Since Burning Hot Events reviewed Jane N’ The Jungle’s“Shake Me Out” music video in June 2016, immediately following our photo shoot of their music video premiere show, the band has grown by leaps and bounds. It is evident that Jane N’ The Jungle has tenaciously pursued the growth of their visibility, and the quality of their media and productions shows they are not cutting corners. The band is standing out both in image, and in sound, and they just recently released their latest music video, for the track “Wild Side”.
Our interview with Jordan White taps into not only what has helped her band Jane N’ The Jungle to transcend the boundaries of Arizona, but also the personal experiences and growth process for White and her bandmates…
Jane N’ The Jungle has certainly become a recognizable name and sound in the Phoenix music market. Yet, some fans may not realize your growing base outside of your hometown. What do you think has been key for your reach outside of your local area?
Social media has been the biggest part of our growing fanbase outside of our hometown. We’ve been getting radio spins nationally, and our music videos featured on music television channels in the US and Canada that have also helped with our growing fanbase. Spotify is another great way fans have been able to listen to our music and connect through related artists they like.
This current music video “Wild Side” was partially filmed at the Whiskey A Go Go. Was that the first time you had played there?
I played at the Whisky A Go Go twice before with another band I formed out in LA. This was the first time Jane N’ The Junkgle has taken the stage at the legendary venue and opened for The Iron Maidens. It was a blast!!
Was the vision for its charm and neon character of humor thought about as the song was written, or did the vision come about afterwards for the video?
The humor came after writing the song trying to lighten the vibe and keep it fun. We released “Killed Someone” a few months before that, [which] has a very heavy message relating to sexual abuse before the #metoo went viral. We wanted the next video to be lighthearted.
Where does inspiration come from for your songwriting? How personal is it?
Songwriting is my therapy. The words spill out of my mind like a journal and it’s very personal. I appreciate Brian for all his patience during the writing process. I have song melodies constantly going through my head pretty much all the time, so it’s nice trying to focus and narrow down on one thought and theme. I oftentimes don’t even notice I’m singing and humming at work, or at the store, or even when I speak with people; I have songs running in my head it’s hard to shut it out. Maybe one day that will stop, but for now it’s always been my musical inspiration for songwriting with words spilling from my gut at the very moment. Brian has his own inspirations, and with that combined, [it] has formed our music.
Every band has a ‘formula’, so to speak, that they follow in creating their music. Is Jane N The Jungle’s songwriting process lyrics-first, or second?
Our writing process is very organic, and lyrics typically happen the same time as the music, both inspired by the story we are trying to tell musically and lyrically. We have songs that have been written [in] all different ways. When there’s an idea or a spark, you go with it.
The band seems very comfortable on stage and with performing. Was it always that way for each band member, or has being up front in the spotlight taken time to adjust to?
I had horrible stage fright as a child. It took me years to not freeze up and turn ghostly white. I was extremely shy. Overcoming that obstacle inspired my passion for performance. It takes time developing chemistry with each musician on stage. Performance is a very personal space, and the more connected you are with each other and the music the easier it becomes.
The directive the band has taken is really key to success nowadays in the industry – releasing singles with a music video. How many have you done so in 2017, and how has the pace been to keep up with?
We’ve released 4 music videos this year. It’s been a lot of fun working on each one. If you make the work about the music, it quickly doesn’t feel like work, and that has helped with the quick pace of our videos. Music is number one.
Can you give us a glimpse into Jane N The Jungle and 2018?
We are currently working on preproduction for our upcoming EP and can’t wait to share some of the details soon!
It takes a great deal of tenacity, creativity, business savviness, drive and vision in today’s world of entrepreneurship. The music industry is well acquainted with these core elements being a must for artists to obtain their goals.
The fascinating thing, though, is the variety of paths musicians/artists/bands take along the way to find the groove that fits them best. As Randell Swindell moved along his journey, it seems to have brought him full circle to his creative project, his band Swindy.
Musician Randall Swindell tells us about Swindy in a Q & A with Burning Hot Events…
Talk a bit about Swindy and how this idea came about, as the Arizona scene knows your name Randall Swindell for the band Ensphere.
Swindy spontaneously spawned out of ENSPHERE. When ENSPHERE got back together after a few years’ break, we were preparing our old material to perform again. I had a ton of new material that I was bringing to the table – complete songs and a whole bunch of seeds – and my new sound had a much heavier pop influence than the rest of the band was used to hearing from me. I wanted to steer ENSPHERE in a more mainstream and pop-influenced direction, and I gathered that other members of the band had different ideas of where ENSPHERE should go.
The very moment Swindy began was when ENSPHERE was offered an opening slot for Lethal Injektion at the Rialto theater in Tucson. I wanted to say yes to that show, but the rest of the band differed. I decided to say yes to the show offer and throw together a solo act. While I had originally intended on performing ENSPHERE music live with backing tracks, I just went full on with all of my new music. My plan was to go out there solo with my laptop, play my backing tracks, and sing and play guitar by myself. When asked what name I would be performing under, I thought quickly… Swindy, Just call me Swindy.
When I started practicing for this show, I was hanging out with Jeff Sargent of 51 Peg. I convinced him to learn some of the guitar parts and perform with me. He suggested that I reach out to Mike Jenney from Alter Der Ruine and pull him in as a live drummer – and that’s just what I did. We were all excited about the project, and before I knew it we had assembled a new band. From there, we kept getting show offers, and I kept saying yes to them. It felt really good to move at the speed I wanted to. With all the catching up I had to do, it felt good to just say yes.
It has been cited that pop music came heavily into play between the two bands you are affiliated with. How did that influence come about?
When ENSPHERE broke up in 2012, I was devastated. I tried to keep the project going by myself but I could not. Emotionally hurt and feeling a little lost, I stopped caring about what my goals were with ENSPHERE. I was hanging out with different people and I began allowing myself to just listen to the pop music that they were listening to. I opened up to a whole new world of sound, and it felt good – I started singing along with Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Kesha, Lady Gaga, and David Guetta on the radio. These songs sounded so rich and uplifting… I guess I just needed that music in my life at the time. It told me that everything doesn’t always have to be doom and gloom.
Eventually, as I started writing music again, I wanted to see if I could create pop and Electronic dance music – and so I started teaching myself how with my computer. I trained myself to create pop music for a few years from 2012 to 2015. Ultimately what ended up happening was sort of a fusion with my pop attempts and my rock/industrial ROOTS coming together. I just really wanted to broadcast a positive message. I feel strongly that this world needs as much positive energy as possible.
With Swindy coming together and your first music video, “Reflection,” really creating quite a storm nationally in the press – what role has your good friend Mike Jenney (Assemblage 23) played in Swindy?
Mike was there with me from the beginning of Swindy‘s live debut. He is a musician/producer who I have always admired. Our bands played together in the past, and I think there is a mutual respect for one another. Once we started jamming together, we felt the synergy. He began advising me on how to program my live shows, he taught me a lot about electronic music, he showed me the ropes of how to successfully combine backing tracks with live musicians. I learned a ton from him very quickly. We played about 20 shows together and then started writing new music. As it turns out, he and I have a symbiotic relationship when it comes to writing. We complement each other’s strengths, and we developed a process that allows us to quickly generate new songs.
There is a great flow when the two of us are in the studio together. Mike Jenney is a very gifted producer. He will play a beat he came up with, I play guitar for 20 minutes, then we listen back. He cuts up all my guitar lines and starts looping different things in different places. All of the sudden this whole song structure starts coming out. He has a great sense of arrangement and some incredible tools in his bag. Once we realized the chemistry we had together in the studio, we prioritized the writing process. We are currently working together to write as much music as possible. And it is flowing big time – there is just this explosion of new songs coming out right now. And thankfully we have a great process in place to capture it all. At this point, Swindy has evolved into less of a solo project and more of a band. Mike Jenney is absolutely an equal part co-writer in the new music we have coming out in 2018.
Moving forward will there be a building of a relationship between you and Mike?
Yes, we are conceptualizing many different possibilities right now. I will continue with Swindy always. I am super thankful to have started the project, but we may be needing to launch yet another band in the near future! I say that with utter excitement! I will still release solo music as Swindy. I have a ton of unreleased music in my own repertoire. But We are all on to something that needs to come out.
How about other musicians who have become a part of your sound for Swindy?
Jeff Sargent was the original guitarist for Swindy. As momentum picked up, Jeff realized that he was not going to be able to commit full-time, as he is the lead singer of 51 Peg, East Coast industrial band. I brought in Jonathan Russell as a second guitarist for a few shows, but mostly I have just been playing guitar on every song when it comes to the live performances. Mike Jenney started out as a drummer in the band, but he has moved over to the synthesizer position, and he is kicking ass there. Matt Lundgren joined the band as a live drummer early on as well. He performed many of our first shows with us. Matt is a great drummer, and he is still considered part of the band. Steven Escalante joined the band in spring of 2017 and has performed every show with us since his first show. Steven’s hip-hop and drum and bass roots are perfect for the sound I am going for. And he has locked in with everybody in the band. The live band has always had an open policy, and a rotating lineup strategy and members have come and gone frequently. Everybody is invited, nobody is excluded. We had our first live bass player, Matt, join us for a few shows recently.
Last but not least, I met Alyson Precie at a Swindy show in August of 2016. She was singing songs from The Fifth Element. I immediately recognized that she was a talented vocalist. Soon thereafter, Alyson joined me in the recording studio while I was laying down vocals for a cover song we do, “I See Right Through to You” by DJ Encore. She started singing harmonies with me, and the engineer and I were both like “wow! You need to get in the vocal booth right now and lay those vocals down!” She did without hesitation and she nailed it. I got chills listening to her, and I invited her to perform that song with us on stage for the next show. She did and got a great audience response. From that point on Alyson has been a live vocalist with the band, and eventually learned every song. She has such a strong voice and a great live presence on stage. She has expanded Swindy when it comes to the live performances. She also writes her own music, what I would call Goth Folk. Needless to say, Alyson was so amazing I fell in love with her immediately, and now we are married. She continues to assist me with vocal melodies and lyrics. Mike, Steven, Alyson, and I are the core of Swindy right now. We are looking for that perfect bass player.
“Reflection” certainly has a strong emotive side to it. Lyrically and video wise we can relate. Do you like creating strong emotions for fans to interpret or do you like to draw them a clear picture of what you create?
Mostly I like to leave things open to interpretation. For whatever reason with Reflection, it seemed like a really clear picture. When I wrote it, it was just one of those songs that came through on its own. I was trying to put words to my feelings, and the song just wrote itself as I did that. That happens from time to time. Otherwise I mostly just enjoy writing lyrics that kind of describe the feeling of the music, and trying to interpret what it means. Sometimes I bring the lyrics through a refinement process and they tell a story eventually. Sometimes I apply already written lyrics to a new song. Most of the time I want to leave things open to interpretation. I like creating universal music; I like creating things that everybody can interpret and relate to.
Where was “Reflection” filmed?
“Reflection” was filmed in several locations – Texas Canyon, Dragoon AZ; Sweetwater Trail Tucson AZ; “A mountain” in Tucson; and at the Originate Designs studio.
A little comparison if you would from the Tucson music market to the Phoenix market. How are they the same/different?
Tucson and Phoenix are the two biggest cities in Arizona, they both have fairly thriving music scenes. Tucson is the underdog as I see it – less industry, a bit more culture, some cool underground clubs and a hugely eclectic sound that comes from the city. There’s all kinds of music in Tucson – rock, metal, hip-hop, Folk, Avant-garde, Indie, orchestral, electronic, industrial, etc. etc. Tucson is a great place to incubate your musical seeds and a great place to test out projects for larger markets.
When it comes to Phoenix, I see it as the way out of Arizona. Phoenix has the industry, Phoenix has a ton of talent and the connections that musicians need to thrive in the music industry – something that Tucson lacks a little bit. Phoenix is a great city to take those seeds that have been incubating in Tucson and put them full-fledged in the garden where they can grow to their full potential. Phoenix sprouts and grows its own seeds as well, and there is a movement of music coming out of Phoenix that is pretty cool. I see a lot of industrial, metal, rock, and punk rock coming out of Phoenix lately, as well as some more eclectic stuff. Phoenix has some really cool clubs and great theaters and amphitheaters, a much more up-to-date arena, and stadiums. Phoenix is where you need to go if you want to make it out of Arizona.
I don’t necessarily think Phoenix is the best city to live in – it’s a lot of new construction and a lot of cars, but it’s definitely a place to get great work done! Tucson is a great place to be creative. I think those two cities go hand in hand when it comes to the state of Arizona. Phoenix and Tucson work together. Tucson should feed Phoenix, and Phoenix should eat Tucson. Tucson has great food and probably tastes delicious.
What is Swindy looking to create as you drive this sound/movement towards and on into 2018?
We are going to an industrial dance-rock fusion sound – you know, pop, rock, and EDM all in one. Our live set up is definitely specified for festivals right now. We want to hit the festival circuit, to continue building our following – we want to be part of the future. “The future sound of America”. What will that be? Look at what has happened in music over the last hundred years, and look at where it is headed… We are going that way. And it looks really exciting! Technology is continuing to push the envelope in the music industry. We are a part of that, our sound is a reflection of that, our fans are a product of that. We just want to create the best art we possibly can and be as authentic as we can. We are artists, and art and technology have always gone hand-in-hand. I can tell you exactly what our live show would look like if we had a $200 million budget! But that is a conversation for another interview. We work towards that vision every day.
EVENT POSTPONED: “FermataMediaGroupLLC are all about Giving Back to our community of musicians and creators. If we can’t give you value, we’ll adjust and make whatever effort is needed to make it better.
We had an event scheduled for December 3rd in Phoenix, AZ. The Musicians Mastermind Workshop. Sadly due to some issues along with some scheduling conflicts from some of our presenters, we are going to have to reschedule the workshop. We’ll have an announcement later this week on the new date and Phoenix location.
We apologize to all those who planned to attend. We want to make sure that the event would be the experience we had all hoped. We promise that the rescheduled date will give you all that and more.
An email has been sent to all those who purchased tickets. Please check your inbox and contact us with any questions.
Thank you for your support and understanding. We’ll keep everyone updated on the new workshop date as soon as possible.”
There is a very unique event happening in Phoenix on December 3rd for all musicians. The Musicians Mastermind Sessions Program is coming to the Sheraton downtown, bringing professionals from the music industry to collaborate and personally advise a select 25 musicians. This is a great opportunity, especially for those starting out who don’t know where to begin in this age of self-promotion in a digital market. Burning Hot Events was able to learn all the details from Ricardo Luis Cañez, one of the creators of MMS, in the Q & A below…
Tell me a little about yourself and how Musicians Mastermind Workshops got started…
I’ve been involved in music, entertainment since 1980. First as a musician, then DJ. Also during that time, we produced and promoted concerts in the Phoenix area. Other musicians would hire me to create their promotional material and consult on their career path. I’ve also handled event production, have been a keynote speaker on music and marketing, and have helped others with their event businesses.
In 2015, I started Fermata Media Group as an agency whose mission is to help musicians and creators achieve a career that will sustain them artistically and financially. Fermata started as more of a digital marketing company, creating websites and managing social media for our clients. We also connected clients to those in the industry that could help them, as well as offering career advice.
Wow, you’ve been all over the industry. In your opinion, who would benefit most from attending an event like this?
The Musicians Mastermind Sessions Program has been something that we’ve been developing for about three years. We’ve taken 37 years of observing, learning and experiencing both the good and bad, researched the music industry and talked to a ton of musicians in all genres of music to see what was missing for them to succeed. It’s our passion to give back from what we’ve learned. The industry changes practically every day and if musicians don’t understand how to navigate and keep up with the latest music creation technology and marketing techniques, they’re going to be left behind.
Our goal with MMS is to give them a different perspective on how to succeed in an industry that is not receptive to the needs of all musicians; just the ones that they can control to make the most money. It’s time musicians control their own brand, dictate how their music is created, who they’re trying to reach and what steps need to be taken to have a long career and be respected as artists. Indie musicians and Hip Hop artists get it. Be a music entrepreneur, build your support system and control your career.
Any musician, songwriter, producer should attend the workshop. It doesn’t matter what genre, level of experience or age they are. We can all learn from each other. That’s the beauty of a Mastermind. We all share our knowledge and experience so that we all come away better musicians and people. If music is your life and you’re unsure of what the next steps should be, this is for you.
High school and college students should attend to get a better understanding from established musicians and experts on what to expect as they enter the industry. They’ll gain a different perspective that is not taught in schools.
So this is definitely a great place to start. Who are the professionals scheduled to be at this event?
We’ve put together a great set of presenters for this session.
Rene Camacho and JV Collier are professional bassists from Los Angeles with over 25 years of touring and recording experience each. See their bios on the site for the impressive list of artists they’ve performed with. They’ll have stories what it takes to be a musician on the road and the studio and still have a real life.
Jenn Kaye is a communications coach who will get everyone to discover their true “why”. To dig deep and understand why they do what they do. To set a foundation for their career.
Krystle Delgado is an Entertainment Attorney and is also a singer, composer, producer who is a rising star in pop music as “Miss Krystle”. She’ll talk about the legal issues all musicians need to know. Copyrights, trademarks, contracts, etc. She’ll also talk about her experiences as a performer.
Angelina Greer is the owner of NThreeQ Media, a full service marketing agency. She’ll share her knowledge on “Disruptive Innovation”. How to start getting noticed and continuing to move up and create your brand. She’ll give information on how to utilize digital marketing.
Ed Baker has over 20 years in the industry having worked with Linkin Park, matchbox 20, Regina Spektor and many others. Ed will talk about career paths and how to work with a management agency.
Bjorgvin Benediktsson is a musician and audio engineer who has written books on studio techniques. He’ll share his thoughts on setting up a home studio to give your music a polished professional sound.
That is an amazing group with so much experience to share. Can you give us some examples of what will be happening in this busy one day session?
This is a great team to learn from. There will be Q & A throughout the sessions. It will be interactive and fun, without being intimidating. Everyone will leave informed and more confident about the course of their career. The networking alone among the attendees and the presenters is something you can’t get through online courses or just by Googling. This is why we feel that this live setting is best. There’s accountability and support from everyone.
Sounds like a great environment to learn in. What should attendees know before purchasing tickets? Limits or rules?
We’d like to have artists who are serious about learning and advancing their careers attend. Those who value their talent, fellow musicians and audience. Those that want to see music and musicians get the respect and rewards they deserve. Those willing to share and learn.
We don’t want those who think they know it all or don’t respect themselves or their audience. If you can’t share or take advice from others, this is not for you. It’s too bad, because they might learn something. This is our opportunity to give back to the music community. For attendees to learn from our experiences and to motivate young and aspiring musicians and creators.
We are only taking the first 25 musicians who sign up for this workshop. We want to keep it small so that everyone gets the most value from the workshop.
You must come in with an open mind, be ready to engage with all who are there, be willing to learn and then take action on what you experience. Students can get a discount on this session because we want to encourage them to learn from the best. They can bring one parent or guardian with them at no extra cost to sit in on the sessions. We start at 9:00 AM and end at 5:30 PM on Sunday, December 3rd at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel in Phoenix. All the registration details are on the site.
Once registered, musicians can email us a sample of their music, which we’ll play that day to get them more visibility. There are other perks that are on the website. We’ll also be a networking happy hour after the sessions so they can interact with everyone who attends
Our promise to all the attendees is: We won’t waste your time!
I know everyone will appreciate that promise. Lastly, where, when, and how much are tickets? Are there any discounts for students?
Early registration tickets are $595.00 per attendee until November 27th.
After the 27th they are at the regular cost of $695.00.
Student tickets are $495.00, including one adult. A copy of their school ID is required to purchase the ticket.
Again, we are limiting attendance to the first 25 who register. The Sheraton Crescent has special room rates for this workshop.
If you were to work with the presenters individually, it would cost you between $5,000 – $6,000 for their services. We wanted to keep cost down so that everyone benefits from the workshop. We are passionate about creating value to all musicians and creators.
That’s a terrific deal! Anything else you want to mention about the event?
We’re here to help. We’re here to inspire and motivate. We’re here to make an impact. We’re here for all musicians, songwriters and producers who want more control. We are especially here for students who need to know what to expect as they continue on their musical journey. We want to give you a head start, a push, a “lightbulb” moment or two. Details and registration: HungerFeedsTheDream.com/Phoenix
You can reserve your seat to
The Musicians Mastermind & Workshop Sessions (Phoenix)
And make sure to contribute to our Patreon to ensure that Burning Hot Events and Kataklizmic Design can continue to bring you more amazing content!
MRCH is releasing their debut album Reactions on October 12. The duo consists of Mickey Pangburn (Vocalist/Guitarist/Synth), and drummer Jesse Pangburn. Many of their songs have been featured in television shows, such as The Vampire Diaries and Famous in Love.
To celebrate the release of their album, the duo is having an album release show (also their first headline show) at Valley Bar on October 14. Come and party with the indie electronic duo!
Mickey Pangburn tells us more about the duo, their music, plans for a tour, and more in their email interview below…
Tell us about your band name, MRCH… How did you come up with it? Does it have any special meaning?
It’s pronounced like ‘march’. When people march, they have purpose. When people march together, they have a common goal. They step together. We wanted a name that showed we were in music for the long haul. For better or for worse, on the same page. We dropped the “A” because people kept coming across ‘marching bands’ when they’d do a google search of us!
What did you most enjoy about the process of making your new album, Reactions?
The playing. We had no one to answer to, so we could just try out whatever we wanted. The hardest part is calling something ‘done’… We’re already writing more though, so it’s become a vicious cycle.
When you aren’t making music or performing, what do you both enjoy doing in your free time?
Jesse likes eating street tacos. I like hanging with my cats.
Are there any plans for MRCH to embark on a tour following the album release party at Valley Bar on October 14?
LA is next up. Details coming soon on that. Then, yes – touring! We probably shouldn’t hold our breath for Bleachers to invite us along with them… So, we’ll be booking DIY. Dates coming soon, hopefully up through the spring.
Have either of you toured before?
Do you know or speak any other languages?
We wish… I like to dream of being fluent in French.
MRCH formed in 2015, and the two of you were previously members of a local band named The Prowling Kind. What was the motivation to go from a five piece band, to a duo?
Scheduling and goals. It’s hard to wrangle 5 different people/opinions/lives – into sharing a common goal and agreeing on a means of reaching said goal. We kinda had to re-set, so everyone could do what was best for them. MRCH is a totally different animal than TPK musically speaking too.
Did your previous experience in the local music scene boost your success in MRCH, or did it feel like a clean slate?
We felt like we learned so much playing with TPK. Jesse and I went to school for music, but felt like Prowling Kind was kind of like an internship. We booked our first tours, got introduced to the local scene, dealt with the business side of things. So there was a lot we were grateful for from that season. However, MRCH is so different in both sound and vibe that the crossover was minimal. We never made it a goal to ‘take’ Prowling Kind fans. We hoped they’d like MRCH too, but it was a mixed bag of responses. MRCH really felt like starting over. It felt like a clean slate.
Have the Phoenix music and art communities influenced your music and image?
The Phoenix music scene has been really supportive. The thing we appreciate most about it, is really how little they influence our sound or image. There’s such an eclectic and diverse spectrum of artists, we don’t feel inclined to be much like anybody else. We never feel like we’re expected to fit in a particularly Phoenix mold. There’s room to explore here. There’s a lot of freedom.
Name some of your favorite local bands or artists:
There are a bunch, but some are : PAO, Bogan Via, Harper and the Moths,The Technicolors, The Darts, Hex Marrow & House of Stairs.
How has the exposure of your songs on multiple television series helped promote your music?
There’s definitely a broader audience. Showtime, ABC & Netflix have completely different demographics – which is cool. Mostly, it’s allowed us to pursue music more full-time, which is huge. We’re super grateful for this avenue of music in film and television. Someday, it’d be a dream to score something. *sigh*
Anything else you want us to know?
We’re so excited to be playing. Especially this release show! It’s our very first time headlining and we’re working hard to make it extra special.
Do you have a message for your fans coming to the release show?
Presley Woodall is an independent artist and screen printer in the valley. Originally from Indiana with roots in New Mexico and Illinois, her brand Original As Fuck is definitely garnering some attention amongst other regulars on Phoenix’s local scene. With her uncensored drive and tenacity, it’s not only a passion for her. It’s also a message. I recently sat down with Presley on a scorching Friday afternoon in South Central Phoenix over a cold 40 of Mickey’s to pick her brain about what that message is and what keeps her hungry.
When did you establish O.A.F.?
It’s been about two years since I started screen printing. As far as it being my artistic name? Since high school.
How did you get the nickname?
There was a substitute teacher. You know what “O.A.F.” means, right? It’s like a lazy bastard, and I was pretty lazy in High School. So he called me that once, so I looked it up and I liked it.
When did you decide to incorporate the Old English into your logo? That’s probably my favorite part of it.
I know! Me too. I try to make sure it’s in all of my drawings. I’ve just always loved old english. It’s just my style. The Old English “O.A.F.” with “Original As Fuck” underneath it was my first shirt.
So when did you move to Phoenix? Well I grew up in Albuquerque, but I was born in Indiana. We moved to Albuquerque when I was like a year old so I don’t…
You don’t remember any of it? No. Not at all. But then I moved here to Phoenix like right after I turned twenty-one.
How old are you now?
I’ll be 27 next month.
You seem older than that because I feel like you were closer to my age. Like you seem to have your shit together more than most.
Yeah I kinda get that a lot.
What inspired you to get into fashion?
It’s more just getting into screen printing. When I got into screen printing I just loved the process of actually doing it, so I guess I wouldn’t even say I’m into fashion really. Like I love 90’s fashion, but I’m not designing tee shirts or sweaters or anything like that. It’s more just the screen printing that I like.
So do you just come up with an idea, sketch it then decide what you’re going to put that on? Do you just kinda say ‘Ok, I’m going to put this on a shirt, and then on some buttons?’
No, I try to put all of my designs on a shirt. There’s only so much I can do because I don’t have a dope ass studio with like a 6 press machine like I did out in Illinois. So I just have a single press, which means I can’t do all these crazy colors or stuff like that. Like right now I’m in the middle of finding a good paper to use. It’s kind of just about where I’m at, the connection I have at the moment.
So would you say that your process is constantly evolving?
Oh yeah, especially from moving. I had a good connection out in Illinois for everything. Being out here I’ve had a hard time getting people to commit to whatever it is that we’re getting together, for like doing a new vinyl for me, or burning a new screen or whatever. Not a lot of people come through on time. That’s when I’m kind of like, “Peace”, and I’m on to the next; because I don’t fuck around as far as that goes.
It’s definitely hard to find good help.
Yeah. And when everything comes out of your pocket, you have to be super wise about all of your decisions.
As far as what you’re doing now, do you have a mentor? Is someone teaching you this? Who do you look up to in the industry?
My friend Berto. He’s the reason I moved to Illinois, so he was the one who taught me how to screen print. I had followed his brand for a long time, so he was the one I wanted to teach me. I didn’t know the process even though I had worked at an art supply store for a couple years and sold the material for it. So he’s been like my number one fan through this whole screen printing process so from the beginning of O.A.F. and making it into a brand.
How long did it take you to decide that this is what you wanted to do?
Literally the day I learned how to screen print.
No shit… That quick, huh?
Yeah. I knew I wanted to do something with it, I just didn’t know what. I was always making art and other crafty things, and I know how to sew, so I made zip-up bags and just other random stuff like that. So I knew I would do something, but the screen printing and tee shirts that became the bigger picture rather than my crafts.
So you thought to yourself, “I’m gonna put this on a shirt”.
Yeah and other people saying, “you should put this on a shirt”. That’s what pushes me to get into this thing.
That actually brings me to my next question. How do you feel about the valley as a market? Has Phoenix been good to you?
Yeah I’ve gotten a lot of feedback. There’s been a lot of people who have wanted to do interviews with me too and…
You told them to fuck off because you knew you would be sitting down with Burning Hot Events?
Haha, no I still did it. I’ve knocked out a couple of interviews on podcasts and they went pretty well. I’ve met some really cool people. I do first Fridays downtown and the people from Public Image, Kim and Daryll, they hit me up when I first moved out here. I was really promoting myself.
I’ve seen your pics on Facebook before a couple First Fridays, and I’ve loved seeing your stuff. You made some really dope candles that I absolutely loved.
I always try to include new stuff like that. I might make candles every time I go but they’re all going to be completely different candles every single time. Same with the designs. I’m always trying to have something new to bring. I just recently got a promotion at work so that’s what my focus has been for the last 2 to 3 months. I haven’t really done much. I’ve made art but not really any crafts. I haven’t been to First Friday in like 3 months.
I made a cartoon with a buddy of mine. It was a lot of work but we ended up making about 6 episodes but we never made another one because we both got jobs about the same time.
I know! It’s hard to do both no matter what it is. It’s tough and it’s hard to stay motivated. I’ve definitely struggled that in the past from time to time but it’s like they say, “If you want it badly, you’ll do it”. That’s what’s gotten me this far.
So what keeps you hungry? What keeps you driven and doing what you do?
Ever since I was little, I just felt I needed to be somebody that made some kind of difference. I’m not saying I want to be some crazy celebrity superstar or anything like that. I just want to be someone to send out a cool message and help people that way. The “Original” in my logo has a lot of meaning behind that.
That’s what actually drew me to it in the first place. Not only is it a brand for you but it’s also a message. Like, “I’m original as fuck, and fuck whatever you’re doing.”
Right and it’s really rare for people in our society to have that kind of view. There are so many people telling you what to do and what to say and what to look like and you see it on social media being shoved down everyone’s throats and it’s shitty. It’s super shitty. The younger generation eats that shit up. I don’t have to have a 19 year old niece to know that, I just see it everywhere. Nobody knows themselves and you can tell. Because they are so focused on trying to look this way and how to be accepted… It’s just really sad to me because I think life is just being you and figuring things out. I think that’s a really big accomplishment.
I agree. I feel like you have a stubborn tenacity to lead rather than follow.
That would be going against everything I believe in. Nobody is original these days, I mean, it’s fucking 2017. There’s so much art out there that everyone gets ideas from different people and stuff but yes, I try to keep my style as original as possible.
It’s very obvious looking at your art that you have a love for hip hop. Old School. What was your first exposure to Hip Hop?
I’m the youngest of five. My older sister babysat us a lot when my mom had to work. She always played all of the good shit. I remember listening to it in my carseat. Like I didn’t know what they were talking about, it was just literally music to my ears, ya know? That along with the other stuff my dad played, and the stuff that my mom played. He was more into rock. Tom Petty and Joe Walsh.
It’s actually an entire genre called “dad music”.
Right! It has it’s own Pandora station haha
Notable successes? Failures?
There’s been a lot, even with just screen printing. Just little things. I don’t know how many tee shirts because screen printing is messy as fuck and I’m still not really that great at it. I just… Try to wing it as much as I can. It’s hard to learn new apps to do my digital art. And then you have to vectorize and pay for THIS program and… I’m still failing and I’m going to be failing even if I become “something big”, we’ll say. I think that just doing it in the first place and having the balls to get into it and do it and keep doing it even though I may not be able to afford some stuff right now.
I feel like I’ve come a long way just doing it myself. I feel like I’ve come farther than some people that have had a helping hand throughout the whole entire process. But that’s like you said earlier, ya know? I’m hungry. I’m hungry for getting this message out and seeing if more and more people will relate to it.
And how do you handle those failures or setbacks?
I have to smoke a bowl or I have to have a beer… Go for a drive? I don’t know. Do another piece of art because that’s what calms me.
So what’s next for O.A.F.?
I would like to get more into the designing of my clothing. I’m really into the 90’s style so I would definitely love to bring out some kind of cool color-blocked sweaters, tee shirts, and bucket hats; and anything else 90’s related. I would just want to design them. It’s just the point of doing a business plan and pitching my idea to some of these manufacturers and making the next big move.
Let’s say that you come to these manufacturers and that money is no object. What is your ultimate goal for O.A.F.? What are your aspirations?
I just want to have it out there for as many people as possible. I’m a private person and I’m not going to let it stop me from my brand becoming something big. I definitely put myself in uncomfortable situations. Not that I’m uncomfortable at the moment, but you wouldn’t find me being this open with anybody right now. I don’t care to tell anybody anything, even with my brand, so I would like for it be something as big as it can be but I’m not going to compare myself to any of the brands that are huge right now. I just want it to be as big as it can be without me personally being out there in the shine. I don’t want people to look at me before they look at what I have to offer, my message and my art.
I was talking to this girl one time and I telling her pretty much everything I’m telling you… And she says, “Oh! And you’re pretty so that’ll help!” And I was like, “fuck that”, I don’t want people to look at what I look like. I have a lot to offer other than what the fuck I look like. I hate to think that people look at that first before they look at the other shit that really matters.
So in the grand scheme of things, how would you feel about seeing O.A.F. merchandise at Target?
That would be cool. That would be way cool.
It would probably barely sell… I know, dude! I’d have to change the name.
“Mommy, I’m original as fuck!”
Yeah, I would definitely have to get them to NOT put the name on it unless the world just dropped some acid and tried to be open-minded fuckin people about the name. I don’t know what the fuck has to happen. I’m just pushing it as I go. It’s just my journey. I’m not in any rush to become something. I’m just pushing it as much as I want, when I want. That’s just the way it’s going to be until whatever comes.
So, we’re getting to the fun part of the interview now…
Top 5 artists and songs. Your deserted island mixtape. If you were going to die…These are the songs you want to hear. What’s your flavor?
That’s like when somebody asks me what my favorite color is. It’s almost impossible to answer, being an artist and loving music so much. Like am I going to die if I don’t answer this?
It can be less than 5 if you want.
How about just artists? Because songs? That’s tough.
Ok, fine. Just artists.
I’m a really big Tom Petty fan for a lot of reasons. Mainly because it just brings back to childhood memories and there’s a song for every fucking situation.
I think “American Girl” is the quintessential American rock and roll song. You just think cheeseburgers, muscle cars, and electric guitars.
Mine was “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”. I knew every word to that song at a young age even though I didn’t really even know what it was about until, obviously, I started smoking.
So Tom Petty. Who else?
Pharside. Definitely Pharside.
Pharside is fuckin dope.
Probably TLC as well. They’re females so I gotta give them props.
I still remember the first time I saw “Creep” when I was 9 years old. I’ll never forget those silk pajamas.
Dude, I’m going to be that for halloween! I’ve been trying to do that with my sister for the longest time but I think this year we’re going to do it because we found our third musketeer. We all gotta be TLC. I don’t give a fuck what you guys had planned. It’s an easy fucking costume, it’s comfortable and we’re just gonna do this. I’m gonna be Left Eye. I already called it and I called it long ago.
So Tom Petty, TLC, Pharside… And who else?
Ok so… What is a Led Zeppelin song that just hits you?
“When The Levee Breaks”
So we’re at 4 now. I’m having a hard time because I think I stopped liking music since about 1997.
If it’s less than 5 that’s cool too. Obviously Hip Hop is your preferred genre. What comes second after that?
Classic Rock for sure.I ran into my dad at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert once!
You can follow Presley’s O.A.F. page on Facebook and on Instagram for updates on First Friday appearances and new merchandise. And make sure to contribute to the Patreon to ensure that Burning Hot Events and Kataklizmic Design can continue to bring you more amazing content!
Post Animal burst onto the scene in 2015 with their album Perform the Most Curious Water Activities. Ever since then, they have been working hard releasing more music including their psychedelic hit, “When I Get Home”. “Special Moment” is their latest release. The psychedelic-rock band hails from Chicago and consists of Dalton Allison, Jake Hirshland, Joe Keery, Javi Reyes, Wesley Toledo and Matt Williams.
Dalton Allison (Vocalist/Bassist) tells us more about the band, music, tour, influences and more in their email interview below…
What brought Post Animal together, and how long has the band existed?
Originally Matt, Jake and I all met in Chicago through mutual friends back in 2015. We were lucky enough to have all ended up being in Chicago at the right place and the right time and just kept adding onto ourselves when we found somebody who we loved playing with.
What influenced the band name? Were there other choices before ‘Post Animal’ became the final one?
I’m sure we had a bunch of names being thrown around before but Jake used ‘Post Animal’ to describe an idea that came out of a book a friend was reading while we were hanging at his family’s farm house and we never felt a need to change it since.
If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?
You just started your current headlining tour on June 1st. What aspect of the tour are you most excited about?
I think we’re all excited to travel across the USA and into parts of Canada. There are a lot of places on this tour that none of us have ever been.
What are your favorite songs to perform? Is there a certain lyric from any of your songs that is especially meaningful to you?
I think we all really like to play the newer songs because the writing has been much more collaborative, but a lot of the lyrics are more individually specific in a vague way, if that makes sense, so I’m not sure if there are any choice lyrics. We all love to back each other up though so even if it doesn’t mean much to us individually the connection is still there as a group.
Having played in Tucson, was playing in Arizona different than playing anywhere else?
At this point in time we’ve only played in Tucson but from what we’ve seen people are very nice and hospitable. We’re very lucky to get the opportunity to come back and are ready to rock with everyone again.
Is there anything about working in the music industry that caught you by surprise?
We still have a lot to learn about all this so pretty much everything at this point is a surprise. There are a lot of things that are going on behind the scenes that we never really knew about so we’re very lucky to have friends that are guiding us along the way.
With your guitarist Joe Keery playing the role of Steve Harrington in Stranger Things, how did the success of the TV series affect the band?
The series has affected the band in a very positive way and we’re thankful for all the support we have gotten from people who were introduced to our music by his role in the show.
What past and current artists/bands inspire you?
Between all of us there are a lot of different influences but I think some of the shared are: The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Stevie Wonder, Ty Segall/Fuzz, Pond, King Gizz, Oh Sees, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Metallica, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Heart,
She’s been a best friend of ours even before the band and we’ve always been wowed by her art. She has a real unique art style and we can just throw an idea at her and it comes out as a masterpiece. She’s done all of our album and merch artwork so far and we couldn’t be happier with her work.
What aspects of life influence your music the most?
I think emotions are definitely the cornerstone of music. The way that feelings evolve depending on your current state and the way that they change with personal growth and experimentation has been the biggest influence on most of our music. That being said, we definitely aren’t trying to take ourselves too seriously and are glad that we get to use our band as an outlet.
What is your favorite part of the music process and why? (i.e songwriting, recording, touring, performing, etc.)
We all love writing and recording but I don’t think anything quite tops performing live to a responsive crowd. There is something special about all standing on a stage together and plucking, yelling, and banging at the same time while people watch.
What would the ultimate success for Post Animal look like to you?
I think all we really want out of the band is the opportunity to travel and perform for people. We are humbled by the opportunities we’ve had so far, so if we could make a living out of it on any scale that would be more than we could have ever hoped for. Playing the festival circuit would be a dream.
What do you plan to do after the tour is over?
We have a new album we’re trying to get released sometime this fall and then we have some new ideas we’re ready to try out for some new material after that. I think we’ll take a small break at the end of the summer to cool off but we’re definitely excited to keep things going and try to make the most of the opportunities we’re getting.