Michael Malarkey (USA) – 31.05.2018

Papiersaal, Zürich

Support: Gareth Dunlop (IRL)

Letzten Donnerstag verzauberte Michael Malarkey mit seinen folkigen Singer-Songwriter Liedern das Zürcher Publikum und zeigte, dass er mehr drauf hat, als nur den bösen Vampir im Fernsehen zu spielen.

Michael Malarkey, den meisten bekannt aus The Vampire Diaries als blutrünstiger Vampir Enzo, war am Donnerstag Abend sozusagen der Hahn im Korb. Mit seiner bunt bestickten Jacke und einem Hut mit federähnlichem Schmuck war Malarkey auffälliger gekleidet als der Rest der Band und auf der kleinen Bühne im Papiersaal umgaben ihn seine fast ausschliesslich weiblichen Fans von drei Seiten. Die Verlegung des Konzerts vom Plaza in den Papiersaal lieferte dem Publikum den perfekten Rahmen für dieses ruhige Konzert. Michael Malarkey war sprichwörtlich zum Greifen nah und stets mit einem Lächeln im Gesicht genoss der Singer-Songwriter die ungeteilte Aufmerksamkeit des Abends.

Zusammen mit seiner Band lieferte Malarkey eine musikalisch hervorragende Show. Mit seiner tiefen Stimme und den melodischen Gitarrenklängen verlieh Malarkey seinen Liedern einen äusserst gefühlvollen Ausdruck. Zu dieser harmonischen Stimmung trug auch ein E-Cello bei, welches sich als eine klangvollere Option als Streicher aus einem Synthesizer herausstellte.

Die amerikanischen Wurzeln seiner Musik liessen sich an den bluesigen Rhythmusmustern erkennen oder zeigten sich durch den gelegentlichen Einsatz einer Mundharmonika, welche den Liedern einen folkigen Touch einbrachte.

Neben seinen altbekannten Balladen wie Scars spielte Malarkey zwischendurch auch schnellere Stücke, beispielsweise My History Will Be the Death of Me, bei welchen das Publikum begeistert mitklatschte. Diese beiden Songs stammen beide von Malarkeys neustem Album Mongrels, welches im letzten Jahr erschien. In der Zwischenzeit hatte er noch die EP Captain Solitaire veröffentlicht, wovon er den gleichnamigen Titeltrack ebenfalls in seinem Set präsentierte.

Malarkey verriet dem Publikum, dass er eine besondere Verbundenheit zur Schweiz hat, da er als Kind regelmässig hierher kam. Sogar Chuchichästli konnte er aufsagen, weil ihm das seine Fans während dem Meet & Greet vor dem Konzert beigebracht hatten. 

Allgemein zeigte sich Malarkey sehr publikumsnah. Er witzelte herum, antwortete auf Liebesbotschaften seiner Fans und gönnte sich während des letzten Liedes sogar ein Bad in der Menge. Seine Erlebnisse auf der Tour dokumentierte er zudem für alle Fans in seiner Instagram-Story, wo er auch regelmässig seine persönlichen Musiktips vorstellt.

Es war ein stimmungsvoller Konzertabend und wir hoffen, dass uns Michael Malarkey mit seiner wunderbaren Stimme und seinem bezauberndem Charme bald wieder beehrt!

Text: Fabienne Gerber/ Foto: Facebook Michael Malarkey; Fabienne Gerber.

Galaxy Camp – 17.5.2018

Dynamo Saal, Zürich

Lineup: State Champs, Knuckle Puck, Trash Boat, WSTR, Can’t Swim, Broadside, Woes

Um die Jahrtausendwende dominierten Pop-Punk Bands wie Blink-182 oder Sum 41 das Radio, doch mittlerweile hat der kommerzielle Erfolg des Genres stark abgenommen. Es gibt aber seit einige Jahren eine neue Welle von Bands in den USA und der UK, die ganz im Stil dieser 2000er-Pop-Punk-Gruppen wieder Musik mit polierten Drei-Akkord-Riffs und grossen, mitsingbaren Refrains. Das Galaxy Camp Festival hat einige dieser Bands für eine kurze Tour mit Halt in Zürich, Karlsruhe, Köln und Leipzig vereinigt. Es ist das erste Pop-Punk Festival in Deutschland und der Schweiz, sozusagen eine europäische Version der nordamerikanischen Warped Tour. Die Zürcher Ausgabe mit sieben Bands im Dynamo Saal findet vor wenigen, aber begeisterten, Fans statt.

Mit so vielen Bands ist die Türöffnung an diesem Abend bereits um 5 Uhr, entsprechend sind beim ersten Set von Woes aus Schottland nur etwa 20 Leute im Saal, bei Broadside aus Virginia, USA sind es schon einige mehr. Dessen Lieder, wie Storyteller, das erste, das die Band geschrieben hat, sind typisch für diesen Abend: Punk-Melodien mit Pop-Schliff und Songtexten, mit denen sich das mehrheitlich junge Publikum identifizieren kann. Es ist ein Glück, dass Broadside in Zürich überhaupt dabei sind: Die Band erzählt, wie sie erst vor 40 Minuten angekommen sind, obwohl dies ein Tag vorher hätte geschehen sollen. Can’t Swim aus New Jersey bieten die fetzigsten Riffs an diesem Abend, ihre Musik ist im Vergleich mit den anderen Bands am Galaxy Camp wesentlich unpolierter, und die Stimmen von Lead-Sänger Chris LoPorto und Bassist Greg McDevitt ergänzen sich gut. Lieder wie 50 Million Dollarsund Come Homemachen Spass, und das Publikum, welches zugegebenermassen nicht riesig ist, gibt im Pit und beim Mitsingen weiterhin Gas. WSTR aus Liverpool betreten die Bühne zu einem Buzz Lightyear-Audioclip, vielleicht, weil es zum Galaxy Camp passt. Leadsänger Sammy Clifford singt trotz der Herkunft der Band wie ein mit der typischen nasalen Stimme eines amerikanischen Pop-Punks, und er heizt dem Publikum ordentlich ein, indem er sie zu einem Circle Pit auffordert. Die Band debütiert in Zürich eine neue Single, aber beim Lied Eastbound & Down hüpft und singt das Publikum mit dem grössten Enthusiasmus. Die ebenfalls aus England stammenden Trash Boat mischen ihr Pop-Punk mit einigen Metalcore-Elementen auf, auch sie fordern das Publikum zum Circle Pit auf und debütieren eine neue Single, sie geben aber auch zu: „We’re the fifth band to ask how you’re doing tonight. You must be sick of being asked how you’re doing.“ Auch diese Band feiern die jungen, eingefleischten Fans, aber leider ist der Ton bei diesem Set suboptimal abgemischt, was sich besonders bei den metallischeren Riffs von Trash Boat bemerkbar macht. Dafür überzeugen Knuckle Puck aus Chicago bei ihrem ersten Schweizer Auftritt überhaupt: Die Band kombiniert schnelle, eingängige Riffs mit langsameren Emo-Elementen, und spielt viele Songs aus ihrem 2017 Album Shapeshifter, aber auch ältere Nummern wie No Good oder Evergreen. Leadsänger Joe Taylor gibt sich auch äusserst dankbar für die grossartige Unterstützung der Fans und betont, dass die Band wie sie nur Menschen sind, man solle nach dem Konzert doch kurz Hallo sagen. Als siebte und letzte Band treten State Champs aus Albany, New York auf, nach dem Loudfest im vergangenen Juni ist dies ihr zweites Zürcher Konzert. Die Band bleibt stilistisch bei einem klassichen Pop-Punk-Sound, aber Songs wie All You Are Is History weisen schon ganz grossartige Hooks auf. Spätestens bei diesem Headliner-Auftritt fällt aber auch auf, wie leer der Saal eigentlich ist: Selbst in der vorderen Reihe haben die ZuhörerInnen ordentlich Platz, der Moshpit dahinter ist aussergewöhnlich geräumig, und in der hinteren Hälfte des Raums gibt es keinen einzigen Menschen. Diejenige, die gekommen sind, geben trotzdem weiterhin Vollgas und Leadsänger Derek DiScanio bedankt sich dafür, dass die Fans den ganzen Abend geblieben sind. Als einzige Band am Galaxy Camp spielen State Champs eine Zugabe, und zwar mit den Songs Critical und Secrets.

Die erste Ausgabe des Galaxy Camp vermag mindestens in Zürich nur wenige Leute anzulocken, den Bands und Fans dürfte dies einigermassen egal sein, denn sie haben sichtlich Spass gehabt und Pop-Punk ist als Genre sowieso seit 1999 Through Being Cool. Insbesondere Knuckle Puck haben bei ihrem ersten Schweizer Konzert überzeugt, aber auch die anderen Bands haben bei ihren Auftritten alles für einen guten Konzertabend gegeben.

Text: Milo Schärer / Foto: Tobias Marti / Bonz.ch

Shame (UK) – 11.5.2018

Dynamo Werk 21, Zürich

Support: RVG

Shame aus South London, England haben im vergangenen Januar ihr Debut-Album Songs of Praiseherausgegeben und werden seitdem von vielen als grosse Nachwuchshoffnung im Indie-Rock gehandelt. Sie spielen Gitarrenmusik, die von Post-Punk Bands wie Joy Division, Gang of Four oder Echo & The Bunnymen beeinflusst ist. Mit unglaublicher jugendlicher Energie bringen sie diesen Sound an eine neue Generation, auch bei ihrem ersten Schweizer Headline-Konzert im Dynamo Werk 21 am 11. März.

Mit „We’re not Shame, we’re RVG from Australia“ stellt sich gegen 9 Uhr die Vorband an diesem Abend vor. Der Bandname, kurz für Romy Vager Group, kommt von ihrer Frontfrau, die auf der Bühne des Werk 21 eine etwas unglückliche Figur macht, da sie das Publikum sehr scheu anspricht, mit Sätzen wie: „There’s a record over there, so I feel like I should say something. If you don’t buy it, we’ll starve, so the blood’s on your hands.“ Dieses Auftreten lenkt aber nicht davon ab, dass die Musik der Band sehr gut ist. Sie spielen schönen Indie-Pop im C86-Stil, die Stimme von Romy Vager ist aber eher kratzig-punkig. Mitten im Song I Used To Love Youbeginnt sie zu weinen, was sinnbildlich für die Intimität von RVGs Musik wie auch ihre Bühnenpräsenz ist. Dem Publikum scheint es zu gefallen, denn es applaudiert kräftig, als RVG die Bühne verlässt.

Nach dem ersten Song Dust On Trial macht Shame-Sänger Charlie Steen eine deutliche Ansage: „We don’t tolerate any abuse, any oppression or discrimination.“ Die Band spielt dann Concrete und One Rizla, zwei Highlights aus Songs of Praise. Man sieht den Bandmitgliedern an, dass sie noch sehr jung sind, und entsprechend energetisch treten sie auch auf: Bassist Josh Finerty kreist hüpfend um die Bühne herum, und Steen lehnt bei jedem Lied ins Publikum und macht grosse Gesten. Die jüngeren Fans in den vorderen Reihen geben beim Tanzen ebenfalls Vollgas, und bei The Licklegt Steen nochmal eins drauf, als er sein T-Shirt auszieht und über die Leute surft, um sie mit Bier zu bespritzen. Die Band ist trotzdem freundlich genug, um jedes Lied namentlich vorzustellen, und Steen bringt auch den einen oder anderen flotten Spruch, wie beispielsweise: „We’re going to play you a song, another song, we’re quite predictable in that regard.“ Dieser Song ist Friction, worauf mit Angie, dem letzten Song aus Songs of Praise, das ruhigste Lied an diesem Abend folgt. Bevor die Band die Bühne verlässt, erinnert Steen, nach wie vor oben ohne, das gut gefüllte Werk 21 nochmals: „Shame, Shame, Shame, that’s the name.“ Die Band betritt für eine Zugabe, die mit Donk aus nur einem Lied besteht, noch ein letzes Mal die Bühne. Vermutlich hätte sie die Energie für noch viel mehr, aber als junge Band haben sie noch gar keine weiteren Lieder, die sie spielen könnten.

Shame geben vor einem begeisterten Publikum Werk 21 Vollgas, und zeigen auch Haltung und Humor, wo es nötig ist. Es macht Spass zu sehen, mit wie viel Elan die noch sehr junge Truppe den Post-Punk-Sound mit neuer Frische präsentiert. Wer diesen Auftritt verpasst hat, kann die Band übrigens schon bald wieder in der Schweiz sehen, wenn sie am diesjährigen Open Air St. Gallen auftreten.

Text: Milo Schärer / Foto: Bandcamp

Spanish Love Songs (USA) Interview

Spanish Love Songs are a melodic punk band from Los Angeles, USA consisting of (photo FLTR) Kyle McAulay (guitar), Meredith Van Woert (keyboard), Gabe Mayeshiro (bass), Ruben Duarte (drums) and Dylan Slocum (vocals/guitar). Milo from Radio Radius spoke to frontman Dylan Slocum after their performance in the Hafenkneipe at Obenuse Fest IV on May 5, 2018. In this interview, he talks about their new album Schmaltz and more.

Milo Schärer: Thank you so much for doing this interview with Radio Radius!

Dylan Slocum: Of course!

How has your European Tour been this far?

It’s been great! We are a week and a half in, we have three shows left. It’s been a blast, there’s been a lot of people at a lot of shows in places that we didn’t expect to necessarily have a ton. So, it’s been a lot of fun!

Alright. And what has your favorite venue been so far?

Hmm… In terms of the show, the one we just played for Obenuse Fest was great because that was insane. In terms of the venue itself, we played a farmhouse in Austria that was very cool. Basically, it was a barn that they had converted into a venue. So yeah, it was a lot of fun.

Alright. For people who aren’t familiar with Spanish Love Songs, which there will certainly be less of after Obenuse, how would you describe your band in five words?

In five words? Sad. I don’t need five words, I think one is enough. Sad and honest. That’s three words. We’ll give you that.

Fair Enough. A lot of other people, such as reviewers, have described your band as being similar to The Menzingers. How do you feel about that comparison?

I mean, it’s great to be compared to one of the biggest bands in our scene, so that doesn’t annoy us. We don’t hear the comparison anymore, but if it’s an easy way to get people to access the music, then by all means, you can compare us to whoever you want because at the end of the day it’s still our band and our songs. Some people feel that we’re rehashing what they did, and we don’t feel we are. I don’t think we are, so it’s fine. Really, we don’t care.

I think especially your lyrics are very different from those of The Menzingers. They’re very personal and detailed, and they often include specific references to places or family members. Why do you choose this kind of lyrical approach for your songs?

I think it’s the only way I really know how to do it. I tried to be metaphorical and vague before, and it just didn’t work. I like being specific, because I think by creating something so specific, it can actually lead more people to recognize and relate to it, even though it’s about me. I think everyone lives their lives in such specific terms that it becomes almost universal. Me writing about the death of my family member, even though it’s my experience, is the same as anybody’s, not the same, but it’s similar to anybody else’s loss of family members. I think people are able to find some comfort in that fact. I like to be so specific so nobody feels that they’re alone because as alone as I feel, I know I’m not the only one.

That makes a lot of sense. How did you get together as a band?

Our other bassist, Gabe, who’s at home right now, Ruben and I played in an old band, and that band broke up. We met Kyle on Craigslist because he had just moved to L.A. and was looking for people to go to shows with and he also mentioned that he played music, so we just started jamming together. Our other keyboardist Meredith is really good friends with my girlfriend so we hang out a lot and we knew that she played piano, so when it was time to add a piano player, I thought of her right away.

Why aren’t Gabe and Meredith on this tour right now?

Gabe was on the first half of this tour with us but he has a child on the way, so he went home to be with his wife and the child he already has. Meredith had some family obligations that unfortunately lined up exactly with our European tour.

Alright, so now let’s talk about your new album Schmaltz, which I really enjoyed. And it appeared to be a popular seller at the merch table…

I think so. We’re just about sold out of our first run, so that’s good. Yeah, it seems to be popular. We’re happy with it.

So yeah, about the album: you included a lot more layered and full-bodied instrumentation compared to your debut Giant Sings the Blues. Did you approach this album differently as a band?

Yeah. We’d been a band for a few more years and we were better musicians. We added the keyboards, which certainly helped. And I think we took a more methodical approach to recording it. The first one we just wanted to get done, so I came with these songs and we just kind of cranked them out and put them out. It was an organic process. With this one, we spent the time together writing and getting every part right. It’s still not perfect in our heads, but it’s as close as we could have hoped to getting it.

Now about the instrumentation: what inspired you to include an organ, not necessarily a typical punk instrument, in the album opener Nuevo?

There’s a Frank Ocean song called Forrest Gump. We love that song, and we already had the keyboards. That song was originally written on guitar, but we were in the studio, and I said: “What if we just switched it to organ?” Then we kind of referenced that song and did it. So, it wasn’t anything deeply thought out, we just thought it sounded cool.

Buffalo Buffalo is a very interesting song lyrically in my opinion. Could you tell us the story behind it?

Yeah. I was in Atlanta for work and I had to move away from my girlfriend, with whom I’d pretty much just fallen in love. I was really sad, so I wrote a love song. A lot of the stuff in that is very specific actually: she was visiting Portland to see her family and two days before she went there was a shooting in a mall there where three kids died. And I was literally lost in the south, wandering through these Civil War cemeteries. I just had this overwhelming feeling of wanting to run away from everything. I don’t know why I thought of “North of Buffalo”, but I did. I was thinking of Canada for some reason, and just wanting to get away from it all. I think as an American going to Canada is kind of a classical escape: going to the land of free healthcare, stuff like that. So, it just kind of happened and I wrote it in an afternoon. I was off from work, I wrote it on a Saturday and I sent it to the guys on a Sunday. It was the second song off the album that we wrote.

Alright. Now let’s talk aboutThe Boy Considers His Haircut. It’s kind of a meta song because you sing about your music and what other people think about it. So, my question is: do you think you’d have more fans if you sang about some happier shit or do you think the sad lyrics are part of the appeal of your band?

I think we’d have more fans if we were 10 years younger, more handsome and sang about very generic, fun things. That being said, I think that our lyrics fit our band. It’s kind of a running joke, but I don’t know, it’s hard to say, but I think we’ve found the place where we need to be. And I don’t know, people like sad lyrics, so we’ll deal with it and we won’t worry about the number of fans we have. Or we’ll try not to worry about it because I’m sure we will at the end of the day?

Now Beer & NyQuil (Hold It Together)is one such sad song. Could you tell us the story behind that?

Yeah. I was it Atlanta, still, and it was Thanksgiving in 2015. I was off of work, and I dropped my boss off at the airport so he could see his wife in L.A. I went back to my apartment and got bronchitis, so I was super sick, had a lot of dark thoughts and wanted to give up on everything because I didn’t know anybody and everyone else was home with their families and I wasn’t seeing my family or my girlfriend. I was super sick, so I took a bunch of NyQuil and didn’t leave the couch for three days. I would order Pizza in the morning and it would get delivered to me, I would order two so that I could eat one for lunch and one for dinner. It was a really sad time, so I wrote those lyrics down and decided to turn them into a song. I think the other have of that song is from when I was in the Dominican Republic for that same job, and I was literally stuck on an island. I was very sad and wanted to get away from everything I was doing, so it was very real.

Alright. Is it difficult for you to perform such personal and sad songs in front of an audience?

Not anymore, it was for a while. I’ve compartmentalized it enough; these things are all very old. Most of the songs on this album were written at the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016, so we’re talking almost three years ago. So, it takes me back to that moment, but I’ve gotten pretty good about not living that moment because I don’t want to be sad like that forever and I’m also dealing with my current sadness and whatever is happening at the moment. It’s also really hard to be depressed about something when I’m onstage and people are having a good time. I’ve chosen to embrace the happiness of it all as opposed to focusing on the sadness.

Ok. Since we’re doing this interview at Fat Tony, my last question for you is: what is your favorite pizza topping?

I am a traditionalist. A pizza should be bread, tomato sauce, and cheese. It’s all it should be, that’s a pizza. None of that other bullshit matters. You can put whatever you want on it, if the cheese, the sauce, and the bread is bad it’s not a good pizza.

Thank you!

Thank you so much!

Spanish Love Songs Links:

Website

Bandcamp

Spotify

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Interview: Milo Schärer / Foto: John Lafirira

Mobina Galore (CAN) Interview

Mobina Galore are a punk rock two piece from Winnipeg, Canada consisting (photo FLTR) of Jenna Priestner (vocals/guitar) and Marcia Hanson (drums/vocals). Milo from Radio Radius spoke to them after their performance in the Zukunft at Obenuse Fest IV on May 5, 2018. In this interview, they talk about their album Feeling Disconnected, Winnipeg’s music scene and more.

Milo Schärer: Hi, thank you so much for doing this interview with Radio Radius!

Marcia Hanson: Our Pleasure!

Jenna Priestner: You got it!

Milo: This is actually the third time I’ve seen you play. I saw you play at Hafenkneipe almost exactly a year ago and also opening for Against Me! at Dynamo. Which of your performances in Zurich, including today, has been your favorite?

Marcia: I had a blast today. It was one of the sweatiest shows and I was very cramped on that stage, but there was something about being so close the audience when it’s a smaller stage in a smaller room. Everybody was singing along, so I’m going to say tonight.

Jenna: I think I would have to agree. It was probably my worst performance of the whole tour, I fucked up so many things.

Marcia: You’re allowed to be sloppy in a small venue.

Jenna: I was getting hit by people, but it’s one of those things where you just roll with it, it felt like a basement show. So, tonight!

Milo: Well, it was literally in a basement. I’d briefly like to mention the other bands that are sharing the stage with you in that basement. Jenna, you sang a bit on the new Cancer Bats album The Spark That Moves and you’ve also played with Propagandhi many times before. Are we going to see you come on stage at all during their sets?

Jenna: I don’t know. This is our first time at this venue and I pictured the stage being a big stage. I was like: “There’s no way I’m going on this big stage because I don’t remember the words”. But now, this vibe, I think I could get into it. I don’t know, we’ll see.

Marcia: Are you just going to run up and grab the mic or have you been invited?

Jenna: I have not been invited. So, I do not think I will be gracing the stage.

Marcia: Let’s see what happens.

Jenna: Only time will tell.

Marcia: It was cool while it lasted. Whatever.

Milo: Almost all of the bands playing here are Canadian bands like yourselves. Could you tell us a bit about the music scene in your hometown of Winnipeg?

Jenna: I think Propagandhi kind of speaks for that. Everyone knows Winnipeg from Propagandhi if you’re in the punk rock scene. There’s a ton of punk rock bands there, just not a lot of them tour, so a lot of people in Europe wouldn’t know who they are, but there are so many good bands and there’s long cold winters so people just hang out inside writing music and creating art, so it’s a really good city to be in to be part of a music community and for some reason people love punk in Winnipeg, so we fit right in.

Milo: Since you said these bands aren’t really known in Europe, could you maybe give us some names of good bands in Winnipeg worth checking out?

Jenna: Yeah, definitely. One of faves are our buds in a band called Union Stockyards. There’s a band called Clipwing. I’m drawing a blank on other bands now.

Marcia: It’s like: “Who did we play with?”

Jenna: Check out those two.

Milo: For people who do not know Mobina Galore yet, how would you describe your band in five words?

Marcia: Hmm…

Jenna: Vocally aggressive power chord punk.

Marcia: Whoa! She nailed that!

Jenna: I already came up with the tagline. I didn’t know it was only five words though.

Marcia: This is you nailing it.

Milo: You’re a two piece, which is a slightly unusual constellation for a punk band. For instance, there’s only one other two piece besides yourselves playing here at Obenuse. How did you get together as a band in this formation?

Marcia: It just happened naturally. We met in Fernie, British Columbia, when we were both living there years ago. Jenna had a whole jam space set up in her house that she owned there, with drums, guitars, vocals and keyboards. I had never seen one person own all this stuff, so I was like: “This is so cool! Let’s jam!” So, then we had some beers and started jamming. And we kind of just never met someone that wanted to play with us.

Jenna: That sounds so bad.

Marcia: Someone that wanted to play music when we were open, you know, figuring it out? Nobody was playing music, and then we just kind of got into a groove and we were comfortable. It became very easy, to the point where we couldn’t imagine having a third person and taking a space in the band.

Milo: Alright. Which bands or artists have influenced your music?

Marcia: Lots.

Jenna: It’s a range. I always find that question kind of hard to answer. Blink-182 were my all-time favorite band in high school, but I don’t listen to them anymore, but I’m sure that has some type of influence from when I started playing. Now all we listen to are the bands we tour with, because it’s three or four bands every night. I don’t really search out music all that much anymore, so it’s kind of a weird question to be honest. Against Me! is huge in our lives right now because we toured with them a couple times. Now even Cancer Bats, I’m super stoked about being on that one track, so I’m repping their new album. It’s just kind of about the people that we meet on the road and those bands that inspire us in life in general, not so much as a band, you know?

Milo: This next question I’m going to ask you is mainly so that one of our very good friends who is not so into punk will read this interview as well. When preparing for this interview, I saw on your Facebook page that you also listed Taylor Swift as an artist that you like. So, what is your favorite Taylor Swift album?

Jenna: That’s a tricky one. I would probably say 1989, but the new one’s really good too. There’s just a couple tracks that I don’t like on there.

Marcia: I really like Red too.

Jenna: There’s a couple of gems on that one.

Marcia: There’s a lot of gems on Red. But she was just much younger then, so it’s a little harder to relate to what she’s singing about maybe. So, I’m going to go with 1989.

Jenna: 1989, yeah. And Ryan Adams’ version of 1989 is…

Marcia: Very cool! If you haven’t heard that, check it out.

Jenna: We listen to a lot of pop music when we’re driving, and folksy music because all we listen to when we’re playing shows is punk, hardcore and metal. In the van, it’s just: pop it up! Beyoncé, whatever, all the mainstream. The gold mainstream, not all of it. Just the Beyoncés and the Taylor Swifts.

Milo: Alright. In February of 2017 you released the album Feeling Disconnected.What are your thoughts on it a little more than a year on?

Jenna: That’s a good question, we’ve never been asked that question before. So, kudos to that.

Marcia: I’m still very happy with it. I like the way that we recorded it. We went into recording that album thinking that we wanted to have it be more like our live shows; just the two, drums, guitars, both vocals; instead of the way we recorded our first album, which was more layering vocals, more layering guitar kind of tracks. I still think it sounds great, I love the guy who did it, J.P. Peters, who produced and recorded both of our albums. I love it.

Jenna: I’m just excited to record a new album, really. You listen back to your old stuff and try figure out what you can do to make it better. For me, my guitar tones, even though we spent so much time on them for the last record, I’m excited to tweak my guitar tones for the new record.

Milo: Now that you mention a new album, you did play one new track today. Could you briefly comment on it?

Jenna: Yeah, it’s called Fade Away and it’s the only track that’s complete that will be on the new record, so we’ll be releasing it as a single on May 18. So, we’ll post a video and a digital release as something in between before the new record comes out. And we’re super stoked about it, it’s kind of a mix between our first and our second record, so we’re very happy with it.

Milo: Now going back to Feeling Disconnected, could you each just say what your favorite track off that album is and why?

Marcia: Yeah. I love Start All Over, I think it’s the first track off that album. Jenna started writing that song, and she was like: “Come on, let’s try to write a song together, because often we’ll write separately. I was reading her stuff, and I was like: “I don’t like it” and just left. Then she came back with this track and it became my favorite one. Now I’m upset that I wasn’t a part of writing it.

Jenna: Maybe that’s why it’s so good. No, I’m kidding. That’s a tough one, but just off the top of my head I’ll say Spend My Day, which is a song that Marcia wrote. People love it. It’s a fun song to play, tonight people were singing along to it, so I like it.

Milo: Feelings of detachment, including while on tour, were a big theme on Feeling Disconnected. Having toured extensively behind the album, do you feel more or less disconnected now than before the album’s release?

Jenna: I want to say less right now. I suppose you also got us at a good time; great show, great weather, great city; where I’m having a really good time on the road. It’s not as stressful and tiring as it can be. I think at this moment, anyways, I’m feeling pretty good. It’s our third time here now, and you feel more welcome and more at home every time you come back. We’re meeting more people and making more connections in all these cities and countries. It feels good.

Marcia: I agree.

Jenna: That’ll be the pull quote. “I agree”, says Marcia Hanson.

Milo: I’d like to ask a few questions about some specific tracks that we especially like. Could you tell us the story behind Vancouver?

Jenna: Yeah. That was a song where I wrote the verses and I just couldn’t come up with the chorus. Then Marcia wrote the chorus later. There almost opposite from each other, lyrically and the way they’re performed. I was having an anxious moment so I wrote all the verses in a very anxious state of mind. Then we wanted to make the chorus kind of big and happy, and sing-a-longy, Marcia ended up coming up with those lines when we went to Vancouver to work on the Feeling Disconnected Record. We spent quite a bit of time there throughout the year. We went there to finish up songs, and I think that’s when you came up with the chorus. The juxtaposition of the song just kind of worked. That’s what that song’s roughly about.

Milo: I’d also like to know about the song Fourth of July, the bonus track for Feeling Disconnected, because it seems like there’s a specific story behind it. So, could you tell us about that?

Jenna: Sure. Do you want to?

Marcia: Sure. We were on tour and we had a day off, and it happened to be the Fourth of July, which in the states is America’s birthday or something, so it’s a big party. Independence Day, I think? I’m not American, so it’s ok that I don’t know this. It’s a big deal over there and we had that day off and we were driving through Omaha, we were going to spend the night in Omaha. I happened to say to Jenna: “Hey, isn’t Conor Oberst from Omaha?” Conor Oberst [of Bright Eyes] is one of her favorite Songwriters. So, I started googling Conor Oberst, and it turns out he owns a bar in Omaha. I was like: “Jenna, I know what we’re doing tonight for the Fourth of July, we’re going to Conor Oberst’s bar. Maybe he’ll be there.” She’s like: “Yeah, right. He won’t be there, but let’s go.” We walk in and he’s there, but nobody else is. It’s just him with eight of his friends and the rest of the bar is empty. Jenna and I were both excited, so we both sat at the bar, had a couple of drinks, and watched him out of the corner of our eyes. We never got the courage to actually say hi or anything, but you know, he’d come up and ask the bartender for a glass of wine and I’d watch what bottle he’d pour from and be like: “I’ll have one of those.” So, I like to say that we shared a bottle of wine. Actually, we shared a few bottles of wine.

Jenna: We wrote the song while we were sitting in the bar. We knew there was something about that night that we had to commemorate. When we recorded it, it just didn’t quite fit with the vibe of the rest of the album, but we really liked it, so we wanted to put it on as a bonus track.

Milo: That’s a really cool story. I’d also like to ask about one song off your first album, Cities Away. What’s the story behind Skeletons?

Jenna: To be honest, I don’t even know if I can answer that question. There’s some songs where you almost just blink and somehow, you’ve written a song, and it’s gone from wherever the bare bones of it was to where it is now, but people love it. It’s a simple, kind of Ramones-y vibe, guitar riff. I don’t even know, we were living in Vancouver at the time as well, when I wrote that song, but I don’t think I even have an answer for that one.

Marcia: I think that is an answer, that you don’t really remember.

Jenna: Some songs just kind of happen.

Milo: We met your friend Joe Vickers, who opened for you last time you played in Zurich, when he played a show at Cartel Burrito recently, and I told him that I was going to do this interview and he suggested I ask this last question, so this is all thanks to him.

Jenna: Oh my god…

Milo: If I remember the story correctly, you adopted the practice of using a fanny pack from him. What items in your fanny pack are absolutely essential while on tour?

Marcia: Let’s go through it.

Jenna: Well, we don’t need to go totally through it.

Marcia: Oh, sorry. Maybe there’s some secret items.

Jenna: I always have a Sharpie. I have a miniature floss, which I don’t think I’ve ever used.

Marcia: But just in case.

Jenna: Just in case. You always need money. I’ve always got lip chap and GeloRevoice, which is a German throat lozenge specifically for singing. So, I usually have those in here. My keys? No, my keys aren’t even in here usually. My earplugs. I’d say earplugs, lip chap and a Sharpie are all essential in the fanny pack of Jenna from Mobina Galore. That is so funny. Joe Vickers…

Marcia: Great question. He’s also a hilarious guy.

Mobina Galore Links:

Website

Bandcamp

Spotify

YouTube

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Interview: Milo Schärer / Foto: Dwayne Larson