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DVWEZ Takes a Darker Trip to ‘Paradise’

It makes perfect sense that DVWEZ (pronounced: “Dames”) and I’s first conversation would be via FaceTime. So much of this smooth, neo-R&B voice seems to have taken shape on the World Wide Web. Last year’s Pastels garnered her a solid fanbase through premiers on reputable music sites like Stereogum. This strategy been implemented again with her upcoming Paradise EP, as the titular track first appeared on The Fader and she premiered “The Life” just yesterday on Noisey. In preparation for Paradise, she utilized Kickstarter to fund the album’s promotion and a unique live experience — we’ll get into that in a second. And one can’t overlook the songwriter’s own online branding. Her Instagram looks more like a curated art gallery than the meme-filled trash that I usually see.

With all the digital build up, I was eager to speak one-on-one with DVWEZ, to dig past the internet persona and see how it matched to the real Delia Albert. Enjoy.

Photos by Liv Jonse.

Upcoming Appearances:

FRIDAY, 4/28, ALWAYS NOTHING PRESENTS: FEMME HOP VOL. 2 W/ TIME & TIGER FAWN


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matthew warhol: It’s good to finally to get a chance to sit down and talk to you, because I’ve been a fan of yours for a while, and I’ve seen what you’ve been doing and like… oh you froze on the screen for a second…

DVWEZ: Where I live in Gainesville, I call it the boonies. The connection is weird so if that happens, I can totally call you back. We can make it work.

matthew warhol: Dope. So yeah, right off the bat, you had a Kickstarter a couple months ago to make a new experience, is it called “The Paradise Experience?”

DVWEZ: Yeah, for lack of a better, non-cheesey title that’s what it’s called. The whole idea behind it is like… have you been to III Points? It’s based off their philosophy of combining art, music, and technology. Living in Gainesville, there’s not a lot of electronic acts to begin with, let alone a different experience than just going to a show and seeing a band on stage. And that’s it. So I wanted to make it more interesting. I had seen some projection mapping at III Points, and the creative team that I worked with, I reached out to them and asked, “Hey, do you guys know anyone who does this?” And they mentioned David Lajas who lives in Orlando. I started talking to him and figuring out how much something like that would cost. In addition to raising money for the press behind my new music that’s coming out every month, I also want to have a really cool way to share the music visually — in an interesting way. 

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matthew warhol: Can you break down what the experience is live? What people can expect from that?

DVWEZ: So basically, David created these structural shapes that incompass myself and my drummer. He created them out of PVC pipe and wrapped a mesh material around them. So when he’s projecting video you can still see us. It’s really cool to watch. The footage that he’s projecting is expremely unique that we shot specifcally for the live show. With that in mind, we tried to create different visuals that felt similar to the project, so you could experience what I was thinking and feeling when making the music. 

matthew warhol: How was the process of putting that together? Were you working on it together or did you let him do his own thing?

DVWEZ: I gave him my music to listen to and was like, “I’ve never done anything like this before. I want you to use your expertise.” In regards to coming up with the structure concept, originally my band was a four piece. He had this idea to put me in a pyramid with my bandmates around me. And that kind of evolved. A week before the big show, I had a bandmate quit. And a couple weeks before that, we went down to a three-piece. 

matthew warhol: Wow.

DVWEZ: So when I spoke to him, we came up with the idea for the giant shapes. So it kind of evolved, it wasn’t the original idea. In regards to the video that accompanies everything, I left that up to Liv [Jonse]. I told her that the project is darker than Pastels and that I wanted something to visually represent that. 

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matthew warhol: That’s… that’s really interesting. Just thinking about the album cover on Pastels and comparing it to your new visual aesthetic, you can tell it’s much darker. Going into this new project, Paradise — that’s an album or EP?

DVWEZ: It’s a four track EP.

matthew warhol: Just listening to the single, I can tell that it’s darker, but also just much more experimental direction. What’s your head like for these new songs? What’s the difference, I guess?

DVWEZ: Sonically, things are very different becuase this project wasn’t produced by myself — it was prodcued by my friend KAIXEN aka Julian in Miami. He’s, simply put, a far better producer than I am. You can feel I went up a level from Pastels there’s more depth, sonically. And also, I think just the headspace that I was in while writing these songs was different. I had just moved back to Gainesville, and I was feeling this weird isolation, having a loving experience with my girlfriend in Gainesville, but also being totally separated from my friends and my family. And also feeling like I was in this area of being a new artist trying to find myself. I was struggling at the time when I wrote. So the concepts are darker, where Pastels was so lovey and airy.

matthew warhol: When you’re working with someone else, do you have the base of the song written, a demo that you bring to Julian? Or did he come at you with stuff he was working on?

DVWEZ: Moving forward, I would like to do it the first way, having an idea and lyrics and melodies and going to a prodcuer to help feel it out. But with this project, it was the opposite. He sent insturmentals that he thought he could hear me on and I worked around that. That’s usually how I do things. I think it’s really cool when artists have ideas and it gets produced out because I think there are more layers when that happens.

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matthew warhol: You can build from that. 

DVWEZ: But for this it was me hearing the instrumentals and being inspired. “Paradise” for example, I wrote in a car ride from Orlando to Gainesville. I had the instrumental playing in my car. I call it “John Legend-ing.” He would hear something and start mumbling crap that would form into a song. That’s kind of, exactly, how I wrote “Paradise.” I think that the melody gives way to lyrics and the context. That way the music is informing the lyrics. 

matthew warhol: You said with the last project was all you. In general, have you preferred making music with other people?

DVWEZ: Um, I think it’s, honestly, just experience. There are so many people out there who are extremely talented. I feel that I’m not necessarily up to par. But in terms of the whole creative process, I hate working with other people. I really like being by myself because it’s a very intimate, grueling thing. I’m challenging myself to be in a creative space with other people, but because I’ve been so solo for the past few years, it’s a little bit uncomfortable with other people in the moment. But that’s what I’ll be doing next.

matthew warhol: How do you go from this isolationist method of creating to then put something out into the world and play it live? For me, as someone who doesn’t perform for people, those two things are completely different. That sounds almost mental to me.

DVWEZ: I’m still figuring that out. When I think I perform best, it’s when I feel like no one is there. And what I mean by that is that there can be however many people in the crowd, but I’m so into what’s happening that I don’t see anyone. I always joke about how my eyes are always closed when I’m really into it. But you have to push yourself because a lot of artists aren’t outgoing people. Not that I’m not — but there’s a performer that you have to bring out of yourself. Once the songs are done, I don’t feel weird sharing it. Showing someone something that’s not done feels so weird. 

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matthew warhol: When you’re performing such emotional music, do you feel that in the moment? Do those feelings come back to you?

DVWEZ: It just depends. Everytime I sing “Celebrity,” I give myself goosebumps. *zzziiinnnggg* Sorry that’s my dryer. [laughs] I give myself goosebumps, which is so weird. But it happens a lot. I think it depends on the song and how comfortable I am with it, because if you’re still trying to make sure you don’t mess up, I don’t think you allow yourself room to really get into it, feel those emotions and have them transfer to the audience. 

matthew warhol: What is it about that particular song?

DVWEZ: “Celebrity” is the only song as DVWEZ that I’ve written lyrics first, then came the music. So it probably has something to do with that, because I was so inspired when I wrote the lyrics. Also, I’ve never heard a song like that before. I don’t know why? That’s the short answer. [laughs]

matthew warhol: How many times have you done “The Paradise Experience?”

DVWEZ: I’ve only done it once and we filmed it. So the idea is to stitch it together and pitch it to venues. Friday, I will have a broken down version of it. It just depends on the venue and the space. But if people are interested in seeing it, we’ll make some version of that work.

matthew warhol: How did the first performance go?

DVWEZ: It went well sonically and in terms of support from the crowd. It took a long time to set these structures up, more than I had anticipated. I would say that the venue we did it at needed to be darker. The videos and photos really capture the projections, but if you were there it was a little lighter, so that’s something to take into consideration. And we’ll be incorporating LED lights moving forward. There’s litttle things that we’ll add. I think it will keep getting better every time. 

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Forced into femininity interview orlando music
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Forced Into Femininity: Fighting Corruption with Crazy

It isn’t too often that a show really surprises me — having spent countless nights at music venues, sometimes I think I’ve seen it all. But last week, I was thrown in truly undisturbed waters when Chicago avant-garde musician Forced Into Feminity turned Spacebar upside down. The music itself, semi-dancey electronic bangs, wasn’t too out-of-the-ordinary; it was the performance that left everyone looking around like, “WTF is happening?!” The set began with a pre-taped warning that cautioned anyone who was uncomfortable being touched, yelled at, or hearing lyrics about discrimination against transgendered people and other potentially triggering topics.

Jill Flanagan, the energetic bomb behind FIF, bounced around the audience screaming in people’s faces, giving piggy-back rides, climbing on top of the bar, and (in one case) stuffing a patron’s red beard into her mouth. And that was only when things were going according to plan. At one point the music and mic cut off, but Jill didn’t even blink. She proceeded to go outside (we all followed), climb onto the roof of Spacebar and start lecturing from up there. Needless to say, I was beyond excited to get into the head of this person. Enjoy.

Photos by Harryson T Photography & matthew warhol.


Forced into femininity interview orlando music

(I start recording in the middle of a conversation about Andy Warhol.)

Forced Into Femininity: I have this book he wrote about parties.

matthew warhol: Which one?

Forced Into Femininity: It’s just called Parties.

matthew warhol: Parties?

Forced Into Femininity: Yeah, it’s just about parties. He interviewed all these different party promoters in the ‘80s. It’s a really interesting book.

matthew warhol: That’s aweseome. I’ve only read A to B and Back Again which is just his sprawlings.

Forced Into Femininity: Oh I love that.

matthew warhol: Really? You’ve read that one?

Forced Into Femininity: That’s his biography, right?

matthew warhol: Yeah, I would say it’s kind of like an autobiography.

Forced into femininity interview orlando music

Forced Into Femininity: The Philosophy of Andy Warhol. It’s hilarious.

matthew warhol: So, for me, that’s the kind of writing I like to do. I’m just very — especially with the interviews — I keep it really real. So I’m recording now. How’s tour been?

Forced Into Femininity: Great, yeah it’s been really long.

matthew warhol: You’re from Chicago right?

Forced Into Femininity: Yeah, I’m from Chicago. I’ve lived their most of life. I lived in Oakland for a couple of years, but mostly in Chicago.

matthew warhol: How long have you been doing Forced Into Feminity?

Forced Into Femininity: It’s been like seven years … seven or eight years.

matthew warhol: And what was the initial idea behind it? Did you make similar music before?

Forced Into Femininity: Well, it was different. I mean, I was mostly in bands. This was the first thing I did that was digital — like on a laptop or editing sounds. I’ve been in bands since, but the band at the time … my band broke up and I was really trying like, to do music and stay motivated. And just make music out of a laptop, because I’d never done that. I hadn’t really made anything specifically about being trans, ya know? I had done stuff that had touched on that but like …

matthew warhol: You hadn’t done something that was fully about you?

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Forced Into Femininity: No, fully me, but I felt like I wanted to focus more on being trans. because it’s a big part of my identity and I hadn’t really talked about it.

matthew warhol: Has it changed over the last seven years?

Forced Into Femininity: It changes a lot. I mean, musically, it’s changed a lot because I’ve learned how to make music on the computer. And what I’ve wanted to do is changing a lot — I don’t know. At one time it was more dance-based, but I still dance a lot when I’m performing. Yeah, it’s come through a lot of different iterations. It’s kind of like whatever I want to do, so I’ll just change it sometimes. Maybe just play keyboards and sing.

matthew warhol: That’s really interesting to me. I was just talking to one of my friends earlier tonight about how a lot people are leaving bands and doing it more by themselves. Because they can — the technology is there. And like, you’re more … like, not waiting on anyone else. Do you find that you’re more productive? Is it easier?

Forced Into Femininity: It’s not easier. I mean, it’s just different playing in bands. It’s like, you don’t really know a lot of times, when you do things, if it’s like, “Oh, is this good?” I don’t know. I don’t know until I play the songs for people, then I’m like, “Okay, this is good.” You don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of or to cover your mistakes.

Forced into femininity interview orlando music

matthew warhol: And so like, how often, when you’re playing, does what happened tonight with [the sound going out] happen? Because at that point it’s really out of your hands to a certain extent. You can obviously adapt to it, which you did. But are you prepared for that?

Forced Into Femininity: I had this tour once where I played two shows where there was no P.A. or like all the power went out. So like, I learned from that. I like improvising and just talking, so I prepare like lectures and things I want to talk about.

matthew warhol: Does it change from night to night? Do you build on an idea? Like you have a topic and it evolves?

Forced Into Femininity: Yeah, a lot of times I’ll say things and they’ll get more developed and I’ll turn them into lyrics, or I’ll stop saying them. But I have a lot of material that I’ve built up and fall back on. When I don’t know what to do, I try doing something old again.

Forced into femininity interview orlando music

matthew warhol: And does it happen a lot, where something will come unplugged and you’ll have to react to it?

Forced Into Femininity: Yeah, if something goes wrong, instead of trying to fix it, I’m like, “fuck that, we’ll just roll with it.” And we’ll have silence, or I’ll do something else. Because it can be anything, if you’re too focused on it being one way, then it gets stifled.

matthew warhol: Does that keep it exciting for you?

Forced Into Femininity: Yeah, definitely. Sometimes I enjoy not doing the songs more. Because it’s fresh. Because I can do whatever I want. Where as, since it’s electronic, the music is always going to be the same music. It’s nice to have freedom.

matthew warhol: That made me think of the interview I recently did with J.A.S.O.N., who’s the singer from Shania Pain. I did a story on him, and he was telling me about the reason he improvises. It’s because he gets really bored. Would you feel that way too, if it were to be the same thing over and again?

Forced Into Femininity: Yeah, I have a short attention span.

matthew warhol: That’s exactly what he said.

Forced into femininity interview orlando music

Forced Into Femininity: Yeah, I have a short attention span so a lot of times I’m like … “yeah, yeah, okay I gotta …” This time I’ve been … well, I’ve been on tour for four and a half months so I try different techniques to keep it fresh. Trying different songs, or now I have two different sets I play.

matthew warhol: What’s like, one of the craziest reactions someone has had to your performance?

Forced Into Femininity: I don’t know. I’ve had a bunch of weird shows. I had a show in a coffee house in Alabama where everyone got really upset and I had to stop. Yeah, everyone got upset. They were mad because there were children there and they got scared. So that was going on and there were angry parents and it was in a coffee shop, so they were more uptight about me climbing on tables, licking people.

matthew warhol: I mean, you have the warning at the beginning.

Forced Into Femininity: I have a warning, yeah but people are going to get mad. That’s what I realized about the warning, like if people are going to be offended, they’re still going to be offended. Like this guy the last time I played in Orlando, he was really mad that I licked him. And he wanted to fight me. And he was all mad because I didn’t mention it in the statement. He was like, “I heard touching! I didn’t hear anything about licking people!” I should make everyone sign a waiver.

Forced into femininity interview orlando music

matthew warhol: So like, what was something that was sticking with you tonight? Was there something specific in your head?

Forced Into Femininity: Well, I wanted to talk about the drag show in Key West that was really problematic. Yeah, there’s always a lot of things to talk about but I usually draw a blank when I’m up there. But I wanted to toss in a lot of things about that. It made me think about getting a dollar bill from the audience. Because, symbolically, you’re getting money and that money buys approval. And the drag queens that are less passing or more heavy-set usually don’t get as many people watching them, or they get a pity dollar. It’s kind of like a system of capital approval.

matthew warhol: Thanks for sharing that.

Forced Into Femininity: Yeah sure.

matthew warhol:  It was really nice talking to you.

Forced Into Femininity: Yeah, nice talking to you.

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A Crying Libra Against The World

I’ve been so lucky to watch Alexia Clarke grow creatively. Since starting fem zine Phosphene Girl in December 2015, she’s repeatedly poured her feelings onto paper, whether they be about body image, race, self-acceptance, or relationships. This Friday, bae will be hosting Combination 5 as a part of ORL dance-curators, TMD. Happy Valentine’s Day everybody.


Orlando music blog

matthew warhol: So … I don’t really know what to ask you, because I know you so well. So, how are you involved with the TMD event?

Alexia Clarke: I’ll be hosting TMD Combo 5 this Friday. This event is different because they’re trying to kind of expand their community and the people who attend it. TMD for so long was just like, straight white guys, so now we’re finally incorporating in a female DJ who is also a person of color and all the proceeds we make are going to Planned Parenthood.

matthew warhol: And Alana is involved, too.

Alexia Clarke: Mhm! Alana’s going to be selling zines and art and I will also be selling zines!

matthew warhol: Are you nervous because you’ve never hosted anything before? Do you know what you’re going to say?

Alexia Clarke: I’m really excited because I’m good at things like that.

matthew warhol: Like what?

Alexia Clarke: Like, getting up to a mic and saying whatever I feel like. I like the power in it, also.

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matthew warhol: What are you going to say?

Alexia Clarke: I don’t know. I think i’m going to plug my friends a lot. Make it known that this show is different, and we’re kind of taking it over.

matthew warhol: What do you think the importance of it is?

Alexia Clarke: I think it’s important for everyone to feel like they’re included for once. I think it’s important, because like when I go to events and I don’t see other people that look like me — like other girls of color or just black people in general, it sucks. I feel like this event is the beginning of seeing other parts of Orlando and other parts of this giant scene that has only belonged to this one specific demographic. It’s just the fact that we need the right people. And I think that’s why I’m really into being included. Like yes, I am this person of color, and yes, I am incorporated in this scene, but I still don’t really feel like a part of it in some way. This event is kind of my way of saying, “I’m here! I’m doing this! I can’t be ignored!”

matthew warhol: When was the first time you were more than just a bystander in the Orlando art scene?

Alexia Clarke: When I did spoken word. For once in my life, I felt like I was being heard and people are finally understanding the way I feel. After that, I got involved with Tittie Thyme. We put together an event to showcase women, called Ladies Get Lit. I put out my first zine then.

matthew warhol: What made you want to do it in the first place?

Alexia Clarke: I was really sad. And I  just needed a positive and productive way to put my time.

Orlando music blog

matthew warhol: Why were you sad?

Alexia Clarke: I don’t wanna talk about it. [smiles]

matthew warhol: But, you’re not sad about that anymore? So why did you continue making zines?

Alexia Clarke: I think because Phosphene Girl has always been a safe haven for me in the last two years. And even if I don’t feel sad, it’s a way for me to put all of these thoughts that I’ve had into one cohesive book. It’s kind of like a yearbook for me, I can like look through them and just be instantly transformed back into that time where I felt exactly like that. And it’s cool because those are the important things that I need to remember, you know? Like when I felt like the lowest of the lows, and when I didn’t like my body or thought no one loved me. I think it’s really important.

matthew warhol: What are the themes that you explore in your zines?

Alexia Clarke: Most of the topics I cover are about me coming to terms with my body, um, basic relationship things, uncertainty, my attitude, and my own personal vendettas.

matthew warhol: Do you ever go back and look at them?

Alexia Clarke: Yeah, always.

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matthew warhol: What do you feel when you do that?

Alexia Clarke: I feel good because I don’t really feel the ways that I did when I was writing those things. I feel like I grew from it. I feel like that’s why people write in the first place. I like that it just stays on the page because I don’t want to hold on to it anymore. I just want other people to see it and relate to it, and that’s it.

matthew warhol: How far apart were the zines?

Alexia Clarke: All of them are six months apart.

matthew warhol: You’ve obviously matured as like a writer since you’ve started. Can you tell the difference?

Alexia Clarke: Of course! It was so hard to find things for the third one because I wasn’t as sad. And that kind of made me disappointed in myself. I didn’t know how exactly it would work out. Because that was my thing, you know? Sad girl work. From the first one to the second one — because the first one wasn’t me — Phosphene Girl was transformed into I diary for myself.

matthew warhol: So the second one you think is also sad?

Alexia Clarke: Yeah, the second one is a year’s worth of work put together.

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matthew warhol: There’s stuff about when we weren’t together?

Alexia Clarke: Yeah, there’s a poem in there that is from when we were together the first time.

matthew warhol: Oh …

Alexia Clarke: Yeah, the one about me eating.

matthew warhol: So what do you think the next one will be about? Do you think it’ll be another six months?

Alexia Clarke: I like the idea of them coming out every spring and winter. And I want it to be more light-hearted, but I’ve never been like that. I think I’ve always been seen as this light-hearted person, but anyone who really knows me knows I’m not.

matthew warhol: You just take it as the feelings come to you. When I see you work on stuff, it’s in the moment.

Alexia Clarke: Exactly, everything is in my notes, my notebook. When I sit down to put the zine together, it’s me looking through my tumblr, my twitter, my notes.

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matthew warhol: Is it more difficult when you try to do it after the fact, after the feelings have passed? 

Alexia Clarke: Yeah, it’s way harder. I’m the same way as you; I only think of the bad things when the bad things are happening. When I’m happy it’s so hard to create work. I don’t like being that type of artist, but it’s when the best work comes out.

matthew warhol: I want to go back to the Orlando art scene for a second. Do you personally feel included in it?

Alexia Clarke: I feel like I’ve never really felt completely comfortable in wherever I am. I feel like I’m always the token, or this or that. Even though we have amazing friends who understand who I am, I’m still never going to be completely comfortable within my own community — until we get to the point where we can completely merge.

matthew warhol: Where do you feel most accepted?

Alexia Clarke: I think like Harry or Harryson, anything that they throw, because those two are the most well-rounded people who can reach every kind of person. Wherever you go that they are, it’s like this is where everyone should be, because this is the perfect amount of different people. So I would say Talk Yo Shit, definitely. Anything by Retro Neon. Anything B8TA.

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matthew warhol: And how do you think people can make their events more inclusive?

Alexia Clarke: I think just having more people of color. Have them show their art. Make sure you’re paying them for their art. Make sure they’re there and they’re present. That’s the first way to make people comfortable.

matthew warhol: Representation.

Alexia Clarke: Exactly, if their friends are there, they’re going to go.

matthew warhol: What else? Should we talk about us?

Alexia Clarke: Uh, I don’t know what we should say.

matthew warhol: Oh, what about the zines we’ve done together?

Alexia Clarke: Oh yeah, our color zines! We’ve done Red, Orange, and Yellow so far. We’re doing Green soon. We planned out the next few on a plane ride to Arizona. And yeah, it’s really fun.

matthew warhol: I’m really happy with the reception to it. It’s been like super organic.

Alexia Clarke: It’s been super easy. I think we’re just really good at thinking of weird things that work together. Because we pay such close attention to detail. And it’s getting more intricate, like how we put the word search in Yellow.

matthew warhol: It’s just fun. And it’s so quick that it doesn’t get daunting.

Alexia Clarke: And it’s just another excuse to do something together.

matthew warhol: Aw. Okay… I love you.

Alexia Clarke: I love you too.

matthew warhol: Happy Valentine’s Day. 🙂

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Who the Hell is Jason Kimmins?

I’m going to assume you already know, or at least have seen, Jason Kimmins. He’s hard to ignore. The charismatic Orlando figure often shows up to local events in designer fashion and gold chains. As a musician, he fronts local noise-dance duo Shania Pain and has just released his first EP under the name J.A.S.O.N. Although I’ve considered him a friend for years, I’ve never stopped being interested in the way he presents himself online and in person. He’s an ORL enigma and I was excited to learn more about him. Enjoy.

Upcoming Appearances:

as J.A.S.O.N.

2/2 @ Spacebar w/ Loser Boy, Pulsatile Tinnitus, Child One & DJ Deviant Art 

w/ Shania Pain 

2/6 @ Uncle Lou’s for Pre-INC 2017

2/20 @ Uncle Lou’s w/ We’re All Doomed & Pass/Ages

3/4 @ Spacebar w/ Astari Nite

3/5 @ Sandwich Bar w/ Period Bomb, Problem Child, Mother Juno, & Disgender

(Paintings by Casey Hayes)


Jason Kimmins Orlando music blog

matthew warhol: Jumping right in, your first solo show is coming up. Are you going to be playing the J.A.S.O.N. stuff?

Jason Kimmins: Well, I have different stuff I’m going to do. The first part of it is going to be something else that I’ve created for a split tape with this guy named Necrotizing Fasciitis. He’s like gore core. So I created … kind of like a noise set.

matthew warhol: Oh yeah, because it’s a noise show, right?

Jason Kimmins: Yeah! And so I was like “Yeah, that’s perfect. I’ll use that in there.” So that’ll be different.

matthew warhol: And what’s the other stuff you’re playing?

Jason Kimmins: Well, I’m really not performing or using any vocals until the end. I’ll probably do “BFF.” But it’ll be more … just like me like … it’s not going to be good.

Jason Kimmins Orlando music blog

matthew warhol: Oh no?

Jason Kimmins: Yeah, I’m not going to try to be good or anything at it. It’s going to be like … more of a thought piece, I guess. Um … the concept of what I’m trying to do is called “Fulfillment Simulation Sequence One.” And it’s going to be a play off of self-help workshops that people go to and learn from someone about how to make their life better, but it’s going very interpretive. Like a negative skew on how people want better for themselves. But it’s not literal or anything.

matthew warhol: You’re not aiming for that. It’s just what you were thinking when you made it?

Jason Kimmins: Yeah, it’s really just my thoughts on how you have to change who you are to be fulfilled in your life and how you have to cover negative parts of yourself. And that’s what is social acceptable. Not being yourself is social acceptable.

matthew warhol: Do you think that’s who you are? I feel like I don’t get that from you, though. I feel like you’re someone who is themselves all the time.

Jason Kimmins: I mean I try to stay true but also, there’s a time and place for everything. You have to use social cues. And part of interacting with society is holding back who you are, unless you’re really comfortable with the people around you. A part of [the performance] is like, there’s a segment that’s geared everyone not wanting to see someone cry. You know, it’s a very bad thing to do. Because it makes everyone else uncomfortable.

Jason Kimmins Orlando music blog

matthew warhol: Do you think you’re really naturally more anti-social or introverted? Do you have to push yourself you get out there?

Jason Kimmins: I’m definitely extroverted, but I feel drained a lot of times when I’m in that sort of environment. I feel comfortable, but I don’t feel happy necessarily. I’m more introverted as of lately.

matthew warhol: Everybody feels like that when it comes to being out. Especially in an environment where you know people, but you don’t really “know” people.

Jason Kimmins: Yeah, I will definitely say I know how to navigate social environments. I’ve learned how to get along with anybody, and maybe that’s skewed some of my vision of what I’m presenting in this performance. But, of course, it’s very interpretive.

matthew warhol: Cool. So like, why did you choose to release your own EP before Shania Pain had any official recordings?

Jason Kimmins: I’ve been doing music since I was in high school. The first thing I made was literally … I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. My uncle gave me Fruity Loops V2. He’s kind of a person like, “The goth scene was so cool back then.” So he gave me that and I played around with that, but it sounded shitty so I just turned the bass so it sounded like, “BRRRRRR,” because that shit really annoying.

Jason Kimmins Orlando music blog

matthew warhol: So even from the jump, you were experimenting with making something loud?

Jason Kimmins: Yeah, well not even just loud. My creative process has always been me going to the extreme, and then I learn where the in-between is. I only know what’s a good medium by going zero to one-hundred.

matthew warhol: So like, even with Shania Pain or your own stuff, do you think that’s going back to the medium?

Jason Kimmins: Of everything that I’ve done so far, sonically, I feel like the J.A.S.O.N. is the project that I’m working on meeting that happy medium.

matthew warhol: Between melody and discourse?

Jason Kimmins: It’s not intentionally discourse. It’s something more texturized and something more layered. I want different sounds to shine through, but to be in a very easy to digest way.

matthew warhol: And I think with the J.A.S.O.N. EP, it’s more all over the place. So there’s stuff that wouldn’t fit in with Shania Pain. Like that second song has like a lounge instrumental.

Jason Kimmins: I will say that one thing I’ll never be is consistent. There’s no way. My main drive is boredom. I have a very high tolerance for pleasure, so it takes me a lot for me to feel like, some good feelings. So I need a lot of different stuff. I need a lot of stimuli to be able to feel comfortable with myself.

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matthew warhol: Musically, what does that mean? How do you reach that place where you’re happy?

Jason Kimmins: Ummmm … It definitely translates to every song being like two-and-a-half minutes, because I have a short attention span. [laughs] I’m like, “Oh this is done. I don’t want to add another chorus because it’ll get boring.” But other than that, I don’t know. I’m still learning about myself and what I like. Maybe one day I’ll be consistent. For instance, I’ve been consistent about clothing. Like, pieces that look good on me — cuts and stuff like that — that I know that I’ll always go back to. So I feel like, yeah, I’m trying to actualize something. But I really can’t say what that would be.

matthew warhol: With your clothes, that’s one part of you I really admire, that you are always 100% yourself. You’ve even pushed me to want to expand [my wardrobe]. Even before I knew you.

Jason Kimmins: How did we meet again? Where’d you see me first at? Where’d I see you first at?

matthew warhol: It was probably The Space.

Jason Kimmins: Definitely, that’s where I met everyone.

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matthew warhol: You were Body LSD then too. What was that exactly?

Jason Kimmins: Okay, so I had graduated from high school and I was really rebellious. I was living with my mom at the time in Merritt Island. My mom is really nice, but because of that — and because I was coming from living in tension with my dad — I was really rebellious. And because of that, I got kicked out. So I was like, “I guess I can move to Orlando.” And, of course, I didn’t know anyone. But I was trying to find, like I said, pleasure in things because I was bored as fuck. Witch House and Scene Punk were really popular at that time — it was like 2013. And they would have nightlife people in New York and I was like, “Yeah, what if I had a nightlife persona?” So I did that and I would literally go to like Firestone. I still thought that was cool. It was the only thing I knew at that time. Then people started introducing me to other things.

matthew warhol: What was the first thing in this sort of scene?

Jason Kimmins: Body Talk. I met Jahre and he said, “Come to this really cool show.”

matthew warhol: Then you started doing your own shows, and they were all very centralized around a theme like Hydrate, the one about water.

Jason Kimmins: I would come up with a good concept and actualize the idea of decorations, making it kind of interactive, and maybe post a couple things [on the Facebook Event Page] that would make people’s minds sway in a certain way like, “Oh, I get it. This is what I can expect.” And then let people have at it. So they are set up to create their own experience, instead of having to conform to it.

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matthew warhol: I think you do that in Shania Pain too — playing with props, having big costumes, moving around.

Jason Kimmins: Actually, the whole time I’m on stage, I’m just thinking, “Holy shit, what am I going to do next?” It’s more like live poetry more than anything else — for what I do at least. And for Andrea, it’s her rhythmic flow that she does with all her instrumentation.

matthew warhol: Are you improvising?

Jason Kimmins: Yes, as of recently though, I have been writing down a few things. Before I’ll go on, I’ll write down a few excerpts that I think will sound cool. At the core of everything that I do, I really love lyrics and the meaning behind lyrics. And that fits in with the actual atmosphere of the music and how it creates a whole image of it.

matthew warhol: Can you give me an excerpt?

Jason Kimmins: Well, I’ll just like think of something to say. Like, what was the show we had?

matthew warhol: The last one was Will’s.

Jason Kimmins: Yeah, actually, I have this shirt that I scribbled all over. When I’m at my desk at work, I’ll grab a piece of paper and write train of thought, free-form thoughts over and over again. So I did that on a shirt. *gets up and grabs an old button-up shirt covered in scribblings done in permeant marker* Part of it was like, “All I ever wanted was to feel your flesh brush against mine and to feel your lips pressed against my fingers.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sb30kaS6yw

matthew warhol: That’s beautiful.

Jason Kimmins: I was also inspired by this homeless guy on Colonial and Goldenrod. He writes out really weird, religious tropes on pieces of cardboard and sticks them around. They’re just like randomly scribbled, “Everyone is going to burn in hell,” some really crazy stupid shit. I have to pee.

(Jason stands up.)

matthew warhol: So when you’re actually performing, do you have a sheet of paper.

Jason Kimmins: Last time we played, I just wrote it on my arm.

matthew warhol: And so how are you involving it with what Andrea is doing? Are they two separate entities completely?

Jason Kimmins: Yeah, she has no idea what I’m doing; I have no idea what she’s doing. We don’t really talk about it.

matthew warhol: Really?

Jason Kimmins: Yeah, I don’t think Andrea likes that. She just likes to do whatever. Andrea doesn’t like what to be told what to do.

Jason Kimmins Orlando music blog

matthew warhol: Is she improvising too?

Jason Kimmins: Yeah. She practices five minutes a day or whatever. She doesn’t like to have rules. I’m really inspired by her view on music and like, for what it is, thinking that music shouldn’t have rules.

matthew warhol: Do you think it’ll be more structured when you record?

Jason Kimmins: No, I think we’ll always be dynamic. I don’t think Andrea is the type to be structured, ever. That’s her personality type.

matthew warhol: I would assume that that comes from you, that spontaneity.

Jason Kimmins: Andrea has been involved with the noise scene since before I was even in Orlando. That’s her style. I’m just kind of like a texture to it. I think really, out of everything that Shania Pain is, she really wanted to experiment with electronic music.

(Jason has now been standing for 10 minutes.)

matthew warhol: You can go pee.

Jason Kimmins Orlando music blog

Must Be The Holy Ghost @ Spacebar (interview + photos)
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Must Be The Holy Ghost @ Spacebar (interview + photos)

I sat down with Jared Draughon of Must Be The Holy Ghost when he came through Spacebar on his current tour with St. Pete freaks, PLEASURES. Jared’s live show isn’t the typical one-man looping performance. He’s joined by Evan Hawkins who mixes different colored oils on an overhead projector to create a beautiful backdrop of universe-like swirls. The trippy visuals and Jared’s somber beats mold an atmosphere where you, yourself feel like the liquid, oozing about with no consistent shape. Check out MBTHG’s debut album, Get Off, on Spotify and if he’s ever in your town, be witness to the spectacle. Enjoy.

TVW: You said this isn’t your first time in Orlando, but that you haven’t been here in a while. When was the last time? Who were you with?

Must Be The Holy Ghost: Um, I played in some bands that did some touring — a good deal of touring — and we came to Orlando, years ago probably, man.

TVW: Do you remember where you played?

MBTHG: I want to say it might have been … The Social.

TVW: Oh cool. Who was that with?

MBTHG: Telescream. It was a band — kind of a shoe gaze band I was for a couple of years.

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TVW: You’re from North Carolina, right?

MBTHG: I grew up around Chapel Hill, but I live in Winston Salem now.

TVW: What’s the music scene there like?

MBTHG: It’s a smaller town, but there’s a lot of cool shit going on, man. It’s really growing and there’s a tight nit community, very supportive of the arts.

TVW: How did you get involved with Pleasures? Because this is like your fourth or fifth date, right?

MBTHG: Sixth maybe. We just went through The Carolinas and Georgia.

Uh, It was just happenstance that a club owner named Tucker saw Pleasures come through and was like, “Yo, you need to check this band out. And I need you put them on this show.” He just fell in love with them. I checked them and was like, “Yeah, this cool shit. Let’s do it. In fact, lets do a three day run.” … And then from there we’re like, “let’s do this again in February.

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TVW: How would you juxtapose their music with your own? Why can you guys tour together and it work?

MBTHG: Um, I kind of have static beats that end up kind of being hypnotic at a point, a slow build, parts that are kind of dark. A lot of their stuff is like that. And the members of Pleasures are great. Real easy-going.

TVW: And so … you’re the only one playing music tonight, right? And you have some guy who does — i don’t want to say it wrong, but like, lighting displays?

MBTHG: Yeah, he does projections on an old school projector. It’s like a liquid light show.

TVW: And he’s considered a member of the band.

MBTHG: Yeah, MBTHG started as musical endeavor of mine, like a solo project or whatever. But uh, Evan started doing these projections like they did back in the 60s and was really good at it. [He] started playing with me and some other people around town. We just kept playing shows and he just kept coming with me.

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TVW: One thing I got from your music and you said earlier was “hypnotic,” and I think that’s where you and Pleasures meet. It’s about putting the person listening into a certain mindset. So like, what is that mindset? What is that kind of the mood you’re trying to get them into?

MBTHG: That’s a good one. I mean, not any one specific one. Just like, good vibes hopefully. Let’s dance, let’s party.

TVW: But it’s dark. So you want people to dance and cry at the same time?

MBTHG: [laughs] Maybe, yeah. Just like lose their shit completely. I think moreso have fun, but hopefully they’ll catch that it’s an outlet for me. There’s a lot of pain and sorrow at times.

TVW: There’s one song off the album that I was listening to on the way here called “Stuff My Feelings In A Couch” I’m not getting the name right —

MBTHG: “Shove My feelings in the Couch”

TVW: “SHOVE My Feelings” and I like that. I had never heard that before. What does that mean to you and where does that feeling come from?

MBTHG: Man, that song is one of the older songs I wrote as MBTHG. When I write, I basically have melodies formed before lyrics and I oftentimes just start babbling even, you know, just see what happens. I was doing some rough demos and just kind of said that, or something like it and wrote from it. Just, whatever those vowels were wanted to happen.

TVW: And what does that exactly mean to you?

MBTHG: Just like, surpressing things. And kind of how much time we do all spend on the couch being lazy and depressed, or not motivated.

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TVW: The last thing, I guess — and I’ve just had this on my mind and it doesn’t really make since with the rest of what we’ve been talking about — but I went to the Kanye West Madison Square Garden today. He showed that in a movie theater where he played his album for the first time. Do you care about that at all? What are your feelings towards him?

MBTHG: I love Kanye as an artist. And I love his music. I think he’s fuckin’ delusional. But I love what he does, for the most part.

TVW: What do you like the most?

MBTHG: I mean, Yeezus was rad. I just like that he changes it up. He’s not afraid to try some different shit. … I’ve had some fun moments googling Kanye quotes.

I’m, more now than ever, very influenced by hip hop.

TVW: What about it?

MBTHG: I love beats. I love the energy. Sometimes I feel like it’s more punk rock, or the most punk rock thing right now which I definitely have roots in. Kendrick Lamar. I think he’s the shit?

TVW: To Pimp A Butterfly?

MBTHG: And good kid, m.A.A.d. city!

TVW: Hell yeah!

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Fat Night Interview

Silent Night, Fat Night (sweater fest interview)

For the past few years, Orlando has shared funk darlings Fat Night with The Windy City, Chicago. The situation is similar to that of a divorced couple with kids. We get them on weekends, while weekdays are spent with that cheating whore. Luck for us, tonight happens to be Orlando’s turn, as Fat Night will be one of the many acts playing Sweater Fest. Dave Hanson (Sweater Fest organizer) and I (sweater aficionado) had a few questions for our Second City sons, some pertaining to Christmas, their latest release (that we reviewed), and that cheating whore I spoke about earlier. Enjoy.

Sweater Fest is TO-NIGHT. Check the lineup and set times here! And read more interviews here!

How did everyone end up in Chicago? What’s it been like relocating and have any new opportunities opened themselves up since the move? What are your hopes for having everyone together up there?

Gabe moved first, a couple years back, to pursue opportunities with The Second City Comedy School. Ted fell in love with the city while visiting Gabe and found a job (quite a few months) after college at a Chicago school. Daniel is still in the process of his move, so it’s still a bit of a work in progress. As of now, we’ve played here once while on tour and had a really great time. If Chicago becomes the place for us, the opportunities seem endless. There are so many outlets for the kind of music we play here, along with being in a more central part of the country, allowing us to explore places we’d love to tour more frequently.

What are the biggest differences in the music communities?

Orlando is so tight knit and centralized. Orlando definitely has a lot of killer musicians and great bands for a city of its size. Chicago has a population many times greater than Orlando, and with that, a staggering number of high caliber, session ready players, be they church musicians or kids that went to music school. There are many great shows and jams every single night and lots of cross pollination between musicians and bands. This can be both inspiring and intimidating as a musician, and both exciting and expensive as a fan of music.  

You guys put out an album called Lazy Days over the summer, how’s the response been to that, and how happy are you guys about how it came out? How has your sound and process evolved since the first release? 

We’ve had a strong, positive response to Lazy Days. It’s gotten more attention off the bat than our debut. We feel good about it too. It’s definitely a step forward from the first album, which had some songs written by us as 19 year olds. We were a little more meticulous this time around, as we were still writing some of the songs during the recording process. So we would do a bit of demoing up front to figure out not only where we wanted to take the structure of the songs, but how we wanted them to sound and feel along the way. With that being said, the vibes feel stronger and more like our own thing, which we’re super proud of.

I think more than most other music, R&B and soul relies heavily on a groove, a feeling, and that feeling is built into a song when the musicians mesh well together. How does this work in Fat Night? Is there some struggle to it? Do you guys give input to each other or kind of just let everyone do their thing?

Absolutely. Ted (bass) & Nik (drums) have been locked in from the beginning. They have really good chemistry and communication when it comes to establishing the back bone of our music. If ever there is a struggle, which isn’t very often, it’s worked out by just expanding upon the idea that someone brings in, or even trying hits on different beats or different parts of beats until a song or section is the grooviest and funkiest it could possibly be. Certain songs may have an instrument (including vocals) playing more of a lead role or being prominently featured, and we all know to stay in our lane and not step on any toes. We have a clear understanding of everyone’s style and usually go into the songwriting process keeping those factors in mind. 

After building an audience in Orlando, do you feel like you have to start over again in a new town?

Naturally, but it’s different. We’re going into something new with the knowledge we have of the past few years of growth we’ve experienced there.

How often should we expect to see you guys back in Orlando? Any plans to do a big tour between the two cities?

We seem to be able to play in Orlando at least four or five weekends a year. One reason Ted took a job at a school was for frequent touring and shows at home! No plans as of right now, but that sounds like a good idea!

What do you hope to see happening in the Orlando music community when you come back? What do you think it needs to grow into something nationally regarded?

I hope that the right people will make it possible for establishing a wider variety of venues in Orlando. Right now there are only a handful, and some aren’t accessible to every kind of show. Although what’s available is great, I think if there are more options, it will be more inspiring for all different kinds of events to start happening. 

Do any of you guys honor any strange Christmas traditions?

We often do an exchange with each other. The gifts have ranged from very thoughtful to very crappy. Sometimes during December shows, we will sneak Christmas lyrics and motifs into our songs, so keep your ears perked at Sweater Fest. 

What are you looking forward to most about Sweater Fest?

The crowd! Last year, everyone who showed up threw down. Will there be egg nog? The TG Lee Factory is right across the street…

Timothy Eerie Interview

‘A Dreidel Soaked in Acid’: Going to Space with Timothy Eerie

Sweater Fest 2015 is next Saturday! This year, the annual Christmas kerfuffle features a collection of talent where the only common thread between bands is the side effect of spastic dancing. One of those bands is psychedelic space pixies, Timothy Eerie. Dave Hanson (the Sweater Fest Santa himself!) spoke with the vocalist/guitarist Casey Lerman to see whether he’s been naughty or nice. The results: a dreidel soaked in acid. Enjoy.

For more info on all of the Sweater Fest happenings, check the FB event page, and read more interviews with the band’s at Happy Camper Booking.

How long has Timothy Eerie been a band?

We all starting putting our heads together this past summer, so Timothy Eerie has been a physical band for less than a year now. I came up with the idea to start writing these songs years ago. So in concept, Timothy Eerie has been in the making for some time.

How does the band change about show to show? I’ve only seen y’all twice but it was a different lineup both times.

This band is more of a collaborative art collective. We don’t have a solid lineup besides myself and my drummer, Mike Scitney. Everyone that plays with Timothy Eerie has other projects, so there are times that certain people will be booked on the days of our shows, and then we bring new characters into the picture. I like it. Each change-up brings a new flavor to the songs, so the set list goes through these reincarnations. It keeps it interesting for us and for the audience. 

Are you guys obsessed with LSD or was that just too good of a band name to pass up?

I wouldn’t call in an obsession, but it is an inspiration. I love it. The LSD state of mind is more real than anything in this external reality. It goes hand in hand with visionary art and music. Plus, it’s very therapeutic. I literally need to take it every so often to stay balanced. Going insane keeps me sane.

You guys have a keen focus on psychedelia — what defines this idea to you and at what point in creating a song do you feel like you have begun to achieve that? How does that idea play into your live performance versus your recordings?

Our music isn’t psychedelic in the traditional sense, but the songs are very influenced by  60’s and 70’s music and counterculture. That scene was fueled by the psychedelic experience, so it leaks into what we do. Our recordings are a little more straight forward than our live show. We go to space when we play live. Keeping it weird is something that we’re working on. And as time goes on, I believe our sound will find a more for a spiritual path rather than just psychedelia. 

Any of you guys have any weird christmas traditions?

My weirdest Christmas tradition is celebration Chanukah (*cue studio laugh).

What are you looking forward to most about Sweater Fest?

Honestly, I’m most excited to see the other bands do their thing. This will be our first time attending Sweater Fest, and the lineup is so tasty.

What’s in the works for Timothy Eerie?

We have so much in the works. We’re recording our EP right now. The working title is Heterochromia. We just got a band van and plan on taking her all around Florida in early February. We’re playing our first festival next year called Little Econ Love Fest at Maddox Ranch. Our art director, Sapphire Servellon aka Artardvark, is collaborating with a new projection mapping company, called Hybrid Eyes Visualizations, to bring some really weird visuals to the live shows. We’re releasing a visual art series called ‘Don’t think Broadcast’ early next year too.