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[Interview] Matt Healy of The 1975 talks influences, origins and headlining Glastonbury

The 1975 started out in a very mysterious way. Music appeared online last year but we didn't really knew much about them and who they were. It's safe to say that's changed now and the Manchester band are making ever growing waves now. Their recent single "Chocolate" can be heard on the radio on a daily basis and good on them. Producing their own music in a bedroom, they've gained a loyal following in a remarkably short time. They've just wrapped up their second headline tour, and are set to play SXSW later this month. Ahead of their headline show at Manchester's Deaf Institute, I caught up with Matt Healy of the band. As I arrived I walk into the back and find him and his girlfriend enjoying a cigarette and a drink on a sofa. He seemed relaxed and calm about the night that lay ahead. I sit down, light a cig, take a sip of my drink and if you make the jump, you can enjoy the chat that took place.

SKOAShey: So, let's start simple, what made you guys want to start out as a band, you all started recording together quite young didn't you?

Matt Healy: Yeah, well me personally, my Dad's friends were in quite big bands, my Dad used to knock about with Dire Straights and things like that in the 80's. So I knew a lot of that crowd when I was a kid, so I suppose that was the first thing that I wanted to do, we just started playing in punk bands when we were 13/14.

SKOA: Really?!

MH: Yeah man, like pop-punk, kind of like Lagwagon kind of stuff, and we just started doing that. We always knew that that was what we wanted to do, but we also knew that we'd want to be the best of what we could of envisioned. 

SKOA: Didn't you all actually learn to play instruments together too?

MH: One thing led to another, yeah, and the line-up was just kind of an organic evolution as oppose to a contrived arrangement. We met at high school and it went from there.

SKOA: So with your Dad being so into music, what influences do you have from him and as a band as a whole?

MH: Well, I think one of the main reasons our band is so groove orientated is because our influences are from R and B and Soul. My Mum was big into Motown like Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, Kim Weston and stuff like that while my Dad was massively into the Stones, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, so that all played a part. 

SKOA: I heard a pretty cool story about how the band name came about actually, would you like to go into that a bit more? 

MH: That's right, yeah, I met an artist on Holiday. It sounds a bit more bohemian, idealistic than maybe it was but I met him and ended up leaving with a book that must of been treated almost like a diary by a previous owner, so when I read it there was all these mad scribblings and notes, and  the person had dated it "the 1st of June The 1975". Then when it came to naming the band it just seemed like quite an appropriate title, you know.

SKOA: So you said the band was an organic evolution, but is it similar when you're writing music? What comes first the riffs, the lyrics?

MH: It's very different, there's a perpetual motion of writing with us because of our origins and the way we learned music together. We've got this sort of unspoken musical vocabulary you know, that we all really understand, so, it's quite easy now as it's the only thing we really know how to do. It's what we do for fun. It's not taxing at all, it's something people have started embracing that we were already doing. 

SKOA: How do you find the time though, as you guys seemed to have toured non-stop the past 6 months, when and where do you go about writing new music as you've released a fair bit haven't you. On the road?

MH: Yeah, yeah, all those EP's were recorded on a laptop in my bedroom.

SKOA: That seems to be a growing thing with people just locking themselves away in a bedroom and recording their own stuff…

MH: Yeah, well if you can do it, and you can produce your own records then there's none better to do it, cause you've lived it and you understand it. 

SKOA: Talking about producing your own records, how was it working on the latest stuff with Mike Crossey?

MH: Yeah, well it was amazing, I mean initially, Mike was really kind of tentative in his approach and he really understood how, kind of,  unsettling it can be when you depart from a certain way of thinking or in this instance, a certain way of producing records, so, he made sure he wasn't steamrolling over anything we did.

SKOA: So he didn't just take the reins and direct it at all?

MH: No, not at all. He approached us and said he wanted to go on a co-production level, erm, and that's what we did, and I think his technical understanding really kind of vitalised the creative process. We then came straight out of the studio and recorded Music For Cars back at home.

SKOA: Yeah, I heard you've already got stuff in the pipeline for a second album too?!

MH: Yeah, we're always creating. The first album was written before those EP's. So everything that we've written since August has, I suppose, been geared towards a second album.

SKOA: What can we actually expect from the full-length release then?

MH: (laughs) Fuck Knows?! Fuck knows man. I don't know man,

SKOA: I've heard Music For Cars and that's great, is it a mix of the EP's or a different sound all together?

MH: Thanks man. But yeah, the album, it's sort of like a soundtrack to  a John Hughes movie, that kind of the vibe of what we've gone for. I wouldn't wanna say that it's 80's influenced, but it is in the way that we want to have parallel with artists that were peaking at that time, like Michael Jackson, Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel.

SKOA: I read actually that if you could go back to any decade you'd personally want to go to the 80's? 

MH: Very much so, yeah.  I think some of the best records were made then. Bad by Michael Jackson, So by Peter Gabriel. Yeah, massively, but I can't tell you what to expect from the record, cause I don't even really know what it is yet.

SKOA: So you've finished recording it? Just got to mix and clean it up?

MH: Pretty much man, just little bits to finish off and add.

SKOA: Ok, so obviously the past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind for you, Radio One and numerous others picking you guys up and playing your tracks, have you found it weird at all hearing yourselves not he radio?

MH: Yeah, a little bit. No, actually, yeah, definitely. It's a very humbling experience you know, like, that people are embracing what we do.  We didn't have any aspirations for it being accepted by the mainstream media in the way that it has been. So, I think it's kind of been like a catalyst in the progression of the understanding of ourselves really and the understanding of the band cause we've never had an emotional response. We've never really gone through any sort of process of qualification or validation as a band.  It's been, yeah, it's been quite interesting.

SKOA: Any weird instances of getting star-struck over the recent months meeting anyone? I saw you were pretty hyped to meet A$AP?

(laughs) Yeah, I was. I was with her (points to his girlfriend Gemma sat next to him on the sofa quietly smoking a cigarette) and we were at a hotel in London. And he was staying at our hotel, and erm, yeah,  we got to meet him and he was amazing. 

Gemma: I didn't know who he was!

MH: Yeah, yeah, (laughing) she didn't know who he was. He was really chilled out, he was really nice. Very attentive, wasn't he? (looking at Gemma) He recognised me from the Futures Festival so that as quite a big deal. Yeah man, but when you meet people that you really idolise or look up to. It's great when you can feel a certain level of mutual respect.

SKOA: I thought they always said don't meet your heroes?

MH: No, no, DO meet your heroes, if you can! People just say that cause most people can't do it! 

SKOA: So you exchanged emails with A$AP, any plans to reach out for a collaboration?

MH: He's got mine. I've got his, I might send him an email, I dunno man. A lot of my mates have done remixes of his tracks. Like Bear//Face and stuff like that.

SKOA: Well speaking of collaborations, if you could work with anyone in the world who would it be?

MH: Erm, Mike Skinner, or Michael Jackson if he was still here. Erm, loads of people. You know what, I'd like to see who wants to collaborate with me?! That'd be a more interesting to find out wouldn't it. 

SKOA: I'm sure there are plenty of people wanting that now…

MH: You?!

SKOA: What's it been like on the road doing you headline shows?

Remarkable really. It's only the second time we've gone out and done a headline tour so it's pretty crazy.

SKOA: I saw you play Soundcontrol was it late last year, which was a mad show!

Yeah man that was, there was people hanging off the speakers, and banisters. It was great. It's been amazing man. You like, if you throw a party when your'e 14 years old and 50 people come, that's an amazing feeling, but if you're doing that every night around the country it's a mad feeling.

SKOA: Favourite City to play? 

Nah, I wouldn't wanna ostracise anybody, it's quite difficult. (laughs) I don't know. I really enjoyed Brighton, I love Brighton. Love playing Manchester obviously, cause it's Manchester. Aldershot was the favourite of the tour actually, funnily enough, just for loads of reasons, but yeah. It's been a really, I keep saying this, but it is a really humbling experience. We've never had a direct emotional response from out fans.

SKOA: You excited to head out to SXSW? DO you have a lot of showcases lined up?

Yeah man. We've got Huw Stephens, Fader Fort. We've got like 2 shows a day for a week. One day we have 4 I think and then we go on another tour. We're also going on tour with Two Door Cinema Club next week in Europe. 

SKOA: So any more plans for festivals this Summer?

Yeah, we're doing all of the festivals (I look at him with a kind of "really?!" face) (Matt nods) Yeah. I really wanna do a show at my School actually.

SKOA: Where'd you go to School actually?

I went to school in Wilmslow. Yeah, well I went to a private school originally but then I got kicked out.  

SKOA: What did you do?!

I threw a protractor at somebody, and it got them between the eyes. It wasn't really as violent as it sounds.

SKOA: Could of been a lot worse!

MH: Yeah, but I also kind of really resented the whole thing because it was so silly. I thought the whole thing was a farce. Not school. But the school I was at. (raises voice) King's School in Macclesfield, there you go. I hate it. 

SKOA: You're all from different places as a band though are you not? 

MH: Yeah, well Ross is from Macclesfield, that's where I originally went to school. [Adam] Hann lives in Handforth near Cheadle, George lives in Wilmslow, and I've just kind of floated about. My parents moved to like, a small village outside elf Macclesfield and we just used to live 5 miles away from each other so we could just hook up and mess around. 

SKOA: Back to SXSW, is there anyone you're particularly excited to check out while your'e over there?

MH: I don't know who's playing at SXSW actually. (then a conversation ensued that I can't divulge the information for as it's not announced yet!)

SKOA: There's some great UK bands breaking through at the moment, if you could name one as your favourite who'd it be?

MH: My band, by a million miles!

SKOA: Other than your band?! 

MH: Before these records came out, and I think it's a testament to the way they were produced, our heads were so buried in house music, and dance music, and R and B. I mean, I like a lot of the usual suspects that are around that are there with us at the moment. Like PEACE, Palma Violets and stuff. I just think that the whole psychedelic, white boy grunge thing is really cool.  It's not really where my heart is at though, you know? I think they're cool. A guy I'm really liking at the moment is this amazing DJ called Tourist who we've just  got to do loads of remixes on our stuff. Bear//Face. There's loads of cool stuff coming out of the UK but I'm the worst person to tell you about it, because my head is so buried in The 1975.

SKOA: Someone on Twitter was wondering how you know Little Comets, I assume it's being label mates and stuff on Dirty Hit? 

MH: Yeah, we know Little Comets really well. Very good friends of ours. They took us out on the road when we were in our very embryonic stages  of our old band and just let us open up for them and we started getting sort of fans off the back of that. It was all a bit weird. Then they helped us produce "Sex" the song, and "You". 

SKOA: Speaking of "You", I really like "Me" from the new EP, I read you said it's kind of a response to "You"?

MH: Thanks man. It kind of is. I think that's my favourite actually. (Matt looks to Gemma and says "Do you like that one?") 

Gemma: I've not been heard it yet, you keep forgetting to send it to me!

MH: (laughter)

SKOA: Finally then, where do you see yourselves in a few years time? 

MH: Oh, fucking hell man! Erm, dead?

SKOA: Other than dead, cause we don't' want that just yet hey!?

MH: Headlining Glastonbury?! Now we've started, you might as well reach for the sky and the mountain tops innit. I don't know, man. I just want people to feel about our records the same way records made me feel you know.  I want our record to be, you know like, antiquated soundtrack to someone's memories. Something that makes someone feel like genuinely emotional, the same way I feel when I hear "Only You" by Yazoo. Like it actually can make me feel physically sick. If we're in a position as a band that we can connect with people at that level then that's all we care about. And that I can buy fags and a sandwich.  

SKOA: Tin of beans?

MH: That too, yeah.

SKOA: Cool man well thanks a lot and good luck tonight and with the coming months, seems like it's going to be a crazy busy year!

MH: Cool man, pleasure to meet you. Thanks a lot. It should be good.

The show that I witnessed afterwards was top notch. Playing a lot of material from the new EPalongwith all their previous fan favourites the room was bouncing from start to finish. Little did I know that two days later I'd be meeting up with Matt again when I took a trip down to London to do the Radio One review show. We got to talk a bit more about their album and from what I heard, it's going to launch them even further up the music rankings and radio playlists. 

Their new EP, Music For Carswas released yesterday, and you can stream it in full below. Not only that, the band have just announced two HUGE shows for later this year. They'll play Manchester's The Ritz on September the 21st following a night at London's Shepherds Bush Empire on the 20th. Huge news for the band! Tickets are available over here.

Photo courtesy of Richard Manning Photography.

[News] Frank Ocean Speaks with GQ on Sexuality, His Career, and the Future

Frank Ocean has been a major figure in the music industry this year, releasing his critically acclaimed major label debut Channel Orange and, just weeks before that, posting a now infamous coming out letter on his Tumblr. It's no wonder then that GQ has pegged the crooner for an exclusive, and lengthy, interview for their Men of the Year 2012 issue. Head here to read the full interview, which has Ocean speaking on everything from his childhood, the various stages of his career, Odd Future, his sexuality, and what the future holds. As well, you can check out a few major points from the interview below.

On his beginnings with Odd Future:

"I was at a real dark time in my life when I met them. I was looking for just a reprieve. At 20 or 21, I had, I think, a couple hundred thousand dollars [from producing and songwriting], a nice car, a Beverly Hills apartment—and I was miserable. Because of the relationship in part and the heartbreak in part, and also just miserable because of like just carting that around. And here was this group of like-minded individuals whose irreverence made me revere. The do-it-yourself mentality of OF really rubbed off on me."

His perfectionist attitude:

"I never think about myself as an artist working in this time. I think about it in macro. I feel like Elton John just made “Tiny Dancer.” He just made that shit like last night. Jimi Hendrix just burned his fucking guitar onstage. Right? Freddie Mercury just had the half mike stand in his hand in the fucking stadium. Prince was just on the mountain in “Under the Cherry Moon.” And I was there. That’s how I look at it. Like this shit just went down. You see the mastery that I’m surrounded by? How on earth am I going to take the easiest way? A friend of mine jokes that I have a painstaking royalty complex. Like maybe I was a duke in a past life. But all you have is 100 percent. Period."

Posting the coming out letter on his Tumblr and how it might affect his career:

"Whatever I said in that letter, before I posted it, seemed so huge. But when you come out the other side, now your brain—instead of receiving fear—sees “Oh, shit happened and nothing happened.” Brain says, “Self, I’m fine.” I look around, and I’m touching my fucking limbs, and I’m good. Before anybody called me and said congratulations or anything nice, it had already changed. It wasn’t from outside. It was completely in here, in my head."

"I had those fears. In black music, we’ve got so many leaps and bounds to make with acceptance and tolerance in regard to that issue. It reflects something just ingrained, you know. When I was growing up, there was nobody in my family—not even my mother—who I could look to and be like, “I know you’ve never said anything homophobic.” So, you know, you worry about people in the business who you’ve heard talk that way. Some of my heroes coming up talk recklessly like that. It’s tempting to give those views and words—that ignorance—more attention than they deserve. Very tempting."

On whether or not he is bisexual:

"You can move to the next question. I’ll respectfully say that life is dynamic and comes along with dynamic experiences, and the same sentiment that I have towards genres of music, I have towards a lot of labels and boxes and shit. I’m in this business to be creative—I’ll even diminish it and say to be a content provider. One of the pieces of content that I’m for fuck sure not giving is porn videos. I’m not a centerfold. I’m not trying to sell you sex. People should pay attention to that in the letter: I didn’t need to label it for it to have impact. Because people realize everything that I say is so relatable, because when you’re talking about romantic love, both sides in all scenarios feel the same shit. As a writer, as a creator, I’m giving you my experiences. But just take what I give you. You ain’t got to pry beyond that. I’m giving you what I feel like you can feel. The other shit, you can’t feel. You can’t feel a box. You can’t feel a label. Don’t get caught up in that shit. There’s so much something in life. Don’t get caught up in the nothing. That shit is nothing, you know? It’s nothing. Vanish the fear."

John Mayer and I were talking in rehearsal before SNL, and he was like, "You love to take the hardest way. You don't always have to." But I don't know about that. It's like Billy Joel says in that song "Vienna." When the truth is told / That you can get what you want or you can just get old. We all know we have a finite period of time. I just feel if I'm going to be alive, I want to be challenged—to be as immortal as possible. The path to that isn't an easy way, but it's a rewarding way. 

I never think about myself as an artist working in this time. I think about it in macro. I feel like Elton John just made "Tiny Dancer." He just made that shit like last night. Jimi Hendrix just burned his fucking guitar onstage. Right? Freddie Mercury just had the half mike stand in his hand in the fucking stadium. Prince was just on the mountain in "Under the Cherry Moon." And I was there. That's how I look at it. Like this shit just went down. You see the mastery that I'm surrounded by? How on earth am I going to take the easiest way? A friend of mine jokes that I have a painstaking royalty complex. Like maybe I was a duke in a past life. But all you have is 100 percent. Period.

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I was at a real dark time in my life when I met them. I was looking for just a reprieve. At 20 or 21, I had, I think, a couple hundred thousand dollars [from producing and songwriting], a nice car, a Beverly Hills apartment—and I was miserable. Because of the relationship in part and the heartbreak in part, and also just miserable because of like just carting that around. And here was this group of like-minded individuals whose irreverence made me revere. The do-it-yourself mentality of OF really rubbed off on me. 

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News, interviewAdrianFrank Ocean
[Interview] Shout Out Out Out Out Talks Remixes, Working with Teen Daze, and Spanish Moss

Edmonton dance-punk sextet Shout Out Out Out Out has been one of my most cherished musical gems ever since my older brother introduced them to me back in '06. Their eccentric brand of electronic music felt so unique, with an eclectic quality that took influence from vastly differing genres and brought the sounds together in an addictive and cohesive way. From their debut full-length Not Saying/Just Saying, to their sophomore effort Reintegration Time, to this year's Spanish Moss and Total Loss, the band rarely disappoints.

Late last month, Shout Out Out Out Out teamed up with Vancouver producer Teen Daze for a split 12" remix-swap, where the former remixed a song by the latter, and vice versa. The result is a four-song release, comprised of Shout Out Out Out Out's "Now That I've Given Up Hope, I Feel Much Better", Teen Daze's "Bluest Water" and remixes of both. Scion A/V took the opportunity to promote the 12" with a release party in Teen Daze's (almost) hometown of Vancouver as part of Olio Festival. It was here that I had the chance to chat with Shout Out Out Out Out members Jason Troock and Nik Kozub, where we discussed their collab with Teen Daze, the importance of remixing, as well as their newest album Spanish Moss and Total Loss. Check out the full interview below, along with a stream of the split 12" remix-swap.

[Watch] Kanye West Discusses 'Cruel Summer'

The term "collaborative" gets tossed around a lot in the world of music, but rarely does it reach the levels of true collaboration that the Kanye West-led G.O.O.D. Music album Cruel Summer achieved. In a self-released video, 'Ye discusses the album and how the recording process was vastly different than anything he has worked on before. With input from Jay-Z ,Big Sean, Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Q-Tip, John Legend, Mr Hudson, Cyhi the Prynce, Teyana Taylor, 2 Chainz, Ghostface Killah, R. Kelly, Raekwon, Ma$e, and many more, the album is the definition of a collaborative effort. Check out the replay above.

[Interview] Big Black Delta Frontman Jonathan Bates Loves Space, Electronic Music, Love Songs
credit: @sproutdr | Big Black Delta @ Pianos 8/9/2912

credit: @sproutdr | Big Black Delta @ Pianos 8/9/2912

Last month when I stepped into the back room at Pianos to catch Big Black Delta, I wasn't really sure what to expect. As we stood around waiting for the band to load in, I remember being confused by some of the gear they were bringing in. There were these two racks that looked a lot like they were supposed to hold shirts being lifted on the stage. Instead of shirts, however, they had these long electronic strips hanging off of them. It took a few more minutes before I put two and two together that it was part of their lighting setup. Soon the room was pitch black, the first couple of beats from "Put The Gun On The Floor" started to pound through the room, and I was about to leap out of my skin in anticipation. The next half hour I watched Jonathan Bates, the brains behind Big Black Delta, sing, dance, and program his way through the set in between a pair of drummers with a very focused but effortless look on his face. Weeks later I was able to chat with him on the phone for a few minutes and learn more about the man who put on one of the most memorable shows that I've experienced at Piano's to date.

For those just tuning in, this isn't Bates' first musical project. Prior to Big Black Delta, he was the lead singer of the rock band Mellowdrone, which released multiple albums on Columbia Records in the early 2000s before they disbanded and went their separate ways. After the breakup, he took a couple of years off, which I figured was a means to recharge, but according to Bates, "It wasn't actually a recharge, it was actually the opposite. The longer I stayed away from making music and doing stuff like that, the more severely bored I got. Then it was just like, if all I have to look forward to is getting a bigger flat screen in life, then like, I'd just rather not. I had to go back, I had to make something creative."

While Mellowdrone was primarily a rock band with indie rock, experimental, and lo-fi bits thrown in here and there, Big Black Delta is purely electronic. The one thing that drew him to making electronic music was the space. "My favorite kind of electronic music has a lot of space to it," he said, "And you know, guitars and distortion and white dudes on stage seemed to take up a lot of frequency and I wanted to something completely the opposite. The same thing with performing, which is like, 'What is the most naked scary thing you could do?' Which is stand up there without an instrument. I've been playing guitar my whole life, so to stand up there just with a microphone and see if I can do it. I wanted to make something simple *laughs* but it never ends up coming out that way."

"I just wanted to project what I see when I hear my music with my eyes closed."

"Simple" is far from how I would describe Big Black Delta. In addition to his multi-dimensional songs, the live performance is all over the place, especially for Bates. As he went on to explain, with the aid of programs like Abelton Live, "I can sync a light show to my music and I can also play the lights in front of everybody. […] I'm like remixing on the fly and producing my vocals at the same time, and then I'm hitting light cues and things like that." You would think that would be pretty overwhelming to be juggling all that during a performance, but he didn't see it that way. "I love it." he said, "If I get too bored up there then I feel like… I don't know. I love falling down the stairs and then landing on your feet kind of thing." With so much already going on in the early stages of the project, I was curious to know what he daydreams about adding to future performances as the band becomes more successful. "More lights," he replied, "If I could add a choir and a brass section and things like that, you know, I'd totally Peter Frampton the shit out of it." What's interesting about the live experience is that none of it is there for the sake of being flashy. As Bates put it, "I just wanted to project what I see when I hear my music with my eyes closed."

Every visual aspect of Big Black Delta is deliberate and was dreamed up with help from visual artist Caspar Newbolt. Bates told me that he had been initially approached by Newbolt at a Mellowdrone show at the Mercury Lounge years ago. He explained, "[Newbolt] was like, 'I want to do your artwork' and then we just kept in touch after that. He actually did the artwork for the last Mellowdrone album. Then I fell off the map for about a year or two. I hit him up with this music one day and was like 'Hey, what do you think about it?' He was very kind and responsive and wanted to be involved" From there he detailed how the two would trade images until one day Newbolt "Came the closest to what I see. [Newbolt] is amazing" Bates recounted. "I really believe in 'You hear what you see'" he said, "It made it easier for me to work on the music knowing that there was someone that can handle 'the conversion' if you will."

A lot of the imagery in Big Black Delta is very space-oriented. This primarily stems from Bates' fondness of Ufology, which is essentially anything UFO-related. As I attempted to gauge how far was down the rabbit into Ufology he clarified, "I view Ufology like Greek mythology. You can't believe anything. You can only collect stories and I've collected as many of them as I can. Some of them are fucking insane." He told me about his favorite story, a man named Phillip Schneider who was supposedly murdered in his apartment back in 1996 for being outspoken about allegedly being one of three who survived battling grey aliens in an unclassified government area. According to Bates, what he likes about Ufology is that, "It's not human. It doesn't involve politics. That's why I really like it. Usually somebody can't fucking argue with you about it. They just leave you alone *laughter*. It's like, 'Oh you like UFOs? Thats…. nice….'" UFOs aside, Bates is genuinely interested in space. "I actually went down to the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena and got to see [NASA] putting [the Mars Curiosity Rover] together about 8 months ago."

"I'm the biggest fan of a simple love song."

With his love for space, I couldn't help but ask which of his songs he would choose if he could transmit any of his songs into space. He told me that "PB3" would be his song of choice, "It's just tones and colors and there's no (hopefully) any room for error of miscommunication. And it's just math, it's pure music at its core, there's no singer on top of it. There's nobody telling you how they feel. It just is." The way he put it struck me kind of strange, but he went on to explain that, "Different songs have their different purposes, you know? I'm the biggest fan of a simple love song. Besides UFOs and playing music I love love, you know what I mean? I have songs that talk about that and deal with that and sometimes, you know, like all of us, you want to put something on that's not telling you what to fucking do or forcing you to be, it's just something at the end of the night when you're reading or if you've had a bad day kind of thing. Each song is it's own little thing, so while you're there you commit to it but then you can leave whenever you want."

As Big Black Delta gains momentum from supporting the likes of M83 and Jane's Addiction, Bates has decided to release his music on his own label, Masters of Bates, instead of looking to see if any other labels are interested. "Nowadays you don't need all of that," he said "I engage with people that like my shit directly and I enjoy doing it, so that just cuts out a lot of things. I just don't have enough fucking time to involve 20 people, you know what I mean? There's just not enough time. Having to explain to something to 15 people to get everybody in line is a pain in the ass.[…] I'd rather be able to just put anything out when I want to and let the chips fall where they may cause I'm already broke. I'm used to that. It's no problem now." Although he just recently released a tour EP, Bates told me he is already working on a follow up to LP1 and has about five or six songs done already. If you haven't picked up the US Tour/ Betamax EP or the Ifuckingloveyou remix EP yet, make sure you do so right away.

[Interview] Anand Wilder (of Yeasayer) Talks 'Fragrant World', Drug Culture, and the 'Total Recall' Remake

Yeasayer is one of those bands that relishes in its oddities, embracing the weird and creating wholly unique psychedelic music. Drawing influences from genres and styles from around the world, the Brooklyn outfit can be hard to define, but that is what makes them so good. Since releasing their debut LP All Hour Cymbals back in 2007, Yeasayer have been ever-changing. Experimenting in various ways, the band has explored what makes a song anthemic, the importance, or lack thereof, of hooks and choruses, and with their new LP Fragrant World, they're questioning the "pop" mentality altogether. 

Fragrant World, the band's third full-length album, shows a great deal of progression for Yeasayer, with Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton, and Anand Wilder challenging their previous boundaries. The album strays away from the idea of having one or two radio-friendly singles, opting rather for a more complete, cohesive experience. Each song captures a theme or idea, delving into a myriad of off-kilter-yet-catchy instrumentation, yet when placed within the entirety of Fragrant World, every song fits seamlessly. This aspect of the album instantly piqued my curiosity, so when I had the opportunity to chat with Anand, the band's guitarist, I immediately delved into the topic. Meeting at Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom, Anand and I discussed the new album, the importance of festivals, and drug culture in North America and Europe. There was also a lot of discussion about the new Total Recall remake (note: I still haven't seen it). Stream part one and two of the interview below, with part one focusing on music and Yeasayer and part two focusing on random conversation about movies, Total Recall, and the underground tunnels and Wild West attractions of Pendleton, Oregon.

[Watch] Animal Collective Discuss 'Centipede Hz' and Radio Show Influences

Animal Collective have taken over the airwaves this past month, using their Animal Collective Radio platform to debut new material, stream their upcoming LP Centipede Hz, and giving fans an insight into the songs and bands that influence the psychedelic outfit. It's been a useful way to not only promote their new album, but to show everyone the foundations of their music as well.

As part of a partnership between The Creators Project and Animal Collective Radio, Animal Collective have taken part in a series of interviews, the first being an interview with Geologist (Brian Weitz). The second installment brings in all four members—Avey Tare( David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb), and Weitz— sat down to chat about the new album, the effect FM radio has had on them, as well as the bands that went to influence the sounds of Centipede Hz and their radio program. It's an interesting insight into the band's process, and how they've expanded as musicians. Watch it above.

[Outside Lands 2012 x Interview] YACHT

Photos by Samuel Boardman Parker

Everyday is full of experiences, whether it is an uneventful one or an undoubtedly strange one. Whatever the case may be, it is an experience nonetheless. When it comes to music festivals, though, chances are those experiences are some of the most unique and odd you'll come to encounter. Ridiculous costumes, people from all over the world, the infusion of drug after drug after drug, and the inherent love and passion for music all combine in one location to make for unforgettable happenings. Outside Lands Festival proved to embrace that time honored tradition.

I found myself in one of these memorable encounters on the second day of Outside Lands, meeting up with Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt of YACHT under the same trees that Electric Guest and I found ourselves in one day later. The quirky contingent that is The Western American Utopian Triangle proved to be an absolute joy to talk to, as photographer Samuel Boardman Parker and I dished out questions regarding YACHT's live performances, the danceability of their music, and what Claire's favorite dish at Olive Garden is. Stream the full interview below.