9:30 INTERVIEW: Gardens & Villa 

Ian [9:30]: For your most recent album Dunes, you decamped from your home of Santa Barbara to the wintery tundra of Michigan. What possessed you to relocate to what is essentially the polar opposite of your natural habitat to record this record?

Gardens & Villa: We wanted to get out of our comfort zone.. We wanted to be as far as possible from distractions and routine. Isolation and freedom to get weird without having the beach in your backyard.

I recently saw your show in DC at the club DC9. What would you say is the main difference between playing a smaller club like DC9 compared to 9:30 club which is about ten times as big? Also between opening a show and headlining?

So many differences, but it really depends on the particular club and the vibe of the audience. Sometimes small clubs have the most intense and vibrant energy. When you’re right in the crowds face and they are feeling it, it’s pretty incredible. But when you are in a large room like 9:30 club and the vibe is right, it can be just as intimate. It’s just harder to get that many people on the same wavelength, especially when you’re up on a high stage and not right there with everyone. The main difference between opening and headlining is, the people are either there solely to see you, or they are waiting for you to finish so that they can see the band they love, so opening can potentially be much worse. But sometimes, you can win over the crowd and it’s exhilarating. 

At said show you employed the use of two monitors with some very interesting visuals. What inspired these fantastical screens and who made them? What is the general mood you try to shoot for when it comes to the lights and imagery at your shows?

A wizard man named Bryan Berge put that together for us.. We had many pow-wows and inspirational tube watching/sharing ideas to get there. He is a good friend of ours and put together all of the initial footage. All of it was designed to reflect the images we felt the music suggested.

Secretly Canadian is currently one of my favorite music labels. How did you end up on the label?

Richard Swift. The man who produced our first record brought us into the secret underworld.

One of my favorite bands for the last ten years or so now has been Cut Copy. Dunes was produced by Tim Goldsworthy and I feel like I can sense his aesthetic. What was it like working with him and what inspired the pairing?

It was pretty amazing working with Tim. He is a great guy and a high priest of sonics. The pairing came about after he emailed us and said he fell in love with our “wild honey pie” video of us playing orange blossom. We nerded out over Ruichi Sakamoto records over email and then we made a record.  

There seems to be more of an electronic feel to Dunes and it definitely makes me want to dance at times. How important is it for you to get your audience moving?

We LOVE when the audience moves! It’s not the end of the world if they aren’t—sometimes people just want to soak up the music and stand still—but It feels really good to see a crowd loosen up and move around. It’s an honor really. How often do people dance nowadays in America? When it really goes off, It makes you feel like Richard Simmons leading a wild aerobics class, which is pretty much one of the best feelings an American man can experience. 

One of the most beautiful songs off Dunes is “Chrysanthemums.” Can you divulge a little bit about what this song is all about and the inspiration behind it?

Thanks! I don’t like to reveal too much about the songs. I like to leave interpretations for the listener. But roughly the song is sort of about a time in Seattle that i experienced. Rain, a broken down red automobile, and some love.

I just recently heard “Colony Glen (Mark McGuire’s Road Chief Remix)” and my thought was, “Wow this takes this song, that has been my winter jam, right into spring.” How did this remix come about, what does Road Chief imply, and was this at all the intention?

No, but that is kind of amazing! We love it dearly and listened to it for the first time during a spring day in Paris in front of the Eiffel tower.

What are you all listening to right now that you guys are all about? I know it’s a pretty basic question but I feel like non-basic answers will come from it.

Right now this moment in Boston, we are listening SIRIUSMO. In our van we have all been really in to the new ANGEL OLSEN record and the new War On Drugs.. LOTS of medieval stuff..

I feel like y’all’s sound is in a constant state evolution, and I know that Dunes is relatively fresh, but have you given any thought at all to where Gardens and Villa is going next?

We think about the future constantly, mostly in hopes that music technology will become what we need it to be. In “the future” expect that we’ll be playing walls, couches, and lamps. Lots of sweet blinking red lights and some fog horns. Think 9th Century courting “the now.”

-Ian Signore

Gardens & Villa will open at 9:30 Club on Sunday, April 20 for Tycho.

9:30 INTERVIEW: White Laces

Mandy [9:30]: How’s the road? What state are you guys in right now?

White Laces: [Landis] Just crossed into New Mexico.

Cool! How’s the drive? You said you were driving over 1000 miles today.

[Landis] Yeah, we’re splitting it up into two days actually, where are we playing next? What’s the next city? Columbia, Missouri. So, we’re driving halfway there today, sleeping, and then driving A LOT more tomorrow.

That’s awesome. How’s the tour been, with The War On Drugs?

[Landis] Oh, it’s been amazing. They’ve been really great to us, and I mean, you know, their record is so huge right now, it’s been really amazing. You know, to go to every city, and see people go nuts over their set, and that sort of thing, it’s been really incredible.

Yeah, that’s awesome, we can’t wait for you guys to get here. Have you played D.C. before?

[Landis] Yeah actually, we played at Black Cat. I want to say, like last April or something.

Are you guys making any festival stops this summer?

[Landis] No, actually we’re in the middle of planning some of that stuff right now. We’ve been trying to like manage all our stuff while we’re on the road. So, we’re in the process of trying to figure some of those things out. But we’ve got some stuff we can’t announce yet, that will be out late summer and fall, that we’re pretty stoked about.

Awesome, we’ll be looking out for it. What about at home? Richmond has a really great music scene, what venues do you guys like to play there?

[Landis] Uh, in Richmond? We really like playing at Strange Matter, that’s a really good spot. And one of the owners actually tour managed for us, for a good chunk of the tour. Um, aside from that, Balliceaux is a really great place, we played there a bunch. And there’s Gallery 5. I don’t know, the city has a lot of really great spots. Even a lot of good house venues and kind of art spaces where they put on some really cool stuff. 

Yeah, definitely. So what music do you guys like to listen to? Am I crazy, or did I like detect some sort of post-punk influence on what I’ve heard from you?

[Landis] Oh no, there totally is. I think maybe less so on the new record, a little less post-punk. In the van, I don’t know, we listen to some weird stuff. What do we listen to in the van right now guys? I’m going to pass this to Dash and let him handle it. [Dash] This is Dash. I’ve been scoping out tapes everywhere we stop. We got a couple new age mixtapes from a place in Pittsburgh, we got a bootleg Brandy tape, some Missy Elliot, some Madonna, it’s been weird. 

Well that’s fun. What kind of music influences your music?

[Dash] Um, Landis is probably a better person to answer that question (laughs) [Landis] Oh, sorry, the influences? Sorry I just got the phone, this is Landis again. Man, I don’t know, at this point, we’re influences by a lot of stuff. We all team up in kind of a punk background, like our background’s punk, and like indie rock, except for Dash, who like came up with more like hip hop and a lot of electronic stuff. And so now that it’s, I don’t know, it’s a weird mix of stuff. We always are kind of switching around what we’re listening to and that sort of thing, so I don’t know how to pinpoint specific influences at this point, it’s sort of all over the place. 

Well that sort of makes sense, from Richmond. 

[Landis] And there’s definitely that kind of nervousness and energy from post-punk. 

Yeah, definitely, I detected that when I was listening to you. I see that you put out an EP last year, can we expect anything new in 2014?

[Landis] Yeah! We actually just finished a record in December with Jeff Zeigler up in Philadelphia at Uniform Recording, and got it mastered, and we got the final stuff in for that in the very beginning of March. So we’re hoping that’ll come out either in the summer or the fall. So, we’re really stoked on it. 

I’m sorry, with who?

[Landis] Oh, with Jeff Zeigler? He also did stuff with Kurt Vile, and Nothing, and also did the War On Drugs’ record as well. 

Oh well that’s exciting! 

[Landis] Yeah, it was a really great experience. And so, we finished the record, and literally, I think it was two weeks after we finished it, we got a call and got asked to do the entire War on Drugs tour. So, yeah, it’s been kind of surreal getting everything together. Figuring out, you know, all the stuff that we’ve had to do with this, but yeah, it’s been incredible. 

That’s great. And aside from any new recordings, what’s next for you guys?

[Landis] Yeah, absolutely, we’re really stoked on the new record. And we’re kind of excited to start working on new stuff too. We’re on a roll at this point, so… 

Well, that’s great! That’s all I really have for you today, but I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us, and we can’t wait to see you.

[Landis] Awesome. Yeah, I can’t wait to play there, we’re beyond stoked about it.

-Mandy Brownholtz

White Laces will perform live with The War On Drugs at the 9:30 Club on April 18.

9:30 INTERVIEW: Ricky Young, The Wild Feathers
[9:30] So you guys are getting ready to start the tour up at Stubb’s in Austin which is kind of like a home town show for you all right? You pumped?
[Ricky] Yeah, man. We’re excited, we’ve been on quite a bit of a vacation we had like a month off and in Nashville if you sit around a little too long, you get kind of stir crazy, so we’re ready. 
[9:30] I bet. Now as you guys get ready for the tour, which looks pretty extensive, what are a couple essentials that you have to have out on the road with you to make life bearable on the road?
[Ricky] Hmm I don’t know, do you mean packing or like musically?
[9:30]  Either or… let’s go with packing
[Ricky] Okay. Well it’s kind of funny, I pack pretty much everything I own, because you never know when you’re going to get the chance to do laundry! So I’d rather carry a huge suitcase and have clean clothes, then run the risk of not having anything at all.
[9:30] Right on. Now with you guys, having so many former lead singers and people from different bands coming together in one, I was interested what the songwriting process is like. If one person writes a song does that become their song to sing in a sense or is that something you guys always do collaboratively?
[Ricky] Yeah it’s kind of like that. I mean whoever kind of brings the idea to the table kind of holds the reigns and is the leader on that song more or less. Sometimes it’s just kind of bound together with no idea whatsoever, starting from scratch it all kind of depends. I mean we all write together, Joel and I write quite a bit and then if I have an idea that’s finished or halfway finished I can take it to them and we try to go from there. We can also sit down at a table and start from scratch and those tend to be a lot of fun because with 3 of doing it, it can be pretty easy and exciting to see all these ideas take on a life of their own when an hour ago they were nothing.
[9:30] Yeah, that’s interesting. One of the songs that really stuck out to me on the album was “Hard Times.” Would you mind telling us where that kind of came from?
[Ricky] Yeah, that’s actually a good example of the question before. We were in Austin and it was ACL Festival and we were kind of not knowing what was going on and we were in this situation where we had never toured.
[9:30] Oh was this after the Interscope issue? 
[Ricky] Yeah it was in between all that. So we were at ACL and we weren’t planning to be down there, but for some reason I had been at the festival seeing a couple friends and then walked back to Taylor’s house, and they had started the verse and chorus of that song and I thought it was great and I thought I had to get involved in there somehow you know? So I sat down and worked out the bridge and the lyrics, and we just kind of fine tuned it from there. So yeah that’s kind of a good example of how that all works, you know?
[9:30] Yeah, that’s very cool. I wanted to ask you as well – I have a trip to Nashville scheduled in about a month, any suggestions for me while down there?
[Ricky] Oh there’s so much there for a small town. The First thing I always do is go eat my favorite little Mexican taco place called Mas Tacos in East Nashville. I lived in East Nashville so that’s kind of my fun spot so there’s nice bars when I get home like 3 Crow, 5 Spot, and Edgefield, and those are kind of like the low key sit-and-have-a-conversation nice hangout bars. Obviously the whole Broadway Honky Tonk scene is pretty great, but I chose to do that during the day so it’s not super crowded, and there’s always music down there so it can be a lot of fun.
[9:30] Good to know! I’ll check some of those out. Now, when you guys come through DC is there anything you’re looking forward to doing here?
[Ricky] Oh yeah, we’ve always had such a good time in DC, especially at 9:30. We’ve been pretty lucky and have had lots of slots there – I mean we were always support, but we’ve been lucky with playing only sold out shows there, it seems kind of unfair, but that’s kind of the way it’s happened, so we love it man. We love that place.
[9:30] And we love having you guys, that’s great to hear. I’ve got one more question for you – if The Wild Feathers were to have their own cocktail what do you think would be in it?
[Ricky] Oh God. It would probably be – this isn’t going to make any sense, but it would probably just be a mix of things that we drink heavily. We’d have a lot of Miller Lite, throw in a lot of Jameson, a little bit of Jack Daniels, and maybe get some red wine in there and that’s pretty much it. I don’t know what you would call it.
[9:30] It Sounds Delicious
[Ricky] [laughs] It sounds Disgusting!
[9:30] It sounds like it would do the job!
[Ricky] Right!
[9:30] Alright man, well I appreciate your time. We’re really looking forward to the show here and hopefully we can have some of those drinks stashed in the dressing room for you when you get here.
[Ricky] Yeah, man. That sounds awesome. I appreciate it, man.
[9:30] Alright, man. Thanks a lot.
[Ricky] Have a great day.

[9:30] You too!

Performing LIVE at U Street Music Hall on February 4th! 
-John O’Connor

9:30 INTERVIEW: Ricky Young, The Wild Feathers

[9:30] So you guys are getting ready to start the tour up at Stubb’s in Austin which is kind of like a home town show for you all right? You pumped?

[Ricky] Yeah, man. We’re excited, we’ve been on quite a bit of a vacation we had like a month off and in Nashville if you sit around a little too long, you get kind of stir crazy, so we’re ready. 

[9:30] I bet. Now as you guys get ready for the tour, which looks pretty extensive, what are a couple essentials that you have to have out on the road with you to make life bearable on the road?

[Ricky] Hmm I don’t know, do you mean packing or like musically?

[9:30]  Either or… let’s go with packing

[Ricky] Okay. Well it’s kind of funny, I pack pretty much everything I own, because you never know when you’re going to get the chance to do laundry! So I’d rather carry a huge suitcase and have clean clothes, then run the risk of not having anything at all.

[9:30] Right on. Now with you guys, having so many former lead singers and people from different bands coming together in one, I was interested what the songwriting process is like. If one person writes a song does that become their song to sing in a sense or is that something you guys always do collaboratively?

[Ricky] Yeah it’s kind of like that. I mean whoever kind of brings the idea to the table kind of holds the reigns and is the leader on that song more or less. Sometimes it’s just kind of bound together with no idea whatsoever, starting from scratch it all kind of depends. I mean we all write together, Joel and I write quite a bit and then if I have an idea that’s finished or halfway finished I can take it to them and we try to go from there. We can also sit down at a table and start from scratch and those tend to be a lot of fun because with 3 of doing it, it can be pretty easy and exciting to see all these ideas take on a life of their own when an hour ago they were nothing.

[9:30] Yeah, that’s interesting. One of the songs that really stuck out to me on the album was “Hard Times.” Would you mind telling us where that kind of came from?

[Ricky] Yeah, that’s actually a good example of the question before. We were in Austin and it was ACL Festival and we were kind of not knowing what was going on and we were in this situation where we had never toured.

[9:30] Oh was this after the Interscope issue? 

[Ricky] Yeah it was in between all that. So we were at ACL and we weren’t planning to be down there, but for some reason I had been at the festival seeing a couple friends and then walked back to Taylor’s house, and they had started the verse and chorus of that song and I thought it was great and I thought I had to get involved in there somehow you know? So I sat down and worked out the bridge and the lyrics, and we just kind of fine tuned it from there. So yeah that’s kind of a good example of how that all works, you know?

[9:30] Yeah, that’s very cool. I wanted to ask you as well – I have a trip to Nashville scheduled in about a month, any suggestions for me while down there?

[Ricky] Oh there’s so much there for a small town. The First thing I always do is go eat my favorite little Mexican taco place called Mas Tacos in East Nashville. I lived in East Nashville so that’s kind of my fun spot so there’s nice bars when I get home like 3 Crow, 5 Spot, and Edgefield, and those are kind of like the low key sit-and-have-a-conversation nice hangout bars. Obviously the whole Broadway Honky Tonk scene is pretty great, but I chose to do that during the day so it’s not super crowded, and there’s always music down there so it can be a lot of fun.

[9:30] Good to know! I’ll check some of those out. Now, when you guys come through DC is there anything you’re looking forward to doing here?

[Ricky] Oh yeah, we’ve always had such a good time in DC, especially at 9:30. We’ve been pretty lucky and have had lots of slots there – I mean we were always support, but we’ve been lucky with playing only sold out shows there, it seems kind of unfair, but that’s kind of the way it’s happened, so we love it man. We love that place.

[9:30] And we love having you guys, that’s great to hear. I’ve got one more question for you – if The Wild Feathers were to have their own cocktail what do you think would be in it?

[Ricky] Oh God. It would probably be – this isn’t going to make any sense, but it would probably just be a mix of things that we drink heavily. We’d have a lot of Miller Lite, throw in a lot of Jameson, a little bit of Jack Daniels, and maybe get some red wine in there and that’s pretty much it. I don’t know what you would call it.

[9:30] It Sounds Delicious

[Ricky] [laughs] It sounds Disgusting!

[9:30] It sounds like it would do the job!

[Ricky] Right!

[9:30] Alright man, well I appreciate your time. We’re really looking forward to the show here and hopefully we can have some of those drinks stashed in the dressing room for you when you get here.

[Ricky] Yeah, man. That sounds awesome. I appreciate it, man.

[9:30] Alright, man. Thanks a lot.

[Ricky] Have a great day.

[9:30] You too!

Performing LIVE at U Street Music Hall on February 4th

-John O’Connor

9:30 INTERVIEW: Lissie
Kelly [9:30]: How’d you originally get involved in music? Where did you draw inspiration from when you first started writing and playing music?
[Lissie]: I intuitively started to hum and sing as a young kid. My mom would sing us lullabies and I liked that. Singing was soothing. My grandpa was a singer and we’d see him in local musical theatre productions and I wanted to do that! So I started group classes at 5 and would do little shows in town. I did musicals and then around 12 started voice lessons. About 15 I didn’t want to do musicals so much as teach myself guitar and start writing songs about my feelings! To express myself and sort through my emotions and experiences. It started like that and then I just stuck with it, writing songs and doing open mics and gigs, moving to LA at 21 and getting a record deal at 22.
Kelly [9:30]: You released Covered Up with Flowers, an EP full of covers, a couple years ago. How’d you go about choosing the songs you covered? And if you could collaborate with one of the artists you covered, whom would you choose?
[Lissie]: The band and I had been covering “Nothing Else Matters”, “Bad Romance”, and “Pursuit Of Happiness” live and had put up YouTube videos that were popular, so we wanted to release those and then just picked other songs we liked from different genres to record and picked the best ones! I’d love to work with Kid Cudi! 
Kelly [9:30]: What influenced the writing processes that lead to your newest album, Back to Forever?
[Lissie]: I was writing a lot for a year or more about my feelings and reflections on relationships. Also reactions to the news.  I was in a bit of both a clear more, well rounded headspace and a frustrated one so there’s some aggression to this album.
Kelly [9:30]: There’s a lot of fun stuff on your new album. Which is your favorite track from Back to Forever to perform live?
[Lissie]: Thank you! Further Away (Romance Police) is a blast to perform! 
Kelly [9:30]: What’s the last concert you went to as a spectator? What’d you like about it?
[Lissie]: The last concert I went to and really enjoyed was last summer. Phish. They’re such top musicians and the lights and the crowd and the vibe is just an entire experience! It’s like going to church!
Kelly [9:30]: What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on tour?

[Lissie]: I was trying to get to a festival in Norway and every flight was either cancelled or delayed from the start. I took like 5 planes to get there only to be stuck in Stavanger with no flight. The promoters sent a helicopter for me and I flew to the site over mountains and fjords for an hour to get there in time to just play 20 minutes of my set! Also my bags never showed up AND I had taken someone else’s MacBook Air at security, it turned out the person lived in Lebanon and had my computer so we were able to meet in London weeks later and swap! It was unbelievable! Everything that could go wrong did!  My bags came back to California like 2 weeks later! 
Lissie performs LIVE at 9:30 Club on November 24th with Kopecky Family Band.
-Kelly McDonald

9:30 INTERVIEW: Lissie

Kelly [9:30]: How’d you originally get involved in music? Where did you draw inspiration from when you first started writing and playing music?

[Lissie]: I intuitively started to hum and sing as a young kid. My mom would sing us lullabies and I liked that. Singing was soothing. My grandpa was a singer and we’d see him in local musical theatre productions and I wanted to do that! So I started group classes at 5 and would do little shows in town. I did musicals and then around 12 started voice lessons. About 15 I didn’t want to do musicals so much as teach myself guitar and start writing songs about my feelings! To express myself and sort through my emotions and experiences. It started like that and then I just stuck with it, writing songs and doing open mics and gigs, moving to LA at 21 and getting a record deal at 22.

Kelly [9:30]: You released Covered Up with Flowers, an EP full of covers, a couple years ago. How’d you go about choosing the songs you covered? And if you could collaborate with one of the artists you covered, whom would you choose?

[Lissie]: The band and I had been covering “Nothing Else Matters”, “Bad Romance”, and “Pursuit Of Happiness” live and had put up YouTube videos that were popular, so we wanted to release those and then just picked other songs we liked from different genres to record and picked the best ones! I’d love to work with Kid Cudi! 

Kelly [9:30]: What influenced the writing processes that lead to your newest album, Back to Forever?

[Lissie]: I was writing a lot for a year or more about my feelings and reflections on relationships. Also reactions to the news.  I was in a bit of both a clear more, well rounded headspace and a frustrated one so there’s some aggression to this album.

Kelly [9:30]: There’s a lot of fun stuff on your new album. Which is your favorite track from Back to Forever to perform live?

[Lissie]: Thank you! Further Away (Romance Police) is a blast to perform! 

Kelly [9:30]: What’s the last concert you went to as a spectator? What’d you like about it?

[Lissie]: The last concert I went to and really enjoyed was last summer. Phish. They’re such top musicians and the lights and the crowd and the vibe is just an entire experience! It’s like going to church!

Kelly [9:30]: What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on tour?

[Lissie]: I was trying to get to a festival in Norway and every flight was either cancelled or delayed from the start. I took like 5 planes to get there only to be stuck in Stavanger with no flight. The promoters sent a helicopter for me and I flew to the site over mountains and fjords for an hour to get there in time to just play 20 minutes of my set! Also my bags never showed up AND I had taken someone else’s MacBook Air at security, it turned out the person lived in Lebanon and had my computer so we were able to meet in London weeks later and swap! It was unbelievable! Everything that could go wrong did!  My bags came back to California like 2 weeks later! 

Lissie performs LIVE at 9:30 Club on November 24th with Kopecky Family Band.

-Kelly McDonald

9:30 INTERVIEW: Darren Weiss, PAPA

Johnathan Blair [9:30]: If you could describe your music in three words to someone who had never previously listened before - which would you choose?

Darren Weiss [PAPA]: American, romantic, soul 

JB [9:30]: Which artists have had the greatest influence on you musically? Which artists have had the greatest influence on your own mindset/persona/attitude with respect to performing live?

DW [PAPA]:The truth is, my influences are always changing intensely. I become completely obsessive over artists (musical, and otherwise) and for a time, really dedicate my whole mentality to trying live inside their work.  But I know that Leonard Cohen never seems to go away from me, and the Clash have always been really important to the way this band operates and communicates.  The artists who I’ve seen who’ve impacted my intentions the most as a performer (in the last 3 years) would be Patti Smith, Nick Cave, and Bruce Springsteen. These artists perform with such a sense of urgency, which in many ways is more important to me than passion or talent.  No matter what the tempo, dynamic, or genre, seeing these people perform left me feeling real electricity running through my veins.  Bruce Springsteen once said in an interview that he felt a performer should never expect anything from his or her audience, but instead should work to take the response that belongs to him.  I always think of that before we walk on stage.  In our band, we all came of age going to punk shows in Los Angeles.  The energy was the absolute most important thing I took away from those experiences.  Punk, above all, is an energy, and it’s always living inside what I do.  

JB [9:30]: You’re currently supporting Cold War Kids - did you all know each other before this tour? How did you connect? How are they as tour mates?   

DW [PAPA]:Yeah, we’ve been having a really cool time with these guys over the last few months.  We had never met before actually, but they’re great tour mates, and have become friends of ours.  

JB [9:30]: Which stop on tour are you most looking forward to? Any cities you have previously never played that you are excited about visiting?

DW [PAPA]: Well after we finish this east coast run with Cold War Kids, we’re stopping over in Iceland for a few days to play a festival before going to Europe.  None of us have ever been there, and it’s always exciting to bring our energy and our culture to a completely new place.  I can’t wait to see what that show is going to be like. 

JB [9:30]: Tender Madness has a much bigger sound to it cohesively than some of your previous work (A Good Woman Is Hard To Find). Do you attribute this to personal experiences? Or more of a natural development as you continued to play and record together?

DW [PAPA]: Both.  We definitely had more clear intentions when working on our full length.  The EP kind of came together, but for this record there were definite things I wanted to convey, portraits I wanted to illustrate, frustrations I needed to air.  We’ve also been touring and working as band together in a much more intense way since the release of our EP, so I think the combination of traveling together, seeing all kinds of things together, and through these experiences, knowing what we wanted, and more importantly, what we wanted to stay away from.  

JB [9:30]: Follow up - Is a good woman truly that hard to find? Have you finally found good women?

DW [PAPA]: A good woman is truly that hard to find.  But it’s not all on them.  The name of my book that just came out is “The Only Thing Worse Than A Woman Is A Man,”  so we’re all a little fucked up these days.  But yes, I have found a good woman.  So I’ll hold on tight.   

JB [9:30]: Drummers as singers - so rare! We love it, and it’s not a natural pairing. Which came first for you? Was there a sort of initial rehearsal period to combine the two without stumbling live - we can imagine that’s no easy feat.

DW [PAPA]: Drumming definitely came first.  I don’t even really consider myself a singer.  I only started singing because I was writing songs that wouldn’t make sense for other people to sing, so I sang them.  But when I first performed the early PAPA songs, I was going out as a solo folk kind of thing.  Just me and my acoustic guitar, and I’d stomp out the rhythms with my boots.  But I knew I wanted the music and the live set to be more electric, more kinetic.  I tried putting a couple line ups together with me and my guitar in front, but it just didn’t convey what I needed it to.  I’m much more a drummer than I am a guitar player, so just like I starting singing out of a feeling of necessity, I started drumming and singing out of necessity.  Once I started doing it, everything started falling into place.  It all made more sense to me.  But I definitely had to work hard to get it right.  I’m still working it out every night.  

JB [9:30]: Girls was a great band, we had the pleasure of hosting you all a few years back, and we were definitely to hear about the break up. It had a sound that was great, but also felt like it was still on the verge of really hitting its stride - While in comparison, even early tracks/recordings from PAPA seem incredibly tight and fully-realized. How has PAPA allowed you to explore your expression as an artist more completely? Did your time in Girls and collaborating with the members of that band influence this project at all?

DW [PAPA]: Thanks, yeah PAPA was actually first of three on that bill with No Bunny and Girls a few years ago, and we all remember it as a great night.  I will say that in Girls, I really was only a drummer.  I did not help Christopher with any songwriting.  But I did pay close attention, as I do anytime I work with an artist I respect.  I think working on recordings with Girls, and seeing the connection to the material live all across the globe did have a really important impact on my own song writing, with lyrics in particular.  It made me want to be more directly honest.  To be less fearful about being vulnerable. Even though I love instrumental music, and I love experimental music, and avant garde poetry, my experiences have made me realize the true power of an honest song, that speaks any truth clearly and proudly.  

JB [9:30]: The video for ‘Young Rut' is fantastic - a pair of pants falls in love with a shirt at a laundromat, and romance ensues. What was the inspiration behind this video or how did you come up with the concept? Was it your idea or the idea of a director?

DW [PAPA]: Thank you. This was the first video we’ve done where we accepted treatments from outside parties.  In the past, we’ve always come up with an aesthetic and concept, but for this one we were interested in hearing somebody else’s interpretation of the lyrics, so this time around, it was our director Norton who brought the right idea.  We’re really happy with the way it came out.   

JB [9:30]: While we are on the topic of videos, the video for ‘Put Me To Work' is also fantastic! At one point, you have lights in your beard, and are wielding a flaming axe - how much fun was that video to shoot? 

DW [PAPA]: When we we’re sitting around with our friend Jonathan Hausfater (the director of our first three videos) Danny and I each had one idea that was important for us.  I saw myself in overalls swinging a flaming axe, and Danny saw himself in a skeleton costume.  A lot of the time, that’s how things get done with us.  One image will set the spark for a creative onslaught.  

JB [9:30]: How excited are you to headline, for the second leg of your tour? How will your live set expand/vary from support to headlining shows?

DW [PAPA]: It’s always fun to go out and do our own shows.  Even when we don’t get to play to as many people, or in as nice of venues as when we’re opening shows, there is something we really love about taking the night to be our own.  There’s a sense of ownership there, and that means anything is possible, and it’s us to make it happen.   

PAPA support Cold War Kids on October 24th (SOLD OUT!) & October 25th.

Get hip! Grab a FREE DL from PAPA here

FROM THE VAULT: 9:30 Interview with Futurebirds

Sometimes you fall in love with how wonderful a band’s music is, and then you double fall in love when they are down to earth fun people. That was absolutely the case when Futurebirds rolled into our club, and let us crash their dressing room hang time pre-show to ask them questions and pet their really cute road dog.

Watch, enjoy, and listen to this delightful band from Athens, GA.

Hope we see these dudes again real soon.

9:30 INTERVIEW: Marky Ramone
Mandy [9:30]: You’ve had an extremely long, prolific career. I guess we should start at the beginning. What bands did you listen to when you were a teenager, just getting started as the drummer for Dust?
Marky: The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, Jan and Dean, all the great Motown.
Mandy [9:30]: What eventually led you to become interested in punk music?
Marky: Everyone loves to label things and the term “punk” was the label given to the Ramones. Then everyone started trying to copy the sound and a genre was born.  
Mandy [9:30]: What do you think of the development of punk music after the Ramones? Any current bands that you’re into?
Marky: I don’t want to mention any particular band by name that I like  (or don’t like) but I will say no band comes close to the Ramones.
Mandy [9:30]: Among your own lengthy list of work, what stands out to you? Any favorite records or releases?
Marky: As a musician of course there are lots of songs that I really loved playing on but being in the film “Rock  n Roll High School” really stands out..
Mandy [9:30]: Tell me more about this current tour, Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg. How did you begin working with Andrew W.K.?
Marky: Well we will be playing  in our nation’s capital so all our lawmakers and President will have an opportunity to have some fun (just kidding). We’ll also be playing in Philly, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, S.F., L.A. and my hometown NYC. I met Andrew though a mutual friend and we thought it would be fun to play some shows together. We’ve already played in NYC, Russia, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and it was great.
Mandy [9:30]: What’s next for you after this tour?
Marky: I have  a deadline of December for Touchstone for my memoir so that’s what’s next…
Mandy [9:30]: Aside from your musical career, I see you’ve delved into the world of fashion, with your Tommy Hilfiger line, and food, with your line of pasta sauces. Can we expect similar ventures from you in the future?
Marky: Always something.

-Mandy Brownholtz
Marky Ramone’s Blitzkreig with Andrew W.K. on Vocals is LIVE at 9:30 Club on October 2nd. 

9:30 INTERVIEW: Marky Ramone

Mandy [9:30]: You’ve had an extremely long, prolific career. I guess we should start at the beginning. What bands did you listen to when you were a teenager, just getting started as the drummer for Dust?

Marky: The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, Jan and Dean, all the great Motown.

Mandy [9:30]: What eventually led you to become interested in punk music?

Marky: Everyone loves to label things and the term “punk” was the label given to the Ramones. Then everyone started trying to copy the sound and a genre was born.  

Mandy [9:30]: What do you think of the development of punk music after the Ramones? Any current bands that you’re into?

Marky: I don’t want to mention any particular band by name that I like  (or don’t like) but I will say no band comes close to the Ramones.

Mandy [9:30]: Among your own lengthy list of work, what stands out to you? Any favorite records or releases?

Marky: As a musician of course there are lots of songs that I really loved playing on but being in the film “Rock  n Roll High School” really stands out..

Mandy [9:30]: Tell me more about this current tour, Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg. How did you begin working with Andrew W.K.?

Marky: Well we will be playing  in our nation’s capital so all our lawmakers and President will have an opportunity to have some fun (just kidding). We’ll also be playing in Philly, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, S.F., L.A. and my hometown NYC. I met Andrew though a mutual friend and we thought it would be fun to play some shows together. We’ve already played in NYC, Russia, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and it was great.

Mandy [9:30]: What’s next for you after this tour?

Marky: I have  a deadline of December for Touchstone for my memoir so that’s what’s next…

Mandy [9:30]: Aside from your musical career, I see you’ve delved into the world of fashion, with your Tommy Hilfiger line, and food, with your line of pasta sauces. Can we expect similar ventures from you in the future?

Marky: Always something.

-Mandy Brownholtz

Marky Ramone’s Blitzkreig with Andrew W.K. on Vocals is LIVE at 9:30 Club on October 2nd

9:30 INTERVIEW: Jesse Ruben

Singer-songwriter Jesse Ruben is an up and comer. Thoughtful and relatable subject matter, catchy tunes, what’s not to love? He let us bother him in his dressing room when we had him here, and gave some surprisingly wise advice on his industry and art given his young age…and of course told us funny tour stories, dream collaborations, and first concerts. Watch, and enjoy.

9:30 INTERVIEW: Ryan Newell, Sister Hazel
20 years strong, Sister Hazel is better than ever. Known for their 90’s earworm ‘All For You’, Sister Hazel travels the states throughout the year bringing their folksy tunes to intimate crowds. As a HazelNut myself, I was lucky enough to interview lead guitarist, Ryan Newell and talk about their upcoming album, their incredible fanbase, and the band’s visit to the DMV. Sister Hazel will headline at 930 on November 14 so definitely check out their latest album Heartland Highway or my personal favorite 2006’s Absolutely.
Ryan [SH]: So how are you?
Alicia [9:30]: I’m great! How are you?
Ryan [SH]: I’m doing well.
Alicia [9:30]: Welcome to DC. I heard you just moved here.
Ryan [SH]: I did! I moved here last February. I love it. I actually grew up in Fairfax, Virginia so it’s a bit of a homecoming for me.
Alicia [9:30]: So what’re you up to here in Washington? Still pursuing music with Sister Hazel?
Ryan [SH]: Oh I’m still Sister Hazeling! But I moved up here for a relationship.
Alicia [9:30]: First, I wanted to say I’m a huge fan and have been for many years. My father and I have been to more of your shows than I can possibly count. When Maggie extended this opportunity to the writers, I called my dad and freaked out and now he’s at the end of his phone anxiously awaiting my call. He’s a Hazel Nut.
Ryan [SH]: Oh awesome! That’s great. I’m so glad we got to do this.
Alicia [9:30]: Sister Hazel is a band that everyone knows in some context – whether they remember a huge 90’s hit or saw 10 Things I Hate About You or it was something they listened to in their youth or enjoyed with their parents like me. Could you tell me a little bit about how Sister Hazel got its start? Where do you guys come from and where does your music stem from?
Ryan [SH]: Well we were all in different bands at the University of Florida except for our drummer who was in Tampa at the time. Ken had aside from being in different bands, he also did a duet with Andrew Copeland and Ken decided he wanted to form a band so he put up a flyer and our bass player was the first person to answer the flyer and I was in different bands but played with the guys in a bunch of shows and eventually we all ended up being in the same band and we just toured around in a van and trailer around the southeast just riding and playing music for people and we got a big following. We made a couple CDs on our own and then major labels started coming around and got interested because we actually got some air play without any major label support which is almost unheard of and they gave us a little money to go into the studio and basically rework our album that we recorded on our own and that was So Much More Familiar and we released it. It was great.
Alicia [9:30]: So my favorite album is Absolutely from 2006. My father and I scratched that CD down to it’s core we listened to it so many times. Do you have a favorite song or album from your extensive catalog?
Ryan [SH]: Ya know I really enjoyed making that record in particular it’s funny that you mention that. I think that record is really strong and I love the way it sounds. The engineering and the mixing of that album sounds really good. We open a lot of shows with Shame which is the first song off of that album.  That’s just such a fun one to go out and open with. I really like Release which is the album before that I like all of them for different reasons but the one that sticks out for me is Release because it was a difficult time in my life personally and that album, the writing and recording process really helped me out so it has a special place in my heart for sure.
Alicia [9:30]: Are you currently planning another tour or album?
Ryan [SH]: We’re always touring. We’re a touring band that’s what we do, that’s how we make our money and right now we’re in the process of writing and recording demos for our next record and hopefully be in the studio sometime in the fall.
Alicia [9:30]: Do you have any plans to be in Washington or in the DMV any time soon?
Ryan [SH]: Well, we just played Annapolis and I think actually our next show will be the 930 club.  The show is gonna be November 14 – that’s a Thursday. You’ll have to come back and say hey to us, we’d love to meet you.
Alicia [9:30]: One of my favorite Sister Hazel memories was a Christmas show in a tiny Massachusetts theater back in 2007.
Ryan [SH]: Oh cool. That was an interesting tour. We’d never done a Christmas tour before and in each town we’d get a high school choir and symphonies to back us. That was a great memory.
Alicia [9:30]: That leads me to my next question. Sister Hazel fans are a loyal breed. Do you have any favorite concert or fan moments you’d like to share?
Ryan [SH]: One that always sticks out in my mind is when we toured with the Allman Brothers for the first time. We did two summers with them and the first two nights were at Red Rocks in Colorado and that was just an amazing experience, I mean, we’re huge fans of the Allman Brothers. That was our first big tour and it just brings back a lot of great memories. I think other shows that stick out are the first time we did a Rock Boat, which is a cruise that we do every year, we charter a cruise ship and take it out into the Caribbean for four days with close to thirty bands but the first time we did it we actually chartered half the ship and brought about 500 of our closest fans on the boat and to actually see the reaction of the fans that we were doing something a little different that most other fans don’t do, get to actually hang out with them and meet them and now the Rock Boat has turned into something, ya know we’ve been doing it for about 13 years now and just to watch that whole thing grow.
Alicia [9:30]: Well I don’t have anything else for you but I greatly look forward to the November show and maybe hanging out again!

Ryan [SH]: For sure, tell your dad we say hello and thanks for the support and if he comes down in November we look forward to meeting him as well!
Performing live at 9:30 Club on November 14th. 
-Alicia Farina

9:30 INTERVIEW: Ryan Newell, Sister Hazel

20 years strong, Sister Hazel is better than ever. Known for their 90’s earworm ‘All For You’, Sister Hazel travels the states throughout the year bringing their folksy tunes to intimate crowds. As a HazelNut myself, I was lucky enough to interview lead guitarist, Ryan Newell and talk about their upcoming album, their incredible fanbase, and the band’s visit to the DMV. Sister Hazel will headline at 930 on November 14 so definitely check out their latest album Heartland Highway or my personal favorite 2006’s Absolutely.

Ryan [SH]: So how are you?

Alicia [9:30]: I’m great! How are you?

Ryan [SH]: I’m doing well.

Alicia [9:30]: Welcome to DC. I heard you just moved here.

Ryan [SH]: I did! I moved here last February. I love it. I actually grew up in Fairfax, Virginia so it’s a bit of a homecoming for me.

Alicia [9:30]: So what’re you up to here in Washington? Still pursuing music with Sister Hazel?

Ryan [SH]: Oh I’m still Sister Hazeling! But I moved up here for a relationship.

Alicia [9:30]: First, I wanted to say I’m a huge fan and have been for many years. My father and I have been to more of your shows than I can possibly count. When Maggie extended this opportunity to the writers, I called my dad and freaked out and now he’s at the end of his phone anxiously awaiting my call. He’s a Hazel Nut.

Ryan [SH]: Oh awesome! That’s great. I’m so glad we got to do this.

Alicia [9:30]: Sister Hazel is a band that everyone knows in some context – whether they remember a huge 90’s hit or saw 10 Things I Hate About You or it was something they listened to in their youth or enjoyed with their parents like me. Could you tell me a little bit about how Sister Hazel got its start? Where do you guys come from and where does your music stem from?

Ryan [SH]: Well we were all in different bands at the University of Florida except for our drummer who was in Tampa at the time. Ken had aside from being in different bands, he also did a duet with Andrew Copeland and Ken decided he wanted to form a band so he put up a flyer and our bass player was the first person to answer the flyer and I was in different bands but played with the guys in a bunch of shows and eventually we all ended up being in the same band and we just toured around in a van and trailer around the southeast just riding and playing music for people and we got a big following. We made a couple CDs on our own and then major labels started coming around and got interested because we actually got some air play without any major label support which is almost unheard of and they gave us a little money to go into the studio and basically rework our album that we recorded on our own and that was So Much More Familiar and we released it. It was great.

Alicia [9:30]: So my favorite album is Absolutely from 2006. My father and I scratched that CD down to it’s core we listened to it so many times. Do you have a favorite song or album from your extensive catalog?

Ryan [SH]: Ya know I really enjoyed making that record in particular it’s funny that you mention that. I think that record is really strong and I love the way it sounds. The engineering and the mixing of that album sounds really good. We open a lot of shows with Shame which is the first song off of that album.  That’s just such a fun one to go out and open with. I really like Release which is the album before that I like all of them for different reasons but the one that sticks out for me is Release because it was a difficult time in my life personally and that album, the writing and recording process really helped me out so it has a special place in my heart for sure.

Alicia [9:30]: Are you currently planning another tour or album?

Ryan [SH]: We’re always touring. We’re a touring band that’s what we do, that’s how we make our money and right now we’re in the process of writing and recording demos for our next record and hopefully be in the studio sometime in the fall.

Alicia [9:30]: Do you have any plans to be in Washington or in the DMV any time soon?

Ryan [SH]: Well, we just played Annapolis and I think actually our next show will be the 930 club.  The show is gonna be November 14 – that’s a Thursday. You’ll have to come back and say hey to us, we’d love to meet you.

Alicia [9:30]: One of my favorite Sister Hazel memories was a Christmas show in a tiny Massachusetts theater back in 2007.

Ryan [SH]: Oh cool. That was an interesting tour. We’d never done a Christmas tour before and in each town we’d get a high school choir and symphonies to back us. That was a great memory.

Alicia [9:30]: That leads me to my next question. Sister Hazel fans are a loyal breed. Do you have any favorite concert or fan moments you’d like to share?

Ryan [SH]: One that always sticks out in my mind is when we toured with the Allman Brothers for the first time. We did two summers with them and the first two nights were at Red Rocks in Colorado and that was just an amazing experience, I mean, we’re huge fans of the Allman Brothers. That was our first big tour and it just brings back a lot of great memories. I think other shows that stick out are the first time we did a Rock Boat, which is a cruise that we do every year, we charter a cruise ship and take it out into the Caribbean for four days with close to thirty bands but the first time we did it we actually chartered half the ship and brought about 500 of our closest fans on the boat and to actually see the reaction of the fans that we were doing something a little different that most other fans don’t do, get to actually hang out with them and meet them and now the Rock Boat has turned into something, ya know we’ve been doing it for about 13 years now and just to watch that whole thing grow.

Alicia [9:30]: Well I don’t have anything else for you but I greatly look forward to the November show and maybe hanging out again!

Ryan [SH]: For sure, tell your dad we say hello and thanks for the support and if he comes down in November we look forward to meeting him as well!

Performing live at 9:30 Club on November 14th

-Alicia Farina

INTERVIEW: Donavon Frankenreiter
[9:30] You’ve worked with a lot of high profile musicians, like Jack Johnson and I saw that you have worked with Koool G. Murder from Eels, do you want to tell me more about working with them and other musicians like them?
[DF] Um, Jack, he started my whole career, he produced my first record and signed me to Brushfire, and he took me on the road for two years to open for him, and it was an amazing way to start, and through that process I met Koool G. Murder from the Eels, he played keys and he played on the first album, and then that kind of progressed. He loved playing on my first record and he’s taking me out on the road. Ben Harper played on Pass It Around, an album that came out a few year after the first one. Yeah, just through Jack and through just mutual friends, meeting other people, I’ve been able to really connect and meet great, amazing musicians, and tour with them and share the stage with them. It’s been incredible.
[9:30] That’s awesome. Who would you say your primary musical influences are then?
[DF] You know, it’s weird, I listen to everything. I can listen to Metallica, and then Bon Iver, and you know, Black Keys, like there’s so much great music out there. I listen to all different kinds: blues, rock, I love the Beatles, you know I like pop music, you know, I listen to anything. One of my favorite things to do is play festivals because then I get to run around and watch a bunch of incredible bands and so I’m just as much a fan of music as I am someone who plays it for a living. 
[9:30] Are you playing any festivals this summer?
[DF] Uh, well we just played Bottle Rock Festival, which was incredible, up in San Francisco in the Napa Valley, and we did one in Florida, Tortuga Festival, and there’s a couple other ones coming up here and there. It’s exciting to play other shows with a bunch of bands and listen to what they do, it’s really fun.
[9:30] That’s cool. Let’s talk about your new album. What inspired you on this one, especially since I read that you’re working with a new group of musicians?
[DF] Yeah, well I went in the studio with one of the guys that’s been in the band for ten years, and just me and him, went in and made this record. But after this record was made, the guy who was in the studio with me usually plays the bass guitar, and he ended up, now he’s lied and he’s playing the electric, so I did kind of switch it up and got a whole new band to back us up and it’s been a lot of fun. It’s fun that way to be able, I’m just a solo artist, you know guys that I hire to play with, so it’s good for me at least never to stay, you know you get really inspired playing with other musicians and the way that they interpret songs that you may have written, and the feel, so it’s really great to break it up that way. I was with the last band for six years, so it’s a lot of fun, and it’s been fun on the road with a new group of guys on stage. Some guys have been with me for a while but on new instruments, and sort of a new take on songs we’ve been playing for a long time.
[9:30] Awesome. Okay, yeah, I read that you’re also a professional surfer. How does that, how does your career as a surfer enhance or impede your career as a musician?
[DF] Well it’s never impeded it, it’s only enhanced it in so many ways. You know, the acoustic guitar you can bring anywhere, which I did, in all my surf travels on boats, airplanes, buses, trains, wherever I traveled around the world surfing I brought my guitar and I met people through my surf travels that played music. That’s how I learned to play music, and that’s how I met pretty much all the friends I have is through my surfing career, and that’s how I met Jack Johnson, you know, whatever it was, twenty years ago. It all came around full circle, I was thirty about ten years ago when I made my first record, so it was through surfing that my music really evolved and you know, you can surf all day and play music all night so it never gets in the way of either of them.
[9:30] Wow, yeah. It’s pretty easy for you to reconcile the two I guess. Do you have any surfing plans this summer, in addition to touring?
[DF] Yeah, you know, wherever I go if there’s waves I find time to cut out and go get some so you know, when we come through the east coast I’m always looking to see how the waves are, towards the west coast, even through Europe. And we’ve been to Australia, Brazil, New Zealand already and I’ve surfed all those areas while we were touring. It’s always a trip when you’re out surfing and you’re on the road, I heard Metallica was playing in uh, Australia, and it was so funny, I was riding waves out in this spot out in Australia and Kirk Hammett was out in the water and was like “Hey, Donavon!” I’ve always wanted to meet him and we’ve talked about meeting and it’s so funny that I meet the guy, like, not at one of his shows but in the water, surfing, and it was such a trip. So it’s fun to be on the road touring, you never know who you’re going to cross paths with in the water. That was sort of a really neat moment to meet him like actually in the water surfing.
[9:30] Wow, that’s awesome! Well that’s all the questions I had today. We’re really looking forward to having you at U Street, and have a nice day!
[DF] Yeah, right on, thank you so much, can’t wait, see you guys soon!

-Mandy Brownholtz 

INTERVIEW: Donavon Frankenreiter

[9:30] You’ve worked with a lot of high profile musicians, like Jack Johnson and I saw that you have worked with Koool G. Murder from Eels, do you want to tell me more about working with them and other musicians like them?

[DF] Um, Jack, he started my whole career, he produced my first record and signed me to Brushfire, and he took me on the road for two years to open for him, and it was an amazing way to start, and through that process I met Koool G. Murder from the Eels, he played keys and he played on the first album, and then that kind of progressed. He loved playing on my first record and he’s taking me out on the road. Ben Harper played on Pass It Around, an album that came out a few year after the first one. Yeah, just through Jack and through just mutual friends, meeting other people, I’ve been able to really connect and meet great, amazing musicians, and tour with them and share the stage with them. It’s been incredible.

[9:30] That’s awesome. Who would you say your primary musical influences are then?

[DF] You know, it’s weird, I listen to everything. I can listen to Metallica, and then Bon Iver, and you know, Black Keys, like there’s so much great music out there. I listen to all different kinds: blues, rock, I love the Beatles, you know I like pop music, you know, I listen to anything. One of my favorite things to do is play festivals because then I get to run around and watch a bunch of incredible bands and so I’m just as much a fan of music as I am someone who plays it for a living. 

[9:30] Are you playing any festivals this summer?

[DF] Uh, well we just played Bottle Rock Festival, which was incredible, up in San Francisco in the Napa Valley, and we did one in Florida, Tortuga Festival, and there’s a couple other ones coming up here and there. It’s exciting to play other shows with a bunch of bands and listen to what they do, it’s really fun.

[9:30] That’s cool. Let’s talk about your new album. What inspired you on this one, especially since I read that you’re working with a new group of musicians?

[DF] Yeah, well I went in the studio with one of the guys that’s been in the band for ten years, and just me and him, went in and made this record. But after this record was made, the guy who was in the studio with me usually plays the bass guitar, and he ended up, now he’s lied and he’s playing the electric, so I did kind of switch it up and got a whole new band to back us up and it’s been a lot of fun. It’s fun that way to be able, I’m just a solo artist, you know guys that I hire to play with, so it’s good for me at least never to stay, you know you get really inspired playing with other musicians and the way that they interpret songs that you may have written, and the feel, so it’s really great to break it up that way. I was with the last band for six years, so it’s a lot of fun, and it’s been fun on the road with a new group of guys on stage. Some guys have been with me for a while but on new instruments, and sort of a new take on songs we’ve been playing for a long time.

[9:30] Awesome. Okay, yeah, I read that you’re also a professional surfer. How does that, how does your career as a surfer enhance or impede your career as a musician?

[DF] Well it’s never impeded it, it’s only enhanced it in so many ways. You know, the acoustic guitar you can bring anywhere, which I did, in all my surf travels on boats, airplanes, buses, trains, wherever I traveled around the world surfing I brought my guitar and I met people through my surf travels that played music. That’s how I learned to play music, and that’s how I met pretty much all the friends I have is through my surfing career, and that’s how I met Jack Johnson, you know, whatever it was, twenty years ago. It all came around full circle, I was thirty about ten years ago when I made my first record, so it was through surfing that my music really evolved and you know, you can surf all day and play music all night so it never gets in the way of either of them.

[9:30] Wow, yeah. It’s pretty easy for you to reconcile the two I guess. Do you have any surfing plans this summer, in addition to touring?

[DF] Yeah, you know, wherever I go if there’s waves I find time to cut out and go get some so you know, when we come through the east coast I’m always looking to see how the waves are, towards the west coast, even through Europe. And we’ve been to Australia, Brazil, New Zealand already and I’ve surfed all those areas while we were touring. It’s always a trip when you’re out surfing and you’re on the road, I heard Metallica was playing in uh, Australia, and it was so funny, I was riding waves out in this spot out in Australia and Kirk Hammett was out in the water and was like “Hey, Donavon!” I’ve always wanted to meet him and we’ve talked about meeting and it’s so funny that I meet the guy, like, not at one of his shows but in the water, surfing, and it was such a trip. So it’s fun to be on the road touring, you never know who you’re going to cross paths with in the water. That was sort of a really neat moment to meet him like actually in the water surfing.

[9:30] Wow, that’s awesome! Well that’s all the questions I had today. We’re really looking forward to having you at U Street, and have a nice day!

[DF] Yeah, right on, thank you so much, can’t wait, see you guys soon!

-Mandy Brownholtz