SubModern Sessions

FMQB - SubModern Sessions

Dominic Angelella has been a mainstay of the Philadelphia music scene for some time now. He's been half of the band DRGN King, co-frontman of Lithuania (with Dr. Dog drummer Eric Slick), and he's toured with bands like mewithoutYou and Cold Fronts. Now Dominic steps up with complete creative control of his latest project, simply under his own first name, with the new album Goodnight, Doggies. I recently sat down with Dominic to chat about the album and he recorded acoustic versions of three of its songs for our latest FMQB SubModern Session.

FMQB: So is Dominic just you as a solo musician or are you appropriating your name as a band name?

Dominic Angelella: I'm still trying to figure out if it's a band name or a solo project. I think it just is a solo project at this point. It was happening on the tour where people would be like, "Dominic's band Dominic is playing next," and that doesn't sound right.

FMQB: What was your thought process in doing this thing as just yourself?

DA: Well, we were writing songs for a new Lithuania record, and there was a bunch of stuff left over that I had. Cause it's like a specific project has a specific feeling, and obviously that's a punk band. There were all these songs that I had, that I felt good about, but I didn't know where they should go. And so I just went to the studio with the idea of just recording some stuff, not really knowing where it was gonna end up. At the end of three or four days we recorded nine or ten songs and I realized we had a record and pared it down to eight songs. The original idea was just to put up online for free, and just let it be like "this is what I'm doing now," and see what people thought. But I sent it to Eric [Osman] from Lame-O, who puts out some great records, and he was interested in it. So the rest is what we have here.

FMQB: Well I think you made the right decision because it's really good and worth having a proper release for.

DA: Yeah, but the thing that's so cool with the way people release music now is that it wouldn't have been any less legitimate to me if I'd decided just to put it on Bandcamp, because there are people, especially in the city that I'm from, that do that on the regular. I think it's so cool that you have people like Girlpool, and Scotty [Leitch] from Shelf Life, who used to be in Alex G's band, or even Alex before he started working with Domino, who just finish a record and put it on the internet and then do their next thing. That said, it's really awesome to work with Lame-O, cause they're just such a great label. And also, just having finished it, I want to make more records under the moniker now. I'm excited to keep doing that. It's just something that started as another little side thing. I was gonna even give it a different band name, and then Brendan [Mulvihill] from Norwegian Arms was like, "You should use your name." It just made sense.

FMQB: There are other people playing on the record, right?

DA: Oh yeah, totally! It's definitely a group of people. I'm not good enough at drums to do that, so Joe Baldacci from DRGN King played drums on the whole thing. Brendan Mulvihill played on a lot of it, Andy Black, who I've just known forever, and then Lucy Stone, who was in DRGN King and does a million other projects too, contributed a lot of vocals to it. So it definitely was a group project, but the idea was I had the songs and general sense of how I wanted them to sound, and I figured if we all got in the studio together we could make something really cool.

FMQB: And you did!

DA: Thanks! Under that logic, I hope I can continue to do that cause it was such a good experience and informed how I plan on making music in the future. Just getting some people together and seeing what happens, with a clear idea of what I want, but let a lot of other people's ideas come in.

FMQB: It sounds like some of the songs get a little political, which seems different for you, but not out of the ordinary for the times we're living in. Was that top of mind when you were writing these songs?

DA: Yeah, there's one song on the record that has a lot to do with art vs. commerce, mainly that guy Martin Shkreli, who was running that label with Geoff [Rickley] from Thursday and when it all came out that he was jacking up the prices of AIDS drugs. That, in me, opened up a larger conversation about people trying to make art, when really most people that run bigger record labels are, in some form or fashion, engaging in something that you could think of as terrible. Maybe it's all wealthy people in general, I don't know, but it's worth looking at money being an impetus for doing evil stuff. Being directly political isn't something that I ever really thought about doing with my songs, because I didn't want to do that and then have someone be like, "You're not into direct action." Whereas I think that all that stuff is really important and I try to go to protests and donate whenever I can, I have friends who are really, really about it. Y'know, who are songwriters who write about it and are out in the field and everything. I don't ever want let on and to be seen as self-righteous if I'm not going to back it up. But at this point it's like you can't afford to not talk about it. There's a lot of political stuff mixed with personal in these songs and yeah, it's pretty new for me.

FMQB: Yeah, I kinda thought so.

DA: Well, when you work with other people, even if you write all the lyrics and the other person is doing just the music like with DRGN King, it inevitably is like a mixture of our brains. Not that people were afraid to get political, but it feels good to write songs on my own and explore different things that I think about that way, instead of trying to fit them into a mold of whatever a project is supposed sound like.

FMQB: Because this can sound like anything you want, and can vary from song to song on the record?

DA: Yeah, it can be whatever.

Find out more about Dominic at and check out his video for "Emotional Businessman" here. Listen to his SubModern Session performance here.

By Josh T. Landow

Goodnight, Doggies.

Last month Brooklyn indie Jazz/Afrobeat/Dance outfit Rubblebucket returned from a bit of a hiatus with a new EP called If U C My Enemies. While on tour shortly after its release, I had the chance to chat with band founders Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth about their unique sound and new songs. Along with band members Maddie Rice on guitar and Jeremy Phipps on trombone, they played acoustic versions of some songs from the new EP for our latest SubModern Session.

FMQB: Before we talk about the EP specifically, let’s get a little background on the band. I know you go back almost a decade now?

Kalmia Traver: Yeah. Alex and I met in Vermont. That’s where I grew up, and we both went to college there. We played together in a million different little bands all around Vermont and we became partners. Then we moved to Boston and then we moved to Brooklyn. And we kept playing horns that whole time and having fun.

FMQB: So horns were the initial connection there?

Alex Toth: Yeah, we met in Latin Jazz combo and then we were in a nineteen piece Parliament Funk cover band, Soulvation Army, and then some Afro-Cuban folk stuff, and we were in the band for a burlesque show, and played in an experimental indie rock band a lot around Burlington, Vermont. We were really into jazz.

KT: Our favorite thing was to just sit anywhere and play jazz heads comping for each other, but I wasn’t very good at it. But it was a good learning experience!

FMQB: How did all that lead to Rubblebucket’s beginning? It sounds like you incorporate a lot of the things that you had done in previous bands into what you’re doing here.

AT: Yeah, we got really into Afrobeat music, which is a Nigerian style started by Fela Kuti. It’s kind of a cross between straight up Nigerian spiritual music and then Funk, influenced by James Brown. We saw this band Antibalas touring. We got really into that and moved to Boston. We had the jazz group at the time and I couldn’t get them together for this gig, so I thought, “let’s try starting an Afrobeat band just for this one show.” And we just kept going with it cause it felt really cool to play. At that point there were like ten of us with tons of percussion and interlocking polyrhythmic parts. It was so powerful to be inside that! So we just kept going and evolving the sound over many years.

FMQB: How would you say the sound has evolved from back them to what you’re doing now?

AT: It’s hard to put in in specific genre terms.

KT: I had never even heard of The Talking Heads before. That was like an awakening. That felt like where my head was at actually, even though I didn’t know it.

AT: I feel like it went into a more New Wave direction. We really focused on the songwriting craft and wrote tons and tons of songs. Over time we figured out how to work the groove and horns into those songs and just kind of meld those together in whatever unique ways we wanted.

KT: And Dream Element. We just made up that word this past year when we were working on this EP. In all of our new music, it’s like code for describing I guess psychedelia. Just like big swirling beautiful synths and sounds that you could never really put a finger on. I think that ties a lot of our music together.

FMQB: The new EP, If U C My Enemies, I think represents the longest gap in releases for you. It seemed like you were putting out an album or EP every year, but you hadn’t since 2014.

KT: Yeah, that’s interesting. I didn’t even think of that.

FMQB: Was that sort of a factor of touring all the time as you seem to do?

KT: We had a major shift point. I think it just naturally arose because we had been going non-stop! We did Omega La La and that was such a grind to get that out and we just love playing live so every chance we have we would go play shows. Then right before Survival Sounds I got cancer and Alex got sober, so that was a major impactful life experience. Then after all that, maybe a year into that, we just hit sort of like a burnout, re-gear, rebuild moment. And that’s what we’ve been in for the past eight to twelve months or something. So it’s now finally coming to fruition.

AT: Yeah, I feel like it would’ve been cool to do that sooner. Just to spend more time like breathing and away from the project and writing songs, cause so many good songs have come out this period. And we’re working on studio versions of songs that’ll be on the full-length. It’s just nice to really give space to what we’re working on.

FMQB: I just want to rewind for a second because a lot of information just came out. You’re doing OK now?

KT: I’m doing great now! I’m doing 500% better than I ever have been!

FMQB: Great! And you threw out the term “full-length,” so that’s something we can look forward to? Will that be an expansion of the EP or something totally separate?

AT: Most likely an expansion of the EP. We have so many songs that we’ve written that haven’t been released though, so we’ll see.

KT: This will definitely be the most music that we’ve ever gone into a full-length album with and I think we have a lot of directions we can go with it, which is so exciting. In the past it’s been like, “OK, we have twelve songs, let’s just make an album,” and now we can really pick and choose and craft something that has a character of its own.

AT: We have some stuff that we’re all really excited about that fits nicely with the EP songs, so we’ll see how it happens. We’re hoping to release something like late summer or early fall.

FMQB: I wanted to ask about the theme of the title track, “If U C My Enemies.” It seems very appropriate to the times we’re in where there’s a lot of division amongst people, and it sounds like you’re trying to heal that.

AT: It’s so interesting that we scheduled the release date of the EP for the day of the inauguration. It was so unintentional. We started writing these songs a long time ago, like a year and a half ago.

KT: I don’t think it’s unintentional though, because we’ve been on this really focused course for healing ourselves and that song came straight out of that. I’ve been watching that happen in parallel with our country and the world. It feels pretty aligned. Maybe the actual release date wasn’t on purpose [laughs].

AT: It feels so good to play this song in this time. When we were having all these personal struggles, this Dalai Llama quote became my mantra, which is, “Our enemies are our greatest teachers.” It’s like if you don’t run away from these bad things that happen…

KT: They can be the best thing that ever happened to you, in that you can learn from them.

AT: Yeah, you grow so much from the obstacles put in front of you.

Find out more about Rubblebucket at and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Listen to their SubModern Session performance here.

By Josh T. Landow

If U C My Enemies

Back in 2013, Scottish musician Gary McClure, formerly of Working for a Nuclear Free City, moved to St. Louis to marry his then-girlfriend, now wife and bandmate, Bridgette Imperial. After releasing a self-recorded album under the name American Wrestlers in 2014, Gary signed to Fat Possum Records, who last year put out the follow-up, Goodbye Terrible Youth, which sees him joined by Bridgette, as well as bassist Ian Reitz and drummer Josh Van Hoorebeke. The album featured the #1 SubModern single "Give Up." I recently had a chance to sit down with Gary for another SubModern Session where you can hear him play solo, acoustic versions of some of songs from the record.

FMQB: Congratulations on the new album! The first song on it and the first you played for us today was "Vote Thatcher." Is that to be taken literally? Is it about Margaret Thatcher?

Gary McClure: Yeah, but it's more about a preoccupation with what you leave behind when you're dead, how little the world changes I guess, and history repeats itself. So, it's really a joke because, y'know you can't vote for her can you? Cause she's dead.

FMQB: No, and I'm guessing that if you could, you probably wouldn't want to?

GM: I probably wouldn't want to, no. But, I don't know. Maybe she's favorable compared with some other people who are around these days.

FMQB: Well, yeah… [laughs] You're living here now! So, you came here a few years ago from Scotland?

GM: I cam here three years ago from Manchester. I moved from Scotland when I was very young. I lived in Manchester for a long time. I live in St. Louis now, which is a bit of a change. It's surprising how blue the sky is every day. Manchester's very grey. That's the best bit I think.

FMQB: When you came here is when your musical identity became American Wrestlers?

GM: Yeah. I was waiting for a green card and you can't work. I left all my gear behind in Manchester. Bridgette, my wife, she's a multi-instrumentalist musician, so she had a bunch of guitars and things, but nothing to record on. So I went and bought a Tascam 8-track cassette recorder. That was the way that I used to write years and years back. I just decided to write a bunch of songs that I thought no one would hear, and put this name, American Wrestlers, on it. I sent it to a few blogs and whole bunch of record labels got in touch a couple weeks later, which was kind of startling to say the least.

FMQB: In a good way?

GM: Yeah! So, now I'm here. The process just started then and it's pushed me to this point I guess.

FMQB: I had read that when you were initially sending it to blogs, you were remaining anonymous. Was that because you couldn't officially work here yet?

GM: No. I figured, what would I like to read if I was working at one of these blogs, and the mundane details didn't appeal to me. There wasn't much I could write other than I'm just some guy and I wrote some songs. There's no magic, there's nothing mental that happened in the studio or anything. There's no crazy stories. It was partly also because people always want something new and I had a background with a bunch of other stuff that I'd recorded under different names, that was fairly kind of well known, at least in the States it was. So I didn't want any attachments to anything. I was trying to con people really. [laughs] I told people in Seattle that I'd moved to Seattle, and I told people in Boston that I'd moved there, and all that. I did like two hundred e-mails all across the country. I figured if you hear something good that's local music, you're more likely to write about it. So that was part of the dupe as well.

FMQB: But if they said, come on over and meet face to face?

GM: Yeah, someone said, "Hey, do you want to play a local show?" And I was like, "Yeah sure. Just give me a few months to get a band together."

FMQB: And you did get a band together, ultimately, including your wife.

GM: Yeah, Bridgette was the easiest part. And Ian was the first bass player to turn up actually. And he totally just got it, straight off. And there were like six drummers from Craigslist and none of them worked out for various reasons. And then, this guy sent me a message on Facebook saying, "I love the album and good luck with it." I saw that he was from St. Louis and that he was playing drums in his profile picture. So, I said, "What are you doing? Are you free?" He was totally up for it. And he's still with us. That's Josh. They're all great musicians! I was very lucky I think. St. Louis is a hard place to find great musicians, really. I think a lot of people just leave to find somewhere that's more supportive. I don't know. There's still great stuff going on. There's a great hardcore / punk scene.

FMQB: So making this record, knowing that you had a full band, did you write the songs differently?

GM: The only difference was, because we'd just toured, I was trying to do something which was a bit heavier and a bit quicker pace, and more immediate pop songs. I felt like that might touch live audiences a little better. I wanted to try that for a change, rather than just write something for which live was secondary.

FMQB: The new album is Goodbye Terrible Youth. Does the title have a significance?

GM: Well, I had a great youth, great upbringing, great parents. I think really it's kind of sarcastic. A lot of pressure is put on the young. Cause either they're responsible for everything or they're irresponsible of everything. There's a lot of references to youth in the lyrics, and the music is kind of written like music that I first grew up listening to when I was young. But yeah, my youth wasn't so terrible.

FMQB: Well that's good.

GM: I think I just find it funny to say that. Cause people always think to be young is great.

You can find out more about American Wrestlers at and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Listen to Gary's solo acoustic SubModern Session performance here.

By Josh T. Landow

American Wrestlers
Goodbye Terrible Youth
(Fat Possum)

In 2016 Norwegian punk band Sløtface released two great EPs, Sponge State and Empire Records. They recently embarked on their first tour of The United States and I had the chance to sit down with band members Haley Shea (vocals), Tor-Arne Vikingstad (guitar), Halvard Skeie Wiencke (drums), and Lasse Lokøy (bass) to chat about their formation, their name, their country’s politics, and what’s to come from them next. I was also treated to an acoustic performance from Haley and Tor, which I’m pleased to share with you as our first SubModern Session of 2017.

FMQB: This is your very first tour of The United States?

Tor-Arne Vikingstad: Yeah, we’re playing our third U.S. concert ever tonight.

FMQB: Well, welcome on behalf of the American people.

Haley Shea: After we finished in D.C. last night, we saw the Capitol, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial, so we’re feeling like we experienced some American things.

FMQB: And good to see all that stuff now before…

HS: Yeaaaaah… We’re trying not to mention that to people, uh… We’re trying not to rub it in that we’re from a social democracy that’s kinda doing ok compared to everybody else.

TAV: Our country is basically Bernie Sanders all the way I think.

HS: On this tour we’ve had a bunch of people ask, “Can we come back with you guys? Can you stick us in your suitcase when you leave again?”

TAV: We were talking politics with someone, I don’t remember with who, and I was like “y’know, we’re socialists, so…” and he was dead quiet. Is that a curse word here?

FMQB: To some people probably. But let’s not talk politics, let’s talk music, and let’s talk about how Sløtface got together. I know you’re all pretty young and the band formed when you were in high school?

TAV: That’s true. You guys were 15 or 16?

Lasse Lokøy: Yeah, Halvard and me were 15 and 16 and you guys were 17 and 19.

TAV: There was a cool music environment for young people.

LL: There were many youth clubs where you could go and get in touch with people to form bands. So all of us were playing in different bands. And then Haley had written some songs.

HS: Tor-Arne and I started working on a few of them because we’d been in a band that we didn’t really want to be in anymore, so we thought we’d start something different. Then we kind of picked the people who we thought were the most fun to play with and the most reliable that would actually show up to band practice and try to actually play some shows and record some things, because we’d been in bands for years before we’d ever recorded anything or done very much. We wanted to do something that took it a little more seriously.

FMQB: When you say you’d been in bands for years, cause you were 16 or 17, did you start playing in bands when you were like 12 years old?

HS: Yeah, I was in my first band when I was 11.

LL: When I was 15, I was in four different bands!

Halvard Skeie Wiencke: I think I was 13 when I was in my first band.

FMQB: With this being the band where you wanted to be more serious, is that why your songs are in English?

HS: I write the lyrics for our songs and I was born in the States, but I’ve lived in Norway since I was 4. I write lyrics kind of in diary form so it made sense to sing in the same language that I wrote my diary in, because it was like my mother tongue. Plus, I guess it makes sense for all of us to write music in the same language that a lot of the music we listen to is in, cause we really are mostly inspired by British and American music. I guess it kind of fit.

TAV: And all the TV shows and movies we watch are all in English.

HS: And I just saw on the internet that Norway is one of the countries that has English as a second language that’s best in English, because you start learning English when you’re 6. So, it’s not like people aren’t fluent and can understand it, so that’s not a problem. And then you can reach a wider audience, which is a benefit.

FMQB: And also because of reaching beyond your borders, that’s what you changed the spelling of your name [from Slutface to Sløtface]? I thought that it was supposed to be pronounced as “slot face.”

HS: Yeah, we like to mess with you Americans.

LL: We didn’t really change the name, we just changed the writing. We have a bigger alphabet than you. We have Æ, Ø, and Å at the end.

HS: The Ø is pronounced “EU”.

FMQB: You were actually getting censored online in some places?

TAV: Yeah, there were problems with festivals that couldn’t book us because they couldn’t promote us.

HS: It’s mostly online that all of the algorithms pick up on the word “slut” and then you’re blocked from everything because that word is in it. So we figured by changing one letter, we would avoid those algorithms and the robots wouldn’t be able to tell, and that’s worked out so far. We also like that it connects us to Norway, because people are always trying to be like “You don’t play very Norwegian music.”

LL: And then you have Twenty Øne Piløts that uses the Ø as an O. Which is not cool!

HSW: Someone called us a Twenty One Pilots rip off and we were like, “No, it’s our letter! They’re ripping off us!”

FMQB: You played today a couple songs from the Empire Records EP and one from the Sponge State EP. You put both out in one year, but since they were separated, what’s the distinction between the two?

HS: Well, mostly we chose to put them out that way because releasing a full length album is such a huge deal that we wanted to be really sure that we had the perfect album for us. So we recorded both of these EPs last year and then we’ve spent a long time after working on our debut album that‘ll be out next year [2017] sometime. Also, thematically it worked out well because the Sponge State EP is kind of like our opening statement to people. We wanted that to be our manifesto for all of the issues regarding youth culture and feminism that we like to write about and talk about. Then the second EP was kind of to show that, yes, we’re a feminist band, but being a feminist in 2016 means a lot of different things and we can’t necessarily be classified as a feminist punk band, which is how a lot of people like to classify us. So we wanted to showcase a lot of different sides of ourselves in our songwriting. It doesn’t always have to be explicitly like “This is what we think and this is why you’re wrong,” which is what a lot of the first songs are about.

TAV: Yeah, it was really fun to release “Take Me Dancing” and songs like that and see how people reacted.

LL: I feel like a lot of people see feminists as just protesting and always keeping their fists up, but there’s always different sides of things. You’re not just one way. You can be a feminist and have fun and wanna get drunk and party and stuff.

Listen to Sløtface’s acoustic SubModern Session performance here. Find out more about them and see videos at Slø

By Josh T. Landow

Empire Records EP

Back in in 2012, New Orleans band Royal Teeth emerged with a jubilant and bombastic sound that had us all humming along to their single "Wild." That song and initial EP were followed by a debut album, Glow in 2013, and seemingly endless touring, but it's been quite a while since we had heard anything new from the band. That changed with the recent release of their latest EP, Amateurs, which proves that they are anything but. I recently had the chance to chat with the quartet, consisting of Nora Patterson (vocals), Gary Larsen (vocals / guitar), Josh Hefner (drums), and Thomas Onebane (guitar) about the new songs, and they played a few of them in a stripped down, almost acoustic arrangement for our latest SubModern Session.

FMQB: It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from you. I saw you at SXSW a couple years ago. You might’ve played a couple of these new songs at that show.

Gary Larsen: I’m sure we did.

Nora Patterson: We probably played “Amateurs.”

GL: Definitely. That might’ve been it at the time, actually. We’ve had “Amateurs” for a while. You said it was two South By’s ago, so that makes sense. The others, probably not actually. I think those are more recent. It’s sorta hard to keep track of it sometimes because we’ve been writing a lot and we’ve had sort of a longer break than we wanted to have. So, we were sitting on a really large pile of unfinished demos and pieces of music. For this EP, the interesting thing about it is that it was more or less like, “What can we do in a couple weeks time?” So we got into the studio and we based the songs that we recorded off which ones were a little more developed and which ones had a nice little vibe together, but we still have enough material to go record an album. So, even though we’re out here very excited promoting it and playing new material, we already have our minds thinking of what songs are going to be on the LP, which we’re hoping to record sooner than later. Probably within the next few months or so we’d like get into the studio and start working on it.

FMQB: I think you answered the question that I was going to ask without me asking it, which is whether this EP is a precursor to the album and most of these songs will also be on the album? I’m guessing from what you said that’s not going to be the case here and this is its own thing?

GL: Probably. We really don’t have a plan for that, which I guess is a bit odd. A lot of bands do tend to get all the heavy lifting done first and then they drop the EP and that leads into the album, but this time around it was more like we were off for a while and we just really wanted to get into the studio and do something, and this is what we made. There’s a chance that one or two might stick around and go to the LP, depending on how long it takes to get it finished, but we have enough material to keep it going. At the same time we’re gonna have this out there, so why not just record ten or twelve more tracks?

FMQB: I’m curious, from talking to you at that SXSW, it seemed like you were confident that something would be coming sooner than ultimately it did. Whatever you don’t want to get into is fine, but were there some obstacles along the way?

JH: Uhhh…. yes. It was mostly just boring business, record label stuff to be honest.

FMQB: It’s always the stuff that no one wants to hear about.

JH: Exactly. Yeah, just a little bit of that and we got a little antsy, but it’s all worked out now and we’re happy with our home and we’re ready to release some music and get back to work.

FMQB: Excellent!

GL: We like being busy!

FMQB: Well, you’re always busy. You still did a lot of touring during that timespan.

JH: We did. Yeah. It got to the point where we were touring off the same album for so long, we were like, “We’ve gotta get new music out here to the fans who have seen us six times over the last two years.” I think it was just the idea of how in this modern day, you just have to keep feeding music to your fans and we weren’t doing that. So we definitely want to shift our focus and get back to releasing music.

FMQB: Is there an overarching theme of these six songs?

GL: It wasn’t something that we thought going into it, cause we were looking at a long list of ideas. We were trying to trust our gut and go with what was feeling good at the time rather than try too hard to create a masterplan. But I think looking back at it and listening to it, I definitely think it’s a little more aggressive. I think you can sense that we were a little more… I don’t want to say angry, but kind of using our struggle as inspiration.

JH: Frustrated.

GL: (Laughs) And I think there’s a sense of moving on and it’s a little more punchy. But at the end of the day, we’re still very hopeful people and we try to keep our heads up, so I think you still get the positive message that the band has always carried. So in a way I think that they tie together really nicely, but at the same time I don’t feel like we’re trying to recreate the same sound over and over. That gets a bit boring for us. We like to try to constantly inspire a new energy and vibe that maybe we didn’t do the last time.

You can hear Royal Teeth’s live SubModern Session performance here. The band will be continuing their perpetual tour as they support Rooney through mid-December. They’ll head right back out with This Wild Life in the first week of 2017, followed by another tour with Safetysuit in February. See when Royal Teeth are coming near you and find out more at or

By Josh T. Landow

Royal Teeth
Amateurs EP
(Round Hill)

After accidently catching one of their sets at SXSW this year, I fell in love with Seattle feminist punk band Tacocat. Their third album Lost Time was released back in April, featuring songs that are impossibly catchy and fun, but also have a message. I was very happy to have the chance to sit down for a chat with the foursome of Emily Nokes (vocals), Eric Randall (guitar), Lelah Maupin (drums), and Bree McKenna (bass) at Spice House Sound in Philadelphia, PA, where they also recorded a live performance for another FMQB SubModern Session.

FMQB: You’re certainly not a new band, but I think it’s fair to say that Lost Time is breakthrough for you in that a lot of people, myself included, are just becoming aware of Tacocat now. Do you think it’s also a breakthrough in your sound and music accomplishment.

Emily Nokes: Yeah, I think so. I think it’s the best we’ve ever done.

Bree McKenna: I think all our albums progess off each other as we grow as musicians. We’re definitely not doing the same thing over and over.

Lelah Maupin: But this one definitely has a sound quality that I could tell when we first did the recordings. I was like, “Whoa! Well, that’s different. That’s the next level!”

Eric Randall: Which has to do with our friend Eric Blood who produced it. It was the first time that we ever had a producer. Somebody who had input into stuff like backup vocals and things like that. We wrote it all over the four months before we started recording it. So we kind of came in as we were just finishing up a lot of these songs and we gave him demos with no vocals. He had very little to go off of. We kind of brought a pile of songs and threw them on the floor and were like, “Alright, sort this out.” Some of my favorite songs were songs that I wasn’t necessarily excited about, that I thought were maybe weaker tracks, and his production really brought a lot to the table.

EN: Yeah, for sure.

FMQB: A question that I have about the band relates to the progression of my experience with Tacocat. I saw you at the show, and it was a lot of fun. You’re very lively and colorful, both figuratively and literally. And then you listen more and start hearing in the lyrics that you’re singing about issues. Is that a goal of yours to not make it overt? You draw people in with the experience and then they get it?

EN: Yeah, I would definitely say so. When we first started our lyrics were pretty straightforward, or just almost like joking. It was kind of like, “I’m just gonna scream about this,” but as we’ve progressed as songwriters, it’s become more of a nuanced process, and less of like “I’m just gonna write a punk song that’s funny.”

FMQB: I saw somewhere, and I don’t know if it was you who coined the term, “fun feminism,” which I think is a perfect description.

EN: Oh yeah!

FMQB: One of the songs you played, “The Internet,” is a good example. Is that coming from a personal experience of having to deal with people like that [internet trolls]?

Tacocat: YEAH!

ER: Bree got it the worst.

BM: Oh yeah, my other band Childbirth got really extreme internet comments. It was like rape threats and really graphic stuff that you just can’t ignore. That band is a little more sexually explicit and I think internet trolls find that as an invite to make extreme threats and that kind of thing. It’s really gross and terrible how internet culture can be this unmoderated, nasty playground for trolls to make threats against women and queer people. It’s just really scary.

FMQB: Ugh. Yeah, there are horrible things and horrible people on the internet. But there are good people as well! I saw that the other night you did an Twitter Q&A, and I hope the good people came out for that.

LM: Yeah, good people did come out for that!

EN: That was so funny! It was really cute!

LM: We did not get trolled on the Q&A!

FMQB: Let’s talk about another song that you played – “Dana Katherine Scully.” Obviously it’s based on The X-Files character, and the album title Lost Time is also an X-Files reference?

EN: Yeah, we like The X-Files. I had just started re-watching all of the old ones around the time that we were writing the album and I just thought, “What a fantastic character!” I didn’t really notice when when I was younger, I really liked her, but I didn’t pick up on how she’s a very feminist badass in the math and science departments, which is not a common 90’s feminist role model. Yeah, she’s amazing.

FMQB: A while ago I saw that Mitch Pileggi [Skinner] tweeted about the song.

EN: He did!

ER: So did Gillian Anderson!

FMQB: Oh she did?!

EN: Yeah she tweeted, “Scully got her own song!” It was the best day of our lives!

FMQB: Somewhat related, you also did the theme song for the new Powerpuff Girls cartoon. I feel like their positive message to young girls ties in to what your band is all about.

EN: Totally. They said with the new one, it has an even more feminist bend, and that was some of the ideas they were throwing at us at the beginning. And we were like, “oh that’s cool, we can sign on for that.”

BM: It’s funny because we ended up going to San Diego Comic-Con and we got in a Powerpuff Girls comic book. My niece thinks I’m really cool now. She’s five.

FMQB: Does that bring a lot of younger kids to your shows?

ER: We’ve been playing more all ages stuff and it’s cool. We played a festival in Seattle recently and there were two ten year old girls and they were adorable. Emily brought them on stage and they started doing the dance from our “Crimson Wave” music video. I almost fell over, it was so cute!

EN: They were wearing handmade Tacocat shirts! It was sooooo cute!

You can hear Tacocat’s live SubModern Session performance here and find out more at Find out more about them at or

By Josh T. Landow

Lost Time
(Hardly Art)

It may be too cold to go to the beach now that it’s almost November, but it’s not too late to get into the U.K.’s Beach Baby, who released their debut album No Mind No Money back in the late summer. I recently caught up with the band’s co-founders Ollie Pash and Lawrence Pumfrey to chat about the album, and they performed acoustic versions of some of its song for our latest FMQB SubModern Session, which you can listen to here.

FMQB: Let’s get a little background on Beach Baby. The two of you started the band originally?

Ollie Pash: Yeah, we did. I met Lawrence about eight or nine years ago in Bristol.

FM, QB: You bear a resemblance. If I didn’t know otherwise, I’d think you were related.

Lawrence Pumfrey: Yeah people say that occasionally.

OP: We’re unrelated. Brothers from another mother. But yeah, we started playing songs together then and we carried on doing so during our university years. Then we moved to London afterwards and we carried on playing. We looked for other band members because before then it had just been the two of us. It was like this [session] - acoustic guitars and singing. Different songs. A different songwriting style as well.

FMQB: Was it Beach Baby?

OP: No it was something else. So, we decided we wanted to make a go of it with a proper band. We met our drummer about two or three years ago. He was a friend of a friend. And at that point we kind of found the right combination of musicians and personalities and that’s when we started calling our project Beach Baby.

FMQB: And how would you describe the sound that you arrived at with all of you together?

OL: We started out wanting to make Post Punk music, but with strong melodies. We’re kind of conventional in the sense that we have verse / chorus songs. And then the production references tend to be more New Wave and Post Punk and maybe a bit of 90’s Alternative rock music as well, and a bit of Brit Pop.

FMQB: You just put out your first full length album, but you had an EP a year or more ago with the song “No Mind No Money” and a bunch of the songs that are now on the album.

OL: Yeah. Some of them are actually the same recordings, but then we re-recorded old songs as well. We did a new version of “No Mind No Money” for this record to try and update the palatte of the song a bit, to keep it consistent with the rest of the record. And also we’d played the song live quite a lot, since its conception to the moment that we were recording our album, and I think when you play a song live you start to, just by nature, change the way you play it. I thought it was important to try and involve those changes into the new recording and leave behind some of the things that we weren’t doing on the track anymore.

FMQB: Obviously that must be an important song to become the title track of the album?

OL: Yeah. With it being the album title, I think it’s possibly a bit misleading because I think it was the best song on the album for an album title, rather than the best song. It was a little bit of both. But in terms of importance, you’re right. It was definitely the start of something I think. It was the moment when we kind of brought all the components of our band together and it seemed to happen very quickly without a huge amount of forcing it. It was a morale booster.

FMQB: Another important song is your current single “Limousine.” Any story behind that one?

OL: That song was written just over a year ago as an acoustic jam and I started playing it with two of the other band members because you [Lawrence] were away. We stumbled upon this very driving bass and drum combination that seemed to work really well with the change of chords. I suppose it’s a good example of the rhythm section aspects of our band that we like to work on tightly knit, punky kind of stuff.

FMQB: Now you’re on your first full tour of America. How are you enjoying it?

OL: It’s been a hell of a two, three weeks! We’ve done a lot of driving obviously.

LP: Everything’s miles away. So far away that it took my voice from me. It’s been great though. I think highlights were driving through Yellowstone. We went for a swim in a lake in Yellowstone. That was pretty fantastic. We hung out with some cowboys in Montana. That was unexpected. They taught us how to rope.

FMQB: So you can lasso people from the stage now?

LP: Well, I’m still rubbish at it.

FMQB: Keep practicing.

LP: They gave us a rope, but I think we left it in L.A. It’s been an incredible experience to see so much of a country that we haven’t seen apart from New York and L.A. So, yeah, we feel pretty fortunate.

You can hear Beach Baby’s live SubModern Session performance here and find out more at Find out more about them at

By Josh T. Landow

Beach Baby
No Mind No Money
(Island / Caroline)

I’ve been very excited about Toronto’s Weaves ever since my colleague Shana Hartzel of Y-Not Radio and Swell Tone Music played me their single “Motorcycle” after seeing them at last year’s CMJ. I made it a point to see them at SXSW even though it meant biking miles out of my way to the University of Texas campus, but it was well worth it.  A few months ago they released their self-titled debut full length on Kanine Records, which was everything that I’d hoped for. I jumped at the opportunity to have the band join us for an FMQB SubModern Session at Sleepless Sound Studios in Philadelphia when their tour brought them through town. The following is my interview with band members Jasmyn BurkeMorgan WatersSpencer Cole, and Zach Bines.  You can hear their live performances of songs from the album here.

FMQB: I want to learn about Weaves. I don’t know to much about your band. It hasn’t been too long that you’ve been together?    

Jasmyn Burke: I think it’s been about three years. We put out an EP and this is our first full length record. We started in Toronto with Morgan and myself initially. Then Zach and Spencer joined soon after.
FMQB: I think I read somewhere that you all in one way or another were almost going to give up on music before you found each other?
Morgan Waters: Well that’s something dramatic maybe we said once when we were in a mood.

FMQB: Well, you shouldn’t say things because they get printed. [laughs]  

MW: We never gave up on music, but we gave up on repeating ourselves, so I think that comment was more about we wanted to do something new.

JB: I was ready to give up on music. I didn’t really know if I wanted to play in bands anymore. I was kind of over it. But then this sort of happened and I just figured, “OK, one more try.” Otherwise, I don’t know, what would I have gotten into? What’s that job everybody gets? Dental hygienist?

Zach Bines: Everybody is a dental hygienist these days! Massage therapy is also a thing that everybody does. I just had tendonitis. That was my only thing.

FMQB: But anyway, so the magic happened when you all got in the same room and started playing?
MW: If we say yes, then we sound arrogant.

FMQB: Well, I said it.


FMQB: One of you said something about coming up with something new, and I think you really have. I haven’t heard something quite as unique in a really long time. I struggle to put my finger on how to describe Weaves when I tell people about you, because I’ve been telling a lot of people about you. I have this imagery in my head of a big contraption that has lots of parts and there’s springs and cogs flying out. I know that’s a weird description. How would you describe what you’re trying to do?

MW: I don’t know if we would be able to come up with something better than what you said! I like that idea of a bunch of little pieces coming together to form one machine of Weaves.

FMQB: Yeah, there’s a lot of moving parts and some things that you might say are discordant, but they all work together anyway.

Weaves: [collective] Yeah, uh huh. 

JB: We’ll go with that.

FMQB: How does your songwriting process work in putting all those moving parts together?

JB: There’s different stages each song goes through. I sort of start by myself just recording with vocal loops and guitar and then I send them to Morgan, and he’s like “I like this one, I don’t like this one, yadda yadda yadda.” I picture you like, sitting alone with a cigar, under a light. He’s like “This is a good one kid.” 

MW: Hahahaha.

JB: And then I go to his house and we sort of demo. And then they take on a new life when we bring them to the band. And all the songs, I feel like they’re changing. We’ve been on the road for so long that every song’s sort of taken on a new life in some way cause you don’t want to get bored. There’s many stages. It’s just this continual growing robot.

FMQB: To carry on that analogy. When you make songs with these non traditional structures, I think for a lot of bands it’s easy to become self-indulgent and the songs can be really inaccessible, but you manage to avoid that and straddle both side of the line. Is that something you consciously set out to do?

Weaves: [collective] Yeah.

MW: I kind of like that collision between something more arty and something more populist. To me the most interesting stuff is that collision between art and just entertaining people.

ZB: I think we all like that.

FMQB: Your live is show is also this whole other animal.  We were super impressed with the energy and exuberance, and you’re all just…

ZB:  Freakin’ out!   

Spencer Cole: Sometimes [Jasmyn] will come around and join the rhythm section with some sort of toy or cowbell.

FMQB: So, you surprise each other and then work off those surprises?

ZB: Yeah. We try to push each other.

MW: But then sometimes we don’t like the surprises. It’s hard to always be accepting of them, cause sometimes it’s like, “Wow, that thing that you did when you went out on a limb was really awesome,” but sometimes you’re like, “Why did you go out on a limb?” It just depends on your mood.

FMQB: And Jasmyn, I know at shows, you really like to interact with the audience. Do you like to make people uncomfortable with eye contact?

JB: I’m comfortable with the eye contact. If they feel uncomfortable, that’s on them. I feel like more people need to make eye contact. If you’re on stage that’s part of the experience of bringing people in. People will look at me sometimes, surprised that I’m looking at them, and I like that sort of interaction.  It’s fun to interact with the audience and get them involved.

FMQB: And you have no hesitation going out into the crowd either?

JB: No! Last night that happened. And I lied on the floor for a long time, [completely] still. And yeah, it got uncomfortable. But, that’s part of that fun.

Weaves are a must see live band, and hopefully you’ll get the chance in November as they’ll be back in the states for a tour with Mitski and Fear of Men. In the meantime, you can hear their live SubModern Session performances of "Birds & Bees," "Sentence," and "One More" right here.  Find out more at or

By Josh T. Landow



Pip Brown has been releasing catchy indie dance-pop under the alias Ladyhawke since 2008. Earlier this year she put out her third album Wild Things, full of the most optimistic tunes of her career. She recently sat down with FMQB's Joey Odorisio to discuss the new album, her sobriety and having a stage name. You can also hear three live songs ("The River," "A Love Song" and "My Delirium") recorded for our latest SubModern Session.

FMQB: Ladyhawke is obviously is not your real name. You introduced yourself to me as Pip…does anyone come up to you and call you Ladyhawke? Is it weird to you?

Ladyhawke: Loads of people at shows people call me Ladyhawke. I'm so used to it. It's been my name for so long, I'm totally fine with it.

Do people say, "Hey Lady" or "Ms. Hawke?"

Some people call me "Lady" actually, I have had "Lady" a few times. <laughs> It seems like a term of endearment.

Your new album is Wild Things. What was different about making this record? I know you were in a much better place personally going into making the album than you were in the past.

I toured my second record for quite a while and when I finished touring I moved to Los Angeles. Instead of giving myself a break, I decided to go straight back into writing sessions and started doing loads of them all around the place. The music I was making was really dark and didn't feel like Ladyhawke. I listened to it and thought "this isn't me" and I realized I was feeling all-around quite terrible.

It went on for a while and it got to the point where I said [to myself], "I need to start doing some good things for myself so I feel better and positive things come out in my music for once," instead of the dark stuff which was trying to come out. So I stopped drinking and got really healthy and just started taking better care of myself as a human being really. After that happened, I met Tommy English, who was my producer. He's from Chicago but based in L.A. and we just hit it off instantly. His studio was a really bright, sunny home studio with loads of light pouring in. [It was] just a really happy experience making it. I really enjoyed it.

You've said this has been the first tour where you've been completely sober as well. How has that felt while o, n stage?

It's been amazing actually. I've felt more present, that's for sure. It's actually been better for my nerves. At first it wasn't and I was overthinking it… "Oh God I wish I could have a beer…" But I actually feel more in control onstage and I like that. I engage more with the audience as much as I can because I'm not very good at making chit chat between songs, but I feel like I've been making way more of an effort.

What can you tell us about the single "A Love Song?"

It was my take on a love songs. Love songs are usually written about the first time you meet someone and all those feelings that you have, whereas this one is more like you're a few years down the track and you've gone through loads of stuff together. And if you're still together at the end of it all, it's a good thing, you know?

Find out more about Ladyhawke at or at and exclusive live performances of "A Love Song" and "The River" from Wild Things, plus "My Delirium" from her first album on our latest SubModern Session.

~ By Joey Odorisio

Wild Things

We recently welcomed Australian band Cub Sport to record our latest FMQB SubModern Session at Spice House Sound studio in Philadelphia, PA. The band, made up of Tim NelsonZoe DavisSam Netterfield, and Dan Puusaari, performed songs from their full length debut album This Is Our Vice and chatted with Y-Not Radio host / Swell Tone Music blogger Shana Hartzel about the record.

FMQB: What was the idea behind this album? How is it different than what you've done in the past?

Tim Nelson: I think these songs are a bit more meaningful than our EPs that we put out. I think that we all wanted to make this a bit more mature. Not in a boring way, but just a bit less happy clappy like some of our earlier music was. That was kind of the general reason that it ended up sounding different.

FMQB: What was the writing process like?

TN: I started writing songs as I was recording them; just really rough demos at home in my bedroom. I think having that setting where I could experiment a bit more and try some different things, I felt more comfortable trying stuff that we hadn't really done before. Those demos were pretty much all midi sounds and then bringing the band into that and making live arrangements of them and putting real instruments in, I guess that's how the writing process worked for this and how it wound up sounding a bit different to before. We used to just work on it together. I'd write the songs at a piano and we'd arrange the whole thing in one go in a live setting. The new approach meant that there's a bit more light and shade in the songs and yeah, I think the other ones were pretty much high energy the whole way.

FMQB: You've got a lot of layers on these songs as well. Did It take a little bit to figure out how they all work together?

Sam Netterfield: It took a little bit to get used to. I play all the bass lines with one hand and all of my normal parts with my other hand, and then sing as well.

Dan Puusaari: I think that there was a bit of experimenting even with what Tim would play in certain songs - whether he'd pick up a guitar or play something on the keys. In Sam's sound, there's a lot of different layers of things that were recorded in separately. And I think Zoe went from having three pedals to like twelve pedals just to get the plethora of sounds. There's parts where it sounds like a synth and parts where it's really clean. So yeah, it took a bit of time to figure out how to play the songs live.

SN: Some of them came together really easily. It's different for every song I guess.

FMQB: I know that you guys like a lot of hip hop and R&B. In your older material that wasn't as prevalent and now it really shows through.

TN: For sure. I think there are certain songs like "It Kills Me" and some of the backing vocals in "Only Friend" and "Stay." It was an opportunity to experiment with melody and sing in a slightly different way, bring a little bit of R&B to Cub Sport's sound.

FMQB: I want to talk about your single "I'm On Fire" for a little bit. Where did this song come from because it sounds a little bit like literally being on fire? Is there any of that in it?

TN: Yeah, there is actually. It's a pretty hectic story behind the song. I started writing it in 2010 or something before Cub Sport was even a band. I wrote it about a friend of a friend who got broken up with and then set herself on fire on her ex's front lawn. And that's what it's about.

FMQB: Oh wow! Not too many pop songs usually get that literal. I'm sorry for that person.

TN: Yeah, I kind of try not to think about it that much when we're we're playing it cause it's pretty heavy. That song was kicking around and we've tried a few versions of it over the years and when it came time to record the album we decided to have another go at it. I think we got it to a place where it fits in nicely and we really like it now.

FMQB: A lot of funding has been cut for musicians in Australia. Have you guys dealt with that at all?

TN: Before the cutting, we've been fortunate enough to receive funding to be able to come overseas and do all sorts of things like play at CMJ and The Great Escape. For us that funding from the government has been really important and if it is cut there'll be some great acts that might miss out on some opportunities overseas.

You may have missed Cub Sport's U.S. tour last month, but keep an eye on them via social media (they love Snapchat) as they play their biggest Australian shows ever with The 1975 this month. See the video for their new single "Only Friend" here and find out more at or And of course hear exclusive live performances of songs from This Is Our Vice in our SubModern Session.

~ By Josh T. Landow

Cub Sport
This Is Our Vice

This week New York natives Caveman will release their third album, Otero War. I recently sat down with frontman Matthew Iwanusa and guitarist Jimmy Carbonetti to chat about the new record's concept, their tour with Frightened Rabbit, working with Matt's dad, and more. Plus the band performed acoustic versions of some of the album's songs for another exclusive FMQB SubModern Session.

Josh T. Landow: Tell me about Otero War. First of all, what does that mean?

Matthew Iwanusa: It's a story about… there's a whole thing in the album that explains it. It's a war of men trying to escape the grips of a distant planet.

JTL: The album a story itself?

Jimmy Carbonetti: It's a concept record.

JTL: Since this is your third album, you did things a little differently. You were more prepared heading into the the recording process, rather than putting it all together in the studio as you've done in the past?

MI: Yeah, the songs were already written and we played them for a long time. It was the first time where it was like "this part is actually not working, what can we do?" I feel like other times we would let things sit, but this time we were like "it's good, but we could make it better," and we really tried to focus on that.

JTL: Can we go back in time and tell me about how Caveman got together?

MI: Sure. Jimmy and I went to high school together in Manhattan.

JTL: So, you're a New York band that's actually from New York? Because most of them are not.

JC: The unicorn of bands.

MI: Yes, it's very rare. So yeah, we went to high school together and played in a lot of bands over the years. Then we met Jeff. He was a bartender at a place we would always go to and he was in tons of bands. And that's kinda when we met Sam too. Sam and Jimmy were working at a Guitar shop together. Then all of our bands kind of broke up at the same time so we were like, let's just do this. That's kinda how it all started back in 2009-2010.

JTL: So you just had your five year anniversary of the band. You had two albums before this. Speaking of album titles, your first one was CoCo Beware, like the 80's wrestler? Were you inspired by his parrot?

MI: I loved wrestling as a kid, but someone randomly mentioned that and I was like, that would be a cool album name, but let's just spell it different and go from there.

JTL: So no copyright infringement. Did you ever hear from him?

MI: No, never.

JTL: You're currently on tour with Frightened Rabbit? It's not your first big tour, but how did it come about?

MI: Yeah we've played with a lot of good bands - The War On Drugs, Built To Spill. This one came up just cause our manager gave them the record and they liked it. I don't know.

JC: We had an in.

MI: And it worked out perfectly because their record just came out and ours is about to. They've been really cool and supportive.

JTL: Matt, your father did string arrangements on the album?

MI: Yeah.

JTL: So I assume you grew up in a musical household?

MI: Yeah totally. My mom is a saxophone player and a music teacher. My dad did a lot of things in the Jazz world and is a professor.

JTL: Was this the first time that you collaborated musically?

MI: To me, yeah. To him, he was like "It's just like that time I did that song for your college movie you made," and I didn't even remember that.

JTL: I'm sure he was thrilled that you didn't remember.

MI: But it was great! It was so fun to have him do it and I was really happy about it. But it was funny because he's totally professional, like has everything down more than anybody, but then there's little things where it's stressing me out to get the printer to work for him or something. Eventually it's still Dad, y'know.

JTL: Has he joined you on stage for a performance?

MI: No, we haven't done that ever. My mom has played with us on things though in the old days.

JTL: After this tour are you gonna come back around on your own after the album's out?

MI: Yeah, I think in September.

For now you can see Caveman traverse the spacescape of the Otero War in their video for single "Never Going Back" and hear acoustic performances from Matt and Jimmy right here on our SubModern Session. Also catch them throughout the summer at festivals like Forecastle, Panorama, Outside Lands, and ACL. Find out more at or

~ By Josh T. Landow
Otero War

After releasing three albums in their home country of Norway, the guys of Death By Unga Bunga have finally made it to the States with their latest, Pineapple Pizza. I recently got to chat with several of the members, Sebastian Ulstad Olsen, Preben Sælid Andersen, and Stian Gulbrandsen about their name, their songs, and their attitude. Plus the band performed some songs live for another exclusive SubModern Session.

JL: Congratulations on the new album coming out here in America! You've been a band for seven or eight years, right and you all got together in high school?

DBUB: Yeah, We've been recording and giving out albums for the last five years. We were kids and we played for a long time of course, but it takes time to find the right formula. But the last five or six years has been serious.

JL: And you call got together while you were in school?

DBUB: Yeah, we all went to the same high school and started hanging out and drinking beer and listening to rock n' roll.

JL: I have to ask how'd you come up with the name Death By Unga Bunga? I think we all know the joke.

DBUB: They don't know the joke back in Norway. That's the thing. We get away with it there, but now that we're here, it's like "oooohhhh..." There's a band called The Mummies from the west coast and they had an album in the 90's called Death By Unga Bunga. We thought it was a killer name so we just went for it and then we heard about the joke so we had no idea. It's not a good joke. People don't really laugh, they just get sick. It's just a sick story that's not true.

JL: But you're stuck with it.

DBUB: Yeah, but it's a good name.

JL: Is Pineapple Pizza more like your live shows than your previous albums?

DBUB: It is. For the first time we did the whole record live in the same room in five or six days in this cabin in the northwest of Norway. We just recorded the whole album.

JL: Is that a lot faster than you'd worked previously?

DBUB: Oh yeah, I think it was forty-six days on the second album. So that's an improvement. We were just much more efficient on this one. We knew the songs and had been gigging a lot. We produced them ourselves. Less compromises!

JL: So do you think this is the best representation of your band?

DBUB: Definitely! No doubt!

JL: And is that why it was time to break here in America?

DBUB: Yeah. It took us some time to find out how we're gonna sound on a record because we know how we do it live. Now I think we've found a good format.

JL: Coming here wasn't a huge culture shock for you though, because you grew up on American pop culture. What were some of your favorite things from America when you were growing up in Norway?

DBUB: Just watching MTV. That was a thrill for me. I was skipping school to go home and watch music music videos. But then they stopped showing music videos, but back in the 90's I guess. We learned a lot from Baywatch, and what's the Al Bundy show?

JL: Married With Children.

DBUB: Yeah, that's my favorite. Those jokes are so not cool now. They're sexist. It's hilarious.

JL: But I certainly wouldn't call your band politically correct. You're a little edgy and dirty.

DBUB: We want to stay far away from the political. We're not U2. People need fun music and fun bands. We want to say things when we write our songs, but it doesn't have to be about how depressed you are because you broke up with your girlfriend. Rock n' roll is about having fun and not giving a $#!+ about anything. The lyrics on this one are mostly based on things we've experienced ourselves now that we've been touring a lot. Melted cheese is a song theme and a ride to space. Just fun stuff.

JL: Yeah, "Lady Fondue" is the single. How did you think to compare love and cheese?

DBUB: Well, my favorite cheese of them all is melted cheese. So we wrote a love song about melted cheese and it kind of works the same way as if it was with a girl. Maybe people think it's about a girl, but we sing about cheese, but I guess it's the opposite way where we sing about the lady, but it's actually about our intense love for cheese.

If you didn't catch Death By Unga Bunga on tour in the U.S., you can hear them performing songs from Pineapple Pizza for our latest SubModern Session. Find out more at and Check out their video for "Lady Fondue" here.

~ By Josh T. Landow
Death By Unga Bunga
Pineapple Pizza
(Jansen Plateproduksjon)

You've been hearing a lot from Brooklyn trio Sunflower Bean for a little while now. They recently released their debut full length album Human Ceremony. Last month I had the opportunity to sit down with the band for a chat and to oversee a live studio session including performances of songs from the album at Kawari Sound in Wyncote, PA. Sunflower Bean is Julia Cumming on bass and vocals, Jacob Faber on drums, Nick Kivlen on guitar and vocals

JL: Congratulations on the album! I heard a bunch of the shows on this tour have been sold out.

JC: Thanks! Yeah, yeah, in a lot of the cities that we've been to before, we've had a really nice turn out after the album. It's our first time really headlining the United States, so every show that's been sold out has been a really awesome surprise for us.

JL: It seems like things are really starting to happen for your band, but tell us about how you got your start.

NK: When I was in 11th grade, I was gigging in a band called Turnip King and our drummer was headed off to college because he was two years older than us. Jacob started filling in for him and when I was in 12th grade, I started writing some of my own songs and playing them with Jacob, and we really clicked.

JC: And then I saw Nick and Jacob play as Sunflower Bean two times before I joined the band. We were all kind of friends through the music scene, because I was in another band from when I was 13. They asked me to be the bass player and maybe singer depending on how things went.

JL: I should mention that when you said 11th and 12th grade, that wasn't all that long ago because you're all pretty young.

JC: Yeah, I just turned 20. I'm the youngest one.

JL: And I assume that college was back-burnered by the band.

NK: Me and Jacob actually did a year.

JC: And I just went straight into Rock ‘N Roll University!

JL: Being "all ages people," how important is it for you to play all ages shows?

NK: Super important!

JF: A lot of the towns and cities have different laws concerning it so sometimes it's impossible unless you want to play at 3 in the afternoon. It's hard with that, but I think we try to do it as much as possible because I think teenagers are the ones who need it the most. They're the ones who are really affected by the music.

NK: Even though it's less money for us to make, it's still worth it because our demographic I feel like is mostly 14 to 20 year olds and then 50 to 60 years old.

JL: I noticed that at your show. I'm always happy when I'm not the oldest person at a show, which I was not. Could it be that you appeal to such a wide range of age groups because you're influenced by a wide variety of music. I don't think I've ever seen as many comparisons made to so many bands that are all over the map, such as Elastica, Blondie, House of Love, Felt, a John Hughes soundtrack and even Stone Temple Pilots.

JC: I don't know. I think that Sunflower Bean is really collaborative. We're three musicians with a lot of different influences and hopefully try to bring them together to create something that's new or original and hopefully doesn't sound too nostalgic. We wouldn't want to sound like a cover band or pick one time or one decade and just do that. So I think maybe that's the reason that people hear a lot of different things in it and that's cool.

If you didn't catch Sunflower Bean at one of their 12 SXSW shows last month, they're currently on tour throughout the U.S. with dates stretching into the summer. You can also hear them live on our latest SubModern Session below. Find out more at and check out the new video for "Easier Said" here.

~ By Josh T. Landow
Sunflower Bean
Human Ceremony
(Fat Possum)

Brooklyn's TEEN, comprised of sisters Teeny, Lizzie, and Katherine Lieberson, along with Boshra AlSaddi, just released their third full length album Love Yes last week and I recently had the opportunity to chat with them about the record at Spice House Sound in Philadelphia.

JL: Love Yes is your third album. What have you learned along the way that influenced how you made this record?

TL: I think we've just become a better band. Since Boshra joined, we've toured a lot. I think that's changed our dynamic of how we write and play music and influenced how our sound is now. And I think we also really enjoy recording live. That's something that we definitely learned from recording the last record, which we multi-tracked. It was good, but we didn't feel that it really captured the sound of the band the way that a live recording does. We were really trying the capture the human feeling of the band. We didn't want it to sound perfect.

JL: I feel like each of your albums, you change your overall sound and do something a bit different. Has that been a conscious goal?

TL: Yeah, I don't think we're ever interested in doing the same thing twice. And it's just natural. I like different things all the time and I'm influenced by different music all the time so I'm constantly changing as a writer. That affects the band and I feel like also just playing more and more affects how you play together.

JL: I understand that environment came into play a lot in the writing and recording process. The band is based in New York, but you went back to your [the Lieberson sisters] home in Nova Scotia to make the record?

TL: That's where we went to record. I wrote songs in Kentucky and we actually did a band retreat in Woodstock, NY that was sort of a failure, but Lizzie wrote an amazing song that's on the record, "Please," there, so it wasn't a total failure.

JL: Why Kentucky?

TL: There's so much music in Kentucky and also so much space that I think I lost any self-consciousness that I may have in a more urban environment or distraction. You can just kind of experiment and not worry about the fashion side of music, because I don't care about that as a writer. But it sort of trickles in, living in New York City.

JL: I read a statement where you called this your most feminine album. Is it also your most feminist? Would you define those as two different things?

TL: Lyrically I suppose so. Femininity, I feel like, has to do more with the sensual side of being a woman… for me personally. I cannot speak for all women. How I relate to my femininity is probably being more in touch with the sensuality part of who I am as a woman, and I think that that is part of the record. And then also the feminist part of the record, it just ends up being a topic in my songs because it's something that women have to deal with all the time – sexism and the more political / social side of being a woman in the world.

JL: Is that something that you set out to write about for th, is album?

TL: I think honestly it plays a little bit into the losing some self-consciousness that I was talking about. It's just something that's always on my mind and I feel more confident speaking about and writing about now, being a little more culturally observant in my songs. I think I used to be a little more shy about that. I didn't set out to do that. It wasn't a conceptual thing, just a natural thing that happened.

TEEN has just embarked on a U.S. tour through early April that will take them to SXSW. Check out their new video for "Free Time" here and listen to their live performance of that song along with "Tokyo" and "All About Us" on our SubModern Session here. Find out more at or

~ By Josh T. Landow
Love Yes

In their short time as a band, Philadelphia's Beach Slang have had a great deal of success, leading to the release this week of their full length debut The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us. There is some pedigree here as frontman James Alex hails from veteran Pennsylvania punk band Weston, not to say that Beach Slang hasn't earned their own cred.

Following two EPs in 2014, the band signed with Polyvinyl Records for this intense 27 minute, 10 song body of work, which I recently got to chat with them about for our next SubModern Session. Hear James perform acoustic versions of the album's first two singles "Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas" and "Noisy Heaven," and learn more about the band's background, inspirations, and future plans. Listen to this exclusive performance and interview HERE and feel free to share it on your station's website or social media. If you're interested in airing this on your show, please contact me at

If you're looking for other suggestions from the album, start with "Throwaways," "Ride The Wild Haze," and "Young & Alive." Hopefully you can catch Beach Slang for a plugged in rock show while they're on tour this November. See if they're coming to your town and find out more about them at Beach or

~ By Josh T. Landow
Beach Slang
The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us


The L.A. husband and wife duo of Chris Senseney and Stefanie Drootin-Senseney make up the core of Big Harp, who recently became a full-fledged three piece, with the addition of drummer Daniel Ocanto, for their third album Waveless. The new album finds the band exploring a more rock-oriented sound than their previous two.

With songs like "Diev," "Numbers," "Golden Age," and "Image" all receiving specialty airplay in the weeks since the album's release, I was happy to have the opportunity to sit down with Chris and Stefanie for our latest SubModern Session. You can hear them talk about the history of the band, what it's like to tour with their kids, Stefanie pulling double duty with The Good Life, and most importantly hear them play acoustic versions of some of their tunes. Listen to this exclusive performance and interview HERE and share it with your listeners on your station's website or social media. If you're interested in airing this or any SubModern Session on your show, please contact me at

Big Harp heads back out on tour this November, through the Midwest and West Coast, with The Good Life. Find dates and see videos for "Numbers" and non-album single "It's A Shame" at

~ By Joey Odorisio
Big Harp
(Majestic Litter)

Canadian indie rockers Tokyo Police Club have been longtime SubModern favorites, going back to their 2007 EP A Lesson In Crime. During the making of last year's TPC album Forcefield, singer/bassist Dave Monks moved to New York City from his "home and native land" of Canada. Monks also got into a new relationship, which helped inspire the songs that make up his first solo release, the EP All Signs Point To Yes.

The six song set is full of minimalist, charming tunes, kicking off with the handclaps and keyboards of "Vegas." You've heard the single "Gasoline," which is actually one of the mellower tracks on the EP, with its tasteful brushed drums and keyboard flourishes. "The Rules" is a standout, bringing the hooks that Monks is known for from TPC, and culminating into almost a mini-Arcade Fire catharsis at the very end. "Heartbeat Blues" is a wistful song about feeling invisible to people all around you.

In the end, All Signs Point To Yes is a slight but very likeable collection of winning songs. Monks has been on a short solo tour which brought him to MilkBoy in Philadelphia, where we recorded his set for another SubModern Session. Listen to this exclusive performance and interview with FMQB's Josh T. Landow HERE and share it with your listeners on your station's website or social media. If you're interested in airing this or any SubModern Session on your show, please contact

~ By Joey Odorisio
Dave Monks
All Signs Point To Yes
(Dine Alone)

Back in February, Minnesota natives Hippo Campus, fresh out of high school, released their debut EP Bashful Creatures and they've been picking up steam ever since. In fact, shortly after the EP was released, the band was among the most talked about new acts at SXSW. Now I realize that all of this was a while ago, but with a very busy summer of touring ahead for the guys, including major festivals like Lollapalooza, Made In America, Reading, and Leeds, it seemed like a good time to revisit their impressive six song set that includes singles "Suicide Saturday" and "Little Grace."

My ulterior motive is to share my recent interview with Hippo Campus and the live performance that goes along with it, for our latest Submodern Session. Listen to this exclusive session HERE and please share it with your listeners on your station's website or social media. You can also see video of this performance, recorded at Bourbon & Branch in Philadelphia, here. If you're interested in airing this or any SubModern Session on your show, please contact me directly at

After listening to the session you can check out their Gallagher-esque video for "Little Grace" that we talked about here, or their appearance on Conan here. Find out tour dates and more at or

If you're interested in airing this session on your show, please contact Josh T. Landow.

By Josh T. Landow
Hippo Campus
Bashful Creatures EP

(Grand Jury / INgrooves)

You may remember the rich, sultry voice of Arizona native Zella Day from last year's single "Sweet Ophelia" or her folky take on The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army." Now Zella's full length debut album Kicker has arrived, featuring the songs you've heard from her EP and a lot of new material, running the gamut from from singer-songwriter fare to spaghetti western sounds to dance jams.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Zella to chat about the record and hear her perform (almost) acoustic versions of some of its tunes, including "East of Eden" and "Jameson," for our latests Submodern Session. Listen to this exclusive session HERE and feel free to post it on your station's website. Please contact me if you're interested in airing this session on your show.

Of course I recommend delving deeper into Kicker as well, with songs like "Jerome," "Hypnotic," and current single "High" that would all sound great on the radio. Find out more about Zella Day and see videos at Catch her live on tour this summer including stops at the Firefly Festival this weekend and Lollapalooza next month.

If you're interested in airing this session on your show, please contact Josh T. Landow.

By Josh T. Landow
Zella Day
(Pinetop / Hollywood)

Springtime Carnivore is the latest musical offering from talented singer / songwriter Greta Morgan. You may remember Greta from her previous bands The Hush Sound and Gold Motel. When writing the songs that would come to make up this album, she felt such a personal connection to them that compelled her to start a completely new solo project, playing and recording almost everything on her own.

Greta and the band that she's put together to tour as Springtime Carnivore recently paid me a visit at Spice House Sound studios in Philadelphia for our latest SubModern Session where they shared insights into the creation of the album and played live versions of some of its highlights, "Name On A Matchbook," "Sun Went Black," and "Keep Confessing." Listen to this exclusive session HERE and contact me if you're interested in airing it on your show.

You can find out even more about Springtime Carnivore at or on Facebook, and check out the video for "Name On A Matchbook" that we discuss in the session here.

If you're interested in airing this session on your show, please contact Josh T. Landow.

By Josh T. Landow
Springtime Carnivore
Springtime Carnivore

Philadelphia's Cold Fronts have a had a pretty fantastic couple of years after being unknowingly discovered at SXSW by Seymour Stein of Sire Records, the man who signed The Ramones and Madonna. The whirlwind will culminate later this year with the release of their full length debut, but late in 2014 the band put out an obligatory pre-album EP, Forever.

The EP is a quick listen, with four songs coming in at under 15 minutes, but it hits hard, kicking off with the one two punch of rockers "Hit Me" and "Know It All." Those will both be appearing on the upcoming record, but the second half of the EP, the catchy "Jackie" and more experimental "Faded," will not be.

I recently sat down with frontman Craig Almquist and the band at Cambridge Sound Studios in Philly for a chat, and more importantly to record our first SubModern Session of 2015. You can listen to this exclusive live performance HERE, and find out more about Cold Fronts at

If you're interested in airing this session on your show, please contact Josh T. Landow.

By Josh T. Landow
Forever EP

Mike Doughty's prolific output has increased exponentially in recent years. Since his last album of new material (2011's Sad Man Happy Man), he released a covers album, two live records and an album's worth of re-recorded Soul Coughing songs, after distancing himself from that material for years. His newest album Stellar Motel was released in September.
       Doughty's last few releases have been fairly lo-fi and stripped down but Stellar Motel gives his sound a good shake-up, by incorporating plenty of Hip-Hop into the material. Doughty worked with indie Hip-Hop producer Good Goose on Stellar Motel, which essentially goes back and forth between straightforward guitar tunes and Hip-Hop tracks. Stellar Motel kicks off with the great lead single "Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating In The Future," which is built around an ominous banjo sample. Much of the record alternates between classic solo Doughty songs such as "When The Night Is Long" and "These Are Your Friends," and wackier Hip-Hop collaborations like "Oh My God Yeah F*** It" and "Let's Go To The Motherf***ing Movies." Multiple under-the-radar guest rappers appear throughout Stellar Motel, trading off verses with Mike on tracks such as "Let Me Lie" and "Pretty Wild."
       After two decades of music making (Soul Coughing's debut album recently celebrated its 20th anniversary!), it's great to see Doughty still experimenting and musically mixing things up.

If you're interested in airing this session on your show, please contact Josh Landow.

By Joey Odorisio
Stellar Motel

(Snack Bar / Megaforce)
One of my favorite new bands this summer has been the Scottish duo Honeyblood, consisting of lead singer/guitarist Stina Tweedale and drummer/singer Shona McVicar. I don't think I would have guessed that there were only two of them making so much "crunch pop" as they call it. Not to say that it's all loud and raucous tunes. There's a range of sounds on this impressive debut from fuzzy rockers like "Killer Bangs," "Fall Forever," and "Choker" to more harmonious tunes like "Bud," "(I'd Rather Be) Anywhere But Here," and "Fortune Cookie."

We recently had the chance to spend some time with the delightfully charming ladies of Honeyblood for another SubModern Session where they performed live renditions of some of the album's highlights, plus we found out about all the calls that Stina got from her exes after the release of their venom spewing single "Super Rat" and the very sweet story behind "Killer Bangs." The session is available HERE and can be embedded on your station's website or aired on your show.

Find out more about Honeyblood at or

By Josh T. Landow
(Fat Cat)

It's not often that you hear about a Canadian/Irish hybrid electronic band, but I'm here to tell you about one (the only one?) right now. The five piece Nightbox makes some very interesting sounds using unconventional methods on their sophomore EP The Panic Sequence. Their songs are equal parts danceable and fist-pumpable and catchy as hell. If you're looking to fill that M83 sized hole on your playlist, check out single "Burning" or go a little deeper with the title track and "In The Rural."

I recently sat down with the band to talk about the EP (and the impressive sight of their fiery video for "Burning"). You can hear that interview and more importantly a live performance, including a couple of brand new, yet-to-be-released songs, in our latest SubModern Session. It's downloadable for airplay HERE or to embed it on your website HERE.

Find out more about Nightbox at or

By Josh T. Landow
The Panic Sequence
(Rare Beef)

Over the last few years City Rain have become a mainstay of the Philadelphia electronic music scene, but as founder Ben Runyan teamed up with Scott Cumpstone for his latest effort Songs For A High School Dance it became clear that it was time to reach beyond the city of brotherly love. Perhaps you've heard their single "The Optimist," but now check out a live SubModern Session from City Rain including two more songs from the new album. It's downloadable for airplay HERE or to embed it on your website HERE.

Find out more at

By Josh T. Landow
City Rain
Songs For A High School Dance

When English band The Duke Spirit decided to take a break for a little while after 2011's Bruiser album, members Liela Moss and Toby Butler began working on music together that was departure from their norm into the world of electronic music. Recently releasing an EP, followed shortly thereafter by a debut full length album Zeal, Roman Remains has become more than just a side project for the two.

Many of you have played their lead single "This Stone Is Starting To Bleed" as well as album tracks "Animals" and "Tachycardia," but you probably haven't heard the songs of Zeal as you will in our latest SubModern Session where Leila and Toby perform acoustic renditions of some of the album's tracks. Check out the session for yourself and share it with your listeners. It's downloadable for airplay HERE or to embed it on your website HERE.

Find out more at

By Josh T. Landow
Roman Remains
(Hot Records Ltd.)

Eternal Summers are a dreamy, shoegazey, fuzzy trio, hailing from one of the last places you'd expect – Roanoke, VA. With the release of their 3rd album The Drop Beneath they have both maintained the upbeat jangly pop sound that they firmly established on 2012's Correct Behavior, yet taken a darker turn away from it.

Many of you have been playing their current single "Gouge," but there is plenty more to be found on The Drop Beneath. For those looking to go deeper, try "100," "Never Enough," "Make It New," or "A Burial." Find out more and check out their live performance in our latest SubModern Session, recorded at MilkBoy The Studio in Philadelphia. It's available for you to download and play on your shows HERE or embed it on your website from Soundcloud.

You should have ample opportunity to catch Eternal Summers live as they are touring all over the place through May. Find out if their travels will bring them anywhere near you at or

By Josh T. Landow

Eternal Summers
The Drop Beneath

When a band has been around for as long as Sam Roberts Band has, there are always those fans who who say "I like their old stuff better." With the release of SRB's sixth album Lo-Fantasy a few weeks ago, I find myself saying the opposite. I love the way that Sam Roberts Band has evolved and improved album after album with Lo-Fantasy perhaps being their best work yet!

Recognizing that they were heading in a more danceable direction, SRB chose to work with Youth (Killing Joke, The Orb), a producer who they knew would push them beyond their comfort zone. That's not to say that Lo-Fantasy doesn't sound like a Sam Roberts Band album, because it does, but with a little extra something to it (including a bonus disc of full-on dance remixes). Delving a bit deeper than first single "We're All In This Together," you'll find the equally excellent "Shapeshifters," "The Hands of Love," Kid Icarus," "Too Far," and smooth album closer "Golden Hour."

Hear a few of those songs performed live in our latest SubModern Session, recorded at World Café Live in Philadelphia. It's available for you to download and play on your show HERE or embed from Soundcloud.

Catch Sam Roberts Band at the SXSW "M For Montreal" showcase on March 13th or on tour on the west coast and Midwest throughout March. Get more info and dates at or

By Josh T. Landow

Sam Roberts Band
(Paper Bag)

When I first heard Drowners' single "Luv, Hold Me Down" a few months ago, I thought, "what a great new British band." Then I heard that they were a New York band and I thought, "what a great New York band trying to sound British." Then I found out that frontman Matthew Hitt actually is a transplant and former model from the U.K. and then I just thought, "what a great band…period." Actually as I've listened more and more to their self-titled debut full length, Drowners have come to remind me the most of early era Strokes. I can only wish as much success on them.

I recently had a chance to meet up with the band at MilkBoy in Philadelphia for another SubModern Session performance. If it's possible Drowners raw energy comes through even more live! This session is available for you to download and play on your show HERE or embed from Soundcloud.

If you're headed to SXSW this year, you owe it to yourself to check out Drowners, or see them on tour this spring. Get more info at or

By Josh T. Landow



If you enjoyed Blondfire's Where The Kids Are EP as much as I did last year or the title track inspired you to go out and buy a Honda Civic, then you're probably as happy as I am that their full length record (featuring the entirety of the EP) is finally here! If you didn't spend any time with more than just the EP's title track, then I'm almost envious of you because you get to enjoy all of Young Heart as brand new. Aside from the EP tracks and the titular single, which comprise the first 5 track of the album, some highlights to consider for your shows are "Dear In Your Headlights," "Wild and Wasted," "We Are One," and "Life of The Party."

For those who don't know much about Blondfire, it's the project of brother-sister duo Bruce and Erica Driscoll, who grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but were inspired just as much by the music from their mother's native country Brazil, where they spent a lot of time. Find out more about that and hear songs recorded live at MilkBoy in Philadelphia for our very first SubModern Session, available for you to download and play on your show HERE, or embed this Soundcloud player onto your website:

If you liked what you just heard, hopefully you can experience it live as Blondfire is just wrapping up a tour with Royal Teeth and heading out again with The Sounds in March and April. Get tour dates and more info at

By Josh T. Landow

Young Heart
(Tender Tender Rush / INgrooves)


Nikki Nite,
VP of Prog. & Ops,

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