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Brillz, Party Favor, Ghastly and Willy Joy @ Soundgarden Hall.

December 1, 2015

DSC_5577Text and images by Dylan Long.

Brillz and his gang of beat freaks, the Twonk Team, made their way to Soundgarden Hall on Saturday to launch fans into another dimension of utter weirdness.

The night started on a wild note from sets by Chicago native Willy Joy and future bass spinner Ghastly, who both got the crowd jumping with absolute ease.

The Twonk Di Nation tour ripped Philly a new one as Party Favor and Brillz absolutely killed their sets. The night had multiple climaxes, the first being Brillz playing out his massive new tune “Destruktion” which sent fans into a genuine frenzy of head banging and freakishly intense jumping. The night truly hit its peak when at 1:30am, the stage transformed into a back-to-back madhouse consisting of all four artists gathering on stage together and partying it out. Waving the Twonk flag back and forth ontop of the monitors while blasting out the heaviest beats imaginable, Brillz and his squad had no issues leaving fans anxiously awaiting the next appearance of the Twonk Team in the city of Brotherly Love.

During Ghastly’s set, the man himself Brillz was generous enough to give us some one-on-one Q&A time before his brain-melting set.

Let’s talk 2015. You (Brillz) and the Twonk team as a unit. How do you think the year went overall, what are some highlights?

I mean we’re in the highlight right now. This tour right now is super fun, the energy is amazing, all the artists are great, the fans are turning up super hard, we have an ill tour bus and we’ve never had that before. We’re out here with the production too, I got to work with some dope visuals and got to do a lot of more artistic things with the set, so we’re definitely in the highlight of 2015 right now. And the tour doesn’t even end until early March.

Twonk is a label and clothing line you created it back in 2013, can you talk us through the creative process behind everything Twonk?

Well the first thing you have to understand is that there’s no master plan to it. I was working on an album that had like 10 songs on it with the label Slow Roast which is Kill The Noise and DJ Craze and I needed a name for the album. I had to vibe with the record first to figure it out. At the time though I was getting really into cryptic messages and knowledge and esoteric teachings and different weird philosophies, so I wanted to put something out there that didn’t have any meaning in a sense. The word Twonk popped up in my head and when I sent them the word “Twonk” they were like “well what is it?” and I went, “Exactly, what is it?” Let’s make it something, let’s let people define it. I’m really grateful for the fans that caught ear to it and got behind it and that support inspired us to turn it into a movement. We’re all Twonk Team because we made this movement together; the DJ homies, the fans, everyone we’re on tour with, the whole entire audience.

You have your track “Destruktion” with Laxx coming out very soon, is this one up there with your favorite collabs to date?

Oh for sure. I found Laxx’s music online, I hit him up and asked him to be on the Twonk Team Mixtape and he slayed it. We became homies talking online since he’s from the UK, and naturally we’re gonna work on a tune. We started sending files back and forth and it was crazy with “Destruktion,” he sent me something in an hour and I literally did a half hour of work on it, sent it back and he did the same; we went back and forth like 8 or 9 times in one day and that’s when the tune was born. We worked on it for a while and polished it up but that one day is when “Destruktion” was born.

Any favorite artists you like to collaborate with?

I mean I think I’d really like working with this dude Party Favor but I think he’s too cool for me. (Party Favor is sitting across from Brillz.)

Party Favor: Put in the interview that I say “Fuck that guy.” (Towards Brillz.)

Me and Party Favor have a collab that we’re working on and I have a feeling that one’s gonna be up there. We’re working nonstop while on tour.

What songs or artists got you into producing and honing your craft?

When I first heard Mr Oizo’s Analog Worms Attack, I immediately went out and bought some drum machines and a sampler. That was like  a serious moment of what the fuck. I think growing up in Jersey on the East Coast was and still is my favorite rap group, RZA’s beats were super inspiring to me when I started making hip hop stuff. Later on when I started getting back into the scene around 2006, 2007 I became friends with Kill The Noise who is one of the most amazing producers, so he was also a huge influence on my sound and my inspiration to do all of this.

One last question for you; it’s a theoretical question. You wake up, your house is on fire. You can grab one single item, be it an album, a gift, whatever. What is it and why?

Um… not including my dog?

It can be anything.

Well obviously I’m gonna grab my dog.

What’s your dog’s name?

Magik, with a K. He’s a Pomeranian chihuahua.

I’d love to meet Magik someday.

He’s pretty fuckin’ chill. You can follow him on Instagram.

Well, I learned you have a dog named Magik tonight so I’d say this was a successful interview.

Party Favor: I’ve known Brillz for over a year and that’s honestly all I know about him.

The Jawn: “You’re Definitely Going to Get Your Money’s Worth.”

December 1, 2015

Comprised of Pat Durkin on lead vocals and guitar, Ricky Haldis on guitar, Mike Novak on bass and Andrew Duffy on drums, The Jawn specializes in boiling many genres of music down to one unique sound.

Our McCall Cox spoke with the bandmates about the past, present and future of their band.

Who is The Jawn?

Pat Durkin: So outside of music, I’m a substitute teacher. I’ve been playing music for 15 years. I guess I’m the primary songwriter. The songs that I write tend to be about a lot of life stories but there is also a lot of different imagery that I use. I like new age and occult/mystical-like imagery.

Andrew Duffy: I am the newest member of the band. I joined in February or March. I’m actually the fifth drummer and the longest running drummer so far. I’ve been playing the drums for about 16 years. I cook in a kitchen in a bar in Manayunk but I’m also in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. I play drums for them as well. I’m in the 28th infantry division band. Since I’m the newest member of the band, I try to follow everybody’s lead but also complement everyone’s ideas and contribute some of my own.

Mike Novak: Well, I started playing guitar in 2002. Then I picked up bass in 2008 or 2009, so I’ve been playing that consistently since then. During the day, I work for the welfare department of Philadelphia.

Ricky Haldis: I’m the baby of the band. I guess my primary role is to not get obscure references that the older guys would make. Pat was my guitar teacher since I was 13. And now I’m actually a guitar teacher myself.

Tell me a little bit about how The Jawn came to be.

Durkin: That’s an interesting story. I hope you’re ready for this one.

So, Mike and I were in a band for a couple years prior to The Jawn, formed with The Jawn’s original drummer. That band was a lot different. And at some point, I decided I wasn’t ready to play music anymore and I wanted to go to Los Angeles and live the LA life. So I went to LA. We wound up getting back together and I said, “I know this guitar player I’ve been teaching for a few years. He’s the only guy I trust to play music with and who can get into what we’re playing. So Ricky joined the band. Over the last couple of years, we’ve just been writing music and refining. We’ve been focused on capturing the experience everything that’s going on in the world.

1604645_701949269839250_1356140838_nWas the name The Jawn just chosen as way to pay homage to Philadelphia?

Durkin: When I was in LA, I just remember going around and saying jawn a lot. But it’s funny because when I lived in Philly, I don’t think I really said it as much. When I was in LA, I got the vision of jawn written in Love Park (style) and I thought that was just a cool image. So when I got back, I said how about we try this.

Haldis: It’s something that people here will get.

Durkin: I feel like that’s a term that explains what we’re about. We’re The Jawn. That’s how we can describe ourselves.

Duffy: We’re a little bit of everything – a little bit of country, a little bit of rock and roll, a little bit of punk/funk. We get elements of soul too.

On your Facebook, there are a lot of recent posts about “Open Jawn.” Would you like to go into some detail about exactly what that was?

Durkin: Open Jawn. How to begin? A journey of excitement and wonder. An outlandish, raucous event. So, every week at The Grape Room in Manayunk, we do an open jam. We were into having people just getting up and jamming, people of all different musical levels just getting together and having a good time. So we signed on for that. Somewhere around week three or four, someone yelled out ‘open jawn’ and that stuck.

Some open jams are very intimidating. They’re not exactly welcoming, so we consider ourselves the Planet Fitness of open jams. It’s a mix of music but there are also elements of improv, stand-up, humor. You go there, you’re gonna laugh. You’re gonna have a good time. Even if you’re not a musician, you’re still gonna have a good time just hanging out.

Duffy: One of the coolest things, which has made it so interesting and kept it interesting, is we do our best to try and feature a new act every Wednesday. We’ve had a lot of different up-and-coming bands and established bands come through and do a little feature set at the beginning of the night. We get new musicians introduced to it. We get their fans introduced to it. It’s been a lot of fun.

Durkin: We just want to have a good time doing music and share that with people.

So you would definitely recommend for people to come out and experience and/or participate, I take it?

Durkin: We are very audience participation friendly.

Duffy: If I see somebody I don’t know at the Grape Room, I’ll introduce myself to people, My first question usually is, “So are you gonna get up and jam with us tonight?” You can literally just get up there and shout into the microphone. I encourage people to rap a lot too.

You released a Halloween-themed single called “Poltergeist,” which you recorded with Paul Hocynek. Tell me a little bit about that.

Durkin: That was a really good time. We finished an EP in May and that was a rigorous process. It was getting to be October and the past two years, we’ve done “Jawn of the Dead,” which is our Halloween party. We wanted to put something out with [“Jawn of the Dead”]. We had talked about recording another song and we ran into Paul Hocynek. He does this thing called “Free Song Friday” where you go to his studio, you have an evening to record a single with him and then he puts it out through his Soundcloud page. So we had a song called “Poltergeist” and we knew the song pretty in and out, so we could just go in and bang it out. “Poltergeist” is also kind of Halloween-y. So it was very serendipitous that we ran into Paul and he was able to do that. He was awesome. We went to his studio in Cherry Hill. It was very comfortable setting. We banged it out in a couple of takes.

How was that different from recording your debut EP, Grüv Vol 1?

Durkin: It was a very arduous process. We had our second drummer. He wound up quitting during the process. So that already set it up to be a stressful endeavor. But we went hard into the recording process. We were like, ‘Well if that’s the situation, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure this sounds really good.’ The lead single off that was “Hollywood” and we filmed a video for that.

You’ve done some touring along the East Coast. Do you have more dates lined up?

Durkin: Right now, we’re in the planning stage and reaching out to other bands. We’re also working with bands that we know in the area. We’re trying to pass off as much work as we can to everybody. To me, there’s so many great bands in Philly. We can’t play all the shows. There are plenty of bands that are great who can do the shows. Let’s build a really cool East Coast music scene.

What would you say has been your favorite experience from the short time that you have been together?

Duffy: For me, one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had with these guys was the very first show we played together. We practiced really hard for that show. We really put the time in and it came together really well. It was a great first experience for me

Novak: I think one of the coolest things we’ve done as a band was backing a local rapper named Mike Voss. It was a pretty neat experience to bring a rock band to back a local rapper and kind of merge the two styles. To me, that’s pretty neat to show that there’s some kind of strange crossover. We had a good time playing the shows. It was something that I probably wouldn’t have said we would’ve been doing if you would have asked me when we first started as a band together.

Haldis: I was 17 or 18 when I first hooked up with you guys, so it was neat to have, in the past three years, gone from Maine to up and down the East Coast. The band is also a good opportunity to see new places and do stupid things.

Durkin: It’s just been the whole journey. I’ve been doing this for a while. I’ve been in a lot of bands. Our last band, we couldn’t break 300 likes on Facebook or bring more than 10 people to a show. So, now, to see the progression in three years and to be playing rooms that are packed, with people that are there to see us and they know our songs and to have residency every week, it’s really cool.

For those going to check out your music or see you live for the first time, what would you say they should expect?

Duffy: Mm, nothing.

Durkin: Yeah, I was going to say, ‘Don’t expect anything.’

Haldis: Come in with an open mind.

Duffy: You can expect a good time.

Durkin: I would say you’re gonna dance. You’re gonna rock hard. You’re gonna laugh. You’re gonna scratch your head in confusion. But you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth.

King Diamond and Exodus @ The Fillmore.

November 30, 2015

King side resizeText and images by Jimmy Viola.

The most iconic and enduring corpse-painted face of heavy metal royalty, King Diamond, wailed through The Fillmore last Wednesday night. Sporting his signature top hat and black and white makeup – think Kiss but more evil – Diamond and company rocked out on a stage elaborately dressed up with gargoyles, a double stairwell and two massive inverted crosses.

King Diamond played the entirety of his sophomore album from 1987, Abigail, a conceptual horror record recounting the simple story of couple who move into a Victorian mansion, only to be tormented and possessed by the ghost of a stillborn infant who was killed by house’s previous resident. The show marked the first time the band played the album live on tour in its entirety.

The King first set the metal world ablaze as the frontman of Danish rockers Mercyful Fate, who released two landmark albums filled with demons, witches and devils in Melissa (1983) and Don’t Break the Oath (1984), before embarking on a nearly 30-year solo career centered around horror concept albums.

Even at 59, Diamond’s incomparable falsetto rang with a haunting clarity and power as if preserved by some otherworldly force. The live experience encapsulated why King Diamond has remained a force of inspiration through his long career—an intricate stage show, charismatic presence, songs comprised of an unrelenting onslaught progressive thrash riffs, funky breakdowns and rock and roll hooks.

He opened the set with “Welcome Home,” accompanied by a haggard grandma wearing an exaggerated rubber mask in a wheelchair. The human prop helped the King deliver the lyrics “Let me help you out of your chair, Grandma,” with a campy sneer. He followed up with “Halloween” and “Eye Of The Witch.”

Then King Diamond cranked out two Mercyful Fate numbers, “Melissa” and “Come To The Sabbath,” each one the respective closing number of Mercyful Fate’s first and second albums.

From there, King Diamond dove into the Abigail album. He tore through classics like “The Family Ghost,” “Omens,” “Abigail” and ended with the album’s closing track ”Black Horsemen.” The King worked the crowd with a mix of glee and grimace, eager to stick out his tongue and point devil horns at the feral metal fans, who headbanged extra hard on account of the camera crew filming the show for an upcoming DVD.

Longtime guitarist Andy LaRocque, who has played with King since his debut album in 1986, held down the riff laden rhythm duties. He shared solos with second guitarist Mike Wead. Drummer Matt Thompson comprised the rhythm section with newly added bassist Pontus Egberg, who had strikingly similar hair, mannerisms and the finger playing style of a youthful Steve Harris.

Bay Area pioneers Exodus opened the night, celebrating the 30th anniversary of their debut album Bonded By Blood, which might go down as one of the heaviest and most influential thrash metal debut albums of all time. They played the fan favorites from that debut like the title track, “Strike Of The Beast” as well as the mosh pit anthem “The Toxic Waltz.” Frontman Steve Souza made a point to let the Philly crowd know their guitarist Lee Altus was a Flyers fan, an encouraged them to greet him with middle fingers and F bombs.

RFA and The Last Frontier @ Drexel University.

November 30, 2015

drexel_night_of_the_arts_november_2015_chip_frenette_05Text and images by Chip Frenette.

Drexel University’s Entertainment and Arts Society hosted Night of the Arts in the Urban Annex at the University City Campus on Friday, November 20. The event was an opportunity for students from the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design to network with one another in the school and those outside in preparation for cooperative positions.

Cooperative positions are paid and unpaid positions that are directly related to a student’s field of study. Previous cooperative position providers were on hand as well as alumni to help students in their networking endeavors.

Mad Dragon Media and their affiliate Mad Dragon Records were on hand. Mad Dragon Records is a record label run by Drexel students who are learning the entire realm of music production from seeking artists and management to recording and marketing.

“Our label isn’t just for Drexel Students,” said Josh Wolfberg, a 21-year-old junior Music Industry major. “We will work with anyone who we think will benefit us when we can benefit them. It’s all about learning the industry.”

Mad Dragon Records provided music from two bands formed by and consisting of Drexel students in the Black Box Theatre. The Last Frontier performed first, featuring lead vocalist Pierce Rolli, Braxton Carter on lead guitar and backing vocals, Brendan Keenan on rhythm guitar, Brendan Vreeland on bass and Jackson Theur on drums.

“Don’t feel like you have to sit down,” said Rolli at the beginning of the band’s set. “Feel free to c’mon up here and grove with us.”

Closing out the night was indie garage band RFA. RFA is a quartet with rhythm guitar and lead vocals by Dan Cousart, lead guitarist, Christian Turzo, Brendan McHale on bass and Alec Powell.

“The evening is a success,” said Drexel sophomore and assistant event coordinator Elizabeth Hoffman. “We have a larger turn out than we had expected.”

together PANGEA and White Reaper @ PhilaMOCA.

November 30, 2015

5R7A1347Text by Sami Rahman. Images by Conor O’Mara.

“I’m drunk as shit!” yelled an audience member as together PANGEA took the stage at PhilaMOCA on Wednesday, November 18.

It was a fitting way to start the night for a band who came to fame with a song called, “Too Drunk to Cum.”

The opener, White Reaper, of Louisville, beckoned the crowd forward, the singer clad in a giant black winter hat. They served up a fiery punk sound, perfect for anyone who missed the heyday of Stiff Little Fingers or the Undertones.

“It was one of my favorite sets,” said Ryan Hater, keyboardist of White Reaper. “Every time we play here, we get really excited.”

The echoing, tuneful keyboards mixed with the attitude and snarl nicely, and more than a few people could be heard humming the keyboard hooks to themselves before the headliner played.

“I love it. Why not?” said together PANGEA bassist Danny Bengston about moshing at shows. “It’s awesome that they are that enthusiastic about the music.”

The crowd at the DIY venue certainly showed their enthusiasm, with the mosh pit forming by the second song and not letting up for the whole set.

Singing along wholeheartedly to lyrics like, “My dick is soft,” the audience were all over the place. But the dynamic songs meant there was a lot of gazing up at band, ready to jump into action at the next chorus.

“I hope everybody’s okay, they keep falling onto shit,” said singer William Keegan after a particularly bad tumble knocked over his microphone.

Growing more aggressive throughout the show, together PANGEA culminated the set with an assertive cover of “Gates of Heaven” by the Dad Horse Experience. Keegan dragged the microphone stand into the middle of the crowd and howled into it, his guitar screeching along as the sweaty mass surrounded him.

All Time Low, Sleeping With Sirens and Neck Deep @ The Liacouras Center.

November 25, 2015

ATL2Text by McCall Cox. Images by Erin Marhefka.

All Time Low, Sleeping With Sirens and Neck Deep performed at the Liacouras Center at Temple University on Saturday, putting on a mega pop-punk show.

Neck Deep kicked off the evening. The Welsh four-piece band consists of Ben Barlow on vocals, Matt West on guitar, Fil Thorpe-Evans on bass and Dani Washington on drums. The band was high energy as Barlow rasped out the vocals while engaging fans. Barlow threw himself into the crowd during a song, holding on to fans for support. Neck Deep performed songs such as “Gold Steps,” “Can’t Kick Up the Roots” and “A Part of Me.”

Sleeping With Sirens commanded the stage next, opening their set with the song “Kick Me” from their most recent album Madness. Vocalist Kellin Quinn belted the lyrics, combining singing with screaming for the first song and many afterwards. They took fans back to the beginning next with their old hit “Do It Now, Remember It Later.”

The pop rock quintet, which formed in 2009, features Kellin Quinn on vocals, Justin Hills on bass and Gabe Barham on drums while Jack Fowler performs as lead guitarist and Nick Martin operates the rhythm guitar.

“This next song goes out to anyone here who is with their best friend tonight,” Quinn told the audience as the band began playing “Gold.” “This song’s about growing up.”

Later, Quinn sang the chorus to U2’s song “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” mentioning that song’s influence on the Sleeping With Sirens song “The Strays.”

The band slowed then slowed their set down with two acoustic songs, first playing “With Ears To See and Eyes To Hear.” The band took that opportunity to mention the release of a new live acoustic album in the beginning of the new year, the footage for which was recorded during their previous “We Like It Quiet” tour.

Then, when Quinn turned to ask bandmates Fowler and Martin what song they would be performing next, they informed him that they tuned to a song that wasn’t included on the setlist.

“That means it must be ‘Iris,’” Quinn responded, before covering the Goo Goo Dolls track.

The audience lit up the Liacouras Center with phone flashlights, which Quinn referred to as “the coolest thing I’ve seen all tour.”

Quinn took every moment he could to interact with the audience, walking through the crowd between two songs and commending a fan for dressing up as Spiderman.

“We’ve got one more song for you Philly,” said Quinn just before performing “If You Can’t Hang.” “You’ve been amazing. We hope you leave here feeling a little bit better about yourself and grow up to do something fucking amazing with your life.”

Sleeping With Sirens performed a mix of new and old, including songs such as “We Like It Loud,” “Tally It Up Settle The Score,” “Better Off Dead,” and “Congratulations.” They left the audience with well wishes for Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

Approximately 30 minutes before All Time Low took the stage, a member of their personnel came to the microphone to explain the delay in their schedule. He explained that something happened earlier in the evening to affect the band, but assured that it was unrelated to any recent tragedies or threats.

“We just ask that first, you be patient with the band. And second, when they do come out, we ask that you give them all the love and support you can,” the spokesman explained.

All Time Low did take the stage then, beginning their set list with “Satellite.” The band jumped around as per usual to the screams of the audience. The pop punk/rock band, which formed in 2003, hails from Baltimore and is manned by Alex Gaskarth on vocals and guitar, Jack Barakat on lead guitar, Zack Merrick on bass and Rian Dawson on drums. After performing their hits “A Love Like War” and “Lost In Stereo,” Gaskarth took a moment to address the audience.

“We fucking missed you Philly, sorry for keeping you waiting. Thank you for being so understanding,” said the vocalist. He referred to the bands’ Maryland roots, saying, “We’re from Baltimore, which is about an hour away, so we feel like we’re home when we’re here.”

Gaskarth continued to engage the audience, teaching the crowd melodies via call and response and encouraging participation.

All Time Low broke up the energetic set with three acoustic songs, starting with “Cinderblock Garden.” Gaskarth then gave the audience a choice between two All Time Low songs, “Therapy” or “Remembering Sunday.” When the latter received a raucous response, Gaskarth obliged.

About halfway through the song, the lead singer stopped the track when he noticed a fan being pulled over the barrier from the audience.

“Is everyone good? If you see someone fall down, make sure you pick them back up and get them out of the crowd as soon as possible,” he instructed audience members before resuming the song.

Afterward, Gaskarth tossed a few water bottles into the audience to keep fans hydrated, telling them to pass the drinks around to share.

“This song goes out to anyone struggling with something right now, anyone going through something, anyone in pain, anyone hurting,” said Gaskarth before the start of “Missing You.” “Just know that it will get better. You can come out of whatever you’re going through, much stronger and much better for it. We’re all here for you. We’re all just a big family here tonight.”

Gaskarth and Barakat carried on their typical banter between songs as Barakat discussed his post-show plans to listen to new music from Adele and Justin Bieber. Gaskarth added that his bandmate would cover himself in KY gel and dance erratically while listening to both albums simultaneously.

The band later mentioned their 12 years together as All Time Low, thanking fans profusely for allowing such a thing to be possible for them.

“I gotta say man, you guys are making us feel good tonight. We love you guys so much, thank you. Every time we come to this beautiful city, you guys always take good care of us,” Gaskarth said throughout the night.

Following their performance of “Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t),” Gaskarth and Barakat opened the floor to more conversation.

“We cannot think of a better way to end our year, so thank you, thank you guys so much,” the vocalist said.

“We decided to end the tour in some of our favorite cities,” Barakat added to cheers from the audience.

“I just want to say one more time, thank you for being understanding of us coming on a little late. We received some very heavy news today, and I’m not going to go into details, but it was a tough night for us to come out on stage and do this. So thank you so fucking much for being amazing,” Gaskarth concluded. The band then launched into the last song of their set, “Old Scars/Future Hearts.”

All Time Low returned for a three song encore of “Kids In The Dark,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” and “Dear Maria,” accompanied by large inflated beach balls and heart shaped confetti.

“We’ll see you soon. Take care of each other out there. Spread love. We’ll see you. Let’s get crazy,” said Gaskarth before “Dear Maria.”

Following the show, when asked about how the tour has been going, Nick Martin of Sleeping With Sirens said it has been fun, despite recent events.

“It’s been a really dark past couple of weeks with things in Paris, with The Ghost Inside and then All Time Low going through some really personal shit tonight,” Martin said. “So, it’s nice to know that we have an awesome community of people that rally together to always take care of each other. That’s the most beautiful thing ever.”

Giraffage and Slow Magic @ Union Transfer with Daktyl.

November 25, 2015

stephensgiraffage2015-61Text and images by Holli Stephens.

The reverberation from the music of the “So Cute!” tour’s performers could be heard within a block radius of Union Transfer last Thursday night. Giraffage teamed up with the masked Slow Magic for a night of wild live drum beats and more intimate, slowed down remixes.

Daktyl started off the night, setting an upbeat tone, trying to get the crowd moving around with a series of remixes.

Slow Magic appeared on stage sporting his box-like LED animal mask and a set of drum sticks. The crowd did not seemed prepared for the event that followed. Slow Magic picked up one of the two drums he was playing and placed it directly into the crowd. He hopped down from the stage and segued into his next song amongst his screaming fans.

San Jose native Charlie Yin, otherwise known as Giraffage, played hits off his first EP, No Reason, and a remix of “Ignition.” He even remixed Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dog’s Out?” and Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA.”

As an encore, Slow Magic and Giraffage collaborated on a couple more songs including “So Cute!

Prior to his set, we caught up with Giraffage backstage to talk about his journey as a musician, Philadelphia and his Thanksgiving plans.

How has touring been with Slow Magic and Daktyl? What are you most excited for on the So Cute! tour?

It has been great. I’ve toured with Slow Magic a bunch in the past so I already know he’s a really good dude. He gives a super good live show. It’s my first time touring with Daktyl and he’s honestly one of my favorite people ever. He’s such a nice dude. I’m really excited to go to San Fransisco because I’m from there. It’s going to be the biggest show I’ve ever done in San Fransisco and I think we’ve already sold most of the tickets. It’s almost sold out and it’s still like a month and a half away. My parents are gonna be there, which will be cool. It’s gonna be fun to go to my hometown and play a show. The venue is the Regency Ballroom.

You started out as a political economics major and then switched over to making music. Had you been making music prior to this?

I was making music all through out high school and college and was originally going to go into marketing when I graduated. But my music started picking up steam midway through college, so I was able to segue straight into music as opposed to a marketing gig. It was really good timing.

What moment for you really made you realize that you wanted to be a musician?

I’m not sure. I’d been doing music for a while and always considered myself to be a musician. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine doing shows and tours and stuff. I guess, after I wrote my first song, I kinda considered myself more a musician.

Being a California native, what is it like coming to Philadelphia for you?

We literally got in at 2 pm or 3 pm. Every time I’m in Philly, it’s for a show and I’m here for less than 24 hours, so I never get the chance to explore too much. I honestly don’t know too much about Philly even though I’ve been here four or five times. I had Philly cheesesteaks the first couple of times I’ve been to Philly. To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed but I think I just went to the wrong spots. I didn’t ask any locals where the best cheesesteaks are.

What about comparing East Coast to West Coast music scenes?

It’s a little different. I feel like Philly is more into indie rock more than electronic stuff. There’s a lot of crossover though these days and a lot of pop music definitely is leaning towards electronic music. I come from a very indie rock background and started playing guitar and drums at a very young age, so I definitely try to draw a lot of influence from that type of scene. My major markets are definitely on the West Coast because there is more of an electronic focus but there are a lot of crossovers, especially in places like Philly.

What was festival season like for you and how does it compare to doing more traditional touring?

I’ve done a bunch of festivals this year. It was crazy. Festival season just ended and I was literally doing two or three festivals every single week, all the way from March to August. It was hectic. After this tour, I’m done for a while. I finally get to just rest and work on new music.

I definitely try to switch it up. People come to see us because they know our music already, versus at a festival, where they might of heard my name in passing and wanted to check me out. So, I have to be a little more assessable than I usually am. And there are bigger crowds too, especially these days. Festivals are more for the experience of going and getting fucked up with friends. I cater to it with that in mind.

Is winter usually a slow time for you?

Usually, yeah. I think it holds true for the entire industry. Winter is a shitty time to tour because Christmas and all of that stuff and Thanksgiving. Most people just take the winter to write and do festivals.

So what are your plans for Thanksgiving?

I’m gonna be on tour. The thing is, we have a few off days during Thanksgiving, so we’re actually going to someone on tour’s house and just having this giant Thanksgiving dinner there with her family. It’s gonna be cool. We’re gonna have a traditional, nice Thanksgiving. Like turkeys and shit.


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