Month: March 2015

Heatwarmer: Seattle Experimental Pop Group…TOMORROW! (Wednesday, April 1st)

Please, I beg you PLEASE, do NOT forget your knee pads, helmet, and water proof clothing for the show tomorrow. This advice came directly from Heatwarmer member, Luke Bergman, who was gracious enough to take the time to answer my questions about Heatwarmer, music, and their tour. Heatwarmer is Luke Bergman, Aaron Otheim, and Evan Woodle and they will be here tomorrow, Wednesday, April 1st right here in beautiful Bozeman, MT with special guests, Modern Sons. Read on Music For Lunchers, Luke’s witty answers will keep you entertained and really set the tone for what Wednesday’s show is going to be like.

This is kind of a weird game and it is borderline cheesy but I like to play it sometimes. Can you describe Heatwarmer (any and every aspect of the band including your collective personalities and Heatwarmer’s musical style) by using each letter of your name? Meaning, a word that starts with “H”, a word that starts with “E”, a word that starts with”A”, “T” etc!

I read that Heatwarmer has been in existence since2008. Can you give me a synopsis of how and why Heatwarmer came to be? It’d be great if you included where the name “Heatwarmer” came from and a little background about each of you guys.

 

We all know each other more or less from college. Luke and Aaron played together and sat together in theory class in music school from 2005-08 or so. Evan went to the same school a little later and we met him through mutual friends. We’ve all played together in a number of different projects. The original songs of Heatwarmer started as a recording project of Luke’s. Songs he would post on Myspace. Then a live band started to play the songs, which Luke and Aaron are original members of. Now the writing and playing is more collaborative. The name Heatwarmer came from a story of a kid who called the jet that shoots hot water into the hot tub the “Heatwarmer.” This kid, a cousin of our friend Garrett, was then named Heatwarmer from that day on. I heard the story and thought it was funny and would be a good band name too.

Hearty

Ethical

Amplified
Tattooless
Wannabe
Anti-Authority
Radio-friendly
Mirthful
Embarrassed
Rattlesnake

I decided to insert this gallery here so you can try to make sense of their acronym in conjunction with some photos from their current tour. It all ties together rather nicely. 

 

I’m curious about your musical inspirations. I feel like your music is such a complex mixture of so many genres and honestly, I’ve never heard anything quite like it! I literally have no idea where one of your songs is going to take me based on the first 30 seconds. I feel like “Good Stuff” and “Rejoice” are really good examples of this. Feel free to comment on your musical inspirations collectively or individually.

 We jump around a lot in our songs, I agree. It’s just fun to do. As for our influences, one of the common threads between the three of us is that we all studied jazz in college. So there’s a lot of that in there. Other than jazz we like many things. I (Luke) personally like every genre. There’s good stuff in every genre. I am drawn the most to music that sounds emotionally present, or has an immediacy to it. Aaron says: “I like music that has energy behind it and isn’t just being made out of obligation.” Well said, Aaron. In the car we’ve been listening to Thelonious Monk, Lawrence Welk, Glenn Gould, D’Angelo, Adrianne Lenker (from a rad band we played with in New York), and just scanning the radio a lot. Been stopping a lot on Country or Praise & Worship or oldies on AM. It’s fun to get a feel for the place you’re driving around in by what’s on the radio. It’s all mostly the same stuff everywhere, just subtle differences mainly in the commercials. I would say 80% of the time we’re not listening to anything in the car though. We hear at least a couple bands every night too and that’s been great. Lots of different stuff. And lots more regional differences than what you would hear on the radio. We saw this rad high school band in Sioux Falls called Androgynous Squash. They were sweet. Seems like there are a lot of good High School bands in Sioux Falls. We love the Star Wars sound track. We probably lean towards having pretty “nerdy” taste in music.

You mentioned that your current album was the first album you recorded in a studio. What was your recording experience like previous to this new album? Also, when do we get to sample this new album?

Yeah, we recorded our last album in a studio called Avast in Seattle. We worked with a producer named Randall Dunn. He was so great to work with and gave us a lot of ideas we may not have had otherwise. He’s like an expert on synthesizers and drum tone and guitar tone so it happened to be a good fit for what we do. I would say our music references a lot of different styles and recordings that we love, and he seems to understand all the stuff we’re shooting for. Like we’ll say, this part is pretty Herbie or this guitar part should be Sabbathy and he’ll know what to do to get the right sounds, and really quickly too so we aren’t ever waiting around too much or laboring over getting something perfect. He sets a good tempo for being productive in the studio and also generating creativity. I don’t know when it’s going to be out. We’re trying to look for a label, so if you know of any you should put in a good word for us. Our last recordings we did ourselves at home. Just like set aside an hour or two a day to work on it. It was about 6 months of doing that. I kind of like the studio method more cause it gets done faster.

I’ve been looking at your tour schedule. YOU GUYS HAVE LITERALLY BEEN PLAYING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY IN THE LAST MONTH! You started in Portland, a week later you were down in Austin, Texas, less than a week later you were in Greensboro, North Carolina, three days later Brooklyn, then Canada. This is an incredible spread! Can you give me some insight as to how you came up with all of these destinations?

This is our 7th or so tour and every time we go out we just hit a handful of new places in addition to places we’ve already been. Before long you’ve played in a bunch of places. On this trip I think we played in ten or twelve new places. We also have gotten some good recommendations and connections from our friends that have been on tour too.

Along the same lines of your current tour, what are your top three favorite destinations so far and why? Do the audiences differ greatly between locations?

 Besides Seattle I take it? The Big Apple has been awesome for us. We have millions of friends that have moved there so it’s always like a friend reunion. I’ve heard (and experienced) that playing there can be pretty rough sometimes, but we’ve managed to have nothing but amazing shows there though. There are so many good bands there too. Chico, California is really rad. We’ve played there like 4 times or so and have just made really good friends there that we always look forward to hanging with. It’s a crazy place full of weirdos, and it’s a really supportive music scene especially for experimental stuff. There’s also an amazing swimming place there. As for the third choice, it’s a tossup maybe Rock Island, IL or maybe Toronto, Nashville. I dunno. We’re super lucky we’ve had great shows and responses all over the place.

 You can kind of tell which cities get lots of music coming through. Audience members’ response to the music can kind of indicate how many other shows they go to on a regular basis. Like cities that are really saturated, people may really like the music but you wouldn’t be able to tell so much from their body language or expressions. On the other hand sometimes playing in a small town where you’re like the only band playing that week, it’s more typically for people to dance and get a crazy maybe even if they don’t like it that much or aren’t listening too close. Both types of audience are cool. I can kind of go either way as an audience member myself, but probably lean more towards stoicism and rationed excitement, although I was groovin last night in Sioux Falls.

 So, Bozeman Wednesday April 1st. Is this your first time playing in Bozeman? What kind of expectations do you have?  AND, what should concert attendees expect from you guys?

 This will be our first time ever playing in Bozeman. I don’t have any expectations really. It is a Wednesday afterall. I just expect we’ll try to have fun with some of the locals. Go with the flow. Concert attendees should absolutely wear helmets and kneepads and waterproof clothing and should not come at all if they have any tropical bird allergies. They can expect us to play some of our songs and try our hardest not to mess them up.

Local Bozeman band, Modern Sons, will be opening for Heatwarmer. Modern Sons has been touring ALL over Montana. I feel like every time I check my email I get a notification that these guys are playing a show somewhere nearby, so they’ve definitely been busy. You heard Luke: helmets, kneepads, waterproof clothing and it would be wise to be sure you’re not allergic to tropical birds. This is going to be a SERIOUS SHOW! See you ALL tomorrow night at 9pm! Here’s a link to the Facebook event. Tickets are $6 at Cactus Records and $8 at the door…it’s a DEAL!

Here’s one of my favorite songs of Heatwarmer’s called, “Keep Shining Through.”

Additionally, here’s a link to Heatwarmer’s Facebook page and website and Modern Sons Facebook page.

Too busy for music?!

I’ve neglected some of my favorite music sources including All Songs Considered, Sound Opinions, Soundcloud, new friends (for example, I’d never heard of Andy Shauf until I did my interview with In HØck…click on these bold words and you can read it) and the Hype Machine. Now that I am back to reality, I’ve been catching up on all of these sources and my musical mind has been absolutely blown. I have nothing more to say but the summary below of what has graced my ears over the last couple of weeks post spring break. Music will never cease to amaze, entertain and shape me. I love that.

Getting to know In HØck, singer-songwriter from Montreal

Just to warn those of you reading this from the start, there is a tiny bit of profanity in this interview. I didn’t want to alter the answers so I left it in. Anyway, let’s get on with the music! Jules Nominal is from Eastern Canada originally but has been in Montreal for about four years now. He’s currently doing sound at the Brasserie Beaubien bar in Montreal and has been there since his move to Montreal. Somehow I came across his music on Soundcloud or he came across my profile, the details are irrelevant. What’s important is that I fell for his music. Below, Jules goes into detail about where his music comes from and gives us all an intimate peek into his musical and personal life.

So out of my own curiosity, I Googled “In Hock” just to see what would come up. Granted, it’s not spelled the exact way as you spell it but, Google came up with “having been pawned” as the definition. Is this what your musical moniker means to you? Tell me about how you decided on “In HØck.”

I was thinking a lot about debt, living on borrowed time, sin as debt, debt slaves etc. I wanted the name to be an indicator of a certain type of life. A status, I guess. A friend suggested it and I liked it, so kept it. I am interested in the perceived value of things, people, and experiences.

I notice a lot of diversity in the instrumental qualities in your EP. First of all, this is refreshing! Sometimes when every song has a similar sound and drive, it can get boring. I especially like “Somewhere in Between” because it feels like it’s building and then it explodes! How do you map out your songs? Or, do they come as you play?

Thank you! I try to arrange things in interesting ways despite my lack of gear. My approach isn’t really methodical but I experiment with structure and the effect it has on the song as a whole. It varies from song to song, of course. For Somewhere in Between, I wanted to have an unexpected moment, then express some kind of frustrated and unresolved conclusion. It came together after I tried recording it a few times. It’s also, coincidentally, somewhere in the middle of the album.

You mentioned to me earlier that you are a sound guy at a bar in Montreal. Can you share some of your likes and dislikes regarding this kind of work?

This type of work has been very difficult and psychologically exhausting. The nice part is that It has given me an insight into the community of musicians in Montreal as well as touring musicians. There have been moments where I have been inspired by the amazing love for artistry and the dedication of awesome people. Other times, the opposite has been the case and I was disillusioned by how thoughtless some people can be. I also worry a lot about losing my hearing. For the most part though, it’s been great, and I still do it.

Does your EP have a specific order? I’m wondering if you organized the tracks in a particular way. If so, how?

This album was meant to be heard in one sitting and makes more sense as a whole. The songs are mostly chronological and tell a story. Imagine that! The last line on the record is actually “… the end.”

On a deeper level, if you would like, could you share any personal stories about the songs on your EP? I know you mentioned that you have been reluctant to share your music really before now. I’m curious if any of that story is emulated in your EP.

The album deals with existential anxiety, substance abuse, loneliness, paranoia, fear, delusions, to name a few. These things aren’t easy to talk about. Explaining the songs would be a bit redundant, but I feel as though the paradox of feeling meaningless while expressing yourself shouldn’t stop anyone from being creative.  I’ve been reluctant to share because I had to work up the courage to be ok with feeling vulnerable.  Although I’m fairly certain that I’ll be dealing with confidence issues my whole life. Lack thereof or overcompensating, being maladjusted overall. It never ends.

Along that same vein, what inspired you to share your music on Soundcloud and Bandcamp? I just purchased your EP on Bandcamp and now a proud owner it! And, do you have hopes or plans of performing live?

Thank you for your support! Much appreciated. I do plan to perform the album in its entirety on April 12th at Casa del Popolo in Montreal. It looks like I’ll be playing solo for now, but that’s ok. I would love to tour but I have trouble organizing those kinds of things. Putting music online was the logical thing to do in order to share my work. I also can’t afford to make physical copies right now, nevermind touring, so my options were limited.

Who are you channeling musician-wise or otherwise in terms of inspiration when you write your music? Or, is most of it more personal for you? Jules sent me a long list of fantastic songs. I have to admit, I had never heard any of them before. To save space in this post, I put a few songs in a Soundcloud playlist but all of the others are videos.

You talk about your music being more on the darker side. You say “it’s not exactly a ray of sunshine” and how you are “fascinated with these moments of sorrow” that one can experience from time to time. “Someone else’s life is worth more than your own.” That lyric really strikes a chord with the above thoughts. Does writing music and lyrics allow you to explore these moments?

Depression has a way of affecting your organizational skills and motivation. Almost everything overwhelms me. But I know that I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed by it all. And so when I find music that I can relate to, whether I’m feeling despair or losing hope, or even feeling rather cautiously optimistic, I am relieved that someone else feels the same way. It’s comforting.

I don’t always feel so anxious, but when I do, being creative helps me understand why I’m feeling this way. I think that people shouldn’t feel embarrassed about feeling sadness. But there are plenty of things in the world that can also make you feel happiness, however fleeting it may be.

I can feel and hear the sorrow in some tracks like “No War” and “There’s a Pill ” but there’s sometimes a whimsical or jaunty sound to the tracks despite the seriousness of the content. Do you like mixing lyric and sound and do this on purpose?

Hmm, I’m not sure. Hahaha. Maybe. I might of knowingly ridiculed myself in “Panic!Panic!”for the sake of pointing out the absurdity of hearing voices in your own head and people thinking you’re fucking crazy sometimes. There’s a point where it’s like “I know, this is god damned ridiculous!” I hope to explore this aspect of myself more in the future. I do enjoy a good laugh sometimes, even if it’s a WTF kind of laugh.

From a more long term perspective, where do you see yourself in 5 years time or 10 years? Or, where would you LIKE to see yourself? Feel free to answer this as a musician, otherwise or both.

Oh, I don’t know that I can even imagine that far ahead. I would like to be making records in a more reliable setting. My gear is always breaking down.

You said you’ve been making music for about 15 years. How has it changed since you began AND what are the ages of the tracks on ‘Hock Shop?’ Meaning, are these songs you wrote 5, 10, 15 years ago or more recently?

When I started, recording music was too expensive for me. So I taught myself how to do it. But I figured most people did the same, and now home recording is a lot more common. I still learn things every time I do it, but it’s mostly about how to get the results I am aiming for with what I have and knowing what’s possible.  Techniques I’ve learned through research and experimentation took up most of that time.  I’ve recorded hundreds of demos and worked on dozens of songs that I would never show anyone.

The songs on hock shop were all written and recorded between summer of 2014 and feb 2015. Except Panic! Panic!, which I wrote about 5 or 6 years ago. The feeling persisted so I kept working at it until I felt it was done.

Here are couple of pictures Jules was willing to share with me. Apparently he burned his hand in an apartment fire! If you look closely you can see the bandage on his hand. He said everyone was alright, though.

in hock 2012-2

in hock 2

And here is a music video he created for the song “in flux” off of his ‘Hock Shop’ EP.

Special thanks to Jules for taking the time to do this interview with me. I wish I could see him perform April 12th in Montreal! If you want to hear more of his music find him in “G-L” of “More by that artist.”

The Cave Singers: TONIGHT – Tuesday March 24th!

Tonight (Tuesday, March 24th) at the Filling Station in Bozeman, MT, The Cave Singers will grace our lovely town’s presence once again. I think I’m getting addicted to them visiting Bozeman EVERY year and I’m not sure what I’ll do when they stop coming. Maybe they never will. March 21st it was posted that were only 50 tickets left so, I’m not sure what the status is now but it’s worth looking into! You know it’ll be worth it. I’m not entirely sure how long they’ve been coming to Bozeman but what I do know is that I’ve seen them every year for the last 3 years so this will be my fourth year in a row. I’m sure there are others who can attest to a similar track record.

Back in 2011, the fateful year I heard “Swim Club” for the first time marked the year The Cave Singers went down in my list of favorites. AND, at that point, I had no idea they’d ever been to or would come to Bozeman. This version is them at Pickathon, a festival in Oregon, from 2012.

Not only is their music, which is the perfect blend of rock and roll and folk, celebratory and invigorating, band members emulate these very same characteristics live. This song, “It’s a Crime”, is one of my favorite songs to hear live.

The gravely vocals attributed by Peter Quirk, the surprise flute additions provided by bassist Morgan Henderson, the driving drums of Marty Lund and the either delicate or ripping guitar of Derek Fudesco, allow this group to force you to dance until you drop or close your eyes and just take it in.

Check out these fantastic photos taken by Bozeman photographer, Cameron McDonald, from last year’s show. Cheers to Cameron for capturing some fantastic moments.

So, I guess I’m saying you should come check it out. Local band, Of Course Of Course, will be opening for them! Says the show starts at 8pm but I’m not sure how “on time” things will be…I’ll be there at 8, though!

Puppy Sticker

The only thing the title of this week’s playlist has to do with anything is the fact that I took a puppy sticker from the dance studio Wednesday (I’m not sure why) and stuck it on my water bottle. It’s been staring at me with those puppy dog eyes ever since I placed it on there…and was staring at me while I was finishing up the playlist for this week. I hope all you MusicForLunchers enjoy my musical discoveries from the past week!

Words with Austria’s psychedelic rock group, Aux Portes!

A few playlists ago I featured a song by Vienna, Austria’s psychedelic rock group, Aux Portes. Immediately after sampling some of their tunes, I had to try to get a hold of them to ask some questions. They were more than willing. Check out what they had to say below about making music and other types of art and have a listen to what inspired them to be the musicians they are today.

Alright, first of all, who are you? I see four fellows in your photographs so that’s about all I can gather! I’d love to know who plays what as well! Maybe use the photo I attached and name yourselves starting from the upper left corner and move clockwise(this is the above image).

Well, the photo that you are talking about was taken in August 13′ when I was in the band ‘Psychedelic Mango’. We founded Aux Portes in December 13´ and we had many different members in the band. The guys on the photograph are Phillip Dornauer (Drums), Toni Weithas (Guitar/Bass), Thomas Neuner (Guitar/Bass) and me, Tobias Haller (Vocals/Guitar/Bass); There have been many different guys in our band but now we have Pia Wurzer (Vocals), Gabriel Hyden (Guitar), Serafin Eiter (Drums), Aaron Abebe (Bass) and Tobias Haller (Vocals/Guitar).

According to Facebook, you were “founded” December of 2013. Tell me how and when it all
started…including your band name story!

Phillip Dornauer and Tobias Haller wanted to found an Indie-Rock Band in 2012. They called the project ‘Aux Portes’. We had no idea what it meant but it sounded quite cool. We never really did anything with this project but over one year later Tobias took the name for his newest project. Members have been Serafin Eiter, Tobias Haller, Alex Migliorini (Organ) and every now and then someone of our old band ´Psychedelic Mango´ helps us out.

What have the biggest milestones in your 1st year as a band been?

We have supported TOY, Jacco Gardner, Will and the people, The Hypnotic Eye, Nihils and our friends from White Miles. All these things have been very cool but we never really had success besides that, unfortunately.

I recognize a few of your influences: Pond, Tame Impala, Temples…have you gotten to see any of them live before if they’ve visited Austria?

I, for my part, have visited none of them unfortunately. But I will do it for sure in the future.

Along those lines…and if you have time, could you create a short playlist (5 to 10 songs) of what’s been running through your ears (some of your favorite songs) the last couple of years while your band has been getting started? Here is a short playlist and some other tracks the fellows from Aux Portes are listening to.

 

Your shows! How often do you get to perform live and have you gotten to travel much yet? Tell me about your fans! What is their age group? Do they dance, mill around or head bang at your shows?

We haven´t played that many shows yet but each of the shows has been fantastic. I think the people who came to our concerts always wanted to see the main band but we´ve always fitted quite well and it has always been a night full of psychedelia. Our ‘fans’on the web are some psychedelic freaks,… Just like we are! I think there is no specific age for Psychedelic-Rock lovers, which is really great. Some of our songs are pretty catchy. The people dance how they feel like dancing… Each one of them danced different to our songs but that;s not that important. The most important thing is that they understood our sound.

Outside of music, what are your lives like? Or is it all music? It’s OK if it is!

Most of us are students living in Vienna. Gabriel is a famous roller skater and photographer. We are all quite creative. Each one of us is interested in sport, photography and art.

Finally, when are we going to see an EP or full length album from Aux Portes?

Hopefully this year. I think we´ll start to record some songs after Gabriel is back from his Europe-Tour with his other band ´Vague`.

This is one last photo Tobias Haller, whom I’ve been communicating with for this interview, told me was the first photo ever taken of the group!

AUx Portes

Once again, it was such an honor get a piece of some more musician’s minds. I can’t get enough of this! Stay tuned for more from Aux Portes and check out their music by clicking here and scrolling or searching for ‘Aux Portes.’

Whatever happened to these guys?!

Remember this song?

I was OBSESSED when I heard it for the first time back in 2007. I don’t even remember where I heard it…I feel like it was a ski movie or something! Regardless, I couldn’t get enough of it.

I personally haven’t heard much from the Hamilton, Ontario-based duo, Junior Boys since 2007 but I guess they released an EP back in 2011. I’m not sure of their whereabouts now but all I can do is thank them for leaving musical gifts in their wake that I will cherish forever. Here’s a track off of their recent EP, ‘It’s All True’ called “Banana Ripple”:

This one is my favorite after “In the Morning.” It’s called “Parallel Lines” and it popped up on an old mix CD yesterday, thus inspiring this post: