terminal 5

THE FUNDAMENTAL DIANE COFFEE
November 14, 2016 9:00 am

Guys. Me and Shaun Fleming of Diane Coffee have the same silver eyeshadow. And now that that’s out of my system, I can tell you that we were able to grab some quality time with the shiny bombshell himself Thursday night before his show with St. Paul and The Broken Bones at Terminal 5. Keep reading to get the essentials on how Shaun feels about touring, turning the big 3-0, and what it’s like to sing opera at Macaroni Grill.

It’s been a really weird week, with the election happening two days ago. Did you perform last night?
We did. I needed that more than anything else I’ve ever needed, ever. I look to music and to artists to get me though everything from cracked a toenail, or this. [The band] were talking about it, and none of us had slept the night before, and we were just…I’m sure a lot of people were stressed on both sides. It was really close for a long time. So we were feeling pretty down, plus sick all over from the outcome. [Drummer] Kate was throwing up before she went onstage. Everyone was feeling really dumpy and awful. We were in Philadelphia last night, and the crowd was so positive and so energetic, and it was really awesome to be someone’s relief.

How is your tour going otherwise?
It’s really great, we sold out tonight. It’s been one of my favorite tours. I feel like [St. Paul and The Broken Bones] and I are cut from the same cloth in a lot of ways, but we’re different enough where I think it’s a nice blend. We’re playing to a lot of people who have never heard us before, and they’re walking away really enjoying what they heard, so we couldn’t have asked for a better pairing. Crowds have been awesome, they’re here to dance, they’re here to have fun, and the few headlining shows we had done were great. I got sick early on; right when we hit the road, it became fall all of a sudden. I had to cancel a show, which was a bummer, but other than that I think it’s been awesome.
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Is it hard for you to sit in a van with a group of people for the entire length of a tour?
I’ve been playing with Foxygen as well, so I feel like I’ve been on the road for like five years straight. [Diane Coffee has] been touring this record since September of 2015, almost nonstop. It’s funny; I get home and I feel like I need to go to the gas station just to go to the bathroom to feel any sort of normalcy. It’s been awesome and very tiring. You get used to it, and I’m traveling with great people who are my closest friends, kind of the only friends I have now with being on the road.

The lineup for this tour is new; I was playing with a separate band for everything prior to this for the Good Dog tour. And this tour kind of came up last minute and the other band couldn’t commit. It’s fun for me, because everyone brings their own personality to it, so everything feels very fresh and very new and very exciting again.

Will you be playing with Foxygen when they perform in New York?
No, I’ve stepped away from Foxygen. I’ve got so much to do with this project now, kind of focusing on my baby. They’ve got a whole new lineup though, and it’s amazing. They just played their first show that I haven’t played with them, ever. It was kind of surreal to see the tweets and stuff, “Excited to see Foxygen!”, and I’d have a little panic attack like “I’m supposed to be onstage!”. It’s like that dream where you forget your clothes and you’re at school. It was that feeling. I’m excited to see my first Foxygen show.

I have to ask, what brand is your silver eyeshadow and is there a method to the madness in its application?
There is, I got way better at it. It’s been about 2 or 3 years in the making now. I started doing it with Foxygen and it developed in that world and spilled over into this one. I’m using Maybelline Color Tattoo. Once it dries, it doesn’t come off. And just a basic eyeliner. And I use that Maybelline silver eyeshadow for my lipstick too, which I don’t think you’re supposed to do. I got this stuff by L’Oreal, Liquid Diamond powder, and I was thinking of doing gold, but it kind of looks like you have jaundice. But if you mix it with a silver powder, it’s kind of a weird halfway point between silver and gold.

Guitarist Matt Kronish walks in.

Me and Matt grew up together in L.A.

Matt: I feel like we’re still growing up together.

What was he like as a teenager?

Shaun: Matt had shorter hair.

Matt: He was just as much of a dynamo when we were 15.

Shaun: We were just talking makeup. Matt wore makeup for the first time the other day.

I’m a serious journalist, and we’re talking about makeup.

Matt: Getting to the hard issues.

Shaun: How do you feel about the election? What brand [of eyeshadow] do you use? Actually, that’s actually exactly where it went.

Matt leaves.
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You’ve mentioned in interviews that you embody a female role for your Diane Coffee persona.
Not necessarily a female role. I embody the feminine archetype, which is sort of that performer. Everything gets lost in translation with interviews, especially stuff like that. Diane Coffee is that feeling that you get when you’re a shy, reserved person, but maybe you go to a concert and the energy surrounds you and because of that community, you’re singing at the top of your lungs, and you’re dancing and then you’re back home and you’re quiet and reserved again. It’s the same thing when you go onstage; that thing that kind of takes over.

You hear a lot of artists that say they don’t remember what they do onstage. I remember what I do onstage to an extent, but that part of me takes over completely. That’s what I call Diane Coffee. When I’m performing, I’m Diane Coffee. If the band feels it, they’re Diane Coffee. If the audience feels it, they’re all Diane Coffee. I definitely wanted a more feminine name, but I don’t think it’s a character I’m playing onstage. It’s a piece of me that’s amplified greatly.

You used to live in New York and L.A., and now you’re in Bloomington. Do you feel like a big fish in a small pond when you’re at home?
I really love Bloomington. When I grew up in L.A., I wasn’t in L.A. proper; I was in a small place called Agoura. New York is kind of scary; I lived on the Lower East Side, which was a lot. Everyone was like “You should’ve moved to Brooklyn”, and they’re probably right. Bloomington felt to me like going back to business as usual. I don’t feel like a big fish or anything like that. A lot of my band members come from Bloomington, and there’s a sea of talented people there. There’s the Secretly Canadian label, Jagjaguwar, all that stuff, so they’re there. It feels like an artistic community in the middle of Indiana. It’s like this cultural oasis in the middle of corn. It doesn’t feel like a lot of other midwest towns; it’s a college town.

I’m far enough away that I do kind of become a little bit of a shut-in. Me and my girl have a house out in the woodsy area and it’s great. When you tour, it’s like city, city, city, city, all the time. And when I get home, I don’t want to be in a city, I want to be somewhere where I can have a fire and kind of just unwind and get creative again.

You’re turning 30 in the coming year.
Yes, I am. I’m trying not to think about it though. I feel like 29 was freaking me out more than I think 30 will be. My then-girlfriend in high school, me and her made this pact: she made me promise that if nothing starts happening with music by the time I’m 28, I had to get out of music and get a job or something like that. When I was 25, 26, I was like “Fuck that, I’m gonna keep doing what I’m gonna do”, and I started playing with Foxygen and things were taking off and it was going well. But still, in the back of my mind I was like “Oh man, 28 is coming up. How am I going to feel about it when I hit that point?”. And then my birthday was during the Primavera festival in Spain, and I think that was the biggest crowd I had ever played to, like 20,000 people or something like that. And I remember just thinking “This is cool, I think this counts as ‘I can keep doing this.’” But I mean, I know a lot of cool 30-year-olds. You seem cool. The world’s not going to come to an end. At least not because I’m turning 30.

Have you ever had a “real” job?
I did acting and stuff as a kid, and then no one really taught me about saving any of it. And one day it was like “Ok, this is over now. I have no more money.” My first job was at Cold Stone Creamery.
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Did you have to sing when they put money in the tip jar?
We’d holler for a dollar. Everyone had to sing. I was not getting into it. I had a job at Romano’s Macaroni Grill, and I was a host/opera singer. Every hour on the hour, I had to go into the middle of the restaurant, pull out a chair, take out a fork and a cup and sing some opera standard.

Our Macaroni Grill never did that.
I don’t know if it was just this one, or if they knew I could sing and were like “This is what you do, this is part of the job.” And I would have to go around to the tables and ask if people wanted a song and they would maybe tip me a dollar or something. It was so brutal. I hated everything about that job. That was, like, my darkest hour, I think. I was living in Reseda, in this little cramped apartment by myself. I was trying to play music and write, but I couldn’t get a band together. And L.A. just sucks for trying to put a band together.

That sounds like the theme of a Tom Petty song.
I tried everywhere – Ventura sucked, Reseda sucked. I ended up moving to Boston for six or eight months, crashed on couches. Tried to be in a pop band, that didn’t work out. I did a lot of teaching; I taught voice and guitar and a lot of stuff like that. Things were getting super dark and I didn’t know what to do anymore. So I was thinking about going back to school and trying to get into music business, which I’ve never really wanted to do. Anything to keep me in the world. That’s when Rado [of Foxygen] hit me up, and was like “Hey, we got a show, do you want to play some drums?”. That’s when one show became two, and two became more.

When you were a voice actor on the Disney cartoon “Kim Possible”, were you held to a strong code of ethics like many of the actresses on Disney’s live-action shows?
No, no one knows who the hell we are. It’s great, my dad would just pull me out of school, drive down and we’d sit in a booth and do the thing and get out. No one really knows who you are. Especially pre-internet, no one knew who the hell any of these vocal actors were.

Do you look forward to coming back to New York at all? Is there a pizzeria that you like?
I was living right across the street from Lombardi’s, so I was right in the thick of it. I look forward to the dumpling houses. I was right near Chinatown and I was broke as all hell, so dumplings.

I love being in New York and playing in New York, but I hate living in New York. I hate driving in New York. I hate parking. I always end up getting a parking ticket.

Do you have any last words before you go on tonight?
I think this is going to be the last show in New York for a while. I’m going to be doing the new record soon. I’m sure this will be one of the first stops. Don’t forget me, New York.

BORNS: RADIATING EPICNESS AT TERMINAL 5
May 27, 2016 2:23 pm

BORNS. FUCKING EPIC. That’s all we have to say here at ATYPICAL SOUNDS after attending their show Wednesday night.

Terminal 5 was filled down to every last crevice at the sold out show. Fans were constantly cheers-ing beers, dawning  electric smiles and radiating good vibes all night long.

Opening acts BEAU and Coast Modern were the opening entertainment for the night. BEAU shook up the house with her strong textured vocals and bodacious dance moves while Coast Modern brought some California sunshine to the stage with their fun Cali dance tunes. Two amazing opening acts later, just when you thought the energy of the room couldn’t raise anymore, then the main course took the stage. Illuminated blue silhouettes began to play the first fun notes of Seeing Stars as Garrett BORNS effortlessly dances in twirling circles up to the mic with a beer in hand. For the rest of the night, it didn’t matter where you were in that packed venue. Close to stage or tucked in a corner, it didn’t matter because you couldn’t help but feel like you were just lucky to be there.

Going to this show was particularly special because for every song it seemed the audience was singing the song back. It’s expected that everyone would know the words to hits such as 10,000 Emerald PoolsElectric Love, Dopamine and American Money  but the whole concert virtually felt like a sing a long and that says something about the quality and greatness of BORNS sound.

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Dopamine is a record that makes your ears crave every track and lyric. What a truly unique artist with the talent and finesse of Freddy Mercury and an incredibly talented ensemble backing him. BORNS is a must see show!

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To see if BORNS is coming to a town near you? Click here.

Photos Courtesy of Mina J 

 

 

THE WOMBATS HAVE LANDED AT TERMINAL 5
November 30, 2015 12:22 am

Let’s talk about last Tuesday night. The Wombats played Terminal 5. The honor of being able to make that statement has been a long time coming. The U.K.-based trio has been around since 2007, and has toured the U.S. extensively over the last couple of years, but until this night they hadn’t played a New York venue larger than Webster Hall.

American fans of British bands are often spoiled when it comes to touring stateside; it’s not uncommon for bands with top billing at festivals like Reading and Leeds to perform in New York at places like Mercury Lounge (capacity 250 people) or Baby’s All Right (280 people). In fact, The Wombats did play at Mercury Lounge earlier this year. Being able to see such great bands in such small venues can sometimes make fans wish the bands would stay “small” forever, but as the saying goes, “If you love something, let it go to Terminal 5.” And, for the record, the venue was packed.

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Photo by Sasha Maese

The first to perform on Tuesday was the Brooklyn-based POP ETC. The band has toured throughout the U.S. and Japan, and has performed with bands including Death Cab for Cutie, The Kooks, and X Japan. However, according to Spotify, they are most well known for their song “Speak Up”, from the Twilight film Breaking Dawn – part 2. That’s got to be frustrating. Regardless, their dynamic performance was well received by the audience. They performed songs from their upcoming LP Souvenir, as well as recent singles “Bad Break” and “Running in Circles”.

Royal Teeth was next, a five-piece band from Louisiana. They burst onto the stage dancing, with enough energy for every last person in the audience. If they were feeling celebratory, it’s with good reason; earlier this year, the group signed with Elektra records and are releasing their major-label debut in 2016.

Their set included a cover of the song “Heartbeats,” originally by The Knife, as well as their own songs “Mais La” and “Wild.” A cursory search through Wikipedia revealed that “Wild” has already been featured in ads for the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Buick Verano, State Farm, Bose, American Eagle, Metro AG, The Voice, 90210, ESPN, TLC, PBS, Yahoo, and Fox. Not bad for an indie band.

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Photo by Sasha Maese

When “Just Like Heaven” finally begins to play over the venue’s PA system, the audience knows it’s nearly time for The Wombats. They open with “Give Me a Try”, a song that’s in stark contrast to anything performed by the night’s two previous bands; “We could be gigantic/ Everything I need/ Vicodin on Sunday nights/ This could be worth the risk/ Worth the guarantee/ This could be the drug that does’t bite/ Just give me a try,” sings Matthew Murphy. This is followed by songs about one night stands (“Jump Into The Fog”), insomnia (“Moving to New York”) and longing for an adolescence that wasn’t all that great (“1996”).

It’s not that the first two bands to play on Tuesday weren’t great, it’s that they’re just so…clean. Nearly all songs by The Wombats share a feeling of alienation, of trying to fit in to a world that just doesn’t get you. Murphy often writes from his own experiences with depression, and it’s this approach to the creation of their songs that make them so relatable to people that have a hard time relating in general.

About halfway through the set, Murphy shares a story about the song “Pink Lemonade.” The writing of it involved drinking alone in Barcelona, and convincing himself that his girlfriend was sleeping with a random acquaintance. They beauty of it all is that as nuts as their lyrics can be, or the strange evolution of their songs, the audience knew every word. And they danced. And it was awesome.

The show closed the way all Wombats shows close; with “Let’s Dance to Joy Division.” It was the band’s first single, released in 2007, and probably their most beloved song. It remains the perfect encapsulation of the band’s ethos, “Let’s dance to Joy Division/ And raise our glass to the ceiling/ ‘Cause this could all go so wrong/ But we’re so happy.” Even after the band left the stage, that feeling was underscored with “You Can Call Me Al” playing from the PA system, and the audience continuing to dance until Paul Simon sang his last note.

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Photo by Sasha Maese

POP ETC: FAMOUS LAST WORDS
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POP ETC has existed in one form or another since 2005 and has performed with bands including Death Cab for Cutie, The Kooks, and X Japan. They were first known as The Morning Benders while based in Berkeley, CA, and then as POP ETC, in Brooklyn, NY. The band, comprised of brothers Chris and Jon Chu, along with Julian Harmon, is currently touring the U.S. with bands Royal Teeth and The Wombats. As if they weren’t busy enough, POP ETC is preparing to release their Souvenir LP in January.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS caught up with the band before Tuesday’s show at Terminal 5, and got to pick their brains on touring, recording, and all that good stuff.

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Photo by Sasha Maese

You guys go on in 40 minutes. How do you feel about that?

CC: We just had a really quick soundcheck where we got to play half a song.

You’re from California, but you’ve been in Brooklyn for a while. Have you performed at Terminal 5 before?

CC: One of the first times we played in New York was here, with The Kooks.

They just toured again recently, didn’t they?

CC: I think so. We saw them once during the whole tour. They’re doing their own thing. A lot of bands that come from the U.K. go from touring in Europe, and then they come here on no sleep and do 10 shows in a row and leave. So I think they were just tired.

Has that been your experience during this tour with The Wombats?

CC: Our first show of the tour with them was yesterday, but I chatted with them for a second and they were super nice.

JC: It was their first show in the states, too.

CC: They played a show in Berlin the day before. Or maybe they had 1 day in between.

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Photo by Sasha Maese

You’ve performed in Japan as well.

CC: We just got back from Japan, we were there for 2 weeks. We had a few shows, but we mostly did a bunch of promo. It was more of a promotional trip, because the record is coming out there in January. And this band that I’ve produced over there, called Galileo Galilei, we call them GG, we were touring with them and we did a lot of interviews with them about working together and stuff like that. But yeah, it was awesome. We love Japan.

Did you get to meet Yoshiki or any of the X Japan guys?

CC: I knew about them, [gestures to his bandmates] these guys didn’t. They weren’t on our radar. We should’ve, we would’ve known how lucky we were.

You opened for Death Cab for Cutie as well.

CC: A long time ago.

JC: That might’ve been The Kooks tour, actually. It was kind of a festival.

CC: I also played a few shows for Ben Gibbard’s solo tour as well. I guess we played more shows with him than I thought. He was super sweet.

You have an album coming out in January, how are your preparing? Will you tour when it comes out?

CC: Yeah, we actually are pretty amped on touring ’cause we spent a really long time on this record. Longer than we have on any record before. The whole point when we were making this record was we didn’t want to put a deadline on it. So that’s why it took forever.

That’s the best way to do it.

CC: I think so too, but there’s times in the middle of it where you lose sight. Kind of like “When is this going to end?” or “What is this?” When you’re playing songs, and you’re seeing people reacting to them in real time, when we’re not in the studio or in my house writing stuff, it’s just kind of re-energizing after spending so much time inside.

JC: It’s like I forgot people actually listen to it.

CC: Although, as soon as we’re touring for a while, I want to go back to the studio.

When you’re touring it’s like you’re working 100% of the time for weeks. I could see how that gets exhausting.

CC: You are and you aren’t. You’re also only playing like, 1/20th of the time that you’re on the road, if that.

Is it hard for you to sit in a van for that long?

CC: For me it’s hard because I like to write music all the time. I feel best when I’m working on stuff.

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Photo by Sasha Maese

Is that what you do to pass the time?

CC: Yeah, when I’m not on tour. When I’m on tour, I can’t really get into the mindset. I’ll do little ideas of something, but it’s like there’s no quiet place to record. But we get into it. We like going and meeting people, traveling. We really like food, so we like to go to restaurants. We have all our favorite restaurants across the country now, so we like playing our tours around going to eat at them.

What’s been your favorite?

JC: Japan was the best.

CC: Japan’s in a different league. One of our favorite restaurants is Monell’s [in Nashville]. We haven’t been there in a while, but we’re ending this tour in Nashville, so we’ll probably go 2 or 3 times.

Will you be at South by Southwest this year?

CC: Not if we can avoid it.

This coming year will be my first time. Do you have any advice?

CC: The first time is awesome. We’ve played it a bunch, and it actually is really fun to just go. I went one year just as a fan, and it was really fun. It’s really hectic as a band. Like you’re just sitting in traffic, trying to go 2 blocks, and you’re not going to make it [to your gig], so you just throw [the van] next to a hydrant and run your amps across the street. It’s really crazy. It’s too small an area. It’s too big a festival for that small an area at this point. It’s just grown.

JC: You get free Jansport backpacks, which is awesome. I still use mine.

Any last words before you go onstage, in front of thousands of people at Terminal 5?

CC: I’m going to save my last words, because I feel like this is just the beginning.

JC: That’s beautiful.

Years & Years Conquer NYC
September 21, 2015 11:54 am

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Years & Years made their return to New York for their 3rd sold out show at Terminal 5 and wowed the crowd. Since their first US show at Rough Trade in January, I’ve been hooked on Olly’s vocals and it’s undeniable that they offer much more than their record. I was so convinced that they were an incredible band that I even travelled to Boston to witness more of the magic they create on stage. One thing I love about this band is that they’re the most humble group of guys, looking genuinely shocked of their success and thank fans after every song. It truly impresses me how much love they get from their fans and they never fail to deliver a memorable performance every time.
Despite the fact that the view isn’t so great at Terminal 5 unless you get there early and secure a close spot to the stage, the band excited the crowd with their electro-pop tunes that made your body uncontrollably dance to the beat. Emry (keyboard) and Mikey (bass) looked calm and collected as always keeping straight faces while Olly showed some of his effortlessly rad dance moves. The set started off with “Foundation” which showcased Olly’s vibrant vocals hitting perfect high notes. Everyone had their phones out trying to capture this moment on video. Fans got a real treat when Olly jumped off stage and started mingling with the front row. A mass of people were pushing towards the front and reaching their hands out in hopes of having a chance to touch him. The band finished the night off with “King” while donning a paper crown, conquering every heart in the crowd. 

Years & years