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Fat Night’s Dan Hanson on his ORL-to-CHI Transition

After I got off FaceTime with Dan Hanson–singer n’ guitar player for ORL-to-CHI soul/R&B band Fat Night–me n’ my ol’ friend continued to chat up n’ talk about his new life in Chicago. In this post interview dialogue, Dan told me a story that served as a great climax of his acclimation story, one that is laid out in the interview below. I wish it would’ve gotten captured, but I wanted to paraphrase the ending before you hear about the story that built up to it. EnJoY.

Dan went to an intimate 200ish person vinyl release show for Noname’s Telefone. It happened to be on top of a roof and had an open bar. He ended up talking to a local trombone player that happened to be Frank Ocean’s trombone player. When Noname first came onstage, she introduced her band and went back into the crowd to let them warm up the Chicago night and happened to start talking to Dan’s new friend. Then Dan happened to be singing along to the D’Angelo song the band was playing …ended up being pushed onstage by the 26-year-old rapper to finish the song.

Cover photo by Hannah Mae.

Upcoming Appearances

October 7: Fat Night at Ten10 Fest w/ Bask, Wet Nurse, Wolf-Face, & More.


Fat Night Interview Orlando Music Blog The Vinyl Warhol
Photo by John Keen

matthew warhol: Yo dude, how’ve you been?

Dan Hanson: I’m pretty good.

matthew warhola: How do you like Chicago?

Dan Hanson: Chicago is pretty good. I’ve been up here for 9 or 10 months now.

matthew warhol: I can’t believe it’s been that long!

Dan Hanson: Yeah, time has flown by, and city life is definitely a lot quicker, more fast paced than home.

matthew warhol: What do you think the hardest thing to adapt to has been?

Dan Hanson: We moved in December so it was winter time and even though it was a mild winter, there was a lot to get used to. You do a lot of walking in general, getting better sneakers or boots that hold up as much walking as you do is important.

matthew warhol: Damn.

Dan Hanson: Also, the climate is dryer up here so I had noticed within the first few months my nose was so dry, and it would get cracked. Not to get to involved with that, but it was to the point where I was using lotion on parts of my body that I’ve never had to use lotion before. It was getting real dry.

matthew warhol: I think we should have a 45 minute long conversation about lotion [laughs] and dry noses… What do you think the cultural differences are? Are you as involved as you were in Orlando.

Dan Hanson: Not yet, it’s a little bit more expensive up here and there’s so much more going on, so you have to really figure out what’s attractive to you. I would say that I haven’t gotten to the ideal place where I want to be here, just because it takes time to get involved and get to the point where you start noticing the same faces and realize your a part of something. It’s a lot more established. Chicago being one of the birth places of blues and jazz, it’s pretty well instilled in the live music here.

matthew warhol: You were the last Fat Night to move up there, right?

Dan Hanson: Nik, our drummer, was actually the last one but he came up right after me.

matthew warhol: Did you feel like you were starting over in Chicago?

Dan Hanson: Not really, just because we played up here a few times already and once we did get up here, we started making our way into lineups pretty quickly. It was just kind of another step, rather than starting over, a bigger step rather than figuring the whole thing out again. It’s just on a bigger scale.

matthew warhol: Are you finding it easier to get into your own niche—where as Orlando, with the smaller amount of musicians, are you finding yourself in a pocket more?

Dan Hanson: Um, I think it is very easy to find a niche here. I don’t know if we’re there yet. We’re still open minded with shows that come our way, but there have been a couple of pretty cool shows. One was with Durand Jones & The Indications who is on Colemine Records. We have a record out onColemine and they’ve been on the up and up. They brought a sold out show to a really cool venue up here called The Empty Bottle. And the same thing happened with another band on the label called The Dip. It’s been really having connections like that where if someone comes through, we can be like, “Hey, we’re here if you’re interested.” That seems to be a lot of what we’ve gotten into since we’ve been here as apposed to putting together lead slots for shows. That’s the one big difference I’d say. We’re kind of back to square one, opening up for bands before we can start laying down our own thing up here.

Fat Night Interview Orlando Music Blog The Vinyl Warhol
Photo by Lara Warman

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matthew warhol: I bet there’s something exciting about that though, especially since you’re not a new band. You kinda feel like you need to prove yourself, but you already have the chops as a band.

Dan Hanson: It’s been reassuring that we are heading in the right direction. We are toying around with some new sounds and getting a little more openminded towards what we’re doing.

matthew warhol: What are those new sounds?

Dan Hanson: About five months ago, we started on a new album, a full-length, and it’s the most songs we’ve had ready in a specific time where we’ve paired all the tunes together and it makes sense as a body of work. We’re starting to use a little more synth in some of the songs. We’re getting a little more comfortable with trying more for recording. We’re not afraid to do stuff that we wouldn’t be able to do live, like putting a bunch of vocal tracks on a song. We’re just focused on making a good recording.

matthew warhol: Do you think being in a new city has helped foster creativity?

Dan Hanson: I think so. The level of musicianship here is really diverse and really high caliber. You’ll find people in any genre killing it on any night of the week. It’s really cool to see how humble a lot of those people are too. Everyone’s just trying to make something good.

matthew warhol: Does the new album have a name yet?

Dan Hanson: It’s tentatively, but mostly likely, going to be called Live For Each Other, which is after the name of a song.

Fat Night Interview Orlando Music Blog The Vinyl Warhol

matthew warhol: Anything else you can divulge about the new music?

Dan Hanson: No release dates right now. We’re still wrapping out recording but I’d say we’re about 80% there. We did a huge chunk of the tracking while we were all in town. Colemine Records, who released one of our singles in the past, is going to be working with us on a release.

matthew warhol: Now, Gabe [vocals/keys] just moved to LA, right?

Dan Hanson: That’s correct, for about a month now.

matthew warhol: Part of me thinks that I would be frustrated with that, since you had all just gotten to Chicago. Does that mean anything different for the band?

Dan Hanson: It slows things down just a little bit, but everybody still has a pretty strong input on what’s going on. And it’s something that we’ve practically always been experiencing since this band started. We started—when it was just me, Nik, and Ted—Ted was in Tallahassee going to FSU. When he was in town, we’d just jam and make some music for fun. Then eventually, Ted was back in town, but Gave was going to school in North Carolina. When we could, we’d just make music for fun. Then Ted moved up to Chicago. And Gabe moved up to Chicago. We’re used to those kind of hurdles, but I think accepting that we can take as much time as we need is kind of comforting. It just feels like family. We all support what the others are doing. And we’re all just as interested in music.

matthew warhol: I imagine you have to have a pretty strong relationship to be able to do that.

Dan Hanson: Yeah, and we all go back… Gabe and Ted to go back as far as middle school and the rest of us since high school…

matthew warhol: Are you picking your nose on this webcam right now?

Dan Hanson: What’s that?

matthew warhol: Are you picking your nose on this webcam right now?

Dan Hanson: I might be. I kind of give no fucks when it comes to picking my nose. I think it’s a very natural thing to do. We come from apes, man.

matthew warhol: What do you usually do with the booger? Do you wipe? Flick them?

Dan Hanson: I mean… usually it’s just enough so if it’s itchy I’ll get it out of the way. If I am in a public place, I’ll try to find the most tactful way to expose of it.

matthew warhol: My thing is I just gotta get it off my finger as quickly as possible, caution to the wind. Getting into more of the music itself, there seems to be a lot of nostalgic sounds, reaching back into the past and pulling the music forward. How do you make sure it sounds new?

Dan Hanson: It’s barely conscious. A lot of the songwriting itself can be pretty in depth; we’ll get down to the nitty gritty detail-wise. But I don’t think there’s too much focus on making it sound a specific way. I think we’re just very aware of what we all like to sound like within the group. Everybody listens to what they like to listen to—we all really like old soul music—but a lot of it comes down to the way we’re playing it. It goes back into our relationship as a group. We understand where everyone is coming from when we’re making a song, trying to keep space for each other. I think that’s something indicative of those old soul bands, everyone gives each other enough space to let the song groove.

matthew warhol: With the vocals, specifically, how do you decide who’s going to sing what between you and Gabe?

Dan Hanson: Generally I or Gabe will come in with a formed song. We’ll play around with it and from there, we’ll come up with harmonies and bounce stuff off each other. Like, “I think you would sound good on this,” or “We should do a three part harmony here.” With “Honesty Man,” Ted wrote that song and he knew that he wanted Gabe to sing the lead on the verses and he wanted me singing the bridge and the chorus melodies. I think that goes back to us having a pretty good understanding with where everyone’s heads our at.

October 7: Fat Night at Ten10 Fest w/ Bask, Wet Nurse, Wolf-Face, & More.

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Fat Night Interview Orlando Music Blog The Vinyl Warhol

Synesthetes’ Breakfast w/ Anna Cruz & Adam Lavigne

As separate artists, Anna Cruz and Adam Lavigne are both savants of color, creating beautiful paintings, drawings, and zines on whatever they’re inspired by that day–whether it be fruit, light, or in the case of a recent zine (released under their co-founded publishing company Lemon Press), a Kanye West interview. As a couple, they are GOALS, bouncing ideas off of each other, building the other one up, and crafting unique work as a summation of their own talents.

I caught up with the two as they were installing their latest duel exhibit, titled “Synesthetes’ Breakfast,” at the freshly opened Gallery Eola in Thornton Park Gallery, open Thursday & Friday 4-7 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Enjoy.

Upcoming Events:

July 20 – August 11: Synesthetes’ Breakfast @ Gallery Eola


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matthew warhol: I wanted to start—before we get into like high level art talk—by asking you something I was curious about. We’ll definitely dive into both of you as individual artists, but I wanted to know… how did the two of you meet?

Adam Lavigne: Uh, drawing class.

Anna Cruz: We met in school, 2011 or 2012. We had drawing class in 2012, and I had a crush on him. We were just acquaintances; we never really hung out or talked to each other much. I went to his roommate’s house one night with Paul Finn and got reallllly high and threw up and had a really bad anxiety attack. Thankfully, he didn’t see any of it.

Adam Lavigne: My roommate told me about that afterwards and I was really jealous that he got to hang out with her.

matthew warhol: Did you like each other’s work to begin with?

Adam Lavigne: Definitely, it was pretty clear—in class—that we were fans of each other. We had critiques and the other always had something to say.

Anna Cruz: And I feel like both of our works—when you go to school you see a lot of people that do student work—where at that point we already had a language that was developing. I think seeing each other’s work, and how different it was, really made us interested in each other.

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Adam Lavigne: There was something more cartoony about what we were doing that everyone else shied away from, because of this formalist attitude towards academic drawing. I just remember always being really impressed with Anna’s figures.

Anna Cruz: Same.

matthew warhol: How long into your relationship did you start working together?

Adam Lavigne: That was 2013, so it must have been three years later.

Anna Cruz: We didn’t see each other for a couple of years, but I knew you were still in town. I had a show in 2015 at Canvas Gallery, and he came to see it. He had been lurking my Tumblr. I was like, “I hope he comes.”

matthew warhol: Did you have one of those apps that let you know who visits your page, or was he liking stuff?

Adam Lavigne: Yeah, I was liking stuff.

matthew warhol: Oh, so you weren’t even being subtle about it. [laughs]

Adam Lavigne: Yeah, I was reblogging.

 Anna Cruz: And then, we had our first show together at A Place that year, but none of those works were made together. Being together a lot last year, it happened organically. I’m working; he’s working in the same space.

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matthew warhol: So you started creating stuff together, but individually?

Adam Lavigne: We did after that show. I would come to hang out with Anna and we would work on drawings together. It was really cool because we are both left-handed so I could sit right next to Anna while she was drawing and we wouldn’t bump elbows or anything. That was really exciting. [Anna laughs] We were getting more and more interested in print, making zines and stuff, so naturally, we were like, “We should make something together.”

Anna Cruz: The first actual time that we worked together, collaborating on one piece, was when we were making flyers for the A Place show.

matthew warhol: When you’re working on something together, how is the process different from when you’re by yourself?

Anna Cruz: I think it’s a lot more messy—in a good way. When I’m drawing alone, I have a specific idea of how I want something to look. Once I get there, I stop and I’m happy with it. But with him being there, we draw a bunch of stuff and pass it to each other.

Adam Lavigne: We also work on mylar and vellum, so a lot of times I’ll be able to ink something Anna’s drawn or vice versa. We can change the line work or the drawing that way—we work in layers.

matthew warhol: When do you know it’s done? Are you ever stripping things apart after?

Adam Lavigne: It just kinda piles up. We’ll never scrap something entirely, but there will definitely be a discard pile and one for the keepers.

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matthew warhol: Individually, take me through your process of working on a painting. [To Anna] I noticed in your work that there’s a lot of different elements.

Anna Cruz: I know I have a specific idea but it’s more like an intuitive idea—in like, I know how I want the painting to feel. I go on Instagram a lot and ever since they added the tag option, I’ve collected a lot of images of things that made me stop and look. It’s never copying a specific photo. It’s more like collaging with different photos I’ve collected. It’s very intuitive. I never know when I’ll be finished, but I KNOW when I see it. With portraits, it’s when the person feels real. It doesn’t look real, but it feels like a real character that exists.

matthew warhol: What about you, Adam?

Adam Lavigne: I guess I don’t tend to use reference material as much, but I have a lot of sketch books that I keep ideas in, so when I sit down to work on something I’m not pulling my hair out to do something new. Through drawing, you build a language that’s your own. It’s like a vocabulary you can draw in. I think about themes and symbols that I’ve generated over time and pull from those to make new work—maybe change those themes. But, the paintings have been more about the in-the-moment act of painting, responding to color, not really planning as much.

matthew warhol: When you’re separate, do you tell each other your opinions on what the other is doing?

Anna Cruz: Yeah.

matthew warhol: Yeah? How does that work? Because I know that can be a touchy area. Do you wait for the person to ask, “How do you think about this?”

[laughs]

Anna Cruz: It’s a tricky conversation at times. I feel like I’m very bossy—I usually know what I want things to look like, even if it’s not my own work. But it’s really whatever he wants it to look like. I tend to just shoot ideas. Lately, I’ve been doing that, but you always have a limit where like, “I need to think about this and process this without taking in what you’re suggesting.”

Adam Lavigne: It’s always much appreciated because I have a lot of respect for Anna’s opinion and for… the feedback that she gives me. I take it to heart and consider it, greatly. We’ll sometimes get really excited about what the other person is doing and not be able to contain it. Like, “Oh my God, that looks great.” Or, “DAMN.” There’s nothing else you can say. “You’re killing it.”

Anna Cruz: Those are really good moments. And the great thing about having those moments, is I didn’t show my work to anyone while I was working on it, I would never know when to stop. Sometimes, it’s nice to hear that it looks good the way it is.

matthew warhol: Maybe you were thinking about adding something and like, “Oh, this is great,” and you’re like, “I don’t need to change anything.”

Adam Lavigne: That’s happened to me a lot, where I think I want to do something else and Anna will be like, “Don’t touch it!” [laughs] That feels good, to know that someone can see it before anyone else and give you this really powerful feedback.

matthew warhol: How do you each other’s work has progressed since you first saw it?

Adam Lavigne: We’ve really developed as artists through each other. The best shows I’ve ever had have been our duel shows. When we’re at the studio, it’s like this unavoidable influence on the other.

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matthew warhol: Well, I think in any relationship, something you love about someone is seeing that person grow. Specifically, as artists, how have you seen that in each other?

Adam Lavigne: When we started working together, it became so much clearer what we wanted that vocabulary to be. And we could inform each other’s vocabulary. I definitely make more paintings now then I did before. I always resented the permanence of a painting, so for a long time I just made drawings. Through my relationship with Anna, I’ve been more excited about making paintings. And we both just started doing murals together.

Anna Cruz: With me, it was the opposite. I was making so many paintings and treated them like these precious objects. When I met him, his style of work was all about quantity. Seeing his sense of freedom encouraged me to work that way as well.

matthew warhol: What do you think the difference is between painting versus making something like a zine?

Adam Lavigne: It’s pretty huge. You’re like using different parts of your brain. Painting can be so nonverbal.

Anna Cruz: Painting is very direct. If you don’t react the first time you see a painting, it probably doesn’t even matter. When you’re reading a book, you might look over it today, but tomorrow it’ll mean something different. A painting is more visceral.

matthew warhol: Where with a zine, it’s more solid. There’s words.

Adam Lavigne: There’s definitely something tactile about holding books and reading zines. That’s drawn me to zines.

matthew warhol: You’re exploring it.

Adam Lavigne: I’ve found I’ll really torment myself when making a zine. And making a painting is the exact same way. You’ll sit in front of it and do nothing for like two hours, wondering if you should destroy it.

Anna Cruz: I think zine making is less scary for me, because I always have this closet of imagery and data I want to pull from. I never really feel alone. There’s always options.

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matthew warhol: I think there’s a little more structure with zines. Everything has to flow and feed off each other. Painting is just one thing. Here it is! Can we go through some of the paintings around us and talk about them a little bit?

Anna Cruz: Let’s look at the moons! They’re Adams.

Adam Lavigne: Yeah, so when I started making paintings again, I got really excited about the stretching and building of canvases. I never really thought about the options I had. These just started out as exercises in difficult canvas building. This is a twelve sided canvas.

matthew warhol: So why the half earth?

Adam Lavigne: I think it’s more like a rising earth. There may be a horizon line where you can only see part of the earth. Those photographs where you can see the earth from the moon, I’ve always been drawn to those as a symbol of our era. As an artist, you’re always looking for symbols that define the time you live in. The earth from the moon never existed before we traveled to the moon.

Anna Cruz: It’s really cool because I see a lot of that shape from painters that I follow on Instagram, but it’s usually a rainbow or watermelon. But like, I’ve never seen half an earth. It’s really cool.

matthew warhol: What about you Anna? What in here is from you?

Anna Cruz: These two. I usually am drawn to very warm, earth colors. These paintings are pretty much just about color. I hadn’t painted this year. I was scared to start again, so I bought all this new paint and started playing with the colors. Line work has always been part of my style; I continued with that.

matthew warhol: What do the colors in these pieces mean to you?

Anna Cruz: I think of them as times of day. This one is called Sunset Potrait, just thinking about being at the beach and it’s almost dark. This one is being in a jungle in the middle of the day, but not actually seeing the sun. And I put a pear because I love fruits. [laughs]

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No Pulp w/ ORL Promoters Ugly Orange

In June 2016, Orlando music promoters Ugly Orange hosted their first event, a tour kick off for Lakeland’s Swept with support from The Knick Knacks (R.I.P.), Dumberbunnies, and The Zigs. Even before its start, each of UO’s three heads were already seasoned veterans in the Orlando music scene. Nicole Dvorak cut her booking teeth playing in numerous local bands, most notably Transcendental Telecom. Hannah Fregger had been a key member of monthly dance night Body Talk since its inception. And Kaley Honeycutt was performing with/booked shows for her synth pop trio Island Science and crafting amazing artwork for local bands and shows.

Together, Ugly Orange quickly became a brand boosting local and touring music, booking an average of two shows a month and collaborating with the likes of Always Nothing and yes, The Vinyl Warhol. They’ve also expanded beyond events, releasing a series of live session videos. I kicked it with two of The Ugly Oranges—Kaley has since relocated to Boston to be a rockstar in BABY—to see why they’re so damn cool. Enjoy.

Upcoming Events:

6/1: Crumb, Lance Bangs, The Welzeins, & Room Thirteen at Henao Contemporary Center

6/23: No Thank You, Brave Face, Spirit Maps at Henao Contemporary Center


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matthew warhol: I wanted to start with asking my good friends in the Orange community, how did you get together?

Nicole Dvorak: Tell him about, “Where is this bitch?”

Hannah Fregger: I was booking shows and helping manage Body Talk at the time. I booked Island Science for a Body Talk and Kaley and I kept in touch after that. After I was asked to leave Body Talk, I was feeling really sad, and saw that they posted a Facebook Status saying that they wanted to start doing shows that were powered by girls. They asked me to come over to Nicole’s house, and I’m perpetually late.

matthew warhol: You were late to this interview. And it was at your house.

Hannah Fregger: I was like seven minutes late, and I’m walking up to the door and hear Nicole go, “Alright, where is this bitch?!” And I knock on the door and everyone gets quiet. I’m like, “I’m right here.” We sat down and talked about music we liked and what we thought we wanted to do; we had our dreams in one little basket and they seemed to align. Here we are.

matthew warhol: What do you think the importance of it being female-powered is?

Nicole Dvorak: Oh, that’s a Hannah question. I didn’t even think about it being female. I’ve never even had that in the back of mind.

matthew warhol: But you’ve been in bands and stuff where you’re the only girl.

Hannah Fregger: At the same time, you’ve literally said that you’ve been asked to be in bands because your profile picture is you with a bass. This is an entirely sexist industry.

Nicole Dvorak: I should be promoting that fact.

matthew warhol: And you are, by default, just doing what you do.

Hannah Fregger: And at that time, the only people who were booking shows, besides Tierney, were a bunch of dudes. And they were putting on other dudes, which is fine, but there aren’t a lot of women. It’s a very male-dominated industry. People come up to us and say that’s one of the things they like most about our shows. And for me at least, I think girls are more visual. We want everything to look cool.

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matthew warhol: And that’s something that sets your shows apart. I think all good shows create a night, an atmosphere, something people are going to remember. How do you do that?

Hannah Fregger: We try to make things different each time.

Nicole Dvorak: I never want to put on a show of just locals. I want to have some fresh faces, and we’ve never booked a show without an out-of-town band as our starting point. We start with “Oh, we’re really excited about this band that hit us up,” and we go from there.

Hannah Fregger: Also, there aren’t a lot of venues to work with, and when that happens everything gets stale really fast. So you’re going to the Henao Center or Spacebar or Will’s, but I don’t want it to ever feel like you’re in those places. I want you to feel like you’re at an Ugly Orange show. We’ve never done the same thing twice. We reuse local talent but try to make sure everything is different on the inside, a little gimmick going on. We had macaroni n cheese one time.

matthew warhol: I’d say immersion hit its highest peak so far at the last show at the Henao.

Nicole Dvorak: Yeah, well that one was all Hannah Glogower.

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matthew warhol: She did an excellent job. With a space like that, it’s so big. I feel like to create an environment, you have to go all out.

Nicole Dvorak: But it’s also such a low-key, low pressure place, I don’t feel like I need to fill the space to make it a successful night. Will’s Pub, I feel like I need to bring in people.

Hannah Fregger: You can definitely feel it at Will’s if there aren’t a lot of people. And at the gallery, they have the big room where all the art is, so I think that takes the pressure because there is already some focal point. And the back room is bare bone, it’s guts like The Space used to be. Even if there’s only five people in there, you can still create really cool environments. That’s what Hannah did. She had one little idea as a jumping point, and she created the outdoor installation that was gorgeous.

matthew warhol: What’s been the most flattering moment so far?

Hannah Fregger: Freakin’ Cassie Ramone, dude. Oh my God, TONSTARTSBANDHT that’s crazy! I think, recently, a lot of people have been reaching out to us, which is crazy.

matthew warhol: What show have you been most proud of?

Hannah Fregger: I think that the coolest thing we’ve done so far is the one at the gallery.

Nicole Dvorak: The most recent one?

Hannah Fregger: Yeah. The Ace Metric show was super fun too, but I felt really stressed that night.

Nicole Dvorak: I feel completely the opposite. I was so stressed during the show at the gallery.

matthew warhol: Why?

Hannah Fregger: We’ve never worked with people with guarantees before. We never make a profit.

Nicole Dvorak: Also, Henao is still in its beginning stages. They don’t have a sound guy. We’re still figuring it out there.

Hannah Fregger: And that’s one of those things where I have no idea. I let Nicole do that.

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matthew warhol: Nicole, I remember we were talking at the Ace Metric show that that was one of your favorite moments, getting to do something at a bike shop.

Nicole Dvorak: Oh God, yeah.

matthew warhol: As someone who loves Orlando, seeing a local business, local music, and a local booker coming together…

Nicole Dvorak: That’s what really did it for me. I’m trying to bring everybody up with me—and she feels the same way. Michael at the bike shop has become a really dear friend of mine. And when we bring Hannah Glogower on board and seeing them profit off a show, that’s the rewarding part for me.

Hannah Fregger: There’s so much mutual respect within the community. Especially with The Vinyl Warhol, if there’s ever someone that reaches out to me that I think is more up your alley, I’m going to send it to you, same thing with Harryson and SR50. They have a grasp on different genres.

Nicole Dvorak: Also, shout out Hannah Spector, one of my favorite artists in town. She has had work at like three shows and has been a huge help.

Hannah Fregger: Always reliable, everything always looks so good.

matthew warhol: To what you said about everyone coming together, something I’ve said many times is that, because we’re so much smaller than a city like New York, to have the impact of a big city everyone needs to work together. That wasn’t really a question, but you want to agree or rebuke it, go ahead.

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Nicole Dvorak: Yes and no, I go to New York and they have their own little cliques and get caught up going to the same shows. I think it’s cool that you do stuff that brings different communities together, and I want to definitely do that too.

Hannah Fregger: I think what sets Orlando a part, even from cities like St. Petersburg or Tallahassee, is that the city itself doesn’t support its alternative community. That’s why all the good stuff dies, The Peacock Room, The Space. If the city were backing us, if we had more support, we could have a really strong community. It’s a big small town. Sometimes I step outside of my bubble, and am amazed. Like, the ska scene is alive in Orlando!

Nicole Dvorak: That’s why the death of Spacebar and The Space is so detrimental.

matthew warhol: It needs to grow, more and more venues. Not just replacing the one that dies.

Nicole Dvorak: It can’t be like that.

Hannah Fregger: We had A Place Gallery around for a year. The city didn’t support them as an art gallery so they had to stop. If there was more support and funding from bigger community members, it would be able to actually create a culture that could stay. That’s why everyone leaves because nothing good can stay here. You reach your ceiling and you have to bolt.

matthew warhol: What else would you improve?

Nicole Dvorak: The whole point of why we do this is to get artists that we like to come down here and see how cool it is. Hannah and I take care of them every time. She makes the breakfast in the morning. We already have artists coming back that are from Colorado and Iowa.

Hannah Fregger: Karen Meat is coming back. Hypoluxo is coming back.

Nicole Dvorak: Hopefully, they’re spreading the word for people to come down.

Hannah Fregger: We just want to create a place where people feel comfortable and safe. We don’t mind if only 15 people come out to a show as long as you had the best night, ya know?

matthew warhol: But that doesn’t really happen anymore for you guys.

Hannah Fregger: Not for a while, but now it’s going to happen. You’re jinxing us.

matthew warhol: So it won’t, what’s next on the horizon?

Hannah Fregger: I think especially because this was our first year, we weren’t saying no to much. I think we’ve figured our shit out now.

Nicole Dvorak: Personally, I like the video aspect. And she’s really good at interviews.

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Hannah Fregger: I want it to be more of an homage to different music publications… and collectives too. Like Hardly Art and Panache Booking, they all work together and make sure that not only that they’re doing well, but that everyone else is supported. We want to be that for Orlando. Hopefully, we can keep being a jumping off point for local talent and touring talent, making lasting connections.

Nicole Dvorak: And establish more of an online aspect, that’s important to me.

matthew warhol: What shows are coming up?

Hannah Fregger: On June 1, we have Crumb, Lance Bangs, Room Thirteen—who I’m super excited to have back from New Orleans—and, our friends, The Welzeins. It’s going to be a very cool show for The Welzeins because they are no longer a two-piece.

matthew warhol: I heard about that. They’ve spent like the last five years as a two-piece.

Hannah Fregger: It’s going to give them a really big sound. Their sound is big to begin with; RJ’s amps are bigger than him.

Jon Bartee [who’s been sitting quietly watching us talk]: They’ve practicing as a three piece for like two or three months now.

matthew warhol: That’s so good… am I interviewing you?

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[laughs]

matthew warhol: I’m just kidding.

Nicole Dvorak: That was so [clap] fucking [clap] good [clap] Matt.

matthew warhol: Any other solid dates booked?

Hannah Fregger: We have Tall Juan coming on July 5. He just played both weekends at Coachella and is on BUFU Records.

matthew warhol: Where’s that?

Hannah Fregger: It’s going to be at Deadly Sins Brewery. And then we have No Thank You on June 23rd with Brave Face.

Nicole Dvorak: And Frank Ocean is coming in July…

Hannah Fregger: …July 37th. He’s only going to play “Chanel” in different languages…

Nicole Dvorak: …to us two. Nobody else is invited. I’m so sorry.

Hannah Fregger: You know what I think we should do? I’m serious about this. Petition for Jack Black to come and play a show as Mr. Schneebly,.

matthew warhol: Ew.

Nicole Dvorak: For some reason I thought you meant Jack White.

matthew warhol: Petition Jack White to come play as Jack Black as Mr. Schnebly.

Nicole Dvorak: Next question.

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matthew warhol: Which School of Rock character are you most like?

Hannah Fregger: I’m Summer.

Nicole Dvorak: Dude, I’m Ned Schneebly, dude. Well, I’m Dewey Finn pretending to be Ned Schneebly,.

matthew warhol: Who am I?

Hannah Fregger: um… Billy.

[laughs]

matthew warhol: Is that the guitar player?

Hannah Fregger: No, that’s the fashion designer.

matthew warhol: Come on?!

Nicole Dvorak: “You’re tacky and I hate you.”

matthew warhol: You are tacky and I do hate you, Nicole.

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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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Jason Kimmins Orlando music blog
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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

SugarPlum Orlando music
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A Sweet Treat w/ SugarPlum

I became aware of Chelsea Ybarra after my friend Henderson Nguyen sent me the music video he had just finished for a song called “All The Time.” The video featured a new ORL artist who went by the name SugarPlum. The visuals were bright and SugarPlum was bubbly; her voice joyfully sung the sweeeet chorus. After meeting her a few times and seeing her first two live performances, at Will’s Pub and Spacebar respectively, I became more interested in uncovering who this SugarPlum really was. So we scheduled an interview in Stardust Video & Coffee to talk about her upcoming, currently-untitled EP. Our talk even led to a visit to the ice cream parlor where “All The Time” was filmed. Enjoy.

Upcoming Appearances: February 10 @ Will’s Pub w/ Zoya Zafar & Pathos, Pathos.


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matthew warhol: I wanted to ask you, straight off, who exactly is SugarPlum? Is she, you? Is it kind of like a morphed version of you? How do you see it?

SugarPlum: … it’s kind funny how SugarPlum started. Ever since I was little I wanted to do the music thing, but I was never like, ballsy enough to do it. I needed that push. And my best friend Sarah — who’ve I’ve been best friends with since we were three-years-old, she does all my cover art — she always had my name in her phone as SugarPlum. So I was said that if I ever made music, I would use SugarPlum. [She’s] kind of like the girl who could. And I always said SugarPlum could be so much more than music. But essentially I am SugarPlum.

matthew warhol: So aesthetically, what is that? What is the vibe around SugarPlum?

SugarPlum: She’s like the goofy side of me, I think. The one who’s cheery and happy all the time. And even when things are hard she’s like, “Whatever, let’s go out!” I think she’s the version of me that pushes me to do all the things that are out of my comfort zone. Maybe I can’t do it but SugarPlum can.

SugarPlum Orlando music

matthew warhol: When did she start to take shape?

SugarPlum: It [happened] after I met Henderson. He was a fan before I even met him. I would post little videos of me playing guitar and singing on Instagram. And he would randomly comment on them saying, oh this is good. And when I finally played for him, he instantly shed into tears and was like, “No, you have to do it!”

matthew warhol: Was Instagram the first platform you started putting your stuff on?

SugarPlum: Yes.

matthew warhol: And when did that start?

SugarPlum: That was my first semester of college, so roughly a year ago. So like the end of 2015, I started posting videos of me playing.

matthew warhol: Were you playing your own songs?

SugarPlum: No, I was just doing little covers. I was too scared to post my songs. And I was obsessed with Frankie Cosmos at the time. I would go to my friend’s house, who had all these instruments and a studio, and record myself playing all of her songs — the guitar, the main and backing vocals, the whole thing. I was trying to get a feel of what it was going to be like to record songs. And then randomly I met my friend Alex, and he was super about recording.

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matthew warhol: Your first song, “All The Time,” was that recorded with Alex?

SugarPlum: Yes.

matthew warhol: There are drums on that song. Who did those?

SugarPlum: Those were all done on the computer. I’ve been looking for a drummer for the longest time. They’re like hiding from me!

matthew warhol: Maybe you’ll be able to find one through this interview.

SugarPlum: Scouting drummers!! I really am looking!

[laughs]

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SugarPlum Orlando music

matthew warhol: With “All The Time,” a lot of the lyrics seem very direct. They sound like we’re hearing actual experiences. Is that the case?

SugarPlum: Yeah, yeah! 100% real. I think the moment I started “All The Time,” I already knew what I wanted it to be. The writing process for me is like … I can write a verse in seconds, but the chorus is what gets me — the repetitiveness, writing something catchy. But “All The Time” like basically wrote itself. It was about the scenario when you’re with someone and you end it. And they keep calling you. And you like that they keep calling you. It’s that good feeling that they still want you, but you have so much you have to do.

matthew warhol: And even the chorus came together quickly?

SugarPlum: It was super fast. I was honestly just rushing it because I wanted to get it out! I knew my first song wasn’t going to be my best song, so like I’m not going to over think it. But then it like, blew up and I was like *screams*.

matthew warhol: Where was that reception coming from?

SugarPlum: I was always random people who always wanted me to do it and were waiting for me to do it. One of those people, who I appreciate and admire a lot, is Scott. He runs a music blog, 53rd & 3rd. And Sarah, who I mentioned earlier, worked with him at Barnes n Noble. She showed him “All The Time” when it came out. And he wanted to meet me and post the song. From there one of those blogs that automatically reblogs songs it sees potential in reblogged it.

matthew warhol: Was it Hype Machine?

SugarPlum: Yeah!

matthew warhol: Really? That’s really good!

SugarPlum: I was like “WOW!” I didn’t know what that meant at the time.

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matthew warhol: Do you know how many listens it has?

SugarPlum: It just hit 1,000 two weeks ago. And “Maybe, Baby” has only been up a week and it’s already at 100.

matthew warhol: Tell me about “Maybe, Baby.” I listened to it on the way here and it has a different sound. Were you wanting to make something different?

SugarPlum: After I came out with “Clover Pt.2” with EMRLDTRACE, I got a feel with a different vibe. Then Andre Thomas — who is an amazing, amazing musician and producer — reached out to me and wanted to work together. All of the music on “Maybe” is by him.

matthew warhol: So was it already done and you came in and added melodies to it?

SugarPlum: Sort of. He sent me a little snippet of it and thought I would like it. I loved it.

matthew warhol: Did you tweak it together?

SugarPlum: Yeah, I went to Miami to see him. I’m actually going this weekend again. It was all a very good feeling. We would do things in one take. We’re like two puzzle pieces and musically, we fit perfectly.

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matthew warhol: Is he producing more on the EP?

SugarPlum: Yeah, the EP is all me and him.

matthew warhol: So is “All The Time” going to be on it?

SugarPlum: “All The Time” will be a bonus song. I think the EP has a different vibe — “Clover” will be on the EP. But “All The Time” and an interlude I wrote on the ukulele are going to be the bonus tracks. Because they’re more, more …

matthew warhol: You want the EP to have its own sound?

SugarPlum: Yeah.

matthew warhol: So is it going to be more synth-based with more beat production behind it?

SugarPlum: There’s definitely still going to be guitar incorporated in the EP, but we have a more synth sound.

matthew warhol: How many songs?

SugarPlum: Five songs and we’ll all have the two bonus songs.

matthew warhol: Does it have a name yet?

SugarPlum: NO! I can’t come up with a frickin’ name. I’m seeing Andre this weekend and we’re like, “We have to get a name!” At the same time, I was bugging my friends like, “Do people name their EPs, or is it self-titled?”

matthew warhol: I mean it could be SugarPlum EP.

SugarPlum: I though the same thing with the interlude I wrote. I was like, should I just have it as “Interlude?”

matthew warhol: I think it can be either one. It can also be like … “[something] Interlude.”

SugarPlum: I had a name for the interlude, but it’s so long.

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matthew warhol: What was the name?

SugarPlum: So when I recorded the interlude, it was on Christmas Day and I was eating Japanese food. So we just named it “Japanese Food on Christmas Day.” Everyone was like, “It has nothing to do with the song.” And I was like, “But it’s true!!”

matthew warhol: So the EP comes out … ?

SugarPlum: It should be early February. I’m going to be releasing it before the show on the 10th.

matthew warhol: Now the previous show at Will’s Pub, that your first show?

SugarPlum: Will’s was my first show. And it went surprisingly well.

matthew warhol: No, that was an amazing show. And so many people came out.

SugarPlum: Yeah everyone was so amazing. Zoya. Tiger Fawn was amazing. I remember smoking with Tiger Fawn before I went on, and I was like, “This is my first show! I’m so nervous.” And she was like, “MY FIRST SHOW WAS HERE!”

matthew warhol: And you had never performed on a stage before?

SugarPlum: Never, ever, ever, ever. I don’t think I had even played for most of my friends.

matthew warhol: How did it compare to what you thought going into it?

SugarPlum: I remember posting “All The Time” and thinking that I would be so happy if 10 people listened to this. I remembering looking into the crowd and hearing people sing along and it a different kind of feeling. To hear people singing along to my first song ever.

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