Category Archives: Call and Response

Call and Response – Bubba Fish, writer/director of YouTube smash “Workout Buddies”

It’s been a wild ride for Bubba Fish these past few weeks. Since the online premiere of his short film “Workout Buddies”, a sort-of sequel to an earlier film–“Day and Night“, which accumulated over 150,000 views on YouTube–with the same cast, crew and themes, the ‘bro love story’ has accumulated over 50,000 views on YouTube, been posted on and even featured on Wesleying. So the reveal of the film’s humble beginnings came as a surprise to me.

“We shot this a while ago. In twenty-four hours,” said Fish, the co-star, editor, producer, co-writer and director of “Workout Buddies”, “right before break.” About to return home for a break from classes, Fish and his buddy Michael Steves, who co-wrote and co-stars in the short, decided to embark on a ridiculous 24-hour shooting spree. The entirety of the film was shot in that time period. Fish remarked, “I was thinking I should probably pack”. With a little help from their friends—Joe Snell, Melanie Avalon and Drew Sampson—they were able to finish and Bubba made his flight home.

Following the sprint, however, the footage languished on Fish’s digital shelves as he focused on classwork and other projects. After a few months, Fish contacted his friend Eric Radloff, lead singer of the USC band Bear Attack (recently featured multiple times on the ABC Family hit “Pretty Little Liars”, and right here on LifeAfterNirvana), who had composed the song for the short’s sort-of prequel. Fish gave Radloff instructions to “make something poppy”. Radloff willfully disobeyed, and Fish now credits the acoustic, falsetto-filled song for creating the wonderfully bromantic atmosphere of the film. (You can download it here.)

The creative process on “Workout Buddies” was unique, in that Fish and Radloff collaborated throughout the editing process. “We sent it back and forth. I’d do an edit of the film, then he’d edit the song, I’d do another edit, he’d do another edit…” Fish recalls.

Fish is quick to credit the bromantic nature of the film for its success. “A lot of the recommended videos on the side [of the YouTube page] are gay videos,” Fish says. The top comment on the six-minute video at the moment is: “Hot makeout scene starts at 6:01”. It has 32 likes.

According to Fish, the film was inspired by “traditional romantic comedy structure”, subverting the tropes by focusing on bros who work out together. The over-dramatic nature of the execution of these emotional beats creates a comedy worth watching, and, according to Fish, “universally relatable”.

From personal experience, I’d say he ain’t lyin’. Check out Workout Buddies here, and revel in all its bromantic glory.

Call and Response – Scott & Brendo

A few weeks back, thanks to a devinsupertramp video, we were exposed to the great music of “Scott & Brendo”. We got a taste of who they are with “Little Voices” , combining a upbeat sound with some rapping. It’s some feel-good music and definitely something to keep an eye out for as they keep making more songs. They only have 3 released so far, but they’re all damn good and have the makings of what will hopefully be a long string of fantastic music to come our way. We were lucky enough to nail an interview with them and we got it here. Now we might be able to figure out a bit more of who Scott Winn and Brenden Bytheway are!

So I’m sure plenty of people have been wondering this, but how in the heck did you manage to get into Devin Graham’s video (devinsupertramp)?
Scott: Well, long story short, I went to film school with Devin Graham. We became good friends and worked on a lot of film projects together. Devin knew that I also made music but didn’t know many details. Brenden and I decided to write the cat song for my Kitten Air video and it went viral pretty fast. A couple days after posting the video, Devin called me and asked if we’d be interested in writing some songs for him. We, of course, were totally game to do it.

Alright, so I noticed that you guys don’t have a little bio on your Facebook page, so can we get a little introduction from you guys?
You got it! Though we’re trying to maintain some mystery. But Scott & Brendo consists of Scott Winn and Brenden Bytheway. We both currently reside in Salt Lake City, Utah. We met at college about four years ago and we became fast friends because of our similar interests in film, music, comedy, and hair styles. Both of us loved to write and record music in our spare time and we thought it would be perfect to collaborate. One day I (Scott) was writing music for a hip hop comedy web series called Dr. Fubalous, starring Flavor Flav and Danny Trejo. I had written most of the music and lyrics already but I felt more could be done to the music to make it shine. So I asked Brenden if he had any ideas. Brenden had lots of ideas and ended up adding a lot of love and flavor to some of the songs. And that’s when we knew we were a pretty dynamic duo. A few months later I made the cat video. I was looking for music and there was a song Brenden had written a long time ago that I thought might fit. It was a pretty simple song but it had a ton of potential. We met up, beefed up the song, wrote some lyrics and voila, now we’re in a band making a new single weekly. It’s crazy how sudden it all happened.

Where and how did you guys meet and when did you decide on forming a band?
I guess I pretty much answered that question in the bio, haha.

You guys have been thrust into the spotlight just this month with two big Youtube videos that combine for over 1 million views. How does it feel to have such a large amount of people be able to listen to your music?
Well, it’s pretty unbelievable to say the least. We’ve talked a lot about it and how unreal of an experience it has been. We literally went from no one ever hearing our music, to hundreds of thousands of people hearing it over night. It’s also very exciting and we’re seeing some great opportunities come from it.

Following up, your short music video for “Kitten Air” has gotten a lot of exposure. In your honest opinion, do you think that the majority of your views come from people looking for cat videos?
Haha, perhaps. It’s pretty varied honestly. We got a lot of cat fanatics checking out the video in the beginning, but then it started getting shared and posted to music sites and comedy sites. A lot of our views came from Ray William Johnson and 9gag.

What was your inspiration behind the song “Kitten Air”? As well as “Little Voices”?
Brenden: I wrote the base piano idea when I was in Brazil a few years ago. The song was originally written to be on the upcoming album of my solo project, Zealousists. After messing around with the song when I got home, I realized the song didn’t really fit the mood of the album and I was a little sad to leave the track off the album. Scott heard the song and had wanted to do something with it for a long time, but we just never got around to it. When it came time to release the kitten video, we dug through our bank of music ideas to find something that would work and this song just seemed to fit in there.
Scott: That’s exactly what happened. The song worked well with the cat video but we knew it could be better. So we met and wrote some ridiculous rap lyrics and built up the song. I explained earlier that Devin contacted me a couple days after releasing the cat video. He asked if we’d be interested in writing a song for a unicycle video he was releasing in three days. It was a bit crazy but we decided to go for it. Brenden and I wanted to give the song a more serious tone. Devin’s videos are bit different from our cat video. I have also always loved the idea of mixing acoustic guitar with hip hop/pop elements, so it was really just another experiment. Two days later Little Voices was born.

Who is this Justin Williams that you guys have collaborated with on both tracks?
Scott: Justin Williams is a good friend of mine that I met in Salt Lake City a few years ago through a mutual friend. Justin competed on American Idol and made it all the way to Hollywood week on Season 9. He is also a cancer survivor and had his story featured on the show. Justin has been a singer/songwriter almost his whole life. After meeting Justin, I teamed up with him to play guitar in his band and help write music. We always wanted to do something bigger together and now we finally have the opportunity of having Justin featured on some of our songs. It’s been a blast. He records in Arizona, while we do everything else in Salt Lake.

What is your song-making process like? Who does what?
We really kind of jam ideas out. Sometimes we base it off of an old idea that never got finished, sometimes we get together and just go with what feels best. It really just depends on the mood of the video we’re scoring…eventually we’ll focus on writing music not meant to be featured in a video…but for now thats our process. We both also play every instrument. Besides co-writing the music, Brenden focuses more energy on producing/mixing the tracks, while Scott writes lyrics and performs the raps.

What are some of your musical influences? As a follow up, how do you take from these influences and make your own distinctive sound?
Scott: We both have lots and lots of different influences. Even the music we make on our own is so different from what we make together. It’s interesting to see what happens when you take both our influences and personal styles and combine them. For example, neither of us really listen to much hip hop or rap. But I’ve been a fan of writing comedy rap for a while now and thought to give it a try on our new sound. I personally am a huge Mat Kearney fan and I always wanted to try a more acoustic/pop/hip hop kind of blend. Adam Young from Owl City is also an enormous influence of mine…don’t hate. I won’t speak for Brenden because he could write an essay about all his influences.

Brenden: Yeah… I don’t really know where to start on this. I’ve been exploring music for a really long time. I got into left side electronic when I was about 16 and I’ve headed off the deep left-side path ever since. This project is fun for me to pull right influences from Scott but try and add my flavor of left to appeal to people like me. Some of my first electronic influences were Kieran Hebden, Orbital, William Orbit, Subtle, and Dan Snaith. These guys have helped me shape my own music (which if you’re curious: and then I’ve taken what I’ve done on my own and tried to combine powers with Scott to create something new and unique while satisfying the needs for a large audience.

Why do you make music? What is it that drives you to create?
Brenden: For me, and I think Scott would say the same thing, that we do it to inspire people. I feel like music needs to be something that takes you somewhere, helps you feel something, motivates you to do something. With our music, you should feel different after you’ve listened to the music, not the same as before.

Scott: I completely agree. I also make music because it’s an outlet for me to relax and de-stress. I’m usually making films full time and it can be a stressful process. Music has always been my escape, and I know Brenden would say the same thing.

What is it that you want most out of your musical experiences? Is it the ability to get out of those 9-5 jobs, or is it something you do for the sake of a creative outlet, or what? Also, do you guys do anything else outside of music?
Brenden: I make music to inspire and uplift people. As an artist, I want people to experience my music, not just passively listen to it. That’s the main goal. If I can eventually make a career out of it, that would be my dream. I eventually want to get to the point where I can be a producer and scout for young, talented people who have the potential to be a recognized artist, but may not have the means to get to that point. I’m also going to school full time studying Public Relations, aside from doing music. I go to school all day and work on music all night, I don’t sleep.

Scott: Yeah, it’s totally a creative outlet for me, but I also couldn’t agree more with Brenden. I think that’s why we work well together. We’re freakin’ twins. I am a full time director/cinematographer and have always done music as a hobby in the little spare time I had. This is really the first time in my life it’s become something more than just a hobby.

What’s the next step for you guys? What should your fans expect coming from your way?
That’s a great question. We’re kind of writing so much music that it’s been a bit difficult to plan ahead. Fans can definitely expect lots more songs over the next couple months and possibly an album. If things go well we’d love to even tour. We’re in talks with a few different musicians and we may be doing some different collaborations. We’ll see. I dunno, the possibilities are endless right now!

Looking even further ahead, what is your ultimate goal with this band? Where do you see yourselves in five years?
We’d love to make this a full time gig. Even though it feels pretty full time right now, we’re both juggling a lot of other things. It would be a dream come true to be able to make a living doing this sorta thing. But what matters most is that we get heard and that we make people feel awesome. We think we’ve got a pretty unique sound and style and hopefully more and more people get to feel what our fans are feeling now.


Thanks so much to Scott & Brendo for taking part of this interview and letting us get more insight to who y’all are and the producers of some cool tracks. We shall be looking forward to whatever you release next and our eyes are on you now.

Hey check them out on their facebook and bandcamp. Support the music that you like and help make these guys take closer steps to making their dreams come true! All it takes is a little like and awareness of what’s going on with them. They’re one of those bands that respond to what their fans say to them, so give them a shot! Go give ’em some love and you’ll get some back!



Call and Response – ODESZA

A while back, we threw up a song called “How Did I Get Here” by a band called Odesza. Coming out of Washington (that’s where we’re from, nice!), A production duo consisting of Catacombkid and BeachesBeaches got an instant hit with “How Did I Get Here” which exploded all over the Hype Machine. Then a few weeks back, they dropped their first album “Summer’s Gone” which received some great exposure and is starting to blow them up. They got some great stuff and we were lucky enough to nail a super quick check-in with them, to see where they were at after the album release. They’ve been busy, that’s for sure, but this is what they had to say:

Out of all the songs you two have produced together, what is your favorite one?

Probably “How Did I Get Here” mainly because it was the first song we were really excited about.

I know both of you were independent producers before Odesza, so how and why did you guys get the band together?

We knew each other through mutual friends and had talked from time to time about collaborating but we never got around to actually doing it. Then one day we decided to jam and we made three songs from the album in a day. That’s when we thought “We need to make an album”

When your EP released, I saw it explode all over the Hype Machine. How has that exposure helped increase your fan base?

It’s helped a lot, we’re really fortunate to have had a lot of people support us and post about the album when it was released.

So I know you guys are in the process of trying to set up a tour/live show; Do you guys plan on making it a regional thing or broadening it out to across the nation?

Yes, hopefully across the nation. We are almost done with getting our live show together. Once that’s done we plan on going wherever people will have us.

Final question here, 6 months from now, what is it that you will want to proudly say about Odesza?

That we’re doing a kickass show and people are still into what we’re doing.

Thanks for the interview Kevin! We appreciate you taking the time to do it!

All the best,,


As much as we wish we could’ve gotten more out of them, we’ll take what we got. They’re busy and are already giving us some great music. Thanks again to Odesza for doing this brief interview and I know there will be a lot of excited fans to see what they have next!

Check out their album on their SoundCloud:

-you can find download the album if you like it at:

Like Odesza on Facebook!

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Call and Response – Bubba Fish, director of Automattic’s “Me 1, You 0” Music Video

Today’s edition of Call and Response features a talented director named Bubba Fish, who for his 5-minute CTPR 310 project at USC (for reference, here’s George Lucas’s), decided to collaborate with the rapper Automattic (of the rap collective MYTH) on a music video for his song, “Me 1, You 0”, and the results were excellent, noted as one of the top 310s of the year (and easily the best-recieved at its premiere). (Full disclosure: I did some work for Bubba on the video.)
You’ll wanna know Bubba’s name, he’s gonna be big. Don’t believe me? Watch, then check out the interview down below. I dare you to disagree:
1. How did you develop the idea for the video?
I wanted to make a hip-hop music video that somehow made childish, elementary-school activities somewhat gangster. The three ideas I thought of right away were– “Chillin with the whore playin N64” where Automattic would be playing N64 with a Barbie doll, his dance with the MILF-who-really-isn’t-hot, and the scene where he makes it rain Monopoly money. I sort of built the video around those three ideas.
2. Did you contact Automattic or did Automattic contact you? How did the collaboration come to be?
I initially contacted MYTH about the video, because I had heard some of their work and I was already a big fan of theirs.
3. There was a long delay between the premiere of the video and its release. Why the gap?
I wanted the video to look and sound perfect when it went on YouTube. I spent a lot of time testing out different file formats for the song, and I spent a lot of time working with a post-production house (High Hat Post) to add those flashy lens flares that every hip-hop video needs.
4. What drew you to Automattic, and why this song?
I was originally supposed to direct the video for another MYTH song, “Life of a Myth Boy,” which had a lot of elementary school, 90s, and childhood themes in it. But the other member of “MYTH,” Dnaps, was finishing his senior year of high school in Houston, so he was unavailable for the shoot. But Matt (Automattic) still wanted to make the video, so I asked him to write another song with similar themes in mind. The song turned out great, so we decided to make an Automattic video instead of a MYTH video.
5. You’ve made other films outside of class, so how was making this video for a class (310) different, better/worse, etc?
As any Production major will tell you, 310 is an insane experience. The entire class is a crash-course in every aspect of production. By the end of the semester, I had held almost every single major position on a film set. But it’s also a better environment to direct a film than any other I have experienced, because your professors, student assistants, and 17 fellow classmates are all there to help you make the best film you possibly can.
6. What’s next for you?
I want to try my hand at more music videos, because I think they appeal to my strengths as a filmmaker. I love the collaboration with artists and the immediate visibility these videos receive from the artist’s pre-existing fans. I also love the creative freedom that a music video provides– there can be a plot, a performance, a visual style that generates an emotion, or all three. Music videos allow filmmakers to experiment and break the rules all over the place. People seem to love watching music videos online more than they like watching short films, because music videos appeal to the extreme ADHD of our generation. I love the fast editing and rapid scene changes, because I’m quite an ADHD person myself.
7. What’s next for Automattic, if you have any idea?
Automattic is rejoining Dnaps in their group, MYTH. Their new mixtape, “We Are the Mayans” should be dropping soon. I’m sure it’s going to be incredible.
8. How, if at all, has being part of two fraternities, helped and/or hurt you in filmmaking? Or has it impacted you at all?
“Me 1, You 0” would not have turned out as well as it did without the help of my professional fraternity, Delta Kappa Alpha, and my IFC fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu. A few members of DKA offered to drive my crew to locations, and almost my entire crew was made up of Sammys, so I am truly indebted to them. They also helped drive publicity of the video after its release.
9. What do you hope happens with this video?
I hope the video is seen by a large audience soon enough. Gotye’s video, “Somebody That I Used to Know” was largely ignored for months and months until it suddenly took off and became the #5 most viewed YouTube video of all time. I don’t expect “Me 1, You 0” to reach that level of popularity, but I hope it gets picked up by some big-time hip-hop or pop-culture blogs and gets a few thousand more hits. We’re sending it to some blogs and radio stations now, so we’ll see what happens. The video will also enjoy a much larger audience the moment that MYTH makes it big.
10. How was it to work with Automattic and would you offer your services as a music video director in the future?
Working with Automattic was fantastic. We became good friends through this whole experience, and I hope to work with him again as soon as possible. It was funny, because I don’t think he realized how good I wanted to make this video until he stepped onto set on the first day and saw a twenty person crew. He took me out to breakfast the next morning and said something along the lines of, “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and now that I know, I’m so excited.”
I’m also looking forward to showing this music video to other artists I might want to collaborate with in the future.
So there you have it! Keep a look out for Bubba and MYTH in the future, and in the meantime share and like their stuff. I know for sure I’ll be doing so.

Call and Response – Bryce Jardine

This edition of Call and Response features an interview with Bryce Jardine, an up-and-coming Canadian singer-songwriter with a talent for making solid, polished roots rock. His new album, The Kids Are Gone, is streaming on his website for free, and it’s worth a listen. It’ll be released for download September 7th. The album is a labor of love, and it shows, with solid production and guest talent such as Serena Ryder (of whom I am a huge fan) and members of the excellent City of Colour. The highlight of the album is easily “Better Half”, with its solid lyricism and unabashed roots-rock feel. In an era when most indie artists focus on synthesizers and drum loops, Jardine takes great care to make his album with real instruments and real vocals, and the arrangement is noticeably tangible. While there’s certainly room for him to grow as an artist from this album, I’d say the  raw potential of this album indicates some really cool music ahead for listeners who appreciate roots rock, country, and, well, Canadian Americana (ha).

1. What was it like working with Serena Ryder, and how did that collaboration come about?

Serena is a pro. She came in, invented the hook off the top of “The Kids Are Gone” and nailed her parts in about 2 hours. She also appears on “Better Half.” We had met briefly at the Dakota Tavern, here in Toronto, before the session.  My producer Derek Downham set the whole thing up as he plays drums in her backing band The Beauties. It all went down very quickly, I thanked her and that was that.

2. Your website notes that you were in a band before you decided to go solo. What band and why the switch?

I was in a heavy rock n roll act. I left for various reasons, but mostly to make the type of music I had grown up listening to. I love heavy music and always will but for now I feel most comfortable in a solo singer/songwriter role.  It feels honest.

3. Who are the biggest influences on you as a musician, and as a person, and why?

My earliest influence was Neil Young, specifically his record Harvest Moon. That record was the soundtrack of my childhood and I still do this day listen to it all the time.

Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle and Iggy Pop are just a few of my other influences. They all are writers, and complete individuals. I like songs that carry ideas. I like songs that take risks. I like songs that are timeless.  All of these artists have helped me find my own voice and my own path.

4. What are your favorite songs of all time?

My favorite songs change all the time, and I would feel like I am leaving things out being too specific. Arcade Fire, Antony And The Johnsons and Springsteen are on my ipod all the time right now.

5. Why did you choose Derek Downham to produce your record, and what was the process like working with him?

I met Derek online. I sent him my demos I had and he responded quite enthusiastically. We spent time hammering out arrangements in pre-production then hit the studio for six days.  It wasn’t until I saw him work in the studio that I became aware of just how fortunate I had been to find him. Derek is one of the most musically gifted people I have ever met.  We worked on a shoestring budget. The experience was fast and intense but after all was said and done I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.

6. What is the music scene in Toronto like, and how do you think it’s different, if at all, from an American music scene of a similar size?

Toronto’s music scene is vast but if you narrow down what bars specialize in your kind of tunes, the communities there can be quite tight knit. For instance I am going to be playing a pub called The Cameron House every Tuesday in June and it’s basically a one-stop-shop for singer/songwriters. I couldn’t begin to compare the Toronto scene to anything else simply because thus far I haven’t cut my teeth in the States yet. That will change within the next year or two.

7. As an independent artist, what is your goal for the near future with this record?

I want to use my debut as a ticket to go out on the road and be the workhorse and performing troubadour I know I can be. I would like to spend most of next year on the road playing clubs and winning people over throughout North America. I do not dream of over night success and in the short term I see success as just being out there doing it.

8. All your upcoming gigs are in Toronto–any plans to tour a wider area in the future?

I am starting with an Ontario tour in September to coincide with the release. From there the plan is to go national then international. Much of my business is D.I.Y right now, and with only so many hours in a day it can take time for negotiations to unfold.

9. How did the collaboration with member(s) of City and Colour come to be?

Aaron Goldstein, pedal steel player for City And Colour came to be through Derek. Derek likes to joke that he is the Kevin Bacon of the Canadian music industry. I believe Aaron has done session work with Derek before. Aaron was super friendly and put his passes down on the fly.

10. If you could pick one song off this LP to get huge, which song would it be and why?

I would love to see Better Half do something on NPR and CBC. That song is a tribute to my folks and is a tune I have a strong emotional connection with. Serena’s voice kills me on that track and I think the arrangement and production all came together seamlessly. That being said, I think I’d still pick it for a third single behind “The Kids Are Gone” and “Death In Life.” Stream em all on folks!

Check him out here:!/brycejardine

Call and Response- The Record Company

Blues music simply does not come from the West Coast. It just doesn’t make sense…does it? Let’s check in on an up-and-coming band by the name of The Record Company and find out how they are producing music that challenge assumptions and still retain that timeless sound. Big ups to the band for doing this, even though they are really busy right now preparing for the may residency gigs, and recording (very exciting news for fans).
1. What’s a band in LA making music like this? Given the traditional representation of California, this is actually the last thing I expected from you guys. Can you explain how the band formed and how this sound formulated? The band formed because I (Chris) ended up meeting Alex (bass) when I was looking for a bass player for a different group.  We didn’t end up playing music at that time but we started hanging out and listening to records on the weekends. Marc (drums) and Alex had played together in a bunch of different bands, we all became good buddies so after about a year of hanging out we just decided we should play some music together.   The sound we came up with by just loving old records especially of the early Chess Records era.  I grew up in rural Wisconsin on a farm in the southeastern corner of the state so I always love music that reflected a certain honesty.  I’ve only been in LA a couple of years, otherwise I was playing and living in and around Milwaukee and the midwest.  I’ve loved soul and blues music from as far back as I can remember liking music.  When I started hanging out with Alex and Marc I realized that those two guys both had the same love of that music that I did.  In the end we just wanted to make music that we felt reflected in some way what we all felt, and the music we love to listen too….
2. Can you describe to us the your songwriting process? Who writes first?  Ideas can come from every and anywhere.  Mostly they come out of a desire to do something new.  Our process is never the same way twice, but I feel like we are all important in that process.  We do all our own writing, recording, mixing, and mastering so we get to really take something from idea all the way to the finish in our own place… In the end, we all need to be there to make the band work.
3. When looking through your guys’ own music libraries, do you mostly have music that resembles what you produce yourself?
Absolutely, for sure.  I am obsessed with Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, etc…. However, our collections don’t stay to just one genre. We all love music, and we all listen to as much of it as we can across a very wide variety of genres and eras…
4. Based on what you guys have released so far, “Don’t Let Me Get Lonely” and the cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, what kind of musical direction can your fans expect from an eventual release of an EP?  It will definitley continue to be a raw sound, something that reflects who we are as people I think.  We can’t help but have a blues sound, and as far as that sound goes we tend to lean on the early electric stuff.  It will hopefully just be a good record to put on at a party and drink some beers too.. 
5. One year from now, what do you guys want to get out of this band? How have your current commitments reflected this desire? We all would love to be playing as often as possible.  So far we have been fortunate enough to be getting some great opporntunities to play often, so I am hoping that will continue.   We just had a great time playing at SXSW and we are going to be doing a month of shows in May at Harvard and Stone in LA to celebrate the release of our new 45 “Don’t Let Me Get Lonely”.  After that we will be going and playing in Montreal at the Montreal Jazz Festival, we are looking to busy this fall and releasing an EP in the very near future.  We have all the songs recorded so we want to start getting them out especially because we are always recording more.  We all love the band, and our collective mission is just to give ourselves the chance to be heard by people and do what we love. Simple and true.
There you have it. Read it and get excited for their future works!

Call and Response – Candysound

Photo credit –  Ryan Ohlemeier / Strangeland

In the latest edition of Call and Response I catch up with Bellingham favorites Candysound, who first came to prominence while competing in Sound Off! two years ago. 

* I first saw you guys perform in the Sound Off! Final a couple of years back. I was immediately captured by the interplay between Teo and Tom, the way you listened to each other and reacted. How has this dynamic changed with the addition of Jesse on bass?

Yeah. In some ways, definitely. As a two-piece, Tom and I focused a lot on dynamic contrast, since we were pretty limited with our instrumentation. Thus, some really extreme louds-and-quiets. When Jesse joined, right before tour two years ago, it really opened a lot of possibilities for us sonically simply because there was another sound to work with, but also because he has a lot of musical input and years of experience. And over the past few years since Sound Off!, progressing as a band in general and figuring what kind of songs we like playing has also led to a lot of shifts, too.

* Your live show is extremely dynamic. Do you go into each performance with the same mentality? Is it a mindset or is it just something that comes natural to you?

For the most part, we go into a show with just our set list for the night. As far as mentality, I think our expectations have always been pretty modest: Perform well. Have fun doing it. Hope the room sounds okay. We’ve played quite a few shows in the past three, four years, so we’ve definitely seen some of the ups and downs of gigging: sometimes the sound guy’s new to what he’s doing, sometimes there isn’t one. Sometimes there are no people to see us play, and other times reception is really positive. You know, good shows, not so good shows. Being a young band, we’re still figuring it out, but the process has been rewarding still.

* What do you most enjoy about playing shows?

Playing the songs. Meeting people. Making funny faces at Tom from across the room while playing. And van rides.

* You’ve gotten to a point where you have been able to tour a bit and play shows beyond Bellingham and Seattle. What is your favorite aspect of touring?

Touring’s weird. It’s expensive to do, you don’t sleep, and you’re crammed in the van with a bunch of sweaty dudes and their gear for a few weeks at a time. But there’s something about getting out and playing music to people up and down the coast that’s completely exhilarating. The last two tours have gone particularly well, not just because we didn’t go broke and our van didn’t break down this time, but the shows were a lot fun. We played better, people and bands who saw us the previous time we toured came out to say hello, and we hit the road with The Cat From Hue again, who are as fantastic people as they are musicians.


* A lot of my favorite bands capture the sound of their surroundings. To me, your sound is tangibly Washington. How has growing up in the Pacific Northwest shaped your sound?

I think our sound is both intentionally and unintentionally shaped by Pacific Northwest acts. Not just because they’re local and we can see it performed live frequently, but also because we’re pretty blessed with the abundance of talented people and bands that reside here. A lot of bands around here are very good, so we like to listen to them, ha.

* Your best songs were released this past year. How has time helped you to mature as songwriters?

Thanks man. I think sometimes that’s just what it takes. Sometimes we practice and I think “wow, this sounds like complete shit” and then three months later, we’ve rearranged it and turned it into a song anyway. Whatever that might say about us…

* How often do you guys play music together?

We’re all pretty busy with different aspects of our lives, and Candysound is definitely just one facet of that. We’ve been balancing full-time work, full-time school, and playing in other bands for a while now, but we try to practice weekly, and play shows about bi-monthly while we wait for summer so we can tour again. We’ve also talked about taking a taking a break from shows for a bit to solidify some new material we have, so we’ll see soon.

* Does your relationship begin and end with music, or do you spend a lot of time together when you aren’t doing Candysound?

Tom and I used to live together. We’ve joked about it a lot that sometimes being in a band is a lot like being in a relationship. And when you’ve shared a roof, rehearse, plays shows and tour together, sometimes you need a break. But on top of playing music, and most importantly, we’re all good friends, which is what brought us together to do this in the first place. It’s nice to be able to meet up after it all to talk, hangout, go hiking or just grab a beer.

* Your “Amadeus” and “These Days” EP’s showcase songwriting that utilizes dynamic contrast to a larger degree than many of your peers. Which of your influences influenced this specific aspect of your songs?

Thinking on it, I think our songs having dynamic contrast is always how we’ve written them, in Candysound and in other bands we’ve played in. And Tom was a jazz drummer through high school, so he’s particularly adept at it. Then combined with fuzz boxes and reverb pedals, I think our EP’s kind of just keep churning out that way, ha. It’s a vicious cycle.

* Who are some of your influences and what about these groups gives you inspiration?

We all have pretty different tastes in music, not just from each other, but also from the music we make. I preface this with the fact that I’m only speaking for myself, but I’m pretty fond of really loud and noisy bands, and really quiet ones too. A lot of 70’s punk rock and 80’s indie rock. And most things 90’s too. Pavement, Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, The Replacements, Fugazi, X. As cliché as it is, Radiohead is probably my favorite band, but I think artists like Mazzy Star, Cat Power, and Elliott Smith subtly influence our songs too. Oh yeah, and local music, of course.

* You remain relatively small in the Northwest. How do you plan to change this? I want to see Candysound playing Seattle’s best venues!

Ha ha, thanks dude. I can’t say we have a specific plan aside from what we’ve been doing. Hoping to keep writing, recording, and releasing. Playing shows, touring regionally, and making friends. We’re doin’ it all ourselves, so we’re open to any and all suggestions too! Ha.

* What is on the horizon for you guys? I was extremely excited to see that you are opening for the Thermals next month.

That was a really fun one. The Thermals always put on a fantastic live show, so that was cool to be there for. I’d never heard Brainstorm before that night, and they are really fantastic too. And Learning Team released a really solid 5-song EP that night and I highly recommend checking it out on their Bandcamp.

As far as things on the horizon for us, I’m pretty excited to keep playing Bellingham, Seattle, and Portland, and also play Anacortes’ Catapult Music Festival in June alongside Nude, Kithkin, Us on Roofs, Special Explosion, Cumulus and Bellamaine.

* Ultimately, where do you see Candysound a few years down the line?

In the long term, and a lot of musicians probably feel this way, it would be nice to find some longevity and sustainability in what we’re doing, meaning consistent shows, tours, releases and the like. But until we get to that point, I’m fine with just having fun while we do it.

Thanks a lot for your time and best of luck, I’m rooting for you!

Thanks a lot Chris! We appreciate your time and support.