What is your name and role within the band?
Guy, vocals, guitar, primary songwriter.
How did you start?
In my basement in Seattle during Super Bowl XLIX, when Pete Carroll flubbed that call to pass in the final seconds. We had this idea to create a sort of art project, fusing our drummer Ian’s stoney cartoons with my tongue-in-cheek soul tunes. We want to create a sort of modern KISS, but without the shameless materialism that KISS promoted back in the 1970s.
Where are you based?
Splitting time between Brooklyn and LA. We are still a Seattle band at heart, though, and we make every effort to get back to the Pacific Northwest when we can. We recorded our debut LP at Get Loud Studios in Portland with producer Matt Drenik.
Please give an example of your music writing process?
I like to let things come to me. I’ve come up with a lot of songs in dreams. Sometimes I wake up at 4am and need to record a voice memo on my iPhone so that I don’t forget some chorus, lyrical element, or melody.
What are you working on right now?
We just finished our first LP. It’ll come out in August. I’m recording the follow-up right now. We’ll be flying back to Portland a couple times in the next few months to finish up this second LP, so that when our debut drops we’ll already be one album ahead.
What is your gear setup?
My gear varies from show to show. I perform locally with a custom made guitar that my good friend Al Kaatz in Washington built for me. I have a sponsorship with Gibson, though, so I usually tour with SGs or 335s. I’m a big fan of a darker tone, so I tune down a step and use heavier strings and P-90s in most of my guitars.
For pedals, I love my Recovery Effects Couple Skate fuzz and Electric overdrive. I also use a my Boss Tremelo and Mad Professor Delay on a majority of our tunes. I have a couple of cheap chorus and flange pedals that I bought on Amazon and get a lot more use then I ever expected.
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
I love to cook and read. Both have a huge effect on my music. You are what you eat. And read. Sometimes I regurgitate thoughts and ideas from whatever book or author I’m into at the moment. I always make sure the band eats well on tour, I’m sure that affects how we perform. We’re not a KFC/Taco Bell kinda group. You can definitely eat cheap and still find amazing food all over this country.
How would you describe your music genre?
Cartoon Soul. There’s a lot of humor in our music, without any of it being overtly funny. I mean everything I’m singing about, and all of our songs are delivered straight from the soul. There’s a passion to everything, even when things take a turn for the outlandish.
Do you know any music theory?
Only the fun stuff.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m getting my teeth cleaned in Manhattan right now and then I’m going to grab a slice at Joe’s. I’m excited to tour in Europe again this Fall because of all the delicious food. I’m going to eat my way around the world.
How did you get into music?
Music got into me. My parents were both very into live music, especially blues and old R&B artists. One of the first shows I can remember was seeing John Lee Hooker at a Fair in Orange County. They were dragging me to see all these amazing artists like Etta James when I was barely able to walk.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Pharoah Sanders and a lot of Kamasi Washington. Big jazz kick the last few weeks. I’m also bumping a lot of trap music when we’re on the road, mostly to bug the hell out of my bassist, and also because trap music rules. We were covering ‘Broccoli’ by D.R.A.M. during our sound checks on our SXSW tour.
Who are your top 5 influences and icons?
David Bowie, Kurt Vonnegut, James Brown, Jack White and RZA.
And I’ve definitely got to add Anthony Bourdain as an honorable mention.
When are you playing next?
Friday May 26th at Alphaville in Brooklyn, Saturday June 3rd at Berlin in Manhattan, and then we hit the road on June 16th for an East Coast and Souther US tour.