Ed Luna

INTERVIEW : BEAR HANDS

JULY 13, 2010 | CIRCUS | COLUMBUS, OH

PHOTOS BY ED LUNA

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.

[laughter]

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.

[laughter]

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.

[laughter]

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. 

High Places | The Summit | May 25th, 2010 | Columbus, OH

Photos by Ed Luna

It was a quiet Tuesday night in Columbus when I arrived at The Summit.  I was a bit early for the interview,  so I sat down at the bar and called up Ed. He was just getting off the exit.  I looked around curiously.  The crowd at the venue was thin, which surprised me.  About a month earlier, High Places had to cancel their show in Columbus for a reason even unbeknownst to them.  It was rumored their van had broken down, but during their set, Rob clarified that the van had been nothing but good to them, and didn’t want to jinx it with whispers of malfunction. “We don’t want bad karma,” he said.  ”It’s actually ‘vanma’!” joked Mary followed by a dorky laugh.

We had stepped out for the interview in front of the venue just before their set. The streets were quiet… until I pressed the record button on my phone.  Planes soared noisily overhead and macho men on crotch rockets kept zooming by.  

KP:  To start out, how did you guys meet each other?

Rob:  Well, Mary lived in Michigan in Kalamazoo.  I lived in New York and friends of mine were on tour. They played in Michigan and she played one of her first solo shows with them and they became kinda friendly. So, she came and visited NY just for a bassoon lesson, because she plays bassoon.  We ended up linking up through our mutual friends that she played with.  Kind of immediately we were like, “Oh you have a solo project?  I just started a solo project too!” This was the days of Myspace when people actually used that website. We listened to each others things and thought it was really cool.   We kinda became really good friends. A couple weeks later, I mean, really fast, we just started talking all the time on the phone.   Then she set up a show for me in Kalamazoo when I did a tour with this other band I’m friends with in NY.  We became even better friends after that.  A few months later she asked if she could move in with me in NY and then we just started making music immediately.  It kind of just snowballed from there.

KP:  So what is your creative process like?

Mary: Well we both make little recordings all the time.  When we lived together we would just be checking email or something and the other person would be tapping and we would record it. We have a ton of those files.

Rob: Really lo-fi media type recordings of different sounds.

Mary:  It’s kind of like a sketchbook. We might have an idea for a beat and we just like, basically, say the beat and make a recording out of that.  A lot of times when we craft our songs we end up using those really raw recordings for the basic structure of the beat.  We just edit them a lot to make them fit together.  But it’s a lot of layering different recordings. We make a good part of our music just with those recordings, cutting and pasting, doing a lot of things to manipulate the sounds and the change of the pitch.

Rob:  It’s like scrapbooking.  It is like making a zine out of using only a photocopier.

Mary:  We use guitars a lot.  Like, our early music was, I’d say like 60% plus percent of it was guitar just manipulated. On this record we decided not to manipulate the guitars quite as much so we could play them live.

Rob:  Yeah, before everything was like slowed down, sped up… you know? So the mixing of the records were impossible to recreate live.

Mary:  And then vocals come in at some point. Usually towards the end. But not always, sometimes we start with vocals.

Rob: So its pretty immediate and really back and forth.

KP:  I hear your cats interfere a lot. [Laughter]

Rob:  Yeah they have, for sure.  But, its ok.

KP:  So you just came back from a tour in Europe.  How many days ago did you get back?

Mary:  We just got back about three days ago. Saturday night.

Rob:  We were in Europe for 5 weeks.  Then we played Baltimore, D.C., and then here.

KP:  That is pretty… bang! Bang! bang!

Mary: Yeah, I think we may still be jetlagged. [Laughs]

Rob: We left on March 19th, so it was kind of a long time ago. We like it, we’re not complaining.

Mary: We just haven’t had adequate sleep in a couple months.

Rob: My sinuses have a hard time catching up.  Literally it was like, 2 shows in Norway, 2 shows in Portugal, then Baltimore, then D.C. and then here. 

Ed (photog):  Let me here you complain more! [Laughter]

Rob:  [Laughs] No that’s a minor complaint, pollen. I’m just complaining about my sinuses. Other than that its fantastic!

KP:  Mary, you were in an orchestra all throughout high school and your child hood. I was an orchestra geek too…

Mary:  Oh, yeah?  Wait, string instrument?

KP:  Yeah, violin.

Mary: Violin, ok.  I have kind of a gift for guessing peoples instruments.  

KP:  Aw, I shouldn’t have said violin so quickly. What was your high school experience like being an orchestra geek?

Mary: Yeah, I took 4 music classes out of 6.  It was choir, jazz band, band, and independent study band… which is a cool thing I made up. [Laughs] And then I did an orchestra outside of school too. Yeah, it was always a big part of my life.  My mom is a music teacher.  My grandfather was a music instructor.  It was a big part of our family. I’m the youngest so I think I was the one who really wanted to go for it.  But, I feel like I had to try a bit harder than my siblings with the music thing.  They were such natural musicians.  Maybe it made me appreciate it more because I’m not quite as natural at it? Then I studied orchestral music in college too.

KP:  Had either of you done looping, layering, and mixing before you guys met?

Mary:  Yeah, we were both doing different versions of that.  Like, I was using cassette tape field recordings with my solo project. And Rob was doing pretty similar construction to High Places.

Rob:  But the big difference is, when we met, we really hadn’t done too much outwardly with our solo stuff.  I had been making recordings for a long time since probably about the late 90’s but I never let anyone hear them until a few years ago. I was sort of a late bloomer.

KP:  Now to the really fun questions… Do you guys know the music blog Yvynyl? Run by Mark Schoneveld in Philly?

Mary: Yeah!

KP:  He wants to know if you would like to go on a date next time you are in Philly. 

Rob:  Me? Or her?

KPMary. [Laughter]

Mary: [Blushes] Umm, I’d have to ask permission for that I guess.

Rob:  She’s totally taken.

Mary:  I said I’d have to ask permission!

Rob:  She’s like, “I’d have to see him first.”

KP:  He’s a self proclaimed urban woodsman. You’d like him.

Mary: [Laughs]

KP[Laughter] Joe from Bear in Heaven asked, “When was the last time you popped one off?”

Rob: [Laughs] This morning. We popped off about a dozen. We stopped at a party supply store.

Mary: Yeah, we’re always popping them off.

Rob:  We can’t stop. It’s a sickness. [Laughter]

KP:  What exactly is popping off?

Rob: We’d tell you but then…

Mary:  It’s when people have a balloon-popping fetish.

Rob: We were on tour with Bear in Heaven and Mary’s sister’s boyfriend had sent her a link to a YouTube video. At first it was really dark, and it kind of made me sad. And then I realized that this guy was just like, totally cool with it and totally stoked on himself. It’s a little old man in boxer shorts in a room filled with balloons.  He has a thing for sitting on balloons until they pop.

Mary:  At the end of the video he’s like, “Do you like popping off? Email me if you like to pop off. poppingoff@yahoo.com… or something.

Rob:  I guess it feels…. Well we’ve tried it actually.  We all tried it. We weren’t like nude or in our boxers.  We tried it with clothes.  You’re kind of sitting there and there is this tension like, “When is it going to pop?!” and then it pops! 

Mary:  Weirdly enough, whenever we play with Bear in Heaven there are balloons around.

Rob:  Yeah, we played in Amsterdam and we showed up to their sound check and they had found this massive phallic display of balloons that they found on the street.  It looked like a yogurt explosion but it was just what balloons.  It was kind of uncanny.

KPOh goodness, well that explains a lot.  He didn’t give me any background. He just texted me today and said, “I saw you’re interviewing High Places.  Ask them when was the last time they popped one off.”

Rob:  We played a place, I don’t remember what city it was. But Bear in Heaven were coming a few days later and we told the venue to make sure there was a bunch of balloons there.  We didn’t tell them why…

High Places LP High Places vs Mankind is out now on Trill Jockey.   Follow their photoblog of their touring adventures here.

INTERVIEW : BEAR IN HEAVEN

May 18, 2010 | The Newport | Columbus, OH

photos by Ed Luna

The Newport.  Legendary venue, not only in Columbus, but in the USA. It is the longest running rock club to date.  I had been there many times. Upstairs, downstairs, out front, out back, but never backstage until now. Aaron, Bear in Heaven’s tour manager, met Ed and I out front with a smile. Then led us around the left side of the stage, down some stairs, through a narrow hall behind the heavy musty black stage curtain.  I had to shimmy sideways to get through.  Then, we cautiously climbed up a tightly wound metal staircase to the second level.  Aaron opened the door to a black room, with a black couch, table, and a mirror with a bright white light shining above.  Joe Stickney, a gentle spirit donning spectacles was relaxing inside and Aaron introduced us.  Adam Wills, clean cut and sharply dressed entered a few minutes later followed by Jon Philpot.  Jon was sporting flannel and an epic moustache.

KP:  You guys just came back from Europe a couple days ago. 

Jon: Yes, we just got back.

KP:  Didn’t you get stuck because of the volcano? 

Jon: We were stuck momentarily.

Joe: Yeah we got stuck in between Spain and the UK

KP: What did you do while you were stuck? 

Adam: Drove around [Laughs]

Jon:  Didn’t sleep, enough.

KP: How long were you in Europe for? 

Jon: 5 Weeks?

Adam: No, 4 weeks…

Joe:  We were 5 weeks in the states and then 4 weeks in Europe.

KP: How do you think European audiences differ from American audiences? 

Jon: Uh.  They speak a different language. [laughs]  The thing that’s odd is, a lot of the times, you just play by yourself.  No opener.  I think expectations were high.

Joe: You get really good hospitality in Europe.  I mean, the UK is pretty much just like the States. But, in the rest of Europe they put you up in nice hotels, cook you dinner. People seem genuinely happy to have your band playing there, you know?

Jon: Yeah they’re glad to have us in the States.   But they just don’t have the behind the scenes so much.

KP:  Your latest LP was released late last year.  But your first record came out in ‘07? How has your recording process or creative process changed?

Jon:  The creative process was… really, just about the same, but I think it was more effective because we were playing live. In the process of writing we were playing shows and working stuff out. Live.

KP: So you perfected your live show? 

Jon: We did perfect it!

Adam: No. It’s totally perfect!

KP: What do you guys do when you’re not recording or touring? 

Adam:  I don’t remember… [Laughter]

Jon: I could tell you what I want to do…

Joe:  I serve people drinks.

Jon: I want to watch movies… make movies…

Joe:  I’d like to go waterskiing. But I don’t think it’s going to happen.

Jon: We could make that happen.

Joe:  I’m going to have to go back down south.

KP:  You could go waterskiing on Lake Erie tomorrow… in Cleveland. 

Joe:  I don’t know anyone with a boat.

KP:  Boats should be in the water by now. I’m sure you could find someone. They’ll take you skiing.

Adam:  Wassup! I’m in Bear in Heaven! Take me skiin’!

KP:  Just post it on twitter!

Joe: Actually, that’s a good idea! Yeah! [laughter]

KP: So day jobs… Joe works as a bartender.  And Jon, you’re a videographer?

Jon: Yeah, I like to shoot and do editing. All that kind of stuff.  I’ve worked with some great people.

KP: Who has been your favorite person to work with?

Jon: Let me think here. Who was the best person I’ve worked with. Hmmm…

Adam: Me!

Jon: Yes! Actually, Adam Wills has been my favorite person to work with. He does video stuff too.

KP: Do you guys collaborate a lot? Make videos on the road?

Jon:  We haven’t been able to do so many videos lately.  We would like to do more.  We are always thinking about that stuff.

KP: Have you thought about making a music video yourselves?

Jon: We’ve thought about it… [laughs]

Joe: They’ve done music videos. Jon did one and Adam did one for the last record.

Jon: We haven’t had time really, because we’re touring.

KP: Yeah.  It’s a lot. Traveling that much.

Jon:  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s a lot of fun, a good excuse for not making a music video.

KP: I’ve seen a lot of interviews with you guys online lately.  Have you ever had one that was really bad or uncomfortable?

Adam:  There was one I didn’t participate in, but I heard about.  The guy was like, “So! Let me just tell you I haven’t heard your band.”  And that’s the type of thing where you’d rather be spending your time with a friend who is at the show, you know?

Jon: Ohhh yeaaah! I remember him.

Joe:  He was just like, “ Yeah, this is just gonna go on my blog.  I haven’t posted anything on it in 6 months.”

Jon:  It was like a dissention!  [Laughter] Wasn’t he working for Wired? Yeah, we though Oh cool! Wired Magazine! And then it just got shittier and shittier as it went on!

Joe:  He was like, “Yeah I don’t know you band.  I really came here to interview Freelance Whales and Cymbals Eat Guitars, but people just told me I should interview you guys too so…”  That’s when our answers started getting completely nonsensical. 

KP: Have you had any misadventures on tour? Here or in the states?

Jon:  I think all of our adventures have been completely intentional. No mis-.

Adam:  I think the greatest misadventure was our last day in Europe.  We had a day off in Gent, Belgium.  Our tour manager took us to this street that had a bunch of bars on it. We’d go in one bar and have a couple beers and then go to another bar… Then we were like, “What the hell is going on here?”  Didier, our tour manager was like, “Oh yeah. The legal drinking age is 16.”

Jon: It was CRAZY!

Adam: It was insane!! I don’t think they were carding either because there were definitely kids that looked like they were 12.  And Jon’s 36, [Joe] 32, [I’m] 31. We could have been all these kids dads!

Jon:  I looked like a fucking loser. I mean… [Laughter]

Joe: We were on the dance floor…

Adam:  So it was like 5 dudes, all just dancing with ourselves. Probably the most fun night of tour.

Jon: We went crazy.  We got a shit ton of high fives too.

Joe: We high fived close to 100 people that night.

Adam:  That’s another thing we noticed in Europe.  People think high fiving isn’t cool over there.  But getting drunk with a bunch of 13 year olds….

Jon: Someone actually asked me, “Do you really high five?! Is this a real thing?”  And I was like, “YES!! An actual thing that we enjoy doing.” [Laughter]

KP:  On this tour you’re opening for Metric.  That’s pretty huge!

Jon: Yes!

KP:  How many shows have you done with them?

Jon: Just one, this is number two.

KP: How was the first show?

Jon:  It was awesome. Nerve-racking a little bit, I’m not gonna lie.  I think I feel better now.

KP: Do you have a set goal before you go on stage, like to pump the audience up?

Adam:  No, its kind of weird b/c we’re so different than them.  I think we’re gonna make new fans, but its obvious that we’re gonna weird people out and turn them off. So I fully embrace that.  I’m just like lets scare so people tonight!

Joe:  That’s entirely true.  Last night it seemed like everyone was generally digging it. People were moving, you know? I think if you can get that response from people who are probably hearing your music for the first time, then I don’t think there’s that much of a disconnect.

Adam: I read a review on some website from someone who was at the NYC show who was like, “It seemed like they were makin’ noise rather than makin’ songs.” Or something like that.

KP: Really?

Adam: Well… its true… [Laughs] we do make a lot of noise. Which is cool for Metric because their taste is pretty wide, it seems. For them to bring us out is pretty ballsy I think.

Jon:  It’s not the easy bet, you know? So, they’re taking a chance and it’s really, really cool.

Joe:  I think they’re doing it b/c they like our music and they’re in a position where they don’t need a support act that’s gonna help fill out the room. They’re gonna fill the room regardless. They’re in the spot that all bands want to be in where you just get to pick whoever you want to open up for you.

Jon: When we get big, we’re going to get Marshall Cantrell and Tony Conrad to open up for us. Or a rappin’ bum. [Laughter] (The rapping bum is local Columbus celeb.)

Bear in Heaven’s Beast Rest Forth Mouth is available now through Hometapes and it is sooo good.  Make sure you wear quality headphones and open a window when you listen to it.  Perhaps a slice of pizza will accompany it well too? 

The interview continues here:

KP: Well thanks guys! Actually, if you guys are looking for a place to eat afterwards… if you want the landmark place in Columbus, you gotta go to Hounddogs Pizza.

Adam: Oh we already know about it!  Aaron (tour manager) was like, “I know this place dude!”

KP:  You have to get it with the Smokin’ Joes crust. 

Adam: Are you coming with us?

Aaron:  I was offered falatio in order to trade one of my extra pieces of pie that had walking out in the parking lot there…

The rest is too good to type, I leave you with the first JitP Audio clip from an interview.

 visit JackinthePocket.com to access audio file. 

PHANTOGRAM   
  The Treehouse | Columbus, OH | February 16, 2010  
   Photo Credit  ED LUNA    
     
 I stared at the giant pizza from Adriatico’s, half cheese, half vegan, taking over the table in the greenroom. Awkwardly, I began comparing pizza parlors in Columbus, recommending different ones for the next time Sarah and Josh were in town. Ed started chuckling at my social awkwardness.  After a couple minutes of small talk, I started the interview. 
   KP:  Do you guys have any crazy stories from the road, anything absolutely insane?  
  Sarah:  This tour or any tour? 
   KP:  Any time…  
  Sarah:  Well, we were on tour with School of Seven Bells. And at one venue, during their sound check, one of the monitors started smoking! We found out it was because a cockroach nest set on fire.  Smoke filled the entire room… It was gross. 
   KP:  Its good it happened during soundcheck, I guess.  
  Josh:  It smelled pretty bad. 
  Josh:   I got harassed by some weirdo in Hamburg, Germany. I was walking down the street and he started karate kicking me in the legs. I turned around and was like, ‘What is your deal?’ He got one good look at me and… 
   KP:  He backed off?  
  Josh:  Yeah (laughs) 
  Sarah:  (Laughs) Whoa whoa whoa! 
   KP:  (Laughing) I thought you  were someone else!!!  
  Josh:   Yeah. Nothing too crazy has happened to us yet. Which is good. 
   KP:  What has been the most bizarre thing your sound has been compared to?  
  Josh:  We get all kinds of weird comparisons. Someone said we sound like everything but The Girl? I generally think people like to read about us, and automatically say that we sound like something. Like, OH that sounds like Broken Social Scene, or that song sounds like Portishead. 
   KP:  I’ve seen some hip-hop references.  
  Josh:  Yeah, I actually saw a Jay-Z reference in a review. But Jay-Z can’t rap as good as Sarah. 
  Make sure you check out  Phantogram 's album  Eyelid Movies , its been on repeat on my iPod since January.  They’re kicking off a tour with  The Antlers  on April 15th and are coming to a  city near you !

PHANTOGRAM

The Treehouse | Columbus, OH | February 16, 2010

Photo Credit ED LUNA


I stared at the giant pizza from Adriatico’s, half cheese, half vegan, taking over the table in the greenroom. Awkwardly, I began comparing pizza parlors in Columbus, recommending different ones for the next time Sarah and Josh were in town. Ed started chuckling at my social awkwardness.  After a couple minutes of small talk, I started the interview.

KP: Do you guys have any crazy stories from the road, anything absolutely insane?

Sarah: This tour or any tour?

KP: Any time…

Sarah: Well, we were on tour with School of Seven Bells. And at one venue, during their sound check, one of the monitors started smoking! We found out it was because a cockroach nest set on fire.  Smoke filled the entire room… It was gross.

KP: Its good it happened during soundcheck, I guess.

Josh: It smelled pretty bad.

Josh:  I got harassed by some weirdo in Hamburg, Germany. I was walking down the street and he started karate kicking me in the legs. I turned around and was like, ‘What is your deal?’ He got one good look at me and…

KP: He backed off?

Josh: Yeah (laughs)

Sarah: (Laughs) Whoa whoa whoa!

KP: (Laughing) I thought you were someone else!!!

Josh:  Yeah. Nothing too crazy has happened to us yet. Which is good.

KP: What has been the most bizarre thing your sound has been compared to?

Josh: We get all kinds of weird comparisons. Someone said we sound like everything but The Girl? I generally think people like to read about us, and automatically say that we sound like something. Like, OH that sounds like Broken Social Scene, or that song sounds like Portishead.

KP: I’ve seen some hip-hop references.

Josh: Yeah, I actually saw a Jay-Z reference in a review. But Jay-Z can’t rap as good as Sarah.

Make sure you check out Phantogram's album Eyelid Movies, its been on repeat on my iPod since January.  They’re kicking off a tour with The Antlers on April 15th and are coming to a city near you!