Q&A Category Archive

!! OMG, a Q&A with Special Interest !!

Special Interest

The synth-punk band Special Interest tore a hole in this year’s Not Dead Yet festival in Toronto last month.

The band’s appearance at the annual punk festival was preceded by their reputation for aggressively breaking down the audience/performer dynamic. With song titles like “The State, The Industry, The Community, and Her Lover,” they have a clear motivation to create a conversation about the performer versus the systems of control they are forced to operate within.

While using old-school punk tropes such as physical and lyrical aggression, the band also rejects many of the politics put in place within the punk community itself, in order to create an entirely new — and very overdue — conversation within it.

The New Orleans-based band may be here to party, but they are not here for that passive shit. Their disposition is refreshingly reminiscent of a time when the term “punk” was motivated by a distinct urge to radicalize its surroundings, while also throwing a really good party.

We got to chat with band members Alli Logout, Maria Elena Delgado, Ruth Ex, and Nathan Cassiani about their relationship to the punk community, and how in 2018, identity politics around queerness and race may be causing more trouble than progress. Read the full Q&A after the jump!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Seth Bogart !!

Seth BogartPhoto by Abdi Taslimi

Seth Bogart is a musician and artist who’s been making, and basically living super gay art since he popped onto the Oakland music scene in 2001 with his first band Gravy Train!!!!

Since then, Seth’s career has centred largely around his music career both as a solo artist and with his band Hunx & His Punx (we interviewed Seth in his Hunx days back in 2011).

On top of being a prolific songwriter and performer, Bogart’s work as a visual artist has allowed him to bring his DIY, pop-inspired work into the physical realm. Whether making large sets for his LA-based store Wacky Wacko or his TV show Feeling Fruity, which shares a network with RuPaul’s Drag Race – Bogart’s aesthetic is a unmistakably trashy and  familiar to him alone. He recently was the subject of several solo gallery shows where he showed his ceramic versions of everyday consumer goods such as toothbrushes, hair combs, and  of course — poppers!Photo by Beth B

!! omg blog !! tracked Seth down on the eve of his debut performance as one third of his newest band, which he shares with punk goddess Alice Bag and pioneering Riot Grrrl Allison Wolfe. The as-yet-unnamed supergroup were set to perform their first show the night of this interview!

We got to talk about everything Seth’s been up to, but also made time to complain about boring straight guys we think stink! More after the jump!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with director Allan Moyle !!

Director Allan Moyle
At the onset of the ’90s, writer and director Allan Moyle’s films were a precursor of a trendy period for big film companies looking to cash in on indie culture by building films around the promotion of so-called “grunge” compilation soundtracks.

Following closely behind the release of pioneering pitch-black teenage comedy Heathers, Moyle’s film Pump Up The Volume, released in 1990, delved into the underexplored dark recesses of the suburban American teenage nightmare. Up until this point, no film had so boldly presented onscreen themes of teenage sexuality, suicide, and family based trauma.

Following an initial series of inexplicable bad reviews from critics potentially not yet prepared to see these dark youth narratives played out in a pop-cultural context, Moyle retreated into a brief retirement from the industry. In the meantime, other directors made a slew of films — SFW, Reality Bites, Tank Girl — that succeeded with these same themes.

It wasn’t until five years later that Moyle returned with Empire Records, his quirky stoner comedy follow-up to PUTV. With an ensemble cast of soon-to-be-stars featuring a young Liv Tyler, there was the hope that Moyle would finally get the credit he deserved for his contributions to the genre, only to have the film buried completely and never properly released into cinemas.

Despite the impact of films like this on the industry, Moyle’s films continued to be panned by mainstream film industry critics only to develop large cult audiences in the decades to follow.

We spoke with Allan before his packed screening of Empire Records at this year’s POP Montreal Festival about staying resilient after constant rejection by the mainstream film industry, as well as to reflect on the impact his films had on the teenage movie genre he helped create a language for.

Read the full Q&A after the jump!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Cody Critcheloe of SSION !!

Cody Critcheloe of SSION
I first met Cody Critcheloe back in 2007 when he was promoting his latest album Fools Gold, a snarling collection of trashy art-punk-glam-pop songs. The record marked a step away from the self-released lo-fi thrash of the DIY punk records he had been making up to that point, while maintaining all the loaded inspiration he took from early Riot Grrrl acts such as Bikini Kill, transgressive feminist art-terrorists like Lisa Suckdog, and gay boy go-to idols like Madonna. The album featured tongue-in-cheek pop-romps explicitly detailing Queer experiences where bored business men go cruising midnight parks for hook-ups, and the rapidly dwindling spirit of the gay male/feminist revolutionary alliance.

Under the guise of his genre-defying, media-spanning group SSION, Critcheloe formed early working relationships with fellow freaks at his art school in Kansas City, Missouri and began making elaborate animated music videos, as well as doing art work for it-bands such as The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. These skills snowballed into an instantly recognizable aesthetic, which can now be seen in more recent stints in the directors seat for the likes of major queer pop idols such as Kylie Minogue and Robyn, as well as indie darlings Grizzly Bear and Perfume Genius.

SSION O cover art

Having refined his sound on the Pet Shop Boys-esque 2011 album BENT, Critcheloe took a breather from the music thing, which gave him time to write and record his new opus O, a record that features an artillery of guest appearances spanning from ’90s grunge dream-queens like Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux and Patty Schemel from Hole, to reigning queer art-goddess Róisín Murphy.

O is a pop record for the unsatisfied masses. It’s a direct roll call to the Queers who love pop music but are bored of being pandered to with shitty Adele remixes and vacuous club bangers.

I spoke to Cody recently about the what it’s like to be working as an artist and musician for this long, the new record, and how his work is here to let the world know pop music can be conceptual, feminist, and punk AF… if u want it.

Read the full Q&A after the jump!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Tracey Thorn !!

Tracey Thorn portrait

Tracey Thorn writes lyrics that make everyday things worthy of pop immortalization and melodies that feel like old friends after only a couple listens. From her post-punk beginnings with Marine Girls to her jump into the international spotlight with Everything but the Girl and her subsequent string of stellar solo albums, Tracey is a master storyteller whose deep, expressive vocals manage to give both the text and the subtext equal weight.

With her new album Record, she’s going to make you dance with a collection of songs she calls “feminist bangers.” The lead single “Queen” wraps introspection and uncertainty in a glorious, shimmering pop package while stand-out track “Sister” is a defiant message to The Man, backed by seriously satisfying disco grooves and a mesmerizing outro that makes the 8-minute-plus track seem too short.

We had a chance to sit down with Tracey and talk about how music is like a needle, how clubbing is like food, and how Twitter should be approached with caution. Read the full Q&A after the jump!

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