Sweater Fest ticket giveaway

Sweater Fest : 10 Years of Cheer *ticket giveaway*

Lemme tell you a story about Dave Hanson — the brains behind Sweater Fest and Event Coordinator at Spacebar. The man approached The Vinyl Warhol about giving out some tickets (enter below) and releasing interviews with a few of the bands playing the holiday festival’s tenth year (one with sexy space elves PLEASURES is up rn). He ended up going in and getting six full interviews. Since Sweater Fest is this Saturday, and releasing six full interviews seems like overkill, I’ve taken the best bits from everyone and compiled them into a big Sweater Fest sweat fest. Enjoy.

WINNING TICKETS TO SWEATER FEST IS EASY. SHARE THIS POST ON FB, RSVP 2 SWEATER FEST, & MAKE SURE YOU LIKE TVW ON FB. WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED ON SATURDAY.

What are some of your favorite Florida/local/bigger bands and why?

DONKNG: “We always love playing with our friends in RV and Slumberjack. Not only because they make amazing music but because it means we get to hang out with them and talk shit at breakfast the next day.”

FayRoy: “After coming back from San Francisco, we were totally seduced with the St. Pete music scene. Sonic Graffiti, Veiny Hands, Johnny Mile and the Kilometers, all the roser house bands, etc. are such crazy good musicians and performers and just genuine awesome people. Orlando mirrors that with Someday River, Day Joy, Thrift House, and Saskatchewan just to name a few. There’s also this Long Island band called Lemon Twigs that we’ve been on a kick with. They’re so good, and so young. Came out of nowhere like a slap in the face.”

Jollan (Luckily I’m The Hunter): “Antarctic is my favorite band from Florida and one of my favorites of all time. They have only released one album, but it’s this amazing instrumental album that moves seamlessly to each track and they have definitely influenced me as a musician, especially with the way they play and write.”

What do you hope people get out of a [insert band name] show?

Will (Luckily I’m The Hunter): “We love for people to let the music consume them as it does us. We hope the listeners are delighted by unexpected sounds and song structuring and hope it gives them a new perspective of what music can be from just a guitarist and drummer.”

Cosmic Roots Collective: “A nagging sense of unease and disorientation, with sporadic bursts of ecstasy and an occasional glimpse into the void.”

DONKNG: “Their kicks.”

FayRoy: “Positivity is probably the ultimate goal. Our music may have dark elements but the subject matter usually results in some sort of triumph or realization.”

What advice do you have for people that want to start a band up?

Cosmic Roots Collective: “Go for it! But remember, a career in air conditioning and refrigeration will most likely provide a steadier income.”

DONKNG: “It’s hard work. Being in a band isn’t that different from being on a road trip with three people who usually disagree, to a certain extent, on the destination. It’s about compromise. The results, if they’re from honest intent, are always worth it. But to quote Maroon 5’s hit song ‘Sunday Morning,’ ‘ITS NOT ALWAYS RAINBOWS AND BUTTERFLIES.'”

Jollan (Luckily I’m The Hunter): “It will never be easy if you want to play something original, but don’t let anyone stop you. Sometimes the time has to be right, but as long as you are willing to sacrifice the time and effort, you can do it. Don’t let anyone stop you, even if you have to be a two-piece band. As Shia Lebeouf says, ‘Just do it!'”

Any strange holiday traditions?

PLEASURES: “It’s the only time of year Roger eats cheese.”

FayRoy: “Every year about this time we buy every tickle me Elmo we can get our hands on and hope it becomes a hot commodity for Christmas again. One of these years were going to make a fortune.”

DONKNG: “Matt keeps bringing Mistletoe to all our practices.”

Cosmic Roots Collective: “We wear animal masks … It’s a pagan thing and entails worshiping megaliths, dressing in Druid robes, and ingesting candle wax.”

IRONING: “I don’t think so.”

What are you looking forward to most about Sweater Fest?

IRONING: “I haven’t seen Blair Sound Design in two and a half years, so that’s exciting. Also stoked to experience sets from people I haven’t heard or seen yet before! “

DONKNG: “We’re excited to be sharing a stage with some really cool acts. We actually keep up with a lot of the artists on the bill (FayRoy, Tiger Fawn, Evil Virgins, Cosmic Roots Collective) on social media so we’re excited to finally experience their music in a live setting… Also, we heard that we get free entry. That’s nice.”

FayRoy:  “… hopefully seeing Joey Davoli’s hairy chest. It’s obligatory.”

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FayRoy Take My Eyes Video

FayRoy Barter with Death in the “Take My Eyes” Video

The last FayRoy music video I covered was really mysterious. The visuals were esoteric, moody, and subtle. The song itself, “LIFE OR DEATH,” contained the line “It’s these lessons that we learn can be hard and not immediately clear.” For their just released single and video, the Saint Petersburg duo instead craft a story that is word-for-word translated before our eyes — eyes that are then stripped away by an evil spirit to spare our soul.

Inspired by an episode of The Twilight Zone, “Take My Eyes” tells the tale of two men as they come face-to-face with death himself. Drew, guitar/vocals for St Pete band Sonic Graffiti, begs on his hands and knees before choosing to lose his eyes over his ears. Vocalist Zack Hoag concurs in the chorus, “I’d rather live in the dark, then the thought of living without a song. So take my eyes.”

The other man, played by drummer Kyle Fournier, is kind of like a crack addict but with books. He decides to instead lose his hearing. But as deals with the devil usually go, both men end up dead as death goes on a rampage, killing the band just for kicks.

The Fay-boyz have a few ORL dates in December. Catch them Dec 17 at Sweater Fest and Dec 28 with the reunited Le Blorr, Saskatchewan, and Tiger Fawn at Will’s Pub.

For more Central Florida music follow TVW on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter.

The Nightmare B4 XxXxXMas: PLEASURES (SWEATER FEST interview)

Sweater Fest is an Orlando holiday tradition of epically tacky proportions. Saturday, December 17 marks the 10th itchy celebration as The Milk District is transformed into a celebration of Central Florida music. Encompassing three stages (Spacebar, Sandwich Bar, and an outdoor stage), DJs will share the sleigh with psychedelic space bands; noise duos will toast eggnog with surf rock trios. TVW is previewing Sweater Fest in the form holiday-themed interviews leading to a Ticket Giveaway the week of the event. The first to take a seat on our lap is Sarasota-based Space explorers, PLEASURES. Enjoy.

TVW: How was the response to your horror movie tour? What spurred the creation of that film?

PLEASURES: It was an incredible experience to show the film across the country and the timing was perfect, it being Halloween. It was a great ice breaker at the least and some venues felt like they were built for us. At Ghost in Santa Fe, we played the film directly from the VHS onto their huge projection wall. Seeing the tracking and artifacts that large was glorifying. We had started selling short VHS tapes at our merch table and it was my turn (Greg) to make a video, so I thought it would be fun to make it about our audience leaving the show with the tape they just got. When we realized the timeline would work out in October, we went full ham with a popcorn machine and all. A collapsible screen was built and we brought a small projection crew.

TVW: What are you all up to nowadays and what’s in the works?

PLEASURES: We all took off separately from our last tour date in California and now we’re back home in Florida and getting ready for a bunch of local and semi-local shows. We’re getting excited to start writing a new album with our new drummer/member and see where the dynamic takes our music! We’re also working on a remix album of all the tracks from Fucked Up Dreams Come True, which our crew of friends and the musicians we’ve met on tours have been kind enough to contribute to. It’s called Deluxed Up Dreams Come True. There’s gonna be some other cool stuff on there too like the score we wrote for the horror film.

TVW: What is the songwriting process like for you all? How has that and your overall sound evolved since your band’s inception?

PLEASURES: The songs on FUDCT were written two ways: half by Morgan on a laptop — which we then converted into an organic live song experience by the band — and half as a group in a jam session. I (Katherine) write the vocal melodies and the lyrics that I sing and Greg writes what he sings. There are a couple new songs we’ve been playing out that aren’t on the record, and I’d say the newer material will be different in a few ways. I think PLEASURES will evolve into a band with more musicality and precision and not so much “wall of sound” all the time. But definitely sometimes.

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TVW: There’s a lot of layers and abstract sounds going on with your songs. Without giving away too many secrets can you tell us a little bit about what all is going on musically at your show?

PLEASURES: Pretty much every sound we make is modulated or manipulated by something. We use delay pedals, live looping with a KP3, backwards stuff, random tones, oscillators, stuffed animals, and a fax machine. Nothing we do or use is outside of anyone’s reach though. We just combine it all in our own way.

TVW: What do you hope people get out of a PLEASURES show?

PLEASURES: We try pretty hard to create a separate universe outside of people’s usual internal space for them to hang out in for a while. Hopefully, it’s crazy and stimulating in some way.

TVW: You all are one of the hardest working bands I’ve come across. What helps you stay motivated?

PLEASURES: I feel like once you set personal goals and agree on a certain level you’d like to reach as a band, that’s kind of the only way to go about things. Constantly producing and moving, touring, etc. Moving from local to everything beyond. Plus, if you’re the kind of person who gets obsessed with touring it’s hard to quit that routine. Like the ragged old sailor who comes home only to be beckoned back to the sea by his ocean mistress the next morning.

TVW: What has your experience in Orlando been like as a band thus far?

PLEASURES: Awesome! Lots of friends and fans. Nice scene building up it seems.

TVW: What are some of your favorite Florida bands and why?

PLEASURES: There’s a rad little thing happening in St. Pete — there’s Sonic Graffiti, Veiny Hands, Soapbox Soliloquy, Johnny Mile & The Kilometers, UFO Sex Scene (who recently split up but they were rad), Ask For Tiger, Fictional Friends. They’re all a group of friends playing in each other’s bands and keeping the scene going. It’s motivational. In St. Augustine there’s a rad stoner band called Cosmic Groove. All the sweeties in the Orlando groups like Timothy Eerie, The Welzeins, Someday River, and Slumberjack. We’re also just getting into the Miami scene thing after meeting Cammy from Period Bomb who is a hardworking babe and has been super supportive of us.

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TVW: Got any strange holiday traditions any of you partake in?

PLEASURES: It’s the only time of year Roger eats cheese.

What are you looking forward to most about Sweater Fest?

PLEASURES: I think we’re playing on an outside stage? That’s always fun and interesting. You inspired us to have thrift store sweaters at our merch table with PLEASURES patches sewn on just for this event so that’s cool.

PLEASURES SWEATER FEST Interview by Dave Hanson.

Fat Night Interview

Silent Night, Fat Night (sweater fest interview)

For the past few years, Orlando has shared funk darlings Fat Night with The Windy City, Chicago. The situation is similar to that of a divorced couple with kids. We get them on weekends, while weekdays are spent with that cheating whore. Luck for us, tonight happens to be Orlando’s turn, as Fat Night will be one of the many acts playing Sweater Fest. Dave Hanson (Sweater Fest organizer) and I (sweater aficionado) had a few questions for our Second City sons, some pertaining to Christmas, their latest release (that we reviewed), and that cheating whore I spoke about earlier. Enjoy.

Sweater Fest is TO-NIGHT. Check the lineup and set times here! And read more interviews here!

How did everyone end up in Chicago? What’s it been like relocating and have any new opportunities opened themselves up since the move? What are your hopes for having everyone together up there?

Gabe moved first, a couple years back, to pursue opportunities with The Second City Comedy School. Ted fell in love with the city while visiting Gabe and found a job (quite a few months) after college at a Chicago school. Daniel is still in the process of his move, so it’s still a bit of a work in progress. As of now, we’ve played here once while on tour and had a really great time. If Chicago becomes the place for us, the opportunities seem endless. There are so many outlets for the kind of music we play here, along with being in a more central part of the country, allowing us to explore places we’d love to tour more frequently.

What are the biggest differences in the music communities?

Orlando is so tight knit and centralized. Orlando definitely has a lot of killer musicians and great bands for a city of its size. Chicago has a population many times greater than Orlando, and with that, a staggering number of high caliber, session ready players, be they church musicians or kids that went to music school. There are many great shows and jams every single night and lots of cross pollination between musicians and bands. This can be both inspiring and intimidating as a musician, and both exciting and expensive as a fan of music.  

You guys put out an album called Lazy Days over the summer, how’s the response been to that, and how happy are you guys about how it came out? How has your sound and process evolved since the first release? 

We’ve had a strong, positive response to Lazy Days. It’s gotten more attention off the bat than our debut. We feel good about it too. It’s definitely a step forward from the first album, which had some songs written by us as 19 year olds. We were a little more meticulous this time around, as we were still writing some of the songs during the recording process. So we would do a bit of demoing up front to figure out not only where we wanted to take the structure of the songs, but how we wanted them to sound and feel along the way. With that being said, the vibes feel stronger and more like our own thing, which we’re super proud of.

I think more than most other music, R&B and soul relies heavily on a groove, a feeling, and that feeling is built into a song when the musicians mesh well together. How does this work in Fat Night? Is there some struggle to it? Do you guys give input to each other or kind of just let everyone do their thing?

Absolutely. Ted (bass) & Nik (drums) have been locked in from the beginning. They have really good chemistry and communication when it comes to establishing the back bone of our music. If ever there is a struggle, which isn’t very often, it’s worked out by just expanding upon the idea that someone brings in, or even trying hits on different beats or different parts of beats until a song or section is the grooviest and funkiest it could possibly be. Certain songs may have an instrument (including vocals) playing more of a lead role or being prominently featured, and we all know to stay in our lane and not step on any toes. We have a clear understanding of everyone’s style and usually go into the songwriting process keeping those factors in mind. 

After building an audience in Orlando, do you feel like you have to start over again in a new town?

Naturally, but it’s different. We’re going into something new with the knowledge we have of the past few years of growth we’ve experienced there.

How often should we expect to see you guys back in Orlando? Any plans to do a big tour between the two cities?

We seem to be able to play in Orlando at least four or five weekends a year. One reason Ted took a job at a school was for frequent touring and shows at home! No plans as of right now, but that sounds like a good idea!

What do you hope to see happening in the Orlando music community when you come back? What do you think it needs to grow into something nationally regarded?

I hope that the right people will make it possible for establishing a wider variety of venues in Orlando. Right now there are only a handful, and some aren’t accessible to every kind of show. Although what’s available is great, I think if there are more options, it will be more inspiring for all different kinds of events to start happening. 

Do any of you guys honor any strange Christmas traditions?

We often do an exchange with each other. The gifts have ranged from very thoughtful to very crappy. Sometimes during December shows, we will sneak Christmas lyrics and motifs into our songs, so keep your ears perked at Sweater Fest. 

What are you looking forward to most about Sweater Fest?

The crowd! Last year, everyone who showed up threw down. Will there be egg nog? The TG Lee Factory is right across the street…

SWIMM Interview

SWIMM’s Sweaty Sweater Fest Homecoming

The studio sounds of SWIMM, found on their recent Beverly Hells EP, will leave you swimming freely in an upbeat, feel-good psych rock soundscape. And if you’ve seen them live, you are likely aware that it’s difficult not to move, or dare I say, get rowdy at their shows. They have a contagious performance energy that commonly results in a sweaty mess of excitement and fun times for all. In summary, you’re going to have a good time at worst at a SWIMM show. Previously known as Le BLORR (Bastard Lovechild of Rock ‘n’ Roll), Chris and Adam played raw, stripped-down blues rock. However, as the dynamic duo evolved, thus did their sound. The sounds of SWIMM are rooted in folk rock and psychedelia. They loosely adhere to a pop formula, pleasant to many whilst maintaining both musical integrity and originality.

Hailing from Florida, they made the big move to the bittersweet musical Mecca, formally known as Los Angeles, to advance their craft. Recently, they’ve spent a considerable amount of time touring with noteworthy acts such as Dr. Dog and Bright Light Social Hour, in addition to Orlandian hometown heroes Someday River, who are also playing Sweater Fest 2015.  They bring the weird with an exceptionally ecstatic energy that renders them a perfect fit for Sweater Fest, and we couldn’t be more excited to have them onboard to wrap up 2015 with a bang. Anyhow, we recently conversed via the interwebz to discuss their music, Sweater Fest, and more. This is what they had to say.

For more info on all of the Sweater Fest happenings, check the FB event page, and read more interviews with the band’s at Happy Camper Booking.

I want to start off by saying we are really excited to have you guys onboard for Sweater Fest 2015! In spirit of the sweater season, and for those who may not have heard your music yet, how would you describe the music of SWIMM if it were a sweater? Might it give one supernatural powers?

Thanks, we’re excited to play as well. If I had supernatural powers I would choose to fly, so I’d probably want our music to have that effect … I guess the only issue with that is if everyone could fly they probably wouldn’t stick around for the show, so maybe if it just made people float a foot or so off the ground. That would be pretty tight.

You guys have been touring quite a bit as of late; have you encountered any bizarre experiences or scenarios you’d like to share? Tell us about the weird.

Yeah we recently played in Philly and stayed with our friend Marriane at this creepy old mansion she was house sitting. Back in the 1800s it was a doctor’s office that they performed operations in. We all experienced a strange feeling when walking into one of the rooms on 4th floor and later found out it was the room they performed the operations in. It still had the original sink in it and you could see where it was stained from blood! Needless to say none of us slept in that room.

So part of your live band seems to vary by region; what’s it like playing with an alternating lineup?

It’s been really cool to be able to play with so many talented people that are also our close friends, but it can also be pretty darn frustrating not having a set band all the time. Keeps things interesting to say the least.

As far as I’ve seen, you guys have always put on some pretty phenomenal shows; do you have any favorite songs to perform live?

Thanks man! It kinda depends on the vibe of the night. “Tisk Tisk” is a fun one when it’s a rowdy crowd, but overall I’ve been enjoying “Suddenly.”

So, your recently-released Beverly Hells EP was a hit! I heard you’re already working on a new full-length record as well. How is that going? Anything else we SWIMM fans (Swimmians?) should be looking forward to?

Yeah, we just started working on finishing our full length this week. We’re hoping to have it done early next year. We’re also working on some music videos and getting ready for our residency in LA.

What are your favorite holiday traditions to partake in? Anything strange?

I love Halloween. We have been dressing up as women the past couple years which has been really fun. We were goth girls this year, and last year we were old ladies. I think we’ll make that a tradition.

One more question to wrap up: what are you guys most looking forward to at Sweater Fest 2015?

All of my Floridian friends! That and seeing Someday River’s set.

SWIMM Sweater Fest 2015 Interview by Bobby Hellmuth.