Louise Chantal is in Control

Uncategorized

Interview by Kayla Gutierrez

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Sucker: Who is Louise Chantal?

Louise Chantal: I’m a singer, songwriter, creative director, and entrepreneur from London, living in the NYC area.

Sucker:  Who or what are some of your musical inspirations?

LC: I’m inspired by so many people in different genres for different reasons. One person that inspired me vocally to grow and push myself, and accomplish as much as I can is Whitney Houston. Beyonce also continues to inspire me as an outstanding boss of her brand and talent as well. Her work ethic is unmatched in my eyes and I would like to strive to be the same way with an uncompromising devotion to my craft.

Sucker: What is your creative process?

LC: Each song has a very different story. Some of the songs on my project, I wrote without hearing instrumentation first and other songs I wrote to instrumentation. The biggest evolution in my creative process from the time I started writing and recording my EP to now is that I am much more involved in the musical production. I really wasn’t an executive producer outside of funding my project when I first began recording songs, but by the end of the project I was heavily involved in music production, not just the songwriting, vocal production, and arrangements of the voice. A big portion of that growth I think I can credit to working with producers that were far more experienced in the industry than me. Syience, who executive produced the project with me, always encouraged me to think and speak for myself. Once I began doing that wholeheartedly, I gained a lot more confidence in myself.

Sucker: What kind of messages do you want to convey through your music?

LC: I would like to convey honest messages. Many of my songs promote feminism and anti-patriarchal concepts because that’s who I am, but then I also have a few songs in which I’m hopeless romantic. All of the emotions I have written about are things that I’ve experienced and battled with. I have experienced men who made me feel like shit, made me feel absolutely horrible about myself, and it’s bigger than intimacy or relationships for me, it goes way back to my childhood up to now and witnessing how society isn’t structured to uplift or celebrate the woman of color. And in this album I’m talking about how I had to find myself, and find out what I loved about me, and why I was special, and why I didn’t need a man to define my worth. My life stories I haven’t share in the Welcome to Aranbi EP. I shared stories of the many women in me.

The emotions are really what I care about. Cry, cry, cry but then you have to move the fuck on. That’s my music. There’s a lot of sadness behind it, I feel that’s the core. There’s other happier songs, but for the most part I wrote about men that didn’t want me to know my worth or think that I was smart enough to be excellent, outstanding, or powerful alone. It was more to their advantage and ego to make me feel small. In this project, I said fuck that.

Sucker: At what age did you start singing?

LC: I was 12 years old, a point in my life where the world I thought I belonged to shifted drastically. I went from a very diverse public school to an all white private school. The way I viewed myself and my value flipped completely. But in the midst of all the sadness that came that year, I fought for a music career, and joined a production company. I wrote and recorded two EP’s, and a mixtape with them, and we created really great things. Years later I’m here, with my own company, having fun and doing it my way.

 

Sucker: Where do you see yourself in five years?

LC: I get that question quite a bit. Hopefully in five years – I’ve done three albums. If it doesn’t work out that way, it’s okay. But hopefully, I’ve done a few albums and I’ve become the creative director of a fashion brand. Maybe I’ll have had a role in a move or guest starred in a TV show. Hopefully my charity has expanded its outreach globally. That would be most amazing. And I’ve toured the world a few times.

Sucker: How do you want your fans to perceive you?

LC: As a business woman that is passionate about what I do. I love my supporters because they understand that about me. They understand that I’m here to change the world through art. I want them to know that I have an uncompromising attitude and devotion when it comes to my work. There is a lot of negative stereotypes about women in the industry, obviously bred by misogyny. They want to promote these messages that women aren’t intelligent enough, aren’t powerful enough to be successful without selling their bodies to a man in power. I hate that shit. I want my fans to know that I’m in control of my shit. No one in the ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’ music video told me, ‘Oh I want you to wear this or I want you to pretend to be that’, everything you see in my content is what I wanted. I’m very much involved, I’m very much in control. There is no one telling me what to do and I’m proud of that and I think it’s important that my supporters know this isn’t been repackaged by a man.

In the PYMWMYI music video I made some people uncomfortable. Uncomfortable to the point where they felt the need to write in the comments ‘oh I wonder who she fucked to get to the top,’ or ‘go back to the strip club’ or ‘slut slut slut.’ If a man puts 100 strippers in his music video, he’s the man. He’s a God. It’s never going to be oh I wonder how many women he had sex with to get where he is because they have all the power and they keep it in their circle. But if embrace my sexuality or look a little too confident in my sex appeal, I get 3,000 comments reducing me down to object. Stripper or no stripper, I’m made out to be an object. I’ll take the backlash in a heartbeat and just do what the fuck I want to do. That’s who I am. That’s who I am going to remain throughout my career, a woman that is unapologetic and willing to make people uncomfortable.

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Sucker: How have you ever experienced sexism first-hand? What changes need to happen to end sexism?

LC: I don’t know how I could be alive in this world as a woman as color, and not have experienced sexism. I could rant on and on about how people undermine on my capabilities or what I can achieve because I’m a woman. But at this point for me it’s about changing the program and what is promoted through the media. The idea that women have to have sex with men in order to achieve career success. The messages that say being in control as woman isn’t sexy. The messages that are promoted through the media must change.

Sucker: Is there anyone you want to collaborate with?

LC: Princess Nokia, I really like her a lot, and I really like what she has stands for in and outside of her music; the messages she promotes. Her entire life story is really inspirational. I’d also like to work with Drake one day.

Sucker: Do you believe personal relationships go with professional business?

LC: Business is always first priority for me, but I tend to become very close to the people I work with continuously. Some of my best friends are people I work with regularly. For that reason I’ve learned about the importance of knowing and respecting boundaries. I once had a friendship in past that became too multi-dimensional. There were no boundaries or moments alone, too much became intertwined. I learned a lot from that relationship and the outcome was sad. But with time and experience I’ve learned how to navigate my business life and my personal life and how to always keep them separate to a certain extent.

Sucker: Many artists claim that motherhood is not a good combination with their life’s work, do you see yourself being maternal in the near future along with balancing your career or solely dedicated to the music?

LC: I’m so in love with me and what I do professionally. All of my siblings have kids. I have so much work I have to get done, and I don’t think a kid would make that any easier for me due to first hand experience babysitting. You need time to be a parent, I don’t have the time or wisdom at this stage in my life to become one for sure.

Sucker: Who has been the most supportive to you through your journey as an artist?

LC: Probably my dad, I’ll give my dad that one.

Sucker: Is there more in life you want to accomplish than music?

LC: Absolutely. I already see myself and my brand as being bigger than music. I want to change the world and I think it will take multiple mediums in order for me to change how kids learn, how the world thinks and I’ll start with music, but I will definitely be branching out. I have a passion for business, branding and market. , I feel there’s so many ways for me to grow as mogul, as an entrepreneur. I love music, but I will definitely be taking advantage of every opportunity to do so much more.

Sucker: With growing movements such as Black Lives Matter, will fans see you spreading activism, will it be in your music?

LC: I definitely feel as though I am an activist through my music and my words, but I am planning to really take things to the next level by launching the Aranbi Foundation in November. At this point in my life, actions are really speaking even louder than words for me and that’s why I’ve begun taking initiatives to become active in the inner city communities that are being targeted the most by a flawed criminal justice system.

Sucker: What is music to you?

LC: Music is the one place where I can say whatever the fuck I want. I can just say what I feel, and I can just cry on a song, and I speak my mind with no dialogue, and no conversation, just me and the world that I created in pain and isolation. Aranbi is me in my head.

Sucker: What is one place you know for certain that you can go for peace and quiet?

LC: My dad’s place. He’s so calm, relaxed, and open minded. I love that about him. I feel so loved in the presence of my father, and enjoy spending all of my time with him. Another place I love going is to the beach.

Sucker: What advice to you have for young aspiring artists?

LC: Don’t underestimate your value, don’t allow anyone other than you to determine what you can or cannot do. Don’t underestimate your ability to think for yourself. Finding yourself and then believing in who you are is key.

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Hey MTV, Welcome to Our Cribs

Lifestyle, Misc., music, Playlists, Uncategorized

Inside Sucker Magazine’s Staff Rooms All Over The World + Personal Playlists

Words by Yvonne Villasenor

 

“You can make whatever you want when you’re alone in your room.” – Kathleen Hanna

 

…Although some would be surprised to discover I am introverted, it is no secret that I enjoy solitude and need a place to recharge after busy days that are often filled with a number of social interactions and anticipation to go home. That place is known as my room…

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Madison Killian – Editor in Chief & Founder of Sucker Magazine

Seattle, WA

…This is where the magic happens.
And by magic, I mean scribbling down words until I hit writer’s block, watching Buzzfeed videos or science/philosophy/paranormal/conspiracy Youtube channels, adding clothes I can’t afford into my shopping cart, singing along to my favorite jams and of course, swooning over animals on the internet….

Jenn Endless – Sucker Staffer

Chicago, IL

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Kayla Gutierrez – Sucker Staffer

Bronx, NY

 

…In a loud, chaotic world, I find peace within these four walls. Never “peace and quiet” though – there is not a moment in time when I’m in my room and not listening to music with the exception of sleeping. Even still, I have to use my noise machine in order to fall asleep…

 

Jess Petrylak – Art Editor

Upstate NY

…In my room, I have different components that keep me relaxed: my laptop, music via Spotify or record player, books, candles, plants and flowers. I wish I could say my cats too, but most of time, they wake me up with their fighting or try to eat my plants. One thing I especially cherish is the very thing my cats are invading in the picture above. For someone who’s only 4’11, I constantly hog the bed and absolutely love being able to wake up sideways, diagonally, upside down…you name it. I also have a huge window to the right of my bed that allows me to get some fresh air and natural sunlight in my room, which is refreshing. To the left of my shelves, I have built in storage space that has pictures, stuffed animals, more books and candles, as well as miscellaneous items I should probably throw away but won’t…

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Yvonne Villasenor – Sucker Staffer

Orange, CA

 

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Tracie Wilkerson –  Sucker Staffer

Salem, OR

Welcome to Afropunk

music, Uncategorized

Words and Photos by Kayla Gutierrez

Attending the AfroPunk Festival was beyond anything I could’ve dreamed. On my way to the venue, I befriended three women at the bus stop, who were also attending the festival. I tagged along with them, and they were very kind to me.

I felt right at home, it felt it was meant for me to come here. I said to myself, “These are my people.” I befriended, and socialized with a few people during the journey to AfroPunk, and during the festival.

Here are the photos I had the privilege of taking at AfroPunk Fest:

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The entrance of the festival

 

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The Joyful Trio

 

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The Singer and The Filmmaker

 

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The Bright Star

 

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The Sweet Pact

 

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“What Makes You A Crafty Betch?”

 

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Kettle Brand, Art Hoe Collective, Girl Mob, Loud Speaker, Bitch Craft

 

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Bitch Craft: For Traditional African Tribal Facial Art

 

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Where Artists Come To Roam

 

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AfroPunk Swans

I wasn’t able to get everybody’s names, the names given to these photos were created names by me, names I created due to my interpretation, my social interactions, and observations of the people I snapped pictures of.

The festival was a blast, and unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to stay longer or go to the festival on the next day. The event was for two days, and I want to go back. I vow to go to AfroPunk annually till the day I die. I met new friends, had a blast, and got to see some great music. I thank, on behalf of Sucker Magazine, the people of Afropunk for this amazing experience and opportunity. 

AOTM September 2016: Beth Murphy Morrison

Art, artist of the month, Uncategorized

Interview by Jess Petrylak

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Beth Murphy Morrison

SUCKER: Who is Beth Murphy Morrison?

BETH MURPHY MORRISON: I’m a seventeen year old artist and student from Northern Ireland. I like to create colourful pieces exploring the theme of body positivity, self love and the connection between ourselves and the beauty that is found in nature in my art as I find it’s a good way to celebrate self expression.


SUCKER: What is your preferred medium(s) to work with?

BMM: If I had to choose a favourite media it would definitely be a tie between watercolour and gouache. I love the freedom of expression I have when I’m working with watercolour, as in my experience even the mistakes that I inevitably make while painting with it serve only to add character and beauty to the piece, forcing me to step outside of my plans and assess how I can improve. However, I also adore and the strength of colour and versatility of gouache. It’s incredibly useful for an art style like mine, due to the thick consistency that lends itself to heavy linework.

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Beth Murphy Morrison

SUCKER: Reminiscent to Art Nouveau paintings/illustrations, you are influenced a lot by naturalistic elements, such as plants/flowers, crystals and the female form. Modernizing this classic style, you mainly work with imagery of women of all shapes/colors and LGBTQ themes. What do you hope your work illustrates to the world?

BMM: My main hope with my work has always been to celebrate the parts of us that are too often looked down upon or ignored by our peers, ourselves and the media, and to improve the representation of different bodies, sexualities, genders and ethnicities within art. While I’m heavily inspired by beautiful, stylistic Art Nouveau movement, I don’t see a whole lot of variety in what is shown to be beautiful. I am inspired by stomach rolls and stretch marks and acne and I have always wanted women to be able to look at the people I create and see themselves, their sisters, and their mothers in them. Every time somebody tells me that I have helped them feel more at home in their skin I feel like I have achieved a huge goal. I enjoy drawing the women among flowers and other natural, organic elements because I can show the similarities between our bodies patterns and those we find in the natural world. A woman with stretch marks beside flowers with huge veins, a woman with acne compared to a geode and crystals, a woman with body hair surrounded by cacti. It makes the person viewing them perceive what is usually shown to be a flaw as a natural and necessary part of the art. I hope my art illustrates that every single part of us is natural and beautiful and should be celebrated rather than hidden or changed.


SUCKER: What is your first experience with art? How do believe you have grown overall as an artist?

BMM: The first memory I have of anything art related is my mother explaining a Picasso painting to me. I come from an incredibly artistic family, with my grandfather, mother and sister all being very artistically talented, so art has always been part of my life. I began drawing when I first learned to hold a pencil and the nurturing and encouragement I received at such a young age is almost definitely the reason I continued with it. Despite this, I would say that I have only began to grow within the last two to three years. While I always had a talent for art, I rarely worked on my techniques and style until I was forced to when I took GCSE art and actually tried to step outside of my comfort zone and develop a new and more interesting style. I had previously fallen into a rut in which I only drew photo-realistic pencil drawings, which, for me personally, didn’t feel rewarding or expressive. Working with more knowledge of artists and mediums definitely helped me grow and it’s something I’d recommend every young artist explore.

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Beth Murphy Morrison

SUCKER: What is your go-to art making song(s)?

BMM: I’m a huge fan of musical theatre, so i always keep a playlist on my phone with a mixture of my favourite soundtracks which I stick on and sing along with as I work. At the minute I like to listen to Hamilton, Rocky Horror and Les Miserables. if I’m not in that sort of mood though I find artists like Hozier and Fleetwood Mac put me at ease while I work.


SUCKER: Heavy contrast is part of your stylistic approach to creating art, in your experience does overworking a piece ruin it?

BMM: For me, it definitely does. Often times simplicity is the best route to go down if you’re uncertain. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been forced to scrap one of my pieces after I let myself get carried away and either destroyed the paper I was using or overcrowded the painting itself. It’s never a pleasant feeling, and even when the piece is salvageable, it won’t feel the same way my other, more successful attempts do.


SUCKER: What physical and emotional environment is the best for you to work in?

BMM: I prefer to work alone most of the time due to the fact that I’m ridiculously easy to distract, and when I’m in other people’s company I tend to get sucked into speaking to them rather than being focused entirely on whatever I’m working on. I also tend to work best in a positive mood, because with the style of work I do I am always focused on portraying positivity and happiness. . When I work in a bad mood I find that that will affect my colour schemes and the general feeling of the piece, and I will likely be less happy with the end result.
Physically I’m not too fussy. As long as I am somewhere comfortable I can generally make it work. A lot of the time I paint sitting cross legged on my bed, leaning on whatever hard surface I can find. It’s unfortunately not the most professional set up, but hopefully I’ll actually get myself a desk soon.


SUCKER: What is something you absolutely would not do within your artwork?

BMM: There aren’t a whole lot of boundaries I have in terms of subject matter, however  If I felt that something I had created had the capacity to be harmful to someone, for instance, by promoting stereotypes, being culturally insensitive or by romanticising eating disorders, self harm or substance abuse I would immediately get rid of it. Other than that, I’m open to exploring a range of different themes within my work.

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Beth Murphy Morrison


SUCKER: Do you experiment with other forms of art other than illustration?

BMM: I have experimented in the past with different art forms, such as sculpting and digital art, however I found that none of them suited me as well as illustration does, as I enjoy the process of painting and sketching. Although I would really like to gain more experience with different art forms as I believe it’s incredibly important for growth, and I would absolutely like to try to improve my skills in a range of areas in the future.


SUCKER: What does your art making process look like? How long does it usually take to create a piece?

BMM: Usually when I’m working I like to start with a sketch or clean linework and then begin to layer. My process usually adapts to work with whatever media I am using at the time but I generally enjoy working in segments and will prefer to focus on one part of the piece at a time to make sure it gets the right amount of attention. More often than not, I start at the face and work outward, because that’s the part I enjoy most. When working with fast drying paint, which I usually do, I mix my colours as I go to avoid them drying out as I work. The amount of time spent on a piece for me varies, and can take anywhere from 4 hours to 70 hours, depending on the size of the painting and what I’m using to make it, but if it is as small as A4 I can usually finish it in around four or five hours.


SUCKER: Your work involves very vibrant, saturated colors; How do you make color decisions? Does color transcend the meaning behind your work?

BMM: I wouldn’t say I use colour to display meaning, but I do use it to portray moods at times and I find that the colour decisions I make change as I get a feel of the “personality” the subject I’m painting displays. I like to choose bright colours if I want the piece to show someone powerful or joyful and I like to use duller colours or purples to show someone peaceful and calm. People tend to associate different colours with different emotions, like yellow with happy or angry with red, so playing with these ideas can be good when displaying emotion in art.

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Beth Murphy Morrison


SUCKER: What is your ultimate goal involving the arts?

BMM: Ultimately, I would love to get into tattoo art and continue to sell commissions. I think that the stylistic approach I like to take with my pieces would transfer well into tattoos due to my love of linework, and, like all artists, I would also hope that at some point in my career I would be able to have my work displayed in galleries. In the more immediate future I would like to attend university to study Fine Art.


SUCKER: Who are your biggest inspirations within the visual arts world?

BMM: I’m really inspired by artists such as Frida Kahlo, Klimt, Alphonse Mucha and Egon Schiele, because they are all artists who explore a somewhat surreal style of portraiture which has heavily influenced my own work. Frida Kahlo’s unapologetic self expression and the celebration of her features has always played a part in my exploration of self love, and the unique body types both Klimt and Schiele portray is somewhat mirrored in many of my drawings. I’ve always felt very fond of Mucha’s work because body types he portrays look realistic and attainable, and I admire and the classic elegance that all of the women in his work seem to possess.

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Beth Murphy Morrison


SUCKER: You have recently painted on the back of your jean jacket, could you see yourself venturing into creating more custom made clothing pieces?

BMM: Definitely! I’ve already started on a second jacket and I have plans to buy more denim clothing in bulk and begin to make as many as possible to sell at markets, as well as creating custom clothing on request. It’s an incredibly fun way for me to create something new that can actually be used and it’s something a lot of people have expressed an interest in, so in the near future, I will hopefully be making a ton of new items.

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Beth Murphy Morrison

SUCKER: Why is it important as a contemporary artist, to share your work online?

BMM: I think that if you are trying to gain success as a contemporary artist you would have to be absolutely crazy not to have some sort of online presence, whether that be a promotional page on Facebook, an Etsy store or even an Instagram. The internet, and social media in particular, are incredibly powerful tools for creating a name for yourself and spreading awareness of your work outside of your own small bubble of acquaintances. The truth of the matter is that the internet is incredibly important for marketing yourself and getting your name out there for people to come across, and your chances of success are going to be much higher with that support behind you.


SUCKER: What is the best advice you had received as an artist?

BMM: Probably that you should listen constructive criticism, because as an artist it’s really important that you listen to the advice and tips that you are given by other artists or the people buying your work. While it may be difficult to acknowledge that you don’t always know best and that not everything you create will please everyone, taking constructive criticism on board will help you grow a lot faster and improve your work drastically. This doesn’t mean you always have to agree with the criticism, but acknowledging it and respecting different perspectives of your work can be really helpful.


SUCKER: Your linework is graphic, but hardly linear. What do soft, curved lines do for your work, contrasted with the graphic highlights and shadows?

BMM: I mainly use softer, more curved lines because of the movement and the easy flow they give the piece. I find that harsher, more linear lines can at times make the subject seem stiff and rigid, which is never an effect I’m fond of in my own work, or else they can make the entire piece slightly too harsh when coupled with the highlights and block colours I enjoy using. I find that when the soft linework is coupled with the more graphic elements of the piece it finishes the painting and it works as a whole, rather than overtaking other details and becoming the main focus.

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Beth Murphy Morrison


SUCKER: What is next for your future art and future self?

BMM: In terms of my future art, I’d really like  to further refine my current art style, while also experimenting with new subject matter and art forms to round out my abilities. I also want to begin to sell prints as well as commissions and will be doing so as soon as possible.Because I’m currently in my final year of high school, my future self for the time being will be focusing on getting into a good university and maintaining a balance of school and art, and will be selling custom clothing and commissions when she has the time, and will hopefully be creating an online store as soon as possible.


SUCKER: Where can we contact you, follow you and buy your art?

BMM: Currently my only public social media is Instagram, and you can find me and contact me there @fairyhands, and while I  don’t have an online shop at the minute, I will be creating one in the near future!

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Beth Murphy Morrison

Harsh Noise: A Conversation with GRUTESK

Art, music, Uncategorized

Interview by: Jess Petrylak

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“Harsh Noise” is a musical style that is entirely characterized by static used in an expressive state, and often times challenges what is thought to be conventional in terms of musical practices. Sucker Magazine interviewed GRUTESK, a rising star in the genre of harsh noise who’s based in a quaint town in Upstate New York.

SUCKER: Who is GRUTESK?

GRUTESK: Grutesk is a harsh noise alias I use to let out some steam and just to create.

SUCKER: Not an entirely expanded upon genre, what sparked your interest in harsh noise?

GRUTESK: I honestly can’t pinpoint what exactly sparked my interest, but I’ve always been interested in more experimental music. I always wanted to be different with my music taste while growing up. When everyone was listening to pop music I was listening to more independent music. I could say that probably the band/group to get me into the genre would be a rap group by the name Clipping. If harsh noise interests you, you should check them out

SUCKER: What software do you use to create your music?

GRUTESK: Currently I’m using FL Studios to make this, but I want to expand my horizons and go with the traditional setup for noise music, which is with a mixer, and some guitar pedals.

SUCKER: Do you consider GRUTESK sort of an alter ego comparative to your natural self?

GRUTESK: I think I would, I would say I’m more calm and collective then Grutesk would be, I’d best say that Grutesk is more expressive of his emotions and does not take shit from anyone, a little on the chaotic side of things though.

SUCKER: How does the emotion of anger play its role within your music? Do any other emotions come out through this medium?

GRUTESK: I’d say if it hasn’t shown in the song titles of my latest EP “Violence”, it’d be my latest experimentation with vocals in some tracks and also the noise itself gives off an angry tone or feeling.

SUCKER: What are some responses you’ve gotten on your music? Good, bad?

GRUTESK: I’ve either have gotten “Oh that’s interesting” which usually means “This is terrible” or, (from people in the noise community) “This is some good stuff man keep it up.” I take anything as a compliment; I realize this genre isn’t for everyone it even took me a while before I was fully interested in it.

SUCKER: Do you believe truly anyone can be an artist (music, art, writing, etc)?

GRUTESK: I believe you if work hard at something you love, and you are putting in the effort then you can become an artist. If you go into anything either looking for money or trying to get famous thinking “oh this is so easy hahaha” you aren’t really going to get very far.

SUCKER: What would be on GRUTESK’s personal playlist?

GRUTESK: He would definitely have just a lot of variety of noise music, and extreme music.

SUCKER: You also craft your own album art, what are the benefits of being a completely independent artist that transcends many different creative mediums?

GRUTESK: I think that because I have somewhat of an idea with what looks good with art, it plays a big role into both noise and my digital art. I believe with each album cover it portrays the emotion within each album.

SUCKER: Does your creative process for visual art and music differ in any way?

GRUTESK: With my digital art I try to draw cute cartoon women and fandom related things as well, generally like a non impacting emotion with it. Grutesk is a way I can express myself when I get angry, upset, whatever. I mean, I have created something from emotions into my digital art, but for the most part I don’t, which I think needs to change.

SUCKER: Have you done any live shows, and if not would you consider?

GRUTESK: I haven’t yet, but I would love to! I have some crazy ideas of what to do for some live events which I would love to share with everyone.

SUCKER: What was the definitive moment that lead to you to create music?

GRUTESK: After I saw a performance at the Bundy Museum in Binghamton, I forgot the guy’s name or his groups name, but it was really interesting and it just went on from there.

SUCKER: In a genre that has a very specific sound, how do you separate yourself from the rest of the harsh noise scene?

GRUTESK: I think that with my vocals I add on tracks it definitely separates me from the others.

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SUCKER: What influences your sound, other than other music/musical artists?

GRUTESK: Some of the current events or horror themed things really inspires me with Grutesk, I want to do something a little different someday where I incorporate spoken word, poetry, or whatever with harsh noise. I also would love to collab with anyone if they are interested, just write to me via email or on soundcloud or bandcamp.

SUCKER: What is some sound advice you have gotten as far as any creative endeavors?

GRUTESK: I have been just told to practice, experiment, and to keep trying new things.

SUCKER: Where can we follow you, listen/buy your music?

GRUTESK: You can follow grutesk on soundcloud (where I post tracks, previews, and albums) and my bandcamp.

I would also like to shout out some really cool people in the noise scene I’d recommend anyone to check out : Writhe (Ruben), he has some intense tracks and he’s just an awesome friendpaper skin. (Taylor), he’s more power electronics but has awesome live shows and music, he’s who inspired me to add vocals to some of my own tracks. 

 

 

If Bradley Nowell Knew These Guys He’d Be Friends With Them: One Dollar Check

music, Uncategorized

 

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By Lucy F.R.

My small town isn’t all that eventful, so when a friend of mine and I found out that there was some sort of music event happening we made our way over to the park to check it out. The entire lineup for the day consisted of local musicians- people I’ve heard about from all my friends, people I went to school with.

We made our way backstage to say hi to the people that we knew, and I quickly learned that being around talented people is a little unnerving (whether you know some of them or not) so, being the hermit that I am, I sat down on the floor and did some people watching in between reading pages of a book. Everyone was sitting in a circle in various kinds of chairs making small talk, telling jokes and laughing, eating the candy bars on the food table, smoking cigarettes. But among all of the activity, the one thing that really stuck out to me was that every member of One Dollar Check were sitting down, listening to what people were saying to them, or sitting completely by themselves in seemingly deep thought. They’re just a bunch of quiet guys.

Everybody that I had talked to that day said that they came for One Dollar Check. I already knew that music is incredibly important to everyone in the band, but it never really clicked with me just how important it was to them until this show. Elijah, bassist, was effortlessly strumming away with a smile on his face, lightly bouncing around the stage; front man Gared was grooving up and down the stage, occasionally gettin’ down with a band mate, and filling up the area with his beautiful, soft voice behind his sunglasses; Aaron and Carlton were playing their guitars with the simplicity and confidence akin to Bradley Nowell’s style, and Carlton would occasionally take over lead vocals with the same strength as Gared, only a little quieter; Charles kept everyone in check with his 100% solid drumming skills- no overwhelming drum fills or cockiness, which is a quality not every drummer is graced with. Tommy worked the stage the most. There wasn’t a single square inch of that stage that he didn’t walk on, he’d weave in and out of the changing lights, stood in the clouds made by the smoke machine, and even walked around the audience.

The whole time they were playing, you could feel the brotherhood between these guys. You could feel the respect and the love that they all have for each other, making their set one of the most comfortable, heart warming live music experiences you could possibly ever have. That’s what makes One Dollar Check so special. It’s a band consisting only of people who are the nicest guys in the world who all share a strong passion for music.

One Dollar Check released their 8-track debut album, entitled “Feels So Right”, a year ago on August 8th, 2015. The band is currently recording an album which should be released next year. Until then, keep up with One Dollar Check on… SoundcloudBandcampFacebook, and Instagram.

 

Skating, Hating, Masturbating

music, Uncategorized

Ice Cream talks to us about memes, their upcoming album, and “Dairy Rock,” the genre they invented

By Madison Killian

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Hailing from San Francisco, the band Ice Cream is not your average group of dudes. Before our interview, I read up on them and was drawn in immediately: they were working on a debut album with the legendary Bruce Botnick (famously worked with The Doors, and The Beach Boys) and was soon scouring their Facebook page… and stumbled upon the “Band Interests” section. It read: skating, hating, masturbating.

Oh no.

The genre-bending garage punk band consists of Lou Rappoport, Kevin Fielding, Joseph Sample, and Bryce Fernandez. When the band reached out to me, we decided to move forward with an interview via Skype… but it turns out that the extremely cheap and garbage wifi in my apartment wasn’t strong enough; And instead of seeing the faces of the dashing members of Ice Cream, it looked like I had paused a action-packed scene from the movie The Ring. After much giggling between us, and me trying out holding my laptop in awkward positions in an attempt to get a better connection, we decided to just talk on the phone. But, as disastrous as our introductions happened to be- the rest of the interview was great. Fun, even. All’s well that ends well.

 

Sucker: How long have you guys been a band?

Ice Cream: 2 years I think. Maybe 18 years.

Sucker: Do you guys have hobbies other than music?

Ice Cream: Hockey, surfing! Video games for sure.

Sucker: Are you guys signed to a label?

Ice Cream: We put out our cassette on the Burger Records imprint label, Weiner. We’re talking about doing our full length with them.

Sucker: Do you have an album title yet?

Ice Cream: We’re currently taking title suggestions. So, if you think of anything good. Let us know…

Sucker: What bands would you say influence you most?

Ice Cream: I’m gonna go ahead and say not really bands right now. It could be like.. A bus driving by.. And I’d be really interested in the bus noise. Just like… sounds in general right now.

Sucker: Ok…

Ice Cream: It could change tomorrow, but today I heard one of those electric busses, and they got good feedback. You can hear the voltage. *makes extremely cool and definitely not lame revving engine noises*

Sucker: You guys should just call your next album Bus Noise.

Ice Cream: Bus Noise!

Sucker: I kind of hate bus noises because they all drive right by my apartment…I can’t relate.

Ice Cream: But maybe it could be soothing?

Sucker: Totally! Except when it’s not.

Ice Cream: *laughs*

Sucker: Are there any misconceptions about your band?

Ice Cream: Yeah, we get a lot of people thinking that we’re adult contemporary, or we’re a latino boy band- because of our name. There’s another band with our name, so when you type in Ice Cream on Spotify it takes you there… So like when we play live, it’s a lot of explaining that we aren’t them.

It’s hard explaining the genre. Especially to people who aren’t super familiar. I wanna say garage-rock, but when you say garage-rock, people think of like, heavy nonsense. And then I wanna say something with a sweet melody, so like, garage-pop. But then people are like, “What the hell is garage-pop?”

I started telling my co-workers that it’s punk-rock-jazz. Somewhere in that realm I feel.

I just feel like garage rock, surf rock, pop rock… uhhh… just a mixture of those.

And then you call that dairy-rock.

Sucker: Dairy rock.

Ice Cream: Yeah. Dairy Rock.

Sucker: Perfect.

Ice Cream: Mind bending.

Sucker: Drink of choice?

Ice Cream: Moscow mule- I never order them though because they’re usually quite expensive. *laughs* If I have an all encompassing drink ticket from a venue- that’s what I’m getting.

Other than that I just drink cheap beer. I like some IPA’s. Yeah. Heineken.

Sucker: So lots of beer. Are you guys big into partying?

Ice Cream: We pick and choose our battles, you know? In this day and age you gotta pick and choose.

Sucker: What are your favorite memes? Or do you hate memes.

Ice Cream: Oh.. you mean may-mays? *laugh* Oh man- I could go on for DAYS with memes. Right now what’s popping into my head- that sad Michael Jordan face one is pretty funny. Like, usually if somebody fucks up they put a sad Michael Jordan face on their body. I’m just trying to get through this life without having a sad Michael Jordan face photoshopped onto me.

I saw this one that was like “9 out of 10 white girls Can’t Even.”

My girlfriend and all her friends keep saying “I can’t. I literally can’t.” like…. What the fuck. They all sound the same.

***********************************************************************

That’s when the band switched the script on me… and asked me about my own life.

Ice Cream: So what bands are you getting piped about right now?

Sucker: Hmmm.. I’m listening to a lot of older punk right now, I always like The Strokes.

Ice Cream: Classic Strokes.

Sucker: Yeah I can’t do country music. Do you guys like country music?

Ice Cream: No. *laughs* garage country maybe. We love the Strokes too, though. They’ve definitely influenced us.

Sucker: Where do you guys see yourselves in 10 years?

Ice Cream: Not dead.

Sucker: That’s the goal.

Ice Cream: Maybe have a food truck?

Maybe become millionaires off of the music and then retire…

Sippin’ on a pina colada in a cocoa cabana… hopefully.

Sell out immediately and then never make another album. We did it boys.

Sucker: Everyone’s gonna go solo.

Ice Cream: Yeah it’s gonna be like what Justin Timberlake did, but in the opposite direction. The album comes from every other N’Sync member besides him.

I wanna be Lance Bass. That’s all I’m saying.

Isn’t he an astronaut?

He’s definitely a gay astronaut.

Lance has a nice face.

Sucker: Do you guys follow pop-culture a lot?

Ice Cream: Anything that has to do with Rihanna. All hail queen Rih!

Sucker: I’m on that train for-sure.

Ice Cream: That’s what I’m talkin’ about GIRL!

Actually. We started a church, it’s called Ice Cream on Rihanna. Every member is actually just photoshopping melting ice cream scoops on Rihanna’s smokin’ hot body.

That could be a may may! That could be my new favorite meme.

Sucker: What’s next for you guys?

Ice Cream: We’re working with Bruce Botnick and kinda learning all these secrets about all these other people he’s worked with like Jim Morrison and Brian Wilson and shit. We’re pretty excited about it. We’re kinda just shopping for a label that’s gonna be able to put it out with some gusto, you know? We have a couple label offers but we’re trying to hold out on making a decision right now though. But yeah, Bruce is recording and mixing it. He’s got an ear for weird shit. So we kinda just record as much weird shit as possible and let him pick.

Sucker: Did you guys get to hear any cool stories from him?

Ice Cream: Yeah. Apparently Jim Morrison and him were at a hotel once and Jim threw a mattress out of the window, and then he jumped out of the window and onto the mattress. And he hit the mattress, but he knocked himself out on the mattress and they just left him there. *laughs*

Some of these songs we’ve had for awhile. Some of it is super new. There’s gonna be a lot of different stuff on there.

We’re trying to think of an album title that’s like Sum 41’s All Killer No Thriller, cuz’ that’s so sweet. We might call it All Thriller No Killer… or Even More Thriller…

Keep up with Ice Cream on their website and Facebook, and check out their video for “Wild” below.