Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


So a few months ago, Lomography gave me a La Sardina 35mm camera, and I switched out my disposables for my life documentation purposes. This is what came of the project -- an interview and a bunch of awesome photos.

Read the interview, but for now here is a handful of my favorite lomo photos.

Again, check out the interview here!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Everybody knows Xiu Xiu. I remember blasting "I Luv The Valley OH" with my sister and feeling as misunderstood as Jamie Stewart in high school. I was happy to hear the band was returning to Austin tomorrow night (at Mohawk) on their North American tour. I had been seeing their passage through the states and Canada with Dirty Beaches and Father Murphy. 

The line up took on a change mid-way though and Dirty Beaches was replaced by YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN. This band's music and performance is as big and exciting (and experimental) as their name suggests. There is no way for you to understand their music through text, so I suggest you give it a listen (below). They create music they have self-dubbed "Noh-wave" in reference to No Wave and Noh, a classical form of Japanese musical drama.

I lucked out on an opportunity to interview the band's core, drummer Alaska B and singer Ruby Kato Attwood about influences and what to expect from their show.


I saw you listed Boris and Gwar as a few of your musical and stage inspirations. Are there any visual artists you are particularly inspired by?
Ruby: I'm influenced by documentarian footage of ritual performance.

Alaska: The artists I hate influence me the most. If its challenging to my taste, it instigates my response through imitation or resistance. So I guess I love hate my favourite artists. Love:  Zhang Huan, Takashi Murakami, Marina Abramovic, Tenjo Sajiki. Love hate: Matthew Barney.

Are there any other bands you would consider "Noh-Wave"?
Alaska: Noh-pe

What are some of the strangest items you've transformed into instruments?
Alaska: Clothesline and 1x6 plank gu Zheng, 50s egg timer bass, a water chestnut can shamisen or a megaphone tamboura. I also built an infamous set of electronic drums out of a Rock Band kit back in 2008. We don't use them as much live, but they still rear their heads every so often. 

I have new ones in the work. Right now my baby is our new 8-panel DIY-led light rig I built with Aylwin Lo for under $600. Our lightning designer Alana Ruth is currently using it on tour. Designed to be modular, I plan to keep increasing its capabilities. It can already sync to Ableton live and MIDI.

What are some of the best reactions to your performances?
Alaska: When a kid at ATP in England somehow knew all of our lyrics. Or maybe when I jumped into the pit at our false alarm farewell show back in 2009 and managed to send even seasoned extreme musicians terrified into the corners with a violent head smashing performance. I've had to cut those down though; I can't take as much abuse as I used to.

Ruby: A guy in San Francisco told us that he finally understood the connection between meditation and doom metal. Generally, the response from our fans have been amazing, and we want to come back even better than ever on a headlining tour

Some of the worst?
Ruby: All reactions are good. Whatever they want to think is half of it.
Alaska: I guess 50% is a passing grade no matter how you spin it.

Have you been to Austin before? 
Alaska: Noh-pe. But our other singer, Ange Loft, might be the first Mohawk to ever perform at the Mohawk

What do you have planned for the performance at Mohawk in Austin?
Alaska: Due to touring's limitations, we've toned down a lot of our stageshow. I won't be doing any of our more intense performance pieces, because I have to play night after night, and drumming is already physically demanding. Our cardboard sets are definitely limited as they can't survive that many shows, and with less time to set up, we can't do the absurd spectacles we became known for. But we still plan to put on a killer light show and play a solid set. The audience won't be disappointed.

Xiu Xiu, YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN and Father Murphy
Where: Mohawk, 912 Red River
When: Doors at 9, show at 10
How much: $10 advance, $12 at door

See you there!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The latest issue of Bleach Online is now live! "Sky Rocket" features some seriously amazing photo editorials and interviews (including a few by me and one featuring me!). I had the pleasure of interviewing talented folks Matthew Frost, Annie Gunn and Peter Simonite, Natasha Pincus and Hayley Mary of The Jezabels.

Bleach was also kind enough to feature my new project VOYEUR and me in the issue, with some amazing images taken by Shayne Stroud. CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE ISSUE NOW!

+++ And go to the issue launch party at Cheer Up Charlie's tonight for FREE, featuring live music by Orthy and Gal Pals and Feathers DJ sets. RSVP HERE.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

INTERVIEW: Peter Holmström of The Dandy Warhols

Photo by Destiny Dawson

In anticipation of the upcoming Dandy Warhols (with 1776) show at Emo's East next week, I was given the opportunity to interview guitarist Peter Holmström, which I obviously leapt at. Before embarking on a month-long US/Canada tour, I got to chat him up on the phone and ask him about their newest album, The Machine, and more.

How does The Machine differ from previous albums for you?
Peter Holmström: You know, for us, the big difference is it's a really stripped down record. We kind of approached it trying to limit ourselves in the amount of tracks we recorded, because what with digital recording, you can record millions of tracks or songs if you really wanted. And in the past, we've gotten carried away, and I think it kind of affected adversely with some of the songs, so we definitely tried to make that happen. And I think it worked well.

Where does the inspiration come from for this one?
Peter: I don't know that it came from one place at all, I think it comes from everywhere.

What music were you listening to?
Peter: Prior to making the record, I was listening to a lot of early rock n roll, rockabilly stuff, and more modern variations of that. And I think that kind of helped inspire the stripped down approach. But besides that, we listen to everything. I don't really know that any one thing is more inspiring than another.

And usually, actually, it's what we're not hearing, which is the biggest influence  on what we're doing.

So you want The Dandy Warhols to separate themselves from anything you are currently hearing?
Peter: Yeah, it's not necessarily a conscious thing. It kind of started after we started working on Welcome To The Monkey House. There was a big resurgence of guitar rock at that time; The Strokes had come out, Black Rebel, White Stripes. And since there was a lot of guitar music around, we didn't feel the need to make guitar music. So we kind of took a different approach. 

And then for us, the next record - we hadn't been playing much guitar and the songs were very concise on Monkey House - we ended up doing Odditorium [Or Warlords Of Mars], which was a very meandering, kind of free-form more experimental guitar record. It just goes back and forth from what we're doing. So, I guess it's not just doing what we're not hearing, as well as doing something new that we hadn't been doing already.

I don't know if that makes any sense at all.

I think so, yeah, just keep the sound changing all the time and not stagnant.
Peter: Yeah, we tend to have not super short attention spans, but we definitely feel like we need to keep either progressing, or if not progressing, at least changing, even song to song sometimes.

When was the last time you were in Austin?
Peter: It might have been about two years ago, two and a half years ago, when were kind of touring on the Capitol years.

Did you get to hang out at all?
Peter: I think that time we went to, and I don't know the name of the bar, but we went to a bar and saw a band of old-time country players. I forget what they were called. Some of the most amazing musicians I think I've ever seen in my life, kind of made me want to stop calling myself a guitar-player.

Actually, I was in Austin a year ago for Psych Fest for my side project, Pete International Airport.  

Pete International Airport | Photo by Destiny Dawson
Did you get to see the city that time?
Peter: I was there for three days, but I was at Psych Fest all three days. 

I wondered what you like about Austin and what you like about Portland.
Peter: They always say there's similarities, but I think it's more just similarities of people's attitudes about things, a little more artistic, I guess, than other places. I don't know how to describe Portland. It's weird.

What makes you want to stay in Portland?
Peter: We didn't want to move. This is home. 

I have one serious question: Where did Courtney's second Taylor come from?
Peter: I don't know. I never quite understood that. I think it had a lot to do with the time his parents were still together, so he wanted to hyphenate… no, nevermind, I can't explain it. I have no clue. I used to remember what his explanation was, but that was years ago. It never really made sense to me. Sorry, can't help you.

And one last question: Should we expect any nudity from the live show these days?
Peter: No, there hasn't been nudity for years. 


Don't forget to get tickets for the show!
Tuesday May 22 | doors at 8 p.m.
Emo's East, 2015 East Riverside Dr.
Tickets: $16-18

Monday, May 14, 2012


Introducing my portfolio page. I had been sitting on for about half a year, and it's finally up. Check it out if you want to see things that I do, including journalistic work, styling work, videos and a photo diary.

Images from Seattle-based Katie Schultz's VOYEUR submission. Also, in case you haven't noticed, there have been a few small changes made to the site. I plan on beginning the "Spaces" project soon and blogging on the site regularly. Check out Katie's 7 Days and my short interview with her.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

INTERVIEW: Airick Woodhead AKA Doldrums

PART 2 of 2: I was able to interview the man behind Doldrums, Airick Woodhead, briefly, before his, Bear In Heaven and Blouse's show at The Parish tonight. This band peaked my interest during SXSW. His music and his responses to my question are across the board curious and intriguing. Listen below.

Photo by Kate Ray Struthers

Who are your musical icons of the moment?
Mickey mouse, Slayer, Bach

Who are your icons of all time?
Stalin, Moses, Peter Pan

Growing up, what was your dream career?

Where do you want to go with your life now?
Where should I go with my life? Mmm... I can't decide between Taco Bell and Wendy's.

What are you doing on 4/20?
Playing a show in Kentucky with Bear in Heaven


Sunday, April 22, 2012

INTERVIEW: Joe Stickney of Bear In Heaven

In anticipation of the Bear In Heaven, Blouse, and Doldrums show at The Parish Tuesday night, I thought I'd snatch the opportunity to interview a couple of artists in attendance. 

Joe Stickney, drummer of Bear In Heaven (who also contributes to a number of other projects), was kind enough to answer some quick interview questions on the road.

Who are your musical icons of the moment? 


Who are your icons of all time?
Jaki Liebezeit, Zigaboo Modeliste, Prince, Hank Williams

Growing up, what was your dream career? 
Test Pilot, Chuck Yeager style.

Where do you want to go with your life now? 
This is pretty nice. It would be nice to own some land out in the country, I guess, but I'm pretty happy with how things are going. Why, does it seem like there's room for improvement?

What are you doing on 4/20?
Hanging out in Louisville, thinking about stuff.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Jess Williamson came to my attention as a photographer through the realm of the internet when I was still in college, and I remember always being mesmerized by her work, being jealous of the subjects and the surrealistically serene lives they seemed to be existing in.

When I found out Williamson made music as well, you can imagine I was impressed and all the more envious of her talent, especially after sampling her MACHINE WHEEL/DEATH SONGS EP. I got a chance to catch up with Jess and ask her about her duel artistic formats, her inspiration and ask her a couple of questions I was just personally curious about.

Photos by Jess Williamson

Which came first, the music or the photography?
Music came first. When I was a little girl, I told my parents I wanted to be a singer like Dolly Parton. My best friend and I used to have concerts on the playground in second grade. There was this cool fort thing, and we would go up there and pretend it was a stage and perform for all the kids. We made up these dances to like, Ace of Base and Alanis Morissette songs, and we’d take turns singing the parts.

Do you feel like your photography and music are inherently intertwined or are they separate entities?
It’s all pretty intertwined. All of my songs are based on actual experiences, conversations, moments, and it’s the same with the photos. My photo work is tied to a documentary tradition. I don’t usually set up shots, instead I kind of filter what’s around me and shoot things based on the concepts I’ve been thinking about.

How does the visual aid your music making?
I learned a tenderness and appreciation of subtlety from photography that I think finds it way into my songwriting.

How does music aid your photography?
I don’t think it does very much.

What photographers do you have your eye on lately?
Luighi Ghirri, Mikaylah Bowman, Nan Goldin. But Marina Abramović is the artist who inspires me the most

Photos by Mikaylah Bowman
Photos by Nan Goldin

Who are you listening to these days?
I like Grimes a lot right now, but it might be that I actually only like that one song "Oblivion." I’m really into the newly unearthed Karen Dalton album called 1966. I’ve been listening to a lot of Arthur Russell when I take drives. I like to take drives this time of year into the hill country and see all the wildflowers, and Arthur Russell is a good companion for that kind of thing. I’ve been listening to Silver Jews a lot too. I went on this road trip a few weeks ago to San Francisco and a friend recommended I listen to Bright Flight. I’d never heard it before, and the first time I heard “Room Games and Diamond Rain” I was driving through this weird stretch of desert in New Mexico near the Gila National Forest with lots of windy roads and I remember a lot of copper colored earth. Anyway for some reason that song made me cry when I heard it the first time in the car like that.

Do you find that the subjects of your arts overlap?
Lately yes, because I have been thinking a lot about the power of shared transcendent moments. It’s been a theme in my new songs and also in the photo project I’m working on.

What spawned your Exes Project? Are they all real exes?
They are real exes. My parents are in there, and I’m in there with my high school sweet heart.

I was working for this photographer Angela Boatwright in New York when I came up with the idea for that project. When I told her about it, she said that she thinks people usually shoot things that they are trying to figure out or work through, and I agree with her. I was still bent out of shape over an ex, and I think shooting that project was a way to try and figure out my own heartache and feelings of rejection.

Images from "The Exes Project" by Jess Williamson

What are you currently working on more?
Right now, I am finishing up shooting for this solo photography show I have at Big Medium in June. The show is called "You Can Have Heaven on Earth."

What's coming up in your horizon?
Right now we are practicing a lot, changing parts and adding new instruments. I just wrote a new song on guitar, and we are bringing in some dulcimer, synth, electric guitar and other things. We want to add more electronic elements. We are also beginning to book our summer tour up the west coast, which I’m really excited about.

Jess Williamson Photography
Jess Williamson on Facebook
Jess Williamson Bandcamp

Photo by Ben Aqua

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Hey guys, so here's the first real video for me to produce start to finish. I figured SXSW 2012 was a great place to start. I got the chance to interview a handful of artists who came into Austin to play.

Without further ado...

Featuring artists:
Youth Lagoon, Dirty Beaches, King Tuff, Superhumanoids, North Highlands, Tribes, Friends, Bleeding Knees Club, Bleached, Throwing Up, FIDLAR, Cults, Nite Jewel, Tennis, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Guards, Windowspeak and of course Peelander Yellow of Peelander-Z.

And songs "Teenage Girls" and "Who Are You" by Bleeding Knees Club. Thank you guys!

Monday, March 19, 2012


Hey guys, it's been a little while since I've updated about anything non-SXSW related. The time is now.

I thought I'd post about my recent work for
Bleach Online's latest issue
Tokyo Plum, which released the end of February.

Photo by Ben Aqua
+ I got the opportunity to
interview artist Ben Aqua again. I also had the lovely opportunity to get photographed by the man himself in some self-done face paint. Ben was one of my first features on Voyeur.

Photo by Kristin Megumi Wong

+ Was also incredibly happy to get to help publish my friend Kristin Wong's work. She was shooting an all Asian girl gang photo series, which was the perfect complement to the issue; view the rest of the images and read my interview with one of my oldest, dearest friends here. (I've also featured Kristin on Voyeur, I just can't help myself.)

+ I had the honor of interviewing emerging band Tashaki Miyaki, whose music I've adored since I first heard their Everly Brother's "All I Have To Do" cover.

+ Thanks to Jacqueline, I was introduced to the portraits of Rimel Neffati, a photographer from Paris who produces some of the most eerie and captivating images I've seen. I was also able to interview her.

+ I styled a shoot with Danny Yirgou in Granger, TX, featuring models Justin Kitchen, Connie Mobley, John Kolar and Ashton Smotherman (in order of appearance).
View the rest of the images here.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


With the new Las Cruxes location opening up (just above the old one in the old Fresh Up), I thought I'd get a sneak peek to the store and talk to owner Veronica Ortuño to get an insight to what makes the store as unique as it is.

Las Cruxes is definitely one of my new favorite spots around town. Not only does she curate a great vintage and artisan collection for both men and women, she showcases interesting art, sells zines, books, and vinyl from local artists and abound. I love how she easily marries the clothing, jewelry, music and everything else carried in her store. It's truly a "lifestyle" store, rather than just a retail space.

Veronica was also nice enough to answer some questions I had for her about her store and herself.

ME: What is "Las Cruxes" exactly? Where does the name originate from?
VERONICA: Las Cruxes originates from the Spanish word: Cruces -- which translates to the crosses. The spelling variation is intended, as to not confuse Las Cruxes with the city in New Mexico. A lot of people have trouble with the pronunciation: pronounced Las "kroo-sez" or "kroo-says".

I apply this word to the integration of diverse and creative movements. Las Cruxes is a movement in itself - where art (visual, literature, fashion, etc.), music, and culture intersect. In a lot of ways, I feel our generation lacks a cultural uprising, because we've become so detached from intent -- it's detrimental. I believe there needs to be intent in what we do, otherwise it loses meaning and sincerity. Additionally, I try to focus whole-heartedly at keeping to my convictions of DIY ethics and underground culture.

What are some great/new things we can expect with this new store location?
With the expansion of the space, I'm able to do in-store shows now, and it'll be easier to curate bigger/more interactive art installations. I've also been working on a small clothing/accessories line for Spring and Autumn, and Mikaylah Bowman and I are collaborating again to make screened, air-brushed, and marbled silk dresses and one-piece pantsuits.

What is one thing in your store you'd suggest for a metal head?
Christian Mistress paraphernalia. Or maybe the Sabbath pins.

A tourist?
Any of the locally made items: records, zines, jewelry, or clothes. For the most part, they're not readily available outside of Austin, which makes them even more special.

A vintage collector?
Some of the vintage Moroccan/African jewelry pieces I have. They're so beautiful and unique.

Being an editor, I think you'd enjoy the NUTS! fanzine. My friend Ben Trogdon compiles and curates the zine; he interviews artists/musicians and documents happenings in the current Olympia, Washington scene. He's also an amazing photographer and told me it's one of his dreams to shoot a fashion editorial some day!

Also, what made you want to get into retail (since I knew you to be a Carrot / musician for so long before)? Are you still doing that?
I've always been fascinated with clothes. Clothes-making mostly… as an art-form. I was sewing and making clothes for my Barbies when I was very young. In 2008, I moved to Portland and continued redesigning garments and began reselling (both handmade and vintage pieces) online to help with my college tuition. Needless to say, I didn't turned back. It never feels like work to me, because I thoroughly enjoy what I'm doing.

Playing music has been harder to focus on lately because so much time has to be sacrificed to pursue this venture. The Carrots LP is currently in post-production and should be released by the summer, but there are no tentative plans to play shows. I continue to make an effort at staying musically active, whether it's booking shows or running my radio program. With time I do have to myself, I write music on a Micro-Korg and drum machine or play drums in a Black Sabbath cover band called Children of the Grave. We have a 10 year old singer who rules so much!

***To celebrate the new location's opening, Veronica is hosting a party (RSVP on Facebook) featuring works (zines, video work and live show by his band Breathing Problem) by local artist Rusty Kelley. His work will be on display a the store through the month. I'm definitely coming out after I close up the BLOWOUT SALE. See ya there!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Presenting Ariel Bender's submission to Voyeur - here are just a couple of snaps. Check out the rest of them and read the interview on the site.

On top of being one of the more interesting characters I've come across in life (I met him at a Polysics concert in Dallas when I was 17), Ari is also in this rad local Dallas band Missile. Check the music out on Facebook. Their music videos are so well-produced. Here's one of them: