The Chain Letter Interviews: FYF Edition Pt.III

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Chelsea Wolfe

After a hectic day one of interviews, it felt appropriate to keep things light on Sunday – real casual, like Dean Spunt’s Panama Jack hat. Out among the masses, we watched one of The Orwells perform in nothing but a Chicago Bulls jersey and jockstrap, kids trample one another during No Age, and Tim Harrington put a security guard’s flashlight in places that probably made the FYF employee not ask for it back. Meanwhile, for our interviews there’s was nostalgic talk of Wu-Tang, yoga-related discoveries from one Sub Pop band to another, and it was settled that jackets are underrated.

For our FYF Fest edition, we collaborated with Seagate Creative, producers of computer storage central to the creative process. We switched up the format slightly, adding one constant question about “creative space”. To bring you up to speed, Pt.I involved questions from a six-year old and Pt. II ended on tequila with Filip of Poolside, who sent three random questions to No Age.

No Age

We could not resist a second opportunity in a matter of weeks, to chat with No Age. Dean Spunt and Randy Randall reminded us they’ve been doing this for awhile with their ability to finish each other’s jokes. Must be a talent that comes from all that recording session stewing and marinating they were kind enough to tell us about. We learned that No Age’s craftiness is not limited to hand-packaging their own records. Randall is also skilled a reupholstering chairs.

What’s your favorite Wu-Tang album?

Dean: I would have to say Return To The 36 Chambers. It was the one I got when I was in high school.

Always an important time for records.

Dean: Yeah, music. High school. High school music always kinda stays with you. Well, some of it doesn’t last. I guess it doesn’t pass the test of time.

Randy, do you have a favorite Wu-Tang record?

Randy: I like the tofu veggie rolls at Yoshinoya.

How do you feel about the carbon footprint on this trailer right now?

Dean: I never thought about it, but I guess is their motor running?

The air conditioning is going.

Dean: I guess if their motor is running the numbers will go up on the footprint monitor. And I guess, these are probably made in China, so they shipped these. That probably adds more to their number. I don’t have an opinion on it, but I’d imagine it’s pretty high.

What’s your best drummer joke?

Dean: How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?

[Looks to Randy for help…]

Randy: 1… 2… 3… 4…[counting off as though he’s starting a song].

Dean [laughing]: I didn’t even have a punchline.

Randy: That is the punchline.

He picked it up right away.

Randy: We’ve done this a while.

If your creative space was a place that you go to, what would you put in your creative space?

Randy: It is a place that we go to. So, we have guitars, animal print – not fur but – animal print fabric on the falls, lots of wood, tools.

What kind of animals?

Dean: Tabby cat.

Randy: What else? Oh, we’ve got these office chairs that I found on the street and then I found this Southwestern psychedelic print that we covered all of them with. It’s an all around inspiring work space. No windows though. I think that’s kind of key to not know what time it is outside. You can sort of live in a cube.

It’s like your deprivation tank, kinda

Randy: Yeah, but the opposite of that. What’s the opposite deprivation? Deportation tank?

Dean: Improvation tank…

Randy: Our improvisation tank. It’s not to keep things away from us, but to keep us within ourselves, sorta marinating in a way so everything stays in there. So, we’re just stewing in our own juices.

Dean: In a disgusting way.

Randy: With every implication of what that means.

What three questions do you want to send to the next band?

Randy: What kind of shampoo do you use? You know, to get that washed out kind of feeling.

Dean: Do you like Madonna?

Randy: We need something about Sub Pop.

Dean: Are you a fan of… no.

Randy: I feel like there’s a good in-joke somewhere.

Dean: How much time do you spend in the Sub Pop yoga room?

Washed Out

We went back to back in hanging out with Sub Pop artists on Sunday. Ernest Greene of Washed Out was at the mercy of his labelmate’s jokes. He gave up some embarassing information and learned a new fact about the Sub Pop offices.

Washed Out’s new record Paracosm is out now on Sub Pop.

What kind of shampoo do you use?

Ohhh. That’s embarrassing. Sadly, I used Pert Plus for years. Then, I got married and she was like you have to stop using that stuff, it’s terrible for your hair.

Well, at least you’ve got a girl who looks out for your hair.

She bought me this really expensive stuff from the salon she goes to. I still think I prefer the Pert Plus though.

Do you like Madonna?

I do like Madonna.

Is there a specific era for you?

I think her early singles are probably my personal favorite. I love the production. The 90s’ though, there’s so many hits. I haven’t heard her new record. I’ve seen some billboards around LA for it.

How much time do you spend in the Sub Pop yoga room?

Yoga room? I didn’t even know there was a yoga room. So, I guess that answers the question.

[Frank Nieto, manager for Sub Pop, explains: There’s a yoga room in Sub Pop. But, it’s now called the nap room for staff. There’s one giant futon and chair. It’s really calm and relaxed and you can take a nap if you want to.]

So is it kushy?

[I’ve never used it. We also have office dogs there.] Well, next time you’re there if you feel weary, there’s a Sub Pop nap room. Alright, last one: If your creative space was a place that you go to, what would you put in your creative space?

I started off making music always in spare bedrooms or in my bedroom. I just had a new record come out and it was the first time making something in our new house. It’s not a full blown studio, but it’s bigger than a bedroom and spacious enough for me to be comfortable. It has a really big window and my workspace is set up in front of it.

So, I’d say a view and nothing super special about it. I live out in the middle of nowhere, so it’s a rural setting. So just to see a bit of movement and the light changing that really works for me.

What three questions do you want to send out?

What would your sixteen year old self be psyched to see at the festival?
What’s your most essential item to bring along for tour?
What’s your favorite song about LA or California?

Chelsea Wolfe

Our FYF chain comes to a close with Chelsea Wolfe, who gave a compelling performance as we were able to see tracks from her new record Pain Is Beauty come to life. One might assume Wolfe’s music is far more fitting for a night performance, but in the afternoon her flowing gown and imitiable vocals could have cast a trance on those willing to accept it.

It seems fitting that our FYF edition closes with Chelsea sharing her favorite song about California; read on for her selection.

What would your sixteen year old self be psyched to see at the festival?

Do you have a schedule?

Ha. Totally.

Deerhunter, which I’m still excited about. I saw them last night. Roky Erickson and Kurt Vile. So basically the same things I’m excited about now.

How was Deerhunter last night?

They’re good. I was glad he was in a dress.

Bradford rarely disappoints.

Yeah. I saw him with Atlas Sound, so it was my first time seeing him with Deerhunter. I’m a big Bradford fan.

What’s your most essential item to bring along for tour?

I’d say a jacket. I have this fake fur gray jacket I always bring or a leather jacket. You can throw it on and it makes any outfit come together or if you’re freezing in the van it acts as a blanket or pillow. Jackets become useful.

A very underrated answer.

Yeah we toured in January this year so everything was pretty cold. The jacket came in handy.

What’s your favorite song about LA or California?

Probably the Joni Mitchell song. I think it might be called “California”. She talks about her travels and the nostalgic feeling of going home. That song always gets stuck in my head towards the end of a tour when I’m just craving being in California. Because I love California. I’m always excited to come home to it.

If your creative space was a place that you go to, what would you put in your creative space?

The most important thing is my guitar, my classical guitar. It was passed down to me from my mom and it’s slightly out of tune. It’s tuned to D Standard. I didn’t realize it was in D Standard when I was younger. I started writing songs out of key. Eventually, I tuned all my guitars to D Standard. I like writing on a classic guitar in general. It’s a good sound to start with.

Lots of books. I think it would be cool to be surrounded by books.

What three questions do you want to send on to the next band, whoever that may be?

I hope you have time, I’m going to think about this for a minute.

Tell me your favorite word.
Tell me about a song that influenced you. It doesn’t have to be your favorite, just one that influenced you in some way and why.
Tell us about your happy place.