Interview with Genders

KS: We’re really stoked to be having this interview right now. It’s actually our second interview so this is really cool. You guys stoked to be playing with Helio Sequence tonight?

Genders: Yes definitely, they’re one of our favorites. We’re really excited. It’s exciting to play with bands you really like.

KS: Absolutely. I really enjoyed the album you released last year Get Lost. First of all, that album artwork is super-cool. Did you have an artist do that?

Genders: She did that (points to singer Maggie Morris).

KS: That’s Awesome. I really like it. Is that just a bunch of stuff that you threw together?

Genders: Thanks! Yeah, a previous housemate left hundreds of National Geographics in my house, and I took a bunch and went though them. I spent a long time–I’d never done a collage before. Really like ten to eleven hours. It’s was really fun, I actually want to do it again.

KS: Ten hours straight?

Genders: I did like five hours straight then I probably did four or five putting around. I didn’t have an exacto knife, I just had shitty scissors, so it took a long time to get close—-and then I scanned it into my computer. I had two images that I was trying to decide which one was going to be the cover, then I was like ‘Oh, I need a front and a back’.

KS: Well it turned out really awesome. It’s definitely one of the most expressive album artworks I’ve seen in this past year. I know you guys toured with Built to Spill as well, that’s one of our favorite bands. We’d like to ask you about your experience touring with those guys since they’re since a staple of the Idaho scene. We do a lot of work in Idaho through Treefort and it almost seems like the Portland and Boise scenes seem interconnected. How did you guys get in with Built to Spill?

Genders: They were practicing in our practice space. They were borrowing a friends’ practice space to practice before a tour again. I guess it all kinda comes to Treefort because we were using Typhoons space, and they were friends with Typhoon from playing at Treefort with them. Yeah we just gave them our EP a couple of times and kept bugging them (laughs). They liked it; they invited us to their show here at Doug Fir, when they were playing in February with Finn Riggins. So we came and hung out with them, then they offered us that show.

KS: Right on. Another thing I noticed from seeing you guys play before, you guys rock the She Shreds, are you a part of that (asking drummer Katherine Paul)?

Genders: One of my best friends is involved. Maggie just did something recently for them—a tour photo diary. We’re good friends with them and we support them, they’re a really awesome magazine–the only magazine about women guitarist. Maggie documented our tour with Built to Spill. They posted it online. You should check it out, it’s really neat.

KS: I’ve seen some of their stuff around, I guess I didn’t really know too much about them until they did that show.

Genders: Here? With La Luz?

KS: Yeah. So they do guitar features…?

Genders: It’s a lot, they do interviews with women guitarists and bassists, they incorporate gear reviews, it’s kind of all over the place but it’s centered around women guitarists.

KS: That’s really awesome. I guess my next question is are you guys working on any new recordings or any new songs?

Genders: Yeah we’re working on new songs right now and we’re going on tour at the end of March for a couple weeks and then we’re just going to play them out on the road and when we come back we’re going to get down to recording an EP, and then tour again at the end of summer.

KS: That will be cool. We’d love to listen to what you got coming up. Feel free to take a couple months off if you need some time…

Genders: We’re learning how to say no. It’s really hard. We have a lot of friend bands in town and friend promoters that want us to play show, and we love to play shows. Your schedule gets filled up pretty quickly. You don’t realize. You go from having two months free to having a show every week. Even when we say we’re going to take time off. We’re only playing three shows that month? That’s taking time off. For us.

KS: I’m wondering since you’re music is new to me, it’s impactful. I just wonder where your inspiration comes from.

Genders: I think we have pretty different influences, but we come together. Maggie or Steve or Katherine or someone will bring in an idea for a song and then we’ll all bring our own stuff in, so it’s a really collaborative effort. And with such varying influences, that’s what makes Genders what it is.

KS: You really get that kaleidoscopic sense, when you listen to it it’s synergistic.

Genders: As far as inspiration I think all of us just think about music a lot. It’s the first band I’ve been in that I feel like everyone’s really invested in the music. Even if we weren’t in this band together we’d still be making music.

KS: Well I’m glad you guys are in the band together. We don’t get any specific musical references from anybody though?

Genders: It’s constantly changing. It’s whatever I happen to be listening to and it’s totally random. I think we all have music tastes that are all over the map. I feel really inspired by seeing live performances specifically, going to a really good local show. Seeing people actually creating music is really inspiring more than listening to tracks at home. It’s raw. Something about it…

KS: It’s straight heroin versus the synthetic stuff. (laughter) Don’t pay attention to that one.

Genders: Speaking of, RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

KS: Who are some of your favorite acts around Portland, or to play with.

Genders: (pause) None (laughter). My friend Mike has this band called Paper Brain that’s really really good. I think my favorite Portland band that’s recently defunct is Support Force. They we’re really really good. They were a local band that I would look forward to seeing more than some national acts. RIP Support Force. I really like Ghost Ease. They’re really great. My best friend is the drummer. Actually my other best friend Bobby is the bassist, she runs She Shreds. Jen is really awesome as well.

KS: Is there anything you guys want to promote or talk about, about the album or in general?

Genders: What should we promote? Hmm. We’re learning how to do all this…

KS: So are we.

Genders: Our next show is at The Know on February 22nd, it’s going to be really fun. It’s with The We Shared Milk, another great Portland band. We haven’t played at The Know in a while. So that will be really fun.

KS: Such a great spot…

Genders: It’s definitely going to be loud. We’re going to try to play an all new set that night. Maybe I’ll just play one song though. I kinda want to play just one song.

KS: Man, last time we were at The Know things got really weird. So feel free to just live it up… UFOFBI with Spookies, it was quite the show. So if you want to play a twenty minute long song go right ahead, we’re into it.

Genders: Yeah lets do it, I won’t even play the drums I’ll just play the clarinet. Just chords over and over, chords for twenty minutes.

KS: I think people would be way into it. You never know what’s going to happen when you walk back there.

Genders: Yeah that might actually get people to come out to the show. We were thinking it might be a negative thing, but it might be like ‘Will they actually have the balls to play that, will they drive themselves insane? Can your fingers sustain the power for twenty minutes?’

KS: You could at least squeak out ten, fifteen.

GS: That’s what we should promote.

KS: Well we still want to hear the new stuff too. Just one last question; you mentioned you were new to this. When did you guys form exactly?

GS: A little over a year and a half ago. July, Summer 2012. In July we’ll hit the two year mark.

KS: Wow, that’s crazy fresh.

GS: Yeah. We’re primarily new to thinking about businessy shit. I think we’ve all been playing shows and touring for quite a while. But in terms of actually trying to make it like a business and doing the things you have to do to succeed, we’re all like OK, promotion, how do we promote ourselves? How do we manage this, getting a band bank account? All this stuff. How do you do taxes as a band?

KS: So you guys are like an incorporated business?

GS: We’re an LLC. Yeah, planning a tour we used to just “Let’s go on tour!” and we’d just pick a time and called it good and now we actually have to think about it.

KS: Well I say just make good music and the rest will follow.

Interview with Aan

AAN

We interviewed Aan before their performance during their showcase show with Red Fang, and WL, about their upcoming album Amor Ad Nauseum coming out February 4th, 2014. Get down on their kickstarter here.

KS: I have a burning question, and that is, how was touring with Smashing Pumpkins?

AAN: Pretty cool, playing the shows themselves were really fun. And amazing– playing in front of 2,500 people. It’s funny how quickly you assimilate yourself. The first show we were just like, UHH…, and then by the third of fourth show it’s like, Oh Yeah. Because you kinda can’t take in 3,000 people. Three-thousand versus 400 people… you can and you can’t. Because at a certain level you can’t– for me at least I’m looking at faces and once I stop looking at faces it doesn’t really matter. And then meeting them was fun. We’re in the middle of the South, or in Florida, and we’re like “What are we doing here?

KS: Was that your first US tour, or just down South?

AAN: It was our first time down South. But we’ve done the East coast. The only place we have left is the Midwest. We haven’t gone there yet. But we’ve done all the West. We’re going to Canada next month so we’re finally going international.

KS: Does Billy talk like he sings?

AAN: We didn’t talk to him much, he was very guarded… MIA. But to answer your question, yes! He’s not easy to get to and he did not hang out at all. We hung out with the drummer, who we know, and Jeff the guitar player. He’s gigantic though.

KS: Is he? That’s what we hear, that he’s super tall.

AAN: He’s pretty tall, yeah, like 6’5” or something. We met him in his green room after our last show with him and he was eating a salad on the couch. We all just kind of piled in the doorway and tried to talk to him for a bit. You know you have so many questions that you would like to ask but really there’s not time for and five people are standing there with things they want to ask.

KS: Are you guys planning any recordings we should know about?

AAN: Yeah we’re putting our record out February 4 of next year. First full length record. Yeah, first full length. Lot’s of little things…

KS: Right on, like the 7”, the EP…

AAN: Yep, and the record will be our arrival when it comes out. The level of recording and music is much better than anything we’ve put out.

KS: Where did you guys record?

AAN: A couple different places. We recorded for a week out at Lincoln City in an A-frame cabin. We brought out a bunch a gear, and borrowed some really nice stuff. Tracked the majority of it out there, and then did a lot of mixing and additional vocals at Jeff’s studio. He’s since moved, but he was working in a studio in Northeast called The Trench. Greg— a producer guy in town Greg Williams, he had a studio and I ended up occupying with him for a couple of years. It was super fun. We finished the last couple tracks at the Auditorium it’s the Dandy Warhols recording studio. Yeah it was done quick, we did a lot of cool location stuff…

KS: My next question is, where did the band name come from? A-A-N?

AAN: Well the title of the full-length record is Amor Ad Nauseum. And that is also where the name comes from. It was a thing that I was using for my own recordings back in, once I got out of college, in 2005 I would do bedroom recordings. It was a lot more moody, kind of folky-ish. Freak folk.

KS: I like that, totally. I’d like to hear that.

AAN: Very freaky, very folky.

KS: Did you say it was the title of the record?

AAN: Yeah it’s sort of tying it all together. It’s some fake Latin word play.

KS: Yeah, I enjoy it. I like showing it to my friends, and they’re like “How the fuck do you pronounce that?”

AAN: It’s a running joke on stage for us as well. “Ladies and gentlemen, It’s ANN!” For a show we playing with Smashing Pumpkins our greenroom door had A-N-N. No, not Ann, do your homework.

KS: So you said it’s fake Latin though…

AAN: It’s like one of those things where it’s probably how you would say it but it’s not definitely something that would be said, it’s sort of modernized and bastardized. Well Amor Ad Nauseum, Amor of course is love and ad nauseum … but nausea and like—to love until you’re sick. And Ad Nauseum is also a term that just means repetitive, over and over and over again. And when you see the cover of our record it’ll start to make sense. It’s my lady friend’s mom’s dog and she got into a porcupine, and she’s just covered in quills. But she has this demure posture, she’s just very calm, chilling. And it just looks like that same thing. It’s being lovelorn, and you just keep going and going even though you know it’s bad for you. That’s what Amor Ad Nauseum originally came from to me.

KS: We’re so excited. Your guys’ music is one of our favorite from Portland, what bands do you guys like playing with around the area?

AAN: And And And, we love And And And. Sun Angle, Radiation City. I like any kind of dark heavier stuff but with pop sensibility. As far as drawing a crowd Radiation City just know how to write a cut that takes you to different places, that might not put you down where you started from… This will be a pretty sweet show.

KS: Have you guys seen WL?

AAN: Yeah, we played with them two years ago for Into the Woods.

KS: Right on. Did they even exist back then? A couple years ago?

AAN: Yeah it was their second show. We have not played with Red Fang. But we saw them at Musicfest last year, at Roseland. Maybe two years ago… two years ago. Loud! They opened for Dinosaur Jr that year.

KS: Oh shit!