Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tan Dollar Interview

Orange County, California is not the paradise that people think it is. Sure its safe, sunny, and the beaches are some of the best in the world, but it lacks culture and a music scene. The band Tan Dollar are trying to change OC’s music scene. They put out quality experimental music with hints of Animal Collective tropicallia, My Bloody Valentine shoegaze, and Lo Fi style reverb. Giving me a lot of hope for my hometowns music scene. I interviewed Chris from the band and got his perspective on Orange County, his favorite new bands, and what he thinks about lo-fi blog scene.

Hey guys where are you all from? What part of Irvine are you guys from? Have you grown up around here or just go to school?

I used to live near Irvine High School which I guess is sort of towards the "east" side of Irvine but me and Liz have since moved to Tustin, which is just the next city over. Lil Chris lives in an area called Woodbridge which is actually where I went to high school. He's lived here his whole life..and I've lived here since I was about 12 or 13. Liz has been here for a good few years. We are currently in the trying to get out phase. Where are you from?

I am from a bitchy little gated community outside mission Viejo. I know the get out phase. Life’s better when you get out of here, even if you only move to LA or San Diego. Have you found irvine/orange county to have a good fan base for new more experimental music? I haven't really lived consistently for about four years. When I was in high school, the last time in lived in Orange County full time, the main style of music was straight edge hardcore and all other types of music seemed to be lacking. Hopefully this trend has shifted.

I have heard of that place, but don't know much about it. The straight edge hardcore thing was pretty big around the time that I moved here. There are a lot of "garage" rock bands popping up from this area, which I guess is at least better. Orange County definitely isn't a good place for experimental music, but some of my friends are making good music that I truly love, so I guess things are starting to grow here.

Where do you guys play? Who do you guys consider your biggest influences? And who are your favorite contemporaries?

Our friend and label guy Sam does DIY shows called Acrobatics Everyday at UC Irvine and has some really good bands play. Other than that we mostly play shows in LA. Some bands who are awesome and rad friends to us are: Wonder Wheel, Weed Diamond, Dash Jacket, Weekend, Italic Indian, Pure Ecstasy, 60-Watt Kid...there's a bunch more. It would be hard to pinpoint specific influences but we listen to a lot of Beat Happening, Joy Division, My Bloody Valentine, all the people listed above and a bunch more!

I will have to check out acrobatics everyday. When I live at home during the summer I am always looking for places to see shows. I will check out your friends bands, I head Dash Jacket and really liked what I heard. What do you think of the lofi/blog explosion? I personally think its a good thing and have discovered a lot of good music from it. Do you guys read any blogs or anything like that?

The whole lo-fi and blog thing is pretty cool I think. I've been self recording for at least like 5 years. So I’ve always thought that it was cheapest and easiest way to make your own music. Its definitely a good thing, allowing recording to be accessible for anyone with a computer and a microphone. The blog thing is kind of an extension of that. Now these bedroom artists are getting tons exposure from these blogs. I mean I guess it can be good or bad. As long as you can live up to your hype I guess? I read a couple of them from time to time. My favorites are probably Get Off the Coast, Friendship Bracelet, and FMLY.

What are you future plans for the band in terms of touring or releasing new albums? I see that you guys are doing a west coast tour any plans to try and go the east coast? Where can I get your albums? The last one is more personal, if you guys have your album on vinyl that would be amazing.

We always wanted to tour as much as we can. We would love to come out to the East Coast this year we are all just very broke and unemployed so money is really tight. I'm hoping we can make it there by next year. As for new releases the tape version of our album "Your Body As A Temple" should be out this month from Mirror Universe Tapes. We are also doing a split cassette with Weed Diamond from Colorado. Much later in the year, we will be doing a split 7" with this amazing band called Eternal Summers. You can buy "Your Body As A Temple" now on CD from the label, Life's Blood( I would absolutely love to hear our new album on vinyl and I can't wait until we get something pressed on wax!!

Thanks Tan Dollar!

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