An Interview with Joywave

Joywave came into town on Aug. 24 to perform alongside Cold War Kids and Young the Giant. I was able to sit down and interview the band. In this interview, Daniel Armbruster (lead vocals), Joseph Morinelli (guitar), Benjamin Bailey (keyboards) and Paul Brenner (drums) answer questions that you never knew you needed to know until now.

KCR: You have so many hilarious and wildly creative music videos. Are there any concepts for a music video that you wanted to do but haven’t done yet?

DA: Yes.

KCR: For your first album, “How Do You Feel Now?,” there were a lot of samples from Disney movies, such as “Peter Pan,” “Bambi,” and even “Fantasia.” Are there any plans for clearing any more samples to use in future EPs or albums?

DA: No. Sorry (laughs). We may do that, but we did not do that for this record. Disney is the parent company for of our record label (Hollywood Records) so when we signed there, we did so kind of saying, “Maybe they’ll let us dig into the vault there a little bit?”, and we were right. They did let us and it was a fun thing. It’s notoriously difficult to clear Disney samples, so it was really cool that they let us do that for the first record.

KCR: Was the reason you signed with Disney because they gave you so much creative control?

DA: Yes. We made the first record ourselves. We made the second record ourselves too. When we signed there, they were saying, “Who do you want to help make your record?”. We had done everything ourselves up to that point, for the most part, and so we said we wanted to continue doing everything. They said, “sounds good.”

KCR: So we’re going to move to the second segment of this interview and it’s more focused on personal questions about each of you. We’ll start off with Paul. Is it true your dad was a guard on the show, “Legends of the Hidden Temple”?

PB: No.

KCR: Wait… was that just a rumor?

PB: Yeah. How do you know that?

DA: Who started that?

PB: Me in high school. Seriously, how do you know that. Where did you read that?

KCR: I’m interviewing Joywave. I had to know.

PB: Sometimes people would believe me.

KCR: I mean… I believed you.

PB: It’s an age old tale that I’ve been telling for many eons.

KCR: Daniel, what would you say is the best song you ever made and why is it “Thriller 2“?

DA: (Laughs) “Thriller 2” by my old band, Vice Grip, is the best song ever made. “Destruction,” by Joywave, is a close second and beyond that, I think “True Grit” from our 2012 EP, “Koda Vista.” I think that is what I would believe to be the best Joywave song.

KCR: Who would you say are some of the biggest influences for the band?

DA: I think we generally like people who do whatever they want to do, like Kanye West. He’s an exciting person. We are all Kanye West fans, despite him releasing very similar artwork to some of our fall tour art in 2015 (Kanye West’s tour art). Damon Albarn (lead singer of Blur and co-creator of Gorillaz) is a guy who has done whatever he wanted to do throughout his career, so we all find that to be very inspiring.

KCR: Joseph, are you into baseball?

JM: I’m very into baseball.

KCR: What would you say is your favorite team?

JM: My favorite team is the New York Yankees.

DA: You clearly already know this.

JM: You’re setting me up.

DA: If you know about “Thriller 2” then you know that Joey likes the Yankees.

KCR: I know there’s a famous rookie on the Yankees named Aaron Judge. Would you name your future son, Aaron Judge Morinelli?

JM: Yes. I would name my son Aaron Judge Morinelli.

KCR: Last but not least, Ben. When is the next single going to drop for the “Waterboys“(a side project with Joywave bassist, Sean Donnelly)?

BB: (Laughs) Any day now.

KCR: What’s one question you always wished you were asked during an interview?

DA: I don’t know.

BB: I don’t know. I never [think], “Man! I wish they asked this!”

DA: Yeah. I do know what I don’t like to be asked. I don’t like being asked what my favorite color is, what the name of the band is, or what Joywave sounds like. Those are the three questions where if someone asks any of those three questions, the interview is over for me. But, they don’t know it and it keeps going for awhile and I just say things like, “Our band sounds like Pitbull.” [Stuff] like that.

KCR: Well I’m glad we’re interviewing Young the Giant right now. Glad to have you guys.

(everyone laughs)

KCR: If you could replace yourself in the band with a celebrity, who would it be?

JM: I need a minute.

DA: I also need a minute.

PB: Nicolas Cage. But, I would just want him to take my face.

KCR: So it would be like a “Face/Off”  situation?

PB: Exactly.

BB: I still have to think…

DA: Amanda Bynes.

JM: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin because he can give you a hell-of-a-lot better show than I could.

BB: Dude, I don’t know.

DA: He says he’ll pick Trump.

BB: That didn’t come out of my mouth. I didn’t say it.

DA: You were holding the mic when it was said. It was definitely you.

You can find Joywave on Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud and Twitter. You can listen to their latest album, “Content,” on SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Music.


Catching Up with the Regrettes at Chula Vista HarborFest

On Aug. 18, the Regrettes came back to San Diego to perform at the Chula Vista HarborFest. The band consists of Lydia Night (lead vocalist and guitarist), Sage Nicole (bass), Genessa Gariano (lead guitar) and, of course, Maxx Morando (drums). I interviewed the group again, (here’s the previous one), this time covering Dunkin’ Donuts, celebrity band replacements and many more fascinating topics.

Warning: Some explicit language below.

KCR: What song made you want to play music when you were young?

LN: “Beat on the Brat,” by the Ramones, was the first song I would sing constantly. So, I guess I would go with that.

MM: Probably “Everlong,” by the Foo Fighters, or “The Rat,” by the Walkmen.

GG: I really loved “Brown Sugar,” by the Rolling Stones.

SN: I really liked “Stay,” by Jackson Browne, because it’s music themed. It’s stupid (laughs).

KCR: On TV, your song, “Hey Now,” is in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial. How crazy is that?

LN: It is pretty crazy! It’s amazing.

KCR: Do you actually go to Dunkin’ Donuts?

LN: We actually have. On tour and – okay, you know what I really like about Dunkin’ Donuts? People will think i’m gross for this, but they have these little hashbrown bites… they’re so good!

KCR: Hopefully you guys get sponsored by them.

LN: Yeah. We’re one step closer now.

KCR: Next question. So, who hasn’t listened to your debut album, “Feel Your Feelings, Fool!”? And, one of my favorite songs on there is “Picture Perfect.” How did that riff of Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” become a part of the song?

LN: I love that song. I don’t know. I can’t really remember exactly how it happened. I think I just started singing it as a joke at one point, just playing it, and all of a sudden I was like, “Fuck it. Let’s do it.”

KCR: How do you feel when a fan is always asking you to perform in their city?

LN: We never have an answer. It’s just kind of a bummer because we don’t know.

MM: Brazil is a popular one. All the time, every band gets asked to come to Brazil. It’s kinda like a meme (laughs).

LN: We want to go to all these places but we just haven’t yet.

KCR: If you weren’t playing music, what do you think you would be doing instead?

LN: Probably cook

ing. I really like to cook now, so I would love to learn how to cook really well. I don’t know. Nothing, depressed in my room.

(everyone laughs)

MM: I’d probably do something with movies or directing – just making movies and stuff like that. I’m into film and anything with film.

GG: I would do design. Graphic design or some sort of art, and then work for a non-profit for women. I think that doing those two things together would be ideal.

SN: I really want to have my own lingerie company and brand. So, probably that and being a mother to many animals. I’d be a lonely housewife with a lot of animals (laughs).

KCR: What would be the official drink of the Regrettes?

LN: There’s three. It would be yerba mate, coconut water or juice boxes. Juices boxes though, we kind of moved on from. That was like phase one of the Regrettes.

KCR: The last question to end this interview is, if you could replace yourself in the band with a celebrity, who would it be?

LN: Karen O (lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs).

GG: I’d say St. Vincent. She’s awesome.

LN: Oh my god! Karen O and St. Vincent in a band together!?

GG: Holy shit! Wow. Am I allowed to curse? Holy-moly.

MM: I don’t know who to pick.

SN: I pick Kim Kardashian. Can I pick Kim Kardashian? I’d love that.

MM: I’ll just stay.

You can find the Regrettes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can listen to their latest album, “Feel Your Feelings, Fool!” on Spotify and Apple Music.



An Interview With Chastity Belt

On August 4th, Chastity Belt came to San Diego to perform at the Space Bar. Lydia Lund, the lead guitarist, Gretchen Grimm, the drummer, Annie Truscott, the bassist, and last but not least, Julia Shapiro,  the lead vocalist and guitarist, all sat down for an interview. I talked to them about reality T.V., pet peeves, and the band’s official drink.

KCR: What was the song when you were a kid that made you want to get into music?

LL: I really got into the Strokes in middle school and yeah… those guitar parts were some sick lead lines, made me want to play lead (laughs).

AT: I was pretty into Weezer in middle school.

GG: I thought in high school, the coolest thing ever would be [to be] in a Fleetwood Mac cover band. That was my dream.

JS: Some of the first songs I ever learned on guitar were from Blink-182… very inspiring.

KCR: You’ve released three albums and dropped your latest one, “I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone,” in June.

Chastity Belt makes an explosion noise when they hear the word “dropped.”

KCR: Each album you guys drop, you get more mature with the lyrics and get bigger, popularity-wise, too. I remember when you all first started out and made songs like “Pussy, Weed, and Beer,” and even did a cover of Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em’s “Kiss Me Thru the Phone.” Do you ever miss how casual it was before?

GG: I got this one. Yeah, the “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” cover was actually from an old band called Combo Pack that was before Chastity Belt, and it’s pretty embarrassing so we’re not going to talk about that one too much. But, I will say that we all still have a sense of humor and it still feels casual. Obviously not all the time, like some things we get nervous for, but I can still look at anyone on stage and have a laugh [with them]. It’s not so obvious in every one of our lyrics, but we all still have the same sense of humor so that lightness is still there.

KCR: What’s one of the most memorable shows that you’ve been to?

AT: I would say on my 18th birthday, I saw the Flaming Lips and I got crowd surfed and that was cool. I got to touch Wayne’s (lead singer of the Flaming Lips) bubble – he came out in the crowd in a bubble. That was very memorable (laughs).

GG: I don’t think I have any. [I] can’t think of any. Probably like a Dave Matthews Band concert. That got really crazy.

JS: I saw No Doubt and Blink-182. I’m talking about Blink-182 a lot now, but I saw them when I was 13. That was kinda memorable (laughs).

LL: We went on tour with this band, Wire, and for some reason, I didn’t end up watching them that much. I think I was just hanging out. Anyways, then we saw them in Berlin and that night, we met up with Courtney Barnett and the band, we were all there with Wire. It was two bands we toured with and I was just watching Wire and all of a sudden, their songs were hitting me with this new intensity and it was just so good.

Yeah, I used to really hate the band, The National, but we were playing at Sasquatch Festival with them and I got too high and the visuals were really insane. They had this eye that was glowing and I was watching them and the eye was coming at me and I started crying. Ever since then, they’ve been one of my favorite bands.

KCR: Julia, I know you’re really into reality T.V., so my question is are you guys having any luck getting your songs on the show “Catfish” or doing a live performance on “The Bachelor”?

JS: Apparently, the guy who picks the music for “Catfish” really likes our music, so hopefully we’ll get to be in the next season. I’m also really into the show “Vanderpump Rules,” so maybe we can get on there.

KCR: If you guys weren’t focused on the band, what do you think you would be doing career-wise?

LL: I think I’d be a scientist.

AT: [I’d] maybe [be] a nurse.

GG: [I’d] probably be a math teacher.

JS: Maybe I’d be an art teacher.

KCR: Do you guys have any pet peeves about each other?

AT: I feel like it’s not really pet peeves, but more like we can predict what each of us are going to do. Like when Lydia gets a text message, she’ll giggle but not tell us what she’s laughing at. Julia loses her phone a lot but then finds it in her backpack immediately. Just little things like that.

JS: Gretchen is always spilling things (laughs). It doesn’t really bother me but it’s just like, “Oh, there’s Gretchen with the stain stick again.”

AT: I’m always asking what’s going on because I can’t hear very well.

KCR: What would you guys say is the official drink of Chastity Belt?

JS: Kombucha. We all really like Paloma (tequila with soda and grapefruit), if anyone ever wants to buy us a drink.

KCR: The last question is, what do you think you were in a past life?

LL: I think I was an underwater creature. [I was] probably a whale, a humpback whale.

JS: I think I was a sloth.

GG: [I was a] deer, maybe. For some reason moss came to mind but that’s a little bit weird.

(everyone laughs)

LL: Some moss on a log.

AT: Maybe because I’ve been thinking about therapy a lot, but I was thinking of a therapist. Feels right.

You can find Chastity Belt on Facebook, BandcampTwitter and Instagram. You can listen to their latest album, “I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone,” on Spotify and Apple Music.

A Concert and Convo with soccer mommy

The Fillmore is known for many things: apples, posters, a very well-organized merch line and, of course, all of the many amazing artists that have played it.

“Oh my god – Jerry Garcia!”

“WOW Miles Davis!”

We’re sitting on a couch in the dressing room shared by Soccer Mommy and Stef Chura. Patrick, the Soccer Mommy drummer, Carmen, the bassist, and Julian the guitarist, are vocalizing their excitement about the posters that fill the walls. It is Friday, July 21, and the tiny room is full of young musicians eating, drinking, laughing and talking music.

Sophie Allison, Soccer Mommy herself, is a 20-year-old alternative singer-songwriter with a friendly, chill vibe. She sits on the couch with her legs crossed, one elbow resting on her knee, ready to be interviewed. The rest of the musicians file out.

KCR: Can you introduce yourself for us?

Soccer Mommy: Hi, I’m Soccer Mommy, or Sophie Allison.  One’s my real name. One’s my stage name.

KCR:  Is this your biggest tour so far?

SM: Definitely. it’s our first tour (laughs), so [we’ve got] nothing really to compare it to besides playing shows out of town every once in awhile when I was at school.

KCR:  How’s it going?

SM:  Good!  It’s been fun.  We’ve only been [touring for], what, five days?  It’s the fifth day.  It’s been good.

KCR:  Is this your first time on the west coast?

SM:  No, not ever.  This is our first time playing.  But I’ve been twice.

KCR:  To the bay?

SM:  San Francisco once, LA the other time.

KCR:  And you just played Wonder Ballroom, so was that Portland?

SM:  Yeah, that was good.  It was a fun one for sure. It sounded really good and it was a little bit bigger.  Not this big, for sure, but it was the biggest one besides this one. So, it was definitely cool.

KCR:  You go to NYU, right?

SM: Yes, but I’m taking a year off now.  But, I do go there and I’ll probably be returning.

KCR:  Is it hard to manage being an artist while being in school?

SM:  Yes, definitely. It’s hard to do school when you’re doing [only] that. It just seems boring and not fun, because it is. It’s just like having two jobs, kind of. You’re full-time trying to pursue being an artist and then you’re in school full-time. It’s like a double life.

KCR:  Do you think that New York inspires you in a different way than Nashville does?

SM: Yeah I would say so. I think my experience in New York is a lot different from my experience in Nashville. Partially because I don’t live with my boyfriend when I’m in New York and I do when I’m in Nashville, so it’s definitely a very different experience. And, the cities are extremely different too.  [New York City] is much more wild and upbeat, and Nashville is a lot more chill.

KCR: You get very personal in your songwriting. Is it hard to be so vulnerable?

SM:  No, I don’t think so because I don’t do it in real life. I only really [am vulnerable] in songs, so it’s easier than it would be in my day-to-day life. I don’t really express those kinds of things, so I can just put them in a song and no one really knows what it’s about. It’s [being] vulnerable without being as vulnerable, I would say.  

KCR:  Do people ever try to talk to you about things that you’ve written?

SM:  Oh, people have tried to guess, like, “is this about this person?”  And I’m like, “no, it’s not.”  They’ll just assume.  Or, they’ll ask me what it’s about and I’m like “I don’t know.”  I don’t usually write songs about one instance, it’s usually like a….

KCR: Culmination.

SM: Yes! That’s a word.

KCR:  You’re playing with a full band now. Do you feel like that changes the vibe compared to the “bedroom pop” that you started out making?

SM: Yeah, definitely. But, I think that’s always what I wanted for the songs.  We’ll play a lot of songs tonight that are from “songs from my bedroom.” [Which is] stuff I released on Bandcamp that was just me playing. But the only reason they sound like they do on the first [collection] is because I couldn’t really make them sound better. I was recording on a really crappy device. I had to play drums really softly so it wouldn’t distort. It’s mostly the drums that are different (laughs). Everything else I could still record. Now it’s just better quality [drums] and slightly better arrangements. When I was doing bedroom pop stuff I would do some…I don’t want to say electronic, but I would have some drum machines every once in awhile. I did have a couple [songs] like that, and I don’t really do anything like that anymore. Although, I am trying it out on some stuff right now – having drums and a drum machine together on songs. But I don’t do just drum machines on songs anymore.

KCR:  How’d you find the band that you’re working with now?

SM:  [The guitarist] is my boyfriend. They’re all from Nashville. The drummer is one of my boyfriend’s good friends and also someone I just kind of knew through being the same age in high school. Now, we’re obviously closer from being in a band together. And then Carmen is just friends with Patrick and went to high school with him and Julian [who plays guitar], and is also in the local music scene. So, I just know her from that too. She joined like two weeks ago, but she’s great.

KCR:  How did you pick which songs are going to be on “Collection?”

SM:  I just [picked] what we’ve been playing live since last summer, with a full band. I picked the ones I like the most. And the solo ones are the ones I play in New York live. And there’s two new ones, obviously. It was a pretty easy choice in the end. [With one song], I was thinking, “should we do this?” But, we weren’t playing it live as much, so it didn’t make it [on “Collection”].

KCR:  Are you working on a full length of new songs?

SM: I am working on a full length of entirely new songs…I think there might be one that has come out before.

KCR:  Do you have an expected date?

SM:  Early next year. So, not long. Really rushed. It’s going to be so fun getting it all done while I’m on tour. I don’t have a free minute for the next four months. I’m on tour or recording somewhere or in London. It’s cool, but then we’ll get another offer for something [I’d like to do] and I don’t have any time [to do it].

KCR: Are you a yes person?

SM: I’m a really big yes person. We’ll get an offer and I’m like, “I have to fit this in.” And, we’ll have two days here, and three days here and a day here, and that’s the only time we can do it.  It gets a little wild.

KCR:  No wonder you’re not going back to school.

SM:  I know! I’m keeping busy. If I’m not going to be in school I’m not going to waste my time.

KCR:  Do you actually play soccer?

SM:  I did. I used to. I was on a travel team.

KCR:  What position were you?

SM:  I played everything. I played center, for a while. I didn’t play forward very much. It was usually center or midfield. It’s not that big of a difference when you’re like 13 or 14. Or [I played] defense. And sometimes I would play goalie too.

KCR:  Wow, all over the place!

SM:  Yeah, I did a lot. And, on my middle school team I played forward. I played travel and school soccer for a minute, and then I was like “I hate this.”  And then I went to high school, which was an arts high school, and I was [playing soccer] my freshman year. Then, I was like, “why am I doing this?” I had a revelation where I realized I could just quit. I asked my dad [if I could quit] and he was like “yeah if you don’t like it.” So, I just quit. It felt so weird.

KCR: We probably all go through one of those phases where you realize you can just quit.

SM: Yeah, you realize that if you don’t like it, you just shouldn’t do it.

KCR:  Did you pick the name before or after you quit?

SM: Oh, long after. Years. I quit freshman year of high school.

KCR:  So the ‘mommy’ just comes from the aesthetic.

SM: Yeah. It was just a joke name, you know? It’s cutesy – the way it sounds. But, it’s also kind of a joke. Especially with all the “mom” or “dad” names. It’s making fun of that a little bit. I don’t know. I don’t care that much about a band name. I’d just rather write the music; I’m not that great at the names.

KCR:  Who’re you listening to right now?

SM: We’ve been listening to a lot of music on the road. A lot of 16 hour drives have been happening. We’ve been listening to the Drums’ record a lot – actually just cause we’re [on tour with them] and it’s so catchy. We listened to Jay Som’s record a lot—shocker—going on tour with her too. I listened to that new Japanese Breakfast album a little bit. [I’m] always listening to Mitski. We’ve been listening to…Big Thief. And Frank Ocean, we’ve been playing a bit of that too. DAMN we’ve been playing a lot. Oh, and that new Anna Altman record is super good. I don’t even know how to describe it; it’s just like really good. It’s kind of shoegaze-y. It’s a two-piece and I know a person in it. It’s really good for only being guitar and drums – and just in general of course.

KCR:  Final question: if you had to be stranded on a deserted island with one artist, who would it be?

SM:  Oh this is going to be so hard.

KCR: At least we didn’t ask you to pick one band member.

SM:  Well, then I’d pick my boyfriend!

KCR:  Easy choice.

SM:  I feel weird saying it about anyone because most of the artists I love I could easily meet soon. Do you know what I mean? Like when you love artists that aren’t that huge, it’s easy to just meet them. And then it’s weird.

KCR:  What about a dead artist? Or someone super famous.

SM:  That’s so hard. It’s such a big decision. Liz Phair would be a cool one. That’s someone I wouldn’t meet on the average day.

KCR:  Now you’re going to meet her because you said that.

SM:  I know. Good! Jinxed myself, what a bummer. Yeah, I’m gonna say Liz Phair. Or like, Lana del Rey. But I think Liz would be chill.

It gets loud again, and the pre-show routines begin. Soccer Mommy touches up her makeup (I check to make sure her eye shadow is blended) and changes into a new midi-length, long-sleeved boot printed dress. The band shoves in some food, cracks a few cold ones and jokingly frets about playing the sold-out Fillmore. Then, they head on-stage.

After spending a couple hours with them, the group now seems young, and like our peers. But, make no mistake, Soccer Mommy’s music is nothing but mature. The crowd pushes forward, listening to Soccer Mommy’s hypnotic voice meshing with the upbeat rhythms and light notes. Besides the occasional yell of “girl power” by one super deep voice, the audience is quiet. The reaction, however, is loud after every song, and Soccer Mommy makes sure to thank the crowd several times.

The band plays for 15 minutes and then unplugs and heads off stage, leaving Soccer Mommy alone with her guitar and her mic. She plays about five more songs from her upcoming EP “Collection,” (not, however, her new single) and then heads off-stage to sound of the crowd’s applause.

Soccer Mommy is a young artist who is already producing eager, vulnerable music – bedroom pop or not. “Collection” is going to be a winner, based on what we heard at the Fillmore, and is out August 4. For now, check out Soccer Mommy’s current music on Spotify or bandcamp, or pre-order “Collection” here to support a starving college student like yourself.

By Sarah Anderson and Alicia Hoole