interview

Interview: Dark synth band, Favours

Favours is an up and coming dark synth rock band based out of Toronto. They recently released their debut single and music video, “In the Night.” Check out our discussion below!

MFL: Who is in Favours and how did you come together?

 Favours: Favours are a group made up of Alex, Jackie, Parth and Dan.   We came together through different musical projects (Invasions. Pet Sun) having played shows together in the past, as well as film projects that we collaborated on.

 

MFL: Are there any bands out there currently that you can’t stop listening to? Who are they?!

 Favours: Lately we’ve definitely been diggin deep into The Marias, Johnny Smith Quintet, Jungle, and The Zolas pretty hard! Can’t stop, won’t stop, baby!

 

MFL: Tell me about “In the Night.” What is it about and how does the music video connect with the story?

 Favours: The way we like to think about “In the Night” is sort of that feeling where when you’re growing up, you have all these dreams about what life is going to be like, and then the slow realization that that’s not what life is. Our video hooks onto that idea by giving you that beginning glamorous look into a cult life – before that glamour comes crashing down when you realize how whack cults always are.

 

 

MFL: How did you come to work with Josh Korody and what has that been like?

 Favours: Josh had recorded some of our favourite bands like Dilly Dally, WEAVES, and he had recorded some of our previous projects. Recording with Josh is kind of like having Darth Vader as your best friend, but then you realize that you’re still on the Death Star. So you could say he’s a Synth Lord. (Like a Sith Lord, get it? haha)

 

MFL: What is the writing process like for you? Is there a main songwriting or is it something you do together?

 Favours: Right now a lot of the time, Alex will come forward with an idea for a song, and then as a band we work it all out together and get it to a point we all dig it. If you think about it, its like cooking up a little musical baby. As we’re just starting out, who knows what the future holds as we go and grow as a band!

 

MFL: I love hearing about musicians’ musical backgrounds and how/why music became such an important part of their lives. Can each of you give me a brief synopsis?

 

Favours1

 

Jac : Since I was a kid my dad would always be singing karaoke in the basement, and my brother always played in a bunch of bands. So music was always around my house, with someone either singing or playing drums.

Alex : My uncle was in a band called Chicklet and he gave me a bunch of guitars, drums and recording gear in elementary school. After that I started the band Invasions, which I was in for 10 years, and then went on to Favours!

Parth : My dad would always make me do math tables every day after school, but one day my mom made a huge mistake – she bought me a drum kit. After that I never looked at a math table the same way again.

Dan : My pal Ben invited me to come jam when I was 18, and I fell in love with the bass. We started a band, I joined some other bands, kept playing bass, joining more bands. The rest is history. Or present. Probably future too?

 

 

MFL: Where are you based out of and how does the local music scene influence your music?

 Favrous: Right now, we’re based out of the west end of Toronto, in a special little place called “Mimico”. Seeing and playing with other locals always manages to give us some killer insights in to things we can do and ways we can improve our own music and performances.

 

MFL: Finally, what is in store beyond your single, “In the Night?”

 Favours: For all the good kids out there, we’ve got some treats coming your way. We’ve got a brand new single coming your way in October, and after that, we’re gonna be working on putting out an EP – dedicated to all the beautiful people.

 

 

 

 

Interview: Viktor Ahlgren

Viktor Ahlgren and I have been going back and forth for a couple of years now. He originally reached out to Music For Lunch for his duo collaboration, LACEI. Check out the interview we did here. Now, Vik is up to his ears in musical projects, just the way he likes it. Not only is he still writing music for LACEI, he’s also divulging in mixing, producing and engineering for his own solo work in addition to working with some prominent DJs and producers out there. We discuss all of this below!

 

MFL: Do you recall the moment in your life when you knew music would become a permanent part of it?

 

  • It’s hard to describe, but I’ve always felt a special calling to music. I’ve always felt that it has been a huge part of who I am. When I was younger, it was pretty obvious to my parents that music was extremely intriguing to me. For instance, at the age of four, I was dying to have a Beatles album. And at the age of nine, I cried so hard because my parents wouldn’t buy me a Britney Spears album haha!

 

MFL: You are from Sweden originally. Does culture influence your music today? If so, how?

 

  • I believe so. I listen to a lot of music from Sweden (both globally known Swedish artists as well as artists that are only famous in Sweden) and I’m definitely influenced by them. I also often find myself making dark, melancholic music. Maybe that’s because I’m from a place where its cold and dark for 8 months out of the year lol…

 

MFL: In addition to writing/recording music, I know you have gotten into producing and engineering. How is this kind of work different from just writing music if it is different at all?

 

  • It is a little bit different as it’s more focused on sound design, programming, mixing, etc. Instead of writing the song you are tweaking a song that’s already been finished (ie. changing sounds, mixing them, etc.). I have also engineered (recorded) other people’s sessions.

 

lexia Connor

PC: Alexia Connor

MFL: I know you have been working with some up and coming producers and DJs recently. Who are they and how did you connect with them?

 

  • I have been working with Grammy winning songwriter/producer DJ Dahi, Grammy nominated songwriter/producer Brian Alexander Morgan, and recently, I’ve been doing some music programming with the rapper King Mez.
  • I met Dahi in 2010. He was working at my school and my friend told me that he was a music producer. One day I decided to walk up to him during lunch and ask for some tips to get started with making music. At that time, he had not broken through the music business yet but I asked him to help me get started and he did. Ever since then, we have kept in contact. Once he started to gain success he asked me to work with him. He was the resident director at the school, so every time I got in trouble at the dorms I had to go and speak with him lol. I thought that was pretty funny.
  • I met Brian through Dahi. He was in a session with Dahi and saw the work I was doing. From there, he asked me to come and do the same work for him. His engineer had just moved away so the timing was perfect! I met King Mez through Brian. It’s crazy how one thing can lead to another… You never know who the person you meet will end up becoming.

 

 

MFL: What have you learned this far from these esteemed producers and how have you applied this knowledge to your current projects?

 

  • I learn so much every day, and I love it! Working with established artists and producers and watching how they work and think about music is so educating and inspiring. It can be all from how to program better drums, to how to build more interesting chords with unique voicings, etc. Everything I learn from the people I work with I try to incorporate into my own music making; lately I can see how it has improved me as a musician. Since the people I work for are songwriters and producers, they also work with a lot of well-known and talented artists. I get to meet some really cool people and gain inspiration from their work too.

 

MFL: I know you are also working on a solo project. Why did you decide to take on a project of your own and how do you plan to keep it unique from your collaboration, LACEI?

 

  • I think because I’m such a diverse music listener, I feel the urge to create different types of music. LACEI is my main focus which is more rock infused, but I also have other projects. Deeps is another project I’m working on with a friend of mine from Sweden which is more folk and soul infused. Vik Mikael is my solo project which showcases more of my songwriting and producing abilities, basically I’m gonna be making whatever music I feel like (no particular genre). Fourthly, I have also created music scores for tv and film as well as doing programming and sound designing for other people. All this music express facets of myself. They are all a part of me.

 

 

MFL: Do you have an opinion on music streaming and how it has changed the way people buy and listen to music?  

 

  • I believe that the idea of streaming music is great as it is more accessible and affordable for people to consume and discover. Playlists are great too. However, I do feel that the distribution of money to the artists are not yet fair, so they need to sort that out.

 

MFL: Finally, 2018 will be coming to a close before we know it, what are your major goals as a musician for 2019?

 

  • Release music! I have been working on so many different projects lately that I cannot wait to put out. It’s gonna be LACEI stuff, Deeps Stuff, my own solo stuff, and other artists stuff that I will be credited on. Let’s hope it will be a good year =) and hit me up if you want to collab! I love working with new people!!

 

You can follow all of Vik’s projects on Instagram: Vik Mikael, Deeps, LACEI.

 

Featured Image PC: Guthrie Melchiade

 

Interview: sea dog

I love nothing more than hearing a musician’s story, their reason for music and the drive to make it. It doesn’t have to be some long-winded, tragic or heroic story of the underdog. It can be as simple as a love for computers, a love for music and a childhood nickname. Louis Dimuro grew up with his folks lovingly calling him “Lou Dog.” This together with his upbringing in California and a true understanding of the relaxation and peace that comes with staring at a large body of water on a sandy beach, gave birth to sea dog. Lou’s debut EP, Television Dreams, features clips of TV shows he used to enjoy as a kid, highlighting the nostalgic nature of the EP. Below, we discuss this and much more!

 

 

MFL: What inspired you to create ambient music with no lyrics?

I was never much of a singer, but I knew I wanted to create an EP in which I had complete creative control. The way I got around the problem was making all the synths and guitars the main instruments of the EP, while occasionally adding in some ambient lyrics in the background. I think it worked out because I now have been able to create my own style without having to use my voice too much.

MFL: When did music become part of your life and when did you decide to start sharing it with the rest of us?

I started playing the guitar when I was in 2nd grade, but I didn’t get serious about it until I joined a band in high school. When I went to college, it was a lot easier to just practice in my room by myself instead of lugging around all my equipment, which is why I began making solo projects. Having complete creative control over my music was very satisfying, and it was then that I decided to make a short EP by myself.

MFL: What equipment you use to make your music? Do you feel limited by the equipment you have or empowered?

My lack of equipment is what inspired me to adopt a lo-fi sound for my music. I ended up recording my guitar through the iPad Garageband app and my voice through the mic on my headphones. All other synths and drums were made using Garageband on my computer. Luckily I was chasing a very fuzzy, lo-fi sound, so even though I didn’t have the best software, I still got the result I wanted.

MFL: Where are the audio clips of people’s voices from and what makes these clips important to your music?

Most of the samples that I used came from TV shows that I used to watch as a kid, some of which include the old Land of the Lost TV show and Adventure Time. These samples are sentimental to me, and since the overall theme of my EP revolves around childhood nostalgia, I thought they would be a nice addition.

MFL: What does your music do for you and what do you hope it does for your listeners?
Making music is something that I love to do throughout the day whenever I need to clear my mind. I’m constantly trying to make up tunes in my head to spark some inspiration for song. Sometimes I’ll think of one in the shower and have to get out and dry off really fast so I can record it on my computer before I forget it. Sometimes I’ll be lying awake at 3 AM and I have to get up and record because I thought of a good idea.

MFL: What does your life look like outside of music?

I’m currently a Computer Science major attending Arizona State University and when I’m not playing music, I’m usually hanging out with my friends or working on some sort of coding project.

MLF: Where did the name ‘Sea Dog’ come from and what does it say about your music?

Growing up, my parents gave me the nickname “Lou Dog” and it eventually stuck within my entire extended family. I’ve always thought it was a pretty cool nickname, so I knew I wanted to use it somehow in my name. I was born in California and I wanted my music to sound laid-back and relaxing, which is why I added “Sea” to the name, because what’s more relaxing than sitting on the beach watching the ocean?

MFL: Finally, are you working on anything new in the coming year?

I may be adding 2 new members to Sea Dog so that we will be able to perform live, so there will probably be some new material coming out in the next couple of months.

 

You can follow sea dog on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. Stay tuned for more from Lou ❤

Interview: FayRoy

Florida rockers, FayRoy, just released their debut LP, Heaven at Twenty Seven, March 10th of this year. The record is a highly diverse collection of songs inspired by the rich musical mood of St. Petersburg, FL. Below, we chat about the concept of the record, difficulties in writing and recording and much more!

MFL: I am unfamiliar with the Florida rock scene that has inspired FayRoy. Can you explain this and why you took this musical avenue?

Zach Hoag of FayRoy (ZH): We ended up moving into this 100 year old house just outside of downtown St. Pete. Between that house and the house next door there’s about 16 tenants who are all musicians or artists of some sort. There’s been so many bands and musical projects to come out of the two houses and they all put on crazy high energy live shows. It’s been really inspiring to be surrounded by the productivity of other bands and to be able to walk downtown and see great live music on almost any night. 

MFL: Heaven at Twenty Seven, should listeners take this literally? What is the concept behind this record?

ZH: Heaven at Twenty Seven is a reference to basically all of our music idols who died at 27 and how much of an impression they left behind. We wrote the majority of these songs during our 27th year so it was definitely an existential evaluation at the time. Those mid to late 20’s years are really when you start seeing your friends get careers and start families, it’s easy to compare that to yourself and question why the hell you’re in a crowded smelly van playing bars every night.

MFL: How did the four of you come together and what do each of you offer to FayRoy that is unique?

ZH: Zack, Greyson, and I have known each other since high school. We all used to surf and skate together. Our buddy Drew touring with us right now was introduced through other St. Pete friends. I think all four us have our own weird sense of humor. It keeps everyone amused. Plus all the guys really shred their instruments and keep the stoke level high.

MFL: It seems like you all had fun creating Heaven at Twenty Seven. It’s such a diverse record! Do each of you have a different favorite track on the record? If so, what is it?

ZH: I like the title track. I think it’s the most diverse song within itself, which is a good representation of the album as a whole. Zack likes “Napoli Bay” the most, that was the first one written on the record. 

MFL: What was the most challenging aspect of creating Heaven at Twenty Seven?

ZH: This is our first studio album, so working with more people during the recording and mixing process was new and occasionally challenging. Zack and I are pretty hands on so it was a new experience just letting it go a bit. Luckily, the engineer/studio owner, Steve Rosicky and the mixer, Chris Irving are pretty weird people too so all of our styles really matched up. Also, we bartered yard work for our studio time, so I think pulling weeds and laying mulch in the heat of summer may have been the toughest part.

MFL: Looks like you’re playing at SXSW! Is this the first time for all of you at this event? These questions will probably get answered after the event since it’s March 14th as I’m writing them! Summarize your experience at SXSW.

ZH: It was all of our first times at SXSW, and it was equally exhausting as it was continually exciting. We were walking about 10 miles a day all over Austin, often aimlessly,  but we kept stumbling upon these amazing shows. It was really great for us to get to play for a bunch of new eyes and ears and really inspiring to see countless performances from other bands that blew us away. 

MFL: Do your individual musical inspirations differ than those of FayRoy?

ZH: Greyson and Drew have bands of their own called Someday River and Sonic Graffitti respectively. Someday river has a lot of funk and folk aspects in it, and Sonic Graffiti is straight up shredding rock n’ roll. Both bands are seriously so sick and we’re really lucky and appreciative to have them playing with us.

MFL: What do each of you never leave town without (for example, on tour)?

ZH: A rice cooker, beef jerky, and our TM, Alex. 



MFL: What happens once the tour wraps up at the end of March?

ZH: We have quite a few dates in Florida booked and are working on an east coast tour for the fall!

MFL: Finally, name a few dream venues to play at and a few musicians you’d love to tour with.

ZH: I think for the sake of a self fulfilling prophecy, playing some of the venues I’ve seen my favorite bands and shows in would be the dream. Jannus Landing in St Pete, the Filmore and Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, then a big stage in Golden Gate Park. Haven’t made it for a tour out of the country yet so that would be sick. As far as musicians go, the list is too long, but we basically just want to tour with our best friends and all of their awesome bands.

Thank you to Rich Nardo of 24West and for Zack Hoag and the guys (Kyle Fournier, Greyson Charnock, ) for doing the interview! Follow FayRoy on Facebook, their official website  , Instagram and Bandcamp.

Interview: Brother-sister duo, Good Girl and the Bad Times

Jenny and Eli are brother and sister. They grew up writing music together in London but are now separated by 3000 miles of land and water: One in London and one in NYC. They  have released a decent amount of music under the title, Good Girl and the Bad Times. Now they are set to release a new record soon that, according to them, was created in a mad rush and on a low budget. I have to say this came as a shock to me because I fell immediately for their first single, “Love’s Lost”, and could never have guessed it was rushed or low budget. The duo calls their new found style, “underwater disco.” Check out “Love’s Lost” and read more about Good Girl and the Bad Times below:

 

 

MFL: How long had a brother/sister act been in the works before it came to fruition and when did it officially begin?

 Good Girl and the Bad Times (GG): We’ve been playing and writing together our entire lives. It’s always been fun for us and often we’d get swept up in some utterly ridiculous project like writing a series of fake Christmas #1 records from the 90’s, or scoring the music for an imaginary children’s tv show.

However, since around 2004 there were always actual, full time musical projects constantly underpinning that silliness. I recorded 2 albums in New York and Austin and would bring Eli in whenever possible. Over time it just became obvious that nothing was more fun than making music as a duo. It just took a while before we were brave enough to concentrate on taking that seriously. I’d say that we’ve been ‘officially’ a duo going on 5 years now.

 

MFL: How far apart in age are you two and how did you end up so geographically distanced?

 GG: We’re 6 years apart. I came out to the states to study music at Berklee when I was 19 and then moved to New York. Of course now we wish we could be closer as we’ve stumbled on a sound we really love and desperately want to gig it.  We’ll get there!

 

MFL: Do you ever get together to record or does every aspect of Good Girl and the Bad Times happen separately?

 GG: Previous recordings had a much healthier budget, so Eli would fly out to NY to participate and we were able to employ some amazing musicians and co producers to help us realize our ideas.

However, the record we are hoping to put out next was done on the scrawniest of budgets and as a result is our most honest effort. Essentially I saved enough to quit my job, fly out to London and crash in Eli’s house for the summer. He’d managed to borrow lots of synths and gear from friends and built a little bedroom studio, which we hardly left. Over the next 5 weeks we wrote and recorded 8 songs (we could have done more, but time ran out). Then when I flew back to NY I recorded all the vocals.

Occasionally, circumstances dictate we work transatlantically, but to be honest both of our confidences crumble a bit when we do it alone. I feel like you can hear it’s not as fun.

 

MFL: What is the concept of your new album and when can we expect it?

GG: The sound unites it more than a concept per se, although my lyrics tend to lean towards melancholic loves gone wrong. It’s quite dark in places and very layered but also has a kind of tender, nostalgic element to it. It’s the first record we’ve made that we feel really fits together as a piece – probably because of the way we wrote and recorded in a bit of a mad rush.

 

MFL: Tell me more about ‘underwater disco’, the words you use to describe your musical quality.

 GG: At first we were describing the vibe as ‘Twin Peaks if the role of Agent Cooper was played by Prince’, but it didn’t really roll off the tongue as a genre. ‘Underwater disco’ matched the undulating murky groove we settled into better. Of course, prior to being mixed by the incredible Danny Reisch (Octopus Project/Other Lives) and mastered by Jeff Lipton (Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem) the sound more closely resembled a lumpy bowl of oatmeal and tears.

 

 

MFL: “Love’s Lost” seems to have a lot more of an electronic sound than your previous songs (based on my quick listen to the previous releases). What is different about “Love’s Lost” to you, if anything?

 GG: A combination of being broke and finally having the guts to make a record that matched what we love to listen to resulted in an electronic effort. Eli has been making gorgeous dance music separately for years now. At the risk of being crude we wanted to write music that our friends could fuck, dance and cry to. The stuff we made before was well written and arranged, but always felt slightly disingenuous. A bit of a pastiche. It took a constrained set of circumstances for us to feel confident enough to completely self produce. It’s less about us trying electronic music on for size, and more like this is the music we should have always been making.

 

MFL: Who are your musical influences or inspirations?

 GG: I mean we both listen to everything but with regard to this record there’s a lot of old disco influence, early Eurythmics, Prince, Kate Bush, Jai Paul, Yazoo, James Blake… we had a lot of fun listening parties throughout the process. There’s also a lot of stuff you would probably never pick out when you hear it like John Maus, Radiohead and Fleetwood Mac but they’re in there.

 

MFL: Where did you two grow up and what was the music scene like?

 GG: We grew up in London. We’ve both been pretty obsessive listeners our entire lives so we would gravitate to all sorts. As teenagers Eli was more into indie and folk whereas I would usually find myself at Garage raves at 8 in the morning. As we got a bit older we both started to get quite heavily into electronic music, techno and pop. Really it was only a matter of time before our own music reflected that.

 

MFL: Do you release music under your own label? If so, touch on some pros and cons of having your own label.

GG: Currently we release under our own label Good Bad Records. The beautiful thing is we can stand by a project 100%. We love this record, and no nasty suit has had his fingers in our creative pie. That being said, now the music is completed, we are open to signing with a better indie label as we’d love these tunes to get in the ears of more people and finance a proper tour.

 

MFL: What have your experiences been like performing live and what type of venues do you prefer?

 GG: Our recording experience is actually decades ahead of our live. We do love playing. We want more of it. It’s a bit of a slog getting there what with the 3000 miles that currently separate us. We had a couple of years together in London playing our older material as a duo (the stripped down set sounded like 60’s gloom pop). Looking back it was slightly mad though- we didn’t want to give up on these incredibly dense arrangements so we’d end up trying to play 4 instruments each at once! The new show should free Jenny up to dance around a bit. We’re in the process of trying to figure out how this record is going to work on stage which is really exciting.

 

Keep up with them on Facebook and Soundcloud! Photo credit for cover photo: Amy Gawtkin, photo credit for following photos: Jamie Paterson and Alix Brown.

 

Interview: Greg Smith

Greg Smith of Ontario creats stunningly simple acoustic gems. He’s a supporter of music in its most minimal form but his storytelling and songwriting ability set him apart. Below we chat about how music and songwriting became important parts of his life, his album art and even his organic vegetable garden!

BEFORE I GO ON! You can catch Greg Smith live at Kimberly Hall in Kimberly on the 18th of March and hosting the Barn Open Mic in Meaford on the 19th of March!

MFL: Your knack for storytelling is clear. Were you a writer or a musician first or did they occur simultaneously?

GS: It really was a simultaneous thing. Growing up I always enjoyed telling stories. I think that’s because as a kid, if you tell a story well you can garner the attention of adults in a way that puts you on their level. Music very quickly became my main creative outlet once I entered my teen years. The first songs I wrote were metaphor laden and really just a means of expressing myself. The problem with this was I could only write when I myself was experiencing something emotionally. This eventually led me to create characters, I could use them as facades for my own feelings or create situations for them and empathize with how they would feel. This meant that I could write whenever I wanted to, regardless of how I may have been feeling. I began to get the same escapism in writing stories that some people feel in reading them. I’m still not sure I would call myself a writer, I have a long way to go in that regard.

 

MFL: You make very minimalist music. It’s stunning but very different compared to a lot of over produced music out there. Is that something you feel makes you unique or is it a result of resources?

GS: I saw Justin Townes Earle live when I was 14 and he said that he told his band to “play as little as possible!” That idea of minimalism was very appealing to me, space in music was important.

I grew up on a farm. I spent the majority of my time outside of school alone because I lived so far away from everyone I knew. I became accustom to playing music alone too. This of course, impacted my writing. I wrote songs to feel fleshed-out with just a voice and guitar, that was about all I could do. When it came time to recording it only ever made sense to have the recordings reflect the live performance. So it was a lack of resources that created this mentality for minimalism but the unique result that has kept me going forward with it.

MFL: What is different conceptually and musically between your current release, Morning Coffee, and your previous release, Iris?

GS: There isn’t a lot of difference in concept, they’re both short stories featuring female characters and their relationships. The main difference would be that Iris was the first story-based piece I’d written. In the beginning I had no idea what it would eventually become. I was writing the story as a I wrote the songs. With Morning Coffee I knew what I was trying to create as soon as I came up with the first lyric “She slams her mug down on the veneer”. It should be known that Morning Coffee is actually my third piece in this style. I have written but not recorded a sequel to Iris called Michael. Michael is more aggressive, this came as a result of the story it tells but also from my experiences playing live in Hungary, I wanted something raw. Something that would appeal to the emotions of those who might not understand the lyrics due to the language barriers. I sometimes joke that in Budapest if you weren’t loud, you weren’t anything. As a result of this change, I felt the need to return to my roots and write something similar to Iris, and so we have Morning Coffee.

 


MFL: I really enjoy asking people about their album artwork. Sometimes it has no meaning, it’s completely random. But, sometimes it carries the meaning of the entire EP or record. What is the meaning of the album art for
Morning Coffee and who created it?

GS: The artwork was created by Daniel Micsoda of Lone Waltz Records, or as he is better known Zanzinger. Daniel says my songs work on him like a detective novel. He says they have a literary vibe without having a classic literary beauty. He wanted to create something unexpected and a bit mysterious. At first I was a little apprehensive to the design but the more I looked at it the more it intrigued me as well. It does not look like anything else I’ve seen. It feels chaotic, which I think is fitting.

MFL: What is the music scene like where you live and how does it add or take away from your music?

GS: Right now I’m living in the Georgian Bay area of Ontario Canada. The scene here is incredibly developed given the small populations of the towns that it’s based on. There are a lot of arts spaces and groups dedicated to music. From the perspective of developing your artistry it’s great, a very supportive and involved community. However it can be tough to get enough gigs here to sustain yourself, I’ve been very lucky though. You definitely have to go elsewhere to expand your audience and grow, but it works great as a home base. The larger Ontario/Canadian scene has been a bit of a challenge for me to adjust to after coming up through Budapest. Things in Canada are more established, this has a lot of benefits but there is definitely a learning curve.

 

MFL: How did your upbringing contribute to your abilities as an artist?

GS: I grew up without much pressure to be creative or practice an instrument. That came naturally and was then encouraged, I started playing guitar around 7 and had quit by the time I was 8. Later around 12 I picked it up again. I think that kind of freedom from structure has allowed me to be more open to my creativity. It wasn’t hard to find my own sound in music because that’s all I’d really ever done. The lack of pressure mixed with support and encouragement also helped me perform without much fear, I was only really doing it for myself. The first show I ever played was opening for Wilderness of Manitoba at the Gayety Theater in Collingwood Ontario, I was 15. It didn’t feel like a very big deal at the time, I was just doing something I enjoyed but looking back it was pretty monumental for me.

MFL: Who do you have to thank musician-wise for inspiration and motivation to write, create and put yourself out there as a musician and why?

GS: If I follow the development of my taste in music back to its root there is one band that really changed things for me, although I haven’t listened to them for some time and they were always a bit generic, Mumford and Sons had a dramatic effect on my taste in music. I was 13 when I first heard them, before that I had mainly been listening to classic rock:The Beatles, The Who, CCR, stuff like that. They were my first connection to anything resembling folk music. While learning their songs I discovered alternate guitar tunings which have become an integral part of my sound. Through them I found the artists that would later inspire me to become a musician. The most important of these being The Tallest Man on Earth. His music expanded my guitar technique, enriched my love of lyrics and made me seek out the captivation of whole audiences with only a guitar and a microphone.

MFL: Do you have plans to write a full length or do you prefer to release singles and short EPs?

GS: As I said before I still have to record and release Michael, I would like to do something full length eventually. If my sound does change into something bigger, I would like to rerecord Iris and Michael into a full length instead of two Eps. I may also step away from the concept work at some point and release some of the other stuff I do. I often write songs that don’t end up being performed or recorded. For me one good song writes another, this is how the stories come about. When they don’t lead to another I often let them fall to the wayside, however there are a few songs that I’m too fond of to forget.

MFL: How have shows been going since the release of Morning Coffee? Give me some highlights!

GS:Shows have been pretty good, on the night of the release, Marshall Veroni, Pat Maloney and I did an after hours show at a cafe in Owen Sound Ontario and it was sold out. It’s always very gratifying to play for an audience who specifically came for the music. The bar and restaurant gigs can get you by, but shows like that keep me in it.

 

 

MFL: Finally, what is your life outside of music?

GS: These days I am working on an organic vegetable farm, this works well with my music as the schedule is pretty open for me to book shows and working outside is wonderful. I’m also moving into and renovating an old farmhouse which will hopefully serve as my base of operation while I’m touring over the next few years.

 

Thanks to Greg Smith for doing the interview and Lone Waltz Recors for connecting us! You can find Greg Smith’s music, including Morning Coffee, on his Bandcamp page and follow him Instagram, Facebook, and Soundcloud.

Interview: Hypocrite in a Hippy Crypt

I had the pleasure of interviewing a somewhat mysterious musician, whose name I will not reveal to you but, whom creates indie folk-rock music with a refreshingly unique perspective. His musical moniker however, he is quite proud of. Inspired by a random line of text picked up from the Kurt Cobain journals, this San Diego-dwelling musician settled on the band name, Hypocrite in a Hippy Crypt. Check out our interview below!

 

MFL: First off, I’ve been dying to know more about your band name! Tell me the story.

Hypocrite in a Hippy Crypt (HHC): Story goes….I had signed my first album to a small label (Gulcher) before I had ever settled on a name and was really struggling to think of one. I had some really awful ones in mind at the time. I would have been 18 and was going through the Kurt Cobain journals and found the phrase “hypocrite in a hippy crypt” somewhere in there. I thought the imagery was hilarious and it really stuck out to me. Most people seemed confused by it or thought it was a very hipster title. LA weekly put it on a “worst ironic indie band names” list or something stupid like that.

https://friendlycyborg.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/kurt.jpg?w=1548

 

MFL: I see your based in San Diego now. Where did grow up and when/how did San Diego become your home?

HHC: I grew up In the Midwest and learned all things music there. I came out to San Diego almost 3 yeas ago and have been living with overpriced rent and beer ever since.

 

MFL: Are you a one man band? You say “we” but also say that the band is made up of one dude! Explain, I’m curious!

HHC: I’m a one-man band. I’ve written all the songs and have been running it all these years.  But I have had some friends play on albums. A good friend helped me record, produce, play piano and what not on Tweaker In the Park. Tweaker Two has that same friend along with another friend on drums. Better Days was all me I guess. New Friends has a beautiful sounding singer named Katy Kirby. It’s nice to throw some people in there and get their ideas on songs.  Also it makes yourself not look as weird if you say “we” in emails.

 

MFL: What is it like to be a musician in San Diego?


HHC: I moved to San Diego about 3 years ago and honestly it’s not the best scene for music. The mindset is…If you are really good and ambitious you go up to LA…. if you aren’t (don’t have the balls or lazy I guess) you stay in San Diego. It’s the kind of city that people move to and can never leave. Not to say it’s a bad city at all, but people get stuck here and refuse to leave even if opportunity is calling. Also there aren’t really any local labels here and some of the typical local music scene traditions don’t really exist as much.

 

MFL: When does the inspiration to write music usually strike?

HHC: It used to come from heartbreak or from random interactions. A lot of songs about lovers and the confusion that transpires. A lot of songs came from coming home drunk from a party and writing about the people I met there or the situation that happened. Most songs of mine have a small once of truth behind them. It gets a little bit harder these days and it’s a bit more calculated I guess. I really enjoy mixing morbid and upbeat concepts. I try to look for that mix in all aspects of life and put it into music.

 

MFL: How did sales go for your “New Friends” single? Sounds like you had a pretty sweet little package all set up! I’ll buy one if there are still some left!

HHC: uhhh It went good I guess. The label was willing to do a really cool release so I went with it. Stickers and buttons along with a really unique package that technically could function as a post card (if you get it you’ll understand by looking at the front and back). Still a few copies at my website. (https://hypocriteinahippycrypt.bandcamp.com)

MFL: Who are your musical inspirations and do they influence your music?

HHC: It changes over time. I think that as I was first starting to write and especially during my younger years certain artists really inspired me. So much to the point I would write songs similar in their style with little references here and there. Now days it’s a bit more self inspired. But a band that’s really doing it for me is Big Star.
MFL: Do you have plans to write another full length any time soon?

HHC: I don’t know. I have the songs and ideas. It is a lot of work. I had the idea to record an EP of all Piano songs. I have a few I have been writing like that. I have some studio time booked at a place my friend works in late March to just get some songs properly done so we will see.

 Thank you to Hypocrite in a Hippy Crypt for interviewing with MFL! Be sure to follow him on Bandcamp and Facebook for more releases.