JOVM’s William Ruben Helms chats with acclaimed and rising Aussie artist Nat Vazer at last week’s The New Colossus Festival.
Tag: audio interview
Audio Interview: MANE
JOVM’s William Ruben Helms chats with rising Adelaide-based artist MANE at last week’s The New Colossus Festival.
Deena Lynch is a Brisbane, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist multi-disciplinary artist and the mastermind behind three very different creative projects — the rising music project Jaguar Jonze, the narrative illustration project Spectator Jonze and the photography project Dusky Jonze. “Everything I do stems from the need for dialogue – Jaguar being an internal dialogue with my subconscious, Spectator being an external dialogue with others on mental health and the mind and Dusky being a dialogue with the body,” Lynch explains in press notes.
Ultimately, all of her adjacent projects are powerful ways for Lynch to process and explore her most intimate vulnerabilities and dining the depths of her personality while empowering and encouraging others to do the same. “I can/t do anything without meaning,” Lynch says of her her Spectator Jonze project, which centers on bold and surreal pop-art that attempts to de-stigmatize mental-health issues through interviews and illustrated portraits of her subjects. Her 50th portrait, a year into the project, confronted her own PTSD stemming from an unstable, unsafe childhood. “I realized when I stepped out of hiding, I could actually move forward, feel less isolated. I want other people to unburden themselves from the wasted extra energy spent pretending and hiding,” the rising Aussie artist explains.
Sometimes, she finds her subjects; other times, they find her. “There’s a girl in the States; she’s still one of my favorite drawings,” Lynch recalls. “She reached out to me, having come to terms with her psychosis, depression and anxiety. The level of awareness and openness she had really moved me because I was oblivious to the stigma I still held over the mental illnesses I hadn’t yet been exposed to. We still have this pen pal relationship with each other. We’ve never met in person, but I think she’s one of the biggest supports in my everyday life.”
Her photography project Dusky Jonze focuses on toxic masculinity with provocative photos. “We don’t talk about toxic masculinity enough. So I thought of it’d be funny to shoot male photographers,” Lynch explains. “And they ere open to it. They’d say ‘You know what? This makes me a better photographer.'” As a result, the photo project has become a more fluid effort to undo insecurities and taboos that surround the male and female body within the engendered eye of the photographer — and while the photos are dramatic, there’s a crass and playful sense of humor to them. You may see genitalia obscured with say — a banana. “I wanted it to be crass and crude. I like testing boundaries and making people question why they’re uncomfortable,” she says, laughing.
Much of Lynch’s early success so far has stemmed from instinct and a healthy dash of serendipity: When she turned 19, she fell into music after a close friend died. While walking home one day, she passed a garage sale, where she purchased her first guitar on a whim. Without a single lesson, she was writing songs to help manage her grief.
“He was always in my ear about living life passionately—he could see that I was falling into this societal structure of doing what everyone expects you to,” says Lynch. “He left behind so much; amazing artwork, poetry and film. He was/is inspiring.”
Her rising music project Jaguar Jonze can trace its origins back to a rather serendipitous moment: while playing an Iggy Pop tribute night in her native Brisbane, she witnessed an unhinged performance of an artist emulating Iggy that made her realize that she needed to up her game. “So, I cracked down two tequila shots,” she recalls. And then she became a roaring banshee. ““Everything I ever suppressed came spilling out. My shame and inhibitions broke down. I wasn’t afraid.” After that performance, everyone started calling her Jaguar Jonze.
With her first three original singles –“Beijing Baby,” “You Got Left Behind” and her latest single “Rabbit Hole,” Lynch has quickly became a buzzworthy sensation in her native Australia: CoolAccidents named her an “Artist to Watch” after catching Lynch perform at BIGSOUND 2019. Since then she was named a Triple J Unearthed Feature Artist, which led to a collaborative cover of Nirvana‘s “Heart-Shaped Box” with labelmates Hermitude on the station’s ongoing Like a Version cover series. And she recently appeared on Eurovision Australia Decides 2020, where she performed such a frantic and energetic version of “Rabbit Hole” that she wound up dislocating her shoulder — in front of a national television audience of about 2 million people.
Lynch will be releasing her Jaguar Jonze debut EP through Nettwerk Music Group later this year — and building upon a rapidly growing profile, Lynch was about to embark on a Stateside tour that included appearances at New Colossus Festival, SXSW and a handful of West Coast dates. Unfortunately, because of the COVID 19 pandemic, many of the things we love and do on a regular basis are on an indefinite hiatus. Naturally, artists are currently anxiously screamingly and trying to figure out next steps — but in the meantime, the world feels like its grinding to a halt.
So I wound up chatting with the delightful and charming Deena Lynch during New Colossus Festival’s third day about a handful of topics including COVID 19, which was on everyone’s minds to the video concept for “Rabbit Hole,” her collaboration with Hermitude and more.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about London-based JOVM mainstays Ten Fe, and as you may recall, the act which, was founded by primary songwriters Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan officially expanded into a full-fledged band with the permanent additions of touring members and longtime friends Rob Shipley (bass) and Johnny Drain (keys), who are two of Duncan’s oldest friends from Walsall, and Alex Hammond (drums), who was with the band for the writing and recording of the band’s sophomore full-length album Future Perfect, Present Tense.
Written in an East London vacant driving license office, tracked in Oslo, Norway and finished with producer Luke Smith, Future Perfect, Present Tense thematically is a mediation on everything that has brought them all to the point of their sophomore album, and everything they’ve willingly (and perhaps unwillingly) left behind in actually getting there. Interestingly, the London-based act’s sophomore album is a decided sonic departure from its predecessor, as the material draws from 70s AM rock — in particular, Fleetwood Mac and others, while retaining an uncanny ability to craft slick and rousingly anthemic hooks.
I chatted with the band before their headlining Bowery Ballroom set earlier this week about their new album and more in what may arguably be one of the most fun conversations I’ve had in this site’s history. Check out the rest of the band’s tour dates and the interview.
21-Mar, Philadelphia, PA, Milkboy
23-Mar, Toronto, ON, The Drake Hotel
24-Mar, Ottowa, ON, 27 Club
25-Mar, Montreal, QC, Bar Le Ritz PBD
27-Mar, Detroit, MI, Magic Bag
28-Mar, Milwaukee, WI, Colectivo
30-Mar, Chicago, IL, Schubas
31-Mar, Minneapolis, MN, 7th Street Entry
02-Apr, Denver, CO, Globe Hall
05-Apr, Phoenix, AZ, Valley Bar
06-Apr, Las Vegas, NV, The Bunkhouse Saloon
07-Apr, San Diego, CA, The Casbah
09-Apr, Los Angeles, CA, Troubadour
11-Apr, San Fran, CA,The Independent
13-Apr, Portland, OR, Doug Fir Lounge
14-Apr, Vancouver, Biltmore Cabaret
15-Apr, Seattle, WA, Barboza
(Photo Credit: Tracy Ketcher)
(Album Photo: Niki Brody)
As I’ve frequently mentioned lately, over the almost nine years of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kelsey Warren, a grizzled local scene vet, who has been in a number of projects as a side man, hired gun or frontman including Denise Barbarita and the Morning Papers, and Pillow Theory among others.
Initially begun in 2015 as a solo recording project with a rotating cast of players and collaborators for live shows, Warren’s latest attention-grabbing project Blak Emoji has gradually evolved into a full-fledged band that features Sylvana Joyce (keytar), Bryan Percival (bass, keys) and Max Tholenaar-Maples (drums). Now, as you may recall, with the release of “Another Club Night,” “Velvet Ropes & Dive Bars” and “Honey,” Warren and his collaborators quickly won attention from this site and elsewhere across the blogosphere for crafting slinky, 80s synth funk-inspired, dance floor friendly pop — a decided departure from Warren’s previous work.
Blak Emoji’s highly anticipated full-length debut Kumi was released last Friday, and yesterday I met up with Blak Emoji’s frontman and founder Kelsey Warren at Cadillac House in SoHo in a fun and easygoing conversation about the new album and much more. Check it out.
(Credit: Violet Foulk)
Currently comprised of founding member Nick Wold (vocals, guitar), Marc Nelson (bass, vocals) a.k.a. Nelson, and Jacob Wick (drums), the up-and-coming Los Angeles, CA-based indie trio DREAMERS can actually trace their origins back to New York. As the story goes, the band’s Wold moved from his hometown of Seattle, WA to attend New York University’s Steinhart School to study jazz saxophone, and he quickly formed a grunge rock-inspired band Motive, along with Chris Bagamery, who Wold had known back in Seattle. Interestingly, after Motive split up, Wold had been living and writing songs in a Brooklyn rehearsal space when he and Bagamery met Nelson, who they recruited to join their new project — DREAMERS.
DREAMERS ended 2015 with the release of their sophomore EP You Are Here, which featured “Shooting Shadows,” which was cowritten by Wold and Atlas Genius‘ Keith Jeffery, “Wolves (You Got Me)” and “Drugs,” among others — and they were wound up being selected (out of 500 aspiring bands) to open for Grammy Award-winning and-nominated act Stone Temple Pilots, during a select schedule of West Coast dates. Adding to a steadily growing profile, the band released their full-length debut This Album Does Not Exist,” which features many of the aforementioned songs and its first official single “Sweet Disaster.”
Since then the band has been busy with a rather busy touring schedule that has included the summer festival circuit, and in fact, I wound up chatting with the band’s Nelson after their closing day set at The Meadows Music and Arts Festival at Citi Field last weekend. (More on that in future.) Recorded on my trusty iPhone 6s (so you do get the general ambience of a press area at a festival, including the 7 train above us), we chatted about the band’s formation and influences, as well as his advice on how artists can make a name for themselves; but along with that, Nelson shares a touching story about an incredible act of kindness by Chester Bennington during their stint opening for Stone Temple Pilots, and he updates us on Lil’ Trucker, the abandoned kitten the band found while on tour in Texas. Check it out.
Madeleine Dopico is an up-and-coming Sleepy Hollow, NY-born, Brooklyn, NY-based singer/songwriter, who has received a bit of attention over the past 12-18 months or so — “Nice Boy,” which she released late last year has received just under 220,000 Spotify streams and with the release of her latest single “Me to Bleed,” the Sleepy Hollow-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has begun to receive press from both sides of the pond. Adding to a growing profile, Dopico has performed at some of the area’s most renowned and beloved venues including a residency at Piano’s in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Just on the heels of her set at The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I spoke to the up-and-coming singer/songwriter in a playful and revealing interview about a variety of subjects including some of the following:
- the stories and influences behind her three biggest, attention-grabbing singles “Nice Boy,” “Done,” which is one of my personal favorites and her latest single “Made to Bleed”
- how she could trace her love of music, singing and performing to being a 3 year old, who one day burst into the 4-year-olds’ daycare class and began singing “This Land is Your Land,” complete with a mic drop-like moment
- what she ascribes to her early successes and the role her supporters have played in it
- the careful and deliberate ways she attempts to set herself apart from a very crowded and competitive music scene
- her songwriting process, along with her influences
- her recent listening, which has included a deeper foray into hip-hop, along with some suggestions by yours truly
- the moment she took the biggest risk of her life — quitting a successful and secure day job and began focusing on music
- and much more
Just based on this young artist’s earnestness and determination to succeed, along with pop star belter vocals, I think that 2017 will be a huge year for Dopico. Check out the interview.
Over the course of the soon-to-be six year history of JOVM, New York-based singer/songwriter Anna Rose has developed a growing national profile with the release of a self-titled EP and two full-length efforts Nomad and Behold A Pale Horse — and of course, over that time, the New York-based singer/songwriter has also been a JOVM mainstay artist since its inception.
Officially seeing its release today, Strays in the Cut is the long-awaited follow-up to the New York-based singer/songwriter’s exceptional Pale Horse and as Anna Rose has explained in press notes, the songwriting and recording process forced her and her collaborators to look at everything differently, with a careful and deliberate attention to telling a particular story and evoking a particular period within the artist’s life with a conciseness that wouldn’t necessarily happen on a full-length album. Interestingly, because of that very conciseness the material manages to possess a laser focus — not only do the New York-based singer/songwriter and her backing band play and sing with a greater sense of self-assuredness, the material possesses a visceral and emotional weight to it, as lyrically the songs come from a much more personal, truer place.
I recently spent a few minutes chatting with Anna Rose about the new EP, her and her collaborators songwriting and recording process and how it changed for the EP, her upcoming acoustic tour with guitarist Adam Stoler, her father’s influence on her and her music, the video concept for the EP’s first single “Start A War” and much more in a revealing and very funny interview. Check it out.
Up-and-coming singer/songwriter Mary Caroline has had quite an interesting life as she splits her year living in a trapper’s cabin on the shores of the Liard River in Canada’s remote Northwest Territories, about 600 kilometers from Yellowknife, and […]
The California-born and Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Bay Uno has been gaining attention across the blogosphere for the release of his first two singles “River” and “Catalina." Both singles are gorgeously atmospheric, densely layered, jangling guitar pop which […]