Sweater Fest is an Orlando holiday tradition of epically tacky proportions. Saturday, December 17 marks the 10th itchy celebration as The Milk District is transformed into a celebration of Central Florida music. Encompassing three stages (Spacebar, Sandwich Bar, and an outdoor stage), DJs will share the sleigh with psychedelic space bands; noise duos will toast eggnog with surf rock trios. TVW is previewing Sweater Fest in the form holiday-themed interviews leading to a Ticket Giveaway the week of the event. The first to take a seat on our lap is Sarasota-based Space explorers, PLEASURES. Enjoy.
TVW: How was the response to your horror movie tour? What spurred the creation of that film?
PLEASURES: It was an incredible experience to show the film across the country and the timing was perfect, it being Halloween. It was a great ice breaker at the least and some venues felt like they were built for us. At Ghost in Santa Fe, we played the film directly from the VHS onto their huge projection wall. Seeing the tracking and artifacts that large was glorifying. We had started selling short VHS tapes at our merch table and it was my turn (Greg) to make a video, so I thought it would be fun to make it about our audience leaving the show with the tape they just got. When we realized the timeline would work out in October, we went full ham with a popcorn machine and all. A collapsible screen was built and we brought a small projection crew.
TVW: What are you all up to nowadays and what’s in the works?
PLEASURES: We all took off separately from our last tour date in California and now we’re back home in Florida and getting ready for a bunch of local and semi-local shows. We’re getting excited to start writing a new album with our new drummer/member and see where the dynamic takes our music! We’re also working on a remix album of all the tracks from Fucked Up Dreams Come True, which our crew of friends and the musicians we’ve met on tours have been kind enough to contribute to. It’s called Deluxed Up Dreams Come True. There’s gonna be some other cool stuff on there too like the score we wrote for the horror film.
TVW: What is the songwriting process like for you all? How has that and your overall sound evolved since your band’s inception?
PLEASURES: The songs on FUDCT were written two ways: half by Morgan on a laptop — which we then converted into an organic live song experience by the band — and half as a group in a jam session. I (Katherine) write the vocal melodies and the lyrics that I sing and Greg writes what he sings. There are a couple new songs we’ve been playing out that aren’t on the record, and I’d say the newer material will be different in a few ways. I think PLEASURES will evolve into a band with more musicality and precision and not so much “wall of sound” all the time. But definitely sometimes.
TVW: There’s a lot of layers and abstract sounds going on with your songs. Without giving away too many secrets can you tell us a little bit about what all is going on musically at your show?
PLEASURES: Pretty much every sound we make is modulated or manipulated by something. We use delay pedals, live looping with a KP3, backwards stuff, random tones, oscillators, stuffed animals, and a fax machine. Nothing we do or use is outside of anyone’s reach though. We just combine it all in our own way.
TVW: What do you hope people get out of a PLEASURES show?
PLEASURES: We try pretty hard to create a separate universe outside of people’s usual internal space for them to hang out in for a while. Hopefully, it’s crazy and stimulating in some way.
TVW: You all are one of the hardest working bands I’ve come across. What helps you stay motivated?
PLEASURES: I feel like once you set personal goals and agree on a certain level you’d like to reach as a band, that’s kind of the only way to go about things. Constantly producing and moving, touring, etc. Moving from local to everything beyond. Plus, if you’re the kind of person who gets obsessed with touring it’s hard to quit that routine. Like the ragged old sailor who comes home only to be beckoned back to the sea by his ocean mistress the next morning.
TVW: What has your experience in Orlando been like as a band thus far?
PLEASURES: Awesome! Lots of friends and fans. Nice scene building up it seems.
TVW: What are some of your favorite Florida bands and why?
PLEASURES: There’s a rad little thing happening in St. Pete — there’s Sonic Graffiti, Veiny Hands, Soapbox Soliloquy, Johnny Mile & The Kilometers, UFO Sex Scene (who recently split up but they were rad), Ask For Tiger, Fictional Friends. They’re all a group of friends playing in each other’s bands and keeping the scene going. It’s motivational. In St. Augustine there’s a rad stoner band called Cosmic Groove. All the sweeties in the Orlando groups like Timothy Eerie, The Welzeins, Someday River, and Slumberjack. We’re also just getting into the Miami scene thing after meeting Cammy from Period Bomb who is a hardworking babe and has been super supportive of us.
TVW: Got any strange holiday traditions any of you partake in?
PLEASURES: It’s the only time of year Roger eats cheese.
What are you looking forward to most about Sweater Fest?
PLEASURES: I think we’re playing on an outside stage? That’s always fun and interesting. You inspired us to have thrift store sweaters at our merch table with PLEASURES patches sewn on just for this event so that’s cool.
PLEASURES SWEATER FEST Interview by Dave Hanson.