Thursday, July 25, 2013

Erica Rivera Interviews Foxygen


Crazy Like Foxygen

“We’re like brothers. We fight a lot,” Jonathan Rado said of his bandmate, Sam France.

You may not recognize those names, but you’ve probably heard of their band Foxygen, the precocious duo that’s hypnotizing the indie music world with its psychedelic, chillwave sound. Both 22, the L.A. bred singer-songwriters — who headline First Ave on Monday — embody Bowie, the Velvet Underground, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan — depending on which track you’re listening to.

Originally discovered by Richard Swift and later signed to Jagjaguwar records, Foxygen released their debut full-length, “Jurrassic Exxplosion Philippic,” in 2007. “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic,” the band’s eclectic and infectious third album, dropped in January.

Since then, the unkempt yet oddly endearing fooligans have appeared everywhere, whether it’s dropping F-bombs galore in interviews or stealing an apple from a street vendor during their La Blogothèque appearance. When performing, frontman France evokes a wigged-out Iggy Pop, complete with eyeliner, while guitarist/keyboardist Rado comes off more grounded.

“We are trying to do things differently,” Rado said in a recent phone interview. “We have no interest in being a modern buzz band.”

The ’60s-and-’70s adoring Rado added that he loves a lot of modern bands, contradicting a Pitchfork interview earlier this year where he claimed to not “even know any new bands.” Both France and Rado have been blunt about their disillusionment with the current music scene

Foxygen, however, is operating within the standard buzz-band channels, having already hit the CMJ Music Marathon last fall and South by Southwest in March. Though Rado pays rent on a pad in New York, he isn’t there very often. Asked what the biggest sacrifice his overnight success has cost him is, Rado said unequivocally, “having a home.”

Foxygen’s strenuous touring schedule took a toll this spring, when they canceled several European shows. Rado said the two-month stretch of gigs leading up to the canceled dates put the future of the band in serious jeopardy.

“We were questioning whether we wanted to go on,” he said. “[So] Sam and I went back to working on our new album. We work the best when recording, so we took time to get back to what creatively energizes us.”

Recharged and back onstage, Rado, who has criticized bands in the past for “staring at their fucking pedals,” claimed spontaneity is the key to a kick-ass Foxygen set.

“Our live shows are very exciting and energetic. We have a set list, but, for better or worse, we don’t know what we’re going to say or what’s going to happen,” he said, admitting that the off-the-cuff approach has backfired.

Internet backlash to his band’s light-switch success is something Rado is keenly aware of, but it doesn’t seem to faze him.

“I’ve never been hurt by anything,” he boasted. “Some things are even funny, like the ‘Foxygen, they suck’ stuff. I’m sure all 26 of your followers loved that tweet. The Internet is a pathetic vessel for people to hate whatever.”

Rado also isn’t concerned about the oft-fleeting life spans of contemporary indie acts. He keeps busy outside of Foxygen and has a debut solo album, “Law & Order,” due in September. But should, for whatever reason, Foxygen end tomorrow, the film school dropout has nonmusical aspirations.

“I’ve always wanted to work in a parking garage,” he reported, without a hint of sarcasm. “Late at night, in that little booth, watching television. That would be my career. Or a cross-country truck-driver.”

Informed that he appears to be drawn to solitary professions, Rado laughed dryly.

“I never looked at it that way,” he said. “Yes, I’d be a loner. I just want to be alone.”

Originally published on Vita.mn in July 2013.

Erica Rivera Interviews Desdamona and Carnage


Q&A: Carnage and Desdamona

Carnage and Desdamona are two of the most hard-working, yet humble, artists on the hip-hop scene. Known offstage as Terrell Woods and Heather Ross, respectively, these fellow artists, teachers, and best friends have been collaborating since 2004, most recently as Ill Chemistry, and have planned a dual release show dubbed Double Dysfunction to celebrate their new solo albums.

Desdamona, a fearless wordsmith who has won multiple Minnesota Music Awards, drops DigiPhenom while Carnage follows up 2012’s hard-hitting Respect The Name with …Not Just A Name. Free digital downloads of both albums will be available to all in attendance.

I met up with Carnage and Desdamona at Blue Moon Café to discuss the state of the Twin Cities music community and the hot topic of relationships—to each other and their fans.

Q: Who were your mentors and do you feel mentoring is an essential part of being a musician?

Desdamona: There have been so many. My first mentors were really my family. When I moved here in 1996, there was a guy named Black Powae who embraced me. Teresa Sweetland who is the executive director of Intermedia Arts helped me write the first couple of grants and kind of broke it down for me. And this guy right here. There’s lots of things that I could say. [Laughs] We’ve mentored each other in a variety of ways, whether it’s personal or artistic; I think that our experiences have informed each other on a pretty deep level.

Carnage: I’ll hit her up on anything from where to put posters to the name of the songs. There’s really nothing I can’t ask her about. One time I was like, “How did you know it was time [to be a full-time artist]? How did you sustain?” and she brought me into a couple of classes. Then I started getting more attention as a local artist and I got to a point where I was at work, not working, but doing music stuff, so I was like, “Maybe it’s that time now.” I hit Des up like, “All right. I’m about to step off the bridge—”

Desdamona: The cliff.

Carnage: The cliff. And I remember being like, “Oh, okay, she’s actually going to help me through this.”

Desdamona: I knew that if he got into a couple [of classes], that it would snowball. Because that is how it happened with me. And I knew he had such a unique thing. There’s a lot of MCs in town, there’s a few beat-boxers, but nobody’s teaching it.

Carnage: She was like, “You’re going to teach beat-boxing classes,” and I was like, “How? Nobody taught me to beat-box.” I saw the first couple times I did the class, people were being shy. I became obsessed with how to incorporate the body as an instrument in the teachings.

Desdamona: It teaches listening, it teaches community, it could teach math, it could teach composition, and also he does a lot of things that are physical. Even that activity—it may seem minimal, but it takes a lot of energy to beat-box.

Carnage: The kids love it. And I love the fact that they love it. That’s a deep thing. That is mentoring to me.

Q: Let’s talk about the local hip-hop scene. Do you feel like it’s inclusive enough?

Desdamona: When I started, it was not as inclusive. It has grown to be more inclusive because there has been more access to people. In some ways, that can be bad, because then it’s easy to get a show.

Carnage: The quality control is really low.

Desdamona: I do think that local radio only picks up the local successes. I don’t think that’s wrong, but as a local community, there are many amazingly talented writers, MCs, and musicians in this town, and they should be heard.

Carnage: The artists who are being supported on these labels started where the people who are not being represented started. There are a lot of MCs out there that never get played on the radio, or that don’t get played that much no matter how much press they get. I got a lot of press in the last year-and-a-half, and they don’t play me on The Current.

Desdamona: It really starts to feel like a situation of the privileged and the under-privileged in a lot of ways. Of access and no access. It’s—

Carnage: Discouraging.

Desdamona: To say the least.

Carnage: But it made me focus on how to write a catchier single. This time around, I made it easier for them. Nobody has to hit me up to ask for a radio single. It’s already there. I don’t know that I’ll necessarily be kissing anybody’s ass…

Desdamona: People know the big players, but they don’t see that there are other people that have been around just as long. I’ve experienced people who are like, “Who are you?” and I’m like, “Who are you?!”

Carnage: It just makes me remember why I’m doing this in the first place. I tell myself, “Terrell, you cannot forget to have fun.” But I can’t do it for fun if it’s not paying my bills, either. I’m just blunt now. If you wouldn’t ask Brother Ali to do your show for $100, don’t ask me. ‘Cause if you called Brother Ali to ask about me, he’d say, “Terrell is dope. Pay him!”

Q: How do you handle hecklers when you’re onstage or fans who come onto you after a show?

Carnage: Sometimes they’re fun to deal with. Sometimes they throw you off. I don’t ever go into a show expecting or demanding that people like it, but I will be respected. You’re not going to come up here and tell me that everything I did needs to be re-worked, ‘cause I don’t come to Wendy’s and tell you how to put the pickles on the burger. This is what I do. It’s like, “So how long have you been rapping?”

Desdamona: To answer the second part of your question, I’ve learned over the years from other people that I’m scary. [Laughs]

Carnage: No, no. I’m scary. You’re intimidating.

Desdamona: But they’ll come talk to you and not to me!

Carnage: And they’ll say, “You look like you’d eat my kids with gravy!”

Desdamona: There’s some kind of fear factor with me. I’m not a super out-going person, which I’m sure it’s hard for people to understand as a performer. But I’m pretty introverted. I don’t like small talk, and I also have a hard time hearing in loud spaces. Those environments are not really conducive to me having a good conversation with somebody else. The times I run into issues with being hit on is when people are saying they want to work with me and they really want something else. It can be really frustrating as a female artist because you’re like, “Is there anybody who values what I do creatively? As opposed to how I look or how I’m supposed to look?” As a female, if you get up onstage with a male, there’s almost an automatic assumption that you’re in a romantic relationship with him.

Carnage: Oh, God.

Desdamona: It pisses me off. Why is it that I can’t be up here just because I’m an artist? I got here because I walked my ass over here and did the work. It’s insane that that’s still the way that we think.

Carnage: Friends of mine are like, “Yo, so…did you smash?” And I’m like, “We smashed onstage!”

Desdamona: If the answer is “no,” then they question his manhood. It’s so fucked up.

Carnage: And then there’s the girls. There are some girls that come up and are all up in your face. If you’re dating somebody at the time—

Desdamona: Problems!

Carnage: Then you hear about it in the car. And I’m just like, “I’m just doing my job! I didn’t bring her home with us!” Finding a happy medium with how to interact with fans is something that I’ve learned to do in the past couple of years.

Q: I feel like you’re both very compassionate people and aware of what kind of social change needs to happen in the community. If you were going to do a PSA for something, what would it be?

Carnage: Embrace everybody for what they can bring to the table. Give someone you don’t know the same consideration you would give someone you grew up with.

Desdamona: I can’t think of just one. There are so many. I feel like some of my Facebook posts are PSAs. I get so many comments on the things I bring up on Facebook. It’s amazing! I’m a connector. I’ve realized how much power I can wield.

Carnage: Influencing people is part of the fuel that keeps me going. 

Originally published on Vita.mn in July 2013.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Erica Rivera Interviews Daughn Gibson


Q&A: Daughn Gibson

Daughn Gibson, a 32-year-old Pennsylvanian, sauntered onto the alt country music scene almost imperceptibly. Born Josh Martin, the singer-songwriter has dabbled in a roster of odd jobs at an adult bookstore and truck driver recruiter. His music career began, in earnest, as a drummer for the metal band Pearls & Brass.

With a blend of electronic grooves and tender Americana-style storytelling, Gibson’s debut All Hell dropped in 2012 on White Denim and was enthusiastically received by critics. Gibson was soon signed to Sub Pop and went to work on his second album, Me Moan. While the gritty narratives of struggle and heartbreak remain on his sophomore effort, the production is fuller and sonically lush with unorthodox instruments.

Once you’ve heard it, you won’t soon forget Gibson’s distinct—and occasionally divisive—baritone, comparable to the likes of the Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt. Daughn’s voice is rough, unnerving, and weirdly irresistible. We spoke to this charming underdog during a brief break in his summer-long tour schedule.

Q: Yours is the first bio I’ve read that mentions the artist’s height (6’5”) and weight (200 pounds). How did that get in there?

A: [Laughs] My friend Matt Corvette from the band Pissed Jeans helped me out with my first record. We’ve been friends since I was 6’3” and he decided it should be in there.

Q: You were born, and continue to live, in Pennsylvania, which is unusual considering most artists seem to live in California or New York. What’s made you stay?

A: I grew up an hour from New York and an hour-and-a-half from Philly and I never had any reason to completely relocate to either of those places. I have the best of both worlds; the bucolic scenery here and the excitement of the city nearby.

Q: How did you make the transition from Pearls & Brass to Daughn Gibson?

A: The main thing about Pearls & Brass was turning up the volume, though I’ve always loved blues and country. The transition wasn’t completely strange. It’s the result of working by myself.

Q: In their review of All Hell, Pitchfork said, “His characters are washed-up, pathetic, and old.” Would you say that’s accurate?

A: Yeah, sometimes even when I include myself in the songwriting. I try to empathize with the characters when writing from their point of view.

Q: Are the characters real or imaginary?

A: They are mostly fragments of my imagination, though there are bits and pieces from people I’ve come across in real life.

Q: You’ve said All Hell is a “product of isolation.” What was “Me Moan” a product of?

A: When I say “isolation,” what I meant was that making a record with a band is about getting a six-pack and fleshing out ideas. With All Hell, I had no one to coordinate with—by choice—and didn’t bounce ideas off of anyone. It was purely from the pit of my head.

Q: How did touring change the way you wrote Me Moan, knowing you were going to perform it live?

A: It completely changed what I was doing. Pearls & Brass was about getting sweaty and turning it up and that element was missing when I toured for All Hell. I kept in mind, “The next album has to be sweaty and louder.”

Q: What kind of tools and instrumentation did you use to achieve that sound?

A: I did most of the stuff at home, then went into a studio in Chicago and added flourishes. There’s acoustic guitar and pedal steel. I brought in a cellist and a piano player as well.

Q: You’ve had a lot of odd jobs. Which was your favorite and why?

A: I was a Broadcast Tech for a while and went around refurbishing news vans. That job kept me on the road constantly, traveling to small towns. It’s different from touring, where all you really get to see is the back of a warehouse. When I was a tech, I really got to see the small towns, talk to people, eat the food. 

Originally published on Vita.mn in July 2013.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Erica Rivera Interviews Budo


Q&A: Budo

Born in Seattle and based in Brooklyn, Budo has been the right-hand-man of the best in the hip-hop biz. He produced Macklemore's first record, The Language of My World, has collaborated with Minnesotan rappers Brother Ali and M.anifest, and recorded and toured in support of Grieves’ Together/Apart.

Now it’s Budo’s time to shine. The artist known offstage as Josh Karp will release his sophomore effort The Finger and the Moon this fall. The studious trumpeter is currently on tour, playing his own horns, guitar, and keys in his live shows, while still staying true to his beat-making roots.

Q: The three definitions of Budo online are a Japanese martial art, a G.I. Joe character, and a Miles Davis jazz compilation. Were any of those inspirations for your name?

A: G.I. Joe. [Long pause] I’m being an asshole. [Laughs] It was my favorite Miles Davis song. Around 2004, 2005, I was making an album and realized I needed a pseudonym or alter ego, and that’s what I chose. The Japanese martial arts connotation was an unintended byproduct. I get tweets all the time about things I am not in a position to respond to.

Q: Did you decide to tour before the release of The Finger and the Moon to test out the songs or is the album already wrapped up and ready to go?

A: It’s a living and breathing thing right now. I’ve been playing shows to get live audience feedback and using that as an opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t. The audience gets to be a part of the process.

Q: How can you tell when something isn’t working or when you’ve really got something?

A: It’s an energy thing. I can sense when the crowd is engaged. It’s not necessarily jumping up and down; it’s a connection. You can feel it when it’s there and even more so when it’s not. I’ve been trusting in that instinct.

Q: Your previous album, One Bird On A Wire, was mostly instrumental. What made you want to add lyrics to The Finger and the Moon?

A: About a year ago, I lost myself in a studio and embarked on an exploration of “What would happen if I gave myself the freedom to make the music I want?” After a clearing of the pipes, I worked out the kinks, went in some directions that worked and others that didn’t, and out of that came verses. When the songs took shape, they had words. I didn’t sit down with the intention of making the music that I did; I was open and this is what rose out of that.

Q: You’ve said previously that your music is about “tension and release.” How is that different in your solo process than from what you experienced collaborating in the past with other musicians? Does your solo work feel more cathartic?

A: It’s just different. There’s catharsis in all of it. There’s joy in all of it. I make music to express things and feel good. It’s therapy in a lot of ways. In solo work, I’m not bound to certain structures like verse, chorus, verse, chorus. These songs do have that, but they also have side-cuts and short-cuts, they go in one direction, get really big, and come back to the beginning. It’s circuital. I go where the energy of the song takes me.

Q: You recently released a remix of James Blake’s “Retrograde.” Do you have other songs on your “Must Remix” list?

A: [Laughs] Yes, about 300 to 400 songs. Remixing is interesting because you don’t want to make a cover. You want to use the song to create something totally different. There are a lot of songs I love that I would never, ever remix, because they’re perfect. In the case of “Retrograde,” certain elements jumped out at me and I wanted to expand on them. I was in the mixing phase of the record [The Finger and the Moon] and I was feeling flat. Remixing “Retrograde” was like a writing exercise to spark creativity. It began as an experiment and I fleshed it out and finished it. It helped me approach my work in a different way. [Pause] How’s that for not answering your question?

Q: No, that was great. My follow-up question was going to be about what kind of song lends itself to remixing, so you already answered it.

A: Yeah, I’m from the future.

Q: You recently tweeted “Yeezus owes more than a little to @therealelp and @YEAHRIGHTPOS.” Would you care to explain?

A: There’s an industrial intensity to that record that’s been heard in El-P’s work since Company Flow. It’s not a new sound. P.O.S., Doomtree, and Lazerbeak have been honing, perfecting, and polishing it for a long time. In that interview in the New York Times, Kanye compared himself to Steve Jobs. And what that comparison is about is that Apple is known for is taking a risk and repackaging it for the masses. Kanye takes existing sounds—sounds that are on the fringe, but still already existed—and he becomes a conduit for these other things that didn’t have a platform. Because, come on, people pay attention to Kanye. That’s not to knock him. The production on Yeezus is amazing. But that sound wasn’t generated in some spaceship that Kanye flies around in. It comes from somewhere. And I think it’s important to acknowledge the lineage of things.

Originally published on Vita.mn in July 2013.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Erica Rivera Interviews Dr. John


Q&A: Dr. John

Dr. John is a New Orleans legend known for his unique hybrid of psychedelic funk and blues. Raised in the Third Ward, the man otherwise known as Mac Rebbenack was introduced to prominent jazz artists through his father, a record store owner. A producer at Ace Records by the time he was sixteen, it wasn’t long before Dr. John adopted a stage name and released his own breakthrough album, Gris-gris, in 1968.

Despite a dramatic life—Dr. John has survived shootings, stabbings, and overcame a heroin addiction—this Bayou crooner not only solidified his place in the musical community, he’s surpassed most of his peers with 30 albums, multiple Grammys, and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Now 72 years old, the singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist continues to tour the globe and impress audiences with his indelible energy, multifarious sound, and salt-of-the-Earth attitude. His latest album, 2012’s Locked Down, was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and called a “weird-ass gumbo of grotty funk and R&B” by Pitchfork.

A deeply spiritual man, Dr. John has spoken at length about his belief in voodoo, the “meat world” we all inhabit, and how he values societal well-being over personal wealth.

We spoke to Dr. John from his hotel room in Quebec.

Q: Was there a moment in your youth when music struck you in a particularly poignant way and you knew you wanted to dedicate your life to this?

A: When I first got into producing records and writing songs in the early ‘50s, I was already getting the idea that this is what I was gonna do ‘cause, you know, I didn’t want to do what my father did, which was fix televisions or radios or record players. This is what I wanted to do.

Q: What changes have you seen in the music industry over the course of your career?

A: I’ve seen tons of changes. I happened to be there in the early days when funk music was starting out and I was real blessed to be around a lot of the guys who created the funk.

Q: Do you feel funk is not as popular a genre as it used to be?

A: Well, I think it’s in a lot of music today. I mean, a lot of music came down the pipe from the Joe Texs and the James Browns and all of those kind of people, then it stretched into the hip hop things, so it’s still there but it’s in slightly different forms.

Q: You’ve worked with so many great musicians in the past; is there anyone left who you idolize and with whom you want to collaborate?

A: I’ve always believed that if I’m supposed to work with somebody, I’m gonna do it. I have a lot of friends in this business that’s always been really good to me in different ways, whether it’s Stevie Wonder or Aretha Franklin and I’ve had a lot of fun doing stuff with them, you know?

Q: Can you describe the New Orleans music scene for someone who hasn’t experienced it before? What makes it unique?

A: I think that so much of the music…it goes in so many different directions and it’s usually around the drums. All these drummers traveled all over the world with different musicians. Earl Palmer probably played on more hit records and more movies than any other one drummer and so many drummers like that caused a major impact and that’s what makes N’awlins something completely different.

Q: Talk about writing your autobiography Under a Hoodoo Moon (St. Martin's Griffin, 1995).

A: Well, at the time the government was garnishing a lot of my wages ‘cause I owed the IRS a lot of money. They said if I wrote a book then they wouldn’t do it—but they still did it, so they got their money back. I never read the book. I had a lot of complaints from people that were in it in it and didn’t like what I said or people who weren’t in it and didn’t like that they weren’t mentioned. They had a lot of flak about that book.

Q: Is that reaction similar with songwriting?

A: I think people either feel good about being in a song or if they not in a song, they don’t care one way or another. People that gets in a song can at least say, “Hey, that’s me!”

Q: What was your motivation to get clean from drugs and what helps you stay clean on a day-to-day basis?

A: I feel the path I’ve chosen is a good, healthy path. I go to N.A. meetings. I might be breaking my anonymity saying that. I believe that certain things can help certain people.

Q: What’s the best piece of music advice you ever received?

A: I remember early on Paul Gayten told me that you have to have your own arrangements to everything. You can’t play music like anybody else’s record and I thought that was great advice. Paul was a great record producer for the Chess brothers in Chicago. He did a lot of records with Etta James and Sugar Boy Crawford and he did tons of hits. I worked for him as a studio musician. Good times.  

Q: Do you know what song you want played or sung at your funeral when that time comes?

A: I really hadn’t thought about that too much. In fact, I hadn’t really thought about it at all!

Originally published on Vita.mn in July 2013. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Erica Rivera Picks The Best Beach Restaurants


Erica Rivera hand-selected the Best Beach Restaurants around the world for The Daily Meal. Find out where to dine shoreside on your next vacation here!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Erica Rivera Interviews The Neighbourhood


Boy in the Hood
Meet the leader of exploding L.A. alt-rock act the Neighbourhood.

Every day has a ‘pinch me’ moment,” Jesse Rutherford, frontman for the Neighbourhood, said by phone during a recent shoe-shopping trip.

Formed in 2011, the Los Angeles-based alternative-rock band has a surprisingly sentimental side beneath their thuggish appearance. After releasing two EPs, “I’m Sorry” and “Thank You,” the monochromatic quintet was signed to Columbia Records and dropped its debut full-length, “I Love You,” in April.

Rutherford hopes that fans will see beyond his group’s hit single, “Sweater Weather,” which was the first song the band wrote together.

“It set the standard for us,” Rutherford said of the provocative tune, which climbed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart. “We knew we wanted to build on that, because it was catchy and had solid parts. You can hear on the album how our sound got more developed as time went on.”

Despite dark lyrics and edgy instrumentation, the Neighbourhood swiftly seduced radio listeners, resulting in a slew of sold-out shows across the United States this summer (and Friday’s non-sold-out stop at the Varsity). Already veteran performers of South by Southwest and Coachella, the band also landed gigs opening for top-40 rockers Imagine Dragons on their current tour.

The seemingly instantaneous success of the Neighbourhood hasn’t inflated Rutherford’s ego.

“A couple of nights ago, there was a 5- or 6-year-old in the audience,” said the grateful-sounding Rutherford, effusively recounting a recent “pinch me” moment. “She was singing every word — not just reciting. Maybe this sounds ridiculous, but she meant it. It felt so good to me. It reminded me of being a boy, because when I was growing up, I always felt different — not like ‘Whoa, I’m an alien,’ but older. I understood emotions and vibes. That little girl reminded me of how a song could affect me.”

The Neighbourhood, whose members are in their early 20s, also appeals to a more mature audience, as evidenced by placement in a (nudity-free!) Playboy app.

“People end up seeing sexual animosity in our music a lot and I don’t necessarily write songs that way,” Rutherford said. “It just sort of comes out like that.”

Perhaps that’s due to an excess of testosterone? There are five guys in the band, after all.
“No,” Rutherford said, unequivocally, when that theory was floated.

But what about the tat sleeves and the inked torso? Doesn’t that scream “tough guy”?

“I just got tattoos because I always wanted them as a little boy,” Rutherford explained. “I have my meanings for them but I don’t care to be known as ‘that guy,’ you know, who’s all, ‘Damn man, I’m tatted up!’ I don’t brag about it.”

And don’t you dare compare Rutherford to Adam Levine of Maroon 5, though they may share a similar reaction from female fans.

“Yeah, there was a bra [thrown onstage] the other night. It was pretty funny. I grabbed it and threw it back at [drummer] Bryan [Sammis],” Rutherford said with a chuckle. “Sometimes we jam after a show and it’s incredible, people are real­ly sweet. They make posters and art and stuff. It’s really cool to make people feel that strongly. It’s an inner moment. I feel this childish kind of vibe from getting that reaction.”

Bra flinging aside, there’s no cliché rock-star behavior in the Neighbourhood. The grapefruit-flavored demand on their tour rider is all the proof you need.

“Fresca,” Rutherford said, naming one of his band’s touring essentials. “And some kind of alcohol. I don’t drink so I don’t pay attention to that. I think it’s Bombay? But Fresca, yeah. We joke that we should change it to something more normal like Sprite. That’s why I don’t feel like there’s too much testosterone in the band. We have Fresca.”

Originally published on Vita.mn in July 2013.