Interview with California Wives

I recently had the opportunity to ask the band California Wives a few question and here are the results. The band is performing at Beat Kitchen on June 25th with You Can Be a Wesley as part of Jonny Rumble’s record release show.

California Wives are: Jayson Kramer (vocals, keys, guitar), Dan Zima (bass, vocals), Hans Michel (guitar, keys), Joe O’Connor (drums).

The Deli's Interview with California Wives

Interview with California Wives 
- by Jason Behrends

I recently had the opportunity to ask the band California Wives a few question and here are the results. The band is performing at Beat Kitchen on June 25th with You Can Be a Wesley as part of Jonny Rumble’s record release show.

California Wives are: Jayson Kramer (vocals, keys, guitar), Dan Zima (bass, vocals), Hans Michel (guitar, keys), Joe O’Connor (drums).

Deli: Where did the name come from? A Chicago band called California Wives is it similar to Brighton, MA?

Dan Zima: It doesn't really have anything to do with California. It was just something that Hans said once that we thought sounded cool. We like that it isn't self evident, that it could suggest different things to different people. Personally, I always think of adultery when I see it in print, but a lot of people seem to associate it with reality TV.

Deli: I know you guys have been in the studio a lot lately, how is the new album coming? Will it be a full length or another ep?

Jayson Kramer: The new EP is sounding really great. We've found ways to turn the record into a complete thought from start to finish, which is really exciting for us. Like any new band, going into a studio for the first time can be sensory overload. But working with Brett Mohr has allowed us to focus primarily on developing a sound that carries from song to song. I feel like we're finding the right places for instruments within the mix and we can focus more on assembling these songs properly. So far, all of the songs have been evolving into complete ideas. Also, having the opportunity to record at Gravity Studios and mix the record in a place like Engine Studios is so exciting for us. We wanted to make sure we could put ourselves in the best position to make these songs translate to people, and I think we're doing that.

Deli: Do you plan to tour for this release?

Jayson Kramer: Getting the new material out to wider audiences is definitely the goal. Because we're the "new kids" in this game, we've always looked to establish ourselves in our own city first. But the thought of going to new cities and playing the new songs is very exciting. Touring has never been a question for us; it’s just always been a question of timing. When the time is right, we'll definitely put a tour together. But, in the short-term, gearing up to the release of the EP, we've got some festival shows here, in Roscoe Village and Taste of Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park.

Deli: What are your thoughts on the Chicago music landscape in general?

Joe O’Connor: Chicago certainly has a lot going on musically. You'd be hard pressed to find a major tour that won't make a stop here. Our summer festival scene is pretty crazy as well. Besides the obvious Lolla and Pitchfork fests you've now got North Coast Festival. The headliners of some of our street fests could sell out most decent sized venues in the city. On top of that, Downtown Sound is going strong and booking great acts. Dirty Projectors in Millennium Park last summer was one of the best shows I've ever seen and it was free! Just last week I totally missed The Very Best doing a free show. With all that star power making its way through town on a weekly basis it's easy to miss the local music. I say this not only as someone in a band trying to make waves locally, but also as someone who can be pretty ignorant of his own scene sometimes. Almost every show we play I see a band whose set I love, but after that I don't always follow that band and try to make it out to all of their shows. We spend so much time working and practicing that we're not always free to go see every band we hear great things about. Plus if someone's put down what it costs to see touring acts like LCD Soundsystem or Spoon, which plenty of Chicago music fans have, it may be hard to convince yourself to drop an extra $8 later that week on somebody like Big Science, Sissy Mena, or Jonny Rumble. Not to say that anyone should avoid touring acts in favor of the local scene. They're on tour for a reason and any local band you see around town wants to be in that position. From what I've seen though, if you're in the mood for a show, you can probably find a good local band playing somewhere in town any night of the week. You might also get to see them in a more intimate setting, like Quencher's, Cole’s, or somebody's house party than you would with any touring band. Bottom line Chicago's music scene has so many good things going on it's easy to miss a lot of them. Many Chicago music fans, myself included, would be well served to take a few more risks and hit local venues on Wednesday to see what's going on. P.S. You'd be surprised how selective even smaller venues are when it comes to who they book. Whoever's up there on stage has been listened to by someone who hears countless bands and has decided that those guys have something going on.

Deli: How does the sound and process compare to No. 8 Ep?

Hans Michel : The No. 8 EP was completely different from this EP in terms of process. We did everything ourselves in those recordings, so it took considerably longer. We were busy trying to learn the recording process when we should have been thinking about the music. This time around we had Brett Mohr produce our record, which freed us up to focus on performance and arrangement of songs. I think the end result is going to be a much better record. Sonically there is no comparison, getting to work in Gravity with a seasoned recording engineer is a WAY better experience than sitting in my basement trying to get whatever gear we could get our hands on to just do the job. In terms of the differences in the songs, I think every record we have done sounds more and more like us. The process of getting a song from starting point to ending point is getting easier, and that's reflected in the songs sounding more natural and honest.





Indian signs to Relapse Records

Last week Relapse Records announced that they had signed Chicago metal band Indian. The band will be heading to Semaphore Recordings in early October with engineer Sanford Parker to record their first full-length album for Relapse. Indian formed in 2003 and has self-released a 7” EP followed by three full-length albums on Seventh Rule Recordings. Indian are among the confirmed guests at this year’s Kuma’s Corner Anniversary Block Party held in July at the famous heavy metal eatery in Chicago, IL. Other musical guests include Earthridge, Red Fang, The Atlas Month, and more. Complete show details will be announced soon on Kuma’s website.

Bieber, You’ll Move Mountains

Justin Bieber has joined the local band Kid, You’ll Move Mountains! Ok, not really, but the band has launched a fun campaign to try and get Mr. Bieber to appear on stage with them at Summerfest this year on June 27th. KYMM plays the Cascio Interstate Music/WMSE/Shepherd Express Stage @ 9pm and Bieber plays Marcus Amphitheater @ 7pm, so it makes sense that he would want to stop by a rock out with the local favorites, right?

If you support this theory join the band’s facebook group and let them know.

From Our Open Blog: Darren Garvey

Chicago multi-instumentalist Darren Garvey keeps busy playing in the Andreas Kapsalis Trio, Cameron McGill & What Army, Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons, and Like Pioneers (ex-Bound Stems) to name a few. You can usually find him behind a drum set or some form of percussion set up... But, this year Garvey took it upon himself to record a solo record; writing 13 songs, singing for the first time, and playing all of the instruments. How does it sound? Well, it's as eclectic as all of the bands that Garvey holds down the rhythm for. 'On Standby' is a latin tune with some guest horns (ok, he didn't play all of the instruments). Technically he wasn't able to sing the female background vocals either... You can hear more of Darren's debut Under A Common Ceiling at his website.

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