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by Eric Toennis
Who are each of you and what instruments do you play? Also, what is your favorite pasta dish?
Ryan Saul - Voice and guitar
Dustin Crowson - Bass
Dan Haywood - Guitar
Silas Stewart - Drums
Favorite Pasta Dishes: Shrimp PestoPasta, Spaghetti with SpamPasta, Tinder RavioliPasta, Homemade Potato Gnocchi
What are your favorite aspects of the music scene in Bozeman?
The Bozeman scene is thriving and creative- everyone is constantly pushing each other to be better
How does it compare to the other cities in Montana?
Describe your music using the words “hyperspace,” “King Arthur’s roundtable,” “grapefruit”, and “Tom Hanks.”
Modern Sons’ music is much like a fucked up alternative “sub-region" in hyperspace known as “Tom Hanks-a-topia”. Much like his Volleyball pal Wilson we are like an imaginary grapefruit that sits at King Arthur’s roundtable spoiling because no one has one of those fancy serrated spoons to eat it with.
How long have you been making music together?
Been together since 2012 and have lost members here and there who have tried to grow up and get ‘big boy jobs’, be in wedding bands, or are selling their souls to drugs. We just keep pushing forward.
Give us a little history of the band name. What makes you guys so “Modern?”
Dan our guitar player is a ‘Modern Son’. He was born very premature and would not have survived with out the marvels of medical technology.
What is the biggest crowd you have played for and where was it? How did this experience help you grow as a band?
Biggest crowd we played for was at a handful of SXSW unofficial showcases called Red Gorilla Festival. The bars on 6th Street in Austin are packed to the gills for a whole week straight. People were digging the music. Made us realize that we do make some decent tunes, and that it isn’t just our friends on Montana blowing smoke up our asses.
Who is the biggest crybaby in the band when it comes to being sick?
Honestly, no one has ever been a crybaby. Sick or not we’ve always practiced and/or played our shows. Diarrhea, vomit, crusty infected urethras; we’re always there.
Name your biggest influences and how each of them contributed to your style and sound.
Chris Gains, Fastball, ‘Lil Boaty, 311, Chris Brown - they’ve just taught us so much
Last movie you each saw in the theater?
Theater...Who has money for that? We only watch Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies really.
What was your familiarity with the actor Richard Dreyfuss before this festival?
Didn’t he kill himself by Autoerotic Asphyxiation with a neck tie? Or wait that was Tom Cruise. JAWS!!!!!
You get to choose between three artists to open up for on a world tour. Your choices are: Nickleback, Creed, and 3 Doors Down. Please choose one and defend your choice.
Nickleback hands down. Ryan used to know the bass player, Mike when he lived on Maui. Apparently each band member has their own tour bus and they travel with a chef. So, at least we’d eat well. Eating good food is our #1 priority in life besides sleep.
Links for Modern Sons:
by Eric Toennis
First of all, who are each of you, and what do you play? And, why the hell should we care?
Austin Finn, I play guitar and sing. And it’s not my place to tell you what to care about!
I'm Caleb Addy. I play guitar and sing and you should not care.
This is Jordan on drums and you should care because we don’t care, and if you don’t care then we’ll have to care and I don’t think any of us want that.
All of you currently reside in Brooklyn, NY after moving from Montana. What drew you to the New York music scene? Why not somewhere else, like Idaho?
Austin: I think we sort of decided that if we were going to live anywhere other than Huntley or New York, we would just rather stay in Huntley. And Jordan and I growing up outside of LA made me like big cities, but fucking HATE LA. So New York it was.
Jordan: Idaho is the promised land so I don’t think we would need to play anymore. The farther we are from Idaho the better our playing. That’s why we’re thinking about moving to Mozambique so we can reach peak playing.
Yankees or Mets?
The Mets? The METS? We don’t watch National League baseball, we only watch the real teams.
Idaho Green has been around for quite a few years now, sporting a multitude of different lineups. What can you tell us about your current lineup and what it brings to the table as far as sound and energy? Does the change in lineup ever cause any problems with the consistency of your sound? As a bonus, list all of the former members of the band.
For Dreyfest, we will have all sorts of secret weapons. But which secret weapons, we’re not going to tell you.
We’ve always envisioned Idaho Green to be a family band, we actually hope one day to change the name to “Idaho Green Fambly (sic) Band”. With the sic included, by the way. But yeah, a la the Underground Railroad to Candyland or Los Campesinos! or Gogol Bordello or something. We can go as a 3-piece if we have to, but it’s waaaaay more fun when there’s like 12 people on stage going nuts. And as far as different lineups changing the sound goes, I actually really like that challenge. It’s like a puzzle, like “how do I get this group of 7, or this group of 4, or whatever, to sound good?” Because there’s really not one way to get a group of people together and sound good, no matter how individually talented they are. It’s like a soccer team. You can’t force a team to play a certain way if they aren’t equipped to play that way. You have to change your gameplan to accommodate the squad you have. It can be frustrating, but the challenge is the really validating thing for us.
Here is a list of everybody who has ever played a show with Idaho Green, also known as “cAPS lOCK bOYS” or “Spuds”-
Julius ‘Lil Prodigy’ Ostby
Handsome Dan Hansen
Kelly “Handsome Boi” La Croix
Carsten “Karson” Wright
Garret ‘Yer Ol Dad’ Griffin
Peter De Maio
I hope I didn’t forget anybody!
The band formerly went by the name Idaho Green and the Caps Lock Boys. When and why was this shortened to just Idaho Green?
Oddly enough, another band called Idaho Green and the Caps Lock Boys threatened to sue, so we had to shorten it to just Idaho Green. A similar situation happened when The St. Louis Cardinals made Ryan Adams and the Cardinals change their band name to just Ryan Adams. Or When Bryan Adams made Ryan Adams change his name to Albert Pujols. That of course prompted Albert Pujols to make the St. Louis Cardinals change their name to Albert Pujols and the Cardinals. And then of course Major League Baseball made them change back to just Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. Did you know people still ask him to play “Boys of Summer”? It’s not even a Bryan Adams song!
One of the calling cards of Idaho has always been all of the different crazy costumes and clothing combinations that you wear onstage (wrestling tights, girl scout uniform, animal costumes, French maid lingerie, colored suits, old-school sports jerseys, and sometimes just tight white undies are some of the ones I can remember off the top of my head). Where did the idea for this come about and is it something you guys still continue to partake in?
Austin: I sort of have a theory that all bands are already wearing costumes anyway, and I thought it would be cool to take that to an absurd level. Like, if you, as a performing musician, are conscious of what you are wearing on stage, and want to portray yourself in a certain way, then to me, you’re wearing a costume. Like, for example, there’s all these punk bands in new York that has this look where they wear leather jackets and white super tight tee shirts tucked into black skinny jeans with Doc Martins, or whatever. It’s so fucking lazy. It’s the epitome of telling and not showing. Like, “Hey, in case you can’t tell by my completely misinformed, shallow, and unoriginal music and lyrics, I’m super fucking punk.” And every genre of music has guilty parties of this. By wearing a costume, in the more traditional sense, it’s sort of my way of not telling, and not showing, but opting out of appearances dictating our artistic expression. It can become super distracting, and I don’t have to think about it. It forces us to have to be able to express what we are trying to express without the medium of clothes. Which, ironically, is sort of an artistic statement by itself. I dunno. Also, David Byrne says that if you wear the same thing every day, people will remember you better. No idea if that’s true, but it seems to work pretty well.
Caleb: I wear the french maid as a personal challenge. Every time I put it on, I'm pushing the limits of how bad something can smell, and how much wear and tear it can go through without evaporating into the vinegar cloud that I know it's fated for. Also, I just like looking pretty.
Jordan and Austin, how does the sibling dynamic work for you guys with being in a band together and spending so much time with each other? Do either of you have any secret plots to kill the other one in their sleep, or poison their drink?
Austin: Actually, we realllllllly didn’t get along from like ages 1-12(Austin)/3-15(Jordan). Jordan is 2½ years older than me (and he’s 2½ of a man!). So I think we sort of got all our fighting out of our systems for our lifetimes in that condensed period of 12 or so years. But BOY let me tell you, that sure was a rough time. But once we moved to Billings I think we sort of started to get along better, since we had nobody but each other. Cute, huh?
Jordan: Austin’s living on borrowed time for all I’m concerned. I’ve been irradiating his room for the past nine years with minute levels of polonium-210 vis a vis isotropic decay releasing a lethal dosage on track to shorten his lifespan to 31 years max. Unfortunately, we’re on really good terms nowadays so I keep waking up in the middle of the night in cold sweats about my regrets. Then again, that might just be the radiation poisoning.
Caleb, how were you first introduced to these heathens and what makes you want to continue to be subjected to the Finn brothers’ tyranny?
I met Jordan at a garage show! It was a fundraiser for an Idaho tour? This was long before I joined the band. I met Austin through friends, but I will never forget the first night we really met. Austin and a mutual friend (Delow Sarb) got shit-housed and went to The Hobbit. They had to leave because they were so drunk. They came over to my house, and we continued to drink and watch Twisted Romance tour videos. Suddenly Austin says, "You should tour with Idaho Green!" And the rest is history.
To answer the second part of this question, love is something that isn't supposed to make sense.
Richard Dreyfest and Idaho Green are two synonymous names. This awesome festival literally wouldn’t be possible without you guys and now it’s in its fifth year running. Can you tell us a little bit about the history of Dreyfest?
The very first roots of Dreyfest were before my time… local artist/musician/comedian/genius Rob Smith had the idea to have a show down at Devil’s Tower called Richard Dreyfest, where we would camp out, get drunk and see punk bands. I think his idea was to have like Teenage Bottlerocket and Gamits headline, and then just have a bunch of local punk bands drive down and play with them, like a big 7-8 band show. But when it became apparent to us that this would be nearly impossible to pull off (the National Park Service was not too stoked on the idea), we decided to throw it locally, and move it to Wyoming once we got off our feet. But it ended up being so much fun doing it locally we decided to keep it in town!
Finish this sentence:
Idaho Green ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______, and also ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ balls.
Austin: Idaho Green buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo, and also buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo balls.
Jordan: Idaho Green balls hard, nothing but balls, balls, and also balls, balls, balls, balls, balls, balls, balls.
Finally, the question we’ve all been anticipating...Favorite Richard Dreyfuss movie?
Caleb: American Grafitti.
Austin: The Graduate. Even though he’s only on screen for about 5 seconds, I still consider it a Dreyfuss vehicle. Hoffman was just along for the ride. What About Bob? is great as well, but I don’t trust films whose titles are questions. Make me uneasy.
Links for Idaho Green:
by Jordan Finn
*J= Joseph Krassin D= Dylan Miller
Are you real?
J- I like to think so.
D- I'm the realest.
Who is Johnny Hoffman?
J- Fallen Hero.
D- A man; A Legend.
Who are the Residents and what have they done with my wife?
J- I ain't no snitch.
Is there any backstory on the formation of Johnny Hoffman & the Residents or did the band one day generate a form from random space goo slingshot around Jupiter's moon Io from the nether reaches of deep space?
J- We picked up some instruments and just kept writing.
D- I really don't think there is an explanation on this.
So Everett's where Boeing's production facilities are, making planes which makes Montana a "fly-over state". Do you take any responsibility in contributing to making our state the butt of many a coastal joke?
J- You guys should stop talking down about your state.
D- We love driving through Montana and always make a point to visit our favorite city...yes, Billings!! Third time performing and partying here.
How is Everett these days? How would you describe the local "scene"?
J- The scene in Everett is beautiful, creativity everywhere.
D- No comment.
If you could purloin the secrets of any band and steal their magic powers which would it be?
J- Probably Royal Bloods management company so I could open for Queens if the Stone Age.
D- Warner Bros. manager for the gifted bands group???
Does the Everett born singer song-writer, fictional radio DJ, and guest star of the ABC Seasme Street special "Elmopalooza" Kenny Loggins have any affiliation with Johnny Hoffman & the Residents?
J- Second cousin twice removed neighbor.
D- I know him from Jo.
Do you have any exciting plans for the band's future? Syndication perhaps?
J- Europe in November and new music.
D- New songs / Dreyfest 2017
If you could answer in pig Latin, is punk dead?
D- I can't handle this...
Links for Johnny Hoffman & the Residents:
by Ty Herman
Hiya fellas, who are you? Do you think the earth is really spherical?
Spherical is lyrical.
Your band name is very intriguing, and I sense a lot of hidden meaning within it. How did you come up with it?
We are bad at coming up with band names. Our first official gig, wherein David Cleaves asked us what our name is and we said we didn't know, he introduced as Chad and his Friend Bill. That was too long so we shortened it to Chad's Friend Bill...
Have both of you lived in Billings for a while?
Chad was here for a while, then he escaped, then he came back. Bill has not been here for a while.
I'm a huge fan of some of your atypical melodies and groovy syncopated drum patterns. Who are some of your biggest influences and what have you been listening to lately?
Chad's major influences are the band Low, and Radiohead. He has been listening to Low and Radiohead. Bill's influences: Sergio Mendez, Elise Regina, and Pavement.
Chad interjects, "Bill have I told you about my Lord and Saviors Low and Radiohead?"
Bill responds, "No, I am not interested in Low and Radiohead!"
I’ve heard that zombies are piss poor fighters, but do you think a zombie apocalypse is a significant possibility? If so, what would you do?
It’s always a possibility. My advice is to give in. Zombies are way less stressed and sad during those things. Bill recommends the album "Across the Fall of Sunset" by the band Wagner and the Zombiemen. All the answers are in that album... I mean all of em' baby.
Bears are scary. What's your favorite kind of bear?
We like to drink Street Fight at Angry Hank’s Microbrewery. We have been getting more and more into lagers. Budweiser is nice and we like sours. Not sure why you are scared of bears.
Where did you boys learn to play music? Do you have any tips for the people out there that are learning and just starting out as bands?
Look up the song "In my Room" by George Possley. That’s where we learned. We learned ourselves real good. Then Bill got a fancy ass degree. He always reminds Chad. If your just starting out stick to it, have fun, and don't do what we do to get famous.
Do you think the Rothchild's are a bunch of smelly lizard people?
The other day I was walking my dog and I saw a lizard. Then I was walking my lizard and I saw a smaller lizard. Then there's the thing about the Rothchild's, who can really say. But back to the tiny lizard; he looked up and told me that one day I would name my son Jim Moron-son and he would free the people from their scathing wealth and poor bodily hygiene. Didn't think much of it though till someone asked me about my fear of da bears.
Both of you have been playing music for quite a while and in a few different cities, what are some of your most crazy or memorable gigs?
Arthouse.....Michelle painted. It was good. This place Chad played in Minneapolis had the most amazing urinals you have ever seen!!!!!! It's called the Stasiu's Bar and they have beautiful stately urinals, fit for a KIng or Chad's Friend Bill.
Thank you guys very much for being a part of this year’s festival, I love hearing your music! Would you rather sweat a gallon of peanut butter every week of your life or have Cheeto fingers until you die?
I want both, says Bill.
Yeah seriously why would you make us choose, says Chad.
Chad's Friend Bill's Links:
by Eric Toennis
Hey there, Parker! Looks like you're a Billings guy. Are you from Billings originally?
Yeah, I am…In most ways. I think I drank ditch water enough to have it affect my DNA before my family moved out to the glacial lakes of Coeur d'Alene, ID when I was eight. I ended up coming back to Billings when I was nineteen and now I have ripened to thirty-four .
You've got a band you call the Bleeding Hearts. Is this some LIBERAL PROPAGANDA or what? Are you going solo for Dreyfest, or will there be a Bleeding Heart or two with you?
Hahaha! It’s a total ploy. But also, when I thought about it I really liked the idea of us all being a sensitive band, ya know, a bunch of feelers, so I just put it out there and as it turns out I think my band mates are maybe even more emotional than me. I am going to talk at least one member to join me at Montana Gallery for the show.
On your website you've got a picture of you playing guitar, drums, AND upright bass. 1) Did you invent a cloning machine? 2) If you are not just one of a series of clones, what instrument did you start on? 3) Would you say you have a "favorite" instrument to play among these? 4) If you are one of a series of clones, is the real Parker Brown still alive?
1) I almost had a cloning machine, but the prototypes proved to be a little too dangerous, so we scrapped it. I always liked how brothers or family members intrinsically have this “thing" that happens when they play music together. I think that Parker, Parker, and Parker could probably come up with some pretty intense music together (or a super solid law firm name). I am sure that ultimately I would get sick of myself and we’d break up.
2) My first official instrument was the upright bass in fifth grade and after two years I quit orchestra and went to electric bass. Then I went fully to guitar until I was about twenty when I picked up the upright and electric again and I started making money as a freelance musician playing bass. So, it’s always been good to me.
3) Now I am kind of finding a nice balance with all my obsessions with other instruments and each instrument that I play is may favorite in certain contexts, but upright bass and I have always had a really deep relationship together. I think that is because when I was younger the music that was the most powerful and “spiritual” to me had the upright bass in it, i.e. Mingus’ “Ecclesiastes” and Albums Oh Yeah and Ah Um; John Coletrane’s album A love Supreme and most of his later catalogue; as well as the great trio of Bill Evans, Paul Motian, and bassist Scott Lafaro.
4) I like to think of it like Rick on Rick and Morty. There are an infinite amount of Parkers out there in the multi-verse, but they all know that I am the greatest, or whatever. We all get along well when we get together though.
My father and I used to watch you play years ago with your first big act that I remember in the Montana music scene as The Tyler Burnett Band and later just Tyler Burnett. I remember being a young lad and going to what seems like dozens of your shows, and you guys being a big influence on the younger generation of musicians. How would you say this experience has helped shape you as a musician and what kind of influence do you hope these early years had on the music scene in the Big Sky?
Wow! Thanks! I feel like we cracked something open that was already about to burst. I would like to think that what we did just looked fun and was also a bit professional looking. That seems to have possibly been our influence on a few of the kiddos. That band helped me know who I was on stage better and learn the ropes of the business from booking gigs/tours, band dynamics, handling money for a band, writing songs, mailing posters and albums to venues and reviewers; recording, setting up sound, "turning on" in high pressure situations. It was an incredible learning experience for me.
Describe your music using the words "pizza," "particles," and "wooden." Oh! And "firey Hollywood car crash.”
Imagine a person who has eaten far too much pizza, saddened by all the fiery Holloywood car crashes he’s seen on the television, writing songs about particles of energy connecting us together (mostly unconsciously) on a nice wooden instrument.
Your website also says you're a freelance musician. What does this mean? How do you like working as a freelancer?
I love being a freelance musician*. It means that I can get hired for almost any gig and be able to perform the music as if I was a member of the band (or on a recording). I learn the parts and come in and play—it usually ends up being a permanent spot in the group, but it also moves around a lot, especially in jazz settings. I used to do a wider variety of projects as a "hired gun," but now I have a few outfits that I play with regularly and it just spreads out around on the ol' calendar. Adding my own group to the list has been interesting as well as challenging. Basically, I am a freelance musician in my own band as well.
*I also teach as kind of a freelancer as well. I am adjunct at Sheridan College, Rocky Mountain College, and this fall I will be at MSUB as a bass instructor. I also have my own private studio where I teach private lessons.
Do you have any other talents besides being a stellar musician that the adoring public may not know?
I can do a couple of tricks on the old skateboard still…
I noticed that some of your lyrics reference some pretty cosmic shit, like the Earth's rotational velocity. Is this the "neomystical" aspect of your music? Do you consider yourself a pretty spiritual dude?
Well yeah. I like to think about that stuff a lot, like gravity, vibrations, energy, breaking down things and getting as micro, macro and as meta as my brain will allow. Phil Griffin and I talk about it a bit and try to pin point just what neomysticism means - he's the one that used the term to describe my music - but it’s hard because I think he’s making up some new shit with that one. I am just trying to fit into it because I love the term. I spent a lot of time going through the tunnel of modern/not-so-modern Christianity and I have been trying to unravel a lot of things in that arena as well as the things that we take for granted or are unaware of because our system doesn’t allow us to look beyond the walls in which we’ve placed ourselves in—what ever that might be, whether it’s religion/thought, food, Netflix, or capitalism, etc. I believe that there are some pretty fantastical things happening around us that are generally missed by most of the population because of the distractions of everyday life. So yeah, something simple like voluntary actions in the body or the earth spinning and us not even feeling it is something that I like to find joy in. It’s pretty fucking incredible…uhhh…at least to me.
Read any good books lately?
Yeah, I did. I just recently finished Dave Caserio’s book This Vanishing. Whew. It is some of the most beautiful poetry that I have ever read (and there is a lot that I haven’t read), but his writing really hits me right in the heart. There were many times when I would finish a poem and just set the book down to let it soak in. I highly recommend it. Before that it was a Rumi compilation of love poems and David McRaney’s book You are Now Less Dumb. They both flip you out in their own way.
If you were on death row and were being served your last meal, what would it be?
Most definitely a medium thin crust with pepperoni, mushrooms, and black olives from Dominoes. I’d eat it in one sitting and then just be blissed out for the chair.
Can you kindly give the dear readers some links??
by Nels Jensen
Who are you two? Where are you from? What do you play? Do you know who Richard Dreyfuss is?
We are Justin Senger and Maddie Murray. We have both lived here nearly our entire lives! Justin plays guitar and vocals, and Maddie plays drums and programs tracks. We didn't know of Richard Dreyfuss before we were contacted about this festival!
I couldn’t help but notice the references and alien imagery. Is this a nod to “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” or something else?
We both have a love for aliens, ufos, and the supernatural. It was an idea for our artwork on our first EP and from there we continued the theme of aliens.
You guys started in 2016… and you already have a release… you’ve obviously been busy! What does the songwriting process look like for you? Were these songs all new, or were some of them songs before this project was started?
Justin had 4 songs written before we started this band. We currently have 14 songs officially from the many others Justin has written over time. He writes the lyrics and songs, and Maddie writes the back tracks. These tracks include the bass guitar, synth, orchestra, bells, keys and any electronic elements we want to throw in.
There doesn’t seem to be anyone in town doing a similar thing to you two. As far as influences go, was there anyone local that helped you solidify the sound you were going for? Or just national acts?
We also noticed that no one else seems to be doing what we are doing locally. No one locally influenced us it's more on a national acts level. Starset, Linkin Park, Blink 182, and Twenty-One Pilots are some major influences for us.
Do you not like bass (guitar)?
Justin's main instrument is actually bass guitar! He's played bass for several bands around town. When we started up, we tried to find a bassist, but no one seemed interested or didn't want to be in our band. We have bass written in our back tracks, so fear not my friend!
Do you not like bass (fish)?
We like fishinnn for bass!
Do you not like phish (because I could totally understand that… I mean… who likes jam bands)?
We don't know enough about the band to answer that question, ha ha.
The perfect show would consist of ________________, and _____________, and ____________.
The perfect show would consist of Weird Al, Sarah Mclaughlin, and Twisted Romance (just kidding ha ha).
The perfect show would consist of Starset, Linkin Park, and Breaking Benjamin.
Before someone sees a Photoshop Lifter’s show for the first time, what should they know going in?
Before people see a live show, they should know its not just live music they'll be hearing. It will be an experience to remember. And they have to be prepared to be abducted.
Links for The Photoshoplifters:
by Kelly La Croix
Hiya. Who are you and what do you do in the band and where can find a decent pair of jeans?
Phil: I'm Phil and I play guitar and provide vox. I'm actually a bit obsessed with my jeans - they're raw denim and I never wash them. I recommend The Unbranded Brand. Some real hipster shit.
Nels: I’m Nels, I hit things. Decent jeans? Pissed.
Tell us about your band's sound using a school-style analogy: Bull Market is to ____________, as _____________ is to ______________.
Really Kelly? “School-style analogy”? I’ll give you a school style analogy… we’re playing shows all the time, and kids are hearing us, but are they really listening? If they were, I’m sure they’d realize that they need to invest… not in a few years, not next week… NOW. Compound interest, people! Get in at least with some index funds. You want to be affluent investors, get your head in the game. Now. INVEST!
If you were to start an online petition, in an effort to get thousands, if not millions of signatures on, what would the stated purpose of that petition be?
To get some decent interview questions...
What band was your gateway drug to the seedy world of rock and roll?
Phil: Ooo. I dunno, there's probably a few. I'd just happen upon a cd and get kind of obsessed. I remember once getting a live Backstreet Boys album from a Burger King in Minneapolis when I was like ten. That was weird, looking back. I've never seen that since. Another time in 4th grade I got Highway to Hell and listened to that for a long time. There was also some Blink 182, Good Charlotte, and RHCP through middle school and high school.
Nels: I’m not sure I tried to grab every one of a band's albums before Nirvana…
Phil, you are currently part of Beatnik City Council, could you tell us a little about it?
Phil: Yeah! So me and a gal named Brie Ripley and a guy named Ty Herman started meeting weekly with the goal of opening a DIY venue in Billings. We decided to reach out to other artsy groups in town to see about common interests and ran into some folks with a project called Artspace. They were trying to get a fancy live/work space for artists built downtown and had a hearing with the city council coming up. We decided to show some solidarity and testify on their behalf - personally I was pretty pissed about the political goings-on and wanted to make an appearance on behalf of artists in Trump Country. Some old white guys in the council made comments about "beatniks" so we cheekily adopted the term for our name.
As far as the DIY space goes, we realized it was gonna take a lot of work and $$$ to make it happen, and have since refocused our efforts to put on shows (including DF!), gauge community interest, and hopefully-maybe apply for some grants in the next year or two. You can read more about BCC here.
Nels, you have had a long and storied career as an nighttime astroturf layer for several major stadiums. How is that going?
Nels: I’m liking it mow and mow as time goes on… I mean, I’m makin’ some real green because I’ve been in the business for such a lawn time. It’s actually the only “side” job that I’ve got at this point… all of the other jobs weren’t cutting it, and I didn’t see the growth potential that astroturf has.
Most fun thing you've done in the past year:
Phil: I've been experimenting with ice baths and hot-cold therapy. There's a great hotspring outside Missoula I always make a point of visiting because you can dip in the icy creek and alternate with the spring. I grew up taking saunas and jumping naked into the snow, so it kinda makes sense. I also got married last summer, that's been a weird kind of fun.
Nels: Oh man… I dressed up in a suit with some of my friends (bow ties) and pretend to play a song at a bar… there was all of this drama, like this girl threw her phone before the first chorus, and then this guy busted a prop bottle over her head. There were fights and explosions… but we just kept on pretending to play. People were running around with X-mas lights on…and slicing fruits with swords…people were eating other people's faces, but you know, we are young.
Most challenging thing you've done in the past year:
Phil: I worked in a law office for the entirety of 2016. That was tough. But I quit in January and decided to pursue art stuff full-time, nannying, walking dogs, and house-sitting as a side-hussle.
Nels: I had to listen to Phil complain about his job at a law office.
Stupidest thing you've done in the past year:
Phil: When I decided to play in a band with this yayhoo! Nyuck-nyuck-nyuck.
Nels: We don’t have that kind of time, Kelly.
Bull Market's Links:
by Austin Finn
To start off, something simple. Names, birthstones, and zombie apocalypse home base location (ie, where you would go to setup as your central HQ in case of a zombie apocalypse)?
Connor, Chrys, Andrew, and Scott.
Kidney Stone, Cold Stone, Black Stone Cherry, and Amethyst, respectively.
If zombies were to apocalyze we would head straight to the Morty Dome, where the walls are made of hundreds of screaming Mortys, distracting the zombies, and allowing us to pinch ‘em off one by one
Describe your sound in three sentences or less using the words “belly”, “Sheffield Wednesday Football Club”, and “oblong”.
Our oblong tones have often been a popular choice at the Sheffield Wednesday Football Club‘s annual pig roast, where the residual grooves tend to sit in one’s belly and cause indigestion, leading to the customary passing-of-the-Tums-bottle.
Do you guys remember, like 5 years ago, we played a show together at a place in Billings called the Terminal. That show and venue has sort of become legendary now, for a lot of different reasons. Do you remember anything about that show? What did you think of the space and the bands?
That was the first time we saw Idaho Green! It totally changed our perception of Billings, we had no idea that anything like that went on there. In a way it seems like Dreyfest is trying to preserve the legacy of the vibe of that show.
Dreyfest organizer and MSU alumn Nels Jensen is obsessed with La Parilla. I went with him twice and both times he got the fettusccine alfredo burrito. Can you please talk some sense into him?
It seems like Nels has got his head on straight now, he’s joined the hordes of us addicts at Taco Montes, with their tantalizing array of fusion tacos
Ever play the Haufbrau? It’s still one of my favorite places to play in the entire country.
The best, coziest, shittiest, drunken, noisy, fun-times are had there. The first show we ever played was at the Haufbrau and we still piss off patrons there constantly
Ever play shows with Tales From Ghost Town? I’m convinced he’s the punk poet laureate of Montana.
Tales From Ghost Town is great - we played with him years ago in Helena. Nick plays with another group, Gang Member, who also rule.
Any tours of up coming projects you guys are stoked on in the future?
We’ll be trying to release our new EP in the first-ever boof-able format…so look out for that
First word that comes to mind when you think of Billings?
Panther Car's links:
by Kelly La Croix
Hey folks - who are we interviewing, what’s your age, what is your stance on pineapple on pizza?
Nate, 28. Samm, 27. Zach, 25. Tony, 24. JR, 22. One of us could die from consuming pineapple. So….we aren’t entirely fond of it on pizza.
I read in your bio that you started as a solo project that needed to be fleshed out. Nate, how did you choose who you would want to work with?
I knew Tony and Zach from a band called My Soul Beside Me. I recorded some of their songs and after that I showed them some material I was working on and we just started experimenting and building. I had known Samm for a few years before that. And we met JR through We 3 Bears, another band I had recorded.
Not too long ago, you all recorded at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle. First, was it at all intimidating going to a renowned location to record, knowing that so many great bands have been in the space before (small sampling of bands who have recorded there: Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Death Cab For Cutie, Heart, Sunny Day Real Estate)? Second, I see a former Billings-ite in some of the pictures on the studio’s webpage…was he your hookup? Third, how was the experience, overall?
It wasn’t too intimidating at first. But we had practiced, and practiced and played a lot of shows up until then so we were primed and ready. Our good friend Kee Curlee was working there and invited us out to record Oceans to Arsenic at the studio. We could not pass that opportunity up of course so we jumped at it! The experience was amazing and we met a lot of cool people! It was pretty intimidating having Robert Lang come steal some of our potato chips though.
What has the general reaction been to your live shows when people learn you play instrumental music?
A lot of people are really surprised! Some people come to us and say, “I don’t really like metal, but you guys are awesome!” It’s a different reaction from everyone which is really cool because you can tell how their experience to your music truly was.
Since you are into a wide range of sounds, if you could add one more instrument to the band, what would it be?
We all like strings because of the amount of emotion you can play across the instrument. Violin, or Cello would be amazing.
Favorite Netflix/tv/online show?
It changes over time but at the moment:
Nate: Better Call Saul, South Park
JR: The Office, Seinfeld
Samm: Metalocalypse, Once Upon A Time
Zach: The Leftovers, Game of Thrones
Tony: Rick and Morty, Attack on Titan
I know that at least some of you are from Laurel (Billings’ quieter, smellier younger sibling). What’s the best thing about the place?
Skating the ghetto half pipe that was only available when the big ditch running through town was actually empty. Shit was off the chain.
A piece of music that you own that people probably wouldn’t guess that you own:
JR: My Chemical Romance, “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge”
Nate: Sir Mix A Lot, “Mack Daddy”
Samm: Insane Clown Posse, “The Great Malenko”
Zach: Nightwish, “The Poet and The Pendulum”
Tony: Childish Gambino, “Awaken My Love!”
Can anyone do any stupid human tricks? Y’know, like balance a mop on your forehead or triple flip into a pool of bees or whatever?
Zach can open a bottle with his teeth. It’s pretty hard to watch though. Nate’s talents are impossible to describe via text because they’re ungodly, high shrieks created using his voice. Samm can sound exactly like Jigglypuff. JR can turn purple. Tony can nail the Herbert the Pervert voice off of Family Guy.
Got any links for the readers to check out?
by Kelly La Croix
Hi Windermeres! Who are you and what do you do and what is that awful smell?
Jeremy: I play drums and provide harmonies.
Andrew: I play guitar and sing backing vox.
Chris: I sing and play guitar and am the bossy jerk of the Windermeres
Andrew: That awful smell could be any one of us after 3 days of touritos.
Are you native Denverinians or are you from elsewhere?
Chris: We are! We are all from different suburbs of Denver.
I saw a photo of you guys and one of you had a fucking Assorted Jellybeans shirt on. First: I can’t believe anyone knows who that band is in 2017! Second: Do you guys like a lot of mid/late 90’s stuff?
Andrew: That is kind of our wheelhouse, haha.
Chris: We are pretty into all Fat Wreck and Epitaph stuff - especially mid-to-late 90s.
Will Dreyfest be your first trip to Billings/Montana in general? What (if anything) are you looking forward to?
Jeremy: Nope! We actually played shows in Billings, Bozeman, and Butte in our last tour. So this will actually be our second time in Billings this year!
I see you’re on For the Love of Punk Records, a venture, I assume, that is linked with Johnny Wilson honcho of the website For The Love of Punk. How did that relationship happen? (Side-note: Johnny has some Billings ties - when he was in Moral Crux they played out here a few
times and a few of us know him. Tell the guy hi from Billings!)
Chris: Johnny has been a fan of ours since we opened for The Gamits a few years back. When he heard that we were doing a new record, he asked if we had anybody putting it out. We didn't so he offered.
Andrew: My favorite Johnny story is how Moral Crux's first show was opening for Jawbreaker.
Chris of The Gamits produced your record. Did he impart anything to you fellas… sage words of advice or anything you observed that taught you something valuable?
Chris: Practice, practice, practice your songs before you get into the studio. Good drums and good vocals sell a record. Fogal is a pretty laid back guy. Oh! He likes to have his singers liquered up a little when doing lead vocals. He thinks it helps get them to be a little more loose and emotive.
Looking over your past and current releases, it seems like the subject matter has changed; do you intend to write socially conscious lyrics or is that just what’s at the forefront of your mind when you’ve been writing lately?
Jeremy: It's kind of hard not to be more political with the state of the country - and the world - right now. That definitely influences our music.
Chris: I feel like the first record is just as political as this one. Maybe, it was just a little more poetic or subtle. Maybe we were a little more aggressive about it on the second record? Hahaha
You guys recently lost a member. Will you be tuned up and ready in time for the fest??
Andrew: Hell yeah, we will. Nothing really slows us down.
Jeremy: We actually had a good friend fill in on our last tour and it was no problem at all. We have a similar situation for Richard Dreyfest.
You go to the corner store with $4 in your pocket. What do you purchase?
Jeremy: Water and rolling papers! Hahahaha
Andrew: Orange vitamin water and sriracha almonds.
Chris: Water and spearmint gum.
The ol’ job interview question: Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
Chris: Drinking beers and eating burritos with Daisy Riddley.
Jeremy: Supporting Billy Joel on his world wide farewell tour! Hahaha
Andrew: Brand new house, wife, kids, fast car, ...welll except minus the house, car, wife, and kids. Hahaha
Thanks guys! SEE YOU AT DREYFEST
-Richard P. Dreyfest
Links for The Windermeres:
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Jordan FinnRead More