Tuesday, December 19, 2006

She Wants Revenge - story from the official site

She Wants Revenge
Adapted from a March 16 2005 article for Sheffield Rock Times
by Johann Wellesley Daughters

Gossip is whispered, cigarettes are smoked, arms are crossed and uncrossed, and now after so much waiting, we remember why as a solitary figure steps onto the darkened stage and makes his way toward a wall of machines and takes a seat. The crowd erupts, then slowly the cheering fades in the distance as an anticipation that could only be described as electric takes hold.

A beat begins - minimal, sparse. A single white beam appears and backlights the man as if right on cue. He wrestles the controls of the machine sitting atop his lap while twisting the knobs of another, and suddenly a bass note pulses and throbs.

Just as we begin to lose ourselves in the hypnotic drone, another figure emerges from the side of the stage; black-clad and hooded he walks swiftly to his amp, flips a switch, removes his guitar from the stand, slings it over his shoulder, and walks center stage.
The two men exchange a glance, and with that, the singer spits out his cigarette and kicks on a foot switch, drowning himself in white light as he stares down the microphone and begins to attack the guitar like his life depends on it.

What could either be hours or minutes later, the kraut-rock intro turns to verse and the crowd begins to sing along: "Sick of trying to find a way inside, sick and tired of all the after." And just about this time a peculiar thing starts to happen, almost viral as it begins to take over the onlookers one by one. People begin to move. These movements take shape, and soon, people are dancing. In fact, the whole crowd is dancing.

And suddenly we are saved. Saved from the legions of samey-sameson throwback bands, saved from another night of being too hip to dance, and saved from ourselves.

She Wants Revenge has come to save us all.

"We just wanted to make a record that would make girls dance and cry." Justin sips his coffee, sits back in his chair and smiles.

Adam 12 chimes in, "Or both."

Justin gestures wildly, clarifying, "Not in some manipulative or malicious way, it's just that it's like the highest honor. What could be better than having someone want to cry, fuck, or get up and dance to your music?"

Adam adds, "We're both fans of music and we made the album we wanted to hear. Everything you get on record and live is very, very honest. And artistic output that is truthful can only elicit truthful responses... people know, the kids know when they're being lied to, when something feels manufactured as opposed to being made. We are those kids."

Justin, who until now has been meticulously applying a She Wants Revenge Sticker to the table at which we're sitting, suddenly speaks up. "Yeah, and there's a hundred bands doing mediocre period/ genre music, but none of it makes me feel like I did when I was a kid [sitting] in my room listening to The Queen is Dead or Purple Rain on the record player. It's easy to capture the style of the music, but writing songs that speak to people is a very different thing."

Adam sips from his Pellegrino and talks in careful measured tones. It's as if he's the wise one, or at least the one less likely to pull a knife out mid-interview. "It's very hip now to be into new-wave and post-punk and to know what contemporary bands are influenced by Gang of Four, but Justin and I were listening to all that shit IN the 80's! And besides, when we were growing up people called us fags for listening to Madonna, Prince and The [Physchedelic] Furs... but now everybody's fronting like they always loved that shit - and I don't mean guilty pleasure, I mean play list in your iPod..."

Justin laughs. Then, obviously wound up, jumps in: "We can play 'spot the fakes' if you want, we can call them all out by name. Serious."

And they ARE serious. Still, I elect not to take the bait.Usually grand pronouncements from new bands are just so much hype coupled with false bravado and the kind of raging testosterone that makes for good record sales and "YOU HEARD IT FIRST" sound bites... but with these two I sense something far more sinister, and statements like these that belie the two's hip-hop roots. More than the clothes (which are more uniform black and vaguely militaristic than b-boy) and more than the beats (which, though they speak of post hip-hop, probably owe more to Manchester than the South Bronx), it's the ATTITUDE that truly reveals the band's best kept secret and what may very well be their secret weapon: they are two b-boys from the Valley who came together to make hip-hop and somehow ended up making the best 80's album we've never heard before. Finally there is a record that makes you want to dance till the lights come on THEN go home, read the lyrics, and fuck your partner. Instead of making nostalgia rock, these two valley boys have unwittingly crafted a masterpiece of a record that will be looked at for years to come as nothing short of inventive, groundbreaking, pop-perfect dance darkness that will have future generations harkening back to their salad days of clubbing, make-outs, break-ups, and long nights.

Speaking of make-outs, a piece on S.W.R. wouldn't be complete without mentioning the pronoun of the group: the "she" in She Wants Revenge. "She" from the notorious "girl-list" in the album's liner notes, to the famous girlfriends, the public break-ups, and of course... the lyrics. Adam fields this one first.

“I knew we couldn't escape this one. [Beat] Look, passionate people are attracted to passionate people, artistic people are attracted to artistic people, no matter what the medium... The ones that are amazing at what they do usually become "famous" on some level and tend to hang in small circles... We DJ and hang out in these circles, so it's inevitable we would connect with some of them...."

Question: But do you ever date anyone that's NOT famous?

Justin: "That's a stupid question."
Adam: "Of course."
Justin: "He's lying."
They laugh.

Question: So, is there a specific girl that the songs are about, because the album seems to more or less follow a thread - boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy obsesses over girl, boy leaves girl, boy regrets leaving girl, boy obsesses over girl....

"That's one interpretation - albeit the wrong one - but that's ok. I won't address the lyrics except to say that they are all about love. They are torch songs, standards really, ballads of lust and want - songs of love, obsession and sex. Basically everything I write is based around male-female interpersonal dynamics and the minutia that entails. To me it's in the details. How did she smell? The bat of an eyelash, the uncomfortable pauses. That's what I care about, love in all its forms."

Question: And the list of girl's names?

Adam: "We wanted to honor every girl we've ever had a crush on or had some sort of love affair with, either real or imagined. It's a crush list. And each one of them is special and holds a place in our hearts to this day. It is a thank you note of sorts."

Justin: "A love letter."

Question: Are you at all worried what success could do to you, both musically and personally? I mean, in this day and age indie-cred is almost as important to kids as the music, so keeping that in mind, are you afraid of what could happen if your music "blows up"? Because let's face it, you guys have like 4 or 5 singles on your album. There's a lot of "hits" on there.

Justin laughs. "We're going to be huge. Seriously. And it's not by accident, we want to be successful, it's not a bad thing, and I'd be lying if I told you we didn't want that. The fact is, we want to reach as many people as possible with our music, and if that means selling millions of records in order to do so, then I call upon the words of Happy Harry Hard-On and I say "so be it."

Adam adds, "Look, the bands we grew up wanting to be were not 'INDIE' bands. Depeche Mode was on Mute, but they were fucking HUGE! We want to be huge too, but that doesn't mean that we're not willing to do it fan by fan, sweating our ass off in a van for the next few years to do so. People need to get back to the time when ROCK STAR wasn't a dirty word. That's an unfortunate outgrowth of the post-Nirvana phenomena, the demonizing of the rock star. You can be a rock star in the best sense of the word and still be real, authentic and accessible to the people who got you there.

"Sensing that we will never get off this topic, I turn back to the music, but before I can get out another question, the two have stood up, gathered their things and are about to leave when Justin lights a cigarette and says... "Our music is a modern extension of a time in the late 70's and early 80's when music was colliding in ways it never had before. We're talking about New Order hearing what Arthur Baker and Bambatta were doing in New York and what was going on with Chicago house, then taking that back to the UK and incorporating that into their dark Northern view of punk rock. Then there's the birth of early hip-hop in NYC coinciding with the club music coming out of Danceteria, Nels, The Palladium, The Latin Quarter, and The Mudd Club. You had Madonna, Basquiat, Blondie, John Lurie, the New York City Breakers and the Rock Steady Crew... Liquid Liquid, James Black and ESG all in the same time and place - it's unheralded. There's been no other time in the culture of art and music where you could you be dancing to a Nile Rogers disco classic at Studio 54, then hop in a cab and ten minutes later be watching The Voidoids at Max's Kansas City with Warhol, Bowie and Schnabel in attendance. This is what we are doing today - only there are no flashing cameras or Legs Mc Neils following us around documenting the shit we're doing....

"Not yet maybe, not yet.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Venting on Beta Blogs

Blogging Beta style sucks too bad. I had set aside a blogspot for some reason I can't recall, but now, this site is currently in use. I've decided to start up a blog about my vacation. I've been posting on everything that relates to my going-back-home trip. I could not help trying out the Blogger Beta thingy.

I wasn't expecting much from it, nevertheless this new version offers a do-it-yourself editing step which may be pretty handy for those who aren't keen in HTML codes - in other words: people like me.

At first, I thought "Wow! How great!" But later on, I figured out its limitations toward placing images and playing with its layout. Beta Bloggers are actually more complicated because it keeps not allowing users be creative and unique as it claims to. It's straight-forward to narrow-minded bloggers. I've been using it for a short time only but it has already made me tired.

Well! I don't wanna be sounding a show-off -- "Hell no!" I'm not an expert at building websites at all. I DO NOT understand a bit about HTMLing. I simply believe that the older blogger system is more open to changes, besides that, it is a lot easier to learn how to make those changes. Nah! I regret moving to Beta and that's final!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Christmas Craftskids

There are certain times that I must be creating new things especially for holidays. By new things I mean creative crafty work such as drawings, paintings, taking photos, or even making jewelry on my own. This has been one of those moments. The best thing is that I wasn't alone this time. I was very lucky that I had Vanessa, Tibby, and Felipe's help on this latest project: setting up a Christmas tree made out of recyclable materials. The result couldn't be any better.

I can't actually say that I care for Christmas celebration but I definitely look forward to having vacation soon. It's been a year that I don't take a break to really rest. It's been a year that I don't know what sleeping in is. It's been four years that I don't visit my parents. Vacation will soon be true and I'll finally get to see them.

I wanna veg, for sure!!! I also intend to ask mom to cook whatever I want. I wanna overeat, overdrink, oversleep and I won't regret a bit. I will sleep on the couch at 3:30 p.m. I will be out dancing at 3:30 a.m. I will be ON VACATION MOOD. I won't answer either the phone or the door because no one will know me at the place where I am going to. I'll get up and the breakfast will be already fixed on a nice fruity table. I will watch so many movies that'll I get tired of them and then I will look for books and again I will read so many of those that I'll get pretty tired until the only thing left to do is watch movies again.

There is one thing that scares me about these vacation plans though which is the hot summer weather. I know, I know, I know... I can get some easy refreshment at a swimming pool. Yeah, right!!! I am not so sure whether I'll be at the pool having a cold beer while getting tanned. I don't wanna get tanned. I don't wanna swim either. And the beer? LOL... I'll give that a try. Honestly, I just wanna RELAX.

I'll certainly be doing NOTHING in a serious matter. Yay!!!