EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS: 2013 Jubilee Music & Arts Festival
We had our ears to the ground at this Jubilee Music & Arts Festival, and caught up with some of this year’s best performers. From Moses Campbell to Black Lips, No to Cayucas, find out who’s working on a new album, who’s gonna be coming to a town near you, and who the bands you love are excited to see themselves.
Sean Solomon, singer of Moses Campbell (@MosesCampbell on Twitter), and Pascal Stevenson, bassist of Moses Campbell (after they played).
The Owl Mag: On your guys’ website, you say that Moses Campbell is a family, what do you mean by that?
Sean Solomon: We grew up together. I’ve known Pascal since I was 15. It’s like the Juggalo family. It’s, is this a text piece?
TOM: It’s a text piece, you can get as dirty as you want.
Solomon: Family, family, family. That’s what we chant before band practice. (laughs)
Pascal Stevenson: Three syllables, though: Fa-muh-ly.
Solomon: Oh, yeah, yeah. And yeah, we all hang out all the time. We all go to school, and we all have jobs and we just do it because we love each other, and we probably wouldn’t be in this band if we weren’t best friends.
TOM: That’s. Awesome. Do you really live with the guitar player [Miles Wintner]?
Solomon: I live with the guitar player.
TOM: I know you guys played Jubilee last year, you guys were great then, you guys were great this year.
TOM: What has happened for you guys between the two Jubilees? What has changed?
Solomon: I dropped out of school to work on cartoons.
TOM: Which cartoons?
Solomon. I work on a bunch of cartoons. I work for a company called ADHD, it’s a bunch of animations that will be on Fox. A cartoon that I wrote is coming out online for them, and then me and Pascal have a web series about ourselves. It’s called ‘Fer Sherbet,’ it’s about two guys in an ice cream truck that sell ice cream to little kids, but they play in a rock band, and they say really inappropriate things to children. We’re making that with Titmouse for their Youtube channel, and then I’m working on some comics. And Pascal…
Stevenson: I got some new shoes since the last Jubilee.
Solomon: Pascal got some new shoes. There’s a lot of new stuff. I’ve moved in with our guitar player, my roommate started Big Joy records, and we’ve been helping him with that.
Stevenson: I moved to Santa Clarita.
Solomon: And we’ve all become angstier, ‘cause we’re getting older.
Stevenson: Yeah, I’m definitely much sadder than I was at the last Jubilee.
TOM: Yeah, you guys had a youthful exuberance last year.
Solomon: We all got each other’s names tattooed on our bodies.
TOM: Nice. Now, how does that work, living in Santa Clarita, as far as being in the band? Is that an obstacle for you?
Stevenson: I just use my car a lot.
Solomon: And he’s late to things a lot, put that in there. [laughs].
TOM: What is it about Jubilee that attracts you guys to keep coming back?
Solomon: The Jubilee is the new Sunset Junction, it’s the new festival to bring people together to have a good time. We really play mostly in Los Angeles, ‘cause we work and we have school, so to play a festival is always superfun, and we always say yes to the Jubilee.
Stevenson: And they have a nice green room.
Solomon: It’s an open bar this year.
TOM: Nice. How does this year’s compare to last year’s, being in a completely different location now?
Solomon: I like this place better now. I like this bridge we got to play in front of [The 6th Street Bridge, which served as a backdrop for the outdoor main stage where Moses Campbell played]. They’re getting bigger and bigger. I expect even better things for next year. We’ll probably be tearing tickets next year, though.
TOM: Now, what’s next for Moses Campbell? What can your fans look forward to in the upcoming year?
Solomon: The fans, let me think. So Julian — our one fan, nah, just kidding. Next we have an album, it’s called Expectations, and it’s coming out on Big Joy records, and we have a bunch of songs that we’re gonna try and record and release in cool, creative ways.
TOM: What kinds of ways?
Solomon: Maybe a seven-inch, maybe on the internet. A book, that when you read the last page, there’s this puzzle that you have to solve in order to download it. Or, we mail you a floppy disk. We don’t really know.
TOM: That’s pretty vintage.
Stevenson: We’re gonna put it in a pod, and you have to inject the pod into your back like the movie eXiztenZ.
TOM: Oh God!
Stevenson: You ever see that movie?
Stevenson: It’s a fucked up movie.
TOM: It sounds pretty weird. Alright, one more question. When he [Sean] climbs up on rafters like that, do you get scared, or nervous at all?
Stevenson: I wasn’t paying attention. I thought it was kind of funny. I was like “Sean’s probably really scared right now, ‘cause he’s scared of heights.”
Solomon: I’m super afraid of heights, and for whatever reason, I decided to do that, and I forgot halfway, and then I got a foot cramp. I got really scared, and the song I was singing was really dramatic, and I got really sad, I had a lot of emotions going on, and I definitely embarrassed myself today.
TOM: No, you did amazing. You guys were awesome, great job.
Cole Alexander, guitarist and sometime vocalist from Black Lips (@theblacklips) (before they played).
TOM: How are you doing? How’s the band going?
Cole Alexander: We’re good. We’re just traveling and recording right now.
TOM: Are you guys working on a new album?
Alexander: Yeah. We started working on a new record.
TOM: Are you working with Mark Ronson again?
Alexander: Not right now. He was kind of busy, and we wanted to start working on it, so we just went ahead. We’ve been working with this guy Tommy Brenneck who also works with Mark Ronson. He plays for the Budos Band, and he used to be in the Dap-Kings. We’re also gonna go in the studio with Patrick Carney from the Black Keys next week in Nashville, and try to see what happens there.
TOM: That’s awesome. Can fans who like Arabia Mountain expect something similar, or is it different, or is it too early to tell?
Alexander: It’s kind of too early to tell, I guess.
TOM: I know you guys have played FYF Fest before, and now you’re at Jubilee. What attracts you to festivals in the LA area?
Alexander: I like it when they’re outside. I think we did one before that was like, “downtown” Downtown, and I like to be outside in LA.
TOM: What other bands are you guys excited to see today?
Alexander: Bleached, Trash Talk. I wanna see Riff Raff, I think he’s tomorrow.
TOM: That’s cool that you guys have interests in different things.
Alexander: Yeah, we brought Riff Raff to Atlanta one time and played with him, it was fun.
TOM: What do you guys have in common with Riff Raff?
Alexander: His stuff’s out of this world, so it’s hard to compare, but I just appreciate his stuff. We actually do wanna collaborate with him, but we just gotta figure that out, ya know?
TOM: Cool. Is there anything else that you guys wanna say to the fans?
Alexander: Yeah, I guess just look out for new record in the fall, and have fun, ya know?
Reese Richardson, guitarist from NO (@No on Twitter) (after their set).
TOM: What’s new in the land of NO?
Reese Richardson: We’re just working to finish up the record. It’s almost done, which we keep saying “Oh, it’s almost done, it’s almost here,” but we’re actually almost done now. We’re getting ready to go to Europe now in a week. We’re gonna do a big festival run, have some fun out there. Basically shop the record around, and get some more fans.
TOM: That’s great. You guys played Jubilee last year, what is it that you guys love about Jubilee so much that keeps you guys coming back?
Richardson: Well, they ask us, that’s a big part of it [laughs], so that’s a good thing. It’s great that they’ve got a bunch of local people around, community-oriented and whatnot. I guess this year it’s downtown, which we’re not as familiar with, but still really cool. Good times, good bands.
TOM: How do you like this location, compared to the previous location?
Richardson: Well there’s definitely more space, that’s for damn sure. I guess, for me, last year was better, ‘cause I live, like, a block away from it. But yeah, this is fantastic.
TOM: As far as the album, do you guys have any idea of when it may come out?
Richardson: Still kind of unsure. We were originally shooting for September, but it all depends on other labels involved and whatnot, so we’ll see what happens.
TOM: Is it something that fans of the EP are also gonna dig, or is it different?
Richardson: I think it’s pretty natural growth. We’ve got some of the EP songs. “Stay With Me” is gonna be on there. We haven’t 100% got a track list, we’ve got a bunch of songs that we’re choosing from.
TOM: Is there anything else you wanna add?
Richardson: Keep listening.
Artist Matt Q Spangler
TOM: Here with artist Matt Spangler. Matt, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Matt Spangler: Yeah, I’m an illustrator based out of San Diego. Went to School at Cal State Fullerton for animation and started doing robots three years ago now, full time. I come out to shows like this to meet people like you, and to come out and have a good time.
TOM: What is it about music that goes well with your art? What brings them together?
Spangler: Well, especially the way music’s going, and how electronic music is kind of now infused in so many other avenues, I think a robot really lends itself well to being associated with music. I did this painting of a robot DJ, and in some ways, it’s kind of my portrayal of what a lot of DJs are turning into. They press play on a CD player a lot of times. The talent is going away from the old school vinyl. It’s more sad to me, that that essence is going away, the talent of really knowing what record to grab at what time, and not having it all beat-matched ahead of time. I like the blending of robots with music, with everything else I like.
TOM: Do you listen to a lot of music nowadays? What do you like to listen to?
Spangler: Honestly, the biggest thing I listen to when I work is NPR. I’m so boring when it comes to artists [laughs]. I like music a lot. It’s kind of the generation of “I stream everything,” like on Pandora. So a lot of the stuff that’s playing, I have no idea who it is, I just have it constantly goin’. But I’d say that 99% of the time, I’m listening to NPR, or the Marc Maron podcast, or Radiolab. Things like that. I work better when I actually have people talking vs music. The amount of time I spend listening to music is so small. It’s the complete opposite of a lot of artists. A lot of artists like music or nothing, but I like talk. I guess because I work at the house, it makes it feel like I have someone there with me
TOM: Have you checked out any of the bands today, or yesterday? Have you had a chance to talk to any of them?
Spangler: That’s the hard part of working here by myself, but I have checked out some of their Spotify pages. There’s some great bands here today. I couldn’t tell you their names offhand, but you listen to them and you’re like “Wow, they actually have a really good sound.” Sure enough, bands like the Drums seem to have a pretty good following, and a good vibe, but I only get to hear them from a distance.
TOM: What is it about robots in particular that attracts you to illustrate them so much?
Spangler: The main thing for me is, I like something as complex as a robot doing ordinary, simple, stupid things. I think the contrast of something so sophisticated, that can walk around and do all that cool stuff, but yet, he’s walking with a boombox like a human, ya know? He’s petting a cat. Things that are really simple everyday things, that we as humans do, but to see a robot do it, it adds a different twist. Some people see different levels of like “Oh, you’re portraying all humans as robots,” and I’m like, “Nah, not really, I just like robots.” They’re really simple and funky. A lot of people say it looks Futurama-ish, very simple, simple robots. They’re just fun to put personality to.
TOM: Anything else you wanna add?
Spangler: Always draw. Never give up. There’s so many people who kind of wanna do it, but they don’t. Just go ahead and do it. If you do it enough, you’ll get there.
Cayucas singer Zach Yudin (@cayucasband on Twitter) (after their set).
TOM: What’s going on in the world of Cayucas?
Zach Yudin: Well, we’re just starting a US tour. Tomorrow’s gonna be our second date. We started in San Diego, tomorrow, we’ll be in Santa Barbara. Then we’re going all the way across and then back to Phoenix.
TOM: You guys are named after a small town in Central California, and a lot of your songs feature imagery about the ocean and the sea. What is it about the water, and specifically Cayucas, that inspires you guys so much?
Yudin: It’s a very interesting place. If you go there, it’s very nostalgic. Nothing’s changed in the last 40 or 50 years. It’s just this old, really cool surf town, and it just felt like a good vibe for the music.
TOM: Yeah, you guys do have some surf and tropical stuff in your music. It’s a really good mix, it has a lot of different variety in it.
Yudin: Yeah, I have so many different influences, that each song is kind of a different starting point. Sometimes it’s a surfey song, sometimes it’s something else, but yeah, each song is something a little different, you know?
TOM: What are some of the other bands that you’re excited to see here at the Jubilee?
Yudin: I’m excited to see the Drums. I’ve never seen them, I’m a big fan. Fool’s Gold were awesome.
TOM: Yeah, they were great.
Yudin: My buddies are in the band No. I saw them earlier, and they were great live.
TOM: Besides the tour, is there anything else that guys have going on?
Yudin: Well, we’re touring the US through the Summer, and then we’ll be going to Europe for a month in September, then we’ll be touring the US through fall.
TOM: Have you guys played Europe before?
Yudin: We did a short, two-week tour, and it was pretty crazy.
TOM: Have you played festivals there?
Yudin: We did a couple, yeah. It’s pretty crazy.
TOM: How does it compare to the Jubilee?
Yudin: Similar vibe, but the fans there might be a little bit more diehard, a little bit more excited to see a band, ‘cause they don’t have shows every day. Well, they do, but not from, you know.
TOM: When you guys are playing, and you see a lot of kids here, and they’re dancing and really getting into it, how does that make you feel?
Yudin: It’s good. It’s really cool to see people singing the lyrics. Audiences always vary, as far as how you perceive it vs. how they perceive it, but as long as there’s people, it’s a good thing.
TOM: Anything else you wanna add?
Yudin: Well, we’re on tour, so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by.