WDCV Interviews… Isis

Backstage before her set, Isis shared her views on Skittles and being an independent female artist with WDCV’s Tessa.

Tessa: So, Isis of Thunderheist!

Isis: Yes I am Isis of Thunderheist.

Tessa: And you like red skittles.

Isis: I like red skittles. I used to like green skittles, but I’ve changed, I’ve grown older. My tastes have changed.

Tessa: I respect those tastes. Red skittles, where it’s at.

Isis: I’m telling you, f*ck green skittles! [laughs] I’m gonna write a letter to Skittles: “YO, F*CK GREEN SKITTLES. RED POWER.” Okay, I’m done.

Tessa: No, sorting them was good, it was a nice…

Isis: I was going somewhere with that, I was! You know, if you don’t stop me now…

Tessa: I mean, that they should just make bags of red and green. They do it for M&Ms.

Isis: That’s what I’m saying, segregate the skittles. I think it’s about time, you know. Segregate these skittles! [laughs] Some of the soundbites you’re gonna get are f*cking ridiculous, oh my god. Okay.

Tessa: So you’re from.. Toronto?

Isis: I’m Nigerian. And I was born in Nigeria–Africa, it’s a continent, not a country–some people don’t know that–and I was raised in Toronto, and I’ve lived in Vancouver, sometimes Philly, and … yeah that’s about it.

Tessa: Did you go to college for music, or…?

Isis: No, I’m a college dropout, I went for a week and then I went on tour.

Tessa: Wow.

Isis: Yeah.

Tessa: And you were originally Thunderheist, were you something before that?

Isis: No, I was originally Isis, and then I met Graham through a mutual friend, and he was really into my musical stuff, my solo stuff, and then accidentally sent me a beat for this other thing he was doing. I rapped on it and he was really stoked about that. And then he was like “Do you want to be in a band with me?” and I said “Sure, why not?” And then we started Thunderheist, and that went for about three years. And then we decided to take some time apart, and now I’m going back to my solo music, which is now different from what I was doing initially. Initially when I first started as a solo artist I was doing a lot of spoken word and I got into MCing, and then a little bit of singing, but mainly MCing. And then with Thunderheist it was mainly MCing, a little bit of singing. Now I’m focusing more on singing and writing vocal stuff versus just rapping. I think I’ve mastered the rap thing.

Tessa: And you write all of your lyrics?

Isis: Yes, I write all of my lyrics, and on this–on my solo project now, I’m for the first time also producing music as well. So it’s not–so, the music I’m writing as well, and co-producing… So it’s a real collaboration, whereas with Thunderheist it was more like, you know, I rapped and Graham would make the beat for me to rap for, like, you know, Graham would make a beat and I’d rap on it. So it’s definitely more of a hands-on, full experience. I think, for women especially it’s like usually we are just a voice, we’re a face, you know, and I think it’s important for us to start exploring the other back-ends of the music industry, not just, like, you know, being the front singer, like really writing your own music. It’s really liberating. Also extremely, extremely difficult. And hats off to anybody who does that full time and is good at it, because it’s not easy. I become kind of anal, because, staring at a screen and wavelengths… Just looking at waves and cutting and pasting for hours, and like moving things around and trying to get the synth to sound an exact way, that’s why it all make sense now why Graham was the way he was.

Tessa: So, since you write all your own lyrics and everything… most of what we’ve been talking about at the radio station is what is “Jerk It” really about?

Isis: Oh, really?

Tessa: We wanna know what it’s about [laughs]. We’ve been… is it dancing?

Isis: Well, “Jerk It” is a Thunderheist song, I’m Isis! Why are you asking me about “Jerk It”? I wrote that song a long time ago. No, I’m kidding, um, “Jerk It” is… um… honestly I made it up, I made up the f*cking word, I have no idea what the f*ck it means. Um… It’s really just, for me, a song about, you know, not really caring what society tells you you’re supposed to be or you’re supposed to look like or any of that stuff, essentially shaking off any of society’s rules and really just embracing self and individualism and kind of just going for the gold, you know, and not really–and I think, especially like, a lot of times we spend too much time worrying about what other people think. I do it too, you know, we all do it. And I think that song, it was kind of like a moment for to step back and just enjoy being you and not having to apologize for it.

Tessa:  Well that’s pretty awesome, we had little bets going what it was about–

Isis: Yeah? Who’s winning?

Tessa: Well, I don’t think anyone won that one. We were–we said it was, you know, the fifties dance “the jerk”–

Isis: Really?

Tessa: There was like, a dance move like that in the fifties, um, called “the jerk” and we thought it was about that, and some people thought it was about beef jerky, and, you know, the obvious, “jerk it”…

Isis: Oh, like jerking–

Tessa: Yeah, especially with the video. But–

Isis: Oh, you know, I didn’t ask to put a cock in the video. You know, it’s just a chicken. But a male chicken, so a cock. I see the innuendo. I see it! I didn’t ask for it, it’s just happened to happen, you know, sex surrounds me, I don’t know why. [laughs]

Tessa: It was, when we found it we were like “Oh! Interesting. I’m excited for this woman to come to Dickinson!”

Isis: Are you excited just because you want to hear me play “Jerk it” or are you excited because you actually want to hear some of my solo music?

Tessa: Well, we want to hear someone who can bring it and who can have us all dancing, and we just want someone with energy and that’s what you–

Isis: That’s a good answer! That’s a nice way around the answer, too, that was good, you didn’t really–that’s good, you’re good at this! If you’re looking in the world of interviewing, you’re alright stuff. I’ve been interviewed by many people and I’ll say you’re doing a pretty good job.

Tessa: Thank you for complimenting me on my–

Isis: I also liked your jacket earlier, too.

Tessa: Wilson’s leather. They’re everywhere around here.

Isis: Really? Do you guys pay taxes here?

Tessa: Um, not on clothes in Pennsylvania.

Isis: F*CK YEAH we’re going shopping, yo. …Sorry, you can’t see, I was pointing at my bag. Pointing at the bag!

Tessa: On clothing, no tax.

Isis: That’s nice. I’m gonna buy some chaps.

Tessa: There’s a cowboy store..

Isis: Oh yeah, I’m sure there is. This is America, cowboy [laughs]. Cowboys and Indians! [laughs] Okay. So do you want to ask me anything else about my solo stuff, ’cause that’d be cool.

Tessa: Why don’t you tell us about your solo stuff?

Isis: Yeah! Well, like I said, I’m producing and writing the record. It’s not nessessarily the same Thunderheist music because again, it’s not the same people. But it’s still danceable. I think a lot of it’s introspective instead of me writing more for people and helping them find their confidence, I guess I’ve kind of gone inside and just, kind of used this as an opportunity to write about things I don’t normally tell people. I’m not really a share-my-feelings kind of person, I’m more like “let’s all get drunk and not talk about it,” so it’s a really cool opportunity then to be a bit more vulnerable. With that said, I still get the b*tches on the floor, so it’s all good. Don’t be scared guys, you know, you’ll still be able to dance to some of the songs. But I hope people will listen to the lyrics as well, and actually spend some time listening to the music and, you know, not just hoping for another “Jerk It,” cause that’s… sorry it’s not gonna happen. I might not even play “Jerk It” tonight, see? That’s how much I don’t like that song.

Tessa: You really don’t like that song.

Isis: I just… it’s just.. I love the song, it made me lots of money, you know. I think now, as somebody who’s pursuing solo music, I don’t want people thinking I’m Thunderheist, you know, I’m Isis. And I was Isis before Thunderheist and I’ll be Isis after Thunderheist. And… [knock on door] hold on a second! And, you know, I think it’s really important to not have people pigeon-hole me. Again, a lot of Thunderheist, a lot of the branding of Thunderheist was me… and I don’t want to be typecast right now, I want people to remember that as much as I am the party-starter and the girl that made sure some people got pregnant, I also am somebody who’s an artist first and foremost. And I think that’s a very important message for me to get people. I’m not, you can tell I’m not a super-serious person or anything like that, I just don’t want people thinking that every time they come to my show, they’re gonna hear “Jerk It.” You’re not going to. I literally haven’t this entire time we’ve been doing this tour. I play the other songs from Thunderheist, it’s just that that particular song is so iconic with Thunderheist, it’s so connected to Thunderheist. I really avoid going there. So again, I’m not mad at anybody who asks for it, I don’t blame them, it’s a great song, I’m glad that I was able to have that three years of awesomeness. I just, again, like I said, it’s really important for people to understand that this is not a Thunderheist show. Thunderheist is no longer playing shows, so it’s really important for people to know that it’s Isis of Thunderheist and not Thunderheist. It still can be fun.

Tessa: No, I respect your independence.

Isis: Yeah, it’s just really important for me to get that message out there, cause you know, people get sh*t f*cked up and confused. And, you know, I don’t have to choke anybody.

Tessa: So were the posters okay…?

Isis: Can we just cut that part out? I will not be assaulting any of the Dickinson College students [laughs].

Tessa: So were the posters okay? We put one of them in the box, they were fine, “Isis of Thunderheist”…?

Isis: Yeah, that’s fine, that’s totally fine. Honestly it’s just a matter of like—were you just talking at me? Honestly I didn’t even notice that, you’re good, you’re getting good at this! Um, no, it’s just, again, it’s like I said, I hate pulling the W-card but again, especially as a woman too in this industry. It’s such a boys’ club, so now as somebody who’s producing the music as well and writing the music I want people to respect me as an artist, and as somebody who’s actually bring something to the table besides a couple dirty words and fun beats, there’s—

Tessa: And shock value, right?

Isis: And shock value, you know, I’m not Gaga. You know, I definitely provide the same kind of excitement, but there’s–

Tessa: You’re not gonna come out wearing like, a seashell.

Isis: Exactly, exactly. I don’t make music for shock value. I make music because it’s what I was born to do, it’s what I’ve done pretty much all my life, and I love doing it. And I love having that experience with a crowd. When you’re in a different country, across the ocean and people know lyrics to your songs, that’s a very–it’s a high you can’t even describe, you know. And that’s why I do it. I don’t do it for the sake of just to get headlines or anything like that. It’s nice to be in the headlines. But everything I’ve ever said that’s been shocking is only because I don’t have a f*cking filter, you know, I was never born with one, and doctors are still trying to see if they can post-op, you know, figure something out. But uh, whatever. I’m stuck this way.

Tessa: Um… I would say–

Isis: Yeah, you’re like “yeah, so uhhh”

Tessa: That’s just awesome that you aren’t just gonna censor yourself or censor your feelings or put yourself into this box that, I agree with you, I feel like a lot of female artists–and thinking back to female artists that I’ve listened to throughout the years, starting with Britney Spears when I was like nine years old–the issue is all about, like shock value–

Isis: Yeah

Tessa: And then, going through other.. like Amanda Palmer, who is not like a Britney Spears or pop idol, but still, what does she do? Shock value. And I really respect you for saying “I don’t want to do the shock value route, and anything I do say is accidental.”

Isis: Well, that’s what I’m saying, it’s like, I don’t go for shock value, I’m just f*cking shocking. It’s just the… this is my life, it’s not a joke, it’s my f*cking life, that’s just who I am. You know, if I decide to blow up a couple f*cking frogs, you know, I might just f*cking do that, you know, I get the urge sometimes to kill something. [laughs] I’m kidding. No, but that’s what I’m saying, I do it just for the sake of doing it and not nessessarily for the gimmickness of it. And I think a lot of people get lost in gimmicks and that kind of… that world, that part of the industry. I think it’s important to remember the music, what happens–the feeling you get when you hear that song at the right moment, like when you’re going through a breakup or something, that one song comes on and your whole entire world opens up and everything makes sense, like that’s why I write music. For those moments. Not for… you know, not just to get laid. Although it’s really helped my sex appeal, it’s totally… if my sex appeal was stock, f*ck the recession, it hasn’t hit yet. I’m good. It’s recession-proof.

Tessa: You should write for Cosmo.

Isis: I’m telling you, man! Cosmo should call me.

Tessa: They should.

Isis: There’s definitely a column. Call it “Surprise Sex”. “Sexualation.” You know what, I’ll just make my own magazine, “Sexualation Nation.” What do you think about it?

Tessa: “By Isis”

Isis: By Isis. “The new fragrance for Isis? Sex.” [laughs] Just “Sex.”… “By Isis.” And then the commercial would be like, all like super-sultry, like a girl with brunette hair, all this silk flowing in the place, and like, on a beach or some sh*t, you know, and like a guy on a white horse, like romance novels, and it’s like “Sex, the new fragrance by Isis.” I like it guys. And it’s smells like sex.

Tessa: Would the bottle be shaped like…

Isis: I don’t know, might be.. boobs. Or just one boob. And then there’ll be the little spray thing… [laughs] GUYS. WRITE THIS DOWN! THIS F*CKING GENIUS IDEA, GUYS. GENIUS. I’ll write the f*cking mayor of this b*tch. That should do.

Tessa: I’d buy it!

Isis: I mean, yeah! That’d be awesome. “You smell cool.” I .. I should totally get an investor.

[knock on door]

Isis: Yeah hold on!

Tessa: We should probably actually get that.

WDCV Interviews… Ton Taun

Remember that time back in November when we had Ton Taun and MC Isis stop by? James sat down with the guys of Ton Taun after their set to talk about poetry class and having their songs stolen by Jeff Tweedy.

James: Hey! I’m James. I’m here with uhhh… I guess I should introduce you as FORMER DJ of DCW…

Jordan: DCW?

James: Uh, WDCV.

Jordan: WDCV 88.3, the Voice… of Dickinson College.

James: He’s got it. Jordan Capizzi, and Ton Taun, which is..

Lewis: Lewis

Doug: Doug

Mario: Mario

James: Alright. So I got a few questions for you guys. Where’d you form? Give me the backstory of Ton-Taun.

Doug: We were born in the… [laughs]

Jordan: We all went to high school together. We were formed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. What was the first time we ever played, “Wake Up,” we played “Wake Up” by the Arcade Fire. And um, Lewis was not there–

Lewis: I watched you guys play though.

Jordan: You did.

Doug: The first song we played was at that.. Save Darfur thing.

Jordan: Oh!

Doug: No it wasn’t. Yes. No. It was um.. we played….

Jordan: I don’t remember.

Lewis: This Must be the Place? Talking Heads?

Doug: Nothing But Flowers? Let’s call it Nothing but Flowers.

Jordan: The first song we ever played was Nothing but Flowers by the Talking Heads. We uh, we went to high school together…

Doug: We’ve had such a long career together that, obviously we’ve forgotten [laughs]

James: What was that first song?

Jordan: And, then we got Lewis… so that was the end of that.

James: Oh. That’s pretty convenient. So, uh, what would you guys say–well actually, you just got done with the show, how’d it go?

nJordan: Um… it went great. We’re really happy. This is–we thought it went great, we had trouble to adjusting to how big the room was though, this was like the biggest place we’ve played thus far. Aside from Madison Square Garden.

James: Right.

Jordan: Those four nights–

Mario: Four nights in a row, Madison Square Garden.

Jordan: Sold out, sold out.

Mario: No opener or anything, it was all us.

James: That was your unplugged show, right? When you did the stripped-down acoustic?

Jordan: Yeah we did.

Doug: Not only did we strip down the instruments, we–

James: You guys were actually naked for that.

Jordan: Um, no microphones at all. No lights in the place either, no electricity.

James: It was during your Amish Period.

Jordan: Yeah, exactly. But uh, no, we had a great time, we really did. We really appreciated the stage and… you know..

Lewis: I had trouble with the monitor. Did everyone have trouble with their monitor? I had trouble with my monitor in the end.

James: Alright. So, what’s your Zodiac signs, fellas?

Jordan: Um… I’d say… I’m an Aquarius.

Lewis: No idea.

Doug: Whatever September is.

Mario: FIRE. Is bald eagle a zodiac sign too?

James: I think bald eagle is an acceptable answer. So what would you guys say is your biggest musical influence, like personally, not as a band.

Mario: Ask Jordan.

James: I’ll ask you first.

Mario: The Grateful Dead.

Doug: Creed.

James: Old Nickelback?

Mario: Hansen.

Jordan: You’re serious right now? Let’s go around.

Mario: Alright, we’ll all go around and say one.

Jordan: We don’t have to stand up. Um.. Wilco. Jeff Tweedy from Wilco.

Lewis: Phish.

Doug: What did you say?

Jordan: I said Wilco.

Doug: You stole mine… [turning to Mario] If I say Radiohead, will I steal yours?

Mario: Yeah.

Doug: Radiohead.

Jordan: Don’t say Radiohead.

Mario: So I’m gonna be different… Who’d you say?

Jordan: I said Wilco.

Mario: Wolf Parade!

Others: You just said that, that’s not true at all.

Mario: Oh, mine, personally?

James: Yeah yeah yeah, yours personally, not as a band, you know. Like what do you–

Mario: Phish. P-h-i-s-h. Woo!

Jordan: You’re making Phish fans look really really intelligent right now.

James: So, Jordan, you played a song that I personally workshopped in a poetry class.

Jordan: Ah, yeah.

James: I workshopped one of your songs, and you didn’t give me a writing credit.

Jordan: Oh, well I apologize! Actually, I didn’t take any of your notes.

James: Me and Mitch were pretty pissed off about it.

Jordan: I bet you were.

Doug: What song was it?

Jordan: Well, Merit O’Hare, the greatest poet in Dickinson College history, which, I’m not saying that I don’t agree with that, wrote on my paper, and I quote: “You are a crazy genius.” So, I was like, that was a very high compliment.

James: There you go.

Mario: Every other song on the album, I wrote when I was stuck in a cave. I had to write it on the cave walls. I had to sing the chord progressions to figure out what would happen next.

James: Oh, I see. Well… I don’t know, I don’t have any more questions.

Jordan: Want me to tell you about our new album? We have a new album out, it’s called Exporter, and… we all wrote it together and recorded it over the summer in Mario’s basement. It’s available on iTunes, and on cdbaby, but only digitally, right–oh, I’m sorry, it is on Amazon, but you have to pay $9, I wish you only had to pay $3–I wonder how you get the $3…

Mario: Napster.

Jordan: It’s not on Napster.

Mario: Yes it is.

Doug: You can get it on your Verizon cellphone, it’s ridiculous.

Jordan: Oh, really?

Doug: It’s on everything.

Jordan: I want a cellphone like that, that’s f*cking awesome.

Doug: How much of a d*ck would you feel like if your phone went off in a room and it was you, like, singing a song?

Jordan: I wouldn’t feel like a d*ck at all.

Doug: [sings]

Mario: Was that the first song we ever recorded?

Doug: That was the first song we ever played.

Jordan: No-

Mario: Original song we ever played.

Lewis: That was the first Ton Taun song.

Doug: First Ton Taun song recorded was “Burning Building”.

Jordan: We stayed up all night, we didn’t sleep.

Mario: Except for, um, we did record “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.” Um, Wilco actually stole it from us. They now have the copyright, which is b*llshit. F*ck you Jeff Tweedy.

Jordan: I was six years old when I wrote the entire Wilco catalog.

Lewis: What song did you–Didn’t you submit one of our songs as like a poem in seventh grade?

Jordan: No.. um

Lewis: Animal III!

Jordan: I submitted all the sh*tty songs I used to write as poems in high school.

Lewis: You told me you submitted–

Jordan: It was here, it was a poetry class here, at Dickinson. I was a freshman in college.

Lewis: Ohhh.

Jordan: A lot of the songs on the first album did get workshopped in classes. I took absolutely no notes from anybody.

James: That’s fair.

Jordan: I mean, not that they weren’t good notes, but not that they were really poems either. If everyone had critiqued the chord structures and the melodies, maybe I would have changed that. But probably not.

James: Right, probably would have ignored it anyway. So if you could steal any song–

Jordan: This is a conversation I have all the time! What did I say? What was the last thing I said?

Lewis: You’re between–

Jordan: Oh yeah! I would steal “Let It Be,” so I could get all the money from “Let It Be,” and be famous and get deals, or, and it changes all the time, the first one is Gospel by the National because it’s the most beautiful song I ever heard… ever, ever written, it is the greatest piece of music that exists.

James: What about you guys, you got any songs you would steal if you could?

Lewis: Yes. Uh… It’d have to be some Phish song, I don’t know. “The Curtain With.”

Doug: Um… I would steal… “How to Speak Clearly.”

Jordan: I changed my mind, I would steal whatever this is here.

James: I believe it’s “Jerk It.”

Mario: I would steal… what would I steal…

Lewis: I would steal “May You Never” by John Martin.

Mario: What should I steal?

Doug: If you steal something, steal “My Body is a Wonderland.”

Mario: Because my body is a wonderland?

Doug: If you steal something, you have to try.

Mario: If I could steal any song… “National Anthem” by Radiohead.

Lewis: That’s like the worst Radiohead song!

James: Okay… um… oh! I understand that you guys don’t play together often, so what’s that been like, and what’s the last time you played together?

Mario: Let me get this, let me get this.

Lewis: Me and Jordan wrote something for a school project I did.

Mario: Before that, the last show we had was at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster. It was a pretty awesome show, it had a good turnout..

Doug: It was two months ago.

Mario: Yeah, two months ago. And actually… if Jordan starts to do it, because he’s lazy, very lazy…

Lewis: Yeah, he’s lazy. We just finished our second album and he still sent me like five f*cking songs.

Mario: Hold on! We’re trying to make an album, or an EP, across, you know, state lines. We’re gonna try and throw like three or four songs together, record your own part and send it to the next person. Jordan’s really lagging on that though.

Lewis: That’s such b*llshit! He’s the only one recording songs.

Mario: We should’ve recorded the MSG shows!

Jordan: That’s something we talk about all the time. It’d be nice to get a live recording, throw it up, either on iTunes or for free or something.

James: Did you guys actually end up webcasting this?

Jordan: No, because–

Mario: There’s no excuses, we just didn’t get enough interest.

Jordan: Every time we say we’re going to webcast something, we always put it off too long and forget about it–

Doug: We did do it twice– There were nine people who viewed it, and they were probably looking for something else, something Star Wars-related.

Lewis: People were talking to me about watching it.

Doug: Yeah, but they probably came to the show.

James: Speaking of Ton Taun, you obviously get the name of your band from Star Wars. It’s the beast of burden on Hoth.

Doug: Actually, it was the first words that Jordan said.

Jordan: It was. It was the first sound I made, my mom recorded it. We were watching home videos.

Lewis: Can you give me an interpretation of what it sounded like?

Jordan: It was just like…  “ton ton…”

James: Alright. So, that’s it. End of the interview. Listen in to WDCV.

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For more Ton Taun, visit myspace, facebook, or bandcamp, or check out our review of Exporter here!

WDCV Interviews… Trunks and Tales

Before his set for our Rock Against Homelessness event, Melissa got a chance to chat with Dan from Trunks and Tales about punk rock values and recent projects he’s been working on:

M: Alright, cool. So. Dan, from Trunks and Tales.

D: Yes!

M: Welcome to Dickinson College!

D: Thank you!

M: You’re welcome. Ummmm… So we have a bunch of stock interview questions for people. The first one is: What is your horoscope sign?

D: ….Leo. Yeah, Leo. August 2nd.

M: I think that’s right, I don’t even know. Secondly, what is your favorite Beatle?

D: My favorite Beatle? Like the band?

M: Yes.

D: Oh… I don’t really like the Beatles.

M: None of them.

D: I’ll go with Ringo Starr.

M: Okay, that’s fair. Um… oh! The third question is: If you had to be a deciduous tree or a coniferous tree, which would you be and why?

D: ………………………… Coniferous is a Christmas tree? I would be a coniferous tree. ‘Cause then you would live all year long, and you wouldn’t just die.

M: Well they don’t really die, they just lose their leaves.

D: They don’t really die, yeah. You wouldn’t hibernate. I’ll put it that way.

M: Yeah, yeah. They just slack off for like three months, really.

D: Yeah, ’cause I’m not a slacker. That’s why! That’ll be my answer.

M: Alright, cool! So now let’s actually talk about music and stuff. You’re basically a solo singer-songwriter, correct?

D: Sort of, yeah. I grew up listening to punk rock, and it’s really hard to find band members that are reliable and are willing to put work into stuff. So I just sort of do it myself. So it’s just me with an acoustic guitar, but it’s sort of me singing the punk rock songs that I wish I could play with a full band.

M: Yeah, I noticed that! I really want to talk influences with you, actually…

D: Okay!

M: Because… Alright. Firstly, because, have you heard of The Riot Before?

D: Yes!

M: You remind me so much of them, in a way that’s really good.

D: I think we probably come from a similar background, as far as like music-wise, just listening to… I grew up on a lot of old, not like super-punk rock kind of stuff, but a lot of what’d you call “heavy indie bands” from the 90s: like Small Brown Bike, Hot Water Music, the Casket Lottery… a bunch of old emo bands, original emo bands, like The Get Up Kids, bands like that, Mineral. So, that’s where I’m coming from, and it’s sort of just me going in that direction by myself.

M: It shows a lot though. You have a bunch of covers that you did, actually, right?

D: Yeah, yeah. My reason for doing that is that it’s sort of to pay homage to all the bands that have inspired me, and to sort of get people that–older bands that people like me don’t really realize existed or do still exist–to get people listening to other kinds of music that they might not be into.

M: Right, totally. Yeah, that’s really cool. I really liked all the covers, by the way.

D: Cool, thank you.

M: Yeah, like the Billy Bragg one. Way better than Lars Fredricksen’s, way better. I was like, “He showed that guy.” Do you play live a lot?

D: I do. I’ve been doing this for about two and a half years, and I’ve probably played in that time about two hundred and fifty shows. This is, I guess, you asked me to play this show, and I had a couple people ask me to play shows in this general time area, so I actually booked a kind of ten-day tour thing. I’m playing here today, I’m playing Bethlehem-Allentown area tonight, then… I didn’t get a show booked for the next day, but then I’m going up to Long Island, and then up into Massachussetts, then a few more days in Pennsylvania, then down to Washington DC and back up. So I play as much as I can. As time allows, because I’m also working full-time. But music’s the thing for me, so if I have to take off work, that’s not really an issue for me.

M: So, is your boss pretty okay with all that, or do you kind of have to work around it?

D: I found a good job, the kind of job that all musicians should have, where my boss will pretty much give me off any time that I ask off as long as there’s enough advance notice. I can be like “Hey, I need this day off, I’m playing a show,” and he understands that music is my first and biggest priority, so I’m really lucky.

M: That’s really cool.

D: And I have a lot of friends who play music who aren’t that lucky, so I feel very lucky to have that.

M: Who’s your favorite person or band to play a show with?

D: Um… I’ll go one for each, person and band. I have a friend named Chris, he goes by Anniversary Club. He’s originally from the Pittsburgh area but now lives in Cleveland, and he’s more of a singer-songwriter thing, but sort of more in the louder, punk rock style. He writes some great songs and he’s just a really good friend of mine, so it’s really fun to play with him. I have some other friends from Philadelphia that play in a band called Science Fair, which–I’ll be playing with them tonight. They’re actually a lot of fun to play with too, just a lot of really fun dudes and they have their hearts in the right place. They’re not in it to become rockstars or anything, they’re just there to hang out and make friends and write good music that they mean, which is cool.

M: Are you recording, or working on anything right now? I mean, you have the tour coming up–

D: Yeah, I have this little tour. Also, I’m playing a festival in Massacchussetts in May, which I’m gonna do. It’s called Mass Recovery Fest, it’s a two-day festival with a bunch of acoustic bands on Friday night and a bunch of full bands on Saturday night. So I’m gonna be doing a few days up there, hopefully, and back… and hopefully, this summer, coming out with a full-length album. And, um… just trying to play as much as possible.

I’ve recently started a record label, a little independent record label, called Kat Kat Records. It’s on facebook and bandcamp, all that nonsense. But it’s where I help put out my friends’ records. I’m doing a split cassette tape with a band from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, called Captain of Compliments, and that band Science Fair I talked about from Philadelphia. And then I’m also doing a 7″ for a band from New Jersey called Aspiga, and they’re kind of a Lawrence Arms-y sound. So I’m trying to keep that going, help friends put out records, and people that I really believe in… you can tell that they really mean it when they sing, and they’re not in it to do anything crazy or get famous or anything, they’re just doing it ’cause they love the music. And they really grasp the whole DIY community feel of what punk rock should be. And I feel some of the scenes have gotten too big for themselves recently, so it’s gotten beyond that. It’s gotten to a… there’s been a “cool factor” introduced. So I’m trying to keep it so it’s a community-based thing where no one’s above anyone else, and we can all just come and hang out and play music together, and be friends. And really the music is a way to implement that community sense and a way to broadcast that to other people. The music is just the medium to get it across. So, those are the things I’m up to now.

M: That’s awesome! That’s really cool. Everyone, go check that out now. Right now. …I don’t know why I’m telling that to my recorder.

D: Yeah, katkatrecords.bandcamp.com, or facebook.com/katkatrecords. And also there’s trunksandtales.bandcamp.com, facebook.com/trunksandtales… I won’t even say the myspace because myspace is dead.

M: So dead!

WDCV Interviews… Dustin Edge

WDCV recently had the opportunity to send some questions to musician Dustin Edge, whose latest EP “Calm” has been spinning in Heavy Rotation for a while. Here’s what he had to say about grass and trees:

WDCV: What is your sign?

D: Sagittarius

WDCV: Who is your favorite Beatle?

D: John Lennon

WDCV: What’s the last thing you listened to in the car?

D: Panorama by Birds & Batteries

WDCV: How did you first get into playing music?

D: When I was in middle school in Louisville, KY I started going to lots of local underground punk rock shows, which is where I first felt the desire to create my own songs and perform them. So many amazing bands came out of that scene in the early 90s that I count myself very fortunate to have seen: Slint, Endpoint, Crain, Sunspring, the list goes on and on and on. It was a special time in Louisville music history to be sure…

WDCV: What is the songwriting process like for you? What are you most inspired to write about?

D: I usually find a chord structure and then choose words that seem appropriate. As far as what inspires me, it obviously depends on what has recently transpired in my life, how I’m feeling at that particular point in time, and what I feel called to expound upon – lately it’s been the search for truth and asking questions about the meaning of life.

WDCV: Who are your greatest musical influences?

D: There have been so many over the years, but a very short list would include Talking Heads, Neutral Milk Hotel, Prince, Peter Gabriel, Fugazi, The Magnetic Fields, Cole Porter, Uncle Tupelo, John Lennon, Brian Eno, King Crimson, Richard Buckner, Slint, Nina Simone, Modest Mouse, Steve Earle, Little Richard, Oingo Boingo, Vic Chesnutt, Freddie King, Sunspring, The Gourds, Dan Bern, Minor Threat, Sam Cooke, The Cure, Howlin’ Wolf, and George Gershwin.

WDCV: Here at WDCV we are famous for our bluegrass show (no, really), and we heard a rumor you have some bluegrass in your past. Is that rumor true? Is that something that still influences your music?

D: Oh absolutely – I love bluegrass music. In my opinion it has a lot of rhythmic similarities to punk rock, so perhaps the bands from my early Louisville days paved the way. I’d love to make a bluegrass album someday actually.

WDCV: Where is your favorite place to play live?

D: Anywhere people come to see me…

WDCV: Calm seems like it has a very different sound from your previous releases. Is there a story behind this change? How do you think your sound will evolve in the future?

D: The songs on my previous EP, By The Numbers, were primarily written on a computer – they were very rigidly structured and laden with effects. The opposite was true on Calm, which was written mostly late at night in the tiny confines of my basement apartment in New York – I guess it was a way of bringing myself into balance with the multitudinous activity of the city that surrounded me.

WDCV: Along those lines, you also have a release called “By the Numbers” with songs called “The Golden Ratio” and “Easy as Pi.” Are you, sir, a not-so-secret math nerd?

D: Well it’s true that the study of mathematics is something I’ve always been fascinated with since I was very young – I believe most musicians possess some basic connection to numeric qualities, although it must vary from person to person. Aside from the meaning we attach to emotion, I believe that there is definitely truth in numbers too…
WDCV: Do you have any big future plans for the world of music?

D: I’m going to rob all the major labels and distribute their assets evenly to every independent musician in the world.

WDCV: State your life philosophy in seven words or less.

D: Be nice. Keep learning. Don’t panic.

WDCV: Okay, Bonus Question: If you had to choose between being a deciduous tree and a coniferous tree, which would you choose and why?

D: That’s an amazing question. It would depend on many factors, but if I absolutely had to choose, I’d be deciduous. I’d be ugly in the winter, but who’s beautiful all the time, right?

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Listen to “Calm” by Dustin Edge, or visit www.dustinedge.com for more!

ROCK AGAINST HOMELESSNESS WITH WDCV!

On Saturday, April 2nd, from 1:00-5:00 PM… On Britton Plaza, on Dickinson College campus….

WDCV brings you…

…An all-afternoon, outdoor benefit event and concert for Carlisle C.A.R.E.S.!
Rock Against Homelessness day is the finale of our month-long fundraising campaign.

We will have delicious baked goods and handmade things for sale, DIY crafts (stencil your own WDCV shirt or make your very own pin), and games and contests. You can also purchase sponsorships and be eligible for giveaways donated by the Time Bomb, the Clothes Vine, Appalachian Whole Foods, George’s Subs and Pizza, Colucci & Company Goldsmiths and Fine Crafts, Marjorie’s Gems Vintage Jewelry, North Hanover Grille, California Cafe, Corthouse Common, and the Carlisle Theatre.

If that’s not enough, we are also going to have live performances from two local independent artists. Don’t miss either!
-At 2pm, Peter Joseph and the Roaring Twenties
http://www.theroaringtwenties.net/The_Roaring_Twenties/Home.html
-At 4pm, Trunks & Tales
http://trunksandtales.bandcamp.com/

This event is free and open to the public, so we encourage you to stop by anytime throughout the afternoon. All donations and proceeds from the bake sale, crafts, and games will go directly to supporting Carlisle C.A.R.E.S.
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WHO ARE CARLISLE C.A.R.E.S.?

Carlisle C.A.R.E.S. provides emergency support and shelter for the homeless in Carlisle. The shelter program is run almost entirely by volunteers, and local churches take turns providing space for up to 30 people per night. At the Carlisle CARES Resource Center, mail, telephone, and computer services, laundry and showers, and counseling is available. Open during the day when homeless shelters are closed, programs at the Resource Center partner with area agencies to provide educational, medical, legal, and employment counseling services. These programs are not only open to the people of Carlisle C.A.R.E.S., but also to Safe Harbour, the Salvation Army, and domestic violence shelters. Since its founding in 2004, the organization has helped shelter more than 1,000 people in Cumberland and western Perry counties. In 2009 alone, they helped over 500 people. For more information on Carlisle C.A.R.E.S., visit carlislecares.bbnow.org.
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FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

12:00 PM – Peter Joseph and the Roaring Twenties on the Air – Live in the studio! Plus giveaways for lucky listeners!
1:00-2:00 PM – Baked goods / crafts / signups for games (Will continue throughout the whole day)
1:50 PM – First Sponsorship Giveaway
2:00-3:00 PM – Performance by Peter Joseph and the Roaring Twenties
3:00-4:00 PM – THE PIE HOUR – Pie-Eating Contest with WDCV legend Chris Bratton, and/or throw a pie at Station Manager James Riley
3:50 PM – Second Sponsorship Giveaway
4:00 PM-5:00 PM – Performance by Trunks and Tales
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For more information about this event you can email wdcvfm@gmail.com or check here for updates. We’ll see you there!

ROAR, Viva Viva, and Fierce Creatures!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Here at WDCV, you, the listener, are our year-long valentine. In that spirit, I have for you a box of jams sweeter than any chocolates.

Lately I’ve been digging a lot of pop music. It’s been keeping my mind off the cold, you know? One band that I’ve been freaking out about lately is ROAR, an art pop band from Phoenix AZ. Generally, I use “art pop” to refer to pop music that’s actually interesting, like Shugo Tokumaru. BUT this is serious art pop. As in, I’m pretty sure this EP is a work of art. Both a loving homage to and an intense critique of the idea of the “wall of sound,” the songs will lure you in and then stab you right in the heart! I could give you a more professional artistic critique, but you should just go listen to them here! Start with “I Can’t Handle Change” and “Christmas Kids”.

For those nostalgic for less of the pop, more of the rock, I recommend Bostonians Viva Viva. They’re pretty solid! They remind me of the Howlies, but a version of the Howlies which takes themselves seriously for some reason. I’m not a huge fan of this genre of music, but even I find myself listening to them and rocking out while writing this very sentence. Most importantly though, they have a song called Valentine! So, play that for your significant other. See how it goes?

Finally, in  honor of Arcade Fire’s Grammy takeover, here’s one for fans of the chamber sound. From California, the band Fierce Creatures plays loud, echoey music that I like to listen to in the morning in order to wake up and feel awesome. They’re like coffee, is what I’m trying to say. Also, they are super catchy! I think they would make great dance party music too. So, listen to them while drinking coffee and having an early morning dance party. That’s what I’m trying to say. Listen to their song “Satan is a Vampire” here, and then listen to all their other songs too.

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WDCV’s Top Fives of Twenty-Ten

DJ Top Five Lists

Our DJs’ favorite new discoveries! Albums that were released before 2010 are marked with an asterisk. It goes without saying–if you find one of these lists particularly awesome, check out the schedule and listen to their show!

  1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West
  2. All Day – Girl Talk
  3. B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray
  4. Dropkick Murphys – Do or Die*
  5. The Roots – How I Got Over

–Brandon O’Brien

  1. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
  2. Sleigh Bells – Treats
  3. New Pornographers – Together
  4. Discovery – LP*
  5. Architecture in Helsinki – Places Like This*

–Sam Pollan

  1. Bill Callahan – Rough Travel for a Rare Thing
  2. Silver Jews – Starlite Walker*
  3. Silver Jews – The Natural Bridge*
  4. Simon Joyner – The Cowardly Traveler Pays His Toll*
  5. Royal Trux – Twin Infinitives*

–Andrew Jones

  1. John Hartford String Band – Memories of John
  2. Andy Hall – Sound of the Slide Guitar*
  3. Nora Jane Sruthers – Nora Jane Struthers

–Davis Tracy

  1. Dr. Dog – Shame, Shame
  2. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion*
  3. The Strokes – Room on Fire*
  4. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend*
  5. Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea*

–Jimmy Wilkinson

  1. J Dilla – Donuts*
  2. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
  3. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
  4. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
  5. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

–Dan Plekhov

  1. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – The Brutalist Bricks
  2. House Boat – Processing Complaints
  3. The Please and Thank Yous – Mind Yr P’s and Q’s
  4. Shugo Tokumaru – Port Entropy
  5. Beach House – Teen Dream

–Melissa Kelly

  1. Dovekins – Assemble the Aviary
  2. Laura Veirs – July Flame
  3. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
  4. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
  5. Yeasayer – Odd Blood

–Lacey Smith (WDCV Alum)

  1. Weezer- Pinkerton (Deluxe edition)
  2. Daft Punk- Tron Legacy Soundtrack
  3. Coheed & Cambria- Year of the Black Rainbow
  4. Drink Up Buttercup- Born and Thrown on a Hook
  5. Broken Bells- Broken Bells

–Chris Bratton (WDCV Alum)

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The Perfect Storm: WDCV’s Fall Concert!!!

WDCV proudly presents to you…

ISIS of THUNDERHEIST with opening act TON-TAUN and guest DJ JOSH LEHR

-It’s happening on Friday, November 12th! That’s next week!

-It’s in Dickinson College’s ATS Auditorium!

-The doors open at 7pm sharp–the show starts at 8, Isis goes on at 9!

-It is FREE to Dickinson students (kids, bring your student IDs!) and $5 to the public!

As always…

We’ll see you there!!!

Heavy Rotation Update: New Music for Fall Days

Ah, fall. It’s a great time of year when everything gets clear and crisp and golden–the trees are pretty, you can wear your favorite jacket again, there are pumpkin-flavored things all over the place. How is pumpkin bread so good? The only thing missing is new music, music that is just as good as pumpkin bread.

Don’t worry, friend. WDCV is here to solve that problem. Here are a few favorites from what we’ve been spinning lately:

Fake Problems – Real Ghosts Caught on Tape

When Fake Problems’ album “How Far Our Bodies Go” was in our heavy rotation, I was really impressed with their unique and creative take on folk-punk. Like many other folk-punk groups, Fake Problems have gotten dancier and dancier with each subsequent release. This is especially true for “Real Ghosts Caught on Tape,” where their energy shines through tighter instrumentation and hooks. Recommended for dance parties.

Fake Problems on Myspace – check out “Soulless”

Moondoggies – Tidelands

Invariably as soon as it starts getting colder, I start getting cravings for pretty folky harmonies. Moondoggies delivers. Their myspace says that they sound like “a samurai seeking vengeance.” I’m not sure that’s true. To me they sound like a wandering troupe of bearded minstrels, seeking pumpkin soup. I guess that’s a little specific, but anyways, this album is really awesome and I’m definitely going to be spinning it a lot this season.

Moondoggies on Myspace – check out “It’s a Shame, It’s a Pity”

Jupe Jupe – Invaders

If you prefer your fall soundtrack to be primarily synthesizers instead, Jupe Jupe is for you. Space Invaders is my number two favorite video game (second only to Katamari!) so I may be a little bit slanted in my opinion of this album. Then again, isn’t that valid in itself? “Invaders” strikes a great balance between electronic elements and structured pop writing that’s surprisingly addicting. Much like Space Invaders.

Jupe Jupe on Myspace – check out “Something About Love”

You’ll hear these artists and more new independent releases if you listen to WDCV, the radio station that’s better than pumpkin pie. Check out our schedule for a full list of live shows, and our Top 30 chart to see the rest of our favorites!

The Slow Club: Yeah, So

I don’t know about you guys, but one thing I really look forward to about warm weather is summer music. You know what I mean–bright, cheerful, fun music that just makes the sunshine seem that much brighter. The debut full length “Yeah, So” from Sheffield, England band Slow Club is definitely a candidate for that great warm-weather album.

Slow Club consists of guitarist Charles and percussionist Rebecca. Their music is a perfect balance between folk and pop songwriting: sweet, melody-driven, and full of vocal harmonies between the two members. It’s classic and free of gimmicks, and while it may not be mindblowing, having it playing in a room will make everyone a little happier.

You can listen to Slow Club on their myspace–and, of course, by listening to WDCV!