Category: interviews

Cool Boy talks influences, beginnings, his deb…

Cool Boy talks influences, beginnings, his debut EP, and more

January 31, 2018

Photos by William Sheepskin

Zachary Zonomessis has just launched his solo project in which he goes by the name Cool Boy. We previously got to know Zach as one-third of the indie rock band Youth Gallery. This time around he’s Cool Boy and just a few days ago he shared his debut EP ‘Midnight Gentleman’ via Zonosphere Records. The EP features 5 songs that carry catchy pop melodies, dreamy guitar riffs, and a collection of teenage narratives. The project first emerged after Zach made a move from his hometown of Cape Town, South Africa to London, England. We caught up with Zach and talked about the EP, his influences, future plans, and more.

To start off I’d just like to ask, how did the name ‘Cool Boy’ come about for this project?

The name Cool Boy came from a fan, yeah a fan that blows wind haha. About 6 months ago when I came across to London, the place I was staying at had a fan in the room, an old retro one. It was silver and blue and said big on it Cool Boy. So when I started coming across this new sound I had, I just looked at the fan and thought might as well call it Cool Boy. The orange circle came from the London Overground and oranges. I’m trying hard to keep the theme of Cool Boy high so whenever someone sees an orange circle they think of Cool Boy. 


You just recently moved from Cape Town to London, did this project start in London? If so has the move influenced your music?

Yeah, 100%. Cool Boy started in London and the move defiantly brought this new sound out of me. 

Can you tell me a little about the music scene in South Africa and how it differs from the scene in England?

The music scene in South Africa is very small, its much harder to make it and stand out, it’s also very clicky. So everyone knows everyone haha. London music is on the next level, so many places to gig and people to meet, also the connections are everywhere, you kind of just need to put yourself out there.

Why is this EP titled Midnight Gentleman? 

I had so many names for this EP,  that I left naming it to the last minute and when it came around to naming it I actually just put all the names I had into a Wu-Tang name generator and got Midnight Gentleman. It fit so perfectly and described the EP as a whole the best way possible. 


Musically who would you say your influences are on this EP, what was the recording process like, and how would you describe your sound?

I take influence from almost every artist I listen to. But I can say that I was listening to some Toro Y Moi, Matt Corby, and Frank Ocean. I try not to listen to that much music leading up to recording, I feel it helps me come up with melodies. I recorded all the demos in my room in London and then did the final recordings in Cape Town. I like to bounce between places, adds some texture haha. Describing the Cool Boy sound is a hard one, Its like a bedroom party with heartbreak and indie hit playlists on in the background haha.

On this EP what inspired you the most lyrically? Are the songs connected in any way in terms of their theme?

I feel like the EP does have a theme throughout it, I refer to some stuff in more than one song. Also when writing, I plan to write an EP or album and then go from there, I’d not really just write one song, I have way more fun building a project.

Can you tell me a little about the video for London Room? How did it come about and what is the idea you had behind it?

I worked with two artists (Albert Riera Galceran & Reuben Beren James) and there production team (Adeo Studios) to do the video. We worked a lot on the theme and idea and made sure there was a story to it. The whole video was based about the song and the lyrics and meaning behind it. I don’t really want to give everything away, I really enjoy people finding there own meaning in the song and video.

Where would you like to take this project next? Will there be any upcoming releases, shows?

This is just the start of Cool Boy. There are new releases coming and shows. I can’t say when because of all the logistics, but sooner then you think.

Anything else you’d like to mention?  

My band Youth Gallery is also still working on new releases and shows. We have new music and content coming soon. I’m working hard on keeping the two projects separate and making sure they can stand on there own. I get different levels of joy working on different projects. With Cool Boy I do everything, the music is 100% what I want it to be and with Youth Gallery, there are 3 minds working together to make something everyone likes which has its fun in it too. But yeah 2019 is going to be a big year!

Follow Cool Boy on Instagram here

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Dream Chief’s Luke Tuttle talks tour with The …

Dream Chief’s Luke Tuttle talks tour with The Band Perry, modern influences and Indianapolis

Michael Cottone

November 14, 2018

Indianapolis based electro-pop duo Dream Chief – consisting of cousins John and Luke Tuttle – have become one of the city’s most intriguing up and coming acts in recent years. Dream Chief have released a handful of singles since their origin, displaying introspective lyrics and catchy rhythms. Their most recent single “Can’t Get Enough” released in late October mixes elements of dance and confessing lyrics. While it’s a formula used often in music today, Dream Chief achieve the sound in a way that sounds fresh.

I got a chance to sit down with Luke and discuss different topics related to Dream Chief, including their recent tour with The Band Perry, lyrical and modern inspirations, and the city of Indianapolis.

Michael Cottone: So to start off I thought it’d be appropriate to ask how you and your cousin John brought Dream Chief to fruition and what inspired it to come about?

Luke Tuttle: Well John and I have been super into music since we were little kids, it was always a big part of our dad’s lives. We grew up playing together, he played guitar and I would play piano. At first my Grandma would have us play stuff at Christmas, fun stuff like that, but as we got older we continued to play shows together at the Hoosier Dome under the name “John & Luke,” it was hilarious. That was like sophomore year of high school, but when we got to college ages we were like “let’s do this for real and make what we want to make,” so three years ago was about the time Dream Chief became a thing.

MC: Your music’s themes often hone in on certain emotions and states of mind, but what would you say inspires you lyrically?

LT: So I can be very like, neurotic sometimes, and it can be very frustrating. Sometimes you can’t stop thinking about something, so John and I’s writing styles are different because mine is kind of just to let it all out, let your feelings dominate the music. When I write something, it comes from past relationships, or I’ll describe thoughts about my general state of mind at a certain time. Looking back on the song “Payphone” I think to myself “would I write that again?” and I really wouldn’t, but when I wrote that I had a whole setting in my mind and everything. I didn’t know if it would make sense to people, but I just wrote it because my mind chose words that described the feeling.

MC: So you just let it flow out.

LT: Exactly.

MC: So right now your guys’ discography is very spread out having single after single come out periodically. Is there a strategy you guys have to what song gets released when or have a certain time in mind?

LT: Well as you know, it’s a singles market out there right now because of streaming, but I think our next move is to put out an EP probably. We’re going to get a lot of weight behind “Can’t Get Enough,” and push that hard. We have a video for that one done that’s being edited, once that’s out the push will start. But to answer your question, it has being single after single because after “Can’t Shake U” came out we got mixed up in some talks with a label. So we were making a lot of songs on the DL, and we would show them these songs we would make and that’s why there was a gap between “Can’t Shake U” and “Novacaine.” Right now we’re just releasing stuff when we can, but our next effort is an EP.

MC: That’ll be exciting!

LT: Yeah, and we’ve got a lot of songs that are ready to go. Owen Thomas (manager) told us that we should take time to release songs and choose what we really want. Like if we’re about to release a song and something better gets written, and you want to release that instead, ya know? You got to account for things like that. John and I also watched this interview with Diplo I think where in essence he says that he had written 500 songs or some ridiculous number, and he had released them and he doesn’t look back or question it. Because if you sit on something for a long time you don’t get as stoked about it anymore, ya know?

MC: Yeah, like if you keep looking at something new it just loses its excitement.

LT: Exactly, and you’re in a different state of mind and are on to new ideas.

MC: So what artists inspire you two collectively?

LT: I would say Empire of the Sun is a huge one for both of us. I know for me I think Travis Scott and Vince Staples are the two hardest rappers in the game right now. A lot of oldies inspire us too though, like America, ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), Supertramp inspired my keyboard play a lot, Disclosure’s up there too.

MC: I hear a lot of Disclosure in your guys’ stuff.

LT: Right on, that’s actually sick. There are a lot of players in that house, underground area.

MC: The electro-pop scene.

LT: Yep, exactly.

MC: So what do you think being from the city of Indianapolis has done for you guys as artists?

LT: I feel like we’ve had a lot of support from the Fountain Square community, especially the Hi-Fi. The guys at the Hi-Fi really got behind our stuff and started graciously letting us open up shows for certain artists that we would fit with. That was really cool because those shows got us really good exposure and have gotten us lots of new fans.

MC: So is Fountain Square the spot local bands should be looking toward for opportunities?

Oh, absolutely. That’s where it’s at right now. There are other random joints in the city that support music and put on shows that are really cool. But that whole MOKB community is really prominent now. I’m not really sure what the Hoosier Dome is up to these days, is it still metal shows mostly?

MC: I believe so, ahahah.

LT: Yeah, that was kind of the culture when we first played there.

MC: So how was your guys’ opportunity to tour with The Band Perry a few weeks back?

LT: It was an absolute blast. That was our first, like, actual tour. We had booked shows regionally and locally but that was the most extensive it’s been for us. They were really nice to us and it was very new for me and John.

MC: How did it come about? Did they come to you or did you go to them?

LT: Owen Thomas does creative direction for the Perry’s for a good while now with Absorb. And about a year ago I went to visit my sister in LA and they invited me over. They had this place in A Thousand Oaks right outside Malibu, and I went over and hung out, got to see some of the stuff they’ve put out. Owen introduced me and showed them our music, and they had already been talking about doing a little tour, 16, 17 dates, something like that. They had to ease back into the scene since they had been out of it for a little while, and they’re like a whole new band now. Seeing them live was awesome, but there were always these very country fans that got confused at the shows. I thought it was cool because they weren’t afraid to switch genres, because there is a lot of hate that comes with it. But at the same time, do you want to make music you hate just to satisfy the masses?

MC: Exactly, you got to keep it authentic and true to yourself.

The road ahead for the Dream Chief boys is certainly bright. You can stream their new single, along with the rest of their discography here.

Meet Exek, Melbourne’s Most Eclectic TroupeMax…

Meet Exek, Melbourne’s Most Eclectic Troupe

Maxwell Denari

October 30, 2018

Beyond what we already know about the Australian music scene, there are plenty of diamonds in the rough. Arguably, some of the groups that would qualify for this kind of description are some of the most rewarding sound manufacturers of the current moment. None better than Melbourne’s Exek, who have released two sonically different yet synonymously enthralling records this year.

“Ahead of Two Thoughts” and “A Casual Assembly” are two projects that appear so foreign on the surface, though, make complete sense based on the wholly different and enthusiastic approach to music that Exek procure through every track. The anxious slew of spoken word on “A Casual Assembly” is eerily captivating in partnership with the intricate drone of sound in the background of every tune. Conjuring the feeling of a soundtrack to a melancholic storybook. “Ahead of Two Thoughts” is a separate kind of beast. Filled with groovy, gummy basslines that wooz you into a haze of movement. There is an expert kind of musicianship involved when a song makes you want to dance, yet makes you feel isolated at the same moment in time. Exek have succeeded in bringing such emotional conflictions into the totality of their sound… and are truly making it their own.

With all this being said… I recently had a chance to talk with one of the members of Exek, Albert. Speaking briefly on a handful of different things… from what they have witnessed since touring through the US this past month, to what Albert deems some of his inspirations to be.

Maxwell: So, to start… who all makes up Exek… and how did you all come about forming the band?

Albert: Exek was formed about 5 to 6 years ago. I had a sound in mind and needed to get it out of my head and record. Got a crew of misfits together and that obviously helped with playing shows. Several different members over the years makes it fresh for me and the audience.

Maxwell: How has Melbourne’s music scene been an influence on you guys as musicians?

Albert: Melbs enables us to play shows. Cos there’s such a massive scene and so many venues. Even though we don’t play live much. Much rather stay in the studio. But the attitude there is great. It’s very competitive cos there’s so many bands. Some good. Some great. Some shit.

Maxwell: Who are some Aussie bands that you all think deserve more recognition over here in the states?

Albert: Essendon Airport. Pretty much anything that Phillip Brophy was affiliated with. Criminally underappreciated.

Maxwell: With that being said… who are some collective artists/bands that you guys have taken inspiration from… in terms of the sound that you all create as a group? Who are some artists you lot have been listening to recently?

Albert: As above. Also, any of Geoff Barrow’s work. Lately all I’ve been listening to is hip hop. Got to see Tommy Wright lll as we both played ‘Cropped Out’ in Louisville. He’s amazing and such a nice guy.

Maxwell: Going back to local music… what are some things that you’ve seen throughout your tour in the US that are different/similar to the local scene in Melbourne… as well as around Australia in general?

Albert: Melbourne is an over privileged city where political correctness is its dark overlord. I like it in the states where no one gets crucified if a bill is all white dudes. I never have and never will give a fuck about who is making the music. It’s not important. And it’s a real shame that sexual and racial labels play a part in people lives. If the music is good, that’s all that matters.

Maxwell: Speaking of music… you guys have released 2 projects in 2018 alone… how often are you guys writing and recording music? Is it easy to find time on the road to write and develop songs?

Albert: No writing on the road. No need as we have a new record that’s finished and should be released around March. And the follow up to that is written and sequenced. It’ll be recorded once we get back to Australia. Might start writing LP5 next year.

Maxwell: So, what is next for the likes of Exek?

Albert: Europe tour 2019!

Exek finishes their tour October 31st in Los Angeles @ Teragram Ballroom alongside Thee Oh Sees and Prettiest Eyes.

Be sure to check out Exek’s two releases from this year on their Bandcamp or any streaming service.

The Revolution According to grandson

The Revolution According to grandson

Sarah Beckford

June 8, 2018

When you first hear grandson’s music, it’s clear that each note is part of a story and the steps towards a reckoning. His music is raw, open, and honest, and though each song cuts to the heart, each song sparks thought and discussion. Over the past eight years, grandson, born Jordan Benjamin, has been making music that is distinct, to the point, and emotionally honest about our world today. Recently, I had a chance to speak with him about his music, our world, and his journey as an artist.

For grandson, music wasn’t a hobby nor was it a distant idea- but as he says, it was always a natural extension of who he is. At the heart of it, grandson is a storyteller, who blends genres like hip-hop, electronic, trap, and rock ‘n’ roll as the setting for the stories of his fans, the grandkids, as well as the climate of the greater world surrounding them. Stories are part of the driving force of his music, and each story has a moral and a point to it.

“From a songwriting standpoint, what inspires me is being a young person in what feels like a very critical juncture in the world, in Western culture. You know I think that the climate politically, and tension that is underlying so many different conflicts environmentally, societally- and how our relationship is to one another, it feels like there’s a real urgency there…The stories of these grandkids really inspire me to continue to write songs, the sorts of pain we all are dealing with, the sorts of vices we all turn to, and those stories shared with me by grandkids old and young really propels me to write the kind of music I write.”

With grandson, his music not only reflects the momentous times we are in, but essentially, the heart of his music is telling the stories of his fans, and the larger tapestry of experiences it makes up- and that responsibility in this time is something he doesn’t take for granted.

In speaking of music that is conscious of our nation and world, one can look at grandson’s music and see that he has something to say about the world, and he welcomes a discussion concerning the issues he sings of. In his songs like ‘thoughts and prayers,’ and ‘War,’ you can see that he isn’t afraid to speak of gun control, racism, and the need for peace. It is this boldness that sets his apart, and what keeps him going. And yes, it is this courageous honesty that is raw and electric, and it should be celebrated. Grandson doesn’t sing as someone who is unsure, but as an artist with an authority and drive to make a marked difference.

Inspired by other storytellers and from a number of genres, like Bill Withers, Bauer, Ray Charles, Nirvana, and Skrillex, grandson’s catalog echoes that of politically and socially conscious artists whose art was intentional in pointing out the setting it was made. “Most artists that stand the test of time are speaking on issues that are relevant to the time they were making their art… I think that it’s relevant, always, and I think that as long as there is rock and roll, there will be protest music.” Grandson makes protest music that echoes each of these influences, and their art can be heard in his music as he fuses these genres that form his sound. When one does make music as he does, it does open a larger conversation concerning the intersections between art and activism. As for those who disagree, he welcomes them to go to a live show, to witness the palpable energy, passion, and release that is shared between him and his fans.

But grandson’s music reaches beyond the story. He wants for there to be discussion, release, and for people to come together. But ultimately, it’s about sharing what’s changed his life and inspired him. “I want to inspire as many people as possible can with this life I have. I want to travel around the world, and affect people from all sorts of backgrounds, and I want to empower other people to find their voice, whether it’s running for office, starting a band, or just writing in a journal. These are the sorts of outlets that have changed my life, and all I could possibly want for my life is to provide other people with those tools to feel in control of their destiny, and I wanna rock out!”

As for those who want to make music, he offers his wisdom as well. “My biggest piece of advice would just be to figure out the why, of why they do what they do…You can find your team, you can find your family, but you need to first have to have that why.” For there to be impactful art, there must be an honest vision, and to stay honest, he advises to simply just be honest. And that in itself, that defined vision, in conjunction with passion and honesty, is a revolution all on its own.

grandson’s debut EP a modern tragedy vol. 1 arrives June 15 via Fueled By Ramen.

Dex meets Dexter: The deserved household name …

Dex meets Dexter: The deserved household name project of the year

Brian Rhatigan 

Illinois rapper Dexter Gore Jr., better known as “Famous Dex”, released his first full-length studio on April 6. The highly anticipated album was greeted with much acceptance, but that doesn’t mean Dex met some uncertainties along the way. I was able to ask Dex some questions about the road leading to his album, and what made the album what it really is.

Most people know Dex from his background in the SoundCloud rap scene, and some would even say (including himself) that he made the scene popular. “First off, I started this wave [of SoundCloud rap]” says Dex. On the contrary, even though he may be one the most well known “SoundCloud rappers”, he doesn’t give himself credit for actually defining SoundCloud rap. “I don’t think I changed what it means to be a SoundCloud rapper, I just got bigger, my music reaches more people than ever before.”

Prior to the release of his album, Dex released a single that broke into the viral realm significantly fast. ‘Japan’ was not only applauded for its lyricism and beat, but also for the aftermath of the song. ‘Japan’ was actually translated into an Instagram “challenge”, started by Roy Purdy. The challenge is to pretty much see who can do the specific dance to the song the best. “My boy Roy Purdy started that wave” says Dex. “That was all him, so I’m grateful everyone else is picking up and it’s spreading like crazy.”

One connection between SoundCloud rappers and mainstream success is features. Many growing rappers have worked with mainstream rappers to get their big break. For example, Lil Pump has worked with artists like Chief Keef and 2 Chainz. Dex, on the other hand, has worked with artists like ASAP Rocky and Wiz Khalifa (he also has an online relationship with Erykah Badu). “I love them both, but Wiz is my favorite,” he says. “He told me to put down the lean and focus on my music. That’s exactly what I’m doing!”

After the breakthrough of so many rappers from the SoundCloud scene, many are wondering who will be the next big thing to hit a big break. Well, according to Dex, that just may be Jay Critch. “Nobody got the wave and bars in my generation like Jay Critch… nobody can touch his talent.” Dex also says to be on the lookout for NBA Youngboy. Fortunately, NBA was recently released from jail, and maybe like Kodak, will be able to cook up a great project out of his experience behind bars.

‘Dex meets Dexter’ was released on April 6th and in my opinion, is set up to be one of the greatest rap album debuts of the decade, and definitely one of the best projects of the year. At this rate, if Dex’s flow continues to grow, it can only be uphill from here.

We had a chat with Demo Taped, an up and coming artist to look…

We had a chat with Demo Taped, an up and coming artist to look out for 

Adam Alexander, who goes by Demo Taped is a 19-year-old Atlanta based artist that has already released various singles, and an EP titled Heart. Adam started making music early on and began producing music in his bedroom with Garageband when he was 9. Demo Taped has also toured with the likes of WET and was recently picked to remix tracks for Sylvan Esso. His latest single Insecure (listen here) was released in September, it features his dad on bass and an organ recorded in his grandfather’s church. Demo Taped will be releasing an EP in 2018.

When did you start making music, and what made you start?

I started making music pretty early on. My parents had me taking piano lessons at age four. I grew up going to my grandfather’s church every Sunday and watching my dad plays bass in the band. He really introduced me to the musicians he grew up listening to and I really didn’t branch out and listen to many new artists for a while. After piano, my parents bought me a guitar and that’s when I started listening to Jimi Hendrix. I was maybe eight years old at this point. I was really kind of this outsider kid that didn’t quite fit in but I had friends. I was constantly told I “didn’t sound Black” and was made fun of for not being super knowledgeable about Rap and Hip Hop. I think that’s why I was really drawn to Hendrix. Whenever I was made fun of for listening to rock and folk music, I would talk about Hendrix and no one could say anything. I also read up on the genre more and started to point to the many black pioneers that made rock and roll possible. I felt normal when I listened to his music and so I started listening to the words more and eventually started writing. My parents bought me my first computer when I was nine and from there I started making things in Garageband.

Has the Atlanta music scene influenced you?

I’d say It’s influenced my mentality. Everyone is working hard in Atlanta. The art scene is thriving. You kind of see the work ethic that others have, and you’re forced to step back and reevaluate your process and how much time you’re spending on your art.

Where does the name Demo Taped come from?

There was a point in time where I was looking up different labels and how the whole process of sending in demos worked. I realized it was pretty much a dead process and a lot of demos/submissions probably get tossed. I wanted to take something associated with not being heard/having no voice (a demo tape) and make it my name and my voice.

Has music helped you overcome depression and anxiety?

Music helps me for sure. When I write your feelings, fears, and questions down, I feel better. Getting thoughts out of your head and voicing them is important. I’m oddly more comfortable expressing my deepest feelings in a song than in a conversation.

Lyrically, what is your latest single Insecure about?

Insecure is about the mind playing tricks on itself. It’s about the fear of making your feelings for someone known because your insecurities are holding you back. Sometimes, I let my view of myself stop me from even trying to initiate a potentially good relationship.

What was the recording process like for Insecure, how long did it take, and how did the idea come about?

I was in NY for three days working with YEBBA. She provided background vocals. Go listen to her song “Evergreen”. It will change you. Anyway, we were in the studio just talking about anxiety and different parts of it and we ended up talking about Insecurities. I pretty much just started talking about how I stop myself from trying in a romantic situation because I make myself believe that no one could be interested in me. We talked about it more and I started to see it’s a universal thing. From there, I recreated a sample I got from Frank Dukes with YEBBA and Pete Cafarella on keys. At this point, I had the idea for what the song should be about, but I was really focused on production. One night I called Ben Abraham, who is an incredible songwriter, and we sent melody and lyrical ideas back and forth via Voice Memos and wrote the song. After New York, I came back to Atlanta and worked out of my bedroom studio to finish the track. I recorded my dad on Bass. James Barrett Jr., who did live drums for the song, sent me several different passes of drum recordings and I arranged those. The last thing the track needed was organ. I ended up going to my grandfather’s church with Paul Anderson and we recorded the organ there, on the Hammond B3.

I really like the artwork for Insecure, and all the other tracks you have released do you design it, or are you involved in that process?

Thank you! The artwork for Insecure was designed by the incredibly talented Savana Ogburn. We’re on the same wavelength, I feel. I’ll tell her a weird vague idea and she’ll take it and fully flesh it out and make it beautiful. Big shout out to her!  All the artwork before Stay, I made personally. I love the visual medium so I’ll always be involved in some way.

How has your sound evolved since you released your debut EP Heart in 2015?

I’d say that I’m just exploring. I’ll always be exploring. The thing about Heart that most people don’t know is that it was completely and totally meant for one person. I wasn’t going to release it. I was very influenced by artists I was listening to at the time. With this new EP, I kind of sequestered myself. I didn’t listen to many artists and when I did, It was older music. I feel that this upcoming EP truly represents me, my thoughts, and the sounds I enjoy.

What can we expect from your EP coming out later this year? Is it finished?

The EP is done. 🙂 It will be out early 2018.

Who are your favorite new artists?

Really digging Steve Lacy, Standing On the Corner, Billie Eilish, Rex Orange County, YEBBA (Big shoutout), Wafia (Also Big shoutout), and a bunch more. So much good music right now.

We had a chat with Okey Dokey ahead of their set at Fountain…

We had a chat with Okey Dokey ahead of their set at Fountain Square Music Festival 2017!

Okey Dokey is a psychedelic indie band from Nashville, Tennessee. The band is composed of visual artist Aaron Martin, and The Week’s guitarist Johny Fisher. Earlier this year the band released their debut album ‘Love You, Mean It’ listen to it on Spotify.

We chatted with them ahead of their set at Indianapolis’s Fountain Square Music Festival! Catch the band at the HIFI Stage on Saturday at 10:00pm! More info here.

How was the band formed, or what made you want to make music together?

Johny: Aaron and I played in a band together when we were younger, and I always loved his ability to be open-minded and create with conviction. So, when I wanted to begin this new project concept, I went to a little party with him and we agreed to write a bit together and see what came out of it. It took about 3-4 months for us to get the material for our first record together. Then we hit up our other old bandmate Jeremy Clark and had him add keys and mix everything. The band sort of formed as the record was being created I suppose.

Which artists/bands have influenced you?

J: We all have a deep love for certain artists like Lee Hazelwood, ELO, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Steely Dan, all things Motown and so many more. Our inspirations live in a million nooks and crannies in between those artists. What I’m saying is…where to even start?

How would you describe your sound, or what genre would you place yourselves in?

J: Placing yourself in a genre just places yourself in a limited box. We try to combine various sounds that appeal to our ears in hopes that it appeals to the ears of others.

Who are your favorite new artists?

J: Lemon Twigs, White Reaper, Liz Cooper, Dan Luke & The Raid, Susto, Wells, Ian Ferguson and a million others

What’s next for Okey Dokey? Will you be releasing more music? More tour dates?

J: I’d imagine just a more of everything. We just started working with C3 Management and Paradigm and they are truly amazing folks and booking us out a bunch to lots of new places. In terms of new music, we are always writing. I’m sure new music will be peaking its head out soon.

What artists/bands are you most excited to see at Fountain Square Music Festival?

Johny: Dr. Dog of course

A conversation with Dan Luke and the Raid ahead of their set at…

A conversation with Dan Luke and the Raid ahead of their set at Fountain Square Music Festival 2017 

Dani California + Carla Huysmans

Dan Luke and the Raid are a psychedelic indie rock band from Bowling Green, Kentucky. Earlier this year the band released their debut single ‘Black Cat Heavy Metal’ and a few days ago the band released a single titled ‘Golden Age’ (read the review here). The band is composed of Dan Luke Shultz, Kendrick Brent, Dylan Graves, and Anthony Joiner. 

We got to chat with them ahead of their set at Indianapolis’s Fountain Square Music Festival! Catch the band at the HIFI Stage on Saturday at 6:00! More info here

What artists/bands have influenced you, or what inspires your music the most?

If I had to choose I would say The Strokes, David Bowie, Neil Young, The Lemon Twigs, Madvillain, BRONCHO.

How would you describe your sound?

It bops. Haha no I mean it’s got a bit of a psychedelic tinge, but I wouldn’t say we’re exclusively a “psych” band per se. I don’t know what to call it. Bop rock??

What is your favorite part about touring, and what can fans expect from your live show?

Being on stage and seeing people sing along to your song. Even if they don’t know the lyrics completely, you can tell they recognize it. It’s really cool and a little shocking to be honest but yeah, I love it.

What inspired you to write your two debut songs and how long did it take to construct them?

Well they’re both kind of circled around the idea of a late coming of age story which I feel is what a lot of people are going through right now. American 20 something’s are really struggling to get their shit together for a lack of better words. I think it’s becoming less and less of a joke too. It’s actually kind of annoying to make so many mistakes and know that it’s you. You’re the one fucking up, and there’s no sense in saying sorry because the only person you’re fucking over is yourself. It’s frustrating. I came up with the first verse lyrics to Golden Age maybe a week before we went in the studio, and it all came together right then and there. Black Cat Heavy Metal, on the other hand, took a total of 3 to 4 years. I wrote the intro lead, and verse when I was like 17 and forgot about it until I stopped doing that, and all of a sudden I remembered. Eureka! The miracle time bomb that is memory. What a dream.

How personal is your music, are the lyrics about your real life experiences?

Yes. Sometimes I try to make up a character in my head and give them a story but no matter what I do, it always has something to do with what’s going on in my life. I’ll write something like that and realize it has to do with me. I’ll deny it for a while but once I just accept it, it feels really good. It’s like I’m trying to tell myself something that I’m doing or feeling without realizing it. When I do it’s like, “Oh…. Okay. I guess.“ It’s a big weight off my shoulder. Sometimes. Sometimes it gets heavier. That’s life though.

Why did you decide to release Black Cat Heavy Metal as your debut single?

It felt right. The energy was so high in the studio, it was just one of those times where you go, “that’s the one.” We also had ritualistically chugged colt 45’s, for the sake of hype, so it all felt tingly and spiritual. Felt real good.

What or who inspired you to make music together?

Kendrick and I have been playing music together for about 5 years so that was an obvious match. Dylan and Anthony came in later, and they were real cool, so it was tight. If I can be completely honest, the night before we went to Austin to play SXSW this last spring, we all tripped acid and cried about how “this is the band man”. It was beautiful. If you can’t put that in there, we’ll go with how Dylan and Anthony were tight, and kick and I were best buds hahaha.

A lot of great bands have come out of Bowling Green, Kentucky have any of those bands influenced you?

For sure. All those bands that did it big were like all like family to me. I mean even a lot of the bands that haven’t blown up, or had a ton of commercial success I really dig, and love. Spirit Week, Waco Bell, Astronomy Club, The Cartoons. There’s this tight new band called Sugadaisees that I’m obsessed with. I’ve only seen them once but they kill.

Apart from releasing new music, what are your plans for the future?

Well, honestly that and touring is what we plan on doing in the future. Release music, tour, release music, tour, get married, release music, tour, have some babies, release music, tour, release music, pay off that damn mortgage etc.. So basically that formula until we die maybe?

What are your favorite new artists?

The Lemon Twigs, Andy Shauf, Bedouine, I’ve been digging that new Car Seat Headrest single too, Okey Dokey.

What artists/bands are you most excited to see at Fountain Square Music Festival?

Definitely gonna see Hoops, and Okey Dokey. I wish we were there to see Liz Cooper, but we’ll be in good ole Tennessee.

What can we expect from your set at FSMF?

A riot and/or a party. Maybe some ice cream cake as well? Who knows. You’ll have to see. Wink wink. There will not be Ice cream cake, but there will be a party! Okay?? We’re excited.