interview

Interview: Danish duo, ARES

Line Mortensen and Louise Andersen are based out of Copenhagen, a place in my opinion that is absolutely bursting at the seams with fresh musical talent. The duo releases their music under the name ARES and have slowly been releasing bits and pieces from their debut EP. We discussed their music, upcoming EP due out November 30th and much more in the interview below! Their excitement and passion for creating music is palpable!

 

MFL: Who is in ARES and when did you come together to form this project?

ARES: We are duo that consists of Line Mortensen and Louise Andersen. We met when we attended a music school some years back, where we lived in the rooms next to each other and quickly became friends. After we finished the courses at the school, we both moved to Copenhagen, and after some time of writing songs for fun, we decided that we wanted to start a band. After trying out some different things, writing a lot of songs and playing some concerts, we wanted to release our debut EP as ARES, and now it’s finally ready.

 

MFL: I know it can be difficult to pinpoint your “genre” of music but if you were to try, what genre would you call your music?

ARES: It seems that a lot of artist sometimes are afraid to be labelled as “pop artists”, but we most certainly are not. We love pop music, and we write pop music. Each song has its own specific sound, but overall we call it pop, and definitely with a big electronic influence.

 

MFL: You mentioned that “All I See” was showing a new side of ARES. What is it about “All I See” that feels or sounds different than your previous releases?

ARES: Before “All I See” we had already released the two singles “Strangers” and “Lost My Mind” which was both kind of dark and heavy. Both of those singles circled around the subjects of heartbreak and darkness, and with “All I See” we took a chance and released a light, catchy and romantic song about love. We don’t write a lot of “positive” songs, but we really had fun with this one, and wanted to show that ARES is not just about heartbreak and sadness, haha!

 

MFL: Where in Denmark are you based out of and how does your location/local music scene influence your sound?

ARES: None of us are from Copenhagen, but we both moved here about five years ago, and we love it here. There’s a big upcoming music scene with lots of opportunities for bands like us. Right now a lot of artists who are writing in Danish are becoming popular, but writing in Danish just does not come that easily to us (yet!), so we will stick to English for now. We try to stand out from the rest of the upcoming bands and do not have a fear of sounding too “pop”-ish.

 

MFL: What can we expect from your forthcoming EP?

ARES: You can expect an emotional ride in our lyrical universe and soundscape. We strive to be very honest in our songs and in our musical vision in general, and we hope our listeners can hear how much time and love we poured into this EP.

 

 

 

 

MFL: Who are some of the most influential Danish musicians out there for you right now?

ARES: Uh, there’s so many! Right now we’re very inspired by the crazy talented Kwamie Liv, who just released her debut-album. Her voice and songs always delivers so much nerve and her musical universe is so simple yet at the same time extremely powerful and we love that!

 

MFL: Who do you go to for recording/mixing and why did you choose them for your sound?

ARES: We are working with the amazing danish producer Frederik Falk, who not only loves the same music as we do, but also has a gift of translating the sounds we describe from inside our heads. He really just gets our sound universe and always listens to us even though we sometimes might be a bit hard to work with because we’re both extreme perfectionists.

 

MFL: Finally, what does 2019 hold for ARES?

ARES: Uhh, so many plans. we’re very excited about 2019. We are ready to work our asses off to share our music and project with as many as possible. We’re gonna play a lot of concerts and probably work on both visuals and more releases. We’re both filled with so many ambitious ideas for the project and we can’t wait to get started on creating more!

 

You can follow ARES on Facebook and Spotify.

PHOTO CREDIT: Louise Mortensen

Interview: For Esmé

Toronto singer/songwriter, Mar Meredith (AKA For Esmé), and I have been emailing back and forth for the last couple of years. The music she shares with me always highlights a sense of female empowerment and self-awareness that was relevant when our musical relationship began and is even more relevant now. Mar’s music is steeped in meaning, her lyrics deep in thought. She recently released the music video for her latest single, “Modern Love.” Together with director Nick Tiringer, they captured the essence of “Modern Love” in a visual form. The video and single were greatly inspired by Joan Didion’s 1961 essay, “On Self Respect.” Mar discussed this and much more with me in detail. Enjoy the video and read all about it below:

 

 

MFL: When did music become an integral part of your life and when was For Esme born?

Music has been pretty central for as long as I can remember. I grew up on a farm outside a small town, so music always made me feel connected to a broader world and big ideas that I craved having more access to.

For Esmé came into being in 2013 and has had a rotating cast depending on what I’m making and working on. It was inspired by J.D. Salinger’s ‘For Esme with Love and Squalor’. I’ve recently learned some troubling stuff about Salinger, which has called the band name into question in a new light. The character Esmé is this very precocious thirteen-year-old girl though, who is sharp as a tack and wants to be a jazz singer. She’s very outspoken — arguably rude — while trying to sound sophisticated. Regardless of my thoughts on Salinger I still feel very beholden to the character Esmé and like to imagine now writing these songs of empowerment for her, or a modern version of her.

 

MFL: You mention the essay, “On Self Respcet”, by Joan Didion as a “bible/map” for you. How did Joan Didion’s essay find you or rather, how did you find it?

I seem to remember first reading it soon after moving into the first apartment I ever had to myself. I remember scrawling “Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs” on a post-it note and sticking it right on the front face of my desktop. It stayed there for years until I switched over to a laptop full time. It felt really important to remember that. I think social connectedness/social media makes it especially hard for us to center ourselves in our own character, to be true to ourselves and not fret over everyone else’s opinions of us. But like Joan Didion says “the dismal fact is that self-respect has nothing to do with the approval of others—who are, after all, deceived easily enough”. It’s easy to fool other people, but the person you have to face at the end of the day is yourself — and whether or not YOU like what you see is what determines your own sense of fulfillment.

 

MFL: It seems like you have spent a lot of time thinking about self-care and self-respect. When did you know that you wanted to write a song about it?

My interest in song writing has almost always been about self-discovery. About knowing myself, speaking through my truest voice. I find that society makes doing that hard — truth telling is not ultimately encouraged or appreciated in our glossy Instagram world. I read a fascinating and rather heartbreaking report in the Atlantic called “The Confidence Gap” that described in a lot of detail the way women in our culture are brought up to be less sure of themselves, to be less outspoken. I also read a lot about female anger and the ways that it is treated very differently from male anger. I think the emotional display by Brett Kavanaugh the week before last is an interesting (and frustrating) example. If a woman had behaved that way she would have been ripped to shreds for being overly emotional, defensive, shrill. It’s such a double standard. Anyway, I read a lot of psychology studies about these things when writing the record and it really enforced the importance of self-care and self-respect. Of believing in yourself, listening to yourself, speaking your truth. A lot of the songs on the record wrestle with frustration, so Modern Love is a nice break from that: it’s a big affirmation.

 

MFL: Do you feel a certain level of release/relief when you write, record and share a song about something that has occupied this much space in your mind? Explain.

Absolutely. To be honest, turning a deeply internalized feeling, or a realization about myself into a song that feels so right and true is the greatest high I probably ever experience in life. It’s euphoric, it’s a huge sense of emotional release and relief, like a puzzle solved at last. That high is a rare occurrence, and one that I find I’m always chasing. It can be such a long stretch between those emotional/musical victories. Releasing the song can also bring relief, in the sense of getting some validation, but I find public validation doesn’t have the same longevity or substance as the personal creative victory does.

 

MFL: How did you and Nick Tiringer, the director of the music video for “Modern Love”, come to work together?

 Nick reached out to me about making a video and had a few ideas. As soon as I read the one about women singing the song to themselves in the mirror it was just “BINGO.” In writing the song I’d thought a lot about it being like a post-it note you’d stick to your mirror, to remind you to love yourself, to practice self-respect. Kind of like the Joan Didion post-it I had for myself. It just fit the intention of the song perfectly.

 

MFL: What was it about the collection of women you chose for your music video that spoke to the idea behind the song?

Nick and I, and our producer Amanda Foates all reached out to different women in our circles to be in the video, and we were thrilled with the response. It was important to me that the video show that women of all ages, backgrounds and aesthetics need daily affirmations from themselves. It was so special for me to watch all these different folks interpret my words in their own way in that little bathroom. It made my heart swell.

 

MFL: Why is the track called “Modern Love?” Is there something new about this kind of self-respect or perhaps it’s something that has gotten lost and needs to be regained in society?

I got engaged not too long before writing this song, and I was surprised and frustrated with how I felt people were treating the event as ‘the biggest accomplishment of my life’. I didn’t feel like my now husband was treated that same way at all. It felt like women’s lives are so often defined by their relationships to men. The hardest part was realizing that in my past I had sometimes defined myself by my ability to attract and maintain relationships with men I was infatuated with and I hated that. So I wanted to send a message to myself and to contemporary women at large that we are enough, we are complete on our own, that rather than obsessing about finding love from someone else, we have to focus on loving ourselves.

 

MFL: How has your music changed or developed over time since the beginnings of For Esme?

If you hear anything from my first (self-titled) record in 2013 you’ll hear a pretty drastic change from that to the next two. At the time I was writing all my songs at the piano and they were accompanied by electric guitar. I hadn’t started writing and producing my work electronically yet then — I don’t think I had even considered that I was capable! Starting to demo songs in logic and create the soundscapes myself with arpeggiators, plugins, delays, it all opened up a whole new world. Suddenly I had the tools to make a kind of music I had always enjoyed consuming. Now my knowledge about electronic production has grown immensely, and I feel the need to actually hone it in again. To make my next collection with a more narrowed scope and focus and really develop a specific new sound palette.

 

MFL: What is in store for the remainder of 2018 and next year?

Coming up right away we have shows in Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Peterborough and Kingston that we’re really looking forward to. Once that wraps up I am really looking forward to spending November furthering the new songs I’ve been working on. I also have a great video collaboration with Laura Lynn Petrick to release in the near future! In January we are excited to be heading out to the east coast for the first time to play In The Dead Of Winter Festival in Halifax. We are working now on routing more tour dates around that. It is my hope to travel to the West Coast early next year, too. We have a lot of listeners out there and have yet to go.

 

Big thanks to Mar Meredith for continuing our musical friendship and taking the time to share her thoughts with MFL and all its readers. You can follow her on Facebook, her official website, and Spotify. Her latest record, Righteous Woman, is out now.

Featured Image PC: Vanessa Heins

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.