Off With Their Heads' Ryan Young riding bike to Denver for charity

Categories: Gimme News, Q&A

Erik Hess
Off With Their Heads at the Triple Rock in 2013

Off With Their Heads' Ryan Young likes to challenge himself. That's why he scheduled a 900+ mile bike ride from Minneapolis to Denver where the musician is betting that his stubbornness will overcome his conditioning.

Young and fellow musician Brad Lokkesmoe (Dear Landlord/the Gateway District) first planned the trip on a whim, later deciding they should help out a good cause while they push their limits. The two have launched an Indiegogo project to raise the funds, using only a minimal amount for their own travel expenses (food and lodging) and donating the lump sum remainder to, a local suicide awareness organization.

See also:
Off With Their Heads return home

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Sylvan Esso: Kendrick Lamar was on constantly while we made this record

Categories: Q&A

Photo by Elizabeth Weinberg
Sylvan Esso are zipping down the interstate toward New York City in a Prius. There, vocalist Amelia Meath and beatmaker Nicholas Sanborn will perform on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon with the Roots' bandleader ?uestlove adding live drums. They opt for "Coffee," a glitchy, bells-strewn track with a coda referencing Tommy James and the Shondells, but virtually anything off their self-titled debut could spread their organic synth-pop to the masses.

Sanborn's past musical allies include indie stylists Decibully and bearded porch-rockers Megafaun (more on all of his bands here) and in Meath's background are Mountain Man's room-filling Appalachian harmonies and the ambient-folk collective BOBBY. She also has harmonized live with Feist, and he has produced beats solo under the Made of Oak moniker.

On Saturday, Sylvan Esso will warm up the stage for Polica at the second annual 10 Thousand Sounds Fest in downtown Minneapolis. Gimme Noise Spoke to Sanborn about the band's early success while Meath was behind the wheel.

See also:
10 Thousand Sounds: Behind the Bands

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Carroll: Recording is like having a baby

Categories: Q&A

Leah Garaas

This past January, local indie group Carroll recorded their debut full-length album over a period of two and a half weeks in the Philadelphia studio of acclaimed producer Jonathan Low, who has worked with the likes of Sharon Van Etten, Local Natives and the National. Carroll are in the midst of a very busy summer with Saturday's 10 Thousand Sounds Festival just around the corner, followed by more local fest appearances and a First Avenue mainroom show with Strange Names, Tickle Torture, and Two Harbors this August. Plans for a fall tour are underway as the band continues to seek label backing, and the still-unreleased album hangs delicately in the balance.

Gimme Noise recently joined front man Brian Hurlow and guitarist Max Kulicke for coffee at Urban Bean, to talk about the much-anticipated new album and to learn more about the band who, with just one EP under their belt (last year's Needs) have left such an indelible mark on the Minneapolis music scene.

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Poliça's Channy Leaneagh: You can't ignore north Minneapolis forever

Photo by Emily Utne

Poliça frontwoman Channy Leaneagh is one of the Twin Cities' most iconic performers of the moment. Blessed with a voice that can encapsulate humanity's softness and jaggedness in a single stanza, she has come into her own over two albums of synth-fueled soul, and this year's EP, Raw Exit. Each song from the band -- featuring bassist Chris Bierden, drummers Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson, and producer Ryan Olson -- pulls untapped emotion to the surface to writhe and gasp for air. It's a live experience unparalleled anywhere.

Ahead of Saturday's headlining performance at City Pages' second annual 10 Thousand Sounds Fest, Leaneagh met with Gimme Noise for some iced beverages at Spyhouse. She traveled from the home she keeps with Olson in north Minneapolis to discuss Raw Exit, her punk influence, and views on censorship, which she experienced with last year's Shulamith cover.

See also:
Cover Story: 10 Thousand Sounds 2014 -- Behind the bands

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Harbor and Home: The quiet places can sometimes have the loudest messages

Categories: Q&A

Courtesy of the artist
Harbor and Home's latest album, Dark Days, traces the edges of Americana before settling in a pool of calming guitars and lyrics. It's deeply lovely: a frosty sunrise of an album that signals happiness, holism, and mystery for fans of the Avett Brothers and Frank Turner.

Gimme Noise caught up with Kaleb Williams before the album release at the Fine Line on Saturday to talk about the change in their sound and their thoughts on Christian rock.

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Claire de Lune on Tiny Deaths: I made songs I would listen to

Categories: Q&A

Photo by Zoe Prinds-Flash
Claire de Lune first showed up on the local music radar as a vocalist in the soulful hip-hop trio the Chalice. Those vibrant ladies caught Twin Cities listeners' rapt attention as well as the top spot in our 2012 Picked to Click poll.

Claire has shifted her creative focus to an electro-pop group she formed with producer/musician Grant Cutler, called Tiny Deaths. The bands is set to release a self-titled EP sometime very soon, and poised to play a show at the 7th St. Entry on Friday night along with Glass Animals and Maids. Gimme Noise asked de Lune about how her new project came together, the current state of the Chalice, and the band she's assembled to help bring these songs to life now that Cutler has moved to New York.

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Veruca Salt: We're like a family -- with all of the love and, sometimes, dysfunction

Categories: Q&A

Photo by Piper Ferguson

A definitive cultural relic that beautifully captures the '90s zeitgeist is the opening scene of high school black comedy Jawbreaker, scored by Veruca Salt's "Volcano Girls." During that time, the Chicago-based band became a foundational part of the post-grunge alternative rock scene, developing into MTV icons and touring with the likes of Hole and Bush. Leading ladies Louise Post and Nina Gordon had unmatched musical chemistry, but after just two full-length albums personal contentions between Post and Gordon unraveled the group seemingly for good. Post carried on with different musicians, but it would be 15 years before she and Gordon buried the hatchet. Not only have the two refueled their strong friendship, but also Veruca Salt in its truest form lives on. For the first time in nearly 19 years Gordon and Post have reconnected with original drummer Jim Shapiro and original bassist Steve Lack for both a reunion tour and a new album.

Ahead of Veruca Salt's show at the Varsity Theater tonight, Gimme Noise talked with Louise Post and Nina Gordon about cultural perspective and getting a second chance.

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Cage: I keep feeding them, and they don't know what's going to be for dinner

Categories: Q&A
Courtesy of Cage

Chris Palko, better known as the rapper Cage, is not quick to grant interviews. He tends to disappear from the limelight for long stretches of time, popping back up with a new album or as part of a new underground rap group. Within the past decade, he has lent his talents toward collaborative work with artists as far reaching as Kid Cudi and Shia LeBeouf.

Born in 1973 on a military base in Germany, Cage spent his childhood years bearing the brunt of various traumas, eventually landing him in a psychiatric hospital where he was forced to serve a trial subject for one of the chemicals used in Prozac. The negative reaction to this chemical that he experienced led him to attempt suicide several times, and helped fuel his already-present struggle with substances and the darkness within himself. This darkness is ever-present in his music, a world which he has created to vent years of abuse and pain.

Last year, Cage re-emerged to release his fourth studio album, Kill the Architect. The album is wrought with his signature storytelling skill and aggressive vocal delivery, adding another piece to the complex puzzle that is his legacy. This Sunday, Cage will perform in Minneapolis at Pourhouse. He hesitantly granted Gimme Noise an interview, much at our behest. Despite setting up a definite interview time, Cage called us randomly a couple hours late, explaining that his phone had been dead, and granting us a few quick questions before he hit up the Halloween shop to prepare to leave town for the tour.

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Deafheaven's George Clarke: My life is much more balanced these days

Categories: Q&A
Courtesy of Deathwish

Every so often, a surprise makes its way onto the Billboard Charts. In 2013, that surprise was Deafheaven's critically praised Sunbather, the second studio album written entirely by the group's two founding members, George Clarke and Kerry McCoy. The album is a modern interpretation and juxtaposition of elements of black metal, post-rock, and shoegaze. It eventually became one of 2013's most acclaimed albums.

Despite their almost immediate success -- just after releasing their first demo, they were picked up by Deathwish Inc., a label formed by Converge's vocalist Jacob Bannon -- Deafheaven manage to maintain a sense of modesty while continuing to place the majority of their focus on ensuring that their music reaches the maximum amount of listeners possible. They recently returned from a series of performances in Australia, and have already embarked upon a U.S. tour. Gimme Noise enjoyed a chat with vocalist George Clarke as he prepared for their sold-out show this evening at the Triple Rock.

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Neon Trees' Elaine Bradley: We're in this for the long haul

Categories: Q&A
Courtesy of the Artist
Neon Trees

Pop Psychology, Neon Trees' shiny new album of upbeat pop music, was almost never made. After finishing a tour in late 2012, the group's singer-songwriter Tyler Glenn considered giving up on music altogether, finding himself immersed in his personal struggles to the point where he experienced a sort of breakdown. With the band's blessing, Glenn canceled that year's remaining shows and sought help. He learned that a great deal of his pain stemmed from his tendency to keep things bottled up inside. Writing Pop Psychology gave Glenn the opportunity to apply this realization by using Neon Trees as an outlet for releasing the emotions that had been keeping him trapped.

The other members of Neon Trees were grateful for the catharsis, which also allowed them to take a much-needed respite from recording and touring constantly. Drummer Elaine Bradley refers to the band as "a machine." Once each part of the machine had been well-oiled and tediously cared for, Neon Trees were ready to bring Pop Psychology to the masses. Gimme Noise spoke with Bradley about their journey and her particular place in the machine as they gear up for a tour stop here in Minneapolis this evening in the First Avenue mainroom.

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