrea: Well except Brian cause he doesn’t have his license which isn’t his fault, he’s lived in the city so he doesn’t really need a license.

KP: So on this tour with Bear in Heaven I know they have some crazy stories, have you guys created any crazy stories together since you’ve been on tour with each other?

Andrea: I think we’ve had some crazy girl stories.

Eric: Yeah in Toronto we met this girl!

Andrea: Don’t say her name.

KP: Groupie girls?

Andrea: Kind of or just like girls that want to hang out. They’re really sweet girls. There was this one really young Philippine girl, she was hanging out with us and was showing us around Toronto. And there was a bay and she was leaning up against the chain and around like 2 in the morning the chain just broke and she just silently fell into the water.

Eric: It was so scary!

Andrea: And then she popped up and was like “I can’t swim”. So the guys were on their knees trying to pick her up.


KP: Oh my god!

Andrea: She got a little bruised up, but she was a good sport about it and she didn’t know any of us. I would’ve been bright red, I would’ve just let myself drown. Tell the other crazy girl story, last night!

Eric: Oh no…

Andrea: Oh Come on.

Eric: No..

Andrea: Why not?

Eric: We’ve had a lot of fun on tour… [laughs]

KP: Yeah, they’re great guys to hang out with.

Andrea: Bear in Heaven? Yeah, super sweet! We’re hoping to have a lot of fun with them tonight

Eric: Yeah we’re thinking of a good prank to pull on them. We have a couple ideas.

KP: You should cover their hotel room up with balloons, they would love that.

Eric: That would be adorable!

KP: Did they tell you about the “popping off” story with High Places?

Eric: No?

KP: Apparently High Places and them have a thing for sitting on balloons. They got into this whole thing where its cool to sit on balloons and “pop them off”. So you should fill their hotel room up with balloons.

Eric: That’s awesome!

Andrea: We gotta find some balloons! Well what we were going to do is we were going to slap some really stupid bumper stickers on their van and then we found out that they’re renting the van.

Eric: It’s like their friends van.

Andrea: Dreams destroyed! [laughter]

Eric: We’ll figure something out.

Andrea: So we’re still trying to think, I don’t know.

KP: Balloons would be a good way to go.

Andrea: I don’t know where you can get balloons at this hour though?

KP: Maybe like a CVS? They might have something.

Eric: Yeah, CVS has balloons.

Andrea: Hmmm..

Eric: We’ll investigate.

KP: So you guys just signed to Domino Records, are you allowed to talk about that yet?

Eric: Yeah we are. Its Domino Double Six.

KP: Is that US and UK?

Eric: No its just UK, and both EPs will be released on like a 2 CD package, separate CD’s, and then double vinyl as well in the UK and I think September 9th is the release date.

KP: Awesome, are you going to do a tour over there with that?

Eric: Yeah in late November we’re heading over there. The dates just got announced a week and a half ago. So yeah we’re really really excited; it’s our first time over there. Our keyboard player lived over there for a little while, for like two years when he was younger.

Andrea: But it’s our first!

Eric: But yeah it’s everyone else’s first time.

KP: That’s going to be fun, you’ll love the UK.

Andrea: Yeah, we want to go clubbing!

Eric: Yeah!

KP: So you guys know Mark Schoneveld of YVYNYL! 

E & A: Yes!

KP: He’s a good friend of mine.

Andrea: He’s pretty cute.

Eric: Handsome guy.

KP: How did you meet him?

Andrea: We met him around like Weathervane.

Eric: Yeah we were doing this thing before we went on tour, a couple of weeks before we went on tour, Weathervane Music. They let us come and they make a little movie about it but we got to record one new song that will be released I think this month?

Andrea: August.

Eric: Yeah sometime this month, but they put together a nice video of us in the studio. It’s a very cool thing they’re doing and Mark was hanging out.

Andrea: And he’s helping at our, one of our closest friends that probably that would’ve been another member of our band, John K.  He’s like one of our good friends we’ve had band practice with him before but it just didn’t work out. He was living in Bingumton, now he lives in Philly. But I have a feeling he would’ve been another member of our band. He kind of played with us before I think Brian moved back.

Eric: Yeah we weren’t really the band we were, he wasn’t playing with us.

Andrea: No we’re just practicing for a show or something like that.

Eric: John is great, he is one of our biggest influences, and we’re really really excited for his stuff to be put out.

Andrea: He has so much!

Eric: Mark is putting together his little compilation but there is so much up John’s sleeve. He has years of albums that are just fantastic. We’re really pumped.

KP: Yeah it’s interesting cause he has all his stuff up for free on Myspace, and when you download it it’s like 20 songs and they are all great.

Andrea: Yeah they’ve been out for a really long time.

Eric: It’s crazy.

KP: So, how did you guys get started?

Eric: Well Andrea and I were playing music together for a long time. I was 14, you were…

Andrea: 16.

KP: How old are you now?

Eric: I’m 20, she’s…

Andrea: 23, bleh…

Eric: I forgot for a second. We had a little duo. We had an EP, wrote songs, played shows together, got kinda bored.

Andrea: We always wanted to have a band and pretty much the other members were in bands, that were around in high school, and they were our favorite members of those bands. We’d always share each others songs and stuff like that, and then finally… when we started playing a show I was the drummer and Eric was singing, and we were just kinda throwing shows together because we were so bored and felt so useless that we started trying to record songs that were so old and just never recorded that we just ended up forming a band.

Eric: And that was the first EP.

Andrea: Just Happened. Yeah and that was the first EP.

Eric: … us forming together

Andrea: Those songs are so old.

KP: So, how did you meet all the other members?

Andrea: All the other members?

Eric: I met Brian. Brian is my friend of like very, very long since I was like 12. And we were in a band together.  I’ve been playing music with Brian forever. When he was 16 he joined a band with Gabe. They were both guitar players in this band on Long Island that we would play together with, Andrea and I.  Dev was in a separate band as well.

Andrea: Pretty much just playing shows.  And I used to stalk you because I thought you were soooo cute when I was younger.  So, I found you when you were playing your hardcore shows.  Thats how I met Brian and Eric.

Eric: Ahhaaa!  [blushes and laughs]

KPWhat is your creative process like?

Eric:  It varies. I think the majority of the songs begin as minute long instrumental things, where the vocal melody could be the bass line.

Andrea: Or sometimes it starts with the vocal melody and then adding music.  It’s really different overtime.  We let everyone have a pretty equal share.

Eric:  Yeah, everyone comes to the table with very equal things.  It can be a bit hard sometimes because everyone of us are very capable of bringing in a full song and say, “Here it is!” But its great.  We have no shortage of material. We have a lot to record!

KPWhat is it like being the only girl while you are on tour!

Andrea:  Ahaaaaaaah! [claps] Tour!!!  

Eric:  You hate it! You hate it!

Andrea: Oh my god!  I have little mental breakdowns.

Eric:  Luckily… I don’t think… I don’t think we are very manly though.  

Andrea: Uhhhhh, you guys are pretty manly!  I really miss my gay friends. I couldn’t do the tour with girls.  I feel like we would all go crazy. So it’s pretty good being with boys. But, it’s really hard showing up to shows and I see a bunch of girls who are all clean, and their hair is done and they’re all dressed up.  And I like that sort of thing.  It’s really hard living out of a duffel bag, getting dressed in the van, doing my make-up in a tiny little make-up mirror.  Other than that, they’re my best friends.  I love being with them and it’s a lot of fun. I lose it sometimes, but I try to keep it to myself. [laughs]  (to Eric)  How is it dealing with one little bratty girl?

Eric: … fun.  Naah, its fine.

Andrea:  They deal with me pretty well. And my little temper tantrums.  You know what it is? They aren’t very jockey guys… but they’re very nerdy.  So it’s kinda like being surrounded by a bunch of nerds! 


Andrea:  Always talking about things! And discussing things and planning things.  I just wanna go out and have some fun.

KPHow do you pass time in the van?

Andrea:  I just sleep.

Eric: Yeah, you sleep very, very well.

Andrea: I either drive, sleep, or pretend to sleep.  I do read comics, go on the internet.  Eat a whole lot.  I hope I don’t gain a lot of weight by the time I get back home.  I diet so different when I am on tour.  It’s really hard. No exercise.

KPWhat are the next steps for you guys?  Aside from Domino in the UK, what are the next things for Twin Sister in the US?

Eric:  Well, in September we’re basically going to have the month home.  Andrea is going to start putting together our first music video.  It’s going to be a lot of dancing so she’s gonna be practicing for that.

Andrea:  Gotta get in shape!


All Around and Away We Go from Twin Sister on Vimeo.

Eric:  As far as making new music, we’re gonna start working on some new material.

Andrea:  On an actual album!  Which I am so excited for.  We have two LPs, ya know? It’d be so much fun.  We have so much material to put out an actual album.  Now that we don’t have jobs, I feel like it will be a quicker process.  We can put all of our time and energy into making an album, and video.

Eric:  After September, we go on tour for October and November.  December, January, and February… maybe March we’ll have off to record.

KPWhen you return after a long tour, is it hard for you to adjust to being back home?

Eric:  Not really.  I remember last tour when I got home I just immediately cooked a big meal.  That’s one thing you really miss is cooking your own food.

Andrea:  I really miss my dog… My dog and I are really attached so when I come home, she’s a pug mix, so she kinda has an asthma attack she gets so excited that she starts [makes gasping noises] and she just falls on her side.  Its really hard leaving her.  I want to bring her on tour if I can have someone watch her during sets.  Even if its cooler in the van, but its so hot right now.

We stepped back inside and John joined the band in the green room to start the photoshoot.  I stayed at the bar to chat with Joe, the drummer for Bear in Heaven. “I should go see how John is doing with the shoot…” I recalled after some time.  As I turned the knob to the green room I could hear riotous laughter.  The door opened to reveal Brian suddenly turning towards the camera making a pouty sultry face.  Twin Sister KILLED the shoot.  The snarled, vogued, flipped their hair…  I have never seen a band be so comfortable and creative in front of the lens.  I was laughing so hard I started to tear up.

Twin Sister’s EPs are available on Bandcamp.  Check out their YVYNYL curated Shaking Through Session Here.




The summer sun had already scorched Columbus and the night was just as unforgiving. I found myself constantly wiping my brow and regretting my choice to don jeans as I approached the venue at around 9pm.  ”I’ll be the guy with the purple hat,” stated the email from Bear Hand’s Ted Feldman.  I spotted him outside along with bandmates Dylan Rau, Val Loper, and TJ Orscher.  They looked exhausted, having barely made into town for the show due to major van trouble.  Photographer Ed Luna suggested that we grab some calzones just down the street.  Their eyes brightened at the mention of food, and we wandered down the half block to D P Dough.  

I sipped on my icy cola as the boys and I chatted and waited on the food. I kept staring at Val’s arms which were covered in some of the most beautiful tattoos I’ve seen.  We didn’t have much time before they had to get on stage when we settled in the back patio of Circus.

KP: Well, first of all, I’d like to know about the whole van disaster today.

Dylan: Well, I was asleep in the back. Ted and TJ were going through a drive-thru at a fast food restaurant and I demanded that we stop at the mart to buy some snacks because I was kind of more in a gummy bear mood. So then, once we stopped the car, then we went inside and try to be some candy and then this kind of hick-ish dude like, “Hey, your radiator’s leaking, I’m worried about you guys, how far are you driving?” And we looked at it and it seemed problematic.

Val: It was spewing — like somebody peeing.

KP: Really?

Val: Yeah, it was just like blrggggghh! We’re like, “Ohh, that’s just not okay!”

Dylan: So, we went to a truck repair place and spent $112 on a part and got it fixed.

Val: But it took us like 3.5 hours.

KP: I was worried you weren’t going to be able to make it tonight.

Val: So were we.

KP: So how long have you guys been on this tour?

Dylan: About 10 days, this is the last show.  We’re ready.

KP: You guys are from New York? Were you all born and raised in New York?

Dylan: No, Ted was born and raised in New York. The rest of us were born and raised in Connecticut. We lived in New York for probably about five years or so.

KP: So what made you move to New York?

Dylan: Times Square.


Ted: Lights, pretty lights.

Val: We had a lot of friends who live there.

Dylan: We heard a lot of songs, saw a lot of movies about it, so we thought it was cool.

KP: So how did you guys meet?

Ted: Dylan and I went to college together at Wesleyan in Connecticut. And I knew them separately.

Dylan: I knew them from playing in bands back in the day.

KP:So you guys are all original members, right?

Val: Mm-hmm.

Dylan: There’s never been another member.

KP: There is a lot of time between your Golden EP and the 7-inch that you just released —

Dylan: I know.


KP: What happened in between that time?

Dylan: Touring. We toured a lot. We went to England a bunch and I don’t know. Made a lot of new friends.

KP: Would you say your creative process changed between that EP and this 7-inch?

Val: Creatively, maybe not, but I would say sound-wise, most definitely.

KP: Where do you get your inspiration? What do you listen to or what are you inspired by? Who or what?

Dylan: I don’t know. I guess my love life inspires some of the songs. Current events, news stories, that kind of thing. Things you just see when you’re walking around. And other people’s lives. Little mini-tragedies from people that you know, you know? The things that you talk about with your friends. I don’t know. That kind of stuff, I guess. I don’t try to grow vegetables in an infertile patch.

KP: So what is your creative process like?

Ted: Usually he comes in with some…

Dylan: Some bullshit.


Ted: Some crock of shit and then I take that little crock of shit and clean it up into a little diamond and these guys cut it up and we sell it at the store for way overpriced.

Dylan [bites into calzone]: I have a little MIDI thing that I record music on at home with my computer…

Val: I feel like all you’re going to hear in silence is chewing.

KP: Well, it’s all going to be transcribed, so it’ll just be whoever I send it out to…

Val: Chewchewchew, chompchomp.

KP: What are the next steps for you guys? Are you recording a full-length right now?

Val: We’re almost finished today. Mastered, done. Artwork we’re finishing texton it this week and it’s going to be out in October.

Dylan: It’s on Cantora Records. And it’s called Burning Bush Supper Club. Those are the facts.

KP: Are the two songs from the 7 inch going to be on that?

Dylan: Yeah.

KP: Good. When I was listening to the EP vs. the 7-inch, I really liked the change you guys had in the sound.

Val: Well, the full-length sounds drastically, drastically different.

KP: Really? How would you describe it?

Ted: It’s more in the vein of the EP.

Val: The new songs have a lot more drum machines, keyboards, just more experimentation with sounds. A lot less of a straight-ahead rock sound. More diversified.

KP: I know people like to label bands lately, like label people’s sounds. Like, chillwave’s a big one —

Val: We are not chillwave.  [laughter]

KP: Chillwave’s a big one. Lo-fi, all that shit. If you had to label your sound in a compound word, how would you do so?

Ted: Calzone-fi I don’t know.

Val: Low-brow.

KP: Low-brow?

Val: Uh, yeah…

Dylan: Yep.

KP: What’s it like touring in a band together?

Ted: A lot of repetition.

Dylan: Making the same joke over and over again.

Val: Sleeping. Smoking pot and sleeping.

Ted: Trying to find a good rest spot.

Dylan: Counting how many cute girls are at each show.

Ted: We have fun, though.

Dylan: We check in to make sure we’re having fun. If we’re not, we alter our course.

Ted: If the show’s not working out, we just go somewhere else. We usually do that about once a day. [laughter]

KP: Have you had any crazy stories from this tour?

Val:  We were on tour with our buddies from Scotland called We Were Promised Jetpacks. Just getting into lots of shit with them every night. Getting really drunk. I got wrapped in bubble wrap at my friend’s house in Chicago a couple days ago. She’s moving back to New York and we’re like, “Well, we don’t want to let all this bubble wrap go to waste. We might as well wrap each other in it.”

Dylan: We got to see Smashing Pumpkins too.

TJ:  Our friend who is tour managing the Jetpacks, Esteban. Awesome guy, by the way. He’s friends with the new guitar player and totally hooked us up. It was surreal.

KP: Where’d you see them at?

Ted: Forecastle Festival in Louisville.

KP: Yeah, they were just in town a couple days ago.

Dylan: They’re doing everything. They’re playing everywhere.

Ted: They’re touring like a rock band tours.

Burning Bush Supper Club is due to drop on November 2nd.  Make sure you try to catch them on their next tour.  High energy show, very sweet guys. 




I couldn’t believe how hot it was.  Even with the fresh rain, I felt as if I was inhaling steam and exhaling a rainforest. I could feel my hair growing bigger with the increasing humidity. I cringed at the thought of stepping inside the greenroom at The Summit.  It had been a bit ripe back there for the last interview.

A few moments after being sweetly greeted by Josh Kolenik and Ryan Heyner of Small Black, we stepped into the greenroom, freshly painted black.  The dark walls couldn’t distract from the wretched stench of (what I assume was) a dead animal or mold or maybe both.  The Summit is in a transitional phase, and Small Black even commented on how “raw” the venue seemed to keep things.  We joked around for a bit before I was introduced to band members Juan Pieczanski and Jeff Curtin as they entered the room. The boys had chosen to watch D2: The Mighty Ducks before I arrived, and it provided a silly soundtrack to our interview….

KP: Do you guys wanna talk about Mighty Ducks in the interview?

Ryan: We should.

Josh: I never have seen Mighty Ducks, I’m gonna be honest.There’s all this nostalgia for D1 and D2, I don’t think I’ve seen them.I know about Goldberg.

Juan: D1 is sick.

Josh: I once did a keg stand with Joshua Jackson.Yeah, at a party in Chelsea.

Juan: That’s a good story, you should open with that.

KP:So yeah, tell me about how you did a keg stand with Joshua Jackson.

Josh: I was walking around Chelsea, in New York, and I saw this big party.There was some crazy rockabilly band, and I had just gotten off work so I just crashed the party by myself.I was feeling kinda weird cause I didn’t know anyone.I was eating a bunch of bar-b-que and drinking beers.I went to get a beer and Joshua Jackson is like, “Bro, can you help me?”[laughter] So I held his leg while he did a keg stand.I felt like, you can’t pass up a chance—

Juan: Did he hold your leg?

Josh: Yeah, yeah.

Juan: Wow, you got to touch him.That’s pretty awesome.

Josh: Yeah he was very handsome.


Jeff (enters): You guys talking Ducks?

Josh: Talking Joshua Jackson.

Josh: Which is like talking Ducks.

ALL:Quack, quack quack.

KP:  So you guys are based in Brooklyn right?

Josh: Yep.

KP:Did you grow up in the city or did you end up moving there from somewhere else?

Josh: I grew up on Long Island, which is the suburbs.

Ryan: Juan and Jeff are from DC, and they went to school in New York.

KP:Where’d you guys go to school at?

Juan: Columbia.Me and Jeff did.

Josh: I went upstate.

KP:Where at in upstate?

Josh: Colgate University.

KP:In your opinion, what’s the best thing about being a band in Brooklyn?  Or the worst thing, whichever you prefer.

Josh: I think it’s pretty amazing to be a band in Brooklyn.There’s so many places to play.There’s so many other cool bands to play with, and you meet and kind of be inspired by.I don’t know, you can’t beat it.It’s not competitive at all, it’s really positive.

KP:I've kind of heard it can be competitive.  Well I've heard from different people, I guess it's how you take it, isn't it?

Josh: Yeah.

Juan: Yeah, it doesn’t feel competitive at all.We’re just friends with all the bands.

Josh: I don’t feel any sort of competition.

KP:That’s good.  So, what was your creative process like for the EP that just came out?

Josh: Ryan and I, we did most of it at my uncle’s house on Long Island, just in an attic.We spent a lot of last winter there.Juan and Jeff joined the band and we’ve been working on stuff with them.

KP:Is this the Uncle Matt that’s infamous?

Josh: Yeah, that’s him.

photo via Small Black’s Myspace

KP:  So speaking of Uncle Matt, what’s your favorite Uncle Matt story?  Isn’t he in the video for Despicable Dogs?

Josh: Yeah it’s just all him.My favorite story about him?I could get really deep right now…

KP:He looks like an interesting character.  Like he looks pretty rad.

Josh: Yeah he’s kind of a legend on Long Island.Like when you go to- the story I’ll tell is kind of in regards to that Long Beach is kind of like his turf where he hangs out.Whenever I go with him to the beach everybody’s like, “What’s up Matt?”We went for the video, and he ran into four or five people he knew in the winter on the boardwalk.

Ryan: Yeah he’s kind of like a celeb.Yeah, in Long Beach.

Josh: So, many years ago, he’s like this very gentle, nice guy on top of that.There are a couple senior citizens homes on the boardwalk down there and my uncle just randomly helped this old woman with something, I forget exactly what it was.She said to him, she was like, “You’re so nice.I’ve watched you on this boardwalk for 20 years.”Cause he’s been there his whole life.She’s like, “And I always thought you were this very nice guy and everybody knew you and I’m very excited to meet you.”And she told him she remembered the car he had exactly when he was like 25.


Josh: Yeah, it’s amazing when someone’s been in a place for so long and been that deeply engrained into the culture there.

Ryan: Or just sort of the impression that he made on her, having not even talked to her.That’s something.He has that effect on people.

Juan: I think a good story too is when we were shooting the video and that surfer—

Josh: Oh, that was amazing.

Juan: We were just shooting on the beach and this guy—

Josh: You’ll see there’s a guy in the video surfing and he comes out and shakes my uncle’s hand.

Juan: And he was just like, “I made that board.”

Josh: Yeah and so the board he was surfing was a board that my uncle made.We went there and shot for like a half hour.

Juan: He makes really awesome surf boards.He designs them.

KP:Yeah I saw those in the video.  So he’s in New York?

Josh: Yeah, yeah.

KP:  I don’t connect surfers with New York that much.

Ryan: Long Island is like huge surf community.Yeah it’s like the whole southern part of Long Island is all beaches.Rockaway Beach.And they’re beautiful beaches.

Josh: There’s like a total surfer culture at Rockaway Beach.There’s a new taco stand there that’s really really good.

Ryan: Oh really?Like on the side of the road?

Josh: Oh, it’s the best.It makes you really want to go to that beach.

KP:For the tacos?

Josh: Yeah, and they’re within walking distance, so you just sit down and when you get hungry you walk and go back to the beach.

Ryan: What’s the best place to eat out here?

KP:  Hounddog’s Pizza, that’s what I recommend everybody.

Ryan: Really?


Ryan: So good pizza?

KP:  This is a common theme in all my interviews.  Everybody asks about the food and I always end up talking about Hounddog’s. But you have to get it with the smokin’ joe’s crust cause they pour garlic butter all around the crust.

Juan: We had some garlic butter today.Have you heard of Papa John’s?

KP: Yeah.

Juan: Yeah we had some of his garlic butter today.

Josh: (laughs) Yeah have you of, uh, Papa John’s?We had some of his garlic butter today.Very, very fancy.

KP:Well I must say, Hounddog’s garlic butter is leagues above.

Ryan: Okay.

KP:How supportive have your families been about your creative endeavors?

Josh: 100%.

KP:That’s good.  I’ve heard different stories from different bands.

Ryan: Really?

KP:Parents don’t believe in them until they get in some medium that they’re familiar with, like New York Times or something like that.

Juan: Yeah I think all our families are real supportive.They’re super stoked.My mom came to our show in DC and she was standing on a chair in the back going, “Yeaaahh!!”We were playing with Washed Out.

Josh: I definitely did a shoutout to your mom.

Juan: Yeah, she was flipping out.

KP:Weren’t you guys the backing band for Washed Out for awhile?

Juan: Yeah.We toured with him.So we would play, and then he would go on and do some songs by himself, and then we would join him.

KP:That’s cool.

Juan: Backing band, we don’t know how we feel about that term.

KP:Well, that’s how I read it online.

Josh: We were helping a friend out and it was good for both bands.

Ryan: It was fun, and his tour was really amazing.

[D2 gets loud in the background]

Juan: Sorry, we didn’t turn down Mighty Ducks 2.

KP:  It’s getting pretty rowdy. Tell me about your South by Southwest experience.

Ryan: It was hell.

Josh: It was pretty rough.


Josh: We played fourteen shows in four days.I was really sick the entire time.By the last night I was just a total wreck.

KP:And the weather was pretty bad for the last day right?

Ryan: It was freezing.It was the coldest day they had seen in like ever. It was also shitty because of the fact that our van died on our way into Austin so we were without a van the entire time.

Josh: We were just a burden to every person.

Juan: We had to get Uhauls and stuff.

Josh: We had to arrange 14 separate shows in four days without having a car to do it.

Ryan: Yeah it was bad.But it was a lot of fun.

KP:It was fun but, brutal?

Juan: Beach Fossils beat us on the shows.

Josh: I think they played 16 times.

Ryan: Yeah we thought we’d played the most shows of any of our friends but I guess Beach Fossils played more.

KP:And how many days is SXSW?

Josh: Four. Wednesday through Saturday.

KP:That’s a lot.  As a band I don’t know if I could do that.  As a person I could definitely do that.

Josh: It was pretty fun.If I didn’t get sick I think I wouldn’t have thought it was so brutal.

KP:How much impact has press from Pitchfork, Spinner, and other prominent music outlets had you guys?

Josh: I mean we’re here ya know?We got signed to a record label and it’s all just very lucky.

KP:When did you sign?

Josh: February or March.

Ryan: Beginning of the year.

Josh: Then they re-released our original EP and we’ll put a full length out within the fall.

KP:Do you know the release date for that yet?

Josh: Kind of, but it could change.

KP:What was it like integrating the two new band members?  How did you guys meet these guys?

Jeff: We met a few years before.

Josh: Yeah we played in another band.Jeff used to record with our friend Shane, produced our Old Man stuff, and we met him through that.Then he played on one of our records.Juan and Jeff were playing projects for years.

Juan: We’ve all been working on a lot of music together, and this project started doing really well so we thought, let’s focus on this.Which is how I think a lot of stuff happens these days.Like with all the internet stuff, it’s so quick, everyone’s friends and playing and something just starts to take off.

Josh: Yeah like the Real Estate guys.

Juan: Yeah, exactly, they’re all in other bands.And everyone has heard all their other stuff too.

KP:What are you guys listening to now?  Bands that you guys are excited about.

Josh: The Dream.

Juan: OneOhTrix Point Never.

KP:Where are they from?

Josh: He’s in New York now.It’s like drone electronic music.

Juan: Some people call it “O-ne-Oh Trix Point Never,” it’s all spelled out.You should check it out.

KP:Yeah, definitely.

Josh: I’m really into the new Plies single.(laughs)You know that guy?He’s a rapper.It’s really absurd.It’s called “Hey Bra.”

KP:Hey Brad?

Ryan: Hey Bra.(laughs)Is it “bra” or is it “bro?”

Josh: Bra.Yeah it’s kind of the most annoying and also most amazing song.

Juan: You should embed the youtube video right into the interview.

(I would have embedded a video, but I couldn’t find one for Hey Bra)

KP:Maybe I should.  But I also heard you guys like the Miley Cirus “Party in the USA.”

Ryan: Oh yeah, that’s a classic.

Josh: I DJ that every time I play.I didn’t put it on my playlist but you reminded me.

KP:  I heard Wild Nothing on there.

Josh: Yeah that record’s really good.

KP:  I saw them open up for Neon Indian and it was really amazing.

Josh: Nice.They did that tour in New York too.

KP:Touring in a band you get pretty familiar with each other pretty quickly.

Juan: Oh yeah.

KP:So what’s your favorite band van activity?


Juan: Oh wow.We can’t reveal that stuff.

Josh: Basically we just make really offensive jokes the entire time.

Ryan: For hours, it’s pretty bad.

Josh: We all try to be Eddie Murphy.

Juan: Not specifically offensive in any particular way, more generally offensive.We kind of tackle everything.

Jeff: We just like pretending that we were on the set of all the movies that we’ve ever seen and just talking about how great all the people were to work with.

Juan: Oh yeah that’s another great one.We have a lot of bits.Just how great of a work experience it’s been being on set with these people.


Jeff: We spend a fair amount of time doing this.Like, just the level of commitment these guys have to the roles.

KP:Well what’s your favorite movie that you like to do bits for?

Josh: The Room.

Ryan: Oh, The Room!

Josh: It’s a fantastic film.It’s kind of universally regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, but it’s hysterical.

Juan: It’s so entertaining, though, and lively, that you just-I’ve seen it like 10 times, he bought it.

Josh: I got it on my computer.In the first 20 minutes there’s just like three completely extraneous sex scenes with the same characters and it’s always this really bad Boyz II Men rip off behind it.

Juan: And the director is the star.The director funded it, directed it, produced it, made the whole movie, and he’s in all these sex scenes where he’s like—

Josh: There’s one scene of his butt thrusting that’ll scar you.

Juan: He’s super ripped too.It’s really very creepy.

KP:Maybe I should find a YouTube clip of that too.

Josh: You should put in the famous roof sequence.

KP:The roof sequence?

Josh: Yeah.When he says hello to his friend Mark.

KP:I’m gonna have to watch this movie to fully understand what you guys are talking about.

Ryan: It’s hard to explain but it’s just, if you like to watch bad movies just for them being bad this is in the top three.

Juan: “Oh, hi Mark.” (impersonating the film)

Ryan: It’s really really really awful.

Juanan: “I did not hit her, I didn’t hit her.I did not hit her.”(again)


(See youtube video of The Room here)

Josh: I wish you could convey that in text how funny that is.

KP:Maybe I’ll sound clip that for you.

Juan: Oh no, please don’t.(laughs)

Ryan: Do it, do it.

KP:  I got Bear in Heaven talking about, it was actually in relation to Hounddog’s pizza, and their tour manager had apparently been “offered felatio” in exchange for a slice of his pizza. [laughter] So, John from Bear in Heaven was like, “What’s felatio?”  And then that ended up turning into falsetto, and that went up into them going, “Felatiooo,” singing it.

Ryan: Wow.

KP:Yeah it was pretty great.  So that might have to be a sound clip for the interview.

Jeff: Taken out of context, bassist Juan Pieczanski says, “I did not hit her, I didn’t hit her.”

KP:Well, I’ll put the clip from YouTube in there to justify it.

Juan: Oh, you’re killin’ me, please don’t put it in.I didn’t sign anything.


KP:  If you have time to kill in a city, what do you like to do?  If you’re wandering around.

Josh: We just like to go to thrift stores.

Jeff: Record stores.

Juan: Craft stores, yeah.

Josh: Hang out on the corner.See what happens.Go race some hot rods.

Juan: We break into pools.

Ryan: We did that in Bloomington, that was fun.

Juan: That’s always a good one.

KP:Breaking into pools is always a great time.

Josh: One time there was a hot tub at the pool and it felt like the Exxon Valdez had spilled in it.It was super slimy.

Katie: Ewwww!

Juan: The coating in it would stay on you for awhile.

Ryan: It stung your skin.

KP:Like body oil.  Probably some bodily fluids in there as well.

Josh: It’s actually a hippie pool and it’s all patchouli.

Ryan: It’s a pure patchouli pool..

KP:A patchouli pool?  I actually spent a weekend at a hippie fest last weekend and it was just like patchouli everywhere.

Juan: How’d that go?

KP:It wasn’t bad cause I was with a good group of friends and we had a campsite way in the back of the woods away from everybody.

Ryan: Which festival?

KP:Blue Heron Festival in Sherman, New York and Rusted Root was the headliner.

Josh: We were just talking about them today.

Juan: Did Disco Biscuits play?



Juan: Have you been to Camp Bisco?


KP:Should you explain?

Juan: Oh Camp Bisco is this like yearly festival that’s kind of organized around Disco Biscuits.It’s just a gathering of Bisco-heads.The gathering of the Bisco-heads.Bisco-heads you know, jam-heads, jam band.

KP:Yeah that’s pretty much what it was.  There was a drum circle.  They had two main stages, they have a main stage and then they have a dance stage and then they have the drum circle and I remember the first night that I was there completely off my mind, we’re walking back through all the campsites and we just come upon this drum circle and people are like beating the drums like banshees, and this huge bonfire and it looked like some kind of sacrificial ceremony.

Juan: That’s some Burning Man shit right there.

KP:Yeah it was crazy, and I was out of my mind too.  I was just like, “Let’s just go back to the campsite.”

Juan: I can definitely see Travis at Burning Man.


Josh: Travis from Pictureplane.

KP:  Oh!  I thought you meant like, Travis the band.

Juan: Oh no, although we can talk about them also.I admit I really like some of their stuff, and I got made fun of for a while.I like it.

KP:They got some good tunes.  Do you guys have any crazy stories from this tour at all?  Other than breaking into pools and getting covered in film.

Juan: That night was one of the craziest nights.We hung out with our label people who were really fun and stayed up really late.

Jeff: Mainly we’ve just been listening to the Grateful Dead in the car a lot.

Josh: That’s really all we do in the car.We have Sirius radio and we just listen to the Grateful Dead.

KP:They have a pure Grateful Dead station?

Ryan: Yeah, 24 hours.

Josh: I never listened to it until our last tour.

Juan: So you haven’t listened to the Grateful Dead?

KP:Not, I mean just singles—

Juan: You haven’t gotten like, 10 hour sessions.

KP:  I’m thinking I should.  Probably just get weirder.

Josh (about D2 where the kids are dancing in hockey masks): This scene is just outrageous right now.

Jeff: You know what I just realized?Danny from the Sandlot is in this movie.I had no idea.I did not remember that.

Juan: They’re having a really good time.

Jeff: Yeah, I mean Emilio was just so good with those kids.He was really great on the ice too.


Josh: I think what’s crazy is that there’s a real hockey team called Mighty Ducks.

Juan: That came out of this.

Josh: It emerged from the D2 movement.

Juan: Where they good at all though?You know about sports.

Josh: I think they were good.

Small Black are embarking on a national tour this October.  Their first full length, New Chain, is being released on October 26th through Jagjaguwar.  Want a hint of the new stuff? Take a listen to "Photojournalist"  here.

10-22 Baltimore, MD - Golden West

10-23 Washington, DC - DC9

10-24 Raleigh, NC - Kings Barricade

10-26 Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn

10-27 Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder

10-28 New Orleans, LA - The Saint

10-29 Austin, TX - Emo’s Jr.

10-30 Dallas, TX - The Cavern

11-01 El Paso, TX - TBA

11-02 Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space

11-03 San Diego, CA - Casbah #

11-05 Los Angeles, CA - The Echo #

11-06 San Francisco, CA - The Independent #

11-08 Portland, OR - Holocene #!

11-09 Seattle, WA - Vera Project #

11-10 Vancouver, British Columbia - Media Club #

11-12 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court

11-13 Denver, CO - Rhinoceropolis

11-15 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle

11-16 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick

11-17 Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop

11-18 Toronto, Ontario - Mod Club ~%

11-19 Montreal, Quebec - Le Belmont ~%

11-21 Boston, MA - Great Scott

# with Young Prisms

 ! with Matthew Dear

~ with Delorean

% with Lemonade