Friday, January 18, 2008

An Outsiders Guide to the Midwest Music Scene
A discussion with No Age

If there is one band that emerged shiny by the end of 2007, it was California's No Age.
I think those of us in Ohio discovered them through our love of locals Times New Viking - because the bands share an affinity for fuzzed out indie pop.
I discovered the band early on last year, completely by accident. Maybe it was through Myspace. But I can't find the first time I linked to them, or I would put that here.
Anyway, my facination with discussing Midwest Music with those far removed from the scene continues. I was especially interested in speaking with these guys because I knew that they grew up in small towns in California.
Thanks to No Age for writing back (many bands have not) and furthering this new feature.
It's also fascinating to me how people from the east and west coasts end up being fans of Midwestern bands that most of us the the Midwest have never heard of. I'm learning a lot from these interviews.
It looks like the band is about to embark on a lengthy US tour with Liars - the only Midwest stop looks to be in Iowa and Chicago.

People with Animal Heads: What are some Midwest bands you recommend people get to know signed or unsigned - assuming you know some?
Randy Randall: Yeah, we both really like a lot of Midwestern bands. I don't know how many people know about Rac-ooons (editors note: can't find them anywhere on-line) but the are awesome, they are from Iowa. Some of our favorite midwesten bands would be US Maple for me and I know Dean is a huge Necros fan.
Dean Spunt: Husker du, the Replacements, Articles of faith, Necros, die kreutzen, Charles Bronson, Electric Eels... all these bands are broken up, but amazing. It makes sense that some of the best bands would come from the Midwest. It is cold and harsh and hard to get out of, that kind of treatment screams good art.
PWAH: Where did you guys grow up? How do you think that has defined your personality or the music you make?
RR: We are both from small southern California suburbs. I grew up near Pomona and Dean grew up in Santa Clarita. I think it affects our music because we were part of a weird community of kids in our isolated little suburbs. So we were into music that we liked and didn't really know what was cool with the rest of the kids in the bigger cities and we are so old that the internet didn't really have the impact and accessibility to cooler music. So we went to small independent record stores and listened to college radio and wrote away to PO boxes for zines and stickers. We were both really into skateboarding growing up and we still are today. I think being a skateboarder from a small town really teaches you to be resourceful and make the most of what you have and we continue to benefit from learning those lessons.

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