KCR One-On-One: Beauty School Dropout

I got to sit down last week with Beauty School Dropout to talk about their music, working with Lauren Sanderson, Cole’s boyfriend Harry Styles, their clothing brand Dropout, and so much more.

You can watch the video here, but below is the lovely interview!

I am so excited today because I am here with Beauty School Dropout! How are you all doing today?

Cole : We’re doing great! 

Bardo : Excellent.

Brent : Waking up.

Cole : Kinda in a frenzy. I just got back from the beach, literally we all just walked in just before this meeting.

Perfect, perfect. So let’s just start this off by individually introducing yourselves and your role in the band.

Cole : I’m Cole, I sing and play guitar. 

Brent : Ok, I’ll go second. 

Bardo : Save the best for last!

Brent : I’m B, or Brent and I play bass.

Bardo : I’m Bardo and I’m a producer and I play guitar.

Cool! I’m not musically talented whatsoever. I played the drums when I was ten, but I gave up because I kept learning the basics and I wanted to learn songs. So my mom sold my drum kit. 

Bardo : I sat through lessons my whole life and I just always end up quitting or like getting kicked out because I never actually did practice. I would just write songs or manipulate the teachers into opening up GarageBand and writing songs.

Brent : See I’ve been nasty since I was born. 

My drum teacher, it was like this very tiny room, and he had very strong smelling arthritis cream that he would put on like right before we started every time. This room would be 2×2 and just smell like arthritis cream, so now you understand why I quit.

Cole : Yeah, that’s pretty funny. Just BENGAY stinking up the room. 

Brent : Ah BENGAY.

It made no sense. 

Cole : Wow, fire. 

Yup

Cole : I’m so sorry.

But how did you get into making music together? 

Cole : Oh, together? It’s kind of a long tale. It’s serendipitous how we all met. Our story is a little bit funnier. There was this girl I had a crush on and I saw that her friend was in my hometown, so I hit her up when I was going home to San Diego, and I was like, “Wanna hang out?” and she was just like, “Can I bring my boyfriend?” And I was like, “Yeah! I would love to meet your boyfriend!” 

Brent : I’m the boyfriend. 

Cole : And this was the boyfriend and we ended up becoming boyfriends too. 

Brent : Yeah! My favorite part is imagine you’re the boyfriend that’s showing up. And I just bought him coffee because I wanted to swoon him. I was like, “wow this dude is so hot, I’m gonna make him my boyfriend.” 

Cole : Yeah, it was pretty mutual. And then we met at a show. I used to help co-produce events at this spot called Winston House. We had a mutual friend who was performing and he showed up. At that time it was still kinda a solo project / we were just starting to figure out that we wanted to play shows together, and so we ended up kind of forcing him into the corner. And we were like, “No, no, you’re joining this band.”

Bardo : At the time, I was producing for other artists and just doing the whole songwriter producer thing. The first session we did it was just like these two guys came over and we just started making stuff. We’re like, “Oh OK, cool.” At first I was like I’m not going to be part of this. 

Brent : “I’m just going to produce.”

Bardo : I’m just gonna watch this thing.

Brent : And you never left.

Bardo : And here I am. Cole never left.

Cole : That was also on the decline of my last relationship, so I like started staying on the couch or something. It was hectic. 

Bardo : Everyone left the session one time, and I was literally about to go to bed. It was like 3 in the morning and for some random reason, I just decided to walk back downstairs. My phone was dead or some shit, and I hear this banging on the outside door. I look outside, I thought it was a homeless man. It’s Cole, back from his house, and he’s like, “can I sleep on your couch?” 

Cole : My girlfriend kicked me out. 

I mean hey, it all worked in the long run because here you are!
Cole : Yeah, yeah. Definitely. It all happened for a reason.

Wild stories, but great stories. Probably one of the best I’ve heard honestly. 

Photo Credit: Natasha Ribeiro-Austrich | @natribaus

How did you come up with this name Beauty School Dropout?

Cole : So, I’m so OCD about naming things and when this was still technically my solo project, I was running through various different monikers that I was trying to figure out what I wanted to go under. One day, I kinda just popped this one into my brain, and threw it in my bio. This was probably like 6 months before we even started doing anything together, any of us. Then at the time when we started working, I was like I think this is what the name should be. And everyone has been really kind and loving about it, so we kept it.

Catchy, but if you do search your name on Google the first thing that comes up is like stuff from Grease.

Brent : Wait so we have a new metric for ourselves. Once we’ve beat that, we’ll know we made it. 

That’s like Of Mice & Men, the band, the same deal, the book comes up. But now they come up, which might just be my Google. 

Cole : It definitely does. I grew up listening to them too.

Bardo : I get scared when people search on Spotify. Does like Grease come up or do we come up? 

I think you do on there thankfully.

Brent : We got Frankie Avalon on there.

Cole : I don’t mind all too much because I love that movie and I feel like somehow people will remember it. Even if they don’t find us, or are intending on finding us, or vice versa like, it just sticks. They’re like, “oh! Beauty School Dropout, that band!” 

Bardo : I saw this cover, or someone was covering Beauty School Dropout Grease, the other day. I looked on YouTube and I’m like what?? Then I was like, oh. 

Wrong one, wrong one.

Cole : Like wow people are covering our songs.

Bardo : But it’s cool because I mean like certain people aren’t necessarily going to remember, a lot of younger, Gen Z kids, aren’t going to remember Grease. They may not have seen the movie or they just ya know. So Beauty School Dropout will just be this thing that is more of a saying, which is kind of cool. 

I honestly forget that there are people younger than me out there. 

Cole : We watched a video last week of what, kids or teeenagers reacting to Nirvana and Paramore. 

Paramore???

Cole : Being like, “Oh what is this?” Like what? Who raised you?

Brent : They’re like, “Oh I’ve heard this song before.”

It’s like this song recently, Potential Breakup Song, because Aly and Aj just did a revamp of it and made it explicit. But I have two little sisters, they’re 18 and 16. They’re like, “Oh yeah that’s the song from TikTok.” I looked at them and I was like, “that’s not a song from TikTok, that’s my childhood.”

Bardo : That song slapped. I remember buying it on iTunes. 

You gotta get the explicit version now because it makes you even more mad. 

Bardo : So good!

Brent : Oh, I know that song.

So good. 

Bardo : The Cowbells movie. 

Oh my gosh! I talk about that all the time and my sisters won’t watch it with me! It’s a classic! 

Photo Credit: Natasha Ribeiro-Austrich | @natribaus

Let’s talk about this year already for you all, since you started off by releasing a song with Lauren Sanderson called over again. So how did that collaboration even happen or come to be?

Cole : I met Lauren a while back, also when I was throwing shows at that place called Winston House. She did a showcase there and that was kind of the initial step of us meeting. There was another showcase like two or three days later that we went to and she was performing, also hanging out with one of our friends at the time. So like, when quarantine started we kinda hit the ground running and sent our producer pack out to a bunch of artists that we admire, wanted to work with, whatever, just to see who would come back. And she was one of the first people and we’ve kind of ended up getting our hands on just about all of her songs since. But that being said, because we were producing a lot of her music, we got a feature on her re-release, which was pretty special to be able to share with her. 

That is such a great song, and I love Lauren Sanderson. So I found out about you all, and then that song was released, so my mind was just not being able to comprehend.

Brent : That’s sweet!

Cole : That’s amazing. Yeah, she’s fantastic. In fact, she just underwent surgery on her vocal chords. I tracked her vocals on Sunday, the day before. It was like the last thing she could do before, she did a one take and then left and was like peace and I was like OK.

That works! See the transformation after surgery. 

Bardo : Yeah, we gotta wait a couple weeks and then we’ll get her voice back. But, it’s gonna be kind of gnarly. Like, the transition back into singing after intensive surgery. 

Cole : Yeah for real, it’s gonna be weird, but she’ll be fine!

Yeah! 

Bardo : It’s a character builder.

The live music video for this song is probably my most watched video on YouTube yet, which is really bad. I think the day it came out, I was replaying it and my roommates were probably very annoyed. But, was that video a collaboration between you all and Lauren or how did you come up with that idea?

Bardo : She came to us with it actually. She was like, “I wanna do a live video.” Basically, she wanted to do a live music video for it but her whole style and aestchis is like retro, mtv, kind of vibes. 

Cole : Camcorder, VHS vibes.

Bardo : It was cool because we actually shot that all on VHS. Her guy does all her stuff 88 mm, or is it 8 mm? 

Cole : 8 mm. Clint. His name is Clint.

88 would be very interesting, but 8 yeah. 

Bardo : I don’t know anything about the mm.

Cole : Super medium format.

Bardo : But 8 mm. Clint is fucking rad. Point is, his name is Clint. He’s dope. He shot it all on VHS. It was sick, because we had a camera behind the drum set and like all these other like old skate video cams around everywhere. And then I was laughing when we got the video back because I thought they just put filters on, like to make it look all VHS. Turns out, he actually like went and bought a bunch of used TVs and just filmed the TVs. Like played it through the VHS, then filmed the VHS TV. That’s how they actually did it and I’m like oh that’s really cool. So he’s like all about it. He’s like really really cool.

That’s insane. I thought it was just a bunch of filters too till now. 

Bardo : That’s legit. 

Brent : Like rock vibes. 

Bardo : So that was actually recorded live too. 

That’s the version I played on my radio show because that’s the version for me. 

Cole : Oh sick! That was kinda I guess where it became collaborative because we brought all our gear, band had to set up and do the whole mix on it. And we sent that back, and they did the video and kinda spliced that together. 

I don’t know how she danced around in those shoes. I wear platforms all the time but those were like higher than I’ve ever worn. 

Cole : My ankles would have been snapped. 

Me too, I’m very accident prone. I fall walking with nothing around me, so that would have been a disaster. 

Photo Credit: Natasha Ribeiro-Austrich | @natribaus

What is your songwriting process or creative process normally like and has that changed during covid? 

Cole : To be honest, it didn’t change all too much. My background is songwriting for other artists, as is his, as he is too but more on the production side as well. So when we met, we kinda just had this synergy creatively where we were like, “OK, we can apply this to people outside of just our project.” So, when covid hit, we were probably 6 to 8 months into already being in the studio, like day and night, just writing through and through. I guess nothing really changed, if anything it was kind of a silver lining for us because then our friends stopped hitting us up, so we were actually allowed to just work and not have to be putting people off. Yeah, we just kept our heads down and hit the ground running and we ended up working with Lauren and a few other great artists that I don’t even think we can necessarily talk about yet, but there’s some really cool ones on the backburner right now. 

Well I’m excited for those!

Cole : Yeah, top secret!

Top secret! Guess I can’t find out yet, it’s fine. 

Obviously you’re a newer band having only started really in 2020 and you have only a handful of singles out. Personally, my favorite is Make It Through the Night with Die For You in a very very close second. But, what is your favorite song that you have all made together and why?

Cole : Your face right now. Nothing that is out unfortunately. I think we were still very very much still discovering ourselves throughout that whole process. I think in that, we were kinda just like, “oh, let’s put stuff out!” Which we did, and it did a lot of great things for us, it was definitely perfect for what we were trying to achieve at the time.

Brent : We were in the womb, we’re ready to give birth now.

Cole : Yeah, the trial phase. But now, the new music that we are waiting on, or I mean finishing, about to put out hopefully later this year, depending on what kind of happens between now and the next couple months, is far FAR more better than anything we’ve put out.

Bardo : Far more better.

Cole : Far much. Very excellent. Super great.
Brent and Cole : As far manys.

Cole : Much better.

Just another thing I have to wait for!

Bardo : But, it’s more in line with what we wanna actually be making. Not like the songs we have out aren’t us, because they are us. That was just us in that moment. Like Last Time Was the third song we ever made and we just like put it out. So we had to go write a hundred songs to figure out 5 songs that really define us. And we also write so much for other people that it’s this thing like you kinda pick up along the way like, “Oh, wait we did that thing in their song, we should do that for ours.” We kinda steal things, but we’re stealing from yourself, you know. It’s cool to like go through the process and we have to learn, and we’re always going to evolve. The EP we’re finishing right now is probably going to be different from the second EP we put out, but it’s all going to be us. We’re doing it, so. 

I like that description of it. That’s just like you in that time, that was your sound in that time. I really like that. 

Cole : If I had to choose one, I’d probably say Last Time or Die For You.

Brent : I would say the same. 

Bardo : Probably Last Time.

Make It Through the Night isn’t a popular one over here I guess.

Bardo : I think there’s just a lot of…I don’t know. 

All your faces tell me everything I need to know.

Bardo : You should hear the original version of that song.

I would love to! We could make it a KCR exclusive, play that on air.

Cole : It was Make It Through the Summer originally. Yep. Trust. That was just a crazy evolution.

Brent : There’s some residual trauma from that. 

I can see it in your eyes even through the screen. 

Cole : Only because again, at that time we were still so young, and what we were doing and there’s this thing that a lot of artists face of the emotional attachment to a song, like a sentiment. That specific song saw so many different changes and evolutions and it was kind of jarring for us to try and accept those changes. But at the end of the day, we’re always trying to achieve the best song possible. I think it was kind of this weird, frustration of going back and forth between, like, Ah is this really better? Or is this just a change? Like what and if  it is better or like I like this old thing because of what intention was there. 

Bardo : We’ve always heard this song so many times, it’s like hard for us to have a clean opinion on it. 

Brent : There’s also 30 versions of it.

Bardo : There’s 30 versions of this song. And also, it’s really tricky because when you listen to all the new things you’re doing, you get so attached to those. All this new stuff that we’re working on right now is just like, in my opinion, so much more mature and advanced.

Brent : It’s elevated.

Bardo :  Yeah, it’s elevated. So much cooler, in my opinion. Something like that, it’s like almost hard to listen to the old stuff, because you’re like, “dang, I wish we had done this differently.” But you can’t beat yourself up about it. You had to get there. 

Brent : We’re older and wiser now. 

Bardo : Yeah, 6 months older. 

Yeah, that’s how I feel. I’m turning 22 this year, I’m young.

Cole : I just turned 23 and I feel young. 

I feel so old already, so.

Brent : I turn 25, and so does he. 

I don’t even want to think about that, that’s scary, I’ll have a breakdown. 

Cole : We’ll *buzzer noise* skip that subject.

No, cut off. 

I think that even though you only have a few singles out, you have a very distinct and unique sound. How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never listened to your music before?

Cole : That sound or the new sound?

New sound, you can do new sound. 

Cole : Diesel. It’s just diesel. 

Brent : I forgot who said it, but I really like it. It’s like the Neighbourhood produced by Skrillex, with hip hop influences.

Bardo : Blackbear, the Neighbourhood, Skrillex collab. 

I like that!

Brent : But like definitely not just like dead-on, but it’s a cool starting point!

Once again, excited! 

Brent : More rock, more rock. 

Bardo : Definitely have a lot of rock. 

Cole : The new stuff is hard as fuck honestly. 

That’s what I’m needing. I’m having a very hard time finding new music that I actually want to listen to. I’m like thinking of a very specific sound, because I’m not really a person who likes pop music, my radio show is called Everything But Country. So no country. 

Brent : I love it. 

So, no country for me. I’m like all rock, that’s how I’ve always been, so trying to find new music right now is hard. 

Cole : We’ll have to after this send you some of the unreleased demos so you can vouch.

Please! I could write about it a little bit and be like, “I can’t tell you much, but this is good!” 

Cole : Yeah, we love that! 

So I saw on your Instagram that y’all are making clothes, a brand called Dropout. Do you want to talk about that a little bit?

Cole : Yeah, we would love to! It’s kinda the extension of us. We treat it more as a clothing brand than it is merch. I don’t even think we’re really thinking of it as our touring merch, it’s more just this other entity that we’re running. We just did the official launch of the hoodies! We had the hats out for a little bit, but I think that was kind of just to test the waters , see what people were really interested in. Also for us to be able to see how many people are actually going to actively buy and support this small business of ours that’s starting. Yeah, the hoodies just dropped, we’re about to start doing vintage tees. We got a plug on a vintage wholesaler, so we’re trying to keep it as sustainable as possible because that’s a huge thing for us as well. Gonna start dropping more clothes pretty actively here in the summer, so keep an eye out! Go buy a hoodie now!

I’m excited. I just keep saying that, “I’m excited, I’m ready!” 

Brent : It’ll be like a wave and will just hit.

I know! That’s seriously what it’s going to be. One day, everyone’s gonna know your name because you drop it all at once. 

Cole : Yeah, that’s what we’re going for!

So out of all of the releases from 2020, besides your own songs because obviously already described how much you love those, but what was your favorite release from 2020?

Bardo : We only listen to our music, that’s why we hate it so much.  

Brent : Probably the Nothing But Thieves album. That slaps!

Cole : That was really good! Oh! Amo by Bring Me the Horizon. Or was that before? It was, god we’ve been in such a black hole. I don’t even remember. 

That was a great album. I was listening to it in my car one day, I heard Evanescence singing, and I was like, “this kind of sounds like Evanescence here!” And I’m driving, so I wasn’t looking at my phone. I was being a good driver that day. So then I like got home and looked at it and I was like, “wow okay this is sick!” The whole reason she’s on the song is because she actually sued Bring Me The Horizon for a song on their last album because it sounded similar to an Evanescence song. So that’s how they got her.

Cole : So they got her to feature? That’s awesome. Oh god, now I’m gonna hit my Spotify real quick, I playlist all day, so I know that I’ll have something.

Brent : Yeah, I’ve been super about this artist glaive. He released a lot of cool stuff last year, this year too. 

I think one of my favorite releases last year was Glue by Boston Manor. That was one of the best ones, I love that album. There’s this artist that I actually found on TikTok called Brakence.

Brent : Oh! I was just about to bring it up!

Cole : Brakence is great!

Punk2 is so good!
Cole : Yeah, Brakence is fire! Yeah he was definitely one of my favorite artists that I found from last year. Also, Brent Faiyaz. He is one of my favorites, hands down. 

Brent : We just all bring out our Spotify’s. 

I know. Everyone’s sitting there scrolling. 

Cole : And I’m a basic bitch, but Drake. I love Drake. We love Drake. If you couldn’t tell by all the Drake. That was like a big troll at first, then we were just like, “No, let’s actually do it!”

That’s OK, I’m a One Direction fan. I know I like look more emo and everything, but I was a Belieber and a Directioner back in the day, so that shaped me into who I am. I’m like One Direction always. 

Cole : My boyfriend used to be in that band. 

Yeah, haha, I already know about that. I have the Watermelon Sugar vinyl and [a mutual friend] grabbed it and was like, “wait, is Cole on the back of this?” And you’re literally on the back of my vinyl.

Cole : I’m immortilized in that fucking speedo. 

Bardo : You’re really immortalized. 

Brent : You’re gonna go down in history as the dude in BSD and the one on Harry Styles’ Watermelon Sugar Vinyl. 

We actually should talk about that. I don’t know why I haven’t brought that up. How did you even get into [the Watermelon Sugar] video?

Bardo : I’m surprised no one’s made more of a bigger deal about it, like on TikTok. 

I don’t think anyone’s made the connection! 

Bardo : We’ve had some people comment like, “that looks like the guy who’s in the Watermelon Sugar video.

You could go viral on TikTok, just post like a TikTok of you, and just be like, “yeah this is me! I’m actually in a band.” And you’ll blow up!

Cole : I love that! We were thinking of doing a Watermelon Sugar remix in the speedo.

You should do it.

Brent : it’s undeniable.

Exactly, everyone would know it’s you then. 

Cole : But that was a fun time. 

That’s insane to me, I can’t believe that. It completely left my mind, I forgot that you were in that for a second.

Cole : Yeah it was super random. I have a casting agent friend who hit me up the night before. He was like, “Hey, need a male for a Harry Styles shoot. They already said they want you.” Or whatever. I was like, “Oh, sure!” Then it turned into a whole ass thing that I was just so not ready for. 

I can’t imagine getting an email that says, “Yeah so Harry Styles says that they want you in the video!”

Cole : I don’t know if it was Harry or his team.

It’s Harry. Just pretend. 

Cole : It was Harry. Harry actually called me up the night before and was like…

There, I’ll edit that whole part out [his team], don’t you worry!

Bardo : I think Harry had a crush on Cole.

Brent : Yeah, yeah. Like I thought you guys were dating. 

Photo Credit: Natasha Ribeiro-Austrich | @natribaus

Besides music, and now your clothing brand, what else are you all passionate about? *silence* I’m sorry to ask that in the middle of a pandemic.

Bardo : We like crypto-currency! We’re like really into investing and stuff. 

Brent : We do!

Cole : We’re like actual finance nerds. It’s pretty funny. Music and finance. 

Look at the new Stock Market here.

Cole : We gotta invest in ourselves. 

Brent : Gotta get those gains!

Cole : I don’t know, I think we’re passionate about a lot. I love to skate and make art. I’ve picked up tattooing over the last year, which has been fun and kind of brought me into a bunch of cool situations. I know you guys got some crazy ass talents too, so don’t hold back. 

Brent : I just like anything that’s fun. Besides music, I like tattoos too. I’m a nerd, I like video games.

Cole : I feel like anything creative, we’re all pretty down to take on. 

Bardo : Mountain biking. 

Cole : God, fuck that. 

Brent : NO! Not mountain biking.

Cole : This man took me mountain biking. I hadn’t ridden a bike in maybe a year, let alone ever a mountain bike. His dad and him took me electric mountain biking through the outs of slough and I almost died four times. We made it up the hill, which was fine, like, “Oh sick! You made it! Cool!” No one told me how to go down the hill on the bike, so of course we start sending it and I got thrown off the bike into the bushes, over the handlebars at least three different times. 

Bardo : We were at the bottom of the hill and we’re all there and I’m like, “Where’s Cole?” And this dude comes ripping down the mountain, and he’s like, “Oh, your buddy’s back there, he’s in the bushes.” He’s like, “He’s fine! He’s just in the bushes.” 

Cole : Have you ever seen those bad motorcycle crashes where people like fly over the handlebars and like ragdoll? That was me. 

Bardo : I don’t know, we love hiking and nature and shit. We don’t have a lot of time right now. 

Brent : Ping pong! We love ping pong. 

I am so good at ping pong and I have the worst hand-eye coordination possible, but somehow ping pong and pickleball are where I thrive. 

Bardo : Pickleball is super super fun.

I think at Big 5 they have a pickleball set that you can buy for like $20, I have been thinking about it. 

Bardo : It’s like a smaller tennis ball right?

It’s like a plastic ball with the holes in it, wiffle ball maybe. Then it’s a really short net, but with similar rules to tennis with a smaller court. I played it in middle school, that’s all I know. 

Cole : That or tether ball. 

Brent : Or that thing that’s like the trampoline in the middle.

Spikeball! 

Brent : Yeah, I wanna try that. 

Do you know what Kan Jam is? It’s a northeast thing. It’s a frisbee game but you have two literal cylinder cans, and there’s a little slot. You have to throw the frisbee and you can either hit it, the other person hits it into the cylinder. Or, if you get it in the slot, it’s an automatic win. That’s our spikeball in the northeast.  

Bardo : Yeah! I’ve played Kan Jam!

Cole : Have you ever been larping? 

No, I have not!
Brent : You should larp. I love larping!

I would do the makeup for it, I could do that.

Bardo : I used to work at Red Bull when I lived in Nashville and we’d go deliver Red Bull to people at events and things. We pull up to this park one time, at a Larp Festival. Literally for the entire day that we were supposed to be working, we parked the car and just larped. 

Cole : That’s so fire. 

Bardo : We still just gave them Red Bull and they gave us like swords and stuff. Larping is pretty cool. They’re really into it. I really respect it. 

Brent : I respect it too. It’s hard to do. 

Bardo : I was into airsoft when I was a kid, that’s kinda like larping.

Brent : Me too!

Cole : I wanna play airsoft.

Brent : I want to go paintballing.

Bardo : I’ve never been paintballing. 

I’ve never been paintballing. I’ve shot a gun once in my life, a pink pistol when I was 12, in the woods. That’s it. It was with an adult, don’t worry. 

What are your plans for the rest of 2021? New songs? I know you mentioned possibly an EP.

Cole : A lot. We got a lot. Plotting right now. First and foremost, shows. We’re about to start playing shows again. Well, we have a show that we are about to plan for like a month from now. After that, probably preparing to launch. Put out some music and visuals, hopefully by the end of the year. Again, that kind of depends, we’re in the middle of a few different opportunities that are on the table right now, so I guess it’s kinda just like navigating which one is the most appropriate for us, what allows us the most creative integrity because we do literally everything from designing, to the music, to the creative, to like even packing the orders. Literally everything, we do it. For now, we’re gonna kinda continue building from the ground up and probably in the next 6 months start really thinking about what songs we want to come out with first. 

I’m excited again! I hate that I keep saying it, but I’m excited. 

Cole : Yeah, we are too. It’s gonna come faster than we think. We’re just really scratching the surface now, waiting for what we’ve been trajecting for. Keep your eyes and your ears open because it will be happening sooner than later. 

Anything else you want to add? Where can people find your music?

Cole : Do you know Josh Gunther? 

Why does the name sound familiar? 

Cole : I don’t know. We had this whole thing, joke, but like there’s this movement now, “Joshua Didn’t Pay.” Just in case you didn’t know, I figured you should. 

Brent : #JoshDidn’tPay

Cole : #JoshDidn’tPay, brother diesel. We were robbed. 

Bardo : That’s a whole other story. 

Brent : But on another note, we’re on all streaming platforms.

Cole : Yeah, we’re on all streaming platforms. So if you want to reach out and talk about life or anything, we’re here. We love other people, so.

Bardo : And watch our TikTok videos. 

Brent : We remix songs. 

Thank you all so much for sitting down and talking to me! 

All : Thanks so much for having us!

Cover Photo: Natasha Ribeiro-Austrich | @natribaus

Written By: McCaeley O’Rourke

Interview with Chris Bailoni of Grapetooth

Grapetooth

Chris Bailoni, one-half of Chicago synth-pop/new wave duo Grapetooth, discusses his musical beginnings, modern new wave, and what’s next for the band.

What do you think of when you think of Chicago? The windy city is known for its deep dish pizza, its two Major League Baseball teams, and its Prohibition-Era history of organized crime. Music wise, Chicago has produced countless notable musicians that span many genres: Muddy Waters, Kanye West, and the Smashing Pumpkins all hail from Chi-Town.

But despite acting as a musical melting pot, a genre that Chicago isn’t particularly known for is synth heavy, ‘80s new wave dance music. The modern resurgence of this kind of music, inspired by bands like New Order and Tears for Fears, is even less associated with the area. However, the wine-fueled partnership of two Chicago-based musicians is changing that.

grapetooth (n.) one who consumes copious amounts of red wine, to the point that their teeth are frequently stained crimson.

Grapetooth is also the name ascribed to the musical collaboration of producer Chris Bailoni, also known as Home-Sick, and Clay Frankel, vocalist and guitarist for garage rock band Twin Peaks. After bonding over a mutual love of wine and Japanese new wave, Bailoni and Frankel began experimenting with making music together in December of 2015. “There was some night when we were out and Clay was talking about wanting to make some music that’s not rock music, like Twin Peaks. We were drunk at this bar, just chatting about it,” Bailoni, now 26 and gearing up for Grapetooth’s headlining tour this June, recounts. “So he came over the next day and we just started making music. That’s kind of how all that started.”

Grapetooth played their first show in 2016 before they had even released a full-length record. They’ve been selling out venues ever since, gaining a reputation for their rambunctious live shows, which are half frenetic mosh pit, half wild dance party. Bailoni admits he wasn’t initially comfortable with performing on stage, and he credits their song “Violent” with helping him get over any stage fright he felt. “That was the first time I felt like we both broke through the nerves and got more comfortable with how the shows would go live, just because it was so fun to yell [“are you violent?”] so loud,” Bailoni recounts, when describing their first time playing the song at a show in Chicago.

Grapetooth’s bright, high tempo sound wasn’t necessarily intentional and it took some time to find. Bailoni described their first attempts at recording as “pretty strange”: “I guess the drums were dance-y and new-wave-y, but we pitched down the vocals and made them sound like horror movie soundtrack songs, really scary. Weird stuff, dissonant sounding.” It wasn’t until the spring of 2016, when the two wrote Grapetooth’s first single “Trouble”, that Bailoni thinks they really hit on something special. “That was probably the first song we made that we were both like, ‘oh wow, we’ve got a sound here and now we know what we’re doing’”.

Despite finding what Bailoni described as the perfect mesh of his production style and Frankel’s, the two didn’t always have serious aspirations for what they’d created.

“We still hadn’t really planned on releasing it or doing anything real or ever playing a show with it,” Bailoni continues, when asked about their initial plans for Grapetooth. “We were like, let’s maybe make a small EP and put it on Bandcamp for free or something like that.” Despite their modest intentions in their early days, Grapetooth released their first self-titled record in November of 2018. The majority of the ten-song tracklist is in line with their influences, which include synth-punk duo Suicide and Yukihiro Takahashi of Japanese electronic band Yellow Magic Orchestra. However, the curiously country-sounding closing track, “Together”, sounds a lot more like Frankel’s Twin Peaks work than a New Order song. Including that on the tracklist was no mistake. “I think we just wanted the record to be eclectic of genre and style, but still somehow fit together,” Bailoni explains, when asked about the disparate song’s inclusion. “It just sounds like two friends making music together in their bedroom, which is what the whole thing is.”

When asked about how Grapetooth fits into the Chicago music scene, Bailoni agrees that his city isn’t synonymous with the style of music he and Frankel are creating. “It’s definitely more rock based. Rock, and then obviously rap and hip hop. But all those worlds are so tightly connected – everyone in Chicago knows each other because it’s such a small community, like any community in a city of arts,” he says. “But yeah, I suppose there’s not too much synth/dance stuff coming out of Chicago.”

Maybe being a bit of an outlier in the music scene is one of the reasons why Grapetooth enjoyed such success before even putting out their first record. Personally, Bailoni thinks the combination of his and Frankel’s individual styles is what sets them apart from other bands that have a similar sound. “I do feel like there’s not too much stuff coming out that sounds like us,” he says. “But I feel like Clay’s vocal style kind of separates [us] from the pack and gives it more of a grunge punk sound. Because if you take away all the vocals, we just sound like we’re copying any New Order song or any new wave Japanese music.”

While a lot of musicians were seemingly born with guitar picks or drumsticks in their hands, Bailoni didn’t start dabbling into music until his second year of college. He credits his friend Kevin Rhomberg, known to many as producer and musician Knox Fortune, as his inspiration for getting into music production. “I remember him showing me all the music he was making on his laptop in his bedroom, just with shitty speakers,” Bailoni explains. “His ability to make songs that sounded like they were produced by a full band on his laptop kind of inspired me that you didn’t really have to have a lot of equipment or anything expensive, or any real [technical] musical knowledge, to be able to make songs.”

While a lack of musical knowledge might hinder some facets of the songwriting process, Bailoni thinks there’s a benefit to being less experienced with the technical aspects of music. “I think there’s definitely a positive aspect of not being too musical if you’re a producer, because you tend to lean more towards what sounds good emotion-wise versus what would make sense musically,” he says, when discussing his process for creating music.

“The lack of knowledge tends to force more outlandish, creative ideas, I suppose.”

Bailoni may not have started making music seriously until he was nineteen, but he had a different artistic outlet before that: filming and editing skateboarding videos. This skill would later benefit the band when it came time to make music videos, particularly the video for “Trouble”. “We just kind of grabbed a camera and then went out with a couple of weird outfits with our friend Jackson, who filmed it,” says Bailoni. “It ended up being kind of fun, just the mentality of how you film a skateboard edit: go out with your friends, edit it afterwards, and see what comes out of it.” Keeping with the band’s spirit of experimenting and seeing what happens, Bailoni explains that neither he nor Frankel aim for any kind of narrative in their videos, opting instead for videos that resemble “visual collages”.

What’s next for Grapetooth? For now, they’re proceeding in the same fashion as they always have: taking things as they come and having fun with it. “As far as what’s gonna happen in the future, we don’t really know. […] I guess we’re just gonna keep making music whenever we do, as we always have, and then actually put out a second record.” In the meantime, Bailoni thinks Grapetooth may put out a few singles or an EP this year. But rather than working with any big-name producers, he and Frankel will continue to employ the do-it-yourself method to create, as he puts it, the feeling of two friends making music together in their bedroom. “Just keeping it fun and simple,” Bailoni reiterates. “Us and friends.”

Grapetooth is currently on a headlining tour with support from Ian Sweet and James Swanberg. Catch them in Los Angeles on June 21st at the Echoplex, in Vancouver on June 25th at the Fox Cabaret, or anywhere else that fine concerts are sold. Tour dates can be found here.

Written by: Andrea Renney

An Interview with Andrew Ross McMahon from Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

Andrew McMahon

KCR’s Jacob Stephens had the opportunity to talk with Andrew Ross McMahon from Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.

Read on to see what Andrew McMahon said, especially regarding some of his biggest influences, favorite moments touring, and to gain further insight into one of his songs!

Jacob Stephens: How did you get into music and singing?

Andrew McMahon: I was 9 years old when I started playing piano, and singing, and writing music. I was making songs and finding ways to record them. Eventually, in high school, I started my first couple of bands and started to play shows around the town that I grew up in. And yeah, I was really fortunate. Within a year after graduating high school, I had built up a really good following with my first band, and then we got signed and the rest is history from there. Honestly, I never really looked back and just kept making music.

JS: So you’ve always loved music then?

AM: Yeah. Truthfully, it’s the only thing in my life which has consistently motivated and inspired me. And from a spiritual standpoint, it drives me.

JS: You recorded one of my favorite songs “High Dive” so I’m just wondering, what went into that song? Was it a flashback into your childhood or was it something entirely different?

AM: It’s funny, I wrote that song with a good friend of mine that co-produced the first wilderness record, Mike Viola. Mike is a beautiful singer/songwriter in his own right, and we had written a handful of tunes together at that point. I remember what motivated the writing was when I was on the way to the studio; I had heard “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley. In my opinion, it’s one of the most well written, well recorded songs of all time, and I remember going to the studio and just thinking “We really need to dissect “The Boys of Summer!” I want to understand the anatomy of that song and really understand why it’s so great and what makes it so special.”

There was a mandate when I sat down during that session to try and figure out what the DNA of a good track had, which is something I don’t usually do, but I just felt inspired to do that time – almost as though it were a little writing assignment. After we listened to “Boys of Summer” a bunch, the thing that struck me about that song was how vivid the imagery is and how personal it seems, but somehow that specificity still drives it to feel nostalgic. For me, I approached the lyrics as a kind of sliding door situation. I looked at a handful of scenarios and choices in my life that lead me to my wife, the enduring love of my life. I looked at a couple of those moments and thought “What if instead of going right in this moment in life, I went left? What if my wife and I didn’t get back together after that time we were broken up?” That’s what drove the inspiration of this song. This concept of what could have been, or maybe even should have been. A moment in life you “missed the boat on,” and how that would feel and what that would look like. For me, it was this guy just passing the house of his old girlfriend and catching a glimpse of her in the window, listening to the music of some other person that no longer was me. That was the head space I put myself in for that song.

JS: That’s very insightful! So what has been your craziest moment on tour so far?

AM: Oh my gosh. I had one show in the Something Corporate days that the police tried to shut dow. We refused to leave the stage and almost got arrested but we have had a couple of those moments. Also, in the last several years I’ve enjoyed crowd surfing through the audience on various different inflatable pool toys and things like that. There have been a couple of fun rides that have taken me farther into the crowd than I anticipated. But I think some of those early shows when we were playing with a lot of punk bands and the antics that go along with that were always pretty interesting. Like jumping off of ten-foot-high speaker stacks, and things like that.

JS: Do you look up to someone? Or is there someone you aspire to be?

AM: Ummm… I mean look if there is an artist whose career I have admired in a profound way, it would be Tom Petty. He always managed to write great music no matter what era or genre was popular or trending at the time. And he seemed to approach it with an ethic and appreciation and respect for his fans. I think that is something I have always been really moved by. But on the other side of that coin people like Trent Reznor and Randy Newman have managed to not just have their artist careers and records and what they do on stage, but also gone on to compose and write for other projects. I find myself looking towards them as these artists that have diversified their careers, and create not just for themselves, but for other artists’ projects as well.

JS: Do you feel like you’re a role model now that you have made a name for yourself in the music world?

AM: I don’t know if I feel like I’m a role model. I think that in my career, there’s a lot of things I am proud of. I’ve been able to launch a lot of other projects and start a foundation and charity that does legitimately very good work for a lot of people who need it. I’m proud of these things and I hope that if someone is going to model their life or career after the things that I have done, then I would point to those as being the things I’m the most proud of. But, I would not say I go out of my way or try and put a tremendous effort into trying to portray myself as a role model. I’m certainly as flawed – if not more flawed than most human beings. I think there is a danger to putting anyone on a pedestal because then you’re bound to be disappointed.

JS: Speaking of your foundation, you founded the Dear Jack Foundation, which is a cancer foundation. How can people get more involved and help with that? 

AM: There are a lot of ways. If you got to DearJackFoundation.org, you can learn about the mission, which is to try and support survivors and patients who are diagnosed with cancer from ages 15-39. This is a very under researched, and underfunded demographic of cancer patients that I’d say more so than any other demographic is in serious need of attention and help. The best way to get involved is to send a donation or to sign up for the bone marrow registry. I’m alive because my sister was a match for my bone marrow. A lot of people do not have those matches and I’m trying very hard to make sure people are aware of what the bone marrow registry is and to get people on the list. Also, if you look online there is a program called the Life List which is a program where cancer patients make a list of things they want to accomplish or obtain during their cancer treatment, and you can see the list of the patients and help fulfill the wishes of the “Life List Warriors” as we call them.

JS: Awesome, I’ll have to do that! How does it feel being able to perform and write your own songs?

AM: Because songwriting has been such a fundamental part of my existence, and since I get to answer questions for myself while communicating to people – and the fact that I get to do that professionally is pretty remarkable and I’m very grateful for it. I think though, and this applies to anything that is a job, to some extent that some days I feel like “man I don’t want to write today” for whatever reason, but the overarching feeling attached to the fact that I’m able to write and perform music for a living is one of deep gratitude. However, getting to play concerts for the last 18 or 19 years is the best part, because truthfully, as much as I love writing music, I love to perform. I love being in front of a crowd and I love the energy that you get to be a part of when you can put on a show. It’s a real gift to get to do what I love.

JS: What part of your life has inspired you most within your music career?

AM: For me, the greatest inspirations tend to be my personal relationships. My interactions with the people that are close to me and the world as a whole are what drives a lot of my song writing. My songs are very story based, and to be able to tell a good story you have to live a good story. I try to stay inspired by keeping myself spiritually fed by being around people I care about, and traveling to places that excite me and keep me from stagnating and doing the same thing over and over again. Listening to great music and reading great books and consuming art and culture is another way for me to stay inspired.

JS: How did you end up meeting the openers for your tour [Grizfolk & Flor]?

AM: The Grizfolk guys have done shows with me in the past and I have always been friendly with them and I love their tunes. As for the Flor guys: we did a thing when we were looking for openers where you reach out to other agents and they forward you music from clients that are interested in the gig. With Flor, truthfully, I just fell in love with an EP they put out that they sent in as part of a submission list for our tour and I was like “Tell me about these guys!” When I have the ability to pick up opening acts, you want to bring people that move you and are excited about their music. Oftentimes, I just need to look at the fanbase I have built that has been so passionate and supportive of me that I take it really seriously to try and provide them with a new artist who they can be as excited about as they were when they started listening to my music. So, such was the case with Grizfolk and Flor, that they were interested in the tour and I loved both their bands and their music. They have really proven to be amazing support acts and super talented.

Written by: Jacob Stephens

Interview with Black Lips’ Jared Swilley

Black Lips’ Jared Swilley discusses covering the Beatles, the importance of music videos and radio for connecting with fans, and the band’s upcoming venture into country music.

Atlanta‘s Black Lips have proven to be a resilient force in the tumultuous and challenging world that is today’s music industry. Despite numerous changes to their lineup, the band is known for seemingly endless tours which established their reputation for rowdy live shows (including a 2012 tour of the Middle East). Meanwhile, production on their own records with assistance from big-name producers such as Mark Ronson and Patrick Carney from the Black Keys haven’t managed to slow down a band that’s been in the garage rock scene since 1999.  After 8 full-length studio records, a live record recorded in Tijuana, various side projects (The Almighty DefendersThe Gartrells, and Crush, to name a few), and the creation of a new genre dubbed “flower punk,” the band’s legacy and influence upon younger musicians is undeniable.

Now, almost twenty years since their inception, Black Lips seems like a completely different beast. Only two founding members remain (bassist Jared Swilley and guitarist Cole Alexander), the wildness of their live shows has been toned down considerably, and the band has now set their sights on releasing their interpretation of a country album. Despite the group’s departure from the violence and rebellion of their younger days, the punk ethos which Black Lips was founded upon still shines through in their work.

KCR’s Andrea Renney recently spoke with vocalist and bassist Jared Swilley in advance of their November 13th show at the House of Blues San Diego. The following interview has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

KCR: So your next tour starts next month. I was kind of surprised to hear that you were co-headlining with [Danish punk band] Iceage, since Iceage isn’t really a band that I would associate with Black Lips. How did that come about?

J: Well, we’ve known each other for a long time, and we have some mutual friends. We had met them in Denmark before. They were going out on tour around the same time as us and I like them a bunch. I kinda like going on tour with bands that are a little different; it just changes things up. We don’t really have the same sound at all, but I think they have a really great live show. Every band that we end up going on tour with is just from us hanging out and talking and saying “Oh yeah, we should tour sometime.”

KCR: I guess Kesha’s a good example of that; not someone that you would necessarily expect [Black Lips to tour with]. But I do think that there is a certain similarity there. I know Kesha has her roots in Nashville, and she is, despite being so pop, kind of rock and roll. It was something that was surprising, but at the same time, it made sense.

J: Yeah, she has really good taste in music. I was surprised when I first met her years ago; we started talking about music and I just thought she was this pop star or whatever. But she was really into Dead Moon and all these bands that I like… We’ve been on tour with bigger bands that are rock bands, and we’ve gotten heckled by their fans. Their fans didn’t really like us. But with Kesha, it’s all really young kids that are really stoked to be there. They’re just there to have a good time.

KCR: I think Black Lips are the perfect band for Kesha’s fans. Like you said, they’re just there to have a good time.

J: Yeah, they were all real sweet.

KCR: It’s been over a year since Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art? came out, so I’m not gonna ask a bunch of questions about that. I feel like you’ve already discussed that record at length. But I do have one question — I wanted to know about your cover of “It Won’t Be Long” [by the Beatles] and how that kind of came about? Did Sean Lennon [music producer and John Lennon’s son] approach you guys with doing a cover, and was it that one specifically?

J: I never would have been like, “Hey, can we cover one of your dad’s songs?” but he really wanted us to do that. When we were playing it at the studio we were doing it exactly like they did it, but obviously they do it a ton better, and ours just sounded like a carbon copy of it. So we kind of started messing around with trying to make it sound like an evil version of it. I would never in a million years have thought to bring that up or try to do that, but [Sean] did a lot of the arrangement. We didn’t try to do a Beatles copy, we just did a sinister version of it. I was happy with it. And Yoko gave us the blessing to do it so that was real cool to hear her say “Yeah, you should do a Beatles song.”

KCR: Yeah, absolutely. What an honor, really.

J: Yeah, that was pretty cool. Overall, it was pretty surreal. But it was awesome.

KCR: On the topic of records: Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art? came out last year, and now all I’ve really heard is about your forthcoming new country record. I haven’t heard too many details, but is that still the plan?

J: Yeah, yeah. The whole thing’s written and we’ve already done a couple songs. We did a session in Berlin this summer with King Khan [of King Khan and the Shrines, The King Khan & BBQ Show, and other projects], and we did another one at Oakley [Munson, the current drummer for Black Lips]’s house. But yeah, the whole thing is written. We’ve got tons of songs, and we’re just right in the middle of finding what label’s gonna put it out and what studio we’re gonna go to. But it’s definitely gonna be out by spring next year.

It’s not, like, serious country. It’s definitely all country influenced, but it’s kind of our take on country. It’s different, but we’ve always been into kind of twangy, southern style stuff. For this one, we’re more focusing on that. There’s not gonna be synthesizers on it or anything.

KCR: I know that some people were surprised about the whole country record thing, but I feel like on every record you’ve ever done, there’s always at least one song that’s pretty obviously influenced by country. On the last record, “Rebel Intuition” – that’s pretty country. And songs like “Workin’’’ [from 2005’s Let It Bloom] and “Drive By Buddy” [from 2014’s Underneath the Rainbow] – definitely. So to me, it seemed pretty natural. But what made you decide that now was the time to do this one?

J: I guess just because we’ve done so many garage rock records and stuff like that. We just kept talking about it, like, “Yeah, let’s do a country record.” It kind of worked out real good with having Jeff [Clarke, also of Demon’s Claws] in the band, because he’s great at writing songs like that. He’s really good at playing those kind of things. So it just felt like a natural thing for us to try out. Kind of like us doing our “mature” country record. But it’s not all that mature.

KCR: Growing up and becoming country stars.

J: It’s easy to age gracefully in country music.

KCR: Definitely. While we’re on the topic of changing sounds: you’re still in Atlanta as far as I know, but Cole and Zumi [Rosow, saxophonist] are in LA, and you said Jeff’s from Alberta, while Oakley’s in New York?

J: Yeah, he’s in the Catskills. And Jeff’s been in Germany for the past couple years, but I guess he’s kinda living at my house in Atalnta. But yeah, everyone’s scattered all over now.

KCR: Do you think that spreading out has been helpful for changing your sound and keeping things fresh? Or does it make it difficult to reconcile all those different perspectives?

J: No, it kind of didn’t change anything… I mean, Cole still has a house here so he’s back a lot to visit his family. But we never really practiced before, like at all, unless we were just about to go in the studio or had new stuff to work on. So really, I haven’t noticed that much of a change. I guess we’re usually in Atlanta before a tour, and then we leave from there. But as far as music scenes, I’m not really all that involved in the Atlanta music scene at all. I don’t go out too much when I’m not on tour. I know Cole and Zumi are pretty involved in the LA scene and stuff like that, but not me.

KCR: Just working on your own stuff?

J: Yeah, I’m mostly a homebody when I’m at home.

KCR: I think that’s pretty typical for people who are on tour as often as you guys are.

J: Yeah, going out’s like… I do that for a big part of the year. So when I’m at home, I hang out with family a lot, friends.

KCR: So, I’ve always loved your music videos that you guys put out. Most recently I loved the one for “Crystal Night;” About music videos though: obviously music television isn’t really a thing anymore. So why do you guys still continue to release videos? Do you think it’s just an artistic expression, and do you still want to keep putting out videos like that?

J: I still like watching videos. If we’re in hotel rooms and stuff, I’ll watch the music video channel. Even in Europe, where I don’t like any of the music, I like music videos. And I like making them. We always direct our own videos. I mean, there’ll be directors, but I did the treatment and everything for “Crystal Night.” And the other one we did was “Can’t Hold On,” and Cole did that treatment. It’s just fun. I enjoy the video aspect thing. It’s harder and harder to get money for that stuff nowadays, because there is no MTV. But we’ve been lucky with Vice [Records], because they have resources to let us do that. And sometimes, like, I think we had Ray-Ban help fund a video for us. But yeah, if we can find the money for it, it’s just a neat little tool to have.

KCR: And I think fans appreciate it too. It’s interesting to see what the artist interprets as the visual side of their music.

J: Yeah, me too.

KCR: I know I mentioned this earlier, but I’m calling from KCR College Radio. It’s the college radio station for San Diego State University, and I think that it’s such a cool thing that we have. So I just wanted to know – obviously music streaming services have kind of become the primary way for consuming music, especially for young people. Do you think that radio is still an important resource for getting your music out to a new audience, even your current audience, and reaching new fans?

J: Yeah, I think it’s still really important and a good thing. In Atlanta we only have half of a college station now – it only becomes music after 7 or 8 now. During the day NPR bought it. And we lost our cool AM station, so that kinda sucks. But there’s still KEXP and KCRW and WFMU. I mean, I still listen [to radio]. I don’t stream music, but I guess I could figure it out. I’ve just never done it. I just pretty much listen to WFMU out of New Jersey because they have everything up on their site. I mean, it’s important for me, but I’m 35 years old, so obviously the kids are listening to something else. College radio was a big thing, especially growing up. I never went to college, but me and Cole had our own radio show, and it’s actually still going on.

KCR: Really?

J: Yeah. We started it fifteen or sixteen years ago, and there’s still students doing it with our same format. So that was always awesome for me – I got my own radio show and I didn’t even go to the school. I was really proud of that. So I think that’s still real important and I think that it makes a big difference. Because people are loyal to their local stations, which is now usually almost always college stations.

KCR: I just joined it this semester, in September. And it’s actually kind of crazy how well-regarded it is. In the major newspaper here, it won best station in San Diego, even against the commercial stations. Like, this college radio station did. So it’s pretty clear that people really do appreciate college stations and even radio in general.

J: Yeah, I love the format. And I think it’s good for record sales and promotion and things like that.

KCR: I did an interview last week with Zac [Carper] from FIDLAR, and I asked him the same question. We were talking about how the cool thing about radio is the curated aspect of it. How you don’t really get that with streaming, or with just finding music on your own.

J: Yeah, you don’t get that at all with streaming, really. I guess you can do the algorithm thing.

KCR: Yeah, but it’s not the same. You know, you can look ahead and see what all the songs are. It loses that aspect of wondering what the next song is gonna be.

J: Yeah. I got into so much music when I was a kid that really turned me on. When I was in middle school and high school, there was this show called “In the Aquarian Age” on 88.5, which is the Georgia State station. At that’s how I got into so much cool, weird, old ‘60s music, through that.

KCR: I think radio’s good for stuff like that, a genre or a time period that you’ve never listened to before. It’s hard to just jump into that. So radio’s great for guiding you and guiding your taste.

J: Yeah, you definitely don’t get that on streaming.

Catch the Black Lips at the House of Blues on November 13th on their co-headlining tour with Iceage, supported by Brooklyn’s Surfbort.

Written by: Andrea Renney
Photo courtesy of: Grimy Goods