Interview

Last year Brigid Dawson and Oh Sees’ John Dwyer came together last year to release a new OCS record, Memory of a Cut off Head. Next week they will bring the album to life at Mumrr Theatre on Saturday, December 15, that will feature Dwyer and Dawson leading an 8-piece band including current Oh Sees live members Tim Hellman, Paul Quattrone, as well as members of strings.

We recently had the chance to speak to Dawson ahead of the show to discuss the album, her working partnership with Dwyer, what fans can expect from the performance at the Mumrr Theatre, and what else fans can look forward to in the future.

Will: Hi Brigid, how are you today? Where are you located at the moment?

Brigid: Hi there Will, I’m good today. It’s my day off, I’m in San Francisco, and I’ve been doing some cleaning around the house, and rented a couple of movies for tonight. I think it’s going to be What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?…I just saw The Nanny with John when I was in LA, and it was wonderful. Bette Davis is so creepy in it.

W: Before the release of the new OCS record last year, it had been a while since Oh Sees/OCS fans had heard from you. What have you been up to of late?

Well, I’ve still been singing on most of the Oh Sees records, and one of John’s Damaged Bug records, since I stopped touring. I’ve been doing some writing and recording of my own too this year. I’ve been painting and Drawing as usual. And also just learning how to be at home again after ten years spent mostly on the road.

W: Can you tell us about how you and John working together to record Memory of a Cut Off Head and how that album came together?

B: In the beginning of 2017, he asked me if I wanted to make an OCS record with him, I said yes, of course..and it was just a series of really nice visits to his lovely home and studio in Los Angeles, hanging out with the dogs and cats, lots of spectacular sunsets. We did it on his Tascam 388, and he brought some songs, and I brought a few, and we just worked through the singing parts and arrangements together.

W: How does it compare to make a quieter & stranger records with John compared to the more aggressive music that you guys have also made together? Can you discuss the difference in the process?

We had more time doing this record than we ever did before, I feel like most of Thee Oh Sees records were pretty rapid affairs, partly because we were so rehearsed from the road, partly because we recorded live all together mostly, so they would go quick. But Memory of a Cut off Head, was great to record because we had more time to do it, fool around with layering vocals, different voices (trying to sing like a Viking on “On and On Corridor”), and of course all the instrumentation, the Strings, Patrick Mullins coming in with his Saw, and the Synth and Noise bits that he and John did.

W: Your vocals have always been a great compliment to John’s and vice versa. Can you talk about your songwriting relationship and how it has grown to its strongest point with this latest OCS release?

B: Thank you very much, that’s lovely to hear. I love singing with John, and from the beginning of joining OCS, I have trusted his vision completely, really. I knew I was joining a band, that when I was old, regardless of weather anyone I knew liked it or not (and thankfully they did, mostly), I would be proud of the music we made.

John and I have played together for 13 years now, and I think we read each other pretty well. When I first started playing with John, I would would write my own parts, harmony’s, keyboard lines. Often John would have suggestions too about what he wanted to hear. With this record, it was a more shared process, with both of us writing the songs.

W:  Do you miss playing Oh Sees material with John, Pete, and Mike and do you think you guys will ever come back together someday in the future?

B: I do, they are like brothers, and it has been a complete honor to get to play music with them all.

As for if we will all play together again, I cannot say, I have no idea. I think we all just keep moving forward don’t we? Even if you are lovingly casting one eye backwards over your shoulder to the past…

W: You have the upcoming show in Brooklyn at Murmrr Theatre with an 8-piece band. What can fans expect from these shows each night?

B: Probably quite a lot of high-class repartee on Johns part…you can expect Shannon Lay in the opening set, whose voice and playing is utterly showstopping and beautiful, and she may sing a few with us too. And you can expect some real old OCS songs, and maybe a surprise at the end..

W: Are there any plans in the future for more OCS releases with John?

B: I hope so.

W: And finally, what other future projects do you have coming up that fans can look forward to?

B: An album I’ve been recording this year, I’m mixing it now..it should be out next year sometime. It will be my first, on my own, and it’s very exciting.

An Interview With Sunflower Bean

By Will Oliver, December 5th 2018

Sunflower Bean have had an eventful 2018, releasing their critically acclaimed new album Twentytwo in Blue back in March via Mom + Pop Music. They have been touring hard in support of it ever since, including a performance at Bowery Ballroom in April and a free show at East River Park in August.

This Friday they play their largest hometown show to date with a headlining performance at Warsaw (that is presented by Governors Ball). There are still some tickets available for the show that you can buy right here.

We had the chance to interview the band’s Julia Cumming and ask her about touring in support of the record in 2018, some of the best acts they’ve opened for, and what fans can come to expect from their show on Friday.

Find our conversation below and stay tuned for coverage from the show coming very soon.
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An Interview With Erika Spring

By Will Oliver, December 4th 2018

This fall saw Erika Spring (of Au Revoir Simone and Nice As Fuck) return with her new EP Scars, which was released via Cascine.

She celebrated its release on October 4th with a performance at Cascine’s 8th birthday bash at Elsewhere. We had a chance to not only see Spring perform these songs but she was generous enough to spend some time with us backstage to take a few portraits.

We also had the honor of speaking with her more recently, where we discuss topics such as the making of the EP, it’s inspiration and working with David Lynch on an episode of Twin Peaks.

Find our interview with Spring posted below.
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An Interview With Billy Raffoul At Mercury Lounge

By Omar Kasrawi, December 3rd 2018

Photos + Interview By Omar Kasrawi

A guitar, a deep and soulful voice, and an array of tunes designed to pick at the haunting and most intimate moments imaginable was all Billy Raffoul needed to delight a packed Mercury Lounge on November 13th. The 24-year-old Canadian entertained his fans with not just already known songs, but a few that have yet to be released. Oh, and he also made sure they knew just how funny he was as he performed in New York as a headliner for the first time in his career. Before the show, Raffoul sat down with We All Want Someone’s Omar Kasrawi to talk about his career, how he taps into such emotional subjects, his love of New York, and what Stan Lee means to him. Below are excerpts from the interview.
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Photos + Interview by Joe Saturday

The last time we saw Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Holly Miranda, she was celebrating the release of her third LP Mutual Horse (released via Dangerbird Records) at the Park Church Co-Op back in March.

Her next headlining show would have taken place in August at The Loft at City Winery, but illness forced that show to be rescheduled for October 25th. Before taking the stage that evening, I briefly had the opportunity to catch up with Holly to discuss topics like the making of her album, her Patreon, and even her plans for the future, among other subjects. Continue below for excerpts from that discussion, Holly’s setlist, and a photo gallery of Holly’s guest-filled performance that evening as well as photos of opening act Tim Mislock.
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English rocker Miles Kane is back with his new album Coup de Grace, out today via Virgin EMI. Last week I had the pleasure of chatting with Kane over the phone. We touched upon the new album, his collaboration with both Jamie T and Lana Del Rey, and his batshit new music video with WWE Superstar Finn Bálor.

Find our conversation transcribed below and note that it has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
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All words and photos by Dutch Doscher

What Mourn has endured over the past few years would have fractured most bands and at first glance that might just be the case.

The day after Mourn entered the United States from Catalonia, Spain, it was pouring rain. There’s angst in this trip back to the US for the largest US tour they have ever done. It’s completely understandable. After a grueling few years of battling their previous record company over mismanagement and non-payment, along with the pouring the rain and their upcoming tour, this has brought up some visible anxiety for this punk band. Leia Rodriguez, their bass player, was having a hard time processing the new world that’s ahead of this band.

Jazz is looking after her sister Leia, Antonio and Carla are chatting under the awning of the record company Captured Tracks as the rain pours around them. MOURN is here in support of their new album. An album they are very proud of and happy to talk about.

The recording their 3rd full album Sorpresa Familia (Surprise Family), has a more natural raw sound than their more produced previous albums. They are growing in new directions. Antonio calls their first two albums (Mourn and Ha, Ha, He.) black and white and this album color because it shows their full versatility. The colors of Sorpresa Familia revealed itself to them through making a covers EP.

Instead of the city, they recorded Sorpresa Familia in a country house in the middle of nowhere, “Where there were horses around.”  They isolated themselves and took their time, “Making the album felt like a holiday,” Carla explains. If something wasn’t working they would just get back to it later. One of the freedoms they felt was they didn’t like the way Jazz and Carla’s vocals were coming out in the studio, so the two of them went to their rehearsal studio with a computer and a microphone and recorded their vocals. Those tracks are what they used on the record.

The cover art presents a standard family portrait, but if you look take a 2nd look, there is something raw in their eyes. Something else is going on. Nothing is as it seems with Mourn. They look like kids, think like adults. They seem worried and scared but unload on their three minutes songs with confident ferocity. At first listen, their music its seems inaccessible, but upon a second listen, you can hear the detailed magic. There’s a mastery in the rawness of this album.

Like all great punk rock music, it comes with an attitude and anger, much of the record is written about the previous record company and the ass kicking. A stand out track is “Fun At The Geysers,” a song about their former management touring the Geysers of Iceland, leaving the band without money, food and support. “Feel I hate you, I know you hate me. Why fake if I can’t stand your face?. Nevermind, go have fun, At the Geysers.” Antonio’s drumming and Leia’s bass reach a rhythm at the end of the track that’s unusual for a band that was born decades after the peak of Punk and Alternative music. The kick in the face to their old management is that MOURN went to the Geysers to shoot the music video to finally have the fun they should have been a part of.

This is a band that refuses to be ignored and shouldn’t be. These kids went up against “The Man” and created art distinctive to them. The post-punk rock album guitar riffs wail in all the right places with fierce drum fills. The is a band learning from their previous albums and growing as songwriters. Carla spoke about her admiration for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Antonio’s admiration from Muse to Eminem to Slipknot. This band is not just one thing and you can hear the influences.

Mourn takes the stage at Baby’s Alright the following night, on July 18. They seem calmer than the day before. This is their element. They cross the stage and turn their backs to the sold out crowd in Brooklyn. These are people who have been fans for years, It’s quite surprising when the oldest member of the band is 21 and the youngest is 18.

Mourn has a spirit. There’s something about this band.

With their backs turned to the audience, circled around the drummer they all grab a drumstick and start playing the drum kit….Together…… This is a band who has not given up on their music or each other. What seemed like disconnection yesterday is a comfort. The kind of comfort you only get when you go through hard times and learn to trust each other as family.  

Something about MOURN felt nostalgic and new at the same time. They sounded like a midnight punk rock band that would have fit right in at CBGB’s.

Jazz, the lead singer, tears into her songs with passion and fun. Carla and Jazz work off each other during their set and there are a lot of smiles shared between them. Maybe because kids from Catatonia don’t get to travel the world as rock musicians. Antonio told me “It just doesn’t happen.”

The bass player, Leia, a timid quiet soul, doesn’t give you the sense that she’s as fierce as she is till she picks up that bass and reaches inside to shine. Antonio’s drums go from being a thunderous presence to a distant rumble. It’s those moments that separate this band from their peers.

As the show ended, the crowd cheering, they turned to each other. Away from the audience, pulled their heads in together and wrapped their arms around each other. On stage, you see they are a surprise family that depend on each other and stick together.

In the song Epilogue

“We hold our hands, Savory Dance We sing along What is next? What is next?”

I’m excited to see what comes next. They have a future, together.

< img class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-106903″ src=”http://weallwantsomeone.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Mourn-37-600×400.jpg” alt=”” width=”600″ height=”400″ />

Mourn setlist

1. Intro
2. Barcelona City Tour
3. Skeleton
4. Strange Ones
5. Fun at the Geysers
6. Candle Man
7. Orange
8. Evil Dead
9. Thank You for Coming Over
10. Doing It Right
11. Divorce
12. Sun
13. Bye, Imbecile!
14. Epilogue

An Interview With Franz Ferdinand

By Will Oliver, February 9th 2018 — with 1 comment

Scottish indie dance-rockers Franz Ferdinand have recently gone through some internal changes since their last record, but they’re back with a new lease on life with their new album Always Ascending, released today via Domino Records.

Last month I had the honor of meeting up with the band’s Alex Kapranos (vocals and guitar) and Paul Thomson (drums and vocals) at Domino Records in Brooklyn to discuss the new album, their new look and just how they’re kept being so damn cool after all these years. And bassist Bob Hardy even popped in to join the portrait following the talk. This was as engaging and entertaining of a chat that I’ve had with any band in my short time doing interviews and I am excited to share our conversation with you guys below.
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An Interview With Nikolai Fraiture of Summer Moon

By Will Oliver, February 24th 2017

(Summer Moon at Summerstage in 2015)

You may best know Nikolai Fraiture as bassist of New York rockers The Strokes. As the band is taking some time off before the eventual release of their new album, Fraiture been busy with his new band Summer Moon, who released their debut album With You Tonight today via DTF Records.

A few weeks ago I had the chance to chat with Fraiture over the phone as New York was hit with a rather heavy snowstorm. A major contrast to the wonderful, summer-like weather that we’re currently experiencing today, which fits the record quite nicely.

We talk about the new record, how the band came together, the difference between making music in L.A. and New York, and the time he and Julian Casablancas went to see Jane’s Addiction play in 1997. You can find our whole conversation posted below and can buy the album here.
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1_Seratones_Bowery Ballroom

It’s been a big year for Shreveport Louisiana soul rockers Seratones, who released their great debut album, Get Gone, via Fat Possum. They’ve been touring non-stop all year, and return to us here in New York for a show tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge.

Back in May, after catching their more than memorable opening performance for The Dandy Warhols at Bowery Ballroom, we spoke over e-mail with frontwoman AJ Haynes, about the bands success so far, the history of the band, and some of their influences. We are proud to share our chat with AJ with you, find the entire conversation posted below:
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